October 14, 2010

Getting out of debt can be tough, but these principles can help you get through it much easier. 1. Start with a plan. Everyone’s debt load is different, so the plan you take may not be the same as your friend next door.  The one thing you DO have in common is that you will both be on the path to become debt free if you start with a plan. It’s good to start by listing out all the debt… Read more

October 13, 2010

What’s the deal with IRA rollovers? We’ve heard the phrase, but what does it mean? A rollover is a process used to move a retirement account to another provider.  For example, a 401(k) or 403(b) can rollover to an IRA when the person meets the right criteria (listed below).   An IRA can even rollover into a 401(k) or 403(b) if a person wants to move it to their employer sponsored retirement plan. Why would someone do a rollover? A person… Read more

October 11, 2010

Often called Individual Retirement Accounts, IRAs actually stand for Individual Retirement Arrangement.  The IRA is a retirement plan that allows individuals to save for their future.  IRAs can be opened at banks, brokerage firms, and mutual fund companies.  You can open multiple IRAs if you really wanted to but I don’t recommend it because it can be a hassle to keep track of all the accounts.  Regardless of the number of IRAs you open, you must adhere to the contribution… Read more

October 8, 2010

The debate about minimum wage and the varying income classes in the world is a fascinating economic topic.  Interestingly, this topic is one that we can find Biblical references to guide us with our thinking. We know that pay is essentially determined by the combination of supply and demand – the same supply and demand that determines the price of goods and services we use.   These wages guide us in utilizing the scarce resources of capital and labor – which… Read more

October 7, 2010

Last weekend I saw Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps last weekend and thought it was a pretty entertaining movie. It’s a sequel to the 1987 movie Wall Street and picks up when Gordon Gekko is released from prison. I won’t go into detail about the movie’s plot, but Gekko definitely loves money and isn’t afraid to sacrifice almost everything for it. I was taken back by one line that Gekko had in the movie – “Time is the greatest asset… Read more

October 6, 2010

“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep—so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6-11). Talk about… Read more

October 5, 2010

The Buffettology Workbook is a great tool to start understanding how Warren Buffett invests.  Here’s a quick summary of some of the points the authors make. Before Warren Buffett invests in a company, he starts by identifying the sick/commodity type business and the healthy consumer monopoly.  He suggests staying away from the commodity type business and clings to the consumer monopoly businesses. Sick/Commodity Business Characteristics: o Sells generic product or service where price is the most important motivating factor in… Read more

October 4, 2010

I really enjoyed reading through the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey.  In his book, Covey shares seven habits that shape our character and help us move from dependence to independence and then interdependence.  The underlying principles that Covey shares can impact us as investors whether we’re starting a business, buying shares of stock, or even buying or merging a business. Here’s my own Faith and Finance twist to the same 7 habits that Covey shares:… Read more

October 2, 2010

I think that in order to understand the financial markets thoroughly enough to see how the rules and regulations affect our businesses today, we need to look at both sides of the argument.  That’s why I read the book 13 Bankers. 13 Bankers addresses the financial crisis that the U.S. is facing and does a nice job in providing a detailed history of the financial markets in America.  Throughout the book, the authors, Simon Johnson and James Kwak share their… Read more

October 1, 2010

Have you thought of what your spouse would do with your finances if something were to happen to you?   Would they know about each life insurance policy or retirement account and how to access the funds?  A death in the family can bring enough stress, and worrying about putting your financial matters in order can make the situation even worse. I recently had lunch with a lady whose husband passed away unexpectedly.  She said that her husband took care of… Read more

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