Weekend Wind Down 3/31/2012

MorningCoffee

Another exhausting week of work! I’m glad to be finally sleeping in this morning. The week started off with the actual birthday of our daughter. Unfortunately because we had already celebrated her birthday in the combined party with her brother (and because it fell on a Monday), we gave her her presents and brownies and that was pretty much it. During the school week you’ve still got homework and spelling words to study for even on your birthday. It was the end of the marking period for our kids – one more to go until Summer Vacation! Both of them did really well on their report cards. And what does every 7 and 9 year old want for getting good grades? – Red Lobster! Yes, they love Red Lobster. It’s been a fascination for them since … [Read more...]

How to Improve Alexa Ranking and Get Your Score Below 200,000

MMD_Alexa

After a great deal of effort, I have finally been able to improve Alexa ranking and get a score below 200,000! Chances are if you’re reading this post, then you already realize the relevance of obtaining a low Alexa ranking. When I first started my blog, I had never even heard of Alexa nor knew anything about its rating system. But as I started networking with other bloggers and recognizing what statistics they felt were important, I realized that having a great Alexa ranking was one of the areas I needed to pay attention to. Two and a half months ago was the first time I checked my Alexa ranking. It was somewhere north of 2,700,000. “This is going to be impossible” I thought. I felt discouraged. But yet I stuck to it and achieved … [Read more...]

Which is Better – Term or Permanent Life Insurance? – Part 2

Term_vs_Permanent

In Part 1, we reviewed the fundamental differences between Term and Permanent Life Insurance. Basically Term is cheaper but it expires and gets more expensive as time goes on. Permanent life is way more expensive, but it lasts forever and has the potential to build up cash value. We concluded with me learning a fact about life insurance that made me question my Variable policy. I’ll explain below what exactly that was and how it caused me to request two new quotes so I could crunch the numbers to determine whether the Term or Variable Life Insurance policy was truly the better deal. … [Read more...]

Which is Better – Term or Permanent Life Insurance? – Part 1

Term_vs_Permanent

Some of you may wonder “What in the world does life insurance got to do with my personal finances?” The truth is that it plays a more significant role in your money than you think for 2 reasons: 1) Life Insurance is about taking care of those you leave behind. Do you have a spouse? Children? Dependents? If something were to happen to you, who would take of the bills? Pay the mortgage so they can stay in their house? Pay for your kids’ college? Life insurance is part of your safety net for protecting those you love. 2) Choose poorly and you can significantly over-pay! There are thousands of life insurance products available, and the costs can vary dramatically. If you learn about what the differences are, then you can select the … [Read more...]

Weekend Wind Down 3/24/2012

MorningCoffee

Spring is in the air! Mrs. MMD and I are ready to get to work on the yard and get it looking beautiful as soon as possible. We both thoroughly enjoy landscaping. First on the list is getting the gardens edged and covered with weed-block material. Once that is complete, we’ll be ordering the flagstone retainers and then covering the beds with some dark slate rock. So long dried up, old wood mulch! The kids are also enjoying the un-seasonably 80 degree weather. Last weekend, we built their basketball hoop (that they got for Christmas) and we’ve used it a few times already. But the really big hit of the warm weather has been the Razor Rip Riders. We cannot get them off those things! One of the bikes has a lever that makes sparks fly out the … [Read more...]

Let Curiosity Guide You, But Common Sense Protect You

Kitten trying to get at a goldfish

One of the biggest challenges to being new to investing is that you simply don’t know where to start. Sure you may start by reading a few magazine articles. But it can be overwhelming when they start talking about things like asset allocation, Index funds, P/E ratios, Large cap, Growth sectors, Valuations, etc. What does all this stuff even mean? The truth is that you don’t need to know everything about everything to get rich. In fact, I would venture to say that most people don’t. In reality, you really only need two things to get started on your investment journey: Curiosity and Common Sense. We All Start Somewhere: No one comes into this world being a financial genius. It is something we learn along the way. And if you feel left … [Read more...]

Why I Finally Sold My Apple Stock

Apple-logo

Admit it. You saw the title of this post and thought what the #@&! is this guy thinking! Is he insane? Who goes and sells one of the world’s most profitable and admired companies? The truth is that this was not an easy post to write. Having watched the price of Apple stock (AAPL) rise above $600 (about $50 more than what I sold it for) left me wondering the same thing about my decision. But isn’t that the problem when we invest? We let our imaginations run the show. If we sell, we’ll kick ourselves if stock goes up, but we’ll pat ourselves on the back when it goes down. … [Read more...]

Would Dollar Cost Averaging and Bonds Have Saved You From “The Lost Decade”?

Dollar_Bond_Average

In the first part of this series, I wanted to test the claim that dollar cost averaging (DCA) was an effective strategy for protecting your investments. Too often I’ve heard claims against investing within the media saying that if you had bought stocks (particularly) during “The Lost Decade” between 2000 and 2010, then you would have had a -23% return on your money. After crunching the numbers, we determined that dollar cost averaging would have beat a static investment in the S&P 500 and returned a -6.8% return instead of a -23%. That’s great, but who wants a negative return?! Why didn’t we just hide our money under the mattress and do nothing? Unfortunately, that may be true. But remember that when it comes to investing: Defense … [Read more...]