Friday, May 4, 2007

Smart Women

Since reading David Bach's book Smart Women Finish Rich, I've been obsessed with the saving and investing of money. I'm no stranger to David Bach. I have read Smart Couples Finish Rich (excellent read!) and Start Late, Finish Rich (doesn't apply to thirtysomethings but has useful information for those approaching their fifties). I passed on The Automatic Millionaire because - well - is it really that big of a secret that automatic contributions are an excellent way to invest? Maybe it is to the less investment obsessed.

Honestly, though, we are irregular investors, so I felt the need to make some immediate changes:

  • Increased pre-tax 401(k) contributions to 20% - We receive an 81% employer match on the first 6%.
  • Allocated 90% to the Aggressive Stock Fund and 10% to International Fund - We are young so we can handle some risk.
  • Increased payroll allocation to savings account/emergency fund - We bank with the best bank in the country, which also happens to pay very nice interest rates on its savings account.
Also, according to our latest property tax assessment, our house appreciated a modest 6% despite Colorado's rise in foreclosures. I know the housing market is supposed to get worse before it gets better, but along the Front Range we seem to be fairly well insulated against market fluctuations. We still have people moving into this area in droves and that's always good for keeping real estate in demand. The addition of the Northwest lightrail will only add to our community's appeal despite a final construction date of 2014. The next step for us is a cash-out refinance to a more favorable rate. We'll park that money in a money market account where it can earn interest until we use it as a downpayment on our next home.

Hopefully, in three years, we will have a nice nest egg - and a bit more income from my job - for the next stage of our lives.

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