The beauty of penny stocks
William at A Financial Revolution has some words of advice on penny stocks.
The beauty of penny stocks is that they are one of the only investments for which one simple, blanket rule applies without any exceptions: There is never a good reason to buy a penny stock, ever.
How To Protect Yourself From Lifestyle Inflation
Jonathan at My Money Blog has been writing about personal finance for two years now. Here's some excellent advice on the standard-of-living trap.
One thing I worry about is lifestyle inflation. No matter how little or how much someone earns, their spending tends to match their income. When you're living the student life, your friends are also broke, and it's easy to eat frozen pizza for dinner and manage without a car. That was probably one of the funnest periods in your life! But when you have more money, you start looking to upgrade: a nicer car, a bigger house, brand name clothes, cooler gadgets. Call it peer pressure, entitlement, or simply money burning a hole in your pocket.
As we progress along our career paths, here are a couple of things that my wife and I are trying to do in order to try and inflation-proof our spending:
Intro to Mutual Funds: Index Funds
Before I delete the GRS forums, I'm moving the best posts here. Last month I shared Vintek's introduction to mutual funds. Here he explains index funds.
In my previous discussion of mutual funds, I mentioned index funds:
Along came index funds, and this was hailed as the ultimate in investing. You'd invest not in just a basket of stocks, but in the entire market. Since the manager wasn't required to do research and pick stocks (all he had to do was buy it all and hold it), his fee was reduced to a fraction of an actively managed fund's fees (about 0.2%). Yes, you could have years of losses (2000, 2001 and 2002 were the most recent), but studies show that the market always recovered, even if some of the companies in the index didn't. If you wanted put your investing on autopilot and be assured of a long-term (any 20 year period since the 1920s had an average gain of 10% per year) winner, this was the way to go.
An introduction to homesteading
I am a huge fan of simple living and of the do-it-yourself ethic. It's no surprise then that I am fascinated by homesteading, the lifestyle of "agrarian self-sufficiency". This article was written for Get Rich Slowly by Phelan, host of A Homesteading Neophyte, a blog about learning to homestead. Phelan is a regular commenter to this site.
Modern homesteading is a great way to save some of your hard-earned cash. That is if you are not afraid of a little hard work and waking before the rooster. The fast-paced convenient world of today can and will lead you down the path to debt. Four years ago I found myself in a terrible situation: How does one go about feeding a family of four on one hundred dollars for two weeks? Did we have enough money to buy gasoline just to get to work? It was scary not knowing where my family was going. Yet when I planted my first tomato, a thought sprouted in my mind.
My first homesteading goals were just to preserve my garden for the winter, insuring that there was always something to eat. But as my garden grew, so did my ideas.