Sometimes you just need a reminder that you're doing a good job...and so does everyone else. I was reminded of this the other night when my hubby and I finally got around to watching the Thanksgiving episode of one of our favorite TV shows -- NBC's "Parenthood."

You might be thinking, what on earth does a TV show have to do with investing in anything?  But one particular scene in this Thanksgiving episode really got me to thinking about moms in general, and about how much we need to support and invest in each other. Let me set the stage:

From Looking Back to Looking Ahead

The time has finally arrived—the day that never comes:  Tomorrow.  We have surpassed the first decade of the 21st century and have now embarked on the next.  If you’re reading this, that means you’ve made it.  Congratulations and Happy New Year!  From recaps to resolutions, the Internet is now brimming with old regrets and new reasons for hope. 

Here are some of the posts you all shared.  I enjoyed reading them all.  Each of you offered unique sense of inspiration to continue on into the next year.

We talked earlier this week about mutual funds. Historically mutual funds allowed us to pick a fund manager and have him manage our funds, as well as other investors', in a large pool. In recent years however, a different kind of mutual fund has become very popular, the index fund.

What is an Index Fund?

I come from a family who built their worth from real estate.  My grandparents started out poor, and they bought a run-down house for a song.  Before their first child was born, they poured blood, sweat and tears into renovating the house.  Then, they sold that house to move up the real estate chain, purchasing a new home across town.  This house was also renovated and sold, while two more children were added to the mix. 

See? You can take more than just a story from a kids' flick!

Never follow a white rabbit.
Don’t let your stock broker or financial advisor rush you to jump into a decision -- you could end up in a money pit. Think carefully before you make a move, and always feel free to get a second opinion.

Pinch yourself if it feels like you're dreaming.

Financial planning can be very difficult, not just because it is difficult to deny yourself any luxuries you may have become accustomed to (my luxury, as you know, is a grande sugar-free vanilla half-fat latte) but because it can be really boring to watch your finances.  So how can you motivate yourself to keep an eye on your money and make necessary changes in your financial planning?  To begin, you can start by making an ideal financial plan that it's possible to stick with. 

For many people a mutual fund presents one of the easiest ways to get involved in the stock market. Rather than buy specific stocks, mutual funds allow you to pool your money with a bunch of other investors and buy a collection of stocks together. This pooling of money also makes it possible for the group to hire a money manager to choose the stocks, which can yield better returns than if we were to all choose stocks on our own. So let's take a closer look at mutual funds and their advantages and disadvantages.


Funny thing, this whole Christmas fiasco: At a time we should be relaxing and remembering the true meaning of our lives, and how it surrounds us, instead we let the commercial side engulf us. Time is of the essence in so many important aspects of our lives. So, in honor of all the time-crunched individuals out there (including me), this weekly round-up is going to be short and succinct.

Here are some of my favorite posts I came across this week:

This Christmas, many of us are thinking DIY gifts and even IOU “time with me” coupons.  While we’re saving money, though, why not take the time to explain to your kids a few important points about this time of year. 

If your child looks up at you with puppy dog eyes, silently pleading for that next gift that won’t come (it wasn’t in the budget), answer that plea with knowledge instead of longing.  After all, Christmas is a time for giving.

The name "CD ladder" sounds pretty cryptic, but they're really not so complicated. CD ladders can be a great tool for making the most of your cash, so let's take a close look at them.

What is a CD Ladder?