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

Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #99 – July 24, 2009

Welcome to the July 24, 2009 Edition #99 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.

Enjoy!

The Skilled Investor, Editor

Budgeting

Tom Drake presents Manage Your Accounts With Quicken Online | The Canadian Finance Blog posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “Adding bank accounts to Quicken Online is simple, you search for the name of your bank and then use your regular web login for that bank.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents Free Online Money Management Tools posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Here are the best free online money management tools, including Mint, Quicken Online, Yodlee, and others.”

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.”

Joe Plemon presents Five Budgeting Pitfalls to Avoid posted at Comments on: Five Budgeting Pitfalls to Avoid, saying, “This is the first of a series of four posts on budgeting (but it can stand alone too). Many people fail with their budgets because the do not avoid the pitfalls. This post identifies some common pitfalls and gives tips on avoiding them.”

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.”

Jenny presents Strict Spending posted at Stop Spending Money, saying, “It is not too difficult to learn how to budget and still be happy.”

Economics

TIE presents Economics of Antitrust: Hospital Mergers posted at The Incidental Economist, saying, “This post is about hospital mergers and market power. It turns out courts had been incorrectly measuring market concentration, until some economists set them straight.”

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.”

Britannica Blog presents About Fixing the Economy: Obama, Weak; GOP, Clueless; the Masses: Distracted (by Michael Jackson, et. al) | Britannica Blog posted at Britannica Blog, saying, “Vice President Joe Biden says the administration “misread” the severity of the recession, an assertion borne out by forecasts supporting the stimulus package that came nowhere near seeing June’s unemployment rate of 9.5 percent. Yet the statement still seems odd: Even during the campaign economists and politicians alike were talking about the worse economic calamity since the Great Depression. Misread, indeed.”

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

Jeff Rose presents Taking Care of an Elderly Parent posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Find of what you need to do when you have to become the parent of your parents.”

Financial Planning

Craig Ford presents Why Do People Keep Making Bad Money Choices? posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “Explores the reason why people often keep making the same poor financial decisions.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents Starting Our Child on the Right Financial Path posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “My wife and I have started our child on a strong financial path by opening a saving account for her and starting a college education fund.”

Jeff Rose presents How To Do a Background Check on Your Financial Advisor posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Prevent yourself from being taken by the next Bernie Madoff. Do yourself a favor and do a background check first.”

The Smarter Wallet presents How To Be A Millionaire: Secrets To Success posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “Thanks!”

Patrick @ Military Money presents Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps is to provide a step by step guide to help people get out of debt and achieve financial freedom.”

Jonathan from Debt Loans presents 8 Things You Need to Know About Payday Loans | Debt Loans posted at Debt Loans, saying, “A few years ago, a couple I know got into trouble with some payday loans. Hard on their luck and desperately in need of groceries, they spent a couple of weeks taking out payday loans from one of those conveniently located check-cashing places. Before too long, they were drowning due to the payday loans. While they wouldn’t have had food in their home otherwise, here’s a list of things that would have helped them (and can help you) before they were in over their heads in a high-interest debt situation:”

Banker Saver presents How Safe Is Your Retirement Fund? posted at Banker Saver, saying, “Do you know how safe your retirement fund actually is? What are the greatest risks faced by your retirement fund?”

KCLau presents Why the worse classmates are wealthier than you? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Discusses if there is a correlation between academic success and financial well-being”

Jack Schmidt presents Albert Einstein and Your Personal Economy posted at SectorMatic Money Journal, saying, “SectorMatic Money Site – Personal Finance | Everything for the Big Spender on a Budget. Now you can live like a fat cat, even if you’re on a money diet. Laugh all the way to the bank with Jack Schmidt and SectorMatic. It’s for you!”

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.”

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!”

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.”

Financing a Home

Chris presents The pros and cons of non-bank lenders posted at Home I Own, saying, “How to choose your lender wisely – in the name of the safe future for your family”

Curt presents 10 Reasons Why This Is An Excellent Time To Finish Your Basement posted at PennyJobs.com.

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.”

Financing Education

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”

Patrick @ Military Money presents Tax Advantages of 529 Plans posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Tax advantages for the 529 College Savings plan.”

Income

FMF presents My Jobs, Introduction to the Real World posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Sometimes the hardest of jobs can be the best from a learning standpoint. That was certainly true for my first job after college. This post details that job and lists what I learned from it.”

FMF presents Will Having a Blog Grow Your Career? posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “One suggestion for growing your career.”

Praveen presents Easy Ways to Generate Cash posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Easy ways to generate extra cash”

Investing

Zach Scheidt presents An Airline Stock Set to Take Off posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Airline Stocks operating in niche areas have participated in the recent stock market rally. Gol Intelligent Airlines operates in Brazil and is staging an impressive recovery.”

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.”

ChristianPF presents Info about ETFs posted at Money in the Bible | Christian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “4 reasons you should think about investing in ETFs”

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.”

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) Ideas posted at Financial Highway, saying, “How to use the TFSA”

Marc Ryan presents IndependentInvestor.info – ETF’s: a Canadian discovery under attack by Wall/Bay Street posted at IndependentInvestor.info, saying, “ETFs were a revolution for the small investor. But the small investor is now at risk of going back to pre-1990 days as Wall Street and Bay Street try to turn ETFs away from their original purpose by inundating the market with complex funds which have few of the features of the original ETF. This commentary (the first of a series) will help you separate the good, the bad and the ugly in the world of ETFs.”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents ETrade Online Brokerage Account: Top Broker Review posted at The Digerati Life

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

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.”

Alex Fotopoulos presents Moved MON and SLB Options to July Expiration posted at My Trader’s Journal, saying, “Alex posted details of how his options finished this month’s options’ expiration on June 19th.”

The Smarter Wallet presents Stock Mutual Funds: Building Your First Investment Portfolio posted at The Smarter Wallet

Investing Toolkit presents The Successful Stock Investor: Do You Have These Attributes? posted at Investing Toolkit, saying, “Here are some of the characteristics you’ll find in a solid stock investor. Do you have these attributes?”

Dividend Growth Investor presents Dividend Stocks Showing You the Money posted at Dividend Growth Investor.

Zach Scheidt presents Amedisys Rallies Ahead of Earnings posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Amedisys Inc. (AMED) has built a strong foundation which will lead to higher earnings. Acquisitions along with organic growth indicates a disciplined and opportunistic approach to growth which will increase shareholder value.”

Michael Schindler presents 4 Benefits of Index Fund Investing posted at Your Personal Finance Source, saying, “Index fund investing is a great way to build wealth over time. It has many advantages, but here are four of the primary benefits you get from utilizing this method.”

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.”

ABC presents Some Index Funds and ETFs Are Not Diversified posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “Some ETFs and index funds are too specific and risky for a passive investor.”

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.”.

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.”

The Financial Blogger presents 6 Investing Rules Revisited Part 2: Blue Chips Are Safe Investments posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “I’m writing about the 2nd investing rule that must be revisited: Blue Chips are safe investments… really?”

Dividends4Life presents Seven Companies Raising Their Dividends posted at Dividends Value, saying, “A significant portion of the historical equity returns are a result of reinvested dividends. Performance in any given year is driven by capital appreciation, but long-term returns are largely the result of reinvested dividends.Here are 7 companies that gave their shareholders higher cash dividends:”

Barry presents Managing Surplus Money In The Short Term posted at Associate Money.

Mike Piper presents Individual TIPS vs. TIPS Funds posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “A quick look at the pros and cons of investing in individual TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) as opposed to investing in a TIPS mutual fund. Depending upon your goals, either one could be appropriate.”

Managing Debt

Miss Bankrupt presents Staying Sane While Broke and in Debt posted at Miss Bankrupt, saying, “some tips on how to stay sane while in debt”

Four Pillars presents Balance Transfer Credit Cards – What Are They And Why You Might Want To Get One posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Some benefits and drawbacks of zero percent balance transfer credit cards.”

Mr Credit Card presents Walking Away From Debt? posted at Ask Mr Credit Card, saying, “An answer to a readers question about walking away from debt.”

oneadvice presents IVA Bank Accounts posted at One Advice, saying, “Been accepted for an IVA but worried that you cannot get a bank account? Need to move away from a bank that you are in debt too? You CAN get a bank account! Find out how…”

Miscellaneous

Roshawn Watson presents Colleges Pimping Their Students posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Colleges Pimping Their Students: Universities are selling students’ personal information, typically to the highest bidding credit-card companies.”

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.”

MoneyNing presents What to Do When Money Conflicts with Ethics posted at Money Ning, saying, “What will you choose? Ethics or money?”

Patrick @ Military Money presents Cash for Clunkers Information posted at Military Finance Network, 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 deadweight loss to you. The best bond fund buying strategy is to pick only very low-cost no load bond funds.”

Retirement Planning

Jeff Rose presents What Are Your Best Roth IRA Rates? posted at Jeff Rose.

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.”

Super Saver presents Owning versus Renting a Home during Retirement posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “I am starting to reconsider home ownership in retirement, since it may significantly reduce our flexibility, e.g. ease of moving to a new location.”

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.”

Jeff Rose presents Should you roll over your pension into an IRA? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Rolling over your pension into an IRA might be the smart move to make.”

Risk Management and Insurance

nickel presents Do You Need Disability Insurance? posted at fivecentnickel.com, saying, “Taking a look at whether or not you need disability insurance, as well as what to look for in a policy.”

The Amateur Financier presents Risk Management Strategies posted at The Amateur Financier, saying, “A summary of various types of risk management strategies, as well as instances in which they should be employed. Covers everything from avoiding risk to getting insurance for unavoidable problems.”

Savings

Tyler Tervooren presents Dump Your Dryer and Rack Up the Savings posted at Frugally Green, saying, “Did you know an extra 15 minutes of work every time you do your laundry could net you more than $500 in savings in a year by air drying your clothes? Me either, until I did the math. Getting really great laundry results from the sun and the wind can be a little tricky though. This mini journal provides the tips and tricks to get it right.”

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.”

Four Pillars presents Keep Your Emergency Fund In A High Interest Savings Account posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Some suggestions on the best places to store your emergency fund.”

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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