Best Money Tips: The Best Investment Vehicle

By Will Chen on 25 February 2008 4 comments
Photo: kanjiroushi

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips roundup!

The most powerful investment idea. Trent at The Simple Dollar has read a small mountain of personal finance and investing books in the last couple of years, and he has found one powerful idea presented across a wide swath of investment books: invest your money in index funds. The Simple Dollar

101 new uses for everyday things. For example, check out what you can do with a lemon.

  • Decorate on the cheap. Fill a glass bowl with lemons for a sunny centerpiece. Or display a row of them along a windowsill.
  • Shine the interior of copper cookware. Sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub.
  • Brighten laundry whites. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the wash cycle of a normal-size load.
  • Whiten fingernails. Rub a wedge on the surface of your nails. Real Simple

Your life insurance's premium may skyrocket unexpectedly. Most of the life insurance policies sold in the past 25 years do not have a guaranteed premium--which means the insurance company can increase premiums dramatically (as high as 50%) at any time. Gen X Finance

12 tips for preparing your house for sale. Little things like fertilizing your lawn two weeks before putting your house on the market can make a big difference. Five Cent Nickel

Kiplinger's model all-stock portfolio for long-term investors. For investors looking for simplicity. Not everyone will agree with the allocation, but this formula is a good starting point for your analysis. All Financial Matter

  • 35% Large-Cap Domestic Stocks
  • 25% Small-Cap Domestic Stocks
  • 25% Large-Cap International Stocks
  • 10% Real Estate Investment Trust
  • 5% International Emerging Markets

How to handle a door-to-door salesman. You're a smart person, but you're also a nice person, and sometimes your niceness overpowers your intelligence. To overcome this, stick to this rule: Never buy anything if you did not initiate the transaction. Get Rich Slowly

How the game of Life teaches personal finance. One of the best lessons in the game is that kids are expensive: "Quite often, you'll land on a space that will charge you so much per kid for this or that. If you have a carload of kids, you end up paying a boatload of money." What a great way to hint to your kids that they are a burden to you. Free Money Finance

Deadline approaching for opening a Roth IRA, traditional IRA, or ESA for 2007. If you want to make contributions to a Roth IRA, a Traditional IRA, or a Coverdell ESA for 2007, you need to make them before April 15th. No Credit Needed

Your guide to the tax rebate. Lots of great answers from Karen Datko. For example:

  • The rebate is tax-free.
  • "Stimulus payments will not count toward or negatively impact any other income-based government benefits, such as Social Security benefits, food stamps and other programs."
  • Who won't get a rebate? College students who can be claimed as dependents, and people whose AGI is $87,000 or more ($174,000 for married couples).

7 pairs of easily confused money terms. Can't keep track of the difference between tax deduction and tax credit, penny and cent, or pre-qualification and pre-approval? For example, here's an explanation of APR vs. APY, which is a must read for anyone selecting a new credit card or interest bearing accounts:

APR vs. APY. Annual percentage rate (APR) is the yearly cost of a mortgage or other loan, including any interest, insurance, and origination fees, expressed as a percentage. It is the product of the periodic rate and the number of periods per year. APR does not take into account the effects of compounding.

Annual percentage yield (APY) is the effective interest rate, and is always higher than the corresponding APR, except in the case of annual compounding, in which case APR and APY are equal. APY is one plus the periodic rate, raised to the power of the number of periods in a year, and from this value one is subtracted. As an example, for a credit card with an APR of 12%, on which interest accrues monthly, the APY is (1 + 0.01)12 - 1 x 100% = 12.68%. Mighty Bargain Hunter

Smart women marry for money. Personal finance issues are the leading cause of divorce. Marrying someone who has the same financial values as you do can save your marriage. Consumerism Commentary (and send your "love will conquer all" emails to Ginger at Girls Just Want to Have Funds)

What worries wealthy people. Believe it or not, around half of them worry about running out of money. Good to know that's haunting Donald Trump's mind as he considers whether or not to fire the person who brushes his hair piece every morning. Free Money Finance

Hillary and Barack's plans for your credit cards. They have both called for credit card reform. Check out the details of their plan at the Alpha Consumer. If you're not satisfied, I'm sure Ralph Nader will be more than happy to come up with tougher reforms.

12 ways to save even more money. Have you considered getting an energy audit? Frugal Duchess

Articles suggested by our readers

Quote of the week:

The other day a friend of mine told me how to catch a gopher. At first I was perplexed.

 

"Why do you want to catch a gopher?" I asked.

 

"To eat him!" was the matter of fact reply with an implied "Duh!" for punctuation.

 

"Oh!" I answered, and a light went on in my head....

 

Penny Pinscher on Redneck Economics

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Will Chen's picture

thanks! 

Guest's picture
chrylis

Unfortunately, the description of APR is incorrect. The entire purpose behind using APR is to compensate for the effect of different compounding periods and one-time fees. The distinction that MBH is trying to make is properly made between APR and the simple "interest rate", which does *not* take compounding into account.

Guest's picture
carlos9

Hi, now days there are lots of websites are offering financial news and help, I know one among of them called easystockalerts.com. It allows you to get the news before it even appears on the web. It's like having a Bloomberg terminal at your desk, but only better! No spam, just very useful, actionable investment ideas.