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Category: Financial Tips

Let’s Talk About Target Date Mutual Funds

Let’s Talk About Target Date Mutual Funds

The wonderful bloggers over at Millennial Revolution had an excellent post last week they entitled “Is Too Much Freedom Bad For You?” Personally, I think the answer to that question depends on the person. Politicians constantly promote the idea of freedom. More choices will drive down the market. The amount of choices we have on the internet is fantastic. The amount of television shows makes this a great time to be a fan of TV. That maybe true in the…

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Should I Invest in Real Estate?

Should I Invest in Real Estate?

*This post is updated from its original posting about six months ago. I have been thinking about buying real estate to add to my portfolio. I thought a multi-family home next door to us would come on the market as a foreclosure, but that isn’t going to happen. So I have been thinking about how else, if at all, do I get into real estate. So while this was a thought experiment 3 years ago I still think about it…

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How to Evaluate Mutual Funds

How to Evaluate Mutual Funds

Last week I talked about strategies I try to use to conquer the fear of missing out. Part of that post was focusing on staying the economic course. Part of my course is a focus on buying cheap, index funds. In fact, many personal finance bloggers (it might be most, but not all) also adhere to this rule. Warren Buffett has even argued his financial advice to people would be to stick their money in a low-cost index fund. I…

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Earmark Extra Income Ahead of Time

Earmark Extra Income Ahead of Time

One of the favorite things my dad would always tell me was that when I had money it was “burning a hole in my pocket.” And in some respects that was/is true. I remember using my allowance to buy toys, food, and games or other items. I don’t remember saving a lot of my money as a kid. I mean I had a savings account, but when I went to college I had enough money for spending money, but that…

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Planning Your Legacy

Planning Your Legacy

Guest Post: Today we have a guest post from Samuel Murdoff, an attorney who specializes in real estate, business law, and estate planning. Full disclosure Sam is my cousin. However, Sam is also one of the most ethical people I have ever met. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, where he spent 2 years doing mission work in Europe and he graduated with a J.D. and MBA from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. I think his advice…

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Rules of Thumb for Buying a House

Rules of Thumb for Buying a House

A few days ago CNBC had an analysis where they put out what salary you needed in order to afford a home in 20 cities. Their basic criteria is how big of a salary you needed if you put down 10% or 20%, 4% 30 year mortgage with a 45% debt to income ratio. For example, to afford a median priced home in San Antonio (140k) with 10% down you need a salary of 23k and 20% down you would…

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My Advice to New College Graduates: Live Like a College Student

My Advice to New College Graduates: Live Like a College Student

The end of the school year is always bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I get to watch several students graduate who I have become close with over the past few years. On the other, my world is much sadder that they are gone. It is also the time when commencement speakers will offer all kinds of advice to upcoming graduates. So consider this my version of a commencement address to my students on personal finance. My Advice to…

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Want a New Financial Future? Own Your Past

Want a New Financial Future? Own Your Past

In some respects this post is like a Dr. Phil episode. I fully admit I watch Dr. Phil every once in a while because I am fascinated by the stories. Frankly, if your life isn’t a Dr. Phil, Maury, or Jerry Springer episode can life be really that bad? The truth is it can, particularly financially. A lot of us make New Year’s resolutions regarding personal finance, but we don’t follow through with them for a variety of reasons. In…

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Parents: 10 Things to Consider Before Taking Out PLUS Student Loans

Parents: 10 Things to Consider Before Taking Out PLUS Student Loans

One of the great or perhaps unfortunate things about my commute is that I get to tune in for some full-length NPR programming. I especially love Tom Ashbrook’s show On Point. In fact, he seems to be inspiring a lot of blog posts lately. Anyway, I was listening to a recent segment on a growing segment of student loans that is becoming more worrisome. Specifically, parents who are taking out loans to pay for their children’s higher education. I won’t…

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How To Protect Your Portfolio From a Big Stock Market Decline

How To Protect Your Portfolio From a Big Stock Market Decline

  Reader Note: From time to time this blog will post guest posts. Today I have a great post from Troy over at Market History. You can obtain more sage wisdom over at his blog. Markets adhere to cycles because the stock market is ultimately tied to the state of the economy. Economic expansions and contractions have cycles as well. Economic expansions in the U.S. have historically lasted 5-10 years. We are currently in year 8 in this economic expansion….

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