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This is the last day in our 31-Day Money Challenge. Over the past 31 days, I’ve published 31 podcasts, each designed to help you move closer to financial freedom. Yesterday was talked about retirement accounts. In today’s podcast, we wrap up the series with a number of great questions submitted by you.

Sponsors: The 31-Day Money Podcast is sponsored by Betterment and Personal CapitalBetterment and Personal Capital are two tools I use to make investing easier, less expensive, and more effective.

Listener Questions

Here are the questions we tackle in today’s podcast:

Luke: “I’ve recently subscribed to your podcast and have really enjoyed the content. Thank you. I’m a beginner inventor, early 30’s, enjoying the learning processes etc. My question for you is this: Why does the investment community publish daily market movement of Index’s like the Dow & S&P? My understanding is that these Indexes are just an large sample of similarly sized companies. Why does it matter to you or me that the entire index is up or down 5%?”

Kenneth: “I know you own a portfolio of individual stocks, including Apple. If you read the link below, it’s a good analysis of why Apple is down big today after its earnings report. A few weeks ago, I recommended you read (when you have the time) Jim Collins’ Stock Series. Jim is a good friend of Mr. Money Mustache. He’s also been compared to Warren Buffett, not in amount of capital, of course, but for his views on stocks and markets. Jim also admits to having 5% or so in individual stocks as “play money”.

I’m just saying that in my view, you can’t know which stocks are going to outperform the market in any year. I’ve tried, I can’t do it. You yourself have pointed out that actively managed mutual funds can’t beat the S&P 500 year over year. I can beat the Mirage Casino for one session, one trip etc. but I can’t beat them over time. So I quit playing there. To cut to the chase, my advice for you would be to reduce your individual stock holdings to less than 10 percent of your portfolio. Fun money if you will.”

Kevin: Hi Rob. I found your podcast at the first of the year ad have been listing to your 31 day money challenge. I think your material is great! even though I mostly follow your money ideas you teach thanks just being turned on to investing when I was 15 years old (currently 34)and took and interest in reading money books and listing to other money podcast like yours (Clark Howard, Brain Preston and recently yopro wealth).

But there is one thing that the other podcasts were not able to convince me of that I think you did (I hope!). That is, should I start to manage my own money outside of my 401k? I’m a little scared, I don’t won’t to screw it up! I am currently using [a financial advisor] which charge 1.25% to manage it for me. But your podcast about fees really got to me! I want to start to use Vanguard but I am still a little hesitant on asset allocation ect. Any suggestions on how and if I should make the switch?

I am thinking about just leaving the money there for now and stop adding to it and starting a Vanguard account and add monthly to that instead and dollar cost average and compare the returns quartly, me vs. [a financial advisor]. But, I also like that there is always a MONEY guy to call for advice that knows me personally vs. just going on the web for a answer. so I am torn! Would love to hear your thought on this? (about 100k currently invested outside of 401k that I am dealing with if that matters) Thanks in advance!

Steve: I found your show (can’t even remember how) mere days into your marathon month of podcasting and love it. I have greatly enjoyed and learned from your all of your broadcasts. I can’t reasonably expect you to continue this pace beyond this month, but great job so far!

I have a selfish (although not unique) request, and one that perhaps is covered in a podcasts I haven’t reached (just started #21). As many of your podcasts focus on retirement planning, I am curious what advice you have for me and others who do not plan to retire and kind of dislike the notion. I love what I do professionally, and retirement is linked in many studies to decreased income, worsened health, reduced mental acuity, increased loneliness and depression, and even possibly increased risk of suicide and earlier mortality. I’ll pass, as long as I can do any work at all. I am curious if you recommend forgoing retirement entities like IRAs over other investment strategies and other thoughts you have how to structure finances and investments with the hope and expectation of lifelong work..

Thank you for your time and podcasts, I look forward to hearing and learning more!

CB: In reference to The One-N-Done Method of Saving Money (DR013): Yes! I completely agree. I’ve always called this “limiting my fixed expenses.” If you set up a few of these things right you put your low cost lifestyle on autopilot, and make it super easy to cut back in case of an emergency/change of income. It’s my #1 budget priority.

Teresa: I’ve been enjoying your blog for a little over a year now and definitely been enjoying the podcasts. I believe that I have my accumulation figured out but the planning for decumulation is what I’m trying to figure out. I would like to hear what you plan on doing to get your buckets (401(k)s, IRAs, securities, etc) prepared for retirement and which ones you’ll tap and in which order.

Kate: Let me start by thanking you for this podcast. I can’t imagine how much of your own time you give up to help perfect strangers. You have certainly earned my respect and gratitude.

We were able to both max out a Roth IRA for 2012 by doing it before April 15, 2013, and have both maxed out a Roth for 2013. But we just jumped right in. We had no education on the subject, just knew we were long overdue to begin. So we went with [a financial advisor]. Now I realize the true cost of investments and want to switch all of our money to Vanguard funds. We paid front loaded fees and were told our mutual funds are 75 basis points (plus I believe costs for buying and selling that happens within the funds?).

My question is… Can I change our Roth IRA’s from [the financial advisor] to Vanguard? Our financial advisor has been less than helpful, so I don’t know how to accomplish this.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 1120
Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Article comments

william shortridge says:

Mr Berger,
Can you tell me. Is all the thousands of dollars that the upside card and Meta Bank is holding from people that rightfully belongs to the customers being used for investments as well. I’m one of many customers that is having hundreds of dollars held by your company for no reason. Please help us all. Were just little fish in a big sea and we need our money.

Rob Berger says:

William, Upside is not my company. In fact, I have no affiliate with them at all. I did get your separate email and responded. I know your situation is frustrating, but don’t give up. Best of luck.