Pay Off Debt or Invest?

There’s a big debate in the personal finance community over whether it’s best to pay off your debt, or keep low interest debt (like a mortgage) and invest more.

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After all, with low interest rates, you can likely earn more over time investing more of your money in the stock market and keeping low interest debt around. However, while the math may support keeping debt around, it certainly doesn’t account for the behavioral economics side of things. After all, as smart and logical as we’d like to think we all are, it’s all too easy to prefer a new car or vacation over disciplined investing, especially if a partner is pushing for those things.

And what about the feeling of being debt free? Being indebted to no one? If you carry a mortgage, you have that debt burden (and responsibility) over your head. Continue reading “Pay Off Debt or Invest?”

How to Help Your Economy

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that household debt, including mortgages, car loans, and credit card debt, has risen all over the world. Shockingly, Switzerland leads the pack, with household debt at 127.5% of Gross Domestic Product (that means, for every $100,000 of GDP a household produces, they hold $127,500 in debt!).

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The average citizen in Switzerland, which has traditionally been an extremely wealthy country, has substantial assets underpinning this debt, or at least four times more assets than the average American.

Even so, Switzerland, as well as nine other economies including Canada, Finland, and Australia, have debt levels that are high and rising quickly, at a pace that mirrors that of the US right before the housing bubble.  Continue reading “How to Help Your Economy”