TD Ameritrade Review: Why I Use It

TD Ameritrade ReviewTD Ameritrade is one of the biggest online brokers. It’s won many awards and receives high ratings from the financial press. That all sounds great, but it’s not why I use it.

The broker you use is just as important as how you invest your money. While there are a lot of good online brokers to choose from, it makes sense to choose the broker that best fits your investment needs.

If I started from scratch and had to find a new broker today, these would be the key requirements I’d look for: Continue Reading…

H&R Block At Home Review

H&R Block at HomeH&R Block is one of the world’s largest tax service providers with offices all over the country. The H&R Block at Home tax software is the online version of sitting down with one of their tax pros. Now you can get your tax return done without ever leaving your house.

I should preface this before we start. I’ve been a loyal user of Turbotax for years. So I could easily say it’s not worth the effort. But I’ve been digging through this online software for a few days. While I don’t think I’ll switch, because I’m comfortable with what I use, H&R Block at Home does have some nice features.

Besides, with online tax software, you don’t pay until you’re done. If it doesn’t work the way you want, it’s hard to figure out, or you have problems with it, just stop, head down to their tax office, or use a competitor. Continue Reading…

TurboTax Review: Tax Prep Made Easy

TurboTaxTurboTax is one of the most popular online tax preparation and filing services around. During tax season, it’s nice to use great tax software that makes finishing your return as quick and painless as possible.

I’ve used TurboTax to do my tax returns for over a decade now. Back when the only option was to buy the software in a store, I was using it.  That was before the internet, by the way. Of course now, TurboTax offers online tax software and makes those dreaded tax returns that much easier to finish and file quickly. But how does it stack up against the competition?

With TurboTax 2013, you’ll find a range of products that fit the easiest tax return to the more complicated ones.
Continue Reading…

Book Review: Millionaire Teacher

Millionaire TeacherI was recently approached to do a book review.  It’s not a rare occurrence and I’ve had my fill of investing books over the years. When the Millionaire Teacher finally showed up in the mail, I honestly wasn’t overly excited about reading it. Despite my misgivings, I gave it a shot and quickly found it was not your typical investment book.

The Millionaire Teacher is an investing autobiography of sorts by the author Andrew Hallam.  He is a successful high school English teacher, investor and writer. Did I mention he’s a self-made millionaire on a teacher’s salary?

Hallam breaks down his financial successes and failures into nine simple rules that everyone can use to build wealth. He attacks each rule from an educational perspective, with humor, research, and pure simplicity. Continue Reading…

Betterment Review: Simple Investing For Everyone

Betterment DashboardLet’s face it, investing is complicated, time-consuming, and just scary sometimes, especially when it’s looked at for the first time and Betterment believes it has the answer to these problems.

The typical brokerage firm can be downright intimidating for new investors and too costly for an experienced investor. A Betterment account eliminates the intimidation, providing easy to use tools at a low-cost, all while maintaining a goal oriented, long-term approach to investing your money. It sounds like the perfect combination for the beginner and seasoned investor. But is it?

What Is Betterment?

Betterment is an investment service aimed at simplifying the process of investing your money. I’d classify it as an alternative brokerage. Like any normal brokerage account, you still invest your money in the stock market. Only Betterment does all the hard work of researching where to invest your money. I don’t know of a discount broker that does anything like it. Continue Reading…