Friday, May 25, 2012

Carnival of Financial Planning #238 - May 25, 2012

Welcome to the May 25, 2012 Edition #238 of the Carnival of Financial Planning. My thanks to the editor of The Skilled Investor for having My Wealth Builder host this week.

The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. It focuses 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.


Budgeting and Economics

Sean presents Money Saving Workout Routines for a Fit Recession-ista posted at One Smart Dollar, saying, "Spending money for a gym membership can be expensive. Here are some great tips to keep yourself in shape and not break the budget.

David presents Wired Wall Street Capital Markets posted at Wall Street History , saying, " Looking into the workings of modern securities markets is like looking under the hood of a Prius hybrid car. There are so many complex and obscure parts it’s hard to discern what’s going on. History repeats and informs in market technologies. From the days when front-running involved actual running to the “Victorian Internet era” brought on by telegraphy, we can learn a great deal from looking back at a simpler era."

101 Centavos presents Travel Notes: Just Say Ahn-Nyeong Hah-Seh-Yo and Kon'nichi Wa posted at 101 Centavos, saying, "Just a couple words is all you need to know when traveling abroad. Hello and thank you and a big smile will open a lot of doors in the East, especially in a business setting, and most especially coming from Americans, renowned foreign-language ignoramuses."

John presents Where's My Experian FICO Score? posted at Card Hub, saying, "In a world where knowing your credit score is now instrumental to handling your finances, why is it that Experian keeps you from that knowledge? It's a flawed system when the consumer is denied access to their own financial data."

Financial Planning

Don presents Money Rules When Spending Money posted at MoneySmartGuides, saying, "I was recently in Chicago for a charity event. The events were held at the hotel I was staying at so I ended up eating a handful of meals in the hotel."

Suba presents The Three Musketeers: My Dad's Medical Team posted at Broke Professionals, saying, "Money is still my dad's focus, even when facing quadruple bypass and vascular surgeries within three months."

Jeffrey presents Only 72: If You're Serious About Building an Online Business posted at Money Spruce, saying, "If you want to get right to the sale, click here to go to Only 72. I'm writing today about the Only 72 sale. It's 90 percent off over $1,000 in ebooks and guides for the entrepreneur - but only for 72 hours. Why I'm writing a post about it? Almost 2 years ago, I began searching for a different path in life."

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."

Invest It Wisely presents Living to 100 and Beyond: How Will It Affect Your Retirement Plans? posted at Invest It Wisely, saying, "This is the first in a series of articles on living to 100 and beyond."

Daisy presents Shopping Frugally posted at Add Vodka, saying, "I don't know about you, but if I'm about to buy an item that Ive had my eye on for awhile, I do a lot of research."

TSI presents Professional fund manager performance. posted at Skilled Investor Blog , saying, " If investment mutual fund managers were truly skilled at beating the market, then you would expect mutual fund manager performance prowess to persist over time. Unfortunately, the evidence indicates that superior past professional performance among mutual fund managers tends not to persist. Past superior mutual fund performance is simply not a predictor of future superior mutual fund performance. "

KT presents Easy Energy Saving Tips... posted at Personal Finance Journey, saying, "Energy costs seem to rise almost every day, and it can be hard to keep pace with them, especially if you find yourself on a tight budget. While it might be something that some people can just about cope with, for others, simply meeting the cost of their basic energy needs can be awfully difficult."

Teacher Man presents RRSP vs RESP Accounts posted at Young And Thrifty, saying, "There are obviously numerous aspects of each person’s financial situation that will come into play when looking at whether a RRSP or an RESP contribution is right for them."

JB presents Are Banks Really In It For You? posted at My University Money, saying, "Learn from my mistakes and never assume the banks are in it for you. They aren’t, in fact they make a killing off you so don’t make it easy on them whenever they try to push a product on you."

Ted Jenkin presents Does Your 401(k) Offer An “In Service” Distribution? posted at Your Smart Money Moves, saying, " For Generation X clients, the majority of their retirement savings are in the company 401(k). While you do have a multitude of options of what you can do with your 401(k) if you leave your employer, often people feel like they are stuck if they stay with the same employer for a long period of time. This is especially true with larger companies as most of those plans offer a limited number of investment choices and several target retirement funds. I’m amazed that many people I sit down have never heard of whether their company offers an in service withdrawal or an in service distribution which can give them greater investment control of their 401(k) assets. Since we have had two major market meltdowns over the past 12 years, 401(k)’s offer limited power to help you risk mitigate against a market crash. This is why you need ask your employer today, do we offer an in service distribution?"

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. "

Shannon McNay presents Credit Unions vs. Banks: Which Should You Choose? posted at ReadyForZero Blog, saying, "In the years since the infamous Lehman Brothers collapse and the ensuing financial crisis, scrutiny of banks has only grown worse. It’s enough to make some people want to go back to the old days of stuffing cash under their mattress! However, in order to protect your money it is important that you put it into a bank. The real question is, which banks should you trust? As resentment towards big banks simmers, people are flocking towards their local credit unions for their banking needs. How can you decide which is right for you? We break it down for you here!"

PFP presents Investment Tax Management  posted at Pasadena Financial Planner , saying, " As you move your cash, bond, and stock financial assets into lower cost, more broadly diversified investment mutual funds and/or ETFs, you should also consider how to “locate” your investment asset allocation with respect to more optimal taxation."

JP presents Starting to Exercise? Should Your Family Spend Money to Work Out? posted at My Family Finances, saying, "Starting to exercise? While I'd love to just say, go frugal, you don't need to spend money to be active, it's really not that simple. There are many good reasons to spend money working out.


Div Guy presents What I Would Do With $10,000 posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, "What would you do with extra money? I share my plans."

Mike presents Is Losing Your Job The Best Thing That Could Happen to You? posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, "How losing your job could lead to even more income."

Insurance and Risk

Jeff Rose presents Should You Buy Mortgage Protection or Term Life Insurance? posted at Good Financial Cents, saying, "With so many different types of insurance you can purchase nowadays, it’s very easy to get insurance poor. Buying coverage on your home with mortgage life insurance teeters on the fence of being a bit too much."

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."

Ashley presents How Much Life Insurance Do You Need? posted at Money Talks Coaching, saying, "Life insurance isn't sexy or fun but it is something you need to think about every few decades."


Van Beek presents How to Invest with Stock Options posted at Stock Trend Investing, saying, " Investing in stock options is slightly more complex than trading in basic stocks. The two fundamental methods of trading options are buying calls and puts. Buying a call means you are betting that a stock which underlies your option will rise above a certain price within a certain date, which is called the expiration date of the option. The converse applies when you buy a put. When you buy a call or a put, you also have the opportunity to buy or sell 100 shares of the stock that underlies each of the option contracts you had purchased. Here is the procedure to invest in stock options."

Frank Pinter presents No Load Bond Funds posted at Cheapest Bond Funds, saying, "Investment research overwhelmingly shows that lower cost fixed income funds tend to yield higher bond investing returns."

Pierre presents How To Buy Facebook posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, "We help you buy shares in Facebook."

TRL presents The Number One Reason People Don't Invest in Real Estate posted at The Retired Landlord, saying, "Find out why people don't invest in real estate. It's not just a simple matter of weighing the risks and benefits."

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."

Kanwal presents Do You Think Investing is Too Difficult? posted at Simply Investing, saying, "There is a common misconception that people have regarding investing, especially investing in stocks and that is, investing is difficult. Most people believe that investing by themselves is too complicated therefore most folks leave it to the so called professionals."

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."

Managing Debt

Mike presents Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards posted at Rewards Cards USA, saying, "Paying credit card interest can hinder your efforts to become debt free. Here are some of the best balance transfer credit cards on the market."

Boomer presents How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster posted at Boomer & Echo, saying, "When you pay off your mortgage faster, a big part of your household budget will become available to help you achieve your other financial goals."

Kevin presents Do's and Don'ts with your Credit Card posted at Thousandaire, saying, "The concept behind credit cards is a simple one: charge now, pay later."

John presents Debt to Income Ratio: Not Just for Banks posted at Married with Debt, saying, "What is a debt to income ratio? Is it only for banks? Find out how you can use it to determine how to get out of debt."

Jason presents Broke, Desperate, and Being an Idiot posted at Work Save Live, saying, "I wanted to relive the past a bit more and talk about how my 'financial peace & debt free' journey originally got started."

Real Estate

Lance presents Rental Property - The Decision posted at Money Life & More, saying, "After we had seen the townhouse and determined how much everything would cost my parents, my girlfriend and I sat down in my living room and decided to talk it all out. The first question we asked was why did we want to own this rental property."

Robert presents My Home Appraisal Was Wrong - Now I Have to Appeal posted at My Multiple Incomes, saying, "Last week, after a period of waiting, we got the appraisal back on the house we are looking to buy, and it ended up coming in a full $70,000 below our offer price, and well below fair market value to similar properties inside the same development. SO IRRITATING!!!!!"

Philip presents How to Decide Where to Live posted at PT Money Personal Finance, saying, "We're in the process of closing on a new house. In this post I discuss how we decided where to live and factors one should consider when making the same decision."


Debt Guru presents Does Over-Confidence Lead to Debt? posted at Debt Free Blog, saying, "Find out why over-confidence can easily lead to debt. To live debt free, you have to stay humble and diligent. Learn how you can do it."

Corey presents Travel for Pennies: How Rethinking International Travel Can Save You Money posted at Steadfast Finances, saying, "Find out easy and practical steps to travel to great places without breaking the bank."

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 Six Easy Steps to Figuring Out Your Retirement posted at MyMoneyDesign, saying, "When someone says you should save 10% for retirement, what does this actually mean? Will you hit your goals? How do you even know what your goals are? I’d like to offer you my advice for a simple and streamlined introductory approach to figuring out your retirement goals."

Franklin presents Traditional IRA Versus Roth IRA  posted at Better Retirement Planning , saying, " Many taxpayers puzzle over whether to contribute to traditional versus Roth tax-advantaged retirement plans. For most people, contributions to traditional tax-advantaged plans will probably provide a higher net present value over their lifetimes."

Nick presents Should I Convert My Retirement Plan into a Roth? posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, "Is a Roth conversion the right answer? Help me decide!"


Amanda L Grossman presents Is Your Frugality Invoked to Stretch Dollars or to Stockpile the Savings? posted at Frugal Confessions, saying, "There are two possible outcomes of frugality. One is to stretch your dollar so that you get a lot more in purchases."

Jason presents Tips to Pick a 529 Plan for Your Child’s College Savings posted at One Money Design, saying, "A few tips to help you learn about 529 savings accounts and pick the best one for your child and situation."

TSI presents Hard work determines wealth posted at The Skilled Investor , saying, " How much you earn, spend, budget, and save are by far the most dominant determinants of your long-term financial well-being. Self-control in your financial decision-making regarding budgeting and consumption is far more important than clever investing."

Laura presents Wells Fargo Puts Free Checking on the Chopping Block…Again posted at NerdWallet, saying, " Check out NerdWallet’s recommendations for local credit unions in the states affected by the Wells Fargo fee hike. These free accounts have no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements, and many of them earn competitive interest too."

Mike presents Why Cash Back Beats Travel Rewards posted at Rewards Cards Canada, saying, "A free vacation keeps many Canadians loyal to their travel rewards program, but for me, cash back is king. Here's why cash back beats travel rewards."


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."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Financial Planning using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
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This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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