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Explore the archives

FI Weekly – June 7, 2022: Buy Nothing Project, Stock Splits Explained, Community Wins

Buy Nothing Project My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby and one of the most interesting parts of watching them prepare for the arrival is how much success they’ve had using their local Buy Nothing Project group. They’ve essentially sourced everything they’ll need for the baby through the Buy Nothing group for their local community. And I mention that community because that’s what I’ve been most impressed by; there are true community ethos as each group represents a precise location, and it’s amazing how community members look out for each other (they’ve made friends in the group who message

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FI Weekly – May 31, 2022: Optionality, 10 Google Maps Tips, Hamster Wheel Defined

Optionality My family went to Busch Gardens, an amusement park here in Virginia, this past weekend and buying tickets was interesting because there were so many options for memberships and season-long passes. We found that the season-long pass was only $10 more expensive per person than a one-day pass, so this seemed to be a clear winner since it provided options for a tiny price premium. If we loved the park (which we did!), then we could go back as many times as we want this summer essentially for free. I’m a big fan of paying small, nearly insignificant premiums

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FI Weekly – May 24, 2022: Twenty Investing Lessons, More Language Learning

Twenty Investing Lessons Learned Michael Batnick, co-host of ‘Animal Spirits,’ one of my favorite investing podcasts, released an article I enjoyed called ‘Twenty Lessons Learned’ in response to the recent downturn in the stock market.  Here are some of my favorites, but I suggest you click to the article and read all 20: Survival is the most important thing. Your portfolio must be able to weather euphoria, panic, and malaise. Nothing is risk-free. The S&P 500 is down 16% year-to-date. Intermediate-term “risk-free” government bonds are down 20%. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Past behavior is. You didn’t know

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FI Weekly – May 17, 2022: Tax Loss Harvesting, Simple StartUp, How to Learn a Language

Tax Loss Harvesting Andrew wrote in, “Hey Brad – I love the newsletter! My 1% this week was doing some tax-loss harvesting with the market being down. I hadn’t ever done it before, so I read up on it a bunch and traded my VTI losses of $2.6K and then bought VOO. At my 20% effective tax rate, that saves me about $500 at tax time. After a painful tax year, I am happy to find $500 in tax savings!” I can’t give financial or tax advice here in the newsletter, but tax loss harvesting is something I’m considering with

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FI Weekly – May 10, 2022: Cap Gains Tax on Homes, Advice I Wish I Had Known and Taking Action

Capital Gains Tax on Primary Residence Many of us have seen our homes increase in value significantly over the past few years, which for homeowners is obviously a great thing. I have a friend who is selling their home and they asked me how this appreciation would be taxed, and I realized this would be perfect for the FI Weekly: As always, this is not tax advice as I can’t give you specific info for your life, but in general the US government gives us significant tax advantages for appreciated primary residences. First, the gain is taxed as a “capital

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FI Weekly – May 3, 2022: Quotes from Berkshire Meeting, I Bonds and Taking Action

Berkshire Annual Meeting: Best Quotes The Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting  was held this past weekend in Omaha, and Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger were both in top form dishing out wisdom on life, the economy and everything in between. Here are a few of my favorites (quotes from Business Insider): “Take away the management fees and I’d bet on the monkeys.” (Buffett suggested that most financial advisors are no better at investing than a bunch of monkeys picking stocks by throwing darts at a dartboard.) “We’ve got people who know nothing about stocks being advised by stockbrokers who know even

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FI Weekly – April 26, 2022: On the Right Path?, Children & Money, Community Wins

Are You on the Right Path? Codie Sanchez from Contrarian Thinking is someone I enjoy following via her newsletter and numerous podcast guest appearances.  She generally talks about building and especially buying “boring” cash flowing businesses that I think would greatly appeal to the FI Community. I’m highlighting her here for a Twitter thread she recently posted on checking in weekly to determine if she’s on the right path in life, as I think it can be useful for you. From Codie: “Every Sunday I have a little ritual where I check in to make sure I’m on the right path. I use a framework

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FI Weekly – April 19, 2022: Travel Rewards, FI Resources, Teach Me Something

Travel Rewards Updates Our team worked hard to update and streamline the free travel rewards course on the ChooseFI website and now it’s available as a series of 6 blog posts (instead of a 20-part email series) you can digest quickly and easily to get started maximizing travel rewards.  Get started with Part 1 now and there’s a link at the bottom where you can navigate to Part 2 and beyond… Two FI Resources Our good friend Cody Garrett, an advice-only financial advisor at Measure Twice Financial, continues to add tons of value to the ChooseFI Facebook group.  Here are two posts that I

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FI Weekly – April 12, 2022: Finances on Autopilot, Favorite Financial Reads, Taking Action

Put Your Finances on Autopilot The entire reason this newsletter exists is to compel you to take action to make your life better. Today my ask of you is this: Find at least one thing in your financial life that you do on a recurring basis where if you invest a few minutes today you could put it on autopilot for the rest of time. I call this “frontloading the sacrifice” though that’s overplaying the difficultly level calling it a ‘sacrifice,’ but hopefully you get the picture: What can you spend a few minutes on today to eliminate that decision or time

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FI Weekly – April 5, 2022: Brian Feroldi Book Release, Rising Interest Rates, Stoic Lessons

Brian Feroldi’s Book Releases Today We’ve been excited for months about the preorder for Brian Feroldi’s book, “Why Does The Stock Market Go Up?: Everything You Should Have Been Taught About Investing In School, But Weren’t.” Well, good news is, as of today, this is a preorder no more because today is the official release of the book and it’s available everywhere books are sold! Simply put, this book is incredible. I think it vaults instantly into the top tier of essential personal finance books, and is a must-read for anyone who wants to, among other things, understand the stock market,

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FI Weekly – March 29, 2022: What is a Stock?, Cash Back Credit Cards, AA Miles Expiration

What is a Share of Stock? Brian Feroldi’s book, “Why Does the Stock Market Go Up?” releases next week and while recording our episode with him, I brought up a sentiment I’ve heard distressingly often in the FI Community: “I just don’t believe in investing in the stock market. It all seems like gambling.” My response is usually something like this: Owning a share of stock means you are a part owner of that company. A company like Ford broke ownership of their company into 4 billion little pieces, each piece represented as one share of their stock. If you

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FI Weekly – March 22, 2022: Community Tips, NFT Beginner’s Guide podcasts

Community Feedback and Tips 1) Paul wrote in and I wanted to share since the quotes he posts daily to Instagram are really profound. I’ve bookmarked his account and I suggest you do as well: “Brad, Love reading these emails. It’s a gentle reminder to keep motivated. The luck surface area note (from last week’s FI Weekly newsletter) is great. I haven’t heard that term before. But the sentiment is true. You have to be ready. A way to keep myself personally on track, I’ve been posting a quote every day on an Instagram account I created. I post myself every morning. Helps keep

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