How to Protect Your Social Security Number and When Not to Give It Out

social security lockMost of you probably learned early on to keep your Social Security numbers safe, secure, and private. These nine digits are your primary personal identification numbers, the key to your accounts and private data. As technology has developed, vulnerability to identity theft increases, yet many people are getting more lax about securing their Social Security numbers.

It seems that nearly everyone wants your Social Security number before they’ll do anything for you or with you. So where do you draw the line?

The federal government provides some guidance by specifying that you’re only required to give out the number in specific circumstances:

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How Rising Food Prices Will Affect You & 6 Ways to Prepare

food prices increasing corn kernelsThe rising price of gas isn’t the only necessity that’s been gouging our wallets recently. The price of food is now the highest it has been since 1974, and the world is starting to face what could turn into one of the worst food crises in decades.

While America has typically been the land of plenty, we’ll start to feel the burden along with other citizens all over the world. Though the situation looks bleak, there are things we can do to help.

But first, let’s look at what’s caused the increase in food prices to begin with.

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Fama and French Three Factor Model for Stock Investing

3 factor modelA logical investor might assume that the best performing stocks are massive, cash-rich companies that have been in existence for decades. A reasoning mind tells us that smaller companies (i.e. small and micro-cap stocks) present a higher risk with less padding to fall on during economic crises. Others might argue that small stocks might be a suitable investment, but only if they are high-growth companies that are aggressively increasing net profits annually. But most might agree that small companies with low growth potential that trade close to their intrinsic value do not present valuable investments.
But does historical and empirical data back up this intuitive response or does it lead us in another direction? The answer is somewhat surprising, and the research behind the answer brings us to the Three Factor Model.

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Small and Micro-Cap Stock Investing – Definition, Benefits & Risks

small cap stocks plantNowadays it seems like everyone has their favorite investing style. Nowhere is this more evident than Wall Street itself. Everywhere you turn, a different investment advisor or mutual fund is touting a new magic formula for market beating returns. Do they all deliver on their promises? Not even close. 66% of actively-traded funds fail to beat the market over any period in excess of 5 years, according to Time Magazine. When you factor in the expenses and sales loads of these advisors and mutual funds, it is safe to say that the percentage of the funds that fail to beat the market is even higher.

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How Middle East Turmoil & Oil Prices Lead to Maxed Out Credit Cards – 8 Degrees of Separation

gas prices credit card frownYou don’t have to drive 100 miles a day to notice just how high gas prices have risen. Experts are predicting that we’ll see them continue to climb, especially with summer approaching.

After I pay more at the pump, I go home to watch the news to learn about international struggles and strife in the major oil-producing nations of the Middle East. And it strikes me: The effect that global news has on our wallets and budgets isn’t going away. In fact, the rise in oil will directly impact our credit card balances.

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4 Types of Luggage You Need Traveling on Flights – For Less than $150

plane luggageNo matter where I travel, I’m amazed by how many people struggle with unwieldy and expensive luggage. Their fancy luggage will inevitably get scraped, scuffed, and abused by the airlines – if it doesn’t get lost in the first place. I’m left wondering, “Why bother investing any more than necessary to get stuff from one place to the next?”

I have had the same luggage set for the past six years, and I didn’t pay more than $150 dollars for all four pieces. I easily navigate airport arrival halls, hotel lobbies, and busy city streets, surviving on the road for weeks at a time.

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Dividend Payout Ratio Formula & Definition – Analyzing Blue Chip Stocks with High Dividends

dividend payout ratiosWhen it comes to picking the best blue chip dividend-paying stock, all that really matters is dividend size, right? Wrong!

As a blue chip investor, you know how important it is to do your research. And you also know how much data is available. Even well-trained investors can find it overwhelming.

If dividends are your priority, then you can’t just look at the size and frequency of a company’s recent payments. You also need to look at the dividend payout ratio when you’re analyzing stocks. Otherwise, you could end up buying shares of a sinking ship that is cleverly masked with unsustainable high-yield dividends.

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17 Cheap Wedding Flowers Ideas & Arrangements on a Budget

wedding flowers bouqetsFlowers can add such beauty to your big wedding day, but they can also add a lot to your expenses!

With so many different uses for flowers in a wedding – the bride’s bouquet, the bridemaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, various corsages, flower girl peddles, altar arrangements, pew decorations, cake decorations, and reception decor – brides can spend upwards of $10,000 on the flowers alone.

But you can still have a gorgeous wedding, without emptying your wallet. Here are 15 great ideas to save green while buying greenery.

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