Okay, so many people have told me over the years "you should be a financial advisor yourself", but I frankly do not have the time to become a certified advisor, and I already have a pretty good position at the university I do not want to give up any time soon. But I was thinking, I could start up a new concept similar to my small web consulting business I have. When my web customers ask how much to pay me, I usually just say, "just pay me whatever you feel my work is worth" and I give them a pretty broad range. In terms of financial advisors, I think the vast majority of them are very honest, hard working individuals with their customers' best interests, but they do have to charge a reasonable amount since they need to pay their own bills from their advising work. Not many would be willing to give people just $10 worth of financial advice.... but that's where I can help fill in the blanks!
You see, I CAN give you just $10 or $20 worth of financial advice, and I am more than willing to do so. Since I do not have any certified financial training I do not have to cover the costs of the training, any fancy office space, nice business suits or anything. However, I have been gainfully employed for over a quarter of a century now and have bought four homes, sold three of them, gone through several mortgages, invested regularly, and through it all have done pretty well for myself and my family financially. I won't give any numbers but I know we are in the top 10% of folks in our age bracket in terms of net worth, whereas our total household income does not put us in the top 20% for the country. We have a Stanley & Danko "Wealth Index" (WX) of well over 2 which I think is a pretty good metric. Part of the reason for our financial success is that our family simply does not overspend and we save and invest as much as possible, but I believe I have learned a lot about taxes, investing, real estate, mortgages and such, and I read relentlessly about all these topics just for the pure fun of it (i.e. I like it!) I am always checking out the latest personal finance books out of the library for light reading for my own amusement.
So now I will allow anybody on the Internet to pick my brain essentially for free. If you like my advice, you should send me some money, but if not, just forget what I say and move on. Believe it or not, I want to help people, but I don't want to just waste my time. I know if I say I am expecting compensation, that will reduce the amount of requests I would receive to keep the number of requests more manageable.
So how does this work? All you have to do is e-mail me any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to answer them. If I do not know the answer, you will receive a simple e-mail back saying so. Hey, I can say that since I am really just a computer geek! I do not have to hem and haw or lie through my teeth pretending to be a real financial pro. But if I can help you I will do so to the best of my ability. If you like what I say, you should send me some compensation. If I gave you $5 worth of advice, send me $5, if I gave you $500 worth of advice, well, you get the picture. If you run a local St. Louis restaurant, you can just send me a gift certificate! If you are a world class T-shirt artist, send me a free shirt. I am not picky, send what you like! You can send a boring old check, or use PayPal or send me an Amazon.com or Newegg.com gift certificate. I have been giving a lot of people free advice over the years, but I am willing to be compensated for it as well. Hey, even full time computer geeks who are part-time financial advisors have to pay their bills too...