This week two of the major U.S. stock market indices made a run towards their highest levels in years. The Dow closed last week at 12,949.87, just 46 points short of 13,000 which we haven’t seen since May 2008. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 closed at 1,361.23 just a hair short of it’s 4 -year high.
Much of this is fueled by positive news regarding the Greek bailout. Consumer spending is rising, the financial services industry is picking up again and unemployment is falling. 2012 is off to a good start!
Top Posts of the Week
Living In Volatility posted Should I Cheat on my Taxes? What are the Chances of Getting Audited? – “The odds of getting audited are broken down allowing the reader to asses if it is worth cheating.”
Modest Money posted Starbucks Coffee Prices Brewing A Hole In Your Wallet – “Most coffee drinkers are sure to know that their daily habit adds up to a lot of money. What they might not realize is how that habit may be affecting their other financial decisions.”
Start Talking Cents posted How To Save Money On Your Television Bill – “I was researching the options for television entertainment and was blown away by the cost. They want me to pay how much just to watch television? No way, I decided, so I started looking for a better option”
Colin Robertson posted Do I Qualify for the National Mortgage Settlement? – “It’s the largest multi-state settlement since the Tobacco Settlement back in 1998, related to robosigning allegations that took place over the past several years.”
Sweating The Big Stuff posted Lending Club Returns at 15.87% in February 2012 – “I started investing in Lending Club in 2011, and so far my returns have been stellar. Using some smart criteria, I’ve been able to crush the average”
Master the Art of Saving posted The Downside of Using Credit Cards Responsibly – “I wasn’t paying any interest because I was paying it off right away and I was also earning tons of rewards. Was? Things don’t always go as smoothly as we expect them to.”
Control Your Cash posted A Whole New Way To Diversify – “We give the Control Your Cash treatment to Master Limited Partnerships, an unheralded security that can pay big dividends. That is to say, disbursements.”
Affiliate Help posted Can You Handle Money Success? – “Once you have achieved your money goals, then new challenges lay ahead. Can you still maintain a healthy and happy life?”
Faithful With A Few posted Should We Get A Gym Membership? – “Cancel a gym membership. Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, many people fall victim to scams and end up losing money. Learn how to properly end your contract, and also help us decide if we should start one!”
The Top Personal Finance Post of The Week
And my pick of the week is……
Money Infant’s post My Secret to Get Rich Quick (Enough) – “Getting rich quick is a nice dream and for almost everyone out there that is all it is…a dream. You can get rich quick enough though by following a conservative and consistent savings and investment strategy. Remember that only 2.5% of the U.S. population are millionaires so anyone who has reached that level of wealth has gotten rich quick enough (i.e. before they’ve died).”
I wish more people understood this concept. With only a few exceptions, the only way most people will ever become wealthy is by living below their means and using the excess to save and invest wisely.
Blog Carnivals, Giveaways and Other Mentions This Week
Yakezie Carnival at 101 Centavos
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Totally Money at Faith Money Values
Carnival of Wealth at Control Your Cash
Carnival of Financial Planning at 20’s Finances
Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement Blog
Weekly Roundup at Smart Wealth
Bits and Pieces at Figuring Money Out
Weekly Favorites at Budgeting In The Fun Stuff
And be sure to check out the $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway at Smart Money!