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). …

Tracking Your Net Worth Simply and Easily

In the 1930’s classic Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states that ‘having definiteness of purpose for acquiring wealth is essential for it’s acquisition.’ The quote lives on the door of my office as a constant reminder that if acquiring wealth is the goal, you must have definiteness of purpose for it’s acquisition – in other words an unwavering focus on that goal happening. I find tracking my net worth on a consistent basis to be one of the best ways to keep that focus. Visibility Creates Accountability When you look at the staggeringly low levels of wealth for the …

WHAT EVERY KID NEEDS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

This post is worth $5 if you read to the end! While everyone has their gift giving traditions, what every kid needs for the holidays has little to do with their age, their likes, or what’s on their list to Santa. Throughout my formative years, our holiday tradition was to spend time at my Grandma and Grandpa Carroll’s house in Frederika, Iowa (a small town of “204 friendly people” according to the highway sign). My grandparents were children during the Great Depression and they had profound memories of Christmases gone by where the gifts were few and far between, many …

Do You Tell Your Kids How Much You’ve Saved For College

I had the most interesting conversation the other day with a parent of a senior in high school. We were talking about what her daughter was going to do next year after graduating and this mom got a look on her face that said, “it’s best if I don’t go there.” “Not a fun topic in your home?” I asked. “Let’s just say I have a 17 year old that knows everything and I’m at a point where I know nothing.” The conversation went on to the colleges or Universities she was looking into, what her thoughts were about community …