Financial Education Resources

Recent ACP Member Blogs

  • Part 2 of Do You Want To Retire Early? F.I.R.E. is an acronym. It stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. There's a growing movement of people who are practicing FIRE principles and retiring decades earlier than expected as a result. Smart, often middle-income earners are using a simple formula of high savings rates (50-70% of their incomes) + frugal living (minimalism) + low-cost stock index fund investing (Warren Buffett’s standard investment advice) in order to reach financial independence within short, usually around 10-year periods of time. For obvious reasons, FIRE is sometimes referred to as “the ultimate life hack.” This large and growing community has an ever-increasing cadre of 100+ high-traffic bloggers, most of whom chronicle their FIRE journeys and publish details of their methods, and report their actual personal financial information along the way. It’s a fascinating voyeuristic genre with an alluring punchline: retire early and pursue your true passions! There is more and more journalistic coverage of FIRE. Just search Google News for “early retirement” or “early financial independence” and you’ll find almost daily coverage of this fascinating phenomenon. Joining us for our discussion on Do You Want To Retire Early? is who is calling in from his Seattle Washington WA office . Paul Merriman is a nationally recognized authority on mutual funds, index investing, asset allocation and both buy-and-hold and active management strategies. Now retired from Merriman, the Seattle-based investment advisory firm he founded in 1983, he is dedicated to educating investors, young and old, through weekly articles at Marketwatch.com, and via complimentary eBooks, podcasts, articles, recommendations for mutual funds, ETFs, 401(k) plans and more, at Paulmerriman.com . He has 3 Complimentary Ebooks “First Time Investor: Grow And Protect Your Money,” “101 Investment Decision Guaranteed To Change Your Financial Future,” And “Get Smart Or Get Screwed: How To Select The Best And Get The Most From Your Financial Advisor.” WELCOME BACK TO MASTERING YOUR MONEY, PAUL MERRIMAN
  • One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to estate planning, is simply beginning. If you have done that, congratulations—many people avoid that first step. Once you have a will at the very least, they are other little glitches that may occur and we want you to be aware so that your diligence in planning [] ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Should You Give Your Heirs Copies of Your Will? is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™
  • It’s not the best of times, nor the worst. But the latest data is a tale of two of U.S. economies. From a record-high level in September 2018 of 61.3%, manufacturing activity has plunged, and the latest monthly data shows it slipped further in July. This data series is designed to signal a recession when it falls to less than 50%. At 51.2%, the manufacturing economy inched closer to indicating a recession could be on the horizon. Meanwhile, the survey of purchasing managers at non-manufacturing companies, those in the service economy, declined to 53.7% in July. It has also plunged from a record level in September, but it’s still well within its normal range. It’s much more important and it’s indicating growth is ahead.The “Service Economy” is not growing like it did during the tax-cut fueled peak of September 2018, but it’s doing okay. Continued growth is confirmed by the survey of 60 economists conducted in early August by The Wall Street Journal. The consensus forecast of 60 economic professionals for the next five quarters is for an average quarterly growth rate of 1.8%. That may seem paltry compared to the 3.1% growth rate in the first quarter, but it aligns with the long-term growth rate expected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. With the service economy expected to grow slowly through 2020, the manufacturing sector is more vulnerable to higher tariffs on U.S. exports to China. The tale of two economies is an epoch and the drama affecting manufacturing draws headlines but is not so important to the epoch story of America’s economic growth.
  • Introduction The news media is constantly reminding you of terrible events occurring locally and around the world each day that you cannot control. In addition, financial gurus are everywhere predicting the direction of the economy and the markets. Listening and watching all of this fills your head with negative thoughts and as a result, you [Continue]