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Category: Personal Finance

5 Reasons You Shouldn't Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

I've seen the arguments, and – most likely – so have you. The talking heads agree you should pay off your mortgage. While a fine goal for your retirement, the vast majority of people have no need to pay off a mortgage early. Today I'll take up the opposite argument. For most of you, don't […]

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Wealth is Not Income

One of the silliest illusions which has mesmerized the American people is the conflation of income and wealth. They are two topics that are, of course, intertwined (and correlated) - but not necessarily good proxies for each other.

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The Four Pillars of Personal Finance

Both my co-writer Cameron and I have recently penned screeds on a worrisome trend we've seen in Personal Finance blogs - the hyperbolic obsession with "Debt Zero". "Debt Zero" is, of course, the idea that above all else Debt Must Be Paid Down.

The first clue that something is wrong with that story is the inclusion of the word "must". There are very few absolutes in life - the snarky amongst you will acknowledge death and taxes - and in this situation is no different. You see, it's naive to assume that things come for free. Every single thing you do is a trade off.

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Marginal Tax Rates Versus Effective Tax Rates

Have you ever seen an election season so dedicated to the intricacies of taxes? Mitt Romney must be glad he paid accountants to run the numbers, since just 4 years ago I seem to recalls number of issues with TurboTax. So yes, I've never heard this much ranting and raving about taxes, even though the last time a very rich person from Massachusetts ran for President there were many similarities. So, let's talk a little bit about two different things - 'Marginal' rates and 'Effective' rates.

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The Roth IRA Loophole for Absurdly High Contributions (And No Income Limits)

I know the title sounds like I'm about to sell you some snake oil, but bear with me for a second here. Some bloggers have discussed the inherent unfairness of the Roth IRA's contributions - namely, being capped at $125,000 for a single filer and $183,000 for a joint filer in 2012. Other have discussed the backdoor IRA - building on a 2010 rule change which allowed people of any income to convert IRAs (and other eligible accounts) to Roth IRAs. We're going to bypass both of those and talk about how you can contribute over $30,000 to your Roth IRA - with the only requirement being that you have access to a 401(k) with certain features. Read on...

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Do You Say Anything When You See People Spending Foolishly?

Today, let's focus our attention outward, instead of on our 'personal' personal finance issues issues... let's talk about the finances of our friends and family! DQYDJ is normally a Personal Finance site but today our focus is on Extrapersonal Finance, namely, how you dole out advice to friends and acquaintances who make poor financial decisions.

Today, let's focus our attention outward, instead of on our personal issues... let's get Biblical and talk about the finances of our friends and family! DQYDJ is normally a Personal Finance site but today our focus is on Extrapersonal Finance, namely, how you dole out advice to friends and acquaintances who make poor financial decisions.

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What Kind of Investor Are You?

Although many authors try to boil down investment advice to the generic and claim it's "one size fits all", here at DQYDJ we believe that there are many types of investors.  You can fit all of these types of investors into four main categories, however, depending on their emotions and the amount of information they […]

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The Psychology of Passive Investing

Personal finance bloggers and personal finance connoisseurs (such as me) often feel that they have ultimate control over their actions. The belief is that if one is aware of their goals, the can reach them with the greatest of ease.

  • Do you want to create an emergency fund? Spend four months building one.
  • Do you want to retire at age forty? Control spending now and begin investing in tax-sheltered investment vehicles.
  • Do you want to reduce your money spent on gas? Simply hypermile!
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How To Define 'Savings'

The issue of the declining savings rate in America has been mentioned as one of the ways in which the younger generations are falling behind economically. The credit crisis caused massive deleveraging in America which increased the savings rate, but most of it was due to consumers reducing debts and liabilities as opposed to building assets. There could be many causes of this, but to name one: in times of uncertainty, consumer tend to brace themselves for a more hazy future by building net worth as quickly as possible. A decrease in stock prices and home prices eliminated much of the buildup of household assets which needed to be counteracted by an increase in savings. Also, credit standards have tightened, which has further compounded the problem and increased the deleveraging among American households.

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How Do You Define Savings?

We apologize in advance if this discussion is too concentrated on minutiae and definitions, but we'd like to clarify an issue (with the help of our readers!).

Let's just throw it out here: "How do you define savings?". It's a serious question, and you're going to get two articles with serious answers... one from yours truly and another from Cameron, our resident Economist. Let me lead with my definition: 'savings' , in my mind, is any money set aside from current earnings that is easily accessible, liquid, fungible, and have a reasonable chance for maintenance of principal and appreciation.

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