We are now nine years into the current bull market, and the S&P 500 has risen over 300% from its March 2009 low. Unfortunately, there are some investors that have been left behind. They sold their stock in 2007-2008 and never got fully back into the stock market. For example, a reader on the Bogleheads forum recently posted this question: “I have had about $450k sitting in cash for too ...

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Long-term readers know that in late 2014, 8 years out of residency, my wife and I decided to loosen the purse strings a bit. We had lived like a resident for four years, then purchased our dream home six months after we moved to our “big boy” job. But even then it was only a minor increase in our lifestyle. By 2014, I had been a partner in my ...

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One of the biggest complaints I hear when I discuss becoming debt free is the dread of living on a shoestring. We did enough of that in medical school, and we don’t want to do it again. Let me make something perfectly clear right up front, you absolutely do not need to scrimp and sacrifice to get out of debt and live debt free, but if you choose to, it ...

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We shop a lot. Now I didn’t say we buy a lot. But we spend countless hours on the weekend walking through malls and shopping centers. I’m not sure exactly why. It may be that there is enjoyment in the visualizing without actually having. Or, more likely, as a family of four with two growing children, we have many items on our purchase list to check off. Inevitably, repeatedly, our kid’s eyes ...

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We all can use advice from time to time. Sometimes that advice is about personal finances, Investing, or borrowing. When choosing this person, stay away from financial advisors who have a conflict of interest. The advisor who makes money on your investment decisions is like the pharmaceutical rep who is telling you all about his new medication and why it is better than what you already use. The advice might ...

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It’s a miracle that I’m not a financial moron.  No one taught me about finances.  I never took a course in college.  In fact, a few years ago before I found the FIRE community, I was pretty clueless.  Well, not exactly.  I made reasonable financial decisions.  Heck, even good decisions.  I didn’t, however, have the vocabulary or knowledge behind what I was doing.  So was I lucky? Did I merely ...

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We all understand the concept of net income or net pay. If you’re an employee, it’s what you see deposited into your bank account after federal and state taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, etc. are all withheld. If you’re self-employed, it’s what you’re left with after you set aside the funds for many of those same taxes plus paid off your business expenses. In real estate, the term is referred ...

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If you’re doing investing right, you’re saving a large percentage of your income every month (like 25-50%) and stuffing it into stocks, bonds, and real estate investments. At first, even with a high savings rate, your net worth will be low, and the money made by your investments will also be low, like maybe a few hundred dollars a month. However, as your net worth increases, your investments will make more ...

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In the past, investors had to pay an actively-managed mutual fund to manage their money. The average actively-managed mutual fund charges about 1% of assets under management. Hedge funds typically charge 2% of assets and 20% of profits. And the worst of the worst mutual funds charge up to 3% or 4% of assets. Now, index funds can give you a diversified portfolio for less than 0.1%. One of the easiest and high-yield ways ...

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Q. Where do I start? I have a huge student loan debt and don’t think I’ll ever be able to pay it off. I am a physician assistant, and my partner is a physical therapist. We’re about two years out of school. I have only recently started to try and figure out how to be smart with my money. I owe $167K in student loans, and my partner owes $200K. Our combined ...

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