Personal Finance Articles

  1. What Lenders Look At On Your Credit Report

    What do lenders consider when they look at your credit report? It’s a simple question with a complicated answer.
  2. Real Estate and Crowdfunding: A New Path For Investors

    Real estate investing and crowdfunding - is this a good mix?
  3. Find The Best Home Insurance Quotes

    Home insurance rates are on the rise. Analysts expect the cost to insure your home will continue to inch upward, putting a strain on your budget.
  4. 5 Reasons You’ve Got the Wrong Mindset About Money

    There’s no getting around the fact that many people simply have the wrong mindset about personal wealth, and some go through their entire lives this way.
  5. How Are Home Insurance Rates Determined?

    You home's value is one of the driving forces behind your home insurance premium and the amount of coverage you receive.
  6. More Volatility Ahead?

    Despite recent market swings, volatility is still low by historic standards, suggesting that markets aren’t taking into account the prospect of bad news.
  7. Could Your Job Make You Uninsurable?

    Some jobs – even hobbies – can put you on a high-risk list and make it tough to get life insurance. How to lower your rates without giving up scuba diving.
  8. Calculate Your Self-Employed Salary

    Deciding on a salary is tough when you're self employed. There are several factors to consider before setting a price on your services.
  9. Can You Use a Healthcare Exchange After Open Enrollment?

    If you're looking to buy insurance from a healthcare exchange, timing can be critical. That's because, if you didn't sign up prior to March 31 this year, you'll ordinarily have to wait all the way until Nov. 15, when the next open enrollment period begins.
  10. Longevity Insurance for a Comfortable Retirement

    Don't face a retirement that goes on long after your money runs out. Longevity insurance guarantees you income once you reach age 85.
  11. Surprising Uses for Trust Funds

    Here are five common situations where a trust fund makes financial sense.
  12. 10 Reports Car Insurance Companies Pull From You

    Car insurance companies don’t like guessing games. When you ask for a quote, they want to know who you are and what you’ve been up to.
  13. Car Payments: 'Til Death Do Us Part

    Your car breaks down... You head to the dealership, ready to replace it with something more reliable. But the dealership has a few tricks up their sleeve...
  14. Six Ways To Save On Closing Costs

    The process of securing a home loan can be confusing and daunting, especially when it comes to the laundry list of fees associated with your mortgage.
  15. 3 Cool Energy-Saving Home Improvements For Summer

    Here are three energy-saving home improvements you can use to help cut summer cooling costs now while avoiding potential warm-weather meltdowns.
  16. Applying For Credit Cards Affects Your Credit Score

    if you follow these simple rules, you should be able to refresh your plastic without causing a big hit to your score.
  17. 8 Reasons Not To Sell Your Home Without An Agent

    Is saving the seller's side of the agent's commission worth the trouble of selling your home without one? Why it could cost you more in the end.
  18. 7 Ways To Land Your Dream Home During The Summer

    Spring has long been considered the busiest homebuying season of the year. Summer is often thought of as the exact opposite.
  19. The Employee's Guide To Medicare

    Over 65 and still working? You're eligible to register for Medicare, but should you also opt for your employer's health insurance, if it is offered?
  20. Should You Pay All Cash For Your Next Home?

    If you can afford to buy a home for all cash, is that the best way to invest your money? Here are the pros and cons.
  21. Medigap Vs. Medicare Advantage: Which Is Better?

    To protect against a huge bill for health costs Medicare doesn't cover, you need Medigap insurance or an HMO-like Medicare Advantage plan. How to choose.
  22. Websites That Save You Money On Hotel Rooms

    Before you just reserve a room through the hotel, check out these six discount websites. But watch out for traps like nonrefundable reservations.
  23. Medicare 101: Do You Need All 4 Parts?

    At age 65, most people have to sign up for Medicare. Learn which of its four programs are mandatory – and which you can skip.
  24. 5 Steps So You Stop Throwing Away Airline Miles

    Master these 5 steps so you stop throwing away airline miles and other travel rewards.
  25. 8 Saving Tricks That Will Leave You Feeling Richer

    Implementing money saving modifications that go beyond the standard rules of thumb can help you lower your cost of living.
  26. How To Find The Financial Advisor Of Your Dreams

    A new startup - essentially a financial matchmaking service - uses video introductions and algorithms to pair financial advisers with clients.
  27. 4 Ways to Maximize Your 401(k)

    Prime your 401(k), 403(b) or other defined contribution plan by using these techniques to boost your average rate of return.
  28. 5 Myths That Could Hurt Your Retirement

    If you're making financial and lifestyle choices based on these retirement myths, you could be missing out on benefits that could give you a better future.
  29. 5 Reasons Why Low Rates May be Harmful To The Economy

    Like quantitative easing before it, the Fed’s zero interest rate policy may actually be inhibiting economic growth and job creation in unintended ways.
  30. Want A Career In Asset Management? Read This First

    When it comes to landing that job at an asset manager, not all degrees are created equally. Here's a look at the best schools for the job.
  31. Four Ways To Spot An Emerging Market

    The term "emerging market" is frustratingly ambiguous. It means a country has at least some market liquidity. But there's much more to it than that.
  32. Seven Steps to Become Financially Independent

    With Independence Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to finally set the goal of financial independence for yourself.
  33. Four Best Things To Buy In July

    You might worry about your budget in the summer months since it’s often a time when spending increases; the kids are out of school, the weather is warm and your favorite vacation destination is calling your name. That doesn’t mean you have to go broke, though.
  34. Is An FHA Mortgage Still A Bargain?

    If you're putting down less than 20%, the FHA's mortgage insurance premium could cost you more than private mortgage insurance with a commercial lender.
  35. How to Avoid Being the Victim of Auto Loan Rip-Offs

    It’s not easy being a car buyer. Unless you have the privilege of paying cash for a vehicle, you’re probably going to have to finance it.
  36. Have The Right Condo Insurance?

    How well does your condo's master-insurance policy protect you? Here's why you'll probably need separate insurance for your own unit and possessions.
  37. Don't Forget To Take Minimum Distributions

    Take the right required minimum distributions from IRAs, 401(k)s and the like, starting the year you reach age 70 ½. There's a huge 50% penalty for being wrong.
  38. Refinancing And Debt-Consolidation Checklist

    On the surface, refinancing a mortgage to consolidate other debts is a tempting option. However, there are potential drawbacks you need to account for in order to make refinancing and debt consolidation work for you.
  39. Why Inflation Is Still A Threat To Your Retirement

    One reason people tend to underestimate their retirement saving needs is that they fail to properly account for the impact of inflation.
  40. The Biggest Threat To The Housing Recovery

    Despite a run of positive economic news that most recently includes a surge in new home sales, you have to be prepared for the possibility of a setback.
  41. Why Aren't More Young People Buying Homes?

    One of the drivers behind our slow housing recovery is an absence of a large portion of the buying audience: young, first-time buyers.
  42. Is Whole Life An Obsolete Product?

    New, more-flexible features and current market conditions make traditional whole life insurance worth another look.
  43. Are Stock ETF Investors Placing Too Much Faith In The Fed?

    For one thing, inflation-adjusted spending declined over the last few months. That cannot be a strong sign for the U.S
  44. 5 Credit Card Traps That Will Ruin Your Summer Trip

    Summer vacations can be rejuvenating and refreshing, but also costly if you aren’t careful with how you use your credit card.
  45. Retirement Planning for the Self-Employed

    When you're self-employed, your retirement is entirely in your hands. Learn about the three retirement-savings options best suited to the entrepreneur.
  46. 6 Questions For Your Realtor

    Before you start working with a real estate agent – especially if you're the one paying the agent's commission – make sure you've made the right choice.
  47. Don't Sign That Non-Compete Without Reading This

    Non-compete contracts aren't just for high-level execs these days. How to protect yourself if your employer – or prospective employer – insists you sign one.
  48. 6 Signs You're Ready to Retire Early

    If you can answer "yes" to these six questions, you may be ready to retire early.
  49. Why Gasoline Costs What It Does

    The next time you have to dig deep into your wallet to fill your gas tank at least you'll know exactly what you're paying for.
  50. Who Gets Your Retirement Accounts?

    Are the beneficiaries of your IRA or Roth IRA who you now want to get them? How to update if your life's changed since you first filled out the forms.
  51. Is "100 Minus Your Age" Outdated?

    A longstanding rule of thumb says that your stock allocation should equal "100 minus your age." Now, some experts suggest being a little more aggressive.
  52. Boom or Bust? The End of China's One-Child Policy

    China's easing of its one-child policy has demographers speculating whether it'll lead to a baby boom. Here's why it might not.
  53. Find The Best Homeowners' Insurance

    Don't wait for the next Hurricane Sandy to find out if your homeowners' insurance really protects you. Test your insurance savvy now and get what you need.
  54. 10 Surefire Signs You’ll Ruin Your Financial Life and Die With Debt

    For many Americans, debt is a way of life. Loans allow most Americans to pay for their cars, education, and houses. But how much debt it is too much?
  55. Should You Buy Or Build A Home?

    You're ready for a new house. Should you buy it or build it? Here's how to think through the pros and cons, whether it's your first home or your fifth.
  56. Should You Double-Down On Dorms?

    Even with the cost of college so dear, enrollment continues to surge. That's good news for operators of student-housing real estate.
  57. Make Money Off Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

    It's easy to benefit from credit card sign-up bonuses, but you have to know what you're getting into.
  58. What Kind Of Financial Plan Makes Sense For You?

    Comprehensive financial plans can help people maximize their financial potential and make smart decisions. But how complex a plan do you really need?
  59. Want To Be A Financial Planner? Click Here

    Boomer-aged financial advisors are retiring in droves. Luckily, more and more schools are creating financial planning programs. Here's a quick list.
  60. Retirement Planning The Millennial Way

    Saving for retirement is completely different if you have a Millennial mindset. These retirement plans will turn your head around.
  61. 6 Best Personal Finance Apps

    The right app can help you track your bills, monitor your bank accounts and credit cards, and otherwise stay on top of your financial life.
  62. Retirement Costs: Men vs. Women

    When it comes to the cost of living in retirement, men and women aren't equal after all.
  63. Why The Best Financial Advisor Might Be You

    Many people enlist expert advice when dealing with their finances. But could going it alone be the best option?
  64. Five Tax Strategies For A Bonus Or Windfall

    That bonus for a job well done or inheritance from Great Uncle Alfred can often result in your paying a bigger chunk of money to the Internal Revenue Service.
  65. How To Get Rid Of Private Mortgage Insurance

    Private mortgage insurance benefits the lender (the sole beneficiary of PMI), but it can add a sizable chunk to your monthly house payment.
  66. New Retirement Living Option - And Income Source

    Here's a new option for retirement planning that could help three generations of a family – and be the glue that binds them together.
  67. 7 Mid-year Tax Moves

    If you wait until year-end to check on your tax status, you’ll be right in the middle of holiday season. And summer is your tax advisor’s slow time, too.
  68. Avoid The Downsides Of Downsizing In Retirement

    Done right, downsizing can still be a good idea. You can have more money, simplify your life, and reduce home-maintenance and utility costs.
  69. 5 Ways To Get Maximum Student Financial Aid

    Getting the best possible package for a college fund depends on minimizing assets and maximizing the energy you use to find possible funding sources.
  70. What You Need To Know About The Fiduciary Standard

    The financial industry has spent a boatload of money to prevent more stringent fiduciary requirements. Here’s what’s at stake.
  71. The Rise of 401(k) Brokerage Accounts

    Many 401(k) plans now allow participants to trade stocks and bonds by offering brokerage accounts inside the tax-deferred plan. Good idea or too risky?
  72. The Best Of The Best Wealth Management Firms

    Looking for a fee-only wealth management firm? Here's a handy ranking to get you started on your search for a top financial advisor.
  73. Don't Sign That! Legal Pitfalls of Signatures

    Why using the wrong-color ink – or signing for your spouse or child – could trigger a fraud alert, nullify a check or get you in bank or credit card trouble.
  74. With HO5 Insurance, You're In Charge

    This home insurance covers everything and will put the onus on your insurance provider.
  75. Real Estate Flipping: 8 Disclosures You Must Make

    If you don't tell potential buyers about these situations and possible hazards, you could find yourself in court. Here's how to profit – and stay out of trouble.
  76. Disability Insurance For Business Owners

    If you become injured and no longer able to work, would your business survive?
  77. Five Creative Ways To Pay For College

    If your financial aid package isn't helping as much as you need, there are other ways to fund your education.
  78. Pay Less For Medicine By Not Using Health Insurance

    You might be paying more for your prescriptions at the pharmacy if you use your health insurance than if you pay cash out of pocket.
  79. Hey, Baby. How's Your College Fund?

    What better time is there to ponder your baby's college fund?
  80. Why Real Estate Crowdfunding Will Be Loved by You, The Lazy Investor

    A new investment that is growing in popularity is called real estate crowdfunding.
  81. Five Credit Card Perks That Will Cure Many Headaches During Your Summer Trips

    It is a time when credit cards will become more than just convenient payment methods.
  82. Impact Investing: Making A Difference And A Profit

    Most investors spend their time chasing returns. But what if there was a way to do good while also turning a profit?
  83. Where Should I Retire?

    It's not just about money or weather or beautiful scenery and a lively cultural scene. Here, some other real-life ways to think about your post-work life.
  84. How To Get The Most Out Of Your Financial Advisor

    Like most things in life, the effort and thought you put into something will determine what you get out of it. It's no different with a financial advisor.
  85. Which Billionaire Could Be Your New Neighbor?

    Just how much real estate can the fortunes of the founders of Tesla, Google, Amazon and Microsoft buy? You'll be surprised.
  86. Divorcing? The Right Way to Split Retirement Plans

    Mishandling how you define and allocate retirement-plan assets in a divorce can cost you plenty in taxes and aggravation. Here's how to do it right.
  87. Why Caregivers Should Enlist A Financial Advisor

    Stressed caregivers in need of help managing their loved one's affairs should consider enlisting a financial advisor.
  88. How We'll All Be Amazon.com Customers Eventually

    Amazon is unusual among large U.S. companies ranked by market cap in that its profit margins are tiny and its stock is phenomenally pricey. Here's why.
  89. Time to Cash In Your U.S. Savings Bonds?

    If your U.S. Savings Bonds are dated 1984 or earlier, they've reached maturity and stopped paying interest. Cash them in pronto and put that money to work!
  90. Eight Financial Safeguards If Disaster Strikes

    In an emergency like a fire, hurricane, flood, tornado or earthquake, you may not be able to protect your home. But you can take steps to avoid financial disaster.
  91. eBank or Brick-and-Mortar Bank?

    The bank type that makes the most sense for you depends on the services you need. The best choice could be both.
  92. Who Actually Benefits From Target Date Funds?

    This pre-packaged retirement investment option could be the perfect fit for some investors and a downfall for others. Which are you?
  93. Best Apps For Buying A Home

    If you are in the market for a new home, technology can help make your search a little easier. Mobile apps allow you to search listings, calculate mortgage costs, find out which businesses and attractions are nearby, and even decipher real estate terms.
  94. Why This Investment Will Remain A Boomer's Best Friend

    The retirement of millions of Baby Boomers will come with many knock-on effects, but risk-averse investors can take solace in knowing that U.S. Treasury bonds are likely to remain strong and popular.
  95. 4 Big Reasons Your Expenses Could Rise In Retirement

    Here's how to save where you can while you enjoy the fruits of all those years at the office.
  96. How To Sell Your Company At A Premium

    When businesses are looking to make acquisitions, it's a good time to sell your company. But don't rush to take advantage of a positive economic climate – like retirement, getting the best price takes time and planning.
  97. Five Little Money Leaks That You Can Plug Right Now

    If you sometimes feel that money trickles through your fingers, you could be right. Here's how to take control and keep yourself from getting underwater.
  98. This Company Is As Unavoidable As It Is Unloved

    It used to be that just two things in life were unavoidable: death and taxes. But with its purchase of rival Time Warner Cable Inc., one should consider adding communications and entertainment giant Comcast Corp. to that list.
  99. 7 Reasons You Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Home Insurance

    What is covered in a policy can vary widely by company, so you’d better know what to look for when shopping for home insurance.
  100. 10 Ways to Save on Air Conditioning Costs

    Save on the costs of air conditioning by following these tips.
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