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Aug 15 69 mins. While slashing your expenses can certainly accelerate your path to financial independence, what if it also begins to slash at your own happiness and wellbeing? This way, you can still enjoy the smaller luxuries in your life while maintaining a strong roadmap to financial independence!

Aug 08 61 mins. Does settling down and starting a family really mean that your days of adventuring are over? In this week’s episode, Brad and Jonathan are joined by Heidi Dusek from the Ordinary Sherpa Podcast, who firmly believes that having a family doesn’t mean that your ability to adventure disappears! Heidi shares with the guys strategies that you can implement with your family to ensure you continue to exercise your “adventure muscle! Adventure Rich Want to start your own journey to Financial Independence?

Aug 01 49 mins. In their conversation, Nick emphasizes that thinking creatively when looking to start an entrepreneurial journey can lead to a surprisingly successful endeavor. Nick also cited examples he has came across after starting his “1k, ways” project, and how the right idea for a side-hustle could evolve into a full time business!

Jul 25 52 mins. In this week’s episode, Brad and Jonathan get introspective and examine the choices that everybody has laid out for them in their lifetimes. Together, they ponder why so many choose only the cookie-cutter options in life, and how taking the path less traveled can lead to happiness you never even knew was possible. Jul 18 56 mins. In this week’s two-part episode, Brad and Jonathan provide personal examples and insight on relatively safe ways to experiment with your FI investment plan!

Later in the show, Sean Mullaney joins the guys to discuss revocable living trusts and how they can fit in with the, “hard to think about,” side of future tax planning! Jul 11 61 mins. Jillian shares with the guys the concept behind a mini-retirement, or in other words taking an extended period of time off outside of the so called “golden years.

Jul 04 60 mins. Together, they highlight reasons why your tax return may not be such a great thing, and the different ways you can leverage your tax planning to your own advantage! Jun 27 62 mins. Big ERN a. Karsten from “Early Retirement Now” makes his return to the podcast in this week’s episode!

With Brad and Jonathan, Big ERN gives us the lowdown on what inflation is, the role inflation plays in the world economy, and the effect inflation can have on a variety of investments! Jun 20 74 mins. In this episode, Brad and Jonathan sit down with Paula Pant, author of the ebook Escape and creator of the blog and podcast Afford Anything.

As a group, the trio discuss the current landscape of the housing market, whats different between it now and 14 years ago, some tips and ticks for buyers, and whether or not the current housing market is in a bubble! Jun 13 55 mins. In this episode, Brad and Jonathan take a look at popular portfolios in the financial independence community and lay down a structure of comparison for them in a fashion similar to that of a horse race!

Join us during the longitudinal study to find out which of these various investment strategies is the right fit for you! Jun 06 49 mins. In this episode, Brad and Jonathan discuss investment strategies with Brian Feroldi, a seasoned veteran of the stock market and author for The Motley Fool.

Brian shares with Brad and Jonathan some insight into the current landscape of the market, why some stocks perform the way they do, and why it is important to take a look at the business behind the stock and not just the value of that company’s shares. Jun 03 63 mins. In this episode, Brad and Jonathan are joined by Alan Donegan, an entrepreneurial guru and host of the “Rebel Entrepreneur” podcast.

Together, the trio discuss their own entrepreneurial journeys, tips and strategies for up and coming entrepreneurs, and where entrepreneurship could fit within your FI journey! Money Mustache Want to start your own journey to Financial Independence?

May 30 49 mins. In this episode, Brad and Jonathan take a look at the ways in which people aren’t properly marketing themselves. By running through a thought experiment, Brad and Jonathan uncover skills, abilities, and valuable traits that may be absent from your resume. They also discuss imposter syndrome and how it can lead to selling yourself short. Resource from the episode: Salesforce for Everyone.

May 27 48 mins. In this episode, Brad and Jonathan reexamine the stages and checkpoints of Financial Independence. In our community, many people are just trying to figure out where they are on this path to FI. May 23 65 mins. In our community, a lot of people are just trying to figure out where they are on this path to FI, and while every individual’s journey is going to be unique, when you can gamify the process, the journey can be more rewarding and enjoyable.

Want to start your own Journey to Financial Independence? May 20 64 mins. Curious about cryptocurrencies?

Is it investing or is it gambling? See trends, think outside the box, and make your moves ahead of time. Colonial Pipeline paid to resolve their ransomware attack with a cryptocurrency, specifically, Bitcoin.

So should crypto have a role in your plan for financial independence? For Brad, cryptocurrencies have always felt like pure speculation, which is the hope that you can buy it and then sell it later to someone else for more money. Although he is leery of all cryptocurrencies in general, he is interested in learning about the entire sphere of crypto because of all the innovation with decentralized finance and potential for smart contracts and NFTs.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to experience mass adoption and the most valuable on a per coin basis. At its core, Bitcoin is code. While only 21 million of the coins will ever exist, because it is code, it can be cloned or forked to add new features. There are close to 10, different cryptocurrencies all with unique features and various values.

In contrast, investing is when you buy an asset of known value and it produces a return of some regular amount over a period of time.

There are some who state Bitcoin is digital gold. He would rather invest in something that can produce. Gold has increased in value over the years, not because it produced anything but because the dollar has lost value to inflation while gold has held its value. The same argument could be made for crypto due to the limits on the number of coins.

Unlike physical gold, crypto is a lot easier to store, liquidate, transfer, and transport. Cryptocurrencies have value because we say it has value.

The use of Bitcoin there has cut down on friction and the fees for sending money from the US to El Salvador. For instance, there are six different versions of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin takes a lot of energy because of its mining concept for its transactions. All of the Bitcoin mining around the world takes up more energy than the country of Argentina. Crypto as a store of value use case has not been proven out yet.

Gold, unlike cryptos, has a long history as a store of value and is less like to disappear from our memories like Blockbuster. There are billion DogeCoin and unlike Bitcoin, they can make more. Brad thinks that Jonathan looked at it the right way because he viewed his DogeCoin purchase as gambling.

DogeCoin can and does just make more. That coin skyrocketed and he sold it before it later came back down. Cryptocurrencies are susceptible to pump and dump. Anyone can create a cryptocurrency and begin selling a smaller portion of it on social media, building the hype around the coin and pumping up the price. The value increases dramatically, the creators and the early adopters begin to sell and deleveraging their position and let the coin die.

As they dump their coin, those who bought to the top lose their shirts. Some of these pump and dump scenarios are scams from the creation, but sometimes good coins get pulled in and pumped by a group trying to control the market.

Although he made money, his success is not replicable. There is a case to be made for gambling as entertainment. You just need to go in knowing that there is a high likelihood that you are walking out with nothing left. Brad believes in the decades to follow a couple of winners will emerge and their technology will change the world dramatically. You can prepare for it by educating yourself. Speculation can be a continuum. It can be high-risk with varying levels of confidence and potentially high levels of return.

For cryptocurrencies, Jonathan likes those with a pre-mined amount, are energy-efficient, have liquidity and a lot of partnerships, have utility, play nice with banks and adhere to anti-laundering and anti-terrorism laws.

He also believes that while these were created to exist outside of regulation, regulations are coming. May 16 43 mins. Dennison, a member of the FI community and recent Salesforce success story, joined the guys today for a special interview. He expressed to us that being adaptable and willing to change your world viewpoints on the fly especially in the face of the COVID pandemic has allowed him to achieve great financial and personal success.

May 13 58 mins. Following their conversation with Paula Pant in Episode , they were felt encouraged to move forward with a real estate investment when the numbers made sense rather than waiting for a property that met all the specific criteria. Within two months of their conversation with Paula, they purchased the home they are currently living in. Since then, they have put money in renovations and just rented out the basement apartment.

Plus, the basement apartment rent is covering the entire mortgage and then some. Zach finished school in and began working in his field earning a good raise. Rather than let the raise inflate their lifestyle, Zach put the entire raise into his plan. Although five years ago, they never would have dreamed of being in their current position, they attribute frugality and long-term planning for their success.

He thinks if you adopt the long-term mindset and stick it out during the first five or six years, seeing the end from the beginning becomes less overwhelming. Marilyn says that not having debt hanging over their heads has improved their quality of life a hundredfold. Jonathan appreciates the power of no and says sometimes when you can say no to your employer, it puts you in a position of power where they might be willing to negotiate. In fact, Marilyn uses a hack from Brad and uses an Old Navy credit card for their spending, and earns points to buy clothes for his kids.

When leaving previous jobs, Marilyn always felt a bit of panic, wondering how they would make things work, but with living expenses taken care of, they were in a different place. She felt none of that panic.

Zach grew up without a lot of money and a scarcity mindset. The path to FI has been a mind shift to understanding that everybody can win and to a level of empathy. Since they are saving more money than ever before, they are interested in optimizing what they do with it.

They have considered more rental properties, but prices are high and inventory is low. Index fund investing is another option. They would need to geo-arbitrage a second rental. Zach has looked at rolling it into a self-directed IRA for real estate.

They also have an interest in diversification, but with the real estate market so high, they want to have cash on hand to make a move if it dips. And if the stock market does something crazy, Zach and Marilyn want to be prepared for it.

They want to invest, just with a shorter time horizon, so they need to invest somewhere with less risk. Jonathan says they need to invest like a 55 or year-old. They can achieve that with investments that provide either income stability or a negative correlation. Future raises, additional rental properties, or Marilyn returning to work can only speed their path to FI. Both Brad and Jonathan believe they can achieve FI in years.

May 09 43 mins. The nature of work has drastically changed over the last year. Has its impact on you been negative or positive? And does that impact your choices on the path to financial independence? As a result of these changes, how we do work is something we can now question and work to make it align with how we want our weeks and months to look like.

The concept of a Red X month is something first introduced to us by Vincent Pugliese and one that has been sacred to the Barrett Family. Brad puts a big red X through the month of August each year so they can spend the month doing whatever they want. The ability to do that is a benefit of FI.

In order to spend more time with family, this summer, the show will move from its standard two shows a week format, to just once a week. What is your why? At some point, you need to wind it down and step away. The one-more-year syndrome where you worry you might not have enough comes from a scarcity mindset. It can be easier and less scary to keep doing what you are doing. The hard work is psychological and needs to be contemplated years before leaving work.

You can start doing the work ahead of time by starting small and experimenting. He realizes that comes at the cost of missing out on spending quality time with his family and his life may be out of balance.

He thinks Brad is probably better at handling the contentment side of things. When you are in a position of strength and know what you value and where you can provide value, you can design a work life that works for you. A lot of employers are looking at how they can save money with less physical real estate. You have the chance to be a squeaky wheel and present your employer with a work proposal and provides them with an ROI they are looking for.

Work is not always going to be stress-free. Where does it cross the line from reasonable to toxic? We need to have some self-compassion, realize our issues, and try to get a little bit better every day. If you conduct a root cause analysis on your stress, you can figure out a way to solve it.

Knowing what your options are is one way of dealing with a toxic work situation. You can start by testing small and doing things to make your life a little bit better. Balance has characteristics that are identifiable.

It feels like you are in control of your time and you are able to allocate it where you want. If you have autonomy, mastery, purpose, identity, and connection, you should be able to control your time. May 06 42 mins. If you give them the right skills, becoming a millionaire can be a mathematical certainty. Success is in the journey. For many of us, we made a lot of mistakes before finding the right information and learning that there is a better way. When you understand the power of compounding, you know how plausible it is to become a millionaire, and what you need to put away each month to get there.

Much of the journey comes down to mindset, empowerment, and believing that you can make changes to better your life. We generally talk about investing timelines starting around the age of But how early could you really get started and why would you want to get started at an earlier age? For Brad, the reason is dual-pronged.

He thinks the concept of saving for retirement is misdirected and he would frame it differently. However, the concept of financial independence is something people are more willing to take action on. Financial independence means you can control your time and have the autonomy to make decisions and you can take advantage of retirement vehicles such as Ks and Roth IRAs to reach FI. Financial independence is a better framework for talking about and planning what it is you want to do with your life as well as giving yourself options.

Bradd says there has never been a great explanation of how people can take advantage of a Roth IRA for children who have earned income. A source of earned income does allow them to make after-tax contributions to a Roth IRA where that money can grow tax-free forever. A year-old will have 47 years of compound growth before making withdrawals.

All of the growth, dividends, and capital gains distributions will be tax-free compared to an investment account where they would be taxed. For adults, some financial independence strategies help to control your marginal tax rate using specific pre-tax retirement accounts. When adults are in a low marginal tax bracket, an argument can be made for locking in the low tax rate with Roth contributions. However, children with much lower incomes, already have low marginal tax rates.

The contribution does not need to be made with the exact same money the child earns. Parents or grandparents could make the contribution as long as it does not exceed the earned income or IRA contribution limits.

Matching programs are a great way to teach financial lessons. Similar to a company K match, parents or grandparents could incentivize a child to contribute to their Roth IRA by agreeing to match contributions dollar for dollar, or two dollars for every one.

The difference between the two net worths is the result of the powers of compounding and time. The Rule of 72 is a way to predict how many years will take your money to double based on an interest rate.

You take the number 72 and divide it by your interest rate. Compounding on a big number adds up quickly. The article contains different scenarios to help foster the conversations parents can have with their children about the impact time can have. Break through the initial resistance to get started and set up a system to reinforce good financial habits so that your child can build their own trust fund.

They will have a better foundation and desire to learn and get even better. May 02 57 mins. Brad recently decided to move away from paper files and bills to join the digital age, while Jonathan has been using a subscription service to stop the paper junk mail sent to him. Chris uses a browser extension to view book availability at his local library and borrow or place a hold on it.

Jonathan thinks this tip could be expanded to include non-fiction books that improve you in some way. Other tips include getting outside to exercise or try a new hiking or biking trail every week. Mix things up. There is a never-ending stream of free YouTube exercise classes to choose from. Are you aware of your local FI group? You can invest in your local community. As for dealing with debt, Brad says you need to sit down and be honest with yourself.

Understand what you owe, who you owe it to, how much you make each month, and how much you spend. Once you get to that place, Jonathan says you can look for ways to optimize your debt payoff, such as zero balance transfers. And then work to improve your credit score by putting a system in place, like autopay, to ensure you never miss a payment. Once you have that, then you can think about building an emergency fund.

Use your tax refund to establish your crisis fund. The opportunity cost of having the government hold your money for a year is potentially big. You want to be saving and investing it all year long. You can learn to do just about anything on YouTube, especially do-it-yourself home repair tutorials that will save you money. Even replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED is easy to do and saves on energy costs. Declutter your home and donate or sell items to simplify your life. Owning a car costs a lot.

Trying to manage the payment for a new car every 5 years versus buying a car and driving it for 15 years can have a dramatic impact on your path to FI. If you can stack car ownership savings with other money savings hacks on food, or housing, it can mean a difference of multiple millions.

There are even companies who will do this for you. There are a few ways to optimize healthcare, such as using a high-deductible health care plan with an HSA, prescription discount tools, and locking in medical service prices with websites, such as MDSave. The health benefits of focusing on exercise and healthy food choices can not be overstated. Laura has even curated a series of healthy recipes that fall within that cost. Everything is negotiable. Saving puts money in your pocket, and so does earning more money.

Apr 29 74 mins. The goal of the podcast is to help listeners upgrade their lives by living more exciting, fulfilling lives without spending a lot more money and optimizing it all along the way. Life hacks tend to fall into one of three camps. When Chris thinks about life hacks, he thinks about different aspects of his life and what the important parts are, such as family, work, finances, shopping, travel, and self.

Categories may also be broken down into multiple subcategories. Jonathan says the idea of life hacks and living his life in a slightly more optimized way is what led him to financial independence which he says is the ultimate life hack as it helps us reclaim our most precious non-renewable resource, our time.

Coming out of a year of lockdown, it seems like everyone is planning to travel somewhere. Chris recommends using Google Flights to get quick insight into flight prices with flexibility on airports and dates. However, booking directly with the hotel will likely get you a better experience.

In addition to booking directly, reaching out to someone on the sales team or the general manager will often get you an upgrade or some sort of amenity. You may be able to find the names of individuals by seeing who is responding to reviews on Trip Advisor. Having status with the hotel can help as well. A family life hack Jonathan and his wife began doing is creating a shared family photo library and build a slideshow of their favorites from the year.

Brad believes another life hack is just being a good person and making personal connections because it makes others want to go to bat for you.

Website account hacks are becoming more commonplace and passwords are frequently stolen so using the same password for everything can be trouble. Check to see if your account has been part of a data breach at Haveibeenpwned. A password manager makes it easier to use unique passwords for all your accounts. Increasing security with two-factor authentication helps make your accounts even more secure.

Chris has a fireproof box in his home where he keeps important documents and the one password he uses with his password manager 1Password. In the event of death or incapacitation, a legacy binder has all the information loved ones need to manage your affairs. As mentioned on the show previously, Brad uses ToDoist to track all his tasks. Commit to it. When it comes to renting cars, Chris rents with Avis using a Costco discount.

Autoslash and Turo are additional ways to possibly save money on rental cars. Chase and American Express credit cards have offers to save many when using their cards.

Listener Jessica asked about life hacks for type A career women and mothers on the path to FI. Chris thinks there is power in being incredibly passionate about a company you want to work for. He also says you can negotiate your salary all of the time especially if you present data that you are being underpaid.

Before having their baby. Chris was able to find almost half of the items on their baby register in the second-hand marketplace, which allowed them to have everything they wanted and not skimp out on their savings rate. Another life hack, meal planning, is something that Chris and his wife just purchased for introducing their baby to solid foods.

He says there is a bare minimum of what your time is worth. While they could have done it for free, buying the meal plan freed up a lot of their time making the cost worth it. Jonathan says for baby clothes, his wife was able to make out like a bandit using local buy nothing groups. Plus, she has been able to arrange a neighbor exchange to keep kids in clothing as they grow. And within their home, they rotate toys to keep them interesting. He uses Paprika to save recipes, meal plan, and grocery shop.

Steven Boyer from CampFI recommends if you cook something often, keep all of the items you use physically together. Brad used a little hack like that to remove the pain points he was experiencing make his morning smoothie prep go more smoothly.

Holly says if you have a separate freezer, you can buy meat in bulk when they are on sale and then have them whenever you need them. Although Jonathan and his wife tried once a month meal prep, they have moved to cooking two to three meals a week and eating leftovers.

Chris says he intentionally scales his meal sin Paprika up so that they have leftovers. Brad likes to reduce the paradox of choice by eating the exact same meal every day for breakfast and needs a system for lunch. To reduce her paradox of choice and frustration, Leslie created a capsule wardrobe for her closet by pretending she was packing for a three-week trip. Chris has been culling his wardrobe by separating the clothing he has worn and washed from what stays in his drawers. The things that have remained in the drawers he can get rid of.

Chris says there are so many opportunities to learn these days but the hardest thing is to tangibly identify something you can do. Get experience. You can explore the entrepreneurial side while doing something else.

Learning new skills is valuable. Try a bunch and see what lights you up. Chris says automation is magical and one of the things that drew him to work at Wealthfront was financial automation where he works on automation that directs your money where you want it to go automatically.

Grumpus Maximus. Apr 25 50 mins. In episode , Brad helped them calculate their FI number, but Lindsay is a teacher with the potential to earn a pension. In this episode, they touch base with Grumpus Maximus to discuss the health of their pension.

While the conversation is geared toward the health of the Virginia Retirement system, others who are eligible for pensions will learn where to access data about their own pensions and interpret it to assess its health. Linsday is 32 and in her seventh year of teaching under the Virginia Retirement System. Troy is 34 and an IT professional working on government contracts and does not have access to a pension.

Troy and Linsday have a young son. Grumpus Maximus is a retired military officer who lives in New Zealand with his wife and two kids. Grumpus experienced a post-traumatic breakdown around year 16 of his military career that had him calculating whether or not it was worth staying in the military for the additional years required to earn his pension.

Many defined benefit plans these days have different levels because they are so expensive. Linsday is on option 2. Option 2 appears to be tied to the social security retirement age, so taking it earlier likely results in a reduced benefit. Lindsay wants to understand how to calculate what her pension would be. Grumpus says there is a way to calculate it but warns that doing it this far in advance will require a lot of assumptions.

They can go online to calculate the pension amount and then see how big the gap is. The smaller the gap is, the more valuable the pension is.

The VRS pension also does not replace social security, so she will have social security income coming in as well. Her pension also has other earned pension benefits OEPB , like life insurance, health insurance, and the option of survivorship.

It takes into account the non-mathematical considerations, such as happiness, job satisfaction, and potential changes to the pension system. When asked about how Grumpus and his wife came to the decision that they did, he said several factors played into the decision.

They even had marriage counseling. In addition, Boston College runs The Center for Retirement Research and has a public plan database with most of the major state and city plans in it.

With Public Plan Database, you can get an overall view of what the pension plan looks like. It also compares the plans to national averages which can give you an idea of the overall health of your plan. Very few public plans are fully funded. If they have been going down, there is cause for concern. If states skip paying into plans, it will need to be rolled into future payments.

That is shown in the database as ARC payments. The VRS pension uses a formula based on age, the number of years worked, and average annual salary. There is a multiplier for every year worked of 1. Payments will start right away if she works to full-retirement age. Concerning health insurance under VRS, credits are accrued for the length you stay that contribute to a subsidy.

The goal should be to have a fully-formed decision. While she is enjoying teaching from home, Troy and Lindsay are considering a second child which could change how she feels. Teachers have other ways to invest money, such as bs and s. Lindsay could be doing those in the meantime to give herself flexibility. People who have pensions need to make some real in-depth considerations from both a financial and psychological perspective.

Not every decision comes down to money. You have to decide what works best for you. Grumpus Maximus Website: Grumpusmaximus. Apr 22 70 mins. In this episode, we explore what that means and if we appreciate how good we have it. In an ideal world, we would all like to maximize investment returns while reducing volatility.

Holding uncorrelated assets helps to prevent catastrophe. But what is the goal of investing? Investing itself is a very broad term, but it is essentially when the money you have saved is working to produce additional income for you. Financial independence is getting to the point when you have saved and invested enough to get to the point where working can become optional.

In the last years, investing has become fundamentally easier. Back then, you needed an expert to help you invest money and paid dearly for it in the form of fees. When many of us think about saving money today, it is through a savings account or certificate of deposit where the bank holds your money and pays you an agreed-upon interested rate in exchange for being able to loan out your money at a higher interest rate.

Based on current interest rates, it would take a very long time to make a meaningful return on money invested in this way. Bonds are where a company, the government, or other entity raises capital by selling debt. You buy the debt and are paid back with interest. Mutual funds are yet another investment that first came about in the s, but mutual funds really rose to fame in thanks to Jack Bogle when he created the Vanguard First Investment Trust.

It was game-changing for modern-day investing. With mutual funds, you own a little piece of many different companies with one investment. Owning a single stock is a risky position.

If something goes wrong, the investment can become worthless and your money is gone. You can mitigate that risk by diversifying your investment across multiple companies. Computers could use an algorithm to manage a fund designed to track a particular index.

He predicted you could get a better return from owning all the winners and all the losers and keeping the fees rock-bottom low than with an expert team picking stocks. The process dominates over one of actively picking stocks, especially with a timeline of several decades.

Today, in the index fund space, there has been a continual race to the bottom when it comes to lowering index fund fees and the expense ratio today has been cut by a factor of 10 or more. Something ChooseFI has discussed over and over again is how much of an impact fees can have on your investments. In addition, changes to the tax code have made it possible to control our tax rate. These investment vehicles allow us to control our tax rate and save for financial independence.

With the exception of Roth IRAs, all of the other accounts are pre-tax, so that every dollar going in reduces your taxable income. Investing on your own today could not be easier. It can be done on your own, online, in about minutes. Even better, you can automate your investing and send over an extra you have when you have it.

The barriers to entry are also lower than ever before. Brad has his finances on autopilot even if it is suboptimal. He suspects many of these new companies are moving toward a system where everything is connected, will be able to optimize everything, allowing customers to keep anything extra invested. Jonathan believes making investing seamless is magical. Using dollar-cost averaging as an example, it guarantees a mathematically favorable average price for your investment.

Brad thinks the most obvious benefit is behavioral. Our brains screw us up with investing more than anything.

There are a few other forms of investments, outside of stocks and bonds. Investing in a business, crypto, collectibles, NFTs, art, or single commodities are all other options. Speculation and investing can be conflated terms, but they are different. Speculation is not based on the fundamentals of a company or asset.

While the gain is real, his purchase was entirely speculative. He remains skeptical of cryptos in general but sees where there may be value in cases where a problem is being solved, such as XRP and Swift. Know what your risk tolerance is, what your timeline is, and what your goals are. The market is self-cleansing.

Ratio Explained. Apr 18 28 mins. The Households of FI series continues! In this episode, we touch base with Kristi, the single mom from Minnesota who. Individual stock selection is something that Brian Feroldi gets excited about, making him the perfect mentor for Kristi and her ESPP questions.

She has been buying this stock since beginning her career six years ago and has accumulated a lot of it. She originally thought that sell the stock with the lowest cost basis to realize the largest gain would be the best strategy, but now questions if that is the best move. Company plans vary somewhat, and it sounds like her company purchases lots of the stock on a monthly basis at the end of the month.

Discounted stock sounds like a great deal, but Kristi has a lot of risk tied to her company. Her salary, bonus, retirement plan, benefits, and career capital all rely on the company. Purchasing employee stock increases the risk even more. When Brian started his career, his company offered an ESPP, and although he was bullish on the company, he chose not to participate as a risk management strategy.

He already had too much riding on the companies success to risk adding to it. Although the company did well and he would have increased his wealth, he is happy with the choices he made because he was maximizing his potential net worth, while assuming as little risk as possible.

Although her company is a blue-chip business and low-risk company. Kristi will need to ask herself how much risk she wants to be tied to it. Although her company is the only individual stock she owns, she is somewhat interested in owning other individual stocks. She can add that in over the top of the bulk of investments in index funds, while remaining diversified, and still feel good about her long-term compounding chances. E stands for earnings, the net income or profits per share. Take and divide it by But is that good or bad?

Context is key. Another metric Brain says to look at is the price-to-sales ratio, which is the price of the business divided by the sales, or revenue per share. This ratio eliminates the one-time swings and tends to be much more stable. If you have an ESPP, you want to look at the minimum holding period, know when you are outside the short-term capital gains, and the other details of your company plans. Consider rolling it over to an investment outside your company once the plan requirements have been met and it meets long-term capital gains requirements.

Long-term capital gains have preferential tax rates. The line of delineation between short and long is one year. Investment gains are not subject to tax until they are realized. For those who have access to an ESPP, it is part of your compensation but will require a bit of research because there is some risk in tying up so much of your wealth into one company. Apr 15 67 mins.

The goal of diversification is to ensure access to a lot of upside without being exposed to an unacceptable downside. But are you as diversified as you think you are? Long-time community member, Frank Vasquez says there are three roles bonds have in your portfolio, income, stability, and diversification.

The Holy Grail Principle focuses on what the concept of diversification really means. Investors can use online websites to calculate the correlation of two assets that results in a number ranging from 1 to The closer the number is to 1, the more highly correlated they are.

A number close to 0 indicates the assets are uncorrelated and move randomly with respect to each other. A negative result means the assets are negatively correlated and typically go in opposite directions.

Why would an investor want assets that are negatively correlated if that means while one is doing well, the other is not? In the accumulation phase when an investor is trying to build wealth, they probably would want negatively correlated assets. Upon reaching FI, they may be helpful when attempting to ensure the highest safe withdrawal rate.

Safe withdrawal rates for each portfolio will vary slightly and range from There are websites online to help calculate the rate for different portfolios.

Frank has three adult children who he advises to max out their retirement accounts in basic index funds. The next bucket to fill is an emergency fund, followed by a taxable brokerage fund to used toward a down payment on a house. When first starting out, money invested is a big pile of future cash. You invest a little each year and should get it into risky, growth-oriented, and reliable investments, which are stock index funds. In the four phases of investing for retirement, the first two are earning and saving and are the most important to get automated saving going.

But what considerations are there if you are looking to transition index funds into a risk parity portfolio? The first step is to figure out where you are going and where the goal is. Next, look at what you have and what needs to be transitioned. Start the process when you hit your FI number or about five years out from when you think you are going to need it. A risk parity portfolio does not stop earning money. Treat all of your assets as one big portfolio.

The least movement possible is best and anything taxed as ordinary income should be put into retirement accounts. Risky parity is a style of investing that has become more accessible to everyone with no-fee trading. It is finding uncorrelated or negatively correlated assets and combining them to reduce the risk of the overall portfolio. Gold may be an alternative. Bonds are not good income generators anymore. If you want to invest in something like Bitcoin, make sure you have a volatility match to it.

Listener Andy asked about what percentage of a stock portfolio should be in international stocks. When Frank is deciding on investing in something, he looks at how useful it will be in his portfolio. He looks at its correlation with the rest of his portfolio and its volatility.

Franks says he does have small-cap value in his portfolio because they are less correlated with the overall stock market than an international fund. Franks says you want a basic and diversified two-fund portfolio that covers the whole market would consist of large-cap growth and small-cap value funds. Although index funds are cap-weighted and gaining more and more of the larger companies over time, they are also self-cleansing in that companies doing worse fall down or fall off.

Small-cap value funds do the reverse. When a company gets too big, it gets kicked out. Holding both types captures each end of the spectrum. According to the Macro Allocation Principle, what matters most in investing are the macro allocations between stocks and bonds.

Listener Claudia asks what a bond tent would do to her sequence of return risk. Bonds should move opposite of the market, but lately, they have moved with the market.

Franks says different bonds behave differently. Some do not provide much diversification. Focus on Treasury bonds for diversification. The hallmark of a very diversified portfolio is when you see different things moving in different directions at different times. Rental real estate and stocks have a low correlation, so it can be a good way to diversify, although sometimes they can move together as in Apr 11 56 mins.

In , the American dream of a home with a white picket fence turned into a financial nightmare, sending many families underwater for a decade. Owning may not be the right decision for everyone.

Is purchasing a home a good investment? Housing is an expense whether buying or renting. The more you buy, the more you are spending, and the less wealth you will have. As a real estate agent, Mindy tries to stop herself from asking clients how much they can afford.

Instead, she asks about the price range, what kind of home they are looking for, and what condition it should be in. For the average buyer, appreciation will generally occur over the course of the ownership time period, but it is the product of the housing market around you. For regular buyers, a home is a place to live, not an investment.

Over a long period of time, the returns on your home are low compared to investment alternatives like the stock market.

Scott and Mindy assume a 3. At that rate, the breakeven point comes in years. The higher the appreciation rate, the faster you reach the breakeven point. You could rent it after you move out as an exit strategy and increase the desirability of buying. Median incomes and home prices around the country differ more than other categories, such as food. All the disposable income over what is needed for day-to-day life can go to your scarcest asset, which is housing in many high-cost-of-living areas.

There is no rule of thumb for what percentage of income you can spend. When making the rent vs buy decision, Scott says the biggest variable to consider should be time, then what your appreciation is going to be, what you can do to force the appreciation, and then exit strategies. There can be a dramatic difference between a home you would want to live in and one you could potentially rent. Mindy suggests using the internet to research what you need versus how can you rent it out.

Do some research and figure out what exactly you want. Most people go in with the framework of buying the house they like and pray that it goes up in value so they can sell at a profit. But when you buy a home, there are three eventual outcomes. You live in it, rent it, or sell it for a profit. Keep all three of those in mind when buying. Lenders, real estate agents, and contractors are all incentivized to have you buy the biggest home you can afford because they make the most money that way.

Next, figure out the price range for what you want. Finally, narrow that search down to the 10 properties you would have purchased yourself.

That gives you a realistic idea of your market. Mindy says the exercise can be a great way to screen agents as well. If they are unwilling to do this for you, cross them off the list.

You should interview the agent before deciding to work with them, keeping in mind that their incentives are not necessarily aligned with yours. Find someone considerate of what you want. The next step in getting a good deal is waiting for the home you want to come on the market. Be pre-approved or pre-qualified for a loan and be ready to view the property as soon as it comes available and make an offer that night or the next day.

In a hot real estate market, the fear of mission out can be real for first-time homebuyers. Make offers based on the numbers, not out of emotion. Other than student loan debt, a first home purchase may be the biggest financial decision you make. Apr 08 76 mins. Apr 04 43 mins. Financial fear can come from financial trauma and drama. Tiffany wants her community of more than , Dreamcatchers to release that shame, focus on solutions, and create plans that actually work.

According to Tiffany, wealth is more than just money in the bank. People often chase an end goal without a foundation to ensure they will still be okay if something were to happen. The goal is to give you the foundation that you need to go on greatness, such as investing at a high level, buying the home you want, or starting a business.

For many of us, fear comes from a lack of knowledge and it takes an external, traumatizing incident to awaken us. Tiffany wants to reach people before they get to that point by normalizing financial education early on.

She delivers knowledge through her blog, The Budgetnista, and podcast, Brown Ambition. For access, she showcases other financial educators, like the ChooseFI Foundation, to those who want a financial education for the children and community. And finally, she built Dreamcatchers for the third prong, community, so that people know they are not alone.

The 10 components that constitute financial wholeness are budgeting, savings, debt, credit, and learning how to earn for the first tier. In the second tier, she includes investing for retirement and wealth, insurance, net worth, your professional money team, and estate planning.

This foundation of financial wholeness is what you build the rest of your goals, hopes, and dreams on. While writing her book, Tiffany decided to Google, Jake the Thief, a man from her past who had caused her financial trauma. She discovered that he had escalated his thieving behavior from poor something-year-old women to defrauding the United States Government and he is currently sitting in federal prison.

Sometimes the wrong thing or risky behavior works for a short period of time. That experience taught her that her father was right, slow and steady wins the race. She now takes her time and is very methodical with her decisions. Once she built her foundation, she was able to build wealth much more quickly. She wants others to have the opportunity to build the life that they want. After reading her book and matching one of her workshops, Jonathan says he likes how good Tiffany is at organizational structure and categorizing things.

With budgeting, Tiffany assigns control categories to expenses. First, she lists all of the expenses and then assigns them to categories. The first category is B, or bills, like a mortage.

Some of those bills are usage bills that fluctuate depending on usage, such as water or electricity. She puts a U in front of those Bs. Everything else is a C, meaning cash or choice expenses, because these are expenses you have choices over, like haircuts or gas for the car.

If most of your money is going to Cs, you are spending too much because of your choices. When things are temporarily tight, you know you can look at your Cs and make some cuts there first. Budgets are like your mom. If you can master your budget and look at it differently, it is there to accommodate your goals, hopes, and dreams. Visit site. This stage began in December When scanning is Eopf Va Employees Login will sometimes glitch and take you a long time to try different solutions.

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