How to Find a Great Investment Manager

There are two kinds of investors: those who invest passively and those who get active about it. The former can be very successful, easily becoming millionaires by simply making reliable contributions into strong but predictable allocations. Lots of people do it this way, and they do just fine. But you can’t become a superlative investor this way. To get to the next level, you’ve got to become a student of the markets as well as employ other people more knowledgeable than yourself.

That’s where MFS comes in. They are investment managers who can scope out stocks all over the world. They know how to analyze potential, based on company data, industry realities, cultural and economic trends, and a thousand other factors that give some stocks advantages over others. By making buys based on these insights, your yields can far outpace the general market, and you can start to see wealth that a passive investor can’t dream of.

But lots of active managers don’t beat the market. In fact, most don’t. That’s because it’s really hard to do so. So how does MFS beat the market year after year? They have a 3 pronged approach that helps them best leverage their insight and experience. It goes a little something like this:

  • They Cultivate A Global Perspective. MFS analysts are all over the world right now, looking at all of the world economic factors that create sudden advantages within certain industries and for specific stocks. By acting upon this broad, global perspective, you can make more sophisticated and nuanced investments than someone with an America-centric perspective.
  • Risk Management. MFS doesn’t act until you can get paid. This isn’t wild speculation; it’s highly educated decision making.
  • Long Term Strategy. Time is your best friend in investment, so MFS doesn’t let short term fears ruin their long term thinking. This is easier said than done, so take advantage of their experience in this area.

 

3 Timeless Financial Principles to Follow

There is a lot of advice out there on personal finance.

And a lot of the advice that you’ll find is conflicting. It seems everybody has an opinion about something, and with the world ever changing, there are a lot of things that seem to stop being relevant.

Despite that, however, there are a few pieces of financial advice that will never stop being relevant and correct.

Here they are:

Spend Less than You Earn

No matter what changes economically or what the government does, or where interest rates go, the idea of spending less than you earn is always going to be relevant.

After all, how else will you get ahead? Spending less than you earn will keep you out of debt and help you save money.

Save Some for Later

It’s easy to become short sighted with money. There are so many things putting strain on our immediate budgets that it’s difficult to think about later on.

However, saving some money for later will always be good advice. We never know what will happen later and we also never know how long we’ll live. The last thing we need is to be stuck in a sticky situation when we need to retire with no money.

So you should always save some for later – whether it’s in an emergency fund, retirement account, or both (ideally).

Avoid Consumer Debt

There will always be a lot of argument around debt. Some people don’t believe mortgage debt is bad, some people believe student loans are the best way to pay for college, but we can all agree that consumer debt is mindless and should be avoided at all costs.

This will be a principle for as long as there are creditors on the planet.

Don’t get lost in the noise of different people telling you different things. Remember these three things and always stick with them!

3 Things to Avoid Spending Money On While You Travel

photoTravel is a fun experience, but it can start to be costly if you don’t watch your wallet.

You already have to pay for flights, food, and attractions – these things are inevitable, unless you plan on skipping attractions – but there are ways to save money other than getting a deal on your transportation and accommodation.

Here are a few things to avoid spending money on to save on your next trip:

Bottled Water

Bottled water is a huge money waster, especially in tourist areas of the larger cities of the world. In Barcelona, Spain for example, you can end up spending almost $5 on a small bottle of water – just one! – in the touristy districts.

Instead of paying for bottled water, bring a re-usable water bottle on your trip and fill it up in the restaurant of your hotel or at a cafe with filtered water.

Some cities have tap water that is safe to drink but not all, so beware.

Souvenirs

Souvenirs are an expensive waste of money – if you want a keepsake from your trip, make your souvenir your photographs that you take. You can have prints made and frame them when you get home, or do something artistic with your photographs, but you don’t want to buy tacky tourist souvenirs and be on the hook for bringing them home.

Transportation

Of course you have to pay for transportation when you are getting to the city you are visiting, but you certainly do not have to pay for transportation – or all that much, anyway – when you are actually in the city. Avoid taxis and try to walk everywhere you can. It’s good exercise and can be one of the best ways to see a city.

If you can’t walk to the attractions you want to see, then you can always take the bus, subway, or metro. They are easier to figure out than you  might think.

What to do With Unexpected Money

Congratulations! You came into some unexpected money.

And while it’s very exciting to have a windfall, you want to ensure that you’re maximizing the money by doing the right thing with it.

Because if you just spend it like it’s normal money, it will be all gone in no time, and you’ll have nothing to show for it.

And you don’t want that to happen. When you have a windfall, you have a very rare opportunity to better your financial future without impacting your current financial health. These opportunities don’t come along often, so here are a few things that you can do with unexpected money and windfalls to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck:

1. Invest it in ETFs

Investing your money in ETFs is a great way to keep your windfall working for you, instead of against you. Not only will you enjoy a steady stream of interest and maybe even dividend income, but it’s a great idea for the long term, too.

2. Save for Retirement

Your money will go farther if you invest in a retirement account, because time is on your side – over the course of a couple of decades, it will increase substantially and you’ll be able to either retire a bit earlier, or enjoy more money in retirement. Plus, the tax benefit of putting the money in your retirement account can be great.

3. Make Improvements

If you have a house, using the windfall money to make some improvements around it can increase the value and thereby help you financially far more than spending it unnecessarily on useless stuff. Depending on how much you got, you could renovate the kitchen, replace the fixtures or revamp the flooring for a greater return when you go to sell your house.

 

Don’t frivolously spend your windfall! Use it to make your life better.

How to Maintain Your Car to Save Money

ZXK3crNdMost of us have vehicles or modes of transportation to help us get from place to place.

Sometimes, we rely on our vehicles to get to our jobs or bring children to daycare. Therefore, vehicles are very important to our lives. If we didn’t have our cars, life could come to a standstill, and we could lose a lot of money if we aren’t able to get to work.

It’s important, then, to ensure that we are maintaining our cars to save money on big repairs should something happen to them.

It’s hard to know what is necessary and what is just excess, so here are a few things that you absolutely must to do maintain your vehicle for it’s longevity:

Oil Changes

Oil changes are absolutely necessary for your car to remain functioning properly. Oil lubricates the inner workings of the car, and dirty, old oil can be damaging.

A good rule of thumb is getting an oil change anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 miles, to ensure that you’re taking good care of it.

Transmission Fluids

Every few years, you should check the status of your transmission fluid. Like oil, it can get dirty and have an impact on how your car drives.

A good rule of thumb is taking it in every three years to get a transmission fluid change to keep your transmission running smoothly.

Brakes

Your brakes are very important, obviously. You  need to make sure to check the brakes periodically to ensure that not only there is enough brake fluid, but also to ensure there is enough meat on the brake pads. The last thing you want is to be caught on a highway someplace with no braking power.

 

These things are very important to maintain your car and avoid any major disasters which will end up costing you car more in the long run.