Category Archives: Finance

Consolidate Accounts to Discover “Free Money” Part II

In the last post, I discussed consolidating checking and savings accounts.  Now I will continue and talk about consolidate investment accounts, both taxable and non-taxable.

Step 3:  Consolidate non-taxable accounts

401K Retirement NontaxalbeNon-taxable accounts include 401k, IRA, Roth IRA accounts.   It’s easier to consolidate compare to the taxable accounts for two reasons 1)  you can do different rollovers, most online brokerage houses offer straight forward process to do this on line directly.   2) transactions within these accounts do not trigger taxes so you have one less thing to worry about. Continue reading

Consolidate Accounts to Discover “Free money” Part I

free moneyOver the last few months, as part of my 2014 financial plan, I wanted to consolidate my financial accounts to have better visibility how I am doing with my investments.  This process turned out to be more tedious and time consuming than I had originally anticipated, but the reward was also very high.  Below are the step by step process I went through. Continue reading

Trailing stop loss orders to protect your investment profit

stock bond mutual fund portfolioAs I mentioned in my 2014 financial goals post, I believe that the market correction will happen and want to protect my profits for my stock holdings.  I have been monitoring the stock market regularly, but was looking for a more automated to do this.  Trailing stop loss order and trailing stop limit order are my answers.  I came across it by accident as I was setting up manual stop loss order on Fidelity.com. After investing in stocks for 15+ years, I’m just learning about it.  I thought it was super useful and wanted to share. Continue reading

2014 Financial Goals

New year new goals.  I have slacking off on posting lately, work has been extremely busy and frankly I just got out of the habit of writing.  With the new year, I thought I would try to get back into the swing of things.  Here’re my financial goals for this year.  I have broken the post into four major categories.  The categories has changed a bit since my 2013 review.

  • Real estate – deal with all things related to real estate (primary residence or investment)
  • Major purchase – big ticket items
  • investment – stocks, mutual funds, stock options, restricted stock units etc.
  • Financial Protection – life insurance, living trust Continue reading

Review: Ziprealty vs. Zillow vs. Redfin

I get this question quite often, what’s the best real estate listing website?  Which site should I use?  The answer is, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses, I use all three actively.  Which one I use depends what I am trying to do.

All three sites have many similar functionalities to provide search and browse capability for real estate listings, all have decent iPhone/iPad applications for on the go usage.   Let me highlight the key differences I see and how use them.   At high level, I found Redfin has the most up to date information but weak search capability, Ziprealty has the best search capability but not quite as up to data as Redfin, finally Zillow has the most comprehensive but least up to date information.  I’ll go through each site in more details in this post. Continue reading

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish!?

“Penny wise, pound foolish” is an old British saying that means “Don’t be careful when it comes to spending small amounts of money, but careless when spending much larger amounts.”

Penny wise moments

penny wiseLast night I had one of those “penny wise” moments.   Continue reading

5 Things to Do While Your House is on the Market

1. Keep your house looking picture perfect

house picture perfectAfter all that preparation, your house is looking picture perfect.  Now keep it looking that way while your house is on the market,

This is hard if you are still living in the house.  When we were selling our house we still living there.  Every morning, after the kids are gone, I spent the next fifteen minutes doing a whirlwind of clean up and tidy up. Continue reading

2013 Review of Major Financial Decisions and Progress

financial progress reviewWe are nine months into 2013, I thought this would be a good time review the major financial decisions and progress for 2013.   2013 thus far has been very very busy year and I’m pleased to see not only how much we were able to accomplish but also how well we were able to accomplish them.  At the same time, putting this post together has reminded me how much more I still need to do.  I have broken these financial decisions into four major categories:  House, Major Purchase, Investment and Financial Protection.   Continue reading

Smart Guide to Automate Your Bill Payments without Losing Control

 automate_bill_payHow many bills do you have to pay every months?   At last count, each month I have electricity, gas, water, garbage, cable, internet, phone, cellphone, auto insurance, life insurance, multiple mortgage payments (primary residence and rentals), multiple home owner association dues, and multiple credit cards..  In all, 20 plus bills each month.  In our busy household with dual working parents with young children, time is precious.  I have automated all of these bills about ten years now.  I don’t spend more than 10 minutes a month on paying bills and have not had a late payment in years. Continue reading