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30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances

Book Description

The quick and easy way to manage money and achieve financial goals

The recent economic meltdown has left people in terrible financial shape with little idea of how to turn things around. Using Morningstar's time-tested strategies and sensible approach to money management, Morningstar's 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances breaks down important financial tasks into do-able chunks, each of which can be accomplished in 30 minutes or less. The practical, no-nonsense book

  • Lays out the tools to get organized, including how to create a filing and bill paying system

  • Details how to find the best uses for one's money, as well as how to properly invest for savings, college, and retirement

  • Other titles by Benz: Morningstar® Guide to Mutual Funds: Five Star Strategies for Success

These are uncertain times. Morningstar's 30-Minute Money Solutions provides expert guidance on all aspects of personal money management, and it does so in quick, easily digestible steps.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Foreword
  3. Preface
    1. Your Get-It-Done Guide
    2. How to Use This Book
    3. There's No Time Like the Present
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. I. Find Your Baseline
    1. 1. Calculate Your Net Worth
      1. 1.1. Start the Clock
        1. 1.1.1. Step 1
        2. 1.1.2. Step 2
        3. 1.1.3. Step 3
        4. 1.1.4. Step 4
        5. 1.1.5. Step 5
      2. 1.2. Next Steps
    2. 2. See Where Your Money Goes
      1. 2.1. Start the Clock
        1. 2.1.1. Step 1
        2. 2.1.2. Step 2
        3. 2.1.3. Step 3
        4. 2.1.4. Step 4
        5. 2.1.5. Step 5
        6. 2.1.6. Step 6
      2. 2.2. Next Steps
    3. 3. Set Your Financial Goals
      1. 3.1. Start the Clock
        1. 3.1.1. Step 1
        2. 3.1.2. Step 2
        3. 3.1.3. Step 3
      2. 3.2. Next Steps
    4. 4. Create a Budget
      1. 4.1. Start the Clock
        1. 4.1.1. Step 1
        2. 4.1.2. Step 2
        3. 4.1.3. Step 3
        4. 4.1.4. Step 4
        5. 4.1.5. Step 5
      2. 4.2. Next Steps
  6. II. Get Organized
    1. 5. Create a Bill-Paying System
      1. 5.1. Start the Clock—For Online Bill Paying
        1. 5.1.1. Step 1
        2. 5.1.2. Step 2
        3. 5.1.3. Step 3
      2. 5.2. Start the Clock—For Paying Bills the Old-Fashioned Way
        1. 5.2.1. Step 1
        2. 5.2.2. Step 2
      3. 5.3. Next Steps
    2. 6. Create a Filing System
      1. 6.1. Start the Clock
        1. 6.1.1. Step 1
        2. 6.1.2. Step 2
        3. 6.1.3. Step 3
      2. 6.2. Next Steps
    3. 7. Create a Master Directory
      1. 7.1. Start the Clock
        1. 7.1.1. Step 1
        2. 7.1.2. Step 2
        3. 7.1.3. Step 3
      2. 7.2. Next Steps
  7. III. Find the Best Use of Your Money
    1. 8. Determine Whether to Pay Down Debt or Invest
      1. 8.1. Start the Clock
        1. 8.1.1. Step 1
        2. 8.1.2. Step 2
        3. 8.1.3. Step 3
        4. 8.1.4. Step 4
        5. 8.1.5. Step 5
      2. 8.2. Next Steps
    2. 9. Decide Where to Invest for Retirement
      1. 9.1. Start the Clock
        1. 9.1.1. Step 1
        2. 9.1.2. Step 2
        3. 9.1.3. Step 3
        4. 9.1.4. Step 4
        5. 9.1.5. Step 5
      2. 9.2. Next Step
  8. IV. Get Started in Investing
    1. 10. Create an Emergency Fund
      1. 10.1. Start the Clock
        1. 10.1.1. Step 1
        2. 10.1.2. Step 2
        3. 10.1.3. Step 3
        4. 10.1.4. Step 4
      2. 10.2. Next Steps
    2. 11. Find the Right Stock/Bond Mix
      1. 11.1. Start the Clock
        1. 11.1.1. Step 1
        2. 11.1.2. Step 2
        3. 11.1.3. Step 3
      2. 11.2. Next Steps
    3. 12. Create an Investment Policy Statement
      1. 12.1. Start the Clock
        1. 12.1.1. Step 1
        2. 12.1.2. Step 2
        3. 12.1.3. Step 3
        4. 12.1.4. Step 4
        5. 12.1.5. Step 5
        6. 12.1.6. Step 6
        7. 12.1.7. Step 7
        8. 12.1.8. Step 8
      2. 12.2. Next Steps
    4. 13. Invest for Short- and Intermediate-Term Goals
      1. 13.1. Start the Clock
        1. 13.1.1. Step 1
        2. 13.1.2. Step 2
        3. 13.1.3. Step 3
        4. 13.1.4. Step 4
          1. 13.1.4.1. Fewer than Two Years from Goal
          2. 13.1.4.2. Two to Five Years from Goal
          3. 13.1.4.3. Five to Ten Years from Goal
      2. 13.2. Next Steps
    5. 14. Create a Hands-Off Long-Term Portfolio
      1. 14.1. Start the Clock
        1. 14.1.1. Step 1
        2. 14.1.2. Step 2
        3. 14.1.3. Step 3
      2. 14.2. Next Steps
  9. V. Invest in Your Company Retirement Plan
    1. 15. Determine How Good Your Company Retirement Plan Is
      1. 15.1. Start the Clock
        1. 15.1.1. Step 1
        2. 15.1.2. Step 2
        3. 15.1.3. Step 3
        4. 15.1.4. Step 4
        5. 15.1.5. Step 5
      2. 15.2. Next Steps
    2. 16. Decide between a Traditional and Roth 401(k)
      1. 16.1. Start the Clock
        1. 16.1.1. Step 1
        2. 16.1.2. Step 2
        3. 16.1.3. Step 3
        4. 16.1.4. Step 4
      2. 16.2. Next Step
    3. 17. Select the Best Investments for Your Company Retirement Plan
      1. 17.1. Start the Clock
        1. 17.1.1. Step 1
        2. 17.1.2. Step 2
        3. 17.1.3. Step 3
      2. 17.2. Next Steps
    4. 18. Make the Most of a Subpar 401(k) Plan
      1. 18.1. Start the Clock
        1. 18.1.1. Step 1
        2. 18.1.2. Step 2
        3. 18.1.3. Step 3
      2. 18.2. Next Steps
  10. VI. Invest in an IRA
    1. 19. Determine What Type of IRA Is Best for You
      1. 19.1. Start the Clock
        1. 19.1.1. Step 1
        2. 19.1.2. Step 2
        3. 19.1.3. Step 3
      2. 19.2. Next Steps
    2. 20. Identify the Best Investments for Your IRA
      1. 20.1. Start the Clock
        1. 20.1.1. Step 1
        2. 20.1.2. Step 2
        3. 20.1.3. Step 3
      2. 20.2. Next Steps
    3. 21. Determine Whether to Convert Your IRA
      1. 21.1. Start the Clock
        1. 21.1.1. Step 1
        2. 21.1.2. Step 2
        3. 21.1.3. Step 3
        4. 21.1.4. Step 4
        5. 21.1.5. Step 5
      2. 21.2. Next Steps
    4. 22. Roll Over Your Retirement Plan into an IRA
      1. 22.1. Start the Clock
        1. 22.1.1. Step 1
        2. 22.1.2. Step 2
        3. 22.1.3. Step 3
        4. 22.1.4. Step 4
      2. 22.2. Next Steps
  11. VII. Invest for College
    1. 23. Find the Right College Savings Vehicle
      1. 23.1. Start the Clock
        1. 23.1.1. Step 1
        2. 23.1.2. Step 2
        3. 23.1.3. Step 3
      2. 23.2. Next Steps
    2. 24. Find the Right 529 Plan
      1. 24.1. Start the Clock
        1. 24.1.1. Step 1
        2. 24.1.2. Step 2
        3. 24.1.3. Step 3
        4. 24.1.4. Step 4
      2. 24.2. Next Steps
    3. 25. Select the Right Investments for Your College Savings Plan
      1. 25.1. Start the Clock
        1. 25.1.1. Step 1
        2. 25.1.2. Step 2
        3. 25.1.3. Step 3
        4. 25.1.4. Step 4
      2. 25.2. Next Steps
  12. VIII. Invest in Your Taxable Account
    1. 26. Identify the Best Investments for Taxable Accounts
      1. 26.1. Start the Clock
        1. 26.1.1. Step 1
        2. 26.1.2. Step 2
        3. 26.1.3. Step 3
      2. 26.2. Next Steps
    2. 27. Manage Your Portfolio for Tax Efficiency
      1. 27.1. Start the Clock
        1. 27.1.1. Step 1
        2. 27.1.2. Step 2
        3. 27.1.3. Step 3
      2. 27.2. Next Step
    3. 28. Harvest Tax Losses
      1. 28.1. Start the Clock
        1. 28.1.1. Step 1
        2. 28.1.2. Step 2
        3. 28.1.3. Step 3
        4. 28.1.4. Step 4
      2. 28.2. Next Steps
  13. IX. Invest during Retirement
    1. 29. Determine Your Portfolio Withdrawal Rate
      1. 29.1. Start the Clock
        1. 29.1.1. Step 1
        2. 29.1.2. Step 2
        3. 29.1.3. Step 3
        4. 29.1.4. Step 4
        5. 29.1.5. Step 5
        6. 29.1.6. Step 6
        7. 29.1.7. Step 7
        8. 29.1.8. Step 8
        9. 29.1.9. Step 9
      2. 29.2. Next Steps
    2. 30. Build an In-Retirement Portfolio
      1. 30.1. Start the Clock
        1. 30.1.1. Step 1
        2. 30.1.2. Step 2
        3. 30.1.3. Step 3
        4. 30.1.4. Step 4
        5. 30.1.5. Step 5
        6. 30.1.6. Step 6
      2. 30.2. Next Steps
    3. 31. Find the Right Sequence of In-Retirement Withdrawals
      1. 31.1. Start the Clock
        1. 31.1.1. Step 1
        2. 31.1.2. Step 2
        3. 31.1.3. Step 3
      2. 31.2. Next Steps
  14. X. Monitor Your Investments
    1. 32. Conduct a Portfolio Checkup
      1. 32.1. Start the Clock
        1. 32.1.1. Step 1
        2. 32.1.2. Step 2
        3. 32.1.3. Step 3
        4. 32.1.4. Step 4
        5. 32.1.5. Step 5
        6. 32.1.6. Step 6
      2. 32.2. Next Steps
    2. 33. Rebalance Your Portfolio
      1. 33.1. Start the Clock
        1. 33.1.1. Step 1
        2. 33.1.2. Step 2
        3. 33.1.3. Step 3
        4. 33.1.4. Step 4
        5. 33.1.5. Step 5
      2. 33.2. Next Step
  15. XI. Cover Your Bases on Estate Planning
    1. 34. Get Started on Your Estate Plan
      1. 34.1. Start the Clock
        1. 34.1.1. Step 1
        2. 34.1.2. Step 2
        3. 34.1.3. Step 3
        4. 34.1.4. Step 4
        5. 34.1.5. Step 5
        6. 34.1.6. Step 6
      2. 34.2. Next Step
    2. 35. Handle Beneficiary Designations
      1. 35.1. Start the Clock
        1. 35.1.1. Step 1
        2. 35.1.2. Step 2
        3. 35.1.3. Step 3
      2. 35.2. Next Steps
    3. 36. Create a Personal Legacy
      1. 36.1. Start the Clock
        1. 36.1.1. Step 1
        2. 36.1.2. Step 2
        3. 36.1.3. Step 3
        4. 36.1.4. Step 4
        5. 36.1.5. Step 5
        6. 36.1.6. Step 6
    4. About the Author