“Welcome to the PlanEasy blog! We make personal finance easy.

Thanks for visiting.”

 

– Owen

Bonds Aren’t Boring: The Psychological Benefit Of Holding Bonds

Bonds Aren’t Boring: The Psychological Benefit Of Holding Bonds

Bonds seem like a really boring investment. They’re low growth. They won’t make you rich. Plus, bond prices fall when interest rates increase. And if you use a bond ETF they usually pay a tiny monthly dividend, typically not even enough to buy another share via DRIP unless you have a lot invested.

So, why would anyone invest in bonds?!?

There are a few good reasons to invest in bonds but there is ONE reason in particular that I think is very important. It’s not a typical reason you see mentioned when people talk about investing in bonds, but I think it’s one of the best reasons. It’s based on investor psychology and behaviour and it can make a big difference during a stock market dip or a full blown downturn.

Many DIY investors may not realize it, but they are their own worst enemy. There is plenty of research around investor behavior, in particular how investors like to time the market. Timing the market means investors try to buy low and sell high, but this rarely happens, if anything they do the opposite, buy high and sell low. For most DIY investors time in the market is more important than timing the market.

Morningstar does an analysis that measures fund inflows and outflows. They use this to approximate when people are trying to time the market. Vanguard did a great summary of this analysis and they found investor returns lagged the market by 1 to 2%. They estimated that behavioral coaching can be worth up to +1.5% per year for the average investor.

So as a DIY investor how do bonds help you avoid timing the market? Let me explain…

read more
Create Your Own Online Spend Tracker Using Google Forms + Google Sheets

Create Your Own Online Spend Tracker Using Google Forms + Google Sheets

Do you want to track your spending but you don’t want to give Mint all your passwords or pay YNAB a monthly fee? Are you looking for a low-cost budgeting alternative that is still automated and easy to use? Then why not setup your own spend tracker using Google Forms and Google Sheets?

Creating your own spend tracker using Google Forms and Google Sheets is super easy to do. Google Forms integrates with Google Sheets so that every entry you make gets automatically added to your Google Sheet. As you spend money you simply pull up the Google Form on your phone, enter the amount and the category and hit submit. Google automatically adds this entry to your Google Sheet with a timestamp.

To help we’ve created a short video to guide you through the steps. In this video we’ll create a basic spend tracker, it’s nothing fancy but you can always add more functionality/charts later.

read more
Budgeting For Unexpected Expenses

Budgeting For Unexpected Expenses

Budgeting for the unexpected. Planning for the unplanned. It seems like an oxymoron, but it’s an important budgeting tool that can help you stay on track financially.

Unexpected expenses can be a real pain in the @$$. You can go months with a perfectly balanced budget only to have it blown out of the water by some unexpected expense.

Sometimes it’s car related, like a car repair, new tires, or annual license plate renewal. Or sometimes it’s home related, like a leaky sink, a broken window, a leak in the roof. Or sometimes it’s around the holidays when the gifts receipts are piling up.

Whatever the reason, unexpected expenses can be a real buzz kill. But are they all unexpected? Or can we budget for some of these expenses in advance?

A solid budget should include some room for these unexpected expenses. We’re not talking about adding “buffer” to your budget. Budgeting for unexpected expenses should be strategic and planned.

Many unexpected expenses fall into three buckets, vehicle related, home related, and life related.

read more
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Owen Winkelmolen

Financial planner, personal finance geek and founder of PlanEasy.

“Welcome to the PlanEasy blog! We make personal finance easy.

Thanks for visiting.”

 

– Owen

Join our online community!

Community members get (free!) access to our budgeting spreadsheet.

C

Bonds Aren’t Boring: The Psychological Benefit Of Holding Bonds

Bonds Aren’t Boring: The Psychological Benefit Of Holding Bonds

Bonds seem like a really boring investment. They’re low growth. They won’t make you rich. Plus, bond prices fall when interest rates increase. And if you use a bond ETF they usually pay a tiny monthly dividend, typically not even enough to buy another share via DRIP unless you have a lot invested.

So, why would anyone invest in bonds?!?

There are a few good reasons to invest in bonds but there is ONE reason in particular that I think is very important. It’s not a typical reason you see mentioned when people talk about investing in bonds, but I think it’s one of the best reasons. It’s based on investor psychology and behaviour and it can make a big difference during a stock market dip or a full blown downturn.

Many DIY investors may not realize it, but they are their own worst enemy. There is plenty of research around investor behavior, in particular how investors like to time the market. Timing the market means investors try to buy low and sell high, but this rarely happens, if anything they do the opposite, buy high and sell low. For most DIY investors time in the market is more important than timing the market.

Morningstar does an analysis that measures fund inflows and outflows. They use this to approximate when people are trying to time the market. Vanguard did a great summary of this analysis and they found investor returns lagged the market by 1 to 2%. They estimated that behavioral coaching can be worth up to +1.5% per year for the average investor.

So as a DIY investor how do bonds help you avoid timing the market? Let me explain…

read more
Create Your Own Online Spend Tracker Using Google Forms + Google Sheets

Create Your Own Online Spend Tracker Using Google Forms + Google Sheets

Do you want to track your spending but you don’t want to give Mint all your passwords or pay YNAB a monthly fee? Are you looking for a low-cost budgeting alternative that is still automated and easy to use? Then why not setup your own spend tracker using Google Forms and Google Sheets?

Creating your own spend tracker using Google Forms and Google Sheets is super easy to do. Google Forms integrates with Google Sheets so that every entry you make gets automatically added to your Google Sheet. As you spend money you simply pull up the Google Form on your phone, enter the amount and the category and hit submit. Google automatically adds this entry to your Google Sheet with a timestamp.

To help we’ve created a short video to guide you through the steps. In this video we’ll create a basic spend tracker, it’s nothing fancy but you can always add more functionality/charts later.

read more
Budgeting For Unexpected Expenses

Budgeting For Unexpected Expenses

Budgeting for the unexpected. Planning for the unplanned. It seems like an oxymoron, but it’s an important budgeting tool that can help you stay on track financially.

Unexpected expenses can be a real pain in the @$$. You can go months with a perfectly balanced budget only to have it blown out of the water by some unexpected expense.

Sometimes it’s car related, like a car repair, new tires, or annual license plate renewal. Or sometimes it’s home related, like a leaky sink, a broken window, a leak in the roof. Or sometimes it’s around the holidays when the gifts receipts are piling up.

Whatever the reason, unexpected expenses can be a real buzz kill. But are they all unexpected? Or can we budget for some of these expenses in advance?

A solid budget should include some room for these unexpected expenses. We’re not talking about adding “buffer” to your budget. Budgeting for unexpected expenses should be strategic and planned.

Many unexpected expenses fall into three buckets, vehicle related, home related, and life related.

read more
Page 5 of 25...34567...

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