Blog Posts by InvestingAnswers

  • What Our Dad's Taught Us About Money

    Father's DayFather's Day

    Parents aren't always great role models. However, our mother and father are usually the first people we look to as we're trying to learn new things -- driving a car, hitting a baseball, playing an instrument, whatever.

    When it comes to money, it's no different. That's why, in honor of Father's Day, we asked some experts from the personal finance community -- including some from our own team and those with our sister site, StreetAuthority.com -- to share with us the financial wisdom that their fathers shared with them. We were thrilled with the response and put together a list that includes bloggers, authors, TV commentators and more.

    And if you've got a great story, we want to hear it, too. Share it with us by leaving your comment at the end of the story. Or just tell us which one of these was your favorite.
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    "Best advice my dad gave me was/is twofold:

    1) His advice wasn't spoken, it was done. He took me to the local bank to get my first savings account and

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  • Why Stay-at-Home Moms Can't Get a Credit Card Anymore

    Changes to consumer credit laws were designed to help the consumer, but may keep certain family members from getting well-deserved credit ...Changes to consumer credit laws were designed to help the consumer, but may keep certain family members from getting well-deserved credit ...Have you been tempted to open a credit account in your favorite store to earn a discount on your purchase or perhaps even receive a free gift?

    Many people have, and applying for credit cards, especially those offered at the checkout lane of retail stores, used to be a simple matter for just about everyone who did the shopping.

    This included the managers of the home -- the stay-at-home moms and dads who generally had no individual reportable income but could likely get a card just the same. They'd just rely on their family's household income rather their own. Fast forward to 2012 and things are quite different.

    Changes to consumer credit laws have come in the form of the
    Credit CARD Act -- most of which took effect in 2010. The landmark law was designed to do many things to help the consumer, including ensuring that young consumers weren't applying for more credit than they could handle. This seemingly practical approach to curbing irresponsible credit card use had a

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  • Showing Up in Swimwear and Other Job Hunting No-Nos

    With just one-third of companies planning to hire in 2012, you'll want to make sure you avoid these job hunting mistakes to maximize your odds of success.With just one-third of companies planning to hire in 2012, you'll want to make sure you avoid these job hunting mistakes to maximize your odds of success.Some job hunting gaffes are obvious -- or at least they should be.

    For instance, you don't want to talk trash about your last boss, even if the ogre is known in the industry for hurling paperweights in meetings.

    And unless you're interviewing to be the next Sports Illustrated cover model, you certainly don't want to show up for an interview in beach attire. That's what one failed banking industry applicant recently did, mentioning she was on her way to a weekend jaunt, according to New York City executive coach Andrea Nierenberg.

    But there are some mistakes even conscientious job seekers make that can derail them. With just one-third of companies planning to hire in 2012, according to compensation researcher PayScale, you'll want to make sure you avoid these mistakes to maximize your odds of success.

    Mistake No. 1: Fixating on Your Resume

    You obviously don't want to send it out with typos and coffee stains, but obsessively editing it and formatting it for weeks will put your search

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  • 5 Money Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Summer Vacation

    Don't let these goofs turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.Don't let these goofs turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.When you're traveling in Egypt, several months into a year's trek around the world with a family of four, the last thing you want is for an ATM to eat your debit card.

    That's what happened to Heather Greenwood Davis of Globetrotting Mama, and it could have spelled disaster for her nomadic expedition across the globe.

    The more you travel, the more you encounter situations that require you to adapt and think quickly. And finances are no exception. Traveling abroad often means a whole different set of rules when it comes to credit card fees, currency and banking.

    Here are a few of the most common money mistakes people encounter while traveling -- along with some fresh-from-the-road tips for how to avoid them in your own journeys.

    Mistake No. 1: Not Preparing for Emergencies

    When traveling, financial emergencies can range from theft to medical issues that require immediate attention (not to mention the frustration at not being able to find an open bank or ATM during a national

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  • 5 Money Moves a New College Graduate Should Make

    Gund Hall (home of the Graduate School of Design) during Harvard Graduation. Year 2007.Gund Hall (home of the Graduate School of Design) during Harvard Graduation. Year 2007.The season of new grads is officially upon us, and the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics anticipates over 3.4 million degrees will be handed out to students completing their secondary education in 2012. With so many young adults entering the consumer world, often without the assistance of parents, the first few steps couldn't be more important.

    Here are the first five things you should do once you've gotten that degree and are preparing to enter the "real" world for the first time:

    1. Create a Budget
    This step is not only deemed to be one of the most important actions for a new graduate to embrace, it's a skill that will benefit them throughout their lifetime.


    Howard Dvorkin, founder of ConsolidatedCredit.org and author of "Credit Hell: How to Dig Out of Debt," advises grads to realistically consider their "true" salary of any new job. "Many college grads are starry-eyed at the salary they will be making at their first job. They should do their homework and find out the

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  • 5 Secrets to Scare Away Identity Thieves

    We'll help you put a damper on identity thieves' big business. We'll help you put a damper on identity thieves' big business. With identity thieves committing fraud to the tune of $37 billion in 2010, it almost feels inevitable that you'll eventually join the 7% of Americans victimized annually.

    Maybe so. But that doesn't mean you have to hand criminals the keys to the castle.
    In fact, just about 20 minutes worth of work will make any potential identity thieves think twice about stealing from you. These five simple, doable tips show you how it's done:

    What You Should Do: Toughen Up Your Passwords.

    Why Thieves Hate It: The average person uses the same password and email log-in over and over again, which "creates tremendous vulnerabilities for people," says Will Marling, Ph.D., executive director of the National Organization for Victim Assistance, in Washington, D.C., and a certified identity theft risk management specialist.

    A hacker who gets his hands on your email and password from a low-security website can use the combo on financial or shopping sites till -- bingo! -- they stumble on an account. To lock

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  • 4 Key Money Moves to Make when You Get a New Job

    Follow these smart money steps when you land a new job. Follow these smart money steps when you land a new job. Congratulations! You got a new job -- and in a pretty bad economy at that. Whether you were unemployed like millions of other Americans and just got a job or you moved from one position into a new one, a new job will be a transition.

    These transitions are happening more and more now. Once upon a time, a worker commonly stayed with a company for decades. Not anymore. According to a 2010 report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, younger Baby Boomers -- those born from 1957 to 1964 -- changed jobs an average of 12 times between ages 18 and 44. And that trend seems likely to continue, or even intensify.

    Ideally, your new job will come with a higher salary than your previous one. However, once you've negotiated a salary and nailed down the job, there are still many more money moves to make. Help make a positive financial transition by following these four steps when you get a new job.

    Take Full Advantage of Company Benefits

    If your company offers matching 401(k) contributions and

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  • Don't Waste Your Money on These 5 Types of Insurance

    Do you really need life insurance for children?Do you really need life insurance for children?

    Learning about insurance policies may seem about as exciting as a graduation speech, a trip to the DMV and the color beige. However, if you don't do your homework, you could get convinced to buy policies you don't need -- costing yourself a small fortune.

    Many types of insurance policies simply don't make sense for folks either because they're redundant, they solve a problem that really isn't a problem or for other reasons.

    Here's a list of five insurance types you could likely do without:

    1. Life Insurance for Children

    What it is: If a child dies, it will pay the parent an indemnity.

    Why you don't need it: People buy life insurance to provide for their dependents, so it makes little sense to take out an insurance policy for kids -- since they have no dependents. According to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the death rate for children in 2010 aged 1 to 4 was 26.1 per 100,000 children. For kids aged 5 to 14, it was even lower, at 13.9 per

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  • 6 Dangerous Black Holes in Your Family Budget...And How to Fix Them

    Avoid turning your home into a money pit. Avoid turning your home into a money pit. Want to get a handle on our household money? Use what psychologists call "creative visualization." Imagine yourself as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of My Family, Incorporated.

    A major part of the effective management of a household budget is discovering where money is wasted. It's crucial to determine the most common areas where family money goes down the drain. Sit down with your family at the kitchen table, as if it were a board meeting, and discuss the following:

    -Who is responsible for paying the bills? -How many credit cards should your household use and who will have possession of them?
    -What's the family's cash flow -- i.e., how much money is coming in and how much is going out?
    -What's the overall family budget?
    -What's the budget for each individual member?

    Above all, look at places in your family's budget where your money is poorly or inefficiently spent. One of the best ways to do this is to have every family member keep a record of their spending for a month and

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  • 10 Deliciously Healthy Ways to Save Money

    Buy produce in season to keep your wallet and waistline in shape. Buy produce in season to keep your wallet and waistline in shape. Rising food prices and stagnant job growth have many Americans looking for ways to save on food bills, but that doesn't justify an unhealthy diet of fast food or frozen pizza for you or your family.

    In fact, fast and cheap food isn't "cheap" at all. An unhealthy diet can result in additional long-term healthcare costs.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of all U.S. adults (33.8%) and approximately 17% of all U.S. children and adolescents are obese, and in 2018, the cost of obesity nationally is projected to be $1,425 per person in direct medical costs. That doesn't include indirect costs such as a lack of productivity at work, low energy levels and possible depression.

    You can prevent obesity by eating smarter, even if your funds are limited. A healthy diet doesn't have to be costly; it just has to be well planned and prepared. Here are 10 ways you can maintain a healthy diet and a healthy budget.

    1. Stock Up on Calorie-Dense Whole Foods
    To get

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