Investing

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

12 Things You Need to Know Before Investing in Stocks

A few days ago, our family was driving to a school event together. We were listening to a podcast over the car’s stereo and the host was talking about how they were worried about the stock market being so high. My children are naturally curious creatures and so they wanted to know why this host …

The Five Most Important Factors for Your Investment Success

If you’re new to investing, it’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed. There are strange words to figure out, complicated ideas to understand, new decisions to make, and plenty of conflicting advice about all of it. It’s almost enough to make you want to avoid the topic altogether. But here’s the truth: It doesn’t take a Ph.D. …

Building a Nest Egg Out of Acorns

Let’s face it, investing in the future is no easy task. Taking money that you could spend right now and socking it away for decades takes discipline. That bi-monthly 401(k) paycheck deduction, the big fees wealth managers charge, and all those brokerage commissions… who wants any of it? This is especially true for new investors. Shoveling large chunks of cash …

It’s Insurance, It’s an Investment: It’s Variable Life Insurance

The subject of variable life insurance brings to mind a fake “Saturday Night Live” commercial for a product called Shimmer. In the spoof, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner play a married couple arguing about whether Shimmer is a floor wax or a dessert topping; they ultimately agree it’s both. Variable life insurance is a hybrid that, like …

Categories: Insurance, Investing

Proposed Changes to 529 Plans Would Dampen Their Appeal

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama proposed changes to 529 college plans that may force the 7 million families using them to rethink their college financial game plan. Currently, you can make contributions to a 529 plan, invest those funds, and eventually withdraw the earnings tax-free as long as the money is used for …

How to Invest Small Amounts of Money

My advice to anyone investing a significant amount of money – say, more than $50,000 – is twofold. If you want to be hands-on, buy a rental property. If you want to be hands-off, put it into index funds directly through Vanguard. Unfortunately, that “tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest” scenario is …

Five Inexpensive Home Improvements for Winter

With the holidays behind us, many people are dreading winter and looking forward to the first signs of spring. Since spring is generally best spent tidying up and working on the outside of your property, winter offers a good chance to get the interior of your home in tip-top shape. There are plenty of upgrades you can do yourself with a limited budget, …

Guide to Self-Directed IRAs

The history of retirement plans in the United States is neither as old nor as extensive as most people think. The first private pension fund was introduced by the American Express Co. in 1875 as a means of improving employee retention. By 1900, there were only 13 private pension funds in the entire country, and …

Industries That Are Ripe for Disruption

dis·rupt verb \dis-ˈrəpt\ : to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something). That’s according to Merriam Webster dictionary. Disrupting an industry involves more than just gaining market share from your competitor. It’s a shift in how business is done — the money …

Old Hustle, New Tools: Social Media Investing Scams

“Psssst, over here,” croaked a voice from the shadows somewhere in the alley. “Are youse lookin’ for a hot tip on a cool stock?” Rob looked over his shoulder and from side to side before pointing with his thumb at his own chest like a novice hitchhiker. The voice grew louder as its source, a shady-looking …

Trend Spotting: How Successful Investors Find the Next Big Thing

In “Back to the Future Part II,” Biff Tannen gets rich by using information from the future to make can’t-lose sports bets in the past. While Biff and his special brand of inside information are pure fiction, it is nonetheless a perfect allegory for investment trend spotting. Investment trend spotters seek to gain insight into the future …

What to Know Before Buying Insurance Stocks

Promises, promises. Insurance is all about promises. Policyholders promise to pay their premiums and insurance companies promise to pay claims in a timely manner. On the surface, it’s a straightforward proposition, unless the insurance company can’t afford to pay all its claims. Policyholders are not alone in that fear. For many investors, particularly casual investors, …

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