Share Your Wisdom

HERE’S YOUR CHANCE to help others with your financial insights. To comment, log on using your username and password from Disqus, Facebook, Google (Gmail), Twitter or WordPress. For more on how to comment, click here. And please come back often. We’ll be regularly updating the list of questions.

What popular financial advice do you ignore?

"Rebalancing. For the most part we let our winners run."
- Ben Rodriguez
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When does it make sense to buy a home?

"I just purchased my first home at 24. It made sense when the cost of rent equaled the monthly obligation of owning a home. I know I am staying in the area for 5 or more years so I am happy with the risk. I also have the possibility of renting this home out when I eventually out grow it."
- Kyle Smith
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Should investors own alternative investments—and, if so, which ones?

"No. A small allocation to an alternative investment is unlikely to make much difference overall. Why complicate things?"
- Carl Book
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What are your top financial worries?

"As we grow older, we become much more susceptible to falling under the influence of someone who does share our desire to bequeath our estate to our kids. I have seen several cases of new spouses and "trusted" relatives essentially stealing inheritances because someone was able to manipulate the surviving spouse."
- Jackie
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What’s the best financial book you’ve ever read?

"Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay"
- Myles Ussher.
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If you couldn’t buy index funds, how would you invest?

"DFA Funds in my 401(k) accounts. Dividend Growth investing in my taxable accounts and IRAs."
- Purple Rain
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Is rental real estate a good investment?

"Yes as long as the math works from a cash flow standpoint and you take a buy and hold approach, owning rental properties can be an excellent investment and a nice way to diversify retirement assets and income. In addition to monthly income, there are significant tax benefits as well as the potential for growth in the value of the property itself. Additionally, I view increasing rents over time (in line with the market) as somewhat of a hedge against inflation, at least at a local level. Treating the management of rental properties as a side gig works for me currently, however, I make sure to have enough cash flow that if it becomes too much of a hassle, it would be financially feasible to hire a property management company."
- Michael Swartley
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Should children be paid for doing chores?

"We grew up with regular chores that were expected and compensation with money was not provided. My first jobs started with a paper route and then babysitting for neighbors. However my parents understood that until we were mature and responsible enough to hold these type jobs outside the home, we wanted to make some money to buy things at a much younger age. They would provide us with opportunities to make a little money with non-routine tasks that they could supervise."
- Debbie Clay
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Which banks, brokerage firms and other financial companies would you recommend to friends?

"Vanguard, followed by Fidelity and M1 Finance. My local credit union for savings accounts. To ensure that all my investment accounts have SPIC coverage, I have multiple accounts and open a new one when any one of them hits $500k."
- Purple Rain
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What should investors do about the possibility of higher interest rates?

"Fixed-income investors should be excited! Didn't expect to read that, did you? Of course bond prices fall when rates rise, all else equal, but with a bond fund, new higher-yielding holdings slowly replace lower-yielding maturing bonds. Wouldn't it be great to have an environment 10+ years down the line when you can invest in an aggregate bond fund and earn a positive real yield of perhaps 2-3% like the good ole days? If you periodically invest in bonds now, maybe you will stand to benefit in that scenario. Coming back down to the reality of today, bond investors have to step out on the risk spectrum in search of decent yields. Emerging market bonds, US high yield debt, floating-rate bonds--all are popular options. You can also invest in Series I bonds or even Series EE bonds that have virtually no risk. High dividend stocks and closed-end funds (which use leverage to really juice the yield) may seem like decent options, but a year's worth of dividends can be wiped away after a couple days' trading."
- Mike Zaccardi
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What are the smartest financial moves you’ve ever made?

"Majoring in engineering and going to work right after completing my undergraduate degree. I was able to get a decent income right out of the gate (even in a government job) and caught the financial independence bug early in life. That feeling of supporting yourself (and eventually others) was addictive and drove me to work hard at my career. I was able to start saving early in life, and a brief detour to graduate school after four years of working helped me pivot to the private sector while staying in engineering, upping my income dramatically."
- Richard Adams
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What everyday purchase do you consider a bargain?

"Though I haven't had one in ages, a McDouble."
- Michael1
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