Investing

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

If you have a mortgage on your home, you’ve probably wondered at least once whether it would be worthwhile to pay it down ahead of schedule. And if so, you’re not alone. The debate over whether to prepay your mortgage has persisted in the personal finance world for some time now, and it’s not going away any time …

Personal Capital Review

As I explained in a few previous posts, I am on a quest to roll over my old 401(k) into a new account with better long-term benefits. I got sidetracked a bit on this series, but today I’m going to review online financial advisor Personal Capital. If there’s one thing I learned from trading the …

Eight Best Places to Retire Abroad (and Enjoy the Good Life for Less)

More than 373,000 Americans had retired abroad by 2013, according to the Social Security Administration, and for various reasons. For some, the decision to retire overseas could be based on a desire to experience different cultures and surroundings. Others may want to be closer to relatives or friends. But for a certain percentage of would-be retirees, the decision to …

Roth IRA vs 401k? You May Not Have to Choose

One of the most common retirement questions I get asked is: Roth IRA or 401(k)? Although both are good options worth considering, the answer isn’t always as straightforward as one might think. Also, it’s crucial for you to understand that you may not even need to pick one or the other. If you’re able to …

Where Do Investment Returns Come From?

The whole point of investing is to give yourself the possibility of earning better returns than you can get from a savings account. If you can find a way to make your money work just a little bit harder for you, maybe you can reach those long-term goals a little bit sooner. But where do …

The Ultimate Work-at-Home Job: Running a Bed and Breakfast

Running a brothel was never part of Debbie Miller’s plan. But 25 years ago, in rural Ohio, there were few people who understood the distinction between a luxury bed and breakfast and a house of prostitution. “The local county commissioners had no idea what a bed and breakfast was,” says Miller. “And because it was a rarity …

Why Taking a Lump-Sum Payout Makes More Sense Than You Think

When I was in sixth grade, a classmate’s grandma won a million dollars in the lottery. This made the front page of our small town’s weekly paper.  Even as a 12-year-old I knew that buying lottery tickets wasn’t a smart investment strategy, but one detail of the story that didn’t make sense was why the lady …

Categories: Investing, Retirement

Three Reasons Teachers Make Good Investors

The average Wall Street bonus was $172,860 in 2014. That’s just a bonus — and it’s more than three times the average high school teacher’s annual salary of $55,000. And yet, America’s teachers have reason to feel pretty smug right now beside their financial industry peers. Sure, summer’s coming, and with it more than two months of guilt-free vacation for most teachers, …

Six Biggest Myths About 529 Plans

By Kathryn Flynn A college degree is worth more today than ever before. In fact, according to a study by Pew Research, young adults with a four-year degree earn around $17,500 more per year on average than those with only a high school diploma. So the question for most families is not “will our children …

Some Thoughts on Riskier Investments

A good friend of mine has about 25% of his net worth tied up in Magic: the Gathering cards. He buys and sells them somewhat frequently, usually buying them privately from people for cash and then selling individual cards from time to time on eBay. He estimated recently that he had approximately $40,000 in cash …

Categories: Investing

Best IRA Accounts of 2015

The best IRA accounts are all about great investing options and low fees. Since tax season is here, now is the best time to make your IRA contributions. Luckily most of the top companies that are home to the same places where you would open up an online stock trading account. In a previous post, …

What Is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor?

If you’re looking for a financial planner, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how they are paid. Financial incentives influence decision-making in even the most critical situations, and your financial planner is no different. How he gets paid can impact the recommendations he makes, and if those recommendations become the foundation of …

Categories: Investing, Retirement

DIY Investing: Choosing the Right Industry at the Right Time

By Gaspar d’Orey Many people consider the stock market an alien and complex thing to grasp. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With some grounding in the basic elements of investing and a little demystification of the terms involved, anyone can further their interest in investing and develop a solid portfolio that will sow …

The Million-Dollar Retirement Question

One question I’ve received several times over the years is what I’ve jokingly called the “million-dollar question” to my wife. It comes in several variations, but generally boils down to two types. The question is either this one: How much would I need in the bank to live the rest of my life on the …

Best Online Stock Trading Brokers for 2015

I’ve had an online stock trading account since I was 13 years old and I’ve used at least a dozen of the best online stock trading platforms. I’ve gained a few “learning experiences” from managing my own account and working as a proprietary day trader in Chicago for several years. There are over 50 online …

What Is Index Investing and Why Does It Work?

There are an almost infinite number of ways to approach investing, but my personal favorite is called index investing. It’s a simple strategy that can yield remarkable results. I use it myself and it’s the strategy I recommend to clients who come to me for investment advice. My goal in this post is to explain …

Why the Fed’s New ‘Rate Checker’ Doesn’t Check Out

By Peter Miller The government is out with a new mortgage rate site, a resource that’s been greeted with cries of outrage from many within the mortgage industry. So what is this site, does it help borrowers save money, and why has there been so much controversy? The government routinely posts information regarding just about …

10 Controversial Investing Strategies

On television and in movies, investing in the stock market is often portrayed as a two-dimensional process where success is simply a matter of buying low and selling high. Of course, the essence of any type of investing is to sell what you have for more than it cost you. The question is how you …

Why You Should Buy Less House Than You Can Afford

When it comes to real estate, the more you spend, the more money everyone makes. And it happens on every level of your home purchase. The costs start adding up once you find the perfect place. According to the National Association of Realtors, real estate agents get paid by taking a percentage of the purchase price of your …

Categories: Housing, Loans, Real Estate

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