Average Joe’s Money Blog
-Our resident bloggers, AverageJoe and OG, writes what informative and interesting posts at least three days a week.
Monday through Thursday – They bring financial planning news, strategies and tips.
On Fridays Joe shares his choice for the Blog Post of the Week!, where he crowns a blog writer as the winner in his soon-to-be-esteemed competition.
It’s been about eight years since I graduated college. I was 22 at the time and excited to start my career. I started off working as a mortgage banker at a local Chicago bank getting paid a small monthly draw and commission. I know what most of you are thinking. Why would you go straight for commission based job right out of college? The short answer is that real estate has always been my passion. Luckily in college, I was able to save up a little money doing affiliate marketing with online gaming sites. I had very little debt and was living...read more
I recently discovered a the UK stock Playtech, so I looked it up at BigCharts.com (link). Imagine my surprise when I saw this: Wow! So, is this a good company? Well, there are some issues I need to look at, especially since I’m in the US and this company is in the UK. First, I discussed in a post today over at Stacking Benjamins the importance of evaluating the macro conditions that exist around a stock….like the economy and how the sector’s performing as a group. Besides that, I also need to dig into the numbers and...read more
Whether you’re to looking to increase the value of your home for resale or switch things up to give it a fresh new look, your tax refund check provides the opportunity to do so. And no, an extreme overhaul, like the ones you see on HGTV, isn’t required. Here are some cost-efficient ideas: Paved Driveway Tired of saturating your vehicle in dirt each time you leave or return to your home? How about the rocky ride along the way? A paved driveway, comprised of asphalt or concrete, is the perfect solution. You’ll no longer have to step into grass...read more
If you’re familiar with the basics of investing, then I’m sure you’ve heard of terms like “mutual funds” and “ETFs.” In a recent Yahoo! Finance article, robe-advisor firm Wealthfront challenges the status-quo by saying that their direct investing approach will beat ETFs at their own game. Really? So will this happen? Let’s take a look. In case you aren’t too familiar with the concept or you just need to shake off the rust, diversifying your investments is a central idea to finance. Mutual funds and exchange traded funds (known as ETFs), hold...read more
Podcast: Play in new window | Download Today we kick guests out and focus on YOU. We’re getting woefully behind on your letters, so it’s time we caught up. The Evil HR Lady is here, talking success in the workplace. Enjoy! Full show notes are here. (link takes you to Stacking Benjamins) Thanks to MagnifyMoney.com for sponsoring our...read more
The 2008 recession did a number on the housing market. So many people were behind on their mortgage payments while others lost their homes entirely, and to top it all off, the unemployment rate was sky high. But amid the rubble, there’s a silver lining: Interest rates are lower than ever. Because of the circumstances surrounding the crash, the Federal Reserve System started buying mortgage-backed securities in 2008, which drove down the interest rates homeowners were paying. While those purchases have since ceased, the Federal Open Market...read more
Podcast: Play in new window | Download On the Stacking Benjamins podcast today: Paul Sullivan (New York Times columnist and bestselling author) shares stories about people who can’t save on $2M incomes….what’s the difference between rich and wealthy? He shares inspiring AND train wreck stories. Link to SHOW NOTES at Stacking Benjamins....read more
Do you tend to cringe at tax time when the exorbitant liability or measly refund amount is revealed? Chances are your return is missing some tax deductions or credits you’re entitled to. However, determining your eligibility is easier said than done, particularly if you aren’t well acclimated with tax law. But don’t fret. Here are some commonly overlooked opportunities that will open the door to tax breaks and possibly more money in your pocket: 1. Education Expenses Are you, your spouse or qualifying dependents enrolled in an institution...read more
You may be young, but it’s never too early to prepare for retirement. According to a study via the National Retirement Risk Index (NRRI) and the Retirement readiness Rating, 43% to 52% of Americans are not going to live their retirement years in the standard they’d hoped, according to their current living standards? So what’s the best way to be prepared for the life you want to lead when you retire? Start planning now. Check out the following five tips to do so. 1. Contribute to an IRA or Your Employers 401(k) So...read more
Podcast: Play in new window | Download Lydia Frank from PayScale.com joins us to talk about their new college ROI survey. College is an expensive investment. You might have to go into debt to graduate. Doesn’t it make sense to find out first whether that degree is worth it? If you aren’t worried at all about college, don’t worry….we’ve got stuff for you, too. PK is here discussing politics and investing. What’s the lesson we can learn from Chicago elections? You’ll find out. Joe & OG not only talk...read more