About Edward

Edward has been a member since July 16th 2010, and has created 1186 posts from scratch.

Edward's Bio

Hi, My name is Edward Forsythe, I have a passion for helping people achieve enough passive income through investing in the right vehicles to secure their financial future. I will be sharing with you several financial facts to help you make better decisions investment.

Edward's Websites

This Author's Website is http://prophetmaxprofits.com

Edward's Recent Articles

Your Questions About Best Investments Now

James asks…

Riskless and Risky investments?

What is the difference between “Riskless” and “Risky” kinds of investments?

Edward answers:

Two kinds of investments are often called “risk free.”

First is any investment guaranteed by the United States Government. Those include:

Savings accounts insured by the FDIC or NCUA
Treasury Bills
Treasury Bonds

Second are certain arbitrage spreads.
These include:

Reverse Conversions, a.k.a. Reversals,
Box spreads
Jelly roll spreads.

None of these are totally free of risk, but they are as close as you can get so the are classified as risk free.

Risky investments include

Stocks or bonds of companies that are in financial difficulty, particularly companies that are bankrupt,
Unhedged leveraged instruments such as futures or options,
Unregulated investments, such as hedge funds, and
Illegal activities.

Most investments are not considered either risk-free or risky.

Carol asks…

The total of two investments????

The total of 2 investments is $25,000. One amount is invested at 7% and the other amount is invested at 9%. The annual interest from the 7% investment is $420 more than from the 9%. How much is invested at each rate?

Edward answers:

Investment A:
Principal = p
Rate = 0.07
Interest = i = 0.07p

Investment B:
Principal = 25000 – p
Rate = 0.09
Interest = i + 420 = 0.07p + 420 = 0.09(25000 – p)

—> 0.07p + 420 = 0.09(25000 – p)

—> 0.07p + 420 = 2250 – 0.09p

—> 0.16p = 1830

—> p = 11437.50

Investment A:
Principal = p = 11437.50

Investment B:
Principal = 25000 – p = 25000 – 11437.50 = 13562.50

Investment A (9%) = $11,437.50
Investment B (7%) = $13,562.50


Ken asks…

Investment banker’s qualifications..?

i have a degree in engineering(b.tech) and i am a MBA from a college in india…. am i eligible to become an investment banker..?? plz help..

Edward answers:

Getting An Investment Bank Job During A Recession


Global Professional Exams


Top Things To Know For An Investment Banking Interview


Wanna Be A Bigwig? Try Investment Banking


6 Money Myths You Learned From The Movies

Jenny asks…

what is foreign investment?

I am studying for my history exam nd i need to know what foreign investment is, and is it related to the great depression? please help!!!

Edward answers:

Foreign investment is an investment (purchase of capital stock) in a company in other than the acquirer’s domestic market or home country, mainly overseas. I don’t think there is a link between foreign investments and the great depression. It is true that the great depression was intensified by the lack of foreign trade, but not foreign investments, which naturally also dropped drastically in the early 1930′s. Here see the wiki definitions of these two terms:




Steven asks…

What do investment bankers do?

Hi. i am intrested in investment banking. i just want to know what you do. why is it such a pressuring job? Also, how much money do you earn. i know some earn millions but what about the average, normal bankers. Thank you

Edward answers:

Investment banking is a fairly broad term that can mean several things. Investment bankers assist and do much of the work in helping companies in having their stock be issued to trade publicly. They will also assist companies in merging with or acquiring other companies. They also often make markets in the stocks of the companies they have previously assisted.
Investment banking can be very lucrative. Junior positions ma make just over $100,000, while the big senior investment banker can make into the millions, including huge bonuses.

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Your Questions About Investing For Income

Betty asks…

How to invest with a low income?

I have a pretty low income so every bi-weekly check I get, I send $40 to my broker’s account. My question is, how does one invest with a low income? Should I save it up for a few months, then invest it all into one stock? Should I focus more on dividends or growth?

At the moment I have 8 Oracle / 4 IBM shares, so I’m wondering if I should branch out into other industries as well. But if so, do I just do one at a time? Any advice? Thanks for any help :)

Edward answers:

You have a very good beginning in that you are investing a set amount each pay check. Good work. Now for some hopefully helpful advice. You are taking a great deal of specific risk with your approach. You are investing in only two stocks and both are information services stocks. Both are good solid companies but one piece of bad news could sink either of them. Since you are just starting out and have only $80 a month to invest, it is my opinion that a less risky approach would be to enter a monthly investment program with one of the major mutual fund companies where they automatically deduct money from your bank account each month and invest it in one of their mutual funds that you have selected. Most of these plans allow you to begin with a minimum of $50 a month. Pick a diversified equity fund and begin with that. One such mutual fund company is T Rowe Price. They have such a plan. Visit their web site and check out their funds and give them a call. I own two of their funds.

Steven asks…

Why invest in gold, when it does not produce income?

Edward answers:

Curtisports has a very limited understanding of investing.

Companies that don’t pay dividends are largely producing lots of income for equity holders. They don’t pay dividends for taxation (and other) reasons, but their retained earnings are almost always growing. Equity holders can access this income by selling some of their shares. That’s the basis of “Dividend Irrelevance”. To say that gold and non-dividend paying stocks are the same is just idiocy. Gold produces nothing. A non-dividend paying stock is compounding earnings for you.

Through most of history investing in gold has been a bad investment for the reason you point out – it produces nothing. Now people invest in gold because they fear that the risk of investing in any cash flows exceed the values of those cash flows. That doesn’t seem likely to me at least long-term. And then we have internet idiocy like “an investment in gold is the same as an investment in non-dividend paying stocks or real estate”. There are lots of idiots who give advice on the internet.

Edit: TradeBrother has the same very limited understanding of investments. “What investment produces income?” Hmm…let’s see – every stock with positive earnings, corporate bonds, government bonds, mortgage backed securities, real estate, REIT’s, venture capital, distressed investing, convertible securities, money market paper, CD’s, savings accounts, senior CDO tranches, short CDS positions, short option positions, etc, etc… Gold bugs are such morons.

Sharon asks…

Should I invest in income stocks or growth stocks?

What are the pros and cons? Which is better? Which is riskier? Which makes more money?

Edward answers:

Some people invest in both. It is called having a diversified portfolio. Certainly growth stocks have more risk. During a bear market they tend to loose considerably more in value than income stocks. During bull markets thought they tend to increase more in value than income stocks. Which is better? Well, I can tell you which were better from 2000 thru 2010–Income stocks. That was the lost decade for growth stocks except for APPL.

Lisa asks…

Investing for income?

Last question in a string of related questions.

I want to start investing in order to diversify my income streams so that if I were to lose my job or be unable to get a new one in time I wouldn’t be completely broke. I have enough money saved up to allow for at least 6 months living off my current salary (bearing in mind if I did lose my job I wouldn’t spend the way I do now so I actually have more).
Because I’m young the amount I have saved up of course won’t give me enough in dividends for a suitable living income even if I did invest, so my question is this:

For my investment should I focus more on capital growth so that I can get more returns from my investment later on, or focus more on income now and just keep gradually squirreling money into the investment so that the maximum income I get will gradually become higher and higher. Does this make sense?

The way I see it (I’m very new to investing), if I focus on capital growth then I will get little to no income from my investment but it will grow much faster. Or I can get some income off of it which I would reinvest to get a bit bigger the next year and so on.

Edward answers:

You basically invest for the future. While you ARE earning you go mainly for capital growth (maybe 70% equity and 30% bonds). It possibly depends on what are the chances of you being out of work in 6 months. Are you worrying too much or do you think it is a real possibility?
Bear in mind you cannot get much income these days due to low interest rates, unless you are prepared to take more risk. Have you looked at the retail corporate bond market. I am referring to UK here where you can buy bonds when first issued, at par. They are usually around 5% to 6.5% with terms of up to 10 years (although they are fully tradeable in the market).

Michael asks…

where to invest monthly interest income?

I receive a sizable sum in interest on my cd’s each month. Is there a better investment alternative to keeping the interest earned in the cd’s? Life insurance, annuity, mutual fund etc? Currently getting 2.3%

Edward answers:

It depends on your age and risk profile. If your CDs are safeguarding your capital and producing an income stream, you may want to be a little more adventurous with the interest you earn. Instead of putting it back into fixed income, why not invest it in equities through a mutual fund instead?

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Your Questions About Day Trading Tips

Mary asks…

Any tips on choosing an Online Forex Broker?

Any tips or certain companies you would recommend? How can I verify for myself they are real?

Edward answers:

Ultimately, you can check with the Securities and Exchange Commission: http://sec.gov/

I use FXDD and they’re for real.

If you already have a futures broker, you can also trade Currency Futures. I also trade the Forex, but I get better fills on the futures.

Actually, I trade the Forex through PermiereTrade software, and most of their customers (over 1,000 on the Message Board) trade through FXDD. But I can choose any broker.

If you don’t already have charting software and a data feed, this may well be what you should be concentrating on. Of the legitimate brokers, they’re all pretty much the same, if the spreads are comparable. You shouldn’t pay over 2 or 3 pip spread on the majors, definately something to ask about.

On the futures, you pay a commission, rather than a spread difference, and they are in points, rather than pips. The currency futures are just like any other commodity. I use a very professional charting and trading platform called RealTick, through TerraNovaOnline; state-of-the-art stuff, technically oriented. TerraNova is the home of the Day Trader. I can trade currency futures for $11 roundtrip, which is not possible on the Forex. I pay $200/month for RealTick, but I think you can get their Investor package for free, which is RealTick just sized down to one screen. I use five 21″ monitors. But Investor would be a good starting point. Check out their free trial offer.


Here is PremiereTrade’s website:


The great thing about PremiereTrade is their Message Boards and their Live Trader Commentary, and the ability to speak with their traders at any time. Keeping you informed is their business, and this is real unusual. They do not tell you when to trade, the software does that, but you are always informed; a definate plus.

Other Forex sites:



Here’s a good Forex educational site:


And here’s another legitimate broker, this one international:

Mandy asks…

Is it possible to consistently keep the market going up 500 one day and down 500 the next?

What if you sell all your stocks at the end of a 500 pt gain day and then buy them back the next day when the market falls 500, then sell them again when it goes back up to 500, what if every investor did that? Would it be possible? How are people trying to manipulate the market to swing up or down one day or the next?
bundygil – What is the negative effect of widespread shortselling? Is it that the money comes out of nowhere and disappears just as fast?

Edward answers:

What you’re talking about is day trading. THIS IS THE WORST WAY TO INVEST!!!! Not only can no one predict the market, but if you buy and sell every day, you are taxed extremely heavily, so even if you made some sort of profit, you’ll probably lose it all and then some to taxes.

The truth is, no one can manipulate the market. There are just too many trades made in one day to be manipulated by a single or group of investors. The only investors who would buy stocks when the market was down 500, then sell when it went up 500 would be speculative investors, and these investors are wiped out within the first few months because of heavy losses. There are NEIGHBORHOODS filled with people who have nothing because they could not speculate into the future of the stock market.

Also, shorting a stock means you’re betting that it will go down. The SEC has temporarily banned shortselling the stock market, because it would drive down stocks and the overall equity indices and put the world into a deeper economic pit.

Tip: Buy stocks with great underlying fundamentals, strong and understandle businesses, great management, a healthy balance sheet, and top notch management for the long term, this is the proven best way to make money in the market. If you don’t want to do this, chances all you’ll lose most, if not all of your money.

Steven asks…

Any tips for controlling the misbehavior of small children at school?

As a substitute teacher, I incur the misbehavior of many a child. I was hoping you might be able to offer some advice as far as handling a child’s misbehavior (i.e., sitting still, staying quiet, to stop pushing and shoving). What are the tricks of the trade?

Edward answers:

You need to be at their level when you talk to them.
When telling them something, always kneel down to eye level.

Always explain why something was wrong for example-
“Brandon, why did you hit Katie?”
“Because she took my crayons”
“You know it’s not ok to hit others right?, I know you don’t really like to hurt your friends. I think you hurt Katie’s feelings. It would make me and Katie feel better if you said sorry. If it happens again, you are going to have to go to timeout”

That way you have given them the chance to make it right, its not just straight punishment.
As far as punisment does go- Create a specific place in the room just for timeout, with nothing fun or interesting NEAR that place. Have a timer that goes off when they are allowed to leave timeout.
Create a “good manners chart” in the class. Everytime you hear someone using good manners…acknoledge them in front of the others and put a sticker on the chart…once they reach a certain number have an ice cream party or a movie day the next time you are there. Just because you are a sub doesn’t mean you can’t build a solid teaching relationship with students. Doing these things will make them remember you the next time you teach.

Hope that helps.

Helen asks…

Any tips for surviving in a dorm at college?

I’m going away to college this fall and will be living in the dorms. Anyone have any tips to help me make the most of it and not get overwhelmed.

Edward answers:

Make nice with your RA (Resident Advisor). He/she is basically in charge of (among other things) writing you up if you get in trouble. If you’re friendly and he/she likes you, they might give you some slack. Make nice with your neighbors, too–that way, if you are, for example, playing your music too loud, your neighbor is more likely to come to you first to ask you to turn the music down than go to your RA first and get you in trouble.

Treat your roommate the way you would want to be treated. If they’re in the room, don’t have sex (yes, people do this sometimes), don’t invite tons and tons of friends over, don’t blast music (unless it’s okay with them.) The first day, have an honest discussion with your roommate to lay some ground rules–you need to agree on parameters. For example, is it okay for a significant to stay over? If so, is there a limit to the number of nights they sleep there? (some people might be okay with 2 nights but not 5.) Is drinking alcohol allowed in the room? Do you want to study in complete silence (in which case you can listen to music or whatever with earplugs) or is playing music or the TV okay? Are you sharing a fridge and food–and if so, who replaces what and when? Is it okay to use each other’s stuff, like hair bands or hairspray, or do you want to make each other’s stuff off-limits? Do you want to keep your door locked all the time or is it okay to leave it unlocked sometimes? What time is usually bedtime–and is it okay to study in the room with a light on (get a desk lamp) if the other person is sleeping or trying to sleep? Also trade your class schedules when you have them–that way you’ll know when you can really have some time to yourself.

Be friendly! Keep your door open the first couple of days and say hi to people who pop their heads in or walk by.

Living in dorms is actually pretty fun (I miss it!)

Sandra asks…

Any tips on how to get quick gold on Gaia?

I need tips on how to get about 50k(50,000) gold quickly and easily. I’m saving up to buy my dream avatar but I need tips on how to get the gold. Anyone have any tips?

Edward answers:

There is no secret way to getting gold fast on gaia.
There are a few things you can do daily to get gold:
1. Daily Chances
2. Posting on forum
3. Commenting and voting in the avatar arena
4. Posting Journal Entries

If you have more than 10k gold, you can try to gain gold from the marketplace place by using the buy low sell high technique.

Try not to spend your gold before you reach 100k so that you can have more spare gold to trade on the marketplace.

Another way is to go around town and shake the bushes and trees. Gold drops from them. A 10mins walk can let you gain about 500 gold depending your connection speed as you need to go from map to map. Pick up all the trash and flowers on the ground when you see them. They can be sold at 0.5g each in the exchange forum.

These takes up less than 6 hours a day. 3-4 hours a day can get you about 10k gold per day depending on how much you make from the trading in the marketplace

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Your Questions About What Kept The Peace In Europe

Maria asks…

What compromises are essential for both Arabs and Israelis to commit to in order to make peace a reality?

What compromises are essential for both Arabs and Israelis to commit to in order to make peace a reality?
This is for school.

Edward answers:

Arabs have offered israel peace multiple times on the ’67 borders agreement but israel has no interest in peace because if israel makes peace, it can no longer extort the USA!–israel thinks the present situation, where it gets aid and many other military and non military benefits from the usa and where it can control world politics via Aipac that controls the american government!-Israel wants to keep its industrial and economic espionage on the USA so it can produce advanced weapons and technology and medicine without paying and doing R&D themselves. The weapons help israel maintain the occupation and makes a big profit selling them to china.
If israel made peace tomorrow, israel would gradually lose its special position with the west. Thats why israel is building obstacle after obstacle to aim at an outcome it wants which is NO peace!
In the mean time, israel will feed the west the usual lies after lies. Israel wants the USA to attack iran so the usa will be bogged down for the next 10 years in iran and that lowers the pressure on israel to make peace; netanyahu fears obama will spend his next term bringing down extra pressure on israel to make peace and thats why aipac and netanyahu are lying to obama and pressuring him to attack iran.
If the usa a decade ago had put, 0.05% of the pressure it puts daily on arab lands, on israel, we would have had peace a decade ago!
First israel said that terrorism was an obstacle and then it was arafat and each time they come with other excuses when the real obstacle is the settlements and israel’s dependency on usa money.
Israel and aipac have to keep america in a constant state of fear to keep the usa fighting israels proxy military and diplomatic wars; without the stranglehold israel has on american politics, israeli politicians would not be taken seriously by china and russia etc.
Even israelis know israel is built on lies of socalled democracy and equal rights when in fact its an etnoreligious apartheid state where only jews have equal rights. The voting rights palestinians have is just for show!–in three decades there will be more palestinians than jews inside israel (excluding the westbank and gaza and the palestinian refugees). Already there are more palestinians than jews between the jordan river and the mediterranean sea!–Israeli governement is cooking the books on demographics; already 800.000 former israeli jews live abroad permanently in europe and elsewhere and still israel counts them as permanent residents of israel!
In time israel will have to surrender to peace or commit bigger ethnic cleansing crimes than it already has in the past and then the world will rise up against it!–In the negev desert , bedouins who have lived there for nearly a 1000 years are constantly harassed and their homes demolished while brooklyn jews get armed guards and money for every mobile home they illegally plant on hills in the westbank belonging to palestinian farmers!

Linda asks…

Assuming that you are a representitive of England in 1815, what should the fate of Napoleon be?

this is for my history class and basically this is after Naploeons defeat in Waterloo and Europe is trying to decide the fate of Napoleon….I am Great Britain and i need to know what my opinion would be toward what to do with Napoleon and preserve the peace in Europe.

also what should happen to defeated France?

Edward answers:

The role of Great Britain is to maintain a balance of power in Europe. British interests are for the security of her overseas Empire. What has an overseas empire got to do with Europe?

Well if their is a “balance of power” in Europe, European countries first priorities lay with the protection of their own borders. They must spend their resources for their own borders defence, and cannot challenge Britain for supremacy of her Empire or international trade routes.

This is why Britain opposed Napoleon. For had Napoleon been successful and united Europe. His next step would have been to challenge British dominace around the globe, primarily the profitable trade routes which Britain controlled.

British foreign policy dictated that she be enemies of the strongest mainland power in Europe, so as to maintain a balance of power.

Traditional this meant, to be an ememy of France and to support France’s enemies. Once France was no longer the strongest power in Europe, i.e after 1871 when Germany became a united country following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian war. British policy dictated that she now ally with France against the strongest mainland power, which was Germany.

Britain was in a favoured geograhical position in that she had to spend very little if anything on her army. British expenditure went primarily on ships. Contrast this with France, Austria, Prussia and Russia who must maintain large armies to secure their own borders. If they have to keep large armies, they cannot challenge Britain on the sea.

Napoleon is a threat, so you will want to get rid of him. France will need to be weakened as she is too powerful, but you do not want her rivals (Austria, Prussia and Russia) to become too powerful.

Remember, you want to maintain a balance of power. This is your first priority.

Ken asks…

When did Europe plung into the dark ages?

Im not good in this area of history. Some say after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, others(im one of them) might say that it was some time after Rome conquered most of Europe and people abandoned the need to think like the philosophers did severals decades before. The Romans had many great achievements, like their architecture, but they got much of that from conquering the Etruscans didnt they? They didnt add on to many of their “current” knowledge because they felt they didnt need to, and therefore the emire fell to barbarians…When and how did Europe plung into the dark ages?

Edward answers:

The Romans got all their knowledge from the Greeks, they added very little to that, except for invading Europe of course.
The dark ages started with the fall of the Roman Empire. It was crumbling and could not hold all the restive native tribes fed up with the far away ruler who took their money but did nothing to protect them against invaders, neither hold back the invading hordes. They fell and pandemonium followed. Everyone trying to carve his piece of kingdom out of what was left and waves after waves of invasions. It was a time when a sword was much more important than a pen, most of the writings saved during that time were saved by the churches and abbeys, and mostly by the Arabs who kept them to be rediscovered later by Europe… In the later Middle Age.
However that period did not last a thousand years. Charlemagne was reknown because he brought peace to Europe, gave it back a new legal frame and allowed it to rebuild itself, and that was in 800. Between 800 and the official end of the Middle Ages in 1400, the famous dark ages, Europe knew a rebirth. There were up and downs but it was still a thriving, vibrant society. Just to give you an example, look up the cathedrals built during that time, visit medieval museums and look at the beautiful jewelry and statuary. And those famous Crusades (18 in all) couldn’t have happened if they hadn’t had the money for them. Crusades were hugely expensive and needed a huge logistic. There was money in the Middle Ages, merchants had thriving businesses and sent their merchandises all over Europe. There was a banking system, like the one created by the Templars to allow people to travel without carrying all that money on their person.
There were dark side to that of course. Serfdom is one (it ended around the 13th century to become peasants taxes and duties), there were also famines, plagues (the terrible black plague), wars, but those happened throughout history.
However, when the Renaissance happened they turned back and pointed at the Middle Ages and said: “look at those barbarians who didn’t venerate the Ancient Greeks and Romans like we do. A truly Dark Age.” The name stuck. It is only lately that people have started to look further than the name.

A few things made and created during the Black Ages :
- The screw, glasses (to read)
- Universities (Bologna, Paris, Oxford, in 1120-30, Salamanca, Vienna…)

Charles asks…

What was the main cause for about 1500 years of darkness in Europe during CE until the advent of renaissance?

The Greco-Roman civilizations, which were filled with rich philosophical ideas and practice related to science and politics, flourished in late BC Era. Then, the whole Europe lagged behind in civilization in comparison with the East, for about 1500 years during CE until the 16th century.

Edward answers:

During the time of the Roman Empire, the Pax Romana (Roman Peace) made it easy for ideas and commerce to flourish throughout the empire. People with money have time to consider ideas, and ideas were readily available throughout the empire. (I seem to recall something in the bible about Paul being invited to speak at some outdoor, public, Roman forum where the citizens went each day to do nothing more than discuss and consider the latest ideas.)

After the western half of the Roman Empire fell around about the year 500 give or take …. Um …. A whole bunch of years, there was no more Pax Romana, no more widespread prosperity, and less time to devote to considering ideas, because people were too busy either working hard to earn a living or fighting to keep the neighboring city-state from invading and stealing everything they could carry away.

The only source of stability during the medieval time was the catholic church. Unfortunately, they were so busy attempting to keep things together, that they had no energy left for creative thought. Their fear of the chaos which was ever-ready to burst the fragile bubble of civility in medieval Europe made them very careful and conservative. Later, when the economy began to improve a wee bit, and a middle class composed primarily of merchants began to emerge and grow larger and stronger, people once again had time to consider ideas, and their new-found wealth made them less fearful of the wolf at the door, so they did not feel the need to be as conservative as people had been for the previous thousand years or so (give or take a bunch of years). They felt the need to do something different from what came before, so they rebelled against the spritually-based notions of their recent past, and went to the opposite extreme, positing that reason, logic, and thought alone were the best way to order one’s life. Interestingly, that attitude lasted until WW1 and WW2 made many people believe that all of the reason and logic of the past few hundred years had resulted only in more scientific ways to kill people instead of the expected utopia which “must” follow from logic and reason. In other words, the renaissance was a countercultural response to the medieval times, and today’s countercultures are a response to the renaissance, which inevitably became unyielding and stogy.

The beat goes on.

Helen asks…

What did the Congress of Vienna accomplish that had real and lasting value for the welfare of Europe?

Which of its accomplishments were harmful to Europe‘s future?

Edward answers:

It established both the concept and reality of a Balance of Power, the idea being that no one state would be allowed to become so powerful that it could dominate the entire continent of Europe.

This was achieved by agreeing to the Congress System, whereby disputes between the major powers would be settled by diplomacy and negotiation, involving all the Great Powers, so as to arrive at an unbiased,fair and sensible compromise.This would prevent wars between countries over petty disputes or to save face and, in particular, would prevent a general European war breaking out.

This the Congress of Vienna accomplished,there being no major general European war until 1914, almost a century later.

As for harmful achievements, the concerns and desires of nationalist groups and minor states were completely overlooked or ignored. The Poles were returned to the subjection of Russia, Prussia,and Austria, northern Italy handed over to Austrian rule, the Belgians subjected to the Dutch and made a part of the Netherlands. All this stored up trouble for the future, as nationalist sentiment caused unrest,revolution,and wars of unification and independence later in the century.Nationalism is also often cited as a major cause of WW1.

On the whole though, the pluses of the Congress of Vienna far outweighed the minuses. The ‘Concert of Europe’ as the new Congress System was called did a far better job at keeping the peace than,for example,the League of Nations a century later, and the most important members – Britain,Prussia,Russia,Austria-Hungary and France – got along much better, and dealt with international problems, far more effectively than the 5 veto holding members on today’s UN Security Council.

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Your Questions About Retirement Income Planning

Linda asks…

what is the relationship between retirement planning and employee benefits?

They almost feel the same to me. Anyone know why? Thanks

Edward answers:

Retirement planning is just what it says: planning for your retirement. This can be done through an employer resource or outside of employment completely (most likely outside employment). It can be done with a financial planner, a retirement coach, or simply with reading books and websites on retirement to learn more and begin to plan for life and income after you leave employment.

Employee benefits are benefits your employer pays over and above your pay check. Most employee benefits protect your income in some manner: health care, long term disability, workers compensation, and life insurance to name a few.

SOME employers offer Retirement Planning programs as a benefit to employees.

Thomas asks…

Retirement plan account?

I just got my Wells Fargo Retirement Plan paper to start a set up plan.The first thing it ask is Employee Deferral, Employee After-tax,Roth Deferral if I want to add “New Payroll Contribution Percent” some percent to it.

Which one is better for me if I’m just starting out,and I plan to stick with this job.I also wont access it til I’m older and need the money.
Can someone give me more information on this please?Thank you!

Edward answers:

Nobody can give you an appropriate answer without knowing more about your situation. Pre-tax contributions go into your account after FICA, but before any federal or state taxes come out. So on average for every dollar you put into your account you will only see about $.70 come out. Your contributions will lower your taxable income when you file your taxes. You will pay taxes when you retire and withdraw the money. A Roth contribution goes into your account after taxes have already been taken out. It does not lower your taxes, but when you retire you can withdraw that money tax free. Assuming you are in the same tax bracket now as when you retire it would make no difference which you selected because you are simply shifting when you pay your tax liability. If you provide a little more info regarding your age, education, and salary I could give more specific recommendations

Carol asks…

I am self employed, my wife works for a company. Who is better to contribute to a retirement plan?

Will i get a better tax benefit since I have to pay self employment taxes on my income?

Edward answers:

First off, contributions to retirement plans are NOT exempt from Social Security and Medicare or Self-Employment taxes. They are only exempt from income tax and only certain types of plans have any up-front tax benefits. For example, a Roth type plan has no tax benefit going in, the benefit is all on the back end when you take your distibutions from the plan tax-free.

As a self-employed individual you have a number of options available to you. You can open a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Or you can look into a SEP-IRA type of plan. These are ideal for the self-employed and small business owners as they allow much larger contributions than a standard IRA does.

You and your spouse should each have your own separate retirement plan. Although divorce may be untinkable to you right now, statiscally your marriage will not last. The worst that can happen in a marital breakup is that one party is left destitute with no retirement at all. The next worst if having to share a hard-won retirement benefit with a spouse who may not be “deserving” at least in your own mind.

Consult with an independent fee-based Certified Financial Planner who does not sell any investment products. They will help you review your financial situation, resources and goals and select the best retirement vehicle for you. A full workup may cost you a couple of thousand but is money wisely spent over the long term. (I have to disagree with Tim on this point. A financial planner who sells investment products is motivated by how much money he or she can make off of the investment products they sell you, NOT what is in your best interests! NEVER use a “financial planner” who sells anything other than planning and advice. They are NOT financial planners but are just glorified salesmen and securities dealers.)

A poor decision today could leave your menu selection in your “golden years” limited to Alpo or worse. Careful planning today may leave you choosing between Honolulu or Scottsdale for your retirement home, a MUCH more palatable choice to have to make.

George asks…

Retirement Plan. What do I need to know and where do I begin?

I want to save money so that in 20 years I can retire and live happy. I have a well paying job being that I’m in the military, basically I want to know where do I go to start a retirement plan and how they work.

Edward answers:

$250 a month In an IRA is a great place to start. Also military has a fantastic retirement program if you can make it to 20 years. I’m partial to Roth IRAs with a balanced mutual fund, some gov bonds and CDs. I’m NOT a retirement planner, just giving my 2 cents. If you do both the IRA and stick it out 20 years, you should be more than comfy at retirement.

Also look at single premium annuities for income. Definitely speak to an Advisor at your bank or call up USAA, which is great to have when you are in the military. Any more questions? Emcoppens@yahoo.com

Ken asks…

Question about 401(K) Retirement Plan. Please help!?


I don’t know much about the 401(k) plan and I have some questions if someone can help answer them. My dad has a 401(k) plan at his work. He contributes $27 weekly to his plan. His employees contribute $12 a week for him. Do you think that my dad should raise his contributions to this plan? Are there any risks involved if he decides to raise his contribution? How big is the risk if there is one?

Any information regarding this would be helpful


Edward answers:

A good rule of thumb is to be contributing around 15% of your income towards retirement. However, if your father is older (45 to 50 or older) and he does not have a good head start, he should be putting away more like 25%-35%. This would mean that if he makes 50,000 per year, he should probably be putting away more like $200 to $250 per week. It all depends on his age now but a good rule of thumb is 15%.

Always start with your 401(k) if you get a match, this is like free money! However, after getting his match, if he qualifies with his income, he should fund a Roth IRA with after tax dollars. If he fully funds his ROTH and still have not saved 10%-15% of your income, then go back to your 401(k) if you have decent investments there.

It is important to note that 401(k)s and IRAs are not investments, they are a tax treatment on investments.
I would suggest that he invests mainly in good growth stock mutual funds. They aren’t nearly as risky as hand picking single stocks but will give him stock market returns as opposed to the low fixed income returns. For a Roth IRA, go check out some online brokers (Fidelity, Vanguard etc.) or sit down with a competent broker or financial planner. Make sure that with his 401(k) he has a good mix of mutual funds and some fixed income (bonds). If his retirement is at least 10 years out, it should be mainly mutual funds. There is some risk involved but not nearly as much risk as not contributing enough in the first place!

Hope this helps!

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