How to Find the Best Financial Planner – 10 Qualities to Look For

We all know how important planning our finances is.

It’s just not enough to obtain money and put it away in the bank while it earns minimal interest.

Investing is the smart way of making your money earn more money for you, but most people just don’t have the time to learn about all the investment vehicles that are available.

To solve this problem, this is where financial planners come into play.  Planners analyze your financial situation and, if you can find a good one, they can help you achieve your financial goals through the proper usage and management of your money.

The challenge now is, how can you find a reliable financial planner that will truly grow your money?

Below are 10 characteristic traits that you should look for in a financial planner during the hiring process:

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What is a Mutual Fund Prospectus?

Mutual funds can appear about as logical as jumbo shrimp to the millions of people who have 401(k)’s, IRAs, and other investments that include these funds.

If you’re like many investors, you only have a vague idea how these funds work.  Although there is a lot to evaluate when you’re choosing the funds that will fill your retirement or other portfolio, let’s concentrate on the very first step – What is a Mutual Fund Prospectus?

When you first started the process of setting up your retirement fund, you may have received a series of brochures that had a whole lot of words but very few of them made any sense.

These brochures are called prospectuses and we’re going to learn the basics that you need to know to make informed choices. Continue Reading

Why Invest in Mutual Funds and What They Are

Wall Street Broad Street

The majority of investment activities is carried out by institutional investors, including mutual funds.

They buy and sell large quantities of shares and get preferential treatment on trade commissions.  Although everyone can try investing for him or herself, investment is a profession and requires professional knowledge and expertise, as well as resources.

With a certain degree of share concentration, some mutual funds may even seek board seats of their portfolio companies and try to exert a more active role in corporate governance.  As a result, funds can have more control over their investments and that often leads to better investment performance.
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What is Market Timing and Does it Work?

If you invest in the stock market, you might be pretty frustrated by the huge swings you’ve been experiencing on a daily basis.

That’s especially true if you’re trying to amass enough money to retire one day.  In an effort to mute those terrifying swings you might be interested in alternatives.

One of those alternatives is timing your investments.

But just what is market timing?

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Don’t Get Too Hung Up on the Value Investing vs. Growth Investing Debate

If you go by the conventional wisdom, investors come in two varieties.

On one hand, you have investors who ply their trade in the belief that the past performance of a stock has clues to its future performance.  Technical investing, as it is commonly known, depends much on behavioral aspects of investing, with stock charts being the main tools of the trade.

On the other hand, you have investors who believe that investing success lies in researching the business of the company on a fundamental level, and digging deep into a business? ability to generate profits over a long term.

Fundamental investing is further divided into growth investing and value investing.

Traditional media, and indeed a surfeit of financial publications, both online and offline, take pains to point out the differences between the value investing and growth investing approach.

But at the root, all investing is value investing.

To understand this, we need to go back to the basic principles of fundamental investing. Continue Reading

What is DRIP Investing and How Can it Grow Your Wealth?

drip investing

A great deal of focus has been placed on dividend investing lately, and for good reason: Dividend stocks (especially dividend aristocrats) often have solid fundamentals, and can usually weather stock market downturns.  On top of that, you receive regular income from dividend stocks.

Stocks that pay dividends are paying out portions of their profits to shareholders.  This money is paid out monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, and is paid out regardless of share price.  You can use dividend income for whatever you want; it’s yours and can’t be taken back.

One aspect of dividend investing is taking part in a DRIP – a Dividend Re-Invesment Plan.  Let’s explore what DRIP investing is and how it can grow your wealth.

What is a DRIP?

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Say Goodbye to Paper Bonds, Say Hello to Electronic Bonds

Treasury

You know those paper bonds that you got from Grandma and Grandpa as a kid?  Well kiss those goodbye!  Yup, as in non-existent.  It looks like the Treasury is being forced to make some serious cut backs and one of those cutbacks is physical United States savings bonds.  The Bureau of the Public Debt made this announcement on July 12, 2011.

The official date for a 100% phasing out of paper treasury bonds is slated for January 1, 2012 according to Treasury Direct.  Their goal is to save the US tax payer 70 million dollars over the course of five years with this new procedure.
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