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 called The Intelligent Military Investor summarizing this site. You can buy it here.
I get dozens of emails a week from readers of this site. I try to respond to all of them as fast as possible, but my time is limited. If you have a question or a specific topic that you would like to discuss with me via email, Skype, or phone, and would like my undivided attention, I am offering military personal finance consulting on a limited basis.
I am not a registered investment advisor and therefore cannot provide financial advice related to securities. If you would like to talk to a fee-only Certified Financial Planner, check out Rob Aeschbach.
Some suggested topics for discussion:
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP): maximizing contributions, the various funds available, Lifecycle funds, G Fund
- Early retirement and financial independence
- Combat Zone Tax Exclusion
- Buying vs. renting a home while on active duty
- The new military Blended Retirement System (BRS)
- Breaking through obstacles to financial success and starting to get ahead
- Increase your savings rate
- Debt freedom plans
- Maximizing credit card points for free travel, airline tickets, and hotels
- Bounce ideas off of someone on the path to financial independence
When you contact me, please provide as much detail as you feel comfortable with and I will let you know if I think I can be helpful. If at any time you aren’t satisfied with the consultation, I offer a 100% refund policy.
What can you offer that’s different?
Unlike most consultants, I’m still active duty. I go TDY, I deploy, I try to max out my TSP contributions every year, I file and approve DTS vouchers every month. I know the struggle because I do it too.
Since graduating university in 2010, my wife and I have increased our net worth by $350,000 by Aug 2016. We’ve paid off all of our debt and maxed out our retirement accounts by August. We save over 50% of my income and 90% of my wife’s. We should be millionaires by the time we’re 40. If this is something you want to achieve, let’s talk.
I don’t have any secret money making strategies, but I do have some knowledge, experience, and I’m living the life of the future financially independent servicemember now. Nearly everything I’ve learned has been from reading free books from the library or doing online research. I share everything I know for free on this site. You could do the 2000 hours of research and reading too, or you could tap my knowledge and experience in a concise consulting session.
Getting the most out of a consultation
A consultation with data yields the most productive conversations. Please sign up for Personal Capital, Mint.com, or have data ready to share.
Why do I charge a fee?
My time is limited and valuable. Between family, work, deployments, TDYs, and this blog, I don’t have much time for myself. There are a lot of demands on my time and a fixed supply. Classical economic theory says there should therefore be a high price on my time.
Please note that the US military does offer free financial counseling by accredited financial counselors through Military OneSource. They will meet with you in person or conduct the counseling over the phone. If you would like to schedule a meeting with them, see the website or call 800-342-9647.
- Basic Conversation: 1 hour – $125
- In Depth Consultation: 2 hours – $200 (save 20%)
Most clients select the in depth consultation. It can be 2 solid hours or we can spread it over two sessions.
If you are interested in a consultation, please fill out the form below. I will contact you with payment details and once payment is received we can agree upon a time to meet via Skype video, audio-only Skype, or telephone.
2 Websites I Use to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
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.