Grand Money Rules

Figuring out what to do with your money shouldn't be so hard. We're doing what we can to make it a little easier on you and to reward you for doing the right things with your money. These nine money rules address important foundations to your financial life. We recommend keeping them in mind as you make financial decisions and set new financial goals.
Start saving now. Don't wait & automate.
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Start saving now. Don't wait & automate.
You know you need to save. What you might not appreciate is starting as early as you can (even if it's only a little) makes a huge difference. How much to save? 10% of your income is good, 20% is great. If you can't do that, do what you can. We highly recommend that you automate your savings. That way, your money is saved before you even hve a chance to think about, miss it or blow it.
First things first. Build your emergency fund.
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First things first. Build your emergency fund.
Unfortunately stuff happens -- Your computer might die or your roof might collapse. You may find yourself in the tough spot of being out of work. The best way to be prepared is to have emergency money stashed away in cash or very conservatively invested. How much? Standard rule of thumb is at least 3 months of expenses.
Don't ignore your credit score.
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Don't ignore your credit score.
Like it or not, your credit score is very important. It determines how much you pay for loans, can influence whether you’ll be approved for a rental apartment, influences rates on life insurance and is even sometimes used by potential employers. Typically, by the time you need your score to be good, it’s too late or too hard to do anything about it. There are a variety of factors that influence your score but the simplest guidance we can give you is pay your bills and other people you owe money to on time.
Be allergic to credit card debt.
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Be allergic to credit card debt.
Credit cards weren't even a thing until the 1960's. Now credit card companies get very rich off charging crazy interest rates to consumers who love spending and often lack discipine-they even throw in fancy points to get you to spend more. DON'T FALL FOR IT. It's ok to use a credit card but please try to pay off the balance every month. In short, if you have revolving credit card debt, work like crazy to pay it off (and look to balance transfer or refinance if it can save you money). If you don't, keep it that way.
Don't overspend and overextend.
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Don't overspend and overextend.
Extending yourself on major purchases will limit your flexibility & crush ability to save in the long term. We know it is tempting to grab the newest, fanciest and biggest. Resist. Rules of thumb to follow: don’t spend more than 30% of your monthly take home pay on rent; don’t buy a house that costs more than 2.5-4x your annual salary (and put at least 20% down); don’t take out more in student loans than you expect to make in your first year on the job and don’t spend more than 20% of monthly pay on car payments (and cars depreciate in value - so you really should buy used).
Invest, and don't touch the money.
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Invest, and don't touch the money.
The key to getting rich is to have as much of your money make you more money over time (that’s compound interest). The stock market goes up and it goes down - but over the long term it will earn you about 8% per year (way better than a bank account or your mattress). Money that you don’t need in short term (3+ years) should be invested. It should be invested in a diversified portfolio of passive, index like funds. Online, automated services like Grand make this easier than ever now. Put the money in, invest it and don’t touch it as the market jumps up, down and around.
Take full advantage of matching retirement contributions.
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Take full advantage of matching retirement contributions.
There aren’t many free lunches in this world. A company 401k match is about the closest thing. Take advantage of that generous offer by your employer by contributing in your 401k at least to the match. If your employer doesn’t match or offer a 401k or you just want to save more, take advantage of tax advantages and make the maximum IRA contribution if you can.
If people depend on your income, get life insurance.
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If people depend on your income, get life insurance.
Who would pay the family bills if something were to happen to you? If the answer is you don’t know, you should have life insurance. It’s easy to get and way cheaper than you think. If you are relatively young and healthy, a $250,000 policy will cost you about $25 a month. A general rule of thumb is to buy a policy worth 7 to 10 times your annual income.
There is no such thing as a "dumb" money question.
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There is no such thing as a "dumb" money question.
One of the smartest money strategies is asking when you don’t know. All that matters when it comes to YOUR money is that YOU understand what is going on. While humility is a virtue in all parts of life, when it comes to making smart decisions with money, it serves as a vital layer of protection. When it comes to your money, remember - there are no dumb questions.
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Invest Forward, Inc. dba Grand is an SEC registered investment adviser. By using this website, you accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Grand's investment advisory services are available only to residents of the United States in jurisdictions where Grand is registered. Nothing on this website should be considered an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns or probability projections are hypothetical in nature and may not reflect actual future performance. The content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a complete description of Grand's investment advisory services. Certain investments are not suitable for all investors and are not available to all Grand Clients. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and Grand's fees. Banking Services provided by BofI Federal Bank, Member FDIC. Brokerage services are provided to Grand Clients by FOLIOfn Investments, Inc, an SEC registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.

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