Author Archives: Kate Troske

Pam Krueger | CEO of Wealthramp

Welcome to our first installment of… (drumroll please)… Blooom Brain Pickers!  We’re picking the brains of the best in the biz to inform, entertain, and most of all, educate you when it comes to making personal finance decisions. Pam Krueger

Pam Krueger is the creator of the award-winning MoneyTrack investor education television series that ran nationally on over 250 PBS stations.  She is the recipient of two Gracie Awards, educating the public about personal investing, and finding the right financial advice.  In 2017, Pam rolled out a one-hour special, MoneyTrack: Money for Life on PBS stations to explain what the fiduciary standard means to consumers.

Pam launched Wealthramp.com, the largest network of expertly vetted, fee-only fiduciary advisors to help consumers looking for qualified financial advisors who are independent and not commission-driven sales reps. Wealthramp is available to both individuals and employers who offer the service as a financial wellness benefit. Wealthramp uses an eHarmony style algorithm to match individual investors to the best-fit advisors and is available to consumers at no cost.

Pam has served on the board of directors of the California Jump$tart Coalition, an organization dedicated to increasing financial literacy among children and teens. She received the Financial Educator of the Year Award from the Financial Literacy Institute.

 

What is the best and/or worst financial advice you have ever received personally?

Without a doubt, the worst advice I ever got came from a very dear friend many years ago who really wanted me to invest in private mortgages ten minutes before the housing bubble burst. I never did take his advice but he did lose his shirt (or two). I just don’t consider myself wealthy enough to invest in alternative investments. I’m like a granny, I stay in my lane, and I stick to the boring basics. Best advice? Diversification wins all battles because… well… it does.

 

What are your thoughts on the future of financial advice and the direction of the industry in the coming decades?

I see the best possible combination is robo + human. The trick is finding the best available of both the robo-world and the human side. Let’s face it, we are emotional creatures and sometimes we really do need a living, breathing advisor to collaborate or to work through problems. Perhaps not now, but probably later. That’s the beauty of having robust online tools to help you manage on your own. I don’t see the future of advice as robo instead of human advisor, I see it as in addition to human advice. The older we get, the more complex our financial lives become and you may want someone to guide you one-on-one. But here’s the real challenge: human advisors are not created equal so the key is tapping the true talent, not settling for ‘just okay’ advice— especially if you’re about to retire!

The idea of combining technology + financial advisors also contributed to the creation of my company, Wealthramp. A viewer from our TV series, MoneyTrack on PBS. She was frustrated because after the financial crisis she felt she needed an advisor and she’d just fired her broker. She asked me point blank: why do I hate financial advisors? I told her I really don’t hate all of them. I love 5% of them. Given that so few are truly competent and put their clients’ interests first. That’s when the lightbulb went off and I had to ask myself why am I being so negative about the bad advisors when all I have to do is identify the excellent advisors and create a network of them across the country and let people come to me so I can match them to the best-fit advice that’s truly fiduciary. That’s how Wealthramp was born and it took me no less than four years to curate my network of fee-only advisors. I wanted to make sure that when a retiree worried about running out of money needs an experienced retirement income strategy, that person can turn to me. When someone comes to me and has a special needs family member to support, for example, I needed to make sure I’d be able to tap into my network and introduce that consumer to the best advisor possible for special needs planning. Or when a young software engineer at a late stage start up needs to understand his stock compensation and has only 90 days to make a life-changing decision, he knows I have the experts in private stock options and no one is going to sell them anything.

 

What is the one thing you wish more people knew about, given your experience in the industry?

As children we should have been taught the basics about how capitalism works, the economy, credit, practical money skills and an introduction to investing. These are life skills and if we’d gotten that baseline education, I probably would not be in business today. 🙂 All kidding aside, people deserve to feel more confident about their own personal finances, and too many feel embarrassed. That’s just wrong and it creates a lot of financial stress.

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Discounts for Essential Workers During COVID-19

Essential workers are busy keeping our country safe and running during this global pandemic. Many businesses are looking to do their part in supporting our people on the front lines. Here is a list of some deals and discounts we found for essential workers. If you are a business offering help to essential workers or have any other promos you’re aware of, please reach out! 

While some businesses like this one are equipped to tweak their day-to-day process and provide front-line workers with the masks and PPE that they really need, other businesses are offering promotions, deals, and discounts for essential workers where they can. The following are just a handful of many helping during the pandemic by staying at home and sending support from afar. 

Each business may be defining their deal and support slightly differently, but we thought we’d give a quick definition of what’s been identified as an essential worker. Essential workers include professions such as healthcare workers, scientists, security personnel, food and agriculture workers, energy and utilities, certain manufacturers, bank employees, news media, building cleaners and janitors, trash collectors, food bank workers, and shipping services.

 

Allbirds 

Free and Discounted Shoes
Healthcare workers can email together@allbirds.com to receive a free pair of the company’s best-selling Wool Runners. (While supplies last.) Or buy shoes at a donation discounted price. 


Blooom 

3 Months Free Service. (NOT LIVE)
This pandemic has caused plenty of market turmoil, but retirement savings should be the last thing our helpers on the front line are worried about. Blooom is offering it’s retirement account management services for free during this tough time to all essential workers. Blooom supports 401a and 403bs (as well as other retirement account types) for nonprofits and government employees. Evaluate your investment needs by taking our quick quiz & use code HERO3 for 3 free months of blooom managed service.


BP Gas & Amoco

50 Cent Discount on Fuel
BP is offering fuel at a 50 cent per gallon discount on your next fuel purchase at BP and Amoco for first responders, doctors, nurses or hospital workers. 

 

Crocs 

Free Pair of Shoes
The shoe company is donating a FREE pair of its iconic shoes to frontline health workers, in a show of support for their heroic efforts in these challenging times. A limited number of shoes is given away each day — but that number is 10,000 pairs a day.

 

Dollar General 

10% Discount on Qualifying Purchases
All medical personnel, first responders, and activated National Guardsmen will be given a 10% discount on qualifying purchases. Customers can present their employment badge or ID at more than 16,300 stores to receive the discount.

 

Hallmark

Free Cards to Share
Hallmark has already given away 2 million cards to help spread kindness during these tough times. They are offering free cards for you to send to those who need the encouragement. While supplies last.

 

Headspace

Free Headspace Plus Subscriptions
To help people deal with unprecedented levels of stress, Headspace is offering free Headspace Plus subscriptions to healthcare professionals working in public health settings in the US through 2020. They are also unlocking curated collections of mindfulness content for the public. 

 

Krispy Kreme

Free Dozen Doughnuts on Mondays
Every Monday through National Nurses Week (May 11th), Krispy Kreme will provide all healthcare workers free dozens of our iconic Original Glazed® Doughnuts. Just go to a Krispy Kreme drive-thru, tell us what you need and show us your employer badge. Up to 5 free dozen doughnuts per worker, as supplies last. 


Starbucks

Free Coffee
Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital staff and researchers can get a free tall brewed beverage or iced coffee at Starbucks in stores until May 3.


Under Armour

40% off for Military and First Responders
Under Armour is offering discount for all purchases for Active Duty Service Members, Retirees, Veterans, Military Spouses, Military Family Members, as well as 40%* off for First Responders & Healthcare Workers and active Police, Fire, Nurses, Doctors, medical staff, and EMT customers. As well as teachers and educators. 

 

Other resources:
Perks and Freebies for COVID-19 Healthcare Workers 
Companies Offer Deals, Discounts and Freebies Amid Coronavirus Pandemic


Check Your Portfolio With Blooom

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now due to Covid-19. One thing you should be sure of is the health of your portfolio. Our complimentary analysis takes the guess-work out of investing during a down market. Blooom can help you build and stick to an investment strategy that helps position yourself for a better financial future. Check your risk for free. Or if you are in the essential workforce, please take advantage of our discount for essential workers. Do you have more questions regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and your investments? Check out the following resources from our Blog or Contact us today:

 

Information from third parties is believed to be reliable; however, we cannot ensure the accuracy or completeness of the third party information and it is subject to change without prior notice.

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