The world’s most dangerous Carnival (of Wealth)

Some carnies assembled this in an hour, and will take it down and leave town Friday. Wanna ride?

Late spring, and the living is easy. Why do people assume June is summer, when it mostly isn’t? Same deal with December and winter, not that that’s on anyone’s mind right now. Unless you’re in Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Rand McNally or one of those other countries that the aliens will never bother visiting when they eventually land.

But we digress. It’s time for another Carnival of Wealth, featuring, once again, real personal finance posts from real personal finance authors. Go!

Batting leadoff this week is the esteemed Mike Piper at The Oblivious Investor, who explains why having an investment portfolio that’s unnecessarily diversified can be more trouble than it’s worth (and offer worse returns.)

Romeo at Building Success: Post College tells us about how he became an entrepreneur. 1200 words later we discover that he sells some product. Maybe a service. Not sure which, or what.

Everyone’s got a story about the fish that got away. Big Cajun Man’s fish was Cisco stock, circa 1990. Ouch. Read about what might have been at Canajun Finances.

(Cisco peaked at 15¢ that year. And hit $77.31 a decade later. Today it trades at around $16, which is still enough to…sorry. That sound you heard was Big Cajun Man kicking himself. Again.)

Neal Frankle at Wealth Pilgrim features a guest post this week about ways you can throw off the shackles of having a boss and start your own business for as little as $5000. Or even $5000 less than that.

If your elected representatives were serious about getting the economy humming, they’d drop an ICBM on the tax code and start again with a flat deduction for everyone, and a flat percentage on the remainder. But if you think the federal code is capricious, Stupid Cents has even more depressing (yet funny) details about some state laws. We won’t spoil it for you, but we’ll just say that the commercial Jack-O-Lantern lobby in New Jersey is a powerful one.

What’s the dumbest financial decision you’ve ever made? We bet it’s not as retarded as Groupon rejecting $6 billion from Google. (Don’t worry, Groupon. Your business model is impossible to replicate.) And hey, would you look at this? Joe at Retire By 40 shows us that a few months after Groupon’s refusal to accept obscene amounts of money, someone decided to create a competitor. You’ll never guess who.

How to torture animals? How to have disgusting personal hygiene? How to resolve disputes violently? How to scream and yell for whatever it is you want, even though you don’t plan to do anything to earn it? This week Larry at Krant Cents asks, “What Can You Learn From Kids?”

Stop. The relentless Erin Pavlina continues to submit posts that have nothing to do with personal finance, or even the year 2011. Our resident off-topic psychic (seriously, that’s how she makes her livin’s) set a new record this week, giving us a post she wrote 534 days ago. That’s less time than it takes an African elephant to gestate, but more time than the American hostages were kept during the Iranian Revolution. Mercifully, ErinPavlina.com didn’t exist back then, which means terrorists couldn’t use recitation of its posts as a torture device.

/wants to make a “North American elephant” joke
/doesn’t
/it’d be so easy, too

In a normal week, Erin Pavlina would win our Unintentional Comedy award. But this week, we give it to a new entrant. It takes a special lack of self-awareness to call your blog “The Financial Literates” and write so illiterately. Look, we understand that you folks are well-meaning, probably intelligent, and that English is (at least) your 2nd language after Hindi. But there’s got to be some United States-based virtual assistant who can edit your posts and turn them into something approximating the Empress’s English.

Honorable mention goes to “Vera Lang” (yeah, like that’s her real name) at CRM Help Desk Software, with a timely post about Super Bowl ads. In CRM Help Desk’s defense, “Vera” wrote the post back in February. And apparently has an extremely slow internet connection. Or maybe she just thought it’d be nice to give us something tangentially related to football while the NFL looks headed for a long labor war.

Come on. Something relevant? Please?

Jim at Bargaineering to the rescue. This week he lists 6 Hobbies That Can Make You Money, or at least cause you to spend less of it, which is essentially the same thing. Jim reveals this week that he brews his own beer, and that the ingredients end up costing him about 40-50¢ a bottle.

A newcomer this week, Maxim Kazawy at the expositorily named Best Dividend Paying Mutual Funds lists “10 best mutual funds that pay dividends”, even though the post lists only 5 and the accompanying chart 4. Proofreading has joined bunting and home brewing on the list of America’s lost arts.

FMF at Free Money Finance is the most prolific personal finance blogger we know. The guy never stops writing, and most of his information is gold. This week, he gives the details of a credit card that gives you a generous 3.1% cash back on every purchase. Of course there’s a catch, but it’s not an insurmountable one.

If you’re an Army Ranger, active duty or retired, you get a pass. Joe Manausa thinks the housing market will bounce back. What he doesn’t think is that it’ll happen overnight.

Darwin of Darwin’s Money bought a pool. And a headache. He tells us 7 Things Your Pool Contractor Won’t Tell You, or 7 things he wished his pool contractor had told him. At least the contractor didn’t try to sign Darwin up for a service contract or “pool insurance”. (Darwin, here’s a way to recoup some of your expenditures: charge your kids’ friends to use the pool.)

Still paying 17¢ more per can of coffee than your neighbors do? Do you and the family not spend enough time around the kitchen table? And when did your scissors last get some use? Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff has the solution: coupon clipping! Intermediate and graduate-level coupon clippers notwithstanding, these are Top Tips for Beginning Coupon Clippers. Remember, hold the scissors with the points facing down. And walk, don’t run.

If you’re looking for a job, Lahesha Williams at Career Help for Christians suggests that you network, and do so by networking. She recommends talking to family members and friends about whom they might know. And rather than kick them in the teeth once they help you, Lahesha also recommends that you thank them.

Waah, the housing market is depressed! It’s the end of the world! Well, last we checked people still need shelter. And if prices are low, a certain group of people stands to profit. They’re called buyers. You could be one too. My Personal Finance Journey explains how.

Pretty much the same argument, albeit from a slightly different angle but with actionable advice, courtesy of Jennifer Martin at Negotiation Board.

Janet Hutchins of Credit, Eh? wants to know why Sony offers identity theft protection to its American customers, but not Canadian ones. Maybe it’s because you people call napkins “serviettes” and think Nickelback is the greatest band in the history of music.

Or perhaps it’s because you call college dorms “residence at university.” Teacher Man at My University Money debuts this week, with the first part of a rudimentary look at investing in stocks.

Good Lord, another Canadian? You people are insidious. You look like us, dress like us (those of us who wear Roots sweatshirts and crepe-soled shoes, anyway), even almost talk like us. Here’s a thought-provoker from Financial Uproar, who asks what you’d do if a natural disaster destroyed your town’s economy. To his credit, he admits he’d hop the next train. As would we.

Money Cone has a multiple-choice question for you. If an unauthorized money transfer happens from your checking or savings account, what’s your liability?
(A) None. My bank will reimburse me.
(B) If I report it quickly, then I’m not on the hook for anything.
(C) No matter how promptly I report it, I’m liable for up to a certain amount.
If you chose (A), you’re in for a shock.

With the possible exception of Vicky Vette, no one looks happier on his or her website than does Jim Yih at Retire Happy Blog. Our (legitimately) favorite post of the week comes from Jim. This week he examines whether you should make extra contributions to your retirement fund or do something else to maximize cash flow when you get a windfall. (American readers can substitute 401[k] and IRA for Jim’s wacky Canadian acronyms.)

Dr. Dean at Millionaire Nurse Blog is good for a submission every week. We were hoping he was going to offer his recent post, “Women Investors: An Oxymoron?” just to deflect all the hate mail Control Your Cash usually receives after hosting a carnival. Instead he’s given us something almost as provocative, “Gangsta Bank Fees: Don’t Get Robbed!” While we don’t completely agree with his opening argument – it’s not Congress’s job to free people from the burden of reading credit card agreements – his advice is helpful and useful.

Are you proud of yourself, Dave Ramsey? ARE YOU? Your debt snowball has become this generation’s est or Zoroastrianism. Congratulations, you found another devotee in Briana Myricks at 20 & Engaged, who tells us that “There is nothing more stressful than worrying about paying bills.” Apparently Briana has yet to dodge sniper fire on the way to work.

Again, the debt snowball works like this: “Don’t worry about the leukemia that’s ravaging your body. Get that cavity filled first!”

Finally, we wanted Boomer and Echo to scroll down this week’s carnival, second-guess themselves, see the other submissions, then invoke the name of everything holy and lament, “WHY? Why didn’t they take our submission?” Relax, kids. This week’s submission was full of great practical advice and deserves special attention. Here it is in living color (excuse us, “colour”): When to Fire Your Investment Manager.

Thanks again for stopping by, and we’ll see you here July 3. You know, this summer.

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