Camille Gaines, AFC

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

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 »

How to Calculate Investment Income

If you’re headed into retirement soon you may be wondering how to calculate investment income so you can make sure you’re covered.   Here’s how to calculate investment income. Let’s say you’ll get a 3% yield from an investment which cost $10,000. You’ll simply multiply the yield by the investment cost to get the amount of income …

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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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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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Predictors of Bear Markets

Updated: November 15, 2019 One of the biggest dangers for soon to be retirees and recently retired folks are bear markets. We saw this in the first 2000 decade when stock returns were negative for the 10 year period, something no one had planned for in retirement.   Yet we know stock markets build wealth over time and that bear markets …

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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 »

Advanced Investment Strategies You May Not Hear from Your Advisor

Many investors want to be more strategic with their investments but don’t want more risk. And sometimes getting ahead means not doing what everyone else is doing.   Advanced investment strategies are less common among individual investors, but they are what the wealthy do.   For example: Is tycoon Mark Cuban investing with a standard asset allocation into stocks and bonds? It’s highly unlikely. We know …

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How to Manage Risk in the Stock Market

Managing risk in the stock market becomes more important than ever after age 50. We all learned this from the “lost decade” when the stock market (S&P 500 index) had an annualized negative return of 2.72% (excluding dividends) in the first 2000 decade.   If you’re wondering how to manage risk in the stock market, being aware of your risk, …

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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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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 »

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? It depends on how much money you spend, how your net worth is allocated among assets, the income those assets generate and their potential to increase in value, and other income sources.   In this post I’ll address …

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

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? ChallengeRead More »

What Will Stocks Do Over the Next 10 Years?

Updated October 7, 2019 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 …

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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 = …

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how much is enough to retire

Is 1.5 Million Enough to Retire?

Is 1.5 million enough to retire? The answer depends on your age, assets, spending, investment returns and how many income sources you’ll have in retirement.  In this post, I’ll show you how to see if 1.5 million is enough for you to retire based on your own situation.   At Retire Certain, the goal of my articles is to …

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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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Are Dividends or Capital Gains Better?

You may have noticed that you’ve gotten both capital gains and dividends from investing. Are dividends or capital gains better? While I wouldn’t turn down either, dividends are better when you have decided to live off investments, and capital gains are better for building wealth. The Difference Between Capital Gains and Dividends While making money …

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 …

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woman reading bad financial news

What Goes Up When Stocks Go Down? 7 Hedging Assets

One of the best ways to lower stock market risk is by owning assets that go up when stocks go down. What goes up when stocks go down? Treasury bonds and gold are the sectors that go up when stocks go down most often but there are a few more possibilities. During bull markets, it’s …

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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 …

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In the Money Covered Call Strategy

  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 higher than the cost of the underlying stock to increase income from stocks.   After writing covered calls over the past 13 years, I have found that there …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, CalculatorRead 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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Pros and Cons of Income Investing

You may be thinking of transitioning from growth to income investing before retirement. The pros and cons of income investing are outlined in this post based on what I’ve learned from almost 40 years of investing in stocks and bonds with a focus on more alternative income investing for the past 15 years. While I’m …

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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 risk, high capital, missing capital gains, taxes, and management. It is my belief that the benefits far outweigh the problems with covered calls for income …

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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? Selling covered calls increases income significantly while decreasing risk making them an excellent income strategy for stock investors.  In fact, you can add …

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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 use your capital when you have money to invest. If you’re wondering if you should start a business or invest in stocks, the major considerations are the 3 elements of time, potential return, capital, skills needed and risk.   Over 15 years ago we wondered …

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 getting into entrepreneurship or real estate and you may be wondering if either makes sense for you. The opportunities from owning a business vs. real estate vary based on 9 factors including time, capital, risk, income potential, wealth building potential, leverage and ease of implementation.  In this post, I’ll share …

Owning a Business Vs Real Estate | What I Learned from EachRead 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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Is It Too Late to Become an Entrepreneur?

Are you asking yourself the same question I asked myself over a decade ago? Is it too late to become an entrepreneur? If you can profitably serve those you want to serve through your business, then it is not too late to become an entrepreneur whether you’re over 50 or over 70! My husband and …

Is It Too Late to Become an Entrepreneur?Read More »

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 …

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Risks of Income Investing

Income investing comes with both risks and rewards, just like all investments. The risks of income investing in bonds includes interest rate risk, default risk, inflation risk and more. And for stock income investors, there is bear market risk and political risk. Both bond and stock income investors face company or entity specific risk and …

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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. But many investors don’t realize they can sell covered calls for income on their stock holdings, without increasing risk, and get 6 to 9 times the income that’s derived from dividends alone. Why isn’t everyone selling covered …

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 …

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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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How Much Money Do You Need to Live Off Investments? Choose From These 3 Layers

  Living off investments defines financial independence. Just how much money do you need to live off investments completely? Get a good estimate by dividing your annual desired income by the expected yield. For example, if you want $10,000 a month in investment income, divide $120,000 ($10,000 x 12 months) by the  yield (5% in …

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

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. There are 5 main steps to managing wealth: establish goals, lead your wealth toward those goals, decide how proactive you’ll be, select the types of investments, and …

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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. I manage our own investments now. But over the decades I have hired and worked with 10 different financial advisors of various types. Despite the many pros and cons, the most important consideration in using a financial advisor, or …

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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 …

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How to Know If the Stock Market Will Go Up or Down

The closer you get to retirement, the more important it becomes to avoid nasty, major stock market moves down, and capture those lucrative stock market moves up. But maybe you’re wondering how to know if the stock market will go up or down over the next few years with a higher degree of likelihood? While it …

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How to Get More Income from Investments – 44 Strategies

  Investors spend most of their lives concentrating on investing for growth vs investing for income. The way to generate more income from investments, then, is to simply shift your overall objective from growth to income.  Here are  44 ways to get more income from your investments ranging from stock dividends to alternative income investments, such …

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Is Your Retirement Income Goal Impossible?

Are you concerned about having enough money to retire? Does it seem impossible to reach your retirement income goal? I get it! About a decade ago, after facing the realization that income from stocks and bonds alone may not sustain our standard of living for life, we set a retirement income goal to replace our …

Is Your Retirement Income Goal Impossible?Read More »

Is It Too Late to Start an Online Business?

Does it seem like you could never create a profitable website among the millions of online businesses? And is it too late to start an online business? About fifteen years ago I was wondering the same thing and exploring the best online business for midlife and beyond. In this post, I’ll share why it’s not …

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33 Wealth Building Steps That Will Shape Your Destiny

There is wealth building, and there is wealth keeping. Both matter. In this post, you’ll get 33 wealth building steps that are useful if you want to accumulate more wealth from any level, and to feel more in control of your financial destiny. My financial coaching clients often think the answer to building wealth will …

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How Will a Stock Market Crash Affect You? [Infographic + Video]

Investing in the stock market can be unsettling, especially after stock prices have climbed sky high. At any given time, I ask myself “How will a stock market crash affect me?” To get a very reasonable estimate for how much my net worth will decline in the next stock market crash I do this simple …

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How Much Of My Net Worth Should Be in Cash (Liquid Net Worth, Cash Percentage)

Updated May 29, 2019 Deciding how much of your net worth to keep in cash is a huge part of managing risk while building wealth. The simple formula to figure how much of your net worth should be in cash is the amount you need to cover all your monthly expenses multiplied by the number …

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Does Living Off Covered Calls Really Work?

Are you wondering if living off covered calls is feasible? Over ten years ago, I wrote my first covered call, and I’ve written hundreds of covered calls since then. Here I’ll share why living off covered calls alone can be challenging, and some solutions if you’re considering this little known but sensible income stream. Is …

Does Living Off Covered Calls Really Work?Read More »

Wealth Management Tips for Everyday Investors

Managing your wealth is like raising children: You don’t know how to do it because you’ve never done it. By the time you know how to raise children, the kids are grown. Managing wealth is similar. Here are 9 wealth management tips that will help you keep and grow your money while enjoying the journey. Don’t …

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10 Ways to Reduce Investment Risk While Building Wealth

Updated 5-28-19 Do you worry about losing your money? Here are 10 ways to reduce investment risk so you can sleep better at night while still journeying toward your financial goals. While it may seem like you have to be an advanced investor to lower risk, these practical ways to lower investment risk are simple …

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Investment Strategies A High Net Worth Advisor Uses To Lower Risk

Are you wondering what investment strategies you can use to lower your risk while increasing your returns? In this post, I’ll share five investment strategies that one of the top financial advisors uses to build wealth safely for his clients while also generating income. Many years ago, my dad taught me to investigate where and …

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