Financial Planning, Investments, Retirement

Mutual Funds for your regular contributions



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Sally says………….

Mutual Funds, stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds, hedge funds, fund of funds, Ranch flavored or classic Doritos, so many choices…..

Mutual funds have been around since the 1970’s. I still own the first fund I bought, Fidelity Contrafund, 26 years ago or a little over 3 years in dog years.

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Financial Planning, Investments, Retirement, Saving Money

Robo-Advisors: Cheap Diversification


Sally say…..

Robo-advisors have been rapidly growing in popularity over the past few years, so much so that the big dogs; Fidelity, Ameritrade, and Schwab have jumped into the fray.

What the heck are they?

They are automated online investment accounts where you, the investor, answers a few questions to determine your risk allocation, choose a portfolio, and your money is invested and diversified for you. The beauty is they are extremely low-cost, inexpensive to get in to and well diversified.

Sounds good, huh?

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Investments, Saving Money, Taxes

Reduce Your Taxable Income (Part B)

Sally says….

It’s October, just a few months from the end of the year and typically not a bad time to think about reviewing your portfolio.


The Dow Jones is near a record all time high,so you probably have a lot of winners in the old portfolio!

“Winning” as Charlie Sheehan would say.

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Investments, Saving Money, Taxes

Reduce your taxable income (Part A)

Sally Says..
Sally Says…

What?!?    Reduce my income?

Why not just cut back on my treats too!

The idea is to reduce your taxable income thereby reducing your personal income taxes.

Here are three simple ways to use your employer provided benefits to do so.

Flexible Spending Account


Use your employer provide FSA! It can be funded with voluntary employee pretax dollars to pay for unreimbursed medical, dental and child care expenses. If you’re lucky your employer may kick something in as well. FSA’s are used to pay for deductibles, co-payments, prescriptions, etc..

Keep in mind FSA’s are a “Use it or Lose it”, meaning you have until the end of the year to spend the money in your FSA or forfeit it . Yikes! (Some plans provide a 2.5 month grace period after the end of the year)

So plan conservatively at the beginning when contributing to your FSA. ( We will discuss Health Savings Accounts in future posts 🙂

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Financial Planning, Investments, Retirement

Personal Finance 101- IRA basic questions

Sally Says..
Sally Says..

Today’s blog post comes courtesy of a question from our reader, Snax, a hipster from LA who loves peanut butter and belly rubs.

The question is how many IRA’s can you own?


The simple answer is as many as you want. BUT (all my friends have big butts), fewer is typically better. Keep things simple should be the motto. It helps with allocation and re-balancing,  and even costs.

Today, I am just focusing on Traditional IRA’s, not Roth IRA’s, or Rollover IRA’s or Inherited IRA’s.

So, anyone with earned income can contribute to an IRA.

However, not everyone gets a deduction and that’s where people get confused. Just because you don’t get a deduction doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t open one.

The ability to get a deduction is based on your income (married or single) and if you or your spouse have an employer sponsored  retirement plan.

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