Often flying under the radar these days and almost forgotten about in the 21st century is a really good old friend that I grew up with as a child: the U.S. Savings Bond. Originally developed as encouragement to save (called the “baby bonds”) in 1935 during FDR’s first term during the Great Depression, they eventually evolved into the E bonds that helped finance and pay for World War II back in the 1940’s (War Bonds).
Like many things, it has changed since those days. As a kid in the 1950’s, I recall when I used to buy bond stamps and paste them into my bond folder. Eventually it grew and when held to a maturity date, it was worth $25. I used it then for some huge event in my life, like a new bike or some other big deal!
Years later, the E bonds became the alphabet soup letters of bonds such as F, G, J, K, H, and even HH bonds (which ceased being issued in 2004). Remember those? You would go down to your local bank branch and buy them at “half” face value, hold onto them until they matured, and eventually cashed them in doubling your money. The good old days, right? Continue reading
You’ve probably already heard of the many schemes and pitches designed to separate you from your money—emails from Nigerian princes, phishing scams, etc. But does your bull$h!t detector go off when confronted with a slick come-on for perfectly legal-but-somewhat-questionable retirement investment pitches? There are a ton of them out there and as you inch closer and closer to retirement, you are more likely to hear about them and yes, even get roped into a presentation by a so-called retirement expert!
Retirement Investment Pitches You Should Ignore
That’s why I’m posting this today so you can get a heads up about some of these pitches that are often targeted to people just like you and I when planning our golden years in retirement. There are some investments that make sense in certain situations, but here are 7 specific BS pitches you should probably ignore! Continue reading
The Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate this week as U.S. economic growth remains strong and unemployment is at an 18-year low. The bottom line for borrowers is this: everything from credit cards to auto loans to mortgages is about to become more expensive because of this Fed rate hike.
The Fed’s monetary policymakers added another quarter-point to the central bank’s key interest rate, putting it at 1.75% to 2%, the highest since 2008, economists said. This is the second of a now planned four interest rate increases expected for this year. The Fed last raised its benchmark rate a quarter-point in March, moving it into the range of 1.5% to 1.75%. You’re going to feel this one right away. Continue reading
Most people are hesitant to take risks in their lives. It’s kind of human nature for people to fear risk. With the possible exception of Evel Knievel, Neil Armstrong, and a couple of others, it’s tough for us to step out onto that ledge and take a chance. You probably won’t be considering riding a motorcycle and jumping over a dozen cars or rocketing to the moon and back for fun or profit like Evel and Neil did back in the day, but what about other risky things that you deal with in your real life all the time? It all has to do with your risk tolerance.
What Are Some Risks You May Have to Face?
There is a laundry list of things and events that we face regularly that may involve risk. That means everything from meeting your future in-laws for the first time to making financial investments for your future and retirement. Continue reading
For today’s guest post on a personal investing strategy, please welcome fellow personal finance blogger Joseph Hogue.
Making investing personal will not only make investing cheaper but will motivate you and help you reach your financial goals
Two stock market crashes in less than a decade into the new millennium and a lot of people wonder if investing is worth the risk and the worry. Keeping up with the ups-and-downs of the stock market and picking the best investments can seem like a part-time job.
But investing doesn’t have to be like that.
In fact, the best investing strategy is one about which you don’t worry at all. Continue reading
Remember your childhood days and your Yo-Yo? If you do, then you can probably relate to what has been happening since last Friday in the U.S. markets and today has been “Yo-Yo purgatory” for many investors.
The U.S. stock market is making some investors very nervous over the past several days. On Monday, the Dow dropped 1,175.21 points, an all-time biggest point drop in its entire history (although not the biggest percentage drop) having briefly declined more than 1,500 points during the session. Other major indexes closed sharply lower too. The sell-off kicked into action last Friday, after the latest non-farm payrolls report saw interest rates in the U.S. jump. Continue reading
Financially speaking, 2017 has been a very profitable year for many, especially those individuals who have a stake in the stock market and those businesses that have made huge gains as well. Just ask our leaders about that and you’ll probably hear over and over how great our economy is performing, “record levels like no one has ever seen before” to coin a phrase.
But, 2017 has been a year also marked and marred by unexpected events, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks and all kinds of political and social upheaval. It seems 2018 will likely prove to be no different, but the least we can do is examine our own expectations for the year to come, so we know where we may be in for some really unpleasant surprises. One such surprise might just be a burst in the stock market bubble and the carbon bubble that might spell double trouble. Continue reading
When times are tight, and that seems to be just about all of the time these days, it’s important to search for ways to stretch your dollars. While everyone seems to know the obvious money-saving strategies, like clipping coupons or online shopping instead of spending extra for gas and driving everywhere, there are plenty of other options to cut your costs. Some of you may have heard some ideas whispered in a back room at the office, but you may have never even imagined that people spend a lot of their time looking for new and even extreme ways to save their money!
Don’t be afraid. If you are really serious about saving money, you can get pretty creative with your saving strategies. Those willing to think outside the box can save some serious cash. If you’re willing to do just about anything it takes to add some extra room into your budget, try these 17 crazy, weird, and even extreme ways to save money and cut your expenses! Continue reading
Tips on saving for your future are almost a dime a dozen out there. Well, maybe they’re really more like hundreds of dollars for even just one good tip from a professional, but here’s some good news for you. My tips for you are still absolutely free right here! But remember that you get what you pay for, so here is what I think on today’s topic: investing in infrastructure.
For years now there has been a lot of talk about our aging infrastructure* and the need to rebuild, repair, replace, and create all new projects, buildings, roads, etc. all over the country. Continue reading
For today’s guest post on increasing your savings, please welcome back fellow blogger Anum Yoon.
In today’s world, there are endless opportunities to make money, but not all of them are the definition of reliable. Unless you have a sizable, stable income, it can be difficult to build a hefty savings account. It can be intimidating to start putting your money away for the future, especially if you aren’t sure what’s the right way to do so. Thankfully, there isn’t just one way to save!
Increase Automatic Savings Just a Bit
Don’t attempt to save money in big chunks at first. It will be discouraging to see the money drain from your account so fast when you’re not sure what your new budget will be. Give yourself a small goal, and let it grow bigger with time. For example, start saving 1% of your monthly income, and, after six months, increase it to 2%. The time frame can be whatever you need it to be, but the gradual saving will build your account quickly. Continue reading