Personal Finance

Personal finance is extremely important, yet difficult to understand for individuals outside of the finance industry. I believe that personal finance done right has one of the most significant impacts on individuals. This project is an on-going resource to help individuals to understand and take charge of their financial lives.

Financial Advising, Consulting
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Given my finance background, I've had many non-finance friends ask for help setting up their 401Ks, getting started with investing, and general personal financial questions. I created a Powerpoint presentation to structure my thoughts and to have a sharable, basic guide for getting started. Everyone's financial situation is different, so please take all information with a grain of salt. The slides are best accompanied by a verbal dialogue (which I'm happy to have with anyone).

While I enjoy a Powerpoint presentation format to communicate information, a summary of my general tips can be summarized as:

  • Know where you stand: As simple as it sounds, first accurately understand your current finances. Tools like Mint or Personal¬†Capital allow users to link existing financial accounts via API. Once accounts are aggregated, it's easier to see the holistic picture.
  • Plan to invest: Pay off high-interest debt, build an emergency fund of 3-6 months worth of expenses, and understand your employer's retirement option (especially matching contributions).
  • Understand a few key concepts: I focus on the impact of compounding, fees on returns, and the power of index funds. Above all else, good investing for the average person should be boring (~5-7 low-cost index funds, 7-8% return per year)
  • Get started: I find that having skin in the game is the best way to learn. Open a brokerage account (i.e., Robinhood) and allocate funds to learning (i.e., $200). Trade, learn, and iterate your strategy.

There are many tools and products available for every stage and sophistication of individual. Finding the right tools and understanding a few basic concepts can have a long term impact. The complete presentation can be found at the 'Visit Website' button below.