retirement http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/416/all en-US 6 Ways Digital Nomads Can Save for Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-511054478.jpg" alt="Digital nomads learning how to save for retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is a common misconception that traveling is only about spending money. However, there are many people (myself included) who have figured out how to sock away money for retirement while on the road.</p> <p>Travel offers some surprising advantages when it comes to savings, especially because the cost of living in many foreign countries is much lower than in the U.S. If you're able to eliminate a pricey mortgage or car expense at home, you're already well on your way to saving more than you thought possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford to Live In</a>)</p> <p>You'll need to talk to an accountant about whether you're eligible to contribute to an IRA. If not, you could set up an investment account filled with tax-advantaged investments, or simply stash money in a savings account. Here are ways you can still save for retirement while traveling full-time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year or Less</a>)</p> <h2>Earning an Income Anywhere in the World</h2> <p>The first step is to plan how you can earn an income on the road. There are many ways of doing this, which will depend on your skills, interests, and career goals.</p> <h3>1. Become a Digital Nomad to Earn Money From Anywhere</h3> <p>One option is to move your current business online or find remote jobs that allow you to work from anywhere. If you have experience as a software programmer, a web designer, a graphic artist, or a writer, these jobs can easily be done remotely, giving you the freedom to work from anywhere.</p> <p>Another option is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog?ref=internal" target="_blank">start a travel blog</a>. A blog is not a surefire way of getting rich, but if you're traveling the world, you will likely have a lot of material to write about. Creating quality content and establishing a readership may allow you to eventually monetize your blog. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-social-media-stars-who-earn-way-more-than-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These Social Media Stars Make More Money Than You</a>)</p> <h3>2. Get Short-Term Jobs at Overseas Destinations</h3> <p>Not all travel jobs require a computer. For example, you could work as a divemaster, waiter, or another type of seasonal professional that allows you to have greater flexibility. Some people in these professions work for half a year and travel the other half.</p> <p>Seasonal jobs are a good way to work in a new place while you're traveling. Growing up in a ski town, I saw many foreigners who found jobs at the mountain during the winter. In these types of jobs you may work long hours, but for just a few months out of the year. When you finish the season, you are free to travel, or find another seasonal job somewhere new. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel</a>)</p> <h2>Cutting Costs</h2> <p>An important part of saving for retirement on the road is to cut any costs you can. Luckily, some of these are painless.</p> <h3>3. Eliminate Traditional Living Costs</h3> <p>Traveling full-time means that you don't have to pay housing costs back home. I spent nearly a year traveling after I graduated. I'd never signed a lease, so I didn't have to pay for rent as well as accommodation abroad.</p> <p>If you own a car and a home, you can sell them, cutting out mortgage and car payments, as well as insurance and upkeep. Or, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=internal" target="_blank">rent out your home</a>, turning a cost into an income stream. Airbnb can be a lucrative way of renting out your home short-term and you can make a fair amount of money doing so. If you'll be away for a long time, consider having a friend, family member, or a hired service manage the rental for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Rent Your Place on Airbnb &mdash; and Succeed</a>)</p> <h3>4. Use the Right Travel Credit Card</h3> <p>You will want to carefully consider which credit card you travel with. Some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">best travel cards</a> offer sign-up bonuses that alone can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=internal" target="_blank">get you a free flight</a>. For instance, I recently opened a credit card with a nice bonus and was able to easily <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement?ref=internal" target="_blank">meet the spending requirement</a> on a trip I took with my family.</p> <p>On top of rewards and perks, the credit card you use overseas should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">never charge foreign transaction fees</a>. When deciding on which card you want to open, you can also check out what other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel perks</a> the cards offer. For example, some cards come with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">free rental car insurance</a> that can save you a bundle.</p> <h3>5. Find Free or Steeply Discounted Accommodations</h3> <p>How you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online?ref=internal" target="_blank">save on accommodations</a> depends on how you like to travel and where you want to go. Some options include house sitting, couch surfing, or just cashing in your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel credit card points for free stays</a>.</p> <p>I've used couchsurfing while traveling in the south of Spain. A hostel would have cost me $25&ndash;$30 a night, and a traditional hotel would have been at least $50. Even over a short weekend trip, I was able to save nearly $100 on accommodation, plus connect with some interesting locals that I would have never met otherwise.</p> <p>A lot of backpackers will offer to work in a hostel in exchange for free accommodation. Some websites facilitate this type of exchange. However, in my travels, I've had hotel owners offer me this type of exchange more informally. Talk with whoever is running the hotel or hostel and find out if they are looking for help and what type of arrangement they'd be open to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Easy Ways to Score Free Travel</a>)</p> <h3>6. Avoid Unnecessary Banking Fees</h3> <p>Your bank may charge fees for withdrawing money abroad, and foreign ATMs may charge fees on top of that. These fees really add up. Say your bank charges you $5 for using an out-of-network foreign ATM, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee, and the ATM owner charges you $5 per transaction. If you make four withdrawals of $100 each per month, you'll spend $52 a month, or $624 a year, just on fees.</p> <p>Cutting down on the number of withdrawals you make can reduce any flat fees you have to pay. But also check your bank's fee structure before you leave. If it's expensive, you may want to switch banks and put these fees into your retirement savings instead. A few U.S. banks will even reimburse you for all ATM fees at the end of the month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Make Sure You Never Pay an ATM Fee Again</a>)</p> <p>Saving for retirement while you travel full-time doesn't have to be difficult. Make a plan before you leave. Once you're traveling, you can make adjustments when you see which strategies are really helping you to meet your travel and retirement goals.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20Digital%20Nomads%20Can%20Save%20for%20Retirement.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20Digital%20Nomads%20Can%20Save%20for%20Retirement" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20Digital%20Nomads%20Can%20Save%20for%20Retirement.jpg" alt="6 Ways Digital Nomads Can Save for Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever">14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money">Are All-Inclusive Vacations and Cruises Worth the Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel digital nomads full-time travel retirement saving money travel budget traveling in retirement Thu, 09 Feb 2017 10:00:08 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1877974 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Smart Money Moves to Make in the New Year http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-money-moves-to-make-in-the-new-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-smart-money-moves-to-make-in-the-new-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_savings_545348368.jpg" alt="Piggy bank for making smart money moves in the new year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe your New Year's resolution is to budget more consistently, save more, or spend less. Maybe it's investing a portion of your disposable income wisely. Whatever your financial objectives are, setting money-minded goals is important to ensure a more prosperous 2017 and beyond. Here are a few ways to build and improve upon the foundation you've already laid.</p> <h2>1. Enlist Professional Help</h2> <p>Guess what? Everybody gets themselves into a financial pickle every now and then &mdash; myself included &mdash; and it's not the end of the world. Don't beat yourself up about it. You can fix this.</p> <p>If you overdid it during the holidays (or even all of last year), identify your missteps so you don't repeat them in the future, and you can formulate a plan of resolve. If finances aren't your forte (though you should make them your forte ASAP), consider consulting an expert.</p> <h2>2. Learn to Cook</h2> <p>I know a staggering number of people who can't cook. Like, if they tried to sauté a few shrimp, you'd probably walk away from the dinner table with hepatitis. I don't understand it &mdash; which is why I harp on those who avoid the kitchen to get in there and learn. Refusing to prepare yourself fresh, delicious meals is just plain lazy.</p> <p>The other problem with not being able to cook is that the alternative is expensive and very unhealthy. For starters, you're at the mercy of the microwave or what's already prepared at takeouts and restaurants &mdash; and more times than not, that food is loaded with fats and sodium. Second, you're paying about three-to-one for ready-to-eat dishes (unless you're buying the worst of the worst from the freezer section) versus what you could make in your own home using store-bought ingredients.</p> <p>Cooking shows on the Food Network and recipes off the Internet taught me a lot of kitchen basics (like how to make sure a chicken breast is thoroughly cooked so I don't poison myself). A friend of mine recently hired a cook from Craigslist to come into his home once a week to help him learn how to prepare standard meals, like pork chops, veggies, and rice. There are plenty of resources available to help you learn how to cook, too. Find them, graduate to adulthood by making your own dinner, and then count all the cash you're saving. Your mama will be so proud.</p> <h2>3. Cut the Fat From Your Expenses</h2> <p>Along with cutting the fat from your diet, you also should look for ways to trim it from your budget. End memberships and subscriptions you don't use, and call your service providers to renegotiate your deals. I shaved $15 per month off my mobile phone bill last year by calling to update my 12-year-old plan. Also, investigate your bank accounts for erroneous fees; you may be paying for something on a recurring basis that you totally forgot about. Commit to shopping less, and saving more when you do need or want to spend. I don't buy anything without a coupon or discount code. Positive personal finance is a way of life.</p> <h2>4. Increase Your Retirement Savings</h2> <p>If there's extra money in your budget at the end of the month, spend it on your future by increasing your retirement savings. If your employer matches 401K contributions, you should at least be maxing them out. If you don't have an employer-sponsored plan, look into a Roth IRA as an alternative.</p> <h2>5. Consider a Balance Transfer</h2> <p>If you're underwater on your credit cards, consolidating that debt onto a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">card that allows balance transfers</a> could save you a decent chunk of change. Just make sure you check the fees and pay it off during the promotional period, otherwise interest can revert much higher, making repayment even more expensive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Balance Transfer Credit Card Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <h2>6. Lower Your Investment Fees</h2> <p>If your finances are already fairly on track, there are still ways you can put more money back into your bank account &mdash; like lowering your investment fees if you play the stock market.</p> <p>Take a closer look at your portfolio, and re-evaluate to see how you can restructure so fees aren't costing you significant amounts in the long run. Now might also be a good time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds?ref=internal">consider investing in index funds</a>, the benefits of which include broader market exposure, low operating expenses, and low portfolio turnover.</p> <h2>7. Research How the Trump Administration Will Affect Your Finances</h2> <p>Things are going to change, perhaps significantly, once Trump takes office. The new tax code overhaul alone could affect your finances one way or another. But there are other effects to consider, like rising interest rates, which may reduce the pool of potential buyers of a home sale if you're planning to sell in the near future. The repeal of Obamacare may also alter your budget, depending on what health care alternatives you have. Nonetheless, I recommend researching how the new administration's fiscal plans will trickle down to your own pocket. Hopefully you'll come out ahead, but you should prepare yourself, either way.</p> <h2>8. Just Say No</h2> <p>Make 2017 the year that less is more. Buy fewer retail items, dine out less frequently, limit your alcohol consumption, and learn how to say no to recreational activities that aren't in your budget. You don't have to do or have it all to feel satisfied. Rather, you'll start to experience satisfaction in other ways, like not living paycheck to paycheck because of frivolous spending. You deserve better; give it to yourself.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-money-moves-to-make-in-the-new-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling">4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From J.K. Rowling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living advice balance transfers budgeting fees financial help investments learning to cook New Year resolutions retirement Mon, 16 Jan 2017 10:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1873728 at http://www.wisebread.com Home Reverse Mortgaged? Here's How to Sell It http://www.wisebread.com/home-reverse-mortgaged-heres-how-to-sell-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/home-reverse-mortgaged-heres-how-to-sell-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_selling_house_185289787.jpg" alt="Couple learning how to sell a reverse-morgaged house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Reverse mortgages are becoming more and more popular as the U.S. population ages. In a reverse mortgage, instead of having to make a monthly payment on a mortgage until it is paid off, a homeowner receives an amount from the equity in their house every month.</p> <p>Reverse mortgages are often a boon to senior citizens living on a fixed income. It essentially removes the need to pay a mortgage every month by converting existing equity in a home into income that covers the mortgage. Reverse mortgages are available only to people 62 years of age or older.</p> <p>The downside, of course, is that reverse mortgages have the opposite effect on equity in the house that conventional mortgages do: They draw from it rather than adding to it. At the end of a reverse mortgage, there may be little or no equity left in the home.</p> <h2>Steps to Sell the Home</h2> <p>Given that, how do you sell a house with a reverse mortgage? After all, at some point the senior citizen may want to move into an assisted living facility or in with children. They may also pass away, and their heir is left with the task of selling the property.</p> <p>It's actually easier than you might think to sell a house with a reverse mortgage. Here are 10 steps you'll need to consider.</p> <h3>1. Know How Much Is Owed</h3> <p>The most important first step is to find out how much is owed in the reverse mortgage. The amount will include moneys paid out by the bank, plus fees and other charges.</p> <h3>2. Check the Paperwork</h3> <p>Read over the paperwork from the bank that made the reverse mortgage. You need to know the interest rate, any fees if the loan is paid off in full, and any other charges.</p> <h3>3. Look for Liens</h3> <p>Double check to ensure there are no other liens on the house. This is important because it can make a huge difference in any equity remaining in the house.</p> <h3>4. Ask for a Payoff Quote From the Lender</h3> <p>A payoff is the amount required to, as the term implies, pay off the reverse mortgage in full. It differs from how much is owed because of fees and other charges. You need to ask for this figure in writing.</p> <h3>5. Estimate What the Home Is Currently Worth</h3> <p>There are two possible scenarios here. One is if the house is worth more than you owe. It may have appreciated in value, or the reverse mortgage was not in effect for a long period of time &mdash; or both. In that case, you can sell the home just as you would sell any other home and realize the net appreciation between what is owed and what it sells for.</p> <p>The other scenario? The house may not be worth what is owed on it, or the market value may be so close to what is owed that you will lose money on any sale. You are underwater on the loan.</p> <p>In the latter case, you have two options. One is to try to rent the house to receive income from it. The other is to see if the reverse mortgage can be converted into a regular mortgage. If it can, you begin making mortgage payments on it and build up equity in the house, just as you would with any house purchased.</p> <h3>6. Make the Sale</h3> <p>If a sale does make financial sense, you proceed just as you would with any home sale. You can arrange for a private sale, or work with an agent. Most agents will charge approximately 6% of the sale price to list and show your home. Remember that what is owed to the bank for the reverse mortgage has to be paid when the house is sold.</p> <h3>7. Make Repairs</h3> <p>Take care of any needed repairs or maintenance on the house to get it ready to show. If you are selling it privately, make a plan for where you will advertise and show it.</p> <h3>8. Hire a Lawyer</h3> <p>Because of the complexity of reverse mortgage sales, hiring a lawyer is likely a prudent move. A lawyer can ensure the terms of the sale are the most advantageous they can be for you. In some locations, a lawyer is required in a real estate transaction that involves any type of loan. Be sure to check any requirements in your area. Finally, the payoff of a reverse mortgage must be handled by an experienced person, and many lawyers are experienced in this area.</p> <h3>9. You &mdash; or the Buyer &mdash; Pay Off the Reverse Mortgage</h3> <p>Be aware that any buyer will need to have either cash to make the purchase or have financing in place if you do not have the money to pay off the reverse mortgage. They will essentially be providing you with the money to execute the payoff.</p> <h3>10. Close the Sale of the House</h3> <p>Issue the bank the payoff amount. You are finished selling the home with the reverse mortgage.</p> <p>As reverse mortgage become used more frequently by senior citizens, the need to sell homes with a reverse mortgage will become more common. These 10 steps will ensure you sell the house in the correct way.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-reverse-mortgaged-heres-how-to-sell-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-scammed-with-a-reverse-mortgage">How to Avoid Getting Scammed With a Reverse Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homebuying-questions-youre-embarrassed-to-ask">5 Homebuying Questions You&#039;re Embarrassed to Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-equity-loan-or-heloc-which-is-right-for-you">Home Equity Loan or HELOC: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early">Should You Pay Your Mortgage Off Early?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mistake-could-delay-your-retirement-by-10-years">This One Mistake Could Delay Your Retirement by 10 Years</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing equity fixed incomes mortgages retirement reverse mortgages selling a home senior citizens Fri, 23 Dec 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Anum Yoon 1860474 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Pay Your Mortgage Off Early? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/married_couple_home_18525549.jpg" alt="Married couple paying off their mortgage early" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hate sending that big payment to your mortgage lender each month? You're certainly not alone. But what if you had the ability to pay off that mortgage loan early, either by paying extra dollars toward your loan's principal balance or by paying off the rest of your mortgage in one giant payment?</p> <p>Should you do it? Or are there times when <em>not </em>paying off your mortgage early actually makes sense?</p> <p>Not surprisingly, it depends on a host of factors. Here is what you should look at when determining whether paying off your mortgage early is the best choice.</p> <h2>Tax Benefits</h2> <p>When arguing against paying off your mortgage early, most people point to the mortgage interest deduction. This allows most homeowners to deduct annual mortgage payments.</p> <p>There is a catch here, though: You can only claim the mortgage interest deduction if you itemize your taxes. And you should only itemize if your deductions are higher than the IRS' standard deduction, which as of 2016 stood at $12,600 for married couples filing jointly and $6,300 for singles and married people who file separately.</p> <p>This means that those homeowners most likely to benefit from the deduction are those who have purchased higher-priced homes, have a high interest rate on their mortgage, or are in the very early stages of paying off that mortgage. For other homeowners, the deduction will either be less than or barely more than their standard deduction.</p> <p>This means that you'll need to determine &mdash; perhaps with the help of your accountant or financial adviser &mdash; whether the mortgage interest deduction is really helping you at your current stage of paying off your mortgage. If it is, then factor this benefit in when determining whether you should pay off your mortgage early. But if it's not? Then don't let the promise of a yearly tax deduction influence your choice.</p> <h2>Other Debt</h2> <p>According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at 3.54% as of Nov. 3. The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was an even lower 2.84%. Those are both extremely low interest rates.</p> <p>At the same time, financial website Bankrate reported that the average variable interest rate for credit cards stood at 16.28% as of Nov. 2.</p> <p>The message here is clear: If you are burdened with high-interest credit card debt, and you have enough money to spend extra on your mortgage loan or pay it off entirely, it makes more sense to put those extra dollars toward your credit cards.</p> <p>It makes financial sense to pay off debt that comes with higher interest rates first. It might feel good to make that big monthly mortgage payment disappear, but it's smarter to whack away at your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=internal">credit card debt</a>, which, thanks to high interest rates, can grow quickly each month.</p> <p>Before deciding to pay extra on your mortgage or pay it off entirely, look at your other debt first: Use your extra money to eliminate the debt that is costing you the most each month.</p> <h2>Are You Staying Put or Moving?</h2> <p>How long do you plan on staying in your home? Do you plan on living out the rest of your days there? Or are you already planning a move in five to seven years?</p> <p>It makes more sense to pay extra on your mortgage loan if you plan on staying in your home for a longer period of time. By paying extra each month, you can shave thousands of dollars off the amount you'll pay in interest during the life of your mortgage.</p> <p>But if you plan on moving in five years, paying extra doesn't make as much sense. You'll sell your home long before you come close to paying it off. So if you're not going to be a long-term resident of your current home, put that extra money to better use.</p> <h2>Are You an Investor?</h2> <p>Those who argue against spending extra on your mortgage say that most homeowners would be better off taking those extra dollars and investing them. This goes back to the low interest rates attached to mortgages today. If you are only paying an interest rate of 3.5% on your home loan, why wouldn't you keep that debt and instead invest in the stock market, where you could make a return of 7% or more on that money?</p> <p>This assumes, though, that you'll actually invest the money that you won't spend on your mortgage loan. If you're more likely to spend it instead, you're better off paying down your mortgage or even paying it off early.</p> <h2>Retirement</h2> <p>Are you close to retirement? You might want to pay off that mortgage early. It's best to enter retirement with as few monthly payments as possible. If you plan to stay in your home after retiring, paying off that mortgage early makes sense. You are then free to use that money that you would have sent to your lender each month however you choose.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use">15 Personal Finance Calculators Everyone Should Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why">Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance — Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-finance-a-tiny-house">3 Ways to Finance a Tiny House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-5-last-minute-home-buying-costs">Watch Out for These 5 Last Minute Home Buying Costs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing debt homeownership interest rates mortgages paying off early retirement tax benefits Wed, 16 Nov 2016 10:30:27 +0000 Dan Rafter 1833769 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs an ETF Isn't Right for You http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-an-etf-isnt-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-an-etf-isnt-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_boy_money_71664445.jpg" alt="Finding signs that an ETF isn&#039;t right for you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In recent years, exchange traded funds, or ETFs, have become a common part of many retirement portfolios. They work much like mutual funds, but can be traded throughout the day and often have lower costs. But how do you know if an ETF makes sense for you? After all, there are <em>literally thousands </em>of ETFs available, all with unique characteristics and goals.</p> <p>Most financial advisers suggest that investors keep things simple by finding ETFs that track major benchmark indexes, such as the S&amp;P 500. They should generally have low fees and fit in with other investments in your portfolio, too.</p> <p>Here are some key ways to determine if an ETF isn't right for you.</p> <h2>1. It Has High Fees</h2> <p>Anytime you purchase a mutual fund or ETF, it's important to note how much of your money is going to fund managers and other expenses. High fees can take a big cut out of your overall earnings, and there's little evidence that ETFs with higher fees perform better than cheaper ones. It's possible to own very solid ETFs with expense ratios at 0.1% or lower. If your ETF's expense ratio is significantly higher, it may be time to invest in something else.</p> <p>&quot;Anything above 0.3%, and it gets a little excessive,&quot; says Justin Halverson of Great Waters Financial in Minneapolis.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Understand It</h2> <p>As ETFs have grown in popularity, they've also grown in number &mdash; and complexity. That means there are many &quot;boutique&quot; ETFs with very unique philosophies and goals. There are ETFs that zero in on very specific industries or market sectors. There are ETFs that do elaborate things involving leverage, or track obscure indexes. For most investors, these ETFs are complicated and unnecessary.</p> <p>&quot;You can get as fancy as you want with it,&quot; said Charlie Harriman, a financial adviser at Cloud Investments LLC in Huntsville, Alabama. &quot;We usually advise that investors stick with the staples and things they know.&quot;</p> <h2>3. It's Too Risky</h2> <p>Some of the unique ETFs mentioned above are designed to generate big returns in some cases, but there's a huge downside if markets go south. Some ETFs use leverage to potentially amplify returns by two or three times an underlying index &mdash; thus, they can amplify losses during downturns. The average investor who is saving for the long term does not need to take on additional risk with ETFs that are designed for short-term trading.</p> <h2>4. It's Too Conservative</h2> <p>It's important that your investments match up with your financial goals. This means that if you're a young investor, you probably don't need a bonds ETF, or an ETF with low-growth dividend stocks. These types of ETFs may help you avoid a big loss during a market downturn, but you'll never be able to amass the kind of wealth you need in retirement unless you get a bit more aggressive.</p> <h2>5. Its Holdings Overlap With Other Things You Own</h2> <p>Diversification is great, but sometimes you can go overboard. When you invest in an ETF, you are getting exposure to a wide range of stocks, and there may be other ETFs with similar holdings. For instance, an ETF that tracks the overall stock market may own a good chunk of Apple stock, and a tech-focused ETF may own a lot of Apple stock as well. So it may not necessarily make sense to own both. Be sure to check the list of holdings for each ETF you own in order to avoid redundancy in your portfolio.</p> <h2>6. You Can't Trade It for Free</h2> <p>Many discount brokerage firms allow account holders to trade certain ETFs without paying a commission. For example, Fidelity allows fee-free trades for all ETFs offered by iShares. By eliminating this commission, you could save upward of $7 on every stock purchase, which is a lot of money if you make frequent purchases. This is particularly advantageous for younger investors who prefer to invest a little at a time rather than one large sum.</p> <p>If you're looking at an ETF to buy but it's not available without paying a commission, consider switching to a similar ETF that is. If your broker does not offer commission-free trades on ETFs, maybe that's a good excuse to switch brokers.</p> <h2>7. It Doesn't Track an Index Very Well</h2> <p>Many ETFs are designed to track a specific benchmark index, such as the S&amp;P 500 or Russell 2000. If they do what they are supposed to, your returns will be closely aligned with the performance of these indexes. But some ETFs do it better than others. It's easy to find an ETF's &quot;tracking error,&quot; which measures the difference between an ETF's performance and the benchmark it's supposed to be tracking. Most ETFs will have a tracking error of less than a tenth of a percent.</p> <p>&quot;If you see a high tracking error, this could work out to an investor's benefit, but it may also be to their detriment,&quot; Halverson says.</p> <h2>8. It's Not Traded Very Heavily</h2> <p>The only way an ETF is sold is if there is a buyer. Likewise, you can't buy a stock if no one is selling. With most ETFs, it's easy to buy and sell because there is a large trading volume &mdash; meaning that there are plenty of buyers and plenty of sellers. And when there is a high volume, there is rarely a big spread between the &quot;bid&quot; and the &quot;ask&quot; prices. But what happens if an ETF has a low trading volume?</p> <p>Halverson said this could mean that the ask and bid prices are far apart, and it may be hard to complete a sale at the price you want. Most investors, he said, will find it easier and better financially to trade ETFs that are more commonly traded.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-an-etf-isnt-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Invest Like Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-invest-when-youre-in-debt">6 Ways to Invest When You&#039;re In Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-etfs-can-put-more-money-in-your-pocket-than-mutual-funds">8 Ways ETFs Can Put More Money in Your Pocket Than Mutual Funds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-online-sites-for-building-wealth">Best Online Sites for Building Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment ETFs exchange traded funds fees funds retirement risk trading Thu, 03 Nov 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Tim Lemke 1825852 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/growing_money_trees_84090749.jpg" alt="Finding essentials for building profitable portfolio" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many people, investing is the most complicated and intimidating aspect of managing money. But it doesn't have to be. Here are some of the essentials for building a successful investment portfolio.</p> <h2>1. Know What You're Investing For</h2> <p>Investing is best done with a purpose in mind. Investing for a child's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">future college costs</a> is not the same as investing for your retirement. You would use different investment vehicles &mdash; a 529-plan account or Coverdell Education Savings Account for college, and an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both">IRA or 401K</a> for retirement.</p> <h2>2. Know Your Time Frame</h2> <p>Investing is for goals you want to accomplish in five or more years. Anything shorter than that and you can't afford to take much, if any, risk, so you would be best served by a savings account.</p> <p>Still, a &quot;five or more years&quot; time horizon contains a wide range of options. Someone planning to retire in 10 years should invest quite differently than someone planning to retire in 30 years. The first person can't afford to take as much risk as the second person. By the same token, the second person can't afford the risk of playing it too safe.</p> <h2>3. Know Your Temperament</h2> <p>This has to do with how well you sleep at night when the stock market is in free fall. Vanguard has a decent <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsInvQuestionnaire">free assessment</a> that combines your investment time frame with your temperament to suggest an optimal asset allocation &mdash; that is, what percentage of your portfolio you should allocate to stocks and what percentage to bonds (or stock, or bond-based mutual funds).</p> <h2>4. Know How to Choose Specific Investments</h2> <p>If investing is the most complicated and intimidating aspect of managing money, choosing specific investments is the most complicated and intimidating aspect of investing. Very few people have the wherewithal to do this on their own. It's helpful to acknowledge that. As Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character noted, &quot;A man's got to know his limitations.&quot; Of course, the same is true for women!</p> <p>There's just too much to know. There are thousands of different investments to choose from. And it can be crazy confusing (and dangerous) to make these decisions based on the all-too-common articles about &quot;Last Year's Best-Performing Mutual Funds&quot; or &quot;Where to Invest to Take Advantage of Advances in Wind Power.&quot;</p> <p>The crucial decision you need to make is not so much about which investments to choose; it's about which investment process to use. Here are three options.</p> <h3>Go With a Target-Date Fund</h3> <p>The simplicity of such funds has made them tremendously popular. Most of the big mutual fund companies offer them. You just choose the fund with the year closest to the year of your intended retirement as part of its name (Fidelity Freedom 2050, for example). The fund is designed with what the fund company believes is the ideal asset allocation for someone with that retirement date in mind, and it even changes the allocation as you get closer to that target date, becoming increasingly conservative. It's a very simple process, but <a href="https://www.soundmindinvesting.com/articles/view/target-date-funds-the-devils-in-the-details">all target-date funds are not alike</a>. So, be informed.</p> <h3>Go With an Investment Adviser</h3> <p>He or she will get to know you and your goals and then tailor an investment strategy to you. Along the way, you will typically pay 1% of the amount of money you have the adviser manage for you each year. Also, advisers usually won't work with anyone with less than $100,000 to manage. If you go this route, ask friends for referrals and opt for a fee-based adviser (as opposed to one compensated by commissions) who works as a &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser">fiduciary</a>.&quot;</p> <h3>Go With an Investment Newsletter</h3> <p>Whereas an investment adviser works with clients one-on-one, an <a href="https://www.soundmindinvesting.com/articles/view/what-investing-newsletters-do-that-financial-magazines-dont">investment newsletter</a> works with investors on a one-on-several thousand (or however many subscribers they have) basis. There are hundreds of investment newsletters, each with their own investment strategies. Subscribers gain access to the strategies along with the specific investment recommendations needed in order to implement the strategies. Subscription costs range from less than $200 per year to over $1,000 per year.</p> <h2>5. Know Some Market History</h2> <p>One of the biggest threats to your success as an investor can be seen in the mirror. When the market falls, it's easy to give in to fear and sell. When the market is booming, it's easy to give in to greed, and invest too aggressively.</p> <p>Far better to understand that the market cycles between bull markets and bear markets (growing markets and declining markets). Even within a specific year, there will be ups and downs.</p> <p>That's why it's so important to have a trusted investment selection process. With a good process in place, you should have some sense as to how your portfolio is likely to perform under a variety of market situations and you should be content to stay with it in good times and bad.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-income-stocks">What Are Income Stocks?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-before-you-start-investing">8 Money Moves to Make Before You Start Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-too-much-investment-diversity-can-cost-you">How Too Much Investment Diversity Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment advice college fund financial advisers money management portfolio retirement risk stock market target date funds Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Matt Bell 1820715 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Baseball http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-baseball <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-baseball" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baseball_player_63715703.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons from baseball" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're deep into baseball's postseason, and we'll soon be left to fend for ourselves in the long, cold winter. But even in the offseason, the National Pastime can teach us many good lessons, like, the value of working as a team, and how even the best people can fail more often than not.</p> <p>Baseball can teach us about money, too. When you examine the game, you can come away with some lessons that will help you manage your spending and your investments.</p> <p>Consider these truths about the game we love.</p> <h2>1. It's a Long Season</h2> <p>Do you get upset when your baseball team loses a game or two? Do you have trouble with the ups and downs of the season? When you're a fan of team, it's easy to forget that there are a <em>lot </em>of games to be played, and the only thing that matters is where you finish.</p> <p>Your investing approach should reflect a similar reality. Don't get emotional about a stock price being down on any individual day. Like a baseball team, the stock market can slump, but often rebounds. Keep your eyes on your long-term financial goals, and eventually you'll be popping Champagne just like a team that won the title.</p> <h2>2. Homers Are Great, But So Are Singles and Doubles</h2> <p>In baseball, you'd love to have a team that hits a lot of home runs. But you might be just as successful if you have a team that just gets on base and knocks in runs one by one. This is true when it comes to investing. While we'd all like to see that single stock that explodes and makes us rich, the reality is that most of your success will come from small, incremental gains that compound over time.</p> <h2>3. Protect Your Lead</h2> <p>Every good baseball team has a &quot;closer,&quot; or a pitcher who comes in late in the game to get the final outs. When investing, it's also smart to have a plan for protecting your investments when you approach retirement age. As you get older, it's wise to move away from growth stocks and other more volatile investments, and move toward bonds, stable dividend stocks, and cash. This way, your retirement fund will be protected even if there is a big downturn in the stock market.</p> <h2>4. It's Okay to Take a Risk</h2> <p>Sometimes in baseball, you need to try and run for home even though you might be tagged out. If you play too conservatively, you may not win. This is also true for investing. A young person who is investing for the long term will never get rich if they have a conservative portfolio. Most financial advisers recommend investing in mostly stocks when you're young, because the risk is usually outweighed by the potential for higher returns. Sure, you'll get burned sometimes. But more often than not, you'll come out ahead.</p> <h2>5. It's Simpler Than You Think</h2> <p>Baseball has a thick rule book, and it's not easy to master. But at it's core, it's pretty easy to understand. Throw the ball. Hit the ball. Catch the ball. And try to score more than your opponent. Money management and investing are simple things, too, even though they can seem intimidating. Spend less than you earn. Invest as much as you can, in things that mirror the overall performance of the stock market. Get the basics right, and you'll do fine.</p> <h2>6. Think Globally</h2> <p>Baseball may be an American sport, but it's an international game. It's played around the world, from the tropical ball fields of the Caribbean to busy cities like Tokyo. And Major League Baseball teams know that they need to look globally to find the very best talent. Your approach to money and investing should also take on an international approach. Consider investing in emerging markets that offer strong potential for growth. Take a look at currency trading, or even international commodities. There is money to be made if you look outside the United States to build your investment portfolio.</p> <h2>7. Limit Your Mistakes</h2> <p>No one's perfect, either in baseball or with their money. But frequent errors can mean the difference between winning and losing. In baseball, fielders want to catch the ball and throw it accurately. Batters want to avoid swinging at bad pitches. Pitchers want to avoid walking in the winning run.</p> <p>Your finances are just as vulnerable to being hurt by mistakes. Don't buy things you can't afford. Don't invest in things you don't understand. Don't raid retirement funds without understanding the consequences. There are many things you can do wrong to send your financial planning off the rails. With baseball and with your money, it's important to play smart.</p> <h2>8. Look for Value</h2> <p>The best-selling book <a href="http://amzn.to/2dxAyjC">Moneyball</a> by Michael Lewis outlined how the Oakland Athletics were able to field competitive teams despite having a lower payroll than most competitors. The book's core message was that the A's had developed ways to find players that were undervalued by the rest of the league. This desire to find &quot;value&quot; is a key part of money management. When looking to buy something, remember that expensive items aren't always the best. Look for a good combination of quality and price. When looking to purchase stocks, seek out companies that may be undervalued by the marketplace.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-baseball">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-shouldnt-invest-in-stocks">10 Times You Shouldn&#039;t Invest in Stocks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-an-etf-isnt-right-for-you">8 Signs an ETF Isn&#039;t Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have">7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-prepare-for-a-stock-market-dive">8 Ways to Prepare for a Stock Market Dive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Invest Like Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment analogies baseball money lessons retirement risk saving sports stocks teamwork Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:01:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1816943 at http://www.wisebread.com What Are Income Stocks? http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-income-stocks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-are-income-stocks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_investments_71091499.jpg" alt="Learning the basics of income stocks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may think that investing in stocks is all about share price increases over time. In reality, you may be surprised to find out that the price of some stocks can vary little over time and still provide an ever-increasing stream of income. These types of securities are known as income stocks.</p> <p>Let's review the seven things you need to know about income stocks and their ability to provide a high payout to investors.</p> <h2>1. They Pay a Dividend</h2> <p>The defining feature of an income stock is that it pays a regular and predictable dividend, which often increases over time. For example, Caterpillar Inc. [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/cat">CAT</a>], a leading manufacturer of construction, mining, and transportation equipment, has <a href="http://www.caterpillar.com/en/investors/stock-information/dividend-history.html">paid a dividend to its stockholders</a> every quarter since 1933. For the last 22 years, Caterpillar's cash dividend has consistently increased and it stands at $0.77 per share of common stock &mdash; up from $0.35 in 1996, and without adjusting for the two-for-one stock splits of 1997 and 2005.</p> <p>A predictable, steady, and ever-increasing stream of income makes income stocks attractive to those retirement savers who're close to retirement age.</p> <h2>2. They Are Often Large Companies</h2> <p>While income stocks can be found in many industries, they are most often part of the real estate, energy, utility, natural resource, and finance industries. One example of an income stock in the energy sector is Phillips 66 [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/PSX/">PSX</a>], which has been in the news due to its spinoff from ConocoPhillips back in 2012. It doubled its stock price in the first year after the spinoff, and attracted Warren Buffett's investment (a <a href="http://www.barrons.com/articles/buffet-bets-1-billion-more-on-phillips-66-1472470538">15.2% share of the company</a> as of late August 2016). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</a>)</p> <p>The Houston-based multinational energy company generated $161.2 billion in revenue in 2014, a figure that is bigger than the GDP of some nations around the world. Since its 2012 spinoff, Phillips 66 has been consistently paying a quarterly dividend that started at $0.20 per share of common stock and stands now at $0.63 per share of common stock.</p> <h2>3. They Have Been in Business for a Long Time</h2> <p>Generally speaking, the less established a company, the more likely that company can experience extraordinary growth per quarter. Think of 12-year-old Facebook or 13-year-old Tesla, whose current stock prices are seven and 10 times, respectively, their original prices after going public. Both Facebook and Tesla would be considered growth stocks. On the other hand, income stocks are those of companies with a long history. Caterpillar and Phillips 66 were originally founded back in 1925 and 1917, respectively. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-growth-stocks?Ref=seealso">What Are Growth Stocks?</a>)</p> <h2>4. They Are an Alternative to Fixed-Income Securities</h2> <p>If you have a 401K, chances are that you have a target-date fund. In 2014, 48% of 401K plan holders <a href="https://www.ebri.org/publications/ib/index.cfm?fa=ibDisp&amp;content_id=3347">had target-date funds</a>, which gradually lowers exposure to risk as you get closer to retirement age and helps maintain a steady stream of income during your retirement years. However, dialing back your risk doesn't necessarily mean that you will stick to municipal bonds and money market accounts from now on.</p> <p>Legendary investor Peter Lynch said it best: &quot;Gentlemen who prefer bonds don't know what they're missing.&quot; The appeal of income stocks is that they provide a steady stream of income while providing some exposure to corporate profit growth. Many investors use the yield of a 10-year treasury bond rate as a benchmark to grade the performance of income stocks. As of October 10, 2016, the yield of a <a href="http://data.cnbc.com/quotes/US10Y">10-year treasury bond</a> was 1.77% and those from Phillips 66 and Caterpillar were 3.13% and 3.48%, respectively.</p> <h2>5. They Have Modest Annual Profit Growth</h2> <p>That being said, don't expect companies behind income stocks to have ambitious goals of profit growth. Due to its long business history, some income stocks may have limited future growth options and provide only a moderate annual profit growth. However, this is the main reason why these companies are able to pay a dividend in the first place. Since there may be no need to aggressively reinvest in new infrastructure, research, or development, then the company can afford to issue a dividend every quarter to its shareholders.</p> <h2>6. They Have Low Stock Price Volatility</h2> <p>Among the many statistics that analysts report on stock tables, <em>beta </em>is one of the most relevant ones, besides dividend and yield, to incomes stocks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beginners-guide-to-reading-a-stock-table?ref=seealso">Beginner's Guide to Reading a Stock Table</a>)</p> <p>Since the beta of the market as a whole is 1.0, a stock with a beta below 1.0 would move less than the market, and a stock with a beta above 1.0 would deviate more than the market. Often, income stocks have betas below 1.0. For example, machinery manufacturer Deere &amp; Company [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/DE/">DE</a>] has a beta of 0.63, and retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/WMT/">WMT</a>] has one of 0.09.</p> <h2>7. They Are Available in Mutual Funds and Index Funds</h2> <p>Even though throughout this article we have only focused on individual companies, you can still buy a basket of several income stocks at the same time. You can do this through either a mutual fund or a low-cost index fund. One example of the second category is the Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index Fund Investor Shares [Nasdaq: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VHDYX">VHDYX</a>], which holds many income stocks, such as Microsoft, Exxon, Johnson &amp; Johnson, and General Electric.</p> <p>Two advantages of using index funds to include income stocks in your portfolio are diversification (e.g. 420 holdings in the mentioned index fund from Vanguard) and low cost (e.g. 0.16% annual expense ratio for the same index fund).</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>Before buying an income stock, make sure to evaluate it using your current investment strategy. While an income stock can offer you a way to get higher yields than those of treasury securities or certificates of deposit, you may be so far away from retirement age that you could afford a higher exposure to risk through value or growth stocks. Consult with your financial adviser to discuss more about your investment objectives and the appropriate ways to achieve those financial goals.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-income-stocks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market">7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-way-to-invest-in-the-worlds-biggest-companies">The Easiest Way to Invest in the World&#039;s Biggest Companies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-choosing-the-right-fund-for-your-portfolio">Are You Choosing the Right Fund for Your Portfolio?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment dividends fixed income securities growth income stocks index funds large companies mutual funds portfolio profits retirement stock market volatility Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Damian Davila 1815776 at http://www.wisebread.com Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here's How We'd Spend it Instead http://www.wisebread.com/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fancy_sports_car_91447401.jpg" alt="Spend $350K on this instead of parking fancy cars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I came across a news report recently about the construction of a <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/14/luxury/autohouse-car-condo-miami/index.html">luxury condominium for cars</a>. It will allow people with fancy cars to park their vehicles in a secure environment, at the reasonable cost of just $350,000.</p> <p>Yes, $350,000 for a place to park.</p> <p>Suffice it to say, we can think of smarter things to do with $350,000. If you are lucky enough to have this kind of cash available to you, consider these alternative and sensible ways to spend your money.</p> <h2>1. Bolster That Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Before you shell out thousands of dollars for that custom-made personal watercraft, ask yourself if you'd have enough cash left to pay for a major medical bill if you got hurt. Or a hot water heater if it leaked all over your basement. Ask yourself how long you could get by if you lost your job. It's bad to blow money on unnecessary things. It's even worse to blow that money when you have nothing saved for a rainy day. Make sure you have <em>at least</em> three months of living expenses in liquid savings before you make any crazy purchases.</p> <h2>2. Pay Off High-Interest Debt</h2> <p>If you have money, there's no real excuse for carrying high-interest debt, such as that from credit cards. Interest from debt can erode your net worth, so pay off as much as you can. Focus on paying down the debts with the highest interest rates and go from there.</p> <h2>3. Contribute Maximum Toward Retirement</h2> <p>If you have a high income, there's no reason to hold back on putting as much into your retirement funds as possible. Those with 401K accounts can contribute up to $18,000 per year, and anyone with earned income can contribute $5,500 annually into an individual retirement account. Both of these accounts allow you to invest and see your money grow in a tax advantaged way. Focus on investments that mirror the overall performance of the stock market, and you'll see your money grow without much stress. Maxing out retirement funds may very well be the least frivolous thing to do with your money.</p> <h2>4. Invest Even More</h2> <p>Okay, so you've maxed out the amount you can place in retirement accounts. That doesn't mean you can't continue to invest! If you have the funds, consider buying stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds in a traditional brokerage account. You will have to pay taxes on any gains, but if you're investing for the long haul, you'll still come out well ahead in most cases.</p> <h2>5. Go to College</h2> <p>The best kind of investment is an investment in yourself. If you have enough money to pay for college, go for it! A typical person with a bachelor's degree <a href="https://trends.collegeboard.org/education-pays/figures-tables/lifetime-earnings-education-level">earns 66% more</a> over the course of their lifetime than someone who does not got to college, according to the College Board. And the earnings get even higher for those with advanced degrees. If you've already been to college, consider opening a college savings account for your children or another relative who's college-bound. Most states offer 529 plans that allow you to invest money without paying tax on the gains, provided that the money is later used for education expenses.</p> <h2>6. Buy a Home (Or a Second One)</h2> <p>If you're sitting on a sizable sum of money, it might make sense to put some toward a down payment on a house or other piece of real estate. It's better than renting, because you're building equity and may be able to even sell the real estate later at a profit. If you already own a home, consider buying a second and renting it out. This way, you not only get the benefits of real estate ownership, but an additional income stream as well. This sure beats cars or other material items that don't accrue in value.</p> <h2>7. Do Some Home Maintenance and Upgrades</h2> <p>Maybe it's time for a new roof, or your furnace has been on the fritz. Maybe you've always wanted to turn the basement into a nice family room. If you invest a little money into your home, you can stave off expensive repairs later, and any upgrades you make could increase your home value.</p> <h2>8. Give Some Away</h2> <p>$350,000 is a fair chunk of change, so why not give some away to a cause that you support? Remember that all charitable donations are tax deductible, so there's a financial benefit to giving away cash rather than spending it on something silly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/optimize-your-ira-and-401k">Optimize Your IRA and 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-moves-you-will-always-regret">9 Financial Moves You Will Always Regret</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting 401k charity debt emergency funds investing IRA luxury money retirement spending Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:30:20 +0000 Tim Lemke 1811799 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From J.K. Rowling http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wizards_magic_wands_62514930.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons from JK Rowling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While divorced and living on government assistance in a tiny apartment with her infant child, J.K. Rowling wrote the first book in the world-famous <em>Harry Potter</em> series. The rest is history: Rowling became the first female billionaire novelist creating a brand worth an estimated $15 billion.</p> <p>Even though she released the last Harry Potter book back in 2007, she still makes a cool $14 million per year through her proprietary website Pottermore and her other books. When it comes to becoming successful, she is living proof that perseverance and hard work can be just as effective as any spell from the Elder Wand. Here are the four money lessons we could all learn from author J.K. Rowling.</p> <h2>1. Be Prepared for the Worst</h2> <p>Rowling is so talented that her first three Harry Potter books occupied the top spots on numerous best-seller lists in the U.S. and the U.K. With each new book in the series, she went on to set new records in sales. When she published the seventh and final book the Harry Potter series, she set the record for the fastest selling book in the U.K. and U.S. and sales, accumulating more than 375 million book sales around the globe.</p> <p>However, Rowling hasn't taken any of her success for granted. &quot;Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the fates,&quot; she warned the <a href="http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/06/text-of-j-k-rowling-speech/">Harvard Class of 2008</a> when she received her honorary degree at that institution. By citing her short-lived marriage, jobless situation, single-parent status, and dependency on welfare, she stated that some failure in life is inevitable and impossible to avoid. The trick is to have the humility to plan ahead and set yourself up to be able to survive the vicissitudes of life.</p> <p><strong>Money Lesson:</strong> Nobody is invincible, life happens. Sometimes your carburetor goes bust or your kid decides to test the water resistance of your laptop. Don't become part of the 67% to 75% of U.S. households that <a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/05/28/a-staggering-number-of-us-households-cant-cover-a.aspx">can't cover a $1,000 emergency expense</a>; build an emergency fund that can help during a cash crunch. Also, if you're the sole or main breadwinner of your household, invest in life insurance to prevent a financial crisis for your dependents in case you're no longer in the picture. Realize that today is the cheapest that your life insurance will ever be.</p> <h2>2. Pay With Cash More Often</h2> <p>Being completely skint left a heavy mark on Rowling. In an <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/nov/28/conversation-lauren-laverne-jk-rowling-interview">2015 interview</a> she confessed, &quot;I hate not having cash on me, and that's definitely a connection to having been on benefits and, you know, just watching my cash dwindle through the week and praying it will last.&quot;</p> <p>The empirical evidence suggests that Rowling is doing the smart thing by sticking to cold hard cash as often as possible to make her purchases:</p> <ul> <li>Credit card users spend 12% to 18% more than those using cash;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Diners at McDonald's using plastic spend an average of $7 while those using cash spend an average $4.50;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>States with highway tolls realize that they can get away with charging more to credit card users than cash users; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Credit card users were willing to pay more than twice as much on average as cash users for basketball tickets in a study.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Money Lesson:</strong> While a credit card can help you build your credit score, cash can help you to stick to your budget and hold you back from spending more than you have to. Start paying with cash more often. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks?ref=seealso">Top 6 Reasons Why Using Cash-Only Rocks</a>)</p> <h2>3. Seek Professional Advice</h2> <p>In a world of memorable characters, Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore is sure to stand out. Whether it's due to being the founder of the Order of the Phoenix or having a fondness for sherbet lemon and knitting patterns, Dumbledore just can't be ignored. In <a href="http://amzn.to/2dPCGBZ">Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone</a>, he explains to Harry, &quot;Humans do have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them.&quot;</p> <p>From the many bad choices that Fred and George make throughout the entire series, you can clearly see that both muggles and wizards have a tendency to make poor decisions, particularly when it comes to making money. Remember the bet with Ludo Bagman? Throughout the Potter series, Rowling clearly suggests the importance of seeking out others for advice and help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-personal-finance-lessons-from-harry-potter?ref=seealso">21 Personal Finance Lessons From Harry Potter</a>)</p> <p><strong>Money Lesson:</strong> From executing an estate to pulling out a tree from your backyard, there are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-you-should-splurge-and-hire-a-pro">times you should splurge and hire a pro</a>. Hiring a professional doesn't just help you minimize the potential to cause physical or financial damage, but also prevents you from making bad decisions due to a lack of information. When it comes to finances, you'll often find it's a good idea to seek out the help of a financial adviser as your unique financial situation becomes more complex due to many instances, including a large inheritance, closeness to retirement age, or setup of a trust with relatives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser?ref=seealso">Who to Hire: A Financial Planner or a Financial Adviser?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Save for Retirement</h2> <p>In the same 2015 interview, Rowling shared the following anecdote:</p> <p>&quot;I met a man a couple of years ago who had grown up with a huge amount of money. And he said to me in passing, 'You know, money is not the most important thing.' Which is both true, and profoundly ignorant. Because when you have no money, it is absolutely the most important thing. Only someone who has never had to worry can make a statement like that.&quot;</p> <p>This is a strong call as to why you need to start saving for retirement or strengthen your nest egg even more. In 2016, 26% of U.S. workers have <a href="https://www.ebri.org/pdf/briefspdf/EBRI_IB_422.Mar16.RCS.pdf">less than $1,000</a> saved for retirement. This trend is particularly troubling among Millennials: 40% of Millennials say they <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2016-05-27/who-needs-a-retirement-plan-apparently-not-millennials">don't have a retirement income strategy</a> in place and 57% of them report they haven't even begun saving yet. As Rowling indicates, money isn't everything &mdash; but it'll surely become the most important thing when you don't have enough during your retirement years.</p> <p><strong>Money Lesson:</strong> In 2016 and 2017, you can contribute each year up to $18,000 ($24,000 if age 50 and over) to your 401K and up to $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 and over) to your IRA. Make your very best effort to take advantage of those high limits by increasing your monthly contributions, taking advantage of windfalls, and maximizing employer matches. Remember that contributing to retirement accounts effectively reduces your tax liability every year and defers applicable income taxes until retirement when you're more likely to be in a lower tax bracket. It's never too late to start saving for retirement, and it ain't over till it's over! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-money-moves-to-make-in-the-new-year">8 Smart Money Moves to Make in the New Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-38-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-celebrities">Flashback Friday: 38 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment advice harry potter jk rowling lessons money management rags to riches retirement success stories Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1811797 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons You Shouldn't Invest Like Warren Buffett http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_scared_chart_99635575.jpg" alt="Learning reasons you shouldn&#039;t invest like warren buffett" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Warren Buffett is, by most accounts, one of the most successful investors in history. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has amassed billions of dollars (more than $65 billion, at last count) through his savvy understanding of corporations' performance and the stock market.</p> <p>But investing like Warren Buffett isn't easy, and an examination of Berkshire's holdings indicates that average investors might not necessarily benefit by following his every move.</p> <p>Here's a look at some reasons to avoid investing like Warren Buffett.</p> <h2>1. Because You Can't</h2> <p>We can all try to invest like Warren Buffett, but at a certain point it will be clear that he can do things that us mere mortals can't. Buffett has access to information that most people wish they had. He's super wealthy, so he can buy shares in much larger quantities and take risks that we simply can't. He has mountains of cash, and the reputation to cut deals that we can't make. He has access to different types of investments (preferred stock, venture capital) that are often unavailable to non-wealthy people. It's possible to follow his general approach to investing, but at a certain point it's nearly impossible to do what he does.</p> <h2>2. His Goals Aren't the Same as Yours</h2> <p>The average person should be investing with long-term growth in mind, focused primarily on building a large retirement fund. An older investor might invest for income through dividend stocks and bonds. Berkshire Hathaway's investment motives, however, are far more complex. While it is focused on building wealth over the long-term, it also makes decisions to please its shareholders in the short-term. It makes acquisitions that don't make sense immediately, but have a broader strategic value.</p> <h2>3. He's Not Very Diversified</h2> <p>Berkshire Hathaway is a large and sprawling company with investments in a wide range of industries. But most of the company's holdings are still comprised of a handful of companies. More than half of the company's value is tied up in its stakes of Kraft, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, and IBM. Nearly 40% of Berkshire's portfolio stems from the consumer staples sector, while another 30% is tied up in financials. Meanwhile, the company has relatively small investments in major sectors including health care, energy, or telecommunications.</p> <h2>4. He Sometimes Invests With His Heart, Not His Head</h2> <p>Yes, even Warren Buffett is known to invest with his heart rather than his head. Not all of his investments are unemotional and purely driven by cold facts. Consider his affection for Coca-Cola. (He's known to drink several Cokes a day.) While it's true that Coca-Cola is one of the stock market's great success stories, it's actually underperformed the broader stock market over the last five years. Despite this, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has about 400 million shares of Coca-Cola, or 9% of the company.</p> <h2>5. He's Missed Out on Technology</h2> <p>When tech took off in the 1990s, Warren Buffett was not on board. No big investments in Microsoft, Apple, or Cisco. And he's also declined to invest in recent tech success stories including Alphabet (neé Google), Amazon, Netflix, or Facebook. He is a big investor in IBM, but bought shares late in the game and the company has had several years in a row of declining revenues.</p> <p>Buffett has said he hasn't invested in tech because he doesn't understand it. While it's wise to avoid investing in something you don't understand, it also means he's missed out on some big gains over the years.</p> <h2>6. You're Better Off With Mutual Funds and ETFs</h2> <p>Warren Buffett is a great stock picker. His Berkshire Hathaway is a sprawling firm with investments in a wide range of companies in various industries. But for most people, it's foolish to try to invest in individual companies and expect to beat the broader stock market. It takes a lot of work to assemble a well-balanced portfolio if you're buying individual stocks. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds offer the ability to invest in the broader stock market without worrying about share prices of individual companies.</p> <h2>7. He's Too U.S.-Centric</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with betting on America and its companies. But a well-diversified portfolio should also have a good amount of international exposure, and Warren Buffett has tended to invest heavily in U.S.-based companies while ignoring the potential growth from overseas firms.</p> <p>The suggested amount of exposure to international and emerging market stocks varies depending on the investor's age and goals. But Morningstar's Lifetime Allocation Indexes are one possible guide. These indexes, which offer a mix of investments appropriately balanced for a person's retirement age, have between 10% and 40% invested in non-U. S. stocks. Morningstar suggests holding more international stocks the further you are from retirement.</p> <p>Warren Buffett hasn't eschewed international investing entirely, as Berkshire Hathaway does have holdings in European insurance companies and recently bought a German motorcycle accessory manufacturer. And some Berkshire holdings, including Coca-Cola and IBM, do have a significant overseas presence. But many of Berkshire's top holdings, including U.S. Bancorp, Wells Fargo, and Charter Communications, offer very little international exposure.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-an-etf-isnt-right-for-you">8 Signs an ETF Isn&#039;t Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investments-that-arent-stocks-or-bonds">5 Investments That Aren&#039;t Stocks or Bonds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have">7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-online-sites-for-building-wealth">Best Online Sites for Building Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-best-investments-for-lazy-investors">The 4 Best Investments for Lazy Investors</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Berkshire Hathaway ETFs funds Oracle of Omaha retirement stocks strategy venture capital Warren Buffett wealthy Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1796994 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_texting_newspaper_79438675_0.jpg" alt="Millennial man not being afraid of the stock market" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you a Millennial who's interested in investing? Then stop being afraid of the market. Sure, the Great Recession wiped out market fortunes during your early adulthood, but in the years since, it's roared back. Those who held steady during the market tumult made their money back &mdash; and then some. And those who were smart enough to invest when the market was at its bottom? Well let's just say we should all be a little jealous of their foresight (and earnings).</p> <p>So, don't be a slave to your stock market fears. Here are seven reasons why you should be investing in equities, too.</p> <h2>1. You Have Options When Deciding to Invest</h2> <p>There are different investment options available that match your goals and time horizon. For instance, you can invest more conservatively if you're trying to save for a down payment on a house in a few years, versus investing for retirement 30 years down the road. And with increased diversification, you can maximize your investment returns while taking smaller risks.</p> <p>&quot;The more risk you take, the longer you should be willing to wait before it pays off, but you can match your investment objectives with your time horizon,&quot; says Ryan McGuiness, founder of the wealth management firm CTR Financial. &quot;I invest my clients in a diverse portfolio of 12 different index funds to provide maximum diversification at the lowest cost, and match their risks to their goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. You can try to learn what to do on your own or work with an adviser, but there are plenty of options out there.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Market Volatility Is Normal</h2> <p>Hands down, everyone's biggest fear in investing in the stock market is that it's going to crash and you'll lose your life savings. While that scenario <em>can</em> happen, a crash is not as likely as you think. In fact, it's uncommon. And even when markets crash, they inevitably come back. So, if you invest for the long term, this volatility should be much less of a concern.</p> <p>Of course, Millennials are more on edge about this particular setback than other generations, because they may have experienced the financial crisis firsthand in the late 2000s with parents losing their jobs or &mdash; even worse &mdash; their homes due to the global meltdown. As a result, you probably equate the stock market with extremely high risk, but that isn't usually the case.</p> <p>Lori Pinkowski, co-founder of the Pinkowski-Allen Financial Group, explains.</p> <p>&quot;A 2008-type crash occurs very infrequently; however, a 10% market correction happens on average once a year, so stock volatility is normal,&quot; she says. &quot;Market volatility also creates opportunity to purchase good companies at a lower price. With an active management strategy, their investment portfolios shouldn't simply rise and fall with the market like they do with a buy and hold management style. It's important to raise cash and get defensive at times but then be ready to deploy that cash once risk levels improve.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Investing Has Never Been Less Expensive</h2> <p>You don't have to be rich to invest &mdash; all you need is a little bit of disposable income. Many online brokers offer low-cost or even free trades, a prospect that was unimaginable just a few years ago. You also don't have to go broke by hiring a financial adviser to navigate you through the process, which is recommended. While the cost prospect of the latter is a deterrent for some Millennials, investment adviser Jeremy Torgerson details an inexpensive &mdash; and automated &mdash; solution:</p> <p>&quot;While many investors still want the assistance of a human financial adviser to help them figure out what to invest in and when to hold their hand during market corrections, it's no longer necessary to use and pay for a human adviser,&quot; he explains. &quot;The technology is incredible, and the robo-adviser is on duty, 24 hours a day. Or if you want a human adviser, the ability to shop for exactly the right one, in terms of service, expertise, and cost, has never been easier.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Investing Protects Your Money From Inflation</h2> <p>Think about this sobering fact for a second: The money you're earning and saving today will be worth less in the future if you keep it in a bank &mdash; guaranteed. The amount may not change, but over time, thanks to inflation, the value of your money will go down if it's left sitting in a bank account. As Pinkowski puts its, &quot;Inflation is approximately 2% and your bank savings account generates less than inflation, which means you have actually negative real growth. If you want healthy growth above inflation over time, stocks are the best choice.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Relying on Yourself Is a Better Bet Than Relying on the Government</h2> <p>The simple reality of our current fiscal situation includes underfunded promises to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and prescription drug benefits to the tune of $121 trillion and counting.</p> <p>&quot;Millennials will, in many ways, be 'stuck with the check' in later years for all the spending that's already happened, which will mean a later retirement age for Social Security, higher tax rates and inflation in the future, and, likely, reduced benefits from these entitlement programs,&quot; Torgerson says.</p> <p>Considering this potential, you owe it to yourself to prepare for a government that's less able to provide for you in retirement. Of course you should be contributing to a 401K, and taking advantage of matching contributions from your employer if they offer it. But investing separately in the stock market also can fortify your ability to retire at a decent age, if not sooner.</p> <h2>6. Reinvested Growth Can Pay Off in the Long Run</h2> <p>Many stocks pay dividends, and reinvesting those dividends as well as any capital gains will benefit you over the long run. For example, if you're 25 today and invest $10,000, earning on average 6% annually, you will see your investment grow to just over $100,000 by the time you reach 65 &mdash; and that's only with a $10,000 investment today. Consider that the S&amp;P 500 has averaged 9.6% annual returns over the last 25 years, which includes the tech bubble and 2008 credit crisis, and the growth you could enjoy might be even higher.</p> <h2>7. Time Is on Your Side</h2> <p>Of course, let's not forget that you're young, Millennials, and you have a several decades of saving and investing ahead of you &mdash; and that's a benefit that older investors don't have which can be used to your advantage.</p> <p>&quot;If Millennials are saving for retirement, their time horizon is much greater than someone older,&quot; says Pinkowski. &quot;They have time to wait out blips in the stock market and can focus on the long term. They also won't need to withdraw any income, thus allowing the investments to grow over many years. The power of compounding can be astonishing. Albert Einstein once said, 'Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn't, pays it.' Give your money a job and make it work for you!&quot;</p> <p><em>Are you afraid of the stock market?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-income-stocks">What Are Income Stocks?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-that-are-actually-having-a-good-year">10 Stocks That Are Actually Having a Good Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-making-the-biggest-investment-risk-of-all">Are You Making the Biggest Investment Risk of All?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-boring-investments-that-are-surprisingly-profitable">10 Boring Investments That Are Surprisingly Profitable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment compound interest fear growth inflation millennials retirement returns stock market volatility young investors Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1787551 at http://www.wisebread.com Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_holding_cash_73068135.jpg" alt="Man part of brokest generation becoming the richest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, Wells Fargo and GfK surveyed 1,005 employed Millennials. The majority (64%) of Millennials polled said that they don't believe they will ever accumulate $1 million during their lifetimes. Furthermore, many also said they had not started saving for retirement and were feeling overwhelmed with student debt.</p> <p>Getting your finances on track in your 20s and after college is hard, but any Millennial can become a millionaire in their lifetime with the right steps.</p> <h2>Start Saving for Retirement</h2> <p>The number one way to become a millionaire in your lifetime is to invest in your retirement early and often. Don't keep putting it off, because youth means you have the power of compound interest on your side. It will take you less effort to save money now than it will take you when you try to play catch up 10 or more years later.</p> <p>Don't even worry if you aren't at your dream position quite yet. Take advantage of your company's 401K contribution match. If your company doesn't offer a retirement fund or you are self-employed, there are still many options for you.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-retirement-account-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso">Which Retirement Account Is Right for You?</a></p> <p>If you are currently saving 0% toward your retirement, then start with 3 percent. Saving 3 percent of your income is quite painless. Increase this percentage frequently until you are contributing 15% of your income to retirement.</p> <p>While this might seem like a daunting task when you are living paycheck to paycheck, it <em>can</em> be done. Having your retirement investments taken out before payday forces you to adjust to living with a smaller budget, and you also get the bonus of a nice tax break.</p> <h2>Shift Your Way of Thinking</h2> <p>If you spend trying to impress others, you will never have a bank account that actually impresses others. Live below your means and be realistic with what you really need.</p> <p>Remember that the way you live right after college is not a forever thing if you are frugal. When you are unmarried and without children, it is easier to share a living space or live on a bare-bones budget to optimize your savings. Live as frugally as possible now so that you can enjoy living when you are in your next season of life.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-living-commencement-speech-id-give-to-my-younger-self?ref=seealso">The Frugal Living Commencement Speech I'd Give to My Younger Self</a></p> <h2>Tackle Debt From All Angles</h2> <p>In the survey, 34% of Millennials reported an average of $19,978 of debt. Of those with student loan debt, 75% described their debt load as unmanageable. Don't carry your debt with you, allowing it to drag along like a burdensome weight.</p> <p>Instead, find ways to tackle your debt from many different angles. Here are just a few solutions:</p> <ul> <li>Enroll in programs that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-careers-that-offer-student-loan-forgiveness">forgive student loan debt</a>.</li> <li>Start aside business and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-recent-grad-paid-off-34k-in-sudent-loans-and-launched-a-business-in-just-4-years">funnel earnings to debt</a>.</li> <li>Use a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans">0% credit card</a> for a part of the debt.</li> <li>Look into<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">consolidation and refinancing</a>.</li> <li>Earmark every extra dollar to your debt, including birthday money and tax refunds.</li> </ul> <p>The faster you can pay off your debt, the freer you will feel financially.</p> <h2>Earn Experience &mdash; Not Degrees</h2> <p>Degrees are certainly valuable and necessary in many fields, but in some, the pay difference is not that drastic. Instead, focus on growing your experience and career path each year. Take advantage of company-paid training and develop your skills. Then, start planning for more senior, better-compensated roles by asking people in your dream job how they got there. The road to success may not be paved with gold, but there may be a pot of gold at the end of it for those who plan carefully and work intelligently.</p> <p><em>Do you think you will reach a million dollars in your lifetime?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list">8 Money Moments That Should Be On Everyone&#039;s Bucket List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt degrees education jobs millennials millionaires retirement saving money Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1785280 at http://www.wisebread.com This Simple Mistake on a Credit Application May Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-mistake-on-a-credit-application-may-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-simple-mistake-on-a-credit-application-may-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_17698096.jpg" alt="Woman making simple mistake on credit application" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Besides your credit score, your income may play an important factor in whether you get approved for a credit card, and the amount of credit you will be approved for. But for those with freelance jobs or other variable sources of cash, determining an exact income to report can be difficult.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-application-tips-for-the-best-chance-of-approval?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">7 Tips for Filling Out Credit Card Applications for the Best Chance of Approval</a></p> <p>Obviously, you want to be as accurate as possible, but you also want to report the highest amount of income applicable so that you can qualify for your card. Your income is how credit card companies can determine if you are able to pay back your debt. Even if you do not plan on accumulating credit card debt, credit card companies still look at you as a debt risk. If you only say that you make $20,000 a year, then why would a credit card company want to take a chance on you with a $12,000 credit line?</p> <h2>Types of Income You Can Report on a Credit Card Application</h2> <p>Applicants over the age of 21 can list a wide range of types of income that they have reasonable expectation of access to. Here are some of the following types of income considered:</p> <h3>Personal Income</h3> <p>Put simply, this is your gross income figure. If you are a freelancer or self-employed, base this number off your total income the year before or your average monthly income multiplied by 12. For example, if you regularly make $2,500 to 3,000 per month, then reporting an income of $33,000 should be fairly accurate.</p> <h3>Spousal Income</h3> <p>As of 2013, you can count income from your spouse or partner on your application.</p> <h3>Allowances and Gifts</h3> <p>Do you regularly get a few hundred dollars for your birthday from family members and friends? You can add it to your income list.</p> <h3>Scholarships and Grants</h3> <p>This is a benefit for college students who have received scholarships and grants for the school year. If you are not accepted for a credit card, call the reconsideration line and talk about your scholarships and other redeeming qualities (i.e. leadership programs you run at school, GPA, and other accomplishments that can boost your credit worthiness).</p> <h3>Trust Fund Distributions</h3> <p>If you're fortunate enough to have a trust fund, report the average amount you expect to receive in a typical year.</p> <h3>Retirement Fund Distributions</h3> <p>Retired? Great! Don't forget to list distributions from 401Ks, IRAs, or other retirement funds.</p> <h3>Social Security Income</h3> <p>Ditto for Social Security income. List your yearly benefit amount as income.</p> <p>For borrowers between 18 and 21, only independent income can be reported. This includes personal income (including any regular allowances from relatives) and scholarships and grants. Borrowers between 18 and 21 might have better luck being added as an authorized user on a parent's account. This can help build up credit history without having to turn to high interest fee cards.</p> <h2>Types of Income You Should Not Report</h2> <p>Note that student loans do not count as income. Once you graduate, student loans become debt you must repay, and it is best not to pile on credit card debt on top of that.</p> <p>Your mortgage or equity in your home should also not be considered income.</p> <h2>Consequences of Lying About Income on Credit Card Applications</h2> <p>While you might want to gain access to a credit card, it is never a good idea to lie about your actual income. Stretching the truth on your application and getting approved can mean that you are more likely to get into debt without the income to get you out.</p> <p>On a more serious note, lying on credit card applications is considered credit card fraud, which is punishable by up to $1 million in fines and up to 30 years of prison. While these punishments are on the extreme side, individuals caught falsifying income to gain loans or credit cards have been hit with hefty fines.</p> <p>In 2012, 52-year-old New York resident David P. Gaylord faced charges for reporting an inflated income of $90,000 to $122,000 on three credit card applications in 2006. However, the IRS reported his income as $12,488 that year. Gaylord was sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $46,914.73 in restitution.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-reasons-your-credit-card-application-was-denied-and-what-you-can-do-about-it?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Why Your Credit Card Application Was Denied and What to Do About It</a></p> <p>If you are still unsure about how to fill out your application, consider calling the credit card company to talk with a person who can guide you through the application process.</p> <p><em>Do you have multiple sources of non-wage income? How do you report it on credit apps or elsewhere?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-mistake-on-a-credit-application-may-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-credit-is-safer-than-debit">4 Reasons Credit Is Safer Than Debit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-credit-monitoring-ever-worth-it">Is Credit Monitoring Ever Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-to-do-immediately-after-a-credit-card-breach">Here&#039;s What to Do Immediately After a Credit Card Breach</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today">One Simple Thing You Can Do to Start Budgeting Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-debit-cards-as-safe-as-credit-cards">Debit Cards vs. Credit Cards: Fees and Fraud Protection</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards allowances applications credit approval fraud honesty income reporting retirement scholarships trust funds Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1783711 at http://www.wisebread.com How Every Woman Can Take Control of Her Finances http://www.wisebread.com/how-every-woman-can-take-control-of-her-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-every-woman-can-take-control-of-her-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_office_organized_67054401.jpg" alt="Learning how women can take control of their finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It may seem patronizing or silly to offer specific retirement planning advice for women. After all, money is money, and compound interest works the same way whether the name on the account is John or Joan. And it's not as if we are living in an era where most women stay home instead of earning an income; today women make up nearly half of the workforce.</p> <p>But even if I feel like my husband's equal in earning power and investing know-how, the fact is that I am more likely than he is to be among the ranks of the elderly poor. In fact, a recent analysis by the National Institute on Retirement Security found that women are 80% more likely to be in poverty at age 65, and the disparities just get larger as women get older.</p> <p>There are many reasons why we women may not do as well as men in retirement preparation.</p> <p>&quot;Women statistically make less than men, so they have a smaller base to work with. And women tend to want to take care of others before themselves,&quot; said Sally Brandon, vice president of client services at investment adviser Rebalance IRA.</p> <p>Then there is the fact that more women take long breaks from full time work to care for children, and are more likely to work part time -&mdash; conditions that diminish our likelihood of socking away retirement funds.</p> <p>So what should women do to avoid having to subsist on Friskies in our latter years? Keep these things in mind.</p> <h2>Find an Adviser Who Listens to You</h2> <p>In my household, I handle our taxes and other finances. It's just not my husband's forte. So imagine my chagrin when I decided to hire an accountant, and he switched my husband's name to &quot;taxpayer&quot; and mine to &quot;spouse&quot; on our IRS forms. He said he did it because the IRS likes consistency &mdash; nevermind that we had consistently filed the other way for 15 years at that point!</p> <p>Other couples I know have met with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser" target="_blank">financial planners</a> who address all their questions to the husband only. That's why it's important to interview a potential adviser before committing. If you visit with your spouse, make sure the adviser addresses both of your concerns. Pay attention to how women working in the adviser's office are treated. And of course, if it makes you feel more comfortable, you can always hire a female adviser or one who specializes in helping women.</p> <p>Just as important as selecting an adviser you're comfortable with, Brandon says, is signaling to that adviser that &quot;you're a part of that process as much as the person next to you&quot; with your active participation. For instance, Brandon and her husband recently met with an estate planner together.</p> <p>&quot;I started asking a lot of questions, and by the end, everything was being addressed to both us, and not to just him,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>Make Your Retirement a Priority</h2> <p>A survey by financial services organization TIAA-CREF revealed that nearly half of women say they <a href="https://www.tiaa.org/public/about-tiaa/news-press/press-releases/pressrelease480.html">can't afford financial advice</a>, and one in three say they don't have time to seek it. That's another example of women putting the needs of others before their own.</p> <p>&quot;You get pulled and tugged in so many directions,&quot; said Brandon, herself the mom of three.</p> <p>Because starting early is key to amassing adequate retirement savings, it's important for everyone, including busy mothers, to take the time as soon as possible to set up a retirement savings plan and check up on it regularly.</p> <h2>Save Even If You're Not Working Full-Time</h2> <p>Women are <a href="https://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/femalelaborforce/">twice as likely to work part time</a> as men, and we are also more likely to take extended <a href="https://hbr.org/2010/06/off-ramps-and-on-ramps-revisited/ar/1">breaks from the workplace</a> and have nonlinear career trajectories. If your career has taken this kind of path, it should be incorporated into your planning. Better yet &mdash; and I get that this can be tough &mdash; evaluate the effect that such a break or shift would have on your retirement before you decide to do it.</p> <p>One way to keep saving during a break, Brandon suggests, is by contributing to a spousal IRA, which is simply a regular IRA that a nonworking spouse can contribute to in order to keep retirement savings going even during a career break.</p> <h2>Don't Let Divorce Derail Your Future</h2> <p>No one plans for their marriage to end in divorce. Yet, after seeing too many friends and relatives have their finances shredded by divorce, I've come to the conclusion that all married people should be prepared to weather a divorce if necessary.</p> <p>Statistically, women are more likely to be financially hurt by divorce. We're more likely to have custody of the kids, and many single mothers receive no child support. Anecdotally, I know women who had no credit in their own names until they got divorced and found themselves applying for a credit card with no credit history, or even worse, a credit history that was shredded by the ex's actions.</p> <p>The first thing women can do to prepare for divorce is the same thing she can do to prepare for successful retirement if she stays married: Understand the family finances. Pay attention and ask questions. Don't leave it all to your spouse.</p> <p>The next part happens during the divorce: Fight for what you deserve. Divorce attorneys report seeing many women settle too soon in divorces and accept too small a share of the couple's net worth, just to get it over with. Some men bully and harass their wives into giving in, and even use the children against them.</p> <p>In divorce, as in marriage, remember that as important as the pressing issues of today may seem &mdash; the kids' needs, the stress &mdash; retirement can last a long time, and it will seem even longer if you have to spend it eating cat food.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to take control of your finances?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-every-woman-can-take-control-of-her-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-women-should-know-about-retirement-planning">12 Surprising Things Women Should Know About Retirement Planning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-win-the-lotto">4 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Win the Lotto</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-money-is-easy-if-you-set-the-right-goals">Saving Money Is Easy If You Set the Right Goals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance caretakers divorce financial advisers mothers poverty retirement savings sexism women Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:30:17 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1766935 at http://www.wisebread.com