How to Help Japan With Your Money

I’m sure most of you know by now that Japan has been hit hard by an earthquake and tsunami. This truly is a crisis that needs all the countries of the world to unite and help out. My prayer goes out to the families affected by this crisis. I thought it would be appropriate to name some charities that are active in helping out the victims in Japan. Here are ten foundations that have a long standing reputation. You can be assured that your money is going to a good cause with any of the following charities.

American Red Cross: Your gift to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.

World Vision: World Vision plans to distribute relief supplies to meet the daily needs of quake and tsunami survivors. We will also focus our efforts on responding to the emotional needs of children, who are the most impacted after such a traumatic event.

The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army in Japan immediately dispersed teams following the disaster to the most severely affected areas where they are distributing basic necessities to survivors. These teams will also assess the damage to discern the next steps in their relief efforts.

Global Giving: This project will disburse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. GlobalGiving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground.

Save the Children: Save the Children is mobilizing its global resources to respond to the needs of children and families affected by the earthquake and its aftermath, and an international emergency team has been dispatched to assist staff in Japan.

Convoy of Hope: Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Response team is in contact with partners in Japan and identifying areas in the greatest need of assistance. You can donate by  texting TSUNAMI to 50555 to donate $10 toward the relief efforts.

AmeriCares: AmeriCares is asking for donations so they can provide medicine and medical supplies to victims of the disaster.

MercyCorps: Mercy Corps is accepting donations to help survivors of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami through their longstanding partner, Peace Winds Japan. Donations will go to meeting the immediate and longer-term needs of the survivors. You can text MERCY to 25283 to donate $10.

Direct Relief International: Direct Relief International is reaching out to medical teams and emergency responders to offer assistance.

International Medical Corps: International Medical Corps is sending medical supplies and relief teams to Japan. Help by donating $10 by texting MED to 80888.



A Touching Story of Generosity

Happy Sunday everyone! I wanted to share a touching story with all of you today. This video brought tears to my eyes, and that’s hard to do!  I love stories like this, God working through simple, ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

God is always working in people’s lives, this is yet another example of that. I worship such a loving, awesome God!

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”   Isaiah 41:10

FMW Has Joined the Yakezie Challenge!

yakezie challenge

Free Money Wisdom has joined the elite group of financial bloggers of the Yakezie challenge.  I am thrilled and so excited to be part of such a great community!

For those who don’t know what Yakezie is, it’s a community of personal finance bloggers with the goal of helping each other achieve an Alexa rank of 200,000 or less.  The Yakezie network is the upper echelon of personal finance bloggers. Joining this group of bloggers just made sense for me.  It’s going to be a great way to meet fellow bloggers and help others at the same time.

Since I’m new to the personal finance community, I wanted to surround myself with other well known bloggers.  You know what they say right?  “If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people.”  Like-minded individuals helping each other achieve success, how great is that?!

You will also notice a new badge on the bottom right sidebar.  This isa badge that I proudly link to on my blog.  It resembles my  commitment  to selflessly promote other blogs and contribute to the Yakezie community.  I’m excited about where Free Money Wisdom is going.  Above all else, I cannot wait to write more articles and hopefully help you, my readers, make better financial decisions for your life and personal future.

So, come with me on this challenge!  Tell all your friends, family and neighbors about this momentous occasion, because the Yakezie challenge has officially begun!

I’m a Boglehead, Are You?

Does it feel like you’re constantly bombarded by ads trying to sell you the next great stock?  Or how about the CNBC hosts ranting about their “best guess” where the price of IBM will go tomorrow?  If you’re like me, I can’t stand the constant bantering of those talk shows.  Even worse is Jim Cramer.  If you want to see AD on steroids, watch his show, you’re sure to get a headache.  All of these so-called “experts” have sold Americans the lie that says that anyone can be successful at stock picking and timing the market.  As sad as it is, most Americans buy into this philosophy.  I’m not saying that everyone will lose if they try their hand at stock picking.  If you happen to have a lot of time on your hands, your chances are higher.  But for people who work full time, active investing is not a wise choice.

In comes the Boglehead investing strategy!  The Boglehead mentality throws everything you learned from the media out the door.  Let’s go over a little background first.  Bogleheads is a term coined by investors in honor of John Bogle, the revolutionary behind the Vanguard Group and the rejection of stock picking and mutual funds.  I could go into depth on this investing philosophy, but I’ll keep it short and sweet.

As a Boglehead, I look at my investments from a  holistic  approach and reject the notion that I can beat the market by picking my own stocks.  Instead, I diversify my money across multiple asset classes through index funds and ETFs.  Assets classes include US stocks, international stocks, bonds, and market sector specific funds. Allocation percentages is easy to calculate.  I like to use a rule of thumb of your age for bond percentage.  Take me as an example.  I’m 23 years old, so I have roughly 20% of my assets in bonds currently.  As I get older, this percentage will increase. The reason for this is to shield my money as I get older.  Placing all your eggs in one basket is a risky way to invest.  I hold money in US stocks, international stocks, emerging markets, and of course bonds.

Another beauty of being a Boglehead, is  a stress free financial life.  My investments are broad and diversified, therefore simple to track.  I only invest in a couple index funds, so I never need to worry about tracking the ups and downs of the market.  To be honest, I rarely check the stock market!  Since I invest a portion of my income every week, my money is dollar cost averaged over the highs and lows.  I don’t believe in the buy and sell philosophy.  I believe you should ALWAYS be buying no matter where the market is headed, BUY BUY BUY.

I’m so glad I learned this investing philosophy at a young age.  Thinking long-term is a winning strategy and performance chasing is a losing strategy.  Diversify your money, avoid high costs, and ignore the market swings.

In conclusion, I’ll leave you with some wisdom from the mouth of John Bogle himself, “stay the course!”

Comment below if you’re a fellow Boglehead or just totally disagree with this investing strategy!

Rick Ferri and Passive Investing

Say hello to one of my heroes, Rick Ferri.  He is known for advocating passive investing and ignoring the ups and downs of the markets.  He speaks truth, 2/3 of mutual funds pale in comparison by a well diversified, passive portfolio of index and ETF funds.  Actively managed mutual funds are bunk.  It amazes me how many people still buy mutual funds.  Not only are they more expensive to own, but they also have a high turnover rate.

Check out this wisdom!

Happy Investing fellow readers!