My name is
Sean Glennon. I am a high school physics teacher working with Teach For America (TFA) and will be transitioning to a career in podiatric medicine. While I have forever been fascinated by personal finance and investing, I started diving into the field when I felt the crippling anxiety of having a six-figure negative net worth at 25 with a baby on the way and a goal to become a surgeon that would cost me close to $250,000 dollars more in loans and 7 years of lost income (4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency).
I have always had the desire to help others and that’s what led me to join TFA and become a healer. However, to accomplish my goals I am not willing to put the financial security of my family at risk, so I have committed myself to learn as much about personal finance and investing to ensure I can accomplish all my goals. I didn’t learn much about money in high school since I got a GED and my studies in college have been so heavily geared towards becoming a physician that I didn’t learn much about it there either. To avoid becoming a target of unethical financial practices it is paramount that individuals take the time to gain at minimum a basic understanding of personal finance. For instance, what is the difference between a fee only and a fee based financial advisor and which one is most appropriate? For myself I have come to realize that this financial stuff is far simpler than teaching physics or studying medicine. The unfortunate truth is that people who have even the slightest knowledge of investing use it to manipulate others for their own financial advantage.
This blog should serve as a tool for others to readily get information that I struggled to get on my own. I envision it being a place that is a win-win for myself and my readers. Because of my unique perspective of starting off with a low income and high debt and expectantly moving to a higher income and low debt, much of this blog will include tips on frugality, student loan management, increasing your income, decreasing your tax burden, basics of investing, and more. Having a high income will not guarantee financial independence and having a low income will not stop you from becoming wealthy. There are numerous factors at play and I look forward to discussing them.
The Hippocratic Pledge of The Financial Adviser?
Let’s just be honest and say that individuals working in the finance world went into their careers with a different mindset than a social worker or 3rd grade teacher. Money played a huge role in their decision and unlike the professions of medicine and law they are not bound dutifully to their clients. There isn’t an oath they recite at graduation nor are they governed by laws to protect the client. I am not saying all lawyers and doctors are perfectly ethical people, but what I am saying is at least these professions guide their students in the right direction and there are laws to ensure it happens. We have all heard of the celebrity that went broke because their money was mismanaged, right. Don’t let this be you. I know for myself that nobody cares about my money more than me and I enjoy being able to give it away the way I wish. I’d much rather my charity of choice be rewarded with any surplus than an advisor.
Get rich quick schemes…. are just that…. SCHEMES.
On this site, you will not find anything that is easy. Being frugal is hard and I still struggle with giving up my beloved dunkin donuts coffee. The information regarding investing is easy to learn but sticking with the plan long term takes a great deal of self-discipline and a real spike in one’s net worth will not happen overnight.
In Today’s World (Almost) Everyone has a Second Job. Whether You Want to or Not!
Now that defined benefit plans (AKA pension plans) are being pushed aside for the 401k, individuals must learn to handle the second job they have acquired. Teachers may not be in this situation for some time since I suspect their pension will stick around for some time, but for everyone else it is now your responsibility to choose a savings rate, and set up the allocation of your funds to maximize rate of return by decreasing losses and increasing gains. You are now responsible for negotiating fees related to financial services and are totally responsible for any catastrophes that come your way from poor decision making. And yet schools in America do very little to prepare the general public for such a responsibility. This information will not magically appear in your head and you must do as I have and teach yourself. Even if you have little desire to do any of this stuff yourself, it’s important that you know enough so an advisor whom you hire can’t lead you astray. Lastly for the individual who prefers the advisor route, I promise that the frugality tips I gather and share will be very helpful.