Should You Use a Mortgage Broker or a Bank Loan Officer?

Shopping for a mortgage can be intimidating. There are thousands of mortgage lenders and hundreds of ways lenders can tweak home loans to distort their real costs. You’re also facing the excitement of buying a new home and you may feel vulnerable as l … [Read more...]

The New Credit Card Rules and You

The CARD Act—a set of new regulations designed to limit credit card trickery—went into effect this week even though Congress proposed the act over a year ago. Since then, there’s been a lot of talk about what this all means for people like you and me. … [Read more...]

Should You Save First for Retirement or a Down Payment on a House?

Last week, a long-time reader e-mailed a superb question: If you must choose, should you save first for retirement or save for a down payment on your first home? Obviously, both are important. The younger you are when you start contributing to a … [Read more...]

Four Common Investing Mistakes

Savvy investors know that a single mistake can wipe out months—even years—of solid returns. And beginning investors often make their share of the same four common blunders. In fact, tactics for identifying and avoiding these investing missteps are amo … [Read more...]

Watch Out For The Alternative Minimum Tax

Picture this: You’ve just completed your tax return for the year. You’re stoked because you qualified for a ton of deductions this year, so you’re getting a huge refund. You are about to send of your tax return and sit back and wait for a hefty check … [Read more...]

The Secret to a Lower Credit Card APR

Do you have a credit card that raised your interest rate within the last year? You’re not alone. Credit card companies raised nearly everybody’s APRs because as of this month, the CARD Act prohibits them from doing so again without jumping through a l … [Read more...]

Itemized Deductions: A Beginner’s Guide

Have you ever wondered if you can itemize deductions on your tax return? Actually, have you ever wondered what, exactly, itemizing means? If so, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to teach you the basics of itemizing: What itemizing is, whe … [Read more...]

Economic Bubbles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and Why You Should Care

You don’t need a Ph.D. in economics to know that economic bubbles---and their ensuing POPS!---can take us all for a wild ride. Bubbles occur anytime asset prices appreciate unrealistically; and they happen more often than we think. In the United S … [Read more...]

Is Investing Gambling?

There is a thin line that differentiates investing and gambling. We might consider professional gamblers---poker players, for example---a breed of speculative investors. Of course, we might also call investment professionals who take wild risks … [Read more...]

When to Sell a Stock

To make a successful investment, you must know when to buy and when you should sell. The reality is that there are only a handful of companies worth holding onto for long periods of time—and there are very few investors who are perceptive enough to b … [Read more...]