For early-career PhDs in the US, no personal finance topic is more enticing or more intimidating than investing.
You know you can’t get ahead financially in the long term without investing… Yet there seems to be so much to learn, and you don’t want to make a misstep!
You also have unique concerns as an early-career PhD. Virtually all graduate students and some postdocs are blocked from contributing to their university’s retirement accounts! There’s also the “challenge” of your low salary through your graduate student and postdoc years. With little to no help from your employer (or not-employer), how will you figure out how to start investing for your future? How will you catch up once you have a higher salary?
Enter: Investing for Early-Career PhDs, my 8-part webinar series. I answer the practical questions you have as a novice and/or intellectually curious investor. The series covers how and where to invest, with particular attention paid to the needs of graduate students and postdocs.
The earlier you start investing the better; this series will help you break through your analysis paralysis and jump into investing with both feet!
I recorded this webinar series between August and November 2018. I have included with each video recording a brief text file on updates to the content for 2020.
The price of a single recorded webinar is $30. You can also purchase the complete set of eight webinars for $180 (price of six) below.
Announcement: This webinar series is now exclusively offered under the umbrella of the Personal Finance for PhDs Community. Become a member today for immediate access to this webinar series and all the other content and resources!
1: Are You Ready to Invest?
STOP! Don’t start investing yet or continue to add to your investments.
There are four foundational components you must have in place before you invest a single dollar. Three of them have NOTHING to do with your bank account balance.
Check off these four points so that when you do start investing, you do so with the confidence that you will be able to KEEP your money invested for the long term. If you aren’t quite there yet with one or more, I name your next steps so that you can get ready as fast as possible.
View this webinar today to test if you are ready to invest.
2: Retirement Investing in an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA)
What’s the point in using an IRA for investing? Are the advantages worth locking your money away until retirement?
Well, your money isn’t actually locked away… And how does $100,000+ sound? There are a lot more nuances to IRAs than you might expect. Investing in an IRA might be preferable to you even if you have access to a 401(k) or 403(b).
It’s time to stop sitting on the sidelines. Make the decision of whether to open an IRA based on the information in this webinar and take action!
View this webinar today to decide: IRA or no IRA?
3: Retirement Investing in a Taxable Investment Account
Why would someone ever invest outside of an IRA or 403(b)/401(k)?
Using a tax-advantaged account is the right choice for retirement savings. However, if you are in a low marginal tax bracket (as most graduate students and postdocs are), it’s quite easy to pay $0 or close to it in federal income tax.
This is great news for anyone who wants to invest for goals other than retirement or more than their contribution limit allows. A taxable investment account can be a great supplement for these purposes without necessarily costing you much.
View this webinar to learn how a taxable investment account can work for you.
4: Roth vs. Traditional
This webinar is NOT your average surface-level discussion of Roth and traditional retirement accounts!
Some financial gurus are obsessed with Roth retirement accounts (“tax-free money!!”). Others will say you’re a fool if you don’t use a traditional retirement account. In this webinar, I present and analyze the arguments on either side.
Those financial gurus aren’t talking to early-career PhDs—but I am. I know something about your income and career progression based on the fact that you pursued a PhD, and I incorporate this into my analysis. I share my own plan for when and why I’m using Roth vs. traditional retirement accounts.
View this webinar to map out your financial journey with respect to Roth and traditional retirement accounts.
5: The Case for Passive Investing
Who do you think is more reliable: a stock picker or an astrologer?
If you are attracted by the idea of active investing and think that you (or maybe a professional) would be able to beat the market… I have some statistics—and a theory by a Nobel Prize-winning economist—for you.
In this webinar, I draw on academic research to make the case that a passive investing strategy is most likely to give you a favorable outcome (i.e., more money in your investment account). Not only that, but you will have more free time if you’re not chasing alpha!
View this webinar today to stop waffling and commit to a passive investing strategy.
6: Enacting a Passive Investing Strategy
Do you want a “lazy” portfolio?
Or perhaps a “declining equity glide path?” Or will you choose your portfolio based on your “risk tolerance?” These terms are fancy, but the concepts behind them are simple and easy to illustrate—which this webinar does!
Which portfolio you choose has more to do with your individual personality than anything else. Learn your options and how to choose the type of portfolio that is right for you.
View this webinar today to select your passive investing strategy.
7: Choosing a Brokerage Firm
Do you want to let a robot manage your finances?
Roboadvisors are the newest category of brokerage firms available to retail investors, alongside discount brokerage firms and human financial planners… But is newer better?
In my opinion, the two paramount considerations when choosing a brokerage firm are: “What is the experience I want to have” and “How much money will I end up with?” This webinar presents the pros and cons of each category of brokerage firm and points out attributes of a few specific firms.
View this webinar today to decide if a roboadvisor, discount brokerage firm, or human financial advisor is best for you.
8: How to Save More for Retirement
If you pick only ONE webinar in this series to watch and follow up with action, make it this one!
You can tinker with your investment strategy until the cows come home, but your savings rate weighs more heavily than all the other fine-tuning I’ve discussed put together.
Find a way to contribute more money to your investment accounts is no mean feat for a busy early-career PhD. In this webinar, I offer 10 psychological tricks to help you boost your savings rate and numerous actionable, high-impact strategies as to how you can earn more and spend less, many of which I have used myself.
View this webinar today, pick ONE of the strategies, implement it, and increase your retirement savings rate!
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