• 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • Living off Capital

    Philip Brewer is perhaps my favorite personal finance blogger. I thoroughly enjoy his writings and I’ve told him so in the past. A few months ago, I offered him a very rare guest post slot here at The Simple Dollar so I could share his writing more directly with you all. This is the article …

  • Investing without Goals Is Like Golfing without a Putter…

    … you might make some general progress, but when you finally come close to the target, it will be very difficult for you to hit that shot. Time and time again, people write to me and ask questions about how they should be investing their money. “I have $5,000 in savings – how should I …

  • Investing Isn’t Just for Rich People: Five Ways Anyone Can Reap the Rewards of Investing

    Quite a few readers simply tune out when I mention investments. They don’t believe the topic applies to them at all. “How can I possibly worry about investing when I can barely put food on the table?” they’ll ask. The answer is simple: virtually every single person has the resources with which to begin investing. …

  • The Stock Market Is Rebounding Big Time – Should I Care?

    Since mid-March, the S&P 500 is up almost 58% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up almost as much. If you opened your retirement savings at the end of the first quarter this year and looked at the numbers with a cringe, it’s likely that if you looked at the numbers right now, you’d …

  • The Short Term and the Long Term Choice

    For many people, junk food is a serious temptation. It helps them feel a sense of comfort. It provides a quick burst of flavor. It helps them de-stress. It provides an energy boost at an opportune moment. In the short term, it’s a big gain. In the long term, though, it’s a different story. It …