culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning. In the last year or so over 1,500 soldiers have to come to this site looking for more information about First Command Financial Planning, the financial services firm that is force-fed to Americans in uniform. According to my traffic stats, so far this morning the Army, Navy and Marine Corps have all come a-knockin', and it's only 0900.

First Command is notorious for charging exorbitant fees that have been outlawed from the civilian world where there is more competition for individual investments, and for selling inappropriate and overpriced life insurance to young men and women who are putting their money in as much danger as their lives. See the earlier posts "First Command, last resort, Parts
1, 2, and 3" for more details.

The good news is this — you can do better. Your best defense against unscrupulous profiteers sticking their hands into your pockets is to educate yourself. Since you're already on the Internet looking for more information, you might consider taking a look at these sites:

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy covers a lot of the basics of managing your money. offers an overview of money management and investing.

That's just education, which is useless unless you follow it with action. When you're ready to start plunking down some money, take a look at the firms that offer investments:

USAA has a miilitary-friendly approach to investing with none of the baggage that First Command has.

Vanguard is another stable company known for solid management and low expenses, in stark contrast to First Command which is known for the exact opposite.

If you want me to cover something more specifically on this site, leave a comment or email me. I can't give individual advice but I can try to point you in the right direction.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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