Wealth

5 Perfect Father’s Day Gifts

5 Perfect Father’s Day Gifts

By in Guest Post, Tips, Wealth | 2 comments

Wallet-Happy Gifts Dad Will Love! By contributing columnist,  Alexandra Deluise Father’s Day is always a difficult holiday to shop for because my father is one of those “don’t get me anything” types. While this would make for a very frugal Father’s Day indeed, I still enjoy finding ways to let my dad know I appreciate him. Realistically, there are no Perfect Father’s Day Gifts yet, there may be gifts which are just right for your dad. The following gifts go beyond the cliché necktie or slippers for dad, while keeping your wallet full and giving dad something he’ll enjoy. 1. Perfect Father’s Day Gifts-“No gifts, please!” If your dad really doesn’t like gifts, treat him to an experience. Some fathers prefer games like golf or bowling, but there are other great ways to bond with dad and take advantage of the great June weather. My husband will be taking his father out fishing this Father’s Day – if you already own the equipment or can borrow it from a friend, there is little cost involved in picking up bait, packing a lunch, and heading to the nearest fishing hole. Just be sure to check local fishing restrictions to avoid fines! Camping is also another great experience to share if your dad likes the great outdoors. This is an activity that can be customized, depending on where your dad falls on the scale of “I’ll sleep outside, but need running water” to “I’ll build my own tent using trees I cut down myself.” My father falls on the latter end, so camping with him involves very little – a few MREs (food in a bag you just add water to – surprisingly tasty!), a portable stove, sleeping bags, a tent, and a spot in the woods. Click here for Free micro book-How to Invest and Outperform + Wealth Tips Newsletter More pampered camping is available for low site rental fees, and can include running water and activities such as canoe rental. These camping sites can give you time for bonding with dad and nature, while avoiding the undesirable bear encounters all-too-common in camping activities with my dad! These activities, like many others, can be done for one-on-one time with dad, or...

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Mindful Money

Mindful Money

By in Guest Post, Mind and Money, Wealth | 7 comments

Financial Stability Through Mind Power By contributing columnist,  Alexandra Deluise Achieving financial stability and wealth takes dedication, a strong plan, and determination to stay out of debt. Overall, the secret to financial happiness is a strong mind game. With mindful money, you learn to incorporate the principle of mindfulness and being aware to how you handle your finances. Dedication and determination are created when something you are working on means a lot to you; mentally, you have chosen to continue with a task because you deem it important. Staying dedicated requires mind power so that you are not swayed off your path, be it a path to financial freedom or asset building.  By spending a few minutes right now considering what’s really important to you, will create greater long term wealth.  After all, are you the winner when you’re the richest one in the cemetery? Your mind can also craft a strong plan for your financial goals. By thinking strategically, you are able to plan your way to wealth and a debt-free life. Rarely do people accidentally stumble upon wealth – average people like myself need to consider our steps. There are other ways to literally put your head in the money game, and doing so is extremely important for your financial well-being. These are my top four ways to live with money mindfully. Top 3 Mindful Money Strategies  Remember that you are not defined by your money. The media would have us believe that without all that money can buy we are nothing. When you begin feeling overwhelmed by pressure to purchase, remember what you are dedicated to, and ask if this purchase is adding to your goals, or simply a way of hoping to conform to whatever lifestyle you are hoping to portray. Two acquaintances of mine go to Florida and Disney World at least once a year, and sometimes twice; their apparent life of luxury is certain to make a few jealous. If the life of luxurious travel appeals to you but you do not have the means, do as Barbara recommends and take a day trip somewhere you don’t often go with a picnic lunch. You can still get the relaxation benefits from cheap, fun...

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9 Best Mother’s Day Gifts + Activities

9 Best Mother’s Day Gifts + Activities

By in Tips, Wealth | 8 comments

9 Ways to Treat Mom this Mother’s Day – Without Breaking the Bank! Staff Contributor, Alexandra DeLuise-Alexandra combines her banking experience with real-world financial advice to provide simple money tips to everyday people. Mother’s Day was always a holiday I enjoyed celebrating as a child. Although every day of the year is a time to show mom how much you appreciate her, there was something special about giving mom her own day. The best Mother’s Day gifts bring the family together, create special memories, and true wealth. A handmade card, sign, or a bouquet of flowers picked directly from the garden – the one mom grew herself, ironically – were perfectly acceptable Mother’s Day gifts when I was a child, but buying grown-up gifts for mom can be even more fun. The best part about Mother’s Day is that these gifts do not have to be expensive or cliché at all! Here are  the best Mother’s Day gifts -without going to the poor house! The Best Mother’s Day Gifts + Activities 1. Combine Gifts with Experiences In the busyness of daily life it can be easy to forget to spend time with the woman who raised us. Even though mom might love a card and flowers, you can pack a bigger appreciation punch by giving mom gifts that mean more time with you.* 2. For the Outdoorsy Mom If your mom likes to garden, as mine does, there are many plant companies that sell gift cards, or allow you to create custom gifts of saplings that will be mailed to mom during ideal planting time. Sometimes this means that mom will have to wait until after Mother’s Day for her plants to actually arrive, but when they do the two of you can spend time together working in her garden. Does mom like to hike or spend time in nature? Make and pack a picnic lunch to share along the trail as the two of you spend quality time in the beautiful Springtime weather. Does Mom need a bit of money help? Click here for a great find. 3. For the Culinary Expert Cooking mom breakfast in bed is always a great gift, but if mom prefers to do...

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How to Choose Mutual Funds? Reader Question

How to Choose Mutual Funds? Reader Question

By in Advanced Investing, Asset Allocation, Bond, Investing, Mutual Funds, Reader Question, Stocks, Wealth | 10 comments

John, a loyal reader wants the answer to this common question:  How to Choose Mutual Funds “I would like your opinion and advice on how I should allocate my investments and my daughter’s investments among mutual funds. Both our accounts are with Fidelity. I am 56 and plan to retire at 60. I have $400,000 in IRAs (Traditional and Roth). My daughter is 24 and has $65,000 in an individual acct and $50,000 in both Roth and rollover IRA. There are so many funds to choose from and I feel overwhelmed. Any suggestions would be helpful.” Too Much Fund Information is Not Always Better There is scientific evidence that it is more difficult to make a decision when confronted with a large number of choices, than when given just a few choices. The Paradox of Choice, one of my favorite books, is devoted to this topic. The author, Barry Schwartz claims that we are paralyzed by too many choices, and that this paralysis leads to inaction. I think this is particularly true when it comes to investing in mutual funds. Did you know there are more individual mutual funds than individual stocks?  How is someone able to decide among the over abundance of fund offerings? Make investing simple and learn how to choose mutual funds by winnowing the fund list and defining your risk level.  Determine Your Risk Level First Before considering how many and what type of funds to choose, you must figure out how much volatility or risk you can stomach. Those who cannot sleep when their investment portfolio goes up and down, should have less invested in stock investments and more in fixed or bond type investments. Additionally, the more time available before you need access to your funds, the more aggressively you can invest. Stocks and stock mutual funds are quite volatile and over the short term (which can be up to five years) can go up or down in value. Over periods of more than ten or twenty years, their normal trajectory is upward. Never put any money in stock type investments which you will need within the next five years. Bonds are less volatile, yet long term historical data suggests that they offer lower levels of return than stocks.  In general, if...

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5 Keys to the Perfect Scam

5 Keys to the Perfect Scam

By in Mind and Money, Personal Finance, Saving, Tips, Wealth | 2 comments

Find out How to Avoid the Perfect Scam Setting; A hot day in the most popular Asian city, teeming with tourists and excitement. My husband and I were walking down a metropolitan city street towards the beautiful grand central park for a Saturday morning stroll. “Are you American?” asks the impeccably dressed man, in perfect English. “Yes we are,” my husband replied. Not one to be swayed by strangers, having grown up in NYC, my husband knew a swindle, from a mile away. “I’m a dentist waiting for my wife. We’re going to the local temple. Did you know that our son is studying at Cornell in upstate New York?” stated the attractive man. His diamond ring and silk striped shirt, didn’t go unnoticed by my discerning eye. My husband and I were equally impressed by the pedigree of the dentist with the bright and studious son, studying at Cornell. The man asked us where we were headed. After we told him the park, he offered some helpful information, the park is closed on Saturday mornings for washing, see…. as he pointed to the wet streets and further made his point- Saturday morning is cleaning day. Oh, how would we know this key fact? How helpful, he saved us some time. Meanwhile, there was a bit of doubt in my mind, it seemed a bit peculiar to close a park on a busy week end morning. Then, he went on to tell us how to save money at the various sites. After all, who doesn’t want to save money? He went on to advise that we shouldn’t go on a tour to the temples, because they overcharge, and the individual entrance fees for each temple was quite reasonable. Another helpful tip. Clearly this concerned stranger was out for our well-being. Then, continuing with his helpful advice for touring the city, he recommended China town as a great place for excellent food. He and his wife go there when they’re in the area. Who could argue with that? Next, as we looked together at the map, he proposed an affordable boat trip up the river. It looked like so much fun, and the boat dock didn’t look like too far...

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The Magic of Compounding-Get Rich While You Sleep

The Magic of Compounding-Get Rich While You Sleep

By in Automatic Saving, Investing, Mutual Funds, Saving, Stocks, Wealth | 11 comments

What is the Magic of Compounding? “Everyone has the brainpower to follow the stock market. If you made it through fifth-grade math, you can do it.” Peter Lynch    One of the greatest investors of our time attests to the simplicity of investing in the stock market. Read this post and find out why. Following is the “Cliff Notes” version of why you need to put part of your long term investment dollars in the stock market.  Click here for FREE wealth TIPS and access to the 14 Rules of Investing Stocks + The Magic of Compounding = $$$   The historical long term growth of American business is amazing. American business is frequently represented by the Standard and Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S & P 500). This index of 500 stocks is considered a barometer for the complete US Stock Market.  Forget about the previous recession and downfall of the stock markets for a minute and take a peak at some historical returns of the S & P 500. Although historical returns do not guarantee future returns. When looking at these returns, think about the stock market as a collection of U.S. businesses, not mutual fund or brokerage account statements. Then ask yourself if you think U.S. businesses and the economy will grow over the next 20, 30, or 40 years? The first time I really studied this type of data was in 1993.  Although I had been investing for a while prior to that time, my husband was still skeptical. I wanted to convince my husband of the importance of putting money into the stock market so I prepared some data for him. Fortunately, for us he was convinced by the historical information, so we boosted our investing at that time and have watched our investments grow over time while continuing to contribute regularly to our investment accounts.  Click here for Free micro book-How to Invest and Outperform + Wealth Tips Newsletter  But what does this return mean in real dollars?  Growth of $1,000.00 – At various interest rates Put $1,000.00 in at the beginning of each period. Do not add any more money.  TIME PERIOD  RATE OF RETURN  VALUE OF $1,000.00 AT END OF PERIOD  40 Years                        9.19%  $33,675.55 ...

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