7 Easy Ways to Ramp Up Your Savings

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!

It's important to maximize your savings to increase your overall wealth. Guest blogger Anum Yoon shares seven easy ways to build up your savings.

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

Kids Can Invest in the Market: The Stockpile Experience

Please note this post contains affiliate links which help to fund this blog at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Have you ever purchased stocks for your children or grandchildren? Better yet, would you like your kids to learn about the market at a young age and develop some lifetime skills that just might be the best road to building financial wealth? Well, now you can introduce them to Stockpile, an online discount brokerage firm that will allow you and your kids to buy “fractional” shares of over 1,000 stocks and funds (ETFs) with a relatively new and simple, easy and straightforward access to the stock market.

If you want to buy stocks for kids, Stockpile is a great way to do it. Not only can you buy fractional shares, but kids can track their stocks too.

The idea of buying stock fractions isn’t totally brand new, it’s been around for a couple of years. However, Stockpile is just a little bit different. For the first time ever, you can now set up a custodial account that your kids can use and learn all about the market and even make trades (with your approval of course)! It even gives you the ability to reinvest any dividends automatically for free, unlike any other of these types of accounts. Continue reading

How to Invest in Real Estate When You Don’t Have a Lot of Time

Today’s guest post on maximizing your time when investing in real estate is from fellow blogger Kayla Sloan. 

I don’t know about you, but time is something I never seem to have enough of.

There’s always at least one more thing on my “To Do” list at the end of each day than I have the time to accomplish. Maybe it’s because my goals and optimism of how much I can accomplish each day are too lofty.

If you don't have much time, there are still ways you can invest in real estate. Here are 3 different ways to maximize your time with real estate investing.

If this sounds all too similar to what you experience in your own daily life you should know that one thing not to put off until tomorrow is investing.

Perhaps you’ve considered investing in the past and ruled out putting money into real estate investments due to a lack time in your busy schedule to flip houses or manage rentals. But the good news is, those are not the only ways to invest in real estate and it is possible to do even when you don’t have a lot of time. Continue reading

Want to Invest in a Movie? The Lure of Equity Crowdfunding

Isn’t there a little bit inside all of us with stars in our eyes that has us dreaming about what it might be like to be a movie star? Even if you don’t want to admit it out loud, you probably have wanted to find out about Hollywood and its glamorous, glittery trappings, right? You know you have.

These days you can invest in everything from a movie to a basketball team through equity crowdfunding. Here's more about the process and what's out there.

Interestingly enough, these days you could be an insider to the movie business as well as dozens of other great industries by sticking your toe into online equity crowdfunding. And you don’t have to be a “Warren Buffet type” to get involved either! It can be done with a little online research, as little as 100 bucks, and a couple of keystrokes on your home computer. Continue reading

Invest in the Right Season of the Stock Market Cycles

This year has brought a real boom in the stock market! The indexes are at record levels, breaking the 21,000 plateau, and at the moment seem to be nothing but “bullish” on the horizon! Anyone who’s invested in the market has seen gains since the beginning of 2017 and that seems to bode well at least in the near term, doesn’t it?

Like the seasons, there are stock market cycles for investing. Knowing when to buy low and when to sell high can help investors maximize their earnings.

If you are asking yourself the big question as to why there is so much optimism in the market these days, one answer you will hear often is this: the proposed tax cuts for business and individuals are now on the table and the cutting of numerous regulations that have been negatively affecting business has begun. These two reasons have been spurring the markets since the November 2016 elections as the numbers have grown by 15% in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Consumer confidence is at a 15-year high as well. Continue reading

What Karate Can Teach Us About Investing

Please welcome Troy from Market History for today’s guest post on what karate can teach us about investing.

I used to do karate when I was in elementary school and when I first started high school. Unlike many sports, karate is insanely aggressive in which the training is rather painful. There are a lot of parallels between karate and investing because karate isn’t just a sport. It’s more of a way of life that trains both your body and your mind. Here are some lessons from my experiences that you can apply as an investor.

Believe it or not karate can teach us about investing. Here are several important lessons from martial arts that cross over to making you a better investor.

Doing nothing is just as important as doing something

You can easily tell a good martial artist from a bad martial artist. Someone who’s bad at karate will throw as many punches, kicks, and combinations as possible in any given round. A lot of times these attacks will be uncoordinated and can be easily deflected. Continue reading

What Will a Fed Interest Rate Hike Mean to You?

Update 03/15/2017: The Fed has announced a quarter point increase as expected.

For almost 10 years, while our economy has been struggling to recover from the recession, one thing that has been a big plus and important to people has been the historic lows in interest rates, but that may be about to change. While the job market was down, the stock market was down, and the emotions of the American people were down, interest rates were adjusted so that many people were still able to afford to buy a home and use their credit cards. But, the Federal Reserve Board (a.k.a. the Fed) raised interest rates last December for just the second time in the last 10 years. That may be the beginning of a huge change over the next couple of years, and that begs a lot of questions.

On Wednesday, it's pretty likely that we'll see a Fed interest rate hike. Here's what that means for the different areas of your financial future.

What a Fed Interest Rate Hike Could Mean

1. How certain is a rise in interest rates?

There is little doubt that interest rates will go up again, beginning this coming week. On Wednesday, March 15th the Fed is expected to announce just that. It’s a move that was almost guaranteed by the good news about the job reports released last week, increases of 235,000 jobs and the drop of the unemployment rate to a low 4.7%. There was also good news about wage growth that further indicates the recovery is moving along at a much better rate than before. Continue reading

Do You Save Collectibles for Fun…or Profit?

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a collector, and I’ve been gathering collectibles since I was a kid. I’ve also been looking around for ways to make some extra money and wondered: could my collections make me a profit?

Gathering collectibles like stamps or coins can be a fun hobby, but some people collect with the hopes of making a profit. Can it really be profitable?

As the saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and that’s certainly true when you collect items. It is an activity that almost everyone has participated in at some time or another in their lives. I have done it and I’m betting that you have as well. It says something about you and your personality when you are a “collector” as your collection usually involves something that’s close to your heart and that you really enjoy. Continue reading

What Are Annuities and Do They Make Sense for You?

You may have heard of annuities before, and wondered what are annuities and whether should you invest in them. Annuities have a reputation, and to a lot of finance people it isn’t a very good one. It’s a fact that an awful lot of financial advisors (not to be confused with annuity salesmen) don’t recommend them or even like to talk about them very much. They are more likely want to talk to you about investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds for growing your wealth. They’ll also talk about participating in a 401k plan to combine with your Social Security benefits, pension, and brokerage accounts for your retirement program.

Annuities can be confusing and have a pretty bad rep. But you should understand what annuities are before deciding on whether they're right for you.

That may be a good plan for many people. But it is wise to consider an annuity or at least feel that you have examined them and understood what they are and why you’d use them before you rule them out. For some people, it can be a real complement to their financial security and retirement plans. And that raises the question, “Do they make any sense for you?” Continue reading

10 IRA Mistakes That Can Screw Up Your Retirement Plan

For an amount of money like $5,500 a year ($6,500 for those over age 50), all of us have an awful lot riding on an IRA. According to the Investment Company Institute, Americans had over $24.6 trillion dollars socked away in total retirement assets with $7.5 trillion in IRA accounts as of the second quarter of 2016.  That makes IRAs the biggest place that people have parked their money for retirement in the country. In addition to direct contributions, a lot of that money has come from rollovers of retirement assets from previous employers’ accounts.

IRA accounts are a popular way to save for retirement, but you need to beware of these 10 IRA mistakes that can derail your savings.

Opening an IRA account seems like it’s a fairly simple thing. You go to a bank or you can pick a brokerage firm or a mutual fund company (even online), fill out a few forms, and then move some money into the account. But, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when and if you stub your toe in the IRA process. It can wind up costing you a lot of money, and that is the money that you are counting on for your retirement and that can screw up your “golden years” if you’re not careful. Continue reading