Wolves of Wall Street
Investing
4

Excessive Investment Fees: Is Your Portfolio Being Feasted Upon?

One of the most entertaining scenes in the movie ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is when Mark Hanna (played by Matthew McConaughey) explains to new recruit Jordan Belford (Leonardo DiCaprio) how stockbroking business works over lunch of martini and cocaine. “F*** the clients. Your only responsibility is to put meat on …

Why Married Couples Who Combine Finances Get Richer
Relationships

This Is What It’s Like to Get Hitched On The Cheap

I was listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast episode on my way to work when a caller asked: what’s a reasonable wedding budget for a couple on Baby Step 2? That’s Ramsey-speak for someone still trying to pay off debt besides the mortgage. And, one of the co-hosts, George Kamel, …

Money Taboo Social Media
Investing
4

Why I’m Saving More in a Taxable Brokerage Account, Maybe You Should Too

Ever since I paid off our mortgage, I’ve been buying a mortgage worth of stocks in my taxable brokerage account. Now that I’m inclined to retire early, I plan to stash even more into this third bucket I proudly refer to as my “war chest.” Sure, every budding early retiree …

Dave Ramsey is Right: Payoff Your Stupid Debt Instead of Chasing that 401(k) Match
Financial Planning

Dave Ramsey is Right. Pay Off that Stupid Debt Before Chasing that 401(k) Match

When it comes to paying off debt, there’s only one name that comes to mind: Dave Ramsey. For decades, he has taught millions of people through his podcast and radio show, a process for getting out of debt and building wealth, which he calls the “Baby Steps.” He has helped …

FIRE Calculator
Financial Planning

Introducing… MB50 Financial Independence Calculator

How can you tell if you’re Financially Independent? There are a lot of misconceptions about this subject. Your 21-year-old who left the house for good is nowhere near F.I.— He simply transferred his dependence from you to his employer. Being a multi-millionaire won’t necessarily make you financially independent either. Financially …

What is your retirement number?
Retirement

End of the Year Question: What is Your Retirement Number?

If I were to pay you to quit your job, how much would it be? Is it $1 million, $3 million, or nowhere near these numbers? Many think you can no longer retire with $1 million because of inflation. This may or may not be true depending on your spending …

Investing

Why You Absolutely Don’t Want to Miss the Best Days

The past 90 days were particularly exciting if you’re a stock market investor. It reminds me of the Hershey Park roller coaster I was compelled to ride to accompany my 10-year-old nephew. It was a terrifying experience, but not for my nephew, who was having a blast the entire time, …

Visit the dying or attend the funeral
Relationships

Is it Better to Visit a Dying Loved One or Just Attend the Funeral?

As I write this, I’m at Hamad airport in Qatar awaiting my flight to Manila for the third time this year. The last one was less than a month ago primarily to see my dying father alive for the last time. Then he actually died, which prompted me at the …

Why I bought my wife a Toyota
Spending

Why I Bought My Wife a Hybrid Toyota Corolla and Not an Overhyped Tesla

For many years, my wife had been driving a 2008 Honda Pilot. We bought the SUV in 2009 as a people hauler, back when my in-laws and eldest son were living with us. We also needed a dependable car to drive all seven of us to church on Sundays. Now …

This sheet tells you when to get out of the shit hole
Retirement
2

This Sheet Tells You When to Get Out of the Shithole

One of my favorite movies of all-time is American Beauty. The 1999 award-winning film stars Kevin Spacey who played Lester Burnham, a 40-something guy who hated his job and was on the brink of a mid-life crisis. The inflection point was when he saw his daughter’s gorgeous 16-year-old cheerleader friend, Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari), perform during a half-time dance routine at a high school basketball game.
Lester becomes so infatuated with Angela that he began having sexual fantasies with her. He becomes obsessed with youth that he started to live his life like he just graduated from high school. And when he was told that he was about to get laid off, he instead blackmailed his boss for $60,000. He then quits work anyway choosing to work as a crew in a fast-food chain instead– the position with, in his own words, the least amount of responsibility.
But what really caught my attention is the scene where Lester Burnham wonders in his cubicle while seeing a reflection of his image on the monitor, which resembles a guy trapped in a jail cell. With the numbers on the spreadsheet forming the jail bars in his mind, it’s pretty obvious that he felt imprisoned by his job and wanted an escape. A feeling that many people can sympathize.