The Simple Way to Find Out How Much Investing Risk You Can Stomach

Risk is everywhere.

All I have to do is turn on the news to be reminded of that.

I think it’s easy to go about our day-to-day lives and forget that bad things can happen – until suddenly they do.

Speeding down the highway. Smoking cigarettes (or anything else). Driving after one too many drinks. All of these are examples of risky behavior. Could you do it and be fine? Maybe. But each of these behaviors carries an element of risk of harm to yourself and others.

The sad truth is that risky behavior sometimes ends in tragedies – some worse than others.

And sometimes, we don’t even realize how much risk we’re taking until something unexpected happens that changes how we think about what we’re doing.

The truth is, whatever you do in this life carries a degree of risk.

But there’s another side to this coin.

The Simple Way to Find Out How Much Investing Risk You Can Stomach

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

That’s true. I get up in the morning and work hard because I believe and hope that I can make a difference in the world. I take risks, just like you do – and that’s okay.
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Grow Your Dough Throwdown – It’s Almost Done! (October Update)

The Grow Your Dough Throwdown is almost over (sigh).

It’s been a fun challenge, and it’s been exciting to see how my different portfolios have held up.

**You can check out the original announcement post here. And here is the March update, May update, and the Midyear update.

What hasn’t been exciting is seeing the other personal finance bloggers that are kicking my butt.

Like, serious butt kicking.

Either way, it’s been fun, and I’m looking forward to announcing that the Grow Your Dough Throwdown 2.0 will be happening next year.

October Update

This one should be bigger and better, and I can’t wait to share the details. Until then, let’s take a look at how my portfolios are doing.
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GF¢ 040: Everything You Need to Know About Your Credit (that you probably don’t)


As a Certified Financial Planner, I know a lot about financial planning issues, but there’s one thing that I didn’t realize I didn’t know much about and that thing is credit.

Several years ago, I went on a bold quest to find what my true credit score was and in doing so, I quickly learned that there are many different types of credit scores.  You can see that quest here.

That’s when I realized that there were a lot of things about credit that I didn’t know.

I was determined to find out, so I did a lot of research so that I understood how credit works especially since I devoted several chapter on credit in my book, Soldier of Finance.

That experience has help me realize that I need to seek out credit experts to help me keep up with the always changing credit landscape.

One such expert is Gerri Detweiler, who is the Director of Consumer Education at Gerri has become my go-to person for anything that has to do with credit.

I was excited when Gerri agreed to come on the GFC podcast to share her expertise, and also answer questions from the GFC community.

improve credit score
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GF¢ 039: Reader Question: What is The Best Thing to Do With an Old 403(b)?


Well, whether you need PROFESSIONAL professional help is up for debate, but when it comes to your finances, don’t rely on Google.

You need someone who knows what they’re doing.

Confident happy business woman with coworkers in the background


Consider this example:

I am 45 years old with 3 young children.   My biggest concern is that in about 10-12 years, they will be going to college.  I have a good job and currently make $75,000 per year.

I don’t have college savings plans set up for them at the moment.  I’m considering opening a Roth IRA and maxing it out every year so they use it for college.

I also have an old 403b just sitting there doing nothing. I’m maxing out my 401k at my current job, which also offers an 8% match.  Would you please advise what I should do for my children and for my retirement?  Also, do you think I should convert my old 403b into a Roth IRA?

Ah yes.

These are the type of questions that a Certified Financial Planner drools over.
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The Ultimate Roth IRA Conversion Guide – Everything You Need to Know

I love the Roth IRA.  

If I could wrap them up and give them away as birthday gifts, I would probably do it.

Scratch that.  I would definitely do it!

As much as I love the Roth IRAs, you would think that I would be all about converting your traditional IRAs and old 401(k)s to them, right?

Well, kinda.

Unfortunately, doing a Roth IRA conversion is not a total black and white decision.  In fact, there are have been several instances where I suggested that clients don’t do a Roth IRA conversion.

To better understand if a Roth IRA conversion is best for you, we have to understand the rules first.  Here’s a look at at the IRA to Roth IRA conversion tax rules.

IMG - Roth IRA Conversion - The Ultimate Guide
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GF¢ 038: The 17 Worst Excuses For Not Saving For Retirement


This post is part of the Retiree Next Door Movement, whose mission is to encourage people to stop procrastinating on planning their retirement. The movement is led by who are passionate about helping people retire comfortably.  They are so passionate about the topic that they they put together this awesome guide, The Retiree Next Door: Successful Senior’s Surprising Secrets, that you can download for free here (until September 30th). This book highlights 500 successful retirees from all types of backgrounds and demographics, and the strategies that they used to retire successfully. The one thing they all had in common, which is the theme of today’s post, is that they didn’t have an excuse.

 IMG - The 17 Worst Excuses for Not Saving for Retirement

You know what’s sad?

Despite all the talk about retirement planning, and all the information available on the web, millions of people still aren’t saving for retirement.

You know what’s even worse?

Many of them give lousy excuses!  Well, not on my watch.

Today, I call out 17 of the worst excuses for not saving for retirement. Do any of these sound familiar?

If so…you’re busted!  On to the list….
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10 Essential Factors of a Retirement Planning Checklist

If there’s one thing that you don’t want to do twice, that would be retiring.

Imagine having to go back to work after you’ve called it quits. Yuck!!

I’ve heard horror stories of this happening and the most common culprit is lack of planning.

Planning your retirement is something you do not want to take lightly.

Retirement Planning Checklist

If you are approaching retirement, do you know if you are ready?

Do you have the funds saved that you will need?

Do you have all the other details in place and ready to go?

While retirement is an exciting time, it is also a time of big changes in your life.

Not only will you not be going to work every day but you will also have adjustments in your personal life and your finances will also be changing.

To make sure you are prepared for all the changes creating a retirement planning checklist is recommended.

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GF¢ 037: 4 Ways to Save For Your Kids’ College Education (including what I chose)


One day all my 3 boys are probably going to be attending college.

You know what that means: $Cha-Ching.

My wife and I already decided that we don’t plan to pay 100% of their tuition, but we will try to help them out so long as they are working towards getting a degree.

A recent study by Fidelity reveals that others have similar aspirations, in that parents plan to pay 62% of their child’s college costs, but they’re only on track to pay 1/3 of that cost.

Knowing that college isn’t getting any cheaper, we started saving for our first son basically immediately after he was born, and we’ve followed suit with each son thereafter.

IMG - 4 Ways to Save for Your Kids' College Education (2)

It’s always nice to have choices like saving for your kids college, but many parents get confused on what’s best for them.

Having a plethora of choices can be overwhelming.

Most parents have too much other issues to deal with that trying to decide to the best college savings plan is shoved further down the priority list.

Don’t worry, busy parents….this post (and video) is for you! :)

For somebody who feels overwhelmed, here’s a quick look at the four ways that you can save to pay your kids tuition checks.

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The Right Time to Buy Stock Is…..

It never fails.

Anytime a new investor wants to get started investing, they always want to buy stock.


Doesn’t matter that they’ve never invested before.

Doesn’t matter that they have no idea what makes a good stock.

They just know that guys like Warren Buffet made a killing by buying stocks and they want to, too.

Even worse is when they want to buy a penny stock. >>>PLEASE<<<< don't do that.

If you think you're ready to buy some stock, watch this video first.

16 Reasons That Your Budget Sucks

If you’ve ever started a budget, you’ve most likely started with good intentions.

Sometimes your budget gets the job done, but other times, it’s a serious crash and burn that can leave you in worse shape than when you started.

Every time I’ve tried to budget in the past, I would always start with a pad and paper.

Unfortunately, by the time I got done trying to do my budget the sheet a paper looked more like a hardcore tournament of tic-tac-toe just took place.

Why? Because I HATE budgeting and even though I suck at tic-tac-toe it’s a whole lot more fun than budgeting.


As much as I hate it, I recognize that it’s a must if you have any hope of taking charge of your financial life.

Reasons That Your Budget Sucks

That’s where I got lucky. VERY lucky.
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GF¢ 036: Dropping Some Beats with Matt and Andrew of


Personal finance people love crunching numbers but that doesn’t mean that we’re all geeks.

I mean…look at me. Do you think I’m a geek?

Matt and Andrew of have a Top 20 podcast currently in iTunes and I love what these guys are doing.

They are also a prime example of how you can love personal finance and not be a total geek.

Well, the jury is still out on Matt for that one.   Haha….. (Love you Matt!)

Listen Money Matters

Not only are they putting out great content on their podcast and blog, but they also produced this amazing personal finance rap video:
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15 Business Lessons From Warren Buffet

There are people in the world who are best known for being famous for being famous.

Think Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.

Warren Buffett is not in this crowd (thank goodness!).

He is widely considered to be the most successful investor of all time. He is one of the very wealthiest people in the world – often THE wealthiest, depending on stock market valuations.

He has gotten to where he is by being a brilliant and insightful investor.

Business Lessons from Warren Buffet

Like me, he wasn’t born into money, and he didn’t sign a fat contract for a book, a movie, a TV show or a record deal.  (Note:  I did sign a contract for my book deal, but I assure it wasn’t fat.  Far from it.  Haha…)

He did it the old fashioned way, which in today’s world seems almost radical.

In fact, there is nothing fancy or unusual at all about Warren Buffett – other than his phenomenal success.
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