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.

What if you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA?

Roth IRAs are awesome. There’s just no other way that I can see that regular folks can invest in a way that lets money grow tax-free, without any Required Minimum Distributions or anything like that. Plus, a retirement account where you can withdraw your contributions at any time for any reason, without any penalties? This … Continue reading »

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Forget Amazon, I’m going with Jet

I talked about how Amazon has recently taken to requiring you to join Amazon Prime in order to purchase some of its products. To me, that seemed like a bridge too far. And so I began researching alternatives to Amazon. I found a worthy contender relatively quickly, as I had recalled a news article I … Continue reading »

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Why Amazon is starting to remind me of the mob

If you recall my time on the Slow Carb Diet, you may recall that I’m a big fan of Vega protein powder. The one I use has a good amount of greens and antioxidants, a tasty flavor without sugar, and doesn’t use any animal products like whey or casein, which are not necessary for our diet. … Continue reading »

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How I handled my most recent impulse purchase

Once every six months or so, I drain my car’s battery. This isn’t an intentional thing, mind you. It’s just that I leave my car’s internal dome light on, and then go about my day, sometimes a few days, before coming back to the car and finding it totally dead. (Let’s put aside the bizarre … Continue reading »

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How to know when to make an impulse purchase

Ramit Sethi, the I Will Teach You To Be Rich guy, has a rule about books: If you’re “thinking about” buying a book, just buy it. Don’t waste 5 secs debating. Even 1 idea makes it worth it. I may not be this cavalier about books (because one might easily end up with a big … Continue reading »

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Here’s how I’m going to get a Tesla

I’m not a “car guy”. I understand that there’s an aesthetic about “acceleration” and “handling”, and how a car “feels”, but I’ve always just wanted one to get me from A to B in relative comfort and without breaking down. When I was a teenager, my friend told me about a new kind of car. It … Continue reading »

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Why I love the Rule of 72

WARNING: This post contains math. (But you knew this with a title like that.) How long will it take an investment to double? It’s a good question. And while doubling itself isn’t the most important aspect of an investment, it’s a good way to give you an intuitive sense of how well an investment is likely … Continue reading »

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In defense of rounding

If you’re used to just “not worrying” about money (which can ironically make one pretty anxious) or just wanting to “let things happen”, my suggestion that you track all of your spending (all of it, every purchase, every month, forever) might seem a little daunting. All those numbers. Math! It’s too overwhelming. But let’s not … Continue reading »

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8 mistakes people make that can drastically affect their financial health

At almost 500 posts here on this site over the past five years, you might be forgiven for feeling like you are drinking from the fire hose. So here is an opportunity to keep it simple. Let’s talk about 8 mistakes people make that can drastically affect their financial health. I use the word “drastically” … Continue reading »

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Can you do a partial rollover of a retirement plan?

So I made the decision to rollover my retirement account from TIAA(-CREF) to an IRA. I had done a transfer of a Roth IRA from Scottrade recently, and the process was seamless. I had also, a few years before, converted a 401(k) I had with Vanguard into a Traditional IRA. The decision to rollover my 403(b) … Continue reading »

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