Start Small: Investment 101

Finance
For those of us lucky enough to have a job, and, better yet, a job that offers a retirement savings program like a 401k or 403b option, we have been introduced to mutual funds.  Faced with a bewildering array of choices, many just throw their hands up and do nothing.  That means their retirement savings are left in the default option, which is often a money market fund.  For those who have done just that, they are feeling like geniuses these days.  When colleagues complain about their 401ks getting crushed, holding at even sounds great.  For now. However, if your retirement is not around the corner, earning less than 1% in a money market fund does not keep pace with inflation, currently at about 3.5%.   So even though your balance…
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Home is Where the Hearth Is

Finance
“Summer is here and the time is right for…..” house hunting. If you believe the hype, the real estate market is poised for a rebound, and even Vanilla Ice (look it up) is getting into the action.   So before you call your friendly real estate agent or mortgage banker, here are a few points to consider. To buy or to rent? This is a tough decision, but must be the first one you make.  A rule of thumb: consider buying if you plan to stay in the area for at least 5 years. If you are willing to crunch some numbers, there are various buy/rent calculators on the web that will help you with that decision. Credit score If you decide to buy, there are a few things to get…
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