October 6, 2017

Would You Invest Your Money the Way You Are Going to Invest Mine?

Job interviews can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences anyone faces. It is like playing 20 questions with someone you barely know. Obviously, the point is to get to know them thoroughly and find out if they will be a good fit for a company. The same process goes into hiring a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Each prospective client we talk with typically brings a myriad of questions for us to answer. Being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in Knoxville, TN doesn’t mean I just get interviewed by local individuals. I actually have clients all over the country, and one question that is almost always asked is this: “Justin, would you invest your money the way you are going to invest mine?” While that seems to be a fair question on the surface, it really is not. Here’s why. I completely understand where the inquiry is coming from. They want to know if I, in fact, take my own advice when it comes to investing. Am I using investments, planning strategies, or a product mix that will offer me a better return than what I will provide them? They want to know if I’m doing what’s in their best interest or […]
September 16, 2017
alternative to college savings plans

An Alternative to College Savings Plans

College tuition costs are a hot-button issue for most. After all in our recent Presidential election, one candidate planned to take on the rising cost of higher education if elected. Being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in Knoxville, TN, which is a college town, I know the extra strain saving for tuition puts on some of my clients. I’ve known them to use everything to help cover education costs; 529s, prepaid plans, UGMAs, and even Roth IRAs! In a recent conversation with one client, he blew me away with his novel idea on how he planned to pay for his child’s college education. I felt it was such a brilliant alternative to college savings plans that I needed to share it. Now his idea will not be for everyone, and it certainly isn’t a full proof plan. However, he certainly mastered the most creative way that I know of to lessen the burden and prevent his child from going into debt with student loans. The Idea This particular client told me he knew that college costs for his son were going to be about $100K for four years. He also conveyed to me that he knew he had the money to […]
August 22, 2017

Debt Payoff: Student Loan, Mortgage or Business Note

For many hardworking Americans, whether they are the employer or the employee, they managed to amass a pretty good amount of debt. I repeatedly make this statement, I HATE DEBT! However, it is part of life for most of us. Recently a client of mine that’s in the entrepreneurial doctor field and owns his own practice quizzed me on what debt he should pay off first. Desiring to see the light at the end of the tunnel, he wanted my advice on the best route to take after freeing up $1,000 a month. The Debt Snowball vs The High-Interest Method Many people would suggest using the debt snowball. That’s a technique of debt repayment in which the debtor lists all monies owed from small to large. At that point, they began paying down the smallest first by devoting extra money to that one debt, while maintaining minimum monthly payments on all others. Once the smallest balance is completely paid off, they then move on to the next debt. They take the amount they were paying on the smallest debt and add it to the minimum payment they were making on next smallest. This process allows the debtor to begin to […]
August 21, 2017
Fiscal Lessons to be Learned

Financial Lessons to be Learned from The Great American Eclipse

Today is the day! Millions of Americans traveled far and wide just to enjoy “The Great American Eclipse” as it’s been dubbed. The eclipse is darkening portions of our country, within a 70-mile wide radius stretching from Oregon to South Carolina experiencing totality. That’s the moment when the sun is completely blocked out by the moon, and the only part of the sun you can see are the gasses of its atmosphere. Depending on when you read this, it may have already happened, or you could still be anticipating the phenomenon. The quirky cosmic event is all thanks to geometry. The moon orbits at just the right distance from Earth to appear to be the same size as the sun—just like in a picture, you might look like you’re holding The Statue of Liberty in your hand— it’s all about perception. While solar eclipses aren’t exactly rare (they actually happen every 18 months) this particular one is the first total solar eclipse since 1776, whose path stays completely in the lower 48 states and can be exclusively viewed in the United States. Most take place over water, unpopulated regions of the earth, or barely clip populated areas, therefore making them […]