The Reading Room

A Personal Finance Blog
What You Should Know

In the year 2017 Americans saw the federal student debt rise to $1.48 trillion, surpassing credit card debt. Each of the 44 million borrowers were estimated to have graduated with $37,142 in student debt. Once graduated, Americans have to face the task of repaying these loans; a task that can last well into their forties. … Continue reading

You have more years to save for college than you think

Good news, right? So what’s the trick? Actually, there is no trick. Follow along for about two minutes. For the sake of illustration, let’s say a child is born this year and you want to plan financially for her college education. We’ll make the assumption that you expect to pay for a traditional four year … Continue reading

4 Investing Rules for the Ages

MAKING MONEY: The most popular piece I’ve published in 40 years of writing these Letters was entitled, “Rich Man, Poor Man.” I have had dozens of requests to run this piece again or for permission to reprint it for various business organizations. Making money entails a lot more than predicting which way the stock or … Continue reading

The Formula and How It Works

Outside of banking circles, the Rule-of-78′s is little understood, even though it is commonly applied to many consumer and business loans. For the borrower, it tends to have a pernicious effect in the nature of a hidden prepayment penalty. The borrower’s disadvantage is heightened by the fact that the operation of the Rule-of-78′s is often … Continue reading

Why pay more than you need to pay?

According to the Urban Institute, originations for first mortgages totaled $1.8 trillion in 2017. In addition, NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) reports that in the United States, the nation’s 16,802 franchised dealers sold 17.14 million new vehicles in 2017, and total new-vehicle sales topped $1 trillion. If as in years past, approximately 70% of these … Continue reading