Personal Finance

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Defining Differences between Bad Debt and Good Debt

Whether your debt is good or bad depends on the type of debt, the reason you owe it, and whether you can afford to repay it. When used the right way, debt can help you manage your finances more effectively [more…]

Recognizing and Managing Investment Risks

As an investor, you face many risks. The most obvious is financial risk. Companies go bankrupt, trading decisions go south, the best-laid investment plans go awry, and you can end up losing your money [more…]

How to Find the Right Balance and Avoid Manias

Should you invest in growth funds or value funds in uncertain times? Fortunately, you don’t have to choose one over the other. Managing your portfolio can be a matter of shifting the emphasis as you participate [more…]

Laying the Groundwork for Credit Rebuilding

If your credit history is poor, you can rebuild it over time so that when you apply for credit, creditors who evaluate your application see an improved credit history and a higher credit score. [more…]

Examining Advanced Life Deferred Annuities (ALDAs)

Would you buy an insurance policy today that would cost you about one-fifth of your savings and pay you a guaranteed lifetime income starting at age 80 or so? If you died before age 80, you'd lose your [more…]

Using the Investment Saving Calculator with Quicken 2004

The folks at Intuit provide several nifty little calculators (most are dialog boxes) with Quicken. At the very least, the calculators should make your work easier. And if you invest a little time, you [more…]

Saving for College via Section 529 Plans and Coverdell Accounts

Postsecondary education isn’t free. The costs of attending college are huge. 529 Savings Plans and Coverdell Accounts provide built-in tax incentives to help you save for college expenses. [more…]

Shopping Around to Open a Coverdell Education Savings Account

Not every bank, savings and loan company, and mutual fund company offers Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). Check around and ask questions. Financial institutions must apply to, and be approved [more…]

Basic Parts of Section 529 College Savings Plans

Qualified tuition programs covered under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code are programs that allow you to save money or purchase tuition credits for future college expenses for a specific beneficiary [more…]

How to Figure the Future Costs of College with Online Calculators

Calculating college expenses helps you plan for the time you’ll be sending your child to off to secondary school. Most college costs are paid with a combination of savings, financial aid, and student loans [more…]

Comparing Credit Card Terms before Accepting Card Offers

The federal Truth in Lending Act makes it easy to compare credit card offers, because it requires credit card companies to provide written information about the credit card terms. Do a comparison of credit [more…]

Exploring Ways to Fund Your College Education

If you’re not able to save enough to cover the full cost of your (or your child's) secondary education, various scholarships, grants, and loan programs are available to cover shortfalls. Here are some [more…]

The Dangers of Value Manias

Value stocks aren’t immune to manias. The value sector contains a large percentage of bank and financial services stocks. The inflation of the 1970s generated a lot of real estate lending by banks and [more…]

Figuring Out Who's Who among Financial Analysts

If you watch any of the financial news cable television stations, you've probably seen numerous industry analysts frequently touting certain stocks and panning others. Do you know who those analysts represent [more…]

How to Pay Living Expenses While Money's Tied Up in Probate

Your unanticipated death could create an immediate financial crisis for your family. Family allowance statutes enable the probate court to provide money for the support of your spouse and minor children [more…]

How to Take Control when Foreclosure Looms

If you sense that your financial situation has taken a turn for the worse and foreclosure may be on the horizon, deal with possible foreclosure as best you can. You and the rest of your household need [more…]

How to Get Discounts on Homeowner’s Insurance

If you own your home and have homeowner’s insurance on it, you can qualify for discounts on your homeowner’s insurance policy. Reduce risk, the chances of having a claim at all, and the severity of any [more…]

Calculating the Cost of College with Quicken 2004

Ouch. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Millions of other parents are experiencing the same pain in their chest at the thought of financing a college education for their sons and daughters [more…]

Distinguishing between Styles of Precious Metals Investing

Before you start investing or trading in precious metals, you need to understand the concepts of saving, investing, trading, and speculating; otherwise, the financial pitfalls could be very great. The [more…]

Calculating the Value of Everything You Own for Estate Planning

Before you can plan how to distribute your assets after your death, you need to understand what your estate is. In the most casual sense, your estate is your stuff or all your possessions. In addition [more…]

Go Car Shopping with Your Loan Options in Order

Shopping for car financing in advance can mean a better car loan. Compare the Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of different loans. If all other things are equal, the car loan with the lowest APR is the best [more…]

Investment Strategy: Stagger Your Entry to Limit Your Risk

Say you want to get involved in the stock market and you open a stock brokerage account. Say your initial investment is $20,000; what will you do? Many investors will probably invest all or most of it [more…]

Furnishing Your Second Home

When furnishing your second home, don't hastily spend thousands of dollars on items that you may not need. You have the luxury of time when outfitting your second home. [more…]

Assessing Risks and Returns from Short Selling and Leverage

Leverage introduces risk to your day trading, and that can give you greatly increased returns. Most day traders use leverage, at least part of the time, in order to make their trading activities pay off [more…]

Purchase Future College Education with Section 529 Prepaid Tuition Plans

Prepaid tuition plans allow you to purchase future college tuition at current costs. The plans can be administered by a specific state or by an institution. The amount of money you put into your prepaid [more…]

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Personal Finance