Stock Market gurus? Real Estate hounds? Tell me about your financial intelligence.. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 36 Old 07-02-2003, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm hoping to get a good discussion going regarding investing and money. The subject of money seems to be taboo in so many circles and I am struggling to understand why. Why isn't financial intelligence studied in high school? In fact, isn't that what "Home Economics" is for?

We grew up in a household where we did not discuss money. Until 10 years ago what my parents income levels or how much they paid on a mortgage was a question I would dare not ask. I watched them balance a checkbook every once in a while and pay bills but had very little understanding of what it meant to create a budget. Just now I am starting to understand the differences between true assets and liabilities, how to read a P&L statement and a balance sheet.

So, in college I fell into the same trap many Americans fall into today: Credit card debt, lack of understanding and knowledge of how to create a budget (or even balance a checkbook!).

I am not asking anyone to share how much money they make, or have saved, or plan to retire with. What I'm hoping to accomplish is an open forum where we can talk about what kinds of investment vehicles we are using to save for retirement, or our children's education, or that big acreage in the country with a pond and garden. Or maybe you just want to get rich for the sake of being rich!

Hopefully we can all learn something!

P.S. Oh, and obviously if anyone responds to this post it is with the understanding that nothing that is being shared below is financial advice. Each person needs to determine what is best for their situation.
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#2 of 36 Old 07-02-2003, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I can at least get started...

When my dh and I married I was fortunate to have met someone with *some* financial intelligence. Dh insisted, even when we were dirt poor, to "pay ourselves first". So, we have always maxed out our 401K's and added money to Roth IRA's each year. We have been somewhat agressive in our investment strategy. (We're young, right? There's time to make it up if the market tanks!)

It's slowly grown to a point where I think we'll benefit from compounding interest. We feel we've found a good balance between the Roth IRA and the 401k...we'll probably borrow from one of these for our dd's education. Our theory is that "you can borrow for a college education but you can't borrow for your retirement".

We have always thought of a home purchase as our biggest asset, but are questioning this more and more. Really, it's our biggets liability. If my dh lost his job we would be in huge trouble! We're thinking about buying some income-producing real estate since we haven't been able to come up with any other award-winning ideas or patents.

Anyway, I am really feeling lost in a lot of ways. The more I read on the subject of money and investing, the more I find I don't know anything!
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#3 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 12:09 AM
 
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I love talking about saving and investing money. I hate working so much, I can't wait until I have put enough away so I don't have to do it anymore. I've got much better things to do with my time than sit in a damn office all day long.

The funds that we have set aside for retirement and our kids' college are in a mixture of mutual funds and individual stocks. I set up Education IRAs (now Coverdell Savings accounts) for each of my kids, these are currently 100% invested in the Vanguard Wellington balanced fund. They also have money outside the Coverdells in a Total Stock Market fund. I shift money from this into the Coverdells every year, and will continue to do so, until the non-tax sheltered money is all inside the Coverdells. I will not add any additional monies to these accounts, beyond what is already allocated. Any shortfalls will have to be made up by scholarships and/or financial aid. The one concern I have about the Coverdell accounts is that they may reduce the amount of financial aid that we can get.

We make full contributions to self directed Roth IRAs every year. We hold individual stocks in our IRAs, as well as money market accounts for idle cash. We keep most of our non-tax sheltered money in the Vanguard Health Care fund, which has done very well, and I have no complaints about it. However, it is extremely risky to place a large bet on a sector fund, and the only reason i have done so is because I am certain that the demographics of the aging population will continue to make health care very profitable. I also look at it as a way to get back some of the money that I have to spend on medical expenses every year.

We don't have 401k's through our employers, but if we did, we would only contribute up to the amount that our employer would match.

My advice to other investors would be to put most of your money into low cost index funds, which will match the market returns year in and year out, and will usually beat most actively managed funds over time. Don't pick individual stocks, unless you can spend the time required to find the good ones. I'd be very wary of buying into real estate right now, which I believe is the next big bubble. I think housing prices will soon start to come down in large parts of the country.

For financial journalism I like: http://www.thestreet.com

Yahoo Finance is also good.
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#4 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 12:31 AM
 
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Where is Els'??? We need her on this discussion.
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#5 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 12:36 AM
 
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Originally posted by Hilary Briss
I'd be very wary of buying into real estate right now, which I believe is the next big bubble. I think housing prices will soon start to come down in large parts of the country.
Do you think that interest rates will start rising? I don't think they can stay at 5% forever, but do you think they will go back as high as 12 or 13%?

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Originally posted by Kim
We have always thought of a home purchase as our biggest asset, but are questioning this more and more. Really, it's our biggets liability. If my dh lost his job we would be in huge trouble!
Dh and I are beginning to feel this way, as well, espeically when dh was out of work for almost two months this spring. We've had our house for almost five years. We got it at an okay price but had to put over $30,000 into it for repairs. Even with refinancing, that set us back majorly, and with our property taxes going crazy (Thanks George Ryan, for that mess!), our mortgage has raised over $250 this year. Ugh.

My dad has whispered into my ear since I was old enough to understand english that a house is the best thing you can have, but really, all it has been for us is HUGE stress.

We are seriously considering selling our home and investing that money into savings, for ds and dd, and for our retirement, and just renting or something like that. Sure, we'll never own our own place, but I just don't know that that's such a bad thing.

We haven't been able to invest in much at all. Dh hasn't stayed at a job longer than two years or so, and there isn't much he's been able to save up through work 401K's or profit sharing in that time.

Dh and every person in his family are financial geniuses. They are so wise with money. If dh got serious about investing and planning, I know we could get somewhere. He couldn't help it, it is in his genes.

He lets me handle all the checkbook balancing and budgeting because my parents raised me to look pretty and didn't expect much more from me. Me handling the day to day finances is dh's way of letting me know he thinks I have a brain

I'm not up on stocks or bonds or anything like that, but I do know how to make a dollar stretch, unbelievably. And I think it's very important to understand money and to try to make it work for you, instead of working for it.

Easier said than done, though.
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#6 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I'd be very wary of buying into real estate right now, which I believe is the next big bubble..
ITA which is why we're looking into foreclosures and drastically reduced prices, rather than getting a "fair" price. The Twin Cities housing prices are astronomical. It's going to take some work and a lot of networking to find a bargain. Not interested in holding the property for more than a couple of years, so we are hoping to make money on the initial investment rather than waiting for the value of the home to increase.

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However, it is extremely risky to place a large bet on a sector fund, and the only reason i have done so is because I am certain that the demographics of the aging population will continue to make health care very profitable.
We sank money into Putnam Health Sciences fund and watched it plummet the past 4 years. I think the health sector is safe in that we're all going to grow old and depend on health care, but knowing which companies will be providing that care is the more difficult question.

Thanks for the links!

I guess I could share some resources that have been helpful to me, too...

http://www.fool.com

Peter Lynch's 'Beating the Streets'
John Train's 'Money Masters of Our Time'
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#7 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 12:45 AM
 
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Do you think that interest rates will start rising? I don't think they can stay at 5% forever, but do you think they will go back as high as 12 or 13%?
Interest rates have fallen so far they will have to rise eventually, although I don't even pretend to know when this will happen. What concerns me is that house prices have been bid up to unrealistically high prices, and these will eventually start to fall.

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I'm not up on stocks or bonds or anything like that, but I do know how to make a dollar stretch, unbelievably.
The first step to successful investing is spending less than you make. You can't invest if you never have anything left in the kitty.
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#8 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 12:48 AM
 
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We sank money into Putnam Health Sciences fund and watched it plummet the past 4 years.
No offense, but Putnam is kind of a lousy fund company. They have high expense ratios and loads, and fair to middling stock picking ability. You should probably look elsewhere.
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#9 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 01:06 AM
 
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Originally posted by Hilary Briss
What concerns me is that house prices have been bid up to unrealistically high prices, and these will eventually start to fall.
I've seen some of this in my area, recently. (Chicago suburbs). A builder put second stories on two different houses in our neighborhood and ask $400,000 for them. (The additions made them be 4 bed/3.5 bathrooms). Both places had to come down to about $250,000 to be sold, after being on the market for over six months.

Two blocks away, houses are still selling for between 400,000-600,000, so it is confusing.

Crain's Chicago Business mag says it's better to be a seller than a buyer, right now, that having property to sell is a huge bonus, but I am wondering about that.
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#10 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 01:13 AM
 
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Definitely always pay yourself first. DH has a set amt taken out every week to the credit union. Don't spend more than you have. Credit cards should be a convenience, not a loan company. Try to pay them off every month. If you owe on one, pay it off B4 you start any investing - best use of your money in any market.

The housing bubble *must* burst. Ppl cannot afford a $200,000 median price home. As unemployment rises, more homes go into foreclosure, prices go down. The bubble has popped in some areas (Silicon Valley most notably).

DH has a pension thru the union (27 yr member), we both have traditional IRA's (someday I may roll into Roth - I'm lazy). I started investing 14 yrs ago. Took a college investment class to learn the basics. I own no funds (other than what we must pick from in pension plan). My portfolio is my fund. I like low p/e, dividend paying stocks. Nat'l gas and oil (like health care, ppl need utilities) and I always own a little gold stock (*God's* money).

The first stock I ever bought is still my fav - Velcro. Symbol is VELCF. Strong company and pays a div. I think it is still undervalued. Wall Street hardly knows it exists...................that is too bad. SLGLF.OB is a little gold stock that may be a good speculation.

El
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#11 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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No offense, but Putnam is kind of a lousy fund company.
We know that....now. We were 22 and 24 when we put money into mutual funds. We've tried waiting to see if we could recoup what we lost in those funds, but it looks bleak. Since, we have read the Motley Fool series and realized the error of our ways...Now, our 401K's are invested in the S&P 500 fund. Why pay a middle-man (or manager) when historically their "picks" have not outdone the S&P?

More recently we've done what you are doing -- our Roth IRA's are composed of individual stocks. We have chosen companies whose products we use and buy often: Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Target, 3M. Not a great deal of growth, but also no loss considering the past couple of years.

Has anyone done any small-cap investing? We're not completely ready to jump into that game, but would love some BTDT advice on how you chose a company and how long you held it.
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#12 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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The first stock I ever bought is still my fav - Velcro.
Thanks for the tip! Of course!!!! Everyone uses velcro at some point or another (especially with kids). Warren Buffett says, "One of the surest signs that you are on safe ground in buying a stock is that there is no mention of it in any recent index of Wall Street Transcript".
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#13 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 08:58 AM
 
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I would love to talk finances! I am very interested in what everyone has to say regarding this issue, I think we can learn a lot from each other.

One of my favorite finance gurus is Suze Orman. I know, she is kind of a pollyanna feel-good but she explains everything very clearly.

I just inherited some $ from my aunt and I am trying to figure out the best way to allocate it. I did start a college savings for dd which should fully cover her at a CA state school. Dh and I will eventually buy a house (approx. 4 years from now) so I am hoping to put some of this money into a safe low-risk fund to use for a down payment.

I like to have some of my money invested in socially responsible funds. I have heard good things about Domini Fund and have started an acct. with them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Hilary Briss
No offense, but Putnam is kind of a lousy fund company. They have high expense ratios and loads, and fair to middling stock picking ability. You should probably look elsewhere.
HB, thanks for this info. I naively placed my IRA with them and now I am thinking about changing. Also, re: IRA's I was somehow convinced to get a regular IRA, not a Roth, so I am considering rolling my IRA into a Roth this year.

Re: Budgeting ~ I am not very good a budgeting. It is not that I don't know how to do it but I think I am in denial about it I never balance my checkbook but I also never overdraw my checking acct. I think I could certainly gain from keeping a closer eye on expenses, especially food. I tend to shop at the more expensive Whole Foods and buy pretty much what I want regardless of price.
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#14 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 09:32 AM
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I would be wary of anything that is bringing in more than 15% or so a year.

A growth rate of about 10%/year (long term) is solid and sustainable.

Anything more than that you're skating on thin ice.

We're in a mutual fund (we're still young) with a 401K. As we go into our '60's we will start rolling it into bonds and CD type investments.

About 5-7% of our income goes into investments.

I know we'll be working into our '70's.

DB
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#15 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 12:58 PM
 
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I love that this conversation is even happening! I provide financial counseling at a university to students borrowing loan money (as a way ultimately of keeping our default rates low), and it's funny how just talking about money feels like breaking a major taboo. As Americans, we can talk about our birth stories, who we're schtupping...but money is off limits! It's very sad to talk to 18 year old college students who, faced with sudden money, have a great impulse toward shopping and beer. It's my job to convince them NOT to lease the Lexus.

My dh is self-employed and a very "in the moment" kinda of guy. He's also 48 years old. We've been married for almost 7 years and have been TTC #1 for over a year. Four years ago, we opened a Roth IRA for him. A good place to start. I have an elaborate 403(b) though my job, and I have funded this with an employer match, plus a few years of maximum funding for over 10 years.

We're on our second home - cashing out on the first one to make a nice chunk o' change to finance this one. Our current house has tripled in value over the past 2 1/2 years! So am now having visions of cashing out again, moving someplace cheap, so we don't have to have ANY mortgage next time around. But so far, have not found the dream place. I saw today's unemployment rate (6.4%) and that does not bode well for the housing market...so we're under the gun to cash out.

I just read "Your Money or Your Life" and it really changed some of my dearly held beliefs. I've been walking around the world thinking that student loans and home mortgage are "acceptable" debt...and they are. But if you can figure out how to eliminate these, one has many many more life choices, much more freedom. I just discovered a website related to this book that has been very helpful:

http://www.simpleliving.net/forums/simple_living/

The largest trick is living below our means, which is hard with a self-employed dh. Self-employed = hard to budget. We don't have cable TV, cell phones, car payments, an internet provider bill (I use my connection through the college). Most of our vices are things that will pay us back later: gardening, home renovation projects...

My secret life consists of doing experimental writing and visual art, so if we can figure out the money thang, I can devote more time to what I love. I want more choices than a flourescent-lit Soviet style office. I'm very motivated to figure out financial independence because I don't want to work forever. I want a life where days stretch out long, filled with books and daylilies and kiddos.
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#16 of 36 Old 07-03-2003, 09:18 PM
 
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HB, thanks for this info. I naively placed my IRA with them and now I am thinking about changing.
I have a friend who has his accounts at Putnam, and we joke about how their OTC fund turns dollars into pennies.

I am partial to Vanguard for mutual funds, because of their low expense ratios, and good performance. I did, however, yank all of our brokerage accounts from Vanguard, when they imposed an annual fee, and raised commissions. Our brokerage accounts are now at Scottrade, and they seem to be all right, so far. I also had a trading account with Datek, and I liked them, but then they got sucked up by Ameritrade, and I don't like them as much, although I still have the account there.
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#17 of 36 Old 07-04-2003, 07:50 PM
 
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ok i feel soooo dumb ! Dh came home about 2 monthes ago from work asking to open up an account with ameritrade and start buying penny stocks as he and his co workings call them . I was ok with that . Then it was to invest 7% of our money into TSP (thrift savings plan ) threw the airforce , still ok . But i feel like we are doing all these things YET i don't know why?? And i don't know what eles is out there . know what i mean ?

Questions ~ what is a Roth IRA? and what SIMPLE books or website have people gone to the can expliane some more optons to us ? thanks in advance for any help everyone !

Sarah~ mother wife friend teacher to joe my Dh sence 01' and my two beatifull chidern david 99' and emma 03' .
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#18 of 36 Old 07-04-2003, 08:29 PM
 
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I have a 401k and dh has both a roth and a regular ira. it seems as far as investing for retirement goes, there are few better investments than a 401k (pretaxed $$$, oh yeah!!), so i have always contributed the maximum allowed. i'm a true believer in the index funds, so my 401k is fully invested in one (i don't see why i should give a dime to some money manager when over the long haul the index funds seem to outperform MOST managed funds). right now we have an education trust set up for ds, but will probably open a 529. we are in the market to buy a home. we also have a small ameritrade account in which we have slowly bought individual stocks (this was fun before ds was born, but is now pretty much impossible to keep up with (ds is 5 months old)).
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#19 of 36 Old 07-04-2003, 09:37 PM
 
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Wow! I have a lot to learn.

I listen to Bob Brinker on his syndicated radio show and I watch the stock market channel on cable tv, but my IQ is a big fat zero here. Itry, but it is always over my head.

I'll go back and read these.

Did any of you learn any of this information in formal school or in the school of hard knocks.

Where did you learn all of this?
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#20 of 36 Old 07-05-2003, 01:35 AM
 
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Questions ~ what is a Roth IRA? and what SIMPLE books or website have people gone to the can expliane some more optons to us ? thanks in advance for any help everyone !
A Roth IRA is different from a regular IRA in that the contributions are not tax deductible, however, as long as the basic conditions are met, all money withdrawn is not taxed. In addition, there aren't any cumbersome minimum distribution requirements like there are for regular IRA's.

The Motley fool website http://www.fool.com and the Motley Fool books are OK for beginning investors. If you're interested in individual stocks, you might want to try reading some of Peter Lynch's books, or John Neff's book. For mutual funds, John Bogle's first two books are also excellent.
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#21 of 36 Old 07-05-2003, 11:45 AM
 
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I guess I'm the odd woman out. I've invested in real estate, and I'm doing great. I don't look at our residence as an investment, necessarily, but our rental properties certainly are.

Right now we're getting 25% return on one, which we bought dirt cheap. The first property we bought is giving us a 17% return and has been for the last 5 years.

Meanwhile, our IRA has steadily lost money since we opened it 2.5 years ago. We finally quit putting money in there. We'd much rather save up some more capital and invest in another rental property.
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#22 of 36 Old 07-05-2003, 11:58 AM
 
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We are in a pretty good situation right now. Here are a few of our financial rules, hints that we live by.

1) Track every dime - I use Quicken for this

2) Make a budget a live on it - it has to be a realistic budget and allow extra money for those things that always seem to come up like cars problems, etc

3) Live debt free - (except for a mortgage) - no credit cards, pay off car loans early if you have to get them.

4) Live below your income for a few years if you can and put lots of money into savings - we did this and now have 6 months reserves in savings (in case dh gets laid off) and were able to buy a great house.

5) This should be #1 - GIVE TO OTHERS. No matter how much you make, you can give something to others - a church, school, family in a rough spot. I don't believe in garage sales - if we don't want something anymore, then I find someone else who can use it. My tithe and charity giving is also part of my budget.

We also were able to buy a bigger house than we needed and plan to stay here for the next 30 years and pay it off. This way our family can grow into the house as we have more kids, and we save lots of money not having to sell/buy at higher interest rates.

I think having a paid for house during retirement is very important. My mom and dh's parents both have house payments on a retirement budget and it is difficult. I don't want to be in that situation.
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#23 of 36 Old 07-05-2003, 01:12 PM
 
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The idea of owning rental property as an investment has never seriously appealed to me. It seems too much like real work. You have to find good tenants that won't trash the place, you're responsible for maintenance and repairs, and I don't think you can shelter your income from taxes very easily. If you choose the right stocks or funds, all you have to do is watch your balance grow, and it's a lot more liquid than owning real property as well. I guess I saw Pacific Heights too many times. I'd be afraid my tenant would turn into Carter Hayes.
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#24 of 36 Old 07-05-2003, 08:38 PM
 
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[/B][/QUOTE] I've been walking around the world thinking that student loans and home mortgage are "acceptable" debt...and they are. But if you can figure out how to eliminate these, one has many many more life choices, much more freedom. [/B][/QUOTE]

This is excellent advice!! It is so rare to hear people about this. My mom looks at me like I have 4 heads when I talk about $0 mortgage. This month I'm starting a debt payment plan to eliminate all of our student loans in 3 years and home mortgage in 10 years. It may happen sooner but I want to be realistic. I believe anyone can achieve financial freedom you just have to plan for it.
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#25 of 36 Old 07-07-2003, 08:55 AM
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TexasSuz,

Great point (#5) I think when we live for something beyond ourselves someone upstairs seems to take more of an interest in our own welfare (but it can't be motivated by greed!!!)

HilaryBriss, you crack me up!! (about the real work comment)

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#26 of 36 Old 07-07-2003, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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You have to find good tenants that won't trash the place, you're responsible for maintenance and repairs, and I don't think you can shelter your income from taxes very easily.
Totally agree with the first part of this statement. My dad finds distressed properties and fixes them up for a living -- many times renting them out, sometimes selling. He's had good tenants and some very bad ones.

If you can set up a C-Corporation there are some ways to benefit tax-wise. Although you'll need an accountant involved to find some of these loopholes.
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#27 of 36 Old 07-07-2003, 11:28 AM
 
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I have owned and managed income property for 18 years.

I have had terrible tenants trash the place, overcrowd the place, and then stop paying the rent. CA is a very pro-tenant state, in which an experienced tenant can play the legal system for six-twelve months and stay in a house/unit without paying rent and even win the unit as a judgement against the landlord.

In AZ and NV, I understand that the Marshall is out on the third day the tenant is late with the rent.

I had a tenant threaten to kill me; I had plenty of witnesses to this event; this tenant skipped out on her lease and then won a judgement against me because I held her security deposit against the lost rents for her leaving before the lease was up.

I do not recommend rental property in CA anyway. The setting for "Pacific Heights" took place in SanFran, CA.

I have one unit left with decent tenants. As soon as they check out as tenants, so do I as a landlord.
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#28 of 36 Old 07-07-2003, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally posted by mom2david
Dh came home about 2 monthes ago from work asking to open up an account with ameritrade and start buying penny stocks as he and his co workings call them . I was ok with that . Then it was to invest 7% of our money into TSP (thrift savings plan ) threw the airforce , still ok . But i feel like we are doing all these things YET i don't know why?? And i don't know what eles is out there . know what i mean ?
The TSP is the government equivalent of a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan. How it works is you put a % of your salary in, and the government matches up to a certain %. This money comes out pretax, so you save by not paying taxes on it and the earnings grow tax-free. It is the best retirement deal out there in my opinion; it reduces your current taxes, gives you free money, and grows tax free.

If it were me and my dh, I would max out the contributions to the TSP and not let him open the Ameritrade account to buy penny stocks. First, those will not grow tax free unless you hold them through an IRA. Second, the money you use to buy stocks is coming from after-tax dollars, so no tax savings there. Third, no free matching money from the government. Fourth, you are much safer and more likely to profit investing in indexes (broad cross sections of the market) than individual stocks. Individual stocks are too risky to bet your retirement on IMO unless you already have a broad diversified portfolio and have a little extra money to play around with that you don't mind losing.

You can learn more about the TSP at www.tsp.gov. The most important thing to do (besides maxing out your contribution, or at least putting in to the point that you get all the free matching money) is figuring out an appropriate asset allocation within the funds offered by the TSP. I.e., what should the distribution be between stocks, bonds, international, etc. You can find good advice on asset allocation at places like www.fool.com.

NEXT TOPIC: IRAs for non-working spouses. I think it's important that stay-at-home parents take full advantage of the IRA contribution limit of $3000 for a spousal IRA. To my mind, that should be a funding priority for any couple with one working spouse and one stay at home parent. The stay at home parent is sacrificing a lot already in terms of lost income and no Social Security credit , and I believe all SAHPs need to have their own savings/assets in their own names.

Comments? Stories? Advice?

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#29 of 36 Old 07-08-2003, 04:02 PM
 
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Jane wrote:
The TSP is the government equivalent of a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan. How it works is you put a % of your salary in, and the government matches up to a certain %. This money comes out pretax, so you save by not paying taxes on it and the earnings grow tax-free. It is the best retirement deal out there in my opinion; it reduces your current taxes, gives you free money, and grows tax free.

If it were me and my dh, I would max out the contributions to the TSP and not let him open the Ameritrade account to buy penny stocks. First, those will not grow tax free unless you hold them through an IRA. Second, the money you use to buy stocks is coming from after-tax dollars, so no tax savings there. Third, no free matching money from the government. Fourth, you are much safer and more likely to profit investing in indexes (broad cross sections of the market) than individual stocks. Individual stocks are too risky to bet your retirement on IMO unless you already have a broad diversified portfolio and have a little extra money to play around with that you don't mind losing.

You can learn more about the TSP at www.tsp.gov. The most important thing to do (besides maxing out your contribution, or at least putting in to the point that you get all the free matching money) is figuring out an appropriate asset allocation within the funds offered by the TSP. I.e., what should the distribution be between stocks, bonds, international, etc. You can find good advice on asset allocation at places like www.fool.com.

NEXT TOPIC: IRAs for non-working spouses. I think it's important that stay-at-home parents take full advantage of the IRA contribution limit of $3000 for a spousal IRA. To my mind, that should be a funding priority for any couple with one working spouse and one stay at home parent. The stay at home parent is sacrificing a lot already in terms of lost income and no Social Security credit , and I believe all SAHPs need to have their own savings/assets in their own names.

Comments? Stories? Advice?

I had no clue the military matched your funds . i said i let hubby do what he feels best . I have say in it BUT cause i knew nothing i just said do what you think is best . Meaning he put in 7% of our paycheck in every payday . thats the max you can put in . He has yet to open up the other account cuase we took that money and put it down on a new hous we are going to rent . (this place has to many bugs and has tons of mold so we will be out of here soon) Well i am off to go check out info on the TSP and the other web sites about IRA's. Thank you agian !
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#30 of 36 Old 07-08-2003, 06:13 PM
 
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with the influx of financial threads throughout the boards the Personal Growth forum has been expanded to host such threads. We are moving all financial related threads there. Good luck on your personal growth!
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