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Before You Take a Bite Out of Bitcoin…

Thinking of investing in bitcoin? You might want to think again.

The first rule of investing is – don’t invest in something you don’t understand.

Bitcoin is a bunch of computer code that its backers insist is worth “real money.” Yet, the currency is literally backed by nothing at. There is no government nor really any financial institution that stands behind this “currency.” Yes, there a bunch of speculators, idealists and, frankly, criminals who insist it is a valid currency. Yet, its value against the world’s hard currencies swings wildly (which simply reflects demand for bitcoin). Finally, do you know any place you can exchange your bitcoin holdings for a loaf of bread, college tuition or a new car?

If some “financial advisor” starts talking about bitcoin being based on “blockchain” technology – this is also just computer code. It's not magical.

Remember, if you don’t understand it, probably not smart to put your money there. Just ask the people who didn’t really know how the internet function back in the 1990s and dumped their savings into dot-coms that went bust.

Avoid These Retirement Mistakes

Still working? Great! You avoided the first mistake many Boomers make – retiring too early! The longer you work, the more secure you can make your retirement years.

Here are a few other common mistakes:

Taking Social security Benefits Too Soon – Sure, you can start getting your Social Security at age 62, but the experts say that can reduce yourt benefits by as much as 25%!

Retiring With Credit Card Debt – If you can it pays to pay off all your credit cards before you retire. If you can pay off your car loan and pay down the mortgage, so much the better.

Underestimating Your Life Expectancy – People today are routinely living well into their 80’s. The experts say it’s better to over-estimate than to underestimate; so to be safe, plan on living well into your 90’s!

The Tooth Fairy & the Cost of Living

How much did the Tooth Fairy leave under your pillow when you lost a baby tooth?

How much do you think she leaves now?

Surveys show, the Tooth Fairy now delivers over $4 a tooth! Unfortunately for us, that's only for baby teeth!

Using Your Smartphone to Save

In the age of apps (does anybody even remeber apps is short of applications?), ther are a few that can save you money when you're shopping.

Coupon Sherpa will search for coupons online and send them directly to your smartphone for scanning at the checkout.

CardStar can store your retailer loyalty cards on your phone, so you won't have to dig in your purse or wallet to get the added benefits they bring.

There are may others, Do a little searching on the internet and see if you can one or more that are perfect for you.

Tips to Protect Your Money

Here are some tips to help protect you from losing your hard-earned savings to Ponzi-like investment schemes:

1.) Research your broker and the investment - Studies show fewer than 20% of people ever check up on their broker or where he or she may be placing their money. Two good places to start are the SEC's investor.gov & the Financial Industry's Regulatory Authority's brokercheck.finra.org.

2.) If it seems too good to be true, it's probably not true. When you hear phrases like "no risk" and guaranteed returns," run the other way.

3.) If you don't understand the investment, be wary.

4.) Don't be startruck - Celebrity endorsements don't really mean anything. The endorser is usually being paid or has a financial interest in you making an investment. 

Above all, take your time! Don't let a broker try to hurry with warnings that the quicker you invest, thequicker your money will grow. It can also be the quicker you lose everything!

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