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3 Reasons I teach Women to Invest in Mutual Funds

3 Reasons I teach women to invest in mutual funds

1.  I teach women how to invest in mutual funds because women frequently do not have knowledge of Investments

Investing and particularly how to invest in mutual funds, are generally not taught in grammar school or college. When investing is taught by parents or schools, boys are usually the target for investing education since they are the ones they feel will be the family wage earners.

Unfortunately, women are not encouraged to learn investing, instead they are taught the mantra, “don’t bother your pretty little head attitude”. I had a male vendor visiting my office noticing investing bulletins on my desk and ask me, “how did you learn about investing”.

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I told him, the same way men do. Then, he says “No, I mean, really how did YOU learn”. I ignored him since I knew that he was referring to the male stereotype of investing. I did not feel that was an appropriate question.

Some women are partly to blame because they have the “Prince Charming Syndrome”. Even though women have made many advances in education, some women and their Dads are convinced that they don’t have to bother their “pretty little heads”. 

The theory is that Prince Charming is bound to come into their lives, even though it usually doesn’t work that way.

women deserve home ownership

  1.  Women Usually Live Longer Than Men

According to multiple news sources, women make less than men generally and that makes it even more essential to concentrate on understanding investments you can choose for your retirement. 401k accounts are made of mutual funds directly or in annuities that contain many mutual funds.

Either way, the more you know about mutual funds, the better your 401k will be since you can choose quality mutual funds in your account.

Money is not a toy, it is a tool

We all know that women usually live longer than men. This means that if you inherit your husbands’ investment account you can manage it with impunity, you don’t have to rely on an outside person. This is especially important since elderly people are frequently the target of unscrupulous investment advisors.

Remember Bernie Madoff, there are many mini-Madoff’s, as I call them, known as lower-level investment scammers. This is a critical reason I teach women to invest in mutual funds.

  1. Women Usually Invest in Simple Low-Profit Investments

Because women don’t usually get investment education, they don’t have quality investment knowledge. The consequence is that they frequently choose low interest simple investments like CD’s and Money Market accounts losing out on years of high interest quality accounts like mutual funds, blue chip stocks, and bonds.

The difference in your balance can amount to hundreds of thousands to millions in losses.

Understanding mutual funds is not difficult, when you get the right information.

Learn How I can teach you to understand mutual funds like a pro

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

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Save Money on Monthly Expenses in 10 Easy Ways

Save Money on Monthly Expenses

save money on monthly expenses in 10 easy ways

No matter what your income, on one wants to overspend on expenses. But, if you are on a budget, at some point the question comes into play – How to save money on monthly expenses.  The answer is not simple, though a little bit of behavioral change, can help you find a lot of ways to save  money on monthly expenses;  and therefore strengthening your finances. Here are 10 great ways, illustrating, some easy ways to save money on monthly expenses.

1. PHONE AND INTERNET FACILITIES

  •  Don’t keep several phone lines at home when you can use a single cell phone to receive most of your calls.
  • For internet packages, research different service providers and select a package based on your monthly service use.
  • Try to use a WiFi device to connect with multiple devices including tablets, cell phones, PC’s etc.
  • Use email and online chat to communicate with friends and associates to reduce costs on phone bills. Most landline phone services offer free long distance.

2. COUPON CODES 

Today you can find several legitimate sites flooded with lots of coupon codes, offering discounts, points to receive  free samples, free shipping offers, and much more. Sources like Groupon, are great to receive coupons for groceries, clothing, restaurants, and many other purchases. I caution you to make sure you absolutely need and can afford the discounted item. In other words, don’t get caught in the trap of purchasing items, just for the discounts. It is best to get manufacture coupons directly from the company or stores website to make sure they are legitimate.

3. DIY METHODS

Maid Services: Many people are busy, and therefore hire out home services. Some of the services are affordable, but some are not. One of the most common services hired on a regular basis is a  maid for cleaning services. You can place cleaning chores on a schedule and do your own household chores. This will require a bit of effort, but the weekly savings is substantial.

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Laundry Services: Do your own laundry. Some folks get so busy, they drop off laundry to have it done at a Laundry Mat. Do your own laundry, while you are watching TV or some other mundane activity. Dry cleaning is another story, some clothes must be dry cleaned, check to see if some of your dry cleanable clothes can be carefully hand washed to avoid the dry cleaning bill.

You can apply DIY methods in a lot of areas of  household tasks;  including general household painting, sewing your clothes or curtains, decorating your home, making small fancy items such as bags or belts.  Always make sure you have conducted detailed research before implementing DIY projects.  There is qualified research all over google.

4. ELECTRICITY BILLS 

Many people do not realize the importance of resorting to research, for saving money on electrical bills. If you are eager to know the many ways to save money on electrical bills, then here are a few tricks you can follow.

  •  During the winter you can keep the windows closed and let the light come in during the day, avoiding the use electrical lighting.
  • Some LED lights, chargers, and appliances are available with solar panels that help you charge devices or energize light,  using solar energy. This will help you save money on electrical bills.
  • While purchasing electronic appliances, choose products with a five-star rating that consumes minimal energy.
  • While using a water heater to warm up water for washing utensils, clothes, or bathing purposes, the maximum temperature required is 120 degrees. Lowering the temperature settings to this level helps to cut  cost on power usage. If you will be out of town for an extended period of time, you will definitely want to lower your hot water heater settings.
  • Always remember to turn off appliances when they are not in use, or switch off the lights when you are not in the room.

5. USE REWARDS CREDIT CARDS

There is competition among the credit card providers that prompt them to offer cash back and discounts on the products purchased using your card. Hence, if you are shopping in a  mall, you will have to pay the full  price if you opt for cash/check payment methods. A credit card, used sparingly, can help you save up to 15% to 30% through discount offers. I caution those who have spending addictions, to use cash instead, so they will not overspend. The airline rewards can be substantial if you are in a business of frequent travel or other business spending where a credit card is necessary.

6. REDUCE COST OF FUEL

The fuel costs are rising with undue intensity. Expenses on gas for cars, homes, and other uses can be controlled, but with work.

For saving money on cooking gas you can either use solar if you have the panels or use electrical kitchenware, such as a microwave or induction ovens to prepare food faster. Some municipalities offer a huge rebate for installing solar panels. In some cases, the rebate pays for the installation and cost.

While traveling to your office, schools and regular grocery shopping to locations near your home, avoid taking your car. Use public transportation facilities such as bus, train, tram etc. Alternatively, you can also establish a group of people who can travel in a single vehicle and share the fuel costs in a carpool.

 7. FOOD ITEMS 

You can save a lot of money limiting your expenses on daily grocery shopping.

Beverages: Avoid costly beverages at  coffee shops or restaurants. Opting for a simple cup of coffee over a Cappuccino, can save $3 per cup, or roughly or $90 to $180 per month on 1-2 cups of coffee.

Office Lunch: Try to carry your lunch from home. This costs around $5-$20 everyday compared to the cost of preparing lunch at home can save you as much as $5-$10 per day.

Shop for Ingredients: Always purchase unpacked fresh fruits, vegetables, and unprepared food. They are cheap and healthy too.

8. CLOTHES 

  •  Research the opportunities to buy clothes during seasonal sales for greater discounts.
  • Do not purchase too many clothes for daily wear that require dry cleaning.
  • While washing clothes use mild detergents, cold water, and avoid dryers. All of these will add to the longevity of your clothes.
  • Check your wardrobe before going out so that you purchase only necessary replacements. Save money by avoiding random and unplanned shopping, in other words — stay out of the stores, if you don’t absolutely need anything.

 9. SOCIALIZING 

Friends and relatives are of great importance to everyone. So sending gifts and messages on special occasions such as birthdays, marriages, Christmas etc. is extremely important. Try to purchase combo packages that cost less. Wrap your own gifts, it is cheaper. While ordering gifts online, always take the “free shipping” option. Purchase less expensive items,  and use coupons to reduce costs during the holiday shopping season. Create a holiday budget, and shop from your budget.

 10. ENTERTAINMENT

[sociallocker] Every year people spend a whole lot of money on watching TV, movies, reading books etc. The expenses with monthly cable bills, can be far more expensive than watching free TV online. Be selective in watching new films and use coupon codes to receive discounts on movie ticket prices.

For watching old movies, get free videos from your library. You can also get a library membership for reading books for free, of course and using their computers.

While passing through financial crunches, people often wonder- “How do I save money on monthly expenses”, on daily living, while at the same time, taking care of themselves of their family. A little bit of budgeting and wise spending can help you save a lot of money without compromising the essentials or your lifestyle.[/sociallocker]

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Lois Center-Shabazz
author of, Live Rich Save Money! Budget Diary
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author of, Live Rich Save Money! 68 Powerful Ways to Save Money, Now and Forever
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Protect Yourself From Investment Fraud

12 Ways to Protect Yourself From Investment Fraud

Protect Yourself From Investment Fraud For Now and in The Future!

Some of you are active investors, want to be active investors in various investment vehicles and some of you will be indirectly affected by stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other investments. Those investments could come to you via your 401k plan, an inheritance or other means. My point is anyone could be exposed to the financial markets intentionally or unintentionally. Because of this, you need to know how to protect yourself form investment fraud.

The Enron company (stock symbol – ene) “stock” scandal has been widely reported in the news in October 2001. The company stock went from $83 to .25 cents in just one year. According to the widely televised news reports one possible reason was accounting improprieties.

The most widely speculated impropriety was over-reporting of earnings by some officers. While downright false accounting reports by major companies are rare, and difficult to detect, you need to protect yourself from these types of scandals. We ask the following questions and attempt to answer them here. How do these scandals occur? Who is most vulnerable to stock scandals? How can investors protect themselves from this and other types of stock scandals?

Although most investment firms and products are ethical and legal, investment schemes and frauds do exist within the securities industry. Con artists are quick to pick up on the newest hot investment prospects and the latest technology trends and use them as a basis for fraudulent investment schemes. Bernie Madoff of Madoff Investments is probably one of the most famous investment fraud schemes.

Many of those schemes are very enticing and very difficult to spot. Almost all of them depend on trusting investors willing to believe the con artist’s claim without question. It may be difficult to identify fraudulent schemes, but there are some red flags you can pay attention to and avoid becoming a victim. Here are some pointers.

  • Deal only with firms and individuals you have researched and trust.
  • Be skeptical of any investment opportunity that comes about as a result of an unsolicited telephone call, Internet offering or even a television advertisement if the product cannot be easily researched. Never invest without doing some research about the opportunity. The Federal Communications Commission regulates telephone solicitations and automated calls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Provisions of that act require a person making calls to identify themselves and the name of the entity on whose behalf the call is being made.

They must also give you the telephone number where the person or entity may be contacted. Other provisions require the entity to place your name on its no call list upon a written request and prohibit unsolicited calls between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Obtain additional information by contacting the Federal Communications commission, www.fcc.gov or 1919 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20554,
phone- 1 (888) 225-5322. Verify that your broker is certified and/or licensed through the CFP board or Finra. The Certified Financial
planner is not necessary, just good, but being registered or licensed is the law.

  • Beware of glowing promises of high returns. Ask yourself why the promoter is so eager to share this opportunity with you, and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t invest in a product you don’t understand, do your reserch, do lots of reading. There are many online investment portals where you can learn basic investing.
  • Carefully analyze promotions offering high returns by investing in the latest technology developments. The promise of high returns is a red flag for investment fraud.
  • Resist the temptation to invest “right now” because “tomorrow will be too late.” Don’t be surprised if they follow that line by “We will have someone there within the hour to deliver the prospectus and pick up your check.” Another line is, “I will have my supervisor call you and explain everything”.
  • Never believe a salesperson when he says, “You don’t have to read the prospectus or contract. That’s just for the lawyers.”
  • Do not give  out your social security number, credit card or bank account information to people who solicit you.
  • Look for audited financial statements and review them carefully. Be leery of the absence of audited financial statements and scrutinize unaudited financial statements carefully because an expert third party has not attested to their accuracy. Question any financial statement projections to see if the expenses and profits appear reasonable.
  • Take notes of your conversations with your broker-dealer agent or investment advisor representative. Include the dates and times.
  • Always..always..always….read and understand the legally required offering documents; ask questions and insist on reasonable answers. Seek advice from a knowledgeable friend or consult with your financial advisor, and invest only after you have satisfied yourself that the risk in this particular investment agrees with your financial objectives. You can read the recent news on a stock, research here for stocks, and here for mutual funds, Fidelity Investments is a major firm that has a large, easy to use research section.
  • Save all records of transactions and correspondence. Never part with original documents.
  • When considering equity securities prices below five dollars per share or unit and a market value of $250 million,  these are penny stocks or microcap stocks. The risk of buying these stocks are extremely high. Be sure you receive, read and understand the lawfully required consumer protection information prior to conducting any business, read here to understand why microcap or penny stocks are, in many cases fradulent stocks.
  • Slick promoters know how to make investment fraud sound legitimate and inspire your confidence. That is why they succeed so often. If you feel you have been victimized, report the matter to your state corporation commission, division of securities and retail franchising. On the national level you can contact the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or the National Association of Securities Dealers, inc. (NASD), via the websites. You might also want to contact an attorney to determine your rights or file an arbitration claim. Your prompt complaint may keep others from being defrauded and increase your chance of getting your money back.

Related Links:
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Singer Prince’ Interview on Personal Finance With Tavis Smiley Was Insightful

Prince interview with Tavis Smiley

Singer Prince Interview With Tavis Smiley

Singer Prince, Tavis Smiley, Personal Finance

Singer Prince and Tavis Smiley on Personal Finance and Business

 

Singer Prince did an interview with Tavis Smiley. It re-aired a few weeks ago. I was very impressed with his small business acumen, his love of family. He spoke lovingly of his sister  and all the fun they had when they were fun.

Prince spoke about the problems he had with his business partners. It took years to get control of his catalog of songs. and be paid properly.  His complaint was how the business model works against the performer and in favor of the major record labels. But, being the businessman he was he insisted on getting paid what he was due. He persisted with lawsuits and publicity campaigns until finally he won control. I was impressed with his language and his business skills.

He was alert, intelligent, and resourceful financial genius. He had personal finance skills I have not seen in a performer for a long time. I was very impressed with his conversation with Tavis Smiley.