Financial Wellness @ Work

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

Why Your Advisor May Want You to Take Social Security Early

Earlier this year, I took a call from Carl who is getting ready to retire within the next few years. His advisor was suggesting that upon retirement, Carl rollover his 401(k) to an IRA and start collecting his Social Security benefit at age 62. Carl wasn’t so sure so he wanted a second opinion. Carl and I talked for a while and determined that it might make more sense for him to draw down his retirement account and allow his Social Security benefit to collect delayed creditsRead more

How To Tell If You Are Getting Advice Or A Sales Pitch

I recently spoke with a friend who has been talking to advisors about retirement planning. Since I am always curious about the client-advisor experience, I asked her what she was told. After hearing her, I told her that she was not getting advice. She was getting a sales pitch.  Read more

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

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

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

What A Lost Cell Phone Can Teach Us About Investing

Earlier this year, my boss shared with us her story of how she dropped her phone behind her bed. Her first thought since the bed was basically against the wall was to move the bed…in her words “bad idea.” After some time (and a little pain medicine), she took a second approach: use a hanger from the side to pull it out….again, “No dice.” (She thinks she actually made it worse by pushing it further out of reach.) Read more

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

The Gym Rat’s Guide to Investment Terms

Investing and the financial world in general can be pretty confusing. There are a lot of terms you may not know and concepts you may not be familiar with. It can even start sounding like another language! Read more

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

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