ETFS vs. Index Mutual Funds

What is a market index? A market index reflects the average performance of a group of similar investments over a given period of time. The best-known example is probably the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (the S&P), which tracks the stocks of 500 big companies that represent 70% of the value of the U.S. stock market. But there are many others. Among them: • The Wilshire 5000 Index tracks all... Continue reading

When to Hold and When to Fold an Investment

“Buy and hold” is a good rule. But that doesn’t mean you should never sell an existing investment or buy a new one. Here are four good reasons—and three bad ones—to make changes in your investment portfolio. Four good reasons to revisit your asset mix There’s been a major change in your life. Any big life event—marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or even a new job in a new city—is reason to... Continue reading

Investments: Set Goals and Adopt a Strategy

Investment goals tend to be long-term: enough to pay college tuition starting in ten years, for instance, or enough to retire on in 15 or 20 years. In fact, it's this long-range outlook that causes many people to set such vague, half-hearted goals that they fail to reach. If you set merely "retirement" as a goal, what will motivate you to get there? Try going a few steps further: Where would you... Continue reading

Make Investing a Habit

To reach your savings goals, you have to incorporate investing into your budget and financial plan. Here are some easy ways: Dollar-cost averaging is a reliable way to smooth out the ups and downs of the stock market. You invest a fixed amount on a regular schedule: $25 a month, $50 a month, $500 a month—whatever fits your budget. Your fixed number of dollars will automatically buy more shares... Continue reading

Four Steps to Improve Your Financial Literacy

Date: April 27, 2016 April is Financial Literacy Month and becoming financially literate doesn't necessarily mean expanding your vocabulary or picking up a degree in economics. What it means is that you have a firm grasp of your personal finances — where they are and where you want them to be. Since most people unfortunately don’t learn about financial literacy in school, we’ve compiled the below... Continue reading

Simple Interest vs Compound Interest: Key Differences

Whether you're estimating future earnings or how large your loan balance will balloon after years of not making payments, calculating interest accurately is vital to financial planning.  "Simple interest" and "compound interest," are both methods of calculating how much interest accrues on an account. While simple interest is the shorter calculation, compound interest is more accurate.   How... Continue reading