How Far I’ve Come

Chris Amos  |  May 23, 2023

I GREW UP IN A SMALL three-bedroom home, the youngest of 14 children. I was always sharing a bed with one older brother or another. My father drove a garbage truck for the county and my mom washed dishes in the school cafeteria.
Money was hard to come by and, when it was in hand, it needed to be spent wisely. My parents engrained in me the importance of education, although neither had a high school diploma.

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Offsetting the Pain

Matt Trogdon  |  Feb 21, 2023

IT’S ONE THING TO talk to folks about the power of saving regularly. It’s much more profound to see it in action. I was reminded just how powerful saving can be during two recent meetings with financial-planning clients. In both cases, we looked back at 2022 and calculated how much the clients had saved.
In the first case, the clients had saved diligently throughout the year. They increased their 401(k) and 403(b) contributions, they opened and funded 529 plans,

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A Path to $10 Million

John Yeigh  |  Feb 13, 2023

JEFF BEZOS ONCE asked Warren Buffett why everyone doesn’t just copy his example when investing. Buffett famously replied, “Because nobody wants to get rich slowly.”
The magic of saving diligently, coupled with decades of compounding inside tax-advantaged accounts, can ensure financial freedom. In fact, young married couples today have an outside chance of accumulating $10 million by the time they reach the new required minimum distribution age of 75.
To reach the $10 million jackpot,

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Seed Money

Gavin Schmidt  |  Feb 4, 2023

MONEY IS OFTEN TIGHT for those in their 20s. Yes, that first “adult” job typically pays more than any previous job. Still, finding money to save and invest can be tough. After handling all the other big expenses of early adulthood—house, wedding, student loans—there just isn’t much money left over.
That’s my dilemma and one facing many others in their 20s. How can we make extra money without getting a second job? My fiancée and I focus on earning money just by living.

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Walking Around Money

Justin Sharon  |  Jan 24, 2023

ON NEW YEAR’S DAY 2022, to shed some holiday weight and make the most of one of the world’s great strolling cities, I resolved to walk several miles each day around the streets of New York.
I’ve always had a happy knack for finding money as I wander. Ideally, I’d love to have been blessed with a more glamorous superpower. But alas, my lot in life seems to be a preternatural ability to locate lost coins at a hundred paces—the result of a thrifty Scots heritage,

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Save First Then Spend

Richard Quinn  |  Jan 7, 2023

IF EVERYONE WOULD just follow my advice when managing their money, all our financial problems would evaporate.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding.

From recently viewing a YouTube video, I learned it’s necessary to track all spending, have a budget and be mindful of spending habits. Nope and nope—but yes to watching our spending habits.

Managing money boils down to discipline and responsibility. You may not be able to keep up with the Joneses, take that vacation you desire or get that next tattoo.

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Spending Their Future

Edmund Marsh  |  Nov 19, 2022

WHY DO SOME PEOPLE save more for retirement than others, even when their income is the same? It turns out that a difference in spending behavior, rather than a larger salary, may separate better savers from those who struggle to set aside funds for their future.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute and J.P. Morgan Asset Management joined forces to examine the spending and saving behavior of 10,000 households. The households, which were analyzed by age cohort,

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Know Your Worth

Austin Dorenkamp  |  Nov 10, 2022

WHAT’S MY NET WORTH? Do I know? Should I know?
These are questions I’ve thought about long and hard. After tracking the combined net worth of my wife and me for the past five years, I’ve concluded that the answer to that third question—should I know?—is a resounding yes. Before we get to the reasons, let’s start with a few basics.
What is net worth? According to Wikipedia, net worth is “the value of all the nonfinancial and financial assets owned by an individual or institution minus the value of all its outstanding liabilities.” Put another way,

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Fill Them Up

Mike Zaccardi  |  Sep 5, 2022

THE S&P 500’S RETURN so far in 2022, when compared to the same year-to-date stretch for previous years, ranks as the fourth worst since 1928. One result: Stocks look quite cheap. The market’s price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple has retreated as share prices have fallen while corporate earnings have continued to grow.
One chart in particular caught my eye last week. Each month, I peruse J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Guide to the Markets.

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Didn’t Last Long

Kristine Hayes  |  Jul 5, 2022

JUST A HANDFUL of weeks ago, I posted about achieving a $1 million net worth. Now my status as a millionaire is already in jeopardy. While the value of some of my financial assets have held steady—and some have seen gains—the portion of my retirement account invested in the stock market has suffered significant losses.
My retirement account balance peaked on Jan. 4 at $478,000. Today, it hovers around $430,000. Since I retired in late May,

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Saving Your Life

Richard Quinn  |  Jun 10, 2022

I GREW UP IN a lower-middle-class family. We lived in a small apartment where I slept on the living room couch. My father sold cars for a living.

Today, my living standard is quite different. On average, 97% of retirees my age have less income and assets than my wife and me. Our friends are in similar economic circumstances. If they weren’t, they couldn’t live where we do.

The minimum needed to live in our condo community is $24,000 a year.

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Smooth Moves

Greg Spears  |  Jun 8, 2022

WHEN I ASKED MY college class this spring how many had been taught personal finance before, just a single hand went up. That’s why I teach Franco Modigliani’s lifecycle hypothesis of savings to my behavioral economics class.
A brilliant student born to a Jewish family in Rome, Modigliani was awarded first prize in a national economics contest by Mussolini himself. Warned to flee Italy while he still could, Modigliani soon after booked a zig-zagging trip through Switzerland and France before landing in New York in 1939.

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Seven Figures

Kristine Hayes  |  May 24, 2022

A FEW WEEKS AGO, my net worth hit the $1 million mark. It was a milestone I’d been looking forward to for years.
Almost a decade ago, I performed my first net worth calculation. Back then, I was recently divorced and living on my own for the first time in my life. My only assets were three retirement accounts and a seven-year-old car, plus half the proceeds from the sale of a house my ex and I had owned.

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Rant Ahead

Richard Quinn  |  May 8, 2022

WARNING: WHAT YOU read next may be interpreted as a rant—because it is.

I’m tired of hearing about how Americans are unprepared for retirement or even minor financial emergencies. A few years back, it was the inability of 40% to 50% of us to come up with $400 for an emergency. The $400 figure has been used to prove everything from the extent of inequality to how Americans struggle to manage money.

Other studies set the hurdle at $1,000.

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My Uncle’s Advice

John Yeigh  |  Mar 9, 2022

I LEARNED A LOT about finance and life from my uncle. He was an early investment advisor and published a book on wealth management. Even though he was not a registered investment advisor or a Certified Financial Planner, our family proudly extolled his ideas when I was growing up.
My family first introduced me to my uncle’s doctrines when I was a child of five or six. I had been given a small piggybank to store my life’s savings.

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