CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii INTRODUCTION 1 The Soldier's Handbook 2 The Purpose of Soldier of Finance 4 PA R T O N E DISCOVERY PHASE: WHAT IS YOUR WHY? 7 1 WHY ARE YOU HERE? 8 Shaky Beginnings 10 What's Your Story? 14 What Is a Soldier of Finance? 15 Debriefing: A Soldier of Finance Success Story 15 Go/No Go 17 Summary 19 2 TIME TO ENLIST AND TAKE AN OATH 20 Soldier of Finance Creed 22 Finding a Battle Buddy 23 Identifying Blue Falcons 26 Down to Basics 29 Summary 31 PA R T T W O INITIAL TRAINING PHASE (WEEKS 1--5) 33 3 WEEK 1: THE ARMY PHYSICAL--MEASURE YOUR DEBT 34 Your Financial Status: Stop Being in Denial 36 Debriefing: The Meaning of "Not Much Debt" 36 The Situation Report 38 P/X Rangers (or Living Beyond Your Means) 41 Summary 44 4 WEEK 2: ROSTER NUMBER-- YOUR CREDIT SCORE FOR LIFE 45 740 Is the New 720 47 Credit Scores and Your Mortgage 48 Finding Your Credit Score 49 Summary 50 5 WEEK 3: LAND MINES--YOUR CREDIT REPORT 51 My First Credit Report 53 Where to Get Your Free Credit Report 54 Carefully Verify the Information 56 Set Up Your Recon 58 Summary 61 6 WEEK 4: THE LOW CRAWL--CREDIT REPAIR 62 Stop the Bleeding 64 My Unnecessary Debt 65 Pay Down Your Debt 66 Debriefing: No Credit to Good Credit 67 Get the Most Out of Your Credit Cards 68 Watch Out for Credit Card Company Dirty Tricks 71 Summary 74 7 WEEK 5: LAND NAVIGATION CERTIFICATION-- IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS 75 Define Your Mission Objectives 77 Op Orders: How to Achieve Your Mission 79 Summary 85 PA R T T H R E E CAMPAIGN PHASE (WEEKS 6--12) 87 8 WEEK 6: ACCOMPLISHING GOALS-- FROM CHAOS TO PRECISION 88 Into Action 89 Execute the Mission 91 Twenty-One Days to Change 93 Dealing with Setbacks 95 Review the Mission 96 Summary 98 9 WEEK 7: DESTROYING THE ENEMY-- PAYING OFF DEBT 100 Field Artillery: Matching the Cannon to the Objective 103 Ammunition for Targeting Debt 104 Debriefing: Operation Motherhood 108 Don't Be Content with Debt 110 Getting Cash Flow Positive 113 Summary 115 10 WEEK 8: SENSITIVE ITEMS REPORT-- TACTICAL BUDGETING 116 Tie Budgeting to Your Goals 117 The Sensitive Items Report 118 The Basic Training Budget: Identify Your Unnecessary Spending 120 Online Resources 122 Debriefing: Operation Budget 123 Practice Makes Perfect: Why Soldiers Drill 125 Family Battle Drills 126 Summary 129 11 WEEK 9: FRAGO-- THE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS SURVIVAL GUIDE 130 The FRAGO Fund 132 Watch Out for Imposters 134 Making the Most of Your Savings Account 135 You Are Now Ready for Anything 138 Summary 139 12 WEEK 10: MANUALS AND ORDERS-- GETTING STARTED IN INVESTING 141 Why Haven't You Started? 142 Are You Ready? 144 The Magic 10 Percent: A Guideline for Investing 145 Get the Right Advice 147 Secure Your Base of Operations 148 Summary 150 13 WEEK 11: FROM BOOTS TO HUMVEES-- BEGINNING INVESTMENT VEHICLES 152 Remember the Mission 155 Use Boots, Not Buses, for Short Distances 155 Middle-Distance Humvees: Investment Accounts (Individual or Joint) 158 Peer-to-Peer Lending 160 Summary 162 14 WEEK 12: FIVE-TON TRUCKS AND MRAPS-- LONG-DISTANCE INVESTMENT VEHICLES 163 Take an Active Role with a Roth IRA 164 Follow the Roth IRA with a 401(k) 167 The 401(k) for Military Personnel 169 The Stock Market: Be Careful of the Risks 169 Diversify Based on the Size of Your Portfolio 171 Investing for Your Future 171 Summary 173 PA R T F O U R CONSOLIDATION PHASE (WEEKS 13--14) 175 15 WEEK 13: BASIC HOUSING ALLOWANCE-- MORTGAGE BASICS 176 Debriefing: J. Money's House 178 How Much House Can You Really Afford? 180 What Types of Loans Are Best for You? 182 Housing Traps to Avoid 183 Summary 186 16 WEEK 14: YOUR BODY ARMOR-- YOU NEED INSURANCE 187 Auto Insurance 189 Homeowners/Renters Insurance 190 Medical Insurance 191 Life Insurance 192 Umbrella Liability: Covering the Gaps 196 Summary 198 CONCLUSION 199 RESOURCES 201 INDEX 203 ABOUT THE AUTHOR 209
Jeff Rose CFP, (Carbondale, IL) is a Certified Financial Planner (TM) and an Iraq combat veteran. A regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report, MarketWatch, and Equifax.com, he is the author of two popular personal finance blogs, SoldierofFinance.com and the nation ally recognized goodfinancialcents.com, which has been featured in Forbes, The Huffing ton Post, Kiplinger, and The Wall Street Journal.
"It will transform you, turning you into a powerful financial warrior trained to face down challenges and systematically build long-term prosperity." --New Equipment Digest ..".tired of making excuses about why you can't pay off your debt? Then look no further!... Soldier of Finance is perfect for you." --Double Saving Divas "Soldier of Finance is one of my favorite books of 2013." --Gerri Detweiler, host Credit Radio ..".gives an easy-to-understand 14-week 'boot camp' to help you overcome your fear, break bad habits and get on the right track." --Life Happens "Where this book shines is taking all the things you learn as a soldier and translating those skills...into the financial world." --Life Lessons of a Military Wife ..".takes PF newbies through basic training, to the financial trenches and out the other side to order and prosperity" --Surviving and Thriving "Even if you're not a soldier, I recommend reading his book, as he does a great job of explaining financial concepts and strategies." --Financially Wise Women "Certified financial planner Jeff Rose's 14 modules give service members a no-nonsense approach to overcome financial obstacles and build lasting wealth." --Military Officer ..".survival guide for facing down financial challenges and building prosperity." --Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities "This book is for You If: You're in debt, living on the edge, or stressed about cash." --Afford Anything ..".best part of the book are the personal anecdotes - mostly from Rose, who talks not just about his experience in the military, but also about his own financial mistakes and successes." --Quizzle ..". provides a solid foundation of personal finance basics...particularly good in explaining how to establish and keep good credit...and the best ways to eliminate debt." --New York Times ..".helped me see the normal, every-day personal finance topics that I obsess about all the time in a new light...strongly recommend that you buy Soldier of Finance." --20s Finances ..".one of the best new personal finance books I have read in quite some time. I found Jeff's story to be unique and identifiable."--A Young Pro ..".a disciplined, no-nonsense, no excuses approach to personal finance..." --Get Rich Slowly ..".a no-nonsense, military-style training manual to overcoming financial obstacles and building lasting wealth." --Well Kept Wallet ..".a reference book that families could put on their bookshelves and reread on a regular basis to give their finances a checkup." --Enemy of Debt "Jeff gives personal finance an interesting spin stemming very deeply from his own experiences inside and outside of the military." --Consumerism Commentary ..". [Rose] has a superior knowledge of personal finance and who can talk about money to people like they are actually people." --Dinks Finance ..".wealth of knowledge from both the military and his financial planning practice and breaks it all down in his new book for everyone to enjoy." --Money Qanda "Great book full of resources for anyone wanting to take control of their finances and future." --World Traveling Military Family "He shares his background and personal anecdotes to distill difficult financial topics into a language every one of us can understand." --The Military Wallet "I place this financial book among one of the best, especially for those looking for actionable ways to take charge of their finances." --Planting Money Seeds "Any young person looking to get their financial lives in order could benefit from reading and taking action based on this book." --Family Money Values "Rose is sure to keep you intrigued as he shares his personal money stories and the stories of people he has counseled." --Black Enterprise "If you're dealing with any debt or feeling discouraged about your own retirement planning...get your hands on the book." --The Military Guide "It isn't just for those who have served in the military, it is for anyone who has made bad money decisions in their past." --Money Plan SOS ..".no-nonsense approach to overcoming financial obstacles." --Jasonrprice.com