Mind Your Money

 

Welcome to the library's multi-author blog and associated resources for increased financial literacy. This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association

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For questions or comments about this program, please send email to mym [at] hmcpl [dot] org.

 

 

Just in time for tax season: Download your previous tax returns from the IRS

A small part of doing your taxes might not be so daunting anymore. An official from the United States Department of the Treasury announced today that Americans can now download their tax returns directly from the IRS from the new service Get Transcript. The announcement was made at the White House’s education "Datapalooza," a meeting of hackers and policy leaders that explored how open government data can help the country's education system.

Read more from The Verge

Screenshot of the Get Transcript .gov site

Northrop Grumman hosts the first Mind Your Money Class

Congratulations to our first class! The students, all who are employees of our corporate partnerNorthrup Grumman, enjoyed a light lunch as they began to learn practical steps to a secure financial future. Mohammad G. Robbani, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Economics & Finance at Alabama A&M University, was the instructor for this session.

Thanks to all who participated, we look forward to the second session on January 28th!

Mohammad G. Robbani, Ph.D. Chair, Department of Economics & Finance. Alabama A&M

Narrow your focus to save money

Great article from Time on an easier way to save money:

The trick to making a savings plan stick is to think about small, specific steps that can be repeated over time," Leona Tam says. "When it comes to putting practical steps into place to make our savings goals happen, the future isn’t a great place to focus. Gazing off into the horizon can leave us tripping over our feet, so to speak.

Read more: Want to Save Money? Stop Thinking About the Big Picture

Narrow Your Focus

From MarketWatch: 5 critical retirement investing mistakes to avoid

A new book titled “Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing” gives us five great tips on saving for retirement. More from MarketWatch:

1. Don’t ignore the detrimental effects of inflation on fixed income and financial assets. For example, as inflation increases, the required rate of return on bonds increases resulting in a decrease in bond prices.

2. Don’t react emotionally to news stories or short-term trends about the stock market.

3. Don’t chase past performance. Mutual funds attract investors by increasing their advertising on high performing funds. Using past performance as a strategy rarely works. Thus, retirees should avoid jumping on the bandwagon and following the herd.

4. Don’t ignore the effect that personality, mood, affect, and cognitive biases shape investment and trading decisions.

5. Don’t fail to have a diversified portfolio. That is, putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea from an investment perspective.

WSJ: The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got (or Gave)

The holidays are a time for relaxing, helping the less fortunate, showering family and friends with love and attention—and, sometimes, for smiling and nodding through unsolicited stock tips from an overbearing relative who has been sampling the eggnog.

But good advice can make careers and forever change lives for the better. So The Wall Street Journal asked an array of prominent people who manage, invest, study and write about money to share the single best piece of financial advice they ever received—or gave.

The respondents included investors who collectively have earned billions of dollars for clients and themselves; founders and owners of businesses that are household names; and Nobel laureates who shaped the world's understanding of the forces that drive the stock market.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Contributed by Dorla Evans, Mind Your Money Instructor

BrokerCheck

BrokerCheck is a free tool to help investors research the professional backgrounds of current and former FINRA-registered brokerage firms and brokers, as well as investment adviser firms and representatives.

Through BrokerCheck, investors can:

  • Search for information about brokers and brokerage firms
  • Search for information about investment adviser firms and representatives
  • Obtain online background reports, if available
  • Link to additional resources such as educational tools for investors
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