What’s a stock index?

DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ, and EAFE. Does this feel like reading a menu in a foreign country? For most, it definitely shouldn’t mean much to you. Sure the pretty newscaster says things like “the S&P 500 is up 25 points today”, but you have no clue what S&P 500 stands for. These acronyms mentioned above [...]

Make your savings grow with a brokerage account

It’s great when people ask me finance questions. Many are embarrassed or afraid to ask financial questions, but that should not be the case. Remember, none of us have been taught about personal finance or investments. It’s just not something we learn in high school or college. There is no reason why you should know [...]

Little known strategy to reduce mortgage payments

Many California homeowners financially stretch themselves to buy a home. It’s almost inevitable when even a starter home is selling for $400,000 or more. That means big monthly mortgage payments eat up a large chunk of income. It sure would be nice to lower that payment. Maybe even go out to dinner every once in [...]

Taxes for married same-sex couples

Last year was big for same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was unconstitutional and Proposition 8 was overturned. As we all know, same-sex couples can now legally marry in California. What you may not know is how this impacts your taxes. The first difference for 2013 is [...]

Two types of financial advisors

Imagine having a friend or neighbor that you could turn to whenever you had a financial question. Think about how amazing that would be. Not sure how much of a house you can afford? Call your financial friend to walk you through the numbers. Don’t know which mutual funds to choose in your 401(k)? No [...]

Save money on your cell phone plan

Cell phone service is turning into a big monthly expense. People are using their smartphones for more things like watching movies, using thousands of apps and playing video games. Data usage is on the rise and so are cell phone bills. A monthly cell phone bill of $100 or more is pretty common. Luckily, I [...]

How to fire your financial adviser

“We’ve been thinking of leaving our financial adviser for a few years. But if we left, we didn’t know what to do with our accounts?” That is a comment I commonly hear from new clients. There is no need to stay with a financial adviser you are not happy with just because you don’t know [...]

My experience with Obamacare

With the rough rollout of Healthcare.gov, I was a bit tentative to begin looking at my health care options for Obamacare. You see, I am one of those people that had my policy canceled because it didn’t meet the requirements of Obamacare. I’m going to tell you about my experience with Obamacare. If you have [...]

LGBT investors more optimistic than straight investors

Positive attitudes are great! And a recent study by UBS finds that LGBT investors are an optimistic bunch when compared to straight investors. The LGBT community has a significantly higher belief that the long-term outlook for the U.S. economy is improving; that the worst of the economic downturn is over; and that the U.S. will [...]

Retire rich with only 1 percent more savings

Imagine you are a 27-year-old person not saving for retirement. You have a nice job paying $40,000 per year. The employer 401(k) plan offers a matching contribution of 50 percent up to 6 percent of your salary. Since you’ve never saved before, your portfolio is starting out at $0. How can you possibly retire rich? [...]

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