Investing

Building Passive Income Streams

As time goes on, the value of having multiple income streams becomes more and more apparent to me. The more income streams you have, the less trouble your life will have if one of those income streams goes defunct or experiences a downturn. Thus, I’ve been thinking a great deal about developing more income streams …

Review: The Power of Passive Investing

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. Passive investing is a strategy that has a great deal of appeal to me, so I was quite eager …

Categories: Books, Investing

Saving IS Investing

One common question I get from readers appears in this type of email: Dear Trent, My husband and I are finally on the path to financial freedom. We have only a debt or two remaining and have built up an emergency fund. We would like to start investing. Please tell us how. Signed, Sally Saver …

Categories: Investing

Some Deeper Thoughts on Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending

A few weeks ago, I gave a somewhat negative opinion of P2P lending sites such as Lending Club and Prosper. Here’s what I said about them: Quite honestly, if I were going to invest my nickels and dimes into peer-to-peer lending, I’d probably do it with Kiva and not worry that much about a return. …

When Investment Banks Fail, What Happens to the Little Guy?

One of the most frightening things (to me) about the 2008 investment bank failures of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns coupled with the fraud of Bernie Madoff is the impact it had on individual investors who had used these groups as a means to invest. It’s no different than what most of us do with …

Categories: Investing

Can Investing in Collectibles Really Work?

Kevin writes in: I have a small collection of vintage baseball cards from the 1930s that have a list value of about $30,000. I started collecting when I was a kid and my grandpa gave me some to start with, but over the years I’ve bought many more, almost completing a Goudey Heads Up set. …

Review: The Little Book of Commodity Investing

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. Commodity investing is one of those areas of personal finance that I simply don’t know much about. When I think about commodity investing, I think of listening to an AM station where a dry-voiced announcer is saying, “February soybeans two …

Categories: Books, Investing

For a Beginning Investor, the Costs of Investing Can Be Painful

I’m going to make a little illustration about investments using the stock of Verizon (VZ) as an example. On September 18, 2009, a share of stock in Verizon closed at 29.59. In the following months, Verizon issued four dividends of $0.475 per share. On September 24, 2010, a share of stock in Verizon closed at …

Conservative or Aggressive: How Does a New Investor Know What to Do?

If you’ve read the reader mailbags for a while, you’ve noticed that I often get messages from people who have worked their way into a good financial place and now have some money to invest, often for the first time in their life. They look around, watch CNBC, read investment advice online and in books, …

Review: The Investor’s Manifesto

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. The Four Pillars of Investing, an earlier book by William Bernstein, was one of my favorite books I’ve ever read on investment topics. It was intellectually challenging, offered great investment advice, and stuck to reasonably conservative investment plans – in …

Categories: Books, Investing

Review: The Little Book of Behavioral Investing

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest to readers of The Simple Dollar. If you’ve been reading The Simple Dollar for a while, you know that I love the “Little Book” series by Wiley Publishing. It’s a book series of small, relatively short hardbacks with about twenty …

Categories: Books, Investing

Investing and the Time You Have

Martin writes in: I’m glad to see you’re writing reviews of books like Payback Time instead of just blindly preaching about index funds. You’ll never make real money with them. I’m including Martin’s note because he’s actually right: you’ll never be able to beat the market with an index fund. But that’s not the point …

Categories: Investing

Here’s a Guaranteed Way to Maximize Your Investment Returns

I have discovered a surefire way to drastically increase the returns you get on all of your investments, no matter what you’re investing in. If you follow this advice, I guarantee that if you have a winning investment now (even if it’s just barely in the positive), my tip will strongly improve the cash that …

Categories: Frugality, Investing

Review: Payback Time

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. A few years ago, I read and really enjoyed Phil Town’s first investment book, Rule #1 (you can read my review here). Town actually contacted me after reading my review and offered a few thoughts on my comments on the …

Categories: Books, Investing

Review: The Retirement Savings Time Bomb… And How to Defuse It

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or related book of interest. For a long time, I avoided reading this book. The title seemed unnecessarily fear-mongering and apocalyptic to me and that’s a subgenre of personal finance books that I really have no interest in. Personal finance has such a profound power …

Categories: Books, Investing, Retirement

Deflation? Hyperinflation? What Do I Do?

I absolutely love tuning into talk radio stations. It’s hucksterism at its most entertaining – the selling of fear is palpable and the line between content and commerical is so blurry I can’t tell if the host is on an economic rant or trying to sell me on a gold broker. Regardless of whether you …

Pay Off Debt or Invest? Think About Your Rate of Return

Andrew writes in: My girlfriend and I bought a home last year and qualify for the First Time Homebuyer Credit. When you include my share of this, I will be getting back around $4500 in my tax refund. This is a lot of money to me and I’m trying to decide what to do with …

Categories: Investing

Review: The Elements of Investing

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. The Elements of Investing by Burton G. Malkiel and Charles D. Ellis is a nice small volume, reminiscent in size and length to one of the Little Book investment volumes. I chose to pick this up because I highly respect Malkiel’s books A Random …

Categories: Books, Investing

Review: The Little Book of Safe Money

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. The Little Book of Safe Money by Jason Zweig is the ninth book in the “Little Books…” series, which each tackle a particular investing topic or strategy. To date, I’ve reviewed all of the previous books in the series, so here are links to …

Categories: Books, Investing