Financially Free

June 30, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Switched Jobs? Learn How to Maximize Your New Benefits

Samantha just got a new job. She’s excited! It’ll be a breath of fresh air she needs, after a recent breakup. Samantha will have to make decisions on her new 401(k), Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP), Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), and insurance coverage. She also needs to figure out what to do with her old […]

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May 23, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Government Wipes Out $170,000 in Student Loan Debt of Social Worker

Many people wonder if the government will honor their word of eliminating their federal student loan debt under the loan forgiveness program. This year, we witnessed one of the first who successfully completed this program. Michael Mitchell is a 47-year old professional musician turned social worker and counseling pyschotherapist. He earned his master’s degree from […]

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April 19, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Who Should Consider Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is an unattractive way to get out of debt. But one of our clients chose this path, and she’s never been happier. Meet Sue Sue (not her real name) is a single mom who works in Bethesda and lives in Prince George’s County. Half of her monthly take home pay goes to rent, and […]

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April 5, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Amazon and an Imprudent Proposal

Two weeks ago, my client Carl (not his real name) asked me to put all of his $330,000 IRA retirement savings in Amazon. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I could not, in good conscience, implement this request. It is extremely imprudent to put all of our savings in a handful of stocks, let […]

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March 27, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

4 Money Makers You May Be Missing Out

We’ve heard many investment success stories. The Winklevoss twins are reportedly now billionaires through their early bitcoin investments. Our uncle who invested $10,000 in Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1965 would now have $88 million. What is the latest wealth generator out there today? We’ll give you four. They’re not the get-rich-quick schemes you may be […]

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March 6, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Secret to Creating $1 Million

According to Einstein, what is the most powerful force in the universe? The power of compounding. We see that at work with Katie and Haley’s retirement savings. Meet Katie Katie is a recent prospective client of our firm. She is just 25 years old, and already seeking out a financial planner. She’s been working for […]

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February 23, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

4 Tips to Wipe Out Credit Card Debt

Do you feel the burden of credit card debt? Imagine what it feels like, if you didn’t have to make those monthly payments. Credit card debt affects people across all income levels. We have a client who works at a large technology company but feels stuck with a $40,000 credit card debt. We have another […]

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February 14, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

How to Lower Your Student Loan Payments – And Fund a Trip to London

Are you struggling to pay off your student loans? So is our friend Katie. She’s from Kansas City, works for a social justice non-profit in DC, and is all fired up after finishing her graduate studies. However, Katie has accumulated $80,000 in federal student loan debt and $20,000 in private loans. She makes $70,000 a […]

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February 1, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

7 Reasons Why You Haven’t Hired a Financial Planner – And Why They’re All Wrong

Many Americans choose to go it alone with their finances instead of hiring a certified expert. Hiring a financial planner is not yet part of our mainstream culture. Yet, if we are willing to pay a mechanic to change our car’s oil or a plumber to fix a leaky sink – even though we could […]

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January 24, 2018 | Alvin Carlos, CFA, CFP®

Let’s March to Close the Women’s Wealth Gap

I grew up with five older sisters. I learned many things from them: creative summer games, empathy, math tricks, and how to be economical. I have high regard for all of them, and I am convinced that they can do what any other man or woman can do. So it stings to know that my […]

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