It’s occurred to me on several occasions that not everyone reads money magazines or CNN Money as much as I do. For some people knowing where to start is practically half the battle when it comes to getting a grip on your finances. What they need or would love to see is a financial plan sample that just gives them the hard numbers! They need something that could act as an example for how you should be saving and spending your money.
That’s exactly what I wanted to do in this post. For one second, let’s put aside the whole, touchy-feely, fluffy notion that every plan is unique. It is (don’t get me wrong)! But there are some figures that you could go by that may not be so bad. If anything, consider them a good starting point.
So I’ve been thinking …
Last year I wrote a post about how I was thinking about diverting some of the money we were contributing to our 403b retirement fund towards our dividend stocks instead.
This was somewhat of a controversial move because traditional personal finance advice is to invest in your tax-sheltered accounts, not your taxable accounts! After all, why would you want to save your money in an account where you have to pay taxes?
But it wasn’t that simple. There were several more alluring reasons why investing in dividend stocks would make more sense:
As part of my love affair over the last year with investing in dividends, I’m going to continue to introduce posts that focus on one particular aspect of evaluating a particular stock prospect. So this week, we’ll be looking specifically at the dividend yield formula and what it can tell us about the stock or company.
The following post was provided by guest contributor. If you are interested in being a guest contributor for My Money Design, please feel free to contact me.
Secured business loans can be an important source of funding but they are not suitable for every business in every circumstance. If a business is struggling, throwing cash at the problem is not always the best solution. Once you factor in the added burden of actually repaying the loan, it could even make any existing problems worse.
What a wild ride the last 4 months have been! It’s been a while since I’ve done a dividend stock portfolio update, and I thought this would be a great time to report (i.e. celebrate) my earnings.
Over the last few years the name “Bernie Madoff” and the term “Ponzi Scheme” have been used almost interchangeably. Obviously we all know that this man was a crook and that he committed a very serious act of fraud by stealing millions of dollars from trusted investors. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself just what one is or what a Ponzi Scheme example would even look like?
Every now and again when I read through the headlines on my favorite money news sites, I see the same desperate-for-attention headlines proclaiming that “retirement is dead” and that we basically have no hope of ever saving enough money. How do they draw those conclusions? The usual suspects cited are the decline of pensions, the deflating of Social Security and the rise in costs as reasons why none of us can save and why we’ll all need to work until we are 80.
And then there is my personal favorite: The 401k. They talk about the 401k like it’s a James Bond villain. When they compare the pension vs 401k, they describe it as a horrible and inefficient means for retirement. Basically, their message is that the 401k killed retirement.
That is complete nonsense. The 401k didn’t destroy our chances at the American Dream … we did.
If you think that having $1,000 or so in your emergency fund is going to cut it, think again! I’m normally not a huge promoter of this topic, but over the last 2 weeks, I’ve had to dip into my stash more than I’d like. And if I didn’t have access to emergency money, I’d be up a creek either paralyzing one of my investments or taking on unnecessary debt.
Here’s my story of what happened:
The following is a guest post by fellow personal finance blogger William Cowie from the site Bite the Bullet Investing. In the post Reader Debate – Would You Borrow Money to Invest in Stocks?, William commented with a great story about his experiences with borrowing against 401k funds to purchase stocks at what he believed was a critical opportunity.
He has graciously volunteered to expand upon that story in this post. If you are interested in being a guest contributor for My Money Design, please feel free to contact me.
Do you hate debt? I do, quite passionately. Few things suck the joy out of life more successfully than debt.
I didn’t always feel this way. Business schools do a great job extolling the virtues of using Other People’s Money. Even the great Warren Buffett has literally billions of dollars in outstanding bonds (which are nothing but the pig of debt with designer lipstick).
But debt kills.
How do I know?
When it comes to planning for retirement, people both young and old always ask the same simple question: When can I retire? It’s a seemingly harmless question, but it is also one that can be ambiguous to find a direct answer for. The reason is because retirement isn’t something that simply comes with age. You could retire today or even ten years from now if you really wanted (with the proper plan in place). Unfortunately, I hate to answer a question with a question, but the response to “when can you retire” is simply “how badly do you want to”?