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Financial Advisor Credentials: CPA, CFP, or CFA?

There are countless financial, investment, and tax related credentials out there, such as the CPA, CFP, and CFA.  Many a financial advisor has a string of letters after his or her name saying he or she is certified in ABC or a specialist in XYZ.  For the average person, it can be extremely confusing to [...]

Intestacy 101: Intestate Succession Essentials

People who die without a legally valid will are said to have died intestate.  Such persons have no control over who receives their probate assets when they pass away.  Instead, intestate succession laws, also known as state intestacy laws, determine who will inherit their assets. When you die, your non-probate assets will pass to their [...]

Auto Refinancing 101: Auto Refinance Basics

I’ve never been enamored with auto loans since they don’t receive any favorable tax treatment and the underlying asset tends to depreciate, rather than appreciate over time.  I prefer to save up for an auto purchase rather than finance it.  However, if you already have an auto loan, you may be able to lower the [...]

What is Probate? The Probate Definition & More

During my career, I’ve met several people who have said something similar to the following to me: “I’ve heard that I need to do some planning to avoid probate; however, what is probate exactly?  Can you please just give me a good probate definition?" Probate is a fancy term for a legal procedure that may [...]

Student Loan Debt: Federal Loan or Private Loan?

This is the fourth of a four part article series on student loan debt.  This article covers the basics of deciding between a federal loan and a private loan.  Other articles cover an introduction to student loans, private student loans, and federal student loans. I recently read that student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion [...]

How Travel Insurance Saved Me $10,000 & My Honeymoon

The first and only time I have ever booked an all-inclusive vacation package was for my honeymoon.  I enjoy speaking Spanish and visiting ruins and my wife (fiancée at the time) loves the beach, so I thought an all inclusive trip to Cancun would be perfect.  It was by far the most amount of money [...]

Auto Loans 101: Auto Financing Essentials

I’m not a huge fan of auto loans.  I prefer to finance assets that are likely to appreciate over time and/or that receive beneficial tax treatment (i.e. a home, education, etc).  Auto financing doesn't normally tick either of these boxes. Vehicles tend to depreciate the second you drive them off the lot, and the interest [...]

What is a Ponzi Scheme?

I worked a lot of low paying on-campus jobs when I was in college in order to support myself, pay my tuition, and graduate from college debt free.  Few people would envy most of the jobs I worked.  However, during my last two years in college, I worked a job that I absolutely loved: I [...]

What is a Trust & How Does a Trust Work?

We all hear about trusts from time to time, but what is a trust and how does a trust work?  Are they only for the wealthy, or can they also be appropriate for people of more moderate means? A trust is basically an agreement whereby a person transfers property to another person or company that [...]

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