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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

The Meaning of the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Mickey writes in: In the last week, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at a thirteen month high and, at the same time, unemployment hit double digits for the first time since the early eighties. I thought that the Dow Jones was supposed to represent how the economy was doing, but that’s not the case. …

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 …

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 …

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 …