Friday Finance Roundup (May 18)

Here’s my weekly roundup of stories I found useful or interesting this week:

How to Fund an IRA

First of all I think the reader mentions a very important aspect of an IRA. A Roth IRA (or a Traditional IRA) is not an investment in and of itself. You may hear someone say that you should open up a Roth IRA because they have great returns. You have to remember that the IRA doesn’t produce returns; the investments IN the IRA produce these returns. An IRA is like a basket which holds these investments.

This is a great, quick read on what to do once you open an IRA. In my initial investment research I found a lot on what a Roth IRA is, but very little on what to actual invest with it.

The reported rate of inflation is a lie

I’ve been reading and learning about the Consumer Price Index (CPI), otherwise known in layman’s terms as the ‘rate of inflation.’ The CPI is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and is reported periodically (monthly is the most common number quoted). The original idea of the CPI was to periodically collect the prices for a basket of consumer goods in order to gain information on price increases or decreases.

I knew the basics about inflation, but never had a clue about how it was calculated. This post goes into those details in a way that is easy to understand, and also points out some flaws with the system.

Quicken Hacks: 25 Hints, Tips, and Tricks

Quicken on the Mac is a pale comparison to the Quicken on the PC. I feel like I should be able to get more out of the program, so I went on a scavenger hunt, scouring the web for the best Quicken hacks. There aren’t many out there. Here are the 24 hints and tips I deemed worth sharing

I am a Quicken addict – I load it and update it at least once a day. So any tips to increase my productivity inside it are always welcome.

Why Aren’t Money Managers Paid Purely On Performance?

nstead of a flat fee, you choose the investments, and you get to keep 80% of how much you beat a benchmark portfolio where I try to match your level of risk using index funds. If you fail to beat my portfolio, you must pay me back the difference. So let’s say an advisor would charge 1% of assets. All they would have to do is beat the market consistently by 1.25%, and they’ve got that made already. If they kick butt and beat the market by 5%, they get 4% of assets!

This is a question I often asked myself when first learning about mutual funds. It was partially answered by reading Confessions of a Street Addict (read my impressions here), but this post brings up that question again.

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