Platinum Card from American Express Review

The Platinum Card from American Express Big

Few credit cards symbolize style like the Platinum® Card from American Express.  Other credit card issuers attempt to generate buzz with the word platinum attached to some of their credit card products, but unless it’s American Express, it doesn’t mean much.  The Platinum Card from American Express is a one of a kind charge card […]

Published or Updated: December 23, 2013

8 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

The decision to pay off your mortgage early is a controversial one. But for some who have tackled many of their big financial goals and erased other debt, putting their home mortgage in their crosshairs can make sense. If you’ve decided to pay off your mortgage early, here are several strategies for saving money and […]

Published or Updated: April 28, 2013

Homebuying Programs for Low-Income Families

Home Buying Programs

In most areas of the country, owning a home is a significantly better investment than renting an apartment. If you have a bit of money in savings and can consistently pay your rent on time, you may be ready for homeownership. For many, however, there is one big hurdle–the down payment. What if there’s no […]

Published or Updated: April 28, 2013

How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Credit

Time for fico credit score to recover

Photo: 401 (K) 2013 How long does it take to improve your credit? That’s a great question. Unfortunately, the answer is, “It depends.” It depends on what your credit score is now, and why. And it depends on how much you want to improve your credit score. Serious credit problems — foreclosures, collections records, etc. […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

60 Second Guide to Making IRA Contributions

The other day I received an email from the IRS about IRA contributions. Believe it or not, the IRS has done a lot over the last few years to provide really helpful information about everything tax related. So I signed up for the emails, and they have been extremely helpful. So today I thought I’d […]

Published or Updated: April 25, 2013

PowerShares S&P 500® High Quality Portfolio (SPHQ) Review

SPHQ | S&P 500 High Quality Portfolio | PowerShares Exchange-Traded Funds 2013-04-24 09-23-38

When I first started investing, I had the hardest time figuring out which mutual funds to select. Over the years, I’ve learned that the key selection criteria are costs and asset class (e.g., large cap U.S. vs. small cap). Still, with 1,000s of mutual funds and ETFs, picking the right investments can seem overwhelming. To […]

Published or Updated: April 24, 2013

How Not to Spend $235,000+ to Raise a Child

Photo: xopherlance Every year since 1960, the USDA has released a report called “Expenditures on Children by Families.” Popularly, it’s known as something like “The Cost of Raising Children Report.” The report details how much families of different income levels spend on their kids in different areas. And it usually creates quite a stir, reminding […]

Published or Updated: April 15, 2013

How to Refinance a Mortgage That’s Underwater

Refinance Mortgage

Photo: 401(K) 2013 If you’re underwater on your home – meaning you owe more than your home is worth – you’re certainly not alone. Many American families are in the same situation because of the real estate market crash. Even though property prices are starting to rise in some areas of the country, many families […]

Published or Updated: April 23, 2013

When You Need Self Storage, and When It’s a Terrible Investment

Self Storage

Photo: masanori_jpn According to the Self Storage Association, self storage has been one of the fastest-growing pieces of the U.S. commercial real estate industry for more than three decades. And it’s no surprise. We have a lot of stuff, and we like to keep it. That’s evident from these statistics from the association’s 2012 fact […]

Published or Updated: April 15, 2013