What To Look For In An Investment Company

passive investingWhen 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 completely depends on what you hope to achieve. While identifying your goals, write down three tasks that you want your investment firm to accomplish. Most people who invest are looking for firms that can capitalize on opportunities that present themselves, increase their wealth and minimize the amount of loss they suffer. You won’t want to even consider an investment company if they can’t meet your goals. [Read more…]

Young Investors: Depression Generation

young investors

young investorsI 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 comfortably, you will need to take on some risk. I’m not suggesting these investors should put all of their money into speculative stocks, but they need to at least be investing in the stock market. The difference they will earn by investing in stocks, roughly 8% annually compared to 2% in certificates of deposit is huge.

Not Understanding Rates of Return

If you are one of these investors, you may counter argue that with stocks, you could lose money, while with CD’s and savings accounts you cannot. Technically you are correct. However, when you include inflation in the mix, CD’s and savings account do lose money. If you are only earning 2% per year and inflation is 3%, you just lost 1% of your money’s purchasing power. [Read more…]

Motif Investing Review: A Game Changer For Investors

motif investing

motif investingAs 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 – both the good and the bad – so you can see if they are a fit for your investment goals. If they are, great, there is a link where you can sign up at the end of this post. If they are not for you, that is OK too. You can jump over to my broker comparison chart to find a better match. With that said, let’s learn some more about Motif Investing. [Read more…]

Solving Your Saving and Investing Problems In 2 Steps

spending and investing problems solved

spending and investing problems solvedWhy do people overspend? Why are most of us such bad investors? Why can’t we all be the 1% instead of the 99%? For most us, the reason is a lack of understanding. While we all know we have to save 15% of our income, why don’t we do it? It’s because we don’t realize what that 15% represents. In this post, I am going to break things down to the most basic levels possible. By doing this, I am certain you will see finance and money in a new light and maybe, just maybe, make the changes you need to put yourself on a path towards financial freedom.

Why Can’t We Save?

We can’t save any money because we don’t realize just how much money we need to save and how quickly we spend. For example, I tell you that you need to save 15% of your income. Great. But how much is 15%? Most of us just stop after saving $100 or so and think that this is close to 15%, but it isn’t. You need to figure out how much 15% is based on your salary. Luckily, here is a chart to show you: [Read more…]

15 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

kick in the pants

kick in the pantsToday I am going a little off track with the finance talk. It’s a Friday and I feel like having a little fun. So, I decided to write a post about me. Don’t worry, I’m not this arrogant in real life! I thought long and hard about what makes me, well me and decided to share with everyone 15 things about me that you most likely didn’t know. So without further ado…..

15 Interesting Things About Jon The Blogger

I love hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning are my favorite team. This is interesting because I’m a Philly guy. But, I got into hockey around 7th grade. At this time, the NHL was expanding and two new teams came to be: Tampa Bay and the Ottawa Senators. I became a fan of Tampa Bay because my grandparents had recently moved to South Pasadena, FL, which is close to Tampa Bay.

I am an introvert. I love being by myself. I don’t do well in social settings and the bigger the group, the worse I am. Many times in large group settings, I will “disappear” for 15 minutes just to recharge and enjoy the quiet.

I am a picky eater. Though I have really expanded my tastes in the past few years. I love Asian food now as well as anything spicy. Of course, pizza is still my all-time favorite food and I am lucky that I get to live in the pizza belt. A close second is a tie between a Five Guys burger and a Smashburger. [Read more…]

What I Learned Managing $500 Million Dollars

I'd rather be rich

I'd rather be richFor a few years, I worked for a high net worth investment planning firm. To be considered a client, you needed to have at least $2 million in investable assets. What does this mean? It means you have to be able invest $2 million with us, in some combination of retirement and non-retirement accounts. Don’t get this confused with net worth, as net worth has nothing to do with investable assets.

Anyways, in total, we had over $500 million under management. I mainly worked on building the plans, so I got to know the intimate details of our clients – things that most other people would never know about these people.

So what did I learn from dealing with the rich? I list the most interesting insights below. Some things may seem obvious to you while others will surprise you. Hopefully, you will learn something and be able to apply it to your financial life.

Priceless Lessons Learned While Working With The Rich

Financial Lessons Learned

Most of our clients were self-made millionaires. Very few inherited their money. The majority were doctors, a good many owned their own business, and a few were executives. In fact, one worked for Kellogg’s, the cereal company. Every holiday season he would bring us boxes of cereal! Another worked at a pretzel factory and we would get pretzels from him. Finally, another worked at Clif Bar and we got a ton of those too. [Read more…]

Forex Trading: The Risks And Rewards

forex trading currency

forex trading currencyAwhile back I wrote a post about my introduction to forex trading. At that time, it involved setting up a play account for my international finance course and to make trades throughout the semester. It was an interesting experience trading forex and I was lucky enough to end up making some money. I say lucky because I had no clue what I was doing. After all, I am mainly a buy and hold investor.

Recently however, I was out with a friend and we got to talking about investing. He too is a passive investor but wants to set up a play account and start forex trading. In his case though, he will be using actual money. He knows that I am well versed in the investment industry and wanted to know what the risks and rewards were to getting involved in forex. I told him I would do some research on it and get back to him. Below are the risks and rewards I found when forex trading. [Read more…]

5 Things To Do When Approaching Retirement

approaching retirement cake

approaching retirement cakeI recently read an article on the Time website about 5 things you need to do when you are within 10 years of retirement. Overall, I thought the article was good, as it covered a lot of the things you should think about as you near retirement. In fact, it included one thing that I think most people often overlook. With that said, all of the items on the to do list should not be ignored until you are approaching retirement. So what are these 5 things? I list them below and then go into more detail as well as action steps you should take to be in the best financial shape possible as you are approaching retirement.

  • See if you’re saving enough
  • Stagger retirement with spouse
  • Don’t quit on stocks
  • Do mortgage math
  • Make friends with co-workers

5 To Do’s When Approaching Retirement

Are You Saving Enough?

When it comes to investing, time is your best friend. For this reason, you shouldn’t wait until you are approaching retirement to see if you are on track with your savings amount. You need to do this throughout your working years. [Read more…]

Finding The Right Online Broker For You

right online broker

right online brokerWe all have different needs in life. This is especially true when it comes to investing. Some of us are index investors, while others are dividend investors. Some are scared to invest and therefore need more hand-holding, while others are able to do things on their own. When I created my online broker comparison chart, I did so to help you find the right online broker for you.

What I didn’t realize is that many of you would still have questions. This is why I am writing this post. While I won’t be able to specifically tell you which online broker you should choose to invest with, I can give you some guidance on which ones to consider and which ones to steer clear from. So, below I highlight a few different investors, and where each of these people should look when trying to figure out which is the right online broker to invest their money with.

The Right Online Broker That Meets Your Needs

For The Newbie

If you are just starting out investing, you have a ton of options. It really comes down to your goals and how you feel about investing. [Read more…]