Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why Do Credit Cards Expire?

Why Do Credit Cards Expire?
On the list of questions you may never have thought to ask, is this question: Why does a credit card have an expiration date? There are a few reasons why.


Even before the days of data breaches and EMV cards, there was credit card fraud. Thieves would get their hands on your card number and go on a shopping spree. Credit card companies came up with a low-tech way to help make stealing your card more difficult: adding a second number, the expiration date.
Eventually, that proved to be not quite enough: Fraudsters could get both numbers from the receipt you got for paying with a card. Later, a third, three- or four-digit security number was added, which was printed on the front or back of the actual card and never appeared on the receipt. All the same, changing the expiration date makes it more difficult for thieves to validate and use your card.


Just because you qualified three years ago doesn’t mean you qualify now. If the card has an expiration date, it gives the card issuer an opportunity to reevaluate your eligibility (and terms). Don’t expect a credit check unless the issuer asks, but an approaching expiration date is a time when paying your bills promptly each month works in your favor.


Do you have a card in your wallet that’s looking a little shopworn? How about one that you have to swipe multiple times before it works? If you use your cards often, they will wear out and the last thing the card issuer wants is for you to have a non-functioning card. The expiration assures that you get a shiny, new card before it wears out.


Along with making sure your card is working, the issuer may want to update the look of the card. No company wants its branding from yesteryear on the card forever. The expiration date helps to guard against a having a card that looks like you (or your dad) once used it to rent a movie from Blockbuster – on a VHS Tape.


Maybe you’ve sworn off that particular credit card. You cut it up or stuffed it in the back of your dresser in case you absolutely needed it. That was two years ago and you’ve all but forgotten it was there. Credit card issuers are no strangers to human behavior. They know that putting a shiny, new card in front of you may entice you make a few binge purchases you wouldn’t have otherwise.
(Hint: If you swore off using your credit cards, don't rush to go shopping now.)


Card issuers have a method to their madness. First and most important, they want to cut down on fraud as much as possible. After that, it’s about getting you to spend as much money as they can. They know that if you charge up the card, you’re not likely to pay it off without paying at least a little interest.

Don’t fall for it. There’s nothing wrong with credit cards if you’re the type of person who can pay the full balance each month. If you’re not, it’s best to keep the cards in the dresser most of the time.
Don't cancel them, however: Giving up a card will raise your credit utilization ratio because you will instantly have access to a lower amount of credit. And if you've had a card a long time and have been responsible, you will lose part of your good credit history. If you don't want to use the card, put it away except for necessary purchases that you pay off promptly. For more information, see What Happens When Your Credit Card Expires and How Your Credit Card Can Improve Your Credit Score.

Monday, April 13, 2015

6 Signs You Might Lose Your Job

One of the unfortunate realities of today’s workplace is that we’re usually not given advanced warning about an upcoming job loss. Many employers would have us tool along thinking everything is fine, right up until the day we’re asked to leave. But even if there is no formal notification that your job is in jeopardy, there several ways to know if it is.
Here are several strong clues…

1) You’ve Just Had a Bad Review

You can virtually assume that you are on probation if you have just had a bad performance review. Even if your employer doesn’t tell you as much, you will most likely be gone if you don’t begin showing measurable improvement soon. But a bad review can be an even bigger marker if you’re pretty certain that it isn’t true. Some employers will use a bad review as an unofficial warning, or as an attempt to push an employee out the door.
Do your best to improve your performance after a bad review, but it’s also a good time to start considering other options. You can never be entirely certain that it’s really about your performance, or maybe about something much bigger.

2) An Important Function (or Two) Has Just Been Taken Away From You

Everyone has one, two, maybe three, critical functions that substantially defines their job, and justifies their existence on the payroll. If one of these functions has been taken away from you – without your consent – there is a better than even chance that you are being demoted, even if your title and pay aren’t degraded.
It’s generally a sign that either your employer has lost confidence in your ability to perform that function, or they think that someone else can do a better job. Unless the removal of the function has been accomplished to free you up for a more important function, it’s probably best to assume the worst.

3) You’re Company Has Been Bought Out

If your company has been bought out by a larger organization, there is an excellent chance that you – and many of your coworkers – will lose your jobs. It may not happen immediately, but there’s an exceptional chance that the axe is being sharpened.
Most companies involved in mergers will dedicate a lot of ink, emails, and stage presentations to assuring all staff that their jobs are safe. But don’t bet on it. One of the major reasons why businesses merge is to take advantage of economies of scale. That is, they will merge operations and eliminate excess staff from one or both entities.
If your company has been bought out, make sure that your radar is up, and that you’re now approaching your job as though you are a rookie who has to prove himself all over again.

4) You’re Increasingly “Out-of-the-Loop”

If you have recently noticed that there are a lot of closed-door meetings and private conversations going on your department that don’t involve you, you may be a short-timer. This is particularly true if you have previously been part of the loop in most information exchanges.
All employees are excluded from a certain amount of information, but if you find that it is more common than not, something is getting ready to happen that you won’t be informed of – until it’s too late.
Sometimes information exclusion can affect an entire department. That probably means something negative is coming down the pike, and layoffs are a distinct possibility.

5) You’ve Been Re-assigned to a Job You Didn’t Ask For

Employers sometimes reassign employees in the hope that they will “take the hint” and leave the company. This is especially true if you have been with your employer for several years. The employer may be trying to engineer the voluntary resignation, rather than being put in the position of having to fire a long-term player, who may have the respect of her coworkers.
On the other hand, if you approve of the change – even though you didn’t request it – it may be an opportunity to thrive in a different capacity. If that’s the case, sit down and discuss the situation with your superiors, making it clear that you’re perfectly happy with the new position and harbor no ill feelings over the transition.

6) You’re Employer Is Losing Money – A Lot of It

These days, employers won’t sit much longer than two or three quarters in red ink before throwing the layoffs switch. If your employer is losing money, particularly a lot of it, you should never ignore this. This is especially true if the company becomes obsessed with cutting expenses, even little ones. I’ve seen companies go from cutting back on the coffee service to large-scale layoffs in less than six months.
This doesn’t mean that you should panic and prepare to jump ship at the first sign that the company is losing money. But it does mean that you should be aware that the situation has changed, perhaps radically, and you may need to have your parachute in good working order.
None of these events mean categorically that your job is in jeopardy. But if any is particularly severe, or you see a combination of several, it will be time to prepare yourself and your finances for whatever may happen.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn by Kindergarten

Big Saver
Andrew Rich

We each grasp financial lessons at different points in our lives, but we're never too old -- or too young -- to start learning. Some lessons, however, are so basic that understanding them is nearly a prerequisite to financial survival. Whether you need a refresher yourself, or are responsible for shaping a young person's relationship with money, here are five financial lessons everyone should learn by kindergarten.

1. Money Represents Labor

At its most basic level, money is just labor in physical form. Whether you worked for it using your mind or your muscle, the green stuff is the result of some form of effort. And without making your 6-year old mop the floor for a bowl of mac 'n cheese, there are ways to gently and positively make the connections between effort and financial reward.

Of course, the secondary value of this lesson is how it can alter spending behavior. The "aha moment" you want to encourage goes something like this: "If money is labor, then the things I buy with my money also represent my labor." Fully grasping that concept is the root of healthier spending behavior for life (and if you're like me, you know a shocking number of adults who still don't quite get it).

2. Spending Is Not the Same as Investing

Though each may drain our wallets and bank accounts for a period of time,spending and investing are entirely different animals. Dropping $3,500 for a leather couch is spending, but using that same amount to buy a good used car that will get you back and forth to work is investing. Think of it this way. If the item or service you're buying will provide some sort of tangible dividend (such as the ability to stay employed, advance in a career, sell at a profit later, etc.) , it's an investment. If it doesn't meet that simple criterion, it's just plain old spending. If you haven't already, learn the basics of investing and put its power to work for you sooner than later.

3. Consumer Credit Is Dangerous

It may not seem this way, but every time we use a credit card, we're taking out a loan. Granted, it might be a mere $3.89 for a hamburger, but it's a loan. And let's face it, the last thing credit card issuers want their customers to do is pay off their balances every billing cycle (credit card companies have an endearing term for those who do -- "deadbeats"). They'd much rather have all those hamburgers, shoes, smartphones, and haircuts add up at a 17 percent interest rate.

Teach your kids the dirty secrets of credit cards. Tell them about the evil geniuses that lurk behind the magnetic strip. You know, the ones who conceived the evil formula of convenience + frequent use + low minimum payments = long-term debt and high returns. Create a bedtime story about an overspending prince who became a pauper because of plastic. It's a cautionary tale for the ages.

4. Wants and Needs Aren't the Same

When I was a kid, I desperately wanted a green plastic toy box shaped like a large frog. I don't remember the brand name, but I do remember wanting to own one so badly that every fiber of my 40-pound body nearly vibrated with green-plastic-frog-toy-box desire. I never got it. Kids want things with such wild enthusiasm that it's difficult for them to distinguish what they want from what they need. Had I been asked way back when, I'm sure I could have made a case why that frog toy box was essential to my survival - because it certainly felt that way.

But at any age, being able to clearly distinguish wants from needs is an essential skill. Why? Because we live in an economy that's made a science of confusing the two. Indulgence and denial aside, it's the identification that matters and it's the first step of being able to live within our means.

5. Money Can't Buy Happiness, but It Can Buy Choices

The value of money rests not in its ability to make us happy, but to buy us options in life. Authentic, well-financed choice is a rare bird these days. Many of us feel like we have choices, because we're presented with so many options as consumers every waking minute. But to me, most of these sorts of choices feel low-value - "trinket choices" manufactured purely to encourage spending. Only the most financially disciplined can afford to exercise a potentially life-altering choice like switching careers, moving across the country, starting a business, or retiring early. This level of choice gives us the power to reinvent ourselves at any stage of life.

Granted, these are only five lessons in a long list of financial fundamentals. But together, they form a great foundation for building security and wealth. If you're still learning, let your curiosity motivate you. And if you're helping a young person learn, be patient and avoid instilling a sense of fear about money. Remember, real power comes from understanding that money is not mysterious, wealth is not always the result of dumb luck, and financial security is within our control.

What financial lessons did you learn early in life? Who taught you and how? Which ones are you still learning?


Monday, April 6, 2015

7 Ways to Build Your Credit Score Without a Credit Card

Credit Score

Unless you have a ton of cash at your disposal, you’ll probably need credit at some point in your life. Whether you’re buying a home, car or big-ticket luxury item, the first thing that most lenders typically look at is your credit score.
If you have limited or no credit history, you’ll need to begin building your credit and boost your score before you apply for a major loan. Unfortunately, many believe that opening and using a credit card is the only way to go.
Here are a few alternatives to help raise your credit scores without the magic plastic:

1. Ask companies to report on your behalf

Do you have any recurring bills that you pay on a monthly basis, such as rent, utilities, cable or a cellphone? Try giving the providers a call and request that they report your account activity to the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.

Do this only if you have responsible payment habits, as payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit scores and can have a significant impact if there is not a lot of other data in your credit reports.
Also, bear in mind that these companies are not obligated to report to the bureaus, and your request is simply a favor that they have the right to deny.

2. Become an authorized user on another credit card

Of course, there are pros and cons to becoming an authorized user. If the cardholder has a strong credit background, two thumbs up for you because signing on as an authorized user will enable their stellar behavior to improve your credit profile somewhat (perhaps not as much as you think). But, if things are the other way around, your credit scores could take a hit.
Either way, if you opt in and have a change of heart, the information will quickly vanish from your credit file when you request to be removed from the account.

3. Open an account with a credit union and take out a small personal loan

Some credit unions have restricted membership and limited accessibility, but credit unions generally offer financing options at lower interest rates than traditional banks. To give your credit score a boost, apply for a small personal loan.
If your request is denied, inquire about a secured loan in which your money, say, a certificate of deposit or savings account, will be used as collateral. The request will more than likely be approved because the risk to the institution is minimal. And you may have to pay a tad bit of interest, but the rate usually beats what’s available in the credit card world.

4. Apply for an installment loan

Installment loans paid in a timely manner over an extended period of time build your credit scores because they show creditors that you are a responsible borrower. The types of credit in your file make up only 10 percent of your score, but the impact has the potential to be 
Retailers sometimes offer promotional installment loans to customers with little to no introductory interest for a limited period of time. If you have the cash on hand, it may not be a bad idea to take this route. But be sure that you have the total sum of cash available upfront to make timely payments and eliminate the balance before the interest kicks in.

5. If you’re a student, take out a federal student loan

A credit check is not required to obtain a federal student loan. All you need to do is fill out theFree Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and you’re all set. Since it is an installment loan, it can help boost your credit score.
But don’t get the loan and blow through the money. Instead, aim for one that is subsidized and deposit the money into a safe interest-bearing account so the funds will be available when repayment starts.

6. Research peer-to-peer loans

Companies such as Prosper and Lending Club offer peer-to-peer loans in an environment where borrowers are connected with individual investors. The interest rates are usually lower than those of traditional financial institutions. And the lenders are eager to loan unsecured funds because the return they derive is competitive with other investments. (See “4 Things to Know About Peer Lending.”)
Most of the peer-to-peer lenders report to the major credit bureaus.

7. Try an alternative credit score

By reporting your payment history to an alternative to the big three credit bureaus, you can create a nontraditional credit score. Check out a service like Payment Reporting Builds Credit, known as PRBC, to learn more about how an alternative credit score service works.
Do you know of any other ways to improve your credit score without using a credit card? 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

The 3 Key Retirement Numbers You Need To Know

Retirement Planning

Retirement means different things to each of us. As you consider your vision for retirement, there are three key numbers to keep in mind; you’ll want to discuss them with your financial adviser if you have one:

Your Withdrawal Rate

This could be your most important retirement number. Your withdrawal  rate is the amount you will be taking out of your investment portfolio each year.
Nothing has a bigger impact on your retirement strategy than this number, since it can help determine how sustainable your retirement strategy will be. If you choose a number that’s too high, you may run out of money; if the number is too low, it could mean you are being unnecessarily frugal and not living the life you want.
So what withdrawal rate makes sense for you? The answer is: it depends.

As you consider what makes sense for you, start with these questions: How many years will you spend in retirement? Can you be flexible with your withdrawals and not automatically increase your spending each year if you don’t need to? Can you cut back in years of negative investment performance?

For example, we believe a 4% withdrawal rate may be a good starting point, but this assumes a 25-year retirement and the ability to be flexible with your spending if needed. In reality, your personal withdrawal rate will probably differ based on a number of different variables such as your age, how long you expect retirement to last, your asset allocation and your spending habits, among other things.
Additionally, this rate isn’t something you set and forget — it should be reviewed each year.
The more years you plan on spending in retirement and the less expense-flexibility you have, the more conservative your withdrawal rate should be. This leads us to the second number:

Your Reliance Rate
Your reliance rate is simply the percent of your retirement income coming from your investments. While your withdrawal rate helps determine the sustainability of your retirement strategy, your reliance rate helps measure the sensitivity of your retirement strategy.
For example, say you’ll need $50,000 a year in retirement. If $40,000 will be coming from your portfolio and $10,000 will come from outside sources, your reliance rate is 80%.

As your reliance rate increases, so does your sensitivity to market fluctuations. Regardless of their withdrawal rate, people who rely on their portfolios for 80 percent of their income are probably more sensitive to market declines than people who rely on their portfolios for only 20 percent.

A higher reliance rate means that market declines may have a greater effect on your strategy, unless you can be flexible in your spending and maintain a lower portfolio withdrawal rate.
If you are relying on your portfolio for the majority of your income, ask yourself some questions: How flexible are you with your spending? Can you spend less, if necessary, during inevitable short-term market declines? Also, can you consider other options to increase your income from outside sources? If you can, this could not only reduce your reliance rate, but also the withdrawal rate from your portfolio over the long-term.
And this leads to the third key retirement number:
Your Age for Claiming Social Security

A full discussion of your Social Security options is beyond the scope of this article, but it’s important to understand that your Social Security benefit is an incredibly valuable retirement asset. The decision about when to take Social Security not only affects the amount of your benefit, but also your spouse’s potential survivor benefit.
You can start taking it as early as 62 or wait as long as age 70. The more you delay receiving the money, the bigger your benefit will be.
Since your Social Security benefit is unaffected by market performance, it can be the foundation of your retirement income strategy. But it shouldn’t be considered in isolation.
So before you decide when to take Social Security, be sure you evaluate all your options and their effect on your retirement strategy.

Together, these numbers can be used to help ensure that you are better positioned to achieve your vision for retirement.  It’s also important to remember they will probably change over time, so be sure to revisit them so you can stay on track.
By addressing these numbers, you can turn your focus to a more important one —  the number of things you want to accomplish in retirement.


Monday, March 30, 2015

6 Times to Use Credit Cards Instead of Cash

6 Times to Use Credit Cards Instead of Cash
You might prefer to use cash if you're not a big fan of debt, but don't give credit cards the cold shoulder so quickly. Believe it or not, there are times when it makes more financial sense to use a credit card than to pay in cash. Yep, you read that right. If you know how to use credit responsibly — and if you're committed to only buying what you can afford  there are benefits to enjoying that satisfying swipe. Here are six times it's better to pay with plastic. (See also: Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About)

1. Buying Electronics

Whether you're buying a flat-screen TV or a small appliance for your kitchen, the retailer will probably offer an extended warranty at checkout. If you're spending hundreds or thousands for an item you intend on keeping a long time, buying an extended warranty makes sense, especially since many manufacturers only offer a one-year warranty.
If you're thinking about getting an extended warranty, this isn't the time to pay for an electronic appliance with cash. It might come as a surprise, but several credit cards offer extended warranties for electronics as a cardmember perk. Use an eligible card to pay for an item and you might receive a free extended warranty that matches the manufacturer's warranty up to one year. Coverage varies by credit card, so contact your credit card company in advance to know your limits.

2. You Want the Best Price for an Item

There's nothing more frustrating as a savvy consumer than buying an item — only to find it cheaper somewhere else (which is why you should also comparison shop online first). But there's an easy way to save yourself the headache of exchanging items you've overpaid for: Since many credit cards offer price protection, simply pay using your plastic. If you make a purchase in retail stores or online, and later find the same item at a lower price within a specific length of time (usually 90 days), your credit card company may refund the difference up to a certain amount. Not all credit cards offer price protection, so you'll need to read your cardmember benefits to see if you're eligible.

3. You Want to Earn Rewards

Reward credit cards open the door to a variety of freebies, ranging from airline tickets to merchandise. Use a rewards credit card and earn points or cash back for every dollar you spend, then redeem points for travel, gift cards, or even a statement credit. You don't receive these types of perks when paying with cash. Just make sure you pay off your balance every month to avoid high-interest debt.

4. You're Traveling Overseas

Bringing cash when going overseas might seem like the best way to stay on budget, but it's a dangerous way to travel. Lost or stolen cash can't be replaced. On the other hand, if your credit card is lost or stolen, you're not liable for unauthorized charges. Credit is also a good choice because some credit cards don't have a foreign transaction fee, thus allowing you to convert purchases into dollars for free. Depending on the plastic, this can save you the typical 1%-3% foreign transaction fee imposed by some credit cards.

5. You Need to Keep a Record of Purchases

Whether you're running a business or keeping a record of personal expenses, it's easier to track spending with a credit card. You can go online, pull up monthly statements, and view any transaction. With cash, your receipt is the only record, and if you misplace the receipt, you can lose track of where you spent the money.

6. You Have Limited Cash

If you have an emergency, like a home or car repair, using cash you've set aside for bills can strain your finances and cause additional hardship. Some people warn against using a credit card, especially when you can't pay off a balance anytime soon. But if you have a credit card featuring a 0% introductory rate for the first 12 to 18 months, it makes more financial sense to use credit and keep your cash available for other needs. Since you're not paying interest, it's the same as paying cash, so long as you pay off the balance during the 0% APR period. Make sure you check the credit card terms. Some credit cards only apply 0% interest to balance transfers, whereas others apply it to balance transfers and purchases.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

10 Things I Want to Teach My Kids About Investing

10 Things I Want to Teach My Kids About Investing
I've been blessed with three amazing kids. As their father, I feel compelled to not only protect and provide for them during their childhood, but also to help them learn how to provide for themselves when they reach adulthood.
I've also been very fortunate to spend several years as an analyst at The Motley Fool, where I have had the pleasure of working beside and learning from some of the best investors in the world, including David and Tom Gardner.
Along the way I've learned some foundational principles that have guided my professional and personal investing strategy. They helped me achieve market-beating results in Tier 1,the real-money portfolio that I manage for the Fool, and even helped my family and Ipurchase our new home.
The following 10 core investment (and life) lessons comprise some of the most important aspects of my Foolish education and form the foundation of what I hope to pass on to my children in the years ahead.
1. Investing in stocks is one of the best ways to build lasting, long-term wealth.Cases can be made for achieving wealth through real estate or the creation and ownership of private businesses, but few asset classes have a track record of wealth creation as solid as public stock ownership, especially on a real (inflation-adjusted) basis. 
Source: Ibbotson Associates. 
2. Stocks represent an ownership stake in a real business.Stocks aren't just pieces of paper or flashing blips on a computer screen. They're a legal claim on the current and future cash flow of a business and should be treated as such. When viewed through this lens, the fundamental drivers of long-term investing success become more clear and easier to grasp.
3. As such, buy shares in the best businesses you can find.This is the foundational principle of Tier 1, where I seek out and invest in the world's elite businesses. In fact, I usually begin my Tier 1 buy alerts with this quote from legendary investor Charlie Munger:
"And, by the way, the bulk of the billions in Berkshire Hathaway has come from the better businesses. ... And most of the other people who've made a lot of money have done so in high-quality businesses."
These include companies with the strongest competitive advantages, largest growth opportunities, and best management. They are the innovators, disruptors, and best of breed. These businesses are ... Tier 1. And they tend to create tremendous wealth for their shareholders as they lead the world forward.
4. Buy stocks with the intent of holding them for as long as you possibly can.Warren Buffett has said his "favorite holding period is forever." Here at the Fool, Tom Gardner has implemented a minimum five-year holding period requirement in his Everlasting Portfolio, because he, too, is a big believer in the power of long-term stock ownership. While I don't impose that restriction on myself in Tier 1, I do strive to only purchase stock in businesses that I plan to hold for years -- and potentially even decades -- to come. I'm talking about outstanding businesses such as (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , Google(NASDAQ: GOOG  ) (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) , and Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) . These companies have dominant competitive advantages that provide a wide moat around their cash flow, yet they still have tremendous runways for growth. They are all core positions in Tier 1 today, and I wouldn't be surprised if they form the foundation of my children's portfolios decades from now.
5. Winners tend to keep on winning.This is another core tenet in Tier 1, and another valuable lesson I learned from Tom and David Gardner. I like to invest in companies and management teams with proven track records of success. That's because I believe past success is one of the best indicators of future success. It certainly is not a guarantee, but I believe winning is a habit. The confidence and momentum achieved from past and current wins tends to pave the way for further risk-taking. Not blind risk predicated on arrogance, but prudent, calculated risks based on optimistic and opportunistic bets on a brighter future.
6. Strive to buy these great companies early in their growth cycles.The earlier you invest in a great business, the more you can profit as other investors catch on to the company's success. This is where fortunes are made, where the 10- and even 100-baggers are found. I have achieved multibagger returns in CAPS with several stocks, including 1,000+% gains in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU  ) , and it's a major goal of mine to find more of them going forward in Tier 1 so that I can help more people achieve these types of market-crushing -- and potentially life-changing -- returns.
7. Make your portfolio your best expression of the world.David Gardner once urged me to "Find out where the world is going, and get there as soon as possible." Your portfolio should reflect your passions, interests, field of study, and/or profession -- this is where your edge lies. But most of all, your portfolio should be positioned according to your vision of the future, and the more optimistic, the better.
8. Never stop learning.To have an informed opinion of where the world is going, we should seek to expand our horizons and circle of competencies beyond investing and even business, to include a wide array of disciplines such as psychology and the sciences. For the market moves not solely on others' rational thinking, and is often swayed by the biases and other intricacies of human behavior. Each day, I strive to learn more about the world in which we live. I hope you'll do the same.
9. Never quit.There will be times when you throw up your hands in frustration and question whether it's worth all the trouble. Seemingly irrational short-term volatility and vicious bear market declines tend to be brutal on high-quality yet often premium-priced businesses. These difficult market times can play havoc on your emotions. However, the only way to win is to stay the course through the inevitable downturns. Steel yourself with the knowledge that this, too, shall pass, and that your best-of-breed businesses will likely emerge from the rubble even stronger as they take share from weaker rivals. As such, learn to look at these sell-offs as opportunities to add to your positions at even better prices, and you will magnify your long-term gains.
10. Use for good the tremendous wealth these principles will help you create.Along with investing in businesses that lead the world forward, strive to have a positive impact on the world around you. Help others. Donate what you can to worthy causes. And pass on what you have learned, as I have attempted to do here.
On that note, I'd like to ask all the Fools reading this article to list the lessons you would like to pass on in the comments section below.
And lastly, to my children, know that Daddy loves you -- now, and always.
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