Author Archives: Mike Pumphrey

About Mike Pumphrey

I'm the founder and author of Unlikely Radical, a site to help people succeed with money, achieve their goals, and live intentionally. I offer a free phone consultation to anyone who is interested in changing their financial narrative. Are you ready? Click here for details.

The investment hat trick: The health savings account (HSA)

When I started my new job, one of the items on my list was to sign up for an FSA (flexible spending account). Now I’ve talked about the FSA before. An FSA is great, in that you can put money away pre-tax to be used for healthcare-related expenses, and really frustrating, because you need to … Continue reading »

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This is why I don’t pick stocks

I’ve often said that my one big stock tip is don’t invest in stocks. There’s too much volatility, too much risk, and not enough gain. We often say that if we had only invested in Apple in 1995, or Amazon in 1997, or Google in 2204, then we’d be rich beyond our wildest dreams. Right, … Continue reading »

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If you don’t understand it, don’t invest in it

I took a new job last month, as I mentioned previously. While it is not in the finance industry, it’s in a space such that people often talk about financial transactions, venture capital, and especially about future developments in tech. It’s a heady space, a strange mix of wonkery and Burning Man-esque fervor. And lots … Continue reading »

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The three questions to ask yourself before you gamble (on anything)

(Note from after this post was written: Oy, what terrible timing to write about Las Vegas. My heart breaks for everyone affected by the horrors that transpired there this past week. There may not be any justice or sense in what happened, but let’s at least take a moment to be grateful for everyone special … Continue reading »

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Are you investing or just speculating?

The economics of the household aren’t great. Not only do you need to keep a reasonably good-paying job for at least four decades, but also you need to plan for a period of your life, say the last third of it, where you may not be able to earn a good living and have to live … Continue reading »

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Maybe don’t freeze your credit just yet

Since the Equifax dumpster fire breach, I’m still on the fence about freezing my credit. Perhaps this is surprising. After all, now that my information, along with 143 million others, has likely been taken by who-knows-who for who-knows-what purpose, it might seem like an obvious move to try to restrict what can be done with … Continue reading »

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Get your credit reports all at once or spread them out?

If you’ve been thinking that I’ve been silent about the Equifax breach because I haven’t cared, you’d be wrong. Instead, I’ve been feeling a mix of fear and despair, not unlike what I felt on November 9th this past year, a realization (or maybe a refresher) that supremely incompetent people are running the show, and … Continue reading »

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Why signing up for promotions you don’t think you’ll use is a good idea

I’m not into extreme couponing. I find that I don’t need 27 cans of tomato sauce or 40 boxes of cereal. I live in a relatively small place, and I barely can rationalize a Costco membership, much less having a second refrigerator. But don’t get me wrong, I love deals. I was quite taken by Jet‘s … Continue reading »

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Why a new job might be best treated as an emergency

I just got a new job! (Don’t worry, I’m not shutting down this site.) Getting a new job is an exciting and terrifying time, one of the big life transitions. As it’s not a stretch to say that we spend a good third of lives working at a job, changing it can make a large … Continue reading »

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How store credit cards foreshadow the retail apocalypse

In my last post, I mentioned how I had once had an Exxon credit card given to me by my mom to use for emergencies. It made me think about those specialty credit cards. How quaint I thought. A credit card that people would use at a given store. And then I had a bit … Continue reading »

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