Some personal finance answers
I contribute to money.stackexchange.com sometimes; the site doesn’t get a ton of traffic yet, sadly. Some of the stuff I’ve written over there is as good (or bad) as my blog posts over here, so I thought I’d link to some highlights.
- Where to start with personal finance: my take was, don’t start with investing. Reading questions on the site, you quickly see that “getting serious about my finances” means “learn about investing” in many people’s minds. But I argue that’s all wrong.
- How much should I save for retirement: I like rules of thumb rather than expecting to get a precise answer from a complex calculation. I’m not a fan of “retirement calculators,” for example those that your mutual fund company may offer.
- A first post and a second post about the trouble with investing in precious metals.
- Here are some ideas on what you could do instead of investing in precious metals, and a guess at the lowest-risk investment you might make (“risk” = long term loss, not volatility).
- Bonds and why you’d want them in your portfolio – why not go with all-stocks? When do bonds lose money?
- When is debt a good thing? I pay off my mortgage as slowly as possible, here’s why.
- How should you benchmark an investment – time vs. dollar weighting, and a caveat that maybe a market benchmark isn’t the right comparison.
- Why term life insurance is better — there’s a big-picture obvious answer: you can’t afford a large enough benefit if you’re buying whole life.
It’s not a bad Q&A site on personal finance, if you browse around. Though it needs more people asking and answering.