Welcome to the October 2, 2009 Edition #109 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
The Smarter Wallet presents Internet Banking: Compare Online Banks For Your Savings Needs posted at The Smarter Wallet
Silicon Valley Blogger presents YNAB (You Need A Budget) Personal Budget Software Is 10% Off posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Reviewing budgeting software.”
Susan Savering presents Personal Budgeting posted at Family Financial Planners, saying, “When you don’t understand how much you spend and how much you save and invest, you do not have a financial plan. This dramatically increases your family’s long-term financial risk.”
Dorian Wales presents 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.”
Banker Saver presents Are You FDIC Insured? Make Sure Your Money Is Safe posted at Banker, Saver, saying, “What is FDIC all about?”
Super Saver presents Expecting Another Bubble posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Low interest rates are bound to create another bubble. Hopefully, by expecting one, I can protect our savings better that during the housing and financial crash.”
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.”
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.”
Ray @ Financial Highway presents Probate Fees: What are Probate Fees posted at Financial Highway, saying, “Probate fees what they are and how to calculate them”
The Financial Blogger presents Estate Planning: 5 Reasons Why You Should Have A Professional Among Your Liquidators posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “managing an estate is more complicated than simply writing a few checks! Fortunately, for those who can afford it, you can name a professional among your liquidators.”
nissim ziv presents Career Aspirations: Examples of Career Aspirations posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “This article provides sample of career aspirations for people who want to set up their career road-map. People’s career aspirations can be categorized into limited number of types.”
Ryan @ Military Money presents How Much Life Insurance Do Military Members Need? posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Military members may have different life insurance needs than civilians. Here is information regarding how much life insurance military members should buy, and some resources for finding the best life insurance deals.”
Faith Allen presents How to Do Monthly Financial Budget Planning with Excel | eHow.com posted at FaithAllen, saying, “This article is all about effective financial budgeting with Microsoft Excel.”
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.”
Susan Savering presents Personal Finance Strategy posted at Family Financial Planner, 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.”
Financing a Home
jim presents FHA Mortgage Loan Requirements Guide posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.
The Financial Blogger presents Should I Rent or Buy a Condo? posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Own or not to own, that is the question! It is almost everyone’s dream to own a place to call home, your home. If you are young, you are probably debating if you should buy or rent.”
Alex presents Is Buying a Rental Property Worth it? posted at MoneyStance – Money Making Opportunity Reviews.
Alex Fotopoulos presents When to Refinance a Mortgage? posted at My Trader’s Journal, saying, “Some key points to consider when refinancing your home.”
Praveen presents Will Education Follow the Housing Bust? posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Tips for students to avoid excessive loans and debt”
KCLau presents Withdraw EPF Fund to Pay Insurance Premium? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Vincent Lee from Penang generously shares an idea to use your EPF”
Anne Simone presents 100 Ways You Can Lower Your Health Care Costs posted at LPN to RN Blog.
FMF presents You Must Take Control of Your Career posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “How to make the most money possible from your career.”
The Financial Blogger presents What I Don’t Like About Mary Kay and other Multi Level Marketing (MLM) Companies posted at Gather Little By Little, saying, “someone you know, a good friend, gives you a call and his voice appears as a ray of light over your head; he has found a solution, an easy way to make more money!”
Dividend Tree presents Three Companies with Sustainable Dividends posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “Even in soft economic environment, there are companies out there that are continuing to increase dividends for their shareholders. While dividend increase is good, it is more critical to make sure we understand that companies can sustain their dividends.”
FMF presents Community College Seems Like a Smart Option to Me posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “A great way to save on one of the biggest and most important investments of your life.”
FMF presents Time to Rebalance Your Portfolio Again posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Time to check your investments and see if you should rebalance.”
MoneyNing presents How to Make a Roth IRA Conversion posted at Money Ning, saying, “Pretty soon, everyone will be allowed to convert do a Roth IRA conversion. Is it worth it and what’s the process?”
TheWild1 presents A Leveraged ETF. Is It A Good Investment? posted at TheWild1, saying, “Leverage ETFs can allow you to make amazing returns in just a little time, but, with so much risk, are they really a good investment choice?”
April presents Sound Saving and Investing: Taking the Road to Riches Step-by-Step posted at Get Rich Slowly, saying, “Saving for retirement is a long journey, but as you gain momentum in building wealth, the steps you take get bigger and bigger, and all of a sudden that destination seems attainable. Just remember: The sooner you start the better.”
Ryan @ Cash Money Life presents Best Brokerages for Roth IRAs posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Where should you open a Roth IRA? This article reviews some of the best mutual fund firms and discount brokerages for opening a Roth IRA.”
George presents Special Situations Real Money Portfolio Summer 2009 Update posted at Fat Pitch Financials, saying, “The Special Situations Real Money Portfolio was up 38.0% year-to-date on August 31, 2009. That crushes the S&P 500 year-to-date total return of 14.97% over the same period. Learn how that performance was achieved.”
ABC presents Investment Real Return posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “A simple explanation of investment real return.”
Ryan @ Cash Money Life presents How to Open a Roth IRA posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Tips on how to open a Roth IRA and what to look for in your Roth IRA Custodian.”
Investing Toolkit presents Building A Retirement Portfolio posted at Investing Toolkit, saying, “tips on how to build a retirement portfolio.”
The Financial Blogger presents A Few Facts and Strategies Using the TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “It has been less than a year since the TFSA was created by the Federal Government and we are already generating a completely new set of strategies with this new tax saving tool.”
Sun presents Asset Allocation of Our Mutual Fund Investments posted at The Sun’s Financial Diary.
Curt presents 5 Reasons Why We Are Likely To Have a Second Housing Market Collapse posted at PennyJobs.com.
Zach Scheidt presents FDIC – A New Concern for Bank Liquidity posted at ZachStocks, saying, “The FDIC proposed asking banks to pre-pay premiums years in advance to pay for bank foreclosures. The assessment comes at a time when liquidity is an important issue for banks.”
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.”
Zach Scheidt presents Shanda Games IPO Flops posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Shanda Interactive (SNDA) spun off it’s gaming division Shanda Games (GAME). The IPO transaction was a disappointment but there may be significant opportunity for patient investors.”
Jules Wells presents Best Investment Strategy posted at Best Financial Planning Software, saying, “Personal investing seems incredibly complex, but the best investment strategy also tends to be a more simple investment strategy.”
Praveen presents India Fund (IFN) Trade Example posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “An example of how having a trading system gives you an edge, and let’s you take advantage of market moves outside of your control.”
Tomas Escent presents Quant Investment Management posted at Nerds on Wall Street, 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.”
Dividends4Life presents Six Double-Digit Dividend Stocks Increasing Their Yields posted at Dividends Value, saying, “I had hoped to feature a few high-yield stocks raising their dividends this week. Patiently I watched the news wire for some announcements that fit the bill. As if they were waiting for the cue, three high-yield stocks recently announced increased cash dividends for their shareholders:”
Mike Piper presents Reasons Not to Rollover a 401k posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “A quick look at three situations in which it does not make sense to rollover a 401k into an IRA after leaving one’s job.”
Frank Vertin presents Best Index Fund posted at Best Index Fund, 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.”
Dividend Tree presents What is your preference – Aristocrats or Achievers? | Dividend Tree posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “The key question here is; are we willing to invest in companies that have still not completed 25 years of dividend growth? All dividend aristocrats were at that stage at some point in time.”
Larry Russell presents Top NoLoad Mutual Funds posted at Best No Load 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.”
Four Pillars presents Beginning Investment Strategies to Avoid posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Some investment strategies that beginners should avoid (and probably everyone else too).”
ABC presents Stock Market Indexes posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “How different types of stock market indexes work.”
The Skilled Investor presents Personal Investment Strategy 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.”
The Smarter Wallet presents Avoid Bankruptcy! Information To Help You Stay Afloat posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “How to avoid bankruptcy.”
SpendOnLife.com presents Are You Irresponsible with Your Credit Card? posted at SpendOnLife, saying, “As consumer debt in the United States approaches $3 trillion we ask, how did we get here?”
Joe E presents Best Way to Handle a Defaulted Student Loan posted at Consolidating Student Loans Online, saying, “In a bad economy it’s not uncommon to fall into default status on your student loans due to a loss of job or getting behind on your bills. Handled the right way, a defaulted student loan can be cleared within a matter of months.”
BWL presents 9 money-saving uses for vinegar posted at Christian Personal Finance, saying, “Vinegar has so many great uses! These are just a few…”
Tyler Tervooren presents Less is More: Embrace Sustainability and Avoid a Scarcity Mindset posted at Frugally Green, saying, “When you begin to focus on frugality or sustainability, it’s incredibly easy to fall into a thought pattern of scarcity, believing more and more that you must limit your life in order to get ahead and serve humanity. When you break free from this mindset and allow yourself to think abundantly, opportunities to live your life to the fullest and still hold these values closely and personally become much more recognizable.”
MoneyNing presents Gambling My Way to Financial Freedom posted at Money Ning, saying, “Before you blame anything else on why you are poor, maybe you should blame yourself first.”
Roshawn Watson presents Should You Buy A House Outright? posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Suppose you find yourself in the somewhat unique predicament of having the resources to purchase your house outright without a mortgage. Is it then financially-wise to make the purchase?”
No Load Bond Funds presents Bond Index Funds posted at Bond Index Fund, 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.”
Super Saver presents Early Retirement Forum posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “This forum was a good opportunity read about other people in early retirement, since there are only a few bloggers who have retired early. In addition, I learned about how other people were thinking about achieving their own early retirement.”
nissim ziv presents Mid Life: Career Change at 40 & Career Change at 50+ posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “To assist those who are at 40+ or at 50+ ages that are planning a career change at midlife, this article provides some guidelines for making this career change decision smoother.”
Tom Drake presents What Is An Individual Pension Plan (IPP)? posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “An Individual Pension Plan is a type of defined benefit pension plan that many successful entrepreneurs may want to consider for their retirement as an alternative to RRSPs.”
Manshu presents Retirement planning calculator facts posted at OneMint, saying, “Key things to keep in mind while using a retirement planning calculator”
Top Stock Index Mutual Funds presents Top Stock Index Mutual Funds posted at Top 10 Index Fund, saying, “To build your retirement portfolio, buy some of 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.”
Risk Management and Insurance
Jeff Rose presents How To Save Money on Your Health Insurance Premiums posted at Jeff Rose.
Ryan @ Military Money presents COBRA Benefits 2009 Economic Stimulus Recovery Act posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “The 2009 Economic Stimulus Plan includes additional COBRA and unemployment benefits.”
Jeff Rose presents How Much Life Insurance Do You Need For Stay At Home Mom or Parent? posted at Jeff Rose.
Four Pillars presents $8,000 Credit For First-Time Homebuyers Extended 6 Months – Not Increased To $15k posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Home buyers credit extended 6 months.”
Baker presents The “Stuff-That-Doesn’t-Inspire-You” Factor posted at Man Vs. Debt, saying, “You’ve probably heard of the Latte Factor. But for me that doesn’t quite cut it. I’m having much more luck implementing the “sh**-that-doesn’t-inspire-you” factor!”
Chief Family Officer presents Planning (and Paying for) a Dream Vacation posted at Chief Family Officer, saying, “My dream vacation is a Disney cruise to Alaska, but the most important consideration is cost – no vacation is worth compromising our financial stability for, so we’ll have to be able to pay cash for the trip without delving into savings.”
Four Pillars presents Back To School Cell Phone Deals posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Comparison of the best cell phone deals for students heading back to school.”
KCLau presents How much money you spend in a lifetime? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “How much do u spend in a lifetime”
Mike @ GLBL presents American Opportunity Tax Credit posted at Gather Little By Little, saying, “That said, if the government makes such money available, you should probably take advantage.”
Jeff Rose presents 2010 Traditional IRA to Roth IRA Conversion Tax Rules posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Tax implications of converting from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Don’t forget the after-tax contributions.”
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.