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22 ways to save, invest and get smarter with money in 2022 – CNBC

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This is an excerpt from the CNBC Make It newsletter. Subscribe here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling (20)22. 

Or at least, I’m feeling ready to make some changes to my money and financial habits. If you’d like to as well, this list is a good place to start.

You can think of these as financial resolutions, or as relatively easy financial to-do’s to maximize your money next year. Not every task will apply to every person, but hopefully there’s enough variety that you’ll find a few that appeal to you.

Something else to consider: You don’t need to check off every single item all at once. Bookmark this and come back to it throughout the year, or use it as a jumping off point to make your own list for 2022. (If you do make your own, I’d love to see it.) 

Without further ado, here are 22 ways to make the most of your money in 2022.

1. Picture your perfect year

As you’re ringing in the new year, take time to reflect on 2021 and think about what, if anything, you’d like to do differently in 2022. What went well in 2021? What would you like to change in 2022? Is there anything you’ve been putting off that you can finally take strides toward accomplishing? Spend an evening considering what you want out of the year.

2. Track your growth

If you want a decent overview of your financial standing, calculating your net worth is a good start. This is essentially your assets (cash in checking and savings accounts, investments, real estate, cars, etc.) less your debts (student loans, mortgages, overdue credit card bills, etc.).

Try doing this at the start of each month in 2022 to see if and how you are progressing toward any savings or debt repayment goals. You can use an app like Personal Capital or You Need a Budget, or create your own Excel tracking sheet. I do the latter, tracking the balances in my savings account, checking account, 401(k), Roth IRA and brokerage account on the first day of each month. Currently I have no debt, but if I did, I would include those balances as well.

Comparing my December 2021 balance to early 2019, when I started, shows me how my monthly contributions have slowly grown my net worth, even if they don’t feel like much in the moment. And if I see a drop from one month to the next, I figure out what’s going on and if there’s anything I need to do to get back on track.

3. Invest in an index fund

4. Be careful with trading apps

Invest, yes, but be careful doing it through apps that make a game out of investing, particularly short-term investments and trades. Stock picking can be fun, but it’s not a way for 99.9% of people to accrue wealth (see articles on index fund investing linked above).

If you are using trading apps or investing in high-risk assets, at least make sure that you have a sizable emergency fund held in an FDIC-insured savings account.

5. See a financial therapist

How’s your relationship with money? If it’s strained, consider an appointment with a financial therapist. These professionals combine financial planning services and mental health treatment, helping clients process their underlying feelings about money, while making plans for retirement, savings, investments and other goals.

6. Monitor your accounts

In 2022, there’s no excuse not to be proactive about cybersecurity.

To protect yourself and your money, first you need to know where all of your accounts are, including banking, retirement, student loans and credit cards. Then, at the very least, make sure you turn on multi-factor authentication on all of your accounts to provide an extra layer of security.

From there, there are a variety of safety precautions you can take. You can set up credit report monitoring, or freeze your credit accounts if you have no plans to apply for credit in the near future.

A password manager is also a smart idea. These products keep track of your usernames and passwords for your accounts across devices, making it easier to use different passwords for each account. Try LastPass or 1Password.

7. Find some inspiration 

If your goals are feeling a little stale, search for some new inspiration. 

Personally, I find subreddits like r/Anticonsumption, r/Bogleheads, r/FIREyFemmes and r/MoneyDiariesActive particularly engaging and thought-provoking. Depending on your interests, there are any number of online forums that might appeal to you. 

And I’m never not inspired by the people Make It features on Millennial Money. Spend some time with their stories, and I’m sure you will be, too.

8. Ask for what you’re worth

9. Improve your credit score

10. Make a plan for your benefits 

Familiarize yourself with your employer’s benefits this year. There could be things available you haven’t been aware of, such as financial planning sessions, wellness opportunities or gym reimbursements. Taking a few minutes to go through your HR portal or reach out to your benefits manager directly can yield surprising results.

And remember, in some cases, if you rolled over FSA funds from the previous year, you need to spend them by a certain date. Don’t let them go to waste.

11. Do one task you’ve been putting off

12. Schedule a recurring life administration day

Whether it’s once a week or once a quarter, dedicate a certain day to reviewing your finances and other life administrative tasks on a recurring schedule. Tasks could include checking on spending, rolling over an old 401(k), submitting receipts for reimbursement, returning purchases you don’t plan to keep or culling subscriptions.

To make the most of this day, keep a list on your phone or somewhere else easily accessible of the tasks you need to accomplish, from reviewing your spending to submitting receipts to checking your net worth.

13. Learn about crypto

Look, you shouldn’t throw all of your money into cryptocurrencies, but at this point, you should take time to learn about them and how they work. CNBC Make It is always publishing new explainers on the latest trends.

Be wary of learning only from people who profit off of crypto. This is true of anything, but it’s especially important in a relatively new, largely unregulated and developing space. And never invest more than you can comfortably afford to lose, no matter what the asset is. 

14. Figure out your retirement number

Even if you’re decades away from retirement, it’s important to have an idea of how much you might need stashed away to support yourself after you stop working full time. 

This will look different for everyone, depending on your current income, family size, location, health, retirement plans, expected Social Security payment, and on and on. But you can use this calculator from CNBC Make It to get a basic idea of how much you’ll need.

Remember: Things change. Get an idea of how much you need, but know that it will likely change over time.

15. Contribute more to your Roth IRA

Speaking of retirement, financial advisors love Roth IRAs, which let savers contribute money after they have paid taxes on it. Contributions and earnings grow tax-free (assuming investors follow the withdrawal rules), making them particularly powerful investment vehicles for workers in lower tax brackets. Essentially, you pre-pay your taxes.

Investors under 50 can contribute $6,000 to their IRAs in 2022 and those 50 and over can invest $7,000. For younger savers, that comes out to $500 per month, though if you can max it out earlier in the year, even better.

A 25-year-old who contributes $6,000 a year until they are 65 would end up with almost $1 million, assuming a 6% annual return (and keep in mind: the contribution limit is likely to increase in the future).

So if you don’t have one (and meet the income limits), then open one up in 2022. And if you already have one, try to contribute more than you did last year.

16. Increase your savings rate

Your savings rate is the percentage of your income that you keep each month, versus the amount that you spend (here’s how to calculate it). Increasing it, even slightly, will put you in a better overall financial position. You’ll have additional money stashed away for a rainy day, or to put toward your other goals, whether that’s buying a house or investing more.

There are a number of ways to increase your savings rate: Up your 401(k) contributions, try to max out your Roth IRA or boost your automated savings each month.

The harder question is how to find the money to make those adjustments. Financial experts recommend starting small: Increase your 401(k) contribution by 1% at the start of each year or cut out one monthly subscription you don’t need, and send that money to your savings account instead.

17. Cut down your expenses

Another way to save a little and ensure you’re spending on what’s important to you is to rank your expenses.

Do this by making a list of all of your non-essential expenses for the past three months. Then, rank them and try cutting out or reducing spending on the least important or necessary. Consider the money you’d save on those expenses, and what it would look like to put it toward one of your goals instead.

18. Prepare for student loan repayments to resume

After a nearly two-year reprieve, federal student loans payments for around 41 million borrowers will resume Feb. 1, 2022.  

To prepare, financial experts advise checking your balance to understand how much you owe each month. Once you’ve done that, you can work out how to fit it back into your budget. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your contact and payment information are up-to-date with your lender.

19. Make your money count 

Consider where your money has gone over the past year or so. Are you happy with how and where you’re spending it?

If not, make some changes in 2022. That could mean shopping more at local small businesses, cutting out massive retailers like Amazon or looking into sustainable investing. No, your personal expenditures aren’t likely to change how the entire world operates. But in many ways, your dollars are your voice. Exercise them with care.

20. Stop timing the market

21. Talk it out

Schedule time with your significant other to get on the same page about your finances and goals. It can be uncomfortable if money is a stress point in your relationship, or if you have different relationships to money, but ultimately, it will help you grow closer together and ensure you’re progressing toward what you both want. 

Not partnered up but still want to talk it out with someone? Try hosting a money salon — it can be on Zoom — with friends.

22. Invest in yourself

Last week during a Twitter Q&A, I was asked what people should do if they receive a year-end bonus. Naturally, the “responsible” personal finance classics came immediately to mind: Pay down debt, put it toward your Roth IRA, stash it in a savings account for a rainy day. 

But after the past two years, I think we could all use something a little more, well, fun. So this year, if you’re able to do so, use some of your money to invest in yourself in a way you’ve always wanted to but could never justify before. Maybe that’s by taking a class for a completely new field or hobby, or finally taking the plunge to move to your dream city

Whatever investing in yourself means to you, make a pledge to actually go for it in 2022. You deserve it.

And don’t miss:

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Don’t miss: 6 millennials share their best money and career advice from 2021

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Darren Herft believes ETFs present a unique investment opportunity – Net Newsledger

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Darren Herft

Exchange traded funds (ETF) are securities that track a sector, commodity, or an index. Unlike mutual funds that can only be traded once a day, Exchange traded funds (ETF) prices fluctuate all day, much like specific stocks being exchanged on the stock market. 

According to veteran investor Darren Herft, ETFs have opened a new vista for investors as they can be traded on most stock exchanges in the same way as regular stocks. 

“Exchange traded funds (ETF) can be organised to track a diverse array of investments, ranging from individual commodity prices to any number of securities,” says the Australian entrepreneur. 

“They can be designed to track investment strategies!” he adds. 

Darren Herft believes that the lower expense ratios coupled with lower brokerage fees makes them a lucrative option for investors looking to diversify their holdings. 

“For investors looking for more liquidity, Exchange traded funds (ETF) provide a better avenue than mutual funds,” says Darren Herft. 

He believes that in many ways, Exchange traded funds (ETF) hold an edge above stocks. 

Darren Herft says, “Rather than holding only one asset like a stock, Exchange traded funds (ETF) hold multiple assets and that has helped their popularity.”

A single Exchange traded fund (ETF) could have numerous stocks under its umbrella. While some are nationally focused, others are global. 

Darren Herft says that even within the Exchange traded fund (ETF) world, there are various options for investors to consider. 

“Their utility can range from income generation to hedging or partly offsetting risks in an investor’s arsenal,” says Herft. 

He thinks that more fiscally conservative investors might find Bond Exchange traded funds (ETF) to be suited to their needs and temperament. Bond Exchange traded funds (ETF) provide regular income to their holders depending upon the performance of the bonds under their umbrella. 

“Bond ETFs could have government bonds, corporate bonds or municipal bonds in their ambit and unlike bonds, they don’t have a maturity date,” says Herft. 

Herft says that more risk-tolerant investors might find their match in Stock Exchange traded funds (ETF). Consisting of a basket of stocks that track a whole sector or industry, they provide an investor with a uniquely diverse portfolio with established high performers coupled with newer stocks with growth potential. 

“It’s a good collection of stocks and investors don’t have to worry about high fees associated with stock mutual funds,” adds Herft. 

Other types of Exchange traded funds (ETF) include Industry ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Currency ETFs, and Inverse ETFs. Herft thinks that the most attractive quality of this investment vehicle is its ability to be diverse and specialized at the same time. 

While the AFL aficionado believes that Exchange traded funds (ETF) can be a useful vehicle for many investors, he is of the opinion that they should not be put on a pedestal.

“As with any investment, there are pros and cons and I would recommend anyone looking to invest in anything to do their own independent research and consult experts if they can, before making a decision,” he adds.

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Feds announce $3M investment for Calgary’s Energy Transition Centre – Globalnews.ca

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As Calgary attempts to become a centre for a transitioning energy industry, a new hub that focuses on clean energy in the city’s downtown core has received a major boost.

Federal ministers, along with Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, were on hand Wednesday to announce a federal investment of more than $3 million towards the clean technology sector in Alberta, including more than $2.1 million to help fund the Energy Transition Centre.

Another $900,000 is earmarked for the Foresight clean technology accelerator, to provide training and investment attraction for Alberta clean technology companies.

Read more:

Getting regulations right key to unlocking Alberta’s next energy economy

“We are moving in the direction of seriously harnessing the potential of Calgary’s energy sector — the technology that we have resident in this sector for the future of the energy second,” University of Calgary chancellor Deborah Yedlin said. “This is our Wayne Gretzky moment, we’re asking towards where the puck is going.”

The Energy Transition Centre will take up an entire vacant floor at the Ampersand building in Calgary’s downtown core.

Barring any issues with COVID-19, officials said the plan is for the centre to open on March 1.


Click to play video: 'IEA head says Canadian oil industry can be part of energy transition if it gets cleaner'



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IEA head says Canadian oil industry can be part of energy transition if it gets cleaner


IEA head says Canadian oil industry can be part of energy transition if it gets cleaner

“This innovation hub will help small- and medium-sized businesses develop clean energy technologies that will help meet a growing global demand for environmentally-friendly products and processes,” said Daniel Vandal, federal minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada.

According to officials, the Energy Transition Centre is set to be a space to connect Canadian energy companies with clean energy start-ups, innovators and investors with access resources and experts in the field.

Federal officials hope the centre helps to create 25 new businesses in the clean energy sector over the next three years.

Read more:

Alberta needs billions more to invest in energy transition: study

Calgary’s mayor said the investment provides both a boost to the city’s efforts to become an energy transition hub as well as its work to revitalize the downtown core.

“We are seeing bold, innovative and collaborative ideas coming forward that are inspired by entrepreneurial Calgarians,” Gondek said. “This will be a catalyst for success in terms of Calgary’s leadership in climate protection and energy transformation, as well as our downtown revitalization.”


Click to play video: 'From lithium to hydrogen: How Alberta hopes to power the new energy future'



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From lithium to hydrogen: How Alberta hopes to power the new energy future


From lithium to hydrogen: How Alberta hopes to power the new energy future – Jan 6, 2022

According to a study on energy transition released in December, a clean energy sector could create 170,000 jobs and contribute up to $61 billion to the province’s GDP by 2050.  However, the study also estimates a path to net zero would need $2.1 billion in annual investments by 2030, increasing to $5.5 billion by 2040.

Although Wednesday’s announcement was encouraging for some experts, there is some belief that policy changes and not just funding will be key to a successful clean energy sector in the province.

“There are ways that governments can use financial tools to provide guarantees that can stimulate a lot more investment to prove out new technologies, and also to make sure that support is structured fairly,” University of Calgary sustainable energy development masters director Sara Hastings-Simon said.

“We’re going to be in a world that looks very different from an energy perspective in just a couple years from now, and so we don’t have a lot of time really left to wait — we really need to be preparing now for that future.”

The investment was also welcomed by Alberta’s opposition NDP, who were also critical of the notable absence of the provincial government during the announcement.

“There is zero investment from the province in this initiative. Why is the UCP ghosting Alberta’s efforts to diversify the economy and promote clean energy?” NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley said in a statement.

Read more:

‘Elon is watching us’: Calgary woman uses nanotechnology to create new lithium extraction technology

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Jobs, Economy & Innovation said the province wasn’t involved in the announcement because there was no provincial funding for the initiative.

“We remain committed to responsible energy development, reducing emissions and supporting jobs,” Alberta government spokesperson Tricia Velthuizen said in a statement to Global News. “Through innovation and technology, industry can continue to reduce emissions, even with increased oil and gas production.”


Click to play video: 'Kenney touts energy industry success at Chamber of Commerce speech'



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Kenney touts energy industry success at Chamber of Commerce speech


Kenney touts energy industry success at Chamber of Commerce speech – Dec 8, 2021

According to Vandal, the federal government is looking at projects with Alberta’s provincial government and that both are “aligned on job creation and diversifying the economy.”

“Those consultations and communications are occuring,” Vandal said. “All levels of government need to be on the same page.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Ford sees $8.2 billion gain on its investment following Rivian’s IPO – Driving

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Ford continues to gain, despite abandoned plans to jointly develop an EV with the startup

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Ford Motor Co. expects to record a gain of $8.2 billion in the fourth quarter on its investment in RivianAutomotive Inc. after the electric-truck maker’s blockbuster initial public offering late last year.

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The legacy automaker disclosed the gain Tuesday along with several special items it intends to report when Ford releases earnings on Feb. 3. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company will also reclassify a non-cash gain of about $900 million on the Rivian investment from the first quarter of last year as a special item, meaning it will be excluded from the full-year adjusted results, according to a statement.

The disclosures show Ford continues to gain from its connection to the startup even after the auto giant exited Rivian’s board in September and subsequently announced it had abandoned plans to jointly develop an electric vehicle. Ford, which has invested a total of $1.2 billion in Rivian since early 2019, has a 12 per cent stake that the company has said was valued at more than $10 billion in early December.

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  1. Rivian delays big battery packs to prioritize more deliveries

    Rivian delays big battery packs to prioritize more deliveries

  2. Tesla doubles down on accusations rival Rivian stole its battery secrets

    Tesla doubles down on accusations rival Rivian stole its battery secrets

Since a November listing that was the largest IPO of 2021, Rivian has been on a roller coaster. The shares peaked at more than $172, but have tumbled 57 per cent since then as the company faced new competition in the electric-vehicle market. Rivian was briefly valued at more than $100 billion, then more valuable than Ford, but Ford has subsequently reclaimed the lead after it topped $100 billion in value for the first time last week.

Ford shares were little changed in after-hours trading Tuesday in New York, while Rivian climbed less than one per cent.

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