Carnival of Wealth, New Blood Edition

Mostly O+, plus a little AB- to give it that oomph

 

We get submissions from the same posters every week. It’s time to introduce some Carnival of Wealth rookies, whom we’ll be showcasing in today’s edition. Again, the Carnival of Wealth is a weekly rundown of the most thought-provoking personal finance blog posts of the week. If you’ve got an established blog, submit your posts here. One per customer per week. Stay on topic. Of course, you’re welcome to just read. In fact, we encourage it. Got that? Let’s get started:

The Carnival welcomes Joshua M Schultz of RiskAdjusted.Wordpress.com, with an academic and readable post entitled “Forecasting Equities With Yield Analysis.” It’s about how to identify overvalued and undervalued markets. He uses the words “granularity” and “pentile”, correctly no less, which is awesome. Seriously, this is the best post we’ve read in weeks, even though it does require a familiarity with Student’s t distribution. Hopefully Joshua M will keep contributing. Read and subscribe so the guy can one day self-host his site.

At the mellifluously titled Credit Cards For No Credit Resource, Sandra Adams argues that while the federal funds rate is near zero, consumer credit card interest rates are too high to end the recession. They’re “usurious”, she says. She’s out of her mind, of course – consumers financing their purchases is a dumb idea at any rate – but her grammar’s pretty good.

How Does Rent To Own Work is suspiciously similar to Credit Cards For No Credit Resource. Awkward URLs, identical layouts, same imprimaturs from an organization with upside-down words in its logo, and authors with impossibly white-bread names. Fine. This week, “Jennifer” says you should budget and keep track of your expenses. Thanks for joining us, as the Carnival of Wealth slowly transitions into the Carnival of Glaring Obviousness.

(Okay, two is our limit. Better luck next time, First Credit Card Resource.)

(Next post deleted for crimes against the English language. Ahem. You do know proper nouns take capital letters, right? And that “a”, “at” and “are” are not synonyms? My nephew’s kindergarten class described this post as “puerile”. If it’s any consolation, the content was garbage, too.)

CYC welcomes Craig Ford of Money Help For Christians to the 21st century. He works as a missionary in Papua New Guinea and, after having his faith tested time and again, made a dramatic announcement:
After much soul-searching, he’s finally given up on the book. It just no longer resonates with him the way it did in his younger days, when he accepted it unquestioningly – largely because he didn’t know any better.

That’s right, he went digital. Craig discovered how much more enjoyable reading is on a Kindle or a Nook, especially when you live in a country where it costs $42.51 to ship a 5-lb. package from the United States (and takes 10 days to get there.) Heck, that’s most of the price of a Kindle. We welcome Craig to the e-reading community.

Hell yes. Corey at 20s Finances says that not only should you invest in real estate, but you should hire a property manager. The 8-10% you’ll pay her will give you peace of mind, and it’ll be covered by the historically low prices and interest rates we’re seeing.

Is Shawanda Greene of You Have More Than You Think old enough to run for president? Is it too late for her to formally file? We like what she says, particularly this week’s post about hitting up your friends for money if they’re going to treat you like a renewable resource.

Technically this guy isn’t a rookie, but close enough. Kyle Taylor at The Penny Hoarder pimps a site named Sumballo that pays you to post Groupon-style online deals. You don’t even have to create the deals yourself, you just have to find them. How does Sumballo make money? There’s a handy schematic on their landing page.

The official CYC position is that you can never have enough elbow room. The literate vh at Funny-About-Money graces us with a rare visit as she explains how downsizing from a single detached house into a compact apartment won’t necessarily save you money.

(Post deleted because the author can’t spell nor punctuate. Which is a shame, because his post on moving from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage was full of convincing arguments for doing so.)

Last week someone on Twitter, can’t remember who, described Bank of America as being like a man who gets rescued from a burning building then hoofs the fireman in the testes. First a bailout, now $5 monthly debit card fees. That’ll happen when the government mandates that banks make their debit cards less profitable. Laura at Nerd Wallet shows how you can fight back against the inevitable unintended consequences of the lamentable Durbin Amendment, by putting your money in a credit union, for instance. If enough of us do this, Bank of America will lose billions in deposits. And have less to lend out. And will lose money. And will ask for another bailout. And will get it, under an Obama or a Romney Administration. (Ed. note: But never under a Paul Administration.)

Same topic, differing strategy from Philip at PT Money.

This week’s infomercial masquerading as a blog post is from Everything Finance, which recommends you stop everything and spend $495 on a VISA black card. In addition to putting you out of pocket, the card enables you to a) get laughed at by American Express Centurion cardholders, and b) pay an extra 3% every time you use it out of the country.

As of this writing, Barb Friedberg Personal Finance ranks a mere 396 places better than us on Alexa. Now that you’re here, if you read our encapsulation of her post without clicking on the link, we might pull ahead of her. This week she writes about her findings from FinCon, the financial bloggers’ conference in Chicago that we sat out because most of our peers hate us. Barbara offers the first part of a trilogy in which she gives workable methods for granting yourself autonomy. (A subject we know a little about.)

The entire federal income tax system, distilled into a few paragraphs? Not quite, but Mark Roberts at Tax Brackets attempted it. At the very least, you’ll know if you can get away with using a 1040EZ form (which you shouldn’t want to, unless you’re a kid, but that’s a post for another time.)

Let’s make room for a wily veteran. Neal Frankle at Wealth Pilgrim tells kids entering the workforce to weigh criteria beyond who’s offering you the biggest paychecks out of the gate. (Near the end he suggests working for yourself, a position we couldn’t agree with more.)

If you’re really sold on the concept of working for other people, Free Money Finance explains how you can shape up your résumé; what to focus on, what to omit. (Hint: no one gives a damn that you enjoy spending time with family and friends.)

God, this is thorough. Mike Holman at Money Smarts Blog lists seemingly every discount brokerage available to our Canadian readers, and gives their positive and negatives (including such minutiae as average phone wait time) in handy chart form.

Madison at My Dollar Plan sold this week’s submission with the subject line, “Can you save time and money by only shopping for groceries once a month?” Our first reaction was that she must live on a planet where pasteurized milk lasts twice as long as it does on Earth, and that she either doesn’t eat certain vegetables or prefers them moldy. By the final paragraph she admits that that’s the case, but you can solve the problem of sour milk and rotten tomatoes with a “mini-trip” to the grocery store! Yes, because a regular trip and a “mini-trip”, whatever that is, are infinitely more convenient than two regular trips.

Time for a Boomer doubleshot, as Twofer Tuesday comes early to the Western Hemisphere. First, Boomer & Echo list their money rules of thumb. Some of them are good (save for your retirement first, then your kids’ education), some you’d never think of in a million years (buy low, sell high), some are self-defeating (if you carry a credit card balance, find a card with a low rate.) If you smoke, try a low-tar cigarette. Makes the tumors appear more slowly.

Meanwhile, Consumer Boomer says it’s never too late to plan for retirement. Even if you’re 64 years and 11 months old. You’re also supposed to take a “collective” approach, but we’ll go out on a limb and assume he means “collected” instead of endorsing the Marxist-Leninist way of doing things.

And, we’re done. Thanks again for visiting. Check out the archives before meeting us back here next Monday.

 

 

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