Camille Gaines, AFC

Accredited Financial Counselor, 40 Year Investor, Personal Finance Best Selling Author, and Income Stream Creator.

Plan A to B | Alternative Wealth Strategies

Alternative Wealth Strategies That Worked (And Didn’t)

There are the wildly popular if not overly simplified asset allocation models of investing in stocks and bonds. Then, there are alternative wealth strategies we know the wealthy use that can seem out of reach for us normal investors.    Are they really out of reach for us individual investors? If not, which alternative wealth …

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Far Out Time

How Far Out Should You Sell Covered Calls?

  Covered calls can be an excellent income source for stock investors, but it can be confusing to know the best option expiration to choose for the call being sold. The further out the option expiration, the higher the premium and the longer the stock has to reach the strike price. How far out you …

How Far Out Should You Sell Covered Calls? Read More »

Blocks showing growth

Beginner To Advanced Investing Strategies | What’s Best for You?

Does everything you need to know about investing really fit onto one side of a cocktail napkin as touted by more than one wildly famous financial author?   Well, the answer depends on:  Your personal wealth plan How long you have to save and invest  Your net worth How much money you need to retire …

Beginner To Advanced Investing Strategies | What’s Best for You? Read More »

couple over 50 working together

How To Account For Inflation In Retirement Planning

Inflation is a lurking but serious danger that can destroy your ability to live well in retirement. If you’re wondering how to account for inflation in retirement planning, the main thing is to simply do it. First, use calculators that factor inflation into the numbers. Next, plan for inflation a little higher than what you …

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Man over 50 with cash

All Weather Portfolio Pros and Cons | ETFs | Performance | Chart | Videos

  The All Wealth Portfolio is popular among sophisticated DIY investors looking to increase returns while lowering risk without a financial advisor. In this article, I’ll share the All Weather Portfolio pros and cons, the portfolio ETFs and allocations, the performance, and a chart of the portfolio allocation which I created for you. This popular …

All Weather Portfolio Pros and Cons | ETFs | Performance | Chart | Videos Read More »

Woman cash | How to Make Money When Stocks Go Down

How to Make Money When Stocks Drop

There are simple ways to make money when stocks drop using more traditional investing methods and there are also more advanced strategies to make money when stocks drop. In this post, I will cover simple to slightly advanced strategies that both investors and many wealth managers use to make money in down markets for their …

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man over 50 looking for new ways to retire

New Ways to Retire

An exciting and promising shift is happening right now in the way we retire.  Fortunately, changes stemming from the rise of the internet now lead to rewarding retirement opportunities for those not interested in living on less while working crossword puzzles for brain stimulation in their golden years. The younger generations are living proof of …

New Ways to Retire Read More »

couple fulfilling their dreams through their stock market returns

Stock Market Return 2010 through 2019 and Why You Care

Stock market returns by decade are often used as markers for measuring past performance and estimating future performance more reliably for retirement planning purposes. And we all know that stock market gains can be excellent passive wealth builders in most decades, so let’s see what happened last decade, and how can we use that data …

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woman in retirement starting consulting business

How to Start a Consulting Business in Retirement

One of the fastest, lowest cost and most fulfilling ways to increase income in retirement is to start a consulting business. If you’re older, like me, and have undoubtedly developed some amazing skills over the years. But you may not be as much of a marketer, or as tech savvy as the younger generations, unless …

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money market vs stocks

How Much to Keep in Money Market Accounts | 15 Factors 

No one wants to run out of cash. By cash, I mean that super safe stash you keep in a money market account that won’t fluctuate in value the way stocks do.   But just how much should you keep in a money market account? It depends on some personal things like your investments, portfolio allocation, dependents, …

How Much to Keep in Money Market Accounts | 15 Factors  Read More »

calculator pov | How to Calculate Investment Income

How to Calculate Investment Income

True financial independence is being able to live off investment income without spending down your investment capital.  Here’s how to calculate investment income: Multiply the investment cost by the yield to get the amount of annual income. For example, if an investment which cost $100,000  yields 3%, investment income will be $3,000 a year.   Investment …

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New Business | New Retirement Strategies

New Retirement Strategies

The old model of retirement no longer works for a lot of people who want to live well in retirement.  Old retirement strategies include basics like delaying social security, working longer and part time employment. But, fortunately, there are now some more innovative and lucrative retirement strategies that can be a real godsend for retirees.   Many millennials are already using some of these new retirement …

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Money Timer Flag | Alternative Wealth Solution

Alternative Wealth Solutions

  Consistently saving money and investing it in stocks and bonds builds wealth over many years. The problem is that this strategy usually takes at least two decades, and most people don’t begin this discipline until it’s too late to save enough to retire comfortably.   Alternative wealth solutions exist, however, for anyone willing to think and invest outside the …

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Bear Chart | How to Prepare for Bear Markets

How to Prepare for Bear Markets | 11 Steps [Video, Chart]

Bear markets are a fact of life for stock market investors but they don’t have to be detrimental to your net worth.   After investing through several bear markets, both alone and with financial advisors, I’ll share how to prepare for bear markets.    While I’m an AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor), I write from my own investing experience of 40 …

How to Prepare for Bear Markets | 11 Steps [Video, Chart] Read More »

Key Compass | Advanced Investment Strategies

Advanced Investment Strategies (You Won’t Hear from Your Advisor) | Video

Many investors have concerns about passive investing in stocks and bonds based on standard asset allocation models. Or maybe they have seen that passive investing won’t get the results they need to reach their financial goals. Many investors turn to more advanced investment strategies in an effort to increase returns without increasing risk.    Popular …

Advanced Investment Strategies (You Won’t Hear from Your Advisor) | Video Read More »

How to Manage Risk in the Stock Market

How to Manage Risk in the Stock Market

Managing risk in the stock market becomes more important as you get older. We all learned this from the challenging 2000 decade when the stock market (S&P 500 index) had an annualized negative return of 2.72% (excluding dividends) for the entire 2000 decade!    If you’re wondering how to manage risk in the stock market, investing …

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couple toast

Fear of Retirement Boredom | 7 Cures [Videos]

For those planning to retire soon, retirement can feel scary from both a financial and a lifestyle perspective.  Fear of retirement boredom is a very legitimate reality, especially for certain personalities. Here are 7 ways to address that subtle and almost embarrassing fear that you could be bored to tears in retirement. Read my own …

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Bear vs Bull | Are Stocks Safe for Retirement?

Are Stocks Safe for Retirement? 8 Important Factors 

Every time I hear someone confidently tell me that they are invested in “safe stocks” so they’re not concerned about a “stock market crash,” I silently shudder.  Are stocks safe for retirement? It all depends on your risk tolerance, net worth, stock market valuations and other factors explained below.   After investing for almost 40 years …

Are Stocks Safe for Retirement? 8 Important Factors  Read More »

Man Whiteboard | Living Off Investment Income – Advantages and Disadvantages

Living Off Investment Income | Advantages and Disadvantages

True financial independence is reached when you can live off investment income.  Living off investment income has many advantages that often require a shift from traditional investing in stocks and bonds, but there are also a few disadvantages to living off investment income.  In this post, I’ll share and explain the 22 advantages and 6 …

Living Off Investment Income | Advantages and Disadvantages Read More »

retirement key | Alternative Retirement Investment Strategies 

12 “Slightly” Alternative Retirement Investment Strategies 

  If you’re concerned that investing in traditional stocks and bonds with a common asset allocation won’t provide a comfortable retirement for life, you’re not alone. We had those same concerns over a decade ago, along with millions of other investors over 50, and here’s what we discovered: Alternative retirement investment strategies can result in higher …

12 “Slightly” Alternative Retirement Investment Strategies  Read More »

Is Downsizing the Right Choice to Retire Earlier?

Downsizing can be a smart option for anyone who wants to retire soon but lacks the funds to retire comfortably for life. Is downsizing the right choice to retire earlier for you? The answer depends on your overall wealth plan, cost to downsize, alternatives to downsizing,  downsizing calculations and how much it takes for you …

Is Downsizing the Right Choice to Retire Earlier? Read More »

nest egg | What Net Worth Do You Need to Retire

What Net Worth Do You Need to Retire? Huge Aha

Just past midlife, many people get super focused on increasing net worth before retirement.  What net worth do you need to retire? You’ll need enough assets to allow you to cover all living expenses with retirement account withdrawals of 3% to 5%, plus any other income sources, including social security. Also, living expenses should be adjusted for …

What Net Worth Do You Need to Retire? Huge Aha Read More »

drive safe | Is It Safest to Withdraw or Get Investment Income

Is It Safest to Withdraw or Get Investment Income? Challenge

Updated: October 9, 2019 By definition, retirement is the time when you can live off investments. The traditional retirement model is to withdraw 4% a year from your retirement savings to live but an increasingly popular alternative is to get income from investments instead.   Is it safest to withdraw or get investment income to live in …

Is It Safest to Withdraw or Get Investment Income? Challenge Read More »

ten blocks | What Will Stocks Do Over the Next 10 Years

What Will Stocks Do Over the Next 10 Years?

Updated May 6, 2020 At the end of the strong bull market of the 1990’s, a few brave financial experts predicted the next decade would not be a good one for stock investors.  What will stocks do over the next 10 years? Ray Dalio, Warren Buffett, Rob Arnott, Liz Ann Sonders and John Bogle have told us what …

What Will Stocks Do Over the Next 10 Years? Read More »

money puzzle | How Much Money Do You Need to Live Off Investments

How Much Money You Need to Live Off Investments 

Knowing how much money you need to live off investments can seem daunting but it’s really just a few steps and math.   Let’s say you want to generate $ 10,000 a month to live off investments.    We can back into the amount of money you need with the following formula:  Amount of Desired Monthly Income/Expected Yield = …

How Much Money You Need to Live Off Investments  Read More »

how much is enough to retire

Is 1.5 Million Enough to Retire?

  Many retirees are realizing a million dollars isn’t what it used to be. Therefore, many investors are now looking to retire with more than originally planned. Is 1.5 million enough to retire? The math shows if you’re using a 3% retirement withdrawal rule, and can live on $3,750 a month plus other income sources, …

Is 1.5 Million Enough to Retire? Read More »

risk blocks | reducing risk in stocks

Reducing Risk in Stocks | 13 Lessons from Past Bear Markets

After surviving a few bear markets over the past 40 years as an investor, I’ve learned many lessons from them.   Reducing risk in stocks before bear markets take full hold helps investors protect their net worth as well as have capital to invest in stocks again once unusually low valuations are reached.  This sounds almost too obvious to write, but most investors don’t take …

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couple pondering | Are Dividends or Capital Gains Better

Are Dividends or Capital Gains Better?

  You may have noticed that you’ve gotten both capital gains and dividends from investing. Or maybe you’re trying to choose an investment that will deliver the results you want.  Are dividends or capital gains better? Dividends are better for investors seeking income as a primary objective while capital gains are better for investors looking …

Are Dividends or Capital Gains Better? Read More »

hands up

Stocks That Went Up in 2008 | Plus ETFs, Bonds, Gold

Toward the end of bull markets, it’s smart to see what stocks went up in past bear markets for recession proof investment ideas. Stocks that went up in 2008 include Dollar Tree, Amgen, Hasbro, Dwight & Church, Celgene, Gilead, Walmart, McDonald’s, Ross Stores, Budweiser, AutoZone and H&R Block. Stocks going up while the market is …

Stocks That Went Up in 2008 | Plus ETFs, Bonds, Gold Read More »

What Goes Up When Stocks Go Down? 7 Hedging Assets

  Investing within acceptable risk is one of the most important things we can do as investors. Occasional bear stock markets challenge even experienced stock market investors when it comes to managing risk. After investing through several bear markets over the past 40 years, I’ve learned that one of the best ways to lower stock …

What Goes Up When Stocks Go Down? 7 Hedging Assets Read More »

phone | how do covered calls work

How Do Covered Calls Work?

  You may have heard that selling covered calls can increase earnings from stocks.   How do covered calls work exactly? Covered call writing is a strategy where a stock investor sells call options that give the call option buyer the right to buy the stock from the stock investor at a set price and within a certain …

How Do Covered Calls Work? Read More »

money pass computer | open in the money covered call strategy

In the Money Covered Call Strategy | Benefits and Examples

  Selling in the money covered calls can be an excellent income generating strategy for those living off investments.  An in the money covered call strategy involves selling a call option with a strike price lower than the cost of the underlying stock. This strategy is commonly used when the call writer expects the stock price to decrease, …

In the Money Covered Call Strategy | Benefits and Examples Read More »

money tree | 4% rule dividends

Does the 4% Rule Include Dividends?

If you’re exploring early retirement like we were well over a decade ago, you may be wondering about the income provided from the standard 4% retirement withdrawal rule. Does the 4% rule include dividends, specifically? Or do investors using this popular plan get to withdraw 4% annually in addition to dividend income? The 4% rule …

Does the 4% Rule Include Dividends? Read More »

couple in retirement | when to switch from growth to income

When to Switch from Growth to Income [With Videos]

Growth investing is usually done during an investor’s high income years while income investing is usually done during retirement, but the best time to transition from growth to income can be unclear. If you’re wondering when to switch from growth to income investments, the answer depends on several factors including net worth, income sources, wealth …

When to Switch from Growth to Income [With Videos] Read More »

couple analyzing assets | Best Assets to Build Wealth

Best Assets to Build Wealth | Charts, Videos, Calculator

If your net worth isn’t where you want it to be, you may be wondering how you can build wealth in a way that won’t take decades. The best assets to build wealth fall into two categories, almost all quality assets that can be bought at low valuations, and assets that can be created. After …

Best Assets to Build Wealth | Charts, Videos, Calculator Read More »

How to Buy Assets That Generate Income

If you’re approaching retirement, that anticipated time when you can live off investments or at least work fewer hours own your schedule, you’re probably transitioning to income investing. You may be wondering how to buy assets that generate income. The way you buy income generating assets depends on the type of asset you’re buying. For example, …

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How to Choose an Online Business to Start

You may know that you want to start an online business, but you don’t know what the focus of your business should be. This post has the steps for how to choose an online business to start based on your own financial goals, skills, and desired lifestyle. These are the things that I wish I …

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man planning retirement

The Best Income Stream to Start Before Retirement

If you’re concerned about having enough income to live comfortably in retirement, you may want to start one or more income streams beforehand but you’re not sure where to start. To choose the best income stream to start before retirement, consider your desired income, eventual capital gain, acceptable risk and lifestyle. It’s easy to get …

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Problem - Solution

Problems with Covered Calls

Covered calls can be an excellent way to increase income from stocks but like all investments, covered calls aren’t perfect. The problems with covered calls include stock market risk, company specific risk, high required capital, forfeiting of potential capital gains, taxes on call income, and ongoing management of unexercised options. It is my belief, however, …

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retirement nestegg | Are covered calls a good strategy

Are Covered Calls a Good Strategy?

In this time of low dividend yields, increasing stock income by selling call options on stocks you already own sounds pretty appealing to yield hungry investors. Are covered calls a good strategy? Covered calls can be an excellent income strategy for stock investors willing to forego capital gains above the strike price should the call …

Are Covered Calls a Good Strategy? Read More »

How Many Income Streams Should You Have? [Videos]

The more income streams you have the better, right? This is not necessarily true. How many income streams should you have? It have depends on your goals, available time, types of income streams, available capital, taxes, demonstrated success, income reliability, and desired lifestyle. In this post I’ll share what I’ve learned in each of these …

How Many Income Streams Should You Have? [Videos] Read More »

Risk Reward | Start a Business or Invest in Stocks

Start a Business or Invest in Stocks: Which Is Better?

It can be challenging to choose the best opportunity to maximize your valuable time and capital. Investing in stocks has long been considered the best strategy to build wealth. With the explosion of entrepreneurship over the past decade and the fact that most of the wealthy made their wealth from business, it makes sense to …

Start a Business or Invest in Stocks: Which Is Better? Read More »

weighing pros and cons | owning a business vs real estate

Owning a Business Vs Real Estate | What I Learned from Each

Every day more investors are using alternative strategies to generate income given the low income that bonds provide. Small business and real estate are among the most popular choices now given the opportunities and ease of entry. There are many types of small businesses and many types of real estate. Since low capital online businesses …

Owning a Business Vs Real Estate | What I Learned from Each Read More »

How to Rewire Your Brain for Success – The Missing Step

Very deep down have you ever thought that you may cause your own financial problems? If you’re wondering how to rewire your brain for success, the steps are to own the current problem, identify the source of the problem, resolve your feelings about the problem, and choose to no longer live from the past. In …

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How to Increase Net Worth Before Retirement [Videos]

Most advice for how to increase net worth is geared toward investors with decades to save and compound wealth in the stock market. If you’re an investor over 50, it could be too late for that strategy before retirement. But you can increase net worth by taking advantage of cycles in stocks or real estate, …

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What Are the Risks of Bonds? Chart Stocks Vs Bonds

  Updated August 8, 2019 Investing in bonds definitely has risks, contrary to what many investors think. Just what are the risk of bond investments? They include interest rate risk, default risk, inflation risk, call risk and economic risk. The fact that bonds are used to offset risk from stocks, and the very long bull …

What Are the Risks of Bonds? Chart Stocks Vs Bonds Read More »

money roll | Covered Calls for Income

Covered Calls for Income – Example of a Recent Strategy I Did with ROI [Charts]

Most investors own stocks in their portfolio with the expectation to build wealth while also getting dividend income. Investors can sell covered calls for income on their stock holdings and receive 6 to 9 times the income that’s derived from dividends alone. They must, however, accept that they may have to sell the stock at …

Covered Calls for Income – Example of a Recent Strategy I Did with ROI [Charts] Read More »

Playing Catch Up Retirement Savings | 59 Uncommon Solutions [With Videos]

If you’re playing catch up retirement savings, here are 59 wealth building tips and solutions that can radically change late retirement planning. After personally making thousands of investments among stocks, bonds, funds, and real estate, both with and without financial advisors over the past 40 years, and creating alternative income streams  to replace career income …

Playing Catch Up Retirement Savings | 59 Uncommon Solutions [With Videos] Read More »

How to Evaluate an Investment

Are you considering a new investment or evaluating investments that you already own? While there are some complex analysis tools, some of the best ways to evaluate an investment are based on simple and practical assessments. The criteria for evaluating an investment include meeting acceptable risk, goals, valuation, time frame, objectives, cost, and other assessments …

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dessert | How Much Money Do You Need to Live Off Investments

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Off Investments? [Videos+PDF]

Living off investments defines financial independence, but getting there can be challenging. How much money do you need to live off investments? Here’s the formula: Divide the desired annual income by the expected yield. If you want $10,000 monthly investment income, and expect a 5% yield, divide $120,000 by 5% for the amount of money …

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Off Investments? [Videos+PDF] Read More »

5 Holistic Steps to Manage Your Wealth (As the Leader)

  Updated May 2020 You may find yourself in the fortunate situation of having wealth, yet you may feel uncertain about how to manage wealth, having never really been wealthy before now. Taking care of your wealth is sort of like parenting. You don’t know how until you’ve already done it but you feel like …

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How to Avoid Problems When Hiring a Financial Advisor

If you’re thinking of hiring a financial advisor, you may be wondering what unexpected problems you might face after you start working with him.   Research shows some of the more common unforeseen problems after hiring a financial advisor come from higher than anticipated fees, poor customer service, lack of personalized service, poor investment track …

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How to Understand Your Investments (Investing 101, Lingo Free)

Investing can seem very complicated if you’re not familiar with all the financial lingo. If you’re wondering how to understand your investments, these 3 steps will get you well on your way. Your money is divided among into stocks, bonds and cash type investments based on your goals, desired risk and time frame. The stocks …

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Should You Manage Your Own Money (With Time and Cost Comparisons)

You may be at a point where you’re wondering if you should manage your own money or hire a financial advisor. After using several financial advisors, and also managing my own money over the years, I learned that there are some good reasons to invest yourself. This includes lower costs, alternative investing, overall returns and …

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Wealth Building After 50 (No Penny Pinching and a Bit of a Rant)

Most articles about wealth building after 50 have tips with a minimal impact on true financial independence. If you’re over 50 and far short of reaching your big retirement number, it’s time to take some serious steps beyond investing pocket change and cutting out lattes. While these aren’t bad ideas, they ’re not going to …

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Pros and Cons of Using a Financial Advisor (with Cost Charts vs DIY)

  When feeling uncertain or overwhelmed about managing your investments, you may consider hiring a financial advisor. In this post I’ll share what I learned about the pros and cons of using a financial advisor after having hired and worked with multiple financial advisors over the years. The pros of using a financial advisor are …

Pros and Cons of Using a Financial Advisor (with Cost Charts vs DIY) Read More »

How to Invest in Startups for Individuals

Imagine if you were one of the very first investors in Facebook, Apple or Uber. If this seems crazy,  remember that every company needs startup capital, and individual investors can now participate in startup funding easier than ever. Investing in startups for individuals now has many options, including online startup companies that match investors with …

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Should All Your Investments Be in One Place?

In my own investing and working with financial coaching clients, I know the complexity that can come with having multiple investment accounts at different places. Should all investments be in one place, though? The easy answer is that you should use as many investment firms as you need to meet your needs, including keeping your …

Should All Your Investments Be in One Place? Read More »