Using a Roth IRA as an Emergency Fund – Pros and Cons

Roth IRAs are by far my favorite type of investment holding account available.

I love the idea of setting aside $5,000 in after-tax money in order to never pay taxes on the amount ever again.

There are other perks to using a Roth IRA besides never paying income tax on your nest egg.  One of the most prominent: you can withdraw your contributions at any time, even before retirement.  (This isn’t recommended, of course, but it is possible.)  You won’t pay any penalty or taxes for withdrawing your contributions under normal situations.  You will pay tax and penalties if you withdraw your investment earnings, so never do this.

This unique withdrawal capability has some people counting on their Roth IRAs as an emergency fund.

But is this a wise choice or a fool’s gamble?

Should I Use My Roth IRA as an Emergency Fund?

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What Are REITs? – Earn Dividends While Investing in Real Estate

real_estate_toy_houses

One of the realities that I recognize in my life is that I am really not that interested in being a landlord.

However, the idea of having real estate in my portfolio is one that is of interest to me.

So, how do I go about adding real estate to my investment holdings without becoming a landlord, or needing huge amounts of capital to buy property?

You can use a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to help you out.

What are REITs?

Real Estate Investment Trusts are collections of investments related to real estate.

They have a different structure than ETFs, but they are similar in that you can trade them on an exchange.  REITs are considered equities, even though they represent a collection of holdings related to real estate.  In addition to exchange-traded REITs, there are also private REITs and non-traded REITs.

There are a number of REITs to choose from, each with its own way of doing business.
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5 Tips for Helping You Stick with Your Investment Strategy

So, you’ve made an investment strategy, and you’re ready to get started.

That’s great!

Investing is one of the best ways to build wealth over time.

The hard part, though, is sticking with your investment strategy.  How are you going to stay on track?

If you want to make sure that you keep with your investing strategy, here are 5 things you can do to help you maintain your focus:

1. Remember the Big Picture

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What is an IPO and Should I Care?

Facebook’s recent IPO and resulting stock price flop have been all the talk in both financial and general news media as of late.  Billions have been made and lost on that single stock alone.

But what exactly is an IPO?  And does it really matter to the average investor?

What is an IPO?

IPO stands for “Initial Public Offering”.

When a private company wants to sell a share of the company to the public in order to raise capital to continue expanding operations it is done through an initial public offering.  It is called this because up to this point the private company hasn’t sold a share of the company publicly on the stock market.

In short, an IPO is when a privately held company owned by a few individuals or handful of investors, sells a chunk of the company on the publicly traded stock markets.

Why Do Private Companies Go Public?

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What is the Most Efficient Way to Use Dollar Cost Averaging?

Equity and Long Term Bond Fund Performance Over Past 20 Years

Previously on Free from Broke, Glen has touched on the subject of dollar cost averaging as an effective way to buy new shares of mutual funds for retirement accounts (401ks and IRAs) several times.

Indeed, from an emotions and mathematical standpoint, dollar cost averaging makes sense.

Because of the simplicity and sensibility of the method, it is safe to say that there is a large amount of people who believe in and employ dollar cost averaging on a frequent basis to invest for retirement. So, after being convinced of the merits of this investing strategy, the important question then becomes…

What is the Most Efficient Way to Employ Dollar Cost Averaging?

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The Different Stock Market Sectors – Are You Taking Advantage?

When we speak of the stock market we describe it with the term “The Stock Market”, as if it’s a single, unified market.

The reality is nothing close.

The stock market is really a group of sub-markets, many of them very different from the rest.  These sub-markets are commonly described as “sectors” and there are quite literally dozens of them.

Since sectors perform differently in various market conditions, it’s worth using them to your advantage in building your portfolio.

Common Market Sectors

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ShareBuilder $50 New Account Bonus Code

You know I love ING Direct products.

I have both the Orange savings account for online savings and their Electric Orange checking account.  What I also have is a brokerage account with ShareBuilder (owned by ING Direct).  This is where I buy stocks outside of my IRA accounts.

ShareBuilder is offering a promotion where new customers get a $50 bonus code for opening a new ShareBuilder account. 

The offer is in effect until 9/30/12.  In order to receive the bonus you need to fund your account with $2,000.  And most important – make sure to enter the code 50LSQ3 when you sign up to make sure your account gets credited with the $50 bonus!

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