This piece was originally published on Beyond Your Hammock

Personal finance doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Yes, the complexity in your financial life will increase as you build assets and grow wealth — but don’t confuse complex for overly elaborate and impossible to understand.

At the end of the day, most of what it takes to reach (and maintain) financial success comes down to some fairly simple principles.

When it comes to knowing how to better manage money, in fact, you only need two rules of thumb to keep you on track.

Following these guidelines will help you keep…


This piece was originally written for and published on Kiplinger.

As a financial planner, it’s my job to answer financial questions. From clients to speaking engagements to educational workshops, people ask me a range of questions about personal finance and the best moves to make with their money every single day.

Even though everyone’s financial situation is unique, and people bring different goals, priorities and values to the table (which influences the context of the questions), I do find that there are a few queries that come up over and over.

These questions are common across a broad range of…


This post was originally published on Beyond Your Hammock

Too often, we equate being conservative or risk-averse with missing opportunities, or missing chances to grow wealth.

While there is such a thing as being too hesitant or too cautious, there’s a good reason to lean toward less risk when doing long-term planning.

Even if you feel highly comfortable with risk or actively seek it out, there’s a difference between calculated risks you can afford to take and those you can’t bounce back from.

Good planning is centered around understanding how to build a bulletproof balance sheet.

What Does It Mean to Create a Bulletproof Balance Sheet?

A bulletproof balance sheet…


This post was originally written for & published on Beyond Your Hammock

Despite the recent popularity of people playing day trader, trading stocks using gamified apps designed to hook your attention and keep you engaged is a risky proposition.

Playing on trading apps is a great way to gamble while casinos operate in limited capacity due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but it’s a poor strategy for reliably building wealth.

Getting on Robinhood and trading individual stocks (meme-driven or otherwise) is not akin to developing a research-driven, evidenced-based, investment strategy designed to grow your assets over time, with an assist…


This article was originally written for and published on Business Insider

Telling people to “spend less” as a way to solve all of their financial problems is common advice. And commonly, it’s extremely unhelpful.

Frugality only gets you so far; there are only so many expenses you can cut. Telling someone who is already struggling to get by on a low income to spend even less isn’t productive.

I do tell my financial planning clients that controlling their cash flow is a critical component of finding financial success. Wealth is what you can build with what you don’t spend, and…


A version of this article first appeared on Business Insider

Short of bringing up politics, it seems there’s no surer way to start a fight with the people around you than to take a stance on real estate as an investment.

There are diehard believers on either side of that statement. Many people fervently believe that real estate is not just a good investment, but the best investment an average person can make.

Meanwhile, many others point out that real estate is an illiquid asset that typically requires taking on a massive debt load to acquire — and between inflation…


This article was originally written for and published on Forbes

As we settle into 2021, we can finally, finally say goodbye to a year that brought countless challenges and the upheaval of normal life for almost all of us.

I’m sure most folks are saying good riddance, too.

The bar for making 2021 a good year might be pretty low, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to plan ahead and consider what you can proactively do to set yourself up for maximum success.

When it comes to your finances, that combination — planning and proactivity — are…


A version of this article was originally written for & published on Business Insider

If you want to plan well for retirement, you probably know you should start saving as soon as possible and take advantage of benefits like an employer-sponsored retirement plan… but beyond that, it’s not easy to get clarity on what you should do for an event that might be 20 or more years into the future.

Don’t let that stop you from getting proactive and staying engaged in the process, though. With a little help, retirement planning can feel less overwhelming.

You can start by making…


A version of this piece was originally written for and published on Business Insider

I’m a financial planner, and I specialize in designing strategies for working professionals in their 30s and 40s

Most people are experiencing a lot of transitions and milestones at these ages, and almost every decision you make or goal you set has major financial implications. Doing the right financial planning at these critical stages can make the difference between being “just okay,” and building serious wealth.

After spending over 20 years in the financial planning industry, I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting the people most likely…


A version of this piece was originally written for and published on Kiplinger

There is no shortage of great content available for those who want to build a sound retirement plan, from books and podcasts to hiring your own personal financial advisor to optimize your planning efforts.

While the amount of information out there can be overwhelming, the benefit of such volume is that you’re less likely today than ever before to leave something critical out of your retirement planning, or to forget something altogether…but there is one big exception to that.

And this factor that you may be at…

Eric Roberge

#FinancialPlanner helping 30 & 40-somethings build #wealth & think differently about #money • Top #FinancialAdvisor in #Boston • www.BeyondYourHammock.com

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