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    Category: Personal Finance

    AOL Finance Beta - December 11, 2015 by admin

    For those of you with investments, AOL has come out with a new Finance Beta site bringing you new tools to use in making investment decisions. AOL Finance has been around a long time, however they have not always been on the cutting edge in terms of the tools they have to offer.

    Before the release of their Beta, AOL Finance ranked third in finance and money sites behind Yahoo Finance, and MSN Money, but were ahead of CNN Money, and Google Finance, their two other main competitors. With their new site and new array of tools, AOL is making a push to the top

    Taken from AOL’s site, here are some of the features the site includes.

    Among the new features on the site

    • Real-time headlines from more than 3,000 hand-picked sources, powered by Relegence, the leading financial search engine in the market.
    • Automatic “heat indicators” notifying users when a stock is driving news coverage.
    • Interactive charts that offer decades of price data, comparison functionality and more.
    • In-depth research data, including financial statements, mutual fund ratings, peer comparisons, insider transactions, SEC filings, earnings information, analyst recommendations, research reports and more from well-known partners including Hemscott, Interactive Data, Morningstar and Thomson Financial.
    • Stock prices that automatically update without having to refresh the page.

    Other new features appearing in the coming weeks and months include:

    • Richer public company, mutual fund and private company data sets
    • Technical charting
    • All new portfolios platform

    I only have checked out their new site a few times, but I haven’t had time to look at most of their new features in much detail. I personally rotate between Yahoo Finance and MSN Money, but I would say I like MSN the best. I will say AOL’s new site looks extremely visually attractive. The upgrades to this site provide yet another means for people to get financial information in order to make their investment decisions.

    Tax Rebate Information - December 4, 2015 by admin

    As most of you konw, many Americans will be receiving a tax rebate in the near future. These tax rebates that most people should be receiving by spring are part of a plan by Congress and the President to jump start the economy. The idea is to have the rebate increase consumer spending, which in turn helps out the economy.

    So how much money can you expect? There details still have not been finalized, but here is a breakdown of basics:

    • Individuals could get a tax rebate up to $600
    • Couples would be eligible to get a rebate up to $1200
    • Those with children are eligible for $300 per child, with on limit on the number of children

    This tax rebate will be welcome income for many people. For more detailed information on this rebate, go here to read more.

    No Credit And Need Your First Credit Card? - November 21, 2015 by admin

    I’m sure there are a few people who were in the same boat as me when I got out of college. I didn’t have any student loans in my name and I never had a credit card. Basically I had no credit history, and I was trying with no success to get approved for a credit card. Things got so bad for me I couldn’t even get approved for store credit cards such as Gap, Kohl’s, or American Eagle. I finally found a credit card after hours of searching online who approved me.

    I got my card approved at Credit One Bank. Although its not the best card, it was a credit card that I could use and make payments on to start building my history. Here are the basics of the card.

    • I started off with a $200 credit limit. It has since been increased and the maximum limit is $1,000.
    • $69 one time Enrollment Fee
    • $69 Annual Membership Fee. This fee is billed to you at $5.75 each month
    • 23.90% APR

    Thats the basics of the card there. As you can see its not the greatest but you WILL get approved and be able to start building your credit history. I’ve been approved for several cards since and you need something to get started at some point.

    Importance of Investing Early - October 30, 2015 by admin

    This post right here is without a doubt an important piece of information for anyone who is in their early twenties. In fact, once past the age of 30 you will only receive diminishing returns in using this information here. With that being said, I will bring you the facts at hand.

    In saving for your retirement it is absolutely essential that you begin saving at a young age. The reason this is compound interest.  Investing earlier allows more compounding periods and more compounding periods allows your money to grow faster! In the two examples provided I am using the age of 25 as young, but believe me the earlier the better. Also these assume all the interest is reinvested and not paid out.  Lets take a look at the first example to see why starting early is so important.

    The graph below shows 3 individuals who invest $1,000 per year until the age of 65. The rate of return on these investments are a modest 7% and taxes and inflation are ignored. The key is is the difference of age at which each person begins saving. As you can see by the chart, one person begins at age 25, another begins at age 35, and the last person begins at age 45.

    Source: Investment Company Institute

    The difference in each persons value at age 65 is dramatic. Simply by starting earlier and only using an extra $10,000 of their own money the person who begins at age 25 has double of what the person who starts at age 35. By using these numbers it comes to approximately an extra $112,000 by age 65. Lets look at another example that is even more eye opening.

    This example uses two people, one who starts at the age of 25 and invests $1,000 per year until the age of 35 then STOPS. The person never invests any more of their own money and just lets what they have sit there. The second person begins at the age of 35 and invests $1,000 per year until the age of 65. Our first person has invested $10,000 of their own money while our second person has invested $30,000 of their own money. Using the same 7% rate of return and ignoring inflation and taxes the person who started earlier but invested less money actually has more money by the age of 65.

    Source: Investment Company Institute

    I hope these two examples illustrated the importance of saving earlier. The more money you get in earlier allows more compounding periods and gives you much more money in the long run.

    Microsoft Office 07 Budget - October 16, 2015 by admin

    We all have a budget, but what do we use to keep track of it? An ancient way was to use a pencil and a pad of paper and write down our income and expenses.

    With the advent of the computer, more people have turned to keeping their budgets saved on their computer. I am sure there are many different programs out there to do this, but I personally use and recommend using a template found in Microsoft Excel 07. The template can be accessed by following these simple steps.

    1. Open up Microsoft Excel and click on New.
    2. Go to the Microsoft Office Online section (yes, you will need internet access for get this template) and click on the budget tab.
    3. Scroll down until you find the template titled “Personal budget2″ and double click on it to open it. Here is a picture of what the template looks like for your reference.

     

    The template is extremely simple to use and edit. At the top, you input your income. Below that you can enter a wide variety of expenses. The program automatically calculates your total expenses at the bottom. At the very bottom is your net total of income vs expenses. You can view this to see if you have a surplus of deficit of spending for the month.

    Benefits of Budgeting - September 16, 2015 by admin

    Ah, the budget. It is a word we are all too familiar with but something none of us are too eager to do. I know when my father used to talk to me about making a budget I was all too anxious to change the subject. Why do I need to have a budget I would think to myself. I’m doing just fine.

    That was all before I moved out and lived on my own. Now that I have a steady stream of bills to pay and a limited income, I understand why having a budget is important. So first, what is a budget? A simple definition of a budget is living within your financial limits. Your expenses should not be greater than your income. In a world where too many people are living off credit and getting themselves into debt, budgeting is essential to maintaining financial security.

    Benefits of Budgeting

    • Budgeting will help you reach your financial goals
    • Budgeting will eliminate debt.
    • You will know when your bills are due
    • Your savings will increase
    • You will become aware of your spending habits
    • Helps you become organized

    Of course, there are many more benefits to having a personal budget set up than what I listed there. The list could be endless — the important point is creating and maintaining a budget is an important part of personal finance.