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

Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #159 – October 1, 2010

Welcome to the October 1, 2010 Edition #159 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

Joe Plemon presents Five Steps Toward Automating Your Way to Wealth posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Will power won’t get the job done, but automating your finances will. This post tells how.”

Gal Josefsberg presents The Sunk Costs Idea posted at Equally Happy, saying, “Sunk costs are things you’ve invested and are not getting back, regardless of your present and future decisions. Therefore, they should not be a factor in decision making. Unfortunately, too many people still use sunk costs as a decision factor in things like money and even relationships. This is my attempt to clarify this concept and foster some better decision making.”

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.”

Mike @ Green Panda presents Budgets and Spending Plans: Find What Works posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “I want to share some budgeting systems that have worked for many people.”

Jason presents Make A Budget | Live Real, Now posted at Live Real, Now, saying, “Everybody needs a budget, but it’s a pain in the butt. Here’s a full-featured set of budget lessons, with examples and templates.”

MoneyNing presents Money Mistakes That (Mostly) Women Make posted at Money Ning, saying, “Women are prone to make certain money mistakes more often than others.”

Mike @ Green Panda presents The $7.27 Mistake Plus Ways To Avoid It posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “How to make the most out of your money when going out.”

The Skilled Investor presents 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.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents The Non Latte Factor, “Latte Factor” posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “If the first thing you look for in the morning is your beloved coffee, then listen up, because the following tidbits could save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars per year.”

Daniella presents the american nightmare: living paycheck to paycheck posted at Black In the Bay State – Fly, Fabulous and Fed up.

Estate Planning

Jeff Rose, CFP presents What Happens When a Minor Becomes the Beneficiary posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Most parents want to name their children as beneficiaries of their trust and/or retirement accounts. This may cause a few problems and you need to know the facts before naming your minor child as a beneficiary.”

Financial Planning

Leave Debt Behind.com presents How to Handle Lifestyle Inflation posted at Leave Debt Behind, saying, “Making more money doesn’t necessarily lead to the ability to pay off more debt or save more. We all easily fill into the trap of spending more when we make more.”

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.

Intelligent Speculator presents Could Facebook avoid an IPO forever? posted at Intelligent Speculator.

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.”

FIRE Getters presents Advantages of Online Banking posted at FIRE Finance, saying, “The first thing that we had to convince Uncle James was the fact that online banking was not going to change his money habits. Rather it would give him access to his accounts 24X7 by using current computer based technologies via the Internet from the comfort of his home or wherever his location was. He could pay his bills, schedule (or reschedule) his mortgage payments, electronically transfer money from his bank account or receive money in it within seconds …”

Marvin Grossman presents 9 Things Your Banker Won’t Tell You posted at Money-Rates.com Savings Investor, saying, “Here’s nine ways to make your banking experience a lot cheaper — that your banker might conveniently forget to tell you.”

Larry Russell presents Best 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.

jim presents Review Your Credit Reports Every Year posted at Identity Theft Wall.

Financing Education

Madison presents Will You Pay for College for Your Kids? posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “Trying to decide on how much college education to finance? Weigh in on the discussion.”

Ryan @ MFN presents Can You Get a Montgomery GI Bill Refund? posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “The Montgomery GI Bill is usually a use it or lose it benefit. But some veterans may now be eligible to receive a refund on their MGIB.”

Arjun Rudra presents RESP Savings and Student Debt posted at Investing Thesis, saying, “According to Statistics Canada, university tuition fees in 2009/10 were up 3.6 per cent to an average of $4,917 and compulsory fees (such as student services fees, administrative charges, athletic and recreation fees) for Canadian students increased 6.8 per cent from the year before to $749. On top of this, student living costs for rent, transportation, food etc. can range from $500 to over $30,000 depending on where they go to school. This past year student debt hit an all time high exceeding $13 billion in Canada. We sit down with Investors Group financial planning expert Aurele Courcelles to find out how current students can take steps to limit their student debt and accomplish their financial goals.” Living frugally is also important for students especially with respect to education loans.”

Health Care

Ben presents Health Savings Account Guide posted at Money Smart Life.

Jeff Rose, CFP presents How to Get Low Cost Health Insurance Quotes posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “With a little research, you might find getting low cost health insurance quotes is not as difficult as it first appears.”

Hank presents Health Care Reform And What It Means For You posted at Money Q&A, saying, “What do you need to know from the current health care reform in Washington?”

Ryan @ MFN presents Get a Free Flu Shot from the VA posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “Military veterans are eligible for a free flu shot from their local VA. Thanks for your service!


FMF presents This Money Making Idea is Going to the Dogs posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Whether it’s a full-time gig or part-time income, there’s plenty of money to be made in pet services.”

MoneyNing presents 15 Ways to Earn Extra Money posted at Money Ning, saying, “There are lots of ways to make more money. Here are 15 to start you off.”

Joe Plemon presents Four Ways a Part Time Job Will Change Your Life Forever posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “If you associate “part time job” with drudgery, exhaustion and meaningless toil, this article is not for you. The right part time job, however, done with purpose and parameters, can be a life changing experience.”


FMF presents Avoiding the 10 Most Common Investor Mistakes, Mistakes 1-3 posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Mistakes to avoid if you want to make the most out of your investments.”

The Financial Blogger presents Financing Options For Your Small Business posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “A list of funding options for your small business to consider before you go to an Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist.”

Intelligent Speculator presents The case for and against 3000$ Gold (Part 1 of 2) – GLD posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “A look at both sides of the fence for gold ownership.”

DGB presents What Happens When You Fall in Love with A Dividend Stock? posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “A look at an interesting investing scenario.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

The Financial Blogger presents Best 50 Canadian Dividend Stocks posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “With the plethora of dividend stocks out there, here are the best 50 canadian dividend stock picks.”

mike presents 6 Reasons For Not Reinvesting Dividends posted at Mike, saying, “Reinvesting dividends is a good strategy, but consider the alternatives as well.”

Ryan @ CML presents Invest in Gold, Silver or Precious Metals? posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Gold and other precious metals are at or near record highs. Should you invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals?”

My Journey presents Dividend Portfolio Review posted at My Journey to Millions, saying, “A fellow Personal Finance Blogger goes through my perpetual income machine to determine whether my dividend portfolio is in line with my goals and objectives”

Marc Ryan presents How much do actively-managed mutual funds cost investors? – IndependentInvestor.info posted at IndependentInvestor.info, saying, “In this commentary we seek to quantify the total annual hit to mutual fund investors from the many types of expenses, fees and other costs that actively-managed mutual fund investors must absorb (in the previous commentary in this series we identified different 13 types of costs).We also explain how the impact changes depending on whether fund investments are held in regular (taxable) or tax-free accounts. Be forewarned: the numbers indicate that, because of these costs, the annual hurdle rate facing active fund managers who hope to beat index funds is formidable. In a subsequent commentary, we will give more non-quantitative information with respect to each type of cost.”

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.”

Frank Vertin presents Top 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.

2 Cents presents Are You Ready for Biflation? posted at Balance Junkie, saying, “As the inflation vs. deflation debate rages on, there is a possibility that we may get a little of both at the same time, but in different sectors.”

Carlos Sera presents A Mining Tale « Financial Tales posted at Financial Tales, saying, “I thought it appropriate to release a tale that deals with investing or trading and one of the many pitfalls. Just remember after you read this tale “All that glitters is not gold.””

Dividends4Life presents 9 Dividend Stocks Giving Shareholders A Raise posted at Dividends Value, saying, “When it comes to selecting dividend stocks, one of the most important items to look for is consistency in raising dividends. Sure it is easy to increase dividends when the economy is booming and business is good, but to be consistent a company has to persevere and continue to increase dividends even during the tough times.”

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

Mike Piper presents Researching a Financial Advisor: Form ADV Part II posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “Want to get the dirt on a financial advisor? Ask to see their “Form ADV Part II.”"

Managing Debt

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Protect Your Credit Score With My Fico Review posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Your FICO score is very important to your healthy financial future. Find out this score can help/hinder your financial future.”

Aaron presents The READYdebit Visa Score Tracker posted at Prepaidcards123.

freefrombroke presents myFICO Offering Free FICO Score posted at Free From Broke, saying, “You can now get your official FICO score for free. There is a catch but this can be a great deal for many.”

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.”

PT presents The Different Faces of the Variable Interest Rate posted at Prime Time Money, saying, “Theoretically, any type of debt could have a variable interest rate. But here are some of the more common debts with variable rates and a little bit about how they work.”

Tim Chen presents Best Balance Transfer Card Just Got Better: 0% for 21 months posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch, saying, “Citibank’s Platinum Select credit card has been the standout balance transfer card for some time now, offering 0% rates for 18 months. Now the deal has gotten a bit sweeter with some customers able to get 0% for a full 21 months.”

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

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

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.”

June Tree presents Debt Solutions To Break Out Of The Debt Cycle posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Some ideas for managing debt.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents What Does It Mean to Have “Good” Debt? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Some debt is definitely considered better than other debt. Here we will explore some of the most common types of good debt.”


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?”

June Tree presents How To Book Cheap Flights & Air Travel Deals posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “You can save a good amount of money in air travel by shopping wisely.”

Mariah Gonzales presents 12 New Airline Fees And Creative Ways To Avoid Them posted at Operations Management, saying, “Airlines are now going into the business of gouging us left and right. They blame high gas prices and new security measures, but ultimately the consumer is the one paying. While there aren’t always ways to get around these new airline fees, there are creative ways to get around them.”

Craig Ford presents Holiday Christmas Gift Cards posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “A useful guide that helps readers find the best price on gift cards.”

Pasadena Financial Planner presents Vanguard’s Investment Performance 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.”

nissim ziv presents What Is Your Greatest Weakness? posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “When you apply for a job, it goes without saying that the employer will look for clues on both your strengths and weaknesses. In order to know more abut you, they will be looking for indicators of your weaknesses in the way you answer questions. Some interviewers even ask frankly: “can you please list your three greatest weaknesses”.”

Retirement Planning

Super Saver presents Why to Not Work in Retirement posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Last week, I wrote Why Work in Retirement. This week I offer some reasons on why to not work in retirement.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents 457 Plan For a Successful Retirement posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “When it comes to different types of retirement plans there are more than you might be aware of. Read this article to find out some very important facts about retirement plans.”

Consumer Boomer presents Distribution Rules For Roth IRA posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “The Roth IRA is an excellent tool to invest and save money toward retirement. Find out what unique benefits a Roth IRA offers.”

Ryan @ CML presents How to Make a 401k Hardship Withdrawal posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Tips on how to make a hardship withdrawal from your 401k, and why to avoid it if possible!”

Walter W. Fouse presents Top Ten Large Cap Core Mutual Funds posted at Best No Load Funds, 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.”

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Canadian Retirees Abroad posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “Canadian retirees are fortunate to be citizens of a western country, which gives them a passport capable of visiting most of the world’s countries without a visa.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents How Steady is Your Fixed Income? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “While you consider your retirement portfolio of investments, ask yourself a simple question. How steady is my fixed income portion of the portfolio?”

Risk Management and Insurance

Susan Howe presents How Much Are Your Body Parts Really Worth? posted at The Budget Life Blog, saying, “It’s interesting to find out how much the average body goes for on the body parts market during and after death.”

Kim Snider presents 10 Things You Should Know about Medicare Part D posted at Kimmunications from Kim Snider, saying, “Learn the ins and outs of Medicare Part D coverage and get your Medicare Part D questions answered.”

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)”

Consumer Boomer presents Term Life Quotes posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “When you purchase an insurance policy it is important to know exactly what you are buying. Here is some important information about Term Life quotes.”

Jim & Martha presents Is Vacation Trip Cancellation Insurance Worth It? posted at Wanderlust Journey.

Jeff Rose, CFP presents You Never Know When It Might Rain, Better Have Your Umbrella (Policy) Handy posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Personal umbrella insurance policies are often misinterpreted by consumer and are surrounded by myths. Here are some important facts you need to know.”


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


Ryan @ MFN presents Challenge Property Taxes posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “Tips on how to successfully challenge your property tax assessment to lower your property tax bill.”

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.”

Intelligent Speculator presents Please do not let the Bush tax cuts expire posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “It may be easier to take the popular position and have the Bush tax cuts expire, but I personally think otherwise.”

Steve presents Tax Audit Lawyer | 2009 Taxes posted at 2009 Taxes, saying, “Planning ahead to avoid a tax audit and having a quality tax attorney ready to represent you when an audit does occur, are very important personal and business steps.”

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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