It’s Time to Go Contrarian

People tell me all the time that they’re a “contrarian”…

I must admit, that makes me laugh.

Think You Have Sinus Pain? You’re Wrong

Across the U.S., many of us go outside and see the same thing – sheets of pollen covering our cars every morning.

For about 50 million Americans, that only means one thing… It’s the beginning of headache season.

One of My Favorite Ways to Ease an Aching Back

It happens too often: Searing, thudding pain stops you in your tracks. Sometimes it’s when you’re bending over or trying to lift something off the ground. You can’t play with your grandkids or even walk up your stairs without discomfort.

For just about all of you reading this, you know all too well the agony of back pain. Back pain affects about 80% of Americans at some point in their lives.

Three Credit Myths Your Bank Wants You to Believe

Beware bad advice…

Recently, a family member asked me (Laura) for some credit-card advice.

Should You Bet on the World’s Largest Company?

It’s a race to $1 trillion…

It won’t be long now before either Apple (APPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), or Amazon (AMZN) become the first publicly-traded $1 trillion company…

Hack Your Future With These Two Tricks

Last week, I (Amanda) wrote about the mistakes people make with their rollover IRA accounts.

Let’s say you’ve opened a new rollover IRA. Or maybe you opened a traditional or Roth IRA… or you just started a 401(k).

If you’re like most Americans, you’re likely nervous about how to choose your investments. Don’t worry. There are two secrets you need to know to make a solid portfolio.

First, figure out your allocation and risk tolerance.

As we discussed in our issue “Overcoming Your Biggest Character Flaw,” stocks hold the highest risk, but also offer the biggest reward. The least risky are certificates of deposit (CDs) and U.S. Treasury bills.

Depending on your age, you’ll want to pick your investments accordingly. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you have more time to recover from potential losses, so take advantage of more stocks (and their growth). Think of a split around 90% stocks and 10% bonds or 80% and 20%. Remember, this mix changes depending on your comfort level and personal circumstances. If you’re very risk-averse, fewer stocks are a better option.

If you’re in your 40s or 50s, move more toward fixed income like bonds. By the time you’re 50, you’ll want to be at about 60% stocks and 40% bonds.

My Favorite Strategy to Lower Risk and Boost Returns

By most people’s logic… we should have retired our favorite strategy years ago.

Most people will tell you that you can only make money in options when stock prices are highly volatile.

Your ‘Melt Up’ Moment Has Arrived

When is it time to get out of the market?

We’re getting this question a lot. And it’s a valid question. After all, we’re in one of the longest bull markets in history…

Stocks have been on fire in recent years, with the S&P 500 Index more than doubling since June 2012.

Yet it was a small 10% correction earlier this month that spooked a lot of investors. At the time, we sent out a note telling readers not to panic and that the drop in stocks might be short-lived. History showed us that stocks, after a correction without a recession attached to it, tended to bounce right back in a few months.

And that’s exactly what happened. Since the bottom of the correction, the market is already up just about 7%. I hope you took our advice and didn’t succumb to fear earlier this month. Now is not the time to get out.

Corrections are healthy to market cycles… And yes, even to bull markets. During the last major bull market, from 1998 to 2000, the Nasdaq Composite Index soared more than 200%. What you might not know is that there were five separate times that the index fell by about 10% during that same period. After each correction, the market kept churning higher.

So this is correction is nothing new. We welcome it. It reminds investors that stocks can indeed go down from time to time. The “Melt Up” – as our colleague Steve Sjuggerud calls it – appears to be back in full swing.

Some of you might remember the Melt Up during the late ’90s, but this current bull market feels a bit different. For starters, it’s less “mania-y”. Back then, investors piled into any dot-com stock without any substantial fundamental data backing up valuations.

The dot-com companies thought they couldn’t lose either. During the 2000 Super Bowl, 17 different dot-com companies bought ad spots during the game for a combined $44 million. As we all know now, most dot-coms didn’t last the year… By 2001, there were only three dot-com companies that bought ads during that Super Bowl.

Investors in those companies lost a lot of money. Folks initially thought that Internet stocks were a ticket to get rich quick… And you didn’t want to be the fool sitting on the sidelines missing out on free money.

That’s not the mindset today.

Sure, stock valuations are stretched. But investor optimism drives valuations more than euphoria.

From 2010 to the end of 2017, more than 50% of the gains in the S&P 500 came from something tangible – higher profits…

The Cornerstone of Preventing Investment Worry

For those of you constantly fearing the next market crash, there’s one thing you need to remember…

The U.S. stock market is the greatest wealth creation tool in history.

How to Profit From Your Health Care Plan

The average American household spends more than $800 a month on health insurance.

That number doesn’t include additional expenses like copays and deductibles. One study from the Commonwealth Fund found that the average family spends 10% of its wealth on health insurance. That’s up from 6.5% 10 years ago.

The rising costs of coverage has pushed people to choose health care plans with even higher deductibles to save on the monthly cost.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40% of Americans have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). But if you have a medical emergency, you could be on the line for $1,000 or more in costs before you meet your deductible.

So today, we’ll explain how to put aside money for emergencies and take advantage of a loophole that allows you to profit from your health care plan.

HDHPs are one of three main health insurance plans. The other two are health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs).

Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) offer local plans that focus on in-network providers. That means they have specific doctors, specialists, and hospitals they work with. They’ve worked with the insurance plan to offer reduced rates in exchange for getting more patients through the insurance company.