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Traveling to 45 Countries Taught Me These 8 Things About Money

A week after graduating from college, I flew to London and spent the summer riding trains and sleeping in hostels around Europe. Two things became clear that summer. I had no interest in more formal education, and I wanted to travel a lot more. The fastest way to travel again was to find a decent-paying […]

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6 Things I Love About Debt

Debt is the boogie man of personal finance.  It doesn’t get much love from most bloggers, probably because most people do stupid things with debt instead of smart things.  High-interest credit card debt is foolish. Payday loans are ludicrous.  But a mortgage is a solid financial tool if you’re prepared to buy a home and […]

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M1 Finance Review: A Top Broker for Long-Term Investors

This M1 Finance review was last updated on 10/16/2019.  We recently witnessed significant disruption in the online brokerage industry — a waterfall of competitive positioning and change. It all started with Interactive Brokers, one of the smaller players in the space. They created a commission-free trading platform, virtually eliminating trading fees. Soon after, Charles Schwab […]

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Free Book Giveaway! Choose FI – Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

Some friends of mine published a new book this month. It’s called . And I’m giving away five paperback copies. Previous book giveaways for Chad and Tanja were hugely popular, so I’m excited to do another for the Choose FI book.  The contest is a little different this time. I’m using an ice breaker game […]

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Estate Plan or Vasectomy — What’s Worse?

One of my biggest failures as a parent and personal finance aficionado was waiting seven years after our first child was born to finish our estate plan.  It seems that doing an estate plan is more prone to procrastination than most other grown-up checklist items, even vasectomies. (Be sure to answer the two survey questions […]

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The Definition of Financial Success is Not So Obvious

The Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction recently opened at both Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. Despite the long-awaited openings, Disney stock analysts were disappointed to see overall theme park attendance down 3% in the fiscal third quarter.  Visitors to the planet Batuu meet face-to-face with the Millennium Falcon and […]

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Can I Retire at 55? – Three Retirement Calculators Shed Light

A retirement goal is meaningless without a plan to get there. As I get closer to my retirement age goal, I’m as interested in detailed projections as I am saving and investing strategies. All to ensure I can retire at 55.  Spreadsheets are fantastic tools to model financials and make pretty charts. I use custom […]

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How to Invest in Dividend Stocks – A Comprehensive Guide

Read on to learn more why M1 Finance is my favorite online broker for getting started with dividend investing. I started learning how to invest in dividend stocks in 1995 when my uncle gifted me one share of Chevron stock for my 20th birthday. Since then, I’ve built a portfolio of 50+ stocks in my […]

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Masterworks Review: Marilyn Monroe in Your Investment Portfolio?

This Masterworks review was updated on 07/31/2019. Part of what I love about being a money blogger is learning about innovative startups and investment platforms. Last year, I came across one that was particularly interesting and mentioned it in a post about alternative investment ideas.  Today I’m digging deeper into Masterworks, an investment platform that […]

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For the Happiness of All Humankind

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness recently. Not so much about what makes me happy, but about the mechanics of creating sustained happiness in life.  Over and over again, I read about successful people I admire who have all the money they need but still don’t feel fulfilled with their lives. The actor Jim […]

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RealtyMogul Review 2019 – Commercial Real Estate for Ordinary Investors

This RealtyMogul review was updated 07/22/2019. RealtyMogul is a Los Angeles-based real estate crowdfunding platform that connects individual investors to professionally managed commercial real estate deals on a modern investment platform.  The company offers non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), private investment offerings, and 1031 exchanges all under one roof. It’s suitable for both accredited […]

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7 Strategic Ways to Lower Your Mortgage Payment

Now that we’ve sold the condo and the mortgage is gone, we’re down to one debt in our family, our primary mortgage. What irks me about owning a home with a mortgage is that I need to have a full-time job to cover the payment. No duh, right? That’s a typical situation. But I look […]

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Never Regret a Paid Off Debt

Over the years, I’ve been indebted many times for one reason or another. Mostly car loans and a few mortgages, but a few personal loans too. After college, my parents lent me $5,500 to buy a used Mazda. The interest rate was better than a traditional car loan, so I was grateful to take the […]

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Financial Security for Everyone

A few months back, I had a conversation with a woman from a well-known advocacy organization for retirees and the elderly. One part of the organization’s mission is to promote financial security among its membership base. However, the organization seemed to be targeting a younger audience, where I met the representative. So I asked her […]

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