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

Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #166 – November 19, 2010

Welcome to the November 19, 2010 Edition #166 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. Enjoy!

The SkilledInvestor, Editor

Budgeting and Economics

The Skilled Investor presents How to 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.”

2 Cents presents What Happens When the Glass Is Too Big? posted at Balance Junkie, saying, “Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be?”

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.”

Liz M. presents The Emotional Impact of the Economy: Case Study posted at Suddenly Downsized, saying, “A first person look at the emotional impact of the current economic state and some tips on coping with the negative effects of the recession”

Emmanuel Oluwatosin presents Do You Have a Working Budget? posted at Achieve PACE: Take Charge of Your Life and Business, saying, “Do you have a working budget? I am not talking about having a budget that does not go beyond what you have written down on a paper.

You may even be using a budgetting software? But if it does not translate to guiding you to manage your financial resources, you need to take a pulse. You need to review your financial transactions before you hit the wall.”

Financial Planning

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Financial Tips for Women posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Here are some financial tips that women (and men!) can use to improve their financial situation.”

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 overtime.

FIRE Getters presents Tools – FireSafe Your Personal Finance Documents! posted at FIRE Finance, saying, “It’s a nice idea to keep our important personal finance stuff in such a way that we can grab hold of it and leave at a moment’s notice. In case we cannot do so, it’d be great to have a back-up at a safe place with an easy access in case of natural calamities or unforeseen disasters ….”

Neal Frankle presents How To Hire A Top Financial Advisor Even If You Don?t Have Much To Invest posted at Wealth Pilgrim: Money Management Advice, Financial Stess Management, Addiction Recovery Plan & Resources, saying, “You can hire a top financial advisor – even if you don’t have much money.”

Joe Plemon presents How Do You Define Wealth? Hope for the Little Guy. posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Can a non millionaire be wealthier than a millionaire? Depending on your definition of wealth, yes.”

The Financial Blogger presents A Day As A Financial Planner posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “A look at the work involved with being a financial planner.”

Larry Russell presents 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.

Susan Howe presents Make More Money: How to Supercharge Your Income posted at Get Rich Slowly, saying, “This post is a collection of the best tips from Get Rich Slowly (and other personal-finance blogs) about boosting your income.”

Frank Knight presents Strategic Asset Allocation posted at Best Personal Financial 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.”

freefrombroke presents Ways To Increase and Improve Your Credit Score Without a Credit Card posted at Free From Broke, saying, “Most ways to improve your credit score involve credit cards but there are a couple of ways you can improve your score without a credit card.”

Odysseas presents Your Kids and Money posted at Wallet Blog, saying, “This illustrates through an interview with personal finance expert Jean Chatzky the ways parents should teach their children about money. Teaching children financial responsibility is not an easy thing, so here are a few tips to get the money conversation going.””

Financing a Home

Mike @ Green Panda presents Are You Ready To Purchase a Home? posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “What to consider before you consider buying a home.”

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Owning A Home – Be Prepared For The Expenses posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “It’s important to consider the expenses of owning a home, not just the mortgage but increased heating costs, possible renovations, home security and home insurance.”

Jessica Bosari presents Is Refinancing Smart for Those Over 50? | posted at Billeater, saying, “Special considerations for those over 50 thinking about refinancing.”

Financing Education

MoneyNing presents Should We Shield Our Kids From The Economic Reality? posted at Money Ning, saying, “Would you want to talk to your kids about your financial situation, or should you hide everything from them so they can have a happy upbringing?”

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.”

Sustainable Life Blog presents How to Payoff your Nelnet Student Loan posted at Sustainable Life Blog, saying, “A step by step guide to help you pay off student loans held by Nelnet.”


FMF presents Market Timing Doesn’t Work. Yes, It Does. No, It Doesn’t. Yes, It Does. posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Does market timing work as an investment strategy? Depends who you ask…”

Ken presents Tips For Choosing A Home Based Business posted at Spruce Up Your Finances, saying, “valuable ideas on how to select a home based business and what to avoid”

FMF presents 5 Ways To Either Make A Fortune Or Lose Your Shirt posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Five risky pursuits that could make you wealthy.”


Mike McFate presents Today?s Trading Strategy: Bearish on Energy Sector posted at

The Financial Blogger presents Where Is Your Money Being Stored? A Few Viable Options posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “A look at where you can store your money.”

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.”

Ryan @ CML presents 6 Options Trading Basics Every Investor Should Know posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “These are some basic stock options strategies that every options trader should know.”

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.”

DGB presents Best Canadian Dividend Stocks posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “Our look at the best Canadian dividend stocks.”

Intelligent Speculator presents Why I love trading posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “Why I love to trade stocks.”

Pat @ DNW presents Take Responsibility for Your Investment Returns posted at Do Not Wait, saying, “A post urging you to take care of your finances asap.”

Mike @ Green Panda presents Don’t Be Intimidated By Money Management posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “A post outlining the dos and donts of personal finance.”

Arjun Rudra presents How To Manage Risk, Increase Income and Maximize Returns with Mohsin Bashir, CFA Of Highwater Capital Management posted at Investing Thesis, saying, “How To Manage Risk, Increase Income and Maximize Returns With Mohsin Bashir, CFA Of Highwater Capital Management”

ComplexSearch presents How to Use a CD Ladder for Your Emergency Fund posted at Deals & Tips, saying, “Using Certificate of Deposits to prepare for emergency funds will require you to use a ‘CD Ladder.’”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Is Your Retirement Investment Portfolio Tax Efficient? posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “How tax efficient is your retirement savings account?”

Mike McFate presents How to Make Money When the Market Goes Down posted at, saying, “Most people only take advantage of 1/2 of the market. How to make money when the market goes down”

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Questrade Straight A Trading Contest plus Promo Code for $50 In Free Trades posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “A review of Questrade, including a promo code for Canadians to get $50 in free trades.”

Arjun Rudra presents Discussing Investing In Income Producing Assets Like Bonds And Dividend Stocks posted at Investing Thesis, saying, “Discussing income investing using preferred shares and dividend stocks.”

Dividends4Life presents 13 Dividend Stocks Providing A Growing Income posted at Dividends Value,

saying, “How much money will you need for retirement? This a very difficult question to answer. There are many factors and assumptions that go into estimating the income that will be needed in retirement.

However, one certainty is that if you only invest in fixed income instruments, you will need more than if your investments provide you a growing income.”

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.”

Consumer Boomer presents How to Build a CD Ladder For Maximizing Return posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “When you ladder your CD investments, you can maximize the potential earnings. Here’s how.”

Frank Vertin presents Best 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.

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.”

Intelligent Speculator presents Why I do not use intra-day stops posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “My rationale is explained in the article.”

Frank Knight presents Muni Bond Retirement Software, posted at Best Financial Planning Software, saying, “Municipal bond investments and your state and federal marginal income tax rates: Some investors hold municipal bonds in an attempt to reduce their tax burden. This article discusses the relationships between tax-exempt municipal bonds, bond market returns, marginal tax rates, and investment asset tax location.”

Mike Piper presents International Bond ETFs and Funds: Should You Own Them? posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “Does it make sense for U.S. investors to own international bond ETFs or funds?”

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

Steve Alexander presents Will Scrutiny over Menthol Cigarettes Snuff Lorillard? posted at MagicDiligence – Optimizing Joel Greenblatts Value Stock Strategy, saying, “Lorillard is the maker of Newport menthol cigarettes, the second most popular brand in the United States. The company is very profitable, produces a lot of cash, pays a good dividend, and buys back stock. But is it cheap enough given FDA scrutiny around menthol smokes?”

Managing Debt

Madison DuPaix presents Student Loans: The Effect of Extra Payments posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “Don’t discount the effect that even a slight prepayment on your student loans can have.”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents DIY Debt Reduction Programs: 3 Affordable Ways To Beat Debt posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Ways to fight debt.”

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

Joe Plemon presents How to Avoid Christmas Debt Without Becoming a Grinch … 12 Great Tips posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Piling up debt in order to celebrate the birth of Christ doesn’t add up. These tips will help your Christmas season be a true celebration.”

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.”

Tim Chen presents WalMart MoneyCard vs Western Union MoneyWise: Prepaid Debit Card Showdown posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch, saying, “You’ve probably seen the WalMart MoneyCard at your local WalMart, offered in partnership with Green Dot Financial. While it’s definitely one of the better deals out there, it’s not the best deal.”

Geoffrey Schmidt presents – Pay Off Debt Fast posted at, saying, “This article shows the reader the fastest way to pay off debt.”

Ryan @ CML presents What is a Good Credit Score? posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Do you know the credit score range most lenders consider to be a good credit score?”

Jane Sanders presents How to Get Debt Collectors to Leave You Alone posted at Debt Management, saying, “Anyone who has been the target of a debt collector knows how relentless they are when they smell money. Non-stop calls, letters, voice mails, and high pressure persuasion are just some of the tactics they use to get you to pay up. Fortunately, as a debtor, you have rights under the law and there are strict guidelines that debt collectors are required to follow. Never forget that you are in control of the situation. Without a legal judgment in their favor, there is nothing debt collectors can do to force you to pay.”

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

CreditShout Kevin presents How To Deal with an American Express Financial Review posted at CreditShout, saying, “If you’re an AMEX cardholder, you may have gotten a letter saying that you have been selected for a financial review (aka we need to make sure you are in good enough financial shape to keep your AMEX card), here is how to deal with this dreaded situation.”


Michael Pruser presents Best Ways to Make Money on Craigslist posted at The Dough Roller

Michael presents Holiday Travel Deals, Consequences, Verizon Promo Codes posted at Consumerism Commentary

Frank Knight presents Roth ConversionRetirement Planning Software posted at My Financial Freedom Plan, saying, “Whether to invest in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k versus their traditional retirement account alternatives is one of the most complex personal financial decisions. Roth accounts do not make sense financially for most people. They are a good deal, for a minority, but you need to do the analysis.

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?”

Pasadena Financial Planner presents Vanguard Index Funds 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.”

J. Jeff Rose, CFP presents How To Get a Free Credit Score (kind of) and Credit Report Through posted at, saying, “Given an unruly credit market, it is essential to have some understanding of your current credit situation. The easiest way to do is that is to request your credit score and report.”

nissim ziv presents What makes you different from the other candidates? What makes you unique? posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “What makes you unique and different? How do you stand out in a crowd? You need to be prepared with a succinct and a self-assured personal statement about yourself, for if you are, you will be able to differentiate from the other candidates. You should be able to convince the interviewer that you are the most appropriate applicant for the job.”

Retirement Planning

Joe Plemon presents 5 Roth Conversion Myths posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “The new rules are straightforward enough, but the application brings on questions and misunderstandings.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Should You Invest in Roth IRA or Thrift Savings Plan? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “There are dozens of different “types” of retirement savings plans from which to choose. Here are some important facts that you need to know that can help you make this important choice.”

Ryan @ MFN presents How to Take a Thrift Savings Plan Loan posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “The Thrift Savings Plan is similar to a 401k, but for government workers and military members. The rules for loans are similar to 401k loans.”

Consumer Boomer presents Do You Really Need a Million Dollars to Retire? posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “To determine how much you need to save for your retirement you need to start asking yourself some of these important questions.”

Walter W. Fouse presents Top 10 Large Cap Funds posted at Best Mutual Fund, 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.”

Super Saver presents Retiring Early is Still Possible posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “The key enabler is a plan that uses a 3% withdrawal rate.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Social Security Spousal Benefits Rules: Retirement Income For the One You Love posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Calculating your Social Security Benefits is an important part of the financial planning process. This article will help give you a good understanding of your monthly benefits.”

Larry Russell presents Roth IRA Calculator posted at Retirement Planning Tools, saying, “Trying to decide about a traditional IRA to Roth IRA conversion without first having a comprehensive lifetime financial plan in place makes absolutely no sense. Without such a plan, you cannot figure out whether or not you are likely to achieve the tax savings in retirement that would warrant paying higher taxes now.”

Risk Management and Insurance

Barb Friedberg presents Does Your Child Need Life Insurnace? posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance, saying, “Insurance for a child stirs up some controversy. Read the details and decide if your child needs life insurance or not.”

Jules Wells presents Investment Risk Questionnaire Investment Software, posted at Financial Answers saying, “There is a way for you to get a much better assessment of your risk tolerance than you would from a simple conservative versus aggressive financial industry investor questionnaire.”

Super Saver presents Why My Car Insurance Premium is Really Low posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “I pay $267 a year for my car insurance. There are two types of reasons for my insurance being low: situational factors and price discounts.”

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)”


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

Ryan @ MFN presents 2010 Veteran’s Day Free Meals and Discounts posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “This is a list of current free meals and discounts for military veterans – a great way to show your Patriotism and save some money!”

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Will You Have a Frugal Holiday Season? posted at Financial Highway, saying, “Are consumers really ready to spend more money come this holiday season? Maybe not. Perhaps frugality has caught on a bit. Maybe it will become a new holiday tradition.”


Darwin presents US Deficit Panel Recommendations: Cuts, Cuts, Cuts posted at Darwin’s Money, saying, “The US Deficit Panel shocked the country and the Obama administration alike with an early release of their recommendations to reign in the US debt. No stone was left unturned – from elimination of the mortgage tax deduction federal salary freezes and more. Check out the full scope of changes recommended from the commission.”

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.”

Thursday Bram presents Your Taxes are Going Up! 4 Ways to Prepare posted at Currency, saying, “The “sunset provision” in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 will let the law revert across many fronts back to 2001 tax rates. How do we get ready for this? Four considerations may help you prepare for the coming tax hikes.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Roth IRA Withdrawal Rules posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “The last thing you want do is give more to the IRS than they deserve. Here’s what you need to know about Roth IRA withdrawals.”

Financial Freedom presents IRA ContributionsRetirement Tool, posted at Financial Freedom, saying, “The Roth tax optimization puzzle for asset conversions, as well as for annual Roth contributions during working years, is one of the most complex decisions that the ridiculously complex US taxation and retirement planning system forces upon individuals.”

David de Souza presents 4 Things Everyone Should Know About Inheritance Tax posted at UK Tax Blog, saying, “Guide to inheritance tax, how it works and what tax allowances you can claim”

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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  • Kenneth Foo

    Reply Reply November 19, 2010

    Thank You for listing this out, I got so much out from it.

  • FIRE Finance

    Reply Reply December 9, 2010

    Thanks for hosting the carnival and including our post. Best wishes ahead :).
    FIRE Finance

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