Mark Riddix Mark Riddix is the founder and president of an independent investment advisory firm that provides personalized investing and asset management consulting. Mark has written financial columns for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area newspapers and is the author of the book, Your Financial Playbook.
The summer has just started and temperatures are already in the triple digits. Everywhere that you go central air conditioning units are blasting outside of homes. This is a clear indication that utility use is going to be extremely high this summer with people trying everything possible to keep cool. While you may have to use the air conditioner, there are some steps that you can take to cut down on your electricity usage. Here are a few helpful tips for saving money during the summer:
Wages, home prices, and the stock market have all been dropping over the past few years. The American consumer is seeing the U.S. dollar buy far less than it did just a decade ago. At a time in our economy when asset prices seem to keep going down, there are a few things that just keep increasing in price. If you want to win with money, you must identify what those items are that constantly increase in price, plan for those upcoming expenses, and continue to work on increasing your income. Here are a few big ticket items that always seem to increase in price:
This past Friday we learned that the United States economy is losing jobs again. The US economy lost 125,000 jobs and the unemployment picture is looking bleaker than ever. Many Americans have grown tired of looking for work. If the current job market has you down in the dumps, cheer up! There are some places that are actually hiring. But, you’ll have some fierce competition for every job you apply for, so you need to take steps to make yourself more attractive to employers while you’re unemployed by volunteering, interning, and studying for extra certifications and certificates in your industry.
Today, we want to take a look at one of the newer players in the discount brokerage arena. You may be unfamiliar with the relatively new brokerage firm, OptionsHouse, but while the firm is one of the smaller brokers in the online stock trading business, it is one of the largest brokers in the options trading industry.
OptionsHouse was founded in 2005, and has its corporate headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. OptionsHouse is owned and operated by Peak6 Investments L.P. and specializes in options and options trading. The site was designed to make online trading faster and more efficient for traders. OptionsHouse has been voted by Barron’s as the best brokerage house for options traders in 2009 and 2010.
Hitting the wallets of customers seems to be contagious in corporate America right now. It’s not just the banks that are hitting customers with fees anymore; now major airlines are charging fees for everything. Airlines are charging fees for simple tasks like making a reservation and booking your seat. Even discount airline Ryanair is looking at charging its passengers to use the lavatory! If you are not careful, you could end up spending an extra $100 to $200 for your airline travel. You must be more informed and aware of how we travel on airline flights, or airline fees will eat you alive. Here are six fees that you should watch out for when traveling this summer:
Personal finance is an often overlooked area in the American educational system. With so many Americans struggling with money management issues, personal finance should be taught in our school systems at an early age. Since it is not, it is up to every person to make sure that they are properly schooled in the financial arena. If we start educating ourselves about personal finance, we’ll change the generations to come by teaching it to our kids. Financial education is so important to us at Money Crashers, and that’s why we seek to help educate you every day about how to manage your money. Here are 5 great ways for you to increase your financial IQ:
The current economic environment has forced millions of people to make changes to their financial plans. Lots of people have curbed their spending habits and pushed back their retirement age. Others are returning to college or picking up a new skill to remain employable in a competitive job market. While all of these are wise decisions, there are a few unconventional moves that can increase the amount of cash in your wallet. Here are four changes that you can make to give yourself the best financial start possible:
Do you still do your banking at commercial banks despite lower fees and better services at credit unions and online banks? You are not alone. I have been thinking a lot recently about why so many of us bank at commercial banks. I know that I often complain about the charges by my banking institution, Bank of America. While I have switched the majority of my business to my credit union since there are some clear reasons why credit unions are better than banks, for some reason I still keep my Bank of America account open. I was trying to figure out why so many people like myself continue to hold an account at a big bank.
You don’t have to wait for the Fourth of July to find a good deal on products. There are a number of financial sites offering up daily sale information on just about any product that you are looking for including electronics, household products, clothing, and more. You probably already know about deals offered at sites like FatWallet.com, Overstock.com, and Coupons.com. While these are great sites, there are other sites offering great deals as well. So, check out the following websites if you are looking to save some dough:
With the United Stated national debt soaring over $13 trillion dollars, many Americans are concerned about the country’s long-term debt problems. In order to decrease the national deficit, the government needs to operate with a budget surplus. For the past 10 years, the federal government’s budget has continually operated at a deficit. As the deficit continues to grow annually, the United States plunges deeper and deeper into debt. Our current method of trying to grow our economy out of debt is not working. Now, let’s take a look at two frequently discussed ways to reduce our growing deficit:
As the saying goes, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Everyone remembers the tech bubble of the early 2000′s when a lot of subpar technology companies with no earnings traded at extreme valuations. Over the past few years we have gone through the real estate bubble in which home prices rose to unsustainable levels. To stay one step ahead of the next market drop, you have to watch for signs of a peak. Let’s take a look at a few markets where bubbles may be forming:
So, you have decided that you want to start a business. What should your first steps be and how should you get started? The initial planning steps for a business are often the most critical to determining its long term viability. It’s important that you focus on your company’s key needs to get off to a good start. The first thing you’ll need to call yourself a “business” is some interest from potential clients or customers. What need are you going to fill for someone? Answer that question, then start thinking about the next steps. To help you on your path to entrepreneurial greatness, listed below are four must-haves that will put your new business on the road to success:
I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about how banks are about to increase fees on accounts that used to be free. Free checking may soon go the way of the dinosaur as banks are looking for a way to raise money after the passage of the CARD Act last year. Commercial banks are trying to raise money since the CARD Act is expected to reduce bank revenues by billions of dollars in lost overdraft fee income. In response, banks are coming up with new ways to take more of your savings.
Emotion has its place in everyday life but not when it comes to investing. The worst investment decisions are often made when investors get too emotional. You should never allow yourself to become too attached to any investment that you make. It is critical to keep a rational mind and to only make investing decisions when you are cool, calm, and collected. This will keep you from paying too much or selling too cheaply. Here are three emotions that can be detrimental to your financial future:
It’s always great when you can learn a new strategy or tactic to improve your financial future. Most people learn about financial concepts solely by reading books. While reading is definitely effective, it doesn’t just have to be a book that teaches you about money. You can learn money management skills from just about anywhere including your television. That’s right! There are some great financial television programs that will help you on your financial journey.
Here are some of the best TV shows on money management:
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