Up, Up and Away

The markets have continued their climb in 2017 to all new heights. They’ve shrugged off any negative news or signs the economy might be slipping a bit to get there. Pretty much any broad based stock index fund around the world would have netted you gains. The increases have been very impressive and below are the returns of a few ETFs to show you the amazing climb the markets have made this year. Continue reading “Up, Up and Away”

Retirement Concerns

I wrote this article knowing full well that I’m going to sound like a broken record but I believe the subject matter is to important to ignore. Last week I wrote an article about the impending insolvency of Social Security and pointed out why it is so important to save for your own retirement. Basically, why you should never depend on the government for your retirement security. Then this week I saw two Bloomberg articles that caught my eye. Continue reading “Retirement Concerns”

End of the Road

The 2017 report from the Social Security and Medicare trustees was released a few days ago. The good news is that payouts in 2018 will see their first significant bump in years, 2.2%. Bad news is that the impending insolvency of these programs is still looming on the horizon. Ironically, 100 years after the program began it could face the issue of not being able to fulfill it debts to the public. Continue reading “End of the Road”

Minimum Wage Experiment

It is a statement that many will disagree with but in my opinion it is the truth. A minimum wage has no place in a free market and it will do more harm than good. Back in 2015 the city of Seattle began an experiment. They decided to give in to the popular demand sweeping the nation and raise their local minimum wage well above the Federal standard. The raise would happen over many years and eventually hit $15 an hour. A couple years later and the shock waves from this decision are already being felt. Continue reading “Minimum Wage Experiment”

Just Enough

I heard a sermon several months ago where the pastor made the statement that God has provided each of us just enough, just what we need from a financial standpoint. For example, the reason why we have the income we have is because God knows that is an amount that He can trust us with. It is an amount that is just enough. I’ve been mulling over this concept for many months now and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts. First let’s begin with a Bible verse: Continue reading “Just Enough”

Ups and Downs

The markets this year could be described with one word, stability. We’ve seen very little in the way of volatility. Even when bad news has consumed the headlines, markets have shrugged said news off and continued their upward climb. This is very different, if not bizarre, behavior for the markets. Usually when bad news of any kind starts coming out, even if it is an unproven rumor, the markets tend to react creating what we call volatility. A popular measure of volatility is the VIX index and earlier this month it hit its lowest level since 1993. What could possibly rock this boat? Continue reading “Ups and Downs”

Frugaled Out

On my blog I focus on topics such as getting out of debt, investing and staying on a budget. Simply put, my goal is to help you improve, remodel if you will, your financial house. But I know there are many out there just like me who’ve been working hard at this for years on end. After so many years of planning, fine tuning and fiscal discipline, you’ll eventually reach max frugality. Your budget will be frugaled out. Continue reading “Frugaled Out”

Passive Fund Doomsday

I ran across an interesting article this week. Yahoo Finance conducted an interview with the indexing legend himself, Jack Bogle, and he made an interesting comment concerning index investing. He stated the only word to describe everyone indexing is chaos, catastrophe. So what is the issue and why would Jack Bogle of all people make such a statement? Continue reading “Passive Fund Doomsday”

Focusing on Major Expenses

Often on this blog I will talk about saving money in everyday expenses. From cutting your cell phone or cable bill to clipping coupons or the virtues of budgeting. All of these topics are important and there’s plenty of material to discuss but the fact is, most of the expenses we will face in our lives will come from only a few categories. They makeup what I call our major expenses and I think too often we ignore them. Ignoring them however could have grave consequences on our ability to save and leave the lasting legacy that we want to leave. Continue reading “Focusing on Major Expenses”

Biggest Budget Chunks

What 4 categories eat up the largest pieces of your budget pie? I was reading an article on Motley Fool that tried to answer this very question. The results were based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Before we get to the four budget categories the article mentioned another interesting factoid about our average savings rate. In the past 50 years our savings rate has dropped in half from 12% to 5.6%. This is an interesting thing to note since we are talking about our largest expenses. Now to the four categories. Continue reading “Biggest Budget Chunks”