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

3 Tools That Can Make Your Investing Simpler and Cheaper

Last week, we discussed the three keys to successful investing being properly diversified, minimizing costs, and re-balancing periodically. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the emergence of online automated investment services (often called “robo-advisors”) that aim to make these steps even easier. After reviewing the various options, there are three in particular that I really like. Here’s a comparison of how each of them can help you with the three steps and what type of person they might each be best suited for: Read more

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All You Need To Know About Investing In 3 Simple Steps

Whenever I talk to people about investing, I find that most people fall into one of two groups. One group feels that investing is too complicated for them so they want to hire a professional to manage their money for them. The other group is make up of active investors who try to time the market with statements like “I think the market is too high to get in right now” or “I’m going to wait for prices to come down before I buy” and/or pick stocks or actively managed funds that they think will outperform the market. The problem is that there’s no evidence that market timing or even actively picking stocks really works (unless monkeys or cats are doing the picking). If the vast majority of professional money managers continue to underperform the market with these methods, do you really think you can in your spare time? Read more

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You Have Less Than a Week to Make These Tax Saving Moves

Have you filed your taxes yet? April 15th is largely known as tax day, the deadline for filing and paying our taxes for the previous year. But it’s also the deadline to make 2014 contributions to three types of accounts that can reduce your taxes now, later, or both: Read more

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How to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs

Are you paying more for out-of-pocket health care costs? If so, you’re not alone. There’s a growing trend to higher deductibles for health insurance policies, which means we’re increasingly having to pay at least $1-2k out-of-pocket before the insurance kicks in. Here are some ways to reduce those costs: Read more

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the New Student Loan Forgiveness Program

I recently received a panicked call from a friend of mine who had just graduated from graduate school with $120k of student loan debt. Since she had trouble making the payments, she signed up with the new “Pay As You Earn” student loan forgiveness program. Then she got an ugly surprise… Read more

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How to Maximize Your Satisfaction

How do you make decisions? According to this article, there are two basic approaches. Some people are “satisfiers,” which means that when they see a choice that satisfies them, they take it. Other people are “maximizers,” meaning they want to see and study all the choices to pick the best possible option. Maximizers do tend to make “better” choices (for example, they make more money on average) but they also aren’t as happy with those choices (including with those higher-paying jobs). That’s because maximizers are always wondering if there’s a better choice they could have made. Read more

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Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Worth Losing The Tax Deduction?

I recently received a question after one of my workshops from a woman who was wondering if she made a mistake paying her mortgage off early because she no longer has the mortgage interest deduction. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten different versions of that same question (including after a later workshop session that same day). Here are several reasons why this is a classic case of letting the tax tail wag the dog: Read more

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In Defense of “Personal Finance Scolds”

I used to think that the need for Americans to save more was pretty uncontroversial. That was before I read this article called “The pernicious ideology of personal finance scolds.” The author lambasts financial advisors for “scolding people for not saving enough money” and calls the “ideology of savings scolds…ideologically pernicious.” Read more

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3 Investment Myths Busted

Think you know everything you need to know about investing? I recently read three articles that dispel some conventional wisdom when it comes to your investments. Here are the busted myths along with the implications of what they could mean for you: Read more

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Want to Live a Happier Financial Life?

Very rarely do I find a personal finance article that resonates me as much as one I recently read called “How to Live a Happier Financial Life.” First, I love the title. When it comes to finances, sometimes we get so caught up in the numbers that we forgot the whole point is is about maximizing happiness not money. Sometimes that means spending more money on certain things but often it actually means spending less. The article’s following points do a good job of differentiating which is which: Read more

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