Taking the Market’s Temperature – Main Street Edition

We're on record as of last November predicting a plateau (well, technically we predicted a gentle upslope) in the American stock markets... at least over the decade ending November 2023.  As part of our hedging, we checked a number of indicators - including so-called "market sentiment" indicators - when we made our call. Now, our investor … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part Three of Three

(Read parts one and two.) In the first two articles, I covered: How important it is to be cash flow positive How to cover very small shortfalls with credit How to cover truly large expenses with different forms of insurance. The most important large unplanned expenses that could potentially be covered by an emergency fund are the … [Read more...]

Dollar Cost Averaging the NASDAQ’s Wild Ride Since ’99

We've had a lot of recent fun with our two part (and... growing?) series on reinvested dividends.  First we told you that timing month to month purchases was a waste of time.  Then, when the goalposts were moved, we redid our analysis for yearly purchases (while addressing the criticisms and giving you a wonderful story about a shower tiling … [Read more...]

Inflation and Dividend Adjusted NASDAQ Performance: The Real Story

Another week, another chart making the rounds which was, at best, misguided. Two weeks ago, we watched with amusement as people abused y axises world wide with the "The Market is like 1929!" chart.  Last week? Way too many publications complaining about the NASDAQ's nominal peaks, with perhaps a few scattered inflation adjustments - cute. A … [Read more...]

It’s a Matter of Principle (Principal)

I try to run my personal finances like I would run a business: Use debt to leverage high ROE assets. Limit expenses and maximize revenues by exploring future potential revenue streams. This manifests itself in many ways in my life... and how I pay my bills. When a bill is due, I wait until the last possible day to make the payment. After … [Read more...]

Dollar Cost Averaging: When Not Playing the Game Can Make You a Winner

Let's say you first entered the workforce in 1988.  Let's also say that on every 15th of the month since you started working, you invested $500 a month into an S&P 500 Index Fund.  You never sold any of your fund. That's 308 purchases, equaling about 26 years in the workforce, making you right around 50 years old. 308 purchases, $500 at a … [Read more...]

Are Some Sectors of the Economy Still in a Recession?

I read Jeffrey Alhambra's recent post on Real Clear Markets about his views of the creeping inaccuracy of economic language with great interest.  Sure, it was at times a hyperbolic piece, but his data points on the revenue contractions of some large companies like GE and IBM were well taken and lead me to ask: Are there some sectors of the … [Read more...]

Maintaining a Debt Paydown Strategy

Recently, I stated that one of my goals for 2014 is to pay down my consumer debt of ~$34,000. My colleague PK also recently wrote about personal finance being much more than simple debt payoff. Surprisingly, PK and I have recently settled on a similar short term goal of deleveraging in 2014. This puts our goals (this sentence makes me feel … [Read more...]

Looking for Stock Market Predictions? Go Long!

So you're looking for stock market predictions so you'll know how to treat your money over the short term. I hear you - and I sympathize.  But you're looking at this the wrong way.   The Stock Market is Not Like Weather You all know and love the common 7-day weather forecast (or the 30 day which is now coming into common usage).  … [Read more...]

How to Bury Your Fears and Actually Get Started Investing!

You know something?  I can almost guarantee you're over-thinking this. Today we're going to give you some no-nonsense advice on where to get started with investing.  This seems an easy enough topic but, frankly, the amount of manufactured nonsense and controversy around this subject is ridiculous. Seriously - most people go through this … [Read more...]