Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #130

by The Smarter Wallet on February 26, 2010

Welcome to the February 26, 2010 Edition #130 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 Skilled Investor, Editor

Carnival of Financial Planning

Budgeting

Joe Plemon presents Budgeting Without Bean Counting…5 Great Tips posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Making a budget isn’t the problem; keeping it is. This post gives common sense hints on how to keep a budget for the long term.”

PT presents 4 Rules to Budget By posted at Prime Time Money.

Super Saver presents Living on a Cash Basis was a Good Experience posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Living on a cash basis quickly taught me financial responsibility.”

Lakita presents Automated Payments vs Online Bill Pay posted at Personal Finance Journey, saying, “Automatic Payments and Online Bill pay are both paperless, but the similarities end there. One shifts control of your money to the collector while removing the task of making payments…the other keeps you in control. Which do you prefer?”

Economics

2 Cents presents Cloudy with a Chance of Hurricanes posted at Balance Junkie, saying, “This article offers a cautious view of the economic landscape over the next decade and suggests that we plan our finances with an elevated risk level in mind.”

Estate Planning

Joe Plemon presents Should You Leave an Inheritance to Your Children? posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Leaving an inheritance is a dicey issue. Do you? How much? Now or later? This post doesn’t have all the answers, but will challenge your thinking.”

Financial Planning

Keith Morris presents Use a PIN or Sign Your Name: What’s the Difference? posted at LifeTuner, saying, “When you pay for your purchases with your debit card in a store, be it Target or even a small retailer, often they will ask you, “Debit or Credit?” What they really mean is do you want to sign for your purchase or use a PIN? For the consumer, it’s all the same thing when the money comes out of your bank account. But to retailers, there is a big difference.”

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.”

Big Cajun Man presents Personal Finance Resolutions for the New Year? posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Are Financial New Years resolutions a good idea? Yes, but make them achievable, don’t try to boil the ocean, just take small steps!”

Roshawn Watson presents Thoughts on Escaping The Rat Race posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Do you yearn to be free…really free? What would you do if money was not a big limitation? Perhaps the primary reason for increasing your financial literacy is so you may indeed escape the rat race.”

Jeff Rose presents Warning Signs You Need to Fire Your Financial Advisor posted at Jeff Rose.

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Consider Your House And Career When Deciding Your Portfolio Diversification posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “You have heard about the importance of a diversified portfolio to reduce the volatility. What many don’t consider is how their house and career could effect the diversification of their investments.”

Susan Saverton presents Investor Asset Allocation posted at Financial Planning Pasadena, saying, “Set your personal investment asset allocation according to your personal tolerance for investment risk. Allocated percentages to asset classes would tend to slowly change with the years, and thus it is key to decide correctly from the beginning.”

Financing a Home

Colin Robertson presents Why is the APR Lower Than the Mortgage Rate? posted at Mortgage Tips and Credit Help, saying, “If you’ve been shopping mortgage rates lately, you may be wondering why the APR is sometimes lower than the advertised interest rate.”

Roshawn Watson presents Is Bigger Better? Scaling Down The American Dream posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Today’s post-crash buyers are not willing (nor able in some cases) to extend themselves like before, and the impact on the housing market is substantial.”

Super Saver presents Why We Chose a 30 Year Mortgage posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “A 30 year mortgage provided more flexibility in payments than a 15 year mortgage, which benefited us during the financial crisis of 08/09.”

Alex Fotopoulos presents When to Refinance a Mortgage? posted at My Trader’s Journal, saying, “Some key points to consider when refinancing your home.”

Patrick @ Military Money presents VA Loan Eligibility and Financing posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Find out who is eligible for a VA Loan and how much money you may be able to get in guaranteed financing. This is great information for any military veteran.”

Financing Education

ABC presents How Do I Set Up a 529 College Savings Plan? posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “Instructions on how to set up a 529 college education plan.”

Praveen presents Wil Education Follow the Housing Bust? posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Tips for students to avoid excessive loans and debt”

Jeff Rose presents What’s the Differences between Coverdell Education Savings Accounts vs. 529 College Savings Plans? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “ESA’s (formerly known as the Education IRA) had been a popular planning tool for college up until the creation of the 529 plan and now, I very seldom ever come across them.”

Income

FMF presents What Your Boss Wants You to Do posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Your career is your most valuable financial asset. This post tells us how to make the most of it by delivering the results your boss wants.”

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 a dividend increase is good, it is more critical to make sure we understand that companies can sustain their dividends.”

FMF presents Thousands of Ways to Make and Save Money posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “The keys to personal finance success are increasing your income and decreasing your expenses. This post gives a couple thousand tips on how to do both.”

Investing

Zach Scheidt presents Internet Bandwidth Finally Generates Profit posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Abovenet Inc. (ABVT) offers bandwidth to telecom carriers and corporations. A strong growth rate along with capital discipline and a reasonable valuation make this company an excellent investment opportunity.”

ABC presents What Are Money Market Mutual Funds posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “If you are sitting out the markets then make sure your money is still earning some interest.”

The Financial Blogger presents 2 Minutes Guide to Last Minute RRSP for 2009 posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “You need to make your RRSP contribution before the deadline: March 1, 2010. So here’s a 2 minute guide to last minute RRSP contributions.”

The Investor presents Pros and cons of being wealthy posted at Monevator.com, saying, “Perhaps you hope to retire early and rich. But have you considered there could be downsides?”

Patty Pedersen presents Seven Ways to Invest in Auto and Auto Part Stocks posted at AlphaProfit MoneyMatters – Investing Blog, saying, “Auto stocks are a favorite of the momentum crowd. Assets in Fidelity Select Automotive have swelled 20 times from a year ago. This article presents five prudent auto plays including Autoliv and Penske Auto.”

Writers Coin presents Buy-and-Hold Investing: 4 Ways to Make It More Effective | Wise Bread posted at Wisebread, saying, “Buy and hold doesn’t have to be boring, especially if you can make it more effective at the same time.”

Zach Scheidt presents Portfolio Recovery Prices Successful Secondary Offering posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Portfolio Recovery Assoc (PRAA) has traded sharply higher after reporting a strong fourth quarter and issuing new stock to fund future acquisitions. Buying receivables at 3.5 cents on the dollar appears to be paying off.”

BeaBu presents Hedge Fund Trading Styles Overview posted at BeaBu.com, saying, “Hedge funds became very popular in the last decade. Their trading styles are very diverse and not every hedge fund fits into every investor’s risk and return
objectives. This article explains the most common hedge fund styles from an investor’s perspective.”

Intelligent Speculator presents New leveraged ETF’s to suffer from less erosion? posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “volatility can have an important impact on the return of the ETF and as time goes by, the return will not be correlated as much with the underlying index it is intended to track.”

Alex Fotopoulos presents Gold Chart (GLD) ? More Room to Fall posted at Chart Analysis, saying, “Alex posted a chart of the Gold ETF, GLD, this week and shows how much farther it could fall before finding support.”

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.”

The Skilled Investor presents Best Investment Strategy posted at Personal Finance Investments, saying, “Investment costs which are clearly measured, like fees deducted on your monthly investment statement. Most investors are no aware of opportunity costs that arise from sub-optimal investing practices. Opportunity costs like these are much greater than more costs and  investment fees that show up on their statements.”

Praveen presents Just Bought Hyatt Hotels (H) posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “About Hyatt’s recent IPO and why its a good stock.

Tomas Escent presents Automated Investment Trading posted at Nerds on Wall Street, saying, “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Wired Markets. In this funny financial book, there are no robots parking your car millions of times, however, right now in milliseconds robots trade millions of shares.”

Jules Wells presents Simple Personal Investments posted at Personal Finance Software, saying, “Investing often seems almost unfathomly complex, however your best investment strategy will tend to be a simple and straightforward
investing strategy.”

Frank Vertin presents Stock Index Funds posted at S&P 500 Funds, saying, “When you buy an S & P 500 index mutual fund through a broker or investment advisor you can increase substantially your purchasing costs, while you drive up your recurring annual expenses through asset management and other fees. Financial advisors most often will not recommend to buy index mutual funds with very low fees. No load, low cost index mutual funds don’t pay financial brokers and advisors nearly as well as front loaded, high fee, active mutual funds.”

Larry Russell presents No Load Stock Funds posted at Best No Load Mutual Funds, saying, “Don’t bother to frantically move your assets from one mutual fund to another or from one ETF to another. Investment research has repeatedly showing academic studies that performance chasing is a bad strategy the most ofter will yield inferior returns.”

Dividends4Life presents 14 Dividend Stocks Giving Shareholders A Raise posted at Dividends Value, saying, “You expect your employer to give you a salary increase periodically. Why wouldn’t you expect the same from your investments? One of the most important aspects of a dividend stock is its ability to consistency raise dividends over time.”

Mike Piper presents Schwab IRA Review posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “A look at Charles Schwab’s IRA through the eyes of a buy & hold investor.”

Managing Debt

Consumer Boomer presents How to Improve and Calculate Your Credit Score posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Calculating your credit score relies on five factors.”

Joel Ohman presents Credit Card Accountability Responsibility & Disclosure Act posted at Credit Card Chaser, saying, “Guide to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, & Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD).”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents Comparing Debt Consolidation, Debt Management and Debt Settlement posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “There are three main types of debt relief agencies, those that deal in debt consolidation, debt management and debt settlement. This article covers what you need to know about all three.”

Big Cajun Man presents Do You Have a Financial GPS? posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Do you need a financial GPS?”

Miscellaneous

Susan Saverton presents Personal Financial Plan posted at Family Finance Planning, saying, “You need a system that is efficient with respect to your time and your costs, when to develop, implement, and track a personal investment plan.”

MoneyNing presents No One Became Wealthy Worrying for Others posted at Money Ning, saying, “No one knows everyone else’s situation so why try to worry about their finances?” 

Frank Knight presents Prevent Identity Theft posted at Best Personal Finance Software, saying, “You need to be proactive and take easy steps to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft. Identity theft is increasing dramatically and it takes a huge amount of time to clean up the mess once you get hit with identity theft.”

nissim ziv presents Job Interview: Tips for Job Interview Preparation posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “Job interviews are critical to professional success as well as professional development. Presenting oneself well in an interview is a vital step in moving from candidate to employee. One has to prepare for the critical aspects that comprise the job interviews.”

Retirement Planning

Consumer Boomer presents Best IRA to Invest Into posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Here’s a rundown at all the basic types of IRA’s, as well some additional info.”

RJ Weiss presents Video | How To Open A Roth IRA posted at Genyweath.com, saying, “This video shows you the step-by-step process of opening a Roth IRA.”

Consumer Boomer presents How to Rollover Your 401k Into a Roth IRA posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Before 2010, it was much more difficult to rollover your 401k into a Roth IRA.”

Stock Mutual Funds presents Top Stock Mutual Funds posted at Low Cost Index Funds, saying, “This article discusses the 10 ten very low cost stock index mutual funds that track the Standard and Poors 500 large capitalization stock index.”

Frank Knight presents Roth IRA Accounts posted at Financial Planning Software, saying, “One of the most complex personal financial decisions is whether to invest in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k versus their traditional retirement account alternatives. For most people, Roth accounts do not make sense financially. For a minority, they are a good deal, but you need sophisticated financial planner software to do the analysis for yourself.”

Risk Management and Insurance

The Dough Roller presents Are Discount Health Plans a Scam? posted at The Dough Roller.

Consumer Boomer presents Should You Annuitize with an Immediate Annuity? posted at Consumer Boomer.

Savings

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

Taxes

Four Pillars presents How Long Before I Get My Income Tax Refund? posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “A guideline for how long you have to wait for a tax refund.”

GLBL presents How to Properly Prepare for Filing Your Taxes posted at Gather Little By Little, saying, “The main causes of tax filing errors are rushing and not having all necessary tax documents on hand.”

jim presents How Does the IRS Pick Tax Returns to Audit? posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Four Pillars presents What Happens If You Lose Your W2 Form? posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Suggestions on what to do if you lose your W2 form and how to get another one.”

Jason @ Redeeming Riches presents Are You Making These 5 Tax-Filing Mistakes? posted at Redeeming Riches, saying, “Tax time is upon us, be sure you’re not making these 5 mistakes this year!”

Four Pillars presents How Many Years Should You Keep Tax Paperwork posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Everyone know you have to keep your tax paperwork around for a while – but how long?”

Peak Personal Finance presents Don’t Forget These Home Office Tax Deductions posted at Peak Personal Finance, saying, “Be sure to take as many of these as you can!”

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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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lakita (PFJourney) February 27, 2010 at 8:39 am

Thanks for the include among such great articles!

2 Jason @ Redeeming Riches March 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for the link and mention!!

3 PT March 6, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I appreciate you including me! Nice job putting this together.

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