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Best Personal Financial Planning and Personal Investment Articles this Week from Personal Finance Blogs

Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #108 – September 25, 2009

Welcome to the September 25, 2009 Edition #108 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.


The Skilled Investor, Editor


The York Budget presents 2010 budget goal : $1000 per month posted at The York Budget, saying, “Even though it is still 2009, The York Budget has set up a monthly budget for 2010. Can one person live within a budget of $1000?”

Betty Kincaid presents Fear, loathing & financial statements posted at Control Your Cash, saying, “Stop living in fear. It’s time to shine a light on your money situation and take control of your financial life.”

Susan Savering presents Personal Budget Expenses posted at Family Financial Planners, saying, “When you don’t understand how much you spend and how much you save and invest, you do not have a financial plan. This dramatically increases your family’s long-term financial risk.”

20smoney presents Personal Finance Capital Allocation posted at 20s Money, saying, “A look at the three ways we allocate our money and how to improve upon them.”

The Smarter Wallet presents Internet Banking: Compare Online Banks For Your Savings Needs posted at The Smarter Wallet

Dorian Wales presents 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.”


Ray @ Financial Highway presents Is This A Double Dip Recession? posted at Financial Highway.

Smac20 presents Double Dip Recovery W or V Shaped Recovery? posted at Investing in Canada: Best Investment Blog, saying, “Are we out of the recession yet? This article takes a look at what analysts the majority of analysts are saying and also takes a look at what key economists that predicted the recession are saying.”

Anne Simone presents 100 Best Blogs for Econ Students posted at Online Universities Weblog.

Super Saver presents Expecting Another Bubble posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Low interest rates are bound to create another bubble. Hopefully, by expecting one, I can protect our savings better that during the housing and financial crash.”

Case Ernsting presents Thriving in a Recession: Tools for Success posted at FinditLocal411 Blog, saying, “The recession has been hard on many families and small businesses. In this post, you’ll find 10 easy steps to avoid short-term solutions and stay solvent for the future.”

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.”

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.”

Estate Planning

The Financial Blogger presents Estate Planning: 5 Reasons Why You Should Have A Professional Among Your Liquidators posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “managing an estate is more complicated than simply writing a few checks! Fortunately, for those who can afford it, you can name a professional among your liquidators.”

Financial Planning

20smoney presents 5 Steps To Getting On The Right Track Financially In Your 20s posted at 20s Money, saying, “Five Steps to get on the right track financially”

Dividend Tree presents Building Core Competency for Long Term Survival posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “whether it is running a business or individuals’ investment portfolio, it is important to build a core competency for long term sustainability. In my case, I focus on good quality companies that consistently pay or have potential to pay growing dividends over time.”

Bucksome presents Househusbands: Long Lasting Recession Effect? posted at Buck$omeboomer’s Financial Path to Retirement, saying, “The majority of US workers are now female and househusbands have become more prevalent. Is this a cultural change?”

Patrick @ Military Money presents How Much Life Insurance Do Military Members Need? posted at Military Finance Network, 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.”

nissim ziv presents Long term career goals & short term career goals posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “What does goal setting refer to in a career context? In a career context, goal setting can refer to several different things depending on your overall objectives and what you are trying to accomplish in your career and in your life in general.”

KCLau presents I achieved financial freedom at 38 posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “This post is contributed by WaiYin, a reader whom I admire very much because she achieved financial freedom at age 38! Here, she shares how she did it.”

Four Pillars presents Affordable Refinance Program posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Making Home Affordable refinance program eases requirements.”

Susan Savering presents Personal Investing Strategy posted at Family Financial Planner, 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.”

Financing a Home

BWL presents Could the Homebuyer tax credit be increased to $15,000? posted at Christian Personal Finance, saying, “Looks like the Government could be giving more money away to homebuyers…”

Alex Fotopoulos presents When to Refinance a Mortgage? posted at My Trader’s Journal, saying, “Some key points to consider when refinancing your home.”

The Financial Blogger presents Should I Rent or Buy a Condo? posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Own or not to own, that is the question! It is almost everyone’s dream to own a place to call home, your home. If you are young, you are probably debating if you should buy or rent.”

Alex presents Is Buying a Rental Property Worth it? posted at MoneyStance – Money Making Opportunity Reviews.

Financing Education

Jeff Rose presents Ways to Save For Your Kids College Education posted at Jeff Rose.

David Price presents Quick Student Loans – Don’t be Hasty posted at Student Loan Advice, saying, “Be careful when you are looking for a quick student loan. Being impulsive has the potential of destroying your life for years to come.”

Carol Brown presents 100 Best Twitter Feeds for Your Financial Intelligence posted at Online Schools.

Praveen presents Will Education Follow the Housing Bust? posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Tips for students to avoid excessive loans and debt”

Health Care

KCLau presents Withdraw EPF Fund to Pay Insurance Premium? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Vincent Lee from Penang generously shares an idea to use your EPF”


FMF presents 11 Ingredients of Career Success posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “11 tips for making the most of your career.”

Dividend Tree presents Three Companies with Sustainable Dividends posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “Even in soft economic environment, there are companies out there that are continuing to increase dividends for their shareholders. While dividend increase is good, it is more critical to make sure we understand that companies can sustain their dividends.”

The Financial Blogger presents What I Don’t Like About Mary Kay and other Multi Level Marketing (MLM) Companies posted at Gather Little By Little, saying, “someone you know, a good friend, gives you a call and his voice appears as a ray of light over your head; he has found a solution, an easy way to make more money!”

Curt presents The Reason the Rich are Getting Richer is Because Inflation Pushes Money Up and Inflation is Accelerating posted at PennyJobs.com.

nissim ziv presents How to Negotiate a Salary: Negotiation Tips, Questions & Expectations posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “The article brings the best tips, tactics, questions and answers for your salary nagotiations”

FMF presents Community College Seems Like a Smart Option to Me posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “A great way to save on one of the biggest and most important investments of your life.”


Four Pillars presents Beginning Investment Strategies to Avoid posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Some investment strategies that beginners should avoid (and probably everyone else too).”

Sam presents Buy 500 Companies for $1,000 with a Stock Index Mutual Fund posted at Surfer Sam and Friends, saying, “Should I Buy an Index Fund? Good Advice About Stock Index Funds Investing in Index Funds Is Still the Best Choice If you are a small investor who wants to meet your long-term investment goals, to minimize risk and to save the time and expense of researching stocks for yourself, an Index Fund is the ideal investment vehicle. Index Funds allow average people to participate intelligently in the stock market. If you have only $100 to invest, you can still buy shares in an Index Fund. People invest in Index Funds because they believe that stock markets are efficient and that stock-pickers on average will not do as well as the market.”

Roth IRA Rules presents Roth IRA Conversion in a Down Market posted at Roth IRA Rules, saying, “Is doing a Roth IRA conversion in a down market a smart move?”

Darwin presents How Stock Options Work Series: Covered Call Writing posted at Darwin’s Finance, saying, “Everything you need to know about how to sell covered call options for income and hedging against stocks you own.”

Dan at Everydayfinance presents Herd of Fleeing Investors Have Now Missed 55% Since March posted at Everyday Finance, saying, “This “Sucker’s Rally” is now up 55% and counting. Unless you sold in March due to herding. Why attempting to market time in your retirement account is futile.”

Jae Jun presents Warren Buffett Stock Picks Fair Value | Old School Value posted at Old School Value, saying, “Part 4 of Warren Buffett stock portfolio analyzed with stock valuation.”

The Dough Roller presents Summary of the Best Online Discount Brokers posted at The Dough Roller.

Super Saver presents Investment Plans for the Rest of 2009 posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “I’m starting to think that the economic recovery will be slower and longer than current expectations. I believe the next couple months will be telling. Here are my plans.”

TIP Guy presents Rookie Trader or Investor ? Turbulent Journey Cut Short posted at TIPBlog.in, saying, “The only solace has been I no longer trade in Futures. Not leveraging much (because of lack of money), and taking some disciplined approach (compared to a year earlier) but still like I mentioned there is no performance to be proud of.”

Investing Toolkit presents Facing Investment Risks: Watch Your Money! posted at Investing Toolkit, saying, “How to manage investment risk.”

Manshu presents Real Estate ETF List posted at OneMint, saying, “Real estate ETFs that US investors can invest in.”

Investing School presents TradeKing vs OptionsXpress – Online Stock Broker Comparison posted at Investing School, saying, “TradeKing and OptionsXpress are both great brokers and here’s why you should look at either.”

Aussie Investor presents Exchange Traded Funds – ETF Investing In Australia posted at Australian Investing, saying, “Exchange Traded Funds are a simple way for investors to build a diversified investment portfolio at a low cost. In this article ETFs are looked at from an Australian perspective. What products are available, how can investors buy them and what else should they consider before purchasing an Exchange Traded Fund?”

Jimmy Atkinson presents Which ETFs Are Optimal for VHNW Investor Portfolios? posted at ETFdb, saying, “Financial advisors managing accounts of very high net worth individuals have a tendency to dismiss ETFs as a viable option for their wealthiest, most risk-hungry clients. But anyone who does so risks overlooking investments that may be excellent matches for high net worth individuals.”

Zach Scheidt presents CH Robinson – Stepping In Front of a Train posted at ZachStocks, saying, “CH Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) is a healthy company but an overpriced stock. Rich valuation coupled with a doubts surrounding economic rebound could cause the stock to drop sharply.”

The Skilled Investor presents 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.”

ABC presents Stock Market Indexes posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “How different types of stock market indexes work.”

Zach Scheidt presents HealthSpring – Higher Revenue, Higher Costs posted at ZachStocks, saying, “HealthSpring offers investors an attractive value and should see growth in its business. Fear over healthcare reform has held the stock price lower, but HS appears to be in good shape.”

Dividends4Life presents 9 Stocks Increasing Their Dividends posted at Dividends Value, saying, “It is good once again to see companies raising their dividends after last week pause and Kraft’s (KFT) announcement it was freezing its dividend at $0.29/share for the 5th straight quarter. Dividend increases are the fuel that keeps our dividend income machines running.”

Mike Piper presents The Best Mutual Funds posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “An attempt to answer a common (albeit misguided) investing question: “What is the best mutual fund?”"

ABC presents Investment Real Return posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “A simple explanation of investment real return.”

Frank Vertin presents Best Stock Index Fund posted at Best Index Fund, 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.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents How to Open a Roth IRA posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Tips on how to open a Roth IRA and what to look for in your Roth IRA Custodian.”

Praveen presents India Fund (IFN) Trade Example posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “An example of how having a trading system gives you an edge, and let’s you take advantage of market moves outside of your control.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents Best Brokerages for Roth IRAs posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Where should you open a Roth IRA? This article reviews some of the best mutual fund firms and discount brokerages for opening a Roth IRA.”Tomas Escent presents Quant Investing posted at Nerds on Wall Street, 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.”

Dividend Tree presents What is your preference – Aristocrats or Achievers? | Dividend Tree posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “The key question here is; are we willing to invest in companies that have still not completed 25 years of dividend growth? All dividend aristocrats were at that stage at some point in time.”

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.”

Larry Russell presents Top No Load Mutual Fund posted at No Load 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.”

Managing Debt

studenomist presents Student Debt Consolidation Loans Advice posted at studenomics.com.

Mike Power presents How to be debt free posted at Gather Little By Little, saying, “See, getting into debt is easy. It only takes a few minutes to make a $5,000 purchase on a credit card. Paying it back though can take years.”

Banker Saver presents Compare Auto Loan Financing Options Before Buying A Car posted at Banker Saver, saying, “How to finance a car.”

CreditCardAssist presents Just How Expensive Are Convenience Checks? posted at Credit Card Assist, saying, “A look at the fees, traps, high interest rates and how truly expensive those credit card convenience checks really are.”

The Smarter Wallet presents Equifax Credit Report and Score: Review of Equifax Products posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “I cover one of the credit bureaus and look into the products they offer to help us monitor the state of our credit.”

Eric J. Nisall presents An Open Letter To The Credit Industry posted at Let’s Blog Money, saying, “An open letter to the credit industry asking for clarification of their lending and marketing practices.”

Lauren Rose presents Fighting Back Against the Bank of America Video posted at No Debt Anymore .org, saying, “A California woman has refused to pay her bill for a credit card that she has with Bank of America. For all her good behavior and customer loyalty, the bank repeatedly raised her interest rate this year, reaching 30 percent in July.”

MoneyNing presents Free Credit Reports posted at Money Ning, saying, “AnnualCreditReport.com should be the only way to get a free credit report.”


Credit Shout presents How often do credit scores change? posted at CreditShout.

MoneyNing presents Gambling My Way to Financial Freedom posted at Money Ning, saying, “Before you blame anything else on why you are poor, maybe you should blame yourself first.”

No Load Bonds presents Bond Index Fund posted at Bond Index Fund, saying, “Simply put, if you pay higher bond mutual fund fees, then these bond management expenses tend just to be a deadweight loss to you. The best bond fund buying strategy is to pick only very low-cost no load bond funds.”

April presents Lighting a Fire: How to Overcome Procrastination posted at Get Rich Slowly, saying, “Thanks!”

Roshawn Watson presents Should You Buy A House Outright? posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Suppose you find yourself in the somewhat unique predicament of having the resources to purchase your house outright without a mortgage. Is it then financially-wise to make the purchase?”

Retirement Planning

Paul Kamp presents The Risk of Not Enough Risk posted at Don’t Quit Your Day Job – Personal Finance, Economics and Investing, saying, “I wrote this article about the dangers of inflation. Many investors often ignore the ‘hidden tax’ only to realize the decline in their purchasing power at too late a time.”

Tom Drake presents What Is An Individual Pension Plan (IPP)? posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “An Individual Pension Plan is a type of defined benefit pension plan that many successful entrepreneurs may want to consider as a retirement alternative.”

Top Stock Index Funds presents Top Stock Index Funds posted at Top 10 Index Fund, 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.”

Risk Management and Insurance

Jeff Rose presents How Much Term Life Insurance Do You Need to Buy? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Helping You Decide How Much Life Insurance You Need”

Patrick @ Military Money presents COBRA Benefits 2009 Economic Stimulus Recovery Act posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “The 2009 Economic Stimulus Plan includes additional COBRA and unemployment benefits.”


Luke Grand presents How To Save One Million Dollars posted at Cash Out Life, saying, “Ever wonder what it takes to save one million dollars? A lot depends on how soon you get started, how much inflation runs, and how much your savings earn over the years. The later you get started, the more money you have to save each month to hit a one million dollar target.”

Four Pillars presents Back To School Cell Phone Deals posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Comparison of the best cell phone deals for students heading back to school.”


Jeff Rose presents 2010 Traditional IRA to Roth IRA Conversion Tax Rules posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Tax implications of converting from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Don’t forget the after-tax contributions.”

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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