socially responsible investing - field of flowers

How would you like to earn a little money while also making the world a better place? That’s the premise behind socially responsible investing, a relatively new movement that aims to change investing from a purely profit-driven endeavor to one that incorporates your personal values as well. It’s a cool idea. But does it work? I talked to a number of financial advisors with a wide range of opinions on this topic to get a better sense of what socially …

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Recently, I had the pleasure of reading the excellent personal finance book All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Wealth by Laura Vanderkam. Early on in the book (starting on page 30 in the hardcover edition), Laura offers up a pretty interesting little thought experiment. To paraphrase her idea, she simply asks this single simple question: What exactly would you do if you had $10,000 to spend on whatever you wanted? Let’s assume that you …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Just opened store credit card 2. Cooking site 3. Fiction writing 4. Tips or philosophy? 5. Piecing together car accident 6. Homemade laundry soap and HE 7. Finance with low capital 8. Banking system and government trust 9. Vanguard funds in another 401(k) 10. Personal loans from Upstart …

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Spring is here, and you know what that means. It’s time to enjoy the beautiful weather — and hold on to your wallet. Because as the Earth renews itself and new life springs forward, we tend to seek out some form of renewal in our own lives, too — whether it’s new curtains or a new car. Other times, all it takes is a sale on sandals or warm-weather gear to incite a spring spending spree that wreaks havoc on our finances. Spring money …

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Recently, I had the opportunity to read the wonderful book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. This book actually served as something of a capstone for a lot of thinking and reading I’ve been doing lately about my own professional and personal directions. The Problem The problem that really started this journey was my sense that my focus on the task at hand and my ability to learn new things was growing a …

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Several weeks ago, I made a new commitment. I decided I would no longer purchase any beverages for myself besides water. Now, note that my pledge is a little different than saying “I’m going to drink only water.” The big difference is that I won’t turn down a non-water beverage that someone else purchases for me. If a friend buys some interesting craft beer with the intent to share it, I won’t turn it down. If someone offers me a …

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The house I grew up in had a pretty limited square footage, something I notice every time I visit my parents. It’s essentially a two bedroom house with what amounts to a storage closet converted into a third bedroom when absolutely needed. The living room is very small and the kitchen is pretty tiny as well. I grew up there with my parents and two older brothers. There were also periods where my mother’s younger brothers lived with us, too. …

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When my husband and I got married in 2005, we made a pact that certain things would (or wouldn’t ever) happen again. None of it was out of the ordinary; it was just the regular stuff people promise one another when they tie the knot. In sickness and in health, for rich and for poor, ’til death do us part… and, as an added bonus, I would never have to work in food service again. This was a joke between …

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After a 16-year partnership, Costco announced the end of its relationship with American Express late last year. Sadly, this news also served as the death knell for Costco’s popular co-branded credit card, which was offered through American Express. But Costco wasn’t quitting the credit card game – not by a long shot. Instead of partnering with American Express, they said, they would launch a new co-branded credit card with the help of Citigroup and Visa. While Costco credit card users …

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When I look out in the driveway at my car, what I honestly see is nothing more than something that will reliably get me from point A to point B. To me, that’s the purpose of a car. When I buy a car, that’s what I’m looking for – the best deal on something that will get me reliably from point A to point B, ideally with the least use of gasoline to save on fuel costs. When others look …

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