Making good investment decisions

Are you ‘good’ at investing?  What do you base that answer on? Most people unconsciously base their personal view of their investing skills on a few past instances of success or failure, mixed with various cognitive biases like anchoring, selective perception and optimism bias.  So what can a simple human do if they want to […]

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How will you invest now?

The market went down, and some ran (they always do). And then it went down more, and more ran (“this time it’s different!”). Then it went up. So, how will you invest now? And more importantly, what was your plan back then?  How did it hold up? Ready to learn something about yourself that will […]

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Worried about your finances? Know your worst case scenario

MoneyMerc is dedicated to “little decisions” that make a big impact.  Our little decision for today is to make sure you know your financial worst case scenario.  These are uncertain times – but the time to plan for the worst case is before you are living it.  Of course everyone’s situation is different, and no […]

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ETF investing pitfalls

(photo: Dave Malkoff) An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is similar to an index fund – they are typically not actively managed and therefore (often) have low management fees.  Sometimes when you can’t find the perfect fund for your asset allocation, an ETF will fill that gap.  But ETFs aren’t good for regular automatic investments, because […]

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How and why to improve your credit score

Last year I attended an FPA session on improving your credit score by Oksana at StrategyCredit.  Here are some things I learned, many of which most people don’t know. Your credit score really just measures the chance you’ll pay someone – essentially how much of a financial risk you are.  They are used for everything […]

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Wisdom from the Oracle – Part 3

This is the last in a series of posts covering the lessons to be learned from Warren Buffett’s Letter to Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway.  [See Part 1 (on the economy) and Part 2 (on investing)] On home ownership: Home ownership is a wonderful thing. My family and I have enjoyed my present home for 50 […]

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Wisdom from the Oracle – Part 2 (retake!)

[Apologies for the first version of this post!  My editor must have accidentally posted the non-complete version ;-)] This is the second post in a series reviewing Warren Buffett’s letter to shareholders, which I think holds good lessons for us all.  [See Part 1]. On investing: When investing, pessimism is your friend, euphoria the enemy. […]

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Wisdom from the Oracle – Part 1: a look at Warren Buffett’s annual Letter to Shareholders

Warren Buffet’s famous Letter to Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway was released this past Saturday. The letter is long, but an enjoyable read – I was cracking up during lot’s of it – Buffett can be hilarious.  I’ll share some comments on parts that I think readers will find particularly interesting.  There are tidbits here that […]

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Weekend todo list: 10 ways to improve your finances right away

Last week I went to a talk hosted by the Cornell Young Alumni Network about budgeting.  Avi and Matt, the Co-founder and Lead Scientist (respectively) of JustThrive.com spoke about money, budgeting and the psychology of financial choices.  They also took us through their online tool at JustThrive.  I’ve mentioned Mint a number of times, but […]

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Announcing “Ask me a question”

Starting today I’m offering readers the ability to ask a question privately to me through MoneyMerc.  If you have been wondering anything about your personal finances, or just don’t get something you heard about, go ahead and ask! I promise to respond as soon as I can, usually in a week or less (so don’t […]

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