The Blog at ​​​Wiegand Financial

How bad is $1 trillion of credit card debt?

Growth of US credit card debt lags behind that of GDP and personal income
US credit card debt is approaching a big milestone. But the real question is how much it has increased compared to other things. Read more
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A big estate tax break is about to shrink

The lifetime exclusion amount determines how much money you can give away or bequeath during your life without incurring taxes.
If you hope to leave behind a large chunk of change after you die, you should know about the lifetime exclusion amount. Read more
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Is infinite banking a scam?

Even if you have never heard of it before, the term “infinite banking” is probably enough by itself to set off alarms in your head. Is it for real? Read more
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How bad would a US credit rating downgrade be?

Instead of increasing, interest rates decreased after the US credit rating downgrade in 2011.
Despite the headlines, a US credit rating downgrade may seem like much ado about nothing. After all, how bad can AA+ possibly be?   Read more
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America is great, but it isn’t everything

International indexes like those of MSCI can help investors expand beyond the US stock market
The US stock market is so huge that it is easier to forget the rest of the world exists, at least when it comes to investing. But that would be a mistake. Read more
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Covered call writing: a fancy trick for simple investors

If you want to generate some extra income from your portfolio - without getting too risky or complicated - you may be interested in this technique. Read more
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There is more than one type of investment risk

People can fall into black-and-white thinking with investment risk. They will ask if a given asset is risky, when they should be asking *how.* Read more
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Should you pay off debt with your IRA?

pay off debt with IRA example projection
Ideally you will only use your retirement savings for, well... retirement. But perhaps a ton of high-interest debt is the exception? Read more
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The great advisor debate: fee-based vs. fee-only

While fee-based advisors may earn commissions by offering access to third-party products, fee-only advisors may not.
The common claim is that fee-based advisors are vulnerable to conflicts of interest, while fee-only advisors are not. This is a huge oversimplification. Read more
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Will a trip to Disneyland torpedo your retirement?

There is a hazy but nonetheless widespread idea that every kid should get to go to Disneyland at least once. Is that realistic? Read more
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