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The Power of Passive Investing Book Review and Links

The Power of Passive Investing

As a personal finance blogger I get the opportunity of receiving books about well, personal finance from time to time. I don’t always get to read them all (yet) but some I do while others are moved to the front of my reading list for when I get a chance.  I wanted to tell you about one that’s on my short list to read.

The Power of Passive Investing by Rick Ferri

I haven’t read this book yet but I will soon.  In The Power of Passive Investing, Ferri makes the case for owning only low-cost index funds and ETF’s.  I’ve heard a lot about how active funds tend to not beat the market and that most of us would do better with low-cost index funds (Warren Buffet and Tom Gardner come to mind).

I certainly don’t want to have my returns eaten up by commissions and taxes.  Investing in ETF index funds is something I’ve slowly been doing but I want to learn more.  I was excited to get a copy of this book and start expanding my investing knowledge.
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How to Create SMART Financial Goals – Are They Relevant?

Having a goal is a great motivator but it still needs structure if you don’t want to be another statistic in the failed goals category. Making your goals SMART is one way to organize your goal to help ensure success.

We’ve looked at making a goal specific, making sure the goal is measurable, and looking to see if the goal is attainableNow we will look at how relevant your goal is.

When looking at the relevancy of a goal, we’re asking ourselves how important the goal is in the grand scheme of things?

Is the energy we’re going to put towards this goal the best use of our time and resources or is there something else that may be better?
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How to Create SMART Financial Goals – Are They Attainable?

In this series on SMART goals, we’ve talked about being Specific about your financial goal and then making the financial goal Measurable.  Now we’ll talk about your goal being Attainable.

Let me preface by saying that I think a person, any person, is capable of doing many incredible things.  You may be truly amazed at what you can achieve if you earnestly put your mind and resources into reaching your goal.

But there are limits.
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How to Create SMART Financial Goals – Make Them Measurable

When we last talked about goals I told you that you should make your goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) to help you in achieving them. We discussed making a goal Specific so that you have one concrete goal to shoot for and you know exactly what you want to accomplish rather than a big general category that’s hard to finish.

Today let’s talk about the next step – making your SMART financial goal Measurable.

You need to make a goal measurable, you need to know exactly how much you are going to achieve.  Without a way to measure your goal, how can you track your financial progress?  How will you know if you are making headway towards the financial goal?
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How to Create SMART Financial Goals – Be Specific

It’s that time of the year where people decide to start fresh and make new goals (many of which are financial goals). But did you know that according to a 2007 survey by British psychologist Richard Wiseman, 88% of resolutions end in failure?  We tend to try and do too much with little willpower to achieve our resolutions.

One way we can help ourselves to success in our resolutions is to make them S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Today, let’s focus on Specific.

To achieve your goal, it helps to make it specific.  Many times, we make our goals too general, which makes a goal difficult to follow through on.
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The Greatest Impact On My Finances And My Best Financial Tool

My wife keeps me afloat.

You can have your spreadsheets, online budgeting sites, statements, etc…  Want to know what the single greatest positive impact on my finances has been? I’ll tell you – it’s my wife.  Let me explain…

Back in the day I was in debt, had no savings, no investments, and my net worth was measured in “things” I owned (not like a house but more like guitars and music CD’s).  I wasn’t the picture of good financial health.

But I slowly worked my way out of my financial funk.  I educated myself.  I paid off my credit cards.  I contributed to my 401(k).  I started saving.

I did these things on my own.  Had I not met my wife I would have continued to improve my finances but not to the extent that they are at now.  My wife turbo-charged my finances, well, OUR finances.

Here’s why my wife is the greatest impact on my finances and my best financial tool: Continue Reading

The Best Personal Finance Articles of 2010

Career Ladder

The end of the year – it’s a time to look back and remember all that’s happened. It’s also a time to reflect on the best of the best for the year.  I thought it would be fun to put out a call to those in the personal finance community and ask for their best article of the year.  These are articles that either the author thought was their best work or perhaps the readers responded strongly to.  I think as you read through these you’ll find a lot of gems, great information, interesting stories, and even a little controversy.  Enjoy!

The following are the best of personal finance articles in 2010:
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