The Build Your Financial Future the Lazy Way

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Put away money for the future? This book shows how the busy person's money can grow while he or she relaxes.
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Overview

Put away money for the future? This book shows how the busy person's money can grow while he or she relaxes.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028626482
  • Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Series: Lazy Way Series
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 7.35 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Build Your Financial Future The Lazy Way

THE SIMPLE PATH TO WEALTH

Part 1 - Getting Organized Without the Agony

CHAPTER 1:  START COUNTING IT UP

You may be closer to the Forbes' list of the world's richest people than you think. Your net worth statement tells all.

CHAPTER 2:  MATH LESSON: BILLS ¥ MONEY = LESS MONEY

Defeat the buy and spend gene without experimental DNA therapy. Figuring out where your money goes.

Part 2 - First Things First

CHAPTER 3:  PLAY NOW, PAY LATER

You watched it go away, now see how to keep your cash on the plus column on your ledger sheet.

CHAPTER 4:  BUILDING A NEST EGG WITHOUT GOING INTO LABOR

Take the urgency out of emergency funds. A little bit every month gives you a lot later on.

CHAPTER 5:  PAINLESSLY PLANNING BEYOND YOUR NEXT PAYCHECK

Set up your goal posts and see how to move them closer than you thought you could.

Part 3 - Taking Your Finances to the Next Level

CHAPTER 6:  SO THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED INSURAN CE

Get a life, and keep it intact with life and disability insurance.

CHAPTER 7:  INSURANCE TO KEEP EVERYTHING ELSE SIMPLE

Insurance for the rest of you. Let someone else take care of dented fenders and flooded basements.

CHAPTER 8:  WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A LAZY WAY

Take the worry out of giving away all the money you'll have saved. Everyone needs an estate strategy.

CHAPTER 9:  FORGET THE ROCKING CHAIR

Retirement just means more time for rock climbing and extreme scuba diving, if you plan it right.

CHAPTER 10:  MUTUAL FUND BASICS: THE LAZY INVESTOR'S BEST FRIEND

Taking the simple way out with mutual funds.

CHAPTER 11:  BUILDING A FUND PORTFOLIO: INVESTING LIKE A PRO WITHOUT WORKING LIKE ONE

Keep your expenses down while you find the resources to do your own fund selections.

CHAPTER 12:  A STOCK FUND WITH YOUR NAME ON IT

You control the shots while you put together your own mutual fund.

CHAPTER 13:  THE LAZIEST INVESTING: BOND

You always know what you're getting if you hold a bond to maturity. How to decide if bonds are right for you.

CHAPTER 14:  TAXES: KEEPING UNCLE SAM AT BAY

Some relatives you'd rather not see, even if it's only once a year on April 15th. Some ideas to lighten your tax load.

CHAPTER 15:  GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEMES AREN'T FOR THE LAZY

Deceptively easy investments that take your hard-earned dollars away.

CHAPTER 16:  MONITORING YOUR PLAN AND INVESTMENTS: THE LEAST YOU NEED TO KNOW TO KEEP YOUR PLAN ON TRACK

You don't need to watch them like a hawk, just give your plans a little adult supervision to keep them on the right track.

CHAPTER 17:  SINGLE, MARRIED, DIVORCED: HOW FAMILY LIFE AFFECTS YOUR FINANCES

A look at how going from "me" to "us," and maybe back again, can affect more than your social life.

MORE LAZY STUFF

A - HOW TO GET SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT
B - IF YOU REALY WANT TO LEARN MORE, READ THESE
C - IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS, LOOK HERE
D - IT'S TIME FOR YOUR REWARD!

WHERE TO FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]

Build Your Financial Future The Lazy Way

- 3 -

Play Now, Pay Later

William Shakespeare--sharp dresser and suspected front man for an unknown playwright--said,"Neither a borrower or lender be." We all have the lender part down prettywell and often avoid it at all costs, especially with certain relatives. Unfortunately,the borrower part only requires a signature or two-cent piece of plastic with theword "Visa" or "MasterCard" written across it for any of us toslip into that role with a capital "B." Debt has its place. We might wellbe singing "God Save the Queen" and watching weird television comediesif the colonists hadn't been able to borrow a buck or two to kick the British outafter throwing that tea party in Boston.

Debt isn't automatically evil. A mortgage keeps a roof over your head while youbuild equity in your home. A college loan will, hopefully, help give Junior well-payingcareer skills. A business loan can help you set up your new Dog and Cat Plaza Hotel--ahot area of business these days. A home equity loan might pay for an additional bedroomto house an elderly parent. Credit card debt to pay off last year's first-class tripto the Kentucky Derby is another matter.

Until your debts are under control, you have little business investing. What gooddoes it do to get a six percent return on a bond if your discretionary debt payments--readcredit cards or certain installment loans--are costing you over 16 percent? It'slike putting a shiny new paint job on the top side of your boat while it's floodingbelow from unplugged holes. Get some jaunty clothes--with your credit card, of course--andyou can go down in style!

If your net worth and cash flow statements reveal a debt problem, or you justwant to better manage your debts, this chapter will help pave the way.


QUICK N' PAINLESS

Use debt to your advantage, not for indulgences you can't pay off when the bill arrives. If a major purchase or debt isn't going to advance your wealth, you probably don't need it.




A HOUSE OF CARDS

Jean Piaget was a Swiss developmental psychologist who viewed kids as developingin stages. He would explain (when he wasn't doing typical Swiss activities like yodelingor shopping for lederhosen) that at certain stages, children engage in egocentricbehavior ("I want . . . "), which they eventually grow out of. In America,I'm afraid M. Piaget would find a massive case of arrested development.

Few of us are independently wealthy. Debt, which is a calculated risk assumedby both the borrower and the lender, allows us to acquire everything from housesto strange food dehydrators advertised on late-night television. These latter purchasesare almost always paid for with a credit card--a plastic companion for just aboutevery consumer old enough to see over a s tore's display counter. The problems arisewhen we say "I want . . . " too often and too indiscreetly.

Credit cards have almost become a necessity in modern-day commerce. Try and renta car without one. Pay cash for an airline ticket and be prepared for a pre-flightinterview by guys wearing opaque, black sunglasses and t-shirts declaring, "Anti-TerroristSquads Never Smile." Credit cards are even used as a second form of identification.

Credit cards offer:

  • Convenience

  • Safety
  • Some consumer protection
  • Free short term use of the issuer's money

"Congratulations! Because of Your Outstanding Credit . . . "

You can't beat a credit card for convenience or safety--as long as you don't loseit! No need to carry a lot of cash. If your card is lost or stolen, your potentiallosses from unauthorized charges are limited. Some cards also offer some protectionif an item you purchased is damaged or stolen. In addition, you may also be eligiblefor free rental car insurance and travel assistance. And then there's the float.Finally, get convenient monthly statements--easier than messing with a checkbook.


YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER

If you're trying to establish credit, department store and oil company credit cards are relatively easy to acquire. Paying these bills on time will help show your general creditworthiness.


The float on a credit card purchase is the time between your purchase and thedate the payment is due. It's free use of the card issuer's money--if you pay yourbill in full every month! And therein lies the rub with credit cards.

Credit card debt is probably the most expensive debt you'll ever encounter, unlessyou deal with guys named Rocco who operate out of your local pool hall. How expensive?Let's run some numbers.

Take a $5,000 debt at 17.9 percent APR (annual percentage rate)--the interestyou're paying the issuer--with a minimum monthly base payment of $20 with a two percentminimum payment. If you only paid off the minimum, your first monthly payment wouldbe $100, which will decline over time, but it will take you 34 years to pay off thedebt. Your interest total alone will be $12,600! That's just for the original $5,000!Keep charging concert tickets and Dockers and you'll be passing these debts off withyour estate.

If you only pay the minimum amount every month, the price of whatever you buycan increase incredibly. Suddenly that bargain suit costs as much as one that's tailor-made.How do you reconcile easy credit, a voracious consumer culture, and controlling yourdebt load? Get lazy.

  • Put your credit card repayment on automatic: Take the minimum payment on your most recent statement and pay that much this month and every month until the balance is paid, even though the minimum required payment will go down each month. Using the example above of the $5,000 balance, pay $100 every month--after all you can make that payment this month, so why not every month--and you'll cut 26 years and over $8,300 in interest from your loan.

  • Or: Tack on whatever amount you can afford--$25, $50, $100--to the minimum payment. Again using the same example, an additional $25 per month will cut 23 years and $8,000 from your repaym ent schedule.

  • Quit using the card(s) until your debt is paid off. You'll never retire the debt if you keep adding on purchases.

QUICK N' PAINLESS

Talk with your card issuer about eliminating the yearly maintenance fee. There are enough "free" cards around that your issuer may be willing to drop the fee instead of losing you as a customer.




There's nothing lazy about scrambling to pay an ever-increasing credit card debtor watching that debt grow month by month. This is more like indentured servitude--ofyour own making! You can simplify your financial life, and free up a lot of cashfor other purposes, by following these tips for wise credit card use.

  • Limit the number of cards you sign up for. One all purpose card like Visa or MasterCard should take care of most of your purchases, even gasoline and groceries.

  • If you have more than one card, pay off the highest interest rate card first while maintaining minimum payments for the other card(s).

YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER

Read your credit card agreement carefully! Avoid cards that use a two-cycle method for determining your monthly balance as this is the most expensive approach.


  • Reduce your interest rate by either (1) negotiating with your card issuer for a lower rate, or (2) switching to another issuer. Compare rates by checking newspapers and financial magazines. Computer users can find up-to-date card rates at www. bankrate.com or www.ramresearch, as well as any unsolicited offers you receiv e in the mail. Check your rates regularly and switch your balance whenever it's to your advantage.

YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER

When you switch credit card accounts, be sure to close your old account(s) out. Too many open credit lines can hurt your credit rating.


  • Don't shop unless you really need to. Shopping as entertainment and using a credit card as your admission ticket is a lot of work. Stay home and read a book instead.

A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME

The 3 Worst Ways to Handle Credit Card Debt:

1. Only pay the minimum amount due.

2. Run up your spending to your credit limit.

3. Hold multiple credit cards and spend on all of them.




Think of it this way: is it simpler to figure out how to pay for those unusedroller blades you just had to have or think first before buying them. Do you wantto advance your own financial future or that of the retailers at the mall?

Controlling discretionary spending should provide some automatic debt control.What if you're in too deep? Maybe you took all of those unsolicited offers in themail to heart and thought, "I must be doing great! Look at the credit linesthese complete strangers are offering me. No need to insult Corn Huskers Savingsand Loan in Omaha after they went to all the trouble to send me a personalized invitationto sign up for a gold MasterCard." Now you're looking at a huge monthly bill,maybe as big as your parents' first mortgage--or even your first home mortgage!

If you're really overextended on your credit cards, you can:

  • Take out a tax deduc tible home equity loan

  • Consider borrowing against your 401(k)

  • Try and renegotiate your debt with your card issuer

Borrowing against your home or retirement accounts can be a risky strategy ifyou continue unchecked spending with your credit cards. Recent studies show thatmore than half the homeowners who take out home equity loans to consolidate creditcard debt end up charging new card debt up to the same levels as before. So althoughthe numbers may tell you that it makes financial sense to borrow against your homeor retirement account to rid yourself of credit card debt, for all but the most disciplinedborrowers--and if you were disciplined, you probably wouldn't have run up that debtin the first place--the best and simplest plan is simply to bite the bullet and payoff the card debt by making additional payments each month.


IF YOU'RE SO INCLINED

Extreme credit card debt can be paid off with a home equity loan or by borrowing against your 401(k). These are exceptional measures and should be taken only after careful consideration.




If your credit card debt seems overwhelming, and the solutions above seem toolittle, too late, consider these alternatives:

  • Debt Counselors of America (800-680-3328, www.dca.org) can help you work with your credit card issuer to help you set up repayment schedules.

  • Debtors Anonymous (see local listings), like other 12-step programs, recognizes that chronic credit card abuse may be a deeper problem that requires long-term treatment.

If your debt problem is serious but manageable, consider tearing up your creditcards. Some people take credit card destruction to certain creative heights by fusingthem together with propane torches, or melting them in the oven on a piece of aluminumfoil. Hole punchers work well, too.

Remember, credit card issuers make most of their money from your interest payments.It behooves them--and beguiles you--to have you stretch out your payments. It's almostlike a second mortgage, but at a much higher interest rate. But if you are disciplinedenough to pay off your balance monthly, then go ahead and charge as many of yournormal purchases (e.g., groceries, drug store items, dry cleaning) as possible. Writingone check at the end of the month--while using the issuer's money interest-free--isa very lazy way to handle your monthly bills! And some cards offer rebates or frequentflier miles to make this use even more attractive.


IF YOU'RE SO INCLINED

Consider carrying two all purpose cards: (1) a no-fee card (regardless of the interest rate) for purchases you'll pay off immediately, and (2) a low-interest card for emergencies that may require more time to pay off.




Credit card issuers are in the business to make money and recently some of themhave not taken kindly to customers who pay off their bills without carrying a balance.One in particular--no names, please--rewards your good financial management witha $25 a year fee if you don't incur any interest charges. If your issuer decidesto follow suit, find someone else. One thing the world does not lack is new creditcard issuers.

CUTE DOLLHOUSE, ONLY $400,000, BRING PAINTBRUSH

A home mortgage is probably the biggest loan you'll ever take out--unless youreally have a thing for Rembrandts. It's also some of the cheapest money available.A mortgage is a loan against a very bankable asset: your home. It gives the bankor mortgage company something they can grab if you're unable to pay and they haveto foreclose--an action they have little interest in doing--which can be to youradvantage should you have to renegotiate the terms of your loan due to, shall wesay, income-challenged circumstances.


QUICK N' PAINLESS

Discuss your mortgage questions with a mortgage provider well in advance of actually needing a mortgage. This will help determine what you can realistically afford. If you're getting ready to buy, go ahead and get prequalified for your loan.




Mortgage debt--and a home purchase--make sense for most people if:

  • The real estate market is appreciating and is likely to do so in the immediate future (never a sure thing)

  • The down payment is low, allowing you to control an expensive asset with little money out of pocket

  • You'll stay in your new home long enough to recover your purchase and estimated sales costs, as well as the cost of any home improvements

Once you've decided that home ownership is for you you'll have to decide on thetype of mortgage and the amount of the loan that you can comfortably live with. Therule of thumb calls for a mortgage payment not to exceed 28 percent of your monthlyincome and total debts, including your mortgage payment, not to exceed 36 percentof your income. Does this rule of thumb fit your financial profile? If you acceptedthese percenta ge limits, would you:

  • Have enough money left over every month for savings and retirement?

  • Be able to adequately pay for any emergencies that might arise?

  • Be emotionally comfortable with that debt level?

Just because the bank says you can borrow it--and is willing to loan it to you--doesn'tmean it's such a hot idea to take them up on the offer.


YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER

Prequalification for a mortgage can be a big help if you have to quickly put an offer down on a house. This often happens in a hot real estate market so you want to be prepared.


Lots-O-Loans

There are numerous loan programs to choose from. Mortgage brokers have accessto many lenders and can shop around to find you the best loan for your circumstances.The mortgage business is very competitive; what you're mainly buying from brokersis service with a smile. You can always go down the street to someone with a biggersmile who has access to the same lenders.

The mortgage payment isn't the only debt you take on when you buy a home. Homepurchases come with fees (those pesky closing costs), property taxes, and improvements.Window coverings, shower curtains, rugs--even this small stuff starts adding up!If you have to borrow to pay for it, your debt increases and you can find your budgethas become a financial free-for-all.

Can you lessen the blow from your new home, sweet home? It's as easy as readingthe Sunday paper:

1.  Periodically, the Sunday real estate section runs a comparative table of local mortgage rates. Check for the low interes t lenders.

2.  Talk with a mortgage broker who may have more resources.

3.  Compare the closing costs and fees, as well as the interest rates.

4.  Compare adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), 15-year, and 30-year programs for the one best suited to you and your budget.

5.  Calculate any advantage of a larger down payment--up to 20 percent--over a smaller one of three to five percent.

If possible--and if the cost is to your advantage--roll some of the fees into the loan itself.

As you build equity in your home, you can take advantage of it in the form ofa home equity loan, but be careful! Bet wrong when you borrow against your home andyou may relive the joys of renting a studio apartment as you did in your collegedays. On the other hand, judicious use of a home equity loan has some advantages,such as:

  • Interest is generally tax deductible.

  • Interest rates are lower than many other types of loans.
  • If taken out as a line of credit, it can be a ready emergency fund.

YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER

Think twice--or maybe three times--before taking out a 100-percent or 125-percent home equity loan. You'll owe more than your home is worth--and much more if prices drop! Besides, the IRS is beginning to give these loans more scrutiny.


Some financial advisors recommend paying a home mortgage off early. How? By sendingin additional principal payments every month or by taking out a 15-year loan. Justas with credit card debt, years and thousands of dollars in interest can be cut overthe life of the loan by paying it off early. Other advisors think the guys recommendingthis are old fuddy-duddies who think the next Great Depression is always just aroundthe corner.


IF YOU'RE SO INCLINED

Carefully consider the value in paying off your mortgage early. You'll save thousands of dollars in interest, but tie up a lot of cash in a non-liquid asset. It may be worth doing for the comfort factor, however.




It's an easy strategy to carry out, and may make sense if you expect to stay inyour home for years and years. Roughly speaking, if you double the principal paymentevery month, you eliminate one future payment from the loan. Think of it this way:a thirty year loan has 360 payments. Double up on the principal with your first monthlypayment and say adios to payment number 360. It's not quite that exact, but you getthe idea--and the interest savings is tremendous. Home security is yours that muchsooner. Are there drawbacks? Of course, including:

  • You have a lot of equity, or cash, tied up in an asset that may not be appreciating as fast as it would if invested elsewhere for a higher rate of return.

  • Few people actually stay in one house long enough to make paying it off worthwhile.
  • Your mortgage interest rate is comparatively cheap--and it's tax deductible.

In the end, this is a personal decision. If you're more comfortable owning a mortgage-freehouse sooner rather than later, then follow the advice of the fuddy-duddies--afterall, they've seen hard times, which is a perspective many people today don't have.

HOT WHEELS A ND A COUPON PAYMENT BOOK

Americans' love affair with the automobile often becomes the stuff of self-helppersonal psychology books, that is, a dysfunctional, abusive relationship. We buycars that:

1.  Are bigger than we need.

2.  Go faster than every legal speed limit in the country.

3.  Are usually unaffordable without loans or leases.

You want to cut down your automobile-related debt? Simple. Sell the BMW and buya used Honda. Simpler yet, don't buy the BMW, at least not until your new softwareprogram is bought out by Microsoft and you're suddenly rich. Letting your car becomean ego extension is an expensive proposition.

Think twice before leasing! To make a valid comparison between leasing and buying,you'll have to compare:

  • Total up-front cost.

  • Total costs at the end of the loan term and lease.
  • The lost interest or investment value of your down payment for a purchased car or acquisition costs and security deposit on a leased car.
  • The value of the car to you at the end of the loan/lease.

The last one is easy: nothing if you've leased it, something if you've purchasedit. If you must take out a loan to buy a car, consider a home equity loan, whichat least has some tax advantages.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Personal loans between family members or friends can have big emotional costsassociated with them unless all parties involved treat them the same as they woulda bank loan. Well, this holds true unless the borrower regularly reneges with theirbank and the lender regularly brings it up over Thanksgiving dinner.

If you take out a personal loan with a family member or friend:

  • Spell out all the terms--amount, interest rate, and payback period--in writing.

  • Sign a promissory note.
  • Treat the loan as seriously as any commercially obtained loan.

If you're on good terms with your family and friends, stay that way if you borrowmoney from them. Pay your loan back on time and according to agreed upon terms. Theseloans are debts just like any other.


YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER

Keep any loans between family members strictly impersonal and businesslike. If you're borrowing the money, sign a loan agreement and pay it back on time. If you're the lender, the loan is between you and the borrower so don't mention it to anyone else.


SCHOOL DAYS

With the exception of certain espresso-and-junk-food-fueled Internet start-upcompany executives who skipped college, a post-secondary degree is usually the ticketto higher earnings and more choices in occupations. But it doesn't come cheap, evenif you go to state universities. College takes money and, for most people, loans.This falls under the category of good debt.

There are entire books and websites (see Resources) dedicated to financing a two-or four-year degree. If you're going to be financing your own or someone else's educationthrough loans, it will effect your credit rating--how much you'll be able to borrowfor, say, a home or a car. If it comes down to a new car or college, skip the fancywheels and get the degree. You can always buy a car.


IF YOU'RE SO INCLINED

You can ease the pinc h of student loans. Sallie Mae offers those Stafford Loan borrowers who make timely payments over their first two to four years up to a two-percentage point reduction in rates. Call your lender about similar incentive programs.




YOU CAN'T DO THIS WITH SOCIAL SECURITY

One peculiarity of 401(k) retirement plans is the option of borrowing againstthem. Taking money out of a retirement plan goes against the idea of the fund, whichis to put aside tax-deferred money, leave it alone, and let it grow and increaseuntil you need it in your retirement years. Best to consider this only in the caseof a real emergency so you don't shortchange your future.

Loans against a 401(k) are normally at lower rates than other types of personalloans, but there are some caveats associated with them:

  • If you leave your job before the loan is repaid, it falls due immediately. If you cannot repay in full, it is considered by the IRS to be a premature withdrawal on which taxes are due--along with a 10% penalty.

  • Money taken out of the account doesn't grow or benefit from long-term investing until it's paid back.
  • You can jeopardize your retirement if the loan isn't repaid.

A loan against your 401(k) isn't exactly an attack on mom and apple pie, but justbe sure to pay it back as quickly as possible. The same goes for borrowing againstyour life insurance policy. Do it if you have to, but reinstate your full coverageas soon as possible.


YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER

Loans taken out against 401(k) accounts are like home equity loans: only to be considered if ab solutely necessary. Weigh all the pros and cons before borrowing against your retirement account.


MARGINAL MARGINS

Buying securities--mainly stocks--on margin is like having a line of credit ina casino. Everything is great while you're winning, but when the cards decide you'renot worthy of "21" at the blackjack tables, you have to pay up.

Margin buying is based on the stock brokerage firm loaning you money to buy securities,usually 50 percent of the value of stocks. If you want $10,000 worth of YippeeKiAy.com,you only have to put up $5,000 to buy on margin. The broker puts up the rest, chargingyou interest, of course. You can control a large block of stock and only put up halfof its purchase value with your own cash. If the stock increases in value, you canmake a tidy profit since you only put up half the money!

The downside raises its ugly head if the stock drops. Remember, you still owethat other $5,000. Not only that, if the stock drops enough, you can be subject toa margin call. Your friendly broker wants to be sure you maintain a minimum maintenanceor security balance in the account. You may have to cough up the money a lot soonerthan you expected--especially since you believed YippeeKiAy.com was going to takeoff big time. And you still owe interest on the money you borrowed!

Unless you're a very sophisticated investor and are prepared to take some losses,keep margin debt out of your life. This is suppose to be easy, not ridiculous!


YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER

Forget about buying stocks on margin. Even experienced traders take losses doing this. This is anything but lazy investin g.


THE LAZY WAY

Debt has its place and that place is under your control, not the other way around.Debt that advances you along in life--i.e., home mortgage and school loans--shoulddefinitely be considered and researched for the best deals. Home equity loans havea limited place, as well, but keep in mind you are exposing your home to risk. Creditcard debt should be kept to a minimum, especially if you cannot pay off the balancein full at each billing. Paying off your credit card bills every month should becomeas automatic as paying your rent or mortgage.

Loans against your 401(k) and life insurance policy should be considered emergencyloans or very short-term loans. You don't want to lose sight of the purpose of eitheryour life insurance policy or your retirement investments by diluting them with loans.

Borrowing money on margin to buy equities can be very iffy. If you want to gamblethat badly, consider getting a penny ante poker game together with your friends.It's a lot cheaper and usually good for a few laughs.

Getting Time and Money on Your Side

The Old Way The Lazy Way
Incurring debt up to your eyeballs vs. controlling your spending and limiting it to what you can afford: Man, my eyes are killing me. I can see clearly now the pain is gone.
Borrowing against your 401(k) to pay for your new nuclear-powered, oversize barbecue vs. paying cash for a standard, charcoal-powered Weber: So I have to work until I'm 75. Look at this grill! Early retirement looks closer all the time.
Taking out a seven-year loan for a sports utility vehicle you'll never take off the road vs. a two-year loan for a used Toyota: Well, you never know when I might run into a really deep pothole. After investing the money I saved I'll be looking at a Porsche when I retire.
Paying minimum payments toward credit card debt vs. larger payments to pay off the bill sooner: Hey, I finally paid off the Christmas '75 bills. Hey, I paid off the bills from last Christmas.
Buying stocks on margin vs. paying cash: Now I know why they call this margin buying-- it's been very marginal. This seminar pushes margin buying. This guy must think I'm really stupid.
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