Financial Wellness @ Work

Author Archives: Erik Carter

About Erik Carter

JD, CFP®

Erik Carter is a Senior Resident Financial Planner at Financial Finesse and leads our social media team. He also contributes to our curriculum and is a member of our Think Tank, specializing in research and content regarding generational issues.

Erik’s experience in financial planning and wealth management ranges from running a branch office for one of the largest brokerage firms in the country, to advising members of Congress as a financial adviser on Capitol Hill, to serving as a vice president in the private client division of a major brokerage firm in Manhattan. He earned a B.A. in Economics with honors from NYU and a law degree on a full academic scholarship from the University of San Diego, where he focused on tax and estate planning.

Favorite financial blog: EarlyRetirementExtreme.com

Fun fact: He hasn’t owned a tv for the past several years (and never missed it).

Favorite Quote: "I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful." – Warren Buffett

Some Of The Riskiest Investments May Surprise You

One of the biggest fears people have when it comes to investing is a year like 2008, when the US stock market fell almost 40%. But as long as you didn’t bail out of stocks, you would have recovered your losses in about 5 years and then gone on to make more money. The same is true of every other market downturn since the Great Depression. If you’re worried about the real risk of permanent loss, some of the riskiest investments actually seem much safer. Here are ones that may surprise you: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Is A Financial Advisor Worth Paying For?

If you’re hiring an advisor to pick investments that will outperform the market, the answer is probably no. There’s no evidence that financial advisors’ recommendations add value in this way even if their advice were free. Add a 1% advisory fee and you’ll probably underperform the market. There are also now a host of “robo-advisors” that will help you put together and manage a customized portfolio of low cost index funds for a much lower fee. However, here are some services that may be worth paying a financial advisor for: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Which Colleges Make The Best Investments?

With the rising cost of college, more students and their parents are rightfully looking at their of college in financial terms. In that spirit, I saw this report on the best “value colleges” by “return on investment.” This can be a much more useful measurement than simply looking at a school’s general “ranking” but there are a few thing to keep in mind: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

What To Do If You Owe The IRS

One of the biggest fears of many Americans is getting audited by the IRS. Even worse, is finding out that you owe thousands of dollars in back taxes that you can’t pay. That’s the position that one of my recent helpline callers was in. Not only could she not afford to pay the debt in full, but the balance was actually increasing since the interest and penalties each month were considerably more than she was paying. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some options to consider: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

5 Retirement Plan Benefits You’re Probably Overlooking

One thing that I’ve noticed when speaking to HR executives and other employees about their benefits is that many valuable retirement plan benefits aren’t being taken advantage of. These benefits are part of your compensation so not utilizing them is like not taking your whole paycheck. Here are 5 in particular: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

What Makes A Good Mutual Fund?

That’s a common question I get in our investing workshops. Most people instinctively look at performance. After all, that’s how we typically measure ability and try to predict future performance in most areas but investing is different. Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

A 6% Guaranteed Return?

Would you like a guaranteed 6% return on your investments? Is that even possible? I recently got a helpline call from a woman who thought it was. Her advisor had suggested that she roll her 401k into an annuity that paid “a guaranteed 6% return regardless of what the stock market does.” She thought the only downside is that she had to leave the money in the annuity for 10 years and that there was a 1% fee so the guaranteed return would be 5% after fees. Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Should You Buy or Rent a Home?

Summer is often a popular time for people to buy a home. In fact, I was recently talking to an employee who wanted to buy a place but she noted that the mortgage payment would be more than the rent for similar priced homes in the area she was looking at. However, after looking at the tax breaks and possible home appreciation, we discovered that owning would actually be cheaper for her. Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

The 10 Question Financial Checkup

Earlier this week, I spoke to a couple of callers to our Financial Helpline. One was a woman who had just inherited some money and wasn’t sure what to do with it and the other was a man who wanted a complete “financial checkup.” While seemingly very different questions, both involved looking for vulnerabilities or opportunities in their financial situations. Want to do the same thing? In honor of our 4 Week Financial Check-up Challenge, here are some questions to ask yourself: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

3 Reasons You Probably Don’t Save Enough

Whether your main financial goal is to pay off debt, buy a home, or retire comfortably, chances are that saving money will be instrumental to achieving it. Yet too many of us just aren’t saving enough. Why is that? The following are the three main culprits I’ve found and what to do about them: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Financial Finesse’s unbiased financial planning blog wins Gold for "Blog of the Year" in the 2014 Best in Biz Awards!

css.php