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Stock-Picking Mutual Funds Still Lacking in Persistence

It is very tempting to invest in an actively-managed mutual fund that advertises above-average historical returns. Why would you bother investing in the ones with below-average returns? However, there’s something behind the whole “past performance … [Read the rest]

Target Offers Free Credit Monitoring & Identity Theft Protection

After losing their customers' credit card numbers and other personal data, Target is offering free credit monitoring services at creditmonitoring.target.com to anyone who shopped at their US stores. (Supposedly the data breach "only" affected the … [Read the rest]

ETF vs. Mutual Funds: Tax Efficiency, Capital Gains, and Index Funds

2013 was a great year for US stocks, and that also means that many mutual funds distributed (taxable) capital gains to their shareholders. ETFs are hot right now and there are many articles like this one which tout the tax-efficiency aspect of ETFs … [Read the rest]

Frontier Airlines World MasterCard Review: 50,000 Bonus Miles = Two Roundtrip Award Tickets

Update - This offer is now EXPIRED Frontier Airlines is a lesser-known budget airline that actually has a pretty decent nationwide footprint using its main central hub at Denver. (see route map). For example, you could fly from Los Angeles to New … [Read the rest]

IRS Estimated Taxes Due Date Calendar 2013

Reminder for last quarter of 2013. If you'll earn income outside of your W-2 paycheck this year, you may need to send the IRS some money before the usual tax-filing time. Here are the due dates for paying quarterly estimated taxes in 2013; they are … [Read the rest]

15-Minute Resolution: Save More For Retirement Today

The problem with most New Year's resolutions is that they just take a moment to make but to actually accomplish it you'll need to re-make that decision hundreds of times. If you're trying to be healthier, every single day you'll have to choose the … [Read the rest]

College Tuition Growth Rate vs. Stock / Bond Investment Performance

Inside this Morningstar article discussing the choice between a prepaid 529 plan or a 529 college-savings account, there was an updated chart comparing the 10-year growth rates of tuition at 4-year public and private universities, the S&P 500 index, … [Read the rest]

IKEA Small Space Floor Plans: 240, 380, 590 sq ft

While walking through an IKEA home furnishings store last week I saw a bunch of neat "model homes" that took up very little space. Supposedly every IKEA store has their own sampling of small space floor plans - only a few are profiled on their … [Read the rest]

Big List of Free Credit Reports, Free Credit Scores, and Free Credit Monitoring

Annual reminder for 2014. Want to get back on track for the new year? Here is a list of ways to get free credit reports, free credit scores, and free credit monitoring services. Remember that there are three major consumer credit bureaus - … [Read the rest]

S&P 500 Total Dividend Growth Charts

While dividend size is not the primary driver of my investment decisions, I still love seeing dividend distributions arrive in my brokerage account and consider them a critical part of my portfolio's total return. Eddy Elfenbein of Crossing … [Read the rest]

Retirement Portfolio Update – Year-End 2013

Here's a 2013 year-end update of our retirement portfolio, which includes employer 401(k) plans, self-employed retirement plans, Traditional and Roth IRAs, and taxable brokerage holdings. Cash reserves (emergency fund), college savings accounts, … [Read the rest]

2013 New Year’s Resolution Follow-Up

It's time to check up on our 2013 New Year's Resolutions, which I gave the eloquent theme "Get our crap together" (in case one or both of us dies). I will roughly follow this GYST checklist. Will and trusts. We are fortunate to have a family … [Read the rest]

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