Dividend.com: Money Management Center

“No one will ever care more about your money than you!” — famous words coined by Dividend.com founder and CEO Paul Rubillo. Below you’ll find some helpful articles on how to best save, invest, and spend your hard-earned money.

A Guide to Tax-Advantaged Savings Accounts

Let's face it, it is not smart to save money by stuffing cash under a mattress. After all, that cash ends up becoming less valuable over time due to inflation. Furthermore, you are not able to take advantage of interest and investment returns that could multiply your wealth by saving in a variety of savings and investment accounts. But that's not the end of the story; to fully see an increase in potential savings, you should look to store money in tax-advantaged savings accounts in order to lower your tax obligations each year. Read More »

An Introduction To Employee Stock Options

Maybe you’ve heard about the 1,000 early Google employees--including the company’s massage therapist--who became multimillionaires through their company stock options. Although the outcome of employee stock options (ESOs) is rarely as dramatic as it was at Google, a number of companies, ranging from start-ups to major corporations, offer them to employees. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, about 36 percent of the workforce owns shares in their companies’ stocks. ESOs can be a good investment, but they’re quite a bit more complicated than investing in the stock market directly. Read More »

Types Of Wills: Which One's For You?

Leaving a last will and testament or a legal trust is a must for anyone with assets, but there are many types of wills and trusts to choose from. A will is a document that states what will become of your estate after you die. The matter of a will can get complicated when you get married, as there are more options to choose from. Conversations about creating a will can make for a tough discussion piece between spouses; no one wants to think of a time when the other’s not there. But it makes a lot of sense to push one through to avoid a mess for your heirs down the line. We’ll look at the main types of wills that there are to choose from, and go over the basics, benefits and drawbacks for each type. Read More »

Introduction To Revocable Living Trusts

No one wants to think about the inevitability that they will some day pass away or become unable to manage their own assets, but it’s something you have to deal with while you’re still able to, so that things are easier on your loved ones later on. Some of the ways to do this are by writing a will or setting up a trust. Setting up a trust is a smart idea when it comes to designating who will be managing your assets if you pass away or if you become incapacitated and are unable to make financial decisions. We’ll look at what revocable living trusts are, how to set them up and how they work.   Read More »

The Risks Of Co-Signing For A Loan

Asking for help in obtaining a loan, or considering helping a loved one yourself by being a co-signer is often an uncomfortable—and inherently risky—situation. This happens to many people at some point, and they often agree to co-signing a loan because the person that asks is someone very close that they believe they can trust. It usually happens in the case of children who have not built up any credit but wish to get a loan for a car, or spouses with bad credit who need to make a major purchase. No matter who is asking you to co-sign, you need to do your research before you agree, and in many cases—as hard as it will be—you should decline to co-sign. We’ll look at what co-signing is, how it affects the co-signer and everything that can go wrong. Read More »

Money Tips For Those Leaving The Nest

If you’re moving out for the first time, there are a lot of financial considerations you’ll have to think about to make sure you don’t boomerang back into your parents’ basement. For many, it will seem like a natural step, until they’re confronted with the hidden costs that they take for granted while living at home. With the right financial preparation and budgeting, however, moving out can go smoothly and teach you many financial lessons that you’ll be able to use throughout your life. We’ll go through the considerations you need to make, how to find the right living quarters and how to make sure leaving the nest is a financially successful move. Read More »

A Guide To Dealing With Credit Card Debt

If you’re deep in credit card debt, you’re paying a lot in interest just for the privilege of having that debt. If you’re looking at more than $10,000 in debt, you can be paying upwards of $2,000 per year, if you’re just making the minimum monthly payments, and even more if you’ve used your credit cards for cash advances. The bad news is that, unless you claim bankruptcy you’re on the hook for this debt; the good news is that there are options out there that will make it easier than carrying the debt for years and paying a fortune in interest payments. We’ll look at some  options that are available for dealing credit card debt, and what kind of scams you need to look out for. Once you take care of your credit card debt, you'll have more money to invest in dividend-paying stocks. Read More »

Introduction To Savings Bonds

When you want to invest for safety and stability, your go-to is bonds. They don’t have the same kind of excitement that investors sometimes look for, but when the markets start to drop, savings bonds can be quite appealing. Whether you’re looking for safety or just trying to diversify your investing portfolio, you should know about bonds. Even though bonds won't give you the returns of a good dividend-investing portfolio, bonds do have a place in many portfolios. We’ll look at what savings bonds are, their advantages and disadvantages and when they’re a smart investment. Read More »

An Introduction To Rebalancing Your Portfolio

When mapping out your investment portfolio you start off with your initial plan; you know what assets you want to own and how much of these various assets you wish to hold. However, as time goes on, the value, and therefore weighting, of your holdings will naturally fluctuate due to their market performance. Perhaps now your portfolio is not properly balanced; you may be subject to overexposure in one asset class. When this occurs, it is recommended that you adjust your positions accordingly to get back to your original asset allocation plan so that you don't overcommit to any one asset or asset class. This maintenance process is known as rebalancing your portfolio. Read More »

Your Marriage: Financial Do’s and Don’ts

According to a survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, money is the top source of friction among couples in the United States. Couples fight about money more than anything else, and the survey suggests that money tension intensifies throughout a couple’s relationship until it peaks in their 50s and 60s. Yikes. At an average of four arguments per month, that’s a long lifetime of bickering. Read More »

An Introduction To Money Market Accounts

When it comes to saving money, there’s no greater ally than compound interest. Without it, it would be hard to grow your savings beyond inflation’s creeping grasp. That’s why the interest rates we get on our savings are so important. But while most people are aware of high-interest savings accounts, many are in the dark about this type of account’s higher-paying counterpart, money market accounts. In fact, many of the savings accounts banks market as high-yield accounts are, in fact, money market accounts. Read More »

Prioritizing Your Finances

A common question for families looking to balance their financial lives is where their priorities should be when it comes to putting their money to work. Figuring out what is best to pay off or save for can be overwhelming, but there is some straightforward finance logic that can help you out. The plan you come up with will completely depend on your situation and you must take into account levels of debt, mortgage, income and saving goals. For everyone, your plan will be slightly different, but there are some rules that can apply to all households. We’ll go over what your financial goals should be, and the best way to prioritize and determine how you pay off debt and start saving. Read More »

Money-Saving Shopping Tips

In order to maximize the amount you can add to your dividend stock portfolio, you’ll want to be as efficient as possible in your everyday expenditures. There’s no sense in paying more than you have to when you could be taking those extra funds and having them increase your overall wealth and standard of living. We’ll look at how to save money on your weekly grocery bill, clothing expenses, furniture and big-ticket items, and look at some money-saving techniques for back-to-school shopping. Read More »

Easy Ways To Cut Vacation Costs

Many readers are looking to find extra funds to add to their dividend-stock portfolio. There are definitely ways to cut expenses from every part of your daily life so that you can put that money to work for you. One thing that many people regularly plan every year, and consider to be a normal yearly expense, is a family vacation. This is a time when you should be able to leave all of your stresses behind and do something that you and your family will enjoy – so you don’t want the money you’re saving to come at the expense of enjoying your time off as much as possible. Read More »

Your Financial Responsibilities When A Loved One Passes

Dealing with the death of someone close to you is one of the hardest things in life. The emotional ramifications of this type of loss can be overwhelming, and they can be compounded in many cases when survivors have to settle the financial affairs of the deceased. In some cases, the deceased has appointed a specific person to settle their estate, but when this does not happen the courts will appoint an appropriate person, such as a family member, to perform this task. Having at least a general idea of what you will have to do if you are chosen can make this task a lot easier. Read More »

Bankruptcy: What It Is And When It's The Best Option

Personal bankruptcy is usually the last option for those in so much debt that they can’t hope to pay them off – even with a debt repayment plan and some kind of debt forgiveness. Though bankruptcy has a large effect on your credit score, and affects whether you’ll be extended credit or a mortgage years into the future, it usually comes at a point when your credit score has already received a beating from unpaid debts. Read More »

Dealing With Creditors: Your Rights And Best Practices

Unfortunately, if you’re not prepared for loss of income or a huge expense, you can encounter a time in your life when you will fall behind on your payments to creditors. The good news is that you’re not in a hopeless situation and you have options to help you through this tough time. The best thing to educate yourself on first is your rights when it comes to creditors; after we go over this, we’ll look at the options that available to you when you get behind on paying down debt. Read More »

Credit Cards: Know The Rules – And Your Rights

Using a credit card is easy, but understanding the rules and fine print that come along with it is anything but. That’s no accident. Credit cards are ruled by complicated contracts with all kinds of caveats, and they’re all designed to do one thing: Ensure that the credit card company gets its money. Fortunately, the tides turned a little in consumers’ favor in 2009, when the Credit CARD Act was signed into law. This law laid out federal guidelines to help protect consumers from some of the tricks credit card companies had come up with to boost profits at the expense of consumers. Read More »

A Guide To Saving And Retirement Planning When You’re In Your 30s

Everyone knows that the sooner you start saving the better, but when you’re young, paying off student debt and working an entry-level job, it can seem overwhelming to also be planning to buy a house or for retirement. Once you get to the point where you are able to start putting away money (ideally in your late-20s or early 30s), there are some key things to keep in mind that will help you in setting up a realistic and successful financial life. Read More »

Kids And Credit Cards: Everything You Need To Know

If you’re responsible with your credit cards, they can be very convenient and useful in your day-to-day finances. If you have a no- or low-fee card that offers rewards points, and you always pay your balance on time, credit cards actually earn you money when you spend. For those that aren’t responsible, however, credit cards are a one-way ticket to growing debts and bad credit. Many people have to have a bad experience with credit cards in order to treat them responsibly, and usually those credit card mistakes happen when you’re first starting to use a credit card. For this reason, it’s a smart idea to prepare and educate your child on credit cards before they obtain their first one. Read More »

How Unpaid Debts Affect Your Life

Damaging your credit can have huge negative effects that you will have to deal with throughout your life. The worst part about incurring unpaid debts and damaging your credit is that you can do the most damage before you are taking your financial responsibilities seriously—in college, for instance—and the bad moves you make at a young age can hurt your chances of owning a home, having a car or even getting a job. A growing number of consumers mistakenly believe that simply handing in their keys is the best option when it comes to debts they can’t afford, but there are many other ways to deal with debt while avoiding credit score damage. We’ll look at how people can get into this situation, and what moves they should—and shouldn’t—make if they’re unlucky enough to find themselves with overwhelming debt that they can’t afford. Read More »

7 Credit Score Myths

Everyone talks about credit scores and credit history, but they’re not fully understood by most consumers. Consumers are often misinformed about the factors that can actually negatively affect their credit score. Check out some of the factors below that are commonly mistaken as lowering your credit score. Read More »

Bad Credit? 8 Ways To Get A Mortgage Anyway

Perhaps you’ve fallen on hard times or made some financial mistakes. If you’re lucky, you’ve learned from those mistakes, and are on better financial footing. Even so, it can take some time for your credit score to reflect that, making it hard to get any kind of loan or mortgage. If you’ve already been turned down by your bank for a mortgage, you may not realize that it’s actually quite easy to get a loan when you have bad credit. The catch is that you’ll pay through the nose for it. Read More »

Help Your Aging Parents Keep Their Finances In Order

Any parent will tell you that raising a child is a major financial burden. But children often discover that caring for their parents when they get old can be just as big a responsibility, and the issues that grown children who try to help their parents manage their money face can extend far beyond simple numbers and transactions. In many cases, this reversal of roles sends both parents and children into a complex emotional maze that can be difficult to navigate under even the best of circumstances. But a few practical pointers can make this potentially awkward task much easier.

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A Guide To Prepaid Debit And Credit Cards

If you don’t trust yourself with a credit card, don’t have a checking account or your credit is so bad that no credit card company will give you one, there’s an alternative you can use: prepaid debit and credit cards. These cards are a lot like gift cards, except that prepaid cards can be used in more places. The card is exactly what it sounds like; it’s preloaded with funds, and when you spend what you’ve loaded onto the card, you can’t spend any more (for the most part). It might seem like a handy tool to keep your spending in order, or a great way to keep yourself from racking up debt, but there are many things you should be aware of before getting a prepaid card. Read More »

A Guide To Debt Settlement

If you’re in over your head when it comes to debt, one option that you have open to you is debt settlement. Debt settlement is not the same as debt management or a debt repayment plan, and is an option available to those that are so deeply in the debt that they cannot afford to pay it off. Because of this, debt settlement is not something to be taken lightly, as it will have a serious impact on your credit. As well, there are many issues with debt settlement and debt settlement companies that you need to be aware of before you decide this is the right route for you. Read on to find out what debt settlement is, when you can use it, the truth about debt settlement companies and the downside of debt settlement. Read More »

Free Online Budgeting Tools And Best Practices

Coming up with a monthly budget is an important step in ensuring your financial security. This has become much easier now that some of the best budgeting tools that you have at your disposal are free online. Before you start with the budgeting tools, though, it’s best to take a realistic look at how much you spend and make each month, and consider your financial goals. This will give you a better idea of how to set up the online budgeting tools so that they work best for you. Read More »

How To Prevent Identity Theft

Though security software is a thriving industry, and is constantly being updated to deal with criminals, identity theft is still an ongoing problem, and the thieves are usually one step ahead of the technology companies. If this has ever happened to you, you know what a nightmare it can be; aside from the bureaucratic hassle of getting new credit and debit cards, you also need to deal with credit companies and banks to ensure that purchases you didn’t make won’t harm your finances or credit standing. The good news is that there are many things you can do yourself that will prevent identity theft, or limit its damages if you are unfortunate to become an identity theft victim. Read More »

Introduction To Wills And Estates

An astonishing percentage of Americans do not have a will or any kind of estate plan that will protect their families or their assets after they are gone. This glaring shortfall can be easily rectified by having this critical legal document drawn up. Complex wills can take weeks or months to create and cost thousands of dollars to complete, but simple wills are sufficient for the majority of lower- and middle-class citizens and can be created in less than a week for just a few hundred dollars or less.

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A Guide To Credit Unions

During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, many people lost their faith in banks because of rampant bankruptcies, questionable investments and even more questionable loans. There is perception that some banks are just trying to make maximum profits and are not concerned about their customers’ savings and well-being. Aside from these broader complaints about banks, many customers are fed up with the introduction of new fees, and the fact that most banks have a global focus, rather than a focus on the community in which their customers live. Read More »

How To Get The Best Deal On A Car

Buying a new (or used) car is as exciting as it is stressful. A car is one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make, and chances are that you’ll have to do it more than a few times throughout your life. Doing proper research, finding the best deal, making sure you’re getting the right car for you, trade-ins, financing, warranties and extras are all aspects of car buying that you should know about. Read on to learn more about making the right choice when it comes to buying a car. Read More »

The Pros And Cons Of Compound Interest

Interest rates are on the minds of most consumers. Whether it is the interest rate on loans or the yields on various investments, almost everyone has some sort of stake when it comes to interest. Moreover, the accumulation of interest is a big concern among those with debts and investments. Sometimes this interest can be beneficial to your wealth, while other times interest can end up draining your bank account. Depending how you take advantage of certain interest rate calculations, it can truly benefit your overall wealth while limiting downsides. Read More »

A Common-Sense Guide To Credit Cards

There’s a lot of credit card debt in the U.S., about $5,000 per person according to figures released by TransUnion in November 2012. As a result, what we often hear about credit cards is how bad they are for our finances. To be fair, credit cards are designed to entice consumers to spend more – and more than they can afford. If they weren’t, the credit card business just wouldn’t be profitable. That said, a credit card can be a handy financial tool when used mindfully. This simple guide will provide some tips to help you enjoy the convenience of credit – and keep your cash too. Read More »

How Divorce Affects Finances - And How You Can Protect Yourself

Though you may be in wedded bliss, the facts are that nearly half of marriages end in divorce. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, based on data gathered between 2006 and 2010, over the course of 20 years, 48% of women will have some sort of marriage disruption, be it a separation or divorce. The same source gives an 86% probability that a separation will lead to divorce. Divorce is an issue that affects many people in the U.S., and aside from the obvious emotional toll it takes on a family, it can also lead to large financial issues for the couple involved. We’ll be looking at how divorce affects debt, what you can do, and finally look at some of the startling figures of how divorce can affect your finances. Read More »

A Guide To Financial Preparation For A New-Born

Getting prepared for a new baby is a huge undertaking, both mentally and financially. While all soon-to-be parents psychologically prepare for it in different ways, in this articles we’ll go over some of the financial considerations you need to keep in mind. First-time parents can sometimes get really caught up in the excitement of having a child, and their spending can get carried away. As well, career changes are definitely on the table, if one parent wishes to take time off and stay at home with the child. Of course, spending money and lifestyle changes are inevitable, but we’ll help you evaluate and plan so that, at least on the financial side, you’re prepared. The mental preparation is still up to you. Read More »

How To Quickly Repair Your Credit

If you’re getting ready to go in for a loan or to apply for a mortgage, it’s time to find out your credit score. Not knowing your credit score can really hurt you if there are erroneous or false financial information contained in your credit history. Luckily, once you find an error on your report, you can call the credit reporting company, and have them correct the information before you apply for a loan with poor credit. If your credit is not stellar in general, there are other things you can do to improve the score. Once your score is repaired and you've paid down your debts, you can't once again start investing in your dividend stock portfolio. Below, check out how to dispute mistakes in your credit score and some other ways to fix your credit. If you’re not sure about how a credit score is affected, check out our article on the FICO credit score for some background information before reading on. Read More »

Why You Need An Emergency Fund - And How To Build One

No one likes to think about financial emergencies. The big ones probably entail losing your job, getting really sick or falling prey to some other disaster. In other words, they aren’t just financial disasters, they’re personal ones whose effects extend far beyond the bottom line. Maybe that’s why we’re so reluctant to start an emergency fund. It’s like a bad omen; put that money in the bank and you may just have to use it. Read More »

An Introduction To Certificates Of Deposit (CDs)

If you keep a significant amount of money in a savings account, chances are that keeping risk to a minimum is important for you. But while savings accounts certainly are safe, they pay just about the lowest returns you can get in the investing world. Certificates of deposit (CDs) offer a reasonable alternative; they pay more than a savings account, but provide the same level of certainty that your balance will only increase, rather than suffer a market-based decline. Here we’ll take a basic look at CDs, how they work and how you can buy them. Read More »

7 Sure-Fire Money-Saving Banking Moves

Getting a bank account is often our first introduction to the world of money, and it often happens at such a young age that we take that part of our financial lives for granted. Our paychecks are deposited to our accounts, we withdraw money to pay for the things we need, and we assume that’s all there is to it. The reality is that the options and variety available in the world of checking and savings accounts means that leaving everything up to chance can get very expensive. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much work to implement key money-saving banking moves and keep a little more of your hard-earned money to yourself. Read More »

How To Create An Effective Financial Plan

Just as investors need a plan to build the foundation of their investing objective, they also need a financial plan to figure out what they want to achieve throughout their lives, and how best to organize their investments to coincide with life goals. Without a plan, investing can go off course and lead to underwhelming and unplanned results. We look at what a good financial plan should entail. Read More »

FICO Credit Scores: Everything You Need To Know

When you’re trying to get a loan, you will constantly hear about a credit rating. The amount of the loan, the interest rate on it, and whether the loan is actually given at all, are all heavily dependent on the credit rating of the person seeking the loan. In addition to lending conditions, credit also affects your insurance premiums, and landlords look at it to determine whether you’ll be a rent-paying tenant. Read More »