5 Tips for Increasing Your Investment Returns

We all want to see better returns on our investments.

Whether you are building an income portfolio and want to, eventually, make it work for you in terms of viable revenue, or whether you are just hoping for decent returns for the long-term, what you do now can make a difference later.

If you want to see better investment returns, here are some things to keep in mind to boost returns over time:

1. Don’t Give in to Knee Jerk Reactions

One of the worst things you can do for your investment portfolio is to give in to knee jerk reactions.

It’s easy to let panic drive you into abandoning some part of your investment strategy.  However, this can be a terrible idea.
Continue Reading

How to Take Charge of Your Financial Destiny

electric_charge

With a new year underway, it’s time to seriously consider how you will take charge of your own financial destiny.

Too often, it’s easy to sit back and let someone else have too much control over your finances.

Instead of remaining a victim of circumstance, make it a point to take charge of your financial destiny in the coming year.

Taking Charge of Your Financial Destiny

Your Money Attitude is Everything

The first step is to pinpoint your money attitude.

Your financial attitude has a lot to do with whether or not your feel as though you can take charge of your financial destiny.  Many of us think of our finances as something outside our control.  We are worried that the boss will fire us.  The market is doing poorly and that is the reason our finances are failing.
Continue Reading

Protecting Your Kids from Child Identity Theft

By now, many of us know what a serious thing it is to protect our identities.

Identity fraud is a very real threat, and victims of identity theft find themselves fighting an uphill battle when it comes to fixing their credit, and sorting out other related problems.

However, many of us don’t think that our kids have anything to worry about.  After all, they aren’t 18.

Unfortunately, there is information out there about children, too, and a growing rash of child identity theft reports could indicate that your child could be in trouble.

How Does Child Identity Theft Work?

Continue Reading

Spending Less is NOT the Same as Saving Money

As the holiday shopping season gets underway, there is giddy talk of how much money shoppers are saving this year.

Unfortunately, this is a mindset that is rather common among consumers.  We have this idea that we are “saving” money when we get a good deal.

The reality, though, is that you aren’t actually saving money.

You are just spending less.

Are You REALLY Saving Money?

The words we use have a big impact on our behaviors.
Continue Reading

New Taxes Coming for a New Year

Each year, the tax laws change.  New taxes are levied, and some taxes are cut.

For 2013, you are likely to see some new taxes as old tax cuts expire and as new taxes are imposed.  The new year is likely to bring with it new impacts on your budget.

While there is no saying, for sure, what will happen (what with budget talks underway, and negotiations attempting to avoid the fiscal cliff), here’s what’s possible so far:

New Taxes You Can and Will See Next Year

Payroll Taxes Going Up

Continue Reading

What is Glass-Steagall and Why Do WE See it in the News?

One of the subjects that is often covered in the financial news, especially as talking heads try to figure out what can be done to avoid another financial crisis, is the Glass-Steagall Act.

Many people don’t exactly understand why this old law — parts of which were repealed in 1999 — is still a topic of conversation, and why it matter so much.

Brief Overview of the Glass-Steagall Act

Passed during the Great Depression, the Glass-Steagall Act is also called the Banking Act of 1933.

Glass-Steagall was designed to prevent some of the problems that caused the Great Depression, mainly the difficulties caused by the widespread failure of banks.  The Banking Act of 1933 included the creation of the FDIC and it also expanded the role of the Federal Reserve.

However, the item that is most emphasized about the Glass-Steagall Act, particularly in a post-2008 world, is the prohibition of commercial banks from participating in investing.

Part of the problem ahead of the Great Depression was that Main Street banks began underwriting corporate stocks, and even floated bond issues.  With all of these Main Street banks exposed to Wall Street, the crash of 1929 was hugely devastating.

The idea of Glass-Steagall was that banks separate themselves out by the type of banking they did.
Continue Reading

Will a Late Credit Card Payment Affect My Credit Score?

dont_be_late

The most important aspect of your credit score is your payment history.

As a result, a late payment can have a profound impact on your credit history.

That late payment is recorded on your credit report, and the information in your credit report in turn influences your credit score.  And, since your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, a late payment can make a big difference.

But how late does a credit card payment have to be in order to be considered late?  Will your credit score really be dinged if you are one day late?

The answer depends on your own behaviors, as well as the policy followed by the creditor in question.

When is a Payment Late?

Continue Reading