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Financial Advice

Page history last edited by Chris Mankovich 3 years, 3 months ago

Cost of Living in Santa Cruz



Personal Finance

Here is some advice if you want to try to save a bit of money during grad school and have a stronger financial position going forward.


1. Try to minimize the rent & other costs.

2. Put away 6 months of costs in a savings account for an emergency

3. Pay off loans that are accruing interest

4. Open a ROTH IRA.  Vanguard is suggested since they have the lowest costs


and try to maximize the possible contribution every year.


Investment strategy

1. Buy and hold.  The least risky way of buying is to schedule 2 or 4 evenly spaced deposit & purchases in advance.  This ensures that the price you get is close to the average over the year.

2. Minimize costs.  Read about funds expense ratio - money the manager withdraws every year from the fund.  Big costs will hinder performance.

3. Know what you are buying. 

4. Diversify

    a. Get exposure to different sectors

    b. Get exposure to assets that do well in different environments.  For example, buy some growth oriented stocks/funds (high beta) and some value oriented stocks/funds (low beta). 

    c. international assets or Western companies that operate internationally

    d. Keep your exposure to any particular sector or individual stock to be a low fraction of your account balance.

5. Re balance - if one fund or stock does very well and starts to make up a large fraction of your portfolio, sell some of the position and put it in other investments. 

6. Don't get involved in bubbles.  Buy something because you believe it is going to do well for a long period of time rather than hoping that you will find somebody else to buy it higher.


Obviously these are just some starting guidelines. 

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