DR 045: How to Diversify Investments When You’re Just Starting to Invest

diversifying investments with little money

New investors face unique obstacles. There’s the learning curve. Clear that and there’s still the hurdle of having little money to invest (although there are easy solutions to that one). And then there’s the question of executing an asset allocation plan when you have little capital. That’s the question a reader named Daniel recently asked: […]

Published or Updated: March 24, 2014

DR 043: How to Compare Mutual Funds in Under 60 Seconds

Morningstar Fund Compare Tool

I encountered a big problem when I first started investing. Maybe you’ve encountered it, too. I would read a lot of books on investing. Two of my favorites are Rick Ferri’s All About Asset Allocation and William Bernstein’s The Four Pillars of Investing. These books cover asset allocation, and in All About Asset Allocation, describe […]

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Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

The Stock Market Game February Update (+7.60%)

Grow Your Dough Feb 2014

As I mentioned on the podcast, I’ve entered a stock market “game” for 2014. It’s actually more than game because I’ve put up $1,000 to match my investing prowess against a group of some of the most talented personal finance bloggers you’ll find anywhere. Here’s the deal. Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents (and a […]

Published or Updated: March 5, 2014

Bitcoins and Your Financial Future


The Internet is wonderfully disruptive. Travel websites have all but eliminated the need for travel agents. Online banks ushered in financial institutions without costly bank branches. Amazon walloped bookstores. Netflix killed Blockbuster. Newspapers are dying a death of a thousand clicks. The list goes on. Watching the Internet mow down established industries brings to mind […]

Published or Updated: February 28, 2014

DR 041: A Rare Glimpse into Warren Buffett’s Asset Allocation Plan (including the mutual fund he would pick)

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

Excerpts from Warren Buffett’s letter to Berkshire Hathaway investors have been released. In the latest excerpt, Buffett talks about investing in mutual funds, of all things. Specifically, in his will he leaves money to his wife in trust. He has provided guidance on how he thinks the trustee should invest these funds. Think he wants […]

Published or Updated: February 26, 2014

DR 039: Mutual Funds vs. ETFs–Does it Really Matter?

how to invest in mutual funds

Following the conclusion of my 31-Day Money Challenge, I’ve had several people email me about the difference between mutual funds and ETFs (exchange traded funds). A quick review of opinions online may lead some to think ETFs are better than mutual funds. There is a lot of information suggesting, for example, that ETFs are less […]

Published or Updated: February 21, 2014

Person to Person Lending Challenge

Borrow or Lend Online

A quick Google search reveals that person to person (p2p) lending and borrowing is all the rage. From the Wall Street Journal to the Huffington Post, the media dissects the p2p industry. The two giants in the field are LendingClub and Prosper, as this chart from the above WSJ article aptly demonstrates: I’ve invested in […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

Me vs. the S&P 500–2013 Edition

Investment Performance - February 2012

With the 31-Day Money Challenge having come to an end, I’m without excuses. Did I or did I not beat the S&P 500 index in 2013 with my stock picks? I’m a big believer in low cost, passive index mutual funds. Most of our investments are in Vanguard and Fidelity index funds that cost between […]

Published or Updated: April 9, 2014

DR 032: Jemstep–an Asset Allocation and Investment Selection Tool

Betterment All Stocks Allocation

This is the twenty-fifth day in our 31-Day Money Challenge. Over 31 days we’ll publish 31 podcasts, each designed to help you move closer to financial freedom. Yesterday we covered how to tell if you are on track to retire. In today’s podcast, I interview Simon Roy of Jemstep, an online asset allocation and investment […]

Published or Updated: January 29, 2014