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Cryptocurrency has been shaking up the financial sector for a few years now. Is it a right choice for retirement planning?

Is Bitcoin a Good Investment for Retirement?

Cryptocurrency has been shaking up the financial sector for a few years now, far longer than most analysts predicted after the Bitcoin crash in 2011 which saw the pioneer cryptocurrency take a 93% drop. However, despite some teething issues, including a drop in value of over 80% over the course of 2018, Bitcoin is still going strong with experts in cryptocurrency even going so far as to refer to the cryptocurrency as the “greatest investment opportunity of our generation”. While we cannot say for sure that that is true, we can make an educated guess as to the future of cryptocurrency, and so far, the news is good.

However, before a person goes out and invests in Bitcoin for their retirement, there are some things they will need to know in order to decide if it is the right investment for them. Read more

The Best Mobile Apps for Freelancers

Freelance workers earned $1 trillion, almost 4.8% of US GDP, during 2019, and the freelancer market has grown to 57 million workers, representing around 35% of the US workforce.

 

If you are considering joining the growing pool of people who are starting their own freelance business, then there is a massive range of digital tools out there to help you get started or help your business to flourish.

 

One of the more significant benefits of a modern smartphone is that, with the correct apps, it can be as useful in running your business as any laptop or desktop computer. The latest generation of smartphones has a vast amount of storage and processing power.

 

The same technology that allows you to quickly switch from playing full-length movies in HD to a lightning-fast game of KO-Poker, to playing a mobile version of your favorite AAA console title, can also be turned to business uses. The right set of apps for your phone can help you organize your business, get new customers, promote your services, and take care of your taxes, all without needing to be tied in to one place.

 

In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best apps for an aspiring freelance entrepreneur.

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Making money takes money. When you're broke, that's difficult to do. Here are some tips on how to invest with a handful of cash.

Investment Tips for When You’re Broke

You need to make money to spend money — that’s the first rule of wealth management. Unfortunately, the second rule is that you need to spend money to make money, which makes accruing wealth quite a bit more difficult when you are flat-out broke.

Fortunately, there are some ways to take advantage of the lucrative gains available through investments even if you don’t have much money to spare. Here are some ways to start investing with just a handful of dollar bills every month. Read more

Commodities are an asset class with rise in popularity.Here are some important things you need to know if you want to invest in commodities.

Should You Invest in Commodities?

Commodities are an asset class that is growing in importance in recent years. Some of the major commodities like gold, oil, coffee, cocoa, or rice are traded in large quantities, and their prices are subject to significant volatility. In times of pandemic, it is wise to think again about starting to trade commodities. If you are looking for an answer to a question, ‘’should you invest in commodities’’, generally, you shouldn’t invest in something you don’t completely understand, not even in the commodity market. So, here we will briefly explain what a commodity market is and how to invest in it.

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Not everyone can easily make room in their household budget for intensive retirement savings. Check out these tips to make retirement happen.

How to Save for Retirement When You Can’t Afford To

Because Social Security benefits are not enough to provide a comfortable life, especially for seniors with significant health concerns, failing to build robust retirement savings ultimately means that retirement is all but impossible. Rising numbers of Americans over 65 looking for work demonstrate that doing the bare minimum to prepare for retirement does not a successful retirement plan make.

However, not everyone can easily make room in their household budget for intensive retirement savings. If you are barely able to pay rent and utilities, how are you supposed to save money for an uncertain future? Read more

Often business leaders fail to recognise the importance of implementing effective business strategies. Take a look at how to improve your strategy.

What Is Corporate Strategy?

All too often, business leaders fail to recognise the importance of implementing effective business strategies to keep companies relevant and successful. Plans are drawn up, presented at meetings, then quickly forgotten.

Unexecuted strategic planning is a not only a waste of time and money, but also a wasted opportunity. Rather than following a carefully plotted course step-by-step, companies often employ pet projects and whimsical initiatives, pulling the company in multiple directions, rather than creating cohesion and keeping the business moving forward as one.

Strategists and business leaders must work together to ensure strategic planning remains relevant. This article explores five key aspects of strategic planning that are integral to corporate success. Read more

Top 7 Stock Market Investment Basics for Beginners

The stock market forms one of the traditional investment sectors for millions of investors around the world. Every investor wants to have some stocks in his investment portfolio as they are good at generating short-term returns in terms of dividends, and they may create huge wealth when kept for the long-term. The only problem is that technical and financial know-how is needed for people who want to make it. Read more

Why a UTMA Account is an Awesome Way to Help Kids Save

When it comes to helping kids save money, there are just so many different options. Of course, you could go with the traditional savings account. However, those generally don’t keep up with the rate of inflation, so they will actually be losing money. There are also money market accounts and CD’s, which can be some other better options. And if your child has any earned wages, then you can open up a custodial Roth IRA for them. Roth IRA’s can earn the highest market returns of an average 8%. But, if they don’t have any earned income, you can’t use those types of accounts. This is where a UTMA account comes into play instead.

What is a utma account?

A UTMA account is a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act account. This is a custodial account that is for taxable investing. Which is slightly different than a Roth IRA account, in that anything your child withdraws from the account in the future will be taxed.

We opened all of UTMA accounts at Fidelity, since they are one of the few that have custodial accounts. Initially, we planned to open all of the Roth IRA’s and UTMA’s with Betterment, since that is where our Roth IRA’s are. But, we found out that they don’t support custodial accounts yet, so that wasn’t an option.

Since I had an old 401k with Fidelity, it just made the most sense to stick with them. Plus, their customer service is amazingly helpful. So, if you decide to open either a Roth IRA or a UTMA for your child, you can call them and they will walk you through the whole process.

HOw can it be funded?

UTMA accounts can be funded through any account you care to connect to it. They don’t have the restrictions that Roth IRA’s do when it comes to the funding or where it comes from. What this means is that you can attach any account with EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) capability to each UTMA. Most banks won’t open anything other than a savings account for younger children, which don’t have EFT functionality, though. So, if you have younger children, you will probably have to fund their UTMA accounts with your own checking account.

Initially, we found out that some of the kids had savings bonds purchased for them when they were first born. Instead of just letting them sit there earning very little interest, we decided to cash them out and put the money into their UTMA accounts instead.

However, you can put money into these accounts at any time for any reason. So it wouldn’t just have to be from old savings bonds.

We also found that some grandparents like to give money for birthdays and holidays. Or they send us a check to get their gifts and we don’t spend all of it. So we have started putting that “extra” money into their UTMA accounts also. This way it will really help the kids in the future because they don’t even realize the money is there. And, they aren’t just getting more toys for us to break our toes on. Bonus for us!

With that being said, here are some ways you can think about funding your children’s UTMA accounts:

  • Old savings bonds
  • Extra birthday money
  • Allowance money
  • Side hustle money (kid’s lemonade stand, yard work, etc.)
  • Money for good grades
  • Gifts (just because)

teaching about investing

One of my favorite things about these accounts, besides how easy they are to fund, is that it helps us teach them about investing. Even the youngest one, at the ripe old age of 8, has found this to be a lot of fun.

Once you put money into the UTMA account, it just sits there in a money market earning basically nothing until you choose your investments. The kids can invest in mutual funds, individual stocks or ETF’s.

Teaching them the difference between the three is just the beginning of the lesson. Once they grasp the different types of accounts, then I let them find companies they are interested in. I had to explain what publicly traded meant a few times, but once they got that concept, they were on a roll.

After they wrote down a list of everything they were interested in, then came the extra fun part for me. I like for the child to see how certain assets are performing before they decide whether to pull the trigger or not. There are many different places to look up ticker symbols to find out how they are performing.

Marketwatch is a good one to start with because it is very in depth. But, if you can’t remember where to go, you can always just type in the ticker symbol in the Google search box and the first thing it usually pulls up is how the stock is performing.

I like to make sure the kids see how an asset has been performing for the past 6 months, 1 year and 5 years. A lot of times this has changed their mind about purchasing a certain fund because they don’t like how it has been performing.

I answer all of their questions to the best of my ability, but I don’t want to choose for them. This is a huge learning experience for them while they are young, so I don’t want to push them one way or another. After all, if they lose money on their choices right now, it won’t really hurt them financially in the future. So this a great time to get their feet wet.

utma account summary

Overall, opening up a UTMA account for your child is a great way to help save for their future. While these accounts are a bit different than Roth IRA accounts, they operate fairly similarly with rate of returns. These accounts have the potential to net your children some great interest on money they aren’t spending while they are young. Which means they have the opportunity to create a decent sized nest egg before they leave your nest.

Plus, you get to teach them about investing and the stock market. Which is a great lesson to learn while they are young. I know I wish my parents would have taught me more about it when I was younger, because I would have been a much savvier investor in my early twenties. But, you can’t change the past, only the future. And that is exactly what we are trying to do with our children by opening up UTMA accounts for them now.

Have you heard of a UTMA account or opened one up? If so, what has been your experience with them so far?