FAQs

Streeterville, Chicago

Who are you?

My name is John, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go identification-wise.  I’m a pretty private individual, so I have some very natural reluctance to share too much with the whole world via the internet.  Keeping my actual identity hidden gives me a couple of very real benefits:

  1. Personal safety, duh.
  2. If I’m anonymous, I can more easily use real numbers from my own past experiences to illustrate concepts and ideas.
  3. Lastly, I’m pretty sure my friends, family and co-workers would look at me differently if they were able to match up what they read here with the me in real life.  I’d prefer to keep those relationships as they are today.

So other than admitting I have one of the most common given names in the United States, I haven’t told you much.

Why should I read your personal finance blog versus the hundreds of others out there?

Well, I guess I can’t completely avoid telling you about myself.  Otherwise, how do you I’m not just making all this up!

Two words sum me up pretty well: finance geek.  I’ve been all about money and numbers for a long time.  When I was six, I counted up all the silver dollars my grandparents and the tooth fairy had given me and determined my net worth was $40.  That’s a 100% true story.

I have a finance degree from a big name university which I parlayed into a job on Wall Street and then a finance manager for a Fortune 500 company.  Through a combination of really hard work, sacrifice, saving like crazy and a boatload of luck, I walked away last year at the ripe old age of 32.

I hadn’t saved enough to retire in the traditional sense, but had enough that I could downshift to a lower pay, lower stress career no questions asked.  I still work in finance, but not like I used to, but made the choice to have a life outside of work.  Being able to do that is financial independence in my book, but a nice sized nest egg to back you up doesn’t hurt either.

…And you shouldn’t read just one personal finance blog.  Read as many as you can that give you new perspective and ideas for managing your financial life.  There are a ton of fantastic writers with really great ideas out there.  If I’m able to contribute half of what some of them do, I’ll feel pretty good about myself.

Why did you pick the name Present Value Finance?

Present value is a finance term that describes how much a stream of future cash flows (both positive and negative) is worth as of today (i.e. the present).  This let’s you put all kinds of different alternatives on a common basis: how much is this worth to me today?  That’s hugely powerful for making strong financial decisions, evaluating performance and the like.  Present value is the essence of how I try to approach financial decisions and I want to share that mindset with others.  Naming the blog after it was an easy choice.

Will you make money from PVF?  If so, how?

Yes…maybe…eventually.  Running a website costs some amount of money as well as the time I’m investing to create meaningful content that people get value from reading.

You’ll see ads here and there as well as maybe sponsors of the site in general.  You’re reading PVF to get actionable insights to improve your financial life, not be served a ton of ads.  I’ll try to strike the appropriate balance.

The other thing you won’t see are a bunch of paid or sponsored posts that are really just ads in sheep’s clothing.  I want you to trust what you’re reading is coming from me and not just a paid plug or something.  Any affiliate relationships will be fully disclosed and won’t impact the objectivity of what you read.

Who should read Present Value Finance?

Is “everyone” an acceptable answer?  Narrowing down a little bit I’d say people who want to make smart financial decisions to work towards achieving financial independence however they define it.

What sort of articles do you write?  How frequently?

I’m still trying to figure that all out, but the broad framework would look something like this:

  1. Financial Decision Making: how to approach and analyze financial issues people encounter and make the right decision
  2. How To’s: step-by-step walk-throughs of actions you can take to positively impact your financials
  3. Q&A: quick hit answers to questions submitted by readers
  4. Case Study’s: more in depth versions of analysis of a single issue
  5. Something I’m calling “Financial Mindset” which will focus less on numbers and more on the motivations underlying.

I may occasionally do guest posts if I’m out of my league on a topic.  I’m also not going to just list other blog posts I’m reading, but will provide thoughts and commentary when I think it’s relevant.  Lastly, I’m planning on publishing about 1 or maybe 2 articles a week.

How can I contact you?

The best way to contact me about something I’ve written is through the comments section of each post.  I love it when the back and forth in the comments build on the original post and add so much more to the discussion.  I don’t have all the answers (and in many cases there is no 100% right answer), so having a robust debate with multiple points of view only adds to our collective knowledge base.

If you need to get in touch with me for other things (media/marketing inquiries, suggestions for posts, etc.), please see the contact page.

What companies do you have affiliate or sponsorship relationships with?

None as of today.  In the future, I’ll keep a list of affiliates and terms prominently displayed for full disclosure.  And I’ll turn down all affiliate offers from companies unwilling to abide by my disclosure requirement.

Any mention of an affiliate in a post will be noted so you know exactly with whom I’ve partnered to support the running of PVF.  Additionally, any active affiliate is off limits for product reviews posts, etc.  If I review a company and they subsequently become a partner, I’ll amend the original post to reflect the new relationship.

Anything else?

I don’t think so. Happy reading!

John started Present Value Finance in 2017 to share his experiences and insights on personal finance to help people make better decisions and take control of their financial lives.  

He achieved financial independence in 2016 by walking away from the high stress world of corporate finance to focus on his family. He’s a husband, father, family CFO, and all around finance geek.