I wrote a book, summarizing everything on this site. It takes about an hour to read but the lessons will impact you for a lifetime. Learn how to achieve financial independence while you serve in the US military. Become an Intelligent Military Investor.
UPDATE 19 DEC 12: How to Smartly Use the USAA Career Starter Loan guest post is up over at The Military Guide. Go check it out!
Doug Nordman over at The Military Guide has been an awesome mentor to me, answering lots of my questions about writing online, writing for a military audience, and many other military personal finance questions.
I recently approached him about writing a guest post for his Military Guide blog and he accepted! It’s going up on Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012. Head over there to check it out!
Doug has a huge archive of information on his site related to military financial independence, retirement, pay and benefits, and many of the other topics I write about here. Here’s my five favorite posts from the-military-guide.com:
- Suze Orman’s Debit Card Does Not Support the Troops
- Where to Put Your Savings While You’re in the Military
- Military Retirement Spending: How Much Will I Need?
- Myths of Military Retirement and Early Retirement
- But… but… but what do you DO all day?
You can also see all Military guide posts.
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 $150 per $100,000 invested (0.15% 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.