Thursday, April 30, 2009

12 Step Program for Personal Finance

This is a very creative infographic from BillShrink. It basically talks about how one can take control and ownership of ones finances to get back on the track the financial freedom. The basic principles of taking ownership, watching your spending habits and reducing unnecessary spending are the key points of this. Check it out; done in an interesting way.


Step 1:
We have admitted we are powerless over the economic downturn – that our financial lives have become more difficult to manage.

Step 2:
We have come to realize that we are in control of our own financial future.

Step 3:
We have made a decision to turn our financial lives around.

Step 4:
We have made a searching and fearless inventory of our personal budgets.

Step 5:
We have admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our financial irresponsibility.

Step 6:
We are entirely ready to remove all these extraneous expenditures from our budgets.

Step 7:
We have sought to remove each of our financial shortcomings.

Step 8:
Made a list of all unnecessary expenditures, and became willing to make difficult changes to reduce them all.

Step 9:
We have made direct amendments to our spending wherever possible, except when to do so would compromise the wellbeing of our families or ourselves.

Step 10:
We continue to take personal financial inventory and when we identify unnecessary spending, we promptly eliminate it.

Step 11:
We have sought through meditation to improve our conscious contact with our inner-spender, seeking the power to carry out the actions necessary to cut our expenditures.

Step 12:
Having had a financial awakening as the result of these steps, we will try to carry this message to other over-spenders, and to practice these principles of fiscal prudence in all our affairs.

Go to BillShrink for full graphic>>>

What is a FICO Score?

Ever wanted to know how your credit score is derived?

The FICO score is by far the most commonly used credit score by lenders. It was developed by Fair Isaac & Co., and is available to consumers at Fair Isaac's consumer Web site, myFico, as well as Equifax, one of the three credit bureaus.

Read more here >>>

Monday, April 13, 2009

Submit or Vote on Personal Finance Questions

I have decided to take questions or comments from the community about personal finance, money management or investing. Please use the link below and submit of vote on questions you would like answers to in my upcoming posts. I look forward to hearing from you.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Roth or Traditional IRA


  • Your contributions are not tax deductible and are made with "after tax" dollars.
  • Your earnings grow tax free. Money you withdraw is not taxed if your Roth IRA is open for at least five tax years and you are past the age of 59 ½.
  • Your contributions can be withdrawn at any time without penalty.
  • Qualified distributions are tax and penalty-free.
  • No mandatory distribution age.
  • Funds can be used to purchase various investments (Stocks, bonds, CDs, ETFs, etc).
  • Available only to single-filers making up to $101,000, or married couples making a combined maximum of $159,000 annually.


  • Your contributions may be tax-deductible.
  • Your earnings are tax deferred. Your IRA savings will grow tax free until you withdraw this money after you reach the age of 59 ½.
  • Withdrawals begin at age 59 ½ and are mandatory by 70 ½.
  • Early withdrawals will be taxed and subject to a 10% penalty, unless under qualified circumstances.
  • You can no longer contribute once you reach 70 ½.
  • Funds can be used to purchase various investments (Stocks, bonds, CDs, ETFs, etc).
  • Available to everyone; no income restrictions.

It is never too early to start contributing to an Roth IRA account. This is my second year of maxing it out and it is performing great. Best time to start is in a depressed market like this one. Much more upside in the future than downside; that’s if you believe this is not the end of the world. :)

Please leave any comments. What are your thoughts on the Roth or Traditional? Who are better suited to each type? Let’s help each other out so that we all can aim for our own understanding of Financial Independence.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

ETF - What is it?

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) is considered to be one of the most innovative products of recent times. These funds, unlike mutual funds, trade in the stock market and offer retail investors a simple way to invest in otherwise complex investments.

At the most basic level, ETFs are just what their name implies: baskets of securities that are traded, like individual stocks, on an exchange (all available offerings currently trade on the American Stock Exchange).

Read more about them at these two sites.>>>