Book Review: Mindset by Carole Dweck

The reason I started the MasteryOfMoney.com blog in the first place is I once heard everyone should be pursuing mastery in something. Since “money ranks right up there with oxygen on the need to have it scale”, why not pursue the mastery of money? (Quote credit to Zig Ziglar). I’ve seen numbers as high as 60-70% of the general population live their lives with money concerns that could likely be eliminated with the right amount of information, study and practice. So why don’t more people pursue the Mastery of Money? As Carole Dweck points out in this MasteryOfMoney book review, …

Why Now Is The Time To Update Your Will

One of the things least thought of but most needed is to update your will. If it’s been awhile since a rewrite of this incredibly important document, might be time to dust it off and make some changes! While cleaning some files out of our filing cabinet (something I’m prone to do at the beginning of every year), I ran across a file folder that has a copy of our will in it. We have the official copy in a safe and a safety deposit box, with this one as a quick reference copy. After reading through it once, it …

Have These Things Re-Quoted At The Beginning Of Every Year

With the passing of every New Year, I make it a habit to go through the family expenses for the previous year. Year after year I make the grim realization that we spent nearly $3,000 in telephone and internet fees! I realize that over $700 goes to a security company to make sure that our doors are “guarded and monitored”. And I discover that the YMCA will get over $800 for the year to be used a few dozen times. And every year I get serious about lowering those monthlies to a more acceptable amount. So, without fail, here are …

5 Steps To Debt Payoff This Year

In a coffee meeting just the other day, my friend and I were talking about what we were excited about going into the New Year. His comment surprised me because he confided, “I’m finally going to payoff my debt this year.” After some high five-ing and “that will feel great” and “yeah, won’t it though?”, I asked him what kind of debts he was about to payoff and why he’s now able to do it. He said he would like to think that his mortgage debt was in the mix but instead he was focused on credit card and student …

Will You Be Prepared Financially When Accidents Happen?

“Are you alright?” my friend Clint asked me with a panicked look in his eye. I looked down at my hands, turned them to look at my palms, and saw no blood. After moving my legs and a quick check for pain I replied, “I’m okay. Are you okay?” “Yes. We have to get out of here. Turn the car off.” Looking back, I’m fairly certain I was in shock, as I put the Jeep in park. “Adam. TURN THE CAR OFF.” He was already unbuckling his seat belt and attempting to crawl into the back seat of the Jeep …

$180,000 in Student Loans. What The Hell Happened?

After delivering the opening keynote address titled “When Borrowed Money Isn’t Real” to a group of financial education teachers earlier this year, a young man came up to me and introduced himself by saying, “what you said is exactly true. I had $180,000 in student loans from my undergrad years.” The only response that came to my mind was, “What the hell happened?” Doug (as we’ll call him in this post) said he was a typical high school student in the Northeast, wooed by a private school situated on perfectly manicured grounds, promising that a degree from their institution would …

Stocks, Bonds or Alternatives? The Answer is Yes.

When speaking to various groups about pursuing Mastery Of Money, I inevitably get the question, “I have some funds to invest. Where should I put it?” The question is a hotbed of what ifs, if thens, and how much, not to mention the fact that we haven’t talked about your investment horizon, your risk tolerance, your debt levels, and what you are ultimately investing for. The easiest answer, and one we’re hearing from the authors and experts at various financial trade pubs (Kiplinger, Smart Money, Money) is Index Funds and ETFs. An index fund maps the overall basket of companies …

How The Four Hour Work Week Ruined Me

In late 2007, someone referred a book to me that they considered “right up my alley.”  The book was The Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss. My initial response was, “no possible way” as there is no question I was working WAY more than four hours a week and couldn’t imagine it any other way. I was running a mortgage brokerage at the time, leading a handful of people in an industry that was being clamped down on by regulators, I was still speaking professionally on the side, and we had just had our third child (a whoops baby). …