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Broker by day. Blogger by night. Helping eager minds learn about personal finance and master the unsexy tools of life.

How the ultimate con artist leaves you feeling dumb and delighted

My whole body vibrated with the low rumble of the idle ATV. Then, with a sudden burst of gas, I shot forward — racing through the jungle. Low-hanging foliage swatted my helmet as I navigated the bumpy trails, squeezing my thighs together to keep from falling. I was exuberant!

Every sense was alert and I was focused. I felt like a tropical Batman bolting through the greenery before bursting through the palms onto glorious white sand beaches. The sight was breathtaking.

It was the perfect afternoon adventure in Mexico.

After the ATV escapade, we hopped in our guide’s car to…

Netflix’s Portrayal of the Millennial Dichotomy

As an unmarried renter in their late-twenties, the marriage and mortgage firing squad of questions is as familiar to me as the barrage of SAT and college inquiries is to many high schoolers.

“Hi, how are you? When are you getting married, and why don’t you own a house yet?”

While inside, I roll up my sleeves to fight for emotional self-preservation each time it comes up; outside, I smile and provide the canned responses.

“I’m not getting married because it’s not the right time. …

Overcome pay inequality, opportunity gaps, and the pink tax to achieve your maximum financial potential

The twenty-first century is the era of female power. There are over 12 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. More women are creating their own wealth than ever before, with millionaire women out-earning their male counterparts for the first time in 2016. We even elected our first female Vice President!

And yet.

And yet, the majority of women leave financial planning to their spouses. Why? Women cite a laundry list of reasons, from lack of time to lack of interest, to even feelings that shared assets are not as much theirs.

This needs to change.

We, women, need to claim…

Understanding the pros and cons of shared finances when shacking up

Although most relationships have an implicit contract, I started mine with an explicit one. Sitting on his parents’ beige living room couch, I outlined the terms, conditions, and termination clauses for our potential relationship — each requiring a direct response.

While that doesn’t sound romantic, I never claimed to be one. In fact, I can be a crippling pragmatist.

But, eight years later, our relationship is still strong. It makes me think my contract wasn’t such a bad idea after all. It set clear expectations from the start.

When we moved into our first apartment together, it was time to…

Breaking down the GameStop timeline and why trading and investing are not the same thing.

2021 started with a bang — first an insurrection, then an impeachment in tandem with a presidential inauguration, and now a financial market uprising!

Over the last week, GameStop stole headlines. This time last year, it was trading around $4 per share. Since then, the stock has skyrocketed to a high of $483!

What is going on?

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

When GameStop looked to be a sinking ship, hedge fund managers took a bet that the stock would continue to drop and began “shorting” the stock.

Shorting is when someone borrows a stock from a broker and then sells it for a period of time, betting the…

Understand your underlying behaviors and how to improve your financial decisions

Woman making a face from behind a laptop screen showing a complex report.
Woman making a face from behind a laptop screen showing a complex report.

You are biased. Deeply and innately biased. Yes, you.

And me. Even the most moral person you can think of is biased. It comes with being human.

Reality is convoluted and complicated. It cannot be understood in black and white, so we apply moral structures and mental shortcuts (known as heuristics) to help streamline things. This creates dueling realities.

As Robert Evans once said,

There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying.”

Cognitive biases are the sneaky beneficiaries of our nuanced world. …

At long last, 2020 has come to an end. While it couldn’t come soon enough and was a year full of strain, loneliness, and loss for many, 2021 offers new hope.

It’s the time of year that New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. I can tell from the number of diet and fitness ads clogging up my Instagram feed. However, about 80% of such resolutions are dropped by mid-February. This is often because people don’t create SMART goals or design a system to achieve them. It’s like going on a road trip without a GPS.

“Goals are good for…

When I think of the holiday season, January through October, I think of holiday markets, family gatherings with mulled wine, and catching up with friends. But then, November comes, and the pressure starts to build.

These whimsical images are replaced by a ticking clock and a gnawing panic. What am I going to get people for gifts? Will it be enough? Will they like it?

This stress means I end up texting my family, asking what they want so that I am guaranteed a slam dunk. Foolproof right?


Over the years, it seems the lists I get back have…

If you haven’t heard it before, I’ll tell you now.

“The best time to start investing was yesterday. The second best time is today.”

That can be true, but it also can not be.

When I ask people why they invest, the most common response I get (if people are investing at all) is, “because that’s what people say I should do.”

Don’t make your financial decisions based on what other people are doing or say you should do. Know your personal financial obligations.

Are you maximizing your retirement account(s)? Is any high-interest debt paid off? Do you have sufficient…

The first time my partner and I fought about money was 5 years into our relationship.

You might think, “that’s pretty good,” considering money is one of the top issues couples fight about; but, I view it as that’s how long I was dishonest about my financial situation.

And when it was exposed, I felt like crap.

I hadn’t been honest about my savings to debt ratio. When I left the “wrong” screen up too long during a budget session, he looked over to check a mutual input and saw something I had never mentioned before.

This was awkward and…

Life's Unsexy Toolkit

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