As with anything investment-related, see my disclaimers. This post deserves an additional disclaimer. Investing involves risk. Trading stock options is extremely risky and you can lose 100% of your investment. My story is provided solely for entertainment purposes and in no way do I recommend doing what I did. Or anything else, for that matter.… Continue reading Option(al) Income
When my grandmother passed away a decade ago, all of her grandchildren received a small inheritance. Instead of spending that money on some toy or experience, I opened a 529 college savings account in our oldest child’s name. At the time we had only two daughters, and I had significantly fewer gray hairs. Fast forward… Continue reading Dividing a 529 Six Ways
Hi. My name is David, and I have a problem. I have too many accounts. More than 53 different checking, savings, brokerage, credit cards, store cards, and retirement accounts. Spread across more than 16 different providers. Seems a little excessive, doesn’t it? How did this happen? As I look back across the accounts smeared across… Continue reading Joyless Banking Accounts
Like many Americans, I accumulated student loan debt during college. While it’s been years since I was in school and the balance has diminished, it’s still non-zero today. I could have dispatched them years ago but didn’t. However, now I’m giving some serious thought to it in order to simplify my personal finances. Comparing Interest… Continue reading Should I Pay Off My Student Loan Debt Early?
We’re nearing the end of week 11 of our family’s 12-week study abroad in Spain. One of the challenges we worked through was the logistics of getting a family of eight from city to city, all without renting a car. As I planned and bought each segment of our travel, I felt like I was… Continue reading Ticket to Ride: Spain!
During our family’s study abroad in Spain, one logistic I took on was getting cash for minor purchases that couldn’t be done via credit card. My goal was to avoid paying excessive foreign exchange or ATM fees. P2P Exchange Rates – 0% The first stop on the road to cash was a little unexpected. After… Continue reading Avoid Foreign ATM Fees Using Fidelity’s Cash Management Account
[As with anything tax-related, see my disclaimers.] A couple years ago, I opened an account at Wealthfront, one of the popular robo-advisors. Their core tenets of low-cost investing in broadly diversified index funds aligned with my own investment philosophy, and I was curious to see how their tax-loss harvesting system behaved. At the time, they offered… Continue reading Robo-Advisors Disillusionment
[As with anything tax-related, see my disclaimers.] If you are currently making charitable contributions using cash, you’re doing it wrong. You can save save big tax bucks by instead gifting securities with appreciated long-term capital gains. Money is Fungible If I have $100 cash and $100 stock, I could choose to either gift the cash… Continue reading Tax Savings Through Gifting Securities
[As with anything tax-related, see my disclaimers.] You’re following the advice to max out your pre-tax contributions to 401(k) and Traditional IRA accounts. You notice the balances creeping up and you start to wonder, is there a point when you’ve saved too much in those tax advantaged accounts? Or, as Jeremy over at GoCurryCracker poses… Continue reading Is my 401(k) balance too high?
[As with anything tax-related, see my disclaimers.] I first heard the phrase “Roth IRA” as a graduate student. Jim, a fellow graduate student, and I were talking about saving and investing and he told me about his Roth IRA account. I was 25 years-old at the time, and I remember feeling that I had missed… Continue reading Matching your child’s Roth IRA Contributions