Evolving Personal Finance » investing

I Learn Something New about Taxes Every Year

I Learn Something New about Taxes Every Year

My dad loves to encourage me to “learn something new every day,” and that’s certainly a great way to grow. Kyle and I submitted our tax returns last Saturday, and I realized that we learned quite a bit about taxes this year for our personal return. (I additionally learned a lot about grad student taxes, but that was more academic for me.)   This year was our most complicated tax return to prepare to date, and we did … Read entire article »

Filed under: debt, giving, investing, self-employment, taxes, transitions

Revealed: Mid-Term Investment Choice from 2011

Revealed: Mid-Term Investment Choice from 2011

I’m going to reveal something today that I never have before on EPF – or to anyone (other than Kyle), actually. This is more intimidating to me than sharing my net worth, even! In 2011, we had enough money to pay off my subsidized and deferred student loans, but instead of doing so we invested the money with a 2-3 year time horizon. Today I’m going to tell you exactly what we bought with that … Read entire article »

Filed under: investing

Personal Capital Review: Investment Services Pitch

Personal Capital Review: Investment Services Pitch

Personal Capital has been getting some buzz around the personal finance blogosphere because of its identity as a technology company (and because it pays high commissions to bloggers for leads). If you sign up for free and link your account information, Personal Capital provides a tool for visualizing investments as well as tracking your spending. It is similar to Mint but way better on the investment displays and such. So that is all great and … Read entire article »

Filed under: investing

Personal Capital Review: Software

Personal Capital Review: Software

A few months ago, Kyle and I signed up for Personal Capital after reading positive reviews from other bloggers. We linked up all our accounts and have been using the free software periodically. We also went through a series of meetings with a Personal Capital advisor to see if we wanted to use them as our investment advisors. In this post, I will share how I like using Personal Capital’s software, which they provide for … Read entire article »

Filed under: investing

What We Learned from Our Short-Term Investment Experiment

What We Learned from Our Short-Term Investment Experiment

Three and a half years ago, Kyle and I embarked on an investing experiment. When we got married (4.5 years ago) and consolidated our finances, we had enough money to pay off my outstanding student loans of $16,000. However, as the loans were subsidized and deferred while I was in graduate school, we decided to invest the payoff money. Our anticipated timeline was 2-3 years.   We wanted to earn a bit of a return, yes, but … Read entire article »

Filed under: investing

3… 2… 1… WE’RE STILL IN DEBT!

3… 2… 1… WE’RE STILL IN DEBT!

My official graduation from my PhD program is this month, which means that my subsidized student loans from undergrad are coming out of deferment. Kyle and I at long last had to come to a decision about what to do with the loans. We have had the money set aside to pay them off since we got married in 2010, and our original plan was to pay them off right before they came out of … Read entire article »

Filed under: debt, investing

Big Wins, Small Wins, and the Payoff-to-Energy Ratio

Big Wins, Small Wins, and the Payoff-to-Energy Ratio

  What matters more for your net worth, big wins or (lots of) small wins?   Big wins are those singular decisions or actions we can take that have a large impact on our net worth. They can even be the reason that we have a positive net worth at all!   Big wins can come on the income side of the net worth equation for sure, like consistently negotiating raises and changing jobs for better opportunities. They can come … Read entire article »

Filed under: choices, income, investing

How to Invest without a Financial Advisor

How to Invest without a Financial Advisor

I’m going to send out a short clip from the personal finance for grad students seminar that I gave last week in EPF’s November newsletter. If you’re interested in receiving it, please sign up today in the top right sidebar as the newsletter is scheduled to go out Friday morning!   The question “But how do you invest on your own?” was posed to me this week by one of my co-facilitators at Financial Peace University. We … Read entire article »

Filed under: investing

Do You Practice What You Preach?

Do You Practice What You Preach?

It’s so true that trying to teach a subject forces you to truly learn it. I’ve been working hard on preparing my presentation on personal finance for grad students (it’s tomorrow!) and it’s really helped me fill in some of the remaining gaps of my knowledge, particularly regarding debt acquisition and repayment. I haven’t had a lot of interaction with debt in my life, and the interactions that I have had didn’t make a big … Read entire article »

Filed under: debt, investing

Why We’re Holding on to My Student Loans

While reading a blog this week (can’t remember which, sorry!), saw a paraphrase of some advice from Suze Orman wherein she called student loans the most dangerous type of loan you can have and advised paying them off before paying off any other type of debt.  Even though I’m not a Suze Orman consumer (the way I am with Dave Ramsey and Ric Edelman) and so I’m not familiar with her philosophy, I could hardly believe that this was an accurate portrayal.   But it was.  Check out this short clip of her telling a questioner to pay off student loans first, regardless of interest rate.     I understand that it’s noteworthy that student loans aren’t bankruptable, but is the possibility of bankruptcy so immediate for so many borrowers that it becomes worthwhile to … Read entire article »

Filed under: debt, investing