ROTH IRA

Kevin: ‘What is the best way to invest the $4,000 for the upcoming year – send it in this week in one lump sum or divide it up by 12 and use the ‘dollar cost averaging’ thinking?’

☞ As a general rule, if you don’t have to go into debt to do it, you want to fund your IRA as fully and as early as you can. That’s because, as a general rule, the longer you have your money working for you tax-deferred, the greater the sum it will ultimately grow to be.

I think the way to view the dollar-cost averaging part of this is that you are dollar-cost averaging . . . only you are doing it on an annual, not a monthly, basis. Every year, whether the market is high or low, you put in $4,000. So over the long run, you’ll buy more shares when they’re cheap, fewer when they’re dear. That’s dollar-cost averaging.

CFLs

Brad Hurley: ‘Compact fluorescents do indeed last a LONG time. In 1990 I won eight of them in a contest sponsored by my electric utility. The last one burned out a year ago, and the others all lasted more than 10 years. That’s a pretty good life for a light bulb! I took those bulbs with me each time I moved to a new apartment, removing the incandescents that came with the place and putting them back when I moved out. I did the same with my low-flow showerhead and faucet attachments. Note, however, that you won’t save money with compact fluorescents in all situations: for example don’t use them in closets (unless you frequently forget to turn off your closet lights), because those lights are on for such a short time that it would take decades for a compact fluorescent to pay for itself in electricity savings. And remember that most compact fluorescents will be damaged if you use them in fixtures with dimmer or three-way switches…there are models available that work with those switches but you have to look for them.’

Michael Rutkaus: ‘Note that the heat from an incandescent bulb is NOT wasted when the building is heated. The heat from the bulb then goes to reducing the fuel/energy used by the main building heating system, natural gas, oil, electricity. So the savings in winter of using CFLs or even LEDs is only the difference between the cost of electricity and the cost of the other heating method. In summer, though, all savings are [more than] as advertised as the lower heat output reduces A/C costs.’

OY

Oy, oy, oy, oy, oy. Saddam executed this guy’s brother – but look what side he is on. If you haven’t seen this video, it’s worth the four minutes to see what we have gotten ourselves into the middle of.

 

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