Thinking ahead about how investing can support financial goals is the purpose of planning. Naturally, there’s lots of talk about common planning targets: retirement and college. But there’s also consideration of how to achieve multiple goals at various stages of life — whether covering basic needs or leaving a legacy — and how taxes and tax planning could impact results. Articles in the planning category allow you to clarify how today’s decisions can impact efforts to grow, manage, and maintain wealth.

Bond Investing Terms: The Basics

One of the shortcomings in my investment knowledge has been bonds. As a business major, stock investing — buying shares of a publicly traded corporation — has been intuitive. Investing in bonds has seemed more mysterious, largely because of the different types of bonds and the lingo unique to this investment genre.

I’ve held bond funds in my portfolio but they’ve underperformed my stocks by a large margin and failed to provide stability to my portfolio. As I prepare for retirement and more passivity in my portfolio management, I plan to become a better investor particularly in the realm of diversification. Understanding bonds is an essential part of this process and so I’ve begun to delve into this area.

Buying an individual bond is like making a loan to a government or corporate entity. I invest money in return for interest and payback of principal by the borrowing entity at the end of the loan term. The presence of a secondary market (see below) makes bond investing more complex. Understanding common bond investing terms is the foundation of grasping bond investing.

Guide to Choosing Health Insurance (with Spreadsheet)

Choosing health insurance can be confusing, especially when you compare traditional plans with high deductible health plans (HDHPs). Buying insurance on the open market and comparing employer-sponsored plans taught me that choosing the perfect policy for varying health scenarios is impossible.

Still, I’ve learned that I can make a reasonable guess on the plan that might work best for my family. Here are some steps I’ve taken to clarify the pros and cons of health plans available to me: