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Upside down is a financial term it pays to know. Here’s what it means.
Upside down describes the situation when you buy something on credit and now owe more for it than it is worth. You can be upside down on your home, automobile, or even tickets to an important event.
Kelley Blue Book posits that many people are upside down on their cars because they were too eager to get into a new car and did not carefully consider the financial consequences. The best you can do when you are upside down on an auto loan is to consider your options.
In most housing markets, there is a natural ebb and flow. Something as minor as an improvement in public transportation can cause home values in an area to rise. By the same token, a school district that experiences a sudden crime spree can cause neighboring home values to plunge. If you simply paid too much for your home or something has happened to soften the market, it is possible you are upside down. No matter what you do at this point, it is unlikely you would be able to sell your home for as much as you owe on it.
If you have trouble making payments or absolutely need to sell, there are three things you can do.
Say your hometown baseball team won the World Series and suddenly, the cost of game tickets has soared. In anticipation of making a profit, you pull out your credit card and buy an entire row of season tickets, believing you will be able to resell them at a profit. Early in the baseball season it becomes obvious that your team has tanked and is not going to end up with a winning record. Those tickets you bought are worth less than the amount you paid for them on credit, and you are now upside down.
Use our auto loan calculator to figure out how much the payments will be on your next new or used car.