Real World Common Cents

The Decision to Not Make a Decision

The decision to not make a decision can be a great decision.

Saying Goodbye To My Best Investment

This week I parted with one of my best investments, a pair of vending machines. While I never “got rich” off these investments, they did turn candy and soda into cash and coins every week. The maintenance was minimal. I had a great business partner who handled the operations (stocking the machines). While the investment was simple and profits small in dollar terms, the lessons of what make a good business were great.

Playing with FIRE

As children we were warned, don’t play with fire. If you see it, put it out. Today though, young savers are running towards it. FIRE is an acronym for Financially Independent Retire Early. FIRE followers splatter their posts across message boards with religious fervor. Reading these posts, it’s hard not to get excited about kicking the day job and living off your portfolio.

Maximum or Minimum Contributions?

It’s a new year with a whole calendar ahead of you. This is the year that will be different, that you set ambitious goals and actually achieve them. What are those ambitious goals? How do we achieve them? Will they leave me feeling so overwhelmed and helpless they are abandoned?

What 1% Feels Like

It’s the beginning of the year, and for many, that means performance reviews.

Trying to time a Snowstorm

Recently one morning on the way to work, the roads were dry, and leaves were blowing in the air. Around 9:00 flurries started as the weather had called for light snow followed by rain. By 11:00 the grounds and roads were covered and still no signs of rain. At noon, school closings started to scroll across the screen.

Enrollment Season

It’s that time of year again. The HR envelopes start showing up at home, meetings are held at the office, and you learn why a smaller paycheck next year will really benefit you. That’s right, it’s employee benefits enrollment season.

One Year Millionaire

Give me a lever long enough, and I can move the world.

We all hear about becoming a millionaire as entering into an elite status of wealth. While a million dollars may not be as much as it once was, it is still a great milestone to achieve.

How to Invest in An Expensive Market

When investing, it is no secret, the goal is to buy low and sell high. For the past few years though, the stock market keeps hitting new highs. Does this mean an investor should stay on the sidelines? There are several strategies you can use to put your money to work with where the market is today.

All or Nothing

"I'm going all in", "I'm not even going to try", "time to double down", and "it's not worth it". This isn’t chatter at the casino I hear; these are the paralyzing thoughts of what to do with student loans. It is rare today when I meet a couple in which at least one person does not have student loan debt.