Which is Better: Credit Unions or Banks?

Recently, a friend moved to my city and asked for a recommendation of a financial institution.  Without hesitation, I recommended a local credit union I have used for decades.  In my experience, credit unions rate better than banks. In the…

Ride the Coattails of the Oligarchy

An interesting paper recently came out from Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern’s Benjamin Page titled, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, that doesn’t paint the rosiest of pictures of American democracy.  The gist of the…

Stock Market Is Rigged

Michael Lewis – author of Moneyball, The Big Short, and The Blind Side,  just released a new book on Monday that will hopefully shake up the financial world and the notoriously short attention span of the public.  The cloak-and-dagger publishing journey of his…

How To Organize Your Banking Accounts

Often, I think we take basic finances for granted.  “Everyone” has a checking and savings account.  But don’t be afraid to shatter that paradigm and organize your banking accounts in a way that will help you reach your financial goals…

sinking funds

How do you do handle regularly occurring, but non-monthly bills?  Car insurance, property taxes, life insurance, vehicle replacement, etc. are all expenses that are expected, but not paid monthly. Establishing sinking funds can help you stay on track with your…

Investing Order of Operations

Thinking back to your math classes in elementary school you probably learned about the order of operations, which clarifies the procedures that need to be performed first when solving an equation.  If you didn’t solve the problem in a specific…

My rent is a mortgage payment

It’s that time of year again, when I need to decided where I’m going to live for the next 12 months. This is a necessary evil for those who choose to rent instead of buying a mortgage…I mean a home….

Income Tax

Income tax filing season is upon us and most people either collect a refund or send in a payment.  However, the closer you can get your tax refund/payment to zero the better. Isn’t a large refund a good thing? Receiving…

The billion dollar bracket challenge

Quicken Loans and Warren Buffett will award $1,000,000,000.00 if someone correctly selects a perfect NCAA bracket.  You can sign up here for a reminder email when registration begins on the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge.  Virtually impossible, but I’m going to…

Thrive With Less

About a year ago, I stumbled upon a group of college students documenting their lives on film as they try to thrive with less.  They were interested in answering how we move away from a materialistic way of living when…

cut the cable cord

Let’s face it – sometimes you just need more money.  Maybe you’re working on saving $1,000 for an emergency fund, increasing your IRA contribution, or just trying to pay all your bills this month.  Solutions generally fall into two categories:…

The Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Franklin

I’m a sucker for long-term planners.  I think one of the chief follies of our generation and era is the pervasive short-term thinking and solutions many seem to be relying on – from politics, to environmental concerns, all the way…

Maximize Your IRA With Vanguard

A friend of mine, who we’ll call Jane, recently asked for advice on what to do with an old Roth IRA account that she has left unattended for the last 14 years.  Her main concern seemed to stem from her…

Vanguard

Perhaps the most important decision any investor makes, aside from picking actual investments, is with which investment management company to open an account.  If you’re primarily investing through a workplace retirement program: 401(k), 403(b), TSP, 457, etc., your options will…

J.L. Collins

Over the past couple years, I’ve perused countless blogs discussing personal finance.  Some are interesting, many are bland, but a few stand out as beacons of light as I claw my way towards financial independence.  These few titans manage to…