It’s a social networking site! A venerable one! And the most heavily advertised one in existence, if our web history is any indication. Just wait until its initial public offering. People will be clamoring to get a piece of…
Oh, we’re running out of jokes. No one cares. Just like no investor will care about Facebook in a few months’ time. That’s not literally true, and Facebook will still exist and even flourish, but the idea of its stock as a golden ticket will seem laughable long before then. Never in the history of the world has prolonged hype led to investing riches. Is that an unduly general statement? Fine, give us a counterexample.
Welcome to the Carnival of Wealth, the finest blog carnival known to man. A new edition every Monday.
That’s the over/under on the number of submissions we’re expecting to receive whose topic is the Facebook IPO.
If you’re new here, the CoW is a collection of personal finance blog posts from around the globe, annotated, collated, and commented upon by us. Lots of people don’t like that. They can go die. If you want an inoffensive blog carnival, one where all the host did was cut and paste the submissions without even correcting for punctuation…well, there are several such carnivals and they’re easy to find. We found one competing carnival that presented 83 entrants in just that manner this week. As if any of you are going to sift through that. By virtue of alienating lots of people, we’ve gotten our numbers down to something a lot more workable. Let’s get readin’:
Sure enough, Canadian Personal Finance writes (indirectly) about Facebook’s IPO. The post is more about how a big advertiser chose not to spend $10 million on a site whose primary purpose is to give dull women a place to comment on each other’s baby photos:
Glad you gals have so much to say.
Will someone please tell Sean at One Smart Dollar that “et cetera” is abbreviated “etc.” and not “ect.”? This is about as generic a personal finance blog post as you’re going to read. An explanation of credit limits written for simpletons, with other bloggers leaving comments telling the author how brilliant he is and hoping that he’ll leave comments on their blogs. “Link love”, they call it. An extension of the principle that the lay reader means nothing.
How about a post from a blog with an obsolete title? Exactly what are you supposed to do, in 2012, with the URL 2010Tax.org? Somebody named “George Gallagher” (a pseudonym if ever we’ve heard one) is using it to write about people who’ve tried to argue that the United States income tax is unconstitutional. What should be unconstitutional are “George’s” random capitalization and wayward punctuation.
(Seriously, submitters. This is getting ridiculous. Tim Ferriss told you to hire Indian remote assistants, and you did, and for the $4.50 an hour you’re paying them to write your blog posts you’re getting…well, $4.50/hour-worthy work. Why not hire a Bangalorean to make hot sweet love to your significant other while you’re at it?)
Steve Zussino, the guy from Canadian Personal Finance, insists on submitting multiple times every week. Even his wife (or maybe it’s his sister or mom) submits on occasion, too. We’ve run maybe 1 of the 180 posts he’s submitted, but what the hey, let’s indulge him for a second time. Take it away, Steve:
With all the new bells and whistles available in BBQs – grill shopping can seem more like luxury car shopping. We wanted to share these tips to save money on your next barbeque purchase.
That is a lie. No, you wanted to collect money from Napoleon Grills, the Canadian manufacturer that sponsored your post.
Buying a grill all depends on your needs.
Here are some tips to help choose what is best to suit your needs:
No one reads stuff like this unless it’s being goofed on here in this milieu, right? Two links from Napoleon Grills, and an interview with a company spokesman. Stellar.
Jason Steele might be a pseudonym too, but at least we found a (grainy) photo of the Smart Balance Transfers writer. And boy, does he know how to get your attention with a gripping opening sentence:
Credit cards are remarkably transparent financial products as Federal regulations require that card issuers disclose almost all rates and fees before cardholders begin to fill out their application.
It’s like you’re trying to bore people. We’ll spare you the task of reading it, but Mr. Steele – as his website’s name indicates – is sharing the unnecessary details of the stupid procedure of transferring balances from one credit card to another. Do we even need to say at this point that you shouldn’t be carrying a balance? Great, so your new BBVA Visa charges you 17.9% while the Chase MasterCard you’re escaping from charged 19.9%. Really getting one over on the banks, aren’t you?
BBVA bought your debt from Chase. Do you think they did so because they like losing money? Of course not. They’re paying off your balance because they know you’re undisciplined, and that you’ll spend the next few years amassing thousands of dollars on your new card, money you won’t be able to pay.
Balance transfers. Please.
Dividend Growth Investor is back with his arid pronouncements on companies that have recently increased their dividends. It’s his descriptions of the companies that amuse us. This week they include:
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) operates membership warehouses that offer a selection of branded and private label products in a range of merchandise categories in no-frills, self-service warehouse facilities.
In the last few CoWs, we’ve been spending so much time making fun of the awful posts that we get mentally fatigued and just string together the good ones at the end before cutting out and sniffing some glue. This week is no exception. Unlike many of our submitters, John Kiernan at Wallet Blog can type a sentence without feral dogs forming into packs and sniffing for the blood of infants. This week he tackles the opacity of medical professionals. When was the last time you walked into your doctor’s office, even for a standard checkup, and asked “How much will this cost me?” The big bills you’re paying are your fault as much as anyone’s.
With all due respect to the Smart Balance Transfer guy whose name we already forgot and can’t be bothered to go back and check, this is how you get a reader’s attention with an opening sentence:
Do you guys know what rhymes with debate? Masturbate. HEY. I NEVER CLAIMED TO BE MATURE.
Sudden all caps © Drew Magary, 2012. That’s the work of Nelson Smith at Financial Uproar, who finalizes the debate on 30-year mortgages vs. the 15-year variety.
PKamp3 at DQYDJ.net is playing chess while most of the rest of the submitters are still trying to figure out the complexities of nim. Don’t Quit Your Day Job gives us another impassioned, reasoned piece; this one on the incongruity of stock analysts having little incentive to downgrade the weak stocks of companies they might want to do future business with. When only 4.11% of analyst ratings are negative, we should acknowledge that those ratings say more about the analysts than the underlying companies.
There is no reason why the United States can’t, and shouldn’t, have a grossly simplified tax system. A basic personal deduction of $x, and y% on the rest. Once they agree to that in principle, the various factions in Congress could argue all day about what x and y should be. This will never happen, because it eliminates interest groups to curry favor with and collect tribute from. Roger the Amateur Financier looks at a slightly more complex system, but one still exponentially simpler than the morass we have now.
Veteran Curtez Riggs of Life After The Army returns with a post on how to get civilian employers to hire you. Straightforward, worthwhile advice. Although it’s hard to imagine that any employer would hire a civilian applicant over an otherwise equally qualified one who’d served in the Armed Forces. If you’re a vet, Mr. Riggs does suggest that you create a Facebook page in addition to any LinkedIn page. We’ll defer to his expertise, but giving employers access to a potential drunken photo depository seems like a questionable idea.
Free Money Finance is one of the few seasoned financial bloggers who doesn’t despise us, but we’d run his posts anyway. We often poke fun at the abominable practice of using “needs” as a noun (did it earlier in the CoW, in fact), but we’ll excuse FMF’s use of it here because he did it correctly. It’s germane to his topic; how to distinguish needs from wants when spending your money. Although we couldn’t disagree more with his assessment that “spending, not earning, is the key to financial security”. That’s like saying the head of a coin is more important than the tail. (Line stolen from Bill James’s 1983 Baseball Abstract.)
Holy crap. Walmart’s prepaid debit cards cost $236 annually? That’s an incidental finding from Anisha at Nerd Wallet, who analyzes the relatively cheap (just $59!) Chase Liquid prepaid card. If you can’t think of a way to avoid spending $59 for the privilege of spending your own money, a) all is lost and b) given that all is lost, you might as well read this post. Also, this week’s winning lottery numbers are 5, 6, 7, 8, 23 and 33. Make sure to play them when you’re buying your Camel unfiltereds in the soft pack. Heck, buy 2 packs and you’ll save yourself a walk to the AM/PM. Less work for your lungs, which you can then cram more carcinogens into. It’s win-win!
Finally, Liana Arnold at Card Hub discusses VISA’s and MasterCard’s latest attempts to futurize payments – digital wallets. There can’t be a downside to making spending faster and more secure, can there?
Thanks again for sitting through another CoW. Glad you could join us. New Anti-Tip of the Day tomorrow, new post Wednesday, new CoW Monday, and probably something good on Yahoo! Finance and Investopedia before then. Peace out, as the kids say.