What is the smartest financial decision you ever made? Starting to save for retirement? Buying a home?
Obviously, there's no perfect answer to a question about the smartest financial move. But in this Fool Live video clip, we asked Fool.com contributors Matt Frankel, CFP, and Jason Hall, as well as Michelle Brownstein, VP of Personal Capital's private client group, about the smartest financial moves they've ever made.
Matt Frankel: So, real quick, what would you say is the number 1 financial decisions you've made in your life? Was it buying a home, was it stopping your leverage or [laughs] what was it?
Michelle Brownstein: That is a good one. If it is a monetary question in terms of size, buying a home is a huge investment. Another decision that I have made, I guess recently, which I know a lot of investors deal with this. If you have a cash inflow that comes in, how do I handle the cash? Still in process of figuring out from Personal Capital was recently acquired by Empower Retirement so some of us did receive some liquidity from that purchase. Really deciding what to do with that cash and whether it's pay off debt or invest more heavily, I guess. I mentioned earlier that I like a little bit of leverage in debt, so my decision has been get it invested. It's a big decision to say I'm going to take a portion of cash and actually put it right into a strategy. Not always an easy decision and one that I think if you get too caught up in the emotions of it can be really tough to actually get it done.
Jason Hall: Matt, how about you? What's your answer to that question?
Frankel: The best financial decision I ever made? Man, that's a tough one. I'd probably have to go with buying a house. Actually, I'd say buying my first rental property is probably the best financial decision I ever made. It wasn't just a great way to build wealth and preserve capital, but it also led to me being the real estate guy at The Motley Fool. I'd say that's overall in my life, the best financial decision that I've made.
Hall: Mine without a doubt number 1, it's not even close is convincing the right person to marry me.
Frankel: I should have said that.
Hall: Having the right person because finances -- as Dr. Chopra was talking about -- are at the heart of so many things when it comes to strife in life and they're the biggest reason that marriages fail. Having the right partner that you're aligned with and you stay on your goals and that you grow together, it's made all the difference. Number 2 for me, and I say this with 100 percent seriousness, was joining Stock Advisor in 2008. There's no doubt that my investing success is directly tied to that one decision. Pretty happy about that.