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most important financial questions!
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Questions about Ask The Money Nerds
Q. Is there anything to buy on this site?
A. No. These interactions will provide you insight around your finances. There are not products or programs to buy. However, this may build a bridge for us to connect you to experts, upon your request, to support implementation. The primary focus is to add value, generate topics and content, and engage with our podcast listeners.
Q. Will my name be mentioned on the show if I ask a question?
A. We only ask for your first name and understand the delicate and personal nature with money. All interactions will be held in strict confidence unless you offer to become a case study. We appreciate the courage it takes to face your finances and respect the privacy and confidentiality that comes with such a sensitive topic. We honor whatever your request is when you ask your question and will only speak in a general sense if your topic makes the podcast.
Q. With so much misinformation and commission-based agendas, how do I know the quality of this advice?
A. Throughout my career, one of my best gifts is finding the people with the passion and expertise in each key area of finance. These are the people I have worked with personally and they are thought leaders in their respective field. We use case studies, actual numbers, and they are certified through a rigorous application process, beginning with a 42 question application, various training requirements, 9-12 interviews over a minimum 9 month period, and unanimous approval from other “financial nerds” that have worked with us since 2005. As most people do not have the time or knowledge of how to establish this type of financial team, we dedicate our lives to this process.
Q. What if I don’t know exactly what to ask, but know I could use help?
A. This is the case for so many people. According to the US Department of Labor, 95 percent of people are not financially independent by age 65. This massive failure is an issue at every level. Minimal to no teaching around this topic in school, most advice is about budgeting and investing in the stock market, and plenty of effort with limited results. This is our passion. It is exactly why we have a podcast, create resources, teach other financial advisors and experts. The better the questions, the better the answers, but start somewhere. Ask, “What is the easiest first step to improve my finances?”, “ What can I do today in order to make progress?” or listen to the Sacrificed Shrugged podcast and grab the resources at wealthfactory.com/podcast to get started.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Where should I invest my money?
A. Before investing, make sure you have an automated way to build up your savings. Pay yourself first. Eliminate all high interest rate loans before locking money away for one day, someday. Invest in yourself. Invest in your financial education. Then you will be ready to answer this question with your “Investor DNA” as your guide. Risk is not in the investment, it is in the investor. If you are asking this question, do not invest in products or stocks, gain insight on what type of investment is right for you.
Q. Should I pay off my student loans?
A. It is critical to understand the difference between method and objective. If your objective is to pay off your student loans, it is about doing this in the safest and most efficient manner. To begin, it is imperative to know there is always an interest cost. If you pay cash, you forfeit the right to earn interest and if you borrow, you pay the institution an interest rate. Either way, there is an interest cost, but the one we pay the institution is more visible. Consider building up 6 months of personal expenses in your savings first. Second, if you can earn the same interest or better (with certainty) as the loan is costing you, save the money in that investment and eventually pay this off in one swoop. This accomplishes the objective with more options along the way. This is the type of question that requires more information. Personal finance is meant to be personal, so ask a nerd.
Q. What do I do if I have money trapped in a retirement plan?
A. There are ways to access your money without penalty, rollover your plan creating more investing options without tax, or even convert your plan to a Roth regardless of how much money you make. Maybe it is something called a 72t, a Self-Directed IRA, a conversion or cash out, ultimately, this is where a Registered Investment Advisor Financial Nerd is required.
Q. Is now a good time to invest in Real Estate?
A. The better question may be: Are you a good real estate investor? Or, what type of real estate? If you are educated, have an exit strategy and interest with ability for real estate, there is always a good time with the right strategy. Some know lease options, others know fix and flip, and still others may be great with commercial real estate. Be careful when using leverage that requires ongoing payment. Ask yourself, what do you know that gives you an advantage in real estate.
Q. Am I overpaying on tax?
A. Most people feel they are paying more than they would like, but uncertain if it is too much. Yet others worry about doing anything that would get them in trouble with the IRS and remain uncertain of what to do. There is a specific framework to follow to be more certain. Do you have a great tax team? Do you meet with them at least quarterly? Have you looked back, with a new set of eyes, over the past three years to see if you can amend previous years? Do you know about 199a in the new Trump Tax Plan? Did your accountant talk to your attorney when you set up your corporation? If you aren’t sure, you are likely overpaying.
Go to wealthFactory.com/tax as a great resource of where to begin or ask a Nerd.
We are here to demystify the complex nature of money. Give you answers that are simple and to the point or at least point you in the right direction with resources and people for implementation.
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