Educational blogs from SWMG center around the fundamentals of investing and finance.

What Exactly is Open Enrollment?

employee benefits document with highlighed text

If you work for someone else, there’s a good chance that you are, or soon will be, in the midst of Open Enrollment season for your benefit choices. This is the period when your employer allows you to adjust or newly enroll in your employee benefits, like health insurance. It’s important to pay attention during …

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Gifting Limits

Stack of cash

What are Gifting Limits? All this month, I’ve been talking about debt. So why is this blog talking about gifting? Well, here’s my thought train: let’s say you have some debt and your parents or your grandma or your favorite aunt gives you some money to pay it off. Just, out of the goodness of …

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Good Vs Bad Debt


So, some people believe that you shouldn’t EVER have debt. I don’t subscribe to this theory. There are times when debt may help. What is the difference between “good” debt and “bad” debt? Well, a simple answer is that good debt helps you finance something that will potentially increase in value, for example, a mortgage. …

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Student Loans

student loan

Forbes published an article about the student loan debt crisis a couple of years ago. Among the concerning statistics shared in the article, there was this little tidbit….student loan debt has now surpassed credit card and auto loan debt, making it the second highest consumer debt category, totaling more than $1.5 trillion. Unfortunately, dealing with …

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Credit Card Debit

Stack of credit cards

Welcome to October, which is National Credit Card Awareness month! There was an article published on the Credible financial website that did a survey of 500 Americans with credit card debit. The survey said that of those survey participants, age 18-34 years, 33%+ said that debt is the scariest thing in their life. Just over …

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Why Do I Need Homeowners’ Insurance?

Insurance Word Cloud on Dry Erase Board

When I sat for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM exam I learned way more than I ever wanted to about different forms of homeowner’s insurance (basic form, broad form, etc.) and will now pass the savings onto the consumer! Oh wait, I have listened to too many commercials. But my time loss is your gain as …

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IRA Vs. 401(k) Vs. ROTH – Part 2

Empty buckets

Last week, we talked about the differences between an IRA and a 401(k). Both are types of retirement accounts, and the 401(k) is typically administered through an employer, whereas almost anyone can open an IRA. Now, we are going to talk about the Roth versions of these same investment vehicles. I described them as different …

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IRA Vs. 401(k) Vs. Roth – Part 1

Empty buckets

Retirement Savings I have found that professional, super-smart people, that I personally know, do not know the difference between an IRA, a Roth IRA, and a 401(k). That will simply not do. You need to know this stuff. We’re going to fix that right now. The challenge will be keeping it short and sweet because …

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