Thriving is living well at all phases of your investing life, whether you’ve just begun investing or you’re managing a large investment portfolio. Behavioral finance articles explore how making smart investment decisions and maintaining your peace of mind live happily together. Additional aspects of living well include fitness, relationships, and giving. The Thriving category offers insights and practical guidance for enjoying your life.

3 Steps to Avoiding Fear in Personal Finance

Are you afraid of revealing your personal financial situation and being judged harshly by financial professionals, your parents, or other people in your social circle? If yes, then you are not alone.

According to a 2014 survey of 2,000+ U.S. adults commissioned by TradeKing Advisors, 57% of would-be investors say that the thought of speaking with a financial adviser in person (either in a face-to-face meeting or on the telephone) has stopped them from investing. Seventy-four percent of Millennials (ages 18-34) and 66% of Gen X (ages 35-44) have allowed fear to paralyze them.

Whether you are part of these generations or not, you don’t have to be afraid.

6 Financial Goals to Consider

When I was younger, I was often told by financial professionals that I needed to set financial goals. I heard that I should first define my life ambitions. Next, I needed to marry my professional and personal aims with specific financial goals. Then I could plot my path to achieving my dreams.

However, when I was in my early twenties, I hadn’t yet gotten clarity on exactly how I might spend the next 30 to 50 years of my life. More than three decades after my first awkward conversation with a financial professional, I’ve learned that I am (relatively) normal.

College Savings: Three Accounts to Consider

When I started saving for my children’s education, 529 Plans weren’t yet introduced. So I saved within a UTMA/UGMA and then a Coverdell Education Savings Account. Each type of account seemed to have advantages and drawbacks. I wanted to save more for college in a designated account. But I had heard (more than once) that parents can’t borrow money for their retirement in the way that children can borrow for their education.

Eventually I came to realize that just because my retirement is a financial priority doesn’t mean I couldn’t set aside some money for my kids’ education. Even if though I didn’t save for the entire college experience — tuition, fees, room, board, books, study abroad, etc. — what I tucked away was extremely useful.

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