Category Archives: Personal Finance

When To Consider Opening a College Fund For Your Child

It is no question that planning to save and pay for your child’s education can be daunting. Every financial representative will have different methods and plans of attack for you to save the most for your children because every family financial situation is different. One effective and popular form of saving for a child’s education is a 529 plan. A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions. Below is an outline of when you should consider opening a 529 plan for your child.


It is never too early to invest for your child. Some people even open plans when they are pregnant in order to begin the savings. You only have 18 years to save for them so why not start right away. There is also no harm in saving even if your child does not go to college. The beneficiary can be changed to another child if they decide not to go. Or you can always hold it in case they may just put it off for another time. Worst case scenario is that you take the money out and are subject to the 10% federal tax penalty. This isn’t the best option but it’s also not the end of the world.


So it is already obvious that saving needs to happen for your child’s education. But why invest in a 529 plan? The first reason is that these plans for specifically designed for children. They were created for the very reason of saving for education. The returns on 529 plans are good as well. Historically the return rates on these types of plans are 6-7% and you often have a lot of investment options to match your risk level. Because they were designed for education there are many tax benefits for the money you are saving.

There are tax benefits such as earnings grow on the tax-deferred basis and qualifying educational expenses are tax-free. Saving with a 529 Plan also saves you money because of their low costs. For most 529 plans, the underlying fund expenses are very low, especially compared to other alternatives, which comes with extremely high costs and hidden broker commissions. Also these plans have parental control which allows them to call the shots. Family members and friends are also able to contribute which can help in your savings goals.

Looking into a 529 plan for your child’s educational savings is beneficial to you and your family. Start saving right away with its tax benefits and low costs. Check out U-Nest to get help establishing a monthly contribution plan and keep track if your savings on the go!

Preparing for the Holidays

Every household considers the holidays a busy time of year. For me, the hustle and bustle start at Thanksgiving and don’t end until the new year. Each year it seems as though the year flies quicker and quicker. Every year I try to come up with a game plan to make this time of year pass seamlessly. Things like decorating, presents, parties, kids entertainment can be hectic so here are a few pointers to help you prepare for the holidays.


I always decorate my house the Sunday after Christmas and take them down the week after new years. This includes the tree. The tree is bought the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This allows time for you to make adjustments and be able to enjoy the holiday spirit in your home for longer. A good tip is to purchase decorations shortly after Christmas day to get a good deal. Need extra lights? Always wanted a blow up decoration for your front yard? The day after Christmas is when you can score the best discounts.


Everyone has presents to buy around Christmas. Family, Friends, Co-workers all deserve your thoughts during this time. Clearly the best thing to do is spread out the spending through the year so it doesn’t hit you at once. Find the gifts you want and then look for sales. You can also find great sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Buying things online has made present shopping more convenient. A lot of families complain about the amount of toys in their homes. A good option for presents are experiences instead of toys. An example of this would be a season pass/membership to a local attraction or tickets to an event. Even plan a little vacation or gift card for an experience. Buy credit to an online casino. There are plenty of nektan casino sites offer free spins to make it even a larger gift.

Parties and Events

The holidays also call for a lot of parties and events. It seems as though every weekend is jam packed with activities for the family. There could be family parties, work parties and friends gatherings that fill up the calendar. Family events such as santa photos, light displays, cookie decorating and gingerbread house making are all a part of the magic of Christmas. Make sure your calendar system for your family is solid so everyone involved knows what is going on and what is required. These events may require prepping (make food, buy wine, organize outfits, pack, ect.) so it is very important to be organized during the holidays.

The most important tip of all is so cliche, but remember the reason for the season. Don’t let yourself get caught up in expectations and the holiday crazies otherwise time will just pass you by.

Forex Trading Platforms Compared

As a trader, there are a few factors that help determine whether you will be successful or not. Some of these factors are the forex broker that you use, the amount of leverage you use, your skill and expertise, and the trading platform that you use. The most common trading platforms are those from Metaquotes. This article will compare Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5.

Metatrader 4

MT4 was the first product from Metaquotes. It is offered by most brokers and it can be accessed through a mobile application, a desktop application, and a web application. It is an easy-to-use platform that has several important features like inbuilt indicators, access to expert advisors, and access to strategy testers. The MT4 is commonly used by new unsophisticated traders.

Metatrader 5

This is the next version created by Metaquote. It is an advanced platform that has additional features than the MT4. Some of the features it has are the following.

First, it has more timeframes than the MT4. The MT4 comes loaded with nine timeframes while the MT5 comes loaded with 21 timeframes. The additional timeframes are very important because they help you do better analysis.

Second, the MT5 comes loaded with more technical indicators. These are usually more advanced indicators and are usually recommended to more experienced traders. Some of the indicators found in MT5 and not in the MT4 are: Adoptive Moving Average, Fractal Adaptive Moving Average, Triple Exponential Moving Average, and Average Directional Movement Index Wilder. To use these indicators in the MT4, you have to download them and export them to the platform.

Third, the MT5 comes loaded with the economic calendar. The calendar is a schedule of the economic data that is expected to be released in a given day. Traders use the data in the economic calendar to determine the performance of the economy. Examples of data found in the calendar are employment numbers, inflation numbers, sentiment numbers, and manufacturing and industrial numbers. The MT4 does not come with a calendar.

Fourth, the MT5 has more ways to start pending orders. A pending order is one that directs a broker to initiate a trade once a certain price is reached. The MT4 comes with four pending orders such as buy and sell stop orders and buy and sell limit orders. The MT5 comes with these order types and two others. These are buy stop limit and sell stop limit.

Fifth, the MT5 comes with the ability of setting up a virtual platform. The virtual platform is mostly important for advanced traders who want to use their algorithms. In the virtual platform, you can select your ideal server and pay a small fee to store your algorithms. This service is available in the MT4 platform but the steps to access it is a bit longer.

While the MT4 and MT5 have their differences, they are all known to be very good for new and advanced traders. This is because of their popularity and their universality. The latter means that even if you move from one broker to another, you won’t have problems trading because you already understand how to trade using the platforms.