Emergency Savings vs. Debt Repayment

“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.” – Bob Hope Common sense reader mailbag: I have am building up my emergency savings fund but I’m sick of seeing such small returns with interest rates set so low. And I don’t know how much…

Robert Shiller on Real Estate Investments

Robert Shiller had a great piece in the New York Times this week about real estate as an investment. He lays out some great points about real estate from a historical perspective that I thought were worth looking into.

How to Build a Common Sense Investment Portfolio

“Simplicity is the master key to financial success. When there are multiple solutions to a problem, choose the simplest one.” – John Bogle, Founder of Vanguard One of the most overwhelming parts about the investment process is the fact that there are so many choices that you have to make just to get started. You…

Should You Make Early Mortgage Payments?

When making any financial decision you need to be able to see both sides before you act. This could be for an investment, a savings decision, debt payoff or even how you allocate your monthly budget. The reason it makes sense to look at alternatives is because we have a tendency to gather facts that…

Lessons From The Behavior Gap

“Investment mistakes are investor mistakes.” – Carl Richards The Behavior Gap by Carl Richards is one of the best personal finance books I have read. And there is not a single specific investment idea in the entire book. No secret stock picking formula or perfect asset allocation by age and net worth. Instead, this book…

I Tried Timing the Market. Now What?

“First I was bullish, then bearish, then brokish.” – Milton Berle Common Sense Reader Mailbag: I completely sold out of the stock market. Now I’m scared I made the wrong decision and I’m going to miss out on future gains. What should I do now? This is a question I’ve heard a lot over the last…

Don’t Reach For Yield

“More money has been lost reaching for yield than at the point of a gun.” – Raymond DeVoe Jr. In his article this week for the Wall Street Journal, Brett Arends goes over some of the dumbest money moves that people routinely make. One of them is reaching for yield. It’s hard to find high…

Focus on What You Can Control

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli While it can be interesting and thought-provoking to debate and complain about the politics in this country, on a personal level it doesn’t really affect your…

How to Choose a Financial Advisor

“It’s better to hang out with people better than you.  Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” – Warren Buffett While most investors have the ability and common sense to create their own investment plan, many of us simply have better things to do with our time than…