Welcome to Friday Night (High)lights, where I scour the personal finance space to find articles that are setting the personal finance blogosphere on FIRE.
This week we have three posts, from three different blogs, that all spark a little personal finance controversy. As Eminem once said, “who doesn’t need a little more controversy?”
Without further adieu.
Are FIRE Bloggers Really Chasing FIRE? (Money Saved Money Earned Blog)
I have a feeling that Tawnya and Sebastian over at Money Saved Money Earned, knew this post was going to be controversial from the minute the post was published. The controversy is: Can you claim to be retired if you are still earning a handsome income?
This debate is not new and stems from pro bloggers that have made a lucrative income from blogging but have retired from their 9 to 5 job. This post is sure to elicit some passion, either for or against, so head on over to Money Saved Money Earned to weigh in with your opinion….Read the post.
Hacking 10 Or More Years Off Of Your 30 Year Mortgage (Freedom 40 Plan)
This post from Freedom 40 Plan explores the age-old debate of 15-year vs. 30-year mortgage. It is a debate I think most homeowners will come across at some point in their path to 100% equity in their home. Freedom 40 Plan has a unique approach to shaving 10 years off of his mortgage that I think you will find interesting. Head on over and check it out….Read the post.
Roth IRAs: The Best Emergency Fund (Fi With 2 Kids)
This blog post from Fi With 2 Kids caught my eye this week after he skewers the sacred emergency fund. Can a Roth IRA pull double duty as a retirement account and an emergency fund?
Early on in your financial journey, there are so many things to start saving for. Waiting for a fully funded emergency fund before saving for retirement can set you back years. What if you could kill two birds with one stone, by opening up a Roth IRA?
Head on over to FI With 2 Kids, as they explain how to pull off this Roth IRA magic….Read the post.
The Smart Fi Highlight of The Week
If you have followed The Smart Fi for a while, you know I primarily invest in low-cost index funds. Occasionally, I will buy an individual stock as I try to build out my dividend investment portfolio.
I loathe paying trading fees. For that reason, I primarily use Robin Hood which offers, seriously free stock trades with no catch.
You can read my review of Robin Hood here. Buy Stocks For Free With Robin Hood.
Robin Hood does, however, have a couple of drawbacks. Limited ability to research stocks and no automatic dividend reinvestment. After Robin Hood, my next favorite brokerage is Charles Schwab, where trades are $4.95.
So this week, while on my Charles Schwab account, a chat box popped up and said, “How can I help you?” I sent back a text saying I would like a free trade. Within 30 seconds the Schwab representative said, “no problem, I will credit your account with 5 free trades.”
In the course of a couple minutes, I was awarded $25 worth of free stock trades. All because I had the courage to ask.
There is extreme competition in the brokerage world these days. Take advantage of this competition and ask for a couple of free trades or better yet a bonus for balance transfers. You may be pleasantly surprised by the representative’s answer.
I call that a frugal win and it is this week’s Smart Fi highlight of the week.