Welcome to the July 31, 2009 Edition #100 of the Carnival of Financial Planning. The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.
This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.
Dorian Wales presents The Personal Financier: Personal Finance Management: Budget vs. Net Worth posted at The Personal Financier, saying, “While it may be recommended to manage both a budget and net-worth sometimes focus leads to better results.”
Tom Drake presents Keep Track Of Your Money With Wesabe posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “Similar to desktop programs like Quicken or Microsoft Money, Wesabe gives you the ability to categorize your spending and set goals for savings and debt reduction.”
Susan Saverton presents Living Expense Tracking Methods posted at Family Financial Planner, saying, “If you do not understand how much you spend and how much you are saving and investing, you simply do not have a financial plan. This situation dramatically increases your family’s long-term financial risk.”
kathryn presents International Unemployment Rates posted at Out of Debt Christian, saying, “The US unemployment rate hit 9.5% in June, a 26-year high. It’s predicted to go even higher in the coming months. But how does that compare with other countries? Check out this list of International unemployment rates collected by the Central Intelligence Agency. These are countries with higher unemployment rates than the US.”
Dorian Wales presents On Causality and Correlation in Economics posted at The Personal Financier, saying, “Causality is perhaps the most fundamental element of empirical evidence available to economists. However, it is also the source of many misconceptions due to its elusive nature.”
Finance Tips 101 presents Saving Cash With Coupons? Three Tips To Keep More of Your Money posted at Finance Tips 101.
Roshawn Watson presents The Rich Get Poorer posted at Watson Inc, saying, “The implications of this recent recession have been far-reaching enough to put a big dent in American and world wealth. Both the magnitude of wealth and the number of millionaires decreased profoundly in 2008.”
JTopp presents Estate Planning 101: 7 Documents You Need to Know About posted at Redeeming Riches, saying, “No one likes to talk about their demise, but did you know that what you do with your estate plan could be the single biggest factor in how much you pay Uncle Sam and how much stress you leave for your loved ones. Here is a no non-sense guide to 7 documents you need to know about.”
Ryan @ Military Money presents How Much Life Insurance Do Military Members Need? posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “Military members may have different life insurance needs than civilians. Here is information regarding how much life insurance military members should buy, and some resources for finding the best life insurance deals.”
KCLau presents Why Robert T. Kiyosaki is a best-selling author? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Robert T. Kiyosaki is the best personal finance author I follow. I started reading his books back in 1999. Although some reviews you found written by readers on Amazon say that he keeps repeating most of the points, I still find them interesting every time. It works as a revision whenever he repeats.”
Susan Saverton presents Efficiency of Personal Investing Strategies posted at Family Financial Planning, saying, “When pursuing optimal financial planning and investing strategies and controlling your costs and capital gains taxes, you also need to establish a time-efficient system to monitor, adjust, and adhere to your financial plan. You need to control and limit the time that you spend on your financial planning, and you need to focus your planning efforts on the most effective activities.”
Big Cajun Man presents Mid-Year Personal Finance Check Up posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Mid year is a good time to go over your plan for the year to see how well you are doing, so do it now!”
Four Pillars presents Make Home Affordable Refinance Program Changes Eligibility Requirements For Easier Refinancing posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Making Home Affordable refinance program eases requirements.”
Financing a Home
Alex Fotopoulos presents When is it Smart to Refinance a Mortgage? posted at My Trader’s Journal, saying, “Some key points to consider when refinancing your home.”
Meaghan Montrose presents How to Maximize College Savings for Your Child posted at Colleen Palat, saying, “Saving money to fund your child’s education can be difficult. This post provides suggestions and tips to increase the amount of money you save for college.”
Praveen presents Students Beware! Colleges, Tuition, Loans, and Debt – Will Education Follow the Housing Bust? posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Tips for students to avoid excessive loans and debt”
Mrs Bankrupt presents Sick? No Insurance. No Doctor. You’re screwed. (Part 1) posted at Mrs. Bankrupt.
Michael Schindler presents Social Security & Medicare are in Serious Trouble posted at Your Personal Finance Source, saying, “Plain and simple, social security and medicare are in tough times. But why are these government programs struggling so much?”
FMF presents What to Do When You Don’t Get a Job Offer posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Steps to take when you don’t get the job offer.”
FMF presents Top Ten Online Marketing Success Tips posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Some tips for those looking to develop an online business.”
Manshu presents Save to Win posted at OneMint, saying, “Save To Win is a savings program and a lottery ticket rolled into one.”
Praveen presents Easy Ways to Generate Cash posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Easy ways to generate extra cash”
Heather presents Special Report: 401(k) Plans, ETFs and You | ETF Trends posted at ETF Trends, saying, “Your 401(k) is killing you. What’s the solution?”
The Dividend Guy presents Dividend Stocks in My Portfolio that Have Raised Dividends posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “As a dividend investor, I watch closely how my dividend stocks perform. In an environment where may stocks are cutting their dividends, here are some of mine which have been increasing them.”
Silicon Valley Blogger presents OptionsHouse Review: Low Commission Broker posted at The Digerati Life.
Ray @ Financial Highway presents Canadian Discount Brokerage Review and Comparison for TFSA and RRSP posted at Financial Highway.
Alex Fotopoulos presents Moved MON and SLB Options to July Expiration posted at My Trader’s Journal. Alex posted details of how his options finished this month’s options’ expiration on June 19th.
The Skilled Investor presents Most Individual Investors Are Poor Personal Portfolio Managers | Personal Investment Management posted at Personal Investment Manager, saying, “Investors more easily understand investment costs that are directly measurable, such as fees deducted on investment statements. However, many investors ignore or are unaware of the opportunity costs of their sub-optimal investment behaviors. Opportunity costs are usually much more difficult to measure directly, but these investment costs can be even higher than more visible investment fees.”
The Smarter Wallet presents Stock Mutual Funds: Building Your First Investment Portfolio posted at The Smarter Wallet.
Investing Toolkit presents Buy Low And Leverage The Stock Market posted at Investing Toolkit, saying, “How to leverage a weak stock market!”
The Investor presents How to invest in oil posted at Monevator.com, saying, “More and more investors are looking to alternative assets to diversify their portfolios. Here’s how to get exposure to oil – the fuel that drives the global economy.”
Tom Escent presents Introduction to Nerds on Wall Street posted at Quantitative Finance, saying, “Think of this book as sort of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to Wired Markets. There are no robots parking cars for six million years, but there are robots trading millions of shares in six milliseconds, so maybe that’s close enough.”
Frank Vertin presents Just Buy Index Funds Directly posted at Best Index Funds, saying, “Buying an S&P 500 index fund through an investment counselor can substantially increase your initial purchasing costs and and drive up your annual management expense fees. Unfortunately, the vast majority of individual investors buy mutual funds and ETFs through brokers and investment advisers. Rarely do financial advisors recommend that you buy index funds with low fees. This is because low cost, no load mutual funds do not pay them as well as loaded, high fee mutual funds.”.
One Family presents Southwest Airlines (LUV) – Stock Analysis posted at One Family’s Blog, saying, “An analysis & recommendation of Southwest Airlines (LUV) stock.”
Alisha Harmann presents 10 Essential iPhone Apps for Intelligent Investors posted at ETFdb.
Zach Scheidt presents Solar Stocks Cheer SunPower Results posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Solar Stocks traded higher after SunPower Corporation announced positive earnings. The industry is working through an inventory glut but it appears that certain segments are finding strength. SPWRA could reach $50 over the next few months if analyst expectations prove correct.”
Dividend Tree presents BRIC Acronym? Does it Have Any Relevance? posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “This BRIC label does not have any fundamental basis other than emerging markets. There are thousands of companies in all four economies, and clubbing all together to preparing a representative fund of few tens, or few hundreds does not make sense to me. Also, the idea that one can capture and hedge by investing in BRIC based funds is something that I cannot understand.”
ABC presents Different Types of Stock Market Indexes posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “How different types of stock market indexes work.”
Tushar Mathur presents Can’t Control the Markets? Try controlling the Costs posted at Everything Finance, saying, “As 2008 proved, the financial markets are prone to unpredictable periods of turbulence. That can make investing feel a bit like a roller-coaster ride. The disappointing results that many mutual funds posted in 2008 and at the outset of 2009 may have left you feeling concerned over your financial future. You’re not alone.”
Zach Scheidt presents Debate Rages over Position Limits posted at ZachStocks, saying, “The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is hearing arguments today on its proposed position limits for “finite commodities” The goal is to reduce volatility in the markets and keep speculators from pushing prices. But unintended consequences could lead to more volatility and inefficient markets.”
ABC presents Risks of Fixed Income Investments (Bonds) posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “Some factors which can cause bonds to go down in price.”
Larry Russell presents 7 Ways to Pick the Best Noload Mutual Funds and ETFs posted at NoLoad Mutual Funds, saying, “Taken as a whole, the vast body of investment research studies show that there really are better approaches to buying and owning mutual funds and ETFs. You do not need to frantically chase fund performance. Performance chasing simply does not work.”
Dividends4Life presents Five Companies Willing and Capable To Raise Dividends posted at Dividends Value, saying, “The main focus of dividend investing is finding and buying stocks that will continue to raise their dividends in the future. In making this determination there are many factors to consider such as dividend payout ratio, debt levels, the company’s dividend policy and track record.”
jim presents Is FreeCreditReport.com A Scam? posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.
Craig Ford presents Debt: Upside Down and Backwards posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “Instead of saving then buying we often borrow then buy. This backwards formula has left many upside down in debt.”
Jim DeSantis presents Never Pay Strangers To Raise Your FICO Credit Score! posted at Emotions and Credit at On Line Tribune, saying, “When you are up against the wall credit-wise, the save your credit hucksters are ready to pick you clean of you last few bucks by promising to sell you miracles that will fix your FICO credit score or wipe out your debts. Read on to find out what you can do for yourself right now to get back on the path to good credit.”
Ryan @ Cash Money Life presents Using Credit Cards to Rebuild Your Credit Score posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “You can use credit cards to establish or rebuild your credit score – even if you have no credit or a bad credit history.”
The Smarter Wallet presents How To Consolidate Debt: Ways To Reduce Your Debt Load posted at The Smarter Wallet.
oneadvice presents Assets in Bankruptcy posted at One Advice, saying, “Declaring bankruptcy will have a result upon your personal belongings, as you will no longer have control over your assets”
Roshawn Watson presents Outrageous Law Transfers Parents’ Debt To YOU posted at Watson Inc, saying, “With few exceptions, such as a divorce decree, you are not legally liable for debts you have not personally signed for or agreed to pay. There is an inherent sense of fairness to this principle: your finances cannot be obligated to pay for something without your consent (except perhaps to the taxman or to your dependents). However, an archaic law in Pennsylvania is being enforced to make adult children to pay for their parents’ debts.”
Michael Bass presents Helpful hints for Debt Settlement posted at Debt Prison, saying, “Today a reader asked me how she should go about beginning the debt settlement process with collection agencies and creditors she’s avoided for three years. I thought it would be a good idea to give her a short ‘duty’ list of how to handle talking with bill collectors. Collection agencies thrive on debtors who don’t know their rights, don’t know the law, and therefore can easily be intimidated. Remember, the bill collector just wants some money, and if possible, they’ll do whatever they can to grasp that money today!”
Four Pillars presents 2009 Cash For Clunkers Program – Trade In Your Old Junker For Money posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “A comprehensive look at the new Cash for Clunkers trade-in program.”
Dividend Tree presents Which High Do You Prefer? posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “For a given financial metric, when we compare the company’s current performance with historical averages (and standard deviation) is provides some insights into which direction the company is heading into. Companies that continue to strike balance in their year over year performances are the ones that provide long term sustainable returns.”
Lazy Man and Money presents Use Your Citi Card for $5 Concert Tickets to Blink 182, Nickelback, Depeche Mode posted at Lazy Man and Money.
Ryan @ Military Money presents Cash for Clunkers Information posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “Information about the new Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), or Cash for Clunkers bill, passed by the Obama Administration.”
Noload Bonds presents Bond Mutual Fund Fees posted at Bond Index Funds, saying, “Simply put, if you pay higher bond mutual fund fees, then these bond management expenses tend just to be a dead weight loss to you. The best bond fund buying strategy is to pick only very low-cost no load bond funds.”
Tyler Tervooren presents Lessons From Children’s Tales: The Tortoise and the Hare posted at Frugally Green, saying, “There are many lessons we learn very young only to forget about as we reach adulthood. What better way to re-learn them than from some of the children’s stories that taught them to us in the first place? See what The Tortoise & The Hare can teach us about becoming frugally green.”
KCLau presents The only financial company who knows the power of social media posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “there are always many methods to get free traffic and leads to your website. Beside search traffic, another major source of traffic is social media. There is one company who knows how to make use of social media – ROCKWILLS”
Bob Brooks presents Is the 401(k) Plan Really Worth it? posted at Bob Brooks – Prudent Money Blog, saying, “A recent study shows a change in the way that companies are approaching 401(k) plans. The typical 401(k) plan is set up to where employers will provide a $0.50 on the dollar or a dollar for dollar match to any contributions by the employee. Well, things have changed since the start of the credit crisis and recession.”
Jeff Rose presents 5 Year Rule for Roth IRA Qualified Distributions posted at Good Financial Cents, saying, “How to get your money out of a Roth IRA tax and penalty free all depends on the five year rule.”
Super Saver presents Planning to Retire Later also has Risks posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “The option to continue working is no longer easily controlled by the employee.”
Top 10 Index Funds presents Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds posted at Top 10 Index Funds, saying, “Buy these top 10 very low cost no load S&P 500 index mutual funds directly. You do not have to pay the heavy added expenses of buying through a stock broker, financial adviser, investment adviser, or investment counselor.”
MoneyNing presents 401k Plans and My Contribution posted at Money Ning, saying, “The good and the bad of 401k plans and how you should contribute your retirement savings.”
Super Saver presents A Gift of Retirement Funds posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “A relatively small lump sum investment of $10,000 can lead to a significant sized nest egg at retirement.”
Risk Management and Insurance
Paul Kamp presents Use Irrationality Against Yourself! posted at Don’t Quit Your Day Job – Personal Finance, Economics and Investing, saying, “I wrote this article about individual irrationality and how to use it to set up savings for the future. I set up the article to frame a WSJ article on a ‘Lottery Certificate of Deposit’.”
MoneyNing presents How to Buy a Used Car posted at Money Ning, saying, “Knowing how to buy a used car can not only save you thousands but sometimes tens of thousands.”
Tom Tessin presents College Student Money Market Accounts posted at FCC Student Blog, saying, “Tips college students can use when it comes down to saving money.”
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