Enduring Principles

Debt Weighs on You

By Ralph Bender, MBA, CFP®

The simple formula for getting faster is to lose weight and workout according to a training plan. Fifteen unnecessary pounds entering a marathon slows the runner as much as thirty seconds per mile, adding thirteen minutes to the finishing time. The simple formula for...

How do I improve my credit score?

By Ralph Bender, MBA, CFP®

I am in the process of trying to improve my credit score and was wondering if you had ways I could do that… The best way to improve a credit score is to pay off the debts, but there are a number of other issues, too. Credit scores attempt to indicate how a...

Lessons from the Game of Risk

By Ralph Bender, MBA, CFP®

    The game of Risk was one of my favorites as a kid. It taught me some of my most important rules about successful risk-taking. I was pretty good at the game. Battle strategies I used routinely to conquer the world seem to translate into modern financial...

A New Baby in the Family

By Ralph Bender, MBA, CFP®

Dear Kids, Today you brought your first baby into the world! We are so excited, and mom is in her element. We can’t wait to spoil her. She’ll be joining our annual father/daughter date at the Angels’ home opener. Doing a little quick math, there are only 220 months...

My Fellow Americans… How Do Elections Effect the Stock Market?

By Ralph Bender, MBA, CFP®

    “My Fellow Americans …” Are you already weary of the latest edition of America’s quadrennial election year shenanigans? I know that this year seems worse than any in recent history … but it’s really pretty typical. We get questions about election year...

Tale of Two Retirements

By Ralph Bender, MBA, CFP®

About 15 years ago, both Ross and Bobby retired. Bobby had about twice as much money in his retirement plan; neither had a monthly pension, except for Social Security. They lived in the same neighborhood and had comparable incomes. We calculated the maximum withdrawal...