Carnival of Wealth, Chief Executive Edition

It’s another edition of the Carnival of Wealth, a weekly roundup of personal finance blog posts both insightful and less-than-so. We go live every Monday. If you want to submit a post (please don’t, but if you insist), go here first.

A year from now, we’ll have a new president. Or an old one. Thus some presidential esoterica, spread throughout this week’s carnival.

Last president who was neither a Democrat nor a Republican:

Millard Fillmore


“You guys are mean. Why can’t you say anything positive?” We can say plenty of positive things about Paula Pant at Afford-Anything. Craft your submissions half as well as she does, and you’ll have a guaranteed spot in every CoW until the end of time. This week Ms. Pant discusses the neurological reasons for people refusing to follow their dreams (and demonstrates why most of us could never be Navy SEALs.)

Last president who didn’t have a daughter:

Dwight Eisenhower (Note: Mitt Romney doesn’t have a daughter.)


Jacob at My Broken Coin buys premium bike and running accessories. Now if we can only get him to self-edit.

This week’s hidden wisdom comes from Corey at 20s Finances:

An average movie ticket ranges from $12-$15 per person. For just two people, this means that you are spending $24-$30 just on the tickets.

Wait a second.

12 times 2 is…well, all my fingers twice, plus 4. That’s, uh, 24.
15 times 2 is…all my fingers 3 times. Which is 30. Hey, he’s right!

Anyhow, Corey got four tickets for $9 on Living Social. Another ending ruined.

Maybe if Rep. Barney Frank’s parents had let him play with toy soldiers instead of dolls as a kid, he wouldn’t have had to validate himself by running for office and we wouldn’t be in the mess he helped create as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Marjorie Rochon at Card Hub illustrates how the Dodd-Frank Act gives merchants the legal authority to insist on minimum amounts for credit card purchases.

Last 3rd-party candidate to win an electoral vote:

George Wallace. He didn’t just win one electoral vote, he carried Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. In 1968. He’s also the last candidate to stand in a school doorway and block black kids from getting in, unless you count that time Barack Obama bent down to pick up a quarter when Sasha was walking behind him.


If it’s Monday, and it’s insightful, it could well be the work of Len Penzo. America’s favorite eponymous personal finance blogger is back with a piece on the psychology of prices incorporating the digit 9. It’s part pseudoscience, part human nature, and 100% fascinating.

Last president who was never a vice president, senator, governor, or general (i.e., was only a congressman):

James Garfield, assassination victim


F and YES. We rarely go with bold all-caps or pseudo-cursing on this site, so you know this is a big deal. Darwin’s Money did the research we were too lazy to do, breaking down unemployment rates by college major. He went bold himself, italicizing for good measure:

The majors that are HARD, have a focus on MATH and PROBLEM SOLVING will continue to be the ones in high demand.

The world doesn’t owe you a living, especially in the liberal arts.

Wait, it gets better. Shawanda Greene at You Have More Than You Think might be our favorite non-us financial blogger. (Don’t be jealous, Financial Uproar.) Never mind her humor, or her patriotism, or her ability to spell: it’s her outspokenness that gets us excited. She identifies the one biggest stumbling block to getting the United States back to competitiveness. You might not want to hear it.

Jeff Rose makes a guest appearance at Christian PF. The esteemed financial planner looks at, and derides, people who have expressed their frustrations with the stock market by…quitting investing altogether. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. In summation, keep contributing to your 401(k), don’t withdraw from it, and don’t check your account daily. Amen.

Dough Roller thinks you need perspective, and he’s right. People moaned and complained about Bank of America’s recent attempt to charge $5 a month for you to use its debit card, this on the heels of a national uproar over Netflix forcing its customers to – gasp – log onto two accounts to get their precious discounted entertainment delivered to their doors. Leaving aside DR’s claim of how taxpayers got a 10% return on their forced “investment” in BofA stock over a 14-month period, we salute his idea that you need to think independently instead of joining a herd who switch their bank accounts to credit unions en masse. (Just ignore his line about “meet your financial needs.” Jesus.)

2nd-last president who was only a congressman:

Abe Lincoln, assassination victim


Dividend growth stocks have been big news lately, among an investing population that’s finally realizing that you can’t build a portfolio out of nothing but stocks whose prices you hope will rise. Boomer and Echo recommend that you do a little work and commit to something for, as always, the long term.

Did we mention that dividend growth stocks are a big deal these days? Dan at High Yield Edge makes his Carnival of Wealth debut this week (unless we forgot about a previous submission of his), with a comprehensive listing of the highest yielding stocks in the Dow. 22 of the 30 have higher yields than do 10-year Treasurys.

Free Money Finance has been outsourcing his blog as of late, and that includes a book excerpt from noted curmudgeon Ben Stein. You need to save, i.e. invest. A salary is no protection against life’s inevitable curveballs, particularly against the elimination of said salary.

No one ever said that Odysseas Papadimitriou wasn’t outspoken. (See what we did there? A double negative, which had more impact than if we’d written “Lots of people have said that Odysseas Papadimitriou is outspoken.”) The Wallet Blog wag believes it’s time to treat Switzerland less as a banking haven and more as a place that indirectly invites criminals to launder money.

Only other president who was never a vice president, senator, governor, nor general, although he was a cabinet secretary:

Jimmy Madison. In other words, if you’ve served only as a U.S. representative before getting elected, you have a 100% chance of someone murdering you. We hope Michele Bachmann carries a concealed weapon.


We hope you found this educational and slightly less offensive than usual. Enjoy the games, everyone. runs on the Genesis Framework

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