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Old 09-21-2014, 08:56 PM   #1
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New to investing.Anyone have good tips to share?

What are some good secure investments to start into?I have a little money I'd like to put to good use.It would be nice to eventually replace my girlfriend's income by 2025.When we decide to become full time cruisers,we will rent out both my houses through a local company.With this and my SSI we will be about $1000 per month short.Any tips to make up this short fall?
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:04 PM   #2
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Giving specific investing advice is tough because everyone's risk tolerance is different.

You almost have to have enough aggressive investments to better the rate of inflation. Doesn't mean all your investments have to be in high-risk stuff, but enough of your investments should earn enough to counter the real loss of buying power in the future.

That said, a few good mutual funds or muni-bond funds are in order. Muni funds are tax free on federal taxes, and state if the bonds are invested in your state. Not the best return, but safe to a degree. Mutual funds of course are a bundle of companies and you buy a piece of the bundle. Most are diverse enough to be safer investments.
On the funds, watch for the expense ratio. The more they make, the less for you. Just saying.

Common stocks are a good choice to mix things up a tad and gives you the control over when gains are reaped. Pick good named companies that are stable and throw off decent dividends (provides current income) and it doesn't hurt if/when they go up in value. Probably for common stocks, the best bet is companies you know, companies you do business with, that type of thing. Blue chip, listed, well recognized companies that have a good track record.

You've got 10+ years, so there could be some decent returns and earnings over the years. One thing to understand is to not panic when the investments go down in value. And they will. The market fluctuates constantly, and some days you'll lose ground, others you gain ground. But historically you will gain value and earnings if you make good buying decisions and hold them in the down cycles.

For starters, buy into a mutual fund. As it grows, move some out to muni funds, and down the road if there are enough funds and you're comfortable, buy into common stocks. Shy away from public partnerships, futures trading (puts and calls), and things that you just don't understand or feel uncomfortable with.

I'd say to get with an investment advisor, but that's not necessary, it just gives you a sounding board for your ideas and someone that may calm fears when the investment goes down. To find one, talk to your friends, coworkers and family for specific recommendations and visit quite a few before turning over your hard earned money. If you're comfortable, feel free to use the on-line investment companies. Never used them myself, but I know lots of people that do and they're happy with how that works.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:12 PM   #3
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First, get and read "The Millionaire Next Door." I mean it. Do that first. Don't read anything on the link I'm going to provide until you have read that book all the way through.

Okay. Done? Good. Now step through the information here: Money Essentials - Financial Advice & Lessons Made Easy by CNNMoney.com

Bottom line is that your question is a disaster in the making. You don't want people to just tell you about "good" investments. You need to educate yourself so that you can pick out, for yourself, investments that are good for YOU.

Good luck.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:22 PM   #4
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First, get and read "The Millionaire Next Door." I mean it.

Excellent recommendation. That book changed my life many years ago coming out of a financial reversal. Have never looked at money the same way since.
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:30 PM   #5
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Excellent recommendation. That book changed my life many years ago coming out of a financial reversal. Have never looked at money the same way since.
It is a great book BUT, it is more or less a survey of behavioral characteristics of those who became millionaires and it does not tell you how to invest the money one accumulates. It does tell you how not to spend your money.

I am a great fan of Warren Buffett in specific and value investing in general. If you get the bug to invest in momentum stocks (momo's), just remember the road is littered with the likes of Polaroid, Xerox, Kodak and a long line of other once household names of high flyers. Some of the big names today will be gone tomorrow. If you find ETFs or Mutual Funds are of interest, again keep in mind these financial instruments are offered to generate fees for their management companies and the fees can be quite significant. My suggestion is a buy and hold strategy using a diversified portfolio of blue chip dividends payers that increase their dividends yearly.

Kind of got the fear the next Bernie Madoff is looking for folks like you. THEY ARE OUT THERE.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:12 PM   #6
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It does tell you how not to spend your money.

Exactly, and that's the part my generation(forty something's) and younger sorely lacks.

True story. My brother has a mid six figure income and no assets, not even a car. How can that happen?

Wife and I make significantly less but can survive for over a year with zero income or real change in lifestyle. That only happens by preserving your greatest asset, your income, and putting your money to work for you.

Before reading that book I thought I had a good grasp on our spending. That book and Dave Ramsey money management principals changed not only our lives but our children's too over the last 10 years and the secret is it's all just common sense.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:46 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the advice and info.So far we are putting most of our disposable income into paying off debt as fast as possible,so we can free up money for saving and investing.I have a few very small sources of income that fluctuate.It helps pay for less expensive hobbies,so our main income is being used to it's fullest.By this time next year we will recoup and have almost all of our income back in our pockets.We have no auto or house payments.My health problems kind of put us out for a while and we took a serious financial hit.I look forward to next year and becoming debt free,again.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:31 PM   #8
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:09 AM   #9
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It is a great book BUT, it is more or less a survey of behavioral characteristics of those who became millionaires and it does not tell you how to invest the money one accumulates.
Exactly. That's the point. No offense to the OP, but just asking a bunch of people on a public internet forum what is a "good" investment is a recipe for disaster. He needs to educate himself so that he can make his OWN choices. This book is, in my opinion, the best first step in that education.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:09 AM   #10
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Buy low, sell high.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:47 AM   #11
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In the event that you experience trouble meeting your 2025 goal, get a new girl friend with lower income.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:12 PM   #12
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Get a good broker with a large firm you trust. Tell the broker what you want (growth, income, security etc.) and monitor your portfolio. Doing your own investing requires time, software, expertise and research that will keep you too busy to sail. There is a big tradeoff between security and growth and it takes a lot of willpower to balance them. And remember the "get rich slow" plan almost always works. Get rich quick plans not so much.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:24 PM   #13
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Get a good broker with a large firm you trust.
Paying brokerage fees is a good way to set yourself up to underperform the market.

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And remember the "get rich slow" plan almost always works. Get rich quick plans not so much.
Now that is good advice.
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:21 PM   #14
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BTW, take the advice from financial guru's re: paying down all debt right away with a grain of salt. Not all debt is bad. I've got solid dividend stocks that pay close to 5% with steady increases, so it makes no sense to make anymore than the mininum payments on my wife's student loans at 1.25% fixed. We looked at all our debt and decided what makes sense to retire (which we have done) and what makes sense to keep while putting extra money into savings. Our mortgage is so low and being tax deductible that it makes no sense to pay it down now. I'd rather invest the difference and then pay it off down the road when we are ready to retire. when looking at yields - both investment and debt - don't forget to factor in taxes. Home mortgage is deductible at our top tax rate, while we are only taxed 15% on our dividend income.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:16 PM   #15
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Exactly. That's the point. No offense to the OP, but just asking a bunch of people on a public internet forum what is a "good" investment is a recipe for disaster. He needs to educate himself so that he can make his OWN choices. This book is, in my opinion, the best first step in that education.
No offense taken.I'm so new to considering investing that a better title would be,"Where do I start edumakating myself about investing?"


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Buy low, sell high.
Always,at least I try.

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In the event that you experience trouble meeting your 2025 goal, get a new girl friend with lower income.
Why lower income?I been in this relationship for 13 years and we have an extremely smart 11 year old.Plus she takes care of me.If this relationship comes to an end,I'm going for a sugar mama.

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Get a good broker with a large firm you trust. Tell the broker what you want (growth, income, security etc.) and monitor your portfolio. Doing your own investing requires time, software, expertise and research that will keep you too busy to sail. There is a big tradeoff between security and growth and it takes a lot of willpower to balance them. And remember the "get rich slow" plan almost always works. Get rich quick plans not so much.

Trust a company or someone with my money is to hard for me to do.


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BTW, take the advice from financial guru's re: paying down all debt right away with a grain of salt. Not all debt is bad. I've got solid dividend stocks that pay close to 5% with steady increases, so it makes no sense to make anymore than the mininum payments on my wife's student loans at 1.25% fixed. We looked at all our debt and decided what makes sense to retire (which we have done) and what makes sense to keep while putting extra money into savings. Our mortgage is so low and being tax deductible that it makes no sense to pay it down now. I'd rather invest the difference and then pay it off down the road when we are ready to retire. when looking at yields - both investment and debt - don't forget to factor in taxes. Home mortgage is deductible at our top tax rate, while we are only taxed 15% on our dividend income.
Luckily we have no student loads,mortgages,or auto loans.Most of our debit is credit card and medical from where I was forced to quit work.We are currently paying off all of our debit.My plan is to pay bills with the CCs and they payoff the balance when it comes due.I did this for 2 years and got a substantial credit increase on one of my CC and my credit rating went up.That's another thing I am looking to improve on,is my credit rating.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:15 AM   #16
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BTW, take the advice from financial guru's re: paying down all debt right away with a grain of salt.
Anyone who gives you that advice is no "financial guru," no matter what they may call themselves. As you pointed out, not all debt is bad. Every TRUE financial guru that I've ever heard of, or spoken to, understands that.
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Old 09-24-2014, 03:17 PM   #17
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1. Don't buy what you can't pay for by the end of the month. Use your CC, but pay the full balance by the payment due date. Pay ZERO consumer interest and ZERO late fees. Your credit rating will take care of itself.

2. Don't listen to strangers for specific 'buy' recommendations. Research on your own and seek counsel and recommendations from trusted friends and family who have done well.

3. As mentioned above, when paying off debt, start with the highest interest loans with the least write-off value. It might be better to keep a 5% home loan that is a tax write-off and pay off the 3% college loan.

4. Pay close attention to the fees associated with investments. Many brokers gloss over this when presenting selling their products. Some brokerages charge very high fees for minimal work. Some Mutual Fund companies charge much lower administrative fees than others, (i.e. Vanguard).

5. Don't chase get-rich-quick schemes. They often just make the seller 'rich quick'. Slow and steady often wins the race.

6. Diversify your investments. If you don't know where to invest, consider some Asset Allocation mutual funds which diversify your investments according to your risk tolerance. One's risk tolerance shifts over time. Modify your holdings to meet your current risk tolerance.

7. Everyone's different, but what worked for me was to set personal short-, mid- and long-term goals for financial independence. These were recorded and I closely monitored my investments through the years, regularly printing reports for myself. This kept my head in the game, so to speak.

8. Don't try to time the market. 50% of the time, you'll probably be wrong. Having said that, my long term goal was to retire at 55...I retired at 54 - the day before my 55th birthday. Part of the reason for my meeting that goal was pulling out of the market at the start of the crash in 2007-2008. As I was approaching retirement, my risk tolerance dropped and I was too exposed with my current investments. (see 6 above) As Kenny Rogers says, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em."

9. Don't loan money that you can't do without...especially to family.

10. Don't buy what you can't pay for by the end of the month. (yes it's important enough to be repeated.)
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:32 PM   #18
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FlyWright,I am doing a lot of what you mention and researching a lot of the other.



Lets see if I can make $2,000 into $20,000 in a decade.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:12 PM   #19
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  • Invest for the long term
  • dollar average
  • compound interest is good as long as you are not paying it
  • The time value of money will play in your favor
  • buy quality and don't churn your account

Edit: I almost forgot. Rebalance your investments periodically. Here I didn't follow my advice in the 90s. Tech stocks were doing so well, I let it ride. We all know how that came out. I knew I should, but just didn't. So, discipline is important.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:51 PM   #20
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Yep.Tech took a header in the 90's.I was watching that and was glad I didn't get in.I was being pushed in that direction.I think it maybe what scared me away from starting investing at the time.
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