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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. And please come back often. We’ll be regularly updating the list of questions.

When is it okay to go into debt?

"In spite of being allergic to debt, I'm open to it when there's a high probability of achieving something which would otherwise be very hard to accomplish without debt, AND the "worst-case" outcome is acceptable. I borrowed twice for house purchase. The first one was a small townhome that I paid off in 3 years. The second one was a small single-family house that took me almost 10 years to pay off. In both cases, I kept my cost low and avoided buying something that I didn't need. I also made enough down-payments so that in the worst-case, I could sell the property and pay off the debt."
- Sanjib Saha
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What everyday purchase do you consider a bargain?

"Air conditioning and refrigeration. I think most Americans have no idea how 90% of the rest of the world without our electric generation and power grids live without cooling our homes and office and preserving food for storage. In countries like parts of India the power grid is often powered by imported diesel fuel and is unreliable. The whole food supply changes radically without frozen food."
- Bob Wilmes
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Which banks, brokerage firms and other financial companies would you recommend to friends?

"I've always liked NerdWallet for their well-researched articles, online calculators and helpful comparisons."
- Anika Hedstrom
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When during your life were you happiest—and what role did money play?

"College. Very little money, but entertainment was cheap. And, no real thoughts about the future. No mortgage, spouse, kid."
- davebarnes
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Would you risk your own finances to help your retired parents?

"Risk is a powerful word. My parents lived on modest means and could only buy a house at age 65 because they did so with my sister and her family where they lived the rest of their lives on only Social Security and both died without any long term illness or expenses. I like to think I would help if needed, but I don’t think I would risk my wife’s and my financial security and thereby create a burden or worry for our children."
- R Quinn
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Should investors own alternative investments—and, if so, which ones?

"During my lifetime I have owned farmland, undeveloped land, wine and other tangible investments. I have not owned collectible cars, art work, precious metals or other items that I had a hard time determining a valuation for. On each of these investments, I always asked myself what was the maximum likely loss that I could have with the investment (Margin of safety). I also read a lot about other people and how they succeeded in their investments. Keep in mind that some assets like wine are taxed at the 28% tax rate for collectibles. There is no long term capital gain tax. I would say there are rare times when you can buy assets so favorably priced, that in three to five years, you can sometimes get make substantial returns on your investments. One caveat is that each one of these investments takes a little bit of your brainpower to ponder. Keep your life simple and don't entangle yourself with property you are less than 99% sure of."
- Bob Wilmes
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When have you insisted on paying the lowest cost possible—and regretted it?

"The first TV my partner and I bought was the most basic we could get. We had just moved in and already had many expenses. We didn't even watch that much TV at the time, so we thought it wouldn't make much difference. We ended up getting a TV that was too small and low quality. Because of that, we almost never used it, and didn't watch many shows or films (which we actually like doing). We sold it some years later and bought a bigger, higher-quality TV that was three times more expensive, but much more worthwhile."
- Marc Bisbal Arias
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Should U.S. investors own foreign bonds?

"I don't think that's necessary. With ex-US bonds yielding just 0.9% in aggregate right now (vs. 1.6% US), I'd just stick with US bonds and perhaps emerging market bonds. Then use ex-US equities for international diversification. The bond market outside of the US is more of a currency play while the US vs. ex-US stock market difference is driven by other factors such as sector and industry performances, growth vs. value, small cap vs. large cap."
- Mike Zaccardi
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Are children a good investment?

"I was a good investment for my parents."
- David Baese
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What costs are you most loath to pay?

"Repairs on something that shouldn’t require them."
- R Quinn
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Which financial tasks do you find most irksome?

"I hate tracking my expenses but have been doing it weekly nonetheless since 2015. It's annoying and time-consuming, but it helps me see if I'm on track to reach my saving goals, why I might be falling short, understand where I'm spending most, etc."
- Marc Bisbal Arias
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Does it ever make sense to buy actively managed funds?

"I know the stats, but I only buy individual stocks or actively managed funds. I think the key is to have confidence in what you own so you don't panic in the panics."
- Richard Gore
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