Property and Casualty Insurance

Greetings! This month we want to focus on something that often gets overlooked: property and casualty insurance. Property and casualty insurance covers your home, auto, and umbrella (excess liability) policies. Basically, it is a) the physical items in your life and b) your liability exposure. While it is not one of the most exciting subjects (as our first video will point out), it is incredibly important. Second only to estate planning documents, it is one of the most overlooked pieces of a client’s financial portfolio. As a result, we have adjusted more than 75% of our client’s property and casualty policies. So, what is the most common issue? Insufficient insurance protection in your home or auto policy. To be underinsured is a HUGE risk! Do yourself a favor – go through the links below and consider your individual/family situation.

  • Watch: The first is a quick and basic video just to get your feet wet. It goes over some common terminology and concepts. If you feel comfortable with insurance in general, feel free to give it a pass and check out our second video featuring The Money Guy Show. This gets further into depth and they provide great tips, such as videotaping your home for a visual inventory in case of a loss. It’s an easy watch without a lot of fluff or a sales pitch.
  • Read: Our reading this month comes from the Insurance Information Institute. While it is difficult in this realm to find impartial information – most articles or content available online are from said companies hoping to sell more policies – an essential piece to take away from the article is the correct amount of homeowner’s insurance to have (i.e. the actual cost of rebuilding the home; this is not the same as the real estate value, and does not include the land value).
  • Listen: Our final link covers another critical and often overlooked policy, the umbrella policy. Most clients assume that their current auto and home policies are sufficient, but they are usually not. This is especially true for clients with more considerable net worth, businesses, or assets like a rental property. If you are in an accident or cause injury or damages in excess of your homeowners or auto policies, an umbrella policy will step in to pay over the difference. This policy can be the difference between a bad day versus a devastating event.

As financial planners, it is our job to assist our clients in making good decisions. Unfortunately, when it comes to insurance coverage, it can sometimes be a struggle to fully convey the importance of something that often feels like a sunk cost at the end of the day. As stewards of your life savings and your family’s well-being, we cannot stress the value of appropriate insurance coverage enough. If you have any concerns about your current coverage, please reach out, and we will be happy to review your policies. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

We hope you’ve found value in this reading.  Please feel free to reach out with questions and comments.  Also, feel free to share this newsletter with your friends and loved ones!Make it a great month!
The Bona Fide Family


Welcome to November! This monthly newsletter’s topic, cybersecurity, is focused on that which we interact with every day, while we may not be aware of the implications of our online presence. As we are spending more and more of our lives in virtual spaces, we feel it is of the utmost importance to know the basics of protecting our personal information. Take some time with these links and make sure to protect yourself. As usual, feel free to share the content with your friends and family. Reach out if you have any questions! 

  • Read: This article discusses the future of cybersecurity. It touches upon several issues such as how large companies handle your data, government regulations, the growing cybersecurity industry, and (in our opinion one of the most important takeaways) the biggest security threat to the average person. Hint: it is something you use every day. 
  • Listen: Appropriately named, Down the Security Rabbit Hole will take you deep into an issue of what the hosts term the 31st human right, data ownership. It is an interesting idea. Most of the services you use for “free” on the internet aren’t really free. The sites are harvesting your personal information and selling it to companies who target you for ads. The hosts speak with Richie Etwaru, a human data ethicist about how data ownership is a fundamental human right, the principles of data ownership and how they’re different from privacy or security, and how data ownership is a great leveling factor for society. 
  • Watch: This video is presented by the talented actor (Blossom, Big Bang Theory) and neuroscientist (yes, you read that right!) Mayim Bialik. She goes over the basics of cybersecurity in an easy to understand manner. It’s only a 6-minute video, so it’s a quick way to get yourself thinking about the key points of cybersecurity. 

BONUS: Here is a link to our favorite password manager, One Password. Trust us – your password “system” isn’t as good as you think it is. Create one great password and remember it. Add all your passwords to One Password and everything is safe and sound. It is easy to use and the interface is great. If you aren’t using a password manager, we highly recommend it!

If you find the information provided valuable, please pass this email along to your family and friends! Better yet, recommend them to subscribe to this monthly newsletter by signing up on our website!

You can click on the links below to access this month’s resources. Thanks for reading, listening, and watching!

Protect Your Assets

This month I want to focus on asset protection, the exploitation of the legal system as a means to sue and seize your assets. The following three resources introduce this often-overlooked aspect of your financial plan.

  • Read: Michele Williams, author and Certified Financial Education Instructor, wrote a brief book titled Asset Protection for the Rest of Us, priced at $2.99 for Kindle readers. It is an easy-to-read layman’s guide for any individual, family or small business owner who is interested in protecting their assets from lawsuits. The book introduces the concept of asset protection and was written specifically for those who may not have a net worth in the millions; however, they aspire to keep and protect what they have earned.
  • Listen: In this first of a series of ten podcasts, Joshua Sheats discusses the various ways in which you should consider the term “asset protection planning.” Specifically, he asks two questions: 1) What assets do I have that I care about? and 2) From what risks should I protect those assets? If you think about those questions carefully, you will be able to coach yourself to the right solutions, solutions that may vary considerably. If you broaden the scope of the term “asset” and then apply yourself to imagining the various risks those assets face, you can come up with ways to protect yourself and your assets, no lawyers needed.
    *Note, the content is quite good but the first ten minutes are a ramble of political views that are not necessarily endorsed by us.
  • Watch: An undervalued policy that everyone should have is a Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP). A PUP supplements other forms of insurance with extended coverage limits that start at $1 million. In addition, personal umbrella insurance covers other forms of liability, such as libel and slander, that policies like homeowners or auto insurance do not. Watch here to further your understanding.

If you find the information provided valuable, please pass this email along to your family and friends! Better yet, recommend them to subscribe to this monthly newsletter by signing up on our website!

You can click on the links below to access this month’s resources. Thanks for reading, listening, and watching!


We learned in mid-January that our third pregnancy resulted in miscarriage. Since then, we have been navigating the grief of this loss, and thought it poignant to address the topic of loss in general in a newsletter format. This month will be a little heavier on the “read” side of things:

  • Read: In Get it Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won’t Have To, Melanie Cullen provides a compassionate guide to end-of-life planning. No one wants to think about their own death or what happens once they’re gone; the same goes for thinking about the death of a loved one. But without proper planning, this grief-filled inevitability can be fraught with frustration, added pain, and legal issues for those left behind. Aside from the emotional weight, thinking through every element of a death and getting everything organized can be overwhelming. Cullen’s clear-eyed guide will help to make the process as smooth as possible.
  • Read: This very brief article from Dave Ramsey places emphasis on creating and maintaining a Legacy Drawer. He recommends having 11 things in said drawer, including a cover letter, funeral instructions, insurance policies, and monthly budget. It is worth noting that current clients have much of what is recommended to have in a Legacy Drawer through your subscription to Right Capital, but not everything is contained there. Take some time to fill in whatever gaps are present.
  • Read: Should you take out a life insurance policy on your child(ren)? I give an emphatic “no!” Read 6 Reasons Why NOT To Buy Life Insurance for Your Children for a series of excellent reasons why purchasing a policy is a bad idea.
  • Read: My wife and I found a lot of solace in reading through Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey Through Miscarriage by Franco and Laura Fanucci. Not only did this couple experience similar grief as we in the realm of infertility and miscarriage, but they also chronicle the deaths of their identical twin girls at 22 weeks. It is an inspiring book, discussing the impact of grief on the physical, spiritual, and emotional planes of both father and mother.
  • Watch: In this touching tribute to his wife who died from complications of ovarian cancer, Jason Rosenthal offers candid insights on the often excruciating process of moving through and with loss — as well as some quiet wisdom for anyone else experiencing life-changing grief.

One last note: an incredible consolation we received through genetic testing was finding out our little one is a girl; we named her Dorothy Rose Michelle.

If you find the information provided valuable, please pass this email along to your family and friends! Better yet, recommend them to subscribe to this monthly newsletter by signing up on our website!


As we enter into the month of November and all things to be thankful for, I want to mention–in an expression of gratitude–the joys of a young family. Our little girls have warmed our hearts many a time in these last few months! Additionally, our family will be traveling to Indiana for a family wedding this month; it is a wonderful opportunity to see the lovely autumnal colors and seasonal crispness in the air!

Onward to this month’s highlights, which focus on all things insurance. Mind you, as a fee-only financial planner, I do not sell any insurance products nor do I earn a commission by recommending specific insurance products. I advise what policies are best for your financial situation. The following resources can help you determine what types of insurance would be applicable for you: 

  • Read: Whether you are just starting your career, in your peak earning years, or enjoying retirement, your insurance protection needs may change over time. Life cycle planning helps identify insurance needs that are common to particular stages of life. This can help individuals and families examine their insurance requirements in order to make future plans.
  • Listen: In “A Mental Model to Analyze Methods of Dealing With Risk“, Joshua Sheats discusses how many of us have had exposure to various forms of insurance throughout our lives and shares how to make the initial decision whether insurance is appropriate for you. Joshua highlights a framework for considering various risks that you face and the various ways in which to deal with those risks.
  • Watch: The most common or misunderstood insurance policies is that of disability. If you fall into the camp of “I do not need disability insurance; I am healthy and plan to work until I retire”, take a couple of minutes to watch this video which gives a great overview and introduction to the purpose of disability insurance. It will be two minutes well spent with regard to your financial and insured situation!

If you find the information provided valuable, please pass this email along to your family and friends! Better yet, recommend them to subscribe to this monthly newsletter by signing up on our website!

You can click on the links below to access this month’s resources. Thanks for reading, listening, and watching!

Resources for Comprehensive Financial Planning

Bona Fide Finance has exciting news to share this month! We now have a resource page available to use as a reference as needed. It’s creatively called the Resources page (original, I know!); we have numerous links to all the major subjects of personal finance. Within each subcategory you will find a number of links to other blogs, articles, websites, books, interviews, etc., all with the aim to help you be as informed as possible regarding these topics. Take a gander when you have a moment; we hope you are able to put it to good use. Enjoy!

  • Investments: Mutual funds, asset allocation, fixed income instruments, annuities, socially responsible investing, trivia
  • Taxes: Payroll tools, online tax preparation, 1031 exchanges, state tax rates
  • Budgeting: Software, debt management, managing money, saving and spending, credit cards, financial spreadsheets
  • Student Loans
  • Behavioral Finance
  • Insurance: Life, disability, health, auto, long term care, home, umbrella liability, trip, pet
  • Estate Planning: Trusts, executor, legal documents, ethical will, digital lockbox
  • Home Ownership: Mortgages, insurance, determining your home’s basis, reverse mortgages, homestead exemption
  • Car Buying
  • Retirement: Early retirement, retirement accounts and contributions, retirement calculators, social security
  • Lifestyle Design
  • Financial Independence

If you find the information provided valuable, please pass this email along to your family and friends! Better yet, recommend them to subscribe to this monthly newsletter by signing up on our website!