Last updated: March 24, 2022
Ah, easily the most boring and yet one of the most important parts of a website: a legal page. And we’ve got several here on Engineering Your FI (“we”, “us”, or “our”) – fun! This page provides the reader/visitor/customer (“you”, “your”, “user”) various disclaimers (“Disclaimer”) we have for Engineering Your FI content, products, and services.
This Disclaimer is legally binding. We know that sounds scary/legalistic, but really it just means that when you visit/read this site, or use any products or services we’re selling, you agree to abide by this Disclaimer.
All Content Provided “As Is”
Look Elsewhere For Licensed Professional Advice
Unfortunately a PhD in Aerospace Engineering does not count as a formal credential in the fields of finance, accounting, law, real estate, medicine, risk management, marriage, or travel. Sure would be nice if it did, but that’s not how the world works sadly. Maybe someday that will change if I get in the mood to go after such a credential, though after going through 10 years of college and graduate school, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Thus, Engineering Your FI contains no professional finance, accounting, legal, real estate, medical, risk management, marital, or travel advice (or professional advice of any kind actually), nor is any relationship started through the site considered a professional-client relationship. All content is for informational purposes only.
As a result, it is your responsibility to take everything you read here with a grain of salt. In other words, please independently verify the accuracy of any information you find on our website or any of our products or services with other sources (including professionals if needed) before making any decisions and/or taking action with the information. We are not responsible or liable for any actions you take after reading/watching/listening to our content, and in particular we are not responsible or liable for any losses (financial or otherwise) or harm suffered as a result of consuming our content. An example of such a loss: the stock market dropping shortly after you make an investment – all investment involves risk.
Also note that much of the content on Engineering Your FI and in our products and services is our opinion (vs an easily established fact), some of which are very strong and very contradictory to mainstream financial advice guidance. We’ve formed these opinions over time through our experiences, both successes and failures, and as result our opinions can change over time. Feel free to disagree with our opinions in the comments or directly reach out to us – we love a good constructive debate, as we learn a tremendous amount that way, including shining light on blind spots we (almost certainly) have.
Affiliate Links and Relationships
What are “affiliate links”? In short, a person or business like Engineering Your FI can become an “affiliate” of a company (e.g. Amazon), and then place customized links of products or services from that company on their website. This process is also known as “affiliate marketing”. The link customization allows the company selling the products or services to know how the customer discovered the product or service – in this case, from the affiliate website. But why would a person or business bother with these customized links? Well, it turns out many companies are willing to take a small hit to their profit margin by paying a commission to people or businesses that direct paying customers to their products or services – a sale with smaller profit is better than no sale at all! There is no additional cost to the customer.
As a result, it can be a win-win-win situation: the visitor to the affiliate website finds and purchases a good product or service that solves a pain point for them, the company selling the product or service earns a sale, and the affiliate earns a commission from that sale without costing their visitor any additional money. An additional win for affiliates is that the commissions they earn from products/services they would be recommending ANYWAY can provide an income stream that allows them to avoid more obnoxious income sources, such as cluttering up their site with noisy banner ads.
Because of this win-win-win nature, Engineering Your FI does employ affiliate links, and each affiliate link is noted in the content. As a result, when you click one of these affiliate links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the company selling the products or services. Thus you can support Engineering Your FI with purchases from other companies (e.g. Amazon) you would make regardless, and no additional money comes out of your pocket.
There is one way affiliate links can be not win-win-win however: if a person or business promotes companies, products, or services via affiliate links that are lower quality but provide higher commissions, then only the affiliate and seller win – the customer loses. Thus we ONLY recommend and provide affiliate links to companies, products, or services we really, truly believe in, even if they offer lower commissions, or even no commissions at all! In general, all companies, products, or services we recommend on Engineering Your FI we have used personally and strongly recommend to our family and friends.
We might lose out on higher commissions in the short term by avoiding lower quality products/services with high commissions, but our visitors/readers/customers trust in us is too important to sacrifice for short term gains (which would obviously lead to long term losses as we eventually lose our visitors/readers/customers).
If you do purchase one of the products or services we link to and you have a negative experience, or you find a superior alternative, please let us know! We’re happy to update our content to remove products or services no longer working well or to point to better options (even if the commission drops or disappears). Similarly, if we ever change our minds regarding a product or service we currently recommend, we will very quickly modify or remove the recommendation and any associated affiliate links from our site.
Also note that any content regarding the companies, product, or services we recommend and have affiliate links for is not provided, reviewed, approved, or endorsed in any way by the associated companies.
This affiliate disclaimer applies to all methods in which we might communicate with visitors/readers/customers, including engineeringyourfi.com, email, social media, and within any products or services we offer.
We are currently affiliates of the following companies:
- Amazon, through the Amazon Associate program. Required Amazon affiliate disclosure text: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Why Have Affiliate Links?
Another important question: why do we bother with affiliate links at all? Do we really need the money?
The answer to the second question is no, but the answer to the first is a bit longer. First off, it’s a way to pay for the costs of running this site, which are not huge but are not zero either. Second, we want Engineering Your FI to be an engine for good, which includes both the positive outcomes we hope visitors/readers/customers experience as a result of our content, as well as significant donations to worthy charitable causes. And in general revenue is needed to make such an engine possible, especially for large charity donations. Third, we also enjoy the idea of earning money for our efforts, as even though we no longer really need money, we still find it motivating and encourages us to keep working hard to deliver great content, products, and/or services to our visitors/readers/customers.
Also note that while the focus of some websites is company, product, or service reviews, which lead to lots of affiliate link opportunities, that is not our focus at Engineering Your FI. We simply make a point of signing up for the affiliate programs of companies we like and using those affiliate links if we mention them in an article or our recommendations page.
Paid Content and Endorsement Articles
Engineering Your FI does not accept any paid content. In other words, we do not allow companies or organizations to pay us to post an article written by that company or organization, no matter the amount of money offered. That would essentially be a giant advertisement, “hidden” as an article. We really dislike when we discover that content from a previously trusted source turns out to be just a long advertisement, and we will never do that to our visitors/readers/customers.
Along the same lines, we will never write an endorsement article after getting paid to do so by a company or organization. Again, that would be a giant advertisement masquerading as real content on our site – totally unacceptable, even if we are writing the content. Now, we do provide affiliate links in our articles if we happen to mention a company, product, or service we believe in, but we feel that is different than direct endorsement articles: we only get paid if the reader makes a purchase on the linked site, and we are not getting paid by the company or organization with the direct specific intent of advertising a particular product or service. In other words, accepting paid content or writing paid endorsement articles breaks the win-win-win structure of affiliate links mentioned above: readers/visitors/customers will no longer be able to trust that we are providing unbiased recommendations, if some number of articles are paid for directly by the advertising company or organization.
You might encounter testimonials on Engineering Your FI from people who have purchased our products or services. These testimonials reflect the personal opinions and/or experiences of the author writing the testimonial, and do not reflect our opinions. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any testimonial content, and thus you should not assume that you will achieve the same or better outcome when purchasing our products or services as the authors of the testimonials. Each testimonial is exactly as written by the author, though we may reach out to the author if possible to verify they are OK with correcting any spelling or grammatical errors.
We will never pay anyone for testimonials, but we may provide a free copy or instance of a new product or service to groups of people that can provide feedback which we use to refine the product or service. If we use a testimonial from someone that received a free copy or instance of one of our products or service, we will note that next to the testimonial. Transparency is very important to us at Engineering Your FI – we do not want readers/visitors/customers wondering if the praise they read for our products or services is “bought” in any way, even if it’s simply receiving a free copy of the product or service.
Section 107 of the US copyright law explains what unlicensed uses of copyright-protected are permitted, “such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research”.
If we do employ copyrighted content on our website, and/or in products or services, it is because we believe such use constitutes fair use under section 107. We also always provide attribution to the original source if at all possible.
Changes to Disclaimer
Many (most?) sites will state that their Disclaimer policy is subject to change without notice, or at most the “effective date” at the top of the Disclaimer page will be updated and users are expected to regularly review the Disclaimer policy in detail. Of course this means they could radically change the Disclaimer policy, and very few (if any) users would be aware of that happening. That doesn’t sit well with us.
So, while we reserve the right to change our Disclaimer policy at any time, we will do our best to communicate any significant changes via email to our users, with a “plain language” explanation of the changes. We will also update the effective date at the top of this page. For changes we deem non-significant, e.g. fixing a typo or grammatical error, we will not bother spamming all our readers – we will just update the effective date at the top of this page.
If you continue to use the site and/or our products and/or services after the Disclaimer policy is modified, that use constitutes your acceptance and agreement to the latest version of our Disclaimer policy.
As with any other content on Engineering Your FI, if you have any questions regarding this Disclaimer and/or our affiliation with any company, product, or service that we recommend and/or link to, please don’t hesitate to contact us.