A bad day on earth

A bad day on earth is better than a good day in hell.

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The one theology book all atheists really should read

    • What if most modern arguments against religious belief have been attacking the wrong God all along?
    • One reason that modern-day debates between atheists and religious believers are so bad-tempered, tedious and infuriating is that neither side invests much effort in figuring out what the other actually means when they use the word ‘God’.
    • Richard Dawkins expertly demolishes what he calls ‘the God hypothesis’, but devotes only a few sketchy anecdotes to establishing that this God hypothesis is the one that has defined religious belief through history, or defines it around the world today
    • The God attacked by most modern atheists, Hart argues, is a sort of superhero
    • throughout the history of monotheism, Hart insists, a very different version of God has prevailed.
    • according to the classical metaphysical traditions of both the East and West, God is the unconditioned cause of reality – of absolutely everything that is – from the beginning to the end of time
    • If a committed creationist wrote a book called The Evolution Delusion, but only attacked the general public’s understanding of evolution, we’d naturally dismiss them as disingenuous. We’d demand, instead, that they seek out what the best and most acclaimed minds in the field had concluded about evolution, then try dismantling that.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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How to Create Your Lowest-Cost Investment Portfolio – US News 3 of 3

  • Fees can have a dramatic impact on your portfolio balance over time.

  • How to create a low-cost investment portfolio. It’s easier than you may think. Let’s take a look at some typical mutual funds and ETFs and their fees. This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any investments, nor is this advice on constructing a portfolio.

    These are sample, diversified low-fee stock and bond index funds, along with their fees listed as a percent of total assets invested:

                                          

    Stock Market Funds Fees
    Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX) 0.17%
    Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) 0.05%
    PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) 0.20%
    iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index (EEM) 0.67%
    PDR S&P Dividend (SDY) 0.35%
    Schwab 1000 Index® Fund (SNXFX) 0.29%
    Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares (VGTSX) 0.22%
    Bond Funds  
    Fidelity Spartan® U.S. Bond Index Fund (FBIDX) 0.22%
    iShares Core US Aggregate Bond (AGG) 0.08%

      When creating your investment portfolio, be mindful of fees. The money paid out in management fees doesn’t guarantee higher returns and detracts from your overall opportunity to build long-term wealth.

      The best way to create a low-fee investment portfolio is to pay attention and choose low-cost index and ETF funds. Don’t let careless investment oversight cost you thousands of dollars. Before investing in any mutual fund, look at the fee structure. And, if you work with an advisor, ask him or her what the fees are on the funds in your portfolio. If they’re too high, then ask for lower-fee replacements. Fees matter!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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How to Create Your Lowest-Cost Investment Portfolio – US News 2 of 3

    • Fees can have a dramatic impact on your portfolio balance over time.

    • You may not think much about fees now, but imagine how you may feel with 1 percent or 2 percent stock market returns, or even worse, negative returns and fees zapping up to 1 percent or 2 percent of your total assets.

       

        Investment fees matter. Let’s look at a few scenarios to understand the effect of high fees on a typical investment portfolio.

        JoAnn is 40 years old and has an investment portfolio worth $200,000. She expects to retire at age 66. For the sake of this example, assume she doesn’t put any more money into her account (not a great idea). JoAnn doesn’t worry about fees and has actively managed mutual funds, and part of her money is with an investment advisor. Her average fees as a percent of total assets are 1.75 percent.

        That means every year she’s paying out $3,500 in investment management and oversight fees. Multiply that $3,500 by 26 years until retirement, and at age 66, she’ll have shelled out $91,000 in fees. During the years her portfolio earns less than a 1.75 percent return, she’ll earn nothing on her investments.

        Daren is also 40 years old and much smarter about investing than JoAnn. He invests in low-cost index and exchange-traded funds. He also has a portion of his portfolio with an advisor – a low-fee robo advisor – who also invests in low-cost index funds.

        Daren also has a $200,000 investment portfolio, but his fees average 0.30 percent of his total assets. Unlike JoAnn, who pays $3,500 per year in fees, Daren pays just $600 per year on his investment portfolio. That’s $2,900 per year less than JoAnn. Over 26 years, when Daren retires at age 66, he will have paid just $15,600 in investment fees.

        JoAnn paid almost six times more than Daren during their future investing horizon.

        Do I have your attention?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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How to Create Your Lowest-Cost Investment Portfolio – US News 1 of 3

    • Fees can have a dramatic impact on your portfolio balance over time.

    • Most investors don’t worry about costs. After all, isn’t it the returns that are the most important part about investing? Investors want high returns, and as long as the returns are in an acceptable range, fees don’t seem to matter.

        During the last several years, we’ve experienced exceptional stock market advances. Last year’s Standard & Poor’s 500 index returns clocked in at 13.48 percent, and 2013 more than doubled that with a stratospheric return of 31.15 percent. If you look back at 2012, the market returned 15.89 percent, and 2012 took a breath with a 2.10 percent increase after 14.82 percent and 25.94 percent returns for 2010 and 2009, respectively.

        Those remarkably high stock market returns make investors both giddy and complacent. Realize that when stock market returns are above the long-term average of 9.6 percent (1928-2014), there’s a statistical tendency to revert to the mean. In other words, there’s a strong likelihood that returns are going to head back to normal.

        You may not think much about fees now, but imagine how you may feel with 1 percent or 2 percent stock market returns, or even worse, negative returns and fees zapping up to 1 percent or 2 percent of your total assets.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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How to Get Your Adult Children Out of the Basement and Into a Career – US News

    • “I think parents are assuming they’re helping their children,” says Rachel Cruze, 25, a speaker, author of “Smart Money Smart Kids” and the daughter of financial expert Dave Ramsey. “What parents are doing is they’re unintentionally harming their children.”

    • Moving back home can be a suitable, yet temporary, solution for young people who have recently finished college or suffered a financial setback. But experts advise parents and children to have a frank talk before the kids arrive with suitcases

    • Some experts, including Tessina and Cruze, advise creating a written contract that spells all these things out. “When it’s in writing, you’re more likely to stick to it,” Cruze says.

    • Exactly how long a child should live at home after finishing school depends on individual circumstances. In some cases, a highly motivated, hardworking young person can take advantage of the opportunity to start a business, pay off student loans or save for a house.

    • There are also times the parents need help from the child, either financially or to help take care of ill family members

    • 11 tips that will help get your adult children out of the basement and launched into a responsible adult life.

    • Make sure your youngster has a clear plan.

    • Set a deadline for moving out.

    • Have clear house rules.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Surviving the ‘Sandwich Generation:’ When Kids and Parents Depend on You – US News

    • Congratulations! You’re part of the “sandwich generation” – people who are stuck between children and parents who are financially dependent on them.

    • Here are six tips for surviving the “sandwich generation” years:

    • 1. Be proactive

    • 2. Choose retirement over college savings

    • 3. Don’t hide your personal responsibilities from your employer.

    • 4. If children return home, make them contribute. Do not allow an adult child to live in your basement without making significant contributions to the household, either in the form of work or financial contributions (or both).  Be very clear about expectations. If your child is employed, suggest he pay a reasonable rent for his room. If your child is seeking employment, suggest that she help take care of household chores or seek out a part-time job. A child that just sits in the basement watching the months go by and consuming your resources isn’t helping you, isn’t helping themselves and isn’t helping your parents, either. Expect more from them. You deserve it – and they deserve it, too.

    • 5. Maintain an emergency fund.

    • 6. Involve your siblings.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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