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    My site is dedicated to providing personal finance advise, budgeting, saving, disciplines, and tips. Providing guidelines on ways to build, invest, track and manage wealth. I will be promoting and recommending online products to manage finances, investment companies, banking institutions, retirement education, Brokerage firms, etc,.

    If your products are suited for my audience please contact me for advertising opportunities

    I would like to thank the following advertisement sponsors:
    ally Bankadvertise_thank_you
    QuickBooks Online
    ITT Technical Institute
    Anthem Blue Cross
    Southwest Airlines

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    About me

    FB-BlueMy name is Rob Huzn (pronounced: Hue-zn). Born in the frigid city of Detroit, Michigan; once the industrial mecca of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s eras. now decimated by the latest economic meltdown. With the rebuilding under way, this city will rise again. My father was a mechanical Engineer for General Motors (GM Diesel); a very educated and a successful man. He received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech University and then earned his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State. I have never met anyone more peaceful, caring, and genuine than that man; he was my idol. My mother was a stay home Socialite; even though she dabbled in cosmetology. She had aspirations for traveling, shopping and luxurious lifestyles. My older sister was smart, determined, and ambitious. She was my protector, my guardian angel; I refer to her as my second Mom! Growing up, my sister spent her allowance on clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc, … Despite her incline towards vanity she became a successful practicing OB-GYN. On the other hand, I was way more conservative and I stashed my money in my piggy bank drawer in our play room. As I continued saving, that stack grew very quickly!!

    From a young age, I was fascinated by radios, motors, lights, batteries, and by electronic devices & toys. I often took them apart for reverse engineering purposes; I was nuts, I know! Leave the VCR programming to me Mom;-)

    Losing my father at age 17, to a heart attack, it was devastating- he was 48 years young. I branched out after few agonizing and painful years passed by, I started to recover from my shock and decided to follow in his footsteps.

    I enrolled in a community college and started taking courses in mathematics, science, and engineering. I was devoted and determined to get my degree. I worked 2 jobs while attending school. It wasn’t easy but I knew I had to make a living. I faced many obstacles and struggles at first, but landed a scholarship and few loans to pay for books and tuition. At the end, my hard work and determination paid off.

    After receiving my Bachelor’s degree for Computer & Electrical Engineering from The University of Arizona in 1997 (Bear Down!!), I took a journey to Silicon Valley to start my career for a renowned semiconductor company. That was the Engineering hub at the time. All I had to my name was my Diploma and a 1994 Honda Accord (technically the bank had the pink slip)!
    Knowing that I didn’t have anyone to fall back on, I learned how to budget and save small portions of my paychecks. I participated in the 401(k) program and started contributing to an external IRA account thanks to a college friend who educated me on early stages of investing; he was instrumental and a catalyst for my financial well being (Quinton Holton)

    I started out with a budget of ‘Needs’ and ‘Wants’. I only spent money on essential and basic things such as: rent, car payment, insurance, food, etc,. The saving was slow, but I was able to sock away $50/month during the first year. Then I increased that amount to $100, plus raised my monthly 401(k) contribution year after year. My company matched dollar for a dollar up to 6%; that was great!
    Few raises and bonuses helped boost up saving base.

    Two years later, I decided it was too cold in the Bay Area, and moved to Sunny San Diego. There, I worked as a Product Engineer for almost 10 years. I was getting bored doing the same thing over and over. I enjoyed human interaction and leadership, more than sitting in a lab or behind a desk analyzing data. An opportunity came along as a Program Manager. That new position taught me discipline, accountability, setting and achieving goals. More importantly how to become a leader and an effective mentor.

    It also taught me how to interact and collaborate with others. Everyone has a unique personality and a unique way of doing things and that’s pivotal when communicating thoughts, ideas and exchanging information. I believe when people communicate, collaborate, and respect one another, this world would flourish.

    I have a passion for traveling and cultures. The list is long, but I was fortunate this year to have visited 5 countries, and 4 the year before. I also enjoy hiking, outdoor activities, and playing sports. I have a great circle of friends; some have started lovely families, others are living their journey. If you surround yourself with caring, genuine, and positive people, that reflection will get imprinted onto your life day by day.

    I decided to start a blogging site to educate friends and people on ways to budget, save, invest and grow their money. My site seeks to provide straightforward, unbiased information in one place. I want to empower investors to make informed decisions about their finances, and be the authority on personal financial management.

    Click on ‘Subscribe‘ to follow my blogs and get:
    -the latest updates on your finance well being,
    -the relevant answers to your pertinent financial questions.

    You can also ‘Register‘ to make comments and participate on this blog.
    Thank you.


    Planning is the key element to financial prosperity and investment growth…
    • Set goals and prioritiesPlanning
    • Make a budget
    • Basics of banking and saving
    • Basics of investing
    • Invest in stocks
    • Invest in mutual funds
    • Invest in bonds
    • Buy a home
    • Control your debt
    • Save for college (if you have kids)
    • Reinvest your money
    • Plan for retirement (401k, IRA)
    • Asset allocation
    • Hire a Financial advisor 
    • Health insurance
    • Understand taxes, and tax codes
    • Home, Life insurance
    • Estate planning
    • Take advantage of employee stock options

    I highly recommend a yearly review of your financials goals.
    Annual financial planning review serves many purposes- allowing you to evaluate and adjust your goals, ensuring that your strategies are aligned with your goals.

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    While retirement planning (such as 401k) involves much more than finances – things like: 1) when will you retire, 2) where will you live, 3) what will you do. These factors depend largely on the income you can expect during your retirement years.401-retirement

    In general, younger people are able to take on more risk: they have more years to recover if they incur any losses. Older people, on the other hand, tend to be more conservative in their investments. This can be a bit of a Catch-22: since older investors tend to limit risk, the investments frequently have lower earnings potential. Starting early is one of the best ways to ensure you will have enough money to live comfortably during retirement. It’s never too late to start saving for retirement, and every little bit helps.

    The investments you choose for retirement planning may change over time in response to your goals, risk tolerance and investment horizon. Asset allocation – or how you apportion the various investments in your portfolio – is viewed by many as more important than the actual securities chosen for the portfolio. The three main asset classes include stocks (equities), bonds (fixed income), and cash and cash equivalents, and each has different levels of risk and return. Finding the balance that is most appropriate for your situation takes time and effort.

    Because of the power of compounding*, the earlier you start saving for retirement – through stocks, employer-sponsored plans, mutual funds or other investments – the longer your money can work for you, and the more money you might be able to save for the future.

    Anyone can lose track of their spending and go bankrupt, or fail to save enough for their golden years. Having a sound retirement plan, clear financial goals , and a trustworthy financial adviser can keep you from this danger

    Let me give the following example to illustrate the point: Joe invests $5,000 in Apple. After first year, the share price rises 20%; his investment is now worth: $6,000 ($5000 x 0.2 = $1,000). Let’s say he holds that stock for another year. In year 2, shares appreciate again another 20%. Now Joe’s investment of $6,000 grew to $7,200 ($6000 x 0.2 = $1,200). Because the 20% appreciation was calculated against $6,000 in the second year. That’s an additional $200 compounded after 2 years.

    Fact, $5,000 invested at 20% annually for 25 years would grow to $476,981.

    *Compounding is the ability of an asset to generate earnings, which are then reinvested in order to generate their own earnings. In other words, compounding refers to generating earnings from previous earnings.

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    Your main goal is to achieve financial stability and grow your investments.
    By now, you have been working against a budget, you have been progressively saving and reinvesting. All your efforts and discipline are paying off.


    Understanding the current economic conditions and staying informed of federal policies, interest rates, market cycles will put you in the driver seat. Adjustments to your contributions, asset allocations will be needed; I suggest on a quarterly basis.One thing to keep in mind is continuous and steady growth.  Target is anything over 8% yearly growth.


    Let’s talk about the compound annual growth rate; which is the year-over-year growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time.  CAGR describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it grew at a steady rate. You can think of CAGR as a way to smooth out the returns.


    Here’s an example:

    Suppose you invested $10,000 in a portfolio on Jan 1, 2010. Let’s say by Jan 1, 2011, your portfolio had grown to $13,000, then $14,000 by 2012, and finally ended up at $20,000 by 2013.

    Your CAGR would be the ratio of your ending value to beginning value ($20,000 / $10,000 = 2) raised to the power of 1/3 (since 1/# of years = 1/3), then subtracting 1 from the resulting number:

    2 raised to 1/3 power = 1.2596. (This could be written as 2^0.3333).
    1.2596 – 1 = 0.2596
    Another way of writing 0.2596 is 25.96%.

    Thus, your CAGR for your three-year investment is equal to 25.96%, representing the smoothed annualized gain you earned over your investment time horizon.

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    Investing takes more effort. Knowing and believing in what you invest in is key. Understand the fundamentals, drill down to the numbers. Remember, smart investors use their money to acquire things that offer the potential for profitable returns, either through interest, income, or the appreciation of value. Thanks to modern technology, the investing world offers enormous possibilities to anybody with a few bucks and an Internet connection. The most important factor in being a successful investor is not the stocks and funds you pick. Successful investing depends on:

    • Proper asset allocation – the overall mix of bonds, stocks, and cash you hold
    • Avoiding making rash and emotionally charged decisions (like selling at the bottom of a market crash). To avoid this, set-up an automatic investment plan (monthly is the most common method)
    • Stopping yourself from buying and selling different investments and
    • Investing in funds that aren’t constantly trading.

    However intelligent and rational we are, eventually our emotions will always get the best of us.  You must remove human behavior.  Your goal is to create a broad diversification through a mix of low-cost mutual funds, Stocks and ETFs


    1- Account Types (Retirement, or Taxable): First, you will need to choose whether you’re investing in an individual retirement account (IRA) or a general, taxable account. An IRA or Roth IRA provide certain tax advantages as an incentive to save for retirement. The downside is there are limits on how much you can contribute to the account each year and when you can withdraw the money. If you’re new to investing and can afford to begin putting money away for retirement, begin investing with a Roth IRA. Brokerage account (taxable): If you already have a retirement account or need to invest money for another goal (like buying a home or starting a business), a regular brokerage account will do. Keep in mind that your capital gains – the money you earn when you sell a security for more than you paid for it – are taxable, as will certain dividends you receive.

    2- Your investments This is where it gets overwhelming. I stated before, stick with mutual funds or exchange-trade funds (ETFs) rather than individual stocks and bonds until you get your feet wet. Funds enable you to invest in a broad portfolio of stocks and bonds in one transaction rather than trading them all yourself. Funds are not only safer investments (because they’re diversified), it’s often far less expensive to invest this way because instead of paying trading commissions to buy a dozen or more different stocks you will either pay just one trading commission or nothing at all (in the event you buy a mutual fund directly from the fund company).

    Quick guide to follow:

    1. Open a 401(k)/IRA, a brokerage/saving account.
    2. Mutual Funds ( is my favorite; their fees are the lowest): For starters, pick few low-cost mutual funds that track the overall market(s) typically called index funds. When you get comfortable, search by sector, industry, etc.
    3. Stocks (do your research, know what’s trending, fundamentals are important): Buy stocks that will hold their value even during a downturn.
    4. ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds); they’re like a combination of stocks & bonds
    5. Allocate assets in Bonds (be careful they’re interest rate sensitive)
    6. Certificate of Deposit (CD) are safe and tiered investments. Choose what fits your situation. The yields are higher the longer you keep your money invested
    7. Invest consistently, regardless if the market is up or down
    8. Diversify for your age and investment goals
    9. Re-balance your portfolio annually

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    Once you have outlined a budget, setting money aside is your next step. If you’re not comfortable diving in right away, then start with small amounts. Remember, it’s important to be disciplined and committed. It’s easy to spend money; things add up.  Every dollar saved is a dollar earned (I know this sounds like a cliché, but it’s true)

    Here are some simple ways to save money:Save

    • Shop around (specially for big ticket items)
    • Find bargains (shop online, signup for club cards)
    • Use coupons (don’t worry about having to carry coupons around, Smartphone Apps can send them electronically)
    • Lower your Heater settings (wear warm clothes while at home)
    • Reduce AC usage; open windows during summer (fresh breeze is always good!)
    • Turn off lights after leaving room
    • Change light bulbs around the house (LED bulbs are pricier but they payoff in the long run)
    • Install solar panels (they’re are cheap- it’s a tax write-off)
    • Travel during low season
    • Ride a bicycle

    Most people can cut their monthly expenses significantly by learning to give up small daily expenditures like coffee or snacks.  Buy a coffee maker, cut down on the addiction to Starbucks (I know it’s hard but will eat away your savings). Shop in bulk (Costco). The idea is keep increasing your contribution over time, save more money every year, and build you nest egg.

    Here’s a personal story… After moving to San Diego and having had a salary increase, I was spending a grip of money every weekend on restaurants, bars, food, clothing, etc,. (non-essential items). In terms of saving, I had absolutely nothing to show for.  Then it hit me, just because I was making more money that didn’t mean I could blow it with reckless abandonment. Being a bachelor promoted this kind of behavior and lifestyle. Things such as: lack of  responsibilities, the feeling of nothing to tie us down, minimal financial commitment.  Those early years were lessons learned.

    I have met countless number of people that looked puzzled after I asked them one simple question: “Where do you see yourself in say 3-4 years from now?”  Don’t be that person!! Be prepared, have a plan, and start setting financial goals.

    3 thoughts on “Save”

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    Budgeting is the foundation of personal finance; it is an estimate, but your goal should be to make as educated an estimate as possible.  Whether or not you use budget spreadsheets, smartphone Apps, online software — you’re probably already budgeting.

    Learning how to budget your finances is a fundamental step towards financial independence. Without a budget, you’re not holding yourself accountable to your spending. Success comes when you adhere to your budget criteria. If you’re thinking of skipping this step, I suggest you stop reading further. If, however, you have an open mind and are interested in learning simple strategies for successful lifelong investing then read on.

    A monthly budget is a plan for how you will allocate income to meet your expenses for a designated month. Some think of budgets as spending constraints, but budgets are better described as spending plans. If you budget correctly you will be able to spend money on things you enjoy without worrying about meeting other financial obligations, going into credit card debt, overdrawing your accounts.

    A monthly budget typically consists of a list describing your income sources and expenses. It can be an Excel spreadsheet, managed within a software program or simply jotted on a piece of notebook paper (more on that below)

    How to set a budget? and why?


    Setting a budget allows you to examine your spending at a detailed level and helps you understand where your money is going! Start by listing all your expenses; items such as:
    • Household- Mortgage/Rent
    • Debt- Credit card bills, loans
    • Utilities- Phone, cable, water, internet
    • Living expenses- Groceries, etc,.
    • Transportation- Car payment, insurance, gas, maintenance
    • Entertainment- Clothes, Club memberships, etc,.

    Separate the ‘Needs’ from the ‘Wants’ and the ‘Nice to have’ (Essential, Lifestyle, Priorities)

    Become computer savvy and learn how to use Excel. Generate a budget spreadsheet, enter all your spending items one by one.  Visually you will be able to identify every incurred expense. Trust me, that helps tremendously. That’s how I started.

    Most top-tier financial institutions now offer tracking services online. I use Bank of America; they have a feature that allows clients to enter the username and password for their other accounts at institutions throughout the world, including retirement and brokerage accounts, and the Bank of America website will pull all of the data together on one screen so you can see your entire financial picture. You can even create manual entries to track loans from family members or other items that don’t show up on a regular statement. I find it to be a very useful tool.

    Use online software and tools: There are plenty of online money management tools you can check out.  Each site tracks your cash flow by collecting your financial information in one place, providing access to your complete financial picture anywhere you have Internet access.  To maximize their value, most sites require that you link them to your financial accounts by providing your online user names and passwords.  They guard your information from hackers with bank-level security; they encrypt your user names and passwords, meaning they cannot be viewed anywhere in plain text without a key.   Even if your account were hijacked, intruders would not be able to execute any money moves because the sites access your financial accounts on a read-only basis.  Read more HERE

    Those sites offer features such as: account dashboard, goal settings, progress tracking, building emergency funds, etc,.  Here are my top 3:

    1. (they also have a smartphone App)

    Examine your budget monthly (or weekly), and monitor your spending. CNN Money offers a Free Portfolio tracking software (you need to sign-up for user account first; super easy).

    More Free budgeting Software

    • Mint: As mentioned above, it’s a Web and mobile budgeting tool. Users can securely link bank accounts and credit cards to Mint, create budgets, and set alerts for when balances are low or spending exceeds set amounts in a certain category.
    • MoneyStrands: A Web budgeting tool that links to bank accounts and credit cards and accepts manually or bulk-uploaded transactions from bank accounts.
    • Rainy Day Budget: An online manual budget tool.
    • GnuCash: Free financial software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Handles small business accounting, too.
    • Yodlee MoneyCenter: An online money management tool that aggregates bank accounts.

    There are several other options, including Quicken, and QuickBooks to track your investments. In an Internet-based world, it’s not difficult to find reviews of software packages so you can find one that works for you.

    If you ever want to build wealth and stay out of debt, you have to spend less than you earn. And a budget can ensure that you do that. Vigorously tracking every dime you spend is like counting calories — it sounds good in theory, but most of us fail to keep up with it; therefore, keep your budget as simple as possible.

    After you get a handle on your budget, you’ll be able to focus on other priorities like getting out of debt, building emergency savings, and begin to save for retirement. They aren’t the most exciting financial goals of your lifetime, but once they are out of the way they provide solid footing for financial security for the rest of your life.

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    “Do you have financial dreams or financial goals?  While they may sound like the same thing; they’re not. A financial dream is something you hope for; a financial goal is something you’ve planned for. And it’s the planning – not the hoping – that turns financial desires into financial reality.”
    Goals or dreams, let’s plan today for you to set priorities and act on them.


    Consider the following:

    • Narrow your objectives Clearly identify your goals, and why they matter to you. Decide which ones are most important. By concentrating your efforts, that gives you a better chance of achieving what matters most.
    • Focus first on the goals that matter- To accomplish primary goals, you will often need to put desirable but less important ones on the back burner.
    • Be prepared for conflicts- Even worthy goals often conflict with one another. Always prioritize your goals and objectives.
    • Put time on your side- The most important ally you have in reaching your goals is time. Money stashed in interest-earning savings accounts or invested in stocks and bonds grows at a compounded rate. The more time you have, the higher your chance of success. Your age is a big factor – younger people can invest aggressively than older ones. Generally, younger people can take greater risks than older people, given their longer investment horizon.Emergency Saving
    • Choose carefully- In drawing up your list of goals, you should look for things that will help you feel financially secure, happy or fulfilled. Some of the items that wind up on such lists include building an emergency fund, getting out of debt and paying kids’ tuition. Once you have your list together, you need to rank the items in order of importance
    • Include family members- If you have a spouse or significant other, make sure that person is part of the goal-setting process. Children, too, should have some say in goals that affect them.Goals-2
    • Start now- The longer you wait to identify and begin working toward your goals, the more difficulty you’ll have reaching them. And the longer you wait, the longer you postpone the advantage of compounding your money.
    • Sweat the big stuff- Once you have prioritized your list of goals, keep your spending on course. Whenever you make a large payment for anything, ask yourself: “Is this taking me nearer to my primary goals – or leading me further away from them?” If a big expense doesn’t get you closer to your goals, try to defer or reduce it. If taking a grand cruise steals money from your kids’ college fund, maybe you should settle for a weekend getaway.
    • Be prepared for change- Your needs and objectives will change as you age, so you should probably re-assess your priorities at least every three years.

    Don’t be that guy!!investment-objectives-3

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