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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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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Investments, Retirement

Roll that 401(k) !

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Sally Says….

“So I just rolled over my 401(k) from my previous employer, PetSmart of course, to my Rollover IRA- getting all my bones in one place.

So I had the option of leaving my401k where it is, but in my case the investment options were limited or I could have cashed it in but I’m only 13 years old and would have paid a pre- 59+1/2 withdrawal penalty and income taxes. The IRS doesn’t take into account dog years. Grrrrrrrr.

I do have a prior 401(k) which I left alone because it has a unique Guaranteed Interest account, paying a nice rate, that is hard to beat outside of a company retirement plan. (Just an FYI)

So by moving into an IRA, I can invest in CD’s, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETF or Stocks. That’s a lot of choices. My main dog house is Fidelity which provides tools to research Mutual Funds, for instance, to help me build a portfolio or compliment what I already have. We can discuss the basics of allocation in a later post, but for today we are focusing on moving your dough.


For simplicity, do a Direct Rollover from your 401(k) or 401(B) which would involve you speaking to your 401(k) provider. Your other option is a 60 Day Rollover which would be paid directly to you. This is a hassle. Taxes will be withheld so you will have to make up the difference when depositing it. Forget it !

Go Direct Rollover route.

It will probably take a couple of weeks and might involve you making a couple of follow up calls to your provider as they are not quick to give up the cash. :)”