Riding the Market Weather

June 29th, 2006. It was an innocuous day as the stock market was booming in the post-9/11 recovery. The economy was torrid and the unemployment rate was 4.6% in the USA. That fall, I opened up my checking account with Charles Schwab with their floating-rate free checking account (with no minimums or ATM fees) was paying 4.50% interest. That … [Read more...]

Selling Out (Part 2 of 4 on my move to San Francisco)

In Part One of this series, I talked about my overall transition to San Francisco. In this entry, I'll talk about some of the stresses involved in moving and cleaning up the personal finance life along with the move. As I wrote about in a series of posts in 2013, I purchased a house in Texas... Lovely carpeted bathroom. Oldest and smallest in … [Read more...]

How Much Did You Save in 2014? (Part 2)

With my colleague PK writing about his 2014 savings rate, I thought that I would chime in as well. Using a loose definition of savings, where principal pay down of debt is included in the numerator, I have an after-tax savings rate of 53.42%. Without including principal paydown of debt, my strict savings rate would be 31.76%. A Note on … [Read more...]

My Retirement Asset Allocation

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to play around with Morning Star's X-Ray tool. The tool takes your entire portfolio and analyzes the asset allocation by geography, by risk level, by asset class as well as by type (growth vs. value, etc.). Here is what my current asset allocation across my portfolio is (asset type): 39% Domestic … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part Two of Three

In part one on Monday, I wrote about how credit cards can provide short-term liquidity where emergency funds would typically be recommended. In this article, I will write about how most "emergencies" people list as reasons for an emergency fund are not true emergencies and can be easily planned for (and anything that is above and beyond can be … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part One of Three

Emergency funds are a controversial topic that have always irked the writers here at DQYDJ. Okay: overall, we think they are a decent idea... but the singular focus on obtaining one despite the (usually ignored) costs is  the incorrect focus for most financial prioritization decisions. In this series, I will lay out three reasons why emergency … [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...]

The Mexican and the American Tourist

I saw this proverb a few years ago through StumbleUpon and I re-discovered it recently. As part of the PF blogosphere, a lot of our attention is focused squarely on attainment of financial independence and eventual retirement. For your reading pleasure, a different take on the rat race: (source) Author Unknown An American tourist was at … [Read more...]

The Unsustainability of Social Security… in One Graph

You're looking at a graph of the ratio of covered workers paying into the Social Security program (technically OASDI) versus beneficiaries receiving payments.  Through 1965, there were always at least 4 workers paying in for every beneficiary.  In 1983, the program was overhauled with an eye towards sustainability, which pegged the ratio between … [Read more...]

45-49 Years Old: The Peak of Your Financial Prowess

We here at DQYDJ are constantly scouring the internet for gems which will help you with the financial aspect of your life.  This post is no different and we even extend the courtesy to your family as well... A very interesting study out of Texas Tech University asks the question: How is Financial Literacy Affected By Age?  The results are very … [Read more...]

Avoiding 401(k)s: Bypassing The Worst Financial Decision Possible

When it comes to guaranteed returns, there is a list of investments perhaps as numerous as your fingers.  The most famous example is the 401(k) with an employer match.  In order to charm you into investing some of your money in the company's 401(k) account, most employers tend to put up a bit of their own money as an incentive.  The return is … [Read more...]

Paying Down Student Loans Versus Paying Down Other Investments

Tying to an article earlier that my colleague PKamp3 wrote, personal finance seems to have taken a dive in popularity in more recent years. As a writer for a confessedly self-aware personal finance crowd, this assertion may seem irrelevant, surprising, or, at worst, alarming. As a young college graduate, many of my fellow coworkers (as well as I) … [Read more...]

The Roth IRA and Why (Most of) You Need One Yesterday

It's a topic we've covered here at DQYDJ before, and we'll definitely do it again in the future. Every once and a while everyone needs a reminder: if you qualify, open a Roth IRA. If you have one and you aren't funding it: do it.  Here's a rehashing of why! Tax Diversification Most people reading this (traffic spikes during working hours!) are … [Read more...]

On Automatic Investments… and Coming Up Short

In 2006, Former President George Bush signed a well intentioned law which allowed companies to automatically enroll employees in the company retirement program - and to automatically choose the investment in which they were enrolled.  The Pension Protection Act of 2006 authorized companies to automatically enroll new participants and enroll them in … [Read more...]

Checked Your 401(k) Lately?

Maybe it's better if you haven't checked it since like, say, 2007... but if you habitually check your 401(k) balance you may notice something - it has come charging back since the doldrums of the last few years.  According to this article on CNNMoney, it's not only your account which is happily recovering - 401(k) balances are at a record high... … [Read more...]