Month: May 2014

Five Ways To Improve Your Career On The Commute (Without Your Cell Phone)

For many people, the morning and evening commute is time spent stuck in traffic, listening to the radio, or calling their sister-in-law on the cell phone. The truth is that the commute is a great time to actually improve your career. How? Here are five things you can do on the way to or from …

Categories: Careers

Answering A Few Questions From Mutual Fund Week

Here are three interesting questions sent in by readers of the series of mutual fund posts this week. I don’t understand how the companies that run these funds make enough money to make it worthwhile after ads, expenses, and so on. When you look at a mutual fund on Morningstar, you’ll see two key numbers: …

Review: Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life!

Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life is the latest in a long string of books on financial topics from Ben Stein and his regular co-author Phil DeMuth. This one’s premise seems to be of particular interest to twenty- and thirtysomethings looking to get their financial house in order: it’s basically a guide to prudent …

Categories: Books and Reading

Buying Books: How A Frugal Mindset Gradually Changes Your Behavior

Lately, I’ve been noticing a very interesting change in how I do things. It’s been a progression towards frugality, and I thought I would give an example of it using books. Readers of this site know that I’m a very avid reader and that I just truly love holding a new book in my hands …

Money Magazine – April 2007

The April issue of Money Magazine arrived in my mailbox a few days ago and unfortunately stood by itself on my kitchen table for a couple days. I finally opened it – and it was worthwhile. Here are the ten things that really stood out at me from the issue: A nice rule of thumb …

Categories: Money

Mutual Funds vs. Stocks: Which Is Right For You?

As a finale to mutual fund week, I wanted to share my thoughts on the continual debate between mutual funds (especially index funds) and individual stock picking. There are both positives and negatives to each and I hope not to sway you too strongly in one direction or another, because each have their proponents (for …

Five Minute Finances #18: Freeze Your Credit Cards – Literally

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. If the one thing keeping you from cutting up your credit cards is fear that you might someday desperately need …

Making The Case Against Mutual Funds – And Breaking It

After writing all week about how great mutual funds are, it’s important to note that they’re not the be-all end-all of investments. Here are four good arguments for why you should not invest your money in mutual funds. You can’t get exceptional growth from a mutual fund because the skyrocketing investments are held back by …

Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life: Buy or Don’t Buy?

I’ve been a fan of Ben Stein’s financial writings for years, but this is the first book of his that I’ve picked up. Could it possibly be as good as his columns? Is it worth reading at all? I really wanted to like this book. I adore much of the writing of Ben Stein and …

Categories: Books and Reading

Some News And Notes About The Simple Dollar

I have several little bits of news and a few notes to share about The Simple Dollar that somewhat continues a few threads that have been going on on this blog for a while and that readers have asked about with some regularity. I wrote this in the form of a question and answer forum. …

Passion and Personal Finance

A few weeks ago, I listened to the audiobook of Winning by Jack Welch (read my earlier thoughts on Winning). For those unaware, Winning is a book on management practices and career development by Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electric during their big growth years in the 1980s and 1990s. In the book, Welch …

Categories: Careers

Building, Balancing, and Rebalancing A Mutual Fund Portfolio

You’ve read up on mutual funds and you’ve picked a small handful out that you want to invest in. Now what? How can you buy in incrementally and then keep them balanced over time? Here’s a great strategy for building up the portfolio the way you want it, getting it balanced right, and then keeping …

When Your Friends Don’t Care About Personal Finance – And You Do

For a short while, I hung out with a crowd of people who spent money at a level that I could scarcely comprehend. They would go out every night after work and drop a lot of cash, they would all dress exquisitely, and someone had a neat new gadget or item to show off seemingly …

Categories: Careers, Frugality

The Seven Factors I Use When Making A Decision About A Mutual Fund

So how do I pick the funds that I invest in? Although I don’t prescribe this list for everyone, I use seven distinct factors for selcting the funds that I plan to invest in. These factors usually tell me everything I need to know about the fund and whether or not it’s a good choice …

Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life: The 40s (And Beyond)

I’ve been a fan of Ben Stein’s financial writings for years, but this is the first book of his that I’ve picked up. Could it possibly be as good as his columns? Is it worth reading at all? The final portion of the book discusses the march toward retirement and all that it entails: children …

Categories: Books and Reading

What The 1960s Taught Our Parents About Money – And Why We Should Filter Their Financial Advice

To set the mood: The 1960s were the decade in which my parents grew up. Their parents were the so-called Greatest Generation and I, for one, actually think that moniker is appropriate, considering that their childhood was the Great Depression and their early adulthood was fighting World War II, a set of experiences almost beyond …

The Money 70: A Great Place To Start Looking For Mutual Funds

As the latest issue of Money Magazine just arrived in my mailbox (review forthcoming), it occurred to me that a mention of the Money 70 might be in order during Mutual Fund Week here at The Simple Dollar. What is the “Money 70″? The Money 70 is a list of mutual funds selected by Money …

Five Minute Finances #17: Check Your Cell Phone Minutes

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. Depending on your cell phone plan, you may be paying for far more service than you’re using – or not …

Categories: Money

How To Use Morningstar To Evaluate Mutual Fund Choices

With so many mutual funds out there, companies loudly promoting their own funds, and people giving half-baked investment advice, how can we know what funds are really right for us? The best route is to take advantage of independent research, and for me, the best choice for independent research in mutual funds is Morningstar. What …