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

Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #236 – May 11, 2012

Welcome to the May 11, 2012 Edition #236 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

Budgeting and Economics

Everything Finance presents How To Transfer Money Between Bank Accounts posted at Everything Finance, saying, “You may need to transfer money between bank accounts if you have money in two different banks. There are several ways to do this beyond the obvious of driving to one bank, withdrawing the money and then depositing it at the other bank. Which way works best for you depends on how quickly you need the money and how much money you want to spend to transfer the funds.

Sustainable PF presents What is Crowdfunding? posted at Sustainable Personal Finance, saying, “Crowdfunding works in much the same way as microloans for the poor. You receive a large number of small cash infusions, rather than one or two large ones.

Squeezer presents When should you check your credit report? posted at Personal Finance Success, saying, “Checking your credit report is an important step in improving your credit and protecting yourself from identity theft.

David presents Wired Wall Street Capital Markets posted at Wall Street History , saying, ” Looking into the workings of modern securities markets is like looking under the hood of a Prius hybrid car. There are so many complex and obscure parts it’s hard to discern what’s going on. History repeats and informs in market technologies. From the days when front-running involved actual running to the “Victorian Internet era” brought on by telegraphy, we can learn a great deal from looking back at a simpler era.”

Laura presents NerdWallet Study of Prepaid Debit Cards vs. Checking Accounts posted at NerdWallet, saying, “According to our analysis, not only do prepaid cards have a similar number of fees to checking accounts, but many prepaid fees are actually charged for basic and common services – rendering them unavoidable and ultimately more costly.

Financial Planning

Teacher Man presents Lifestyle Inflation – The Upward/Downward Spiral posted at My University Money, saying, “Yes, I know, many of you have seen this before, and are probably thinking, “Man, I don’t go out and spend frivolously, I’m not trying to pretend I’m a Rockefeller, I’m just an everyday person, I don’t have any lifestyle inflation.” Here is the thing – lifestyle inflation is a silent beast.

Kanwal presents Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Dividend Paying Stocks posted at Simply Investing, saying, “Dividends are cash payments made to shareholders. Asa shareholder you are part owner of the company and therefore are entitled to share in the profits. Dividends can also help you determine when a share is undervalued, and priced right for purchase.

Steve presents Stability and Desperation posted at Brip Blap, saying, “What all of these people fail to realize is that the instability they feel in uncertain times like these arises from their own lifestyle, and not from the government or the corporations or “the economy.” Learning how to build prosperity, not just surviving paycheck-to-paycheck, is a big first step. Learning to live within your means gives you a more stable life. Learning to think more about making money than saving money helps create stability.

Echo presents Our Fast Track To Financial Freedom posted at Boomer & Echo, saying, “After all our bills are paid, we have an extra $2,000 per month to work with. So we came up with a fast track to financial freedom. Here’s our 40/40/10/10 savings solution:

Matt presents April Financial Literacy Month: April 27–Moving Costs posted at Living in Financial Excellence, saying, “Yay!! It’s my turn to do a video for Financial Literacy Month! Since I’m in the middle of moving from Wisconsin to Iowa, I thought it would be timely to share how we looked at a few of the financial issues we’re experiencing during the move.

Don presents Why You Need A Will posted at MoneySmartGuides, saying, “A post on Four Overlooked Estate Documents You Need.

Kevin presents Paul Ryan is a Fiscal Liberal posted at Thousandaire, saying, “If Barack Obama is the most liberal president in history for spending $3.6 trillion in 2011, then why does the Ryan plan spend $3.5 trillion in 2013?

John presents Finance and investing education  posted at Personal Financial Planning , saying, ” I have reached the conclusion that 99+% of the financial information that is easily available through the media and the Internet is: self-interested and biased, superficial and non-implementable, historical in nature or just current “noise” reporting without any actionable utility, and/or poorly researched, just plain wrong or unmitigated rubbish.”

TSI presents Professional fund manager performance. posted at Skilled Investor Blog , 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. Unfortunately, the evidence indicates that superior past professional performance among mutual fund managers tends not to persist. Past superior mutual fund performance is simply not a predictor of future superior mutual fund performance. ”

PITR presents How Blogging Has Changed My Life posted at Passive Income To Retire, saying, “Find out how blogging has changed my life. It has not only improved my writing, but has allowed me to build a side business.

Jeremy Waller presents Reader Question: Spend Money to Repair a Gas Guzzling SUV or Sell And Get a More Fuel Efficient Car? posted at Personal Finance Whiz, saying, “This week I received an e-mail from one of the PF Whiz readers: We are at a cross road dilemma to purchase or repair. Our gas hog Acura 2005 MDX, with 107,000 miles needs new a timing belt & other minor repairs. The cost estimate is $2800. This car only takes premium unleaded.

Daisy presents 4 Things All Women Need to Know How to Do posted at Add Vodka, saying, “I think independence and self sufficiency is a must for all women.

Walter presents Best Fixed Income Funds posted at Fixed Income Fund Investing, saying, “The bond investment fund market is no place for an individual investor to try to beat the market and get higher returns through attempts at clever fixed income investing. Even professional bond market money managers do not beat the bond market.”

Corey presents Investing in a Timeshare – Is It Worth It? posted at Steadfast Finances, saying, ” Is investing in a timeshare worth it? Find out the benefits and costs associated with timeshare vacation programs.

Amanda L Grossman presents Frugal Mother’s Day Ideas posted at Frugal Confessions, saying, “Sometimes what we want to give loved ones cannot come close to what we can actually afford to give them.

PFP presents Financial planning reading list posted at Best Financial Planner , saying, ” When I work with clients to develop their customized lifetime financial and investment plans, they often ask what they should read to improve their financial literacy. ”

krantcents presents The 3 O’s of Success posted at KrantCents, saying, “The 3 O’s of Success is the fifteenth in a series of articles to help you reach your goal.

Daniel presents Wedding Gift Etiquette – Buy A Gift or Write A Check? posted at Sweating the Big Stuff, saying, “So what do you want for a wedding gift? With just weeks to go before my wedding, I’ve been asked that simple question more times than I can count. When people pose it, they’re looking for a simple answer. Please buy me four Egyptian cotton towels in mushroom from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Luke presents Predicting the Future Rate of Inflation – May Edition posted at Learn Bonds, saying, “What does the market say about inflation predictions? The answer is plenty.


Jeremy presents Career Lessons From My Mom posted at Modest Money, saying, ” In honor of Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, I decided to write about how my mom overcame financial adversity. As a single parent she went from collecting welfare to being a successful entrepreneur and is now retired early. She is a true success story.

Brad presents Billboard Cover Letter: When A Resume Is Just Not Enough posted at RESUME Mag, saying, “What happens when a resume is just not enough? Well it’s time to get creative. Take these job seekers, for example, who took their job searches to billboards by the roadside.

Eddie presents What Income Level Do You Consider Rich? posted at Finance Fox, saying, “There’s no secret formula to getting rich. Even as little as 10 Percent of your income invested over 30 years and you’ll be set for the rest of your life.

Linsey presents Update Your Blog to Get Even More Paying Customers posted at 1099 Mom, saying, “A verdict has been reached: Provided that your company’s blog is full of useful, engaging insights, there is a direct correlation between the amount of content you generate and the number of people who are buying your product or service!

Insurance and Risk

FMF presents Thoughts on Long-Term Care Insurance posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Thoughts on Long-Term Care Insurance.

Sarah presents Investment risk and returns posted at Do-It-Yourself Financial Planning , saying, ” When making personal finance and retirement planning decisions, individuals must confront the dilemma that, historically, more conservative portfolio investments have yielded substantially lower investment returns than the returns that riskier investments have delivered. With either lower or higher risk-adjusted market return strategies, you simply cannot have your financial cake and you eat it too.”


Squeezer presents Principles of Investing posted at Personal Finance Success, saying, “I explain why I like to invest in dividend-paying companies.

FMF presents Asset Allocation and the Efficient Frontier posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “The efficient frontier is the blending of all possible components into portfolios with the highest possible return and the lowest possible volatility. Diversification means you always have something to complain about. But it also allows investors to craft allocations that are along the efficient frontier, getting the most return for the least volatility.

Teacher Man presents Choosing the Latest Investing Fad posted at Young And Thrifty, saying, “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?

Van Beek presents How to Invest with Stock Options posted at Stock Trend Investing, saying, “Investing in stock options is slightly more complex than trading in basic stocks. The two fundamental methods of trading options are buying calls and puts. Buying a call means you are betting that a stock which underlies your option will rise above a certain price within a certain date, which is called the expiration date of the option. The converse applies when you buy a put. When you buy a call or a put, you also have the opportunity to buy or sell 100 shares of the stock that underlies each of the option contracts you had purchased. Here is the procedure to invest in stock options.

ETZ25 presents Thoughts on a Dividend Stream For Entertainment posted at Entertainment Timez, saying, “I hash out my plan of attack for the future dividend stream for entertainment.

TRL presents Different Places to Save a Down Payment posted at The Retired Landlord, saying, “Find out the many different accounts or investment places that you can use to save a down payment for a rental property.

TSI presents Mutual funds and Morningstar Ratings posted at The Skilled Investor , saying, ” Individual investors and their advisors appear to make investment decisions that are heavily influenced by the Morningstar Rating system. Because the stars are very widely used and often misunderstood, these are articles to help investors make more rational decisions about the stars. ”

DJL presents Distressed Global Financial Markets  posted at Nerds on Wall Street , saying, ” Stock markets are almost perfectly transparent, with full information available to all, and the best electronic clearing and settlement in history. These technologies were omitted in building the skyscraper of cards (“house of cards” seems too mild) out of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), credit default swaps (CDSs), synthetic collateralized debt obligations (SCDOs), and the rest.”

Jack Parker presents NoLoad Index Funds posted at Preferred Investment Funds, saying, “Some mutual funds and ETFs must be better than others, but which ones are they? How can you tell before the fact?”

Ken Faulkenberry presents Capital Preservation: In a Bear Market, He Who Loses the Least, Wins posted at AAAMP Blog, saying, “The prudent strategy in a secular bear market is making captial preservation the highest priority until there is evidence of a new secular bull market.

Managing Debt

Ben Feldman presents How the Debate Over Student Loan Interest Rates Affects You posted at ReadyForZero Blog, saying, “This post discusses the debate over student loan interest rates that’s happening this week in Washington, D.C. It’s taking place because interest rates on certain federal student loans are scheduled to rise from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on July 1st, when a previous law that lowered the rates temporarily is set to expire. We describe the arguments on each side of this debate and how it may change (or not) your repayment of student loans.

J.P. presents Savings And Debt Debate: Where Should The Money Go? posted at Novel Investor, saying, “The savings and debt debate has been ongoing since the first loan was created. With only so much income to spread around, a big decision must be made. Do you use any extra money to pay off debt or add it to savings?

Mike presents Watch Out: Pitfalls of Credit Card Rewards Programs posted at Rewards Cards USA, saying, “It’s important to understand that there are pitfalls associated with rewards programs. Participating in a rewards program, if you aren’t careful, can actually turn into a real problem, leaving you in debt – and without the rewards points you thought you had.

Mike presents Best Cash Back Credit Cards posted at Rewards Cards Canada, saying, “For people like me, collecting travel rewards is not the best value for my spending habits and lifestyle. I like to put cold-hard cash back in my wallet every month to help supplement my everyday spending. Here are the best cash back credit cards:

Glen Craig presents How Will Your Student Loans Affect Your Credit Score? posted at Free From Broke , saying, “Many don’t think about the long-term affects of student debt when they go to school, especially not how it affects their credit score.

Real Estate

John presents Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows posted at Wallet Blog, saying, “To buy or not to buy…Wow, what a question! With mortgage rates at record lows, now may well be the right time either purchase or refinance a home. Take a look at the how and why of low interest rates and decide for yourself.

Crystal presents Doing it Again – Renting Out a Spare Bedroom posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, saying, “We rented out the spare bedroom of our current home 2 of the 5 years we’ve lived here. And we’re doing it again starting today.

SFB presents 8 Most Common Types of Houses posted at Simple Finance Blog, saying, “Shopping for houses means looking through countless of listings, In order to eliminate the confusion, below are the eight most common types of houses


Jeffrey presents Travel When Retired? No! Travel Now! posted at Money Spruce, saying, “I just dont buy into the whole ‘travel when youre retired’ thing. It seems like such a waste to wait my whole life to travel and, not to be morbid, but assuming I make it to retirement age. I just got back from my latest trip to Montreal, which was fantastic. It was my first visit, and it definitely won’t be my last.

Brock presents Retirement Spreadsheet Software posted at IRA Account Investment, saying, “Whether or not to make investments into “traditional” tax-advantaged employer accounts and IRAs versus investing in “Roth” tax-advantaged employer accounts and personal IRAs is never a straightforward nor simple financial planning decision.”

Frank Knowles presents S and P 500 Funds posted at Large Cap Funds, saying, “The no load index fund strategy of the Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund tracks the S and P 500 stock index. This no load index fund was listed as one of the top 25 lowest cost index mutual funds in a research study.”


Mike presents Best Airline Miles Credit Cards posted at Rewards Cards USA, saying, “One of the reasons that many people sign up for rewards programs is to save money on travel. Here are some of the best airline miles credit cards:

Raj presents The Basics of Money Management – Save, Invest and Repeat posted at eMoneyLog, saying, “The article covers the basics of money management – saving, investing and repeating the process. The emphasis is on repeating as many people save and invest initially but do not repeat and do not accumulate wealth.

Financial Freedom presents Personal Savings Rates posted at My Financial Freedom Plan , saying, ” Understand how your current savings rate and retirement withdrawal rate would affect all of your lifetime personal financial planning goals ”

Mike presents Why Cash Back Beats Travel Rewards posted at Rewards Cards Canada, saying, “A free vacation keeps many Canadians loyal to their travel rewards program, but for me, cash back is king. Here’s why cash back beats travel rewards.”


Monroe presents Roth IRA Conversions posted at Do-It-Yourself Financial Planning , saying, ” This article could help you to make a more informed decision about your family’s Roth investment strategy. Key to you making a better decision about your lifetime Roth account contribution and asset conversion strategy is the need for a sophisticated financial planning software tool.”

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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  • Thanks for including both of my articles!

  • George

    Reply Reply June 19, 2012

    Thanks for all these great links. Now I have something to pour over this weekend. I will check out Frugal Mother’s Day Ideas. I hope they do one on Frugal Father’s Day ideas.

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