My Resolve About Resolutions

It's the time of the year for New Year's resolutions and an assessment of how 2013 went for myself. Financially, it was a good year for the market, with the S&P 500 returning ~31% with dividends. I did a little better in my 401k at 34% so I must say without a shadow of a doubt that I am producing outsized alpha in my mutual fund selection. More … [Read more...]

After You Pay Off Your Debt, Then What?

There's a virus spreading around Personal Finance sites (and yes, at least 30% of the time, we're one) - a virus which infects both blogs and writers alike.  I'm talking, of course, about the obsession with debt-pay-down to the exclusion of all other notable personal finance topics. What?  A Debt Payoff Virus? Is it realistic for a virus or a … [Read more...]

How Much Does $1,000,000 Today Cost?

How much would you pay annually in order to receive $1,000,000 today? This question is often a good measure of risk tolerance. For the purposes of this article, I am considering this the same as asking how much would you need in return annually if you paid $1,000,000 today. For me, it is around $50,000/year. I had a debate with a friend recently … [Read more...]

Why Does Risk Aversion Differ?

One of my coworkers very recently moved to this state from across the country. In doing so, he had to pick up his family, sell his house and buy a new one all while working remotely, traveling back and forth and transitioning to a new area (and climate). We got to talking about real estate and what he was looking for when he bought his house and … [Read more...]

Part 1 of Tales of a Mortgage: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the ARM

Last October, I mentioned that I had finally hit a net worth of zero, celebrating the occasion of being officially worthless. At that point I mentioned that my next step was to buy a house. I can now say that I finally did get down and buy a house, closing on June 13th). I started looking in November just to see what was out there but didn't … [Read more...]

Lifestyle Creep and You

When most of us reach a certain point in our professional and personal finance journey, we start to experience lifestyle creep, the pressure to spend more. The causes could be social, financial or even boredom. After a certain minimum livelihood is met, each raise or goal accomplished allows us to potentially spend or save more. Personal finance … [Read more...]

Is There An Alternative to Student Loans?

You know we here at DQYDJ love to try to raise your hackles every once and a while, and there's no surer way to offend a lot of people than talking about college.  The last time we visited the land of student loans, we asked you if Arts and Psychology Majors should pay higher rates on their student loans, to make up for diminished employment … [Read more...]

I Am Completely Worthless

Worthless at last! Worthless at last! Thank God Almighty, worthless at last! Bells are ringing! I am finally worthless! With my paycheck today my net worth has finally passed the literal and psychological $0 barrier. My financial leverage given a net worth of $1 is about 45,000-to-1. Let this be a lesson to everybody: massively over-leveraged … [Read more...]

Payday Lending and Short-Term Liquidity

Personal finance experts frequently tout the advantages of having a six month emergency fund, if not a more conservative twelve month fund. There are many reasons that a citizen would need to dip into their emergency savings: family illness, death, severe medical expenses, unplanned pregnancy or job loss to name a few. Many reports however, … [Read more...]

All About Credit Cards and the Perfect Credit Card Spending Strategy

Credit cards get a bad rap - one that is not entirely deserved. I've got this working theory that it has to do with their name - the term 'credit' may mean 'ability to obtain resources based on a future payoff', but the card is named entirely wrong: If the only purpose of your credit cards is to purchase things on credit you are doing things … [Read more...]