What Makes A Good 401k Plan

is saving more or earning more money better

For most people the 401(k) plan is their main, and sometimes only source of retirement savings. We know that if we can’t max out our contributions we should at least be contributing enough to receive the full match from our employer, but we really don’t know what constitutes a “good” 401(k) plan. Every year the major financial news sites publish the same articles about this years “best” 401(k) plans, and every year I take major issue with the results in those articles. Too often the studies that these articles reference weigh criteria such as the average account balance per participant too heavily. The same goes for judging the generosity of an employer by looking at the average amount they contributed to each employee in the plan. Of course you’re going to tell me Goldman Sachs has a better 401(k) plan than Wal-Mart if that’s how you’re judging it! Metrics like … Continue reading

What Is Your Money Personality Type?

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Our personality and our attitudes towards different aspects of our life are what define us. They drive our behavior, shape our world view, and impact our decision-making. Your attitudes towards love, religion, politics, sex, and of course money make up a lot of who you are as a person. When it comes to money, I’ve noticed most people fall into one of four main “personality” categories: The Free Spender, The Penny Pincher, The Money Maximizer, and The Ignorant. Which one are you? Let’s look at some of their traits to find out: The Ignorant “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” If you’re reading this website there’s a very high chance you’re not among the ignorant. Still, I’m sure you know quite a few people in your life who are. The Ignorant are those who “just don’t have time” to learn about or manage their money. Ask them … Continue reading

Thoughts on the US Stock Market for 2014

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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

How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

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“Will You Marry Me?” If you’re thinking of asking someone that question. You’ll probably first ask yourself this one: “How much should I spend on the engagement ring?” It’s one of my favorite money and relationships type questions because it never ceases to get people fired up and passionate about their answers. The cynics among us say that we shouldn’t have to spend anything on an engagement ring. It’s just an overpriced piece of jewelry and a sign of outdated traditions. If I’m going to drop all that money on a ring, the least my bride-to-be can do is reciprocate the gesture by buying me a Breitling Navitimer, right?! The romantics will say that we want to buy engagement rings. It’s an everlasting sign of our commitment, dedication, and undying love! I think you’ll find most guys don’t mind the tradition of buying engagement rings. We just don’t want to have … Continue reading

Should We Combine Finances After Our Wedding?

should we combine finances?

As my wedding date approaches, there are an ever-increasing number of things to worry about and keep track of. While I’ve let my fiance take control of most of the wedding plans, the things I’ve spent my time thinking about take place long after we get back home from the honeymoon. Mainly, should we keep our money separate, or should we combine our finances after getting married?   Most people I talk to seem to be on one end of the spectrum or the other. They either say you should keep everything separate and in your own names, or they say you should combine everything and think of yourselves as one financial entity. With money being a topic that causes so many arguments and so much stress on relationships, this isn’t a decision to take lightly. Our Background We’ve been together for several years now and money has never been a … Continue reading

Saving Half of My Income – Take Two

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Last year I set one lofty financial goal for myself: to save half of my income. I was on track to reach my goal when I discovered that engagement rings are kind of expensive! In the end I saved about 35% of my income. Not a number to be upset over by any means, but still short of the goal I set for myself. As we head into this new year, I’m once again setting a goal of saving half of my income. But this time things will be different. How you ask? Simple. This time around I’m working with two incomes! My fiancé has always been great with saving money herself (probably better than I am to be honest), so as we head toward our wedding this summer we’ll be aiming to save half of our income along the way. Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Jay, weddings are … Continue reading