EasyInvest - A Personal Finance Newslettter
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Issue 1

Money is often a taboo topic. Lots of people have questions about money and budgets, but many only talk about it with close family and their financial advisor (if they have one). Am I saving enough? Is my money invested properly? Is my financial advisor charging me too much? Which bills do I pay off first? Even then, financial advisor quality is very broad, so you might not even be receiving good advice.

The goal of the EasyInvest Newsletter is to bring new transparency and relatability to money management. It's to provide tips, trips, and financial stories to help average Americans - the 90% of the population that is working hard every day to better their personal and family lives.
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My story with personal finance began in August 2010 during my first job after college. In college, I had no money and even had to borrow money from my parents to buy furniture for my first apartment. I remember my bank account balance averaging <$100 fairly frequently.

During PwC consulting orientation, I was required to set up 401k elections, which means I needed to pick which "mutual funds" my money was invested in. I talked about it with a friend who instructed me to just pick 5 random funds and invest 20% in each. I picked the 5 funds that had the highest returns in the past year. [Note, this is not the best method]. At this point, I didn't know the difference between stocks and bonds, I didn't know what a 401k was, and I had never taken a personal finance or business class. 

After this experience, I went on a truth-seeking mission to learn about personal finance and money management. I read about ETFs, investment fees, mutual funds, hedge funds, options, and more. I read books on Warren Buffett and other top investors. I learned over time that most people aren't wealthy because they make a lot of money - they are wealthy because they have a lot of money invested in stocks and other assets. Additionally, the most best investment strategies are often the most simple.
A Simple Tip
This week, I challenge you to login to your 401k or other retirement account and check in on your contribution rate and investments. Steps to perform a financial check-up are outlined here.

For me personally, I currently invest 8% of my income in a Roth 401k and it's 100% invested in a low cost Total US Stock Market ETF called VTI. This fund has average returns of 6.69% annually and has fees of 0.04%.
Investment Articles
While Trump Touts Stock Market, Many Americans Are Left Out of the Conversation - NPR
"As of 2013, the 10 percent of households with the highest wealth owned more than 80 percent of all stock shares. The bottom 80 percent of all households owned just 8 percent."

Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households in 2016 - Federal Reserve
"Forty-four percent of adults say they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money."

The Monk Who Left the Monastery to Fix Broken Retirement Plans  - New York Times
"As the junior monk, he did not give much religious counsel. But he soon recognized a pattern: Every person who arrived with a spiritual issue had a financial problem lurking somewhere beneath it."
This newsletter is meant to be for YOU, so please send me your feedback and ideas. To help ensure the newsletter is as personalized as possible for the reader group, please fill out this quick survey:
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Allison Barr
copyright © allison barr, 2017 | all rights reserved.

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Disclaimer: EasyInvest is not a registered investment advisor or a tax advisor and is not responsible for any investment losses. All investment decisions are made at your own risk.

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