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If you can learn from the mistakes of others, now is a great time to be an investor.
Question: I’m inexperienced when it comes to investing, but I want to build a more secure financial future. What tips or suggestions do you have for a young investor like me? —Caleb Bond, Denver
Answer: It’s a great [...]
Nathan and Stacey Zee have always been good with money. Diligent savers since their early twenties, the young Arlington, Va. couple used to hold monthly budget meetings - just the two of them - to review their spending and investments.
Will I ever be able to retire now? That's a question you're likely asking yourself these days. After a year in which your 401(k) has been hammered by the biggest stock losses since the Great Depression, your home equity has been whacked by the collapse of the real estate market and the specter of being laid off looms larger every day, no one can blame you for being skeptical.
You can always make a case to regularly retool your account - and this year, it’s especially important.
Normally I rebalance my 401(k) at the end of the year. But considering the losses I have in my account, do you think I would be better off waiting for the market to stabilize before rebalancing? - Samuel [...]
Question: I'm 25 and currently contribute 8% of my salary to my 401(k) since that percentage assures I get the full employer match. But since stocks are so cheap right now, I'm considering bumping up my contribution for a few months. I won't miss the extra amount coming out of my paycheck, so do you think I should go through with this plan? --Mike, Houston, Texas
Your estate plan is in place. Or is it? Not if you have out-of-date beneficiaries on your financial accounts. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a woman suing her late father's pension plan for money she believes should be paid to her, not her mother - who was still listed as the sole beneficiary even though she forfeited rights to his pension in their divorce. Know these things to avoid a similar mess.
Question: I'm trying to decide whether to participate in my company's 401(k) plan. I'd like to start contributing to it, but given what's going on in the markets and economy, I'm afraid this is just not the right time. Or is it? --Rudy H., Pearland, TX
In a world turned upside down, you must re-examine some basic assumptions. A good place to start: understanding the true nature of risk.
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