My Apple Mistake

The stock market can be highly lucrative for some while very detrimental to others. In some ways it could be compared to playing a casino slot machine. It is not quite the same as gambling in Vegas but there are some properties of the stock market that are comparable. Investing in single stocks is perhaps the riskiest way of playing the stock market. We could argue that there are individuals who consistently make profits through stock investment. Warren Buffett comes […]

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A Wealthy Person is Made $20 At A Time

Budgeting In my opinion a budget is the most important part of a financial plan. An old school approach is pen and paper. Modern methods include an excel spreadsheet, software, or online platform. I prefer an annual budget on a spreadsheet and monthly budget on EveryDollar. Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB are viable options too. The linked spreadsheet above is not all encompassing but provides a frame work to begin. Categories include income, charity, savings, housing, transportation, food, lifestyle, and insurance. […]

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You Are Not Entitled to a Retirement

As a worker in the medical field, I see a lot of older individuals. The one thing that always tears at my heart is when I see an 80 year old lady forced to work. She is stuck at a minimum wage job at a fast food restaurant because frankly she lacks the skills to do much else. You can tell she wishes she didn’t have to work but the bills are not going to pay themselves. The troubling part […]

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Estate Planning – The Left Tackle of Financial Planning

One of my college friends, Topher, is an estate attorney in Duluth, MN. I asked Topher if he would write an article about his services. My request included the definition of a will and to tailor it to professionals with a young family. Creating a will is often neglected by young people. After all, dying in your 20s, 30s, and 40s is impossible right? Unfortunately, failure to plan coupled with an untimely death can result in remaining family fighting for […]

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The $96 Financial Plan: An Interview with Mark Zoril of PlanVision

It can be daunting to prepare a financial plan. The thought of writing down goals and planning for a future retirement can cause a person to go catatonic. How do you plan and stash away money for a future that seems so far away? This is exactly the type of thought process and fear that the financial industry thrives on. It is better for the financial “experts” if you believe financial planning to entail great levels of complexity. After all, […]

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Two Behaviors for Successful Investing

A month ago, a friend and I met at a coffee shop to catch-up. Our schedules make these opportunities infrequent. Each of us need a few times per year to discuss sports, politics, and family life. After covering the bases, our conversation transitioned to personal finance. He knows my interest in it and wanted an unbiased opinion. Ashamed by a prior decision, he detailed his market exit prior to the 2016 presidential election. “I think I made a huge mistake […]

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Should Bonds Be Part of Your Portfolio?

I personally have owned bonds since I was less than a year old. My Godparents gave me a $50 savings bond as a baptism gift. So, yes, I have been extremely well off since early in life. Try not to get too envious. Later in life as I cashed it in, for some reason I expected more than $115 for my 30 years of interest accrual. My aspirations of living off my fortune may have shattered; however, when I did […]

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New Home Photo

Thinking About Buying New Construction? This Article Could Change Your Mind.

Home ownership is one component of personal finance and a past topic on Get In The Green. In past articles we have discussed the mechanics of a mortgage, favorable terms, and recommendations to avoid being house poor. Today’s post is not related to the aforementioned. Rather, it ties into the emotions of buying new construction and provides real life examples of some myths. A little over two years ago we purchased a new home built by a large publicly traded […]

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What’s the Deal with Economic Bubbles?

There has been noise in the financial sector about a possible upcoming bubble.  We should begin preparations.  A bubble you say?  That doesn’t sound so bad.  Hold on a second, what’s a bubble? If you are like most people, you have a deep rooted desire to understand economic bubbles.  I am sure your heart is racing at the very thought that you are finally going to unlock the mystery.  Within a few weeks of reading this, don’t be surprised if […]

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Want to Build Your Net Worth? A Two Concept Approach

Last week I was reading a social media post where the author wanted to learn how to increase their net worth. This 20 something wanted recommendations of what do now and in the future to ensure a comfortable retirement. The general consensus was purchasing assets which would rise over time. I noticed one of the things overlooked in the replies was which assets to buy now that would only appreciate. First, we do not know which asset classes, businesses, metals, […]

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Minimalism: Happiness Through Having Less

What is important in life? Maybe it is family, friends or a fulfilling career. Perhaps the material things are what measure life’s overall success. Humans consistently want more and we instinctively seek more. It is in our DNA. That is probably why more than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. I recently stumbled upon a blog regarding the merits of minimalism. Lo and behold, I subsequently found a Netflix movie detailing the same subject. The movie was entitled “Minimalism: […]

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Three Lessons Learned on the Red Clay of Kay County

Many moons ago, my grandpa and I would go fishing in our downtime. We were fishing when I was not mowing his yard, cleaning gutters, helping move an antique dresser, eating breakfast at McDonald’s with him and buddies, or cleaning out one of his buildings. Growing up, we spent a lot of time together. In August of 1999 I moved from Oklahoma to Minnesota. It’s a decision I am thankful for but losing the proximity to family and friends did […]

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What is Wrong with Renting?

In today’s society, house buying is often considered an essential part of everyone’s life plan.  Most “kids” come out of school with the engrained thought of “got to buy a house, got to buy a house, got to buy a house”.  I know I was exactly the same way when I graduated from college and I am sure many others live with this mentality as well.  I don’t know about you but the whole societal expectation stressed me out.  Not […]

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Financial Coaching at Get In The Green

Over the past few weeks I have received many questions from family and friends about starting a financial coaching service. Just to clarify, I’m not quitting my job or changing career. I love being a physical therapist and feel gratitude to the team and patients I work with every day. Late last year leadership at Berean Baptist Church asked if I would attend financial coach master training (FCMT) through Ramsey Solutions in Brentwood, Tennessee. I accepted because Dave Ramsey’s principles […]

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The REIT Solution

Have you been looking for another asset to help you diversify your portfolio? Perhaps you would like the thrill of real estate investing without forking over wheelbarrows full of cash to participate. Well, perhaps the real estate investment trust or “REIT” may be right for you. Many people have heard of it but what is it? How does it work? What are the benefits? Let’s dive in and find out.

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The Value Of An Accountability Partner

This week we will discuss the importance of accountability, more importantly an accountability partner. Due to the longevity it takes to pay debt and accumulate wealth it is easy to fall off the wagon. Frustration, loss of passion, and discouragement are common feelings along the way. There is no better way to stay on track than to find someone who will challenge your thinking and speak words of wisdom when at a cross roads.

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Investment Growth: The Rule of 72

What is the “Rule of 72”? When investing, the magical power of compounding returns is what makes the journey all worth it. It is what allows a buy and hold strategy to materialize into fantastic yields at the end of the road. The definition of compound returns as described by Benjamin Franklin is “money makes money. And the money that money makes, makes money”. Based on how many times the word “money” is used in Franklin’s definition, it is clear […]

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Owning A Home 101, How To Avoid Being House Poor

There is something special about home ownership. A comfortable place to return after a weekend excursion or long day at work is a reason to be thankful. My wife and I have lived in a few homes since tying the knot. We started off renting Section 8 housing having little idea what the tax benefits of owning a home were, what a mortgage was, and what obligations came with home ownership.

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WTF is an ETF?

The ETF, or exchange traded security, is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around since the early 1990s. Due to its similarities to its older sibling, the mutual fund, investor confusion is common. No reason to be confused, it will all make sense soon. Like a mutual fund, ETFs invest in collections of stocks, bonds and other securities. But, the ETF is inherently different than a mutual fund because it trades on a stock market exchange. Think […]

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investor policy statement

Investor Policy Statement, The Road Map for Success

Have you ever been traveling to an unfamiliar destination and going at it by memory? Past memory or second hand report of how to arrive at said location can be deceiving. Investing can be very similar; we allocate a specific percentage or amount of income into an account such as 401k or Roth IRA but we do not know what we are investing in, why we are investing in it, or we (the investor) do not possess enough understanding of […]

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Is An IRA Right For You?

The IRA has been part of US law since the 1970s. No, I am not talking about the “International Reading Association” or the “Indiana Rifle Association”. I am talking about an “Individual Retirement Arrangement”. Let’s try not to dwell too much on how the IRA came to be and simply focus on the primary benefit. An IRA is an effective way to legally dodge taxes while saving for retirement.

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Investment Diversification and Understanding Asset Allocation

Correlation One of the most important factors in a successful portfolio is diversity. That is, investments that appreciate and depreciate but do not move as one unit. A term the financial industry uses is correlation. Two types of correlation are positive and negative measured on a +1 to -1 scale. Positive correlation means two assets move in the same direction. Conversely, negative correlation is when two assets move in opposite directions. An example of positive correlation would be a two […]

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The Great Debate: Active or Passive Investing?

In the mutual fund industry, you frequently hear “passive” and “active” echoing through the air. These are the two major classes of mutual funds recognized by investors but what classifies an investment as passive or active? Is one better than the other? Are there advantages of one versus the other? There is an ongoing debate among investors but hopefully I can help decipher which strategy may be appropriate for you.

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Work Place Retirement Planning in a Nutshell

Would you like some free money? The following questions are asked throughout the job interview process. “What is the pay?” “How much vacation do I get per year?” “What are my hours?” “Can I work from home?” “Tell me about health insurance.” “Who is my manager and what is their style?” “Can you provide me a vision of this organization and department?” “What is the biggest challenge of the organization?” The questions above are important, but one item is missing. […]

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College Savings: Parental Guidance Suggested

Your first born has finally arrived in the world. You are leaving the hospital with your new bundle of joy safely and soundly sleeping in the back seat when suddenly your heart starts to race. The clouds roll in and grow darker as you begin to grasp how much this new gift is going to cost. You will likely be at least partly responsible for your child’s college education. Hold off on sounding the alarms and calm down. You will […]

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The Efficient Frontier and Modern Portfolio Theory

Oh the 1950s, a time in the history of the United States when the post war boom was beginning. It was the decade in which the initials M.M. guaranteed stardom with Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mouse, and Mickey Mantle being pop-culture icons. Vehicles in the 1950s were full of style! Power steering was introduced in 5 models in 1952 and 1953 marked the advent of air conditioners. At the same time an American economist named Harry Markowitz published a paper in […]

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Demystifying the Fees That Rob Your Investments

In the financial world, everyone wants part of your money and they will fight and claw to get it. All investments including stocks, commodities, bonds, mutual funds and exchange traded funds incur associated fees when they are traded. There is no hiding from it. No wonder, CEOs of the major brokerage firms sport multi-million dollar salaries each year. It’s a surprise the US economy’s financial services industry has not designed a collaborative logo of an open hand waiting for cash. […]

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Investment Definitions – The Pursuit to Take Control

In today’s post we will begin digging into common investment definitions and terms related to investing. So far, we have spent little time discussing investments because our focus has been occupied by the topic of debt. Many reading this will be exposed to terms they have heard numerous times but have been unable to define. That is about to change, you are about to become empowered and take personal accountability for your portfolio! Inflation Inflation is the rate that consumer […]

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Preventative Wealthcare

Last week, I listened to a radio program describing the term preventative wealthcare. I found the concept interesting because the topic of finance has many similarities to our health. If you have a heart attack (bankruptcy) and Ms. “Whitecoat” attributes it to high blood pressure and cholesterol (spending more than you have) you will value proper diet, exercise, and possibly medications (creating a healthy financial plan). I found the comparison of physical and financial health conveyed by Dale and Ryan […]

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Credit Cards: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

A brief history of credit cards The origin of credit cards can be traced back to the late 1800s when merchants issued credit to their trusted customers. During these early times, the physical object was not a plastic card but a coin or charge plate with the merchant’s name and customer’s account number. The concept began to spread to hotels, department stores and oil companies by the early 1900s. In 1950, the Diners Club card marked the beginning of the […]

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Dave Ramsey (Baby Step 7)

The majority of this program is about sacrifice. I’ve referenced how finance is behavioral and sometimes scientific reasoning can be thrown out the window. To some, the thought of paying off debt without factoring interest rate can be alarming however the debt snowball  allows the person paying off debt to have quick success. In the early stage of the program, (BS1, BS2, and BS3) it’s all about progressing quickly because quite frankly it’s tough! Baby Step 7 If you reach […]

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Dave Ramsey (Baby Step 5 and 6)

In the previous posts we have discussed Baby Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4. Arriving at this point requires zeal and ability to delay gratification. Right now you are saving 15% of your gross income for retirement and have no debt (unless you have a home). Baby step 5 and 6 are listed below: Baby Step 5 If you have kids it is time to start saving for their education. This can be a controversial topic as some do not […]

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Dave Ramsey (Baby Step 3 and 4)

Yesterday we discussed Baby Steps 1 & 2. After you have used the debt snowball to pay off all debt except your home you will proceed with Baby Step 3 and then progress to Baby Step 4. Baby Step 3 Again, I encourage you to create a budget to find out where your money is going. Once you have that figured out you may begin Baby Step 3. In this baby step you will bolster the emergency fund we discussed […]

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Dave Ramsey Baby Steps 1 & 2

Creating an emergency fund and using the debt snow ball have been integral in our financial success. This post will provide details regaring Baby Steps 1 and 2. Baby Step 1 Save $1,000 and put it in an emergency fund. Find the $1,000 as quick as possible. Do you have any items sitting around the house that you don’t use anymore with value? If so, sell it now! The purpose of the baby emergency fund is protection from taking out […]

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Dave Ramsey (Debt vs Saving)

Next we will dive into the baby step program. Five years ago I began questioning what the purpose of debt was in society, specifically my family. What was the purpose of owing money for my education? I feel blessed to work in the field I do but why make monthly payments for an occupation? The same goes for a vehicle; what is the purpose of financing a depreciating asset? As Nate pointed out a car loses roughly 40% of its’ […]

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Budgeting 101

There are hundreds of thousands of dollars that will pass through a person’s hands in a lifetime. The sad part is that regardless of personal earning, many people don’t realize where the money goes at the end of the month. The solution is to create a personal financial plan prior to each month or in drier terms; a budget. Budgeting is a way of directing cash flow much like a conductor at a symphony; however, because it is thought to […]

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Auto & Home Owners Insurance, Part 6 Get In The Green Budget Series 2016

To this point we have covered the topics of coffee, dining out, internet/cable, car payments, and groceries and their impact on a monthly budget. This will be the last installment and we will be moving on to budgeting (specifics on creating one) and creating a financial plan in the coming weeks. Today’s topic is about auto & homeowners insurance. History of Insurance In recent years we have come to know Jake, Flo, and the Mayhem characters which bring bring us […]

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Groceries, Part 5 Get In The Green Budget Series 2016

Grocery shopping can be an enjoyable experience but an expensive one if not careful. In 2014, the average American family spent $4000 on groceries. The grocery industry is built on its ability to entice our senses. It is easy to get drawn in by the colorful labels and smells when walking the aisles. Consider purchases you make at your local grocery store. Do you really need those name brand items and what other ways could you reduce the grocery bill? […]

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Car Payments, Part 4 Get In The Green Budget Series 2016

There is nothing quite like sitting in that brand new car as you roll off the lot. You open the windows and crank the stereo as you ride off into the sunset. It not only feeds your spirit but the smell of the new interior is nothing short of a fresh apple pie cooling on a window sill. But what is this experience costing you on a monthly basis and what future financial security and opportunities may you be sacrificing? […]

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Cable & Internet, Part 3 Get In The Green Budget Series 2016

Our next installment to open margin into the monthly budget is the topic of cable & internet. To this point we have discussed the impact frequenting the coffee shop and dining out have on the ability to save and pay off debt. By adapting behavior toward these two luxuries we have discovered $1,000/yr (based on averages and strategies discussed). The average bundled cable bill in America is $132-$165 based on whether phone is added to the bundle. If you have […]

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Dining Out, Part 2 Get In The Green Budget Series 2016

Whether it is a fast food or sit down restaurant, it is a little known fact that it costs more money to dine out than cook at home.  Eating out is a luxury and the price tag fits this definition.  The consumer is not only paying for food but the service comes with a price tag as well.  If restaurants had two categories on the menu for price of “food” and “service” like a mechanic charges for “parts” and “labor”, […]

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Get In The Green Budget Series 2016, Part 1: Coffee

Our next mini series is going to focus on 6 areas to create margin in a budget. Today the series begins with the topic of coffee. How many of you budget? A great way to track where your money is going is to create one. If you like us you will find areas where there is a leak that needs to be patched. After all, I’m sure you work(ed) really hard for your money so why not know where it’s […]

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Introduction to Contributors: Nate

I am Nate, the second half of the team that will be providing posts in this blog. Ryan and I both realize personal finance can be a boring subject but it affects all of us. We hope to not only educate you but do it in an entertaining fashion. Debt was my original reason for becoming more fluent in financial principles. It is not until you are scraping the bottom of the barrel because of your debt do you truly […]

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Get In The Green Introduction to Contributors – Ryan

Hi, I’m Ryan, one of the contributors for Get In The Green. Thanks for coming to our site. We hope to provide thought provoking, insightful, and educational information for our readers. I am passionate about personal finance and over the years have received phone calls, emails, text messages, and visitors to my home to discuss decisions about personal finance. <h3>My Story</h3> In 2008, I graduated from The College of St. Scholastica with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. I spent […]

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