Investing Basics Everyone Should Understand

When I graduated from college, I felt like I was on my way to knowing everything about investing. I had taken several courses teaching deep investment analysis; crunching data in large, complex spreadsheets.

As I’ve continued to learn, I have realized (and extensive, academic research has confirmed) smart investing isn’t nearly as complex as it’s made out to be. Anyone can do it themselves, if they learn a few guiding principles.

When a Ponzi Scheme Hits Home

Shortly after returning from my missionary service in 2001, I was approached by a man who said he was experiencing some car troubles and needed a ride. I truly learned to love people on my mission, so I happily offered to help.

While I was driving, the man revealed his true “story.” What he really wanted was money. He needed a certain part to fix his car and he knew how much it was, he just didn’t have the money to get it done. I was reluctant but he was insistent, showing me his ID and giving me his address; begging and pleading. So I stopped at an ATM, took out some cash, and gave it to him along with my number to call once he could pay me back. I think it was around $180. No small sum for a broke, college-bound returned missionary.

The Easiest, Smartest Way to Save Up for The Awesome Things

In the spring of 2015, Kellie and I took a dream trip to Europe. The bulk of our time was spent in Budapest, Hungary, where she had served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After Budapest, we spent a few days in Vienna, Prague, and Dresden, Germany. It was truly an experience of a lifetime, and we’ve looked back on it fondly many times since.

Understanding the Tax Game, Part 2 - Sweat the Big Stuff (Retirement Accounts)

When it comes to taxes, pretty much all of us are interested in one thing: How do I pay as little as possible? This is a great question, and it’s really what this Understanding the Tax Game series is all about. It’s helpful to look at taxes as a game with rules. If you understand the game well enough and play by the rules, you have a better chance of “winning” the game.

5 Financial Tips for Starting 2019 On The Right Foot

A happy 2019 to you all.

I hope last year was a great one for you, and that you’re looking forward to this new year, with the chance for new beginnings. I love starting fresh with the opportunity to set new goals and priorities.

To that end, I’d like to share 5 financial tips worth considering as you think about how you might want to tune-up your financial life this year. These are just suggestions, but in the many financial conversations I’ve had with others, these five points hit on resolving some of the biggest financial concerns I hear when I talk with others.

I hope you enjoy my latest (and first!) post of 2019.