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3 Ways to Decide if College is Worth It

There’s so much to be learned from the game of Life. And no, I’m not talking metaphorically.

I’m talking about the wonderful choices and life lessons found on the board (and on the app) when you bust open the Game of Life.

One of those great choices is the fork in the road that either takes you on a path to get a college degree or on a path to immediately join the workforce.

Now, in our college-centric society, we’ve been taught, “If you can afford it and can qualify for it (or have parents who can jack the system by making you look like you can row a boat), college is the right path.” Who cares that you don’t have any idea what you’ll do there other than party and get laid (not in equal measures, of course)? The mindset has been drummed into you: if you want a successful life and career, you go to college.

Well, let’s look at some raw economics for a second. And by “raw” I mean “stay with me here.”


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3 Right Money Answers for Who to Tip and How Much

Tipping.  It’s not mandated by law, but it certainly is by societal pressures.  If you’re a big tipper, you’re loved and admired, and you may even get on “Ellen.”  If you don’t tip, you’re an asshole and vilified by society for the rest of your natural days. 

[Check out our latest podcast on tipping here]

Most of us live in that sacred middle earth.  But what exactly is that middle earth?  What are the rules of tipping engagement?  Who should get a tip, who shouldn’t, and how much should they get?

Let’s take a look at a few of those common grey areas of tipping.


For this first category, I’m talking about the typical coffee shop or take-out restaurant, where the service worker didn’t do much more for you than take your order, take your money, give you your food, and tell you where you can get napkins and fork on your way out.  Do they really deserve a tip for...

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How Do Financial Advisors Get Paid?

We talk a lot at Right Money about how to make the right decisions and not to get screwed over while taking care of your money. Often times, we forget to cover the basics and provide you with details of how things actually work.

Today we are introducing a series of educational videos to provide a resource on some of the most popular financial questions we hear. Most of these topics are from our clients and podcast listeners, but many of them we choose ourselves because there is someone or something we want to make fun of. 

The first video in our series is titled "How Do Financial Advisors Get Paid?" It's pretty vanilla, but hopefully provides a good foundation for understanding advisor compensation systems. 

Let me know what you think and please send any video ideas you have to me at [email protected].   


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Why I Don't Sell Insurance

It happens every Thanksgiving, summer vacation and New Years Day. You fall into the perpetual cycle of eating too much or enjoying free drinks by the pool and find that you have added a couple of inches to your waistline. You vow to eat better, exercise more and live a cleaner life. It becomes time to flip the "health" switch for a few weeks.
And after a week of eating healthy, what happens when you pull up at a stop light and glance over at the McDonalds drive through? Suckers, you think. Isn’t that sad they need fast food on a Wednesday at 2:00, and I am on my fourth consecutive day of eating vegetables.
We think this to ourselves, even though we just picked up McDonald’s for the whole family a week ago!
What does any of this have to do with insurance? I recently canceled my individual life insurance license, as well as the life insurance license for my firm. The benefits of this decision are so clear to me, there is a temptation to judge...
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Right Money Spending Workshop

There are typically two major phases of starting a business: Phase 1, you have a great idea and plan for all of the ways you are going to help people solve their problems. Phase 2, the people tell you what problems they really want solved, and you change your business plans accordingly to help them.

I spent over 15 years of my career on the first phase, which was reciting industry jargon to my clients: Diversification, asset allocation, insure your risks, don’t spend more than you make, etc.

But slowly, a funny thing happened. Phase 2 began, and my clients started telling me what they really wanted. To the astonishment of no one, it wasn’t information on the stock market, predictions on what direction interest rates were going, or lectures on the value of life insurance.

The first thing they wanted was simplicity. How do I make large financial decisions and make sure I get them right the first time? We have figured out how to do that by setting up a system that operates...

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Meeting You Where You're At


 At Right Money, you don't have to have all your financial affairs in order before you talk to us. In fact, it's easier to just have a conversation before you do any prep work. This is about meeting you where you're at and in this episode we dive into the importance of having a conversation BEFORE creating your plans.



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How to Protect Big Money in a Small Town

When Kara, 44, of Sonoma, California lost her father three years ago, grieving was only the beginning. As the sole beneficiary of her father’s estate, she had a business to sell, real estate properties to manage, and investment accounts to monitor. She needed help.

Unfortunately, those who showed up were more interested in helping themselves.

In the fall of 2016, Kara was working 60+ hours a week as a social worker for the county. She was also helping her husband with his small business, raising two kids, and trying to get their finances squared away.

Kara and her husband had acquired over $30,000 in credit card debt and were trying to decide if significant changes, such as selling the house, would be necessary to get by. That is when she received news that her father had passed away.

She not only lost her father that fall, but her hometown of 11,000 lost a fixture of the community. He had been a family practice doctor in Sonoma for over 40 years. Kara would inherit the estate...

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A Financial Plan that Allows You to be You

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Einstein


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How Not to Make a Financial Plan


You will be hard pressed to find an independent financial planner who has something nice to say about a big bank or Wall Street firm. They are greedy, full of conflicts, and aggressively pursue their own interests to the detriment of their clients. For financial professionals like myself who have committed their lives to help others, they are a striking contrast to everything that we stand for.

The issue is that we have been crying foul for so long that nobody can hear us anymore. But, but, but…they’re cheating!!

 Wells Fargo is an easy target, as it seems a new scandal breaks almost daily. Just this year we have learned about:

  • 3.5 million bogus accounts being opened to increase employee bonuses
  • Improper recommendations that clients roll out of 401(k) plans to in-house Wells Fargo products
  • Bonuses for wealth management employees who steered clients into accounts with higher fees

And while Wells Fargo certainly deserves scrutiny for all of the shady sales...

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What's The Difference Between a 401(k) and an IRA?

Chris wants to know the difference! Check our latest episode to learn the difference between a tool and a strategy in our latest exploration of how you can simplify your financial life.  

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