How to Use the Debt Avalanche with Variable Rate Loans

Debt Avalanche

In what order should you pay down your debts? For those working hard to get out of debt, it’s an important question. Often we focus on either the amount of our debt or the interest rates. But what if the interest rate on a loan can change, either because it’s a variable rate or perhaps a […]

Published or Updated: February 2, 2015

How to Make the Best of a Bad 401(k)

How to Invest in a 401(k)

Investing in a 401(k) plan at work can be a lot like eating at a cheap buffet. There are a lot of options, but they’re all bad. For those trying to hard to keep investing costs down and to invest with a solid asset allocation plan, having bad options in a 401(k) or 403(b) is like […]

Published or Updated: January 31, 2015

Was Your Portfolio Designed by Rube Goldberg?

Rube Goldberg of Investing

When you look at your investment portfolio, does Rube Goldberg come to mind? Goldberg was a Pulitzer Price winning cartoonist famous for drawing complicated contraptions designed to perform a simple task.  In fact, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a “Rube Goldberg” as a “comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation.”   […]

Published or Updated: January 22, 2015

How to Limit Taxes from Mutual Funds and ETFs–An Interview with James Rowley of Vanguard

Vanguard Investments

The tax implications of mutual funds and ETFs can make the tax code look simple. Unlike investing in individual stocks, mutual funds can generate capital gains even when you haven’t sold any shares of the fund. These distributions make asset location–whether to hold certain investments in taxable or retirement accounts–critical. To help us sort through […]

Published or Updated: January 21, 2015

List of Credit Cards that Offer Signup Bonuses

Credit Card signup bonuses offer significant benefits.  Many cards offer bonus miles or points worth $400 or more in statement credit.  Other cards simply offer bonus cash or free airline tickets. A reader named Ben wrote to me recently asking about these bonuses: I’ve been curious about credit card sign on bonuses for a long […]

Published or Updated: January 20, 2015

Interview With Herbert Moore of WiseBanyan

Herbert Moore of WiseBanyan

Imagine that could use an online tool that could help you choose the asset allocation for your investments, whether in an IRA or a taxable account, reinvest all of your dividends, rebalance your portfolio as the value of your investments change, and perform even more complicated strategies, like tax loss harvesting. Now imagine that this tool […]

Published or Updated: January 21, 2015

A Guide to Tax Loss Harvesting & Robo Advisors

Tax Loss Harvesting and Robo Advisors

Tax loss harvesting is one of the few free lunches in the world of investing. With a little planning, you can reduce or even eliminate your capital gains in any given year. In some cases, you may also get a deduction from ordinary income of up to $3,000. Tax Loss Harvesting, sometimes abbreviated TLH, has come […]

Published or Updated: January 18, 2015

7 Ways to Harness the Power of Habit

7 Ways to Harness the Power of Habit

So much of our lives are lived on autopilot. We go about each day pretty much the same way we lived the previous day, and likely how will live tomorrow. From our morning routine to our drive to work, to our coffee break mid-afternoon, to dinner with friends in the evening, our habits control many […]

Published or Updated: January 15, 2015

Betterment vs. Wealthfront

Betterment vs WealthFront

Two of the biggest robo advisors are Betterment and WealthFront.  At first glance they may appear to be virtually identical.  Both create diversifed portfolios with similar low cost ETFs.  Both rebalance your portfolio, reinvest your dividends, and offer tax loss harvesting.  Both have slick, easy to us websites. But there are some significant differences between […]

Published or Updated: February 12, 2015