What Is A Stock?

Close-up of Electronic Stock Ticker

Do you actually know what a “stock” is? Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t. I would bet that a lot of people who say they do (or think they do) do not in fact actually understand what one really is.One of the fundamentals I preach on MyMoneyDesign is to know what it is that you’re putting your money into when you invest. So if you invest in stocks, let’s explore of the introductory basics of what they are. … [Read more...]

How Much Money Would I Make If I Rented Out A House?

House

When it comes to buying stocks, the old rule of thumb is to “buy low and sell high”. If you’re fortunate enough to understand this saying, then you’ll know that it doesn’t just apply to stocks. It’s meant to teach you to look for opportunities.So even though the value of my home seems to go down, down, down every year, perhaps therein lies an opportunity. As I walk the dog through my neighborhood, there is an abundance of houses for sale. And what’s more is that I KNOW they are selling for FAR less than what I paid for mine. So this gets me thinking: • If I have any aspirations to buy a house and rent it out, is now the time? … [Read more...]

Weekend Wind Down 6/23/2012

green-above-ground-pool

Our week has been consumed by the nightmare that is our pool ...Let me be clear that the whole thing is our fault.  During the winter, our pool cover kept blowing off.  Eventually we gave up and that left parts of the pool exposed.  So it should come as no surprise that when spring hit and we officially pulled the cover off, the water was puke green!  Gross!We tried everything to bring it back.  But there was NO coming back.  We figured that out after a couple hundred dollars in chemicals.  No matter what we tried, there was too much crud at the bottom.  And it was impossible to vacuum it because the water was too dark to see through.  So .... we emptied it and are starting over.  I hate you pool. … [Read more...]

Life Lessons I Learned from Super Mario

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When my son decided to get the vintage video game Super Mario All-Stars for the Nintendo Wii, I have to confess – I was pretty excited! It was in the same format as the one they made for the Super Nintendo back in the mid-90’s featuring Mario 1, 2, 3, and the Lost Levels.I can’t tell you how many hours upon hours I used to spend as a kid playing each one of these games level by level.  Even as an grown-up they are still just as much fun to play.But also seeing this game again for the first time after so long through my adult eyes, I came to the realization of how much it was a metaphor for things you actually encounter in the real world. I had never noticed how much the Super Mario games prepared me with lessons for my adult life. … [Read more...]

Dos and Don’ts in Mortgage

House and Keys in Female Hands

Are you looking to buy a house? The purchase of your home may be the largest expenditure you will have in your life. Therefore, applying for a home loan is a process that you should not take lightly. The cost of a house is just your beginning expense. Points and the interest you must pay for a mortgage during the term of your loan will be much more than the price of the house. That’s why paying attention to the details of your home loan may turn out to be more important than the sale price of the home.To get the most out of your mortgage, consider the following: … [Read more...]

Be Careful With The 4 Percent Rule for Retirement Withdrawals

Nest Egg

Recently Money Magazine ran a story entitled 'Does the 4 percent rule for retirement withdrawals make sense?' where they entertained a reader’s question about whether or not this widely popular advice holds any validity or not.The 4 Percent Rule Theory: For those of you who don’t know, the idea behind the 4 Percent Rule goes like this: … [Read more...]

Weekend Wind Down 6/16/2012

CIMG6216

If anyone is looking for vacation suggestions, Playa del Carmen in Mexico was pretty incredible!  The hotel we stayed at was beautiful with tons of pools, a great beach, and an all-inclusive setup (all food, drinks, and entertainment was free).  If you haven't tried an all-inclusive resort yet, I strongly recommend giving it a shot.  You may never try anything else!Having gone to Mexico once before, we didn't feel the need to go on too many excursions.  We did go into downtown Playa del Carmen to walk the strip and see the sights.  That was an adventure!  To be honest the resort had a lot going on with activities, dinners, and shows to keep entertained at all times!Here's a few photos: … [Read more...]

Happy 10 Year Wedding Anniversary

Wedding Proposal

Today is my 10 year wedding anniversary. That’s right – it was ten years ago today that two crazy kids thought they’d make their relationship official by saying I-do's and exchanging self-written vows.I realize that this is a pretty small amount of time in the grand scheme of things (my parents are approaching their 40 year wedding anniversary), but I am quite proud of what we’ve been through and accomplished.So in light of that, I’d like to reflect on a few thoughts: … [Read more...]