If you’re reading this in a non-Commonwealth country, you have no idea what that headline means.
For ex-Canadians who seek asylum in the United States, “Boxing Day” is one of those Canadianisms that’s easy to let slip out when you’re not paying attention. Americans, of course, just call it “December 26″. Most Canadians who want to blend in are savvy enough to avoid saying things like “serviette” instead of “napkin” or “pylon” instead of “traffic cone” in everyday conversation with Americans. But occasionally a rarity like “Boxing Day” can betray you as a foreigner with a funny patois. It’s not as bad as asking someone where the nearest “washroom” is, but it’s close.
Which brings us to the least elegant segue in Carnival of Wealth history. Here are the most entertaining, informative, or awful personal finance blog posts of the week. If you’d like to get in on the fun yourself, submit here. Read the requirements. Otherwise, just sit back and read. Here goes:
Corey at 20s Finances thinks this week’s submission is as uninspired as we do, otherwise he would have attributed it to someone instead of just writing “the following is a guest post”. Whoever wrote it has a deep understanding of how we pay bills in modern society:
Credit cards and utility payments should always be made on time. The same goes for housing costs and car loans.
You see, because if you don’t pay them on time, they’ll be late. God, how did civilization survive for thousands of years before personal finance blogs existed?
Oh, you’re relying on your employer to see you through retirement? That’s adorable. “Loyalty”. Please. If you believe in that, why not Scientology? Your Finances Simplified knows that an employer-sponsored 401(k) is only the start if you plan on one day living without working.
Today’s grammar pet peeve is illustrated by Newlyweds on a Budget, a new entrant in the CoW. They recently celebrated their (groan) “two-year anniversary”. If you can handle yet another blog whose subject matter is how hard it is for the author to make ends meet, what it’s like to take on expenses while carrying credit card debt, etc., etc., check out this groundbreaking post on whether finances are important in a relationship.
(Note: it’s awesome how the woman who obviously writes the entire site expects us to believe that her husband has a hand in writing it.)
(Someone sent a post about how to use Twitter. Yes, because this is the Carnival of Personal Microblogging. Since we saved you the trouble of reading through an irrelevant post, read an entertaining Twitter feed instead.)
(Another crappy one, so bad that we couldn’t even discern what it was about. Or what language it was in. Some approximation of English, we think.)
Alright. In Week 8 of the NFL season, Arizona was leading Baltimore 24-3 in the second quarter. Right now, we’re the Ravens and the submissions are the Cardinals. (Baltimore did end up winning, 30-27.)
The sophomore effort from Eddie at Finance Fox is his Christmas gift guide, which is more relationship advice than financial advice. Eddie, the European ladykiller of suburban Toronto, uses first-person experience and cataclysmic grammar to tell men how to tread the line between scaring women off with gifts and making those same women feel taken for granted:
We all like receiving gifts, because it makes us feel appreciated and the thought counts too. And with that being said, don’t kid your self by not giving no gift at all or don’t be surprised if you’re dumped soon after.
Seriously, he wrote that. We just cut and pasted. Last week, Eddie tempered his advice by writing:
Ultimately, you have to make the decision that’s best for you.
This week, he’s a little bolder:
Ultimately the end decision is up to you
(And it’s now 32-3 Cardinals. Yes, they went for 2 despite having a 27-point lead.)
FINALLY! Kevin at Thousandaire reminds us that “getting an education” isn’t an unqualified benefit. Field of study is everything. Someone who majors in electrical engineering and graduates by the skin of his teeth is far more valuable to society (and hence employable) than someone who graduates with a 4.0 in philosophy. (Bonus: his post contains angrily worded comments from ladies who majored in less demanding subjects.)
Every Friday, Paula Pant (an anagram for “papal tuna”) at Afford-Anything reviews a book. This week she analyzes M.J. DeMarco’s The Millionaire Fastlane. DeMarco, Paula, and CYC agree that the biggest problem with most personal finance advice is the consumer mindset: obsessing over how you can cut expenses. Instead, try increasing revenue.
Daniel at Sweating the Big Stuff points out the absurdity of IRA limits increasing in exact $1000 increments (when they do increase, that is) and how it’s suspiciously never tied to inflation nor to changes in tax rates.
(32-13 Cardinals. And we just recovered the onside kick. Wait, it’s under review…)
Julie at The Family CEO Blog points out that if you give someone a pet for Christmas, you’re also giving them a financial obligation. Not as big as the financial obligations given by those idiots who gift-wrap luxury cars and have them sitting in the driveway on Christmas morning, but a financial obligation nonetheless. Also, ladies like to worry. It’s in their DNA. Julie reinforces the stereotype:
The Center for Disease control says that cat dander is one of the leading triggers of asthma and allergies amongst all people. By giving them a non- hypoallergenic pet you may be putting their health at risk.
Which leads to our King of The Hill exchange of the week:
PEGGY: (reading brochures while waiting for the pediatrician to return, as her son has shown an allergic reaction to Georgia bloodhound dander) Look, Hank. There are several breeds of hypoallergenic dog we could get, such as a Mexican hairless, or a poodle.
HANK: A poodle? Why not go all the way, and get me a cat and a sex change?
Wait, Julie’s not done with her hyperbole (and reinforcement of stereotypes):
If you give an older person a more aggressive dog like a Pitbull or a Doberman, you may be putting their life in danger!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Exclamation points ours.)
Is there anyone out there dumb enough to give a pet to a non-family member who hasn’t specifically clamored for one and proven himself ready to handle one? Julie seems like a nice gal, even if she did refuse our invitation for her to guest post for fear that she’d be forever associated with the snarky douchebag contingent of the personal finance blogging world. (A legitimate gripe for her to have, but still.)
W at Off Road Finance put a lot of thought into this week’s submission. You should too – it’s a valuable read, but not an easy one. W explains how not only are most initial public offerings overpriced, but how investment banks and market makers can profit while dumb investors (i.e. you, if you’re not careful) lose.
(Why are our synopses of the good posts so short? Because we want you to read the posts themselves, not just our summations of them.)
Echo (of Boomer & notoriety) guests on Canadian Finance Blog this week, making the case for young investors to be…
We’ll make it multiple choice. A) aggressive or b) conservative?
No, his answer’s b). There’s always room for the contrarian here at Control Your Cash, which is why we’re presenting Echo’s argument. You can judge for yourself whether he’s got a legitimate argument.
Can you handle one more thought-provoking post about investments? Or you can to go The Simp and read his latest recipe for homemade cooking spray, your call. No, stay here and read Dan’s latest at High Yield Edge. If you’re excited about stocks that offer 10% dividend relative to price, breathe deeply before proceeding. That number’s probably unsustainable. Either the next dividend could be lower, or the stock price itself could drop.
(Final score: Cardinals 32, Ravens 31. We’ll get ‘em next week.)