Top Stock Picks

Meggan Walsh works with the Invesco Diversified Dividend A and has done so for nine years.  Her top stock picks are…

  1. General Mills: She says that General Mills is a strong brand.  The stock has a 3% yield which is inexpensive compared to the value of the company.
  2. Kimberly-Clark: This company has  a 4% yield and the dividend seems to increase each year.
  3. SunTrust Banks: Meggan believes that as the economy recovers the management will be able to grow profits.

She says that in order to be successful it is important to not focus on just the payouts.  Instead, it is important to focus on the total return between the stock’s dividend and the change in share price.  She said that it is important to find a company that will provide a 35% total return over the next two or three years.

As you are investing in stocks you have to ensure that you are wise about the choice of stocks.  Take time to do your research and ensure that you are completely comfortable with the stocks that you are investing your hard earned money in.

"Credt Card Picture"

In a society where credit cards are mailed to nearly every person on their 18th birthday, Americans often overlook the burden of debt.  The use of this high interest rate loan is something that is expected in today’s culture, just like paying for gas in your vehicle.  Especially for families that are just starting out, credit card debt can seem like something they’ll be able to pay for in the future.  I’m here to remind you this isn’t necessarily true.

Credit card debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. This should be no surprise. It allows people to spend money they don’t have and have not earned, hoping that one day in the future they will be able to pay it back. While this may be an optimistic outlook, a lot of different factors play into your ability to pay your bills, some of which you will not control such as health and loss of job.  Have you ever calculated how much those $100 jeans you charged on your Visa will cost you 5 years from now? It might be scary.

One of the reasons credit card companies are so successful is through deception. A total debt of $10,000 is not uncommon in America these days, and neither is a $150/month payment accompanying it. Wow, how generous MasterCard must be! “I have $10,000 in debt, but only have to pay $150 this month? This is great!” Here’s what most people don’t realize: paying the minimum payment ensures you pay the most interest.

Pretend you have $10,000 dollars in a saving account along with $10,000 dollars in credit card debt.  When should you use your savings account to pay off your debt?  The answer: almost always. A savings account is already earned money and gains a positive interest for you. With that said, it is usually only 2-3% whereas the common APR for credit cards is currently 15%. Therefore in 5 years, your savings account amount will be just over $11,000 (assuming you don’t add more money) and your credit card debt will be just over $20,000. Look how quickly debt interest increases!

Put simply, a $10,000 loan from MasterCard will cost you $25,000-$30,000 and take 20 years to pay off if the minimum monthly payment is paid on-time each month. This all sounds quite obvious when put like this, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who have more money in their savings account than their debt amounts, but still have substantial credit card debt.

The exception: The only time you should not spend your savings on your credit card debt is when you can use your savings account money on an investment in which the return interest is greater than the interest on your debt, therefore you would be making more money than you’re spending simply through interest. In using our example earlier, the interest on your investment must be greater than 15%. As good as that sounds, ten years ago this might have been possible, but in America today this is not very realistic.

My post is a warning to those struggling with finding the desire or ability to pay off credit card debt. Make sure you are informed about your card’s APR, late-payment penalties, and fees for cancellation. The more you realize what things will actually cost when you swipe that glittery card, the wiser you will be using your card next time.

If you are looking to relocate to find a good job, you may want to consider moving to North Dakota. Surprisingly, there are a ton of companies that are hiring like mad in this city. The little towns in North Dakota does not have enough people to fill the jobs that they have recently had open up. The little tows have many different oil fields surrounding them that have recently been tapped by different oil companies.

As the oil keeps pouring out of the Earth the oil companies are hiring more and more people to man the oil fields. This means that there has been a boom in the current job market that has enabled people from all around the nation to move to North Dakota to find work.

If you decide that you want to move to North Dakota you should be sure that you take time to nail down some housing before you head out. There are people camping in every corner of the city and there are lines outside all of the public restroom bathrooms in the morning.

When you are looking for a job you want to make sure that you take time to understand how relocation can help you. Make sure that you take the time that you need to look into some of the cities that you can find a better job in.