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Should You Save for College or Retirement First?

November 15, 2014 Comments off

college savingsIf you’re like most people who have children, you’re probably doing all you can to save for their college education. Due to the current cost of a college eduction along with the fact that the cost is escalating at a pace much higher than inflation, and likely higher than the growth of your income, it can seem like a daunting task.

While you’re working hard and saving for college, there’s still the nagging question in the back of your mind, “Am I saving enough for retirement, too?” Some folks are lucky and have an income level that makes it possible to save adequate amounts to ensure both a top-notch education for your kids, and the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.  If you don’t fit into this lucky group you’re probably wondering which side you’ll have to sacrifice.

As parents, our natural instincts are to provide for our children first, and ourselves later.  After all, if there was only enough food in your house and you had to decide who went hungry, you know it would be you…and you wouldn’t even think about it for a second.

However, in this particular case, it makes better financial sense to over-ride this natural inclination, and think of yourself first. From a purely financial perspective, if you have to choose between saving for college and saving for retirement, you should save for retirement. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the most important one is you can finance a college education, you can’t finance a retirement.

The other aspects of this to consider are the fact that you will need a considerable amount more money for retirement than college, therefore starting to save earlier will be important for hitting your goal. Finally, you will gain more current tax advantages by saving for retirement than you will saving for college.

It goes against your parental instincts, but if you HAVE to make a choice, choose to save for retirement.

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5 Essential Tips for Commodity Trading

April 24, 2013 Comments off

At this point in your life, you might be interested in making some investments or starting to use your money in different ways than just saving and spending. Commodity trading may pique your interest. What are five essential tips that you should know before you start though? Read on to find out!

commodity speculatorsUnderstanding Commodity Trading

If you don’t fully understand what commodity is, then you won’t be able to successfully profit trading it. Basically, the art of commodity trading means that you will be trading the most basic materials. For example, you might be trading the primary components of knitting or sewing to help others make blankets, jackets and so forth.

Plan Your Finances

In many cases, when you have the chance to make money, you also have the chance to lose it. Therefore, you want to ensure that you are making a savvy financial investment and that your current financial situation is able to work with it. Speaking with your accountant or certified financial planner is always a smart idea before you engage in any sort of investment program. On top of helping you determine if you are a suitable candidate for commodity trading, this kind of professional can also help you come up with an appropriate plan.

Find a Niche
No matter what level of business you are participating in, it’s important that you find a particular niche. Let’s say you’re the kind of person who just trades everything. If people are looking for a specific product on search engines, they might not be able to find you. Furthermore, some consumers are skeptical of individuals who claim to be “jacks of all trades.” They might think that you don’t put a lot of effort into any particular product and are just concerned with getting the word out there about everything. You don’t want them to distrust you.

Find a Platform
In addition to discovering your niche, you want to find a platform for your commodity trading. You will likely be able to discover somewhere online that you can meet with other commodity traders and get started. Make sure you conduct  research on any site that you are planning to use, as you will have to provide both personal and financial information. Of course, you want to ensure that you are using a legitimate site for your own protection. Look for sites that offer advice or forums to further help you out.

Constant Evaluation
Part of being a smart commodity trader is making sure that you are constantly evaluating your plans and figuring out what you are doing. If your endeavors are not successful after putting a lot of time and effort into them, you might want to consider changing your niche, finding a new platform or having a discussion with your financial adviser.

Categories: Investing

How Secure Are Your Finances?

April 11, 2013 Comments off

Being secure in your financial situation is a goal that almost everyone wants to pursue. How exactly can you assess whether or not you are truly secure in the current situation you’re in, no matter how stable it seems? Read on to find out!

financesBackup Money
One of the best ways to tell if you are secure is by gauging whether or not you have backup money. In the event that you were to be let go from your job, would you still have enough money to pay the rent or mortgage? Some experts suggest that you should have three months of bills saved in an emergency fund at all times. If this isn’t your present one, start working toward saving up that money. Even if you have a month saved up now, you would at least have that time period to start looking for a new position.

Consider Total Income
Now, if you are living with another person, you should consider the total income. For example, when couples are first starting off and say, purchasing their first house, it’s so important to make smart financial decisions. For example, in the event that one of you were to lose your job, it would be very helpful if the other person were able to cover all of the necessary bills by him or herself. While you might not be going out to fancy dinners anymore, you would still have enough cash to cover your basic needs.

Job Security
You also want to ensure that you have a steady income throughout the year, so it’s wise to know where you stand in terms of job security. In an economic climate like the one that exists today, answering these questions can be really tough. However, it is completely necessary to do so. Think about whether you are truly secure in your job and be honest with yourself. Perhaps speak with your supervisor to gauge their approval level and the future of your company – if you level with them, they will return the favor. If you are worried, it’s smart to at least seek out a part-time position to cover you if you were to lose your job.

Debt
Another way to consider your financial security is to examine the amount of total debt you have. It’s difficult to be entirely financially secure when you have large amounts of debt. If you were to stop bringing in income, then you might wind up defaulting on your payments or receiving terrible credit scores, both of which could cause even more financial problems for you in the future. While it might be impossible for you to pay off all of your debt right now, you should at least start working on a plan. Try to pay as much as possible and never make late payments, as this will negatively affect your credit. If you have student loans, look into every option out there to find out the best way to pay them off.

By simply looking at all of these factors, you should be able to determine how secure your finances really are. However, it’s also a smart idea to speak with a certified financial planner or an accountant. These professionals can provide a very helpful outside perspective of your financial situation and work to get you on a stronger path, if necessary.

Categories: Building Wealth