Cutting the Internet Cord

You might say that I’m the closest thing to a Luddite in Boston. I don’t own a car. I don’t subscribe to cable TV. (I don’t even have a TV.) I don’t own a landline phone. Shortly, I will add one more item to my tech hit list. On May 25th, I will eliminate cable Internet from my material existence, along with the $66.95 monthly bill that comes with it. 

The decision was initially a matter of money– “my” money. Over the last several years, my cable bill has been gradually creeping up from its 1-year deal rate of $19.95. When I finally learned a month ago that my smartphone can act as my laptop’s wireless router (dubbed “Mobile Hotspot” — can you tell how behind I am in the tech world?), I began to question the need for high-speed cable Internet. In addition, I learned earlier this year that both my condo fee and subway pass fare will increase sometime this summer. So, I needed to triage. The ultimate question was: Can I divorce myself from the Internet provider after having been married to it for the last 16 years? 

I contemplated long and hard about the issue. I read multiple Web articles on the relative advantages and disadvantages of relying solely on my phone data plan. Clearly, if I were a Netflix or YouTube hog or a serious gamer or music downloader, then cutting the Internet cord would not be feasible. My phone plan grants me only 3GB of Mobile Hotspot, which is insufficient for even one high-def movie. Fortunately, I do not belong in that camp of techno gluttons, and I convinced myself that I can ration my data in much the same way that I ration my monthly grocery allowance. I could use the Hotspot for simple tasks, like creating documents on Google Docs or checking my work emails from home. Because I have unlimited 4G data on my phone plan, I can conduct on my multi-purpose phone the vast majority of social media, personal email, web surfing, and video streaming. (I’ve used the Netflix app several times on the phone, and the movies look just fine on the ultra-small screen). If I were desperate, my local coffee shop with free Wi-Fi is right around the corner.  

While money may have been the catalyst for this cord-cutting experiment, I was forced again to ask myself “Do I need this?” “Will my life be made simpler without it?” The answers to those questions are, respectively, no and yes. I love the idea, and the challenge, of pursuing a life without fewer material possessions. I’ll learn to be creative with my limited resources, to focus more on my hobbies and friendships, and to use technology with more intention. (No more hours of mindless web surfing!) I’m not quite at the level of a techno-minimalist (and owning both a smartphone and laptop will definitely prevent my ascension to that revered level), but it’s a step in the right direction. And my checkbook will thank me for it.     

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What Could Have Been

When financial planners discuss death with their clients, the conversation usually revolves around these elements: Get your beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries listed in your retirement plans. Buy life insurance to ensure your family’s continued lifestyle. Set up trusts to avoid estate taxation or probate and dictate the conditions of an inheritance. Designate financial and health care powers of attorney. Write a will. It’s easy to plan for the financial ramifications of death due to its checklist objectivity. It’s far more difficult to address the emotional hurricane that accompanies the death of a loved one.

On Veteran’s Day last year, my 31-year-old niece suddenly died at the onset of giving birth. Her daughter, born with brain damage and organ failure, was taken off of life support. I received the grave news in a phone call from Emily, her aunt and my sister, when I was just about to leave my office at 5PM that day. The train ride home was a nebulous mixture of muddled sounds: passengers chatting and laughing, doors sliding open and closed, train conductors announcing the next stops. When I arrived home, I quietly prepared dinner, drank plenty of water (as instructed by Emily), resigned myself to tears, and then finally called my mother. Her somber tone was a stark contrast to the cheerfulness I heard from her voice just ten hours earlier, when neither of us knew what had happened.

Over the next two weeks leading up to the wake and funeral, I went online to try to cobble together a semblance of my niece’s life history- her likes and dislikes, her trips, her changing hairstyle. My eyes wandered from her Facebook photos to her professional website. I read through old emails that she sent me, including one email from 2009 that expressed her desire to learn about IRAs. I became obsessed with this travel back in time, as if overloading my senses with images of her would somehow resurrect her.

Death at any age is a tragedy. But death at a young age is tragic because it forces the question, “What could have been?” I learned that she and her husband were going to buy a house. I learned that she made it to the second round of an interview for a landscape architect position for the City of Los Angeles. Her untimely death put to rest the promise of a prosperous future, the opportunities that were supposed to have been hers.

The financial planner in me wondered: Did she have life insurance so that her husband could pay for the funeral expenses? Did she have outstanding debts? Did she have a retirement plan or a will? I dared not ask anyone these questions, however, for fear of sounding too callous. So I set aside my financial planner hat. Instead, I kept quiet, except to console and to be consoled, to reminisce with family, relatives, and friends about the joyous moments, to be grateful to have experienced her love for 31 years. For sure, I thought about what could have been, what she could have accomplished. More often, I thought about what she had accomplished, and that has helped me heal a little.

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2014

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The Power of Art


I am no artist; in fact, my sister Elma once remarked that I couldn’t even draw decent stick figures. But I always had an interest in the role of art in world history, and this interest solidified during my junior year in college when I took two Western art history courses covering Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern art. In 2004, I purchased a small spray painting in Fort Worth, Texas for $10 by a street artist named Baltimore. I still have it. Sadly, that was the extent of my devotion to the visual arts… until the Fall of 2012.

I had finally decided to decorate the walls of my home, but I was loath to make decisions about what shades of gray to paint over the white walls. (That, and the fact that painting a wall isn’t my forte.) Coincidentally, my neighborhood in Boston was planning to hold an Open Studios weekend event, in which various local artists would display their artwork for the public to view and purchase. The answer to my decorating dilemma finally surfaced- I would buy art. I would be an art collector. My walls would resemble a modest version of the Italian Room at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

After Open Studios concluded, I painstakingly researched the artists whose work interested me. Using the Internet, I combed through their websites, looked at other works they had done, learned if they had won any awards, and in some cases, found out where they lived. I settled on a painter named David Sturtevant. After several email exchanges, I made the trek to his home studio. I spoke with him for a good hour about his technique, style, and subject matter, and about my beginning collector’s thoughts on art buying. At the end of my visit, I purchased a small oil painting of a scene at dusk called “Urban Sunset”. The piece set my finances back by $350, but I fell in love with it. This purchase served as the catalyst for my new hobby in art collecting.

To date, I own over 80 pieces, acquired at galleries, artist studios, the Internet, my neighborhood thrift shop, and even from friends and family as gifts. I estimate that I have spent about $6000 on artwork, shipping, frames, mattes, hooks and wires. To the well-heeled art collector, $6000 barely buys a Warhol print. To me, art collecting has proven to be an expensive new hobby. The financially prudent, rational side of me sometimes wondered whether I misplaced my sanity. Art doesn’t provide quarterly dividends like stocks, or semiannual interest like bonds, or monthly rent like real estate. Art is an illiquid asset, relative to stocks and bonds; you just can’t sell your lily pad watercolors tomorrow. An art piece may not even rise in value; if it does, it could take decades before you could reap the investment rewards. Art doesn’t improve my physical health, the way yoga and exercising do. Simply put, I love looking at art.

That last statement is the point. It dawned on me that my love of art (and the amount of money that I was willing to spend to have some of it) was akin to my mother’s love of plants, or my friends’ love for their pets. Art provides me with beautiful visual stimulation. Art helps me to pause my Type A tendencies and smell (or rather, see) the roses. Every art purchase has a story that I can share with anyone who visits my home. More recently, art has helped me cope with some family-related stress. In some ways, art is like yoga. It stills my mind and makes me focus on the present. My art collection may not yield any money today, but the personal dividends it immediately provides has a value that cannot be measured in dollar signs.

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2014

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The Sad Stories of Tax Season


Arguably my favorite part about doing taxes is simply the relationship developed between my clients and me. Although I’m not the biggest fan of big refunds, I readily admit that a smile beams across my face when a client finds out that he is due a refund and exclaims that he can now pay his credit card bills, keep his landlord from evicting him, or maintain heat in his home. Then there are the sad stories.

One year, I worked with a woman whose husband left her and their two sons in the middle of the year. Her sole source of income was unemployment benefits, which disqualified her from the Earned Income Credit. While she had no IRS tax liability (or a refund, for that matter), she owed almost $400 to the state. Another client was a self-employed hairdresser who failed to make estimated tax payments throughout the year. She was so flustered by the whole ordeal that she decided not to have her return prepared at the time. One of the saddest situations I have encountered is a nurse who lost her job early in the year, received unemployment benefits but didn’t withhold any taxes, and took out a premature distribution from her former employer’s 403b plan so she could pay the rent. Her nearly $5000 federal tax bill included the 10% penalty for her early retirement withdrawal. I don’t even remember the extent of her state tax bill.

I run across these stories all the time every tax season. It’s too easy for me to advise people to withhold taxes when they’re receiving unemployment, to make estimated payments every quarter if they’re self-employed or retired, or to save vigorously for an emergency fund so that they can avoid raiding their retirement plans. When you’re one of the working poor and just barely making ends meet every month, it’s difficult to heed these kinds of suggestions. To add insult to injury, the IRS will ultimately want its share of the pie. The problem for many of these people is that the pie simply doesn’t exist.

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2012

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Making Time


I will have written 32 posts on this blog after I complete this one, 8 of which for this month alone. I could dismissively chalk up the uptick in blogging to the end of both tax season and the spring semester. I simply have more time, I’d casually assert. But when I look back at the number of posts I had written over time, I realize that having more time isn’t the reason for the surge in creativity. Rather, I ‘made time’ for writing, just as I make time for yoga classes in spite of my often-hectic work schedule. It didn’t matter whether the topic was banal or profound, simple or complex, technical or emotional. I decided to devote some evening or weekend hours to the keyboard, brainstorming ideas on the fly with my fingertips, then later polishing (or not) the content in more cohesive paragraphs.

Managing one’s finances ought to employ a similar approach. Take 15 minutes out of your day- during lunch breaks or while sitting in the train- and learn something about money. Read about the difference between a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Brush up on the benefits and limitations of your health insurance plan. Compare mutual funds to see which might be less expensive or provide you with better portfolio diversification. Perhaps dedicate one hour of your weekend rereading (or writing) your will, checking the accuracy of your bank statements, or reviewing your investment portfolio. Soon enough, the bits of learning will weave themselves into the fabric of your normal routine. You don’t have to understand everything you read. As you continue to read, eventually the esoteric financial topics will begin to make sense. It’s your money after all, and nobody, not even a financial planner, should care about your finances more than you.

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2012

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Investor Reflection


I wrote this post in an old blog back in March 10, 2009, which was merely one day after the end of the vicious bear market that began in October 2007 and included the awe-inspiring 777-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (aka Dow 30) on September 29, 2008.
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With the Dow 30 sitting at 6547 (as of Monday), I resolved once and for all to confront my investment demons, which lurked within my portfolio balance. I prepared myself for an earth shattering malaise. What I learned, however, was a surprising result that was both sobering and hopeful. Using my Morningstar X-Ray portal, I calculated the total amount I had in various retirement and savings accounts. Then I proceeded to add up all of my retirement contributions over the last 10 years, starting with 1998, the year I landed my first job as a math teacher in Southern California. The result? An annual return of 0.11%.

Not exactly the 8-10% stock market average that had been force fed to me by personal finance magazines. But I wasn’t in negative territory either. What I experienced firsthand was the cushioning effect of the 401k matches. I had deliberately excluded employer 401k matches from my total retirement contributions because it wasn’t money that I surrendered out of my own paycheck. We always hear about the importance of contributing at least enough to get the company match because it represents free money from our employer. What we don’t realize is that a match can keep our portfolios afloat if the markets hit a bump (or a crash).

Another important factor that individual investors overlook is the reduction in federal and state taxes for pre-tax contributions. I calculated that over the same 10-year period, I saved $14,545 in federal income taxes by virtue of contributing pre-tax money to various traditional IRAs and qualified plans. That number doesn’t even factor in the income taxes that I didn’t have to fork over to the state, first California, then Massachusetts. So my tax savings were certainly much greater.

Am I simply looking for a superficial silver lining in this market meltdown? Am I just trying to make myself feel better? The cynic would say ‘yes’ to both questions. But there is one conclusion I can confidently make: This financial reflection has prevented me from divorcing the market at a time when I need to remain faithful to it.
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When I reflect on this blog post, I am amazed at my resiliency against the seemingly bipolar nature of the current stock markets. To be sure, I felt an immense amount of fear, anger, and subsequent resignation toward the financial markets of that difficult period. But I also reminded myself that I was only in my mid-30s, that I had been through this before during the Tech crash of 2000-2002, that I had U.S. bond funds to cushion the heavy blows, that I didn’t lose everything. I continued regular contributions into my company 403b, started a solo 401k, maxed out my IRAs every year, and even started a taxable account. In the three years since that market bottom in March, I was rewarded for having stayed the course.

It is now May 2012. I am being tested again by the turbulent markets, and those same reminders are resurfacing like a yogic mantra. How would I react if I read this blog post three years from now? I could feel elated or dejected, depending on the results. But ‘humbled’ is probably what I’ll feel the most.

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2012

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Independence

A few weeks ago in yoga class, my teacher Ame mentioned that one of the objectives of yoga teachers is to teach us to not need them anymore. We would be able to do yoga without the need for teachers, classes, or studios. A wave of emotional pain circuited through my body upon hearing this declaration. No more yoga classes? The studio is where I go when I need to de-stress from work! How will I improve my yoga asana practice without teachers? What about the new friends I made?

With a little more reflection (and some serious deep breathing!), I came to interpret her comment to mean that there comes a time when we need to incorporate yoga- the asanas, the meditation, the basic philosophies- beyond the four corners of the yoga mat, beyond the four walls of the studio. In other words, we need to learn that it is entirely possible to practice without always having someone tell us what the sequence of postures should be. That is true growth, and financial counselors like myself understand this concept. When clients come to our offices in financial disarray, we provide them with the tools they need to accomplish tasks like managing a spending plan, fixing credit problems, saving for the future, and protecting their loved ones. We may even help our clients fill out necessary forms or make phone calls to other professionals on their behalf. We take on these tasks because we want to protect our clients from potential financial catastrophes to the extent that we can.

At some point, though, our clients must learn how to tackle financial tasks and how to access resources without using us as a perpetual crutch. They might make mistakes, not unlike like a child learning to ride a bicycle or an 18-year-old college student living outside the home for the first time, but that is simply integrated into the learning process of becoming fully independent. To be sure, we should be available for our clients when they have pressing financial planning questions. But the best education we can provide for them is the ability to become confident owners of their financial domains.

As my mother used to say to me many times, “One day you will spread your wings, and you will fly on your own.”

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2012

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Lessons from Mom


Mom and I shared a special bond during my childhood years. Sometimes, I adored her. Other times, I couldn’t stand her overprotective hands. She encouraged me to excel in math, but she warned me not to run a marathon at age 16. (I did it anyway and finished.) Then she tried to discourage me from majoring in math (and later, from becoming a teacher), but she attended my graduation ceremony nonetheless and was proud to inform people about my calculus prowess. She wanted me to get my driver’s license, but she really didn’t want me to drive alone. She urged me to make friends, but she didn’t like the idea of my staying overnight at a friend’s house. Such was the nature of our dichotomous relationship, but somehow it worked for us.

At first glance, Mom looks like a quiet, submissive 4’10” Asian-looking woman. But the outward appearance belies the ferocity of a tiger she possessed when face with injustice or unfairness. At age 19, she showed bravery by marrying Dad- an engineer from an undistinguished, financially modest family- against the disapproval of her parents. In her middle age years, she intrepidly fought against mistreatment by supervisors or fellow employees at the post office she worked.

To Mom, first impressions are important. Your attire, speech, posture, the friends you keep, and even the cleanliness of your home can define a relationship. (Perhaps that’s why she was so successful selling silverware in the early 1980s!) When I was a child, she berated me for slouching and walking with my head down. Today, she criticizes me for wearing the same dress shirts every time I visited from Boston. If she was having even one visitor over, she ensured the immaculate appearance of the entire house. Her well-decorated home resembled a cutout from “Home and Garden” magazine, replete with brown leather sofas, a chandelier over the dining table, plush bedspreads, flat-screen TVs, and matching pink curtains framing all of the windows.

My parents have been married for over 53 years, and they are a fascinating study in contrasting personalities. Dad’s pensive, analytical manners are matched by Mom’s emotional, impetuous behaviors. He is the saver; she is the spender. He doesn’t really care how he looks; she’ll buy new clothes for him and make him wear them. Dad would donate money to the church; Mom would donate to the church AND cook a pot of chicken adobo for you. Yet, in spite of her overbearing nature, Mom delivers utmost devotion and deference to Dad. I think that is one of her most important attributes- she knows when to step back. If they ever argued over some expensive item that Mom wanted to buy, ultimately she paid heed to Dad’s advice. Whenever Dad ended up in a hospital bed due to a recurring asthmatic attack, Mom would sit by him for hours on end with nary a complaint.

Throughout my life, it was Mom to whom I confided whenever I encountered personal setbacks. During my senior year in college, I cried while admitting to her of my fear of the future. When I decided to come out as gay, Mom became the second person in the family (after my sister Elma) whom I told. When I lost my editorial position at a publishing house, I called Mom to relay the bad news and to reassure her that everything would be fine.

I am eternally grateful for the relationship that Mom and I have cultivated over the years. It is because of her that I can listen to the emotional side of a client’s financial situation; that I can allow myself to loosen the purse strings a little and indulge in life’s small luxuries; that I’ve been able to take a variety of calculated risks in my professional journeys; and that I can say it’s okay sometimes to stray from the plan and be spontaneous. Simultaneously, she portrays confidence and empathy, beauty and loyalty, diplomacy and generosity. Overprotective she certainly is, yet independence is the greatest gift she ever bestowed upon me.

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2012

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My Journey to the CFP® Certification


Since I was 21, I have always loved learning about personal finance. One could see me in the Business section of bookstores, devouring books on investing, retirement, taxes, insurance, and estate planning as though they were pieces of dark chocolate for my soul. Every now and then, I considered studying this field more rigorously in a college financial planning program, but the thoughts gave way to other responsibilities. I became a math teacher after earning my bachelor’s, and then an editor at a large publishing house. But the financial planning itch never subsided. Often I would come home from work to read Kiplinger’s or Money Mag, flip through articles on Morningstar.com, or even tune into Suze Orman. Learning about personal finance was akin to having a secret mistress.

Work life was going pretty smoothly until spring of 2007, when I became disillusioned with my editorial job and rumors of layoffs circulated. I contemplated doing something else with my life, or at least learning something else. That was when the financial planning bug resurfaced. One evening, I attended an orientation on Boston University’s Financial Planning Program for future CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals, or CFP® professionals. In spite of my fear of returning to school after so many years being away from it, I decided to enroll and started taking summer classes in May, all the while working a full-time job. Finding the pace of the classes too slow, I shifted to the online version of the program and self-studied. By Thanksgiving, I had completed all of the courses, a feat that would have easily taken me two years under the traditional classroom format.

The educational component was the easy part. The giant monster was the examination, a 10-hour love fest integrating everything I learned, replete with financial computations and lengthy individual case studies. My exam was scheduled for March 28-29, 2008. I used a Kaplan study package consisting of several volumes of books as my main review material. I studied on the train to work, during lunch breaks, on the train home, during dinner time, even while waiting in line at the grocery store. Going against the advice of CFP® practitioners, I elected not to take the popular 2-day review workshop. It was simply too costly. I didn’t even have a study group. I depended solely on myself, and there were moments when I doubted my ability to get through the exam.

On January 24, 2008, I was laid off from my editorial position. So traumatic was the experience that I forgot to call my father that day to wish him a happy birthday. At the same time, I realized that the layoff was the ideal time for me to devote my energies to the exam. I made a detailed plan of what I was going to study each day (and I still have the day planner to prove it). I even told a friend that I was going to swear off sex for all of March, and it actually came to fruition. I was that focused. To prevent burnout, I scheduled the gym for the evenings, and I made sure to see friends during the weekends. As the exam date drew closer, I felt more determined to pass, and my confidence strengthened.

Then March 28th arrived. I couldn’t sleep the night before. My friend Eric picked me up at some God-forsaken hour like 6am to drive me to the exam site, Phoenix University in Burlington, Massachusetts. Because the exam was scheduled for two days, I had arranged to stay at a nearby hotel for the night after Day One. Eric dropped me off at the hotel, where I stayed until the exam time of 12:30pm. Twice at the hotel, I went to the bathroom to relieve myself of “nervous bowel movements.” I walked over to the site before noon to encounter what seemed like a hundred fellow test-takers, none of whom I knew, of course. I overheard a conversation in which one person said, “If we pass this test, it’s going to be because of our Professor.” Some people I spoke with told me they were glad they took the 2-day review workshop. The confidence I built over the weeks began to deflate. Then we were all segregrated into different rooms to take our exams.

The first day of the exam lasted 4 hours, and I was left completely exhausted. The questions were all a blur, though I barely remember several questions on “modified endowment contracts,” a topic that I didn’t spend much time studying. I went back to my hotel and watched TV while eating delivery pizza. I went to the hotel fitness room to briefly work out the stress of the day. I went to bed early that night, only to find myself parched. At 2am, with no water in the room, I walked around the entire hotel until I finally found a drinking fountain on a different floor. That night, I had about 4 hours of sleep.

Day 2 of the exam lasted 6 hours, split into two 3-hour blocks with a lunch break in between. For some reason, this day felt easier for me. There was a fair number of investment questions involving calculations (good for the math geek in me), a block of questions on Social Security (which genuinely interests me), and estate planning techniques (which I had studied fervently). I even saw a question that looked almost identical to one in my Kaplan study guide. As in the previous day, my strategy was to look at each page and tackle first the questions that looked quickest to read, then go back and deal with the paragraph-long questions. When I read the case study of a wealthy married couple, their investment portfolio, and business details, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Do these kinds of people really exist? At least in my world they don’t.” After the exam, my friend Luis picked me up from Burlington and took me back to Boston. That night, I slept for at least 12 hours. I went to the dentist the following morning, and when I arrived back home, I slept for a few more hours.

Six weeks later, I received a one-page letter from the CFP Board stating that I passed the exam, an accomplishment that only 57% of the test-takers achieved. The only requirement left was to acquire 3 years of related experience. I had only about 1 month’s worth preparing tax returns over the winter while studying for the exam. After a short stint at a bank, I landed a position as the financial/tax counselor and money management program coordinator for a nonprofit that serves the needs of low to moderate-income households. I started this job on December 1, 2008, and I currently hold this position. In January 2012, I reported to the CFP Board that I met the work experience requirement.

On February 10, 2012, after agreeing to abide by a high standard of ethical conduct and client service (and paying my initial certification fee, of course), I joined a group of more than 64,000 professionals in the United States who hold the one designation that I coveted for 15 years- the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification. What new doors will open for me now? That is an open question. One thing is certain: My journey, which seems to have ended upon earning those three letters, has really just begun.

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2012

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Simplicity


“Sometimes the best practice is the simplest one.” That was the takeaway from a yoga class I took earlier this week. None of the postures were terribly difficult. There were no handstands or extreme twisting, but simply a sequence of moon salutations alongside universally familiar positions that ended in a restorative pose on two soft blankets. It was one of the most satisfying classes I had taken.

Lately, I had been thinking more about financial simplicity and its role in my life. In some respects, I already employ this concept- one checking account, one savings account, one credit card. But the road is long and evolving. In the last four years, I progressed from three mutual funds (one total domestic stock, one total international stock, and one total bond) to about 20 different investment vehicles. In that same amount of time, I went from one full-time job to a full-time financial/tax counseling job, a part-time adjunct teaching position, and occasional freelance and consulting work. Recently, I took on the responsibility of monitoring some of my parents’ finances.

To be sure, my perspective on life today is very different than when I was a twenty-something non-homeowner. The employment landscape is less stable, and many workers, myself included, no longer feel secure with just one employer. The stock market crash in late 2008-early 2009 made many investors question the viability of simple diversification. And while I am not technically a member of the sandwich generation- people caught between taking care of their own children and their aging parents while struggling to prepare for their own retirements- I now have a taste of what it’s like to be responsible for someone else.

So I’m going to modify the statement made at the beginning of this post. “Sometimes the best practice is the simplest one; sometimes the best practice is the more complex, challenging one.” It’s the balance of simplicity and complexity that we probably ought to strive for in our financial lives. One might be more appropriate than the other, depending on the situation. Do I need 20 different investments? Do I need to work more than one job? Maybe, maybe not. As the years push forward (and I become more mature), I’ll revisit these and other financial questions. Perhaps the answers will be different then.

Isaias Sarmiento
© 2012

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