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!
Learning How to Invest: Who's Got the Time?
We constantly preach about how important it is for us average, everyday working folks to ‘learn how to invest.’ With more and more companies pushing employees into 401(k)s - instead of the old ‘defined benefit’ pension plans - the responsibility for managing our financial future rests squarely in our laps. Which is why we practice what we preach.
> Roughly 52% of the US companies that offer 401(k) plans provide some type of ‘professional investment guidance’ to help their employees set up and carry out an investment plan.
> The other 48% just provide the 401(k).
We need to have at least a basic understanding of the markets and investing in both scenarios: to keep a watchful eye on our ‘help’ if we’re in that first group and to do it all ourselves if we’re in the second group.
That sounds logical, but really, who’s got the time to learn this stuff?
Spare time is the one the thing us working folks have the least of - we know, we’ve been there! The everyday routine of working, raising kids and running a household is a 24/7 job when things are going smoothly! Spare time…really?
Consider all the fund managers, investment advisors, newsletter publishers, money managers: there are a ton of businesses that are making a ton of money off folks who don’t understand how to take care of their own investments. They know that there are thousands of us who don’t think we have the time or the smarts to learn; they know many of us just don’t want to bother with it. And they’re getting filthy rich by offering to ‘help us out!’
Thanks, but no thanks. That's money we need to keep for ourselves!!
Learning the basics of investing isn’t rocket science. It does take some effort…and some time, especially at the beginning. But once we have those basics down, we can confidently and efficiently manage our moolah in about the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. We know we have time for that!
That brings us back around to finding the spare time to devote to this new endeavor. Well, listen up -
> do we actually need to watch that 3rd rerun of ‘Sports Center’ tonight?
> ‘Two-and-a-half Men’ is one of our favorites, but haven’t we seen every episode at least 3 times?
> and hey, who can channel surf and not stop to watch the tail end of any of the ‘Die Hard’ movies?
OK, we’re preaching again…sorry. But we’ve been there, too! At the end of a long day, there’s no better way to unwind than by grabbing a beer and the remote. We know - we love it, too!!
The point is, we can all find 20 or 30 minutes a week to get smarter about our money. Whether that education comes from our website or elsewhere, the important thing is to get started. You guys and gals work your tails off 40, 50, 60 hours a week earning your money - find 20 minutes a week to learn how to take care of it!
NEWS YOU CAN USE
"Government Paves Way for
Multi-employer Pension Plan Cuts"
from the Associated Press
"Durham Firm Tapped to Invest $3B for NC Pension Fund" from The News & Observer
"The New No. 1 Bond Fund"
from The Wall Street Journal
"An Example of an Investment Policy Statement"
"Fees on Mutual Funds Fall"
from The NY Times
VIEWS YOU CAN USE
"Why the Simplest Investing Option is Still the Best"
"My Too-Long Journey to Becoming an
Index Fund Investor"
from The Wall Street Journal
"Low Cost is Just the First Step in Picking Funds"
"5 Things I Wish I'd Known About Money in my 20's"
from Motley Fool
"Index Funds Killed the Mutual Fund Star"
Summer Reading List
Ah, the dog days of summer...whether you're whiling away an afternoon in a back yard hammock or hanging out on the beach, a good book is nice to have - especially when you're learning something!
Here are 3 great ones - guaranteed to make you smarter by autumn!! >>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<< 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?)