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Robert Schmansky

Retirement, Investing, Lifestage Based Planning
“Robert Schmansky is the founder and President of Clear Financial Advisors, a fee-only holistic wealth management firm located in Metro-Detroit, Michigan where he assists individuals and families to create financial plans for their personal goals.”

Clear Financial Advisors, LLC

Job Title:



Rob Schmansky, CFP® is the founder of Clear Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor in Metro-Detroit, Michigan. Clear Financial Advisors provides Fee-Only wealth management services.

Rob’s career mission has been to promote credentialed, holistic financial planning awareness among the public.

In addition to his role as an advisor, Rob is an Enrolled Agent (EA) helping clients in tax matters and tax planning. He also holds a Life Insurance Counselor license. Rob has also take post-graduate classes and received certificates in taxation and financial asset management.

Having over a decade of experience with the media, Rob is frequently quoted in the media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, CNBC, ABC News, CNN Money, Reuters, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Dow Jones Newswires, MarketWatch, National Public Radio, and other publications. He has been published by Forbes, US News & World Report, FiLife (a former IAC / Dow Jones joint venture), Yahoo! Finance, and other outlets, in addition to his own Clear Money Blog

In addition to his work as a personal financial advisor, Rob is an adjunct instructor of economics, and he has also taught the required courses for candidates to sit for the CFP® examination. He has contributed to the retirement planning knowledge requirements for those seeking international CFP® certification under the Financial Planning Standards Board. 

In his free time Rob enjoys listening to non-fiction audiobooks, coaching youth lacrosse, and jogging.


BS, Human Ecology and Family Resource Management, The Ohio State University
MA, Economics, Walsh College

Assets Under Management:

$15 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


Insurance License:

#MI Life Counselor

  • Robert Schmansky, CFP® Financial Advisor Profile
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July 2016
February 2017
    Financial Planning
July 2017
    Retirement Savings
January 2018
    College Tuition, Investing
October 2016

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    Debt, Estate Planning, Investing, Real Estate, Stocks
Is it a better investment to borrow home equity to invest in the market, or invest in a rental property?

I'm sympathetic to the idea that home ownership is a risk, but, so is renting. Unless you can easily move every few years, you might have him consider that your landlord would be playing the same 'real estate timing' games that he is, and you'll find many who bought their properties at a low price will be looking to sell as the market rises (meaning you may be moving a lot). 

Homeownership provides stability. Yes, there are risks; yes, you have money in an asset that you won't be able to turn into a vacation or food. But, you have stability. 

That said... you may not even be in the situation of my hypothetical landlord above if you are buying in at a high. Rental real estate is only a good investment if you have good renters (always a risk) and buy at a very good price.

Not knowing the market in Seattle, if it is like most everywhere else, it is a dangerous time to think about putting your home at risk. 

It's always a bad idea to borrow for stock investments. If he is referring to a 4% dividend I would advise researching dividends and stock values in 2008. Most companies slashed their dividend as the price fell. 

Just as you would slash rents if home prices fell in another 2008.

I find the idea of finding a good property in a rising rate environment where so many have bid up the prices to new highs to be a difficult idea. If I really wanted to pursue an idea like this I would personally be waiting for the next correction, even if it took 5-10 years. Your buying at a high could take 15-25 years to recover if you can stay above water in the meantime. 

If it were me I would set aside the thought of risking your home looking at what the real estate and stock market did over the last few years and role play with a client what would happen if it was 2008, they lost their job, and couldn't afford their rent (or mortgage) and their investment real estate or stocks were now down 50%. 

May 2018
    Investing, Choosing an Advisor
Can you explain why a live advisor is a better option for financial advice than a low-fee, low-minimum automated advisory service?
March 2018
    Choosing an Advisor
How does being a "Registered Representative of Raymond James Financial Services" impact the services that an advisor can provide?
50% of people found this answer helpful
February 2018
    Financial Planning, Insurance, Life Insurance
What is a better vehicle for saving for my child's education costs: a whole life insurance policy or a 529 plan?
67% of people found this answer helpful
February 2018
What’s the best way to invest $100,000 if I want a high return?
0% of people found this answer helpful
February 2018