Hi, I’m Russ Thornton, and I’ve been delivering personal financial advice for over 20 years. My lifestyle financial planning service helps women achieve the life they want without fear of ever running out of money.

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Conservative Versus Aggressive

Princess Bride ImageHow do you define the word “conservative?”

What about “aggressive?”

These are words that get tossed around a lot in my line of work, but I think they can hold very different meanings for different people.

In fact, it reminds me of this line from The Princess Bride.

For example, you might think of “conservative” as having minimal exposure to the stock market and owning mostly CD’s at the bank.

Someone else might think of “conservative” and have more (or most) of their investments in a low cost, diversified total stock market portfolio because that results in the highest comfort and confidence in achieving their personal lifestyle goals.

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Take Off Your Financial Blindfold

BlindfoldDid you know that if you’re blindfolded, it’s virtually impossible for you to walk in a straight line?

Watch this short video for some background.

As we learn in the above video, researchers and scientists have been studying this for decades.

Here’s an article about it. And another.

And if you want a song that fits nicely with today’s article, here’s “Circles” by Soul Coughing :)

I first learned about this back in college. It was the summer between my sophomore and junior years.

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A Financial Lesson From George Costanza

OppositeA couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I’m an “alternative” financial advisor.

In other words, I do the exact opposite of what most financial advisors do.

And while the analogy is a little weak, I’m reminded of George Costanza from the Seinfeld TV show.

As George recognizes in this 3 minute YouTube clip, it’s silly to expect different results if you keep doing things the same way you always have.

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The False Promise Of Average Investment Returns

Average Joe'sOnce you begin to filter through the noise and information generated by the financial media, typical “top 40” advisors and other financial “carnival barkers,” you begin to see a few common threads.

One of these threads, and the one you’re meant to believe holds together the intricate tapestry of your financial life, is the all important investment return.

The higher the return, the thinking goes, the more money you make. And the more money you make, well, who would complain about that?

I say not so fast . . .

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Top 40 Versus Alternative Financial Advice

AlternativeIn a time before on-demand streaming music services, iPods, MP3s, and even CDs, I would often spend part of my Sunday afternoons in Athens, GA, glued to my “boom box” with a blank cassette tape loaded up and my finger hovering over the record button.

I loved making “mix tapes” for myself and my friends, although they were considered contraband and grounds for demerits at the Christian school I attended until 8th grade.

On those Sundays, the radio was tuned into the local station broadcasting American Top 40. You know the show with Casey Kasem . . .

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