Friday, January 30, 2015

Why this site, and why now? - DIY Money Stuff

Many of the people I have helped with their finances are very smart, but often are intimidated by money and investments. This frequently leads to inaction, and occasionally opens the door for unscrupulous salespersons to exploit.

One of the things that first led me to seek out a career as a financial advisor was to help people avoid getting ripped off by paying unnecessary fees and commissions. Because fees and commissions represent a larger percentage of smaller accounts, this is especially important for new investors. One of the ultimate ironies in the finance industry though is that in order to work with an experienced advisor who will truly be able to act in your best interest, you'd better already have a lot of money to invest (several hundred thousand dollars at a minimum).

There has never been a better time to be a do-it-yourself investor. With more and more ETFs being launched, and with so many discount brokers like Vanguard, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Schwab continuing to cut costs, it is easier and cheaper to invest than ever before. Additionally, with the advent of 'robot-advisors' like recently launched  Liftoff, it is also becoming more feasible for small investors to get access to quality managed solutions.

This site exists for the do-it-yourself investor who wants to learn more. Because they are so integrally related, I will be discussing plenty of personal finance related topics as well.  Whether you have significant assets and are looking to better understand how to grow and preserve your wealth, or whether you're just starting out and looking to know what resources are best to accomplish your financial goals, I hope that this site can be of use to you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What to expect from this site - DIY Money Stuff

There are a few things you can expect from this site. In no particular order, here are a few.

- Financial lessons I have learned the hard way (on my own), and others I have learned from seeing other people make good/bad decisions. I hope that this can help you avoid mistakes and replicate the success of others.

- My own opinions on financial decisions we all face and what I feel the best choices are.

- General overview of various financial products or services with my opinion of them, and how they can best be used, as well as periodic updates on markets and what I'm doing.

- My own personal financial history and current updates. I will be as detailed as possible and go back as far as possible. I will also share some of the good and bad financial decisions I have made, with the hope that you can learn from them as well.

- The financial services industry, what to look for and what to avoid in a service provider.

- Reviews of different tools you can use that can help with your investments.

- Book reviews, usually on financial related topics.

- Periodic commentary on markets.

- Responsiveness to comments and questions.

This site is something that is for me to share my thoughts and to help others with things that I truly enjoy talking about.

What you should not expect from this site is personalized investment recommendations or anything that could be considered investment advice. I won't pretend to have all the answers to all of the problems out there but I will say that I will put some real thought into any topic before posting about it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Background - DIY Money Stuff

There are a lot of personal finance blogs out there, but I hope to be able to bring a different perspective than most. Here I will list out some of the things that I believe give me credibility. You be the judge, but feel free to ask about anything you see missing or would like to read more about.

1. I have read hundreds of personal finance and business related books and attempt to learn and apply each new thing I learn.

2. I have both a bachelor's and masters degree in business/finance. Most of what I know about personal finance was learned outside of the classroom, but it certainly was a good foundation.

3. I mentioned earlier that I am not a professional financial advisor. However, I did work in the financial services industry for nearly a decade, including the 2008 financial crises and have seen firsthand the inner workings of the financial services industry.

4. Having worked as a financial advisor, I have helped thousands of individuals grow and preserve their wealth. When I left the industry, I had over $450 million in assets under administration at a well known discount broker with average client accounts over $1M.

5. I practice what I preach. Ironically, just like there are likely some cardiologists who are overweight and smoke, there are financial advisors out there who make poor financial decisions in their own personal lives. Later, I will outline some specifics of actions I've taken, but suffice it to say I have been able to grow my net worth to the point that I am not rich, but much better off than the average American and am on track to retire early.

So with that, stay tuned for a little bit more introduction before we jump into the fun stuff!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The purpose of this site - DIY Money Stuff

The purpose of this site is to help individuals make better informed financial decisions

I have always been a big do-it-yourselfer (hence the 'DIY'), and believe that with the right tools and education, nearly all aspects of your financial life can be handled on your own. That being said, I am not a professional investment advisor, and things posted on this site will often be too general to be considered personalized, so please understand that everything on this site is intended to be educational and nothing should be considered investment advice.

While I am not a professional investment advisor, I do have some qualifications that I will outline later that should give some credibility to the information provided. In the end, you'll be the judge, but I've been wanting to compile my thoughts for some time and hope that someone can find them useful. In upcoming posts, I will outline my background and what (I think) helps make me unique from other personal finance bloggers out there.