Making Good Investment Choices That Grow Your Money

I was at one time in my career a financial advisor working with a major U.S. bank. It was my job to help people decide on what investment choices were best for them, how much to invest, and how safe or risky those investments might be. That put pressure on me, but even more pressure on my clients who were risking their hard-earned money. I gave the best advice I could for each individual, but here’s the fact: no one knows with certainty exactly what will happen when you invest in the stock market.

A seedling being watered so it will grow like your investment choices

So the real question is “Can you make good investment choices that will grow your money?” That’s the subject for today, but first let me tell you that I’m retired and no longer a financial advisor. And secondly, today’s post does not take into account the specifics of your situation and should not be considered financial advice.

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17 Ways on How to Save $10,000 in a Year

Earning a salary is just one way to get money and if it’s the only way you get it, you probably don’t have enough of it. Why do I say that? Because finding new ways to get money—including alternate streams of income—are essential now and even more so when you retire and stop getting a weekly paycheck. That’s why you need to think outside the box now, figure out how to increase your financial cache, learn how to save $10,000 in a year, and save as much as you can for your future self.

Puzzle to put together a $100 bill on your way to figuring out how to save $10,000 in a year

You start with the money you earn at your everyday job and build from there. It won’t be easy, but when you get serious about it, it will fall into place in a short period of time. When should you start? Yesterday! But since you can’t start then, start now with these 17 ways to save. You can save $10,000 by saving extra money or simply not spending extra money this year! Here’s how…

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Debt Versus Investing: A Simple Solution!

For today’s guest post on debt versus investing, please welcome Jeff from Have Your Dollars Make Sense.

So I have often thought about and read about the idea of which is better when it comes to debt versus investing. Pay down debt or invest. This comes up a lot in forums, blog posts, etc. It seems to be a perpetual question and I get it. Who wants to be sitting in debt!? Being a slave to the man! That’s a big no for me. Debt flat out sucks and it can definitely limit all future choices… but on the other hand, we all want to build our net worth. We all want to build wealth. We don’t want to funnel all our cash into debt when it could potentially be earning more in capital gains in the market or elsewhere. So what to do… what to do?

Money gradually growing into more, as it does when paying down debt or investing

Debt Versus Investing

Max out all 401(k)s if there is a company match available

First off, max out all 401(k)s if there is a company match available. Free money is free money, right? Consider maxing out IRA accounts too due to the tax savings (if you make less than $117,000 as a single filer or less than $184,000 if married) and the beauty of the backdoor IRA otherwise. Okay, now that we have that out of the way, what about debt versus after-tax investments accounts?

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Series I Savings Bonds: Save Money and Guard Against Inflation

On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a market basket of item prices including food, energy, and housing costs, rose by 5% over the past year. The report showed the biggest CPI gain since August 2008. Here is the inflation I’ve been talking about since October! And with the Fed describing the inflation as only transitory, that means that the interest on money you’re stowing away in savings accounts won’t keep up with inflation. Enter the Series I Savings Bond.

Considering the low interest rates on most savings vehicles, Series I Savings Bonds are a great way to save money while guarding against inflation.

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. They were originally developed as encouragement to save (called the “baby bonds”) in 1935 during FDR’s first term during the Great Depression. And they eventually evolved into the E bonds that helped finance and pay for World War II back in the 1940’s (War Bonds).

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What Do You Have in Common with a Squirrel?

Does the title here sound a bit odd to you? I mean, what do we have in common with squirrels? You see them all the time around here in spring and summer but almost never at this time of the year. They’re off keeping warm and relaxing, getting ready for spring I guess. And that’s my point here.

The squirrel has to prepare long in advance of winter to survive. Heed this lesson about preparing for retirement, and start right away!

There isn’t much squirrel activity now that winter has truly set in. Over the last several months, like just about every squirrel, the ones in my neighborhood got ready for the long winter ahead. This past week we just had a 20+ inch snowstorm and a well prepared squirrel can pretty much feel good if he did what we was supposed to do.

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Can You Election-Proof Your Finances?

No matter who wins the presidential election this year, or in future years, the outlook for continued growth and innovation long term remains a positive. There’s no reason to believe that even in a pandemic world that we have today that progress and innovation are simply just going to stop because one candidate or another is elected and 2020 isn’t going to start a new trend in that regard. Financial growth is going to happen for some (or even many) and you want to be in that number when it does. The question is: how? How can you election-proof your finances?

If you want to election-proof your finances, you need to look at history to be your guide. From there, we can make some general observations.

Election-Proof Your Finances?

There is often widespread uncertainty before a presidential election, and that extends to worrying about your finances. To election-proof your finances is to ensure that you will be improving your monetary situation no matter who wins. Now I don’t know your particular situation, and I’m not providing advice, but I can make some general observations as to how it can be achieved.

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P.R.O.T.E.C.T. Yourself and Your Money in Retirement

Now that I am well into the retirement mode—having actually retired back in 2013 and started collecting my Social Security—it is way easier to look back and see what I did in planning and executing my journey. 2013 may seem like eons ago, but in reality it’s just a flash in my mind and that’s the way time seems to go for all of us. One day you’re 35 and retirement seems like it will never get here and in a flash you’re 60-something and you need to have all your ducks lined up and a real retirement plan in place. That’s where the little reminder I came up with comes into play: P.R.O.T.E.C.T yourself, or Plan Retirement Options To Ensure Cash Tranche.

When it comes to your retirement plan, it's important to P.R.O.T.E.C.T. yourself - Plan Retirement Options To Ensure Cash Tranche.

P is for Plan

When the word “plan” comes up in any conversation, it requires that you do something. You means you and not someone else who may have a plan and you just may be a part of the fringe of that. For example, when it comes to your future and retirement, if your family has built wealth and you are planning to inherit some of it to fund your expenses and even your retirement…don’t count on it. While that may qualify technically as a plan, it is a terrible one!

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How to Start Investing Without a Lot of Money

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We all hope and aspire to be able to save and grow our money. It’s not just a good idea. It may be fun to do and a challenge, but it is very important to save money for the future, target “numero uno”: retirement! But right now, even trying to find a high-interest savings account online has become practically impossible and if you do find any, you can’t earn enough interest to keep up with inflation. That’s where investing comes in. You may have put off investing because you didn’t have much in the way of finances, but I’m here to tell you to how to start investing without a lot of money.

Many people put off investing because they think it's a big commitment of funds. But you can learn how to start investing with only a small amount of money.

Investing Your Money Has Become a Real “Go To” Plan

You may think that investing is only for wealthy people. Or that you just don’t even know the most fundamental thing about investing and are simply frightened at the thought of it. Or you may have just put off investing forever. If you did that because you didn’t have much money left over for investing, then I have very good news for you. It doesn’t take much money to get started with investing!

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