• Investing,  Planning,  Retirement,  Savings

    Building Long-Term Financial Freedom for Solopreneurs

    As a solopreneur you want to build long-term financial freedom, but there are so many options it's hard to know where to start. Solopreneurs have a lot of choices when it comes to their long-term financial freedom savings (formerly known as "retirement"). Small business owners can use IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, SEP IRAs, and Solo-401(k)s (among other options) for their own savings. In this post I wrote for AthleteBiz I go over three of the most common account types and when you should consider choosing them. I also share some critical questions to ask before you set up a 401(k) plan with a custodian. The cheapest 401(k) plan provider is not…

  • Investing

    What is ESG Investing?

    Are you concerned about the environment or human rights? Do you want companies to be good corporate citizens? Then ESG investing might be a good fit for you. 86% of Millennials are interested in Sustainable Investing according to a recent poll by Morgan Stanley. It’s not just young people - 87% of women of all ages are interested in sustainable investing as well as 67% of men according to that same study. Yet, while there may be a lot of interest in sustainable investing, investor’s knowledge about the subject is low which makes it hard for people to implement sustainable investments in their portfolios. Let’s talk ESG and returns Traditionally,…

  • Investing

    Seriously, what is Bitcoin?

    Have you purchased bitcoin on a credit card? No? (Well done!) That was a question a journalist recently emailed me. Fortunately, I don’t know anyone who has purchased bitcoin on credit (or at least anyone who felt compelled to tell me) but there appears to be a “bit” of a craze going on now around cryptocurrencies. To buy or not to buy? With Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) that is a popular question. As is typical of the internet-age, there is a cacophony of noise on bitcoin available. There are even new marketing schemes with self-styled bitcoin gurus offering their knowledge to a select group of individuals for $80/month. Please make…

  • Cash flow,  Employee Benefits,  Investing

    Hidden 401(k) Loan Risks to Your Career and Finances

    Getting hit with a cash crunch is stressful. What should you do if you need quick access to cash? For many of us who have been working and saving in our 401(k)s, that pot of money can be very tempting. Let’s be honest - 401(k) loans can be relatively cheap and easy to get. They’re kind of like the fast food version of loans. And just like fast food, 401(k) loans can seem like a good idea at first, but they can quickly lead to heartburn.   What you really need to know: there are some serious risks involved with tapping a 401(k).   There are two major risks you…

  • Investing

    What To Do When The Market Drops: 5 Things You Need To Know

    You’re trying to do everything right. You started saving in an investment account. You did some research and have a reasonable asset allocation. You stopped putting all of your 401(k) into your employer’s stock (...you did stop that, right?) and you’re starting to accumulate something significant. It feels good, until one day you hear the stock market is starting to sell off. The market keeps going down and your friends and co-workers are starting to talk about it. Perhaps the term "bear market" is being thrown around. You start checking out financial media sites...every day. People start talking about the “trades” they’re making. How they are putting all of their 401(k)…

  • Investing,  Planning

    How Do I Know If My Advisor Puts My Interests First?

    Listen, there are a couple of “F” words you really need to know. In fact, you might have heard this “F” word in the news before and thought - that sounds like something only old people care about. I mean...the elderly. [Sorry, Mema] Well, the word of the day is “fiduciary.” And if you are wondering how to know if your adviser has your best interest at heart, it matters to you. In fact, not knowing what the fiduciary standard is could be costing you big bucks and reducing your future wealth. Not good. Curious? Knowledge is power, so read this quick post and protect your wallet. In today’s post…

  • Investing,  Planning,  Retirement,  Savings

    How Much Do I Need To Save For Retirement?

    One of the biggest questions I get, from virtually every client and most of my survey respondents, is: How much money do I need to retire? There are so many things to think about and so many potential options it can be overwhelming to even know where to start. (Trust me, it’s complicated, and I’m a Financial Planner!) This is part of why so many people don’t even start saving for retirement. Let’s spend some time de-mystifying how much to save for retirement. Today we’ll go over some of the most common stumbling blocks to figuring out your target savings rate. We will also discuss how to evaluate online calculators…

  • Investing

    Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Commodities, Real Estate: Asset Allocation part 2

    “Alternative Investments” is a catch-all phrase used to describe investments that don’t fall neatly into the traditional cash, stock or bond categories. You may have some in your portfolio already. Or perhaps your financial sales rep called you with a suggestion to invest in a new hedge fund-like mutual fund. In this post I will provide you with a brief overview of some of the most common alternative investments. I also want to give you permission to pass on any investments that you don’t understand. It’s not you, it’s them. Not all that glitters is gold: Commodities Commodities were originally designed to help farmers reduce their risk by using contracts…

  • Investing

    What is an Asset and how can I get one? Asset Allocation part 1

    How the heck are you supposed to judge whether a specific asset allocation is right for you if you don’t fully understand the differences between the assets you are allocating? What does that even mean?! What is an asset and how can I get one may be your first question. Let’s start at the beginning so you can understand what your financial adviser, financial planner or salesperson (let’s be real - most people in “financial services” are actually in “financial sales”) is talking about. Today let’s focus on empowering you with knowledge you can use to better understand your financial picture. I’ll be frank, I don’t think the vast majority…

  • Employee Benefits,  Investing,  Retirement,  Savings

    The Roth 401(k): 8 Things You Need To Know

    The Roth 401(k) is a retirement plan option that is becoming increasingly popular. It’s similar to the Roth IRA in that it allows you to save after-tax money in a retirement account. Also like the Roth IRA, the money grows tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free in retirement. This can be an awesome opportunity to allow your retirement money to grow tax-free and then be withdrawn tax-free after age 59 ½. 1. Why Should I save money in a Roth (k)? There are four big draws for a Roth 401(k) Withdrawals from a Roth 401(k) are tax-free. (Awesome!) You don’t pay any taxes on capital gains or interest on money…