debt


Preparing for the Great Trumpression

Back in 2006 a client walked into my office with an impossible mortgage. Countrywide Bank gave a 70 year old a 30 year mortgage for more than 100% the value of her house. She was underwater the day she closed, with no possible way to ever sell that house. I was aghast, and wondered what was going on that Countrywide was willing to take on risk like that. I didn’t quite understand the whole securitization […]


What’s new in the cutting edge world of Identity Theft

Over the week-end I’ve been reading up on how to handle the credit agency breach. Identity theft overall is becoming more and more of a problem, so I don’t mean to diminish this breach as an issue, but I think this is a bit over-hyped. My experience with fraudulently filed tax returns – a form of identity theft – suggests that quite a lot of us – if not all of us – have already […]


Financial Literacy for Young Adults

A client asked me if I had any financial literacy suggestions for teenagers. It kicked off a reading festival! Here are my notes. Years ago I read Suze Orman’s Young Fabulous and Broke and I was underwhelmed. She seems to think that everyone is as clueless as she was and needs to have a come-to-Jesus moment and she’ll tell you how. Most people I know just want to know some facts and they’ll integrate them into their […]


Uses and Abuses, Tips and Tricks About Debt

Last April, I watched as my eldest son drove out of my driveway in his loaded-down Subaru with a brand-new Thule box on it, headed for Utah with all his possessions loaded in his modern-day Conestoga wagon. As many of you know, a month later he fell off a cliff and received a terrible spinal cord injury. (Happy update: it was a terrible adventure, but thanks to a whole host of blessings, he is nearly […]


Book Review: “All Your Worth” by Elizabeth Warren

I’ve heard wonderful things about Elizabeth Warren and I was intrigued by the concept of this personal financial husbandry book. The title of the first books I read, “All Your Worth”, made me cringe as it makes me think of a misspelled contraction. But it’s not a pronouncement or a discussion of what you are worth. Instead, it is a suggestion that you might be better off if you built some net worth. The basic […]


Book Review: Pay It Down

Jean Chatzky’s take on debt.   This was a quick read from the library: Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10/day by Jean Chatzky.   The  book is abbreviated and condensed into this series of articles on Money.cnn. First off, this book is nearly entirely about budgeting.  Figure out what you’re already spending, and then take a look.  The topic was just as dreary as it could be in this relentless little book.  It would not let you […]


Spotlight on budgeting

Clients are calling up to ask for help. “We’re making a lot of money but can’t make ends meet. Help!” I tell them to grab as many statements as they can from every bill they’ve got and every account they’ve got and bring the whole pile to me. Here’s what I know about people’s expenses: the overwhelming majority have expenses that nearly exactly match their income, except, perhaps, they spend about $50/month more than they […]