All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
51
votes
2answers
8k views

When is employer 401(k) match not worth it?

I have always read to take full advantage of your employer 401(k) match. But what if the match is lower than most? My employer will match 10% of my contributions, up to the legal contribution limit. ...
50
votes
8answers
19k views

Ghana scam and direct deposit scam?

My father has been talking to a girl who calls herself Linda Owusu. She claims to be from Germany and living in the US away from her son. She recently found out that her father has left her with a ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

What differentiates index funds and ETFs?

Many companies offer index funds and ETFs. If two funds or ETFs track the same fund, what differentiates the two? Is it common for one index fund to outperform another? How can this happen if the ...
70
votes
12answers
51k views

I cosigned for a friend who is not paying the payment

I cosigned for a loan for a friend. He has now moved away and is not making payments. I have been asked to pay--they even called my job--and I need to keep my credit. The payments are too high for me ...
65
votes
7answers
114k views

What is the best way to accept payment when selling a used car?

I plan on selling a used car via Craigslist, and I hope to get between $4-5K for it. I don't want to take a check from a stranger, but I'm concerned that no one will be willing to show up at my house ...
44
votes
13answers
9k views

When buying a property without using a realtor as a buyers agent, can you build a discount of the buyer's agent commission into the contract?

I want to buy a home, but I'm not interested in using a realtor as a buyer's agent. I know that in MLS systems, when a realtor lists a house they specify what commission a buyer's agent will be paid. ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Comparing IRA vs 401K's rate-of-return with dollar cost averaging

I have both an IRA in Vanguard and an old employer's 401k with Fidelity management. I would like to compare the performance between the two accounts over time, in order to determine if I should ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

The mathematics of dollar cost averaging

Does anyone have a reference to a detailed mathematical analysis of the process of dollar cost averaging and whether it is really beneficial? This question isn't detailed enough.
33
votes
8answers
5k views

I'm thinking of getting a new car … why shouldn't I LEASE one?

Why is leasing a car a bad idea?
32
votes
5answers
111k views

What happens to my credit history if I pay before my credit card bill is generated?

I've read that keeping one's credit card utilization below 20% improves your credit score. If for some reason I have an expense that is greater than 50% of the credit limit and I pay by credit card, ...
30
votes
1answer
995 views

What are the differences between a “traditional” IRA and a Roth IRA?

I hear that a traditional IRA offers a tax deduction whereas a Roth IRA doesn't, but there's got to be more to it than that: What makes a Roth IRA any good, if it doesn't provide a tax deduction? ...
28
votes
8answers
285k views

Should I pay off my credit card online immediately or wait for the bill?

I'm a college student and I just got my first credit card (through Chase). The only reason I got the card is to try and build my credit score. I also have a checking account with Chase, and they let ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

Mutual fund value went down, shares went up, no action taken by me

I have no prior experience with stocks so please forgive me if this is a dumb question but I don't even know what to try googling. Two days ago I signed up with scottrade. I put $1000 into ICENX ...
20
votes
3answers
92k views

What typically happens to unvested stock during an acquisition?

I work for a publicly traded company that was acquired by another publicly traded company. I also own shares of "restricted stock units" for my company. All of my shares are scheduled to vest far ...
36
votes
5answers
20k views

How can a credit card company make any money off me? I have a no-fee card and pay my balance on time

How does a credit card company make any money off of me using their card if there are no fees associated with the card (I don't pay any extra) and I pay off my balance on time every month (so I don't ...
24
votes
4answers
23k views

How can banks afford to offer credit card rewards?

I understand Visa and MasterCard make money on transaction fees, but how much (if any) of those fees do banks see? Do banks make money on people who pay their bills on time, or are reward programs ...
11
votes
10answers
8k views

Does the stock market create any sort of value?

Sorry if the below seems like a conspiracy theory. It probably is, but I probably don't understand something. (This has bugged me to no end as long as I can remember.) Okay, so here is what I ...
36
votes
10answers
9k views

Should a high-school student invest their (relative meager) savings?

I am a high school student, I don't really have much money, between one and two grand in my savings account. However, I have friends who are investing in both penny stocks and stocks. I do not really ...
23
votes
8answers
1k views

Does dollar cost averaging really work?

Does dollar cost averaging really work? If I have money available now, why shouldn't I invest it all at once? If the market's going up, wouldn't that be better?
22
votes
9answers
5k views

Online money management applications: Do you trust Mint.com or Quicken Online, or other personal finance tools online?

For online applications such as Mint and Quicken (online), to automatically update your accounts, they'll always ask you to enter your login info to your banking and/or investment accounts. Do you ...
22
votes
10answers
9k views

Why do investors pay trillions for minority stakes in companies, when their only potential payback is modest uncertain dividends? [duplicate]

I'm struggling to understand the core reason to invest in stocks as a minority shareholder. Majority shareholding makes more sense as you effectively control the company, so you can pay yourself ...
20
votes
3answers
30k views

How does a dealer (or market maker) earn the bid-ask spread on a stock?

If I am correct, dealers purchase assets for their own accounts, and later sell them for a profit from their inventory. But the spreads is the difference between buy (or "bid") prices and sell (or "...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Does the expense ratio of a fund-of-funds include the expense ratios of its holdings?

Suppose a mutual fund invests only in other mutual funds, instead of investing in stocks or bonds directly. Does the reported expense ratio of that fund include the expense ratios of the funds it ...
11
votes
2answers
448 views

How do I account for newly added money when computing my rate of return?

I have a simple spreadsheet where I track the balance in my investment account. What should I do to handle new deposits in the account? For example: End of Day 1: balance = $100 End of Day 2: $...
63
votes
5answers
17k views

What should I do if I lost money in a scam?

I live in New Jersey and my son wanted to order some toys from this guy who said he makes them in his house and he could give him the best deal, but before he could send these toys he needed my 16 ...
42
votes
12answers
29k views

Why do Americans have to file taxes, even if their only source of income is from a regular job?

I live in Europe (Czech Republic) and as long as I'm simply employed at a company, I don't need to file any taxes on my own (I assume the financial department does that for me automatically). Why is ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

Paying off student loans early/lump sum — best practices?

My wife & I have run into a large sum of cash recently and are interested in paying off/paying down our student loans -- about $30k between us, at about 6.5% avg interest. We're both earning ...
22
votes
3answers
140k views

If I leave my job, what happens to my flexible spending account?

I am about to decide how much money to set aside for my 2013 Flexible Spending Account (FSA). (The max this year is $2500.) But I am wondering what happens if I switch employers during the year. Does ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it better to use a 401k loan to make a down payment or to put less than 20% down?

I'm about to buy a house and am considering two options: Make a 12% down payment and pay for mortgage insurance Take out a 401k loan and make a 20% down payment I'm having a hard time finding ...
18
votes
2answers
23k views

How to access a really old, untouched bank savings account?

I was just going through old things and found a Wachovia account opened for me by my aunt - specifically, I found the checkbook and transaction record. The transaction book is dated April xx, 1998 and ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Does it make sense to buy an index ETF (e.g. S&P 500) when the index is at an all-time high?

I have some money I intend to invest over the next 3-4 years. An important chunk of my portfolio would be invested in a stock market index ETF such as one representing the S&P 500. Unfortunately, ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

What size “nest egg” should my husband and I have, and by what age?

Of course I know I should have a substantial sum of money that generates its own income, off which my spouse and I will live, when we retire. But what is the right amount to have, or even a range? I'...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Buying gold / silver as a hedge against hyperinflation

I'm becoming more interested in buying gold / silver coins as a hedge against inflation and especially hyperinflation. I know very little about this, and there are thousands of sites on the internet ...
11
votes
10answers
50k views

Why are American-style options worth more than European-style options?

Why are American-style options worth more than European-style options? I realize I can exercise American-style options anytime before the expire, but I can only exercise European-style options ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Layman's guide to getting started with Forex (foreign exchange trading)?

How should I get started with Forex (foreign exchange trading)? How should I prepare myself for it? Please give your answer thinking of me as a layman.
8
votes
1answer
12k views

ITIN application rejected, and IRS lost one of our passports. How to get back the lost passport?

I have filed my 2012 tax return jointly with my wife, along with my wife's ITIN application, back in late March. In April, I got a letter for IRS ITIN department saying that we should send my wife's ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How is stock price determined?

Is stock price determined only by the last trade that takes place? For example, if a stock I own is trading at $3.42, and I place a Sell Limit order for $0.00, will the stock price temporarily dip to ...
33
votes
5answers
3k views

Pros/Cons of a Health Savings Account (HSA) in the USA?

I am wanting to know the real benefits or pros/cons of a HSA in the USA. I have now been given the option of signing up for one due to healthcare changes. I understand some of the basics, but after ...
28
votes
3answers
18k views

Robocall claiming to be IRS saying they are about to sue - Is it legit?

We got a recorded call with a message claiming to be from the IRS. It said they were giving final notice and preparing to file a lawsuit against us. In our case, the message went to voicemail so the ...
23
votes
5answers
19k views

Do stock prices drop due to dividends?

From Personal Finance for Dummies, page 209: Dividends Dividends are income paid by investments. Both bond funds and stocks can pay dividends. Bond fund dividends (the interest paid by the ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

I haven't filed a return to the IRS in 10 years

My employers have always withheld taxes and for the most part I've assumed they've done it right. I have probably owed a bit some years and been owed a refund some years. Anyhow, I want to get ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I really pay off my entire credit card balance each month or should I maintain some balance?

I've heard two conflicting things: One is that you should pay your entire credit every month, and the other that you should maintain roughly %30, %50 (it varies by who you ask) of your available ...
12
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the difference between Interest Rate and APY?

What is the difference between Interest Rate and APY on savings accounts, CDs, etc? Is there a simple formula to convert the two?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does high credit utilization really mean?

I've heard and read that high utilization of credit hurts, but what does that mean exactly? Does that mean high utilization month-to-month, or simply high utilization at all, even when paid off in ...
6
votes
1answer
573 views

Wash sale rule + Mutual Funds/ETFs?

According to IRS rules, you can't sell a security, take a capital loss on your taxes, and then buy back the same or a "substantially identical" security within 30 days. However, "substantially ...
4
votes
4answers
742 views

Can a regular salaried (w2) employee opt to pay quarterly taxes?

As a consultant, I got used to paying quarterly taxes. Now that I'm a regular w2 salaried employee, I'm subject to normal withholding on each pay statement. I would like to keep making exact quarterly ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

How does order matching happen in stock exchanges?

When I place my trade order in the stock exchanges, I know the price matching happens and only when there is a buyer and seller at the same price a trade happens. But how does the quantity matching ...
19
votes
4answers
14k views

Why would anyone buy a government bond?

In my country, the interest rates on government bonds are currently 2 - 3%, but I have money in a term deposit at the bank which earns 4% interest. I don't understand how this can be possible. Why are ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a merchant charge you more in the US if you want to use a credit card?

I'm pretty sure the answer is no for Visa/MC and basically no for Amex, and it's actually illegal in some states, but what if they just rephrase it as "We're giving you a discount if you choose to pay ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

When can I be sure a questionable check has cleared?

Someone has sent me a check for $250 in payment for property damage they caused in a car accident. It would have been better if I had gotten a cashier's check or official check, but I'll have to make ...

15 30 50 per page
1 2 3
4
5
62