Personal Finance from

  • Be Careful With Target Date Funds And The Perilous Glide Path
    As with any strategy, some improvisation will be necessary based on changing information: whether the future looks like the past, or something entirely different, will ultimately determine if your current allocation and on-going glide path is appropriate.
  • The Only Free Lunch In Investing
    You've probably heard or read about all kinds of strategies that will make you rich investing. They go by many names, but they all follow the same basic idea: Zigging when others zag. It might be buying sectors at certain points of the business cycle. Or stocks that have been bid down to unusual lows. Or only owning stocks ahead of elections, when Congress is out of session or the moon is full. Yet any kind of market timing or stock selection strategy depends on the same basic mechanism to work out. You have to know something that others don't. If you're talking about a tiny microcap, it's possible you know something absolutely nobody knows. Not likely. Just possible. It's also possible that anyone in the world with deep enough pockets will bet against your position for any reason or no reason, wiping out your investment in seconds. If you're looking at a large, publicly traded company, you might have an inkling that management will move one way or another on an opportunity. But the chances you're the only one taking that bet are few. And plenty of deep pockets could invest against you. Or you could take advantage of the only free lunch in investing — rebalancing. Rebalancing does not depend on factors beyond your control. It simply recognizes reality and reacts accordingly. Your decision to buy or sell an investment rests solely on the fact that it has risen to a value and now represents a larger portion of your total portfolio than intended (so you sell some of it). Or that it has fallen and is now a smaller portion of your portfolio than intended (so you buy). Here's the neat thing: You can buy using incoming cash from contributions, of course, but also incoming dividends and interest. If you sell and generate cash, that money has a home elsewhere in your portfolio, even if nothing has gone down.
  • Hastert's Biggest Mistake? Changing His Pattern Of Withdrawals
    Former Speaker Dennis Hastert wasn't breaking any laws by withdrawing large amounts of cash, but he may have by shifting to smaller ones.
  • The Psychology Behind Saving in the 21st Century
    A strong bank account isn't just built on a spreadsheet. Here are eight psychological tactics to help master savings for young millennials.
  • Rick Santorum Announces A Second Run For President: A Look At His Tax Plan
    On Wednesday, former U.S. Senator and current crazy person Rick Santorum threw his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination for President.  As you may recall, during the 2012 Republican primaries the ultra-conservative Santorum shocked political pundits by toppling Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich during a run of victories in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri. Romney would eventually prevail and win the Republican nod, but Santorum's prior defeat has not dissuaded him from giving it another go at the White House in 2016.
  • Under-The-Radar (And Unbelievable) Credit Report Mistakes: How 3 People Fixed Them
    Fact: 20% of people have credit report mistakes. But as these folks found, they're easily remedied—if you take action.
  • How Much Can You Safely Withdraw In Retirement?
    In conversations recently with several people who are very close to retiring (within the next 3-6 months), the financial planning rule of thumb of a 4% “safe withdrawal rate” has come up in their discussions.  It seems as though it’s become an almost universally accepted “rule” and is rarely questioned.   To combat complacency and willing acceptance, I routinely question it, making it the starting point for conversations regarding retirement income.
  • Why Medical Identity Theft Is Rising And How To Protect Yourself
    Ninety-one percent of health organizations have had a data breach in the last two years, and for the first time, cyber attacks was the top cause, according to a recent report.
  • Social Security Q&A: How Will an Early Retirement Benefit Affect a Spousal Benefit?
    Today's question asks how having taken an early retirement benefit will affect the amount of a later spousal benefit. The answer explains how excess spousal and survivor benefits are calculated and reviews the effects of claiming early.
  • The Pros and Cons of Buying A House In College
    With college students moving this fall, a common question is whether these millennials should buy a house or continue to rent.


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