Today’s bits: Too much real estate, not enough cash

  • Too much real estate, not enough cash – When planning your retirement, it’s not enough to own real estate, you also need to have money more readily available as real estate is not liquid. How much cash do you need? Most financial advisors strongly suggest that you have at six months of cash as an emergency fund. (Your Money)
  • 10 ways to retire early – It’s not easy, but you can do it. It’s starts with saving as much as you can…  we’re talking no less than 15% of you gross salary. (Marketwatch)
  • Video killed the radio star:
    • Facebook is making its biggest push yet to turn the social network into a destination for watching video with a new Facebook Video app for smart TVs.
    • Videos can play an important role in Apple’s growing music subscription business, according to Eddy Cue, who says setting Apple Music apart from the competition needs hosting more than music. One way Apple is introducing videos to Apple Music is through the upcoming launch of its reality TV show, “Planet of the Apps.” (Note, that’s Apps, not Apes…)
  • Speaking of Apple, Buffett takes a bigger biteBerkshire Hathaway just disclosed its purchases for the last quarter. The conglomerate run by Warren Buffett significantly increased its position in Apple, as well as four major US-based airlines. The company also initiates positions in XM Radio and Monsanto. While I think that most people are better off having their money in index funds, if you were going to invest in one individual stock, Berkshire Hathaway wouldn’t be a bad choice. It’s priced near its high now, and people seem scared off by the price of each share; “B” shares are currently approaching $167 each. I’ve never understood why people are put off by the price of a stock. If you believe it’s overvalued, that’s one thing. I understand not wanting to buy when you think a stock is expensive, but why care if a share is $200 or $20. If you have $2,000 to invest, you either own 10 shares of the $200 stock or 100 shares of the $20 stock. Either way it’s still $2,000 ownership of the company. Again, I believe most people should simply buy index funds, but if you were going to pick one stock to own…
  • T-Mobile Fires Back At Verizon, Improves Its Unlimited Plan – This is why competition is good for consumers: On the heels of Verizon’s surprise announcement yesterday that it’s bringing back unlimited data options, T-Mobile, refusing to be outdone, boosted its own offering. Starting on Friday, Feb. 17, T-Mobile will no longer charge its T-Mobile ONE unlimited data subscribers for watching full HD non-throttled video. Existing customers can change their settings either through the T-Mobile app or website after the change goes live. (Consumerist)
  • Smart Credit Card Habits – Credits cards can be a helpful finance tool. They can also be a means to financial disaster. It all depends on how you use them. This article details a handful of some smart credit card habits and spending tips that will save you money. (Get out of debt guy)
  • Investing in the Early Years – Researchers in psychology, neuroscience, and economics find that a child’s earliest experiences, even before kindergarten, can have far-reaching effects. (New Hampshire Public Radio)
  • How to Become ‘The Millionaire Next Door –  One of the most influential books I’ve ever read in terms of shaping my thoughts on personal finance and helping me figure out what to do. This is one of a few books I read at my financial low point, along with Your Money or Your Life and The Total Money Makeover, that really helped me figure out a new direction with my money and my overall life. (The Simple Dollar)
  • Real estate prices are on the rise – Most markets, 87% of the 150 housing markets tracked by NAR, experienced rising home prices in 2016, up from an average of 75% in 2014. More than half of the markets (52%) now have a median sale price either at or above their previous record high. Here’s the salary that you need to earn to buy a home right now in 23 of the most expensive housing markets in America. (Business Insider)
  • Living the 50/30/20 rule – An old adage suggests that you should spend 50% of your income in basic living expenses, 30% goes towards entertainment, and the remaining 20% should go towards saving and investing for your future, or it should be used to pay down debt if you have any. Is 50% adequate for you to pay your living expenses where you live? Since the largest portion goes towards your real estate expense, that’s a good place to start. According to a report from Zillow, home buyers in Palo Alto can expect to spend 75 percent of their income on a house payment, while just 15 miles away, buyers in Milpitas, Calif. need only spend 35 percent. A few miles sure can make a huge difference. (Zillow)
  • Your retirement number is meaningless – There are many ways to assess how much money you need to be able to retire. Bob French, CFA, makes an argument that it’s not really a number, it’s many things, all of which play a part in determining whether you can retire.  (Retirement Researcher)

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