Can Individual Investors Beat the Stock Market?

You’d be surprised how often I’m asked some variation on this question. People will write in to me asking me whether they should buy an index fund (in other words, they would own a little bit of a LOT of stocks and ride the averages of the stock market), a managed mutual fund (where someone else actively chooses stocks for them), or whether they should just pick stocks for themselves. […]

How Often Do You Rebalance Your Investments?

The book Never Buy Another Stock Again: The Investing Portfolio that Will Preserve Your Wealth and Your Sanity has the following thoughts on rebalancing investments: Rebalancing has many benefits. […]

Capital One Venture Card Matching Miles Being Credited

I just received an e-mail about the Capital One Venture Card matching miles promotion from a reader that I’ll call Jason. In it, he wrote: I applied for the Capital One Venture Card back when you first talked about their “matching miles” promotion. I got the card, spent $1000, and have already received the 100k in matching miles. Thanks! He also sent a screenshot as proof. […]

Pay Off Car Loan or 0% APR Credit Card First?

I always like questions about debt pay-off strategies because they’re partly about math and partly about psychology. The numbers are very important, and debt payoff strategies should not be planned or implemented without a good understanding of the long-term financial consequences. […]

Playing Credit Card Roulette

Love to gamble but don’t live close to a casino? Why not give credit card roulette a shot? […]

Over $1k to Be a Bridesmaid?

As a guy, I've never been a bridesmaid (of course.) So I was surprised when Main Street detailed the cost of being one as follows: According to the Wedding Report, a bridesmaid can expect to spend an average of $1,009 on everything from dresses to traveling for a wedding. And from another source: The following estimates on what bridesmaids pay: Engagement gift - $50 Shower gift - $50 […]

Reader Mailbag: Time for Games

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Removing credit card users 2. Making your own shoes 3. Clothing budget for teenage girl 4. Board games for two 5. Too tenacious on debt repayment? 6. Getting child out of nest 7. Car opportunities 8. […]

Are We in the Next Tech Bubble?

Paul La Monica shares my concern that today’s market is reminiscent of the dot-com bubble of 1999. The bubble, if it exists, would be evident in higher than expected valuations for private companies like Facebook ($75 billion) and Groupon ($25 billion), not to mention Huffington Post’s recent sale to AOL for $315 million. […]

Hard Work + Smart Investing + Frugality = $1,000,000

CNN Money has a slideshow called “Meet the millionaires” in which they share a bunch of infographic-type statistics about millionaires. […]

4 Reasons Why a Roth IRA May be Better Than Your 401(k)

Retirement planning is wrought with "rules of thumb," asset allocation recommendations, compound return assumptions, pension and/or Social Security income calculations, inflationary expectations, and more. Getting to "that perfect number" is an effort in futility unless you can see into the future with perfect clarity. […]

Emergency Preparedness on a Shoestring

This post is from new GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes a personal finance column for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. Images of devastation emerged after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. We watched water sweep away vehicles and houses; we saw stunned men and weeping women in the ruins. […]

Common Household Poisons and How to React

[NOTE: If you need immediate assistance with common household poisons, remain calm and call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.] What’s the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States (after motor vehicle crashes)? […]

Best Money Tips: Teaching Young Ones Frugality

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on teaching young ones about frugality, ways to increase your income, and how to live on $40,000 or less. Top 5 Articles Little Steps for Teaching Young Ones Frugality — Teach your kids about frugality by having them save leftover food for future dinners. […]

How to Make a Piggy Bank

I'm normally a debit swiping, credit-card carrying shopper who rarely makes cash purchases. However, this year I'm using cash a little more than usual which equates to coins rolling around the bottom of my purse, backpack, car, and pockets. […]

How Debt Can Be Good for You

Is debt good? Yes… At times it can even be great for you. As a general rule, I encourage you to avoid debt like the plague. I stand by that in the vast majority of cases, but there are some situations where you really benefit by having debt. […]

The One Step to Save the Most on a Car Purchase

The Bucks Blog lists the one tip it believes will save you a bundle on a car purchase as follows: If you’re in the market for a new car and don’t want to buy it online, here’s a helpful car shopping tip from When you walk into the dealer, ask to work with an Internet salesman rather than the traditional sales staff. According to, this strategy can lead to savings of “h […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thu 3/31, 12pm Pacific for Chance to Win Prizes

Join our Tweetchat this Thursday at 12:00 pm Pacific for lively conversation and a chance to win prizes! Use #WBChat to participate. This week's topic: Balancing charity with frugality. Where do you draw the line between being generous and taking care of yourself? […]

Get back in the saddle

What’s your reaction when you experience a setback, face a failure, or feel challenged? Admit defeat. Never try again. Make the same mistake twice. Take a forever break. Or do you get back in the saddle? Look at your track record. When you’ve fallen off the financial horse and have drained your budget buying bunk, what did you do to improve? […]

Is Formal Personal Finance Education a Failure? Some Thoughts on Improving It

When I was in high school, I took a consumer education proficiency test and passed it with flying colors, demonstrating that I had the knowledge needed to manage my own money and be a savvy shopper. Within ten years, I was buried in debt. This isn’t an experience that’s unique to me. […]

Help a Reader: Beginning Investor

Here's an email I recently received from a reader: I am starting to invest on my own so I'm moving from a broker managed account to an online broker trading website (TD Ameritrade). I have three acounts: A rollover IRA with about $40k, but I can't add to this amount for tax reasons unless it's another 401(k) from a job change. An individual account with about $25K. I will be opening a regu […]