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

Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #165 – November 12, 2010

Welcome to the November 12, 2010 Edition #165 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

Budgeting and Economics

Roshawn Watson presents Economists Blame ME for the Slow Recovery posted at Watson Inc, saying, “We are responsible with our money, yet instead of admiration (or even understanding), these efforts garner contempt as the frugal once again get the blame for dismal economic activity.”

2 Cents presents QE Collateral Damage posted at Balance Junkie, saying, “Jeremy Grantham is among the growing number of experts who aren’t impressed with the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy. Here’s why.”

The Skilled Investor presents How to Save More posted at Personal Financial Strategy, saying, “Budgeting and self-control in consumption is far more important than clever investing. Expenditure control and budgeting works, while “clever” investing usually is counter-productive.”

Estate Planning

Jeff Rose, CFP presents The “Someday File” for That Inevitable Day posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Here are a few simple steps to make things easier on your descendants in a time of grieving.”

Financial Planning

Joe Plemon presents How Do You Define Wealth? Hope for the Little Guy. posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Can a non millionaire be wealthier than a millionaire? Depending on your definition of wealth, yes.”

Jessica Bosari presents Savings, CDs, and Money Market Accounts: Which Is The Best Fit? | billeater.com posted at Billeater, saying, “Choosing the best savings vehicle.”

Rachel presents Finance Definitions: What is an Asset? posted at MomVesting, saying, “You probably have an idea of what an asset is, but a precise definition can help with your financial planning decisions.”

The Financial Blogger presents A Day As A Financial Planner posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “A look at the work involved with being a financial planner.”

Sustainable Life Blog presents Prioritizing Goals? posted at Sustainable Life Blog, saying, “Wondering where to turn when starting to attack debt? Here’s a quick guide on how to help you prioritize your goals.”

Larry Russell presents No Load Mutual Funds posted at Best Index Mutual Funds, saying, “Superior past performance has simply not been shown to be a reliable predictor of superior future performance. However, low costs can lead you to the best mutual funds.

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.

Michael Pruser presents Getting an Auto Loan? Check Your Credit Score First posted at The Dough Roller

Financing a Home

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Owning A Home – Be Prepared For The Expenses posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “It’s important to consider the expenses of owning a home, not just the mortgage but increased heating costs, possible renovations, home security and home insurance.”

Financing Education

Jeff Rose, CFP presents 3 Easy Steps in Paying for College Financing Priorities posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “In this article you will find ideas for college financing — in the order you should seek them. Here’s some helpful information that you can’t afford to miss.”

Praveen presents Is The Education Market The Next Credit Bubble? posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “How educational loans appears to be a bubble like mortgages.”

Michael presents Should You Drop Out of College? posted at Consumerism Commentary

MoneyNing presents Should We Shield Our Kids From The Economic Reality? posted at Money Ning, saying, “Would you want to talk to your kids about your financial situation, or should you hide everything from them so they can have a happy upbringing?”

Sustainable Life Blog presents How to Payoff your Nelnet Student Loan posted at Sustainable Life Blog, saying, “A step by step guide to help you pay off student loans held by Nelnet.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents 10 Common Mistakes Students Make That Keep Them in Debt posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Here are 10 common mistakes students often make that can cause them to accumulate debt as well a few tips to help them avoid these mistakes.”


Craig Ford presents Best Ways to Make Money Online (Find Legitimate Opportunities) posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “Increase your income by finding legitimate ways to make money online.”


FMF presents Free Money Finance: How to Buy and Sell Physical Gold and Silver, Part 1 posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Ever want to know the specifics of how to buy physical gold and silver? This interview with a gold/silver expert will give you all the details!”

Ryan @ CML presents 6 Options Trading Basics Every Investor Should Know posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “These are some basic stock options strategies that every options trader should know.”

Dividend Tree presents Dividend Investing and Businesses with Moat posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “In general, companies with moats in their business are very good dividend growth providers. However, the opposite may not be true.”

Dan presents New Rare Earth Metals ETF Off to a Running Start posted at ETF Base, saying, “With China’s choke hold on the rest of the world due to its embargo on rare earth elements needed for high tech and military uses, it’s worth checking out this newly launched Rare Earth Metals ETF.”

Sun presents Convert to Vanguard Admiral Shares posted at The Sun’s Financial Diary.

Steve Alexander presents Ranking the Forbes Best Small Companies List posted at MagicDiligence – Optimizing Joel Greenblatts Value Stock Strategy, saying, “Forbes has released its annual rankings of the best small companies in America. This article takes those 100 stocks and ranks them using the Magic Formula Investing methodology.”

Praveen presents Caveat Emptor: If An Investment or Opportunity Appears Too Good To Be True, Beware! posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Beware of investment opportunities that seem to be too good to be true.”

Tushar Mathur presents Can’t Control the Markets? Try controlling the Costs posted at Everything Finance, saying, “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 may have left you feeling concerned over your financial future. You’re not alone.”

Darwin presents Black Swan Investing – Making a Fortune off Rare Events posted at Darwin’s Money, saying, “Here are several ways to make 1000% on Black Swan Investments – just note that the returns are high due to the risks involved.”

Frank Vertin presents Best Index Funds posted at Index Mutual Funds, saying, “Top ten no load index funds that track the Standard and Poors 500 composite index in terms of lowest costs.

Mike McFate presents Mutual Funds or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)? Which is Best? posted at CompanyInvest.com, saying, “This great article outlines the differences between mutual funds and exchange traded funds.”

Dividends4Life presents 16 Dividend Stocks Delivering What?s Important posted at Dividends Value, saying, “In the southern U.S. where I live, there has been some controversy over harvesting forests of hardwoods and reseeding them with pines. Growing hardwoods is very similar to investing in dividend stocks. What you plant or invest in today will not yield much for years to come. That is not to say progress is not seen. It is just slow and deliberate.”

Mike Piper presents Buying Fixed Immediate Annuities posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “Tips on shopping for a fixed immediate annuity for investors in or nearing retirement.”

Intelligent Speculator presents Why I do not use intra-day stops posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “My rationale is explained in the article.”

The Skilled Investor presents Stock Market Timing posted at Personal Investment Management, saying, “Always stay invested to earn risk premiums. You must have your money invested and at risk to get risk premium returns. Jumping out and in or “timing the markets” doesn’t work.”

Intelligent Speculator presents State of the ETF Industry posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “A look at recent news in the ETF industry.”

Consumer Boomer presents How to Build a CD Ladder For Maximizing Return posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “When you ladder your CD investments, you can maximize the potential earnings. Here’s how.”

Mike @ Green Panda presents Don’t Be Intimidated By Money Management posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “A post outlining the dos and donts of personal finance.”

Tomas Escent presents Stock Trader Automation posted at Nerds on Wall Street

DGB presents Why Dividend Investing Will Become The Investment Trend In 2011 posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “Why dividend investing will grow next year.”

Managing Debt

The Financial Blogger presents Does Good Debt Exist? posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “What do you consider to be good debt? Does it even exist?”

PT presents Clean Up Bad Credit: No Miracle Cures posted at Prime Time Money, saying, “There’s no easy, magical way out of a bad credit situation. It’s hard work, and takes time. Here are some real ideas.”

Joe Plemon presents How to Avoid Christmas Debt Without Becoming a Grinch … 12 Great Tips posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Piling up debt in order to celebrate the birth of Christ doesn’t add up. These tips will help your Christmas season be a true celebration.”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Citi Credit Cards Review: From Citi Platinum Select To Citi Forward posted at The Digerati Life

Tim Chen presents How Will a Charge Card Affect My Credit Score? posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch, saying, “Charge cards function a bit differently than a standard credit card, in that you are required to pay your bill off each month; there’s no revolving credit line. So if you can’t carry a balance, and you don’t have a credit limit, what does this mean for your credit score?”

Big Cajun Man presents Found Money Trap posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Found money should go on debt no matter what!”

Soldier Finance presents Stay Low or Get Hit! The Military Low Crawl and Your Finances (Video- Field Exercise Edition) posted at soldieroffinance.com, saying, “if you are too much in debt, then you’re sticking your head up too high, and you have a greater chance of getting hit with a financial bind by having to file for bankruptcy.”

Jeff Weber presents How Much Can You Save with a 0% APR for 21 Months posted at Smart Balance Transfers, saying, “Transferring credit card debt to a card that offers a 0% rate on balance transfers for 21 months can help a person with $3000 of debt become debt free in 21 months and save them $400 in interest.”

Jackson presents Dangers of Negotiating Credit Card Debt posted at 2009 Tax, saying, “Consolidating debt is always a good ideal, isn’t it?”

Roshawn Watson presents Why Is Debt Really Decreasing? posted at Watson Inc, saying, “In the first quarter of 2008, our debt to disposable income peaked at a staggering 131%. This means for every dollar we earned, we spent $1.31. As of March, our debt as a share of our annual income is presently 122%. If you think this change indicates that we have collectively been so scarred by the “Great Recession” that we are now behaving fiscally responsible, think again. There is a surprising and sad reason why our debt has gone down. Hint, it has nothing to do with frugality.”

David presents American Express Membership Rewards Program Review posted at Credit Card Offers IQ.

The Smarter Wallet presents Are Debt Counseling Services The Way To Debt Relief? posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “On debt counseling services.”

Ryan @ CML presents What is a Good Credit Score? posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Do you know the credit score range most lenders consider to be a good credit score?”

Aaron presents How To Load A NetSpend Prepaid Card posted at Prepaidcards123.


MoneyNing presents Can You Be Rich and Miserable? posted at Money Ning, saying, “It is easy to feel miserable no matter how much money you have, but do you get more upset when you see someone who has a load of money but can’t find happiness?”

nissim ziv presents What can you bring to the company? What can you contribute to this company? posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “When you are asked this question, you can be sure that the interviewer wants to find out any specific qualities/aspects that you might be bringing into the company.”

Pasadena Financial Planner presents Vanguard Index Funds posted at Top Mutual Funds, saying, “Compares Vanguard’s actively managed mutual funds and Vanguard’s passively managed index mutual funds. Vanguard investors should read and understand this study.”

Retirement Planning

Consumer Boomer presents Do You Really Need a Million Dollars to Retire? posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “To determine how much you need to save for your retirement you need to start asking yourself some of these important questions.”

Ryan @ MFN presents How to Take a Thrift Savings Plan Loan posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “The Thrift Savings Plan is similar to a 401k, but for government workers and military members. The rules for loans are similar to 401k loans.”

FMF presents Real-Life Case Study: How to Take Early Semi-Retirement, Part 1 posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Instead of retiring completely at 65, how about retiring in part at 40? Here’s how one guy did just that…”

Mike @ Green Panda presents Retirement Planning When You are in your 20s posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “We should all consider retirement planning as soon as possible. Ideally, your retirement plan should start as early as you when you land your first job… while still in school.”

Paul Williams presents The 80% or 90% of Income for Retirement Rule Is Stupid posted at Provident Planning, saying, “Basing your retirement plan on simplified rules of thumb is a sure way to make some dumb mistakes. Take the time to make the right decision for your unique situation!”

Super Saver presents Retiring Early is Still Possible posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “The key enabler is a plan that uses a 3% withdrawal rate.”

freefrombroke presents What Fees Are Part of Your 401(k) Plan? posted at Free From Broke, saying, “When looking at the returns for your 401k plan, you need to make sure you understand the fees to truly understand your earnings.”

Walter W. Fouse presents Top 10 Large Cap Funds posted at Best Mutual Fund, saying, “This table of low cost top 10 S&P 500 mutual funds has been organized with the lowest cost index fund first. Nevertheless, each of these S & P 500 index funds is among the least costly on the market.”

Pat @ DNW presents Why You Should Pay Off Student Debt Before Saving For Retirement posted at Do Not Wait, saying, “An honest look at why you should pay off your student loan debt first!”

Risk Management and Insurance

Super Saver presents Why My Car Insurance Premium is Really Low posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “I pay $267 a year for my car insurance. There are two types of reasons for my insurance being low: situational factors and price discounts.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Save Your Dog Or Break the Bank – Is Pet Health Insurance Really Woof (Worth) It? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Do you love your pet so much that you would spend any amount of money to help them get well if they were sick or injured? Here’s some surprising information about pet health insurance.”

Big Cajun Man presents Self Insured Company Disability Plans posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Sometimes insurance is not as safe as you might think (in Canada at least)”


Ryan @ MFN presents 2010 Veteran’s Day Free Meals and Discounts posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “This is a list of current free meals and discounts for military veterans – a great way to show your Patriotism and save some money!”

KCLau presents Are You Rich in Internal Assets? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “pay attention to the internal assets.”

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Will You Have a Frugal Holiday Season? posted at Financial Highway, saying, “Are consumers really ready to spend more money come this holiday season? Maybe not. Perhaps frugality has caught on a bit. Maybe it will become a new holiday tradition.”


Silicon Valley Blogger presents How To File Taxes For Less posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “You can file your tax return for lower cost. Here’s how!”

Super Saver presents Qualifying for Money Giveaways from the Government posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Since retiring in October 2007, our taxable income is much lower. We now qualify for a number of tax credits that we weren’t eligible for in the past.”

MoneyThinking presents Taxes for College Kids posted at Money Thinking, saying, “Not too long ago, I was a college kid. And one of the biggest headaches was my taxes. What do I claim? What don’t I claim? Do I even file, does it matter, am I dependant or independent? It felt like a crazy bunch of stuff to think about, and I didn’t deal with it… I just made my mom do it. Now, I realize there’s a bunch of…”

Alexander Peter presents Lost your UTR Number? posted at UTR.org.uk, saying, “Get organized before tax season. If you are self employed and have lost your UTR number this article will show you how to get a replacement.”

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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