Thanks for stopping by the only investing website on the 'net designed by working folks for working folks. As more and more companies dump their old guaranteed pension plans and move their employees into 401(k) retirement plans, it's more important now than ever to learn how to manage your own investments. Come on in and get started!
We'll show you how to get a better understanding of the markets and become a confident, competent investor. And we lay it all out for you in plain English (well, a Southern variety of English, anyway). Hey, you work hard for your money - learn how to make your money work hard for you!
News Flash: The Stock Market is Risky
Part of our efforts to make this website as useful as possible to as many people as possible involves listening as much as possible. We never miss a chance to get feedback or opinions from you, the working man or woman, on different investing topics. Whether it’s over the ‘net or face-to-face, we really enjoy hearing what y’all think about the world of investing. Listening to you helps us make our website more useful for you.
One of the concerns we keep hearing over and over is that many of you are afraid to invest in the stock market. We hear it not just from folks who were “burned” in the 2008 market collapse, but from folks who have never been in the stock market at all. Many of you are avoiding the stocks and we understand why. Though the S&P 500 has tripled since that 2008 drop, it seems that the number of negative news reports on Wall Street have tripled, too. Stories about rigged markets, insider trading, flash crash(es), accounting discrepancies and out-and-out fraud are like scarecrows in a bean field to most everyday investors.
There are, however, ways to make a journey into that bean field a little less scary:
1. maintain proper asset allocations
(the correct mix of investments for your age & risk tolerance)
2. invest using indexed or large mutual funds
(there's safety in numbers!) 3. avoid investment scams
(“Get Rich Quick!” or “Never Lose Money in the Markets Again!” - those kinds of scams)
4. take the time to learn and understand the markets
(knowledge is power!!)
Now, don’t think for a minute that we are selling the stock market to everyone. Each person has to make his/her own decisions about what to do with their money…and still be able to sleep at night! No matter how many safeguards may be in place, some folks’ DNA just aren’t set up to handle risk of any kind. You have to know yourself to know what type of investments you feel comfortable using.
The fact of the matter is that the stock market is risky. But that is true of any investment you choose to place your money: real estate, precious metals, art. The amount of risk someone is willing to take on is roughly equivalent to the return they can expect on their money. For example, putting your money into a savings account is about as low risk as you can get, but the returns are (usually) as low as you can get, too.
For most of us hard working, blue collar guys and gals, the stock market remains one of the best “vehicles” for increasing our wealth over time. It’s not a vehicle that can be left on cruise control, however! Whether you choose to invest through your 401(k), an IRA or other market account, make sure you “steer” your investments wisely. That means sticking to the 4 points listed above - especially #4! And that’s why we’re here.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
"Pimco Teams With Arnott for 7 Fundamental Index Funds" from Bloomberg
"Vanguard To Introduce Its First Municipal Bond
Index Fund and ETF"
"ETF Flows Set a Fresh Record in 2014"
"Vanguard's Muni-Bond Filing Opens Up
New Front in ETF Fee War"
"New IRA Rules Close Loopholes for Account Owners" from Bankrate, Inc.
VIEWS YOU CAN USE:
"Investing Facts You Probably Don't Know"
from Huffington Post
"There are About 8,000 Mutual Funds to Invest in..."
"Target-Date Funds Can Pose Complexities"
from NY Times
"Investing vs. Paying Off Debt: Millenial Edition"
from US News & World Report
"3 Pros & Cons of Following Stock Market Trends"
Here's one good thing you can do during these long, cold, dreary weeks of winter: bone up on your investment know-how!
Throw a couple of logs on the fire, grab a cup of something hot and dive into any of these excellent reads. Your 401(k) will be glad you did!!
<<<<<<<< Clicking on these book images takes you to Amazon.com via our affiliate link. You won't pay a penny more for what you buy, but we do get a little moolah for sending you there - and that helps us cover the costs of keeping our website running free!
Here are a couple of very simple retirement calculators courtesy of our friends over at Calculator Pro.
Here are the figures we used:
> Required Annual Income: we put in what we're making now (we don't buy into that "plan to spend 70% of your working income in retirement" idea!)
> Years until Retirement: we shot for age 65, but who really knows, right?
> Years after Retirement: we sure hope to have 20 good years of doing what we want to do!
> Annual Inflation: we used 3.5% (maybe go a tad higher to be safe?)
> Annual Return on Balance: we used 7% (maybe go a tad lower to be safe?)