Dave Ramsey and the Debt Snowball Strategy


Dave Ramsey is a popular and sometimes controversial personal finance talk show host. He is looked up to by thousands all across the country for his practical advice, and especially for his unique ability to encourage and motivate people to get out of debt. While, of course, we wouldn’t endorse everything Dave–or any other person–says [...]

Debt Use Growing Unevenly


Household debt is one of the many data points I review when looking at the economy. Since the great recession, household debt has decreased steadily over the last 4 years as consumers have paid down debt and as debt has been charged off in foreclosures. Over the last few quarters however, we have seen household [...]

How to Pay a Zero Percent Tax Rate


Granted, this is not a strategy that everyone will be able to use. But… if you are one of the few who could take advantage of a completely legal way to pay ZERO in taxes, wouldn’t you want to know about it? So now that I have your attention, what am I talking about? Well, [...]

The Post-Crisis Money Rules


Below is an article that was in the Wall Street Journal a couple weeks ago regarding what we have learned since the financial crisis. I believe these are timeless rules regardless if you are pre or post-financial crisis. If you follow these 6 rules, you have a much greater likelihood of financial success over the long term. [...]

What Should Minimum Wage Be?


I am hesitant to post this article because minimum wage is a lightening rod of controversy. Whether you think minimum wage should be higher, lower or non-existent, this article presents some data points that I was not aware of until I read it. Unfortunately, our politicians and government cherry pick data all the time to make [...]

How to Graduate Debt Free

Source: Corbis

As we have conversations with clients about the high cost of sending their kids to college, one of the things we try to point out is that if you are willing to work at it, there are ways to drastically cut the “ticker price” of a college education. If you are willing to go in-state, [...]

What’s Really Immoral About Student Loans

source: sce.edu

As someone that will have three children in college in the fall, I am, as you can imagine, quite sensitive to the rising cost of higher education. In the news today, Congress is debating whether to allow interest rates on student loans to go up, but  I would argue that is not the real issue–the [...]

Mortgage Rates Rise

source: Bankrate.com

Last week, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments about potentially reducing it’s bond buying program (aka QE3), produced a sell-off in the bond market which subsequently drove mortgage rates about 1/2% higher. It was the largest one-week move since 2008. Here’s Greg McBride from Bankrate.com with more detail: BankRate.com Mortgage Update

What’s Your Household Debt Level?


The Federal Reserve recently released their quarter-end data, including an interesting ratio outlaying Total Household Debt to Annual After-Tax Income, as shown in the chart below. For the first time since 2002, the average American household held a 106% debt to income ratio, down considerably from the 131% debt to income level in 2007. This [...]

The Importance of Saying No

Credit: Gregg Segal

There’s an interesting article today in ESPN the Magazine about Pittsburg Steeler’s all-star safety Troy Polamalu. Polamalu appears to be  unique in the world of professional athletes, because he may actually be on the road to true financial independence. We all know becoming a a successful athlete is one of the quickest ways to a high [...]