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rules of thumb

Principles of Pollex: Investment Allocation

Looking at an age-old investment rule of thumb. What’s good about it, what’s not, and how you might use the structure for your own rule.

Organization, Efficiency & Discipline

Using these three pillars can help to guide you along the way to financial success, no matter what your goal is.

Principles of Pollex: Auto Purchases

A few rules of thumb about buying a car. Use these as a guide when you get ready to make that next auto purchase.

Principles of Pollex: Debt Reduction

Eliminating debt takes organization, efficiency, and discipline. Learn how these three work in your favor to eliminate debt from your life.

How to Build Good Money Habits

Dealing with personal finances can be daunting. They could be a new venture for you or your current way of dealing with them is less than ideal. Here are some tips that can aid you in developing good personal finance habits. Use technology. Whether developing a budget, savings plan, etc. the use of technology can make life easier. App such as or spreadsheet software like Excel can assist you in getting organized and making clutter more organized. For example, an app like Mint consolidates all your finances, accounts, and can give you a snapshot of what you’re spending, saving, and your net worth with the click of a button. Don’t make it complicated. It’s not rocket surgery. Chances are your finances are not as complicated as you think. They’re just unfamiliar, as is the process of working with them. But I assure you, you can do it. Make a […]

Principles of Pollex – Saving 10% of Income

(In case you are confused by the headline: a principle is a rule, and pollex is an obscure term for thumb.  Therefore, we’re talking about Rules of Thumb.) I like rules of thumb, as a rule of thumb… I think we all generally want difficult issues in our lives to be boiled down to a simple, easy-to-understand statement.  These rules of thumb are everywhere, all around us. Heck, there’s even a whole website dedicated to rules of thumb, where you can find rules on all kinds of subjects, as diverse as how to outrun a crocodile to changing your answers on a test. Save 10% of Your Income Let’s start with one of the basics you might hear regularly: Save 10% of your income. Like most all rules of thumb, this one is very general in nature, but it provides a good starting point. This starting point is best for […]

Principles of Pollex: The Rule of 72/Rule of 78’s

The Rule of 72 and the Rule of 78’s can be useful rules to know in your financial life. One is useful for investments and the other for loans.

Sorry to Rain on your Parade

I wanted to take a brief moment to remind our readers of a fundamental investing truth that tends to get overlooked, forgotten, or deliberately disregarded during times of market euphoria. Think about this. If you had a million dollars at the beginning of 2016 to invest and I said that over the year that there would be a Supreme Court vacancy, the Cubs would win the World Series, interest rates would rise, and Donald Trump would become president – would you invest that million dollars in the market? I would bet that many people would not. They would guess that 2016 would be a dismal year for market returns. Yet, in 2016 the Dow returns 13.4% and the S&P 500 returned 9.5%! With all of that uncertainty and the improbable happening, the market still had a great year of returns. Those who stayed invested were rewarded. Those who sold (say, […]

Why Designations Matter

Throughout my career I have had the occasion to talk with several financial advisors, planners, insurance agents, brokers, and other industry professionals about some of the reasons why people choose to pursue or not to pursue designations. I have heard differing views on the topic and thought I’d share some of my insights as to why I chose and still choose to pursue designations and degrees. Before I do, let me start by talking about some of the reasons why the advisors I have spoken to decide not to earn a designation. More often than not, the typical answers that I receive are not having enough time, not sure which designation to pursue, lack of funding to afford the designation, and lack of support on earning the designation – either from their employer or family. On the latter two points, some companies may not be able to “support” the designation […]

4 rules to break – for now

As you may know if you’ve been reading here for very long, from time to time I review financial rules of thumb – today I’ve got a bit of a twist on the “principles of pollex” concept: Here’s a very interesting article that I found today that tells about some of the old, time-honored sage pieces of advice that aren’t necessarily true – for the time being. Enjoy – I’ll be back next week!–for-now-1296858154544/