Personal Finance

Cheap 4th of July Fun-7 Great Ideas

Cheap 4th of July Fun-7 Great Ideas

By in Guest Post, Personal Finance, Saving, Tips | 0 comments

7 Ways to Enjoy the Fourth of July + Maybe Build Wealth By contributing columnist,  Alexandra Deluise The Fourth of July is one of the highlights of summer for me. The holiday almost always includes a cookout, fireworks, and time spent with family around a campfire with marshmallows. This year, July 4th is on a Saturday. For those of you who get Friday off as a state holiday, this means three full days of potential festivities and cheap 4th of July fun! However, getting crazy on this patriotic holiday can cost a lot if you are not careful. Save some money with these frugal tips for a fun-filled holiday weekend. 7 Cheap 4th of July Fun Ideas 1. Keep the 4th of July in Perspective One of the most dangerous things about holidays are our own expectations. Remember what you are grateful for, and keep those things front and center during your Fourth of July celebrations. 2. Awesome Outdoor Activities! (+More Cheap 4th of July Fun) I love outdoor activities, and the Fourth of July is a great time to engage in them. The best thing about outdoor activities is that they can be very cheap, and last for years! Corn hole/Bag Toss: A quick internet search shows that sets go for $80-100, but with a deeper search you can find sets for as low as $15! Now that’s a great and cheap 4th of July fun activity. Corn hole is one of my family’s favorite games to play; we bought a set a few years ago for around $30, and have used it at every cookout since. The boards easily fold into the traveling case, and we’re off! Water Obstacle Course: If it’s really hot, break out the sprinklers and have some fun. This does not have to be just for kids! Add a grown-up challenge by timing runs through different sprinklers, slip-n-slides, or other obstacles, and compete for bragging rights or a small prize. Sidewalk Art: Another child’s activity that many adults can become overly enthusiastic about is chalk art. Grab a large bucket for under $10, and gain instant curb appeal (hopefully!) as everyone gets involved. 3. Party Hop!-Rock-Bottom Cheap 4th of July Fun The best way...

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Miranda Marquit-Personal Finance Luminary

Miranda Marquit-Personal Finance Luminary

By in Personal Finance, Personal Finance Luminaries | 0 comments

Personal Finance Luminary Series Welcome to an inside look into some of the most important personal finance luminaries online. These influential people educate and entertain others about money topics. From authors to podcasters to writers, these money mentors are working to raise the level of financial knowledge and education.  Read more about Personal Finance Luminaries >>> What is your background and money/financial influences? My training is in journalism. I began learning about money as a result of a gig. I read everything I could from financial gurus and others, and eventually began picking and choosing what made sense for me. I’ve cobbled together my own money outlook and philosophy as a result. Describe your work and include a typical day. I’m a freelance journalist, specializing in financial issues. I usually get up between 6 and 6:30 and putter around with email and social media. When my son gets up, I get him breakfast and help him prepare for school. Once he’s off to school, I usually exercise. After cleaning up from my workout, I sit down and complete freelance writing assignments. I work until lunch. After lunch, I return to the email inbox, speak with people on the phone, work on podcasts and other special projects, and engage in other miscellania. When my son returns from school, we do a snack, homework, and music practice. This is time that I work on my own self-improvement, including my own music practice, or I do a little cleaning. After dinner, my son and I usually play a board game, watch a little TV, or he plays a video game, if he doesn’t have an extracurricular activity scheduled. After my son goes to bed, I usually return to the inbox, then I unwind with a book or a movie before heading to bed. Flexibility in my schedule means that some days don’t go like this. Sometimes I go to the spa or meet someone for lunch. I can push work to the weekends in these cases, or change things around if I’m traveling or if my son and I are camping. Learn wealth building basics in a few hours here. From a masters degree in journalism, how did you become a money expert?...

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Personal Finance-An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management + Baseball

By in Personal Finance | 0 comments

What does Personal Finance-An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management have to do with baseball? Excerpt of article published on LinkedIn  Personal Finance-An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management just launched. See what baseball has in common with writing and editing an encyclopedia. I’ve thought of my career as that of a baseball player. But not one of the home run sluggers like Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, or Alex Rodriguez. Sure, I’ve had my good days career as an investment and finance professional – like the days I get a emails that say my financial expertise has helped a reader or two. The day I was asked to write for Investopedia.com was also exceptional. But in general, I don’t expect my writing to go viral or my books to hit number one and stay there forever (although I did have a few number one days for each of them). And that’s okay. I look at my work like a plodding singles hitter with a solid, not stupendous batting average-someone with longevity. Please read the rest of this story over at LinkedIn. Do you want to know how to be a singles hitting investment success? Click...

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Rebalance Your Asset Allocation Guide

Rebalance Your Asset Allocation Guide

By in Advanced Investing, Asset Allocation, Bond, Investing, Mutual Funds, Personal Finance, Stocks | 13 comments

Earn More by Rebalancing Your Asset Allocation Raise your had if you want an extra one quarter percent return on your portfolio every year? It takes about an hour and you can get this extra return every year. I know, it’s not much, but with interest rates in the basement, every little bit helps. Before you learn how to rebalance your asset allocation, let’s review a bit of investing background. What is Asset Allocation? “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” This old adage describes  the best way to boost investment returns. Diversify your investments among stock and bond index funds and you’ll cushion the volatility and boost returns. Imagine, over the last decade if you invested only stocks, your returns would have been in the low single digits. If you added some bonds to your portfolio, your investment returns go up a few percent. Modern investing portfolio theory recommends determining your risk profile and then divvying up your portfolio in line with your risk level. In other words, if you can handle a bit more volatility in your investment returns, you want more stocks in your portfolio. Terrified of the cyclical ups and downs in your investment value, invest a greater percent in bonds. Click now to get a low cost plan to cut investment fees to the bone and manage your own investments. Asset allocation is the investors personal decision about how to divide up your investments among basic asset classes. In general, investors divide their assets between stock and bond type investments. Younger folks, with more time until retirement and a longer working life frequently benefit from an asset allocation more heavily weighted toward stock investments. A guy in his 50’s facing retirement in fifteen years and risk averse, may choose 55% stock investments and 45% bond investments. A young woman with a high paying secure job and a high risk tolerance chooses 75% stock investments and only 25% bonds. Following is an image of 34 year old Carter’s, moderately aggressive investment portfolio: 33% in a broadly diversified United States stock index fund 33% in a broad diversified International stock index fund 34% in an inflation protected bond fund   Rebalance and Increase Returns A recent Wall Street Journal article...

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How Can I Tell if I’m On Track for Retirement?

How Can I Tell if I’m On Track for Retirement?

By in Asset Allocation, Investing, Money Management, Personal Finance, Reader Question, Retirement | 0 comments

Reader Question: Am I On Track for a Secure Retirement? “Barbara, I started investing late and although I have a military pension, a 401k, and brokerage accounts; I wonder if I am track to a comfortable retirement.  I use commission free ETFs in a taxable account.”   You’re doing what you think is right, saving, investing, living modestly, but how do you know if you’re on track for retirement? This question from a reader echoes a common concern. After all, no one wants more life than money! How to Find Out If I’m On Track for a Secure Retirement?  Here’s a roadmap to find out if you’re on track for retirement. 1. Figure out approximately how much money you think you’ll need per year in retirement (usually about 80%  of your current income, but it varies a lot from person to person). 2. Then jot down how much you’ll get from your military pension plus any other retirement plans, such as social security. 3. Next estimate, with an online calculator how much your current investments will be worth at retirement.  CNN Money has an excellent retirement calculator to help you figure out the future value of your retirement portfolio.  Choose your rate of return carefully. When putting in your expected rate of return, I suggest being conservative. Although average historical stock market returns have topped 9% and long term bond market returns hover around 5%, I’d assume future returns will be lower. It’s better to under rather than over-estimate your future retirement earnings. Click here to learn the best way to invest and build wealth for retirement. To come up with a reasonable rate of return, figure out the percent of assets invested in stock funds and the percent in bonds-your asset allocation. Next add those percentages mulitplied by expected asset returns to come up with your expected rate of return.  For example, Kaitlin has 60% invested in stocks and stock mutual funds. She has 40% invested in fixed assets such as bond funds. She selected an expected 7% future return for her stock assets (2% lower than the historical averages) and 3.5% expected future return for her bond investments. To calculate the future expected return to input into the...

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Finovate- A Glimpse into Your Money – Tech Future

Finovate- A Glimpse into Your Money – Tech Future

By in Links, Money Management, Personal Finance | 3 comments

FinovateSpring 2015-Disrupting Financial Technologies Since 2007, Finovate conferences have showcased cutting-edge banking and financial technology in a unique demo-only format.  Click here for Free micro book-How to Invest and Outperform + Wealth Tips Newsletter   The Future of Financial Innovation Finovate travels around the world collecting and showcasing the new and noteworthy financial products and innovations. Some of the presenting companies have been around awhile such as Yodlee, who’s looking to urge consumers to make wiser financial choices and Lending Tree, which is striving to help the consumer with better lending choices. The majority of companies are demonstrating new product launches.    The companies traverse the financial landscape, with Draftapp’s revolutionary investment fee and comparison tool to Money Amigo who’s attempting to level the playing field by giving the under-served markets access to low cost financial services.  StockViews gives the user crowd sourced investment opinions and TickerTags scours the internet for trending information on investable companies to give greater financial information to investors. Moven @getMoven leverages behavior science to help consumers make smarter money choices. They’ve even been called a  “bank of the future”. DriveWealth @DriveWealth, is working to help investors globally tap into U.S. markets. They offer “Brokerage as a service” to the world.  Crowdfunding is so last week- Someone With Group @Some1WithGroup is taking this concept to hospitals to help families set up campaigns to pay for medical services. It’s a win-win. Finovate on Twitter For a quick view of the Finovate conversations, check out these live tweets. @Onovative-“Ever wonder when and how your bank should follow up with and cross sell new customers? onovativebanking.com/bank_onboarding” “@Trulioo presents GlobalGateway, a bank-grade ID verification platform for businesses #Finovate finovate.com/globalgateway” “@currency_cloud detubint Payment Engine to remove complexity from international payments @Finovate” @KatJoyWhite-“Apparently there are 6600 tech companies in San Jose #FinovateSpring” @AXALab-“On stage at #Finovate-SizeUp – shows how your business compares to competitors & identifies best places to advertise” @Waltrcox-“@currency cloud was my favorite demo of the day. Very compelling to build a live web app during a 7 minute pitch!” @CapcoConnect-“Forgot what that $200 purchase was at #amazon?”    Click here if you want to solve your investing problems.   @Shoeboxed-“can help by syncing your email with your banking app...

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