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Miles Weekly Personal Finance and Investing Podcast weekly show on investing basics, personal finance, banking, entrepreneurship, small business basics, economic empowerment and financial prosperity from the bottom up.

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Podcast Episode's:
EP:67 The Hiatus Break
"The Break"... Just as is needed to review and assess direction or "Re-Balance" the portfolio or overall personal finance picture.  The MWPF podcast is going into a "Break Mode", during which, there's still plenty work to be done in "Re-balancing", so maybe not too much of a break actually.  So here's the outlook, a larger focus on specific instruction and education based podcasts, segments, series' and feature interviews ( because I still dig interviewing people that do money stuff for a living), and some video "how to" action.  So yeah, it may take a bit to pull it all in, and maybe some help too! . In the meantime, check out the archive of podcasts and posts ranging from Ep:1 "Dollar Cost Averaging" Ep:19 "Top Ten Small Business Rules" Ep:52 "Eric B. is President" Ep:49 "Which is Sexy, Money or Finance?" Continue stay on track with your finances and the practice of maintaining your economic foundation for prosperity, there's plenty come regarding doing just that.  Also, don't forget to check out the list of podcasts recommended for good listening between the archive shows. -Miles.
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EP:66 Become Savvy with Finance
Becoming Savvy About Finance This week's episode of MWPF features an interview with  Dr. Lois Center-Shabazz of MsFinancialsavvy.com, an author of several highly rated books on Amazon.com that cover saving, investing and management of day to day personal finance.  She also offers coaching on finance, workshops and a Facebook support group, (WomenVestors) for women and girls focusing on finance.  In this interview, Dr. Lois Center-Shabazz covers her philosophy regarding women and finance along with some very insightful relationship advice on Love and Money.  Listen as she details the journey through her professional career and into becoming a financially savvy investor, author and finance coach. -Miles.
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EP:65 No Fear Credit Repair
Stop Fearing Your Credit. Episode 65 is an interview Mr. Mark Clayborne of www.startupcreditrepairbusiness.com and author of an www.amazon.com bestselling book on personal credit repair "Hidden Credit Repair Secrets".  Mark Clayborne has established himself as an authority in the personal credit repair industry and now helps entrepreneurs get started in the business of credit repair as well.  In this interview we discuss Fico scores, paying bills, credit utilization, the high cost of bad credit and authorized users among many other valuable and informative details.  Mark Clayborne's business model is all about how to get your personal credit on the right track. -Miles.
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EP:64 Tax Refund Remorse
Tax Refund Remorse After the much advertised delay in sending out refunds, it's finally time.  In this week's episode, the focus returns to that once a year so-called pay day that everyone gets all worked up about.  "The Tax Refund" Like a windfall, a breathe of fresh financial air.  Sometimes it's spent in our minds 19 times before we even get it, just the idea of getting it. The tax refund is maybe one or two steps away from becoming a holiday, just so folks could have even more time to go spend some of that tax refund money.  The car dealers, creditors, retailers and anyone else that typically have slow January sales are all anxiously waiting as they know people are getting the refund checks.  Maybe there should at least be some slick moniker like "SupeR Black Friday" or maybe "GAAP Friday".  Either way, there's a lot of opportunity at this time of year for both making good moves or setting the stage for trouble during the rest of the tax year. -Miles.
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EP:63 The Valentine’s Money
Valentine's Day is All About The Money. Pay attention as you get yourself all wrapped up into Valentine's Day. The flowers, cards and candy.  Watch your spending and the spending of your courtier, if your paying close enough attention you'll be able to see early signs of good financial behavior or terribly irresponsible spending.  Either way while you sitting at that pre-fixe overpriced cold dinner looking into each others' eyes, it's a good time to ask, "hey, so how's your credit?".  Pay attention to the surprise in their eyes, or the pleasure to share such information in an attempt to communicate their openess to discuss finance and the future.  And when the bill comes back with no surprise "declined" comment, you realize ...they might actually be a keeper. -Miles.
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EP:62 Fiduciary Immunity
Who's Looking Out For You When You Invest? This week's episode focuses on the recent news surrounding "The Fiduciary Rule", which has investors, retirement savers and would be investors trying to figure out just what exactly is "a fiduciary" to begin with.  We've come to expect certain business relationships to work in our favor such with a lawyer, our doctors and even the little league coach sometimes, the same applies to many of the professionals that help us invest for the long term.  Investing for retirement, such as IRA's, 401k's and similar plans that are handled or managed by investment advisors fall under the rule of fiduciary responsibility.  However, new rules expand this definition to include more people who may be involved or have an influence on retirement investing guidance.   And those new rules focus squarely on the people you trust to steer you and your money in the right direction for your "best interest".  And, not just steer your money into their pockets. -Miles
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EP:61 Urgent Care, Everywhere
Urgent Care Centers Are Everywhere. Anyone that has been looking to just be seen by a doctor for some acute issue, maybe a slight sudden illness like the flu, they now have more options than just the emergency room.   At one time regardless of your health insurance coverage, many folks were destined to sit in ER's around the country for hours and maybe even watch hospital staff  change shifts while they wait, and wait some more to be seen.  With a lack of primary care physician availability and increasing wait  times in the ER, first response of many people was to take an ambulance to get in right away, so they can hurry up to wait.  Although there are folks that still believe the ER is the place to go when they have the flu, the landscape has changed quite a bit since then.  Firstly, there are flu shots at the local pharmacy, and you can even see a doctor without going to the emergency room and waiting for your doctor to graduate from med school.  What happened?  One major change that is here to stay, Urgent Care Centers. -Miles.    
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EP:60 Plan For Life and Death
Plan for Both Life and Death, Because Both Have Expenses. On this week's episode, an interview with Funeral Services Director Alysia M. Hicks.  We discuss the business of managing final arrangements, burials, becoming a mortician/ funeral director, rumors about the business and of course ...how much does it cost to bury someone???  In this very straight forward conversation Alysia M. Hicks is able to give some true insight on a range of topics from what it takes to become a funeral director and the level of casket side manner required to be a "Doctor of Dead People". -Miles  
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EP:59 Girls Run This M*tha
The Girls Run This M*tha. Women in business, government, education, medicine, law, running for president, CEO's, Bankers, and all the rest.  Far more than just the supportive standby spouse, women are leading households and all the office too. How about banking and finance? More than just the corner C-Suite, women are starting their own companies and appointing folks to those corner offices. Now, something entirely new in the space of infinite possibilities for women, an investing platform geared toward women, focused on everything from their specific lifestyles, life cycles and the way women earn, save and invest.  You might have thought to yourself "poor Hillary", if you did, you're missing the whole thing because Girls Run This M*tha. Check out Ellevest and you'll see.   -Miles.  
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Quit and Do You: Rebroadcast*
New Year, New Motivations. It's the beginning of a new year and many of us promised ourselves to take it to the next level for the new year, last year.  This time most of us are ready, some of us have even painted ourselves in a corner to force us to get it done. Commitment devices aside, it's sometimes hard working for less than we're worth or those undeserving of our abilities.  We have the confidence, the skill-set and some of us even have the money to get started in a our own business.  Is now the time to "Quit and Do You" ?  This is a Re-broadcast, now seems a good time as any to take a look at some tips on whether or not to jump ship and venture out on your own. -Miles.
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EP:58 The Pre-Paid Pick Pocket
Pre-Paid Gift Cards During the holiday season is by far the time when pre-paid cards and gift cards are given out the most all year long.  Pre-paid Cards and Gift Cards are an easy one shot, quick trick, when  it's hard to think of something as a gift.  It's easy to stop in a local Wal-Mart, Walgreen's and now even the local Dollar Tree and grab one of these pre-paid cards or gift cards on the go. Convenience comes at a cost, and sometimes it's a very high cost.  There are too many alternatives to list when it comes to pre-paid cards and gift cards. What's really crazy is that among the alternatives ...buying stock in the very company that sells the pre-paid cards and gifts cards may be the best alternative of all.  A quick look at the stock price of company that sells and markets the Green Dot (NYSE:DOT) card at the local Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) reveals the  stock is up around 45% year to date for 2016! With that sort of return on investment, it would be better to give the company stock as a gift instead of the actual pre-paid card. Dang! -Miles.
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EP:57 PunchTV CEO Interview, Joseph Collins
Interview with CEO of PunchTV Studios, Joseph Collins This episode is a followup to episode 54 "Is It A Scam", during which, the PunchTV Studios IPO was one of the companies profiled for review.  PunchTV studios is within the IPO phase of going public and currently offering company shares for $1. each.  This offering has been specifically targeted to the urban market and non-accredited investors. Typically, IPO stocks aren't available to the average non-accredited investor, however with recent changes in legislation and the SEC Rule Regulation A along with The JOBS Act, companies like PunchTV and others have been able to offer shares directly to the public.  In addition to direct to public IPO shares, companies are also able to seek funding through "crowdfunding" practices.  With lesser regulations and lesser oversight there's been both a lot of buzz about companies like PunchTV and a lot of questions about its worthiness as an investment for newbie investors.  In this interview, PunchTV CEO, Joseph Collins speaks directly to many of the ongoing questions. -Miles.  
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EP:56 The Holiday List
The Personal Finance Holiday List This is the holiday season and you probably deserve to give yourself the gift of of financial fitness.  At the end of the year during holiday season there's still time to wrap up 2016 and put a big bow on it.  The Personal Finance Holiday List focuses on maximizing deferred savings, reducing taxes, giving gifts that keep on giving and optimizing your credit profile so you're not paying the interest that allows other customers to get teaser rates.  Keeping yourself financially fit ultimately allows you to go out and buy gifts for whoever you may desire, you included.  Just remember, charity starts and home, then travels abroad. -Miles.
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EP:55 Five Forces
Force Factors That Drive Small Business In this episode, a review of Porter's 5 Forces and how they shape small business.  Which forces may be working in your favor and which forces are working against you and your small business like the force of a hurricane.  In this overview a look at each of the five forces and how they may apply in most any small business.  At any given time or another one of these may be driving business to or away from you, in either case, it's good stuff to know and good business sense to employ. It's hard work   -Miles  
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EP54 Is it A Scam?
Is It a Scam??? Be careful, a lot investment schemes and even some scams are looking to get over over like a fat rat.  Investment schemes and scams are nothing new, as matter of fact, these things are always refreshed and updated for modern times.  Whether it's Ivan Boesky, Madoff, some new unknown investment company promising real estate profits or a foray into Forex.  Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions   ...and look for the tell tale signs.   -Miles.
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EP:53 The Commerical Lease
  Going from Hustle to Small Biz: The Commercial Lease In this episode the focus turns to small business basics and getting the commercial lease.  Once you've decided to move the hustle up a notch you're going to need a place to do business from.  Whether your sell shoes, hair products or just give advice on doing both at thee same time, you're probably going to need a place to call home where you make it happen in business.  It's only so long you can rock that basement, living room or front seat of your car.  In looking for a place to establish your business, if it's your first time out of the gate you may find the commercial lease language covers some things your not used to like "CAM" and the "NET".  This episode: The Commercial Lease highlights some of the important things to keep in mind when you encounter landlords and less than usual terms. -Miles.  
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EP52 Eric B. is President
Ep52 Eric B is President, and it obviously doesn't matter. In 1986 the song titled "Eric B. is President" was a #1 hit song in the Hip Hop community.  At the time it was a strange title, but the title sank in and it didn't even matter.  The Hip Hop community went on to take over the music world and Rakim became one of the most well known and prolific rappers in Hip Hop history -still to this day.  He debuted by nominating his DJ for president, that's 1986, talk about making America great again. The 2016 election is over and a new president will be sitting in the White House soon.   There's a lot of anxiety surrounding what is to become of the new presidency?  So the question remains, how will affect your daily finances, your money, your ability to save and invest because that's all that really matters. In episode 52, what may or may not be of concern with a new presidency. -Miles
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Ep50: The Look Back Forward
Episode #50. A Look Back Forward of What Was and Will Be. This is marked as the 50th episode.  A review of what inspired the podcast, its mission, putting it together and the direction going forward. -Miles.
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Sexy: Money or Finance?
Which Has More Sexiness, Money or Finance? In this episode a quick breakdown of Money vs. Finance as it relates to sex appeal.  Which has more allure? Which is more exciting? How do we approach the idea of money in comparison to the way we approach the idea of finance?  If you thought there were no differences, or if you've given it no though at all. this episode digs into the differences and tries to figure which of the two has more sex appeal. -Miles  
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Open for Enrollment
Open Enrollment Options. Annual "Open Enrollment" selections, elections and options are typically around October and November of every year.  Most employees carryover the same options year after year, sometimes this is a big mistake, they're leaving money on the table and that is not how the game is played.  Much like you would review every line of tax deductions for expenses and credits at tax time, the same should be done to ensure annual elections are "optimized".  Everyone wants to get the most for their money, with that in mind making a decision for the entire year can be tricky.  It's necessary to consider everything from frequency doctor visits, dental visits, eye care, prescriptions, relocating or even if you don't go to the doctor much more than preventative care and checkups here and there. Consider everything from possible savings by reducing coverage, adding life insurance amounts, and of course the possible tax advantages of an FSA or HSA to help offset those wonderful co-pays and deductibles.  I always wondered who came up with the "co-pay", like really, a $10. co-pay?!?! Why? It's always been a pain to make sure you have $10. or $15. in my pocket just for the co-pay! -Miles.  
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Every Year is Election Year
Election Year is Every Year. What's up with voting? What's up with this current Presidential election? Usually the largest number of people turn out to vote in the general election, people seem to take it personal.  That's a good thing, not so good is that once they've made their choice for president, they go back home and go to bed for more four years.  People miss out on all of the voting in between the four years, the voting for everything from local mayor, prosecutor, sheriff, the board of education to the city council and consequently all of the people that the foregoing hire or appoint while they are in office. Essentially, a mini administration.   Guess what that means? Ultimately, the local vote can be more meaningful to the quality of your everyday life in a far greater way than the once every four years presidential election.  But make no mistake about it, the BIG election does get all the attention.  Lest we forget, beyond the annual and biannual elections, use everything you do as an opportunity to vote. Every Year is Election Year. -Miles.
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The Podcast Playlist
The Podcast Episode Playlist This episode details the current play list of subscribed podcasts directly from my favorites folder.  It is somewhat a reference list on money and finance related podcasts alongside some entertainment podcasts, good shows no doubt.  I share this list to offer good shows you can check out between episodes of Miles Weekly, some of the best on money are listed here with some of the most creative and most passionate on the podcasts they produce.  There's an insane amount of podcast lists and directories, maybe even as many podcasts, but this is the "play list" straight from my cracked screen phone.  Podcasters love feedback, so when you check out these podcasts don't forget to rate them and let them know how they're doing. Give them "5 - Stars" (preferably), comments, even some criticism if you think they're entertaining, informative or useful. Where to get your podcasts.... Stitcher. iTunes. BeyondPod. Soundcloud. Google Play.  ...or type "podcast" in your search browser.   -Miles
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Stay On Game Q4 EOY Planning
Staying On Game, 4th Quarter EOY Planning. Now is the time to get into practice of working on a last quarter EOY (end of year)  review of annual goals and a once over of your money situation.  This week's episode focus is on re-balancing the financial snapshot which may include everything from your different types of insurance to investments to savings, credit card interest rates and more.  Review your financial picture and bring things into focus that may need a last minute tweaking for staying on point to meet whatever goals exist, while there's still time to see a difference.  Goals can range from reducing credit, credit balances, interest rates or saving enough for a great holiday season.  If you have no specific goals, now is also a good time to maybe get some into focus, regardless of where you are, you may want to be better. Review and re-balance inflows and spending. Get On Game and Stay On Game. -Miles
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Paper Money
Playing With Paper. Not sure about this whole investing thing?  It can be fairly easy and straightforward to get set up with a brokerage and even link your existing bank account, then what?  Start buying stocks ...buy, buy, buy!  Okay, maybe not so fast.  There may be a few things to learn first, like what stock to choose and even if it's a good time to buy it.   Luckily, there's plenty of instruction and guidance available whether you want to learn about buying stocks, mutual funds, bonds, commodities and the list goes on.  Some instruction is free, some is pay per play, most is good and some is great.  Either way, once you have got some sort of an idea of what to buy and how ...buy, buy, buy!  Wait, not so fast, first you'll need money, money, money!  Well before you go risking your cash you can maybe try trading with "paper" or "paper money" that is, trading with not so real cash. You can do what's known as paper trading to maybe get a feel for what you're doing, try out a few strategies, buy some stock and see how things go before you actually go live and start using your "actual" cash.  But don't go trading off all your good luck with the paper money trading, save some of that good luck for executing real trades and investments. -Miles.
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Sucker Free Money
Don't Be a Sucker, Don't Pay Into Usury. Be Sucker Free. Usury is the practice of having or charging notoriously high interest, costs and fees attached to borrowing money.  Federal and local governments try to protect consumers from the worst of the worst when it comes to such practices, but it's usually after whatever company has already made a really good run and ripped off many people along the way.  In the most conspicuous ways it can be seen in credit card rates, car loan rates, housing loan rates, (sure you've heard enough about the housing crisis to feel like an expert on the subject) and short term loans.  Short term loans and fast cash payday loans probably being the most economically damaging of the bunch.  Still, there's the hidden usurious tactics, yes hidden, such as the 22% fee on money transfers and so on.  Then there's interest and fees on money that already belongs to you, instead of gaining or receiving interest, secondary financial companies are charging you for your own money.  I know, crAzy RiGht? What kind of Sucker pays to get his or her own money.  Be "Sucker Free", don't work for your money and then pay for your own money. -Miles.
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Learn To Earn w/ The Brown Report
Interview with Jason Brown of "The Brown Report". In this episode, an interview with Jason Brown, investor, trader, instructor and developer of "The Brown Report".  Jason goes over some of the differences in trading versus investing and how to get started based on your your money goals.  He explains how he got started in trading, investing and some of the ups and downs that come with the territory.  Jason explains how he came to develop several intense and focused courses based on his knowledge of investing and how it can be tailored to meet individual needs. During the interview Jason sets aside the mystique, glamour and sometime hype about investing by digging right in to the nuts and bolts of getting started with investing and trading from the ground floor.  Besides offering entry level instruction and investor training, The Brown Report also offers advanced level trading strategies for those that find themselves wanting more.  He has a relaxed, confident approach that only comes following some real world experience and perseverance earned during trading in both up and down market cycles.  If you haven't seen any of the ads for "The Brown Report" online or elsewhere, check it here at "The Brown Report" . -Miles.
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Small Business: The Next Episode
The Next Episode in Your Small Business. Once you've got you small business off the ground and are running on all cylinders, now what?  Sooner or later every small business may hit a plateau, and no one knows how long this "plateau" may last.  That isn't the time to take the "wait and see" approach, that's not how real go-hard go-getters and entrepreneurs get down anyway.  In fact, that will be the time start considering advanced moves to position the small business for growth.  When it comes to growing and moving beyond the plateau nothing but nothing is off limits, everything from guerilla marketing to getting a publicist to revamping the entire business is on the table, you will either Grow or Die. This podcast episode talks about advanced moves to "Grow or Die".  First things first, before making advanced moves, make sure not to get too far ahead of yourself by attempting big moves before the business is stable and ready.  How do you go to the next episode? -Miles
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Invest Responsibly
Socially Responsible Investing. Do You Invest Responsibly? Are your 401k and other mutual fund based investments such as IRA's and 529 plans reflecting your values as an investor?  Can you maintain your moral values and make money with investments at the same time?  As it turns out the answer is yes, you can invest in your values and still be a value investor.  Recently, some well known dividend paying stocks took a nosedive of over 40%, as it turned out, not many people agreed with their line of business anyway.   Little do many investors know, they are invested in many things or companies that they wouldn't want to be bothered with. In this episode, a look at two controversial companies that both have a lot of investors money riding on them. -Miles.
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Investing Lingo
The Lingo, The Language. Every industry has its language and investing is no stranger to having its own too.  Problem with investing language is nobody knows what the hell they are talking about. What the hell is the Dow and if the market has a fallout, does that mean I should sell my company stock options? That is the problem, the problem that keeps people out. Keeps people on edge, selling their entire 401k, cashing out and running for the hills based on some news show using terms they never heard before.  They talk as if it's another language and most people are just wondering do they need a flux capacitor to mitigate the attenuation and trajectory of their... ok, so you get it. The Investing Lingo is a problem all by itself.
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The Uber Lady Charlotte
Interview with The Uber Lady Charlotte. In this episode an interview with The Uber Lady Charlotte, she offers some insight into being an Uber driver and from the perspective of being a woman.  She's on her hustle and grind, and has a big heart.  What it's like to be an Uber driver, how she makes the most of her time and money by targeting everyone from "walk of shame" passengers to church goers.  Although she has a big heart, she puts up with no bullsh*t, and yes, she'll still rate you 5 stars.  Uber Lady Charlotte also maintains a YouTube channel where she uploads everything from advice for Uber newbies to stories about her colorful days.  Her YouTube channel is interesting and funny with a bit of seriousness, luckily for passengers, she doesn't take herself too seriously and enjoys what she does.   -Miles.
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The Emergency Fund
What's The Truth About an Emergency Fund, Other Than The Fact That You Need One? Typical standard advice is to have an emergency fund of 3 - 6 months worth of expenses in the case of an emergency, which depending, seems to be at least a monthly occurrence for many.  This episode talks to the advice of nearly a year worth of household expenses sitting in an account just waiting for an emergency to happen.  That would be great!  Now, here's a piece of everyday reality pie... if most people aren't saving enough for retirement, people have a hard time following advice on how to just LIVE into retirement healthy, people don't get their car oil changed until it's literally turned into ink and finally, a high number of people are living paycheck to paycheck.  All that being said, guess what? A lot of folks don't have 3 - 6 months of emergency savings. All hope isn't lost though, folks are devising ways to make it in case of emergency.  And as much as the finance gurus warn against it, a good number of those people rely on their retirement fund or anything else they can reach for.  Friends and family support systems and even the family car may have to go if things get tight before you get your money right. -Miles
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Are Solar Panels Worth It?
Solar Panels are Readily Available and for FREE! (a little bit free) Typically, when you see the word FREE, you should run the other way.  But there are several companies offering to install solar panels for FREE and reduce your electric bill in the meantime.  This might deserve a little checking out considering the cost of electric production and usage.  Between figuring out what a Kilowatt Hour actually means, then how much it costs, electricity delivery charges and all the rest it just may make sense to at least find out what's up with these FREE solar panels.  This might be a way out if you have electric everything, like heat, hot water, oven, etc.  And of course, there's fine print. -Miles.
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Do You Need a Business Coach?
Do You Need A Business Coach to Succeed? It seems everyplace you look these days there are coaches for whatever goals you aspire to reach.  Business Coach, Finance Coach, Relationship Coach, and, and... How do you size up the right coach for you and your aspirations? Take the Business Coach for example, there are many things to think about before getting yourself involved with a self described business coach.  Not to mention, the questions needing answers to properly vet just the right business coach.  Before moving forward the very first thing will be to understand what your needs are.  What areas actually need coaching?  After figuring out what you may need, gaps to fill and shortcoming to get over, then there's the coach.  Not to worry, there are videos and coaches that are glad to coach you on finding or becoming a coach. -Miles.  
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Chicken and Waffles …AND Taxes
Small Businesses and Sales Tax What does "Chicken and Waffles" have to do with sales tax? Everything. Regardless of the type of business you have or how good your product may be,  in this case chicken and waffles, you had better pay your sales and use taxes.  While small business income tax might require an accountant or tax professional, sales and use is pretty straightforward.  Whatever the state sales tax is that your charging, tally it up monthly or quarterly and send it to the state to keep the wolves at bay (trust me, they are wolves).  This is not a bill that you let get out of control.  Although you may be short on funds, or maybe even spent it, which of course you shouldn't, but if you did spend it there's still some action to take on your part. Even if your business has really, really good chicken and waffles. -Miles.
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What’s up With Brexit? w/Camari Ellis
Seriously, What's up With Brexit? Financial Advisor Camari Ellis explains. There are a lot of questions, concerns and just plain old curiosity surrounding the Brexit situation.  Following our own financial meltdown in the United States and all of the crazy things that followed ranging from job losses, to people literally walking away from their homes and mortgages to portfolios getting completely crushed.  People lost money like it was going out of style.  So what's up with Brexit, is it something like that?  Will there be those sorts of residual problems?  News reports are talking about 401k's and IRA's potentially taking a hit.  What should someone do if anything right now?  Financial Advisor, Camari Elllis breaks down the Brexit, the EU, Euros and what you should consider before making any presumptuous money moves. OR... Maybe there is a OPPORTUNITY presenting itself loud and clear, just yelling "Over here, now is the time!"  Remember Baron Rothschild, "buy when there is blood in the streets". -Miles.  
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Assets vs Liabilities
The Basics: Assets vs Liabilities In this week's episode of MWPF, it's the basics of identifying the assets vs liabilities and investments.  Is that house, car and jewelry an investment or an asset? There's usually a lot of discussion here and a large part is due to the sometimes changing status of things we buy or consider ourselves investing in, for example something that may start as a liability because of costs attached to maintain it, may turn out to become an asset at some time or another.   Most controversial of all, are the intangibles such as relationships, knowledge, skill, education and even social status in regards to whether they are assets or even investments.  Do you invest in your social status or intimate relationships?  Are your relationships liabilities that cost you to maintain them and keep up appearances.  On the landscape of Assets vs. Liabilities there's much more than just your house.   -Miles.
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Orlando, FL and Capitalism
Capitalism Marches On, Even in Orlando, Florida. Even as we mourn the recent massacre of innocent people living life as  they see fit and socializing in an environment where they felt safe and comfortable among like minded peers.  Truth is, many of us would like to live so honest and free, happy and content with ourselves.  Still some crazed person will bring the sad reality of wanting to inflict his will on them and eventually take their lives to make his point. There will be more mourning than can probably be imagined as there were so many families  touched that transcend race, creed, nationality, economic class and sexual orientation.  Regardless, we live in a society that is dominated by capitalism and as such, the stocks of gun makers were up immediately following this terrible massacre.  Whether it's matter of security concerns or self defense, capitalism is marching forward, manufacturers and retailers alike are making profits as a direct result. May God Bless those affected by the tragedy, the families friends and loved ones of the victims. May God Be With You. -Miles.
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Fast Cash is Nefarious
Fast Cash for the cashless, that hopefully can't pay it back. This week's episode highlights the downside of going after fast cash offers from payday lenders.  Fast Cash offers have lured many in with the hopes of taking care of small urgent or even emergency events.  However, fast cash payday lenders have been cited for their Nefarious predatory lending practices in many states, so much so that they have been banned.  More and more states around the country are focusing on getting rid of fast cash payday lenders and now the federal government has targeted them as well with new guidelines. Consider options to getting fast cash in a hurry without potentially paying 400% and burning your bank account to the ground in the process. -Miles.
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Quitting Your Job and Doing You
Thinking about quitting your day job to be a Entrepreneur? Before you go jump out of the window to start your own business, you might want to tie up some loose ends, and some ends not too tightly either. Quitting your job to do you can be a one of the most exciting moments in a Entrepreneur's journey, however, your job should be a tool to help catapult you into that space.  Your job may not be what's holding you back, but could be what's setting you in position.  What are some of the very first things you should think about doing if you're quitting your job and doing you?  This episode talks about getting set up before you quit, transitioning and not looking back. -Miles.
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Choosing a Business Partner
"Big Paulie" isn't a good choice as a business partner. Going into business with a partner isn't much different from choosing a partner in many other areas of life, including marriage.  Does your business partner have what it takes to succeed? Does your business partner have business savvy or are they  just trying to make a buck and say "look at me, I'm in business"?  It's necessary to have some criteria for choosing a business partner before committing and starting a business, or you may have to see Big Paulie, and you know what that means... -Miles.
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Grow or Die. Small Business
Small Business. Grow or Die is the rule. This week's episode reviews how to grow your small business and not die while still being alive in business.  How would you die and still be in business?  When year over year and quarter over quarter results are the same, you might have hit a snag or flat spot in your business.   Get stuck in that flat spot repeatedly and you're dead, rather, the living dead ...figuratively speaking of course. Point is, you have to grow your business once its off the ground and moving.  Now may be the time to make some big moves.  In this week's episode I discuss 5 big moves that's necessary to help fight off the rigor mortis that awaits if you don't get to shaking and moving.  Using the strengths of a small business, pivot, pivot, pivot   ....Grow or Die.   -Miles
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Investing in Your Employee Stock Program
Is it Wise to Invest in Your Employer? This week's episode highlights some of the pros and cons of investing in your employee stock program.  If you work for a major company that is traded on the stock exchange, there may be more to your compensation than meets the eye via Employee Stock Purchase programs There many ways to earn more and make the most of your employer even if your a lower level employee.  You may be able to invest in your employer stock at a discount, which in the end is a net increase to your compensation.  Your employer may have a pension plan that is invests in company shares or may offer you stock options.  There are many ways you may be able to get a hold of company shares even at a discount, whichever way is available to you make sure to look it over carefully and don't dismiss the potential opportunity. -Miles.  
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Invest in Economic Trends
Playing Economic Trends. There are economic trends that are going on right in your everyday space, some of which we all take part in oftentimes and can invest into as well.  Many of these trends offer opportunity to not just be a consumer but also make money from the trend itself, for the long run.  In this episode, some insight on what's popping up all over neighborhoods around the country. storage spaces. The Storage Space business is booming all over the country regardless of community type or status. including communities in transition such as gentrification, revitalization, urbanization, and even bedroom communities are seeing big business move in.  At the front of the line is a company called Public Storage with some competitors not very far behind.  You probably have seen some of these places in your area, and yes, they are investment opportunities waiting to be taken advantage of.   -Miles.
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Car Buying Lease or BUY?
Lease OR BUY? 5 Reasons Why You Should Lease and 5 Reasons You Should Buy Maybe lease today and maybe buy tomorrow.  The idea is that it really depends on your needs or circumstances, and as we all know, both variables change from time to time.  Lease options have come a good long way to reach the everyday leisure driving consumer.  For that matter, so have creative financing offers that go up to seven years now.  First you have to figure out which kind of driver and consumer you are.  Do you need to own your car and do what you want however you want and whenever to your heart's content or are you cool how the car is already set up and primarily use it within the norm about 10k - 15k miles per year? Commuting or just leisure? A tinkerer that likes to hook your car up no matter what with rims, tints and a growling exhaust? Of course there's an argument to be made either way, measure your needs and choose wisely, it will be a financial decision that may last a few years to come.   -Miles
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Life Insurance, The Essentials Interview
Life Insurance Essential Interview with Kissy Ariza, Life Insurance Rep. I met with Kissy Ariza, a very personable and knowledgeable, high energy local NY area life insurance representative to ask some popular questions about getting life insurance.  Many folks already understand the importance of having life insurance of some kind, somewhere with some company.  Most of us even remember the "insurance man" who used to come around from time to time, and our parents bought whatever policies they could afford.   Not so much in our busy lives today.  Hence, there are a lot of misgivings and out right un-truths out there about insurance.  One thing however is for sure, a good ironclad policy is a key part of any good personal financial planning. Kissy Ariza was able to dispel some common misconceptions, verify some known truths and even offer some serious take away information.  In this interview she gave some invaluable points that make it easy to understand why life insurance is such a big deal and necessary part of your finance arsenal. -Miles.
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Taxes, last minute free filing and HELP
Some last minute tax ideas, local help and information. (Apologize for the audio, street side interview with some serious wind noise) Just happen to come across a New York State Tax assistance trailer that is set up on the Grand Concourse in The Bronx, NYC.  State reps were out and a local financial services business, ARIVA was onsite to assist also, they were offering to assist anyone interested in getting their taxes done by the deadline for FREE!  Of course there were details, but free is FREE... I stopped to talk with them about what the free promotion.  Although the state employees were a bit shy, they were very nice.  In connjuction with NYS was a local business, Ariva Tax and Ceasar from Ariva was approachable and glad to take a quick minute where he explained some of the services offered to the local community by Ariva Tax. -Miles.    
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Wealth Fundamentals: Health
Foundation of Wealth: Health As a foundation to build your wealth be it in monetary riches or a longevity in life, it is our health that we will rely on time and time again.  Good health is our number one asset, and well being of both mental and physical is what will allow the hustling go-getter in us all to build our own Empires.  Health and Wellness is the underlying engine that keeps us all running.  More than any accidental deaths, homicides, suicides or any other tragedy, it is illness and deteriorating health that slowly robs most people of the greatest potential.  As is well known, some of the worst killers among the US population as it relates to health are also some of the most most preventable are Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Diabetes is the 7th Leading cause of death in the US according to the American Diabetes Association.  Cardiovascular Disease is the  absolute leading cause of death globally according to the American Heart Association.   -Miles
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Investment Clubs. Team Investing
Investing as a Group or Team. Oddly enough, regardless of where you may fall on the economic ladder there are still opportunities to invest as and even become or start you own investment firm, investor club and kind of manage your own fund or basket of stocks.   You can learn the basics of selecting and investing in good solid companies and pool your monies with your family or group to make investing a unified effort.  You can focus on whatever sector or specific industry of the market you want or diversify yourself to no end.  Investment Clubs..... Groupus + Economicus= Prosperous! -Miles.
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Investing in DRiPs not Drabs..
Powerful investing strategy for the average investor and not the trader. Far too many people aren't well versed with basic investing although they do have some interest and some money to invest too.  A long standing problem has been knowing what, where and how... obviously, information is power.  Movies like Wall Street, Boiler Room and The Wolf of Wall St. don't help, some nasty characters in each, but you can get around those guys and still bet invested.  During this episode I talk about a direct way to get into stocks of some of your favorite companies and brands.  How to invest continuously, build a portfolio and let your dividends power your investment through dollar cost averaging.  The majority of people get involved with investing through their 401k or other employer sponsored plan, the rest might peek into the world of investing but won't leap without some guidance because it seems so convoluted.  Well, it ain't so hard, with DRiP investing you open an account, enroll/ make selections from a list of companies you prob are familiar with, send your check and go from there... simple done.  Okay a little more effort than that, but not much more. -Miles.
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Opportunist Investing.
The Opportunistic Investor. "Buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own."  -Baron Rothschild In this episode, being an opportunist when it comes to investing.  Seeing opportunities in a down market environment, when things are at their worst, values are down and investing opportunities are ripe.  Becoming a contrarian style investor, identifying intrinsic values and when to leap after them in several markets ranging from real estate to healthcare.  Learn to look at every situation see past the cover and quantify the possibilities to invest and make money.  In every climate whether there's a political campaign or a protest at the very same campaign, someone is making a profit, someone had to make all of those signs and they weren't made in China. There there's what's known as "Luck", while I don't subscribe to the "Luck" thing... this saying makes a lot of sense to me, "Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity".  I mean, you were preparing for the opportunity, that makes you an opportunist in my book. Whether there's a catastrophe or a celebration, there's someone being paid or making some modest profit.  Funerals, weddings, sweet sixteens and graduations all use flowers, someone planning and executing for a price.  As an opportunist, it becomes intuitive to see these things unfold and reap the benefits.  While there isn't a mile wide difference between exploiting and serving in many cases, there is a difference and those that serve rather than exploit as opportunists make out better over all and have long lasting results. -Miles.  
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The GiG Economy. Hustle Money.
The New GiG Economy. What was old is brand new, again. GiGs were typically the label musicians and other pay to perform types of self directed workers put on their jobs. GiGs are temporary, task based, no ties, reputation dependent and required a specialist of sorts to get it done.  GiGs sometimes require a mercenary mindset with the drive of a hustler.  There are no allegiances, honorary commitments, no bonuses (most times), no overtime, profit sharing... simply no frills.  Just do this task well, get paid move on to the next. Traditional Underground GiG Economy. GiG's that have been around and will be around millenia after millenia...  DJ's and Emcees, Catering, Personal Anything, Movers, Musicians, Dressmaking, Construction, Mechanics, Taxis, Painter, Artwork and the list goes on.  Now today we have Personal Coaches, SEO Marketers, Videographers, Web Designers, Publicists, Application Developers, Design Engineers, Uber Drivers and more. As of late, the internet and apps have taken to breaking down old, established standards and filling gaps of up to date needs.  With access to online and the availability to create apps, the ability to teach yourself something new, adapt and offer a service regardless of how whether or not the old standards are met. The newest thing in the economy is the oldest thing, and that is the hustle mentality.  Taking on task based assignments for a fee. Clean, efficient and straightforward.  Best of all, how much success you have or money you make depends on how much hustle you have even more than ever before.  There are some caveats, taxes, insurance, and the investment of time and money.  Then there's the regulators of course, better make sure you're registered, licensed and so on where applicable.   Extras aside, people are making money in this GiG Economy, many out of losing their traditional jobs and now many that won't go back to traditional work of trading hours for dollars. -Miles.    
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Top Ten Small Business Rules
Small Business Rules... Top Ten. The Lost Episode. Episode 2.  Long winded -but good. Top Ten Small Business Rules compiled from some successes, (I've had a few) some failures, (a few more of those) some consulting and watching others walk over a cliff. If you're thinking about getting into a small business or taking your side hustle to the next level, learn the rules of the game. Besides the ultra optimistic, deep seated confidence it's going to take to get past the detractors and haters you're going to need to keep it real with yourself.  These Top Ten Small Business Rules will help you focus on the important things that are easily overlooked when visionary ideas set in. As fate would have it of course, Stitcher was down for the next three to four days! this was damn near unheard of, I could just send the link to the blog page and that's when I realized I was referencing a Podcast that had been recorded, published and never posted.  This top ten list is and essential list for anyone even considering going into small business.  At least five to seven of these things come up in every conversation I have with someone about getting started in small business.  I searched the web blog and the Stitcher page thoroughly more than once, and it wasn't posted anywhere.  I can't explain the amount of second guessing that came out of this. So even after the Stitcher site came back up... still no link to send. Dang.  Stayed up late to record this episode! Okay, here listed are the Top Ten Small Business Rules (and yes it's actually episode 2).  If you aren't focused on these, not to say you will fail, but you may damn sure have some serious bumps along the way. Or, maybe I should put it this way, you don't learn how to fight by taking punches to the face. -Miles.
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Valentine’s Day Don’t Break the BANK
Don't Go Breaking the Bank for Valentine's Day 5 Ways to go Non-Traditional for Valentine's Day and Show Your Love Valentine's day isn't the go for it all break the bank to show your love day.  However, it is a good time to start making real moves to solidify your relationship goals by building the foundation of a relationship, finances.  No matter what you're gonna have to make a showing of love with flowers, cards or candy. Just don't get lost by becoming a retailer's dream, instead, I have 5 things to focus on that are non traditional, yet great moves for solidifying a relationship that's moving forward. -Miles.
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Stop Borrowing -Start Lending
Are You Lending Money, but You're Not a Bank? Many of us have worked quite hard to elevate our financial profile to the position where we are readily able to take good care, buy most things that move us and reach most relative goals (most).  Many of us can at the very least figure out how we can attain what we want, when and even how.   While not being rich by any definition of the word, we still do pretty ok, so we say.   Here's what not news, others notice this financial confidence and ability to manage most financial lifestyle events.  They notice you not only buying some things, participating in certain activities, but also maintaining the relative lifestyle and keeping up.  Some folk notice this so much that they may even do what I call bookmark you as a financial "go to" in case things get sticky.  Where they keep you in mind just in case their irresponsible ways of handling money catches up with them, just in case they aren't able to pay their bills, need money right away to carry them over or even to help get themselves going in their own small business. Problem is, you're not a bank regardless if they treat you like one.  You probably didn't tell some of the most financially irresponsible people in the circle of family and friends "hey, if you run low on cash call me".  But they do anyway, sometimes they pay you back, sometimes they don't and others times they want to pay you like your Master Card or Visa, paying $10. then $5. then $15.  Like really, is this how I'm gonna get my $150. back??? Other than just making loans that may never get paid back with a guaranteed 0% interest, there's the new thing "funding" on sites like Go Fund Me and others for all sorts of hair brain ideas.  There's been a new market built around the short on cash overspending crowd, PayDay Loans, but at the very least they fight to get their money back and balance the risk between borrowers. So if you must lend money because it's nice to be nice, you can make some money too because that's even nicer!  It won't take becoming a Pay Day Lender and killing people financially, although peer lending is the original Pay Day Lending platform.  However, you can lend money to individuals that are willing to pay back with interest, something like operating your own bank or credit card company.  Of course, there are middle man sites that set this up, but either way, you can get in on the lending for a profit.  The middle man sites work in your favor by qualifying lenders, getting profiles, rating borrowers, giving worthwhile  insight and directions on lending rates to offer, setting up terms and other resources that will make remote personal lending simple and easy. Some of the most popular sites for personal lending, officially called "peer-to-peer" or peer lending are https://www.prosper.com  and https://www.lendingclub.com .  There are several others of course and you can search them using "peer lending" in the search bar. So this may your chance to move from friends and family network lender that never gets paid back to start lending and running your own little bank thing online. -Miles.
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2016 From a Hustle to Small Business
From Hustle to Small Business. Get Going in 2016 So, the new year is fully under way and you might have decided to make this "Your Year".  This is your year to move from "Side Hustle" to a "Small Business".  If that's the case, just know that NOW is always the time to make things happen.  Once you get going with your small business you'll figure that out right away.  On this episode I touch on few key things to keep in mind for taking the leap.  It takes some serious bravery and courage to come to the decision that you can make things happen yourself when everyone else is playing follow the leader.  Born leaders find they fit into these shoes quite comfortably, regardless of how many people warn them of how big and heavy these shoes are. However, be not blinded by your own fervor or monies, due diligence is still a requisite practice as it relates to getting your finances in order, credentials and meeting regulatory mandates.  Don't skip the business plan either no matter how difficult, no need in taking a long trip with no road map.  The more planning the better the possible outcome, and you understand possibilities over guarantees because that's the nature of business.  Many folks are stuck on the fence and forever will be as they are waiting for some magical unicorn with a flashing sign stating "Guaranteed Success" before reaching out on their own, watch out for them, they're a bit contagious.  A true entrepreneur probably won't get caught in this pipe dream, especially one that has primed the market as a side hustle all along before leaping.   -Miles
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Right NOW: Filing Taxes
Right NOW Segment: File Your Damn Taxes. Your Damn Self. For most people filing your taxes is all about the money, so why would it make sense to give more of it away.  Filing your income taxes just isn't the mystery it used to be.   If you're like most people, you probably work a job, have taxes taken out and look to file your income taxes with the possibility of a refund. That "Refund", as it turns out is super juicy.  So juicy that entire businesses, franchises and small companies have been built around said "Refund".  Between the tax credits like Earned Income Tax, tax over payment from your check every pay period and under reporting of dependents, that "Refund" stacks up to a few thousand dollars very quickly. Instead of waiting at the tax office until the late night hours to file with some local retail tax branch, letting them charge you anywhere from $100. up to $500. or even more you can save by handling this yourself.  If it's all about the money, then be just that, "all about the money".  Every year retail tax preparers come up with enticing schemes to get people in so they can get a piece of that "Refund".  This year's promise is dome money upfront, referral commissions and of course they offer quick turn around times... fast, fast, fast! Filing taxes yourself have benefits that last starting with you understanding your finances and taking some control of handling them too.
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Money and Relationships
Money and Relationships. Top 5 Accounts  Successful Couples Share. At the very minimum, there are at least 5 finance accounts every couple should share, or are working toward getting together: Joint Checking: Day to day and monthly household management, utilities and food, etc. Savings/ (MMA) Money Market Account: For the Emergency Fund, home down payment, vacations, large purchases like cars and appliances. Checking/ MMA Investment: For making investments and speculative activity into anything ranging from real estate investing to small business ventures. Brokerage Account:  For investing in mutual funds, stock and other long term investments. Credit Card Account: For shared benefit expenses like vacation rentals, car rentals, travel, bookings and on the spot issues. How does finances play a role in relationships when you're trying to build yourself up?  Can it be expected that your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend will take on your bills with your now that you're together?  Are old debts now shared debts?  Do you share bank accounts and saving accounts? When it come to relationships, another major qualifier other than how great a personality someone has, how good they look and make you feel should be what is their philosophy about finances.  Do you have a spender, a compulsive saver or someone that just doesn't have or want a clue about money on your hands?  The time to figure this out may not be after you've kind of fallen head over heels, you know when you're not thinking so clearly. What if you're already in a relationship and the finances are jacked up, one sided or no one is taking responsibility for your financial future?  Who should be in charge of the finances?  Probably you if you're the one who noticed.  Who should be guiding and ensuring you're reaching financial goals of home buying, savings, retirement and education? Again, probably you.  Credit scores, retirement savings and financial does matter.  Unless of course you don't mind making up the difference where your partner lacks in these areas.  Now is always a good time to take a look at your finances and how they work in your relationship, because as you may already know, ain't no romance without finance. -Miles.
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2016 Max Out the Savings
2016 MAX OUT. 2016 is in full effect, and although there's still some of last year lingering around for tallying taxes, earnings, dividends, losses, 2015 is still pretty much in the bag. Once you get the 1099's out of the way you'll have the hard figures on what you made saved and maybe lost.  2016 is the focus now, I usually give myself a month or even two to really iron out and commit to new year goals and so called resolutions. It takes about a couple of months just to be sure if the new goals are worthy, not too lofty and not too easy, no matter what they're usually never too easy. This year a new twist, targeting a savings or investment account and trying to MAX it OUT, through contributions of course.  Selecting a retirement account, education savings account or something similar and making the MAX contributions for the calendar year. Some folks this will come fairly easy, for the majority it'll be a set it and forget it challenge and a few others will maybe need to put this challenge in perspective for their budget.  Regardless of budget, economic status and earnings it is fairly universally agreed everyone should be saving for a rainy day, cloudy at least.  That being considered, there are many avenues to save that pretty much applies to everyone in some way or another.  There are 401k's, 403b's, 457's, Coverdell ESA's, MMA's, Government Savings Bonds, ROSA's (Regular Old Savings Accounts), IRA's, Roth IRA's, Roth 401k's, 529 Plans and the list goes on.  Thing is, most of these accounts have some sort of maximum amount you can contribute annually, primarily because the majority have some money saving features whether it's through deferred taxes on contributions or tax free earnings on contributions. Whatever your flavor or purpose, you're probably enrolled or have one of these set up someplace, at work or elsewhere.  When it comes to waiving of taxes on earnings or contributions, the government is involved to authorize that sort of thing, and they also put caps and limits, check out Retirement Plan limits and details for the most up to date and accurate information for plan limits and specific details.  Many folks never really hit the caps or limits set or even know they exist.  In today's show, to kick off 2016 we're focusing on identifying the limits and choosing one of these accounts to max out for 2016. Regardless of our budget, we're going to figure a way to MAX OUT for 2016.   -Miles.
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Holiday Spending: Stay Focused on Your Finances
Holiday Spending: Now is the time to stay focused and watch your budget. Keeping in mind that the end of the year is also a heads up of the new year to come.  Regardless of how you celebrate in the name of what you celebrate or where, being mindful of your finances should help make the holidays that much brighter for you.  Typically by this time of year I have some idea of what monies I have available to spend and to what degree the gift giving will go. One trick I've played on myself is to let the FSA reimbursement checks accrue in an account, in a folder, on my desk or someplace and then use them to make the holiday budget.  This accrual method has worked for me for years, works just as good as any Christmas Club type plan.  Good thing about this accrual type approach is it lets you target and budget, even if you want to splurge a little bit and take a trip or buy something a little more expensive than usual all while staying in the same pattern of saving, bill paying and keep up with the household economics such as heat and new blankets for the winter.   Consumer Traps Turned Up During Holiday Time Be on the lookout for the 15% off game.  Stores off their own credit cards to shoppers and entie them by offering something like 15% of more off of the entire purchase today.  This is a Sucker's game unless you are the best of the best when it comes to due diligence, what's known as a sophisticated shopper.  Don't let your ego take advantage of you, you may not be as sophisticated as you think.  These store charge anywhere from 20% to 30% or whatever the legal limit is and very few folks squeak by without getting caught up paying the heavy fees at least once, and once is all they need.  Just think of it this way, they offer you 10% off to have an opportunity to charge you 30% extra. Stay focused. Not to mention this makes you think you've extended your buying power, wrong again.  You're only extending the opportunity to buy more stuff at a potential 30% hike.  Who wants to buy something that costs $100. for $130. instead???  Well, that's what it becomes. Stay on budget and steer clear.  Let the less than savvy shoppers take this deal, it allows the retailer to make those deep discounts and Black Friday deals, that you pay cash or debit for.   Better Ways to Gift Money The holidays also another opportunity to learn, teach or usher in new habits of personal finance management.  One of the not so advertised or marketed gifts is the gift of stock ownership, while it's difficult to stack up against a new watch, trendy shoes or game console it may serve well a an add on or secondary gift that may outlast all of the foregoing.  Sort of the "teach a man to fish... " idea, very inexpensive to buy one, two or even ten shares depending on your budget in the name of the person your buying it for and have the stock certificate sent to them. An actual stock certificate of ownership with the stated number of shares denoted on it.  You'd be surprised how such a gift may knock some one's sock off, introduce them to the world of finance and investing and take things in another direction altogether for them.  Learning to become more than just a consumer and shifting toward an investor. Great for kids as they will come to understand they can actually own a part of some of their favorite companies and brands such as Facebook, Netflix, Disney, Sony, Microsoft, Footlocker and many other well known companies.  You can Buy Stock Certificates as Gifts Here for more information on gifting stock certificates. Happy Holidays 2015. -Miles
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Right NOW Segment: Home Buying.
Right NOW... Steps to take for buying your first home. This week's Right NOW segment highlights critical yet nontraditional first steps you can take to buy your first home.  Most Real Estate Agents, Lawyers, Home Inspectors and anyone else that will assist in the home buying process will have you go right out and begin shopping as a first step.  If you look around online, many home buying guides will have you shopping ahead of some very critical steps as well.  Understand the differences between Pre-Approved and Pre-Qualified... you might find that both can mean to PRETEND.  On this week's episode I share my unorthodox which was born out of fear of "The Closing" and why it's worth taking the path less traveled to ensure success in your venture to buy your first home.     -Miles.    
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Right Now Segment. Retirement Saving
New Ways To Save for Retirement. Right NOW. During this Right NOW Segment, I discuss a new and exciting opportunity to save for retirement even if you do not work someplace where your employer offer a traditional retirement plan such as 401k or 403b.  Retirement Saving is key to financial wellness, now both individuals and employers can help setup a plan that is of no cost to the employer, allows direct deposits with no fees or management costs and is transferable from employer to employer.  A new, safe way to save and earn interest with no fees! Retirement Saving is available for even more people that want to save. Check out The Newest Thing in Retirement Plans to find out how you can get started Right NOW for Retirement Saving. -Miles.
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Pyramid or MLM? Same Thing?
"NOT" Hot New Ways to Make Money. MLM's Many are the same old shell game they've always been: PYRAMIDS. You may have had a friend approach you and tell you about a great opportunity to make a ton of money.  They are all excited and want to pull you in, because you're close friends right and that's just what friends do.  They may give you some sketchy details, but just enough to keep your interest because after all, it is an opportunity to make money ...extra money.  Although you probably have never seen the ever elusive "extra money" or "extra income" a day in your life, it's promising and sounds good as always. They go even further and tell you to come to some meeting or seminar so you can get the rest of the details because they can't tell you everything now, but you can find out the rest later ...your B.S. radar antenna gets a bat signal and starts beeping.  Regardless of suspicion of the unknown you check it out, there is "extra income" involved in this. Well, maybe... Here on this episode I look at some key identifiers for letting you know if your network marketing efforts are actually going to make you money, or are you locked into a recruitment mill and paying to be down. -Miles.
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Business Owner vs Buying a Job
Started a New Business, or Working for Yourself? Are you a business owner or did you buy yourself a new job? All too often we want to pick up and take our skills to market for ourselves to start a new business and make all of the money for ourselves.  We decide that we can do it, we can just do it all and leave our jobs to do just that.  Take the skill-set you have (doesn't matter whether you're a cook or an accountant it's the same approach), add a little money and "BAM..." you're in business for yourself.  No more reporting to that boss who isn't half as smart as you are.  No more doing the work for everyone else to get the credit and the money.  Considering you are at the heart of the business, the heart of the productivity, basically you are the business right? Well, not so fast...  Before you go that leap into business first consider if you are taking a leap to go start and run a business or just to buy yourself a job, in which case you are simply "self employed" in the truest sense of the term.  Meaning you've secured yourself employment, about that business part ...well being a business owner is actually something else entirely.  There are a few simple questions to ask yourself to get some clarity on it all too.  First question: Can the business run without you being there to produce or overseeing the production? Right there, that should help put it in perspective for you.  Today's podcast talks about identifying the differences and transitioning into self employment, owning or running a business.   -Miles.
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Right Now Segment: The Will
On today's Right Now segment, a quick discussion on writing a will.  No matter how much money you have or earn, a will may be more necessary than you think.  People shy away from doing a will for all sorts of reasons, starting with believing because they're not rich that there's no need to make a will to just avoiding discussing the inevitable, death.  However, anything you may want to leave from jewelry to cars, homes or keepsakes can and should be entered into a will.  Any wishes for yourself and your belongings. For most people a will can be simple handwritten document taken to a notary and then filed with your local government, city hall can direct you on this.  Another copy to be kept maybe in a safe deposit box. Another thing to consider since you're making a will is making a Healthcare Proxy or what's known as an Advanced Directive.  This document will tell others what your wishes are in the case you are still alive but are unable to make decisions for yourself.  Int he case of a very bad accident or such, very ill and unconscious, on life support in some sort of coma.  Do you want to be on life support, blood transfusions, etc.  Same thing applies here if necessary, a handwritten document notarized and filed with the county clerk or local authority, city hall or whoever.  And you can make changes updates or edits as much as you like and refile the document as often as you need to. Check out a healthcare proxy template and living will forms provided by sharingyourwishes.org , it'll give you some idea of what to include. And that's it. You can do it Right Now.
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The Right Now Segment: Money Management
This week's Right Now segment cover what to do starting today to manage your money and track your spending.  It's all about Money Management no matter how much money you have.  This is a key step in saving and ultimately investing, knowing where your money is going and stopping and unnecessary frivolous spending.  You may find some surprises hidden in your spending and savings habits.  Have you spent 50% of your income this year on any one thing?  Are you saving as much or more than you spend on social activities?  What are your food costs on average for the month?  vehicle maintenance, children's clothing, transportation and bus fare, and those terrible bank fees!  They can all be quantified monthly or annually, whether your buying the high grade gas or getting the latte' everyday, it all adds up and you may be surprised how much it is every month or year.  The most popular software is available from Mint.com, it's free easy to use and most of all, you can do it Right Now.
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What can you do Right Now? REITS
Brief podcast segment on what you can do RIGHT NOW to make things happen, makes moves regarding you personal finance and economic status. The impetus comes as a result of conversation that often leads to the question, "Well, what can I do right now?". These brief segments will detail something that can be done to either get started or build on something. Everything from opening accounts, moving money, targeting investments, getting setup for economic empowerment and building your structure.  This is the RIGHT NOW segment.
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Give Yourself a Raise: FSA Open Enrollment
Money Saving Opportunity Ahead: Open Enrollment. Making more of the money you have is the best way to give yourself a pay raise without asking for it from someone else.  While there are many ways to do this, some are right in plain sight.  Spending less and getting more is the obvious choice for savings and when you can quantify that in actual cash, it's even better.  Let's consider the reducing our taxable income by signing up for the FSA tax advantage, Flex Spending Accounts and Health Care Spending Accounts. Now is the time to consider it because during this time of year most employers are having employees sign up for next year's benefits, known as "open enrollment".  During this period you can select via FSA elections to have up to $2500.00 set aside from your pay for specific Healthcare and up to $5000.00 for dependent care related expenses.  This set aside is before tax thus reducing your taxable income by the amount you choose, up to the limit. Although either limit may be a lot to consider setting aside for the year, you can choose any amount up to the limit and typically it is taken out in equal amounts per paycheck through the year.  The amount deducted may fluctuate as you make claims for reimbursements and so on.  So, can you afford to pay unnecessary taxes? That's the real question.  You can boost your income by up to $2250.00 in savings on taxes should you go to the max on both.  That would be a pay raise with no more responsibility other than being more diligent with your money. In this podcast I discuss some of the benefits and details, however, some FSA providers lay it out in very plain terms.  Check out Aetna FSA breakdown and explanation for a breakdown, and check out both the dependent care link as well as healthcare link.  Although you may have another provider, the tax benefit works the same regardless of the provider or employer facilitating it.  To get a good idea of the costs and expenses covered for healthcare and OTC, (over the counter) items check out https://fsastore.com/ they offer details on all eligible items that you can buy with tax free monies, you may find some surprises here.  Here's the link to the official tax document detailing the rules and guidelines Tax rules and details  Why pay the tax on the income and then the tax on the goods too!  It's all about the incremental things we do to make and manage our wealth.  This is a great tax benefit that I have used for years in a lot of creative ways, all legal of course!
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Personal Profile Finance Fundamentals
This first episode reviews the details of focusing on the personal profile to become successful in any endeavor or goals regarding personal finance. Whether it is to build wealth, invest, save for a new home or college it will be necessary to be positioned in order to reach milestones on the path to success.  These are the basics that make up the foundation to build upon for economic prosperity.  Many of the fundamentals talked about here seem so simple that they are taken for granted, however, it is these fundamentals that trip people up the most later on down the line in their quest for prosperity.
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Miles Weekly Personal Finance Podcast
Introductory Podcast about Miles Weekly Personal Finance detailing the focus of the podcast.
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Dollar Cost Averaging Your Investments
"Dollar Cost Averaging" You Already do it Everyday. Let Averaging Work in You Favor When Investing. There are many approaches to continually investing, some of the more experienced investors or traders perform transactions on the swing of stock news and events, others go on the relative cost of the investment or its payout. For everyone else, it kind of comes down to “Dollar Cost Averaging”, that has a nice ring to it and even sounds a bit sophisticated, but it isn’t. Most of us do dollar cost averaging everyday with our groceries, clothing, stopping to buy gas, dining out and so on. Most of the costs for our everyday expenses fluctuate to some degree or another. Although we have an “anchor” price or range in mind, there are still times when the cost is far above or below the set anchor price, like when we pay $6.00 for a bottle of water at the amusement park. Still even then, that cost of $6.00 just get thrown in with the others although it’s the highest, since we only pay it once or twice a year at the amusement park it’s tolerable. The overall average cost of buying a bottle of water hasn’t moved up that much from those one or two purchases. The same happens for when we buy all other things ranging from jeans to socks. With investing, it’s the same thing except that it’s inverted because you’re saving or investing instead of spending. So instead of getting items on sale from time to time and buying maybe one more since it’s at a great price (which I always do), you’re getting more shares each time. In investing or saving in something like a IRA or 401k, the same thing occurs and allows us to get good average pricing as time goes on. Most folks that have an employer managed 401k also have contributions made on a consistent and ongoing basis. The contributions buy into whatever funds you have selected in the plan. The month the fund may be let’s say $100.00 and next month it’s $125.00 and the contribution is $500.00 per month, during the first month the you purchased 5 shares of the plan and 4 share on the second month.   However your average cost per share is $112.50 when you take all of the purchases into account.  If the share price were to increase over the following month from $125.00 a share to $130.00 a share, that would just give you already purchased shares more value. Even though it you would buy less at $130.00 your average cost would increase by very little. Conversely, if during the third month the share price were to drop to $120.00 a share then you would have the cushion of the $12.50 per average share difference to shield you before the average value were to be impacted. This is one of the hidden forces within your 401k and why it can grow so quickly, however, it doesn’t have to work there only. Much like you are doing the same thing when you buy everyday goods, you can also do the same thing in your IRA, savings account, money market account and so on.  So if you have an investment consider setting up a monthly feed to it, no matter how small, the consistent purchases of a set amount allows you to buy more when it’s cheap and less when it’s costly. You can really increase your potential with magic of dollar cost averaging. If you’re planning to do this for an IRA or other savings account, it would probably help to set up an account to pull the funds from. Setup a separate bank account just for the purpose of regular and ongoing drafts to fund an IRA, you can always add your one time hits of hustle money from overtime or selling something on eBay that you come in to from time to time. All of that counts too. -Miles.
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