Do You Respect Yourself Financially?

There is always much talk about what the secrets for achieving financial dreams, whatever they be, are. It may seem like a mystery as to why some people seem to be able to make a lot of money, keep it and then go onto make more. The truth is these people follow some basic laws concerning money management. These laws are not difficult to understand, however they do require discipline. Money management and financial knowledge is important.

I am sure that there are some people who are reading this who feel ashamed about how they handle their money. The trouble with this is that shame or guilt about finances only creates a state of "poor" thinking and this type of thinking attracts more financial trouble. To turn this around you need to focus your energy and attention on new behaviors that will establish you to think wealthy thoughts. When you feel good about how you handle money, you can learn to trust yourself.

To improve your financial health you need to start out slowly and methodically in order to develop the good habits of fiscal management. Start by asking yourself this question: "What's the one thing you need to do in order to improve your financial well-being.?" Usually you will know immediately what it is because it is baggage that you carry around with you daily, baggage that weighs you down. Then again it may be that really have no idea. If this is the case it would be very useful to contact a financial planner. Experts with knowledge on specific tax laws and investment opportunities can assess your situation and advise or make suggestions about where you need to begin. Don’t underestimate the help they could provide you.

Once you have an answer, do something about it this week. The secret is in the doing. So, just how committed are you to paying careful attention to how you spend and invest, which is the key to making and supporting wealth? Do you want to develop high financial self-esteem when handling your money? Do you want to develop good money habits and maintain the discipline to live within your means? If so, you stand to benefit by increasing your level of financial self-respect and confidence. Last, but not least, your pockets could end up being a lot, lot fuller.

How To Take a Small Step Towards Your Goals and Achieve Your Dreams

Not happy with your current state? Want more cheer, a better house, a stronger relationship, a job where you are respected and valued, or want to earn more, close more sales and buy that dream car?

Well, Quit dreaming. Just thinking about them and not taking any single step towards your dreams, your aspirations, and your desires is not going to bring them to you. That's just wishful thinking.

The moment you decide that you want something, and surge ahead to take the next step in that direction, then providence moves too, in your direction. And the object of your desire comes a step closer to you.

Rather than just dreaming, when you focus on what you want, and take the time to write it down, it becomes permanently imprinted in your subconscious. Our brain has a problem solving mechanism. You give it a problem, and it starts to find a solution all the time, even when you don't know about it. The power of the subconscious mind is limitless. The human mind has not been able to completely comprehend what our brain and our subconscious is fully capable of.

What is Goal Setting?

Goal Setting is a formal process of writing down what you wish for, what you desire, and what your truly want. Whether you want more money, or a better relationship, a new car or a better paying job, each of these is a goal. But just saying "I want more money" is not enough. The brain does not understand "more". You must tell it how much more, by explicitly describing it.

Imagine if you were to asked to find a red house in the city. Without the suburb, the zip code, the address or location, you could roam endlessly till the evening, and not be any closer to your destination. But if you are given sufficient details about the location, suburb or address, sooner or later you will find it.

The better you define the object of your desires, the better it will be for your subconscious mind to be able to find it. So the first step in achieving your goals is to define them clearly. Write them down, break them down into smaller chunks, and divide them into categories.

For example you may have financial goals or career goals. That's a category by itself. Similarly, you may want to organize your goals into these or similar categories.

Financial / Career
Social / Cultural
Family / Friends
Health / Physical
Personal Development / Educational

Once you have written down your goals in each category, group them into short term goals and long term goals. For example if you are earning $50,000 a year, and your goal might be to get to 500,000 a year later. Now I am not saying that it is impossible. Nothing is impossible! Unless you win the lottery, it will require a Herculean effort on your part to get to that figure in an year.

So chunking it down helps. Maybe, get to 80,000 in the next year,150,000 the year later, and get to 500,000 by the third, fourth or fifth year. Based on your goals, and how deeply and intensely you want those goals, work out your own blueprint to success.

Once you break it down to short term goals to attain in the next 6-12 months, you could lose 10 pounds, save $5,000 or plan for a vacation cross country. Take small steps, and get successful at doing the smalls steps. Nothing succeeds like success. As you attain small successes, you will get more confidence and more faith in your ability to attain your dream goals. Your motivation and inspiration will increase manifold, and you will be on a roll... going from peak to peak to reach your dreams.

Goal Setting Tips
1. Make sure your goals are SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. This gives them power and clarity.

2. Take your 5 year goals, and split then into year by year goals. Then take your first year goal and split further into 6 months goals. Then work on the month by month increments. Work on how you will start updating your resume, or start saving $200 dollars each month, or find a book or video on Yoga or aerobic exercises.

You can even start jogging for 15-20 minutes a day, and then gradually increase it to about 30 to 45 minutes, and eventually take it to an hour of exercises. 6 months is not a very long period. You could have lost a few pounds by then, become a lot trimmer, and will have a new wardrobe of nicely fitting clothes that will give your personality an extra edge.

3. Use a Daily Checklist to remind yourself of the actions you need to take each day to achieving your goals. Don't skip a single day. Even if you can spare only 30 minutes towards your goals, doing so consistently will soon add up, and you will begin to notice the difference it is making in your life!

4. Do a periodic Review of your long and short term goals. See what is working, and feel free to make amends to reflect what you want to change, and what you have already achieved. Keep in mind that personal goal setting is an ever evolving exercise. Your goals evolve dynamically based on the changes in nature, your self and your environment. So keep reviewing them regularly to stay on course.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead, get started now. Write down your goals now. When you look back in a few months time, you will cherish this moment of decision. It will take you towards getting that house, the car, be mortgage free, or find the loving relationship you are looking for.


6 Little Spending Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Financial Freedom

Can't seem to get ahead financially? Debts piling up? Maybe you're making some of these mistake unknowingly. These mistakes listed below will help you understand where you may be going wrong and how to get back on track quickly. You can be debt free.

Mistake 1. Living Beyond Your Means
This is the real cause of your worry and stress. If you are spending more than you are earning, whose money are you spending? It's the credit card provider's or the bank's. The cost of this money is interest.

The way out - Make a Commitment to yourself only to spend within your income limits. Maybe you could increase your income (or cash in) by applying for more skilled positions, selling some of your unused articles or assets. Is the second car really a necessity? What about working out ways to make your hobby pay for itself?

Why not find ways to reduce your spending? How much would you save each year if you decided not to have the daily coffee shop coffee? Why not make your work lunch each day rather than buying it? Commit to only buying the necessities.

Mistake 2. Paying Off Less Than the Full Credit Card Balance Each Month
Get this debt under control and your life will be much easier. If you are like many others and only pay the minimum balance each month, the interest on the interest makes those purchases oh so expensive.

The way out - Find ways to put aside more money to apply to the credit cards. It will take time to reach this goal. However, if you don't make a start now you may never pay them off. This situation did not occur overnight and neither will the solution. But, by diligence and commitment you'll get there.

Mistake 3. Not Really Knowing Your Financial Situation
Before you can set meaningful goals and develop savings strategies you need to know your financial situation now. The best, proven and tested method by far, is by developing your own personal budget. This is not hard to do. Please don't give up now. Just follow these simple steps:

The way out -
a)Find your latest credit card statements. Write down all the unpaid balances.
b)Are there any other unpaid debts (not home or car) then include these balances as well.
c)List out your (or family) monthly income. Only the amounts "brought home". Include all types of income.
d) Work out your monthly spending. List out where all the money goes. Don't leave anything out.
e) Minus the monthly spending total from the monthly income total and review the answer.
This will give you an initial idea as to whether you are living within your means or on borrowed money.

Mistake 4. Continually Adding to Your Debt
If debt has got you into this situation it is critically important not to add to the state of affairs and thus make it worse.

The way out - cut up the credit cards, keeping only 1 for emergencies. Don't buy on impulse. Ask yourself twice or three times before you buy anything "Do I really need this?" before you hand over your hard-earned money. Don't buy at the height of the fashion or fad. Commit to never paying full retail for anything. Get it on sale or negotiate a lower price.

Mistake 5. Spending All Your Income
It may sound OK to spend any money you earn but there are risks attached to this strategy. How are you going to pay for emergency items? What about major car repairs. What about major electrical appliance replacement? Are you going to pay for these on credit? Bad idea! How are you going to save for a substantial deposit on the next car?

The way out - Once you've prepared your budget you will clearly see what you need to do to put some income aside for other needs such are emergencies and repairs.

Mistake 6. Spending Without Caring About Your Future
Unless you are planning for your future and financial security, you cannot be really happy. There are always worries lurking in your mind about how you would survive in a financial emergency if you have no savings. It can be very rewarding to see how quickly your savings multiply over time with only a small investment each payday.

The way out - Take stock of your life and realize that tomorrow won't look after itself. It needs your attention. Keep some funds aside to put away for your retirement, children's college costs, emergencies, holidays and major purchases.

Avoid these 6 spending mistakes and you'll be well on your way to financial freedom. Guaranteed.

Want to Live Debt Free? These Tips Will Help

Do you dream about being debt free some day? This can be a reality if you follow some basic rules and do what it takes. To start down the road to financial freedom you need to do a few things first. Are you ready? Let's go.

Tip #1. You need to admit there is a problem.
Is there not enough cash coming in or is it spent too quickly, or both? Is the money being spent on non-essentials? Is the income being spent unwisely on luxury items that you cannot really afford? Do you know how much you really have to spend? Do you know how much you owe and to whom?

You need to honestly answer these questions and be prepared to take some action.

Tip #2. You need a make a plan and stick to it.
First of all, you need to know your financial situation. Take out all your credit cards' statements and add up the outstanding balances. Make a plan to reduce the debt to a certain level within a fixed period of time. Once this is done there are tools you can use from the Internet to track your spending and your debt reduction.

Imagine what you will be able to do with the money you currently use to pay off debt.

Tip #3. Never add to your debt. Cut up the credit cards and live within your means.
Work out ways to cut down on your expenses so that you can live within your means. Start to put some funds aside for emergencies. You can cut down your expenses easily if you just think creatively. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

a) Anything you need (not just want) can usually be bought at a sale. Commit to not buying at retail prices again. Look in newspapers, wait for sales and be patient.

b) Cook at home a lot more often. Freeze leftovers. Plan you food needs for the week. Make your lunch for work instead of buying it each day.

c) Read magazines, get DVDs and Videos for free from your local library.

d) Take up a hobby. Get busy - shop less. Maybe your hobby can create some income?

e) Give up the coffee bought while shopping or at work.

f) Maybe if you tried you could get away with only 1 car. Travel by bus or train if possible.

Tip #4. Don't compare yourself with others.
If you spend to keep up with others, think whether they may be in a similar position to you. Work out and understand how much you can spend and how much needs to be put aside for saving or emergencies.

Tip #5. Pay off one small debt completely.
This will give you a boost and help you keep on track more easily and you'll be more motivated to pay off all the debts.

Tip #6. Keep some fun money.
This process needs to be fun, not a misery. If it becomes a chore you will be tempted not to meet your goals. Keep some money aside that allows you the freedom to spend on things you want, occasionally. You'll feel so much better about spending on items that you can afford.

To truly solve your debt problems you need to keep yourself under control. There's no one else who can do this for you. Ask for God's help also. You'll be so glad you did, once the debt burden has been lifted and you can become your own person.

How To Finance Your Way Through College

Choosing which college to go to is not as hard as figuring out how much money you'll need and where you're going to get it from. Now if you come from rich family than you might have your college funds tucked away in a bank however if you're like the rest of us then you're going to worry about where you'll find your college funds from.

If you're thinking of studying and getting a part time job to cover your college fees, you should really think again. How can you get top marks and stay up late at night working at restaurants or retail jobs?

Getting A College Loan.

You can always apply for a college loan to help you with your annual fees and expenses. However you'll need to consider a few things before you get yourself a college loan. Firstly you have course fees, books and equipments. Then you have living expenses, rent, food, social life, and it goes on. Once you've figured out how much you need look for the best college loan you can find.

Federal Loans For Students.
If you apply for a federal student loan you're entitled to apply for a subsidized or unsubsidized loan. Subsidized loans are really helpful because the government will pay for all the interest that you accumulate on your student loan. However to apply for a subsidized loan you need to prove to the government that you're in desperate need of a loan and you have no financial help. Last but not least unsubsidized loans are available for anyone.

Can I Get More Than One Loan?
Yes you can get as many college loans as you want but you'll have to pay them back. The trick is not to get too many loans however if you've already got more than one loan then you should know that you're repayments are very high at the moment.

For everyone who has more than one student loan, there is a way to save money on your repayments. It's called Consolidating your student loans. To consolidate your student loans you'll need to talk to a lender who specialises on the topic. How it works is really simple. When you consolidate your student loans, you're putting all your loans with different lenders and combining them with one lender.

Can Consolidating My College Loan Save Money?
If you're monthly repayments is around $250 at 5% interest, once you consolidate your loan you can save up to 50% of your repayments. So you're new repayments should be around $130 a month.

You can also take up to 20 years to pay of your newly consolidated college loan. Now you know the risk and rewards of consolidating your student loans, your financial future is up to you. Good luck with the rest of the year and I hope it's a profitable one soon.

How to obtain finance for commercial property investments

Commercial property investment has long provided golden opportunities for large investors and corporations, but now small, savvy investors are in a strong position to snap up hot deals, thanks to the growth of online lending and previously inaccessible countries opening their doors for business!
However, potential investors need to take their time and not rush into buying property for all the wrong reasons – remember the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
The first step any investors should take may sound obvious, but ignore it at your peril! That step is: Develop a sound investment strategy before even looking at the market.
Commercial real estate investment is a slow path to creating lasting wealth which requires patience, planning and persistence.

When developing an investment strategy you need to:
* Ensure your personal affairs are in order – get rid of consumer debt and start building wealth. Check your credit rating to ensure it is clear. Remember though, commercial financing will be decided on the deal, not your credit rating.
* Create a selection criteria list for property type, size, location, the what skills required to manage the property and whether these fit your skills – work to your strengths rather than try and change to fit a property.
* Study the market, learn to spot opportunities which match your requirements, get to understand the financing process, then be prepared to act quickly, if all your plans are in place. If it really is a good opportunity, other investors will also recognize this and it is usually the best prepared who wins.
*You must have a genuine interest in commercial property investment as it takes continuing study to stay on top of the market. You need to be able to accurately value a property based on its condition, your return expectation, and your borrowing power.
*The bottom line consideration is not the price of the property, or any perceived value, but what the property is worth to you, given your investment strategy.
The second key element to successful property investing is to select a good advisory team, which should include an experienced real estate agent, lawyer, tax advisor, and loan officer.
With this expertise on hand, you can move quickly – knowing which properties to ignore and which are worth considering. A good property deal will be fast moving and you want to be on top of it!
Of course, you need finance to close a deal. The online commercial finance lending industry is booming and if you have a sound proposal, investors have money to lend!
Increasingly, investor pools are prepared to underwrite commercial property ventures – worth many hundreds of millions of dollars - with no credit checks, no complicated documentation, and no income verification.
Basically, they will lend money based on the overall merits of the project and the Loan-to-Value ratio.
With non-conforming loans, typically up to 90% of the value of the project can be borrowed, depending on the project type.

Finance, Lifestyle And Benefits Of A Finance Calculator

Life style is now a debatable topic for everyone. When lifestyle comes to our mind we get straight. It is true that lifestyle and finance are co-related to each other. You cant maintain a good lifestyle if you have poor income resources. So it is clear that finance and lifestyle need to co-exist in some form. Lifestyle deals with buying the latest fashionable accessories and gadgets or any home appliances. So money is the key word for you so that you will deserve to such kind of lifestyle. If you don't have enough money to maintain lifestyle, then you need not to spend the money.

The ideal lifestyle should be in form of financial stability. Make sure your financial status is good then go for maintaining lifestyle. It will be foolish to dreaming lifestyle if you have not capacity maintain it. So that it will make you bankrupt. Do not go through the artificial magazine flash, they will make debarred from your society. As there is a proverb "cut according to your cloth" is really true. Give focused to your financial strength. Make sure that which life style will suit with you then you will go for investment.

Every body wants to maintain lifestyle as they saw their neighbors lifestyle. It is the mistake that the common people think that they sufficient money. But the concept is absolutely wrong. As to show their status symbol they are spending money with out any hesitation. The Gandhian principle is actually to follow by every one. Finance is the first thing you need to consider when you go for a certain lifestyle.

Benefits Of A Finance Calculator: You will often found pundits or gurus are using a finance calculator while they determine your mortgage or home loan payments of your personal finance. Many people do not understand of finance calculator and their functions. As the software technology develops, many people are unknown to these products. But there is sufficient information on internet that you can get more details. This is not because they are too complex to understand, but because people simply do not see their relevance. Even the salesman tries to persuade about the finance calculator with all sorts of hype, still you unaware to try the demo. If it is something new and foreign, we need to treat it carefully.

A finance calculator is a small computer device that can perform variety of specific finance calculations. The main purpose of a finance calculator is that you can use it for long term calculations of your budget or your home loan or car loan or any classroom calculation. This financial calculator is designed with some finical variable to analyze the complex financial equations. It is much better than a simple calculator. You can calculate and analyze your own personal budget. Finance calculator is only for you to account your daily financial analysis.

Mortgage Refinancing: Not Always the Convenient Technique Out

Lowering down expenses might cost you. What is nicer is to save money and lower down expenses. However, when it comes to main economic circumstances, like mortgage payments, saving money is never as convenient as it seems.

Individuals go for refinancing if they like a more convenient loan payment option. It just means paying the newest loan with a new loan, which has better terms. These could consist of lower interest charges. These options are alluring. Specifically when we think of the fact that typical house owners have other debts (such as auto loan, credit card bills) to worry about.

Refinancing though could be complicated. You should not be deceived by a discounted interest fee. It is important to calculate the advantages that you might reap and the probable results that would place you in terrible circumstances.

Benefits of Refinancing
This is the process of refinancing. A new borrower is interested to provide you the funds for your current debt. To make the transaction ultimately enticing, he could give you lower interest charges and much simpler payment conditions. You must monitor your break-even period for you to evaluate your status in refinancing. It's basically the number of days you can reside compared to the loan you utilized for refinancing. These costs commonly refer to those you have also utilized for refinancing.

You can make something good with your money through picking your investments.

Downsides of Refinancing
Usually, homeowners merely pay attention to the funds they end up saving every month when they refinance. They fail to remember to think if they may actually be wasting money more. And before you basically get to refinance, there are costs that you have to shoulder.

For one, you need to shoulder the closing fees. These refer to the fees that are incurred during closing the transaction of the mortgage. About 1 percent of the whole refinance costs go to payments of these fees.

Don't be deceived by the low interest expenses that refinancing can assure you. You might be spending more if you are not wise. Longer payment schemes sometimes don't suffice. Perhaps later you will realize you are not doing any smart spending at all. You should be smart enough to save your money wisely to not end up being in a terrible condition.

Before opting for refinancing, you need to pay attention to all the ways that it could go wrong. The borrower you've chosen must be able to explain it to you. Do not settle for the "convenient" way. Sometimes you end up simply wrong. Keep in mind that when it comes to money matters, it never hurts to be smart.

How to Save Real Money When Running the Family Car

Your car will serve you well, and cost effectively, if you take the time to learn a few basic maintenance skills. Ready to start? Let's go.

There are many areas where you can save real money when running your car. Some of these are:
- Actual running expenses
- Minimizing serving costs
- Reducing the slide in value as it gets older

Let's look at each of these areas in turn.

Actual Running Expenses - save on day-to-day running costs
a) Go easy on the throttle and the brake pedals. If you anticipate the traffic and road conditions a little more, you can save fuel and brake pad wear. Don't be in such a hurry, go easy on the car controls.
b) Keep the tires at the correct pressure. If they look to be wearing unevenly, get them checked. Get a wheel alignment done at least once a year.
c) Shop around for the best fuel deal. Use coupons or dockets always.
d) When it's time for new tires, shop around. Don't be afraid to ask "What is your best price?" Compare prices and brands. Get to know the most suitable tire for your type of driving needs. Play off one retailer against another. The same goes for brake pads. Don't just accept any quote.

Minimizing Service Costs - keep these to a minimum
a) Learn to do your own oil change and greasing. This is not a very arduous job. I actually enjoy the time under the car. Changing the oil, oil filter and greasing only needs to take less than 1/2 an hour altogether, but can save you a substantial amount of money. Just be sure doing this does not void your warranty. You can also easily change the air filter saving you even more money.
b) Get to know the normal noises your car makes. If at any time these change, see if you can work where the noise is coming from. That way when you go to your mechanic you won't have to say "Just fix it", you will be able to offer some ideas as to the cause of the problem.
c) Keep an eye out for loss of any fluids. This is often a cause of large maintenance costs. Check regularly to ensure the radiator water level, engine oil level, brake fluid level, automatic gearbox oil level, power steering oil and/or clutch fluid levels are all close to, or at, the "full" mark.
d) Look at the garage floor. Has oil been dropped on it recently? Was it from the back or the front of the car? Don't let oil leaks go checked. Get them looked at right away.
e) If you choose to do your oil changes, shop around for the best price on good oil and filters.
f) If your car requires some specialized servicing or repair, shop around. Get competing quotes. Play off one repairer with another to get the best price.

Minimizing the Value Slide - get the most for your car when you sell
a) Keep the car clean inside and out.
b) Keep the car polished at least once a year. Twice a year is better. Use a good brand of polish
c) Use floor mats always. Keep them clean. Keep the carpets vacuumed regularly.
d) Keep a log book of all monies spent on the car and at what mileage/kilometers they were done. Keep the receipts. This will help you get the best price when you sell if prospective buyers can see you looked after the car well.
e) Use a good quality vinyl or leather protector on your dash, seats and door trims to save them from cracking and discoloration, as they get older.
f) Look for rust spots. These can occur around the windscreen, under the doors, in the door sills and other parts of the body. If you notice any, treat them immediately with a good brand rust killer. If you feel unqualified, get a specialist to fix it right away.
g) If you see stone chips, treat them right away. These can turn into rust spots if not cared for. You could either use a auto paint spray can of the same color or touch it up with a small paint brush and touch up paint.
h) The value of your car will be enhanced at sale time if you keep it as close to original condition as possible. Try to look after the car and keep it looking like it would have been when it was new.

These are just some ways you can minimize your car ownership costs and maximize the amount you receive when you go to sell the car.

Tips For Choosing The Best Stockbroker

Choosing a stock broker can be an annoying task. While they all seem the same, there are differences in commission rates that you should be aware of. Depending on the type of investor you are, you may end up paying too many fees depending on the broker you choose. Here are some tips for choosing the best stock broker, depending on the type of investor you are.

1. Casual investor. If you are casual investor with a moderate amount of capital ($200k or less), then chances are most of your money is in ETFs or index funds. In this case, a discount broker is fine. You will rarely make many trades and you do not need much advice since you are just investing in standard, safe investments. A brokerage like TD Ameritrade is good for you since they have $9.99 trades.

2. Frequent trader. If you are a chartist, then finding a broker with low fees is a very high priority. Most discount brokers will give discounts to people who trade frequently. One example is E-trade. Another site like Interactive Brokers might be good for you too. Be careful with this sort of investment style, as fees may gobble up all of your profits!

3. High net worth investor. If you have $1 million+ in the stock market, then chances are you can get a discount on how much you pay per trade. This is especially the case with the established, big firms such as Fidelity. Fidelity offers $8 trades to those with $1 million+ in their Fidelity accounts.

4. Short seller. If you plan on selling many stocks short, you need a broker that has access to these shares so that you can short them. Most of these brokerages will be able to short mid and large caps for you, but many do not have access to a large percentage of the small cap stocks. Interactive Brokers might be the best broker for short sellers.

Tips For Choosing High-Performance Mutual Fund

Most people who invest in mutual funds don't know what they are doing. They take advice from someone at a bank or perhaps a friend and plunk down money into a fund. Sometimes this strategy works, but most of the time, it doesn't.

When you invest your money in a mutual fund, you are trusting someone to invest in the stock market for you. Because of this, you want to be sure this person knows what he or she is doing. Also, you want to make sure that this person is not charging you too much to manage your money for you. Mutual funds fees are "hidden," in the sense that they do not charge you an upfront fee but rather a percentage of the amount of money in your account. If this percentage is too high, you would do better just blindly picking stocks yourself.

Here are five helpful tips for choosing the right mutual funds.

1. Keep the fees low. Generally, expense fees should not be much higher than 1% if it is just a basic domestic equity fund. You should never invest money in a fund that also charges a "load," which is an additional fee that is ridiculous to pay. Never invest in funds that charge loads; those funds are for suckers.

2. Check the asset base. Mutual fund managers only know of so many good investments. When they have too much money to manage, they begin investing in stocks they don't like much but need to invest in anyway or else they'll just have money laying around. There's little reason to invest in a fund with over $5 billion in assets. It's best if it's under $2 billion generally.

3. Consider an index fund. This is a fund that tracks a stock index, such as the S&P 500. For these funds, the manager just buys whatever stocks happen to be in the index. Since this is not much work, the fees are much lower. Even though this method is simple, it has proven to perform better than most mutual funds. Some high performance index funds include FSMKX (Fidelity S&P 500) and VIMSX (Vanguard S&P 400 Midcap.

4. Evaluate the fund's strategy. If you have a long term outlook, look for a more aggressive fund that invests in small-cap stocks, international stocks, and riskier stocks in general. High risk tends to result in high performance in the long run. If you are more risk-averse, consider an S&P 500 index fund.

5. Keep the fees low. Did I mention this already? Well, I'll mention it again. This is where most people mess up. Make sure you are not paying a load or paying too much in fees to the mutual fund.

Pros And Cons of Different Types Of Investments

When deciding where to invest your money, you need to always take into account your investment goals and objectives. Different types of investments carry varying degrees of risks and potential return.


A bank CD is a very safe investment. The CD is FDIC insured up to $100,000, so there truly is minimal risk. The only downside is that you cannot withdraw that money in the CD for a specific amount of time or else you'll receive a penalty. Bank CDs generally only pay up to 5% interest.


A bond is essentially a loan you make to a company or a government. Bonds have varying degrees of risk, from essentially risk-free treasuries to junk bonds. The higher the risk of the bond, the higher the return will generally be.


Stocks are investments in companies. Depending on the company, the risk of the investment can be high or low. Obviously, buying stock in Johnson and Johnson is a lot less risky than a new internet startup company. In general, the stock market returns on average about 10% a year, though the actual return of any given stock will vary significantly.

Mutual Funds

A mutual fund typically invests in over 100 stocks, so it's an instant way to diversify your portfolio. However, the mutual fund generally charges a fee, which is about 1% of your assets per year. Because of this fee, most mutual funds do not outperform the market; a monkey blindly picking 100 stocks but not charging you a fee could easily outperform most mutual funds.

Real Estate

Real estate is a popular investment. The most obvious real estate investment you'll make is when you purchase your home. Your home can go up or down in value when you sell it; it depends on the housing market in your area.