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

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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What to Do for 2015

I usually view “what to do at year end” and “what to do to start the new year” financial articles with great disdain (the same way I typically avoid writing “theme” blog posts for Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ & Fathers’ Day, Independence Day [is there any bigger cliché?], and any other over-played theme). However, I have spent most of my work hours early in 2015 talking to people who want to look at things they can do in the next 12 months in order to make progress toward becoming financially secure.  It’s only because I have been asked so often that I’ll cave in, become part of the crowd and write a “What To Do for 2015” suggestion list. Read more

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Where is Your “Government Waste?”

Every year, in the December/January time frame, there are a lot of articles looking back at the prior year or looking forward to the New Year.As a bit of a political junkie, I love reading stories about predictions for the coming year but one of my favorite things to see each year is a look at how the government (mis)spent enormous sums of taxpayer’s dollars. This isn’t a Democratic or a Republican issue; it’s a big organization problem.  Read more

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The Price of Inattenton

As we look back at the previous year, I have started thinking about people I’ve talked to this year who have left an impression on me. One of the more memorable people that I was able to have conversations with started with a story that was disturbing on a few levels, but has come to a relatively happy conclusion. The fun part for me was getting updates on her progress and seeing the change in her voice, posture and energy level as things got better.   Read more

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How Much Progress Can You Make Next Year?

One of the joys of being in a role where I can see a person make progress over the course of time is that I can remember where they started and see where they are now. Since they are living in it day to day, they don’t have the perspective that I do as a casual observer. It’s a lot like when my kids were younger, there were cousins we would only see once every year or two. Every time we saw them, I was shocked by how much their kids had grown and they were shocked by how much my kids had grown, but neither of us was shocked by the growth of our own children.  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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