Carnival of Wealth, Investopedia Edition

A Forbes Media Company. Steve, we loved your work on Saturday Night Live

 

Folks, did you know that Investopedia regularly features our work? Articles that you CAN’T get here on Control Your Cash? The fun thing about writing for Investopedia and its trillions of readers is that it forces us to phrase everything in a somewhat less incendiary style than the one we’re comfortable with here. It’s like when Vinnie Moore has to lay off the shredding and just play the notes when he’s touring with UFO, but can still whale on the whammy bar on his solo albums. For the 99% of you who didn’t get that analogy, here’s another Investopedia/Yahoo! Finance link.

Onto the Carnival. Personal finance blog posts from across the globe. If you’re a blogger, submit yours here. Send us garbage at your peril. For the overwhelming non-blogging part of the audience, you folks who are just here to learn a little about personal finance and maybe get entertained in the process, just keep reading:

If you turn at least 77 this week, live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, and/or are blind – and we’re not sure which of those is worst, probably living in Northern Ireland – Edward Webber at TaxFix.co.uk tells you how you can avoid paying taxes (in the UK, duh) in 2012.

Teacher Man at My University Money thinks credit cards, like single-malt scotches, are perfect for college kids. His point is that you need to build credit, and the sooner the better. If you can’t handle your liquor, as it were, grow up. Enjoy Teacher Man’s curious admixture of insight into the human condition and up-and-down grammar.

Yeah, living in Northern Ireland is far worse than being blind.

Ryan Souza at Your Life For Less joins the parade this week, and reminds you not to be a lightweight with regard to comparison shopping. Don’t stay with a trusted brand just because it’s comfortable, especially if an acceptable substitute can save you serious cash.

Case in point? Your humble blogger reluctantly admits that throughout his early 20s he never bought groceries at Walmart because, well, that’s where the poor people shop. The ones made fun of on that People of Walmart site. I can’t be seen shopping with them. Besides, it’s filthy in there. (As far as I knew. I’d never actually been in one.)

Then it dawned on me: I am poor. Partially because I’ve been buying groceries at more expensive stores. The first time I sucked it up and bought groceries at a Walmart, not only did I not catch bubonic plague, I saved about 40% off what Albertson’s was charging. And never (or at least, hardly ever) went back. Walmart became this shopper’s trusted brand.

Until WinCo showed up a few weeks ago, in her slutty makeup and 9″ heels, smiling and complimenting me on my broad shoulders and tiny waist. She started running her acrylic nails through her frosted hair and I was hooked. I still can’t figure out how WinCo sells red peppers at 48¢ a pound, but that’s someone else’s concern. Walmart, if this doesn’t work out, I’ll be back.

As usual, Tim at Faith and Finance put less work into this week’s submission than we did into that previous paragraph. Tim lists 8 jobs for recent MBAs, who presumably have already thought about what they’ll be doing after graduation and don’t need a blog post to remind them that

If information technology or management information systems is your specialty, you can command a great salary at a strong company, especially with an MBA.

Thanks. He basically lists 8 positions, and ends each description by telling you that your chances of getting hired for any of them are greater with an MBA. Tim also encourages people to get jobs working in human resources, which is the most loathsome career path in the world.

Parents, if your children have the right equipment, encourage them to get into porn instead of HR. We’re not kidding. At least porn actors don’t live to make other people’s lives miserable. Then again, what’s more fun and professionally satisfying than reciting the list of company benefits and denying employees’ requests for vacation days? HR administrators are the evolution of the insufferable little girls in elementary school who reported even the most miniscule infractions to the teacher. Bad, bad people. All of them.

PKamp3 at DQYDJ.net would be one of our favorite contributors even if he only submitted his aesthetically pleasing charts. Or if he only submitted his clever, informative prose. Put them together and you have a personal finance blogger most folks can only aspire to be like. This week he asks “Who gambles in Canada?”, a country where people were buying $10 lottery tickets back in the 1970s (not adjusted for inflation).

Speaking of Canada, apparently Rob Carrick of the Toronto Globe & Mail stole our idea and wrote a personal finance book for people who know nothing about money. Is his available on Kindle? For $7? No, it’s $17 Canadian, and that on undercutter extraordinaire Amazon. So you can order it and wait 10 days to receive it, or click the above link and be reading ours in less than a minute. Ours which actually applies to you if you’re American, like most of our readers are. Anyhow, Boomer & Echo reviewed Mr. Carrick’s book.

Did the guy behind Free Money Finance sell his site? Just wondering, because it’s changed radically. This week he lists a few simple actions for building wealth. Driving 70 miles out of your way to wait 4 hours to buy lottery tickets isn’t on the list.

Joe Morgan at Simple Debt Free Finance boils it down even more. He thinks you should increase your income and reduce expenses if you want to build wealth. We’ll try it out, see if it works, get back to you on that.

Every week we get posts that offer pointless advice. It’s rare that we get one that recommends you do something that’s dumb from every angle, but then we’d never heard from Jeffery (sic) Weber at Smart Balance Transfers before. Jeffery thinks you should use a credit card to pay your income taxes. Which is insane because, as Jeffery even admits, the IRS requires you to go through an intermediary that will charge you 2-4%. But hey, double miles.

We’re due for something good. John Kiernan at Wallet Blog reminds us that plenty of people don’t know who their health insurer is. If you have a vague idea that your insurance is handled by Blue Cross, Blue Shield, or some combination of the above, you might be surprised to know that those names refer to multiple insurers whose coverage can differ wildly from state to state. Your acupuncture treatments for that nasty bout of shingles might not be covered in Delaware after all.

We buried Liana at CardHub deep in the mix this week, only because that way it’ll mean something when we put her in the leadoff spot again. She gives the stark details of Chase’s practice of overstating past due consumer debt, which it then can sell to third parties. Chase is essentially rolling back odometers on debt collection, and we can’t understand why this isn’t a bigger story.

Ken Faulkenberry at AAAMP Blog brings it every week. This time, an important discourse on one of our favorite topics – fundamental stock analysis vs. technical stock analysis, a/k/a alchemy.

In a similar vein, Mich at Beating the Index shows how to identify that scourge of the market, the emotionally invested shareholder. Understand that being emotionally invested in the market is like being emotionally invested in the weather. You can’t control it, all you can do is intelligently anticipate what it’s going to do. Wishing and hoping are wastes of time. Mich’s posts are usually fairly advanced, but this one’s easy (and useful) for everyone.

There are hundreds of corporations that don’t understand Twitter. And then there’s American Express, which doesn’t necessarily have an entertaining feed, but is using Twitter’s structure to expand its business. And it’s gloriously simple. Use a hashtag, get a credit from a specific participating retailer. Laura Edgar at Nerd Wallet gives the details.

Finally, the craziest post we’ve ever received. This one makes Erika the passive-aggressive wife at Newlyweds on a Budget seem normal. Everything about this – the font choice, the graphics, the errant spelling, the long-windedness, the name of the blog (Wizard Corpse?) – screams out for help. Let’s all join hands and pray for the anonymous lunatic who sent it to us. And if he doesn’t cast a spell on us, we’ll see you here next week.

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