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Will Generation Y Live The American Dream Of Buying A New Home?

Since the real estate meltdown happened in the 2007/2008 time frame, many families across America have seen their home prices plummet far from the original purchase price they paid, even with home improvements.  Others that bought properties in the mid to late 90’s saw a spectacular run of home price growth only to see many of those gains wiped away over the past four years.   With much of the home ownership across America dispersed between the baby boomers and generation X, there is a looming question around whether Generation Y will even want to own a home in the future.    Is this actually still an American Dream or merely something that has turned into a Nightmare On Elm Street?   Here are three reasons why Generation Y may not be a major purchaser of new homes over the next decade despite the incredibly low mortgage interest rates we are seeing today.  Heavy Student Debt – Many people in the 20’s are ...

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How Does Boredom Equal Making Money?

Have you ever heard that phrase, “you should try to be brilliant at being boring?”   With all of the technological advances in computers, hundreds of channels on the cable TV, and music any way that you want it, don’t you find more people quickly getting bored at what they do?    People surf the internet looking for that funny new You Tube video, only to be quickly bored and searching for their next two minutes of laughter.    Every night, loyal Facebook members log in to check out the days events looking for a quick picture of their friends, and then shut themselves down after reading 10 or 20 posts unless something really catches their attention.    With nothing to do, Twitter in its own right is simply a way for many to just idly throw their thoughts our there if they’ve got nothing better to do.     Does all of this instant excitement make it harder for people to go to work without ...

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How to Invest in Facebook With Less Risk (If You Still Want To)

By Ross Kenneth Urken (As Published On – www.dailyfinance.com) Even for expert stock pickers, it’s difficult to make a fully educated investment in the social media sphere. As Friday’s Facebook IPO — and its gory aftermath — proves, any theory one might have is ultimately little better than speculation. After all, the first few trading days following any IPO generally bring a lot of short-term plays with share values jumping up and down — and Facebook was no exception. It’s also difficult to predict — as Groupon likewise demonstrated this year — when a social media stock will tank. However, if you’re still looking to get in on the Facebook action, but want to mitigate your risks, the social media ETF from Global X Funds might be the right choice. A New Breed of ETF Much like a traditional mutual fund, an exchange-traded fund is an investment fund that offers a stake in a pool of investments — stocks, bonds, ...

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The Real Facebook Investing Story: How Advisers and Investors Are Using Social Media

By Ross Kenneth Urken (As Published On – www.dailyfinance.com) Investment adviser Mark Matson’s firm manages more than $3 billion for thousands of investors, and he’s a big believer in coaching those clients in the art of prudent financial planning. But the CEO of Matson Money isn’t doing the majority of that advising to people facing him across a mahogany desk or in a wainscoted boardroom at his Mason, Ohio, offices. He’s spreading his message on Facebook, Twitter and LiveStream. Matson is part of a growing trend, one that may make the age-old gripe that financial advisers aren’t responsive enough a thing of the past: High-net-worth investors are increasingly connecting with their money managers on social media. “Today’s investor is inundated with so many messages from Wall Street pundits and it’s most important for them to understand that prudent investing is rarely the message being offered,” Matson said. “That is why each week I employ social media to explain complex investing ...

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Are My Withholdings For Taxes Correct?

Since tax season has just passed, you are probably in one of two states of minds.   Either a) you love your CPA because you got a big refund, or b) you hate your CPA because you owed money.   It generally falls into one of those two camps when returns are filed.   Remember, if you get a tax refund that means you essentially gave an interest free loan to the Government.    Some people see this as an effective way to force savings during the year, but you really lose out on the opportunity cost of having these resources in your hands during the course of the year. As of April 27, the Internal Revenue Service had authorized more than 99.1 million refunds for the 2011 tax year—up about 1% a year earlier. It also represents more than three-fourths of all the individual income-tax returns processed by the IRS by that date. The total dollar amount of refunds this year was about ...

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Does Your 401(k) Offer An “In Service” Distribution?

For Generation X clients, the majority of their retirement savings are in the company 401(k).   While you do have a multitude of options of what you can do with your 401(k) if you leave your employer, often people feel like they are stuck if they stay with the same employer for a long period of time.  This is especially true with larger companies as most of those plans offer a limited number of investment choices and several target retirement funds.     I’m amazed that many people I sit down have never heard of whether their company offers an in service withdrawal or an in service distribution which can give them greater investment control of their 401(k) assets.    Since we have had two major market meltdowns over the past 12 years, 401(k)’s offer limited power to help you risk mitigate against a market crash.   This is why you need ask your employer today, do we offer an in service distribution? So, just ...

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Please Slap My Hand When I Spend Money!

For Generation X, I’ve noticed something over the past couple of years around money that seems to becoming a trend.    Even though you are college educated (maybe an MBA), have a great job as a VP of company, and have traveled to several countries around the globe, you’ve reverted to the behavior you had when you were in college.   The simple rule is this.  If there is money in your pocket, then it’s sure to catch fire sooner than later and burn a hole in your pocket.    It doesn’t matter if it is a new pair of boots you see in a magazine, a remodeling of your bathroom that could probably wait, or staying at the best hotels like a Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons.   Gen X’ers have seen a terrible recession over the past few years, but the trend is returning that spending money is a hard habit to break.   Gen X’ers have that Cyndi Lauper slang in ...

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5 Things You Won’t Hear At The College Graduation Commencement Speech

It’s been over 20 years since I heard my college graduation commencement speech.  I can’t say I remember very much of it except that it was like hearing some sort of State Of The Union speech.    So many kids will be graduating school soon and beginning their journey into Real Life 101.    You’ll be getting unsolicited advice soon from friends, family, professors, and then inevitably some final words of wisdom from a renowned speaker at your graduation.   Here are five things you won’t hear from speaker at your graduation, but you will hear it at Your Smart Money Moves. It’s Rough Getting To The Top – Most people coming out of school have some idea about what they want to do for a career.  Most dream of getting to the top and making six figures and more before the time they hit 25.   However, school and the commencement speaker at graduation hardly ever spend the time to tell you just ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X – You Just Turned 40: Last Time To Get Life Insurance?

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s.  However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude. In the last six months, I’ve seen both friends and family who are in the 40 to 45 year old range dealing with major medical issues.   I’m 42 and when people told me about 10 years ago the aches in my joints would be just a little bit worse . . . well I hate to admit but they were correct.    Recently, I had three different people I know who drove themselves down to the emergency room thinking that they might be having a stroke or heart attack.    I know three different people who were diagnosed with some ...

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