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Teresa Bryant
Financial

If you’ve been around long-time investors, you’ll probably hear them say, ruefully, “If only I had gotten in on the ground floor of such-and-such computer or social media company, I’d be rich today.” That may be true — but is it really relevant to anyone? Do you have to be an early investor of a spectacular company to achieve investment success?

Not really. Those early investors of the “next big thing” couldn’t have fully anticipated the tremendous results enjoyed by those companies. But these investors all had one thing in common: They were ready, willing and able to look for good opportunities.

And that’s what you need to do, too. Of course, you may never snag the next big thing, but that’s not the point. If you’re going to be a successful investor, you need to be diligent in your search for new opportunities. And these opportunities don’t need to be brand-new to the financial markets — they can just be new to you. read more »

 
Financial

In the past few years, Americans have done a pretty good job of whittling down their debt load. If you’re in this group, you may now have a chance to use your lower level of indebtedness to your advantage — by investing for the future.

Consider the numbers: In 2007, just before the financial crisis, the country’s household debt service ratio was about 14 percent. (The debt service ratio is the ratio of debt payments, including mortgages and consumer debt, to disposable personal income.) But by 2012, this figure had dipped below 11 percent, the lowest level since 1994.

These figures are national averages, but they do translate into real-life savings for many of us. read more »

 
Financial

Springtime is almost here. If you’re like many people, the arrival of spring means it’s time to spruce up your home. But why stop there? This year, consider applying some of those same spring-cleaning techniques to your investment portfolio.

Here are some ideas you may want to put to work:

Get rid of clutter. You probably don’t have to look too far around your home to find things that are broken or simply no longer useful to you. If you poke around your portfolio, you might make similar discoveries: an investment that has chronically underperformed, duplicates another investment or met your needs in the past but is less relevant to your current situation and goals. Once you identify these types of investments, you may decide to sell them and use the proceeds to take advantage of opportunities that may prove more valuable to you. read more »

 
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