Tax Efficient Investing – How To Keep More Of Your Money

tax efficient investingMost of us know that we need to invest our money in the stock market to grow our money. Even when interest rates weren’t close to zero like they are now, the stock market was a good place to be. In fact, over time, the stock market is a useful tool in building wealth, so long as you stay the course and invest for the long-term. But there is more you can do than just invest your money to grow it, you can use tax efficient investing to keep more of your money too.

By being smart about your investing strategy and keeping tax efficiency in mind, you can keep more of your money from Uncle Sam. I know I can’t be the only one who isn’t a fan of forking over my hard earned dollars. So below is an outline of how you can get started with tax efficient investing. Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than it might sound.

What Is Tax Efficient Investing?

First off, we need to make sure everyone understands what tax efficient investing is all about. In a nutshell (help, I’m in a nutshell! Sorry, couldn’t resist), it means strategically investing in a way that ensures you pay the least amount of tax possible.

To do this, you fund certain types of accounts before others and you place certain investments in each of these accounts strategically so that you can take advantage of the tax code. And taking advantage of the tax code is our ultimate goal. [Read more…]

Moments In Your Financial Life When It’s OK To Splurge

money management skillsThere are a lot of us who have been taught financial conservatism. Being careful with your money isn’t a bad thing. But if you’re never willing to take a risk, you’ll never get anywhere in your financial life. This has long-reaching implications.

  • It will determine where and how you’ll live for the rest of your life.
  • It will have a big impact on your future health and happiness.
  • It will affect the way your children grow up.

Unchecked, financial conservatism can be almost as bad as financial wastefulness. In order to get ahead, you’ve got to be able to control debt and build savings. But you’ve also got to be willing to take on good debt and use your savings for purposes that will build you more wealth in the future. So how do you do this? [Read more…]

How Much Money Do You Need For Retirement


how much money do you need for retirementI have come across a few blog posts and magazine articles answering the question ‘how much money do you need for retirement’. Sadly, most people have absolutely no idea how much they will need in order to retire. In order to know how much money you will need in retirement, you need to have an idea of how much you will spend in retirement.

Luckily there are a handful of options for you to figure this out. They range from manual calculations, to plugging some numbers into a program and it telling you just how much money you will need for retirement. Below are the various options for you to figure out your number. [Read more…]

Tools I Use To Manage My Money

finance tools I useI’ve been getting a bunch of emails lately asking me about the various financial tools I use to manage my money. While it’s great to get emails and I love replying to readers to help them on their financial journey, I figured it would make sense to simply list out the products I use to manage my money. Here is the list.

Budgeting

For budgeting, right now I am using an excel spreadsheet that I created. You can find a bunch of great ones in this post I wrote a while back.

I realize that not everyone likes manual budgets like me, so know that there are some great automatic ones out there. In the past I’ve used Power Wallet and thought they were really good. I’ve also used You Need A Budget and was blown away at how awesome their product was. [Read more…]

An Education In Finance

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 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 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

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 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 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…]