About the Author

Hello Readers,

Welcome to my personal finance blog! I want to use this space to introduce myself and provide the community with a little background information on how and why Yield Goals came to be.

Education:

I’ll start with a simple intro. I graduated from undergrad in 2012, with a mountain of debt like many others and questioned how I’d be able to pay it back. I studied finance in undergrad and was fortunate to have a role with a leading financial institution waiting for me after graduation. After working for a few years and making nearly double payments each month I realized that I probably wasn’t attacking the situation with the right perspective. Since graduating, I had been so focused on paying down my debt as aggressively as I could, that the bigger idea of wealth creation had escaped me. It took some time but I realized that in general my student loans were issued at very low rates, meanwhile the S&P 500 had been doling out double digit returns every year since I stepped off campus. I’m not sure what sparked the epiphany, but instead of making double payments on my loans, I started maximizing my 401(k) contributions and setting aside funds to invest strategically, as opportunities presented themselves. I tend to be risk averse and at the time I wasn’t comfortable with having debt (I’m still not, but I’m a lot more comfortable now) so I still found myself making payments above the minimum required to speed up the process.

Fast forward five or so years from the start of my career to now, and I have somehow navigated my way through an MBA program – and yes incurred much more debt this time. However, I’m significantly more comfortable with the concept of debt this time. Fortunately, due to good (not great-looking back, I should have done better) financial planning prior to B-school, I am able to completely pay off both my undergrad and grad school debt – but I choose not to. Instead I was able to refinance all of my loans at an extremely low rate (again, due to having built a strong capital base early on) which allows me to invest more at a rate that is multiples higher than the interest accruing on the loans. Essentially, I make my investments work hard to pay off my loans so that I don’t have to! (Being in finance, I actually still work quite a bit, due to being risk-averse, but that’s a story for another time)

How the Blog Came About:

So there really isn’t all that much to this part of the story. I remember entering school back in 2008 and taking a tour of the business school building. At the time, I knew that I would study business but I wasn’t exactly sure which discipline I would choose.  I did, however, find myself drawn to the ticker tape and the group of students congregating beneath it in the “Bloomberg” room, as we called. Over time I would eventually come join these students in preparing financial and valuation analyses and making “buy” recommendations for our school’s student managed asset fund. I was fortunate to be in school during the financial crisis of 2007 – 2008, which sheltered me from many of the hardships financial professionals were going through at the time, but I couldn’t help but find the stories interesting. One day Lehman goes under, the next Bear Stearns is being acquired by Dimon and JP Morgan at the behest of Timothy Geithner. The Fed was doing all it could to keep the economy afloat, but the financial landscape was changing as other large firms were being sold and reaching to the government for lifelines. It was a scary time, but I learned a lot about finance, accounting, and valuation by simply paying attention to the news. All of this is to say that I have been genuinely interested in finance for years now, and as the global recovery kicked into high gear, my interest incrementally shifted from corporate finance to personal finance. In my free time I would build hypothetical models to illustrate to friends the pros and cons of certain financial decisions. This blog is merely a collection of all of the resources and advice that I have shared with friends and family over the years. My hope is that by sharing, many others can avoid some of the mistakes that I made early on, and set themselves up for financial independence sooner than I.

Personal:

Where to begin… I have many interests outside of finance. I love anything sports related and spend a lot of my free time in the gym and playing rec basketball. In the warmer weathers I love golfing with friends (although I’m horrible), playing flag football, and engaging in other outdoor activities. Before business school, I was very engaged in my communities, serving on the junior board of various charitable organizations and mentoring students at my local rec center. Once I retire, I hope to be able to continue making an impact by coaching high school sports year round. Like most millennials, I also enjoy going out with friends, $19 avocado toast, and occasionally playing video games online with friends.

Well, that’s all I have for now. I hope that you’ll join our community, and I look forward to sharing and connecting soon.

Thanks for reading, and again, welcome to the Yield Goals Community!

– J

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