When I first started working in finance, I was overwhelmed by simple definitions.  It took a lot of time, patience, and self-education to become comfortable with general finance terms.  Even as I began to understand generalities, though, stock terms still intimidated me.  Stocks took even more of an effort on my part to become comfortable with terms and ideas, so I'm glad to have the chance to share the benefit with you!  Let’s continue our path toward stock term education by looking at “dividends” and “dividend yields”.


A couple of years ago, I found a “free horse.”  She had been emaciated, abused, and then neglected for the first four years of her life.  Eager to provide a better home for her, I took her.

Previously, I had owned horses and I have dealt with many problem horses, but Calypso was different.  Nearly as wild as a mustang and as hungry as a fox in a hen house, I soon became quite aware that there really is no such thing as a “free” horse. She was quickly depleting my horse budget.  More than anything, though, she was eating up my time and energy.

All of us pay taxes to make sure we have emergency services to help us in case of a fire or other problem. Emergency insurance, however, should not stop here. We also need to think about keeping our financial world safe by establishing an emergency fund, which can act like insurance for a job loss, accident, natural disaster or any other emergency.

How Much is Enough?

No doubt, when some of us hear the term "CD," we find ourselves thinking of our favorite music and artists (for me, it's Morrissey's "Vauxhall & I" which I just got from eBay for 99 cents).  But we're focusing on another kind of CD -- the kind that can make you money instead of take it from you: the certificate of deposit. 

What's a CD?

It's funny to think of people in terms of how much they are worth, but in finance, our monetary worth is calculated all the time.  A person's financial worth, or net worth, is a tool used in finance to determine the dangers or benefits a bank, credit card, or lending company may experience in lending a person money.  In personal finance, calculating and keeping track of your own net worth can help you get on track, stay on track or attain financial goals, so net worth becomes as important a tool for individuals as it is for financial institutions.

How is Net Worth Calculated?


The most wonderful time of the year will soon be upon us.  With snow falling, children giggling, horns honking, and roads icing, it’s time to take stock of where we’re at and where we want to be.  From vacations to disasters, this last week in the blogosphere proved to be quite entertaining for this reader. 

My mortgage and I didn’t always get along.  We had fights, and my mortgage often made me want to cry.  Recently, however, we came to a truce and decided to play nice with each other.  The following is our love story.

The mortgage – let’s call him Bob – and I met over a three-bedroom ranch in small-town Iowa.  We instantly fell in love.  Bob offered me the ability to own a home with the ease of an affordable down payment and low monthly payments, and I offered Bob hefty interest feedings…I mean payments. 

Just as with any investment, where there is potential gain, there is also potential risk.  So, while working from home may be a great investment in yourself, be sure to stay alert for potential scams.  With internet fraud lurking around every corner, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

Be vigilant in researching the job and the company.
You wouldn’t hand in a resume if you had to meet a guy on the corner to do so.  Internet jobs are the same way. 

Check out their storefront, a.k.a. -- the website:

As 2010 winds down (where did the year go?!), there is still time to complete your 2010 finance resolutions and take care of other money-business before 2011 rolls in.  Wouldn’t it be nice to start 2011 with a clean, organized financial slate?  Let’s look at some ways you can begin the new year without adding 2010’s unfinished financial goals to your 2011 resolutions.

Clean Up Old Goals

So you've made the decision to start investing in stocks, money is burning a hole in your wallet, and you're itching to get started.  In your mind's eye, you see a version of you dressed in a power suit elbowing your way through a room filled with financial types waving your fists in the air and shouting to "sell, sell, sell!"

Before you dash off to Wall Street, take a few more minutes here in front of your computer (dressed in your pjs and bunny slippers), and consider the types of stock brokers out there who can assist you with your leap into the world of investing in stocks.