Matthew Clinger wrote:
I'm willing to make you a stock portfolio for free if you want it. I'm an advocate of value investing, where stocks that are undervalued in comparison to other stocks being traded are the ones to buy. I select stocks that are cheap by known factors, such as comparing the price of the stock to the earnings, the price to the sales, the price to the equity, and the price to the free cash flow (money that can be distributed as dividends).
Because my system for stock selection is 100% data-driven, emotions are taken out of investment decisions. I create portfolios that are meant to be held for one full year.
Now, about the paying off the cars, I have to agree with the Ameriprise guy. One of the basic principles of finance is that "money has a time value". While I don't agree with all the principles that are taught in finance classes, I can definitely agree with that one.
And if you can make more on the money through investing than your cars are costing you (They're both at 1.9%, which is very low) then I see no reason to not continue investing the money as long as you make decent investment decisions.
As for Ameriprise, I can't really say. I am not that familiar with them or other funds myself, or really with bonds either. However, you don't need to take bigger risks to get better returns. Value investing improves both the profitability and the safety of investing in the stock market. (You'll get different opinions from this from other people here, but I stick by this)
I recommend you buy "What Works on Wall Street" (Fourth Edition) by James P. O'Shaughnessy. You can get it for less than $30 on amazon.com and it will teach you about why value investing works. My portfolios are based 100% on what is in that book and I can tell you that it has certainly worked in the portfolios I have created (mostly simulations, but I have created some actual portfolios for people to use based on this data - you can check these out at prostockpicks.proboards.com). I also posted the simulated returns from my portfolios as of January 1st of this year over in the Stock Portfolio 2 thread (which you can see have performed really well) in comparison to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Based on the results in that thread, you would have to conclude either that
1) Value investing works
2) A series of flukes happened
3) I chose the stocks after looking at their results
Of course, the 2012 Nov 7th portfolio posted there was one publicly created in the forum, so if you were you believe #3, then you would have to believe #2 happened for that portfolio as it is currently beating both VTI (the fund chosen by someone else here to compete with the portfolio) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (which I posted superior results to when asked about how previous portfolios compared to it).
I wouldn't listen to this spammy assclown. Nor would I give him a cent. He is broke, has no money of his own to invest, in his 30's and finally "going back to school." His "portfolios" are wildly risky. In essence, he takes stupid risks with YOUR money. Also, he needs to be licensed and regulated by his state for offering "investment advice," but he has yet to ever produce his license. Caveat Emptor.