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.

Here are some other style boxes I missed

Well, shoot. In my research for the post on style boxes, I noticed something I had never quite noticed before: there are other style boxes other than the one for mutual funds. Awkward. So let’s talk about the style boxes I missed. And then some.

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What does that 3×3 investing square mean?

If you’ve played around with investment websites at all, and ever looked up mutual funds at all, you’ve no doubt noticed a little 3×3 square. For example, on the Vanguard page for its Total Stock Market Index Fund, you see this: Meanwhile, the Vanguard Growth Index Fund shows this: And the Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund … Continue reading »

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The HSA “testing period”: The Sophie’s Choice of health care costs

Last time, I talked about the maximum contribution you can make to a Health Savings Account (HSA) each year. Contribute any more, and you pay a steep penalty. We don’t want to do that, but we do want to contribute the maximum we can. After all, this is pre-tax money, so it goes a lot … Continue reading »

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How much can you contribute to an HSA?

I have a pretty uninspiring health care plan. I guess you don’t appreciate what you have until you no longer have it. My previous job had excellent health care. Both medical and dental were top notch and cost next to nothing. I had a fair copay and almost never needed to pay beyond it. These days, instead … Continue reading »

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5 things about money that are strange when you start to think about them

I typically think about money in terms of what it can do for people, but sometimes, I think about money itself, in the abstract. Kind of like this guy: Okay, actually not at all like that guy. But sometimes it is interesting to think about money in the abstract. And the more you think about … Continue reading »

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How to know when it’s time to get conservative about investing for retirement

The conventional wisdom when it comes to investing for retirement, is that you to start out with more risky/lucrative investments when you’re young and can afford to take more risks, and then over time move into more conservative prospects, towards the day when you actually need to tap into what you’ve put away. But there … Continue reading »

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Remember who you’re doing it for

We talk so much about getting on track with your finances, making progress, breaking old behaviors and forming new patterns. We know why we’re doing it, usually. For me, I believe we’re doing all this so that we can feel better. There is a sense of peace that comes with financial security. For me, it’s … Continue reading »

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Getting rid of PMI (part 5): The moment of truth?

Part of a series: Getting rid of PMI (part 1): The P stands for “parasite” Getting rid of PMI (part 2): The M stands for “misdirection” Getting rid of PMI (part 3): The I stands for “I already told you” Getting rid of PMI (part 4): Hard work vs. a risky shortcut Getting rid of … Continue reading »

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Getting rid of PMI (part 4): Hard work vs. a risky shortcut

Part of a series: Getting rid of PMI (part 1): The P stands for “parasite” Getting rid of PMI (part 2): The M stands for “misdirection” Getting rid of PMI (part 3): The I stands for “I already told you” Getting rid of PMI (part 4): Hard work versus a risky shortcut So I finally … Continue reading »

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Getting rid of PMI (part 3): The I stands for “I already told you”

Part of a series: Getting rid of PMI (part 1): The P stands for “parasite” Getting rid of PMI (part 2): The M stands for “misdirection” Getting rid of PMI (part 3): The I stands for “I already told you” Getting rid of PMI (part 4): Hard work vs. a risky shortcut Earlier this year, … Continue reading »

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