After the TSP, I invest my money in Betterment and Vanguard. I track all of my investments with Personal Capital. I also wrote a short, 2 hour book summarizing this site. You can buy it here.
Andy recently reached out to me on Facebook and expressed a desire to help contribute to the mission here at the Military Money Manual. I’ve run this site as a solo operation for the past 16 months. It’s been fun but I haven’t been able to produce as much content and write as much as I’d like due to being so busy with my day job.
I think some fresh perspective and new insight into managing your personal finances while serving in the military is always a good thing. Andy has some good experience with VA loans, the GI Bill, and other military financial topics I haven’t yet addressed on this site.
He also comes from the Navy, which brings a whole new branch onto the MMM site. He’s been around the world in some pretty interesting places.
Here’s Andy’s bio as a way of introduction. Welcome aboard! -Spencer
Hi, my name is Andy Sheep, and I’m an LT in the US Navy. I’m a doctor, currently doing an outservice residency in Emergency Medicine at UPenn in Philadelphia.
I joined the Navy during medical school at Temple Med School, also in Philly, going through the HPSP program. I did an internship at the National Naval Medical Center (currently Walter Reed) in Bethesda, then did 6 months of training in Undersea Medical Officer (UMO) Candidate school at Groton, CT and Panama City, FL. I did two UMO utilization tours, two years in Bahrain, two in Guam, before coming back to Killadelphia…sorry, Philadelphia 🙂
Planning to start my own website, I saw that Spencer had already created one very similar to what I had envisioned; I asked him if I could join him instead of start from scratch, and he was cool with that.
I joined this website because I’ve seen a lot of lives, especially amongst sailors in my commands, get ruined because of poor financial education and choices, and I wanted to help to remedy that.
I firmly believe that every military member can live comfortably and well on a military salary, if they make the right choices. Spencer and I have lots of experience and tricks to help you get there.
2 Websites I Use to Achieve Financial Independence
The best way I know to achieve financial independence is to keep your investments simple, diversified, automatic, and low-cost. Costs eat into your returns like you wouldn't believe! A 1% difference in expense ratios can mean $100,000s lost to fees over a lifetime of investing.
Even if you're a DIY (do-it-yourself) investor like I am, you need to check out Betterment. You can read my full review here, but the bottom line is for only $250 per $100,000 invested (0.25% expense ratio) you get simple, diversified, and automated investing. In addition every account now gets free Tax Loss Harvesting+ features, which should increase returns for the average investor more than the minuscule management fee.
If you're not a DIY investor or are just getting started with investing, then you definitely need to check out Betterment. It's what I recommend to my family and friends who aren't strong investors or don't care to learn about asset allocations, diversification, or rebalancing.
I have investment accounts all over the place. To keep track of all of them in one place I use Personal Capital. It combines all of my accounts, shows me where I may be overpaying in fees, and provides beautiful charts showing my overall asset allocation and performance.
I use Personal Capital to track my Roth and Traditional TSP, Vanguard IRAs, banking accounts, SDP, and my Betterment taxable account, all in one place. It's free, secure and presents me with a one-stop dashboard so I can see all my money on one site.
Read my full review of Personal Capital and see how easy it can be to manage your investments in one place. Trust me, once you try it, you'll love it.
P.S. - If you have over $100,000 of assets and a 401k, you really need to run the Personal Capital 401k Fee Analyzer.