Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Teach Your Kids About Smart Money Management

It’s funny that many of us moved out of our parent’s home and proceeded to live our grown-up lives without ever learning much about financial responsibility and money management. I remember taking a semester in high school about budgeting, opening a bank account, and balancing a checkbook. We learned about it from a book, without the experience to go with it. With that very little bit of money education, we were expected to have all the...
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Choosing a Mutual Fund

There are thousands of mutual funds to choose from, with different investment styles, risk factors, and expenses. How do you choose the one that's right for you? There's no one size fits all with investing, that's why we have so many choices. Choosing a mutual fund is similar to buying a vehicle; you need to know what your vehicle should be able to do for you and what you're using it for, and you research until...
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The History of Credit and Credit Cards

The ancient credit and debt system Merchants have been extending credit to buyers since ancient times. Credit was commonly used in Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt thousands of years ago. Since the days when people traded in grains and cattle, merchants have been able to increase sales by allowing consumers to buy now and pay later. Even before the written word, about 9000 years ago, people kept track of debts with tokens. Written language was encouraged along,...
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Joint Credit Card Accounts

Many happy couples want to share everything…share a meal, share a home, share a credit card. Wait! Share a credit card? Consider the risks and rewards of opening a joint account with someone, before you sign your name on the dotted line. A joint account can be convenient if both people agree on how to handle credit and finances. Unfortunately, the decision to open a joint account may lead to trouble for some, when differences in...
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Understanding Bonds

What is a bond? We’re all familiar with debt; many of us have taken out a loan to buy something that we want to pay for later. We borrow the money, and promise to pay back the amount of the loan, plus interest. We agree to a specific interest rate and agree to pay on a set schedule. Corporations and government entities also need to borrow money for improvements or day-to-day operations. When a company or...
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Understanding Stocks

Stockholders Share in the Profits and the Losses Stocks are the smallest unit of ownership in a company. The more shares of stock you have, the more ownership you have in the company. Companies issue stock as a way to raise money for improvements or expansion. If they took out a loan, it would have to be paid back. To raise capital without incurring debt, they offer shares of their company’s stock to the public. If...
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Mutual Funds Fees Explained

Before making any investment, consider the fees and expenses that will take a cut out of your profits. Some mutual fund fees are completely avoidable, and some fees are necessary. Some types of mutual funds will require higher fees and maintenance costs than others; it’s important to compare similar funds with the same objectives from different fund families. A fee table can be found in the prospectus of any fund you’re considering, request this important reading...
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Mutual Fund Basics

Mutual funds are the investment of choice for many people; they allow an investor to minimize financial risk by spreading money among many different stocks and bonds, without the research and market knowledge required for such a diversified portfolio. By diversifying their investments, they are able to invest in the stock market without taking the risks involved in having money in only one or a few companies’ stocks. Mutual funds may invest in stock of hundreds...
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The Beginner's Guide to Investing

How do you think the majority of wealthy Americans became financially secure? Did their parents leave them an inheritance? Did they win the lottery? Did they invent something the whole world needed? No, they developed a sound financial plan and invested their hard-earned money wisely. Saving is for short-term needs Simply putting your money into a bank savings account or CDs will allow you to save money for an emergency fund, a big family vacation, a...
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The Real Cost of Homeownership

So, you’ve done all your research before buying a home. You’ve checked with mortgage lenders, you’ve improved your credit score, and you’ve paid off other debts. You’ve saved the required down payment and you know how much your house payment will be. You’re on the right track, but don’t forget to consider the additional costs of owning your home. Being aware of, and preparing for all those extras will make owning your home a rewarding experience....
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