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The items below are products and services that I personally use and endorse. If you have any questions about any of them, feel free to contact me.

Financial Services

Personal Capital


Personal Capital is an incredible FREE resource to track all of you investments in one place. Simply (and ultra securely) link all of your investment accounts and watch Personal Capital do its magic. Easily watch your net worth grow, and keep an eye out for fees utilizing the 401k Plan Fee Analyzer too.

It’s kind of like Mint, but way more powerful for tracking investments.

For years I tracked my net worth manually through spreadsheets. Now Personal Capital does it for me, saving me a ton of time AND providing empowering insights into my investment strategy.

Personal Capital also offers financial advisers services to people who may be interested. But there’s no pressure to sign up. Just know that the option is available at a very low cost.

Since I was comfortable with Mint for so long, I was hesitant to join Personal Capital. Now that I’ve seen how powerful the tool is, this is one of my favorite financial sites.

Sign up for Personal Capital today! (did I mention it’s 100% free?)

Motif Investing

Have you ever wished you could start your own mutual fund? You could invite friends and family to invest in the stocks you pick. Well, Motif Investing is an alternative stock broker that allows you to do just that. Create your own “motif”, or group of 30 stocks that are themed or not. Then pay just one low price of $9.95 to buy a stake in all thirty stocks. If you’re not up for creating your own, the platform brings in professionals to build motifs, and plenty of users create their own as well.

Every time someone invests in your motif, you get a dollar!  So not only are you getting returns on the motifs you invest in, you can get paid for creating awesome motifs. You can also buy and sell individuals stocks with Motif for just $4.95. Good deal. For a more comprehensive look, read this Motif Investing review.


Join Motif Investing Today for FREE

Lending Club

Borrow to refinance debt or grow your small business. Or invest to add another passive income stream to build wealth with Lending Club. You can even open a no-fee IRA!

Lending Club is a place I invest my money by funding loans for qualified borrowers. This is known as peer-to-peer (P2P) or marketplace lending.

Interested investors can check out their website for more information and to see if this kind of investing is legal in your state. If you still have consumer debt like credit card or car loans, paying those off first is an early step in the pursuit of financial independence. Consider consolidating your high-rate debt with a Lending Club loan. This is a very reputable company that is changing the face of lending and borrowing with better rates than your credit card and excellent returns for investors.

You can also check out my full-transparency Lending Club investment performance updates by following this link. These will give you an idea of how Lending Club works for investors.


I highly recommend TaxAct for your US tax preparation and filing needs. I go into some detail here and here about why TaxAct is the best place to file your taxes.

I’ve been using the service for more than ten years and have always been satisfied. One time I even screwed up my taxes and had to file an amended return. TaxAct walked me through the process with ease

Sign up to file your taxes with TaxACT through this link.


One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch

This is the book that got me started investing. I was always curious about investing, then took an economics class in high school that taught me about stocks. That eventually led me to this book. The former Fidelity Magellan fund manager makes investing easy to understand by recommending investors buy stock in companies they know and understand. This version is updated in 2000 but is still relevant.

The Beach by Alex Garland

Retire Before Dad Story the Beach
The Beach is the travel fiction book that inspired me to visit South East Asia. It was made into a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie had so so reviews, but the scenery is stunning. I definitely recommend both.

Danzinger’s Travels: Beyond Forbidden Frontiers by Nick Danzinger

Story Danziger 2
This is one of the coolest travel books ever written. Nick Danzinger is awarded a “travel scholarship” and sets off on a 18 month journey to China from Britain via the Silk Road. He ends up becoming friends with various nomadic tribes and warlords, traveling over forbidden frontiers, through war zones, and over mountain ranges a lives to tell about it.

Danzinger’s Travels inspired me to travel over land instead of through the air. All of my trips have covered grand stretches of land via bus, train, and foot. There’s no better way to travel, in my opinion.

Some of the above links may be affiliates meaning I may be compensated by the provider if a reader purchases the product or service. If you find these recommendations useful and click through to make a purchase, I greatly appreciate it and thank you for supporting for this website.

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