Review Category : Featured Articles

Why This Tech Bubble Isn’t Like The Last Tech Bubble

It has been 18 years since the ‘dot-com’ bubble happened in 2000, and many people are wondering when Ctrl + Alt + Delete button might get clicked again in their portfolio.  As the NASDAQ gently clipped the 8,000 mark this past week, there have been many articles discussing that equities are ending their run especially in the arena of technology.   However, today’s technology run is far different than that of 20 years ago when the NASDAQ traded at triple-digit P/E ratios and anything with a dot-com after it and a pulse would have significant valuation in the marketplace. Here were the top 10 holdings back in 2000 in the NASDAQ Today, the top 10 holdings in NASDAQ include the following: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Cisco, Intel, Comcast, PepsiCo, and Netflix. So, why is this tech bubble so much different than the tech bubble from almost 20 years ago? Dividends – Companies have lots of choices on what to do ...

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Five Important Money Questions To Ask Your Parents

Almost ten years ago, I wrote an original article about important money questions to ask your parents.  As family units become more complex and brothers and sisters get stretched out across America, there are crucial money questions you want to ask your parents to make sure that their overall financial affairs are in order.   There is never a great time to have this conversation, but in light of the recent death of Aretha Franklin and her not having a will it could present the opportunity to open the door to these money questions. You might want to open this conversation by saying, “Mom (and/or) Dad, when the news came up about Aretha Franklin not having a will, it made me wonder whether you had all put a will together and some other questions started running through my mind.”  This is a great jar opener to the five important money questions. Do You Have A Will? The funny thing is that ...

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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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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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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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Should You Buy A Home Before Amazon Makes A Decision

Amazon will soon announce the winner of its HQ2 parade, with one city emerging victorious to get on the back of Jeff Bezos and ride him like Secretariat for the Triple Crown.  There are all sorts of interesting statistics on what an Amazon HQ will do the economy of the city it picks and even recently there were odds thrown out with Boston as the 5/1 to favorite.  If sports betting becomes legal in time in all states, would you take this bet? One financial decision to consider now in the cities that believe they have a chance to reel in Amazon for HQ2 is whether or not to buy real estate betting that prices will soar through the roof like they have in Seattle over the past five to ten years.  The bet is to get in the real estate now before prices explode after the announcement.  It’s almost like betting on an earnings report on Wall Street or ...

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Can You Retire On 1 Million Dollars?

One million dollars used to be the gold standard when it came to figuring out how much money you would need to never have to work the rest of your life.   Now, we all know if you really put your mind to it that you could probably retire on a million dollars, but the real question is whether or not you could maintain the standard of living you have been accustomed to off of your current income.  With our society having become more of an outsourced society than a do it yourself society, here’s why 1 million dollars isn’t what it used to be. The Slient Killer – Inflation may be the number one item underestimated when it comes to overall retirement planning. Inflation is on the rise, and if it rears its ugly head at the 4% level you better seek shelter to figure out how to make your money last.  At a 4% inflation level, 1 million dollars ...

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