Free College Investment Calculator: It Costs More Than You Think

Do you want to help your child financially with college? My wife and I definitely do, but we had two problems:

We had no idea how much college tuition would be 18 years from now We didn’t know how much we should invest monthly to fund that amount

If you’re not a Financial Advisor or a Financial Aid Counselor, then I suspect you’ve got the same issues, which is exactly why I dug through the details, put together an Excel spreadsheet, and developed a tool that will help every single parent calculate the cost of college!

Download the Free College Investment Calculator here Free College Investment Calculator

Before you plunk in your numbers, let me tell you… it’s going to be more than you think. That was my experience anyway.

Our daughter Addi is 6 months old. We opened a 529 fund a couple of months ago and currently have . . . → Read More: Free College Investment Calculator: It Costs More Than You Think

3 Major Investment Lessons I Learned In My 20’s

On my 20th birthday, I opened my first mutual fund. As a part-time night teller earning $8.25 per hour, I was so proud of myself. Things didn’t go quite as I’d planned them, however. Throughout the next decade, I learned many investment lessons from my own choices and actions – as well as others’.

I wish I could say all of the lessons were positive. But, mistakes are excellent teachers, too. Doggone it.

So, here are some things I learned. You may agree or disagree with this list. It’s likely your own list would look different. That’s alright. Once you’ve read through my list, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

3 Major Investment Lessons I Learned In My 20’s

First of all, should investing even be on your radar when you’re in your 20’s?

ABSOLUTELY. I may not have handled it perfectly, but I plan . . . → Read More: 3 Major Investment Lessons I Learned In My 20’s

3 Steps to Help You Choose Between Different Investment Options

different investment options

There is no shortage of different investment options out there. In fact, with rapidly changing technology, it seems like there’s a new investment vehicle every other week.

As a financial writer, I’m front and center of all the action. In the last couple of weeks alone I’ve written about peer to peer lending, real estate crowdfunding, index funds, investing in a particular sector, and more.

How to Choose Between Different Investment Options

This post has been written by our fabulous staff writer, Amanda Abella.

Since I have to write about this stuff, I have a pretty good understanding of how these things work. However, when it comes time for me to invest some of my extra money, I sometimes freeze because I’m overwhelmed by all the different investment options.

If I’m feeling overwhelmed and I write about this stuff for a living, guess how the average American must feel? . . . → Read More: 3 Steps to Help You Choose Between Different Investment Options

Rental House or the Stock Market – Who Won So Far in 2016?

rental house or the stock market

Liz and I bought a rental house on November 30th, 2015. We fixed it up, had an open house, and landed some awesome renters that moved in on April 15th, 2016. We are now officially landlords (which still seems weird to say).

Related: How to Attract the Best Tenants for a Rental Property

So what’s the point? Why did Liz and I decide to dump $90,000 into a rental property instead of the stock market?

It’s pretty simple actually. We don’t trust the stock market at all.

The market goes up, tumbles down, it comes back again and thrives, and then all the sudden it’s down in the dirt again. Quite frankly, the market seems about as safe as jumping out of a plane with a 50 year old parachute; we might be completely safe and have the time of our lives…or we might die with nothing.

Yes, we still . . . → Read More: Rental House or the Stock Market – Who Won So Far in 2016?

Why I Just Doubled Down on Silver

Back in late June, I went against Dave Ramsey’s advice and I bought silver. Actually, I bought a silver/gold motif (see my reasoning here), but I’m sure it still wasn’t Ramsey approved. Within the first 12 days of my investment, the silver and gold motif soared and I was up 23% on my investment. Within the next month or so, my earnings climbed to 33%!

Related: What is Motif Investing? A step-by-step sign up guide

The initial plan was to invest in silver as a hedge against the market. Once the stock market crashed (I’m suspecting early 2017), I was going to ride the monstrous wave of silver earnings into late 2017, then cash out and buy a severely discounted rental property. I definitely didn’t expect the early windfall 12 days after the initial purchase.

Fast forward four months and silver has tumbled once again…(doh!). At this point, I had . . . → Read More: Why I Just Doubled Down on Silver

When Should You Start Investing in a Motif?

investing in a motif

I purchased my first Motif on June 20th, 2016. Within just 12 days, my investment jumped by 23% and I earned myself a surprisingly quick $207.

Will this happen for everyone?

Undoubtedly, no.

Should you invest in a motif today?

Probably not.

Related: What is a Motif?

When Should You Start Investing in a Motif?

“Probably not?!? I thought you were a Motif affiliate! Shouldn’t you be pushing this product to all your readers? But you’re actually telling us NOT to invest in a motif?”

Right.

Here’s why.

Ever since I started investing in a motif and began telling everyone about it, it seems like everyone wants to sign up and start investing in their own motifs. But slow your role, people! You might not be ready for investing yet!

Sure, investing is a great way to build wealth, but you should NOT be investing in Motifs (or in any . . . → Read More: When Should You Start Investing in a Motif?

What Happens If The Stock Market Crashes? Is Your Money Safe??

what happens if the stock market crashes

There are way too many people in this world that blindly contribute to their 401k and then pray that it’ll grow into something that they can retire on. Does this sound like a good plan to you? What happens if the stock market crashes? Do you think your 401k money (that’s invested in the stock market…) is safe?

What Happens If The Stock Market Crashes? Is Your Money Safe?

The short answer is…. of course not. No invested money is guaranteed safety. If you are invested heavily in your 401k and the overall stock market tanks, you’re headed down with the ship.

To show you what I mean, let’s take a look at the market crash of 2008.

The average 401k account balance was $75,791 in 2006, then $78,411 in 2007, and then…..OUCH…. just $56,030 in 2008. In one year the average 401k balance went down by nearly 30%! Like . . . → Read More: What Happens If The Stock Market Crashes? Is Your Money Safe??

How to Save For Your Child’s Education

save for your child's education

Our little girl is 4 months old (time is flying!). We want to make sure she has a quality college education when she grows up, and what better way to do that than to put some money aside today that could grow into a large sum in the future?

But how on earth does one save for a child’s education? Do you simply put money into:

a savings account? savings bonds? stocks? a money market account?

There are so many options, it can really be quite terrifying to decide what to do. Because of this, many people simply do nothing. They fully intended to put something toward their child’s education, but suddenly, in the blink of an eye, their son is 18 years old and there are only two options for him:

Take on a massive amount of student loan debt, or Don’t go to school

DO NOT BE THIS . . . → Read More: How to Save For Your Child’s Education

How to Become a Billionaire Family

become a billionaire money

Wish you had a million dollars? How about a billion? That’s right! Billion with a “B”! Few dare to dream so lofty, but it’s absolutely possible. And actually, it’s pretty simple. It’ll just take a few years. Well, that may be an understatement, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, let’s check out two very solid methods to become a billionaire family.

How to Become a Billionaire Family

The typical route to become a billionaire family is this:

Start your own company Grow wildly Go public with it (IPO) or sell it

But you know what? Not everyone’s an entrepreneur, and some people just aren’t cut out for working on the same project for 15 hours a day, 365 days a year.

So is there another way? Can the average person amass a fortune of billions of dollars? The answer, yes and no… Let me explain.

The Average Way . . . → Read More: How to Become a Billionaire Family

Retirement Savings by Age – Are You on Track?

retirement savings by age - actual

Nearly a third of all workers admit to having less than $1,000 saved for retirement. Fifty-seven percent replied that they have less than $25,000 saved. Without knowing the exact retirement savings by age to reach a comfortable retirement, it’s still pretty obvious that the average American is woefully behind.

Below are the stats for the median retirement savings by age in 2013. Based on the recent news of people continually ignoring their retirement savings, I assume today’s numbers aren’t much different. So, here’s the big question, “Is it good enough to be average?”

The average Social Security payout in June 2016 was $1,234.98. Add to that an average spousal benefit of $699.77, and that provides the average couple with an income of $1,934.75.

According to U.S. News, the average cost of retirement per month is $3,411.50. This means that the average retiree needs to come up with $1,476.75 on . . . → Read More: Retirement Savings by Age – Are You on Track?