Can the Experts Help Us Find Good Stocks?  9 Month Update

find good stocks

Welcome to another quarterly update of how my stock portfolio is doing and whether or not the experts were able to us find good stocks to invest in.  Every year I invest a small portion of my portfolio into individual stocks to gain experience with them as well as attempt to increase my wealth.  My long term goal is to build a stable portfolio of dividend yielding stocks that will eventually provide me a steady stream of income. If you’ll remember: The last time I bought stocks back in January, I noticed that each of the major financial websites had their own “analyst opinion” section that is supposed to tell you how the stock is going to do over the next 12 months.  Even though I buy my stocks based on qualities like long-term earnings … [Read more...]

Niche Website Update 24 – $1,524 of Income – Amazon Site Progress and Next Steps

amazon affiliate

Welcome to yet another edition of my monthly niche website portfolio update. Building and profiting from websites has become a very intricate part of how I’m slowly building my fortune and saving for financial freedom. The great thing about it is that it is in no way tied to my day-job or paycheck in any way.  I’m simply going above and beyond to create an income stream that will help support my goals regardless of my job. November is over and winter has been very much upon us here in the mid-west.  These are the kinds of cold months where I really look forward to staying indoors (where it’s warm) with a cup of hot coffee and typing out brand-new content for hours on end. There were a few surprises this past month but all in all … [Read more...]

Learn How to Manage Money Wisely By Doing This One Thing

How to Manage Money Wisely

A few months ago a coworker and I got talking about our company’s retirement plan and I could tell he needed some help understanding some of the fundamentals.  So the next day I lent him a copy of one of one of my favorite books on finance in hopes that it would help him to manage his money better.  However a few months later when I checked in with him he said he still had not read the book because he hadn’t found the time for it. “I don’t have time for that” – It’s one of the biggest illusions we fool ourselves into believing.  We say it about exercising more, going back and getting that degree, spending more time with the people that matter, etc.  Yet for many of us I’m willing to bet that if you really did an audit of what actually do … [Read more...]

Should I Go for a Pension Purchase Option or Invest the Money? – A Reader Question

Pension Purchase Option

A few weeks ago I receive a really great question from a friend of mine (we’ll call him LJ) regarding whether or not he should take a pension purchase option that his employer is offering him.  Here’s the email he sent me: I'm thinking about buying 5 years of generic pension service time. Seems like a no brainer, right? Not quite. I've had the actuarial done and it will cost me $37,800. A good chunk. I have the money in a 457 account and can roll it over to my pension administrator. I plan to retire in 22 years at 60 when I am eligible to draw the pension. I have 13.5 years of service currently. This would make it 18.5 years. The reason that I'm considering this is that my pension multiplier is going to be reduced on Jan 1st from 2 to … [Read more...]

How to Become Independently Wealthy … Outside Your Job

How to Become Independently Wealthy

How does someone actually get rich? Should they make more money at their jobs by working harder?  Should they take on longer hours and more responsibility … all in vain hopes of getting a better raise or bigger bonus? Is your job even really the only way how to become independently wealthy? In this post I want to dig a little deeper into what it takes to actually become “rich”.  People who have made it – whether they are in the top 100 of Forbes or even people that you know in real life - more than likely didn’t get there by running the rat race and working themselves to dead.  While that might be the case for a small fraction of individuals, I think you can find in just about any good book or biography that the successful and … [Read more...]

2015 Maximum 401k Contribution Increases to $18,000 – How You Can Get There

2015 Maximum 401k Contribution

If you’re one of those people who are really good at saving their money diligently for retirement, then the IRS has some good news for you next year:  The 2015 maximum 401k contribution has just been increased to $18,000 (up $500 from 2014). For those people 50 and older, the $5,500 catch-up limit was also bumped up to $6,000. I’ve personally been saving up to the 401k maximum for a while now and am looking forward to bumping up my contributions.  By saving so much I know that I’m not only helping my family to get closer to reaching financial freedom, but we’re also taking advantage of a few other extremely important benefits. Here are what they are and what you can do to help yourself get that point too.   Why Max Out or … [Read more...]

 Niche Website Update 23 – $1,052 Income – Finally Growth for My Amazon Site

Books from amazon

Hello again to another edition of my monthly niche website update. As many of you know this is the part of my wealth building ambitions where I charter my attempts to create more and more passive income streams that will increase my monthly income.  This is being done by building up my online business portfolio of various niche websites; each one targeting very specific strategies for making money online. October was an interesting month to say the least.  There were more surprises from Google and a few other let-downs.  But all-in-all progress wasn’t too bad.  And most importantly my Amazon-based site is finally starting to show signs of growth! Here’s what happened in October:   Niche Website Income Report – October … [Read more...]

How Much Should I Put in My 401k Plan? My Surprising Answer

save money for retirement

It’s one of the most commonly asked questions of employees when they start saving for retirement: How much should I put in my 401k?  5%?  10%?  15%? Especially when you’re young (in your 20’s and 30’s) and just starting out, retirement can feel like such a long ways away.  You know that you should be contributing, but at the same time you want to enjoy your earnings and save towards other goals like a house and family needs too. To simply answer this question with “save as much as you can afford” feels too much like an easy-out.  I’ve recommended that advice to friends in the past only to find out that they end up saving only a measly 2 or 4% of their paychecks.  Since I’m friends with them, I KNOW they can do much better than … [Read more...]