This week I have an interview with Michael Dinich from Your Money Matters. He is also the Founder of Elite Financial Bloggers, a collection of properly vetted personal finance bloggers across the web.
Without further ado, here’s the interview.
How did you get started in the finance industry?
My parents were in the industry and created Your Money Matters.
I joined the army reserves to pay for college, and I planned to go on active duty after graduating. Due to my military training running late, I missed the first semester of school.
I was working some odd jobs waiting for school to start back up when my dad asked me to attend a conference with him and see what financial planning was about. I immediately fell in love with the profession and knew it was what I was meant to do.
What were some money lessons you learned growing up that you appreciate now?
My father once told me, ”there’s always going to be someone with a better name, better connections or even more God-given talent the only thing you can do about it is to be willing to outwork them.”
I learned early on the importance of being frugal and saving; I also learned its ok to have nice things if your willing to do the work to get them. Life is about balance, you should save for the future, but don’t forget to enjoy the present.
What were some resources and tools you used to develop the skills and knowledge to work as a planner?
I think the tax aspect of planning is really important. I believe many advisors shy away from tax planning, however, taxes one of most families most significant expenses.
I have been a member of Ed Slott’s IRA group and his training has helped me save clients a significant amount of money.
If I were to meet with you, what would the process look like from initial meeting and beyond?
The first meeting with a prospective client is about finding out their concerns, goals, and dreams. It’s an opportunity to sit down and get to know each other. I like to explain my approach and see if we may be a good fit to work together.
The second appointment is where we would actually discuss planning, I like to model out where the clients would be if they continued their current path and then show them how changes to their plan may help them better achieve their goals.
If the clients like the proposed changes, we may have one or several meetings afterward to implement the changes.
Going forward, depending on the nature of the planning and complexity of the plan we may meet monthly, quarterly, or yearly. My clients have my cell phone, email, and my toll-free number and they know they can contact me and ask me questions anytime the need arises.
What are some issues you find in the way people view their finances?
I think most people confuse planning with picking out a financial product. It’s essential to have a plan in place to deal with taxes, nursing homes, probate, disability, frivolous lawsuits, divorce, etc.
For the readers, what do you mean by financial products?
A financial product is a tool that is used to carry out a financial plan; it can be a mutual fund, stock, bond, real estate, cryptocurrency, annuity, you name it.
Think of planning like building a home, first; you start with the client’s specifications, then you design the blueprints, then you choose the appliances and fixtures. It really doesn’t make sense to start picking out appliances before the house is designed.
Said differently imagine I asked you what type of auto to buy, and without knowing me or my family, you suggest a BMW sedan. Indeed, BMW is a well-respected brand, with a quality product and one could indeed be forgiven for thinking an advisor would want a luxury brand.
However, my family and I enjoy gardening and farming, our requirements for a vehicle is the capability to pick up a ton of feed, pull a trailer of mulch, or run down to the equipment rental place and tow a mini excavator to the homestead.
What are some lessons you hope to pass onto the next generation?
I would like the next generation to know planning is like a diet, it only works if you stick to it. Just like there are several different diets, there are several ways to build wealth, stocks, real estate, options, futures, bonds, cryptocurrency, you name it.
You are more likely to stick to the plan you enjoy, pick the strategy that’s best for you, don’t worry about everyone else is doing.
What is Elite Financial Bloggers?
Blogging has become a big business with reasonably low barriers to entry. The amount of financial bloggers is staggering, and some of these blogs are truly wonderful.
While others offer advice that may not be practical, grounded in reality or the authors may not have the experience they claim.
I created Elite Financial Bloggers as a way for some of the best established and up and coming bloggers to stand out amongst the noise.
Members of the group work together and collaborate on projects, and are committed to sharing the best information possible on social media.
Bloggers are hand selected and vetted to be part of the group. The group is currently limited to 20 members.
I love the concept of Elite Financial Bloggers. If a blogger wanted to join, would they reach out to you and let you know, or is it all up to your team to seek out and select bloggers to join?
The EFB is still relatively new, we started off as a few bloggers that were frequently talking to each other on social media, and discussing and reviewing each others content.
We are continuing to add new features to be a greater value to readers and recently we launched our own subreddit.
The subreddit is a great place for both financial bloggers to network and collaborate, as well as readers to interact and ask questions of content producers.
A blogger can request to join, and if we feel they are a good fit, we will welcome them to the group
What’s an app, a book, and a podcast you would recommend to someone that wants to improve their finances?
My favorite book: Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A Fast, Clear, and Fun Explanation of the Economics You Need For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments (An Uncle Eric Book). Its a great introduction to economics.
My Favorite podcast is the Couple Money Podcast. It’s a hard call because I listen to several, however, Elle really stands out in her desire to help couples with practical and realistic advice.
Is there anything you would like to add that would add value to the reader?
I always try to stress to clients, other advisors, and producers of financial content that the best plans are the plans that work for the client. Everyone has different values goals, and risk tolerances and the strategies that are one individual may not work for another.
A growing trend is people comparing themselves to the people they see online, and people think others have achieved more success. The reality is we don’t know if the people really made what they claim, or are in massive debt. Savers shouldn’t worry about what others are doing. Instead, they should focus on defining what they hope to achieve and select the best course of action ”for them” that will help reach those goals.
Where can people find more about you and your work?
That concludes my interview with Michael Dinich. I hope you gained some new insights into how to improve your Financial Health and grow your Wealth. Come back next week for my interview with Mr. Jumpstart from Jumpstart from Scratch.
So readers, what was your favorite point made here? Anything you want me to follow up with Michael about?