Using ETFs for Stock Market Investing

By |April 20th, 2015|

So you want to invest in an equity ETF. But how to go about choosing? Knowing that ETFs are generally index funds, you’ll want to pick an index. And hands down, the most recognized index among US investors is the S&P 500. (I have no scientific evidence for this. But ask any novice investor to name an index and

Reevaluating Risk Evaluation

By |April 17th, 2015|

Risk is a tricky thing. Most of us consider ourselves competent – or even superior – evaluators of risk, yet the world is full of people who take shockingly foolish chances, as well as those who worry needlessly about every outcome, no matter how remote its chances. This indisputable fact does not suggest that we see our risk-assessing capabilities

Think twice before replacing lagging bonds with dividend stocks

By |April 15th, 2015|

Bonds are an important part of any investment strategy. As your time horizon shortens, bonds can be used to reduce the volatility (which should always be read as another word for “risk,” by the way) of your total portfolio. The trade off for this, of course, is that bonds offer lower potential returns than stocks.

Bonds provide interest income, which

A savings plan for the college dilemma

By |April 13th, 2015|

Increasingly, I am seeing opinion and data-based pieces questioning the value of a college education. Exploding student debt rates and outrageous price tags make for flashy headlines and strong opinions, but the pros and cons list is, for lack of a better word, complicated.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I come down on the pro-college side. My parents

Target-Date Funds Take the Guesswork out of Retirement Investing

By |April 10th, 2015|

Target-Date Funds are a big topic in mutual funds right now, for investors and fund companies alike. Investors see them as a one-stop shop for retirement investing. Fund companies have found target-date funds to be a gold mine. Morningstar reports that target date funds account for one third of investment flows for companies that offer them.

The concept of a

5 Reasons I Love my High Deductible Health Plan

By |April 8th, 2015|

It would be difficult to be unaware of the debate surrounding health insurance today.

As the Affordable Care Act jumps into the already-muddied waters surrounding health care and its rising costs, topics for debate and discussion are legion. One of these is the high deductible health plan, or HDHP. Simply put, HDHPs offer lower monthly premiums in return for significantly

Dollar Cost Averaging to Reduce Risk?

By |April 6th, 2015|

Determining the best time to invest can be a nerve wracking business. Ideally, we’d all invest at the market’s low point, and watch our returns climb as we sat back and congratulated ourselves on our stellar timing and market acumen. Alas, we are stuck with real life, where markets are unpredictable and determining the very best time to buy

3 Investments That Can Reduce Your Tax Bill

By |April 3rd, 2015|

Investments with tax benefits are an attractive option for diversifying your portfolio. The IRS offers tax breaks for savings goals such as retirement and education, but you can reduce your taxes further by looking beyond these options. The following products either offer tax-free earnings, or are more tax-efficient than many people realiz
1. Municipal Bonds
Municipal bonds are those issued by

Understanding IRAs for Retirement Savings

By |April 1st, 2015|

IRAs, or Individual Retirement Arrangements, are important retirement savings vehicles. IRAs offer the potential for tax-advantaged saving, which is especially important for anyone without access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

In order to make IRAs easier to grasp, think of a book with a cover. The underlying investment is the book, while the IRA is the cover. The cover tells

Take care of today so you can dream about tomorrow

By |March 30th, 2015|

It’s easy to feel inadequate when it comes to your retirement savings, especially since there is no lack of motivation to make you feel that way. Bloggers like me get to sound smart when we scare you with what is essentially basic math; investment companies get to come to your rescue with savings vehicles; and there is, of course,

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