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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 Hidden Pitfalls Coming to a 401(k) Statement Near You

When you see your 401(k) balance or even a projection of your future balance when you retire, do you really know what that number means for your retirement? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t. A $200k balance may look like the most amount of money you’ve ever had so you can easily think it will be more than sufficient even if it turns out to be nowhere near enough to generate the income you’ll need to retire comfortably. Read more

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My 5 Favorite Bank Accounts

Last week, I wrote about my favorite credit cards for rewards. This week, let’s take on another unpopular financial institution: the bank. With typically poor customer service, rock bottom interest rates, and an endless stream of fees, most people probably look at their bank as a necessary evil. But if you’re willing to look beyond the local branch, there are some good banking accounts out there. Here are my personal favorites: (for the sake of avoiding repetition, all of these banks charge no maintenance or minimum balance fees) Read more

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Which Credit Cards Are the Most Rewarding?

One of my favorite things this time of year is being able to use credit card reward points to cover most or even all of my holiday shopping. While it obviously doesn’t make sense to buy things just to earn rewards (especially if you can’t pay the card off in full), why not get as much as you can from purchases you’re going to make anyway? In deciding which cards to use, there are a few rules of thumb I like to follow: Read more

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We at Financial Finesse would like to wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!

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3 Reasons Not to Ditch Your IRA

I read this astonishing article today titled “3 reasons to ditch your IRA.” The author makes the case against contributing to traditional IRAs but all his arguments could be used against traditional pre-tax 401(k) plans as well. Before you cancel your pre-tax retirement account contributions, let’s take a look at his arguments and why they might be problematic: Read more

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Are You Afraid of Your Student Loan Debt?

What’s really scaring you this Halloween? If you have student loans,  getting that bill might rank pretty high on the list. After all, no one likes owing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars  that will seemingly take forever to pay off. That doesn’t mean paying off your student loans should be your only or even top financial priority though. Here are some other goals that you might want to prioritize first. Read more

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What’s Your Real Risk Tolerance?

With panic sweeping the stock market, it’s time to check your risk tolerance score. (You did take a risk tolerance quiz like this before investing your money, right?) The whole purpose of determining your risk tolerance is to use it as a guideline to create a mix of investments that you can “tolerate”…in other words, that you won’t bail out of during times like these. After all, if you do bail out and fail to get back in the market in time (and if you figure out a way to time the bottom, please let me know), you’ll miss the eventual recovery and turn a temporary loss into a permanent one. Read more

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Should You Have an Anti-Budget?

A friend of mine recently sent me this blog post called “How the Anti-Budget Can Save Your Wallet.” The basic premise is that a traditional budget isn’t realistic for most people because they just don’t stick to it and it isn’t even necessary to have one. Instead, it suggests simply setting aside your savings first (at least 20% of your income) and just spending the rest without having to categorize each of your expenses. Read more

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