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March 29, 2010


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My employer just took away 401(k) match and profit sharing, so I stopped my contributions. Now the negative return on my investments will be all my money.

Those are all excellent basics of personal finance.

Some people may not get an employer match on their 401k. But I would still suggest contributing the most you can, just so you can reduce your taxable income.

The only other no-brainer I would add is the "pay yourself first" mantra. But that can also be achieved by following your No-Brainer #3.

Great points! I wish everyone at my company would pay attention to #3...we get 100% matching up to 6% and a bunch of people aren't taking advantage.

This is a solid snapshot of the basics. Always good to have this put in front of us from time to time.

I suspect that among many personal finance mavens, saving gets so much attention (and deservedly so), that people can get sidetracked from #2 - growing one's career. For many, if not most people, their career represents the engine that drives their financial situation. Think about it - you could save dilligently and invest at a nice rate of return, but if your income stream stops, there can be a world of hurt. You don't want to lose money. Managing a career smartly can preserve this income stream and possibly grow it later into life, which is no small feat in this environment.

All are great points, but I like #4 the most. Investing is very similar to building your credit score in that TIME is one of the most crucial elements.

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