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A Year of Blogging: (Almost) Everything There Is to Know about Personal Finance Thumbnail

A Year of Blogging: (Almost) Everything There Is to Know about Personal Finance

College Planning Investing Retirement Funding Insights

A Year of Blogging: (Almost) Everything There Is to Know about Personal Finance

Topics: Budgeting, Financial Independence, Asset Management, Financial Planning

I’m nearly a year into blogging and have managed to keep a pace of a blog every other week – that makes this my 25th post! I’ve covered a lot in the first 24 posts, right? All you need to know about Personal Finance? Maybe not quite, so I’ll keep going.

However, I am going to change up my writing and marketing (more on that in a minute), but in this post I want to showcase some of my best posts from the last year – a TOP 10 list of sorts – a mix of the most popular posts per Google Analytics plus a few others that are newer that have been well received. So read on – I have all the links and a brief summary of each post, and they’re all grouped by category ICYMI! If you can’t find a topic worth reading about, then let me know!

As I mentioned I’m making some changes. While I enjoy researching Personal Finance topics and sharing that information, I will continue to do that but in different form. If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed I’m trying to do more than blog and simply put words on paper – more infographics and videos and less reading. I understand that’s what you want! So after this post the plan going forward is that with a little assistance, I can generate more #content across multiple outlets in a comparable amount of time, which will ultimately allow me to better serve clients.

TOP 10 Posts:

  1. How Do I Get Out of Credit Card Debt and Start a Budget?
  2.  How Can Effective Asset Management Help Me Reach Financial Independence?
  3. Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Early?
  4. 10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need A Financial Advisor for Asset Management
  5. Why Should a Small Business Owner Have a 401K Plan and What Are the Best Savings Options?
  6. 13 Questions a Financial Plan Can Help You Answer
  7. $1 Million Is Not Enough: How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?
  8. How Much Should I Save for College?
  9. Why Should I Use a Financial Advisor for Asset Management?
  10. Are Maximum 401K Contributions Best for My Asset Management Strategy?

Before we get into the details:

On a personal note

As I mentioned, I feel like I’ve covered many of the topics that were important for me to personally research and write about. I’ve been reading and studying Personal Finance for almost 20 years – since after the fallout of Tech Bubble and stocks started recovering in the early 2000’s. That was an amazing time to get in the market if you were fortunate enough to be joining the workforce and someone with some influence convinced you to start stashing money in your 401K.

Yes, your portfolio would have gotten dinged pretty good twice since then (Great Recession and Coronavirus), but as we can see every market in history has (thus far) recovered from a bear market downturn. Sometimes you need just have patience.

I thought it would be useful to display posts grouped by topic (Retirement, Financial Planning & Advisory, Investing, Business Owners and Independent Contractors and Debt Management). The Top 10 are still noted as such and have a bit more description as to why you should read them:


(2)  How Can Effective Asset Management Help Me Reach Financial Independence? – I’ll talk about Financial Independence to anyone who will listen. This was also one of the first 5 posts, and the 2nd most viewed. There is a huge movement now – FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early. I’m a fan of putting yourself in position to have complete control of your time and your finances. This post explores that and looks at the 4% Rule, the idea of Passive Income and provides some encouragement to really ramp up that savings rate.

(7) $1 Million Is Not Enough: How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement? – An attention getting title for sure, so it gets bumped up despite being a relatively new post. Doing the math on the 4% rule suggests if you want to spend $40,000 annually in retirement (or are spending about that now), then maybe $1 million nest egg will work. If you want to spend more than that? $1 million may not be enough. Let’s get to work!

(8) How Much Should I Save for College? – This is a fairly popular post for the Gen X and Gen Y crowd I’m trying to reach. The shock of the cost of college is real, but there are good ways to save – even better if time is on your side. I recommend a 529 plan, and while I’ve heard of some using Real Estate (I discuss pros and cons in this post), there are too many tax issues. Use Real Estate for tax-efficient passive income, wealth-building and to leave a legacy. Use a 529 for a tax-efficient way to send your kids to college.

(10) Are Maximum 401K Contributions Best for My Asset Management Strategy? – This is an interesting post because many Americans have their wealth in 401K accounts. However, if you need access to that money you generally have to wait until age 59.5. What if that doesn’t work for your other goals? We’ve been in a very low-tax environment recently – does maxing out your 401K align with your long-term strategy?

How Much Money Do I Need to Save for Retirement? – Pretty straight-forward but a bit math heavy –this post suggests you need to be saving 15%! Once you’ve saved 25x the amount of money you spend annually, you’re there! (P.S. that’s hard to do for most of us).

What Should I Do with My Old 401K When I Change Jobs? – With all the changing of jobs, this one is just outside the Top 10 in popularity. You have 4 options – one of them is terrible, two are ok and the best (rollover!) will give you the most options and control.


(4) 10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need A Financial Advisor for Asset Management – Catchy title right? One of my favorites to write as I not so subtly suggest you should use a Financial Advisor. It’s not yet among the most read since I wrote it in May, but it received some favorable responses, so I moved it up the list. I basically came up with 10 things that I doubt the average investor is doing, which ultimately suggests that using my services would be beneficial in the long-term.


(6) 13 Questions a Financial Plan Can Help You Answer – This is the most recent post I wrote. Quite simply if you don’t know the answers to these questions, it might be time to talk about a Financial Plan. Our Financial Planning software can help establish goals, understand your asset allocation, life insurance and other needs, optimize taxes and social security and quantify the possibility of achieving your retirement objectives. Let’s talk about it today.

(9) Why Should I Use a Financial Advisor for Asset Management? – The first post I wrote as I tried to convince everyone they needed a Financial Advisor. It’s true there are complications in investing: what’s the right asset allocation, contribution limits, tax consequences? What about underlying fees of investing? If you don’t know the rules, you might be leaving money on the table.

Taxes and Fees: Why You Should Use a Financial Advisor for Asset Management – A second version of an early post that suggests a Financial Advisor can save you money from taxes and fees you pay for high-priced mutual funds that it’s worth hiring one.

What Financial Advisor Qualities Can Enhance Overall Asset Management? – If you’re looking for professional help with your finances, look for three things: Fiduciary Duty, Fee Structure and Service Offerings.

Best (Most Read) MHB Advisory Blogs of 2019! – Mini version of this current post as I wrapped up 2019 and had written about 10 blogs. Good summary of my early posts!


Covid-19 Update (Part 1): What Moves Can Enhance Asset Management Now? – Didn’t really know what was in store during Corona – but we got an opportunity to put idle cash to work in undervalued stocks and interest rates started a refinancing bonanza – this proved to be a timely post.

Covid-19 Update (Part 2): How Do I Manage/Find Cash in a Crisis? – It got a bit more serious as the fallout of unemployment continued and everyone was looking for cash.

What Should I Do with My Tax Refund? – Would have been a timely post but the tax date got pushed back 3 months! Still I recommend investing in your future with a Financial Plan!

4 Reasons Target Date Retirement Funds Miss the Mark for Asset Management – I wrote this because all the conversations I had with those of you who rely on Target Retirement funds. That’s the easy button but they aren’t specific to your needs and some have surprisingly high underlying investment fees.

Why Is Diversification Important for Asset Management? – Wrote this a month into the market’s response to Covid, near the trough as it turns out. It discusses the importance of diversification in Risk Reduction, Financial Planning and Asset Allocation.


(5) Why Should a Small Business Owner Have a 401K Plan and What Are the Best Savings Options? – Clearly targeting the small business owners and entrepreneurs with this post as multiple conversations lead me to adjust my operations to provide better services to this group. A 401K Plan for business owners is a great way to diversify your assets and reduce your taxes, while the Self-Employed, 1099 income earners and Sole Proprietors have a tremendous benefit through the Solo 401K.

Why Should Independent Contractors Use a Solo 401K for Asset Management? – For those with a choice in their Retirement Plan (Independent Contractors and self-employed) – check out the Solo 401K.

Why is the Solo 401K the Best Asset Management Tool for Real Estate Agents? – Realtors, Independent Contractors, anyone self-employed or with a lucrative side hustle – you can save more than the average W2 employee with a Solo 401K. Real Estates professionals have additional tax savings potential as well.

7 Ways to Rank Retirement Plan Options for Independent Contractors and the Self-Employed – The Solo 401K wins again on multiple metrics – I chose it for the massive contribution potential and flexibility.


(1) How Do I Get Out of Credit Card Debt and Start a Budget? – the 2nd blog post I wrote remains the most popular. Earlier this week I got another request to add in a link to another company’s post about using credit cards, so almost a year later this post is being found and remains relevant. Nearly half of America carries a credit card balance, which has likely only worsened since Corona entered our lives. I also introduced the 50/30/20 budgeting rule, so there was a lot of info covered here.


(3) Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Early? – Another early post, and probably as important now as interest rates continue their decline. I’m basically saying paying off a 3% mortgage is like investing at 3% – I think there might be better options. I’m also challenging the idea of living “debt-free” (I know I’ll never convince some of you!) and rather acknowledging debt as a tool – if used responsibly. On a primary residence I prefer the 15-year due to the accelerated “forced savings” and we are actually in the process of refinancing our house now – so basically the opposite of paying off our mortgage. The question is though if you refi, what do you do with the savings? Hopefully invest for the future.


Save, Spend or Borrow? Optimizing Asset Management for Interest Rates – A response to extremely low interest rates – the US Government seems to be suggesting we borrow to spend for the sake of the economy.

So in a single post, I’ve reiterated my first year’s worth of research. I hope you like what you’ve read and will continue to do so, both emails I send to you and on social media. Tell your friends! I would love to have a conversation, so please feel free to reach out: matt@mhb-advisory.com.

Best wishes on your financial path!



This post was created by Matt Beeby, the Founder of MHB Advisory Services. Matt has been working in Financial Services and investing in real estate since 2005, though his investment experience spans nearly two decades. He is a Christ follower, active in both his church and his neighborhood association. Matt enjoys sports and family time. Read more about Matt on his website bio.


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