Conquering Your Financial Empire

Hillary Clinton Economic Plan – Part 2

Published September 5, 2016 in Election 2016 , Government - 0 Comments

Hello readers!  This is the review of the Clinton economic plan.  It’s the final part in what has been an incredibly laboring article series.  I’ve always researched my candidates for election and spent a few hours doing so.  However, to double back and then check sources, facts, and figures only to really dissect the potential economic outcomes was a lot of time.  All told, I spent seven hours researching Trump and another seven writing the articles; for Clinton, I spent about 10 hours researching and 10 hours writing the articles.

As I discussed in Part 1, Clinton’s tax policy should raise government revenues by $1.1Trillion over 10 years.  This is a key component of her overall vision.  She has plans and ideas to revamp nearly every facet of American economics and social norms.  As some commenters have brought up, it will likely be a struggle to pass these kinds of tax reforms.  Consequently, it will be even harder to shape the country like she wants without more deficit financing if she doesn’t get those tax reforms.  To add more trouble Obama apparently had a tense meeting at yesterday’s G20 Summit.  The word on the street is that he and China’s President, Xi Jinping, had a bumpy start on talks of protectionist views and unfair trading practices.  China is one of our largest financiers of deficit spending, as they are one of the largest buyers of available Treasury Bonds.  Shaking up the politics now, could lead to financial consequences later.

With all that on our mind though, let’s dig into the Clinton economic plan! Continue reading

Hillary Clinton Tax and Economic Plan – Part 1

Published September 1, 2016 in Election 2016 , Government - 2 Comments

Like I promised in the Donald Trump presidency breakdown (part 1 and part 2), I said I would keep it fair and look at Hillary Clinton’s platform as well.  I put it off a few days knowing that, unlike Trump’s piecemeal platform, she would have a fully-rounded and comprehensive plan.  And boy was I right – too right.  She has a stance and idea for every issue that you ever discussed in passing at the pub with your friends, or over the water cooler at work, or in the privacy of your own home.  Even things you didn’t know were issues for the Presidency, like Alzheimer’s Disease and Autism (not to dismiss these, but I always thought they were the job for research and medicine, not political footballing).  In total, she has 37 different issues she has pinpointed and each has a short 300 to 500-word narrative.

The Clinton breakdown will follow the same pace as Trump’s.  First I will discuss the tax ideas of Clinton; then, in the next article, I will discuss her over-arching economic plan.  One thing I have to applaud both candidates for is their use of the website.  Clinton has a very streamlined page, following the format of many social media sites – a useful link-filled and permanent header, a muted video about Trump and then a collection of related articles and media just under.  Each one of her landing pages has her text and then a few trackbacks, related articles, and then social sharing buttons.  It truly markets to the people that are likely to frequent her page – young Millennials.

For Trump, his site is blockier.  Everything has a place.  His landing pages are text-heavy, but still use easily read bullet points.  The right side of his pages has a toolbar for quickly sorting through links.  I will say, I did get lost trying to find one of his press releases because they weren’t labeled incredibly well.  I ended up giving up and just using my internet history to find the page I was looking for.  Overall though, his site is very easily navigable and relatable to the type of voters likely to frequent his page – older, traditionalist Republicans.

Well, without further hesitation, let’s get into the Clinton tax plan! Continue reading

August Book Review: Proven Option Spread Trading Strategies

Published August 26, 2016 in Book Reports - 0 Comments
August Book Review

I know I promised all of you an in-depth look at Hillary Clinton’s economic plan today.  The same type of in-depth criticism that I gave Donald Trump in Part 1 (tax reform) and Part 2 (his overall economic plan).  Fear not, you will get that critical analysis.  However, for those two articles I wrote nearly 5,000 words and spent about 15 hours on research and writing.  It was taxing.  Plus, I don’t want to burn you all out by throwing another 5,000-word article at you.  That’s a lot to expect of casual readers.  Thus, I have decided to expedite one of the articles on the back burner – the August book review!

For August (okay, more like August and July), I read “Proven Option Spread Trading Strategies” by Billy Williams.  I’ve been a stock trader for a long time, and I even traded on options a bit in college.  However, while I’ve known about the different spreads, the only ones I’ve really ever traded was a covered call and the occasional bull call or bear put spreads.  It may help to have some terminology explained right now.  An option is a trade that gives you the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset.  A ‘call’ is when you buy and a ‘put’ is when you sell.  A spread is the buying of two options on the same asset that have differing expiration dates (horizontal spread) or strike prices (vertical spread) or both (mixed spread).

Spreads are generally seen as a more consistent way to make money trading stocks because you’re minimizing risk and increasing the probability of a successful trade.  However, as with any foray into trading securities, no trade is exempt from risk and you should not trade on money you’re not willing to lose. Continue reading

Donald Trump Economic Policy – Part 2

Published August 24, 2016 in Election 2016 , Government - 0 Comments

This is Part Two of the Donald Trump presidential platform.  If you’ve missed out on part one, which was about his tax policies, check it out here.  Part two will take a broader look at the Donald Trump economic policy.  Here I’ll look at what he’s proposing as far as trade and regulation, and then tie in the revenue changes and what I think might be some issues facing him – political or otherwise.

As a brief overview, Trump has some interesting ideas for healthcare and immigration (the wall withstanding).  My own personal belief, his healthcare solution may actually be quite viable.  His trade relations are rather protectionist, which is antagonistic to economic theory and American history.  Furthermore, per his protectionist beliefs, it seems converse to his constant claims to want to engage in more free market practices.

So, let’s take a look at the Donald Trump economic policy. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s Economic and Tax Policy – Part 1

Published August 23, 2016 in Election 2016 , Government - 2 Comments

With August coming to a close, and the battle for the U.S. Presidency about to come full steam, I thought it fitting to review each candidate’s economic policy.  This is a personal finance blog after all, and what is more key to personal finances than taxes and jobs?  This is the format that the review will take: first, I will describe the policy and then I will explain the impact and what I believe are going to be the positives and negatives of the policy.  That said, I’m going to try to find the negatives of each policy – for both candidates.  Politicians have become quite adept at putting lipstick on a pig.  Furthermore, we are all about to become inundated with why a candidate’s plan is awesome; by understanding the negatives of a policy, you should at least have an idea of what questions to be asking about each candidate.  I will attempt to stay as objective as possible by using economic theory as a backdrop for my critiques.  Due to the enormous amount of material that will be covered I have decided to play the article out in two different posts – one the pertains to just tax policy, and the other that encompasses economic and trade policy.  I think the separation of the two should allow for an easier read, while also still giving proper due diligence to each topic.

As the political underdog and rambunctious cowboy candidate, I decided that Donald Trump should be the first candidate reviewed.  He’s provided soundbite after soundbite for the nightly news to replay; however, not usually for his economic proposals.  The facts that I have collected have come from three places: his website, politifact.com, and the Tax Policy Center report on Trump’s tax plan.  While those create the crux of where my notes come from, I have also done some side research to validate claims that I felt were skeptical.

So without further ado, let’s welcome to the stage, Mr. Donald Trump’s tax policy! Continue reading

Vacation: Helping Unwind Since the Beginning of Time

Published August 16, 2016 in Career - 2 Comments
Vacation Picture of Tahiti

I haven’t posted in a week, and I’m rearing to go now. Undoubtedly, you’ve noticed and I know it’s been hard. Luckily, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Well, Cash Flow Celt is back in action after a week vacation. The CFC family took a trip to the beach to get some rays. A hotter than average Florida summer and an all-Irish family at the beach – we like to live dangerously. Alas, everyone survived and the kiddo has upgraded his skin tone from translucent to just a pasty-white kid. Success!

My intention this past week was to spend just six hours or so at the beach condo to write two articles and another four to update the site and market it as well. However, I was looking forward in the calendar and my eyes popped out of my head like a cartoon character when I saw what was upcoming! I’m looking to finish my real estate course this month and take the exam in late September. I hope to be licensed and signed on with my first brokerage in October. After that, all I have left is networking, prospecting for clients, and working as a real estate agent. Well, that and continue to work my full time job at the sheriff’s office and continue to write two articles weekly for CFC and market it as well. Throw in the normal obligations of having a child, family and household to tend to, and I’ve got tasks on tasks on tasks.

Because of all of that, I decided to just take the week off and enjoy my time. It was the kid’s first time at the beach after all. I also tend to not take vacation time anyway. I’m a workaholic. This was my first vacation this year; it will also likely be the last for a long time as I look to start a new transitional career in real estate. It’s important to decompress sometimes. Continue reading

Tax Free Weekend: The Dastardly Political Deed

Published August 5, 2016 in Government , Policy Analysis - 0 Comments

It’s August and it’s nearly back to school.  Parents shall soon be free of their little gremlins.  Free of babysitting or summer camp costs associated with the summer and free of Timmy and Suzy complaining of being bored.  Free, free, freeeee!  As parents wait with giddy anticipation for the start of school, many states around the country are also sharing goodwill through tax-free weekends (or week as the case may be).

These tax free weekends are intended to drive sales for retailers.  The money that would ordinarily be paid to taxes is, in theory, then spent on other purchases.  What actually happens is far short of that.  I despise tax holidays.  I despise them primarily because they don’t provide economic benefit.  However, they’ve also become useful political tools for a paltry 6-7% discount.  It’s like the bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy. Continue reading

July Book Review: Outliers – Story of Success

Published August 2, 2016 in Book Reports - 0 Comments

The July Book Review!  Now in August!  Yeah, yeah, I know I’m late; however, I was feeling a little under the weather towards the end of July.  To make up for it, I’ll be reviewing a book that has become a standard-bearer for reading by new corporate recruits.  Outliers: The Story of Success was written by Malcolm Gladwell and focuses on successful people.  Pretty straightforward title, right?

Malcolm Gladwell has become a literary sensation.  He’s currently an established writer with the New Yorker and has been since 1996.  He’s written five different books: David and Goliath, What the Dog Saw, Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point.  Personally, I’ve read Blink and, obviously, Outliers.  So why is Gladwell a sensation?  ALL FIVE of his books have made New York Times bestsellers!  Pretty impressive considering his books all have a central theme: expanding on psychology and sociology case studies.  So, without further ado. . . Continue reading

Avoid Ruining Your Finances With These 6 Tips

Published July 26, 2016 in Budget , Credit , Debt - 3 Comments

Personal finance is an everyday endeavor.  It is present in nearly every decision you make from the time you get up; to the time you go to bed.  Ironically, because finances are so ingrained into our daily living it actually becomes harder to do well by your budget.  Imagine having to whip out an Excel spreadsheet every time you wanted Starbucks over making coffee at home.  Seems ridiculous doesn’t it?

However, just because it’s impractical doesn’t mean we should ignore our finances until the end of the month.  Finding the right balance between thrift and fun is just part of the struggle.  That said, there are a few “constants” in personal finance.  A budget is by far the most important, but you may be surprised at some others.  That’s why I wanted to share this article with you all.  It’s the six ways you’re ruining your finances without even knowing it! Continue reading

Student Debt: What Politicians Get Wrong

Published July 22, 2016 in Budget , Government , Policy Analysis - 4 Comments
Child looking at student debt

I was reading in the news the other day that the White House was tooting their own horn when it comes to education.  This particular tooting was specific to the student debt currently in the economy.  The thing that struck me as particularly odd was that the White House said that student debt is, in fact, great for the economy!  A foul toot indeed.

This report, published by the Council of Economic Advisers, was chock-full of graphs and statistics to validate their claims.  I read through it and it seems to present a fairly straightforward argument.  My problem with the published report is that it just repeated the same benefits of education over and over.  Everyone knows education is good in some aspect.  This report just feels like Ivory Tower academics who are unable to see that what may be good for them, is not good for everyone else. Continue reading

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