Category Archives: Investing
Remember back in the early days of the internet when a message arrived in your e-mail inbox telling you the story of a rich foreign prince who wanted to claim his wealth but needed your help to do so? Remember how excited you were initially, thinking that all you had to do to help secure a fortune was send a relatively small amount of money somewhere that you had never been? Remember how disappointed you were when you finally realized that it was yet another scam?
Investing overseas can seem just as scary as responding to an e-mail from a deposed prince, but it does not have to be. For years we have heard of the super-rich keeping money in Swiss banks or investing in tiny island nations to boost their income or reduce their taxes. Many of us have erroneously thought that those options were only open to people with enough money to hire a team of investment advisors and attorneys to do this for us, but the internet has made investing internationally relatively easy.
"Personal Rate of Return from 01/01/2013 to 11/13/2013 is 28.5%." Gosh, I love logging into my 401(k) account with @Fidelity
— Yes, I Am Cheap (@yesiamcheap) November 14, 2013
For the past two years I have reviewed the returns of my lending account on the peer-to-peer lending website, Prosper.com. This is year three of those reviews.
First, be aware that I am no longer adding money to my Prosper.com account. As the loans that I have helped to fund are paid off I will withdraw the money. I have chosen to forgo investing in Prosper because of major glitches that I encountered earlier this year that really made me rethink investing specifically through Prosper. I have opened an account with Lending Club and may switch to that company in the future.
You may have health insurance, homeowner’s insurance and car insurance, but when it comes to life insurance, you may drop the ball. I’m amazed by the number of people who think they don’t need a life insurance policy, or feel that they have all the time in the world to purchase coverage. Maybe a part of them doesn’t want to think about death, or perhaps they truly don’t understand the benefits.
There is no denying the value of having coverage. Even if you don’t know much about this type of insurance, the best term life insurance companies are available to guide you – so stop making excuses. You need a policy more than you think.
Are you currently in a position to invest? Congratulations! This is a very exciting time for you and I’m sure you have plenty of questions! The first of which might be, “How much do I invest?” For starters, you want to be sure that you have enough cash on hand to cater to an emergency. For most, this is an amount close to $10,000. If you have extra money besides that, I would strongly suggest that you invest it. But in what? Let me give you some options.
The pitch for a no-cost refinance sounds pretty attractive: replace your current mortgage with a lower-interest rate mortgage and pay nothing for the privilege of doing it. But before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to realize that “no cost” doesn’t typically mean “free” when it comes to refinancing.
The true meaning of “no cost”
No-cost refis usually mean that borrowers won’t pay upfront costs to get the new mortgage loan — so they might better be called “no-initial-out-of-pocket-cost refis” — but that doesn’t mean the loan won’t cost in the long run. In general, there are two ways a lender can offer a no-cost refinance:
Things like spending less and earning more are extremely important, which is why those of us who write about this stuff spend so much time focusing on the topics. We want you to create an excess every month that you can then invest for the benefit of your future self. Because I have that ability, I’ve gone to the future and asked your older self about this, and they agree with me. I am the lamest time traveler ever.
Once you’ve got some savings, it’s time to invest it. Unfortunately, most people don’t know the first thing about investing. The stock market is a big scary place, and sometimes stocks go down a lot. How are you supposed to know which stocks or mutual funds to pick? Sure, you could learn about it, but that takes time, and there’s a lot on TV.
So you do what most people do – you find a financial advisor and entrust them with investing your money. Okay, but how do you find a good one? I can’t guarantee you’ll find one that will lead you to crazy riches, but here are a few tips on how to pick a good one.
An annuity can be an integral part of your financial planning. This type of investment can help meet your retirement goals by providing a steady income source. An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company. You make a lump sump payment or a series of payments over a specific amount of time, and the insurance company agrees to make payments to you at a future date. Obtaining an annuity is one way to prepare for future expenses, and an annuity combined with a pension and other retirement savings can provide a comfortable lifestyle in your later years.
However, financial situations can change rapidly over the years. And depending on your current financial situation, you may need to sell your annuity and take a cash payment. Selling your annuity may sound silly because you lose a percentage of your money. But if you have an immediate need for cash, it pays to obtain structured settlement quotes from companies that buy annuities.
You want your money to make more money for you. The best way to make that happen is to save or invest the money that you earn. But how do you choose which one is best for you and your future goals? Why do you have to choose? According to Pete Briger, Board of Directors at Fortress, finding a balance between the two is the best way to keep yourself covered.
First, let’s look at what both options entail.
Putting Money into Savings
This is the easiest and certainly the least risky of your options. You simply set aside some money out of every paycheck and then leave it alone.