Q&A: Why Do You Have So Many Links In Your Articles?

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Currently, we are publishing four articles each week. We publish new content on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday while featuring an older article or an off-topic new piece on Thursdays.

Three new articles each week is 156 new articles each year. Currently, most of these articles are written by myself and David Marotta.

Both David and I have lots of experience in computer programming. Before starting Marotta Wealth Management, David used to teach computer programming at a Community College. After that, he worked in medical computing for the University of Virginia health systems.

At a young age, I learned website design. My first business was freelance web and graphic design work. In college, I majored in Cognitive Science, selecting my concentrations so that it was a Formal Logic degree of classes in Philosophy and Computer Science. My first full-time job at Marotta was programming our proprietary backoffice systems. I am still the team’s on-staff computer programmer.

With this background in computer programming, it is no surprise that David and I both have a few oddities in our formal writing.

Many newcomers to my articles will make comments like “That article was like a book!” In podcasts, my hosts frequently summarize talking to me as “we go into the weeds but it is valuable.”

In programming, it is good practice to keep a library of well-written solutions.

Imagine that one day you are faced with a problem which takes you a week to find a solution. When you are done, the solution is as elegant, fast, and beautiful as you could manage. It is also likely challenging to understand without the full context. As a result, it is good practice to take the time both to document your code (explaining in comments or in a manual how it works) and to save your code, either mentally or literally, as an elegant solution to that problem.

Later, when you are faced with a similar or identical problem, rather than wasting another week sorting it out you can simply reference, copy and paste, or utilize your prior work.

This part of good programming practice — document and reuse elegant solutions — both David and I have taken to financial planning.

We reuse our previous efforts by linking to the articles.

For example, if I want to mention the hidden fees of some mutual funds in the context of a larger article, it might take me 600 words to accurately explain this concept to someone who doesn’t already know. However, if mentioning this concept is simply one point in the context of a larger narrative, slowing down to make the article accessible for a new reader may jeopardize the larger point. As a result, instead of adding those 600 words of explanation, I can simply link to “Where to Find the Hidden Fees of Commission-Based Firms.” That over 1,000 word article introduces the topic to a newcomer. By referencing it in my article, I can lift all the effort and argument David presents there into my context. I can reuse the smart “code” of years past.

Similarly, we can use our documentation to find elegant solutions. How do you properly pass a Roth IRA through a Trust to its heirs? The process is cumbersome and even though I’ve assisted clients with this process many times, it is still difficult for me to summarize the steps off the top of my head. However, I don’t need to summarize them from the top of my head. I can simply read my own article “How to Inherit a Roth IRA Outright From a Trust at Schwab.”

This is why we say: We have no secret ingredient at Marotta Wealth Management. We openly and publicly publish our strategies as articles on our website. My hope is that by documenting the most elegant solutions of financial planning, you are able to prepare their own investment plan and meet your own financial objectives.

Photo by Sara Cohen on Unsplash

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Chief Operating Officer, CFP®, APMA®

Megan Russell has worked with Marotta Wealth Management most of her life. She loves to find ways to make the complexities of financial planning accessible to everyone. She is the author of over 800 financial articles and is known for her expertise on tax planning.