Checking Out The Wise Dollar

One of my goals for My Financial Reviews is to highlight personal finance blogs and sites that I think can help you with your finances. This week I want to introduce you to Jose from The Wise Dollar.

the wise dollar jose interview

Why did you start The Wise Dollar?

One thing that drove me to start The Wise Dollar was conversations I’ve had with my children on investing. They’ve taken a great interest in investing and I’ve been able to give them tidbits here and there. But it’s only been tidbits and not the entire “body” of knowledge and experience stored in my head. I’d been toying with the idea of starting a website where I could document this knowledge and they could have a place to go to mine it when they were ready.

I’ve been interested in starting a blog for some time, it seemed be a good way to capture what I knew about investing and personal finance for my kids. At the very least, it would force me to “put it on paper” so to speak. I hesitated to do this because of the amount of work and time it would take.

Last December while randomly wandering around the “net” I started researching WordPress. . Everything I read about it made it seem like it was an easy tool to use. Websites I have “played” around with in the past were built from the ground up in HTML and were, at least for me, a major endeavor to get them up and running. So I took the plunge and started TheFindependent, which a month later became The Wise Dollar.

How long have you’ve been involved with finance and blogging?

I’ve been involved in Finance and investing in particular for twenty seven years, I’ve seen a lot of ups, downs and quite a few sideways over the years. I’ve only been blogging for three month’s. It’s an entirely new experience for me.

I’ve learned a lot and met a number of people that have been extremely helpful in helping me get The Wise Dollar off and running. What has been a pleasant surprise for me has been the willingness of members of the blogging community to help a newcomer. That has been refreshing!

How do you handle your own finances? What system do you employ with:

  • Budgets – I do my budgeting with two tools, Excel to plan and Quicken to track my funds. I use the class list function in Quicken as an envelope budgeting tool and have been using quicken for over ten years now.
  • Investing –When I first started investing, I used the traditional retail broker. After a few years I came to find out that most of the retail brokers I was using weren’t really the Finance Geniuses I expected. I didn’t start college until late in life (30) and was actively investing at that time, I made sure that I loaded up on as many Finance and Economics classes as I could get into my curriculum. I wanted to understand as much as I could about investing and that preparation paid off. Once on line brokerage firms started to really take hold, I switched over to one and have never looked back. Most of my investing is done in an IRA, I have several and the goals and objectives of each of the IRA’s are different. I’ve never been risk averse and my investment style reflects that. Most of my investing is done in equities.
  • Career – My career in IT has been interesting, it started with a four year enlistment in the Air Force, where I learned all the fundamental telecommunications knowledge that I still carry through this day. I seem to bounce back and forth between Engineering and Management which is fine since it keeps me current from the technical perspective and the Management aspect of the Industry. What many don’t realize is that the workforce has changed dramatically over the years. Expectations and work ethics are different from the current generation entering the work force then they were when I first started. There’s a lot more attention paid to work life balance than there was in the past, and I’m glad to see that.

What’s the biggest financial mistake you’ve ever made? What did you learn from it?

My biggest financial mistake was buying a time share. I knew better but had the money and thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea. U should have done my homework. If I had done so I would have quickly found out that I could rent a timeshare at Coral Sands (Grand Cayman) for about the same that it costs me in maintenance without the initial investment cost.

I only bought an every other year agreement so limited my exposure but in retrospect, I should have avoided that purchase. Do you know anyone interested in renting a nice two bedroom unit on the beach in Grand Cayman next year?

What are your goals this year and beyond with The Wise Dollar?

I intend to stick through with making The Wise Dollar a successful blog. I’ve been warned that by the sixth month many bloggers get tired or disillusioned and quit, or sell out. I would like to see The Wise Dollar grow and in one year’s time, have a decent readership and ranking. I didn’t realize the amount of work and time that would be required to do this, but I’m committed to sticking it through. Wish me luck!

Thanks again to Jose for taking time out his schedule for this interview! Check him out The Wise Dollar and also on Twitter



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