An Education In Finance

investing with a small amount of money

investing with a small amount of moneyNobody teaches ‘money’ at school. It might be a good idea if they did. There are many businesses that exist to persuade people to part with their money. They range from banks and insurance companies to the whole of the retail sector, online and on Main Street. There is no suggestion that there is anything wrong with them but how people handle their financial affairs impacts greatly on their happiness.

There are some simple tips that will help everyone, no matter their age so that they have a good chance of avoiding trouble. Events such as the recent recession can ruin the best of plans, but those who had no plan at all were hit even harder than the majority. [Read more…]

Finding The Right Forex Broker For You

basic investment

basic investmentI am all about finding the right broker when it comes to investing your money. After all, you need to make sure that the brokers you are considering have the tools and the investment options that you need. There is no point in investing with a broker that only deals with low cost ETFs when you are looking to trade stocks on a regular basis.

The same idea holds true when it comes to forex. You need to compare forex brokers so that you know they have what you need. Otherwise, success will be hard to come by. So what do you look for in a forex broker comparison? Here are a handful of important things.

What To Look For When Choosing A Forex Broker

Forex Brokers Review: The first thing you want to find are some detailed forex broker reviews. You want to know how much others like or dislike the brokers. The reason for this is because anyone can make a service sound good. But then when you go to use it, you find out it is lacking. By getting other users reviews, you lessen the chances of this happening. [Read more…]

You Are Your Greatest Enemy When Investing

you are your own enemy

you are your own enemyI talk a lot about investing here and regularly tell you that most of us fail because of our emotions. We get too excited or too scared and do the wrong thing at the wrong time. I even detailed my struggles with the post of my worst investments ever. One thing that I did after making these mistakes was to look back on them and see where I went wrong.

While it wasn’t always easy to admit that I screwed up (it would have been a lot easier to ignore it actually), it was what needed to be done. Below are some tips for you to take a proactive approach with your investing so that you can be a better investor moving forward. [Read more…]

Betterment Introduces RetireGuide, Other New Features For Investor Success

Tax Loss Harvesting

retire well with RetireGuideMost readers know that I am a big fan of Betterment. I have been investing my money with them for a few years now and have had zero complaints. While I do like the ease of automatic investing as well as their low fees, what I enjoy most is that they are always innovating.

I get email updates from them all of the time about new features they are starting to offer clients. The other day, I received another such email and had to share it with you. They have come out with two new features, RetireGuide and TLH+ for all customers. Not sure what either of these are? No worries as I’m about to tell you!

Betterment RetireGuide

When it comes to retiring, the biggest issue most people face is making their money last over the course of 15 or more years. The gold standard is to amass a large enough portfolio so that you can live off of the income it generates each year and never touch the portfolio. The problem with this is that you need a sizable portfolio. [Read more…]

The Problems With Dave Ramsey Investing Advice

dave ramsey investing advice

dave ramsey investing adviceWhen it comes to personal finance advice, everyone has their opinion. In a way, this is good, as you can get different perspectives on how people handle their money. Just look at the never ending debate of investing vs paying off debt as an example.

The problem with all of this information though is that you have to weed out what is good advice from what is bad advice. When it comes to investing, Dave Ramsey investing advice is dead wrong.

I Like Dave Ramsey

Now, before I get attacked for that last sentence, hear me out – I actually like the guy and agree with 99% of the things he talks about. His list of baby steps is great:

  • Save $1,000 in an emergency fund
  • Pay off all debt using a debt snowball plan
  • Save 3-6 months worth of expenses in an emergency fund
  • Invest 15% in retirement accounts
  • Save for kids college education
  • Pay off your house
  • Build wealth and give

[Read more…]

A Successful Momentum Trading Strategy

investing success

investing successThis year tens of thousands of Americans will take on the daunting task of learning to day trade. Only 10% will make money in his or her first year and only 1% will be able to make a living trading stocks. What separates the winners from the losers? All successful traders have learned through failures to follow a strict and simple strategy. Without a trading strategy you have little hope of becoming one of the few that consistently pull money out of the markets.

For a beginner trader there is a steep learning curve to understanding the technology, terminology, and software for trading. Expecting a new trader to also create his or her own trading strategy is not realistic. My friend Ross Cameron teaches a Momentum Trading Strategy at Warrior Trading. He focuses on finding low risk entries on strong stocks which is one of the best strategies for new traders.

A Jack Of All Trades And A Master Of None

In the stock market there is always another trader out there who is a little bit better and a little bit smarter than you. If you try to be a jack of all trades and learn a little bit about a dozen different strategies you are destined to fail. You must master one strategy at a time, and only add additional strategies once you have proven success with the first ones. It is very common for new traders to jump from one strategy to another because they get inpatient when they don’t find immediate success. [Read more…]

How Instant Gratification Has Killed The Stock Market

instant gratification

instant gratificationAs technology has made things quicker and faster, we have become conditioned to want things now. Twitter is a perfect example of this as are the 24-hour news channels. With Twitter, news breaks instantly and goes viral. The problem with this is that there is no fact checking. Just look at all of the tweets about dead celebrities that go around.

With the 24-hour news channels, it’s the same thing. The moment something happens, a reporter needs to be on the scene and people need to be interviewed. This causes two problems:

  • First, you have people that speculate on what happened/is happening. When the truth of what happened comes out, conspiracy theorists go to town, citing the original reports, which were never fact-checked in the first place.
  • Second, you have the news channels trying to find experts to talk at length about situations. Many times, the channel is so desperate for experts, they don’t do any background check on the person on the phone. Many times, like in the case of the “OJ Chase” it ends up being a person from The Howard Stern Show.

[Read more…]

How To Save $100,000

Money-Conversation-for-Couples

moneyIf you’ve ever read Pete Briger’s bio, you may be wondering how you can win at the financial game, too. Here’s how to make the necessary changes so that you can save your first $100,000. Sacrifices now can mean big savings for the future.

5 Tips To Saving $100,000

Reduce Your Debt

It’s tempting to buy a new car, get a huge home, or treat yourself to a brand new home theater system. However, if you have to use credit to get any of those things, it could take you years to pay off both the loan and the interest. Your first step to saving money should be reducing your debt. Take stock of your loans and figure out how long it will take you to pay them down. Talk to your creditors, too, to find out if you can get a lower interest rate. If you absolutely need to take out a loan, make sure to shop around until you find one with a low interest rate. [Read more…]

Take Big Risks With A Little Bit Of Your Money

My Asset Allocation

My Asset AllocationThis isn’t advice you typically see, but this is a personal maxim that has helped me get more enjoyment and energy out of my investment life. I spent a lot of time in my early investment years thinking about my risk tolerance. I decided that I was fairly open to risk. I had a 95% stock/5% bond allocation in my IRA for many years. But as I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve lessened the amount of risk I’m willing to take on, currently I am at an 80% stock/20% bond allocation. (You can learn the importance of having a good asset allocation in this recent post.)

After all, I’ve made the money I’ve made through lots of time and hard work. I don’t want to risk losing it all. But with less risk, there’s less reward. I found that using my buy and hold approach to investing was rather boring and while I am OK with that, I still wanted a little more excitement.

To put the spice back into my investment life, I decided to take 10% of my portfolio, and invest it however I want. I only do this because my other investments are doing well. I’m secure, and if I lost this 10%, I wouldn’t go under (I refer to this a lot as my “play money”). So I invest it in risky ways, but I also try really hard not to lose it. And so far, I haven’t. On the contrary, I’ve made a lot of money with it. Here’s how. [Read more…]