Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #205 – October 7, 2011

Welcome to the October 7, 2011 Edition #205 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

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

Budgeting and Economics

Aaron Nguyen presents What makes a successful budget posted at Aaron, saying, “Sometimes people ask me how much they “should” be spending in a certain budget category. The problem with this question is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. There are plenty of websites that will make you a budget based on percentages of your income.”

Rogan Seager presents Retirement Savings Calculator posted at Retirement Savings Calculator, saying, “Valuable future investment portfolio assets and future investment returns slip through many people’s fingers at the checkout stand every day, because they spend beyond their long-term means.”

Financial Planning

Chelsea Prescotti presents Preventing and Stopping Identity Theft posted at, saying, “Identity thieves can use your information to apply for loans, start businesses, and even traffic illegal drugs, all under your own name. As we use and store more information online, the threat of identity theft increases as cyber criminals have more ways to access your private information.”

DJ presents Ten Tips for Borrowing Wisely posted at The Family Wallet, saying, “Unless you’re born into an extremely wealthy family, you’ll probably end up having to borrow money. Whether for a vehicle, a home, or post-secondary education, you can expect a financial institution to be in your future. Here are ten tips for borrowing wisely.”

Frank Knight presents Investment Asset Allocation posted at Retirement Planning Software, saying, “When you are already there and invested in an asset class, you are following a passive asset allocation strategy. Tactical asset allocation strategy advocates suggest that you can anticipate the crowd, but flow-of-funds studies show that almost all tactical asset allocation fund flows are late money flows that chase performance after valuations have already moved.”

Matt presents Buy a Boat or Buy a House? posted at Living In Financial Excellence, saying, “My favorite question for the day came from Jackie. She and her husband are debt free and currently renting a house. They live near Lake Michigan and love to spend time on the water. Jackie wants to know if they should buy a house or if it’s ok to keep renting so they can buy the boat they want to live the lifestyle they want. They also have retirement and college savings in place, and her husband earns a great income.”

Marjorie presents How to Get a Higher Credit Limit posted at, saying, “This answers a frequently asked question concerning credit cards. There are a number of factors that can affect your credit line, and depending on your situation, there are a few steps you can take to try to raise it.”

Ciana Locke presents Market Index Funds posted at Best Index Mutual Funds, saying, “The dominant issue in choosing among passively managed index mutual funds and ETF funds benchmarked against the S & P 500 is that securities industry management and trading fees are all over the map from reasonably low to shockingly high.”

Echo presents 11 Steps To Financial Freedom – Record Your Cash Flow posted at Boomer & Echo, saying, “Over the past two weeks I have prioritized my goals and determined my net worth. Now it’s time for step 3: record your cash flow.”

Financing a Home

Roshawn Watson presents Should You Pay-off the House? posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Housing is one of the biggest expenses most of us have. Making the quality decision to greatly diminish one’s living expenses through owning a home outright can have reverberations throughout your entire financial world.”

Financing Education

Charles Chua C K presents 7 Effective Ways to Determine the Worth of a Stock posted at All About Living with Life.

Health Care

Linda Rodriguez presents Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How Will You Contribute? posted at Christian Dating Sites, saying, “The month of October has arrived and with fall knocking at our doors we tend to think of pumpkin patches, cooler breezes, apple cider and the color orange. Considering that October also means Breast Cancer Awareness month, instead of orange, we should change the color we normally associate October with to the color pink.”


Jonathan from Debt Loans presents Give the Gift of Financial Finesse: Your Teenager posted at Wallet Watcher, saying, “Trust that even if your child spends wildly and makes poor choices in their teens or twenties, they will return to more moderate habits within a few years. Then, when they’re ready, you’ll be there.”


Investor Junkie presents optionsXpress Review posted at Investor Junkie, saying, “Now considered a top pick for on line trading, optionsXpress is the number one choice for many traders, serving the needs from beginner traders to the most seasoned investors.”

Mike Piper presents A Request for Vanguard (or Fidelity, or Schwab…) posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “Why don’t more brokerage firms allow for one-step rebalancing, rather than having to enter a separate transaction for each of your holdings?”

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

My Journey presents October 2011 Dividend Investment Portfolio Update posted at My Journey to Millions, saying, “About 18 months ago, I started my Perpetual Income Machine which then eventually morphed into my dividend investment portfolio. Now every couple months I update those specific stocks which are on my “watch list” for the following months to come.”

David Leeman presents Simple Investing With Little Money, Best Ways to Invest Money for Busy People posted at Financial Freedom Advantage, saying, “Are you looking for some simple investing ideas? Many people don’t have enough money to adequately fund an investment account. Others lack time or investing savvy to manage an investment portfolio.”

Craig Ford presents Mastering the Art of True Passive Investing | A Guide for Worry Free Investing posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “Learn how to invest without all the stress and worry.”

Dividends4Life presents 6 Higher Yielding Basic Materials Stocks With Growing Dividends posted at Dividend Growth Stocks, saying, “The Basic Materials Sector includes companies involved with the discovery, development and processing of raw materials. This week week, I screened my dividend growth stocks database for Basic Materials companies with a yield above 3.0% and that have increased their dividends for at least 20 consecutive years. The results are presented below:”

Janet Russell presents The illusion of superior professional mutual fund manager performance posted at Personal Investment Management, saying, “If investment mutual fund managers were truly skilled at beating the market, then you would expect mutual fund manager performance prowess to persist over time. The effort to find those few supposedly superior money managers willing to sell their services sufficiently cheaply is a costly, time consuming, and futile, “Where’s Waldo?,” searching exercise for the individual investor.”

Mike Piper presents Evaluating Vanguard’s New LifeStrategy Funds posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “Vanguard recently announced major changes to their “LifeStrategy” funds. Are the changes positive? And what type of investors should be considering these funds?”

John Border presents Best Investments for the long term posted at Learn Stock market basics, saying, “The article describes the best investments for today as well as from a longer term perspective. It is all about time in the market as opposed to market timing when it comes to investments for the future.”

Mirelle Rowden presents Fixed Income Funds posted at Best Bond Mutual Funds, saying, “Vanguard dominates this low cost United States bond mutual funds marketplace for direct purchase accounts with both low and high minimum deposits.”

Mike Holman presents How To Buy Canadian Dividend Stocks posted at Money Smarts Blog, saying, “Guide to buying Canadian dividend stocks.”

John presents How to Buy and Sell ETFs Without Paying Trading Fees posted at Wallet Blog, saying, “If you are planning to invest in the market, you should consider the benefits of investing via an ETF especially when you can avoid paying trading fees.”

Managing Credit and Debt

Jeri Ford presents Best Cash Back Credit Cards with Mileage Transfer Options posted at Help Me Travel Cheap, saying, “If you love cash back credit cards and mileage credit cards you’ll love this list.”

MoneyCone presents Bank Of America To Start Charging Debit Card Fees posted at Money Cone, saying, “BofA has come up with a novel way to earn people’s trust after battling one PR disaster after another for the fraud perpetuated by the bank over the past few years. BofA has decided to charge a nominal monthly fee of $5 every month you use BofA’s debit card.”

Jason@LiveRealNow presents What Can Cause Damage to Your Credit? posted at Live Real, Now, saying, “Credit scores move up and down as new financial data is collected by the credit bureaus. Many factors can cause a credit score to rise or fall, but most people don’t have a clue what they are”

Madison presents New 4th Quarter 2011 5% Rotating Cash Rewards Credit Cards posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “Oct 1 marks the start of the 4th quarter and that means there are some great new cash back categories to maximize your cash back strategy!”

Jacob presents Are You REALLY Doing Everything You Can to Save for the Future? posted at My Personal Finance Journey, saying, “When you sit down to do your financial planning, do you ever take a second to put the troubles the economy is currently experiencing in perspective? This post examines how we can use history as a gauge to help us plan for the future. ”


Jonathan presents 7 Ways to Put Your Old Clothes to Use posted at Frugal Living, saying, “Who says you have to throw your old clothes away when there are so many ways in which you can use them? These vary from easy to laborious, so depending on your time and how much effort you want to invest in the endeavour, you can resort to different alternatives. Here are 7 ways to put your old clothes to use.”

Tripp Danner presents No Load Funds posted at No Load Fund, saying, “There are over 60,000 different mutual fund investment share classes sold worldwide. Some mutual funds and ETFs must be better than others, but which ones are they? How can you tell before the fact?”

Jeremy presents Everyone Is Wrong About Bank Of America’s Debit Card Fee posted at Personal Finance Whiz, saying, “Everyone is up in arms right now because of Bank of America’s announcement that it is going to start charging $5 per month to use a debit card. But, I think Bank of America has every right to charge the fee. Further – I think it’s ridiculous if you’re upset about it.”

The Skilled Investor presents Market Timing Does Not Work posted at Personal Financial 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.”

Retirement Planning

Moneyedup presents Early Retirement Planning posted at MoneyedUP, saying, “The fact of the matter is that an early retirement is not out of reach for most people. For people scrimping and saving throughout their working years, it’s not a slam dunk, but it is doable with discipline and a some creativity.”

FMF presents Financial Strategy #3: Setting Your Retirement Number posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “What specific amount of money do you need to reach in order to retire successfully? How do you determine that number? Twenty. Your number is 20 times the amount of money you are spending this year. ”

Walter Binkle presents Large Cap Mutual Funds posted at Mutual Funds, saying, “Retirees can save a lot by paying attention to mutual fund expenses. Each of these S & P 500 index funds is among the least costly on the market.”

FMF presents Financial Strategy #2: Social Security posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “If you want to retire well, you need to develop an overall financial plan with Social Security as just one part.”

Brockton Eaton presents Long Term Investment Strategies posted at Retirement Investment Strategy, saying, “The investment research literature repeatedly demonstrates that a fully diversified, low cost investment strategy is superior.”

Risk Management

Larry Russell presents Identity theft protection and prevention posted at Personal Investment Management and Financial Planning, saying, “As a threat to your financial security, you should take the potential for identity theft very seriously. Identity theft sometimes entails a loss of your money, but whether or not you lose money, it can take a very large amount of your time to rectify. Taking these steps to prevent an occurrence is prudent.”


Jon Elder presents Let Savings Fall Onto Your Lap posted at Free Money Wisdom, saying, “As a massive money-saver, I really enjoy the fact that my off-season vacationing can lead to a lot of savings, but most of all I appreciate dealing with a lot less crowds!”

Miranda presents 45 Money Saving Tips posted at Financial Highway, saying, “You can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your personal economy by finding ways to save more money. Here are 45 of my favorite ways to save money. ”

Nathan Richardson presents As Debit Card Fee Caps Come Into Effect, Banks Raise Fees on Consumers posted at Deals & Tips, saying, “Are you ready for the next move in the war on consumers? Banks are preparing to institute debit card fees in response to the caps that are about to go into effect.”

Bradson Oakley presents Bond Mutual Funds posted at Best Bond Funds, saying, “Higher bond fund expenses tend to mean lower net returns to individual investors. It is not worth paying higher bond fund fees.”


Steve Zussino presents The Great American Tax Hunt for Canadians posted at Canadian Personal Finance, saying, “The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is on a campaign to chase down Americans squirreling funds offshore to evade paying taxes. But the crackdown aimed at large-scale tax evaders is also hitting people of more modest means.”

Gregory Stokes presents Your Basic Guide to Child Tax Credit posted at Tax Credit Calculator, saying, “If you have children under the age of 16 you may be able to claim child tax credits. This post is a guide on how to make claim.”

Finley Merriwether presents Retirement Planning Calculator posted at Retirement Plan Calculator, saying, “Tax-advantaged retirement savings plans give you the opportunity to make investments with deferred taxes in 401k, 403b, 457, Keogh, Simple, or other employer sponsored retirement plans.”

Marie presents Filing Status Explained posted at Money Spending Mommy, saying, “There’s one really simple thing that can reduce our tax liability which many taxpayers overlook, and that’s choosing the correct filing status.”

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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Date published: October 7, 2011. Last updated: March 29, 2012.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years in the USAF and also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google


  1. Hey Ryan – Thanks for including me!

  2. Thanks for including me woo hooo!

  3. Thanks a lot of including me:D kudos

  4. Thanks for the hosting and the acceptance of my article.

  5. Thanks for the mention Ryan!