Investing

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 …

Investment Options For The Intermediate-Term

… 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 …

5 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 – 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 …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

The Short and Long Term Choices

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 …

Thoughts on Investing with Added Personal Value

A while back, I wrote about my best friend (besides my wife), John. John doesn’t spend money on frivolous things at all – he spends way less than he earns and is really careful with his money, saving up for the future. He lives in a very small apartment in a poor neighborhood, bicycles to …

Categories: Investing

9 Ways I Use Google Calendar For Bill Payment

Over the last year, I’ve been gradually moving away from a paper calendar (I used a Moleskine desk diary for it) to using Google Calendar for keeping track of all of my appointments, important dates, bill payment, and other such information. It’s been a slow process – I’ve been using paper calendars for more than …

The Best Money Advice, in Ten Words or Less

About a week ago, I challenged my followers on Twitter to give me their best single piece of money advice in ten words or less. I was flooded with responses. After spending quite a bit of time sifting through them, here are the fifty best pieces of advice that came my way (out of well …

The Time Cost of Investing: Does Obliviousness Pay Off?

One aspect of buy-and-hold investing in low-cost index funds that has always attracted me is that there is an extremely low time cost. Once you have the initial investments in place, there is virtually no time cost at all. All you have to do is invest maybe half an hour a year rebalancing the investments …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

15 Ways to Get Started on Snowflaking

One of the best personal finance articles I’ve ever read is Snowflaking: A Primer, at I Paid For This Twice Already. Here’s an excerpt so that you get the idea: Snowflaking is a spinoff of the Snowball approach to debt reduction popularized by Dave Ramsey. With the Debt Snowball method, you figure out what amount …

Personal Finance and The Black Swan

Recently, I’ve been reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book The Black Swan. Most of the book has to do with economics and mathematics and is not very relevant to personal finance at all, so I won’t bother doing a detailed review here. However, there are two pieces of the book that I think are worth talking …

Review: Oblivious Investing

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. The second I picked up Oblivious Investing by Mike Piper, I was immediately reminded of Michael Mihalik’s excellent Debt Is Slavery. The two books have much in common. They’re written by people who aren’t personal finance gurus – instead, they just bring a lot …

What’s Next After Retirement Savings?

Quite often, financially intelligent young professionals get out of school, start in the professional world, and actually stick quite strongly to the “spend less than you earn” mantra. They fund their Roth IRAs and their 401(k)s, but they still find themselves spending much less than they’re bringing in. And they wonder what’s next. “Fred” writes …

Some Thoughts on Haggling

A very kind reader recently sent me a link to a fascinating article at Salon.com entitled How I Learned to Haggle. The article outlines a woman’s experience with haggling, culminating with the author actually requesting a discount at a dollar store: So before I can think too hard about it, I drive to my kids’ …

Personal Finance 101: What Is a Bond?

Pros and Cons of Bonds Amy writes in: You often talk about investing in bonds. I don’t even understand what bonds are, let alone how to invest in them! Well, let’s start at the beginning. What Is a Bond? To put it simply, a bond is a way for an investor to buy a piece …

Some Thoughts on Investing For Your Kids

As I mentioned before, I started saving for my children’s college education as early as I possibly could – in mid-2005 for my son and in mid-2007 for my daughter. In each case, I opened up a 529 plan with myself as a beneficiary as soon as we knew the child was coming, then I …

Categories: Investing, Parenting

Riding the Market Up

Ada writes in: Like you, I think the stock market is near the bottom right now and will go up greatly in the next three to five years. I have some extra cash (about $10K) but I don’t know exactly what to do with it to get on board. How would you do it? In …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

Understanding CD Rates

Dennis writes in with the following question about CD rates: My credit union has CDs. The rate for a three-month CD is 1.88% while the rate for a one-year is 2.37%. Is my math reading correctly when I come out with $2.37 (on a $100 deposit) for 1 year but if I chose to deposit …

Categories: Investing

Tips For Low Risk Investments

Jamie writes in: I’m twenty eight years old and am now debt free. I’d like to start investing, but I have almost no tolerance for risk. I don’t mind not earning a great return because of this, but the thought of losing any of my investment makes me feel very uncomfortable. Any suggestions? Before I …

Categories: Investing