Investing ideas that avoid the stock market

A fall day in the park

Investing requires resolve and a long-term vision, but it doesn't actually have to involve the stock market. Here's a guide to non-stock investing options:

Precious Metals

During the Great Recession, precious metal commodities like gold and silver were all the rage. As the stock market lost more than 50 percent of its value, gold and silver started a monumental rise in price. Gold went from around $600 per ounce in 2007 to peak at $1,900 per ounce in 2011.

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More about...Investing

What you wouldn’t want to hear from your adviser

My role as a financial adviser sometimes feels like a fortune teller. (Get it?)

I'm peering into the crystal ball of your finances while trying to take everything into consideration: how much you've saved for retirement, how long you have until retirement, how much debt you hold, and historical trends for your asset allocation.

I've had the privilege of sitting down with countless individuals and couples to review their finances. The easy clients have a plan, have worked the plan, and are on track for a healthy retirement. I might need to give a nudge here or there, but in general their future looks good. Those are fun meetings. Continue reading...

More about...Investing, Retirement

5 ways to get over the money blues

In a surprising conversation with a client, I learned that he logs into his account online in the morning and again in the afternoon every single day. What makes this even more peculiar is that our online access gets updated once daily (in the morning) and reflects the previous day's market close. So when he logs into his account for the second time, he sees the EXACT same value that he saw when he logged in that morning. When I asked him why he checks twice a day, he responded, "Yeah, I know. Just want to make sure my money is still there."

<sigh>

This poor guy wasn't helping himself relieve any stress. By constantly being connected and fearful that his money would somehow magically vanish, he was falling victim to what I call the "money blues." The housing bubble burst, Great Recession, and slow economic recovery left many investors asking themselves, "What in the heck happened?" More recent headlines involving the fiscal cliff, government shutdown, and Greece's economic struggles just add fuel to the fire.

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More about...Investing, Psychology

How to avoid hiring a shady financial adviser

How would you feel if the financial adviser you hired to take care of your investments had four previous instances of customers filing a complaint against them? What if they had been fired from two previous financial institutions? Hopefully it would give you the same sick feeling it gives me.

How would you feel if you learned that you could have discovered all of this if you had spent less than 10 minutes doing some online research? Don't answer that quite yet. More on that in a bit…

Navigating the choppy waters of the investing world isn't easy. You've got a multitude of account options to consider and even more investments and insurance to protect your family. Having a solid financial adviser by your side to guide your ship through to calm waters is an invaluable asset. Continue reading...

More about...Investing

Could you say no to your mom?

"Heck no!"

Imagine if a stranger asked you one of the following questions:

  • Can I borrow your credit card to make a quick purchase? I don't have any cash on me.
  • Mind if I take your car for a quick trip to the grocery store. I don't feel like waiting for the bus.
  • Do you mind co-signing with me on the new house I want to buy? My credit isn't the greatest.

My hope is that if a stranger asked you any of these, your response would be an emphatic, "Heck no!"

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More about...Debt, Credit

Easy ways to give your 401(k) a tune-up

As it stands right now, there is just over $4 trillion in 401(k) plans. That's trillion with a capital "T." If you're working for a company, then you're probably one of the 67 million Americans who have a 401(k). It was included as one of those perk benefits that got you even more excited about the position.

The only problem is that your job probably didn't offer you any guidance beyond the lovely welcome packet you received during your orientation. I envision the conversation went a little something like this:

Your employer: "Congratulations, you now have a 401(k)."<

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More about...Investing, Retirement

Join the debt movement

You can join the movement and a chance to earn some of the $10,000 debt scholarship money by visiting DebtMovement.com.

“Oh, we don't have that much debt. Our house is paid off. We don't have that many consumer loans.”

These famous last words were uttered by a couple who had come to me for help with retirement planning. They were about 10 years out from retirement, and although their savings weren't as robust as they could have been, their mortgage was paid off and they claimed to have little debt. They were in a good place for retirement.

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More about...Debt, Budgeting, Psychology

8 little-known facts and benefits of Roth IRA savings

benefits of roth ira

Most Americans want to save for retirement, but most don't know how to start. Putting money into a savings account is ideal for short-term goals and emergency funds. But there are better investment vehicles for long-term savings. One investment vehicle that I've grown to love almost as much as much as I love In-N-Out Burger (key word: "almost") is the Roth IRA.

I know Get Rich Slowly has covered the Roth IRA a lot in the past, but new readers might not be that familiar with it. Besides, even though you might think you know everything there is to know about Roth IRAs, here are some facts that might be new to you.

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More about...Taxes, Investing, Retirement

8 questions to ask BEFORE hiring a financial planner

When meeting with a financial planner for the first time, many people are hesitant to ask questions because they don't want to sound "dumb". But dumb is not asking any questions at all.

Ultimately, you have the opportunity (and responsibility) to interview the planner to see if he is the right person to manage your investments. Before you decide if a particular financial planner is right for you, you should ask him some basic questions.

What Will I Find on Your U4?

Remember when you were younger and you could always hide your grades from your parents? That was until the report card was sent home. The U4 is the "report card" of your financial planner's background. That means if he's done anything wrong and a complaint has been filed against him, it will be shown here.

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More about...Planning