Recent Posts

Pefin Review: Your Personal AI Financial Planner

As I am starting business school in the fall, I have been wondering for months whether my financial situation is in a solid position for taking on a bunch of debt. My gut response is "yes," but I wanted to back that up with real data...a mathematical/graphical overview of my financial situation.  A few months ago, I started googling for online financial planners, but the only one I could find was LearnVest and the reviews didn't sound too promising. I wanted a site that would allow me to enter my current salary/investments and future expenses by date (grad school, wedding, kids, etc) [...]

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How to Cut the Cable Cord and Watch Live TV for Free Online

When was the last time you watched all of the channels you are paying for with your cable bill? I can't remember a time I've even watched 10% of my available channels. Each month you get that cable bill and wonder why you are paying $50, $100, and on average $123 per month! The cable companies have a monopoly and consumers have no place to go. To top it all off, cable companies rank as having the worst customer service across all industries, second only to government offices! So what can you do about it? With the advent of the internet, many [...]

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Best Gas Rewards Card: PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards – 5% Cash Back

I've had this credit card for well over a year now and it is by far the best rewards card for gas that I have in my wallet.  This card earns a whopping 5% cash back that is automatically applied to your account as statement credit; no need to buy gift cards or anything. In order to avoid the annual fee and earn the full 5% cash back, you need another PenFed "qualifying" account. I just set up a savings account in which I automatically deposit $35 a week so that it covers my monthly gas expenditures. Standard* Plus** Gas Purchases [...]

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A Young Professional’s Guide to Financial Planning

As a young professional myself, I know firsthand the struggles many young professionals have when dealing with their finances. When we graduate college and start making “real money” for the first time in our lives it’s hard for us to listen to our parents and colleagues saying “save, save, save.” We have student loans, rent, and cash in our pockets that tempts us to buy a new set of golf clubs or that Coach handbag we’ve been looking at all week. That’s why I started Appalachian Capital Group, LLC after graduating from Virginia Tech. As an investment manager and financial [...]

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5 Easy Ways to Save Money

Eat out less - Eating out can cost a lot. If you eat in you won't have to pay for gas to get to the restaurant or pay a tip. In terms of actual food cost, it's just cheaper overall. Work out and eat better - The healthier you are, the more energy you will have and the better you will perform at your job. It will also improve your personal life (not to mention your sex life). Being healthy can also save you money on life insurance and individual health insurance. Improve your credit score - Pay your bills [...]

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Thanks Bill White! Can’t Wait to Dig Into Your New Book: America’s Fiscal Constitution

We reached out to Bill White, the former mayor of Houston and Deputy Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1995, for his new book America's Fiscal Constitution: Its Triumph and Collapse. He responded by sending us signed copies of his book. Thanks, Bill! We look forward to reading the book and learning more about common budget myths and the history of America's debt. To check out more, click here.                      

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Free and Discounted eBooks: How to Find Them

There are thousands of free or deeply discounted eBooks out there for the taking. But how do you find them?  One way is to subscribe to an eBook deal alert service that uncovers the bargains -- many of them available for just a short time --  and then shares that information with you through daily emails. Some services will limit those alerts  to the genres that you choose. And,  yes, that could include best sellers. One of the best known of these eBook services is BookBub, which last year alerted its more than one million subscribers that Dan Brown’s "The Da [...]

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An Alternative Portfolio Strategy: The Yale Endowment Model

2013 was a phenomenal year for the stock market.  Nothing seemed to derail the rapid ascent of the market-- not even a government shutdown or a near default on U.S. debt.  Major indexes in the United States posted solid double digits gains, with the S&P advancing 29.6% and the Dow increasing 26.5% (source: www.yahoo.com/finance).  While many investors have benefited from the recent bull market, the truth is that this rate of growth cannot continue forever.  At some point, stocks are bound to return to some long-term equilibrium growth rate, often via a correction, or pullback (note: this does not necessarily [...]

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Stock Market Correction Is Over, For Now.

The S&P 500 had a terrible first month of the year, but it bumped back all the way to near record highs. Going forward we have a slew of economic indicators, especially next week. On Tuesday we have the Empire State Mfg Survey and the Housing Market Index. On Wednesday we have Housing Starts, the Producer Price Index, and the FOMC minutes. Thursday we have the Consumer Price Index, Jobless Claims, the PMI Manufacturing Index Flash, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, and the Philly Fed Survey. Lastly, on Friday we have Existing Home Sales. To see a calendar of these [...]

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Financial Markets Today: How You Can Reduce Risk

In my post, "How I made $12,000 and paid off my student debt by investing", I outlined how I traded options to make a significant monetary gain in 3 weeks. I took my gains out of the market and put it towards paying down my student debt. The entire experience gave me a tremendous amount of confidence. I had picked 6/7 stocks correctly -- not to mention at seemingly perfect times -- and it felt really good. It also felt good knowing I had paid down my student debt. But what now? How Do You Invest When All Of Your [...]

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“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

Warren Buffet