Welcome to the 212th Carnival of Personal Finance! This week’s theme is based Independence Day of course – but, since we’ve gone global and this isn’t just a US-based readership, I thought I’d highlight how countries around the world have achieved Independence throughout history. Please feel free to check out the rest of my site, and don’t forget to Subscribe to Email/RSS (what is RSS?) to get future updates from Darwin’s Finance. Enjoy!
Below are my favorite 5 posts from this week’s carnival. There were so many great selections, but these made the biggest impression on me.
Funny about Money presents What’s a Master’s Degree Worth? in this very detailed analysis. I’m still trying to figure out what mine was worth – good read if you’re thinking about sacrificing that time and money on higher education.
Debt Free Adventure presents Follow Through on Financial Goals, and says, “Have you recently made side money, reduced some expenses, or paid off a debt, yet failed to follow through by properly redistributing your savings accordingly?” He goes on to share some other posts on the topic from fellow bloggers on this important activity that too many of us forget to prioritize.
Amateur Asset Allocator presents an excellent knock on the purported “infinite return on a real estate” by esteemed “experts” in the field in An Infinite Return On Investment Is Impossible, Even In Real Estate. Good read before jumping on the bandwagon.
Good Financial Cents presents a very important step-by-step breakdown on How to do a background check on your finanical advisor, and warns that without doing so, you may fall victim to an unscrupulous broker.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job presents Are California IOUs Constitutional?, and with this economics/law article on the legality of California IOUs in the context of California’s chances of going bankrupt. An especially timely article given this weekend’s tea parties and well…more government spending on the way.
Money Management and Budgeting
On August 15, 1947, India declared its Independence from the United Kingdom.
The Digerati Life presents Should You Get Identity Theft Protection?, and provides a very thorough breakdown of the cost/benefit considerations for this growing service.
Man Vs. Debt presents Negotiation Tips For Beginners – A Real Life Example Of How I Saved $150 With Just A Few Questions. I love a good negotiator stepping outside their comfort zone to realize some savings!
My Dollar Plan presents Microsoft Money Discontinued and some alternatives to fill the void.
Money Under 30 presents We All Have Spending Weaknesses, and says, “Nobody’s perfect, especially when it comes to spending and saving. We all have spending weaknesses. Sometimes, they’re even a good thing.”
Punch Debt In The Face presents Im obsessed with Obsessed, and says, “What’s your obsession?”. This article delves into various financial obsessions and with a name like that (and very colorful site to boot), you’ve gotta check it out.
Investing and Finance
Over a period of 2 months 1991, the following countries declared their Independence from the Soviet Union: Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Kazahkstan
Dividend Growth Investor presents a compelling case for checking out Largest Stock Buybacks for first quarter of 2009 .
Financial Highway presents Investment Policy Statement- What is an Investment Policy Statement?, and says, “An Investment Policy Statement is a written document detailing your rules and expectations of your portfolio. IPS ensures that you do not get involved emotionally with your investments.”
Prime Time Money presents Creating an Investment Policy Statement – another good writeup on this topic I hadn’t really considered previously. Take a read.
Doughroller presents freecreditreport.com versus annualcreditreport.comÃ¢â‚¬â€œWhere to get your free credit report, and says, “Want your free credit report? Makes sure you go to the right website, or you could pay an arm and a leg.”
Harvesting Dollars presents Do You Need A Financial Adviser, which poses the age-old question that is even more prescient today than ever before.
The Smarter Wallet presents Investing In Gold: Trading Spot Gold vs Buy and Hold, and shares some trends, ideas and tools to enable investment in gold.
Well-Heeled, with a mission presents Cash Goes Fast When It Comes to Standardized Tests, and says, “Detailed breakdown and ruminations on how much I’ve spent on standardized tests, from 10th grade to now (post-college).” I was amazed to see just what the final bill is when all is said and done and figured I must have spent close to that myself – amazing!
BuyLikeBuffett presents Is Bank of America a Buy?.
PennyJobs.com presents Entrepreneurs Are Worthy of Their Profits. I like to sum it up in 6 words: Capitalism Is Not a Dirty Word…and I wish our politicians would stop treating it as such.
Frugality and Saving
On December 2, 1971, the United Arab Emirates declared Independence from the British Empire
The Incidental Economist presents Ch-Ching! Cash in My Crawlspace, whereby the author recounts his story of turning his used text books into $1000 cash.
Money Granola presents Stock Dividends as Mutations, and makes an argument for why dividends are bad from a shareholder’s view. (This one will be sure to raise some eyebrows).
Bargaineering presents No Penalty CD Rates by comparing a few options and explaining what they’re all about.
Single Guy Money presents Extra Paycheck – Save or Spend and shares what his plans are for this sporadic windfall.
M is for Money presents Losing Some Love for FNBO Direct due to rapidly dropping savings rates.
Debt and Credit
On September 16, 1810, Mexico declared Independence from Spain
Budgets Are Sexy presents Payday Loans vs. Credit Cards, and says, “Payday Loans vs. Credit Cards – which are worse to take out cash from?” Interesting comparison of the lesser of two evils.
Ask Mr Credit Card presents I don’t like my credit card company! where he weighs in on a letter from an extremely annoyed reader.
Your Money Relationship presents We’re In Debt: $150,679 In Debt To Be Exact – and he explains how he got there and where he’s headed.
FiscalGeek presents The Debt Snowball Saved My Marriage: Spreadsheet Tell-all, and shows how useful the Debt Snowball is by taking all of your outstanding debts and prioritizing them appropriately as outlined in his article.
Financial Methods presents some lessons in Momentum and Milestones in Debt Repayment.
Real Estate, Economy and Taxes
In 1829, Greece declared Independence from the Ottoman Empire
Free From Broke presents Car Allowance Rebate System – Cars For Clunkers, and says, “The President passed CARS which allows for a credit when you trade your car in for a more fuel efficient model.”
Affine Financial Services presents Sustainable energy: If Uncle Sam Went to a Financial Planner…. This is a good read for those interested in what our government is doing and just how “sustainable” our current path is.
Searchlight Crusade presents They Told Me Not To Make My Loan Payment. Advice from an insider on oft-given inaccurate advice.
Growing Money presents Rental Property Update June 2009 where he takes on topics surrounding tenant screening considerations.
American Consumer News presents Should You Buy American Made Products? It’s good to know what “Made in America” actually means.
On October 26, 1905, Norway declared Independence from Sweden
Personal Finance Analyst presents 5 Wacky Scholarships!. You’ve gotta love posts like this! A must read for a laugh.
Wealth Pilgrim presents his Interview with World’s Top Avon Rep Reveals Business Success Secrets, and says, “Learn how Lisa overcame poverty to be a small business sensation and how you can do the same.”
Reviews and Misc
On December 6, 1921, Ireland declared Independence from the British Empire
The Sun’s Financial Diary presents A Look at OptionsHouse for Stocks and Options Trading. This comprehensive review is worth checking out if you’re looking to utilize options as part of your investment strategy.
Christian Finances presents a review of Natalie Pace’s book called Put your money where your heart is.
Brip Blap presents there is no cost to good health, and says, “If you can spend your money on one thing in this life, don’t let it be education, or your family, or your belongings. Spend it on health.”
Sources and photo credits
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