Bio_Headshot

Welcome To Money Smart Guides!

Overwhelmed by debt? Want to make investing a breeze? The goal of this site is to help you get out of debt and start investing for your future. If you are unsure where to start, click here to begin. I will break everything down for you in small, obtainable steps so that you can take control of your finances once and for all.

What To Look For In Mutual Funds

what to look for in Mutual FundsWhen it comes to investing, mutual funds are a great option for many investors. This is because mutual funds allow you to get started investing with a small amount of money and still be diversified from the start. But where do you even start? After all, there are thousands of mutual funds to choose from. This post talks about what to look for in mutual funds. The 5 areas explored here will help you narrow the field of mutual funds down to a more reasonable amount. From there, you can check out my posts on the advantages and disadvantages of mutual funds to knock the list down even further. By the time you get done reading these 3 posts, you should be left with a handful of mutual funds to choose from.

What To Look For In Mutual Funds

With close to 10,000 mutual funds to choose from, how do you know which ones are worth investing in? I did a non-scientific survey of a few random people on the street: Other than relying on their financial advisor to tell them which funds to invest in, the majority responded that they choose which fund to invest in according to the fund’s performance.

The ironic thing with this is that every piece of literature you receive from a mutual fund company states that past performance is not an indication of future performance. The funds are telling you not to pick a fund based on this. Granted, they tell you this in an almost unreadable miniscule font at the bottom of the page. In big fonts are the past performance numbers right in the middle of the page. (Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.) Yet, past performance is how the majority of people pick their investments. The industry knows this, which is why they structure their advertisements this way. [Read the full article]

My First Money Memories

money memories

I grew up in a middle class family. My Mom stayed home to raise my sisters and me and my Dad supported the family. When I got older (I am the youngest) my Mom went back to working. Looking back, we didn’t get everything we wanted, but my parents made sure that we had what we needed – even if we didn’t like the brown winter jacket that was being bought for us! In any case, I have 3 distinct money memories from my childhood that shaped how I see money today. Below I talk about these three memories and what I learned from them. Saving Money I remember going with my … [Read the full article]

What To Look For In An Investment Company

When your bank account starts to swell and you're looking for ways to make your money work for you, investing it is one of the best options. However, if you know nothing about investing, you will likely want to hire a company that does. There are plenty of great investment companies out there, but the trick is knowing how to pick the one that is right for the investments you want to make. Identify Your Goals The first thing that you need to do is clearly identify your goals, which is the most important aspect of any investment. Choosing the prefect investment company … [Read the full article]

The 3 Best Tips For Building Your Business In A Regional Area

business plan

Whether you are building your business from scratch or branching an already successful enterprise into a new area, setting up shop in a regional area has some additional considerations for business owners to take into account. Attracting and retaining talent in regional or remote areas can be challenging because there is typically a smaller pool of viable candidates to choose from. Read on to find out some strategies to help your staff your business outside of a metropolitan area. 1. Look Into Any Grants or Subsidies You May Be Eligible For Your local chamber of … [Read the full article]

Young Investors: Depression Generation

young investors

I found a great article from Investment News (free registration required) about the effects of the recent economic turmoil on today’s young investors. The study found that of those surveyed, roughly half of the respondents said that they are more risk-adverse (more fearful of taking on risk) than they were a year ago. Additionally, those respondents, whose average age is 30, are as risk tolerant as current retirees. Are Young Investors The Depression Generation? This is a big problem. At age 30, you have 30-plus working years left until retirement. In order to retire … [Read the full article]

How To Get Ahead At Work And Become Filthy Rich

how to get ahead at work path

Are you tired of getting passed by for promotions and raises? Maybe you do get a raise but it is only a miniscule 2% cost of living adjustment every year? Do you want to get bigger raises, have a fatter paycheck and swim in a vault of money like Scrooge McDuck? If so, here’s how to get ahead at work and become filthy rich in the process. How To Get Ahead At Work: 4 Tips Tip #1: Become Invaluable The #1 way for how to get ahead at work is to become invaluable. What does this mean? By doing things for your boss that no one else will do. Put another way, make his or … [Read the full article]

What Are The Fastest Types of Loans

fast cash loans

If you’re in a pinch and need a loan, there are some fast loans available. Going to a bank is unfortunately not a way to get a loan quickly. Check out these four ideas to get a fast loan. Borrow It From Yourself If you have an IRA or CD, talk to the bank about borrowing against it. Each state’s rules varies as far as the amount you need to have to take it out as well as the period before paying it back. If you don’t pay it back upon the agreed upon time, it’s usually considered as taxable income afterwards. Get A Title Loan Another option of receiving a fast loan … [Read the full article]

Motif Investing Review: A Game Changer For Investors

motif investing

As every day passes, there seems to come another online broker that has a slight twist on the traditional way of investing money. First came Charles Schwab, who brought no-fee ETF trading to the world. Then came firms like Betterment, who automate investing for you. Now comes Motif Investing, who allows you to create your own basket of stocks (or motifs) for a low price. From the first time I heard of Motif Investing, I was intrigued at what they offered. So I dug around and got the inside scoop on what makes them unique. This is my detailed review of their service … [Read the full article]

The Truth About Tax Deductions

tax deduction

Now that tax season is upon us, many people look for ways to reduce their taxes (hopefully most of you took advantage of some tax deductions before the end of the year!). There is usually a mad rush to claim all of the deductions one can in order to reduce their tax liability. But are tax deductions really worth it? Before getting into this discussion, I need to make a clarification between a tax credit and a tax deduction. Too often, people confuse the two and think they are equally as good. But, this isn’t the truth. What Is A Tax Credit A tax credit reduces … [Read the full article]