Welcome to the May 4, 2012 Edition #235 of the Carnival of Financial Planning. This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently. Enjoy! The Skilled Investor, Editor
Budgeting and Economics
W presents The College Formula posted at Off-Road Finance, saying, “A look at how much you should be willing to pay for college.
Jon the Saver presents Do Your Kids a Favor and Open a 529 Plan posted at Free Money Wisdom, saying, “Did you you can benefit from a 529 college savings plan if you open one? you can avoid taxes and shelter your money for future expenses!
Daisy presents Letting Go Of Ideals posted at Add Vodka, saying, “I find that in the PF blogosphere, there is a lot of intertwining with self improvement blogs and I think that by tracking our spending, budgeting, investing, and working toward financial goals leaks into other parts of our lives as well.
Janet presents Expense budgeting posted at Fee Only Financial Planner , saying, ” Many people do not track their living expenses and do not understand the magnitude of their consumption. Failure to monitor your consumption expenditures means that they are flying blindly regarding their future finances. ”
Corey presents Why Cars are Destroying Our Society posted at 20s Finances, saying, “What kind of car do you drive? Are one of those people that worries about breaking down on the side of the road because your car is older than most high schoolers? Or are you someone who loves the smell of a new car. We all know that smell – it’s not just a sign of its recent production date, but is also about comfort, security, and assurances aka warranties.
Luke presents 101 Free Resources for Bond Investors posted at Learn Bonds, saying, “A list of all the best free resources from around the web for bond investors. Blogs, Education, News, Bond Market Data sources and more.
Suba presents How Playing Monopoly Can Improve Your Financial Knowledge posted at Broke Professionals, saying, “How Playing Monopoly Can Improve Your Financial Knowledge is a post from: Broke Professionals if you enjoy it, please visit us and subscribe to the Feed. If you haven’t played Monopoly before, you should download it to your phone or buy the board game. Don’t worry, there’s not much difference.
A Blinkin presents It’s The Economy, Stupid! posted at Funancials, saying, “With the Presidential election in the U.S. beginning to heat up, it is natural to forget about elections elsewhere in the world. But before our elections start to cause volatility in the Fall, a round of elections in Europe in May could have a very meaningful impact on the marketplace.
Walter presents Best Fixed Income Funds posted at Fixed Income Fund Investing, saying, “The bond investment fund market is no place for an individual investor to try to beat the market and get higher returns through attempts at clever fixed income investing. Even professional bond market money managers do not beat the bond market.”
Don presents Is Tipping Out of Control? posted at MoneySmartGuides, saying, “Growing up, I would see my parents tip the waiter or waitress at the restaurant where we ate. I would see my Dad tip the barber for cutting our hair. Other than that, there wasnt much tipping done.
Jen presents I Hate Housecleaning…But I Love Earning Opportunities posted at Master the Art of Saving, saying, “Im not one of those people who enjoy cleaning; I absolutely hate housecleaning. No way that sticking to my routine was worth passing up an earning opportunity.
PFP presents Financial planning reading list posted at Best Financial Planner , saying, ” When I work with clients to develop their customized lifetime financial and investment plans, they often ask what they should read to improve their financial literacy. ”
Jeremy Waller presents How to Wreck Your Car, Buy a New Car, Refinance Your Mortgage and Pay off A Credit Card at The Same Time posted at Personal Finance Whiz, saying, “What a crazy month it has been. I feel like Ive gone through a financial blender. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my beloved Jeep was totaled. I was rear-ended by someone going 60 mph. My car didnt stand a chance. State Farm estimated it would cost $10,132.95 to repair. But, the Jeep was This post was originally posted to Personal Finance Whiz.
MR presents Learning Versus Watching TV As Entertainment posted at Money Reasons, saying, “Learning instead of Watching TV can be very rewarding! Why not try to learn something simple and quick and see if you find it rewarding or not?
Amanda L Grossman presents Sifting Through Energy Company Offers in a World of Deregulation: Part 1 posted at Frugal Confessions, saying, “Two weeks ago while shopping for electricity I gave up. By giving up, I mean that after finding out I would be charged a $9.9
Dave presents Active Alpha Returns posted at Wall Street Nerds , saying, ” The Old Testament of indexing is Burton Malkiel’s classic A Random Walk Down Wall Street, first published in 1973 by W.W. Norton and now in its ninth edition. For typical individual investors, without special access to information, it offers what is likely the best financial advice they will ever get: It is hard to consistently beat the market, especially after fees. A passive strategy will do better in the long run. ”
krantcents presents The 3 N’s of Success posted at KrantCents, saying, “The 3 N’s of Success is the fourteenth in a series of articles to help you reach your goal.
YFS presents Top 11 Reasons You Should Use Yodlee Money Center posted at Your Finances Simplified, saying, “You should keep track of your finances. It is as easy as that. Whether you decide to use a pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or an online account aggregator, you should have an idea of how much you are spending and on what.
Jeffrey presents Hitting a Financial Knowledge Peak and What Really Matters posted at Money Spruce, saying, “Ive spent the past 2 years absorbing all the personal finance knowledge that I possibly can. Books, blogs, webinars, conferences, and more Ive read a ton on a wide range of topics. I dont know everything, but I still feel like Ive hit a knowledge peak.
PITR presents The Power of Re-Investing Profit posted at Passive Income To Retire, saying, “Find out why re-investing profits is advantageous to establishing a sustainable business model.
Linsey presents Ask 1099 Mom: What Makes a Good Sales or Media Pitch E-mail posted at 1099 Mom, saying, “I get pitched numerous times during the day. Whether it’s for my blog, freelance articles, or social media promotion, there is no end to the requests for mention in my online properties. Some of these pitches are amazing. Truly. They make me warm and fuzzy and confident in my decision to promote. Others just stink. Here is what I look for in a great pitch. Use these guidelines anytime you reach out to a potential client, media rep or investor.
Mike presents April Net Worth Report +012% ? Never Spend Money You Haven?t Earned Yet (Again!) posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Do you know where your income is going?
Brad presents Top 10 HR Secrets That Will Help You To Get Hired Edit posted at RESUME Mag, saying, “Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to Human Resource professionals, and whether it is a positive or negative one, one fact remains, they are paramount in the employment process. Check out these 10 HR secrets that will help to get you hired.
Writers Coin presents Starting Over posted at The Writer’s Coin, saying, “Making money online isn’t easy…I found out the hard way. But after making money the sleazy way, I’m back to building a legitimate business by helping others.”
Insurance and Risk
Mac Hildebrand presents What should I look for in a private health insurance policy? posted at Health Insurance Providers, saying, “Depending on your situation, there are a number of things to look for in private health insurance providers. There are a variety of reasons why you may choose private insurance over group insurance. One reason is that you are self-employed and can’t find group health insurance for self-employed people that suits your needs. If you were recently covered by a group plan but are no longer with that job, you may need to look for individual health insurance.”
Larry presents Identity theft protection posted at Objective Financial Planner, saying, “As a threat to your financial security, you should take the potential for identity theft very seriously. Identity theft sometimes entails a loss of your money, but whether or not you lose money, it can take a very large amount of your time to rectify.”
Jeff Rose presents Term Life Insurance Rates for Men posted at Life Insurance by Jeff. saying, “Buying term life insurance is the way to go.”
Marc Ryan presents Access by retail investors to broker research reports- the Goldman Sachs lesson posted at Independent Investor.info, saying, “Our site does not believe investors can regularly, and in the long term, beat the market through stock picking. We also know that many investors still like to roll the dice, and look to broker research reports as an important (often the most important) source of recommendations and research on which they rely to trade in stocks. Recent US regulatory proceedings against one of the largest US broker-dealers represents a unique opportunity to draw back the veil on how brokers may not act in your interest in connection with their research reports, and why relying on those reports may not be a good strategy.
DJL presents Distressed Global Financial Markets posted at Nerds on Wall Street , saying, ” Stock markets are almost perfectly transparent, with full information available to all, and the best electronic clearing and settlement in history. These technologies were omitted in building the skyscraper of cards (“house of cards” seems too mild) out of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), credit default swaps (CDSs), synthetic collateralized debt obligations (SCDOs), and the rest.”
Pierre presents 5 Reasons Why Dividend Investing Rocks posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “Why you need to get into the dividend world.
Larry presents Your investment risk tolerance posted at Independent Fee Only Financial Planner , saying, ” Individual investors with different levels of investment risk tolerance for financial risks tend to be more satisfied with risk management strategies, which are better aligned with their financial risk and return profile.”
Div Guy presents CD McDonalds Dividend Stock Analysis posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “We look at the status of this stock.
J.P. presents Shorting A Stock: Profiting On The Way Down posted at Novel Investor, saying, “Everyone and their brother wants the market to go up, not the short seller. Shorting a stock is not the popular choice, but there are profits in going against the crowd.
William presents Superior Mutual Fund Performance posted at No Load Funds , saying, ” Screen out inferior mutual fund performance — but only after using other ETF and mutual fund selection criteria. Superior or even average mutual fund performance in the past simply does not predict similar fund performance in the future.”
Ken Faulkenberry presents What is a Mutual Fund Expense Ratio and How Does it Affect Performance? posted at AAAMPBlog, saying, “The mutual fund expense ratio lowers mutual fund performance enough that investors should consider the benefits of investing in stocks and ETFs, but NOT mutual funds.
Debt Guru presents Paying Off Debt is More than Numbers posted at Debt Free Blog, saying, “Find out why paying off debt is more than just numbers. Many social and mental influences come into play with your finances.
John presents Addicted to Debt posted at Married with Debt, saying, “We dont really think of debt as an addiction. Its not as though you have a burning desire to get debt if you dont have it. You dont hear about the car owner who recently made their last payment and started to crave making those monthly payments again.
Mike presents MBNA TrueLine MasterCard Review posted at Rewards Cards Canada, saying, ” If you have a good credit rating but you regularly carry a balance, or you cant pay your balance in full all the time, you should consider the MBNA TrueLine MasterCard.
Tim presents Til Debt Do Us Part posted at Faith and Finance, saying, “Theres a reason the phrase Til Debt do Us Part has become a catch phrase. Its because consumer debt erodes marital satisfaction over time for newlyweds. Every newlywed (and married couple) should read this.
Ben Feldman presents Does Debt Consolidation Hurt Your Credit posted at ReadyForZeroBlog, saying, “This article answers the question of whether debt consolidation can hurt your credit. It explains how credit reports and credit scores work to give people a long-term view on whether making the choice to consolidate debt will pay off. (pun intended)
FamilyMoneyValues presents Real Estate Investing Get Better Cash Flow from your Rental Properties posted at Family Money Values, saying, ” Here are some suggestions on how to evaluate your properties to make sure that you are keeping a taut ship keeping expenses as low as possible and income as high as possible.
Echo presents Pros And Cons Of Waiting To Buy A Home posted at Boomer & Echo, saying, “Should you buy a home now and take advantage of ultra-low interest rates, or should you wait until housing prices come down from their record levels? Here’s the pros and cons of waiting to buy a home:
Hank presents Which Is First: Paying Off Your Debt Or Investing For Retirement? posted at Money Q&A, saying, “Should you pay off debt, or should they start a retirement account first? This is a question that has plagued experts forever.
Frank Knowles presents S and P 500 Funds posted at Large Cap Funds, saying, “The no load index fund strategy of the Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund tracks the S and P 500 stock index. This no load index fund was listed as one of the top 25 lowest cost index mutual funds in a research study.”
MMD presents How to Pick Good Mutual Funds for Your 401k or Retirement Plan posted at MyMoneyDesign, saying, “Are you struggling to pick some good mutual fund options for your 401k? If so, here are my easy to follow tips for making the best of the choices you have before you.
Glen Craig presents Think Twice Before Borrowing from Your 401k posted at Free From Broke , saying, “Some people talk about a 401(k) loan like it’s an easy option. But there is a lot of risk and borrowing from your 401k is something you need to carefully consider.
Whitney presents Retirement Planning Worksheets posted at Retirement Saving Plans, saying, “While personal wealth should measure current financial investments and other salable assets, it should also measure your ability to sustain your household budget, build up your investment portfolio, and weather potential financial risk and misfortune across your lifetime.”
Todd Tresidder presents Payoff Mortgage Early Or Invest – The Complete Guide posted at Financial Mentor, saying, “This definitive guide explains the surprisingly complex issues surrounding your best choice for savings – either paying off your mortgage early or investing. It provides a step-by-step process to help you make this important savings decision.
Earth and Money presents Planning a Green Frugal Wedding – Venue posted at Earth and Money, saying, “When it comes to the venue, you can be both green and frugal without seriously defying standard wedding traditions.”
Financial Freedom presents Personal Savings Rates posted at My Financial Freedom Plan , saying, ” Understand how your current savings rate and retirement withdrawal rate would affect all of your lifetime personal financial planning goals ”
Jefferson presents A New Bike posted at See Debt Run, saying, “We find a great deal on a new bike for our 8 year old’s birthday
Eddie presents I Filed My Taxes, I’m Owing and I’m OK With That! posted at Finance Fox, saying, “This weekend I got around to completing my taxes, and without much surprise I’m owning the government $1,800 in taxes.
Paul Tabbet presents Retirement Planning Worksheet Software posted at Tax Planning Software, saying, “Retirement planning software should automate the development of lifetime projections that incorporate tax laws and rules associated with tax-advantaged retirement investment incentive programs such as traditional IRA, Roth, 401k, 403b, SEP, Keogh, and other retirement plans.”
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