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by Taylor Kovar, KovarCapital.com
Hi Taylor - I’m a 20 year old college student looking to save via investing. I’m trying to think long term and wondering what’s the best way to save/invest $100 each month. - Rose


Hey Rose -  Glad to hear you’re getting an early jump on investing. At 20 years old, $100/month will really start to add up as the years go by.

There are a lot of good ways to invest your money, so you need to think about what will be personally fulfilling while still getting the job done. When I say personally fulfilling, I mean what types of investments will keep you interested so you don’t get impatient and move your money or do something foolish. Some people love watching the stock market jump around, and they have no problem buying a bunch of shares and never get the itch to sell and buy something else. Other people need to see what their money is doing, and shares of companies don’t quite accomplish that.

If you are someone who likes the idea of buying stocks, earning dividends, and trusting that the market will continue to climb, I’d save that $100 for about a year and then make one big purchase of stock in a company you like. That might mean you buy something that’s $80 per share or something that’s around $5 per share, as long as it’s a company with a proven track record and a product you appreciate.

If that doesn’t float your boat, you can look into something like peer-to-peer lending, where you help sponsor personal and business loans and then get reimbursed along with interest. This makes the lending process a little more real and can produce pretty solid returns. You also don’t need a huge amount of money to get started because you’re part of a crowdsourcing effort.

As you look at investing options, keep service fees in mind. Ideally, you want to invest enough that you’re not losing too big a percentage of your funds to trading fees. Some companies take a percentage of your investment, while others charge per transaction. If you’re buying $100 worth of shares each month and getting charged $9.99 per trade, you’re losing 10% of your investment capital, which is a good chunk. Trading less regularly and in bigger amounts will help offset these costs. Whatever platform you end up using, don’t overlook the expenses you may be charged.

The most important thing is putting aside that $100 each month. If you keep doing that, you’re already investing in cash, and with a solid cash reserve a lot of investing options become available. Keep at it and good luck!

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by Walter E. Williams

        Western civilization was founded on a set of philosophies that focus strongly on the sanctity of individuals and their power of logic and reason. This belief led to a desire to trust things that could be proven to be true or legitimate, from government to science. Judeo-Christian morality has formed the basis of most Western notions of ethics and behavioral standards. Thus, the attack on Western civilization must begin with the attack on the church and Christian values, and, just as important, the family unit must be undermined. The reason why the church, Christian values and family are targets of the left is they want people's loyalty and allegiance to be to the state. The church, Christianity and the family stand in the way. Let's look at some of the left's agenda.
        Joe Biden, criticizing sexual assault, said, "This is English jurisprudential culture, a white man's culture," adding, "It's got to change." The Western world's culture isn't perfect but women fare better under it than any other culture. Just ask yourself: If you're a feminist, in which countries would you like to live? Would it be Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, China or countries on the African continent, north or south of the Sahara? In those countries, women encounter all kinds of liberty restrictions plus in at least 30 countries on the African continent, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, female genital mutilation is practiced. You might ask Joe Biden what part of the "white man's culture" needs to be changed.
        The greatest efforts to downplay the achievements of Western civilization start at our colleges and universities. An American Council of Trustees and Alumni 2016 study reported that "the overwhelming majority of America's most prestigious institutions do not require even the students who major in history to take a single course on United States history or government." Because of this ignorance, our young people fall easy prey to charlatans, quacks and liars who wish to downgrade our founders and the American achievement.
         In 2012, 2014 and 2015, an ACTA-commissioned survey of college graduates found that less than 20% could accurately identify the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. Less than half could identify George Washington as the American general at Yorktown. One-third of college graduates were unaware that FDR introduced the New Deal. Over one-third of the college graduates surveyed could not place the American Civil War in its correct 20-year time frame. Nearly half of the college graduates could not identify correctly the term lengths of U.S. senators and representatives.
        The left in our country often suggests that people who stand up for Western civilization are supporting a racial hierarchy. The fact is that the history of the world is one of arbitrary tyrannical abuse and control. Poverty has been the standard fare for a vast majority of mankind. America became the exception to what life was like. That exceptionalism inspired imitators, and our vision of freedom and liberty spread to what has become known as the Western world.
        Many do not appreciate the fact that freedom and competition in both the marketplace and idea arena unleashed a level of entrepreneurism, risk-taking and creativity heretofore unknown to mankind. Look at the marketplace of ideas. The Nobel Prize has been awarded to 860 people since its inception in 1901. The prizewinner distribution: Americans (375), United Kingdom (131) Germany (108), France (69) and Sweden (32); that's 83% of Nobel Prizes won. The large majority of other Nobel winners are mostly westerners. I might add that Japan has 27 Nobel Prize winners, but their first winner was awarded in 1949, after WWII led Japan to became more westernized.
        There's a reason why the West leads the world in terms of scientific innovation, wealth and military might and it has little to do with genetics. Instead, it's the environment of freedom, both in the market for goods and in the idea marketplace. Rigorous competition brings out the best in mankind. Leftists and would-be tyrants find Western values offensive.
        Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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by John Stossel

    Happy Fourth of July!
    We have reason to celebrate.
    The Fourth honors the founding of America. It's the anniversary of the day in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was approved.
    The Declaration was important.
    It didn't say that America would be the best country because it would have the biggest military, toughest leaders, most government giveaways or tightest borders.
    The great innovation that day in Philadelphia was the declaration that the United States would have a limited government, rooted in the idea that every individual has inalienable rights.
    In other words, we do not get our rights from government. They already exist. The government's job is to protect our rights.
    It's a good thing to say out loud while watching the fireworks with your family.
    The world took notice when American colonists told their king: "Bug off. We will trade with you and respect your borders, but no longer will we allow you to rule us." Revolutions in France and elsewhere took their cues from America.
    It was America's emphasis on limited government -- wanting to make sure no one in government would ever again wield power like that of the British king -- that made our revolution the greatest and most lasting success of recent centuries.
    Other countries replaced kings and aristocrats with new forms of bureaucracy and tyranny.
    France created revolutionary committees that murdered dissenters. Russia replaced its czar with a communist police state that confiscated farms, killing millions.
    The U.S. government, by comparison at least, remained humble. It mostly allowed citizens to forge their own destinies and choose where to live, what professions to pursue and what to say and publish, gradually expanding those freedoms to more Americans, not just the white men who were in that room in Philadelphia in 1776.
    That freedom to innovate and live as one chooses made us the most prosperous nation on earth.
    Let's celebrate that.
    The founders had a joyful optimism: Let individuals be free to trade and travel, and they'll take from the best of the world and make something even better.
    The optimism was rewarded. We outlasted European fascism and communism and now have better, healthier and more interesting lives than anyone anywhere ever.
    Yet there is a pessimistic, ugly streak in current politics, both left and right.
    Many Americans now want to create a nation built on very different principles than the ones that made us a success.
    The crowd at the Democratic presidential debates cheered socialist promises - government-run health care, free college, etc. They are eager to replace individualism and markets with government central planning.
    Many sound as if they think the American experiment is an embarrassment.
    Some Republicans, meanwhile, act as if nationalist pride is an end unto itself.
    President Donald Trump talks as if the key to our success is not spreading the idea of liberty but keeping the rest of the world away from the U.S.
    Today's nationalists and populists don't want to leave Americans free to engage in trade with whomever we choose. They do not want people to immigrate and emigrate freely. Some even want government to police speech.
    This Fourth, instead of toasting the Declaration of Independence and individual liberty, some Americans will push for socialism -- and others will demand Trump throw out all immigrants.
    Those ideas rely upon force -- getting everyone to go along with one big plan.
    No matter how great that plan sounds, though, if it is imposed by government, it inevitably overrides the 330 million individual plans that Americans make for themselves, and it overrides them with taxes, regulations, fines, guns and arrests.
    But it wasn't force that made America great. It was freedom.
    America happened -- and continues to happen -- spontaneously, when its leaders are smart enough to just stay out of our way.
    America will do best if we remember that the Declaration of Independence talks about "limited" government and reminds us that every individual has inalienable rights.
    John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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by Walter E. Williams

    Several Democratic presidential hopefuls are calling for Americans to make reparations for slavery. On June 19, the House judiciary subcommittee on the constitution, civil rights and civil liberties held a hearing. Its stated purpose was "to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice."
    Slavery was a gross violation of human rights. Justice demands that all participants in the trans-Atlantic slave trade make compensatory reparation payments to slaves. However, there is no way that Europeans could have captured millions of Africans. That means compensation would have to be paid by Africans and Arabs who captured and sold slaves to Europeans in addition to the people who bought and used slaves. Since slaves and slave traders and owners are no longer with us, compensation is beyond our reach and it's a matter that will have to be settled in hell or heaven.
    Let's pretend for a moment that the reparations issue makes a modicum of sense. There's the question of responsibility. More explicitly, should we compensate a black person of today by punishing a white person of today, by taking his money, for what a white person of yesteryear did to a black person of yesteryear? If we believe in individual accountability, we should find that doing so is unjust. In other words, are the tens millions of Europeans, Asian and Latin Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in the late 19th and 20th centuries responsible for slavery, and should they be forced to cough up reparations? What about descendants of Northern whites who fought and died in the name of freeing slaves? Should they pay reparations to black Americans? What about non-slave-owning Southern whites -- who were a majority of Southern whites -- should their descendants be made to pay reparations?
    Reparations advocates make the unchallenged pronouncement that United States became rich on the backs of free black labor. That's utter nonsense. While some slave owners became rich, slavery doesn't have a good record of producing wealth. Slavery existed in the southern states and outlawed in most of the northern states. Buying into the reparations argument suggests that the antebellum South was rich and the slave-starved North was poor. The truth is just the opposite. In fact, the poorest states and regions of our country were places where slavery flourished: Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. And the richest states and regions were those where slavery was absent: Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.
    The reparations movement would be an amusing sideshow were it not for its damaging distractions. It grossly misallocates resources that could be better spent elsewhere. According to the state Department of Education, 75% of black California boys cannot meet state reading standards. In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore's 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the state's mathematics exam. In six other high schools, only 1% tested proficient in math. The same story of low education outcomes can be told about most cities with large black populations. I'd like to see lawyers bring class-action suits against public school systems in cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Detroit and Los Angeles for conferring fraudulent high school diplomas. Such diplomas attest a 12th-grade level of academic achievement when in fact those youngsters often cannot perform at sixth- or seventh-grade levels.
    The nation's most dangerous big cities are Detroit, Oakland, St. Louis, Memphis, Stockton, Birmingham, Baltimore, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago and Milwaukee. The common characteristic of most of these cities is that they have predominantly black populations and blacks have considerable political power as mayors, city councilmen and chiefs of police. Energy spent on reparations should be used to solve those problems.
    As of 2014, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that's three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution. If money alone were the answer, the many issues facing a large segment of the black community would have been solved.
    There's another possible reparations issue completely ignored: Blacks as well as whites live on land taken, sometimes brutally, from American Indians. Do blacks and whites owe American Indians anything?
    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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by John Stossel

       So many people want to be president. Unfortunately, many have terrible ideas.
        Sen. Kamala Harris wants companies to prove they pay men and women equally. "Penalties if they don't!" she shouts. But there are lots of reasons, other than sexism, why companies pay some men more than women.
        Harris also wants government to "hold social media platforms accountable for the hate infiltrating their platforms." But "holding them accountable" means censorship. If politicians get to censor media, they'll censor anyone who criticizes (SET ITAL)them(END ITAL).
        Sen. Bernie Sanders wants the post office to offer banking services. The post office? It already loses billions of dollars despite its monopoly on delivering mail. Sanders also wants to increase our national debt by forgiving $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.
        He wants to ban for-profit charter schools and freeze funding for nonprofit charters. That's great news for some government-school bureaucrats and teachers unions that don't want to compete but bad news for kids who flourish in charters when government schools fail.
        Sen. Cory Booker once sounded better about charters, saying, "When people tell me they're against school choice ... or charter schools, I say, 'As soon as you're willing to send your kid to a failing school in my city ... then I'll be with you.'"
        Unfortunately, now that Booker is a presidential candidate, he says little about school choice. He also wants government to guarantee people's jobs and to pay more Americans' rent.
        Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to force everyone to buy fertility treatment insurance.
        Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to impose a wealth tax on very rich people. That would certainly benefit accountants and tax lawyers while inspiring rich people to hide more assets instead of putting them to work.
        Warren also wants to ban all oil and gas drilling on federal land, have government decide who sits on corporate boards and make college free.
        The Democrat who leads the betting odds, former Vice President Joe Biden, also says, "College should be free!"
        Free? Colleges have already jacked up their prices much faster than inflation because taxpayers subsidize too much of college. Biden and Warren would make that problem worse.
        The Republican incumbent has bad ideas, too: President Donald Trump imposes tariffs that are really new taxes that American consumers must pay. Trump says tariffs are needed because our "trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion dollars. (That means) we lost $800 billion!"
        But it doesn't mean that, Mr. President. A "trade deficit" just means foreigners sent us $800 billion more goods than we sent them.
        We got their products, and in return they only got American currency, which they'll end up investing in the U.S. That's good for us. It's not a problem.
        Luckily, the president has good ideas, too. He says he wants to shrink the code of federal regulations back to its 1960 size. It would be great if he actually did it. Trump slowing the growth of regulation is one of the best parts of his presidency.
        Some Democratic candidates have sensible ideas, too.
        Cory Booker proposed legalizing marijuana.
        Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticizes his opponents for their "college for all" freebie, saying, "I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that a majority who earn less because they didn't go to college would subsidize a minority who earn more."
        And all candidates could learn from Hawaii's Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who served in Iraq.
        "I know the cost of war!" she says. "I will end the regime change wars -- taking the money that we've been wasting on these wars and weapons and investing it in serving the needs of our people."
        Sadly, she wouldn't give that money back to the people. She'd spend it on other big-government programs.
        Politicians always have ideas other than letting you keep your money.
        I bet we'll hear other bad ideas this week when 20 of the Democratic candidates debate.
        John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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