Do You Know What All Your Investments Are? – Personal Capital Review

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It’s tough keeping track of all of your money and investing accounts.

There’s your savings, checking, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, 529 plans, investing accounts, 401(k) plans… it can go on and on.  If you’re lucky some of those accounts are with the same company so you can see a few of your accounts in one place.  But odds are you’re still going to need to jump around to get a complete picture of your finances.

It’s not impossible to track everything, for sure, but it can be a pain switching between accounts to see exactly what you are invested in for which account.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had one place that can give you a snapshot of your money?

And then wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get a better idea of your allocations to better make sure you are diversified  in the right places?  Oh, and if you could see what your fund fees were costing you in one spot that would be nice too, right?

Some objective financial advice based on your accounts would be a sweet thing to have access to as well, wouldn’t it?

Enter Personal Capital.

Personal Capital describes itself as “Your Next Generation Financial Advisor”, and it may be just that.

Not only does the application allow you to combine your various financial accounts in one place, but it also provides expert, personal investment management with low fees.

How Personal Capital Makes Your Life Easier

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7 Ways Your Large Family Can Keep Frugal and Not Go Broke

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The average American family has 2.1 children (Hoover Institution). 

However, there are many families that exceed that number.

If you look at celebrities, there are families like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who have 6 kids, and you can’t forget the Duggars, who make headlines with their 19 children.

Of course, plenty of non-celebrity families have large families.

My son is only in 4th grade, but one of his classmates, who is the oldest in the family, already has 6 younger siblings.  Though large families aren’t as common as they were 60 years ago, they still exist.

While all of us need to stretch a buck to some extent, for those with large families, the need is even more important because there are so many mouths to feed and people to clothe and house.

However, there are plenty of ways that large families can save money.

Here Are 7 Ways A Large Family Can Be Frugal

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Steve Ballmer to Retire from Microsoft and Links

After years of disappointing product launches Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will retire at some point in the next 12 months.

From Windows Vista to Windows 8 to the Surface tablet to the Xbox One getting trounced by Sony’s Playstation, there have been too many products that have fallen flat.  Meanwhile Microsoft’s competitors have become stronger and in some instances completely dominated the marketplace.

To me this underlines the importance of never sitting back on your laurels.  The same holds true for your finances.  Many of Microsoft’s most recent products were a reaction to a competitor’s innovation.  Likewise we can’t wait until something happens to change our finances, we have to think ahead, plan in advance, and start making changes now.

It will be interesting to see what the next person in line brings to Microsoft. Will you let your finances fall into a rut? Or will you start planning ahead using some of these great reads below?

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Your Guide to Balance Transfer Credit Cards and The Best 0% Offers

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I was drowning in debt.

I managed to finally get my head on straight and start to really take care of my finances.  This after I already dug a hole with thousands in credit card debt.

I tried to do the right thing and pay off more than my minimum balance and tried to pay my cards (yes, more than one) on time every month.

I was living paycheck-to-paycheck in NYC in a small studio apartment.  Even though the place was small it took up a nice chunk of my monthly income.  I remember writing out those checks to the different credit card companies (this was before paying online was so easily available).

The beginning of the month would come and I’d pay my rent.  Then I’d get to the card bills.  I paid what I could over the minimum, with enough to still eat some kind of food, but it was killing me.  I was paying so much every month to my credit card bills but I was barely, if at all, putting a dent in my debt (my debt was earning some nice interest against me for the card companies).

Keep in mind I take full responsibility for my debt.  I made the purchases and dug the hole all by myself.

So I kept at it.  As my credit improved I started to see offers in the mail for credit cards.  One of them had a 0% balance transfer interest rate.  I applied and transferred over a balance.
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If Your Teen Has a Job, It’s Not Too Early to Think About Retirement

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Generally, retirement is something that middle aged individuals are concerned with, not teens.  

Teens may feel like they have all the time in the world, while their parents hear the ticking countdown to retirement.

Parents can no longer change the fact that they probably didn’t contribute to their retirement at a young age, but they can help their children learn about retirement planning and contributing earlier rather than later.

This discussion can start with the teen’s first job.

There are Two Primary Ways Teens May Be Able to Start a Retirement Account:

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How an Emergency Fund Will Save Your A$$

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You need an emergency fund.

This represents one of the basic pieces of personal finance advice.  Even so, many people don’t believe that an emergency savings are necessary.

If you want to improve your chances of achieving financial freedom, though, you need to change your mindset and acknowledge that an emergency fund is essential.

Here’s Why an Emergency Fund is Essential. Read These Now!

An emergency fund is essential.

To Deal with Unexpected Expenses

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PerkStreet Financial Online Checking is Shutting Down (What Happens to My Money?)

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It’s a sad time for online checking.  PerkStreet Financial will be closing its doors for good on September 26th, 2013.

“Who is PerkStreet,” you might ask?

PerkStreet was (look I’m already using them in the past tense) an online bank that provided online checking accounts with fair fees.  And they weren’t just checking either.  They tried to make checking online rewarding for their customer by giving cash back and rewards when you used your PerkStreet debit card for purchases.

Many people loved PerkStreet as an alternative to credit cards.  It’s easy to rack up charges that are too big to pay off in full with a credit card (for some people).  With a debit card you can only spend what is in your account.  Using PerkStreet for purchases kept people accountable to their money — they couldn’t spend what they didn’t have.

Another aspect many loved with PerkStreet was their fees, or lack of.

They were part of an ATM network that had over 42k locations so it was pretty easy to find an ATM so you wouldn’t get hit with fees for being stuck with an out-of-network ATM.  They also offered up online checking with no monthly fees and no minimums to open an account.

PerkStreet was a breath of fresh air in an age where brick and mortar banks have been slowly taking more out of customer’s pockets with different fees.

But no more.

If PerkStreet is So Great Why Are They Closing?

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