Why You Should Use Index Funds in Your Retirement Accounts

When I first started learning about investing and retirement accounts, I struggled to determine where I should invest my money.  Thankfully, several great personal finance web sites (including Motley Fool and Bogleheads) agreed that investing in index funds led to the most benefit for most people.  Index funds are mutual funds that track what is… Continue reading Why You Should Use Index Funds in Your Retirement Accounts

Great Personal Finance Podcasts

One of my favorite things to do on long drives is listen to personal finance podcasts.  There are a handful that I have found (so far) to be better than the rest: My favorite podcast is Afford Anything with host Paula Pant, as she combines an entertaining delivery with great guest speakers.  Paula encourages listeners… Continue reading Great Personal Finance Podcasts

Measuring Progress – Tracking Net Worth

As we budget, save, grow our income, and practice self-control in spending, it’s important to have a method for tracking progress.  After all, if we are indeed working to improve our financial lives, shouldn’t we have a way to measure our improvement (or regression)? I have a coworker who has turned into a terrific friend and… Continue reading Measuring Progress – Tracking Net Worth

Vanguard Admiral Shares

Vanguard investors who have less than $10,000 to invest purchase Vanguard’s entry-level Investor shares .  Vanguard offers investors the ability to “upgrade” their shares by purchasing Admiral shares once investors accumulate a given amount within certain mutual funds.  Admiral shares have lower expense ratios than their Investor shares counterparts, allowing investors to keep more of… Continue reading Vanguard Admiral Shares

Changes to 401(k) and IRA in 2013

The new year will bring changes to 401(k) and IRA accounts.  These changes will allow you to save more.  Here’s a list of what’s changing: Increased 401(k) contribution limit – The maximum you can save annually will increase from $17,000 to $17,500.  These figures apply to 403(b) accounts, too. 401(k) fee notifications – Quarterly statements… Continue reading Changes to 401(k) and IRA in 2013

Target Date Retirement Funds – Silver Bullet?

Target date retirement funds are fairly recent inventions created by investment brokerages to simplify the lives of investors.  Target date retirement funds take care of asset allocation for you, adjusting holdings to a more conservative mix as you near a fund’s target year, presumably a date near your retirement date.  As the fund nears the target… Continue reading Target Date Retirement Funds – Silver Bullet?

Grow Your Retirement Portfolio with Dividends

In the past, I typically looked at four criteria to evaluate mutual funds for my retirement portfolio: Asset Allocation – The asset classes (i.e., stocks, bonds, cash, etc.) I have chosen to invest in based on my timeline and risk tolerance.  Since retirement is in the distant future, I’m willing to incur more risk in… Continue reading Grow Your Retirement Portfolio with Dividends