28 episodes

Welcome to Peoria Illinois' premiere financial podcast! On the show, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and author, Rockie Zeigler III, discusses investing and personal finance in a fun and easy to understand manner. We will also dig into topics such as taxes, the stock markets, debt pay-down strategies, how to increase your credit score, college savings accounts, how to protect your money from economic downturns and much more!
Let us know how we're doing!
Leave us a review or reach us at:
Rockie@rpzeigler.com or
FinancialPlannerPeoriaIL.com

Making Finance Fun Rockie Zeigler III

    • Investing
    • 5.0, 11 Ratings

Welcome to Peoria Illinois' premiere financial podcast! On the show, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and author, Rockie Zeigler III, discusses investing and personal finance in a fun and easy to understand manner. We will also dig into topics such as taxes, the stock markets, debt pay-down strategies, how to increase your credit score, college savings accounts, how to protect your money from economic downturns and much more!
Let us know how we're doing!
Leave us a review or reach us at:
Rockie@rpzeigler.com or
FinancialPlannerPeoriaIL.com

    Episode #28: Are Low Oil Prices Good Or Bad For The Economy?

    Episode #28: Are Low Oil Prices Good Or Bad For The Economy?

    Oil prices have been all over the board in recent months. We even saw a barrel of oil drop into negative price territory, which is an extremely rare event. Gas prices have been very volatile, as well. 
    What does this mean for our economy on both a local and national scale?
    If you'd like to know my thoughts, tune it today! 
    Connect With Rockie Website On Twitter: @AnxiousAdvisor On LinkedIn

    • 22 min
    Episode #27: Large or Small Tax Return: Which is Better?

    Episode #27: Large or Small Tax Return: Which is Better?

    Tax return season is upon us and with it comes many unwanted opinions. Some experts say that it’s better to aim for a small or break even tax return so you keep the extra income throughout the year. Others understand that people prefer a large return that feels like a yearly “bonus”. So which is better? Is there a right or wrong answer? Listen to this episode of Making Finance Fun for my hot take. 
    Outline of This Episode [0:11] Hot take: large or small tax return? [1:27] The Big Scary Disclosure [2:05] Why I think it’s OK to get a big tax return [5:30] Americans are conditioned to expect a tax return [6:53] You could set yourself up at break-even [8:39] There are valid points on both sides [11:28] The whole point of the show Plain and Simple: Most Americans Can’t Budget Americans—across the board—aren’t the most disciplined of budgeters. If you’re the rare breed that has an excel spreadsheet of your budget, kudos to you! The majority of us don’t budget well. It’s like a diet—simple in theory, but difficult to carry out. If you’d normally get a $5,000 tax return, it would be approximately $416 extra in your pocket monthly. 
    You could save $416. Perhaps you’d be practical and invest it in stock or your 401k. Maybe you’ll pay off school debt or a car loan. But would most people do anything significant with that extra cash? probably not. Most people just blow it—I’m guilty of it too. We’d all probably have a lot more in savings than the national average if we were more disciplined. 
    Let’s be honest—a tax return feels like a yearly bonus Americans have become conditioned to expect a lump-sum tax return. It feels like a bonus, even though it's money that YOU overpaid throughout the year. You know, just an interest-free loan to the government. In the end, it’s still your money. The plus side is the government ‘saved’ it for you throughout the year and then plopped it back into your lap.
    Think about advertising around this time of year—it’s all geared towards spending your tax return. Need new furniture? Ready for a vacation? Perhaps you need a down-payment on a car? People aren’t good budgeters, so the reigning theory is that perhaps they’ll make smarter choices with a lump sum. 
    What to do to keep more money in your pockets throughout the year If you’re one of the expert-budgeters and prefer to keep and use the extra income throughout the month, there are ways you can do that. But it’s difficult to find that break-even point where you don’t owe money but don’t get a return. You could adjust your withholding and file a W-4 and submit it to your employer. Most people attempt to come within a couple of hundred dollars, either owing it or receiving a small tax return. 
    The long and short of the debate I don’t mind getting a large tax return. I’ll use the extra cash to knock my mortgage down, increase my savings, make an extra car payment, etc. I don’t know what everyone else does with it, but I can say this: there are valid points on both sides of the argument. 
    Don’t let anyone ridicule you for the choice you make. Don’t let people tell you you’re dumb—everyone is different. Can’t budget? Take the lump sum. Amazing with money? Spread your money out over 12 months. Either way, it’s cool. The bottom line? Just be smart with your money.
    Resources Mentioned How to calculate your tax withholding Connect With Rockie Website On Twitter: @AnxiousAdvisor On LinkedIn Subscribe to the show on the app of your choice
    Show notes by
    PODCAST FAST TRACK
    https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

    • 13 min
    Episode #26: The Economic Data is BAD—So Why is the Stock Market UP?

    Episode #26: The Economic Data is BAD—So Why is the Stock Market UP?

    This is one of the questions my clients are asking frequently right now: HOW is the stock market performing well when the economic data that’s being released is SO bad? In this episode, I talk about 3 things: what the economic data is, how the stock market and the economy are linked, and WHY the stock market is still performing. If this is one of the questions burning in your mind—listen now.
    Outline of This Episode [2:37] Questions my clients ask me: why are stocks going up? [3:25] Stock market and national GDP data and percentages [6:49] How some of the top stocks are performing [8:52] The stock market and the economy are NOT the same [15:14] Wall Street: Sometimes bad news is good news [19:48] The pentagon acknowledged the existence of... What does the stock market look like? Looking at the numbers can be confusing, but they can tell us a lot about what the stock market is projecting. 
    Dow Jones Industrial Average: As of the recording of this episode (4/29/2020), the Dow Jones was down 16% from its all-time high that was recorded in February. Year-to-date it’s only down 13%. It’s risen 32% since its lowest point this year. The S&P 500: The S&P is down 13% from it’s high for 2020. Year-to-date it’s only down 9% and up 31% from its lowest point. NASDAQ: The Nasdaq is only down 9% from it’s high. Year-to-date? It’s flat-lined—only down half a percent. It’s up 42% from its bottom.  While the stock market is still down, it performed well in April given the economic circumstances we find ourselves in. It was announced that out 1st quarter GDP was negative 4.8% --- a full 1% WORSE than what was expected. Yet, the stock markets rallied. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Caterpillar all went up in April. Why does any of this make sense? Keep listening to find out!
    How the stock market and the economic data correlate In March, most indexes were down 40% or so, give or take a few percentage points. Plus, we witnessed the fastest bear market in history too. We experienced a 3-week crash. US payroll plunged 701,000. Jobless claims exceeded 8 million. Jobs may not come back for years after this economic plunge. Yet the stock market continues to rally. 
    That’s because the stock market and the economy are not 100% correlated. The stock market and the economy are NOT the same and don’t do the same thing. Nor do they perform or move in lock-step with each other. The stock market tends to be a forward-looking indicator, often predicting what things will look like in 6 months. 
    In April we saw some comebacks, which begs the question—is it the performance of the March version or the April version of the stock market that will predict the future? Will we have a V-shaped recovery, or will it be a slower U-shaped comeback? 2nd quarter GDP is projected to be anywhere from -10 to -40%. The bottom line? Only time will tell. 
    Bad news is good news and good news is bad news I get it. You’re probably thinking “Hold up Rockie—wait a second—that makes ZERO sense!”. I know, it’s confusing. But here’s why it makes sense: When good news about the economy breaks, Wall Street begins to worry the Fed will hike interest rates. Conversely, when bad economic data is released they expect the federal reserve to slash interest rates. This sometimes triggers good performance in the stock market. It all depends on what Wall Street chooses to focus on, on any given day. 
    The Coronavirus overwhelmed the news cycle and we missed something HUGE Guys—the Pentagon acknowledged the existence of UFOs and no one cares. They confirmed that 3 videos that have been circulating for years indeed show what they’ve now termed “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” (their attempt to avoid the stigma associated with “UFO”). The Coronavirus, the economy, and the stock market have so dominated the news cycle and our very existence

    • 22 min
    Episode #25: Coronavirus Makes It Easier To Withdraw Money From Your 401(k) and/or IRA

    Episode #25: Coronavirus Makes It Easier To Withdraw Money From Your 401(k) and/or IRA

    If you have a 401(k) and/or IRA, listen up. Big changes have arisen due to COVID-19 that allow you to make easier, and more tax friendly withdrawals from your retirement account(s). 
    I go over all of the recent changes in this episode. 
    As always, a written review is greatly appreciated. If you leave a written review, send a screenshot of it to Rockie@rpzeigler.com and I'll send you my most recent report: My Thoughts On The Coronavirus and The Stock Markets.
    Resources & People Mentioned 
    Morningstar Article Fortune Article Connect With Rockie Website Twitter: @anxiousadvisor On LinkedIn

    • 15 min
    Episode #24: Stimulus Checks: What you NEED to Know

    Episode #24: Stimulus Checks: What you NEED to Know

    It’s been talked about for weeks: we all know that stimulus checks are being dispersed to Americans. But who qualifies? How will you get it? Will everyone get the full amount? Are the checks taxable? In this episode of Making Finance Fun, my goal is to answer all of your need-to-know questions. Check it out! 
    Outline of This Episode [0:00] Write a review for my free eBook! [1:10] What’s the deal with the stimulus checks? [2:25] Do you qualify for the tax credit? [6:45] Who doesn’t qualify and why [8:31] Are these stimulus checks taxable? [12:03] How you’ll get your check [14:21] Embrace this time the best you can Who qualifies for the stimulus checks? Here’s the breakdown: 
    For single adults making less than $75,000: You get $1,200 For married filing jointly and making under $150,000: You get $2,400 Head of Household making less than $112,500: You get $1,200 Each child under 17: You (the parent) get $500 They base this on your 2018 tax return—only if you haven’t yet filed for 2019. There IS a phase-out if you make over $75,000 (individual), $150,000 as a married couple, or $112,500 as head of household.
    Who doesn’t qualify?  If you make MORE than $99,000 (individual), $198,000 filing jointly, or $136,500 as head of household, you will NOT get a stimulus check. The only saving grace is that you will STILL get $500 per each child under 17 in the household. Plus—there’s no limit on the number of children that you can claim.
    Are these stimulus checks taxable? The short and easy answer is no, they are NOT taxable. Why? Because these checks are considered a “refundable tax credit”. If you’re staring blankly and crickets are chirping in the background—you’re not alone. I get it, it’s 100% confusing. Here’s a simple way to break it down: 
    Let’s say you have a child and you’re filing your taxes. Once everything is processed, it’s calculated that you owe $10,000. But wait—because of a child tax credit, $2,000 of that amount is knocked off. So you only owe $8,000. 
    The stimulus checks are a one-time (currently) tax credit applied to your 2020 taxes that you’re getting in advance in the form of cash. It will not affect your 2020 tax filing in the slightest. 
    HOW and WHEN will you get the money?  If you have direct deposit on file with the IRS you’ll get your money via that route—and fairly quickly. As of the date this episode is airing (4/21/2020), I’ve heard of numerous people already receiving their credit. 
    If you typically receive your tax refund via check in the mail, things will be a little trickier for you. When I recorded this episode, the IRS stated they’d be creating a portal when you can give them your banking information. UPDATE: The link to the portal is below.
    If you opt-out of giving the IRS your banking information, you’ll see your stimulus check far later, perhaps even July, with the latest projection into September. Either way, it will take longer than you expect if you wait for it to be mailed to you. 
    Resources & People Mentioned Business Insider Article Forbes Article on Stimulus Checks IRS information on Stimulus Checks IRS Portal Connect With Rockie Website On Twitter: @AnxiousAdvisor On LinkedIn Subscribe to the show on the app of your choice

    Show notes by
    PODCAST FAST TRACK
    https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

    • 16 min
    Episode #23: 5 Tips to Manage Your 401k During the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Episode #23: 5 Tips to Manage Your 401k During the Coronavirus Pandemic

    What do you do to manage your 401k when the economy is diving headfirst into a recession? The Coronavirus has forced itself to the forefront of our minds day-in and day-out—there’s no escaping its reach. You may be getting nervous about the money you’ve allocated for retirement. Or you’ve found yourself short on cash as you sit at home, waiting to return to work. In this episode of Making Finance Fun, I’ll share 5 things you can do to manage your 401k.
    Outline of This Episode [2:16] What should I do with my 401(k)? [2:52] Tip 1: Know exactly how much risk you’re taking [11:40] Tip 2: Keep contributing if you can [16:22] Tip 3: Position yourself for the recovery [20:04] Tip 4: What to do If you have to take a hardship withdrawal [26:55] Tip 5: Know the rules if you take out a 401(k) loan #1: Know the risk you’re taking with your investments If you’ve been watching your 401(k) take a nosedive and it’s left you unable to sleep at night—maybe you aren’t the aggressive investor you thought you were. That’s 100% okay. Extreme drops in the market are an indicator of your risk tolerance. If it’s low, it may be time to re-think your strategy, which I talk about a little bit more in this blog post. The bottom line is, assess your risk tolerance and if your current stock and bond allocations don’t align, make some changes until they do.
    #2: Continue to Contribute to your 401(k)—if you can If you’re lucky enough to find yourself still employed—and not one of the 3 million people to have filed for unemployment—you may be tempted to stop paying into your 401(k). If you need the extra cash and can’t keep contributing, it’s understandable. But if your employer matches your contributions, it’s retirement money that you’ll be losing out on. Listen to the episode as I talk about contribution limits for yourself (and your employer) and how it applies if you’re self-employed. 
    #3: Position yourself for a market recovery “This time is different” is something we all say at the beginning of a recession—and it’s true. The beginning is always different but the end is always the same. A drop in the market has historically ended with an eventual rise back to normalcy. Dial-in your risk tolerance, and then reallocate your assets accordingly. The caveat will always be that we don’t know (and can never gauge) what will happen moving forward, but there’s reason for hope. 
    #4: What to do if you have to take a hardship withdrawal I’m not advising for or against taking a withdrawal, but there are a few things you need to consider before you withdraw money from your 401(k). There are 6 criteria you must meet to qualify for a withdrawal:
    You’re dealing with unexpected medical expenses.  The withdrawal is directly related to the purchase of a home. If it’s to help pay tuition and/or school expenses. Payments are needed to prevent eviction or foreclosure. The money is used for burial or funeral expenses. The funds are needed to repair damage to your home. Exemptions are allowed if you’re disabled, have medical debt that exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, or the court is mandating it to go towards alimony or child support. Before you make a move, you need to know that your 401(k) is protected from creditors and bankruptcy. Think long and hard before opening up yourself to losing that money. 
    #5: Know the rules if you take out a 401(k) loan If you’re at a point where you need to weigh the idea of withdrawing money from your 401(k), take a pause and consider a loan instead. Not all of them allow it, but most do. Typically, you’re required to pay the loan back over a period of 5 years. But any interest you pay during the 5 years goes back into your account.
    However, if you lose your job or change employers during this time, one of two things will have to happen. The first is

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

ctiamom13 ,

Amazing!

Rockie does an amazing job breaking down complex financial topics into easy to understand lingo. Very informative!

cooperj44 ,

Makes it easy!

Rockie does a great job making financial news easy to understand and is very entertaining! Not bad for a NCHS grad...

Hudbud2.0 ,

A Wealth of Information

Not only is Rockie fun to listen to, but he knows his stuff when it comes to finance. I’ve known him for years and he’s reliable, ethical, and just an awesome guy all around! Don’t miss out on an episode! His practical information on finance will change your life.

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