Personal Finance

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Advantages of 529 College Savings Plans over Prepaid Tuition Plans

A Section 529 savings plan is, in many regards, an investment account. Although states may establish the rules, most of these state-sponsored plans are actually administered by mutual fund companies, or [more…]

Tracking Investment Markets with Indexes

Indexes, which measure and report changes in the value of a selected group of securities, give investors an instant snapshot of how well the market is doing. Through them, you can quickly compare the performance [more…]

How to Prepare Yourself for Stock Market Bubbles and Crashes

Stock market bubbles and crashes are a fact of life for investors. One of the most famous bubbles of the last century occurred in the so-called Roaring Twenties, which came to a startling end with the [more…]

Comparing Leasing a Vehicle with Buying Your Car

Leasing is a fast and easy way to get a car with little or no down payment. Monthly lease payments usually are less than loan payments for a new car. Additionally, you’ll encounter less paperwork, inspections [more…]

Reasons Why You May Want to Change Your Will

Your will is a living document. Although a will’s intent is to provide for what happens to your estate after you have died, your will needs to change as your life changes. Don’t make the mistake of putting [more…]

Listen Up: Microsoft Money's Telling You to Pay Bills

After a bill or deposit is scheduled, Money gives you ten days' warning to pay it. In other words, you get ten days to get out of Dodge, and if you don't heed the warning but stick around and gamble at [more…]

Setting Up Checking and Savings Accounts in Microsoft Money 2005

After you see the big picture and know what an account and a register are, you can create an account. In the next sections, you find out how to set up a checking account, savings account, and credit card [more…]

What College Expenses Qualify for Payment with Savings Bonds?

If you’re planning on using savings bonds to pay for college, you need to know what expenses are qualified for the purpose of redeeming these bonds tax-free. Although U.S. Savings Bonds are safe and reliable [more…]

Using the Quicken 2006 Retirement Calculator

Imagine that you decide to jump into your employer's 401(k) thing (a type of profit-sharing plan) and that it allows you to plop $6,000 into a retirement account that you think will earn about 9 percent [more…]

What Are Charitable Trusts All About?

Setting up a charitable trust to leave property to a qualified charitable organization can reduce your estate taxes similar to the way giving gifts to charitable organizations offers the charitable deduction [more…]

Mining the History of Precious Metals

Long before government-issued currency existed, people relied on bartering to obtain the things they needed (unless you were a barbarian and preferred plundering). Civilized merchants and consumers traded [more…]

Actively Oversee Your Debt Management Plan

To ensure that your debt management plan helps you get out of debt, you must take an active role in overseeing it. Even when working with a reputable credit counseling agency, problems can develop if you [more…]

Understand Your Credit Consumer Rights

Federal laws and agencies govern lender behavior when you apply for and use credit, protecting you from creditors who engage in illegal or bad credit practices. [more…]

Flipping Houses: Making Money in Any Market

The housing market, like the stock market, fluctuates. Home values can steam ahead, stay put, or spiral down out of control. You make your money when you buy a house at less than market value. By adjusting [more…]

How to Get Your Credit Report and Score

Three main sources of credit information dominate the credit industry today: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These credit bureaus are basically huge databases of information from lenders, bill collectors [more…]

Using Will Substitutes to Reduce Estate Taxes

Why would you want to use a will substitute (a legal agreement that transfers ownership upon your death) rather than your will for certain property? Property covered by a will substitute is transferred [more…]

Pinpointing House Flipping Hot Spots

Whether you're an average home buyer or a seasoned real estate investor, every search for the right home begins with a search for the right neighborhood. After all, location is everything. [more…]

Stock Trading: Learning from the Mistakes of the '90s

Because most investors ignored some basic observations about economics in the late 1990s, they lost trillions in their stock portfolios. In the late 1990s, the United States experienced the greatest expansion [more…]

529 Guaranteed College Savings Plan Guarantees Return on Investment

A few states have started a movement to meld 529 prepaid tuition plans and 529 savings plans into a hybrid: the guaranteed savings plan. Guaranteed savings plans follow all the rules and requirements of [more…]

What Are Coverdell Education Savings Accounts?

You can invest money in Coverdell Education Savings accounts in a variety of ways: stocks, bonds, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, and so on, although you may not invest in life insurance [more…]

How to Avoid Unnecessary Banking and Credit Card Fees

Even small fees can take their toll on your finances, so try to avoid fees whenever you can. To avoid getting dinged for unnecessary fees, follow this advice: [more…]

Educate Yourself about Student Loans for College Expenses

Student loans based on financial need are subsidized. When a student loan is subsidized, you usually don’t have to pay yearly interest while the student for whom the loan was granted is still in college [more…]

The Dangers of Growth Manias

Wall Street’s mantra is “anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” and growth versus value is no exception. In the uncertain times of the last 40 years, growth-stock investing has twice been taken to extremes [more…]

Examining High-End Investment and Speculation Vehicles

In some ways, higher-end investments aren't much different than traditional investments: You invest your money and make all the same decisions that an average investor does. The difference is the amount [more…]

Estate Planning with Homestead Statutes in Mind

You definitely want your home to be protected after you die. Some states have homestead allowance statutes to make sure that your spouse and any minor children have a place to live after you die. Your [more…]

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