Author

Kevin @ Just Start Investing

Kevin runs the personal finance website Just Start Investing, where he focuses on making investing easy. Just Start Investing has been featured on US News & World Report and Chime Bank, among other major publications for his easy-to-follow writing. Check out Just Start Investing to learn the simple strategies to start investing today, as well as ways to optimize your credit cards, banking and budget.

The Beginner’s Guide to Travel Hacking

Travel Hacking Tips and Tricks
The Beginner’s Guide to Travel Hacking

The Beginner’s Guide to Travel Hacking

With all the talk of a pending recession, saving some money on your next vacation is likely even more top of mind than usual. Luckily, there’s a solution out there to help you save money while still enjoying your next vacation! The answer is called travel hacking.

Travel hacking is just a fancy term that entails using existing systems to your advantage to get discounted and free airfare, hotels, car rentals, and other travel expenses. So you can get your next vacation on the house!

Below, we’ll highlight the six steps to travel hacking that any beginner can use to get started – yes, even during a recession.

What is Travel Hacking?

As briefly mentioned, travel hacking is the process of using existing systems to travel on a discount or for free.

That’s a little broad, though. More specifically, it involves taking advantage of programs such as:

  • Airline miles programs
  • Hotel rewards programs
  • Credit card rewards
  • Credit card sign-up bonuses
  • And more

So, for example, you sign up for an airline miles program and use the rewards from that program to get free flights. That’s the essence of travel hacking.

By signing up for and utilizing these programs, you can score some sweet deals, and we’ll highlight all of that and more in the six steps to travel hacking below.

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What Are Your Best Choices for Online Brokers?

Best Choices for Online Brokers
Best Choices for Online Brokers

Your Best Choices for Online Brokers

When it comes to investing, choosing where to invest is often the first and most crucial choice you make. Choose correctly, and you’ll be in a great spot to pick from a wide variety of low-cost funds and make trades for free. Choose poorly, and your investment options will be limited, and your fees will be high.

Online brokers come in all shapes and sizes, but the three things I always look for in a good broker are:

  1. Low fees
  2. Wide variety of low-cost index funds and ETFs (for you non-stock traders out there)
  3. Ease of use

Below we’ll break down some of the best brokers out there and score them on the three criteria above. This way, you can make a smart personal finance decision and choose the best online broker for you.

First, here’s a quick primer on what makes an online broker (you experts can skip ahead).

What is an Online Broker?

An online broker is essentially the same thing as a traditional broker, except, you guessed it, you utilize them via the internet.

Traditional stockbrokers give you a platform to execute trades and make investment decisions. That is, you pick which investment vehicles you want to invest in, and then work through a broker to make the purchase (or, eventually, the sale).

In the simplest terms possible, an online broker is a middle man. They are the bridge between you and the stock market.

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Robo-Advisors – What You Need to Know

What is a Robo Advisor?
What is a Robo Advisor?

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly – Robo-Advisor Edition

Robo-advisors might not be as inherently exciting as the 1966 Western Classic starring Clint Eastwood, but they are certainly more modern. 42 years after the debut of this Eastwood blockbuster, the first Robo-Advisor came onto the scene. And 11 years after that, we’re stealing the title of that movie classic to create our own Hollywood film (article), starring Robo-Advisors.

So grab your popcorn, fill up your 48oz cup of soda, and silence your cell phones – we’re embarking on a journey that every modern investor should complete.

Ever wonder why robo-advisors are getting so popular? And what the catch is (there is always a catch…)

Well, you’re in the right spot.

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Index Investing for Beginners – Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Index investing for beginners
Index Investing for Beginners

Index Investing for Beginners

Looking to get started with investing, but not exactly sure how to begin? Here’s a really helpful article that outlines the specific steps you can take, as a beginner investor.

It was written by my friend, Kevin, who blogs at Just Start Investing. (<– And if that isn’t the best suggestion ever, I don’t know what is!) By the way, Kevin’s blog was recently nominated for a Plutus Award in the category of Best Investing Blog. Be sure to check it out, because he has some amazing content on there!

And with that said, here is his comprehensive guide on how to get started investing for beginners.

Everyone should be investing in some capacity if they can. Whether it’s through a 401(k), a Roth IRA, or just a personal brokerage account, investing is one of the best things you can do for yourself! And if all those fancy numbers and abbreviations (looking at you, Roth IRA) mean nothing to you, don’t worry, we’re breaking down how anyone can get started in this index investing for beginners guide.

Before we get started, imagine this for a second… Let’s say when you were born you put $100 in your piggy bank. And every year for your birthday, you were fortunate enough to add $100 to that piggy bank (or your parents added it for you). When you turned 18 and went to withdraw that money, instead of it being $1,800, it was $3,700. Over double the amount you expected!

Magic! Right? Nope, that is the power of investing in the stock market which has historically provided 7% returns every year.

So now you’re 18, or 25, or 35, or 55, or however old you are today, and you want to set yourself up for a better future. Good! It’s never too late to start, and starting now is better than starting tomorrow.

So let’s start at the beginning.

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