Partner/Rivalry on Quest of Personal Finance

Okay, I’ve been studying too long and want to take a break and scribble something on my blog. I have been reading many personal finance blogs lately, and I came across a post from Make Love, Not Debt:

A few weeks ago I was out having a few drinks with few coworkers during happy hour. One of my coworkers (CW1) noted that in a few weeks he will have been at the company for six months. Another coworker (CW2) remaked that he was then eligible to participate in the company retirement plan. Both of these coworkers are my age, maybe a little younger. The conversation went a little like this…

CW1: Hey, I’ll be at the company for six months in a few weeks!

CW2: Yeah dude, you’ll be eligible for our 401k. (but we have a SIMPLE IRA…or am I just being nitpicky?)

CW1: Yeah that’s cool.

Him: Yeah, I was thinking of rolling over my SIMPLE IRA to a Traditional IRA because I don’t like our investment options. I won’t be eligible to do that until May, though.

(blank stares)

CW2: Yeah, my boyfriend works at Morningstar, so he handles all of that stuff for me.

CW1: I don’t have a clue when it comes to that stuff.

CW2: Yeah. You guys watch Battlestar Galactica?

Sigh.

Although I haven’t begun my real professional career YET (being 2 months shy of graduation), I look around my peers, where a majority are older and/or full-time employees, and somehow I feel similar to the author here… Unfortunately I’ve heard more about young people not wanting to contribute to 401k because of how it reduces their paychecks, and NO young people who wants talk about personal finance and investment, etc around me.

As the title suggests, I would love to have a partner or even a rival to help push and/or encourage each other in learning these personal finance matters. But where can I find them? Makes sense? Oh well, it’s so late, I don’t care anymore.

That being said, I’ve been using a lot of excel for a class lately, and for fun I came up with a very rough, simplistic, interactive model to look at the growth of asset/net worth/whatever to put things in perspective a bit, with an initial asset that grows at a constant annual rate along w/ an annual contribution to the asset that grows by a separate constant amount. It actually makes future looks kind of hopeful. :P

excel_future.jpg

Feel free to download the excel file and play with it, modify it. It’d be great if someone comes up with something interesting or a much more realistic model and send it back to me :)

Alright, back to study, ciao.

Originally posted 2006-11-07 04:13:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

To help my cash flow, I refinanced

It’s either networth or cash flow when we measure and talk about the health of our personal finance and how to improve it.

In many cases, money is risked or sacrificed to generate more cash flow through buying some sort of investment to generate monthly pay out. Vice versa is also true when asset that generates cash flow is sold for a lum sum of cash.

I recently just closed on my refinance of my condo… thank god~! This one took longer than I thought. The background story is that I bought my place in 2008 with a 10% down payment when I got lucky in a small window where banks had loosened their lending requirement. That said, I was left to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) as part of my mortgage. That’s a $200+ on top! Oh, what did I choose to put on myself… anyways, with the recent property price coming back up and mortgage rate down more than ever, I decided to refinance.

refinance_take_my_money

So in my case, I “sacrificed” many thousands to get myself that 20% equity to remove the PMI by going through refinance. That plus the 4% interest rate on a 30-year mortgage, I had reduced my monthly payment by more than $500. Although the “sacrificing” makes me feel sad, I think and feel that it is worth it because if I lose my current job, I have more options such as taking my time to find a job I want, doing a simpler job that means less pay, or even starting my own business. Less fixed cost to deal with is good.

A few other take away points from my refinance experience…

  1. Never expect to close with 30 days or on time because most cases… it won’t. It took me about 1.5 months for this refinance.
  2. For condo owner, know your HOA’s insurance coverage of your dwelling. Because if it already covers the reconstruction of the unit to original form, you won’t need to show prove of your OWN insurance coverage. Unfortunately, I had a young loan agent who is not familiar and that caused me some headaches with handling my home insurance coverage and potential higher premium that is not necessary.
  3. Pending sales DO NOT make direct comparables in the property price appraisal process. Only final sales do.

I was hoping my appraisal price to be higher so I can put less money down in the refinance process. Maybe if the market gets really hot next year, I can try again. BIG if. A man can feel greedy, right? Me think it’s ok as long as I don’t act too greedy.

At any rate, it’s hard for the mortgage rate to go much lower… and many real estate market has rebounded in price. That makes now a good refinance opportunity, especially if it does not cost you a lot relative to what you had saved.

Originally posted 2012-12-26 23:14:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Sucker Rally of 2013?

Since Janary, the stock market has been on a non-stop bullish trend. While there are a lot of articles that argue stocks will reach new high this year (even though it already has) and much money’s flowing back into stocks from retail investors, there are enough nay sayers that speak of a coming market correction. This realy keeps us on our toes.

An Yahoo article tday that argues the coming of a correction predicated by a surge of inisider selling.

There have been more than nine insider sales for every one buy over the past week among NYSE stocks, according to Vickers. The last time executives sold their company’s stock this aggressively was in early 2012, just before the S&P 500 (^GSPC) went on to correct by 10 percent to its low for the year.

I know the sound investment strategy of buy-and-hold once you’ve picked your choice of investment but I wonder how everyone’s feeling? Do you think a market correction is coming? (Note a correctio is as least 5% and up to 20% price drop).

Will you sell portions to collect the gains now or just hold steady? What will you do?

Originally posted 2013-02-06 01:03:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Too Many Minds

I wrote this awhile back:

We should not establish our happiness upon others’ pain
Nor should we establish others’ happiness upon our own pain
Perhaps it sounds a bit selfish, but it’s the same analogy as “If you want to manage other, manage yourself first.”
Equivalently, if you want to help others, please help yourself first.
There is a quote told by Omura to Captain Nathan Algren in The Last Samurai
“Too many mind. Mind sword, mind people watch, mind enemy. Too many mind…”

I find this quote very meaningful and philosophical. In other words…
We often worry about others too much or try to take care of everyone else, and as a result, what we should be doing are not being done.
We try to take care too much. We worry too much. Consequently, we lost sight of what means the most to ourselves. The goals for ourselves become blurry.
If we cannot take care of ourselves, how do we take care of others?
Therefore, I will maintain “the self”. Keep it healthy, keep it happy, keep improving it.
If I want to take care of others, I will first take care of myself.
If I want to love others, I will first love myself.
If I want to instruct others, I will first teach myself.
If I want to criticize others, I will first evaluate myself.
If I want to make others happy, I will first make myself happy.
Everything beings with “the self.”

Originally posted 2007-07-06 01:48:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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