How To Complain Effectively Using Social Media

We hear a lot of complaining today about social media.  It’s in our faces daily with political events, people posting too many pictures of their vacations, and stories that we probably better off not knowing before we saw the sixty second video.  As customer service continues to decline across service industries, there may be an angle on how to actually use social media to effectively complain and get what you want. There are those in life who seem to be able to negotiate better than others when making their complaints.  Perhaps they have the right timing.   Possibly it can be related to their instincts.  Or, could it be that they know how to create a well-oiled plan to get their desired outcome? Recently, I had an interaction with Chipotle that can demonstrate how simple it is to get what you want and do it in an effective manner. On September 9th, my family asked me to pick up dinner and ...

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What Insurance Moves Do I Make With Hurricane Florence?

With another major hurricane hitting the east cost over the past week, torrential downpour and flooding, and more than 1,000,000 without power, the questions will be coming soon on what to do insurance wise regarding hurricane Florence.  When any of our homes have floods, it can be difficult to know where to begin no matter what the size of your home.  However, make the wrong financial moves could penalize you severely and limit your ability to get back money that can help you get back on your feet.  Here are four insurance moves to make right now from hurricane Florence. Read Your Homeowner’s Policy – This sounds like such a simple thing, but I’m never surprised about what people learn when they finally read the insurance policy that they have bought and owned for years. You would think that hurricane Harvey and Irma that devastates several parts of the United States would have made people wiser, but it isn’t really ...

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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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Five Reasons You Never Want To Borrow On Your 401(k)

Many millennials are stretching financially to buy homes, and the numbers are getting scary.  People in the younger generation are modeling behavior that is far riskier and more dangerous than they even realize for their future.  According to a new survey by the Bank of the West, approximately 1 in 3 millennials say they raided either their 401(k) or even worse liquidated part of their IRA to put a down payment on a home.  Even more millennials are tapping these retirement accounts to pay down their growing student and personal debt.  There is a reason these are called “retirement accounts”, and specifically there are five enormous reasons you never want to borrow on your 401(k). The Magic Of Compounding – In a recent story I did on CNN Headline News, I discussed the power of compounding. A 25-year-old who puts away $300 a month and hypothetically earns 8%, will have roughly 1 million dollars at the age of 65.  A ...

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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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Five Money Tips To Start Your Side Hustle

In almost every meeting I have today, clients often ask for me for ideas about stopping the job they hate (even though it is paying them) and trying to figure out how to start that side business or hustle that fires them up to get out of bed every day.  When reality sets in, most people realize they can’t quit the job they have today.  However, getting multiple streams of revenue are one of the keys to increasing your chances for massive financial success whether that is rental real estate, passive investments, a business, or even your own little side hustle.  So, here are five money tips for when you decide to turn that extra burst of energy into a money-making venture. Make Sure You Have A One Page Business Plan How much do you need to start the business? How will it make money? Remember, when you start this side hustle you don’t some 27-page business plan that you ...

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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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