Joshua Escalante Troesh

Personal Finance, Small Business, Lifestage Based Planning
“Joshua Escalante Troesh is a tenured professor, financial adviser, and the owner of Purposeful Strategic Partners, a Registered Investment Advisory firm.”

Purposeful Strategic Partners

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Joshua is the owner of Purposeful Strategic Partners, and a Registered Investment Advisor. He holds an MBA from Azusa Pacific University and the Professional Financial Planner designation from UCLA Extension. During his time as a business consultant, he guided business owners with their business growth assisted them in integrating their business and personal finances. Now, he focuses on helping business owners and young families with more complex financial planning issues.

Joshua is also a tenured professor of business at El Camino College in Los Angeles where he teaches personal finance courses to college students and the broader community. He also heads up the Entrepreneurship program at the college, and has helped hundreds of business owners and aspiring business owners grow and start their businesses.

Leading up to 2008, Joshua was the Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for a federal credit union. Additionally, leading up to 2001 he was the Director of Marketing for an independent investment research firm which specialized in analyzing internet and technology stocks. These experiences have given Joshua a unique inside perspective on the past two market crashes, which he uses to provide clients a better understanding of how to prepare for and manage major market volatility. 

Joshua founded and runs a financial literacy and education organization, Purposeful Finance. The organization offers financial literacy education, a free personal financial planning challenge, and financial planning articles distributed through Apple News and it's own website. Purposeful Finance is currently a California Public Benefit Corporation and is seeking non-profit status with the IRS.


MBA, Azusa Pacific University

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    Investing, ETFs, IRAs
Where should a first time investor start?
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At your age, and with over 40 years until you retire, you should consider investing mostly in a broadly diversified stock portfolio which includes both U.S. and international stocks. With four decades to go, you only need bonds in your portfolio to help you sleep at night. In other words, after doing your research, choose a bond percentage which makes YOU feel comfortable that you have enough "safety" in your portfolio. Do not choose a one-size-fits-all rule of thumb. Rules of thumb are often written to legally protect the author, and cannot be appropriate to your situation because your situation is unique to you.

Your investments should start after you have a cash buffer in savings of 5% to 20% of your gross income (your personal situation will determine where in this you fall, but if you have good insurance and a stable job, it can be on the lower side of this number). Investing without a cash buffer is dangerous for your investments, because it increases the chances you will need to raid your retirement accounts to deal with a major unexpectd expense. 

Once you have that cash buffer, here are three places to look for starting a retirement account.

If you have a 401(k) at work, invest there first if the employer offers a match. The match means your employer is giving you free money and will incredibly boost your retirement account. Contribute at least enough to get the match. (For you a 3% match would mean contributing at least $100 per month). You will hear a lot of bad 'advice' from gurus and experts about when not to invest in your 401k. This article gives a good overview of why advice to not invest in your 401k is bad advice

If the 401(k) options aren't great, you can put any money after the match into your own Investment Retirement Account. You can easily open up a retirement account at a fund company like Vanguard and invest in a global index fund with low fees. I use Vanguard as an example not because I think you should invest there, but because they have (on average) lower fees than other fund companies.

Many financial adviser clients wish they had started getting help when they were younger. If you would like more personal help, seek out a fiduciary, fee-only, and comprehensive financial adviser/planner. Generally this means a registered investment adviser (legally obligated to be a fiduciary) who does full financial planning (possibly with the CFP mark).

If all the adviser does is manage your non 401(k) investments, avoid them. Starting out you won't have enough money saved up to make their fees worthwhile. And they may encourage you to skip the 401k match so they have more money to manage. Instead you want a person who will advise you on your 401k, budgeting, career planning, insurance contracts, tax planning, debt management and other elements of your finances.

This is where the fee-only comes in, because fee-only advisers don't get kickbacks or commissions from selling your insurance or other products/services. They only get paid by you for the advice they give you. So it is more likely the advice you get will be based on what you need and what saves you the most money.

May 2018
Do I have to buy treasury notes through a bank or brokerage firm?
100% of people found this answer helpful
May 2018
    Taxes, Income Tax, Tax Deductions / Credits
How much do foreign income and foreign income tax credit impact my tax return?
100% of people found this answer helpful
May 2018
    Debt, Investing, IRAs, Stocks
What should my fiancé and I do with the extra $7,000 we make each month?
100% of people found this answer helpful
May 2018
    Career / Compensation, Debt, Financial Planning, Retirement, 401(k)
Which retirement plan should I choose- 403(b), 457(b), or 401(a)?
100% of people found this answer helpful
May 2018