About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

Five Numbers Every Investor Should Know About Their Portfolio

Do you find yourself engaged in a conversation sometimes about your portfolio and someone asks you what should seem to be a simple question?   How much of your portfolio is in stocks and how much is in bonds?  Do you know what your biggest holding is in your portfolio?  Why did you pick that XYZ mutual fund? Or XYZ stock?  Nobody expects you to become an expert in investments, but as the CEO of your family finances you sure want to get yourself educated enough to be able to answer some important questions.  Here are five numbers every investor should know about their portfolio. What your risk level is currently – There are a whole number of ways to calculate risk depending on the angle you are taking with the question.  You aren’t going to be asked to know your beta, your alpha, or your Sharpe ratio because they are for the experts to know.  However, you should be able ...

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The New Way To Pay For College Debt

If there isn’t enough pressure for kids to get into college today, the pressure is mounting on the pressure for kids to pay off their college debt.  With student debt obligations now surpassing credit card obligations with more than 1.4 trillion dollars in outstanding debt, the question is looming about when this bubble is going to burst.  Millions of students are in default of their loans and the reality of this amounting hill of debt is limiting the new generations from buying homes and starting families. With all of this mounting concern, colleges may have found a new way to help students deal with the rising cost of college. It’s called the Income Sharing Arrangement, and it appears that venture debt has just hit the world of college education. Here’s a little big of background on the ISA, and even large schools like Purdue University have the Back A Boiler program where they say “It’s not a loan. You’re not ...

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Great 2018 Back To School Money Moves

For most people in Atlanta, it is back to school time this week for your children. For many of you across the country, it’s only a month to Labor Day and then everyone will be in full speed back to the grind.  As the dog days of summer approach us and with school back in session, here are five great back to school money tips you should review today! 1) There are alternatives to student loans for college – With student loans at an all-time high and many students having to stay in state because of the rising cost of college, will there be alternatives on how to deal with this menacing situation of paying for college?  Over the past year, several large schools have started to offer a new program where instead of taking out debt, the student offers a percentage of their future income back to college in a unique structure that is different than traditional student debt. ...

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How To Avoid A Big Tax Surprise In 2019

With only five months left in 2018, it is probably time you start thinking about what your income taxes will look like before the end of the year.  The 2018 Trump tax overhaul not only changed the entire tax table system, but there were serious alterations for individuals and small businesses that could throw a real knot in your income taxes if you don’t carefully plan.  The challenge for most families is that they plan reactively versus proactively often only thinking about taxing when it is time either write a check or collect a refund.  Here are my five ways to avoid a big tax surprise come March or April in 2019.   Review Your Withholdings And Do A Mock Tax Projection The IRS did an overhaul of the tax withholding tables and most people didn’t change their withholdings from Married 1 or Single 2 or wherever you had your overall withholdings. The big question you want to start with ...

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Bad Credit Card Moves To Make

When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was put into place, credit card holders were supposed to benefit from the new regulation.    Consumers would receive new notifications for rate fee increases, statements would inform consumers on how long it would take to pay off balances, and credit issuers were required to mail bills at least 21 days before the due date.     Now that some time has passed since the Dodd-Frank Act, consumers are still struggling with all time high levels of credit card debt and the fine print coming from credit card companies are smaller than ever.   Here are five things you should keep an eye on so you don’t get stung by the credit card companies.   Late Fees – Late fees are a big source of ways that credit card companies earn money. Since many of us pay our bills through automatic payment, you should make sure you pay your credit card bill a few ...

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How To Settle Your Money Arguments At Home

Many families worry about their financial plan and whether or not they will run out of money.  Some families are living paycheck to paycheck and trying to figure out a better way to budget their monthly dollars.  However, money arguments are one of the leading causes about why couples ultimately split up.  According to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysis, 22% of all divorces are caused by money issues.  So, how do you stop those money arguments at home? #1 The Dreaded Spender Saver Couple It is important to try to understand your spouse’s money personality as we all have a unique way we think about money shaped often by how we were raised as a child.   The most critical item for a couple where you have one person who is very frugal and the other who can often be frivolous is to set concrete unified family financial goals.  This means really sitting down and figuring out the financial priorities ...

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When Is The Right Time To Refinance?

With the Fed recently raising interest rates, many people have started to wonder if they should act on the refinance now or wait to see what happens with interest rates.  If you are buying a new home, thinking about refinancing your mortgage, or just wondering where this is all headed, it is a good time to start crunching the numbers and examining the current mortgage you have in place.  So, when is the right time to refinance? Side note: There is “Rule Of Thumb” – the rule of thumb really boils down to a math equation which I will lay out for you here in the article. Question 1: What Is This Going To Cost You? There is always a cost to refinance. Sometimes you will hear on television these deals that say no closing costs or no cost to refinance.  What some companies do is simply roll those closing costs into the newly refinanced loan so instead of refinancing ...

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Is It Time To Do The Holidays In July

It’s July.  Why in the world would we want to start thinking about holiday time in December right now.  One of the biggest financial hangovers people have in their budgets is when they overspend during the holiday season.  Now that we have hit July, I have some smart money moves tips that can put a few of those dollars back in your and maybe even take some of the stress out of your life.  Here are five money ideas for doing Christmas, Chanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate with your families in December to save you some money. What’s On Sale Now – When you are out and about at the stores, you should always take a peek at the clearance racks. You might find some cool piece of clothing, shoes on sale, or some piece of technology that is being upgraded to a new version.  For sure, all summer clothes will start to go on sale, so this can be ...

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Five Wedding Gift Ideas For The Modern Day Bride And Groom

Several years ago, I wrote a your smart money moves blog https://bit.ly/2JZfUK4 about what is the right amount to give for a wedding gift.  According to CNBC, the average cash gift for a wedding across the United States is $160 with the state of Vermont the highest at $240 and the state of Arkansas the lowest at $73. Trends are changing this year in how couples plan for their wedding.  Rather than starting with palette, couples are planning out wedding vision boards that capture their vibe and celebration instead.  With the cost of flowers rising through the roof, balloons are being used as a replacement that is colorful, fun, festive, and most importantly less expensive.  Let’s not forget that in the world of social media today, couples are looking for some of those Instagrammable moments including seating card displays and interesting drinks as their guests enter the reception. Here are five wedding gift trends that you need to know for ...

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