Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Facebook IPO Post Mortem Analysis Edition

Posted May 20th, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

So…Facebook’s IPO was on Friday…and it was one of the least exciting IPOs I’ve ever seen.

The hype leading up to it was off the charts. This was supposed to be one of the biggest IPOs in years. It opened pretty stinkin’ close to my prediction. And then slowly dropped back to the IPO price – $38.

I expected a big pop, but the fact that there really wasn’t much of one shows that the investment bankers did their job and priced the IPO well. A big pop would mean that they underpriced the stock and FB wouldn’t have received as much money as it should have.

Now, I betcha we see a big drop when the market opens tomorrow. I still think the stock is way overpriced.

Top Posts of the Week

Kurt Fischer @ Money Counselor writes Jobless Youth Take Action – Slammed by the terrible trio of an anemic job market, lower starting pay, and record student debt, young people are organizing to seize the day. Through initiatives like Campaign for Young America and Fix Young America, 20-somethings resolve to find or create jobs for themselves, move out of their parents’ basements, and resurrect America as the land of opportunity.

Lena Gott @ Taxes and Stuff writes President Obama’s 2011 Tax Return – You can learn a LOT about someone by looking at their tax return. Wanna know how much Barack Obama made in 2011 from his job as President and from book royalties? Wanna know what kinds of tax deductions he takes and how he allocates his charitable contributions? Read on to learn these and other highlights from Obama’s 2011 income tax return. You’ll even be able to pull up several years’ worth of presidential tax returns to see them for yourself!

TRL @ The Retired Landlord writes Important Traits of a Successful Landlord – Find out what it takes to be a successful landlord. Do you have these important traits to make a profit in real estate investing?

Sustainable PF @ Sustainable Personal Finance writes Green Tip #242: Sharing Toys – Share toys, keep your baby stimulated but save money.

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes Keeping Up With The Joneses In The Digital Age – As the internet has evolved and we truly enter the digital age as a society, the biggest enemy of our personal finances has been quietly growing stronger and stronger. No it’s not inflation. It’s not government taxes. It’s something much less obvious. It’s those pesky Joneses!

Earth and Money @ Earth and Money writes Planning a Green Frugal Wedding – Guests – At most weddings, there is a fixed cost associated with every guest that attends – food, dishes, venue, all these things are related to the number of guests that you have. So that begs the question – do you really want to invite your dad’s cousin’s nephew’s boyfriend who winds up getting drunk at the open bar?

Dave @ Financial Conflict Coach writes How To Map Your Financial Relationships – A Financial Relationship Map helps you create a current snapshot of where your money goes, where it comes from and how strong or weak these financial relationships are. It’s not about numbers- it’s about relationships.

Brent Pittman @ On Target Coaching writes S.H.I.E.L.D. Your Finances from Total Destruction – Protect your finances like Nick Fury and the Avengers are protecting the earth from total destruction by using the S.H.I.E.L.D. method.

Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living writes How to Achieve Balance and Do What You Care About – How well do your values and what you care about line up with what you actually spend your time and money on? My definition of life balance here is based on if you’re doing what’s important to you, or other things which are throwing your balance off.

Jeff Rose @ Life Insurance by Jeff writes Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance – How Does it Work? – For those who cannot get approved for a basic term life policy, guaranteed acceptance life insurance is the solution to their problem.

Sean @ One Smart Dollar writes How is My Credit Limit Determined? – Understanding how your credit line is determined can be a great way to start understanding your finances.

Aaron @ Aaron Hung.com writes How to be extraordinary – Have you ever stopped and wonder how people like Mozart, Shakespeare, DaVinci and even Jordan became such an influence in our everyday lives? How is it that they became so creative and talented that it seems almost impossible for anyone to try to be like them?

JB @ My University Money writes Are Banks Really In It For You? – 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.

Young @ Young And Thrifty writes RRSP vs RESP Accounts – 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.

Khaleef Crumbley @ Faithful With A Few writes 4 Reasons Why I Will Not File For Bankruptcy – To file for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. Even though it has become more common, here are 4 reasons why I will never do it!

Kim @ Money and Risk writes How to Get a Hot New IPO and Why You Did Not Get One – Ever wonder how you can get shares of a hot IPO – initial stock offering? Here’s the scoop.

Lance @ Money Life & More writes How I Paid for My Hobby – Hobbies are a lot of fun, but there is one thing that prohibits many from taking part in their favorite hobby as much as they would like to. Cost. Hobbies, while fun, can be expensive. In this post I describe how I paid for my hobby.

Echo @ Boomer & Echo writes How Young Adults Can Still Thrive Financially – It’s hard to see the silver lining for today’s youth, but luckily there are still plenty of opportunities for young adults to thrive financially.

SB @ One Cent at a Time writes How to shop at Garage Sales – A Guide to Garage Sale Shopping – A shoppers guide to garage sales. What to buy, what not to buy and tips for a successful treasure hunt at a garage sale is included in this post.

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Big Fat J.P. Morgan Losses Edition

Posted May 13th, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

Last week JP Morgan Chase announced it was sitting on at least $2.3 billion in paper losses stemming from trading naked credit default swaps. These high risk derivatives are analogous to buying insurance on a house you don’t own – doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Initially credit default swaps (CDS) were introduced as a way to hedge against defaults on debt – bonds in particular. However, the practice of trading naked CDS (credit default swaps in which you do not have an interest in the underlying debt) became more and more popular.

JPMorgan Chase, one of the biggest financial institutions in the world, is now facing scrutiny for the huge losses it has amassed from trading these high-risk derivatives.

Top Posts of the Week

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Book Review – The Art of Non-Conformity – A review of the book The Art of Non-Conformity, which takes a look at ways to live your life that aren’t in line with the normal approach most people take.

MMD @ MyMoneyDesign writes What Did You Learn From Working as a Teenager? – Was your job as a teenager a complete waste of time, or did you learn some incredibly valuable life lessons that prepared you later on in life to be a better working professional? I present to you 17 lessons I learned from my early days of employment that I still carry with me today.

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Politics and economy in the Eurozone part 1 – The people have spoken in France and Greece. They do not like this austerity business one little bit. Can you blame them? After all it was not the people who caused the problem so why should they suffer while the banks get off scot-free?

TRL @ The Retired Landlord writes Different Places to Save a Down Payment – Find out the many different accounts or investment places that you can use to save a down payment for a rental property.

Teacher Man @ Young And Thrifty writes Choosing the Latest Investing Fad – Don’t you love the guys/gals that get their investment advice from the water cooler? You know the guys and gals that are constantly hopping on the bandwagon of whatever terrible investment advice that their co-workers heard on the radio on the way in this morning?

Echo @ Boomer & Echo writes Pitfalls Of Chasing The Highest Dividend Yield – Choosing a dividend stock involves a lot more than simply looking for the highest dividend yield. Here are some of the pitfalls to avoid:

Harry Campbell @ Your Personal Finance Pro writes Traveling on a Budget: A Review of My Vacation to Maui – I never realized the value of a vacation until I started working full time. You could even say I took my travels to Thailand, Hungary & Turkey for granted. My trips during college were an awesome experience that I would recommend to anyone at any age. But for working professionals, who get anywhere from 2-4 weeks off a year, vacation time becomes a precious commodity. I get two weeks a year but I think I would be a lot happier with four

Sean @ One Smart Dollar writes 8 High Paying Jobs Without a College Degree Needed – Not everyone has the means or want to go to college. Luckily for them there are still plenty of jobs that you can make over $100,000 while not having a college degree

Earth and Money @ Earth and Money writes How NOT to Make a Financial Decision – When it comes to making financial decisions, it is imperative that you have a clear and focused mind. Given how hard we work for our money, a poorly made financial decision can come back to haunt us many times over.

SB @ One Cent at a Time writes Top Risks for Investing in Oil and Natural Gas – Every investment opportunity has its share of risks. This article talks about the risks of investing in oil and natural gas sector, geared towards beginner investors.

Lance @ Money Life & More writes Rental Property – The Financial Side – There are many numbers that are important when making a decision on buying a rental property. The first one that we calculated was how much we would offer for the townhouse. It was listed at $73,500 which may not seem like a lot but would probably be about 5,000 under market value IF it was in great shape and ready to rent out. It wasn’t, so we definitely would not be offering anywhere near that amount.

J.P. @ Novel Investor writes Remember Your Investment Horizon – Fears in Europe, slowing economy, unemployment concerns, and a few hundred other data sets all contribute to the daily swings of the market. When the markets start acting crazy, remembering your investment horizon will bring everything back into perspective.

Other Carnivals And Mentions This Week

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – The Grueling 26.2 Edition

Posted April 30th, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

One of my goals this year was to run a marathon. That goal is officially accomplished!

This weekend I ran my first marathon. I can definitely say it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

It was totally worth doing, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever do one again…I’m going to be sore for a month. (If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the ice on my knees in the background)

Top Posts of the Week

Joe Morgan @ Simple Debt-Free Finance writes 3 Ways To Negotiate a Credit Card Debt Settlement Yourself. – If you’re one of the millions of credit card holders who has found themselves buried in credit card debt with a balance you can’t hope to pay down, then you may be wondering if you can Negotiate Your Credit Card settlement yourself. Well, it is possible to do, but it’s not easy. Here’s how.

Timothy @ Wealth Artisan writes Budgeting Tools To Reach Your Goals – Are you looking for tools to help you budget? We have a list of the best budgeting tools including free budgeting tools to help you reach your savings goals.

Dr. Dean @ The Millionaire Nurse Blog writes 100 Words On How To Become “Well To Do!” – Want to be financially successful? Check out this short mantra, and repeat it daily.

Sustainable PF @ Sustainable Personal Finance writes Green Tip #240 – Rain Barrel – The 240th Green Tip: Use a Rain Barrel to collect rain water and reduce your water usage costs.

harry campbell @ Your Personal Finance Pro writes Getting Away From Internet Job Searches: Networking Tips for Young Professionals – With unemployment at 8.2% as of March 2012, many Americans find themselves relying on the same unsuccessful job hunting tactics. Recent graduates are stuck looking for work in an extremely saturated job market where supply is high and demand is low. So what makes one candidate stand out from another? When I entered the workforce in the summer of 2009, I applied online for every job I could find and unfortunately didn’t hear back from any of them. But I also went to every career fair I coul

TRL @ The Retired Landlord writes Why I am Investing in Real Estate – Investing in real estate is not a easy commitment, but doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. Find out why I am investing in real estate.

Dave @ Financial Conflict Coach writes What’s The BEST Financial Advice I Can Give? – When someone asks for financial advice, is that really what they’re asking for? In my experience, they’re really asking for something else- options

Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes Is the Cash Method Helpful? – Is an all cash method of budgeting the best way to control your spending? Find out if the envelope method is right for you.

Sean @ One Smart Dollar writes What are the Best Days to Buy Specific Items – Did you know that you can save money just buy making purchases on a specific day of the week or month?

MMD @ MyMoneyDesign writes Before Retirement, Eliminate Your Biggest Expense – Have you ever considered the benefits of paying off your mortgage early as a way to save BIG during retirement and reduce the amount of income you’ll need? If you’ve got a lot of time between then and now, even better! Let’s crunch some numbers and see how much extra it would take to eliminate your mortgage payments altogether.

Earth and Money @ Earth and Money writes Comparison of Foreign ATM Fees Charged by Canadian Banks – A comparison of the foreign ATM fees charged by all the big five Canadian banks, and a few alternative options as well. With a little insight and planning, you can go abroad and spend your money the right way – enjoying your trip!

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Regulate the people, not the banks! – Read why it is not the institution that the government need to go after, but those few selfish individuals in the company!

Princess P @ Portfolio Princess writes Smart, Savvy, And On A Budget – Sometimes sticking to a budget is no easy task, but there are ways to make saving money easy by following these simple budgeting tips.

Busy Exec @ The “Busy Executive” Money Blog writes The Importance of Rebalancing your Portfolio – Regular rebalancing means that you are in fact buying low and selling high. If left un-adjusted, a portfolio will either become too risky, or too conservative.

PPlan @ Provident Plan writes Top 5 Mortgage Mistakes – Learn about the top five mortgage mistakes that you can make when buying a new house or condo.

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes Thank You For Irresponsible Credit Card Usage – There are many personal finance blogs that tell you to cut up your credit cards or exercise greater willpower with credit cards. While that may be good advice depending on your situation, I want to personally thank the countless people who are irresponsible with their credit card usage.

Brent Pittman @ On Target Coaching writes Planting an Urban Garden: Frugal or a Hobby? – This year with a bit of our tax money, we’ll going to invest in a small urban garden. Our premise is that it will save us a lot of money on basic vegetables and herbs that we buy almost weekly. Are we being frugal or just fooling ourselves into another hobby?

Teacher Man @ My University Money writes How To Use Your Liberal Arts Degree To Get a Government Job – I have been someone negative about the job prospects out there for people like me with a liberal arts degree before. While it is still not what I recommend for most people coming out of high school, it can be a valuable tool in your career tool belt if leveraged correctly.

Echo @ Boomer & Echo writes Pros And Cons Of Waiting To Buy A Home – Should you buy a home now and take advantage of ultra-low interest rates, or should you wait until housing prices come down from their record levels? Here’s the pros and cons of waiting to buy a home:

SB @ One Cent at a Time writes How to Start with Managing Personal Finance – Most critical and hardest barrier to managing personal finance is getting started. A guide to help you get going with the first few baby steps towards better management of your personal finance.

SB @ Finance Product Reviews writes Everbank Review – A Bank Which Pledges Yeild – Not often we come across banks who has rate pledges, EverBank announces at its home site that the rates for its account holders would remain in top territory. Read moe in this review.

Other Carnivals And Mentions This Week

Have a great week – I’m off to ice my knees!

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Wal-Mart Bribery Scandal Edition

Posted April 22nd, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

Wal-Mart, one of the largest companies in the world, has just found itself in the middle of a massive bribery scandal.

Allegedly, bribes totaling more than $24 million were paid to Mexican officials to speed up the permitting process to open new stores. This was allegedly hidden from the corporate office via good old fashioned accounting fraud.

Supposedly, then CEO of the Mexican subsidiary, Eduardo Castro-Wright, personally signed off on the bribes. Castro-Wright is currently the vice chairman of the parent company.

Business Insider has a good overview of the allegations.

With all of the PR problems that Wal-Mart has been dealing with, this is the last thing the company needs. I’m interested to see how this effects the stock price when the markets open tomorrow morning.

Top Posts of the Week

Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living writes 10 Personal Finance Tips for Young Adults – As he gets another year closer to turning 30, Kraig examines what he’s learned about personal finance in his twenties and shares 10 tips on personal finance that he’s learned so far.

Princess P @ Portfolio Princess writes Why Females are Better Investors – Women are better investors because they take a calculated approach to risk and investing in the stock market. Low volatility portfolios come with patience.

MMD @ MyMoneyDesign writes What Would You Do With An Extra $1,000? – Having just received $1,000 from my previous escrow balance, should I totally blow it or do something responsible? Let’s explore the options and see all the things you could do with an extra $1,000.

Sean @ One Smart Dollar writes Gym Memberships – Using Money To Motivate You – All of us need ways to motivate ourselves to get things done. One of the biggest motivators is money. Thank you for your consideration.

Earth and Money @ Earth and Money writes What Do You Need in Your Cage? – While listening to a podcast about zoos, I was touched by a fascinating concept that can be related back to society, lifestyle, money and happiness. You see, at some level, we are all just animals in a cage.

SB @ One Cent at a Time writes Basics of Insurance: Why we Need Insurance? – What is insurance? Insurance is all about playing defense, where as an investment is an offense. You protect yourself and your asset by having insurance and investments take care of future needs.

Brent Pittman @ On Target Coaching writes What Do You Teach Your Kids About Money? – What do you teach your children about money? A recent survey by T. Rowe Price revealed the state of the union regarding financial literacy and what we teach our children about personal finances.

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes Establishing Spending Priorities – Depending on your financial situation, you may need to make some sacrifices. At the same time, you don’t want to let your budgeting prevent you from enjoying the things you love. To stay happy you need to establish spending priorities and spend a bit where it makes you happy.

Echo @ Boomer & Echo writes 10 Fees That Are Worth The Money – Some fees just can’t be avoided, but that doesn’t mean every fee is designed to rip you off. You can feel good about paying fees when they provide enough benefit to justify the cost. Here are 10 fees that are worth the money:

Control your Cash writes The Multimillionaires Who Need Your Money - Why are we subsidizing Major League Baseball owners?

Jason P. @ One Money Design writes Money Saving Ideas for Spring in the Home, Landscaping and Kitchen - Ideas for saving money sometimes comes too late. Let’s make sure that’s not the case this spring! Here are some tips from the biggest spring-cleaning project I’ve had in a while!

Other Carnivals And Mentions This Week

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Spring Cleaning Edition

Posted April 15th, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

It may be time to clean out the gutters.

 

Spring has sprung! That means nice warm weather….and yard work. Bleh.

Every year I think about how nice it would be to pay someone to do my lawn. And then my financial side reminds me how much that would cost over the course of the summer.

I guess I know what I’ll be doing every weekend again this year.

Top Posts of the Week

Ben @ The Financial Reader posted Do You Know What Payday Loans Charge? - ”Payday loan rates are usually quoted for the term of the loan, making the rates seem lower than they actually are. Readers will be surprised just how costly payday loans are when the rates are annualized.”

Laura Edgar @ NerdWallet posted Western Union WU Pay: Better Option, Not Perfect - ”WU Pay may come to serve as a viable financial product for the unbanked. Much like prepaid debit cards, the program provides an alternative means of conducting online transactions. ”

Jason P. @ One Money Design posted Gas Reward Cards and a Few Other Ways to Cut the Cost of Gas - ”Gas prices are on the rise so consider these tips to cut the cost of gas and use the money for more important financial goals.”

Super Saver @ My Wealth Builder posted Earn Large, Live Small - ”Here’s my simple strategy to building wealth: maximize and grow earnings; live at least 20% below those earnings. Building wealth is all about earning large and living small. To me, many people make the mistake of doing the opposite: earning small and living large.”

Your Life For Less posted Buy Current Technology, Not State of the Art - ”How to save money on technology by analyzing your needs and buying a product that fits those needs”

Dr. Dean @ The Millionaire Nurse posted Save on Gas: At The Expense Of Our Marriage? - ”A Mars and Venus twist on the “improving your gas mileage” article.”

Joe Morgan @ Simple Debt Free Finance posted 3 Ways To Negotiate Credit Card Debt Yourself. - ”If you’re one of the millions of credit card holders who has found themselves buried in credit card debt with a balance you can’t hope to pay down, then you may be wondering how to negotiate your credit card debt away. Here are 3 possible debt payment solutions to offer to your credit card company when you make the call.”

Other Carnivals And Mentions This Week

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Happy Easter Edition

Posted April 8th, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

Happy Easter everyone!

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you.” – Matthew 28:1-7

Top Posts of the Week

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Thank Goodness for Health Insurance! – A discussion of why I’m happy to have health insurance now that I’m sick, and some advice to others on how to handle health emergencies

Khaleef Crumbley @ Faithful With A Few writes Roth Vs Traditional IRA: Which One Is Best For You? – Roth vs Traditional IRA is an important distinction By understanding the differences, you can increase your retirement nest egg by hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Dr. Dean @ The Millionaire Nurse Blog writes 24 Stupid Things People Do With Their Money! – Have you ever done anything stupid that cost you money? Check out my list of stupid things not to do and see how well you’re doing.

MMD @ MyMoneyDesign writes Which is Better – Term or Permanent Life Insurance? – Part 2 – Should you buy cheaper Term insurance that will expire or the more expensive Permanent insurance that is guaranteed for life? Let me share with you two real quotes I received, and we’ll crunch the numbers to figure out which one is the better alternative.

SB @ One Cent at a Time writes What is Obama Care and How Does it Affect Us? – In-depth analysis of President Obama’s health care reform bill, fondly called Obamacare. Is it going to change the present health care chaos around us, or it’s blow to your freedom and liberty?

Busy Exec @ The “Busy Executive” Money Blog writes 5 Important Ways to Track Your Financial Progress – How many different ways do you track your financial progress? Not different programs. I use a series of views. They are instrumental for my peace of mind and awareness.

Karl @ Cult Of Money writes Spring Training for your Money – The point of spring training for baseball is so that players can shake the rust off after a long off-season, work on their fundamentals, and lets coaches evaluate what players will work best on the baseball team. I’ve written with the baseball analogy with respect to fantasy baseball before. If you follow the same process for real baseball and have a spring training for your money, you’ll be ready for opening day too. Just remember though, there’s actually no off-season for your finance

Earth and Money @ Earth and Money writes Stop Price Shopping for Groceries Now! – For most people, going to multiple grocery stores to take advantage of sales on different items is a complete waste of time and resources.

Jason P. @ One Money Design writes How to Dress Well on Less - A woman’s wardrobe can often get quite costly; however, it does not have to be so. A lady can dress well on less!

Darrow Kirkpatrick @ Can I Retire Yet writes Concentrating in a Single Investment or Asset Class: How Much is Too Much of a Good Thing? - How much is too much of a single investment or asset class? This is an interesting question and not one that you’ll find an easy answer to from the usual financial sources. There probably is no definite answer, without modeling all the details of an individual situation, if then. But there is a lot that can be said on the larger topic of what is adequate diversification.…


Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Mega Millions Edition

Posted April 1st, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

Three extraordinarily lucky people have split the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history – a whopping $656 million. Each winning ticket is worth a $154,031,359 lump-sum payout or $8.2 million annually over 26 years.

If you were one of the millions that played and didn’t win, don’t take it too hard. You were 20,000 more likely to die in a car accident. You also had better odds of getting struck by lightning 6 times and surviving.

Top Posts of the Week

Paul Vachon @ The Frugal Toad writes How Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Could Revolutionize Travel – The average automobile sits idle 92% of the day and costs an average of $7319 to own, operate, and maintain each year according to the AAA. Peer-to-peer car share allows people to rent their own vehicles to others when they are not being used.

J.P. @ Novel Investor writes First-Time Home Buyer Credit – Is It Time To Repay? – The first-time home buyer credit provided tax help to anyone who was eligible. The bad news is, it may have to be repaid.

Steve @ The Loonie Bin writes Predicting The Future Of Your Investments – Will the companies you invest in now be around in the future?

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes It’s Tax Time, Yet Again! – A look at several different approaches to filing your taxes, as we approach prime tax season

Dividend Growth Investor @ Dividend Growth Investor writes 17 Cheap Dividend Aristocrats on Sale – I identified 17 attractively valued dividend stocks, which offer above average yields and grow dividends over time above rate of inflation.

MMD @ MyMoneyDesign writes Why I Finally Sold My Apple Stock – After its recent rapid price increase, I finally sold my shares of Apple. Was I insane? Or was I just removing emotion from the situation and taking advantage of a terrific opportunity to lock into those capital gains?

Sean Bryant @ One Smart Dollar writes $4.00 Gas Prices Will Bring New Recession – This articles talks about the effects the $4.00 and above gasoline will have on the US economy is it continues for an extended period of time.

Dr. Dean @ The Millionaire Nurse Blog writes Adding A Gas Efficient Car: Does It Ever Make Sense? – With gas prices where they are, when is it a good time to go fuel efficient? I ran the numbers, you’ll be surprised to see the results.

Shilpan @ Street Smart Finance writes A Surefire Way to Secure Your Retirement – Are you on a financial treadmill? I talked to a friend recently, and the conversation made me think about why most Americans depend on social security for their retirement. Social security income represents about 41% of income of elderly. And, 15% of our seniors depend entirely on the social security income.

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes Starting A Side Business – Have you ever considered starting a side business to earn some extra money. Read Jeremy’s story of what led him to start his own side business.

Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living writes Are You Personally Accountable? – I take a look at a tough subject to a lot of us, personal accountability and do an honest analysis of myself. I give myself a C+. I also reference my favorite book on the topic, QBQ by John G. Miller and wouldn’t you know it, he stopped by to pay this post a visit!

Earth and Money @ Earth and Money writes Can Frugality Trump Honesty? – Have you ever lied to get a deal? Even just a little white lie or a fib? In the end, human nature sets us up for self-preservation.

Karl @ CultOfMoney writes Can snowboarding help you master your money? – Learning to snowboard and managing your money have many similar aspects. Both require dedication and effort in order to master. At times, you’ll fall in both, and it will hurt. You need some equipment in both cases, and may not know what is best when you’re starting out. Both have ways to protect you in case of an emergency or catastrophe.

The Top Personal Finance Post of The Week

And my pick of the week is……

Boomer & Echo’s post Why Leasing A Car Makes Sense For Young Families

But it’s not pick of the week because I liked it. It’s pick of the week because I’m dumbfounded at advice this post gives.

For young families looking for a safe new vehicle to get around in, leasing can help in the first few years while you get a handle on your finances.

No. Leasing is one of the worst financial decisions you can make and is a great way to set yourself up for failure!

That’s like saying – using credit cards can help in the first few years while you get a handle on your finances. What?!

They offer other golden pieces of advice such as:

Leasing a car can be a smart short term strategy for young families if you can’t afford to buy today.

If you can’t afford to buy today then you need to find a cheaper car. Even if you have to finance it, financing a car is always cheaper than leasing a car.

You have three big things working against you when you lease a car. First, you’re driving a brand new car off the lot. That means you’re the lucky one that gets to bear the bulk of the depreciation. Second, there’s a 99% chance that the money factor used to calculate your lease payment is higher than the interest rate you would have gotten if you financed the car. Third, when your lease is up, you’ll most likely owe a sizable chunk of cash for mileage overages and damages (they are extremely picky when they inspect your car.)

Leasing a car makes sense for young families? Seriously?

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Rising Gas Prices Edition

Posted March 25th, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

With gas prices there seems to be this magical barrier. $3.75 per gallon? No big deal. $4.00 per gallon? Double dip recession! End of the world!

In the summer of 2008, gas prices in the U.S. hit their highest point ever – a national average of $4.11 per gallon. Once gas passed $4 per gallon, many people started trading in their trucks and SUVs for more fuel efficient cars and many businesses started looking into redesigning their fleets.

Gas is once again nearing the magic freak out point. As of today, the national average for regular unleaded is $3.90.

Time to get a hybrid?

Top Posts of the Week

MMD @ MyMoneyDesign writes Would Dollar Cost Averaging Have Saved You From “The Lost Decade”? – The S&P 500 decreased by 23% during “The Lost Decade”. Would the strategy of dollar cost averaging have saved your investment portfolio from being reduced by this much? Let’s crunch the numbers and find out for ourselves.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes How to Get Paid $200 a Month Testing Websites – Website testers are paid $10 to record their opinions of a website’s appearance and ease of use. It’s a pretty easy job and there a number of firms currently hiring…

Jon the Saver @ Free Money Wisdom writes Buy Disability Insurance or Go Broke! – Disability insurance is a topic that most people don’t know much about. It can protect your income in times of crisis during your life!

A Blinkin @ Funancials writes Friends Don’t Let Friends Ignore Inflation – Lets say you have two friends. One of your friends keeps stealing money from the other. Wouldn’t you feel an obligation to warn your one friend about the other? Of course you would! It’s the same obligation I feel when I think about your money and inflation.

Corey @ 20s Finances writes My College Mistakes Everyone Should Avoid – My college experience was a blast and I learned a lot of financial lessons the hard way. I believe college students grow and mature faster as college students then most other times in their life. Students arrive on campus pumped up for all the good times to come, so oblivious to their responsibilities.

John @ Married (with Debt) writes Stress at Work? Take an Office Vacation – Experiencing stress at work? Find out how to reclaim part of your day and take a vacation in your office. It’s not hard.

Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes Keeping All Your Eggs in One Basket is Risky – My sister and I used to gather eggs from our henhouse for breakfast.

Kevin @ Thousandaire writes How To Turn Your House into Income – If you want to make some money off your house, consider renting out a room. That way you keep your place to live and make some money of it at the same time.

YFS @ Your Finances Simplified writes How Friends Can Ruin Your Finances – Have you ever had the kind of roommate that eats everything in the fridge even though he didn’t buy the groceries, or come up short on rent and ask you to cover for him?

Shaun @ Smart Family Finance writes Should Families Buy a House or Rent an Apartment: The Risks of Homeownership Compared to Renting – Understanding the risks of homeownership can also help you implement strategies to reduce those risks.

The Top Personal Finance Post of The Week

And my pick of the week is……

The post by Ken Faulkenberry @ AAAMP BlogI Lost 100% of My Investment and I’m Happy I Did!

Ken learned three huge mistakes many investors make.

  • I was greedy.
  • I was lazy.
  • I followed the crowd.

It cost him $1,000 to learn, but has likely saved him much more than that over the years.

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – $98 Billion Question Edition

Posted March 18th, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

Tomorrow morning Apple is holding a conference call to discuss the result of a series of internal conversations regarding its $98 billion war chest.

It was no secret that Steve Jobs was adamant on keeping a rainy day fund – most likely as an overcompensation for the company nearly going bankrupt in the 90s. However, the new man in charge Tim Cook has said, ”it’s more than we need to run the company.”

There has been an increasing demand to return cash to the shareholders. This could take place directly in the form of a dividend or indirectly via a stock repurchase program.

Needless to say, the outcome of the call will be plastered across the news tomorrow.

Top Posts of the Week

Scott @ Mortgage 1A posted FHA Loan Requirements and Underwriting Guidelines – The Federal Housing Administration, commonly known as “FHA,” is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.) The program was created for low income individuals, or families that might need a little help in the homeownership process.

Aloysa @ My Broken Coin posted Some Jobs Pay More Than You Think – The other day I overheard a conversation in the park while waiting for my pug to sniff a dry bush on the curb. Two girls were power walking, passing by me, discussing something animatedly.

Dividend Ninja @ The Dividend Ninja posted Building My Portfolio for Retirement, with Dividends and Bonds – In my mid to late 40′s, my focus of late has been more on planning for retirement and how I will generate a consistent monthly income to fund my retirement. I find myself in between the need to increase my portfolio through capital appreciation, but also for the need to generate monthly income in retirement.

Christopher @ This That and The MBA posted Side Hustle: The Real Mobile Hot Spot – Would you do this for a side hustle?

Shaun @ Smart Family Finance posted When Should You Rent and Not Buy? – Renting can save you money if you follow the rules and understand when you should rent instead of buy.

Christopher @ This That and The MBA posted What to do Wednesday in Personal Finance? Is the Adjustable Rate Mortgage becoming extinct? – What do you think about the future of the ARM? Come take a look at my thoughts.

Erika @ Newlyweds on a Budget posted How to make money as a mystery shopper – Mystery Shopping has a lot of perks. It may not be a lot of pay, but you can get free groceries, oil changes, restaurant meals and more!

Early Retirement Investments posted Is It Better to Bank With a Credit Union? - Read my viewpoints on why credit union may be the better of the two

Dr. Dean @ The Millionaire Nurse Blog posted Killer Jobs: Do You Have One? – Is your job killing you, one keystroke at the time? What can you do when your job requires you to sit for long hours?

AverageJoe @ Average Joe’s Money Blog posted The Passive Income Lie – Everyone’s excited about passive income. Heck, so am I. But is the promise of “work hard now so you can play later” a goal you should pursue?

Steve @ The Loonie Bin posted Investing In Your Health – If it’s important for an investor to make quality investment decisions to efficiently expand their wealth, is it not just as important to make healthy decisions to expand the lifespan of the investor?

Ashley @ Money Talks Coaching posted How Has Your Childhood Affected Your Money Habits? – Think back on your childhood and choose one word to describe the feelings you had about money as a child.

Steve @ Money Infant posted How to Quickly Pay Off Your Credit Cards – Do you want a simple formula for paying off your credit cards as quickly as possible? This is what I did to get rid of $60k worth of debt in just 33 months.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance posted What to Invest in? – Are you wondering what to invest in? Where to invest your money? Find out what you should not be doing.

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Cutest Kids Ever Edition

Posted March 4th, 2012 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

This weekend we did 6 month pictures with the boys. I may be biased, but these are the cutest freakin’ babies I have ever seen!

The pictures totally capture each one’s personality. Ian, who’s personality is perfectly captured on the top right, is high strung and lets you know exactly how he is feeling. He wasn’t very happy that we were forcing him to sit still for pictures and he was letting us know with his incessant arm waving and angry babbling.

Noah, with the toothy grin on the bottom right, is our laid back boy who smiles at almost every occasion. He’s always happy and super easy going.

Like the picture above says – we truly are twice blessed.

Top Posts of the Week

My Wealth Builder posted Roth IRA Contributions for Higher Income Individuals - ”In 2010, Congress removed the income limitation to do a conversion to a Roth IRA. This created a loophole for high income people unable to make Roth IRA contributions due to income limitations.”

Dr. Dean – The Millionaire Nurse posted Eight Reasons Why Single Women Buying A Home Is Nuts! - ”Twenty percent of single women own homes, compared to just 10% of single men. Most experts think single women are drawn to the comfort/security that comes from living in your own place. Financially, is buying a home a good idea?”

Simple Debt Free Finance posted Save Money on Insurance – Skip These Insurance Policies You Don’t Need! - ”Some insurance policies are a waste of money, and some are essential. The trick is knowing which is which. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most unnecessary insurance policies available.”

All About Living With Life posted 10 Wise Quotes About Money

Nerd Wallet posted NerdWallet’s Top 10 Personal Finance Apps – “We’ve chosen a few of our favorite finance apps that make money management a little more convenient.”

Modest Money posted My Decision To Live In An Expensive City - ”As I prepare for my move at the end of the month, I’ve been thinking more and more about my decision to stay close to Vancouver. It is a very expensive city to live in, but I feel at home here. Am I a fool for staying here when I can’t really afford it? Maybe, but I just can’t see myself living anywhere else at this point in my life.”

The Busy Executive posted Why I’m NOT paying off my mortgage early - ”Keep in mind that just because you don’t pay off your mortgage early doesn’t mean you are incapable. I soon expect to have enough cash liquidity in reserve to retire my mortgage instantly if I should change my mind. I’m holding off because I believe that I will have better investment options down the road.”

The Top Personal Finance Post of The Week

And my pick of the week is……

Control Your Cash’s post DOW hits 7634! What now?

You win because you hit one of my biggest pet peevs:

CBS News has a video clip with the wonderfully objective title: “Dow 13,000: Time to Invest?”, which itself summarizes why financial illiteracy is pandemic. Yes, first let’s overpublicize a rise, however modest, in the Dow level. Then, let’s imply that people should buy stocks. Because that’s when you want to buy, when prices are rising.

I’ve wanted to punch my monitor more than a few times this week because of stories like this. I am in 100% agreement with your wonderfully sarcastic post.

Blog Carnivals and Other Mentions This Week

Carnival of Money Pros at Money Pros
Yakezie Carnival at Not Made of Money
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Totally Money at Afford Anything
Canadian Finance Carnival at Canadian Finance Blog
Carnival of Wealth at Control Your Cash
Carnival of Retirement at Money Reasons
Financial Carnival for Young Adults at 20′s Finances