How to choose investments like Super Mario

Top retirement mistakes explained on a 3rd grade level – Part 3

This is part 3 of The Biggest Retirement Mistakes explained on a 3rd grade level. Part 1 here. Part 2 here.

Admit it.

Thinking about retirement is boring.

We’re in the now generation. We like instant gratification. We want to hustle and make fat stacks of cash now!

Retirement planning & saving money is pretty much the opposite.

fat stacks the smarter dollar
fat stacks mr. white

Building wealth is only hard because it usually requires delayed gratification, which we hate. (tweet this!)

Even if you’re trying to start a business and explode income growth, that takes delayed gratification too.

That said, what you’re about to read is an extremely important concept.

Internalize this point immediately and do something about it (aka take action in real life, not just Facebook share “cool post bro”)…if you commit to the concepts below, you will have more cash down the road.

That’s what you want right? Fat stacks of cash?

Think in longer terms. I know you don’t want to, but do it anyways. Unless you tragically die before your time (I witnessed this happen yesterday I’m sad to say)…then you will live to see the fruits of your efforts.

And how are your efforts going?

Are you going to thank yourself 20 years from now? Or wish you had saved dollars smarter?

Too lazy to spend 7 minutes reading this? Here’s a 3 min video summary, as well as 3 bonus videos on how to diversify! Grab it here
Continue reading “How to choose investments like Super Mario”

Why you’ll never beat the money system

Top retirement mistakes explained on a 3rd grade level – Part 2

The money system.The game. Banks. Retirement accounts. Stocks & Bonds. Capital gains. Interest.

First off, my apologies.

This wasn’t in the original plan for the mini-series on retirement planning. This post falls into the “things everyone should know but nobody actually knows” category.

You’ll enjoy the interruption though.

steve c

Many of you who read my blog are really into making, saving, and investing money (shocker). And I’m thankful for that. It’s a fun game most of the time.

But you need to get one thing straight, right now:

This is a long-term game, like it or not.

The problem

You’re in the “now” generation. You probably already understand this.

Due to the speed at which communications and interactions happen now, we’ve grown very fond of instant gratification. We’re incredibly inpatient in so many aspects of our lives. We want results now.

But when it comes to money, you need to calm the hell down. Continue reading “Why you’ll never beat the money system”

Top retirement mistakes explained on a 3rd grade level

This is part 1 of a multi-part series: Top Retirement Mistakes explained on a 3rd grade level.

401k’s. 403b’s. These are awesome tools that are leading you to a smooth, comfy retirement, right?

Not really.

If you’re employed, you probably have a retirement account, even if you don’t contribute a whole lot.

But what’s in that account? Stocks? Bonds? Do you even know?

What are your returns? What are your fees? Do you care?

(I’m going to crush your dreams of making money through tax-deferred plans, mutual funds, and stocks and bonds. I’m going to crush them. Here’s an intro video…)

To kick things off, let’s walk through the system that you have your money in.

Here’s your newbie learning tidbit for today: what do financial people mean by “the market?”

“The market” is just a medium of exchange. People buy and sell stuff. The stock markets go up and down. The housing markets go up and down.

But let’s think of it like a farmer’s market.

Continue reading “Top retirement mistakes explained on a 3rd grade level”

73 readers’ top financial problems and how to solve them

Money stress. Financial problems. I have em. The readers of this blog certainly have em.

“Socrates said ‘know thyself.’ I say, ‘know thy users.’” – Joshua Brewer, Twitter


First, your financial situation in life is like a money tree:

financial problems money tree

Sometimes your money tree is blooming, sometimes withering. Maybe your neighbor’s money tree is larger than yours. Maybe your money tree is still a seed.

The purpose of The Smarter Dollar has always been to help you grow your money tree. And in order to help your money tree thrive, we have to examine the roots and look at the causes of success and failure.

So, a few weeks back I emailed 236 of you and asked this question:

“What’s your biggest frustration about money?”

I received 73 responses, and I was expecting a bunch of different answers, such as:

  • “putting my kid through college.”
  • “I can’t quite figure out how to start a business.”
  • “I stress over paying bills every month.”
  • “I can’t figure out how to _______.”
  • “debt is eating my money tree.”

Sounds logical right? Apparently not. Continue reading “73 readers’ top financial problems and how to solve them”

How to make money sleeping: 35 methods real people use to generate passive income.

The 2016 Ultimate Guide to Passive income

Paula Pant Produced the Perfect Passive Income Post.

This is Paula.

Paula Pant
(The girl. Not the elephant.)

Paula is a fellow blogger and personal finance nut, and a local real estate investor.

Paula hasn’t had a “job” since 2008.

Paula made $9,158.51 last month. Passively.

A breakdown of Paul’s income last month

Next month, Paula is going to make roughly the same amount of income.


  • Does Paula have an IQ of 247? No.
  • Does Paula live on Mars? No.
  • Does Paula have super-human strength? No.
  • Does Paula know something that you don’t know. YES.
  • Does Paula share what she knows so that YOU may know? YES.

I know what you’re thinking. Can this actually happen to me? How do these ideas work for the rest of us?

Thankfully, are 5,680,000 resources on the internet that can teach you how to create passive income in your life.

Read em all. No biggie.

Continue reading “How to make money sleeping: 35 methods real people use to generate passive income.”