Financial Wellness @ Work

Author Archives: Michael Smith

About Michael Smith

MBA, CFP®

Michael Smith is a Resident Financial Planner at Financial Finesse with over 15 years experience in financial planning and service. His primary role is in service delivery of Ask-a-Planner Days, and the Financial Helpline.

He writes weekly on the ins and outs of daily life as a financial educator.

He has an extensive background in the full service financial services, banking, accounting, and financial planning industries. He achieved the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 1999 and joined Financial Finesse in April 2010.

Favorite Blogs: Darwin's Finance, Zero Hedge.

Fun Fact: Played rugby for a long time & still has all his original teeth, but has had four knee reconstructions.

Favorite Quote: "Never drink a beer you can see through." -Self

It’s All About Perspective

Perspective can sometimes be situational. Our perspective today can be very different than it was a decade ago. I have a friend struggling with her birthday right now. She is about to turn an age that ends with a 0.  Read more

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Finding Balance

I met with a young woman recently who had a few options in front of her and we talked through the choices in front of her.She had just graduated from business school and accepted an offer with her current employer. She is in a two year long leadership development program, and during that program, the company is paying for her living expenses. They do that so that she could maintain her home back in her hometown since that’s where she will eventually live again. This woman had just gotten married and her husband moved to the new city with her and he will look for a job there since he just finished school as well.  Read more

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Good News For Credit Scores

At a time where I love to look for good news stories to combat all the negativity I’ve seen in the press lately, comes a very good news story for consumers. The 3 major credit bureaus have agreed to overhaul how they handle medical debt in credit reports. I meet with a lot of people who are looking for ways to improve their credit score so that they can buy a car, buy a house, get the nod of approval on a new job or many other reasons. Often, we look at a credit report and the biggest negative is debt from a medical provider. What’s amazing to me is that over half of the debt on credit reports is unpaid medical debt. That is gigantic.  Read more

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It’s Time For Changes to Payday Loans

In what is a positive development for many Americans, not to mention society at large, there are some changes coming to the world of payday loans. The CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) is rolling out some new regulations for the short-term loan industry that can only be viewed as a good thing by the borrowers. (Maybe not so much for the owners of the lending companies, though.)   Read more

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Don’t Take Financial Advice From Pop Music

I was out with friends recently and a new song from Pitbull and NeYo started playing. The song created a rush to the dance floor and given that when I dance, people think I’m either having a seizure or in some sort of pain, I opted to grab beverages for our group instead of risking injury (mostly to others) on the dance floor.  As I was waiting for the drinks to be poured, I started listening to the lyrics of the song. Read more

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Is Cash Becoming Obsolete?

Occasionally, my coworkers and I engage in some debates over what the future of money might look like. Daphne Winston and I had a chat one night about how I never carry more than $20 (usually it’s less than $5) at any time. (I’ll probably end up getting shot by a mugger because he’s irritated that I didn’t make robbing me worth his time…but that’s another topic altogether.)   Read more

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Conflating and Misremembering

It’s been hard to not pay attention to what is going on in the news business lately.Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show. Brian Williams has stopped reporting the news and has become the news.  Read more

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Read The Fine Print Before You Sign

I love it when I get home from a road trip and a story from one of my coworkers is sitting in my inbox and makes points so good that they have to become blog posts. I hopped off a train recently and Daphne Winston (my blog buddy) had this nugget for me:

My twin daughters are sophomores at Ohio State University and decided to move off campus for their junior year. This is a rite of passage for college students and my girls are very excited to live with four of their friends in a restored, old house about three blocks from campus. After a fast and furious search, all the kids fell in love with this house, verbally agreed to rent it, and some even signed the rental agreement on the spot.   Read more

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Noise Cancelling Headphones Needed

One of the joys of my job is that I get to work with some incredibly bright and talented people. Daphne Winston is one such person. She and I were talking about some of our “travel nightmares” one day as both of us routinely fly for work. I asked her to write a blog post about one of her misadventures and this is what she shared with me: Read more

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Are You On a Crash Course to Disaster?

One of the more interesting stories I’ve seen recently in the world of sports is about a guy named Rob Konrad, a former NFL player, who fell off his boat and swam 9 miles to shore.  It took him about 16 hours, he had hypothermia, and he couldn’t walk but at least he survived the ordeal. Along the way, he was circled by a shark and had to fight waves, wind and the dark in order to make it home safely.   Read more

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

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