Sizzling Tulips- Why You Shouldn’t Try To Time The Market

What follows is a cautionary tale that perfectly illustrates why – when it comes to investing – we should all avoid trying to time the market. In essence, avoid the sizzle. The year is 1634. The place – Holland. Tulips made their way to the Dutch from Turkey and, being a new flower, were pretty pricey. People were paying a pretty penny for the pretty flower, but the tulip’s hay-day was still yet to come. After the flowers contracted a unique virus that presented itself as a flame-looking pattern on their petals, the craze began. As the variations continued to expand and prices continued to rise, “tulip-speculators” emerged as a real class of investor. People lost their minds. They traded in their homes to buy these things, liquidated life savings, cashed out on large assets, and probably the family dog too. The tulip bubble was intense. Tulip mania was real. At the height of the craze, a tulip would go for an entire estate. At the bottom, really – just the actual price of a flower (go figure). Guess what happened? Yup – high-volume holders of tulips began to sell, which created a domino effect and the market for this fine flower came tumbling down. The following depression was devastating, even for those that profited from the original sale of their flowers. The bottom line? When everyone’s piling on, that’s a great signal to stay away. Sizzling is really only awesome when it’s associated with a steak at Applebees being put in …

Your Financial Survival Guide

With the Dow Jones still above 20,000, most people aren’t giving a second thought to a stock market collapse, a massive devaluation of the dollar, or an attack on our banking system. That being said, now is THE BEST TIME to prepare yourself in the event of a financial armageddon. The problem with high flying economies like ours is they create a false sense of security. Seeing the DOW break 20,000 had some people celebrating the end of the recession, the next goal of 30,000, and rosy futures for all investors. The flip side of this coin is every high has a low, we’re still pumping up our economy based on rampant printing of money and governmental debt will reach unprecedented highs under the new administration. (It can’t NOT rise with the sheer amount of debt and level of interest paid on the debt. Take a look for yourself at www.USDebtClock.org to see real-time updates.) Candidly, the motivation for writing this article came from my Christmas grab bag gift for men at my in-laws extended family party last year: A sweet Bear Grylls survival tool. What came with it was a miniature instruction book of how to survive the great outdoors with only your know-how and this incredible device. It got me thinking about how people would survive if the stock market collapsed, their credit & debit cards stopped working, and prices ballooned to epic proportions. To comprehend where this begins, you first must know that as of February 2017 …

The 5 Things You Must Do When Having A Child

Granted all you want to do is stare lovingly at the magical being you and your partner created, there are five things that you MUST do when having a child for the first time. I heard Jim Gaffigan once describe life before kids as almost perfect — you get to sleep in on the weekends, get to do whatever you want at night, eat at great restaurants, have extra money for the things you like, have a clean house all the time… and then you get to thinking, “you know what would make this even better? Let’s have A KID!” My wife and I had that very discussion back in 2002 which led to the birth of our daughter in 2003. I remember coming home from the hospital with our little pink bundle, Piper, thinking, “surely I have to get someone to sign off on my ability as a parent?!” Yet, everyday, millions of new moms and dads take their little bundles of joy home and spend hours upon hours just staring at them, totally unaware of the fact that life as they once knew it, is over. The new life — the one with kids in the picture — changes what needs to be done almost overnight, yet there is no operator’s manual, no instruction guide. Most new parents rely on the guidance of their own, or at the very least their friends who are in the know, when making first baby moves. Here are the 5 things you …

Car Care 101: 3 Proactive Ways to Keep Your Car Running

For the record, car care is not an emergency. Cars, as much as they might be an asset/worth something if you want to sell it, are really a big honkin’ liability. They cost money. And it’s the least fun money to spend. If I can help you understand in this article what it takes most people years (um, me) to learn about their car, then I’ve done my duty. Find a Reliable Mechanic Mechanics tend to get a bad rap — and that’s because some of them fix things on your car that either don’t need fixing to squeeze more money out of you, or they suck at their jobs and you pay them for half-hearted work. Ugh, neither of those are good things. Find a mechanic who will explain what’s wrong with your car in simple terms, allowing you to ask questions and learn what they’re talking about. My mechanic is amazing. Everyone at his shop is dedicated to quality work. Sure, I think I pay a bit of a premium dollar-wise by going to them, versus some other shop, but I also know that my car is being thoroughly cared for. The best part? I don’t have to ask my dad all of these questions. It’d be great if I could, but he lives 70 miles away, and there’s a point where I need to take care of my own car and not rely on him to do it for me. Shout out: Major props to my dad for …

Over $1,000 in NIKE gear for FREE!

You’ve no doubt heard the old adage, “if it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t”. But what about when too good to be true changes to even better than before?! This is the case with the NIKE store survey offer at the bottom of their receipts — a strategy you can leverage to get over $1,000 in sweet NIKE merch for absolutely zilch. Here’s the scoop: My wife is the kind of shopper that plans ahead, she knows birthdays and other gifts she needs to buy for throughout the coming months, and finds some of the most ridiculous deals imaginable. (We’ll be sharing even more of her finds on the blog!) I like to call her the Coupon Princess because her mom is the Coupon Queen. One of the coupon/rebate offers that she is fond of is at our local NIKE factory outlet store. Up until about 4-6 months ago, when you took NIKE up on the offer to rate the experience you had with their store, they’d email you a $5 coupon good on any NIKE product in any company store. It was an easy $5 off for pairs of socks, mini-basketballs, and even occasionally a pair of shoes when the kids’ soles were wearing through. But lo and behold, over the past few months we’ve had more and more NIKE bags showing up around the house and I started inquiring about what was being brought in and at what cost. My wife and son started …

Debt Distortion: Why Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki are BOTH Right

Imagine a world where everything you perceive to be true about finance, family, fitness, food, etc… is not what millions of other humans perceive to be true. Not only that – people attempt to bring you down for your beliefs, or talk quietly amongst themselves about how stupid you are for doing the things you do. To be fair, you don’t think that highly of them either. You’re experiencing selective distortion – welcome to planet Earth. A Tale of Two Titans Let’s take a look at two highly successful, well-respected financial gurus and their respective stances on debt: Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, says that there is such a thing as good debt – or debt used to buy money-generating assets like rental properties and business equipment.   Dave Ramsey, radio personality and author of The Total Money Makeover, teaches followers to avoid debt altogether, often quoting Proverbs 22:7 – “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Both agree that  debt carried on credit cards and cars is to be avoided, because these things only make us poorer. Kiyosaki is not against using credit cards persay, but teaches that balances should be paid in full every month. While some see Ramsey’s stance on not using credit at all as extreme, the fact that the Federal Reserve estimates that almost half of U.S. households are unable to pay their credit card bills in full each month, and that these households owe more than $800 billion in card debt …

4 Reasons To Start A Side Hustle

Wouldn’t it be nice to have multiple streams of income? Even better, wouldn’t it be nice to make money doing something you love? Creating a side hustle not only can stimulate your bank account but can stimulate your mind and soul. There are many reasons to start a side hustle. For me, it was a way to go to school, pursue my dreams, and make extra money. I worked for a cosmetic company for years and loved it. However, the hours were insane and did not allow me to pursue my other passion, finance. I took my network and knowledge of the makeup industry and started my own side hustle. I spent my weekends making brides beautiful. It gave me a creative outlet and a way to make people feel special. By building a side hustle I was able to pursue my dreams and energize my life. Here’s why you need to start your own side hustle TODAY: Side Hustle Reason #1: It will give you an outlet to be creative What could be better than making extra cash and doing something you are excited about. You might love your job but I am sure you also have other hobbies that excite you. Starting a side hustle allows you to develop a creative outlet. When you are creative and use your brain in different ways, it helps inspire you in all aspects of your life. It can also stimulate and expand your mind. You will soon be filled with unlimited …

Choose Your Own Adulthood – Matching Furniture is Dumb Anyway

Choose Your Own Adulthood Adulthood can look however you want it to. Recently, I listened as a friend processed her toil and lament over whether she should “finally get matching furniture,” like what some of her friends were buying to fill their new homes. She admitted that all of her furniture was obtained for free, given to her from friends or family at one time or another, and she wondered if people would judge her for the mismatched collection filling her home. It’s as if she wasn’t “actually an adult”, unless she had matching furniture. And you better believe I cut her short. I gave her my best, “Giiiiirrrrl, your life doesn’t need to look like someone else’s life. If you want to have free furniture filling your house till you die, that’s 100% your choice. And if they’re going to judge you, that’s on them, not you.” Seriously, no one cares. There is no mold for adulthood — regardless of how your parents lived, what the movies tell you or what you imagine life “should look like” in your 20’s. I’m here to tell you — you can ditch the imaginary list of “What it means to be a successful adult.” Pass Go, collect $200 and keep moving. Not the Typical Adult I’m 27.  I do not own a couch. I live with two roommates. I own a used car. I’m paying down my student loan debt sooner than required (for these reasons). I have $3000 in savings. I …