Investment and Saving

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest” — Benjamin Franklin

Riding Out Market Storms

Volatility can make your stomach churn, and the volatility of an unstable stock market causes even the most-savvy investors to reach for the Pepto-Bismol. So you may be surprised to hear stock market volatility can actually be a good thing — at least for your retirement savings. Say you are investing $500 in a stock mutual …

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Understanding Women Investors

Tips for Marketing to Women Provide consistent and regular communication. Make frequent telephone contact. That will show her that you are concerned about her and her financial well-being. Return her calls promptly. Visit her in her home or office. By going to her rather than always having her come to you, you will get to …

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Can a Couple with 13 Kids Really Pay Off Their Seven-Bedroom House, Live Debt-Free, and Retire Early?

If you either want to feel extremely inspired or extremely terrible about your own financial habits, head on over to the Washington Post and read the story of the Fatzinger family. Rob and Sam Fatzinger are devout Catholics with thirteen children. Sam is a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her children. Rob, a software tester, earns …

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Are You Spending Too Much Time Trying to Save Money?

Trying to save money on the things you already buy or want to buy is a smart idea, especially considering that according to NerdWallet.com, the average household with credit card debt is carrying $15,310 on its cards. Ouch! Sure, every penny you save counts, but there are smart ways to save and then there are …

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Waiting for Election Results is not an Investment Strategy

This election season has been interesting to say least, but some things never change, including the leading candidates from both parties predicting dire economic consequences if the other is elected. As we listen to the rants of the various politicians, are there any useful political trends that we can consider as investors? Will the person …

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Ten Common Investor Mistakes That Could Tank Your Portfolio – Part Two

In the first part of this series, we learned about five common mistakes that are so easy for investors to make. Maybe you recognized some mistakes in the list that you’ve made in the past or were making in the present. (You’ve fixed it, right?) Here is the second half of our ten-item list. Review …

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Ten Common Investor Mistakes That Could Tank Your Portfolio – Part One

The world of investing can seem incredibly complex, but it doesn’t have to be if you if you stick with a steady game plan and avoid common investor mistakes that are so often fueled by emotion rather than logic. In this article and a subsequent one, we cover ten mistakes that so many undisciplined investors …

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Did You Know That You Can Use Whole Life Insurance for Risk Management?

For many Americans, the idea of “life insurance” only brings to mind a simple term life insurance policy. Term life insurance is the most popular form of life insurance, but it is far from the only option on the market. In fact, insurance companies offer a wide array of life insurance products in order to …

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Should You Invest Your Retirement Savings in Indexed Mutual Funds?

When you invest in an actively managed mutual fund, you are investing in expertise. In exchange for an industry average yearly fee of 1.24% of the money you invest, you get a fund manager and a group of analysts who spend their days trying to pick the investments that will earn you the most money …

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What Do You Want Your Retirement to Look Like?

We all know the process. Estimate how much money you will need in retirement (which can range anywhere from 70% to over 100% of your pre-retirement income), determine your available income sources (like pensions and Social Security payments), and then calculate how much you will need to save annually so that you can retire on …

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How Much Flexibility Is Too Much In Your Financial Plan?

When it comes to your financial plan, it is important to maintain enough flexibility so that your plan can accommodate unexpected events that are out of your control. On the other hand, a sound financial plan needs to be firmly grounded by factors you can control so that even in the face of unexpected events, …

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Why You Deserve a Dream Bucket Even If You’re Just Making Ends Meet

In his latest bestseller, Money Master The Game, Tony Robbins encourages his readers to create a dream bucket for themselves. This is basically a piggy bank for your dreams where you save the money that will finance that things you’ve secretly been holding inside your heart. Maybe it’s money to go back to school and …

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How Understanding the Female Brain Can Make You a More Savvy Investor

In the book, Unleash the Power of the Female Brain, Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a psychiatrist and brain imaging expert, imaged the brains of 46,000 men and women. He compared the blood flow and activity patterns between male and female brains and found significant differences. In summarizing his finding, Dr. Amen reported that female brains …

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Don’t Freak Out About the Stock Market – Stocks Are Just On Sale

Oh, we humans and our funny brains. We all hate losing money for all the obvious reasons, but our brains may actually make us fear the loss even more than we should. When it comes to a quickly deflating stock market, our loss-averse brains could lead us to make emotional, fear-based decisions that will lock …

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Five Preventable (and Expensive) Mistakes Almost Every New Investor Makes

When you first start investing, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily rollercoaster of the stock market or to give into your urge to “beat” the market by trading stocks on your own. However, study after study shows that the majority of investors would be best served by investing their money into plain …

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If You Sold Investments Last Year, You’ll Need to Figure Out Your Cost Basis for Tax Time

If you sold stocks or mutual funds last year, hopefully you made a tidy profit (whoo-hoo!). Of course, Uncle Sam wants his cut of the profits, which are considered capital gains. The tax you owe will depend on your income bracket and how long you’ve owned the investments. If you owned them for a year …

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Are Bonds Safer Than Stocks?

Bonds are debt instruments issued by the U.S. government, state and local governments, corporations, and foreign entities. The issuer borrows money and promises to pay back the debt plus interest twice a year. If the issuer goes bankrupt, bond holders will be paid before stock holders. Here are some key elements of bonds: Principal or …

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Managing Inherited Wealth

Dream or Nightmare? Money Can Be Both Tamara had dreamed that one day she’d have wealth. One day she did, but it came as a nightmare rather than a dream, when a fiery plane crash killed her husband and two of her four children. For five long years she battled the airline at fault for …

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Chicken Little Investing

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling” cried Chicken Little.  Some investors may agree.  What should you do If you find the stock market plummeting. 1.  Don’t panic. Remember that panic is not an effective, long-term investment strategy. But when the Nasdaq plunges as much as 5% a day for several days running, it’s hard …

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Surfing The Business Cycle

Selecting stocks can be tough. But stock selection is much easier once you understand stock market and economic cycles. Diversification is key. To build a portfolio, you should own several different stocks in several of the eight market sectors: consumer cyclicals, technology, financial, energy, industrials, basic materials, consumer non-cyclicals and utilities. Decide which of the …

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Home Improvements — A Good Investment or Not?

Making changes to your home can disrupt your life, and it can be harmful to your finances as well. Before you decide on your next home improvement project, check out how much it will improve your home’s value. According to figures from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is …

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4 Credit Score Secrets

So you want to buy a car or a house? How about get a credit card or a mobile phone? You won’t get any of those things until they check your credit score. There are three main credit scoring agencies – Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. They each issue credit reports showing your creditors’ names, …

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5 steps you can take to ease your financial transition from divorce

Just because your marriage went down the drain, doesn’t mean your money has to follow. The emotional burden of a divorce can be overwhelming. Now add to that the financial adjustments you have to go through and it becomes frightening. But don’t fret, there are certain steps you can take to get your “Divorce and …

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Patience is a Virtue

Is the recent stock volatility in the market making your head spin? You’ve probably heard the comparison between the current stock market and a roller coaster ride. Both have a lot of sudden ups and downs that can make keeping your lunch down a chore. But ask yourself this question- when the roller coaster is …

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Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie!

Do your kids think you’re made of money? Does it seem like every time you turn around your forking out dough to your kids? Maybe, it’s time to start teaching them the meaning of that old expression, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” Here are some helpful ideas to make them start respecting the hard work …

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Building Wealth Basics

5 Basic building blocks that will  start you on the road to financial freedom. When the great master told her pupil, “You must first learn to walk before you can run.” She could have very well been giving financial advice. Wealth building is a result of organization, planning, and motivation. Take these 5 tips to …

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On-Line Investment Information

Love to browse on-line? Use the Web to locate valuable investment information. In today’s computer driven era, it seems there’s nothing you can’t find on the Internet. For all you investors out there, or even those of you thinking about investing, the Internet is a goldmine of free information. Whether it’s a company conference call, …

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Social Security Retirement? Plan for Social In-Security…

Thinking Social Security is a major source of retirement income? Think Again. If you’re counting on Social Security as a major part of your retirement income…watch out! The Social Security system is increasingly strained. With people living longer and better health care, more and more people are drawing benefits. To give you an idea:  In …

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A Penny Saved

Before saying you have no money to save, check out the “Latte Factor.” This may be a savings strategy you’ve overlooked when looking for ways to save money. What is the “Latte Factor”?  Let’s make up an example. Tom is a 23 year old, working in an office somewhere, and not getting paid a whole …

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Be Safe, Not Sorry

What Steps Can You Take Now to  Protect the Security of Your Family? One of your first financial goals should be protecting your family’s security from a financial crisis.  To do this, you need to look at four things: First, it’s important to have enough insurance in all major areas. These major areas are life, …

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Your Investment Strategy

Volatile Times in the Market Raise Lots of Questions. Wondering how to invest and what to invest in? Your first step should be to formulate an investment strategy. To do that, ask yourself these questions concerning your exceptions and preferences.  What period of time are you investing for?A short-term investor needs the money in one …

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What’s Your Risk Factor?

To help you figure out your relationship to risk, we’ve created a short quiz. Take a few moments to complete it, choosing the answer that best describes you. The results should give you a good idea of how much comfortable you are (or aren’t) with taking risks. When taking this quiz: Answer all questions (guess if you’re not sure) Only check ONE box for …

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A Wise Risk Today Brings Good Fortune Tomorrow

Perhaps it was Confucius who said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Investing for the future is always a game of chance and risk-taking is part of the game plan.  The goal is to make your money grow—keeping ahead of inflation, using interest rates to your advantage in saving and borrowing, riding safely through the ups and …

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Financing Your Home In Today’s Economy

Appraisals are costlier, and the results less favorable. Many would-be home buyers are receiving lower-than-anticipated appraisals on desired properties. Appraisers now will count only comparative property sales during the last three months. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are requiring appraisers to complete additional research and reporting, and many appraisers are charging more for this extra work. Loans …

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Your Investment Rights and Responsibilities

Today’s investments are steps toward tomorrow’s dreams. Whether it’s real estate, stocks, bonds, or another financial product, we buy in hopes that our investments will prosper and help us reach our financial goals. But all investments carry risk. It’s risk that provides the opportunity for money to grow. We as consumers have rights and responsibilities …

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Words of Wisdom from the Founding Fathers

Bring on the picnics, parades, and fireworks—it’s time for our nation’s annual celebration of faith! July Fourth marks one of the world’s great acts of faith when a bold group of American patriots signed their names to the Declaration of Independence and risked everything for the dream of a free and just society. Of course, …

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9 Things Your Great Depression Grandparents Knew About Saving

Are we heading into a Great Depression? Probably not. “While today’s situation does not necessarily imply another Great Depression, the economic downturn and those comparisons can encourage us to turn worry into a positive,” said Ethan Ewing of Bills.com. “Consider the lessons learned from the Great Depression and apply some of your grandparents’ financial knowledge …

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Mortgage Troubles: Options to consider

Foreclosure proceedings threatened over two million Americans last year, and almost 900,000 homes were repossessed in 2008. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, here are seven options to consider, courtesy of Bills.com. 1. Determine if you Qualify for Hope for Homeowners HUD’s Hope for Homeowners program may be able to help you refinance …

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Uncommon Sense: Some Money Rules That Might Surprise You

Most money wisdom is pretty straightforward. You simply have to use your common sense to figure out that it’s good to save for a rainy day, spend wisely on things you really need, and keep a hopeful outlook for your financial future. Sometimes, though, a money rule comes along that calls upon your “uncommon sense” …

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The Dow Jones Industrials

By Virginia Hodge “The Dow reaches new Highs!” blares the television. But what is the Dow? Way back in 1880 a newspaper reporter named Charles Dow began writing for the New York Mail and Express. Later he and Edward Jones formed the Dow Jones News Company, the predecessor to Wall Street Journal. Jones was the …

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Diversify your Portfolio with Mutual Funds

After she was widowed, Mary received a lump sum from her husband’s life insurance policy. Mary needed current income and also wanted to invest for her retirement. Her financial planner, Harriet, suggested mutual funds. Harriet explained that a mutual fund is a professionally managed pool of stocks and/or bonds that provide reduced portfolio risk through …

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Stocks: Getting to Know Them

After Anna received half of a joint stock brokerage account in her divorce, she went to see Sam, a stockbroker recommended by a family friend. Sam quickly found that Anna’s knowledge of investments was slim, so he explained stocks to her. Stocks in a company represent a portion of ownership, called shares, that are bought …

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Lifeboat Drills for Stock Market Investors

An excerpt from the seminar “Surviving the Stock Market” by Carol Kean, fee-only investment adviser. How are your investments affected by emotional vs. rational behavior? That is a real concern for many investors as they analyze the stock market. You must deal with your own emotions as a stock market investor, hanging on as the waves get choppy. But even …

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