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Financial Clarity Blog

Helping people make smart financial decisions.  

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Is It Wrong to Work Less?

Ask any entrepreneur what it was like in the early years. They will tell you stories about working 16 hour days, not seeing a consistent paycheck (even not seeing any compensation some months), and walking uphill in the snow both to and from work. The majority of new businesses fail within the first five years. The ones that make it have to fight an uphill battle to establish themselves. The same goes for financial advisors. Only about ten percent of people who start a financial advising career make it past five years (we have a much better record than that at Finity, knock on wood). Starting a business and succeeding is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it. When I started this career, I laid out a mental game plan for myself. If I wanted to be my own boss and take vacations whenever I want to without requesting time off, I was going to have to put in the work. My plan was as follows:

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Retire Early With Kids?

With the FIRE movement sweeping across the blogospheres, many people have their sights set on early retirement (FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early).  I apologize in advance to those of you who have a goal to retire early and also have children.  Early retirement probably won’t happen for you.  And that’s OK.  All I want to do here is set the appropriate expectation for you.  You will be happier in the long run as a result. Children are wonderful (most of the time).  My wife and I are proud parents of two children.  As a human species, we need children.  If we didn’t have a desire to procreate, we would eventually go extinct.  Also, the economy needs us to reproduce.  We need to continue feeding future workers into the pipeline to keep things going. This post isn’t meant to hate on kids.  This post is here to let you know that unless you are extremely disciplined or very lucky, early retirement probably won’t happen for people who have kids.  Let me explain.

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How Does Tax Loss Harvesting Work

Tax-loss harvesting is the process of selling investments for less than you originally paid to offset taxable gains elsewhere. This only works in taxable accounts. In tax-sheltered accounts, such as 401k's and IRA's, this isn't applicable (because you don't pay taxes on investment earnings within tax-sheltered accounts). The concept of tax-loss harvesting is pretty simple: sell the losers in your portfolio to minimize taxes. The execution of it can be tricky.

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8 Passive Income Streams for Doctors

Everyone would prefer to make their money work for them rather than working for their money. Working takes effort – it is exhausting! What if we could sit back, kick our feet up, and watch the cash flow in? Well, you can! It's called "passive income." Passive income is money you earn that you don't directly work for (as opposed to active income). Want to know how to make passive income as a doctor?

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Impact Investing and How to Easily Get Involved

When you mention SRI, ESG, and Impact investments, too many people, including investment advisors, get this idea of liberal progressive types trying to save the environment or promote some socialist ideas. When in reality, the SRI movement spans a broad political and religious spectrum.

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The Fear of Bad Advice

Most people fear the unknown. For many of our clients, financial topics are a huge question mark in their lives, and getting the help they need is scary. There’s fear that they’re going to ask the wrong person and get the wrong answer, but there is also fear that someone will try to take advantage of them. The financial services industry doesn’t always have the rosiest reputation. There have been many well-intentioned laws passed in the last few years to protect consumers, but I think the pages of disclosures it takes to comply with those laws can sometimes make things even more confusing. The last thing we want is for people to not get the advice they need, because of fear.

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6 Secrets to Investing

People are constantly looking for double-top secrets to investing success because spending less than you earn and investing the difference in a diversified portfolio isn't appealing. There must be a better way to greater riches! As it turns out, there's not. However, you can implement some additional tips and tricks to enhance your probability of optimal success.

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Should I Refinance My Student Loans?

A common question we will get from young professionals is whether or not they should refinance student loans. Over the last several years, with interest rates as low as they are and many people carrying student loans with interest rates above six or seven percent, a number of companies have entered the student loan refinancing game.

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7 Ways to Survive a Pay Cut

Many of you have had to endure a pay cut in 2020. Many of you have even been furloughed temporarily or laid off. While most of the people who read this blog work in healthcare, which is rumored to be “recession-proof,” 2020 has proved that even the most stable jobs aren’t 100% waterproof. Who knows what will happen to our world and economy the rest of this year, or in years to come? Today we want to write about ways to survive a pay cut so you can be prepared if you are ever faced with those circumstances. With that, let’s take a look at 7 ways you survive a pay cut. Start implementing them now, so you aren’t scrambling if it happens to you.

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The Dangers of Not Monitoring Your Portfolio

Ultimately, knowing that hovering too closely over your investments has been shown to have adverse consequences. The most straightforward choice can be to go long stretches without combing through your statements. While I am not advocating for day trading, left unchecked, your investments will not behave as you might like them to. Let’s take a closer look at some potential pitfalls.

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