Fidelity has added two zero cost funds to their line-up of low-cost index mutual funds. One fund tracks the U.S. stock market and the other tracks international markets. These new funds are the latest volley in the index fund price wars. So it's a good time to talk about the impact of fees on your … Continue reading How to Take Advantage of the Mutual Fund Company Price Wars
Recently I was helping my daughter with her bank account and noticed a $1 withdrawal labeled "Stash Fee". It was a fee to robo-adviser, Stash. Normally I would be thrilled by the good news that my daughter was saving and investing. But in this case I wasn't. I had a couple of concerns, but the biggest … Continue reading How to Lose Money with Every Dollar You Invest
Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, the venerable U.S. stock market indices, closed near record highs on Friday, October 13th. Both indices have been steadily climbing all year. The Dow, including dividends, is up 17.92 percent and the S&P, also including dividends, is up 15.86 percent just this year. The run … Continue reading The Stock Market is at Record Highs. Should You Get Out?
Investing your hard earned savings can be daunting. There are so many options it can be hard to figure out what to do. You likely have several investment options in your 401(k). And what about all the other options? Are IRAs or ETFs right for you? You can untangle the mess of terminology and options … Continue reading There are Only Three Investment Categories
The housing market in many areas of the country has seen dramatic increases in prices over the last five years. Home prices in coastal metro areas, like Portland, seem to be on fire. If you don't already own a home, your hopes of buying one may be dimming as each month brings higher prices. It takes … Continue reading Home or Retirement?
As a saver, your first priority is to build up savings for an emergency, namely the loss of your job. Most people need at least three months of expenses set aside to bridge the gap between paychecks should the unthinkable happen. But where should you put your emergency savings? The conventional wisdom says that you should … Continue reading Where to Stash Your Emergency Cash
I often get asked whether you should pay off your mortgage early. In these times of low interest rates it doesn't seem like you gain much when you do. For a number of reasons, paying down your mortgage shouldn't be your first priority, but if you are otherwise out of debt, and you are meeting your … Continue reading Paying Off Your Mortgage is Worthwhile Despite Low Interest Rates
Do you work with an investment adviser? How often do you meet with your adviser? What do you talk about beyond the investments? What are you paying for your advice? Unfortunately, for too many people who answer yes to the first question, particularly those with small balances (less than $1 million), the remaining answers are … Continue reading Robo-Advisers Can be Better than Human Advisers for Small Accounts
I've been asked more than a few times whether rental property was a good investment. Many people feel more comfortable with an investment they can go and visit than with the stock market which seems so out of our direct control. When a duplex went up for sale near us, it seemed like a good … Continue reading Rental Property – Good Investment or Money Pit?
Diversification is good right? Well yes it is, if it truly is diversification. But it doesn't work if your idea of diversification is that you have your money in a lot of different places. These days, it's easy to grow the number of your investment accounts. According to The Balance, a career advice web site, the average … Continue reading Do You Know Where Your Money Is?