Reflecting On Some Of Life’s Most Valuable Lessons

the-thinker

My birthday is this week. As a child your birthday is always one of the most exciting days of the year, but as we get older birthdays become a time of introspection. Hitting 30 made me realize how fast it all goes, and now as I turn 32, I figured I’ll share with you some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over my years… 1. You’re Not Special – I know, it may sound harsh, but it’s true. Yes we all have our own special skills and talents, but no one out there is going to treat you like the special little snowflake you were told you were as a child. Don’t expect people to bend to your schedule or find your problems as important as you do. 2. Fear Is A Choice - Don’t spend your life missing out on opportunities because you’re consumed by “what if’s”. The regret … Continue reading

Tricks To Motivate Yourself Financially

mountains

Personal finance is all about creating goals. Whether you have goals to pay off your debt or to save for retirement, it is important to stay motivated to reach those goals. The main reason why most people don’t reach their financial goals is because they lack the motivation. Motivation is the key piece to the puzzle. The question is, how do you stay motivated to reach your goals? Here are some tricks that will keep you on the right path. Create Specific Goals The biggest factor in not reaching a goal is because the goal was too general. Why do you think so many people fail on their new year’s resolutions? They create goals such as lose weight, learn how to save money, make more money, or pay down debt. While these are all good goals, they are entirely too general. How do you attain them? Financial goals are no different … Continue reading

Thoughts on the US Stock Market for 2014

upward graph

The following is a guest post from Troy who blogs over at GhostforBeginners.com. Troy has previously brought us posts about how economic data triggers the markets and taking profits in a bull market. Today he shares his views on where he thinks the markets may be headed in 2014.  These views are his, and his alone. Please conduct your own research or talk to your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.  The State Of The U.S. Stock Market As a disclaimer, I am cautiously long the U.S. stock market. These are dangerous times, so don’t let the euphoria fool you. As you’ve probably heard, the U.S. stock market (based on the Dow Jones 30 and S&P 500) is soaring through the stratosphere. Based upon federal and privately compiled statistics, the public is pouring records amount of money into the U.S. stock market, which basically screams the word “BUBBLE”. But just … Continue reading

2013: A Year In Review

thefirstmillionisthehardest

Where did the time go?! It may sound cliché, but damn, 2013 flew by! It was a busy year for me personally. I took my first true “get on a plane and go somewhere” vacation in a few years when I visited Chicago late in the summer. I attended 4 weddings this summer, but more importantly, I finally decided to have one of my own and got engaged this past September. With all the life commotion going on, I neglected this site for a little while longer than I had planned in the summer. Even with my mini hiatus, readership of The First Million is the Hardest is at an all time high. I’m getting more page views in a single day than I ever expected to get in a month when I first started writing this blog. The fact that more and more of you are even subscribing to … Continue reading

The Holiday Gift Guide For Finance Geeks

christmas-buffalo

Christmas is coming, and everyone is out looking for the perfect gift for everyone on their list. We finance geeks can be a bit hard to shop for, you know, with that whole frugality thing and all… So if you have a finance enthusiast, or just someone you want to give a gentle nudge towards financial responsibility to. Here’s a list of some of the best finance related gifts you can give this year: 1. Stock Certificates from OneShare One of the coolest gifts you can give the finance geek in your life is a framed share of stock from OneShare.com. At OneShare you can buy a single share of stock from over 150 of the most well-known companies and receive the paper stock certificate (just like the old days!) framed for display. Beyond financial geeks, a framed share of Manchester United, or Harley Davidson stock makes a really unique … Continue reading

Understanding How Economic Data Triggers Markets

ben-bernanke

A lot of times, markets aren’t steadily moving in one direction or another. They’re moving sideways, waiting for some event or release of economic data that will trigger the markets. With scores of data out there, which ones are actually useful for making markets move? I’m going to cover that in this post. Note: Something to keep in mind is that a certain piece of economic data itself cannot move the market. Like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (which lead to WWI), an economic indicator cannot cause the market to move on its own. It merely acts as a trigger. Unemployment Reports The unemployment reports, consisting of the Initial Claims and Unemployment Rate, are probably the two most frequent pieces of economic data that are used as triggers. Why? Simple – because they’re important. When the bulls (or bears) need to find a piece of data to trigger the market … Continue reading