Should you Invest When the Market is High?

Bull Market Chart Up

The market is supposed to go up, but somehow a strong stock market can make investors nervous. The idea is that whatever comes up must go down, and a market reaching for new highs must be about to head south. You’ve probably heard that you’re supposed to buy low, and you may have trained yourself […]

401k Losing Money – What to Do?


When your 401k loses money – whether it’s due to market turbulence or fees – it’s important to understand what’s happening. Then you’ve got two choices: do something, or do nothing. Market Turmoil The most dramatic losses in 401k plans come from market losses: the things you buy lose value (or “go down”), and your […]

Be Like a Roth Investor

Viewing things from 35,000 ft. helps you make better decisions

Want to be a smart investor? The Investment Company Institute’s recently released The IRA Investor Profile might show the way. It shows that Roth IRA investors in particular are doing a great job – it seems that they focus on all the right things. Possibly the most important factor in your retirement is behavior: what […]

MLPs: Mutual Funds Versus Direct


Master limited partnerships (MLPs) gained popularity in recent years as an “alternative” investment. Especially with low interest rates, some investors use MLPs for yield that they can’t get elsewhere (from fixed-income investments in particular). The problem is that MLPs are not the easiest thing in the world to invest in. So, as you might expect, […]

Ways to Get Money out of a 401k


Your ability to get money out of a 401k depends largely on two factors: whether or not you’re still employed, and which options your employer offers within the 401k. You might want to pull your money out for several reasons, including: You’ve stopped working at the company and you’re going to roll your funds elsewhere […]

Why you Shouldn’t Retire Early – Even Though you Want To

Early retirement: the horse is out of the barn

Retirement sounds lovely for most people: no boss, no schedule, no problems… There are a million reasons you may want to stop working, even if you don’t hate your job – you might just want to enjoy a life of active leisure while your body is young enough to cooperate. Maybe you don’t even like […]

Why Diversify?

A diversified portfolio is like a balanced diet. Unless you're gluten-free...

You may wonder if it really makes sense to diversify your money among different types of investments. Why not pick what you think will do best and let it ride? During 2013, diversified portfolios did poorly. If you’d invested only in US-based stocks, you would have done better than a diversified investor. Those bonds and […]

Fill the Reservoir to Save for Retirement When You’re Self-Employed

This reservoir is at low water, for now.

If you’re self-employed, you probably can’t count on a steady paycheck. But you still need to save for retirement, so how can you make that happen? This is Part 2 of a series for business owners. Part 1 compares several different types of retirement accounts for self employed individuals. People with “normal” jobs have it […]

What I’ve Been Reading – Week 4

Beach Trees

I’ve read a lot of great articles online over the past few weeks. Here are a few of my favorites: Rob Carrick has been looking at the big picture. Retirement isn’t just about saving money so you can spend it for life – it’s about life. PK from DQYDJ has a fantastic introduction for anybody […]

Solo 401k vs. SEP, SIMPLE, and IRA

When you’re self employed, you’re in charge of everything. That includes every aspect of running your business (the operations and requirements of your industry) as well as performing “additional” functions that most people never think about. For most wage earners, life is easy because employers provide workplace benefits. Creating your own retirement plan is one […]