100 Words On: Why Tracking Your Net Worth Is So Overrated

Many people dream about reaching the million-dollar net worth milestone, as if that lofty benchmark somehow guarantees a strife-free financial life. Preposterous! Net worth — the value of your total assets minus your total liabilities — is overrated because it’s very misleading, as evidenced by many “paper millionaires” who struggle to make ends meet. Yes, net worth is a terrific indicator for estate planning, or identifying how much insurance you

Continue reading 100 Words On: Why Tracking Your Net Worth Is So Overrated

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Which Emotion Is More Powerful?

Those who are concerned with managing financial risk understand that, when it comes to investing, it’s especially important to have a diversified portfolio — at least in theory. It’s also important to have an exit strategy in place whenever you take a position on a particular stock, bond or any other type of investment. Why? Because an exit strategy, complete with predefined selling points — at both a profit and

Continue reading Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Which Emotion Is More Powerful?

100 Words On: Why A Home Shouldn’t Be Considered an Investment

It’s often said that a house is our biggest investment, yet the primary function of any house is to simply provide us with a place to live. Yes, handsome gains can be had for those with good timing. However, as investments go, houses rarely match the long-term returns of stocks. And most people forget that property taxes, maintenance costs, insurance, and even real estate agent fees eat into those returns.

The

Continue reading 100 Words On: Why A Home Shouldn’t Be Considered an Investment

8 Misleading Claims People Often Make To Close a Deal

The other day I came across an interesting article that suggested a healthy dose of skepticism was essential when you’re watching television commercials that make claims for both prescription and non-prescription drugs.

It turns out a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that 66% of claims made in television drug commercials were either misleading or flat-out false.

Actually, before paying for anything, a little skepticism can often go

Continue reading 8 Misleading Claims People Often Make To Close a Deal

Calling All Millennials: 4 Key Financial Tips You Need to Know

With all the focus on Generation X and the Baby Boomers, it’s hard to believe that Millennials have come of age, and are now starting to plan for retirement.

Well, some are. Others could use a bit of a nudge.

Financial Finesse found through its  2012 Generational Research report that Millennials actually have a better handle on managing cash flow than their predecessors, but aren’t worried about much beyond that.

The report showed

Continue reading Calling All Millennials: 4 Key Financial Tips You Need to Know

Don't Be a Moron: How One Man Paid $87,500 in 'Moronic' IRA Fees

Over the years I’ve read plenty of articles and blog posts about lying, cheating, and dumb advisors.

While lying and cheating advisors are a topic for another day, I know from experience that there are plenty of morons in the advisory business. I’ve had the er … pleasure … of meeting some of the worst. To wit:

One advisor I knew actually said, “I’m not some kind of rocket driver, but …”

Continue reading Don’t Be a Moron: How One Man Paid $87,500 in ‘Moronic’ IRA Fees

Looking To Invest In Tangible Goods? Consider Loose Diamonds.

For centuries, prudent financial planning meant possessing your assets as tangible goods rather than paper money. Items of true worth are accepted and valued across cultural and language barriers, and those with the means to do so have been insuring their wealth with such goods as long as they have been treasured. There is perhaps no better example of such an item than diamonds.

Some think keeping wealth in physical goods

Continue reading Looking To Invest In Tangible Goods? Consider Loose Diamonds.

5 Personal Finance Tenets That Aren’t as Smart as They Used to Be

When I was a kid I used to love the fun houses found at summer carnivals and local fairs.

I loved the sense of twisted reality provided by image-distorting mirrors and the wacky side-rooms where water appeared to flow uphill and it was nearly impossible to stand straight.

Today, thanks to an extended period of near-zero interest rates, years of massive government deficits, and central bank “money printing,” we’re all stuck in

Continue reading 5 Personal Finance Tenets That Aren’t as Smart as They Used to Be

I'm Stumped: 7 Perplexing Money Questions Without a Good Answer

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister David Cameron offered $1.54 million to the person who could solve mankind’s greatest challenge, whatever that might be. However, before the challenge can officially begin, Mr. Cameron must wait for an official list of the world’s biggest problems from a committee of extremely wise fellows who are now collecting the best suggestions from abroad.

The first candidate problem that immediately crossed my mind was how

Continue reading I’m Stumped: 7 Perplexing Money Questions Without a Good Answer

100 Words On: One of the Biggest Mistakes a Household CEO Can Make

It’s been said that failing to plan is planning to fail — especially with respect to personal finances. And although you may be prepared, one of the biggest mistakes any household CEO can make is to abandon their financial plan during extended periods of good or bad fortune. Why? Because, for those who lack the discipline to stay the course, raw emotion may erroneously trump the sound reasoning that was

Continue reading 100 Words On: One of the Biggest Mistakes a Household CEO Can Make

Question of the Week:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.