Woman Falling Through the Sky

Understanding your Personal Risk Tolerance

In a previous post, we explored how emotion drives us to take action, and how that action can actually be detrimental when investing in financial markets. One of the best ways to minimize the negative impact of emotionally-fueled decisions is to understand your personal tolerance for the unknown – in other words, your level of risk tolerance. What, exactly, does risk tolerance mean? We’re not talking about shark cage diving or eating street food while on vacation. Risk tolerance refers to how you handle uncertainty as it relates to your investments. Specifically, we are talking about the uncertainty of investment […]

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Brandon - Moving Out

Doing the Math on Moving Out

Graduating from college and going back to live in your parents’ home? It certainly has some financial advantages, which CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans has outlined. As a millennial, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll need to return to the nest for a period of time while you sort out your educational, financial, and career options. You’re not alone, so don’t be embarrassed – a whopping 31% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are still living with their parents.*   So, when is the right time to move out of your parent’s humble abode? The […]

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How to Invest for the Big Stuff: Houses, Weddings, and More

Hello, readers! Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Foster Whitney, head of partnership marketing for TradeKing. I’m twenty-seven years old, a fairly “recent” college graduate, and am right in the middle of the biggest financial decisions I have ever made. In the last few months, I have gotten engaged, changed jobs, and bought my first house. Yes, these are wonderfully exciting moments that everyone looks forward to, but how do you really prepare for them?   Interestingly, I heard the old expression “time is money” again this morning. A quick Google search returned: “Time is a valuable resource, therefore it […]

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8 Ways to Spring-Clean Your Finances

A funny thing happens when groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees no shadow in early February. Even if the air still chills and snow still falls, the promise of spring motivates us to peel off a fewer layers, throw open the doors, and sweep out the dust of winter. Like packed winter closets, finances can get cluttered – too many accounts to track, bills to pay, or credit cards to maintain. We lose clarity, control, and, sometimes, our way to the goal. According to a 2015 report, 23 percent of workers – particularly women – reported a “high” or “overwhelming” amount of […]

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What I Wish I’d Known About Student Loans (Before Starting College)

Paying for college is the all-time biggest financial challenge I’ve faced, so far. I remember feeling completely exhilarated, back in high school, when I started to receive acceptance letters from colleges where I’d applied. It seemed like the most significant decision I needed to make was which one to attend. When my dream school, University of Tennessee, gave me the thumbs-up, I figured I was all set to go. Then, reality sunk in. I lived in North Carolina and attending an out-of-state school was going to cost my family at least three times what an in-state public university would run. […]

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Emotion or logic, concept of choice

Don’t Let Volatility and Emotion Erode your Investments

  The start of 2016 has been a mostly unsavory ride for investors. As I write this, the S&P* is down about 7.43% for the year, China down 14.57%, and emerging markets down 7.40%. Given the amount of market volatility on display, many are concerned about the health of the markets and economies both domestically and abroad. Volatility refers to a measurement of past price movement that may provide insight into a stock or index’s possible future movement. While volatility doesn’t indicate the direction of that movement, it can tell you how likely it is that a given stock will […]

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The Magic Math of Compounding for Investors

I’m often asked what first intrigued me about the world of personal investing. My answer: a simple compound interest calculator or – to fellow math geeks – the following equation: (money x (1 + i)^n). The i stands for interest rate, while n stands for the amount of time (based on when the interest is applied, whether days, months, years, etc.). How do your financial goals relate to the calculator? That’s easy. This simple equation forms the basis of long-term investment growth, known as the “magic math” of compounding interest. Once you understand the basic concept and how it helps […]

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What Makes Women Tick as Investors

When it comes to managing money, why do we often avoid doing what we mean to – or even want to? What keeps us from tweaking investments that need attention or setting up that retirement account? Recent research from Pew and BlackRock notes that almost as many women invest as men – 43% of women versus 45% of men. What’s more, in aggregate female investors are beating their male counterparts hands-down. In one 2014 study, women’s investments earned an average of 12% more than those owned by the opposite sex. Our CEO Rich Hagen explored the many reasons why in […]

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A businessman is drawing a colourful city development flowchart on the glass screen. A colourful sketch about city development is drawn on the concrete wall. A concept of local's city development.

5 Financial Companies That Can Make Your Life Easier

In September 2015, I attended FinCon, an annual conference where marketers, content creators, and financial gurus come together to share ideas. This post reflects my thoughts on some of the intriguing products and services that had people buzzing. FinCon was so much fun that I’ve already marked my calendar for 2016, but this time I’ll need to hop on a plane to Southern California.   Not only did I meet people who were genuine and intelligent, but I also learned about a bunch of services that have helped me with my financial journey. These companies are shaking up the finance […]

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Confetti on a drain

Skip the Financial Resolutions in 2016 and Try This Instead

Making a New Year’s resolution for 2016? You might be surprised to hear that a quarter have already given up on saving more money or losing weight this week. Just 8 percent remain committed to their resolutions for an entire year.   While it may sound like the goal-setters themselves are failing, I’d blame the actual concept of a resolution itself. Despite their popularity, maybe setting resolutions is an annual tradition that should finally be retired.   Our latest article on Yahoo Finance Skip the Financial Resolutions in 2016 and Try This Instead, proposes this exact idea. Examining research conducted […]

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