Author - Bridget Sullivan Mermel, CFP®, CPA

1
Millennials Are Mooches…and Other Money Myths
2
Buying a house? Avoid these five pitfalls
3
Market at an All-time High: Good Time to sell?
4
How Do Guns Make The Grade In A Portfolio?
5
How To Break Up With Your Bank and Get More From Your Money

Millennials Are Mooches…and Other Money Myths

millennialmoochers
There are plenty of stereotypes about how certain people behave around money — stereotypes I’ve often seen contradicted in my experience as a financial planner. Let me debunk some of these money myths for you.
Myth One: All millennials are mooches.
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Buying a house? Avoid these five pitfalls

An alert reader tipped me off to this really cool rent vs. buy calculator:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html

The biggest mistake people make when buying a house is over-buying. Before I was a financial planner, I made this mistake myself. I focused on how much of a mortgage a bank would lend me, not on the fact that I still wanted to be able to take vacations after I bought.

Many times you make the decision about how much to buy in a period of about a month and you lock yourself into the expenses for years to come. Most people buy a …

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Market at an All-time High: Good Time to sell?

USA Today says that stocks are at all-time highs. So is it a good time to sell? Well…probably not.

Here’s why.

Let’s take a closer look at our article. Hmm. They say that the large companies are doing well and small companies are doing well, too.

Okay, that’s two market segments. What about the rest? I generally recommend investing in 8 market segments, not 2. Here they are:

Large Cap (large company stocks)
Large Cap Value (large company dividend paying stocks)
Small Cap
Small Cap Value
International
Emerging Markets
Long-term bonds
Short term bonds.

Reason not to sell #1: What

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How Do Guns Make The Grade In A Portfolio?

Question from a reader: Recently I’ve read reports that the both the California and Chicago teachers pension funds are either reviewing or selling investments in guns. What do you make of it?

The trustees in these cases are walking a fine line. If they decide to divest of all gun manufacturers, they are eliminating a market sector, and research shows that hurts investment returns.

Divesting in entire market sectors was the approach back with the socially responsible investment (SRI) movement started. Funds that follow the strategy are called “Excluders” because they are excluding investments based on their market sector.

The

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How To Break Up With Your Bank and Get More From Your Money

If you are looking to switch banks, here are is what you need to do starting now to make that switch:

Stop auto-pays at your current bank

The big banks focus on convenience; they were the first to figure out banking online makes it difficult to switch institutions. Auto-pays make it that much tougher to leave.

To prepare for the break-up, stop auto-pays; paying everyone manually through your online banking system is fine. Consider getting a regular paycheck instead of direct deposits. Or, find out what your payroll department will require for you to change the direct deposit of your …

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