Real Estate Investing: Avoiding the Most Common and Lethal Mistakes

Many investors get into the real estate game because they believe they can get rich quickly.  They buy property, collect great amounts of rent for a couple of years, and then sell when prices appreciate. This is not how real estate investing works, however.

It takes time, even decades, to see significant returns. It also takes care, learning, and a willingness to put in years of effort to make the most of such an investment. When one is willing to invest all this in a real estate venture, returns can be far better than can be realized in the stock market. However, investors who believe they only need to throw money at a property and do little else usually do not do well. This is only one of several cardinal rules of successful real estate investment.

Read moreReal Estate Investing: Avoiding the Most Common and Lethal Mistakes

Why You Should Ignore The Doomsday Stock Market Predictions

The stock market has not been pretty as of late.  All three major US indexes are in or have at some point recently dropped into correction territory, which is noted as a 10% drop.  Some stock market predictions are coming out that are driven by pure fear.

The bulls that drove the stock market to more than double over the last few years have taken a break, and the bears have been more than happy to step in and finally be right.  However, I think that there are some who are way off the mark.

Is This 2008-2009 All Over Again?

There are many out there who will happily tell you that the stock market is headed for another crash like the one that happened in 2008-2009 when the markets lost over half their value in about an 18 month period.

Read moreWhy You Should Ignore The Doomsday Stock Market Predictions

Those Who Short Stocks Are Terrible People

I generally try to avoid stereotyping people with generalizations.  Still, I’m pretty much at my boiling point on this one.  I have come to the realization that I can’t stand people who regularly short stocks.

What Is Short Selling?

Shorting a stock is basically the opposite of purchasing a stock.  You short if you believe that a stock is going to go down.  You basically ‘sell’ a stock at the price it is today, and then later on close the position by ‘buying’ it at what the price is at that point.  So, if a stock falls 10%, you basically make that money as profit.

There’s risk.  If the stock goes up, the short seller will lose money.  And since a stock can go up forever, the risk is unlimited.

Read moreThose Who Short Stocks Are Terrible People

Things I’ve Heard Said About Forex

There are many different ways to invest, trade, make, and lose money.  Just about all of them are available in some fashion on the Internet.  One of the big buzz words that I’ve heard over is Forex.  I thought I would do a little digging on my own to find a little bit more information.  I wanted to find out whether the things I’ve heard said are true.

Questions and Answers on Forex

Read moreThings I’ve Heard Said About Forex

Good Old Uncle Sam Will Be Getting Our Money This Year

I got an e-mail I knew was coming regarding a 2015 tax refund.  The e-mail was from our CPA (and family friend).  The e-mail started  “Welcome to the world of No Tax Refunds”.  This wasn’t a surprise as I had done some rough math.  Still, that’s never news you want to get.  Especially for us, having gotten used to refunds for the past few years.

Our Normal Two-Part Refund

We typically get a refund from Uncle Sam.  For simple years, we have the proper amount taken out of my paycheck that would normally lead to a balanced return, but things like itemized deductions (mortgage interest, etc.), credits for having children, and other various components usually push us to get a refund.mb-money201308

On top of it, we always have a ‘refund’ fund running in our savings account.  Whenever we make any side income, we put a percentage aside.  In addition, if we sell stocks, or do other things that we know will be counted as income, we’ll put a percentage aside.

Typically, the two of these together makes for a nice chunk of change, though usually it just goes toward savings goals, having funded our new roof, built our ‘one day new’ car fund, car repairs, vacation funds, and things like that.

Read moreGood Old Uncle Sam Will Be Getting Our Money This Year

Have You Heard Of Discount Brokers?

With the advent and growth of the Internet over the course of the past two decades, discount brokers have become ever more common. Discount brokers have opened the door to investing in stock to a wider swath of people than ever before. Indeed, with the broad availability of discount brokers in this day and age, nearly anybody with even a minimal amount of money to invest can afford to access the stock market.

In addition to being less expensive than a traditional broker, there is one primary distinction between the traditional derivation and a discount broker. A discount broker does not provide an investor with advice. Rather, an investor must do his or her own research and make his or her own decisions regarding the buying and selling of stock. Although this can lead to an overhaul of information, this also increases your chances of success.

People interested in this type of investment resource need to understand some of the essential elements associated with a discount broker. The following are tips to keep in mind when making your decision:

Read moreHave You Heard Of Discount Brokers?

Evaluating Historical Financial Asset Class Returns (Part 2 of 2)

I’m off on a little camping trip, so I’m proud to allow Larry Russell, a fellow blogger, to contribute.  Part 1 was published last week.

Post-World War II economic expansion from 1947 through 1968 using inflationary dollars

Inflation was quelled by a post-war recession. The immediate post-war inflation spike ended with a drop in inflation of -1.2% during 1949. This immediate post-war downturn saw the value of stocks fall by 8.3% in 1946. For this reason, the chart below begins with 1947 as stock markets recovered and began an upward march for two decades through 1968.

Read moreEvaluating Historical Financial Asset Class Returns (Part 2 of 2)

Evaluating Historical Financial Asset Class Returns (Part 1 of 2): Cash, Bond, and Stock Market Returns With And Without Inflation

I’m off on a little camping trip, so I’m proud to allow Larry Russell, a fellow blogger, to contribute.  This is a long article (but with lots of great information), so it will be split into two parts.  Part 2 will publish early next week.

Introduction to evaluating historical financial asset class returns with and without inflation

Very often, long-term historical U.S. asset class returns for the primary stock, bond, and cash financial investment asset classes are presented as:

    • graphics with cumulative long-term returns,
    • simple historical averages, or
    • dense tables of numbers

Read moreEvaluating Historical Financial Asset Class Returns (Part 1 of 2): Cash, Bond, and Stock Market Returns With And Without Inflation

Why I Hired A Financial Planner

Note: This is a post by contributor Jim Kelly.  This is timely information because I’m just exploring the possibility of dipping my toes in the water as far as working with a financial planner.  Jim and I share many of the same underlying circumstances in life, so I felt that sharing this info was timely and valuable.

This year we decided to enlist the services of a financial planner. Now, you’re probably thinking that we have to be rich to be able to afford to pay someone else to manage our money.

That’s not true.

My wife and kids and I are your average middle-class family, with a mortgage and bills, just like everyone else. In fact, a lot of people who use financial planners are in the same boat. After managing our finances ourselves for several years, here’s why we decided to go with a professional.

Read moreWhy I Hired A Financial Planner

Consider Keeping Your Job While Receiving Annuity Payments

Annuities are regarded highly as a financial product or a method of settlement of hefty amounts. The human psyche is pretty stubborn when it comes to cash management. Even the most stable minded person would find it hard to manage a sudden inflow of cash, especially if it’s a considerable amount.

Unreasonable desires creep up in the mind, and can lead to purchases with damaging consequences. Thankfully, annuities can overcome these weaknesses of human nature. Even then, the prospect of having a long term periodic inflow of cash is enough to unsettle a person, in terms of how he/she approaches their job. Moreover, considering the widespread job dissatisfaction these days, it is almost guaranteed that if you were to be lucky enough to have an annuity payment scheme in your name, there’s a likelihood that you would submit your resignation papers, letting your boss know what you really think of him on the way out! However, if you out in serious thoughts, you’d find out that the idea of giving your job up would not be a smart choice. Here, we discuss as to why you might as well continue your job despite your annuity income.

Read moreConsider Keeping Your Job While Receiving Annuity Payments