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A University of Chicago Professor’s Simple, Effective Financial Investment Advice

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When you look at the statistics, the United States seems like it would receive a low grade for financial health. Currently, the average American is in $2,200 of credit card debt. If they went to college, this same American could also be looking at around $31,509 in student loan payments. Accordingly, the U.S. population owes an estimated $11.31 trillion in debt. But amid the many people who are turning to debt management programs or debt counseling, some are also looking for ways to invest. This seemingly complex task may sound like a strange choice, given the tumultuous nature of the stock market. However, investing is actually more simple than it seems; in fact, a University of Chicago professor was recently able to fit his tips for healthy investing on a single index card. Listed below is Dr. Harold Pollack’s financial investment advice:

  1. Maximize your 401K payments or equivalent employee contribution.
  2. Look for inexpensive, highly diversified mutual funds. Pollack suggests Vanguard Target funds in the 2000 range, but this is far from your only option.
  3. Never buy or sell your common stock. Pollack wisely points out that whoever you will be dealing with will typically know far more about the subject, and likely doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
  4. Put 20% of your money into your savings.
  5. Pay off your credit card balance completely every month.
  6. Watch out for investment fees, like the ones associated with managed mutual funds.
  7. Take advantage of simplified employee pensions (SEP), Roth individual retirement accounts (IRA), and 529 accounts to help you save money.
  8. Ensure that your financial adviser is committed to adhering to a fiduciary standard.
  9. Promote social insurance programs to help people in the community who have fallen on hard times.

Recent reports from CBS News show that American debt is rising by $75 million every hour. Unfortunately, this is part of a growing trend: American debt increased 6.2% from 2012 to 2013. Perhaps if we all followed Dr. Pollack’s easy financial investment advice, especially when it comes to saving, paying off debts, and choosing beneficial investment opportunities, we could reverse this harmful economic trend. Could you benefit from any of the financial investment advice listed above?

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