People have been studying business and finance for years. As a result, there are many theories and models that use objective data to predict how markets will respond under certain circumstances. The Capital Asset Pricing Model, efficient market hypothesis, and others have a reasonably good track record of predicting the markets. But these models assume some unlikely things, such as: Investors always have complete and accurate information at their disposal, Investors have a reasonable tolerance for risk, and that tolerance does not change. Investors will always seek to make the most money at the greatest value. Investors will always make the most rational choices.
Motley Fool’s You Have More Than You Think. The creators of one of the most popular financial stock market sites, www.fool.com, brothers Tom and David Gardner also wrote the New York Times Bestseller You Have More Than You Think. The Gardner brothers’ book aims to show how even inexperienced investors can invest the smallest amounts of money and still make a profit. Their far-from-foolish advice includes how to reduce your debt and find money to invest, how to find the best investments, how to manage your 401(k), and more. As with most of their writing, this personal finance book is a fun and easy to read.
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Best for Shared Expenses: Spendee. Many other personal finance apps are for individual use. Spendee allows you to create shared wallets with friends and family that you can use to manage shared expenses for a household budget. Import your bank transactions and let the app categorize them for you to tally how you’re spending money each month. You can manually add cash expenses for a more accurate picture of where your money goes. Keep from going over budget by creating budgeted amounts for each spending category and tracking your progress toward the budgeted amount. The bill tracker functionality ensures you remember to pay each of your bills and avoid late payment penalties. If you’re going on a trip or another special event, you can create a category specifically for that event to track your spending and keep yourself on budget.
Consider a Robo-Advisor, One of the latest trends in investing is the use of robo-advisors, in which a company manages your investments with very little human intervention. Money is instead managed through mathematical instructions and algorithms. Some major discount brokerages including Vanguard, E-Trade and Charles Schwab have robo-advisors services, and there are a number of newer companies including Betterment and Personal Capital. The jury is still out on whether robo-advisors offer above-average returns. But in theory, using a robo-advisor will enhance your chances of making optimal and rational investing decisions. Moreover, as more investors turn to this automated approach, we may see the conventional finance models become more accurate as human behavior plays less of a role in how markets perform.
The Best News Magazines That Cover Finance, Business, Markets and the Economy. The Economist: Although not a dedicated finance magazine, this is one of my all time favorite publications. I find the articles help me gain perspective on what is going on here in the United States by framing things in a more global context. The Economist describes itself as an ”authoritative weekly newspaper focusing on international politics and business news and opinion.” This one is a must read.