Good Financial Reads: Building Your Credit Score, Stock Options, & More

3 min read
March 03, 2017

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Following along with the blogs of financial advisors is a great way to access valuable, educational information about finance — and it doesn’t cost you a thing! Our financial planners love to share their knowledge and help everyone regardless of age or assets.

Catch up on the latest posts with this week's roundup:


What Should I Do with My Stock Options?

by Meg Bartelt, Flow Financial Planning, LLC

Your privately held company just gave you stock options, either in the initial offer or after you’ve been working there for a while. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO? (gratuitous 90’s movie reference for your entertainment)

First, a quick primer on what stock options are, to bring everyone up to speed. (Ha! “Speed”…get it? Okay, maybe you need to be at least 40.) provides the following, I think straightforward, explanation:

“Stock options from your employer give you the right to buy a specific number of shares of your company’s stock during a time and at a price [called the exercise, grant, or strike price] that your employer specifies.

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Understanding How Investment Management Impacts Your Costs

by Charles Shipman, Blue Keel Financial Planning

No investor can control when the market goes up or down. And predicting when that will happen is nearly impossible, too.

When it comes to investment management, it’s critical to understand what is within your power to control and influence. Investment costs make a big impact on how much wealth you can build over time, and it’s one factor that you can control as an investor.Who provides you with investment management now? In addition to various investment fees, what you pay your advisor adds on to your costs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The right advisor can help you create a plan, guide you along the way, and prevent you from making emotional decisions that could sabotage your nest egg.

What you need to understand is how your advisor gets paid. There are a variety of different fee structures investment managers can work under, and some are better for them than they are for you.

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Money-Centered vs. Happiness-Centered Living

by Grant Bledsoe, CFA, CFP®, Three Oaks Capital Management

Today’s post is going to fall a little more on the abstract side of the spectrum.  To date, most of the posts you’ll find on Above the Canopy are somewhat technical, and oriented toward achieving financial independence.

But for many thousands of people in America, the traditional career trajectory (working for 30-40 years until fully retiring around age 65) is a poor fit for their values.  The pursuit of financial independence often compromises the important parts of our lives, leaving us overworked and unhappy.

So in today’s post I’ll examine the difference between money-centered and happiness-centered living.  We’ll cover what we actually need to be happy, and the role money plays in fostering a happy life.  Finally, we’ll cover how you can arrange your finances to support a life focused on happiness & fulfillment.  If you’re up for a “deeper” post and don’t mind me waxing philosophical, read on!

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How Can I Build My Credit Score to 850?

by Philip Gibson, Elation Wealth


Having a good credit score is important for many individuals who use or plan to use consumer loans, as well as those who might work in certain fields which value employees having a ‘good’ score. Ultimately the value of ‘good’ credit is access to better loans in the form of lower interest rates. Being able to access and obtain lower interest rate loans may save you thousands, if not hundreds of thousands in interest payments.

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