Paying for Healthcare

It’s no secret that healthcare costs are rising faster than wages. Employers have shifted more of the burden of health care premiums to employees. Deductibles are higher, and coinsurance rates are lower. We are paying more for less coverage. This trend is not likely to reverse anytime soon. There is a tax-advantaged method of savings…

Remembering the Financial Crisis

There are very few moments in life that you remember exactly where you were when it happened. For my parents, this was the assassination of JFK and the moon landing. For me, it is September 11 and the Great Financial Crisis. As the headlines start to roll in on the 10th anniversary of the collapse…

Life Insurance is Not for Saving

Stop buying life insurance as a savings strategy. Stop buying it as a tax-deferral vehicle for retirement savings. Stop spending thousands of dollars a month on life insurance premiums, at least until you read the rest of this post. Life insurance is not a retirement savings strategy. Why do we buy life insurance? A person…

The First Month

Today, The Belle Curve is officially one month old. Nine posts and 18,000 views later, I attest that blogging has surpassed my wildest aspirations. Readers have offered praise, critiques, and pointed out my grammatical mistakes. Thank you, by the way. I am sure I will continue to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them along…

Purposeful Spending

I just finished Brian Portnoy’s book, The Geometry of Wealth. In it he describes wealth as funded contentment rather than the constant pursuit of more. This has me thinking about spending habits. Does your spending make you happy? When we achieve financial success, it’s easy to find new things on which to spend our money….

Practice and all is coming

Practice and all is coming… This is a phrase often spoken by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the teacher whose yoga lineage I follow. His rigorous physical practice, called Mysore style ashtanga yoga, became popular in the U.S. in the late 1990s and has grown to a worldwide community of thousands of teachers and students. Guruji,…

Banana Boat

I did something really stupid this summer. I brought a banana on the fishing boat. You’re probably doing one of two things right now; 1. Rolling your eyes at my stupidity or 2. Asking what’s the deal with bananas on the boat? It turns out, bringing a banana on the boat is one of the…

What Do You Do?

Here’s a typical conversation at a cocktail party.   Ben: Hi I’m Ben, what’s your name? Craig: Hi, I’m Craig. Ben, what do you do?   What do you do? This is often the first question we ask someone (in America) when meeting for the first time. We want to know what they do for…

High Cost Education

In my final semester at the University of Georgia I paid $7,000 in tuition as an out-of-state student. Today, UGA tuition is $30,404 per year, an increase of 5.3% annually. The estimated total cost for an out-of-state student to attend the university is $45,762 per year. At this rate, it will cost $110,500 to send…

Sales or Advice?

With the DOL fiduciary rule now defunct and the SEC considering a ‘best interests’ standard for brokers, the blurring of the lines between sales and advice in financial services has worsened. There was a time that investors knew the function of a broker-dealer was solely to facilitate transactions of financial products.  The broker was a…