Investing

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

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 …

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