One of the pillars of my investment portfolio is energy. Nothing is certain, but its hard to imagine any change in the course of our unstable economy that isn’t going to continue to demand energy.
Apart from gold and silver, and some land, energy is about the only place I feel any semblance of security at all. Gold and silver are a hedge against inevitable inflation, and a good bet on the future panic out of the dollar. But since I don’t know how long that will take I’m not one to keep all my eggs in one basket.
The dangers of cooking with vegetable oil are slowly finding their way into the mainstream. We use olive oil for dressings and marinades, but coconut oil is the staple cooking oil in our kitchen (when we’re not using butter).
Contrary to what most believe, the flavor is extremely mild and will complement any recipe. It does, however, have a very pleasant, tropical aroma and provides the added benefit of transporting your culinary adventure to a warm, sandy island paradise… in your mind.
Olga and I were at Costco the other day when a box of Q-tips came at us so fast we were stopped dead in our tracks, like deer in the headlights. Okay, it was actually three boxes, but let me explain how this ear-cleaner’s dream became a calculated failure.
We had them on our shopping list. As we rounded the corner, the mountainous display of swabby goodness stood proudly. The angel choir sang, holding the billboard-sized discount sign on high. We knew our quest was over, and then, we froze…
My wife and I have been trying to decide if we should open Roth IRAs this year. The benefit of a “Roth” is that earnings grow tax free. It is a strong incentive, but I’ll explain why we decided against it for now.
Worldwide, governments are sitting on massive debts and grappling for ever-increasing market oversight, and people are starting to reach the limits of how much they are willing to be lied to, stolen from, and beaten down. All the while, we are in the midst of the greatest technological revolution since the printing press set off the Renaissance.
I love my car. It gives me the ability to do things I used to do by feet, bike, or bus much quicker, along with a lot of things I had to rent a car for. But let’s call it like it is: a car is a money hole. If we want to be wealthy some day, we’d better be get our car-buying mindset in shape. Let’s look at why you should pay cash for a car and five classes of cars you can afford depending on your situation.
There are two tried and true ways to stay poor: buying things you can’t afford, and taking on debt for consumer goods. Most people buy cars they can’t afford and pay for them on credit.
Homemade food has the double benefit of being healthier and cheaper than prepared food. Homemade salad dressing is one of the easiest skills to add to your repertoire.
At its basic level, a salad dressing is an oil emulsified into an acid. Simply put, by mixing the oil vigorously into the acid, it is suspended into a creamy mixture. Emulsifying takes a little finesse, but is not hard to master. The video below shows you the basic skill emulsifying and then I’ll cover the basic recipe and variations we use regularly at home:
Whether your financial goal is the peace-of-mind of being secure, being able to live the “good life,” or going all in to become financially independent, the one unshakeable financial pillar to master is to become a saver.
It isn’t rocket science. Dave Ramsey likes to say personal finance is only 20 percent head knowledge and 80 percent behavior. To get over the mental hurdle, sometimes it helps to strip down a concept to its bare, honest essentials. So here are my six simple steps to saving:
It may come as a surprise that we maintain a couple thousand dollars worth of rotating debt every month. We also bought our wedding rings last year on a line of credit. Before you throw me to the hypocrite-eating wolves, rest assured that we always have enough cash in the bank to pay off any debt, and we never pay a dime in interest. So I would like to lay out some thoughts on the question: Can debt be good?
There are two types of debt: productive debt, and consumer debt. Productive debt is from borrowing for goods, equipment, or services that will create new wealth to pay for the debt (and hopefully generate some excess return). This is the essence of capitalism. Without capital saved and employed for future gains, mankind could not progress.
Managed funds did extremely well in 2013. Most getting double digit returns, and many getting 30, 40, even 50 percent! And yet it’s hard to find anything that remotely looks double-digit better, forget 50 percent better. How long can this divergence continue? Maybe for a long time, but the further it separates, the shakier the foundation.
If you put money into a 401k, you need to understand how that money is invested. Even better, there are ways you can manage risk in the present and dangerous market frenzy.