Diversify Everything

Whenever I hear someone get really excited about their latest investment, I tend to think the worst.  It’s not that I don’t want that person to succeed but I usually worry they’re making a big mistake.  Any time I see a friend buy a house, I wonder if they spent more than they can afford. […]

No 401(k) Available at Work. What To Do?

I received an interesting question the other day about a topic I hadn’t given much thought to before. A reader e-mailed me asking what they should do if their work didn’t offer a 401(k) plan. I talk a lot about asset allocation, investing strategies and making contributions to your retirement accounts but it’s a lot […]

Everyone’s a Great Investor During a Bull Market

We all know the market has been on a tear the past couple years.  The S&P 500 is at an all-time high and I know my 401(k), along with others’, has performed tremendously well.  But my awesome returns aren’t due to the fact that I’m an investing genius, all I’ve done is maintain my portfolio […]

How Much Should I Contribute to My 401(k)?

Four years ago, I knew very little about saving for retirement.  But I didn’t need to know anything yet, since I had just graduated and I was more worried about getting a job than saving for retirement.  Once I landed that great-paying job though and got my first paycheck, I had to decide how much […]

What Should I Do With My Bond Funds?

Bonds are an essential part of any diversified portfolio.  Although we generally don’t expect the same high returns with bonds as we do with stocks, there is much less risk.  Bond funds can be a great diversification tool since they have low correlation with stock funds.  Essentially, that means that the health of the stock […]

An Argument for the Social Security Program to Continue

There are very few programs in the US which are understood less than the Social Security program.  You’ll hear a lot of mis-information about Social Security.  “You’ll never get what you put into it!”  “I’ll be lucky to get anything.”  So on and so forth.  The mis-information you hear contributes to giving the Social Security […]

Reader Question on Investing for Beginners: Betterment.com Review

Today, we have a reader question about the site Betterment.com.  If you have a question for me, feel free to send me an e-mail. Reader TA writes in: I’m wondering if you’ve heard anything about the Betterment.com site?  I’m interested in learning/starting how to invest, and this site looks like a good place to start […]

My New HSA Strategy – Rollovers and Trustee Transfers

Since my company was acquired by an even larger one last year, 2013 will be our first full year under the new administration.  That means a whole lot of changes to our benefits and one of those will be to our HSA provider.  Although the HDHP insurance portion will still be served by Aetna, our […]

Be Wary of Frontloading Your 401(k) Contribution and Losing Company Match

January is a great time to re-assess your retirement accounts.  It’s important to review your 401k contribution and at least consider re-balancing your accounts at the beginning of every year.  You’ve probably made a couple New Year’s resolutions so why not add this one to your list?  2013 will be the first official year I’m able […]

Why The Average Investor Should Choose Index Funds Over Picking Individual Stocks

When it comes to picking stocks for a portfolio, the average investor is at a big disadvantage.  Now I’m not talking about investing in mutual funds, which can have big ol’ expense ratios baked into them.  I’m talking about good ‘old fashioned stock picking’, where you research companies, pick out which ones you like and […]

Reader Question: Investing in Real Estate Without a Down Payment, What is an REIT?

Here’s a question from a reader named Bilbo Baggins, not sure if this his real name or not “I’m fully convinced its a great time to buy property. However, I am not ready to make that kind of commitment and am looking for investments that will reap the same kind of passive income. Something like […]

Investing in I Bonds: An Intro to I Bonds for Young Investors

For an update on I bonds rates as of(10/18/12), please see: November 2012 I bonds rates are announced: 1.76%.   Believe it or not, the money in your savings and checking accounts is actually losing money.  It doesn’t even matter what bank you have.  Whether you bank online, or brick and mortar; they’re all losing […]

Part 3: How To Rebalance Your Retirement Accounts

[This is the third article in a three part series about re-balancing, the first article covered why to rebalance and the second covered when to rebalance your retirement accounts] Even though asset allocation will determine over 90% of your returns, it’s important to periodically rebalance your retirement accounts.  I’ve shown why rebalancing will reduce your […]

Part 2: When to Rebalance Your Retirement Accounts

[This is the second article in a three part series about re-balancing, the first article covered why to rebalance and the last article will cover how to rebalance your retirement accounts] A year in the life of the stock market can be brutal.  Daily swings up and down are unpredictable at best, but we’ve seen […]

Part 1: Why Rebalance Your Retirement Accounts

[This is the first article in a three part series about re-balancing, the next two articles will cover when to rebalance and how to rebalance your retirement accounts] A crucial part to a successful investment portfolio requires that you occasionally rebalance your portfolio.  Due to the volatility of the market, the asset allocation you select might change […]

Asset Allocation Guide: Why to Invest in International Index Funds

If you followed the market from 2000-2009, you’ll know that US stocks got hammered.  Investing in international stocks wouldn’t have saved you from a period like that, but it could have helped.  International stocks provide some much needed diversification and tend to reduce your portfolio’s overall volatility.  In fact, since international funds make up 60% […]

My Tax Efficient Investing Plan

If the Mayans are wrong and Dec 21, 2012 doesn’t bring the end of the world, taxmageddon is still headed our way in 2013.  Income taxes are slated to go up for every single tax-paying American unless congress and Obama act.  Regardless of whether you’re for or against the proposed tax increase, it’s causing a lot of […]