How To Stay In Debt

How To Stay in Debt Forever

Usually blog posts have the latest and greatest money tips for knowledge, fun, or suggestion.  There’s an element of persuasion to get to the ultimate FIRE, financially-independent, retire-early status.  Easy savings ideas are rolled out, coupled with side-hustle suggestions.  I’ve done a few of the jobs on the list but in the end, they didn’t pay very well and I’d rather have time to myself than work a second job.

My hobby is making my money work for me.  I’ve coached others on money management and I’ve conducted financial management workshops.

Through my observations and interactions with others, being a financial planner is not as rewarding as I thought it would be.  People want an easy answer, one that they don’t have to take responsibility for.  Like a financial windfall is going to fall out of the sky to rescue them from their foolishness.

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Value

 

Value

Have you seen The Price of Everything on HBO?

The maker of the documentary exposes the world of art collecting and the explosive valuations assigned to the art space.  I call it “space” as I couldn’t get past the vacancy attached to paying a ridiculous amount of money for something to look at nor could I be persuaded by the pretension.

To me, it’s a profound lesson in how we define value in our lives.  Because when you think about it, everything has value.  And nothing has value.

What do you value?

What’s the value of feeling good in your skin?

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Discovering Preferred Stocks

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Just when I think I can’t find another money subject to obsess over, I come across something really fun.  Of course, my fun comes in the form of interest and dividends. You know, passive income or getting money for no effort.

When browsing some financial websites, I came across a blog piece that featured how to live off of dividend income.  At the end of the article was a small, but not insignificant, mention of preferred stocks.  Well, now, hold on.  We’re not talking about 2%, we’re talking about 10 – 12% in passive income.  Preferred stocks pay a very high dividend that makes common stock dividends look like pocket change.  Wait, this is legal?

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The Best Gift To Give A Child

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With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d address gifting.  Unable to contain my practical side, my suggestion for gifting to children should be corporate stocks.  Forget the useless toys and crap that ends up in a junk pile.  Hopefully you donate those things when your child outgrows them, not add to our garbage landfills.

Give a gift that gives back.  This year, buy a dividend-paying corporate stock.  Your gift can extend past the holidays by educating them about stock investing.  Plan small, ongoing lessons throughout the year to generate enthusiasm for investing.  This could be the most valuable gift that you can give a child. You would be laying a foundation for their future wealth.

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Interest Rates Are Back; Why You Need A Will

interest rate

Interest Rate Increase

You might have heard the alarm bells going off with interest rates increasing.  Yes, they’ve been historically low since the 2008 economic crash.  Most people seem to have forgotten that we have an interest rate at all.  Mainly because savings-type accounts earn pennies.  Interest rates do not make for the most exciting chat topic. I have a friend that rolls her eyes every time I talk about the economy.  Little does she realize that the interest rate has many tentacles.

We’ve been on an interest holiday since the Great Recession.  Mesopotamians paid higher rates in 3,000 BC.

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Bond laddering; 5 common extreme money scripts

Flashing back to 2009: I have images of articles from a February, 2009 BusinessWeek issue.  Last week I mentioned that, in early 2009, 10,000 people a day were losing their jobs.  What was also reported was the downsizing of industry.  A variety of industries were expected to feel the burn of the economic meltdown. Because inventories were high and consumerism slowed to a stop, industries that produced goods were likely to continue reducing their employee headcount.  Some of the sectors that were expected to continue dropping employees were apparel production, car, train and plane productions and construction.

The attached article  reports on the surge of foreclosures and the big banks’ response in helping homeowners.  The loan modifications offered didn’t help and the think tank of bank executives offered hollow promises.  Sadly, most borrowers went into foreclosure or were forced to declare bankruptcy.

Based on information that I read last month at the 10-year anniversary, some people reported suffering equity losses that they’ve never recovered from.

This article has so much information about what not to do and is a learning tool for not repeating others’ mistakes.  I’ve included it here.

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Protecting Your Retirement Assets | Invest by Risk Category

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It was reported back in early 2009 that 10,000 a people a day were losing their jobs.  Job losses meant that people stopped spending money, furthering the damage to the economy.  It almost seemed that there was no way out of the disaster.  As you can see from the second image that I presented that consumer spending was down, way down.  Consumer spending supports the economy at the rate of about 70%, so you can see how job losses and reduced spending were going to delay economic recovery.  In addition, average people not only stopped spending but were struggling with accumulated debt.

Job losses were the news of the day.  I remember being at my follow-up job only two months, when I had two cell phone calls in one week from friends that both lost their jobs.  Many employers handled it poorly, witnessed by the remaining employees.

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Asset Diversification and Extreme Money Scripts

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stock market

2008 Flashback

In late October, 2008, the fear had set in.  A writer from Newsweek chose to report on the edge of positivity but, really, there was none to be found.  Everywhere you turned, there was more bad news.

Even the run on foreclosed properties had a downside.  The article reports that foreclosed owners often left feces on doorknobs and banisters.  That’s a reflection of the anger level of homeowners that had to abandon their homes. Many were on the verge of bankruptcy.

Financial meltdown

The “Ownership Society” rallied by President Bush was meant to include every American into the homeownership club.  That went down in flames, taking the rest of the country with it.

Today’s first topic is asset diversification

I promised to talk about asset diversification and I know you’ve heard of this.  You may feel a yawn coming on.  I know, it’s not very exciting.  What is exciting is knowing that your hard-earned investments won’t be wiped away in an instant if “Wall Street” makes a bad decision.

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