Ken Clark

Certified Financial Planner

Visit Ken’s new blog at www.WorkPlaySoul.com

July 19th, 2014 by Ken Clark

Ken is no longer updating this blog. Be sure to visit his new lifestyle blog covering entrepreneurship, relationships, and leisure at www.WorkPlaySoul.com.

Category: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Wall Street’s Best Jobs - New Article by Ken Clark on Investopedia.com

March 17th, 2009 by Ken Clark

I just published a fun article over on Investopedia.com that takes a look at some of Wall Street’s best jobs including being a fund manager, an investment banker, a broker to the stars, and a media personality.

If you’ve ever dreamt about one of these cushy jobs or wondered what it takes to land one of them, give the article a read.

Wall Street’s Best Jobs on Investopedia.com

Category: Annuities, Credit Cards, Uncategorized | 104 Comments »

New MP3 Uploaded From Ken’s CWAHM Radio Interview

March 10th, 2009 by Ken Clark

In case you didn’t hear my radio interview with the wonderful women over at the Christian Work At Home Moms Network, you can listen to it right here. Enjoy!

Category: Uncategorized | 130 Comments »

Two New Investopedia.com Articles by Ken Clark

March 7th, 2009 by Ken Clark

As many of you know, I’m a contributing writer over at Investopedia.com. If you haven’t seen that site, you really should check it out. It really is one of the most comprehensive personal finance sites on the web.

Here are the links to two articles of mine recently published over there:

Getting Your Kids Their First Credit Card

A Guide to Debt Settlement

Category: Credit Cards, In The News | 139 Comments »

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Out Of Debt - In Stores Now

February 4th, 2009 by Ken Clark

The new book is finally available on-line and in stores nationwide. Be sure to order a copy today, from one of these great retailers:

BarnesAndNoble.com

Amazon.com

Borders.com

 

Category: Uncategorized | 144 Comments »

NBC 5 News in Dallas - Ken Helps Woman Go On a “Credit Card Diet”

January 24th, 2009 by Ken Clark

Last week, I was invited to sit down with a wonderful woman who was dealing with some less than wonderful credit card balances. The goal was to help her go on a “credit card diet” so that she’d be out of debt in 12-18 months. I’ll be checking in with her over the coming months to see what kind of progress she’s made.

Kristi Nelson at NBC 5 News in Dallas was kind enough to set the whole thing up and then turn it into a special on their nightly news broadcast.

Enjoy the clip:
http://www.nbcdfw.com/around_town/shopping/Slim-Down-Your-Debt-Go-On-a-Credit-Card-Diet.html

Category: Credit Cards, Debt Management, In The News, Real Life Examples | 92 Comments »

TurboTax Freedom (Free Version) Review - Two Thumbs Up

January 19th, 2009 by Ken Clark

Our college-aged daughter was out visiting us this weekend and brought her W-2 in the hopes of getting her taxes done early. Usually, I just use our TurboTax software to do her simple return. But this year, I’d heard that TurboTax is only letting you do one return per software purchase (without paying an additional fee), and I had no interest in purchasing two copies of the program.

When I went on to the TurboTax website to double-check this rumor (which was initially true, but was changed due to a customer backlash), I noticed they offer a free filing service called TurboTax Freedom. After giving it the quick once over, I decided to give it a try.

My overall impression is that this a great program for qualifying users. It only took me about 15 minutes to prepare and file her simple return (one W-2 and the standard deduction). The interface was simple and intuitive, with plenty of hyperlinks that help define confusing terms and rules.

The Federal E-file function was free and easy to use (it required me to provide either her E-file PIN or AGI from last year). Since her state of residence (California) doesn’t have a free E-file program that works with TurboTax, I paid $9.95 to be able to print her state return and file by mail.

All in all I thought it was a great program - ideal for taxpayers with just one or two W-2’s, who will either use the Standard Deduction or have very few itemized deductions.

To qualify to use the TurboTax Freedom program, a taxpayer must meet just one of the following requirements:

  • Have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) under $30,000.
  • Be active duty military with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) under $56,000.
  • Qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC)

Have you used TurboTax Freedom? I’d love for you to post your experience in the comments section below.

Category: Real Life Examples, Taxes | 112 Comments »

Ken Clark featured on CBS 3’s “Money Matters” in Philadelphia

January 17th, 2009 by Ken Clark

CBS 3 in Philadelphia just aired an interview I did on Credit Card Reward Perks.

Enjoy!

http://cbs3.com/business/rewards.program.credit.2.908054.html

Category: Credit Cards, In The News | 125 Comments »

Ken Quoted on ABC News.com

January 14th, 2009 by Ken Clark

One of my favorite journalists, Michelle Goodman, just wrote a very timely article for ABCNews.com about people finding themselves in the tough situation of having to lay off household employees.

She was kind enough to include my thoughts on some of the psychological and relational aspects of this, as well as some tips for cutting household expenses.

In addition to checking out the article, be sure to check out Michelle’s new book on the freelancing lifestyle, My So Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire.

ABC News.com - Pink Slips: First You, Then the Help

Category: Uncategorized | 160 Comments »

United First Financial - Looks Like a Waste of Money to Me

January 13th, 2009 by Ken Clark

Anyone who knows me knows my passion for seeing people experience freedom from debt and financial stress. They also know that there are few things that anger me more than programs that promise to solve all your financial problems for one low fee.

Naturally, when I received an email from some guy wanting to tell me about this amazing program (United First Financial’s Money Merge Account) that will shave years off my mortgage, the red flags went up. I became even more alarmed when I realized that the “Money Merge Account” isn’t really an account at all, but web-based software that can cost up to $3,500 to access.

What does the software do?

In the end, nothing different than what prudent people have being doing for decades for free - using their discretionary income to pay down their home mortgage principal. Of course, this software encourages you to do arguably foolish things like taking out a home equity mortgage to try and speed up that process (even though many people may not realize they can’t even qualify for a HELOC until after they’ve spent the $3,500 for the software).

But, to be fair, I asked the guy to send me a demo of the software. He indicated however, that the only way I could have access is if I did “a demo call” with him. When I told him that I don’t have the time to sit through a demo call and that I would only review the product if given full access on my own time, he chose to pass.

That’s not very encouraging from a company that claims their product is changing lives. I’m not sure what kind of sales training they’re giving these guys, but that pretty much killed it for me.

Turns out I’m not the only one. Check these links out:

Personal finance author Dave Ramsey gets into it on air with a completely clueless (you almost feel bad for her) lady trying to pitch this program.
Listen Now.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine article encouraging consumers to avoid this program.
Read Now.

In the end, if you’ve got $3,500 to spend, don’t send it to United First Financial. If anything, go buy a $50-$100 personal finance program like Quicken, which does essentially the same thing, and send the rest of that $3,500 in to pay down your mortgage. My guess is, five years from now, you’ll be reaping a lot more rewards from that than from signing up for the Money Merge Account system.

Category: Debt Management, Scams | 187 Comments »