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Mark Michon

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Blue Heron Finance
General Finance
personal finance, banking, credit, saving, risk management, insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, investing, ETF's, index funds, stocks, bonds, estate planning, money, mind over money, money basics, millennial investing, millennial savings, retirement
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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
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Latest Blog Posts

Banks are used to store money (deposits) and to obtain money (credit/loans). Banks also have fee-generating businesses like investment management and trust services (mega banks have many businesses; the JP Morgan Chase web site shows 24 businesses!). Unless you own a business, you will most likely need only deposit and credit services. So let’s begin ...
Lewis Carroll of Alice in Wonderland fame once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”.  Knowing where you want to go is a nice start toward achieving your goals and be the master of your own destiny.  You can improve the probability of success by putting ...
Catch up on Mind Over Money: 5 Lessons to Make Money Work for You (Part 1) Know Thy Self The seeds for attachment to money and “stuff” are planted very early. The young are bombarded with advertisements and marketing from a very early age to encourage brand and product attachment. In his ...
One of the greatest causes of stress in our fast-paced world is anxiety related to finances and money. Financial issues are regularly listed as common reasons for divorce and depression. A 2016 study conducted by Northwestern Mutual1 revealed that 85% of Americans suffer from financial anxiety with 67% reporting that worrying about finances negatively ...
Generally, people feel that insurance is complicated and boring – this is because insurance is complicated and boring. But, there are a number of things that you should be considering when it comes to risk management. This is what insurance is all about – managing the risks in your life and planning for events that ...
Auto Insurance – Protecting You and Your Ride  How much do I need' Where should I buy it' How I save about $750 every three years. Part I: The Basics First, some basics. All states have financial responsibility laws which essentially set minimum auto insurance coverage requirements (OK, most states – New Hampshire does not ...
Step 4: Be Smart and Keep It Cheap. First, use passively managed (index) mutual funds or passively managed (index) exchange traded funds. Mutual funds pool the money of a bunch of people so that the fund can own hundreds and many times thousands of stocks or bonds. Mutual Funds can be managed actively or ...
As we have discussed (Investment Planning for Surfers I and II), solid, long-term investing requires diversification among a number of asset classes (stocks and bonds).  A simple rule-of-thumb for initial investment is to invest your age, as a percentage, in bonds, and the remainder in stocks.  So, if you are 40 years old, 40% of ...
Managing debt is the most challenging element of financial management. We are all bombarded with messaging that compels us to consume. Companies must sell product in order to grow revenues which in turn raises the value of the stock price which increases the wealth of shareholders – the goal of every company. To market product, ...
OK, a very important item before we get started.  I am not an attorney, and since the practice of law is forbidden by everyone except licensed attorneys, I cannot, and am not, providing advice in this section.  What I can do is outline the reasons I have for my own estate plan and my decision-making ...


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