Rebalancing Your Portfolio: Why, When, and How

You’ve decided on the perfect asset allocation for you. It matches your risk tolerance, preference for domestic versus international equities, and the numbers, as expressed in percentages, are perfect multiples of ten. You’ve got a spreadsheet to automatically track and calculate those percentages. 60, 20, 10, 10. It all adds up. Then the market does what the market does and it’s all fouled up. 58, 21, 13, 8. No!!!! All is not lost. You can rebalance. Dr. Jim Dahle explains why you might want to do that (besides making the numbers look proper again), when you might want to do […]

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How to Build a Real Estate Crowdfunding Ladder

Students of personal finance are familiar the concept of a ladder. So are roofers and firefighters, but that’s another matter, altogether. The idea of a financial ladder is to have a repeating source of cashflow, either in perpetuity or for a number of years until you circumstances will no longer require it (i.e. when RMDs kick in). Common ladders include CD ladders, treasury bond ladders, and the Roth conversion ladder. Dr. Peter Kim has an idea for a different kind of ladder using real estate investments. His post was originally published on Passive Income MD.   How to Build a […]

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The Reality of Real Estate Investing: It’s Not as Easy as It Seems


Real Estate is often touted as an optimal path to wealth. Many people have done very, very well by investing in real estate. Of course, there are countless ways to invest in real estate. Today’s guest post comes from the spouse of a physician, Rachel Hernandez of Adventures in Mobile Homes. As you might guess, her trailer park adventures come not from living in mobile homes, but as an experienced real estate investor. The focus today is on single-family homes or small multi-family homes. Certainly, that’s one way to earn good income from real estate, but the endeavor requires hands-on […]

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EquityMultiple: An Interview With CEO Charles Clinton

I’ve personally invested in a handful of crowdfunded real estate deals. I wouldn’t want to recommend investments to my readers that I wouldn’t be open to investing in, myself. One of those investments, which happens to be my first and largest to date, was with EquityMultiple. I like that they offer a variety of investment types (equity, debt, mezzanine debt), and as you’ll learn, perform extensive due diligence, passing on 90% of investments floated their way. I’m also a fan of their extensive Introduction to Commercial Real Estate Investing and other articles on their Resources tab. CEO Charles Clinton was […]

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Calculating the Value of Your Backdoor Roth Contributions

I recently published a detailed article questioning the Marginal Value of the Backdoor Roth. I wanted to answer a simple question. “Is it worth doing?” The answer I came up with? Probably, yes. Unless you’ve got significant obstacles, namely a tax-deferred IRA in your name that you can’t easily roll over into an employer’s 401(k) or individual 401(k). Then, it’s not that big of a deal if you don’t. The thing is, in the first year that you do the Backdoor Roth, your tax savings is probably going to be somewhere in the range of $10 to $40. We’re comparing […]

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Seven Money Matters I’m Horrible with and How I Deal with Them

Money Money Money

Today’s post comes from my WCI Network partner Passive Income MD. I think he’s pretty good with money, but he begs to differ. At least in some respects. He makes a great point in that just because we’ve seen success with money, it doesn’t mean we have all the answers or do everything right. I’ve weighed in on five money mistakes I choose to make and I’m sure there are more I have yet to discover. Dr. Peter Kim’s not perfect, either. As I read through this article again, a scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall popped into my head. If you […]

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Vanguard Backdoor Roth 2019: a Step by Step Guide

This year, I made my seventh pair of “Backdoor Roth” contributions with Vanguard. If you’ve heard of the Backdoor Roth, that’s great! You’ve been paying attention. If not, I’ll give you a brief overview, and a number of links to additional articles with more complete descriptions of the history and important caveats. This post has been updated with fresh screenshots from my 2019 contribution and conversion, which were completed on January 3rd and 4th, 2019. I like to contribute early in the year to start the tax-free earnings as soon as possible, but you have until Tax Day in mid-April, 2020 […]

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Top 10 Financial New Year’s Resolutions to Make (and Keep) in 2019

Happy New Year! Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? If you said yes, have you broken your New Year’s Resolutions yet? I usually wait until mid-to-late January to break mine, but I I’d like to give you some achievable New Year’s Resolutions that you can keep. Each of these ten items will help you improve your financial situation, and most of them are something you can do, check off the list, and move on. I’m not asking you to make any drastic changes in habits, like my good-beer-loving friend across the pond who’s giving up beer for a […]

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Tax Loss Harvesting with Fidelity: A Step by Step Guide

When the stock market gives you lemons, make lemonade. In December of 2018, the markets have been delivering lemons by the truckload. We’ve seen a drop of about 7% in one week and most major indices for the US stock market are at or near bear market territory. While I don’t enjoy seeing six-figure sums disappear from my portfolio, I try to do the best I can with what I have. When I have an abundance of lots with losses, I squeeze those lemons with a technique known as Tax Loss Harvesting (TLH). I’ve previously shared a guide to TLH […]

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Is It Better to Invest for Cash Flow or Appreciation?

Cashflow or Appreciation

When investing, it’s important to think about your objective. It’s tough to answer the question “Where should I invest my money” without knowing what you hope to achieve. Today, Passive Income MD reviews two of the most common objectives: investing to receive ongoing cash flow and investing in assets that will increase in value. As a W-2 wage earner in the upper tax brackets, I’ve had a strong preference for the latter. Cash flow increases my tax flow, whereas unrealized capital gains from capital appreciation are not taxed now (and may never be taxed). For the time being, I’m in […]

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The 10 Worst Places To Get Investing Advice

Paris Church

Investing advice is not difficult to come by. It’s everywhere. Sound investment advice? Now, that can be a little more difficult to come by, but it you know where to look (and The White Coat Investor shares some ideas below), it’s out there. The difficult part, particularly for those who are new to investing or have always let someone else manage their money, is differentiating the good from the bad. One criterion you may use is where the advice is coming from. If you’re getting it from any of the following sources, be sure to apply extra scrutiny when analyzing […]

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Debunking the Myths of Dividend Investing

worry free beach

Regular readers know I’m not a big fan of dividend-focused investing. While I like the concept of “mailbox money” and passive income from dividend-producing stocks, I don’t like being forced to accept cash back when I don’t need it and the tax consequences that go along with those dividends. For a more complete explanation of my rationale for investing for total return and my preference for no-dividend stocks, see my previous posts on the topics: Selling Shares Beats Collecting Dividends Why This Index Fund Investor Purchased an Individual Stock   Today, I’d like to share a rebuttal from someone who […]

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7 Behaviors of the Wealthy (and How I Copy Them)

Briefcase Money

While there’s no surefire way to become something you’re not, one effective method is to study the people you want to be like and emulate their every move. If you want to be the next millionaire next door, read the brand new The Next Millionaire Next Door. It’s chock full of data on the behavior and habits of actual millionaires. Passive Income MD likes to differentiate between seemingly similar terms “rich” and “wealthy” much in the way that I see financial independence and financial freedom differently. Read on to learn how Dr. Kim defines what wealth means to him, and […]

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The Basics of Angel Investing

I like investing in index funds. They give me great diversification, market returns, and don’t cost much. It’s a lot easier to buy all the stocks with one click than it is to research individual stocks, decide which to buy, when to buy, and whether or not or when to sell. Some people prefer the latter because they find it fun. Or they want to hit a home run. And I have no problem with that. The only publicly traded individual stock I’ve invested in is Berkshire Hathaway, but I do have a little “play money” that I’ve used to […]

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Is it Time to Take Some Money Off the Table?

Angels Landing Summit

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to lock in your “winnings,” particularly at the end of a long bull market? You know, take some money off the table? The problem is… what do you do with the money then? Hold cash? Invest in fixed income? For how long? When do you put it back on the table? If you’ve done well with a particularly risky investment, it might make sense to take the money and run. Think Bitcoin in December of 2017 when it was worth nearly $20,000 a coin as opposed to less than $4,500 today. On the […]

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WCI’s Fire Your Financial Advisor Course in Action: A Couple Creates Their Financial Plan

Earlier in 2018, the White Coat Investor debuted his first online course, the provocatively titled Fire Your Financial Advisor. The course may not have won him many friends in the financial services industry, but it has given him hundreds of happy course graduates who now feel empowered to create their own comprehensive financial plan and manage their own investments. I considered completing the course myself and writing a review of my own, but I know I’m not the target audience. I’ve never had a financial advisor to fire and I’ve been managing my own investments for years. I did, however, watch […]

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Should You Track Your Net Worth?

Well, should you? I first calculated our household net worth a few years after residency. Although much of our net worth was in our home at the time (which in 2009 was worth a lot less than we had into it), and the investments we made starting in 2006 had tanked, we were still in the black with a low six-figure number. I remember a few years later when we joined the “two comma club,” and could officially call ourselves millionaires. The next major milestone occurred a few years ago when I realized that our net worth included retirement savings […]

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Ether to FI: Don’t Call it Retirement (and a Net Worth Update)

ETF Hiking Views

What will you be up to in sixteen years? I don’t pretend to know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, but our friend Ether to FI, who is in his second year now as an attending anesthesiologist, has some more concrete ideas. If you recall, he started writing for us a year ago and stated his goal of achieving a net worth of $3.3 Million in ten years, or enough to live on $100,000 a year with a low safe withdrawal rate of about 3%. He’s made tremendous progress in his first full year as a physician anesthesiologist […]

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2018 Q3 PoF Portfolio, Spending, and Blog Performance Update

With another quarter in the books, it’s time for a quarterly update on my investment portfolio, family spending, and blog stats. It’s the 11th quarter since I started this website, and I’m within 11 months of wrapping up what I believe will be my last “permanent” position in anesthesia. It was also the last quarter of part-time work before returning to full-time anesthesia for the rest of the year. With one of my colleagues departing for a military obligation, I agreed to step up my hours. After learning that he won’t be returning to us, we’re looking at bringing in […]

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