6 Good Reasons to Study Logic

A first-year college student found himself repeatedly impressed by the wit and wisdom of the philosophy majors he met. One day he plucked up the nerve to ask one of them: “So how come all you philosophy majors are so smart?”  

“Oh, that’s no mystery,” the philosopher answered, “we’ve all studied logic.”

“Really?” said the freshman, “that’s all it takes?  So if I study logic, I’ll become super smart?”

“Sure. Of course, it’s too late to sign up for a class now. But I’ll tell you what, you can use my old logic textbook and study it yourself. Here, I’ve got it with me. I’ll let you have it for $20.”

“Wow, thanks!”  See more

The Difference Between Finance and Economics

Finance and economics are often taught as separate subjects, but they are interrelated disciplines that influence one another in many ways.Economics is a social science. It studies the production, consumption and distribution of goods and services, as well as larger topics such as inflation, recession, and supply and demand. It explains how a government taxes and spends. It teaches the impacts that policy and events can have on business conditions, and it gives investors a tool to use when analyzing companies and markets. Read More

Economics Basics

Economics is a field of study that has become increasingly relevant in our globalized, financialized society. The economy is part of our collective conscious and a buzzword that links personal finances to big business and international trade deals. Economics deals with individual choice, but also with money and borrowing, production and consumption, trade and markets, employment and occupations, asset pricing, taxes and much more. What then is the definition of economics? One way to think of it is the study of what constitutes rational human behavior in the endeavor to fulfill needs and wants given a world with scarce resources. In other words, economics tries to explain how and why we get the stuff we want or need to live. How much of it do we get? Who gets to have more? Who makes all this stuff? How is it made? These are the questions and decisions that economics concerns itself with. Read More

The Lowest Taxes in America

According to the non-profit Tax Foundation, the average effective income tax rate for all U.S. households is 18.1%. That is lower than the highest marginal rate paid by most year-round workers, (at least 25% for any individual with an adjusted gross income of more than $36,901)—but it also doesn’t capture the full picture. For the typical tax payer, state and local taxes on income, purchases and real estate can be almost as burdensome as federal income tax. Read More

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Life Insurance

Life insurance is one of those things that just about everyone needs but far too few people actually have. It’s easy to put off purchasing a policy when you’re young and relatively healthy. But the longer you wait, the greater the chances of something happening before you get yourself coverage. Maybe buying life insurance been on your to-do list for a while but you haven’t gotten around to it yet. Check out these 10 reasons why you can’t afford to wait any longer. Read More

10 Types of Investments (and How They Work)

Investing intimidates a lot of people. There are a lot of options, and it can be hard to figure out which investments are right for your portfolio. This guide walks you through 10 of the most common types of investment and explains why you may want to consider including them in your portfolio. If you’re serious about investing, it might make sense to find a financial advisor to guide you. SmartAsset can help you find the right advisor for you with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More

Which States Have the Best 529 Plans?

529 Plans by State

529 college savings plans serve as tax-advantaged vehicles that allow you to invest in your child’s future college education. Think of them as 401(k) plans for education. Simply put, you are contributing funds to a professionally managed investment portfolio that you can tap down the road. As you invest, your earnings grow tax-free. You can also withdraw your money any time without penalty as long as you use it to fund qualified higher education expenses like tuition and mandatory school fees at eligible institutions. Today, all states and Washington, D.C. sponsor at least one 529 college savings plan. Some states provide additional tax benefits by letting you make tax-deductible contributions up to certain limits. Read More

What Is a Fiduciary?

The term “fiduciary” is a good thing to hear if you’re searching for a financial advisor. Perhaps you’ve heard it in the news in connection to the debate over the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, or maybe it cropped up as you were choosing a financial advisor. Financial advisors who are fiduciaries hold a relationship of trust with their clients and abide by fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty is the ethical obligation to act solely in someone else’s best interest. In theory, this should minimize conflicts of interest and make a financial advisor more trustworthy. Read on to learn more about what a fiduciary is and what fiduciary duty entails, as well as how to find a fiduciary financial advisor to work with. Read More

The Meaning of National Accounts in International Economics

National accounts or national account systems (NAS) are defined as a measure of macroeconomic categories of production and purchase in a nation. These systems are essentially methods of accounting used to measure the economic activity of a country based on an agreed upon framework and set of accounting rules. National accounts are specifically intended to present specific economic data in such a way as to facilitate analysis and even policy-making. Read More