Continuing Financial Ed: The Financial Freedom Blueprint
For an audio version of this post, please click on the speaker icon (top left).
This is nothing earth-shattering but I believe, when given the choice, most individuals would jump at the opportunity for financial freedom.
No one wants to be shackled to debt.
No one wants to be on the wrong side of the lender-borrower equation.
Financial freedom is just that, the freedom to live a life of your choosing with concern for finances as an afterthought.
So great, we can all agree that we have one common goal, but how do we get there?
Jim Dahle, of The White Coat Investor, has stated in the past that there are many roads to Dublin.
But faced with so many different paths, a newbie investor can indeed suffer analysis paralysis and end up not investing at all.
As a physician I underwent 27 years of education/training (12 years high school, 4 years college, 4 years medical school, 2 years surgery residency, 4 years radiology residency, 1 year fellowship).
Not a single hour of education during those 27 years had anything to do with finance.
I felt like I was a financial lamb in a field full of the wolves of wall street when my first attending paycheck hit my bank account.
And because of this naivete, I indeed ended up getting fleeced by my first encounter with a financial advisor (who funneled me towards high front load, high expense ratio funds).
It took me a long time getting educated in finance via the school of hard knocks.
After stumbling upon websites like White Coat Investor and the Bogleheads, I started developing my own blueprint of how I wanted my personal finances to follow.
It is extremely nerve-wracking to put your hard earned money into something that you only have a basic understanding of.
That is often why we try to outsource it to other individuals, most of which are good, but some, like my initial experience, may not have your best interest at heart.
Sure you can follow my path and learn some hard financial lessons making mistake after mistake, or you may consider arming yourself with useful information that may allow you to bypass this completely.
So I was very pleased to be offered an opportunity to review a video online course, The Financial Freedom Blueprint, created by Clint Haynes, CFP.
[Disclaimer: I received this course for free and after reviewing it felt it was a worthy offering to my readers and thus opted to become an affiliate.
If you choose to purchase this course, I will receive financial compensation at no additional cost to you.]
Clint is a Certified Financial Planner who has been in the financial services industry since 2001 with experience on Wall Street.
He later founded his own company, NextGen Wealth.
What Clint has done is created an online financial course that encompasses a vast number of important financial topics you are likely to encounter in your lifetime.
The chapter headings are:
- Introduction To The Course.
- Cash Flow Is King.
- Spend Less Or Make More (Or Both!).
- Don’t Pass Up Free Money.
- Fund An Emergency Savings Account.
- Pay Off High Interest Debt.
- How To Save For Financial Independence/Retirement.
- How To Manage Your Investments.
- How To Save For Your Child’s College.
- Creating Additional Savings And Investment Accounts.
- Managing Your Home Mortgage.
- Managing Your Homeowners And Auto Insurance.
- Managing Your Health Insurance.
- Participate In A Flexible Spending Account.
- Managing Your Life Insurance.
- Managing Your Long-Term Disability Insurance.
- The Basics Of Estate Planning.
- Create A Login Safety Plan.
- Take Advantage Of Credit Card Rewards.
- Monitor Your Credit Report.
- Automate Your Finances.
- Set Up A Financial Dashboard.
- Set Up A Secured Drive To Store Important Documents.
- Course Wrap Up.
Most of these chapters are further subdivided into easily digestible 4-11 minute segments which highlight a specific issue under that heading.
This is an excerpt from his introduction that describes the rationale for creating this blueprint:
After being in the industry a few years, it became quite apparent to me there really was no difference at all between any financial services firm–they all basically did the exact same thing which was managing investments only.With that being the case, I wanted to create a financial planning process that wasn’t just about investments but rather focused on every area of an individual’s financial life.And, more importantly, how to help and provide guidance in every area of their financial life.After many different iterations, I finally developed our proprietary financial planning solution called The Financial Freedom Blueprint®.
What one of the really well done features of this online course is that not only is each section well presented and what I term “listenable” (it is indeed a bonus that Clint has a great speaking voice), but it also has an EOS (End Of Section) PDF that is directly attached below the video pane and gives a deeper dive on that topic with more tips and strategies.
As an added bonus, Clint has created a Facebook group for his clients that encourages interaction amongst members as well as having access to a quarterly Webinar with Q&A.
Now given my stage in life (mid/late career physician essentially at the cusp of Financial Independence as well as already being debt free) some of the chapters contained information that was not pertinent for me.
However I went through the course trying to imagine it from the perspective of a new attending and thus the material became quite relevant.
The format of this course was also easy to navigate through and allows you to bypass sections that may not apply to your specific financial situation.
I definitely liked the multi-media approach with a video presentation often followed by one or more pre-populated PDFs that you can view on the monitor or download and print.
Clint also included items that you can download and customize to your personal situation such as a highly detailed and nicely organized spreadsheet for your household budget.
This definitely was a detailed, well presented and well thought out course presented by a professional in the space.
The great thing about this course is that you get the exact same information as if you were an in-person client of Clint’s at a fraction of the cost:
I wrote to Clint and asked what the charge would be for an individual who went to his firm directly and received this level of planning and he replied that the charge would be $2,497.
His firm charges $250/hour typically for any client financial services provided.
Given that this course is just under 6 hours and 50 min long (just the video portion), it would already be considered a bargain at $597.
However Clint has graciously offered readers of XRAYVSN an additional discount of $200 when you use this link, bringing the cost to $397 (which would only get you 1.5 hours of his time normally).
Clint has given two options of payment:
- Single payment of $397 (use Coupon Code: XRAYVSN200)
- 6 monthly installment plan of $67.67/mo (use Coupon Code: XRAYVSNPLAN)
This course would obviously offer the greatest benefit/impact to those who are relative financial newbies.
However, with so many topics covering such a large financial breadth, it would not surprise me if even “seasoned financial DIYers” gleam useful information from the material that can aid them with their finances.
Although I received free access to this course by Clint so I could review it, even if I had paid the full price I would have had an immediate return on investment:
- In one section of the Financial Freedom Blueprint, Clint provides links to find unclaimed property and advised that everyone should at least check it out because you never know what you might find.
- I took his advice to heart and I clicked on the link and put in the states I had previously lived in.
- Much to my surprise I found 3 unclaimed properties under my name which I promptly submitted the information for.
- These claims were for $100, $200, and $371.14 for a grand total of $671.14.
- It definitely was money I never knew I had coming to me.
- (I just so happened to find unclaimed property totaling $140 owed to my ex. Oh well.)
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.