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Financial Horror Stories: Vacation Timeshare Regret

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Omotola, the lead consultant at the Funding Magnet where she works with non-profits to find the perfect funding fit and help them create impact. Omotola herself is on a debt-free journey and hopes to be completely debt-free by December 31, 2020. 

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made and how did it impact your life? 

I bought a vacation timeshare thinking it was a prudent investment. Instead, it’s ended up having hidden costs and most of the resorts advertised are always unavailable every time we want to book them.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I would not go into debt in order to build a vacation culture for my family. I would choose to save up for the vacation and plan for it yearly.

Did anything good come out of the...

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Financial Horror Stories: Investment Gone Wrong

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Tony, an accountant with a passion for personal finance. He started the blog, Budget Chew, to document what he has been doing in his personal finance life and hopes his experiences can be useful to others.

What is the biggest money mistake that you ever made, and how did it impact your life?

The biggest mistake I made was when I invested in the stock market. When I invest in the stock market, my tendency is to look for short-term gains.

About four to five years ago, I was making a very good profit on a specific stock. I was able to follow the pattern and keep profiting for months. One day, I got carried away and started using margin loans to increase my buying power and therefore increase my profit. Back then, I was so confident that I thought using a margin loan was a no-brainer: make a quick profit...

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Financial Horror Stories: Credit Card Debt

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Andrea, the writer, blogger, and owner of Saving Joyfully. Andrea works diligently to share valuable tips and insights on how to save money and achieve financial freedom while living a more joyful life.

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made and how did it impact your life?

Debt acquired on credit cards while in college to help me be able to afford tuition and books when I was unable to get student loans. Once I was able to qualify and receive student loans I accumulated additional debt that way as well.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?          

I look back on these decisions now and wish that I had made them differently. If I could go back in time I would not use credit cards to fund my tuition and books, when I simply could...

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Financial Horror Stories: Lack of Emergency Savings Leads to Financial Nightmare

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. To start this series, it’s only fair that I share my own story of a not so great financial time in my life.

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made and how did it impact your life?

When I was growing up, I always worked. There were times in college when I had three part-time jobs. I never imagined a day when I would be jobless, but there I was - laid off from a job with zero emergency savings, divorced, three kids, student loans, and credit card debt. It was indeed a recipe for disaster.

I did get unemployment, but that didn't start right away and didn't last all that long.  While I didn't have any emergency savings, I had been saving for retirement over the years so it could've been worse. Still, I blew through my retirement savings faster than I ever would've imagined.  If I'd had some emergency savings,...

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Investing for Higher Education

Does the thought of paying for your child's college education ever keep you up at night? When it comes to higher education, the more you can prepare for it, the better. With nearly 45 million Americans dealing with crippling student debt, the need to invest for higher education becomes even more of a priority.

Consider Savings Plans 

The most common choice people make when investing for higher education is putting money into a savings account for their child. However, interest rates are far from what they used to be!

Saving a set amount of money each year allows parents to know how much they have for their child to go to college and how much more they need to contribute so their child can get their education debt-free. With a solid savings plan, a great savings account, and some research, it’s entirely possible for families with an average income to pay for their child’s education.  

The key to choosing a good savings account is to choose one that is...

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Why Invest in Stocks?

Fear of stock market volatility often holds investors back. However, historically, investing in stocks has been an essential tool in building wealth and can serve as an important part of a diversified portfolio. Today we're exploring why investing in the stock market matters.

Reasons Why to Invest in Stocks

Stock equals ownership

A stock represents ownership in a company. Your portion of ownership will depend on how many shares you hold compared to the total number of shares issued by the company.

Investors who purchase stock are known as the company's stockholders or shareholders. The price of a stock reflects the public's level of interest in owning the shares. If many investors want to buy shares, they bid against one another, increasing the price. If interest is low, there are fewer competing bids, and the price of shares is likely to decline.

You may hold the stock in the form of a stock certificate, which identifies you as the owner and the number of shares you own....

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What to Know About Stocks Before Investing

In our ongoing series on facing your investing fears, we delve into the common obstacle that might be preventing you from venturing into stock investments: a lack of knowledge. Don't let the fear of the unknown hold you back from potential opportunities in the stock market. Join us as we explore how gaining a deeper understanding can empower you to make informed investment decisions.

Here's what you need to know about stocks before investing.

What are stocks?

Companies sell shares of stock to investors as a way to raise money to finance growth, pay off debt, and fund operations. Each share of stock represents a share of ownership in the company. As a shareholder, you share in a portion of any profits and growth of the company. The company pays dividends from earnings to stockholders, and growth is realized by the increase in the stock's value.  

Why invest in stocks?

The primary motive behind investors purchasing stocks is the anticipation of witnessing an increase in the...

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Diversification: How to Invest Money Wisely

Wondering how to invest money wisely? While there are no guarantees when it comes to investing. a solid portfolio is a key factor in your success. If you learn how to make your portfolio the best it can be through diversification and risk assessment, you’ll be able to increase your chances for success while simplifying the investment process.

How to Invest Money Wisely - Choose Categories

Diversification comes down to choosing the categories of investment you hold in your portfolio. It allows you to stretch out the money you have to invest over several different areas. Instead of putting all of your money in one place, you can allocate it to different styles of investing to reduce your risk while increasing your chances of success. Big events and major losses will create less of a blow when you have successfully diversified your portfolio.

The most common choices, especially for new investors, are stocks, bonds, and cash. Some investors may choose things such as...

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Don't Believe These Investment Myths

As you learn more about investing, it can become apparent that there are many investment myths out there, ranging from absolutely ridiculous practices to things that may seem almost legitimate. No matter whether you get the information from a peer or an investment professional, be sure to keep an eye out for these common investment myths. 

Don’t Believe These Investment Myths 

Of course, each investor is different. There are no hard and fast guidelines that apply to everyone when it comes to balancing risk, but it does help to have a good understanding of what to look for.

Myth #1: Risk Definition is Static

Risk means different things to different investors. The way you manage risk has to do not only with the amount of money you’re investing but also your personality. Outside of investing, look at how you manage risks and how you associate them with your day-to-day life. Rather than focusing on whether something is “risky” in the market, consider...

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Reduce Your Fear with a Simple Checklist: What to Discuss with Your Financial Advisor

This week we continue to explore investing fears. For some, they know that they need a financial advisor, but they feel intimidated when thinking about meeting one. That could be because they have no idea what to ask during the meeting. While the financial advisor will guide the conversation, you want to make sure they address your questions and concerns. Here's a checklist for the first meeting and subsequent meetings.

Related post: Investing Doesn't Have to be Scary: Selecting a Financial Advisor to Be Your Guide

First Meeting: Financial Advisor Checklist

  1. Why did you become a financial advisor?
  2. How long have you been a financial advisor?
  3. What credentials do you hold?
  4. What types of clients do you typically work with?
  5. What services do you offer?
  6. How are you compensated?
  7. Are you held to a fiduciary standard?
  8. What is your investment philosophy?
  9. How do you typically communicate with your clients?
  10. Will I have a written financial plan? How frequently will it be reviewed?


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