This nice lady said this nice thing about us. She gets it. And by “it” we mean what we’re trying to do here at Control Your Cash. Which isn’t hard to grasp. Maybe to swallow, but not to grasp. As you’re reading this, 8000 other personal finance bloggers are writing about emergency funds, and balance transfers, and how to prepare budgets (that they’ll never stick to), and trying to manage their credit card debt, and how to save money by using coupons, and all sorts of other boring and repetitive nonsense that goes down easily like strained carrots. Control Your Cash is different, as are our wonderful submitters.
Which brings us to another edition of the Carnival of Wealth. A collection of personal finance blog posts from across the globe. Some are great, some are awful, few are mediocre. If you’re a blogger who fancies herself worthy of being featured (or doesn’t mind running the risk of being mocked), submit here. And now, we commence:
Anisha at Nerd Wallet hits on one of our favorite topics, prepaid debit cards. Not one of our favorite products, one of our favorite topics. There’s still something unseemly about being charged money for the privilege of spending your money, but if you’re dumb enough to get into that situation in the first place that’s your problem. Anisha points out that the ridiculous prepaid cards endorsed by people like that hoyden Suze Orman are giving way to slightly less bad cards. It’s great to see actual pragmatism in a blog post – rather than whine about how debit card issuers are taking advantage of the poor, Anisha understands that commercial transactions (such as a poor person buying a debit card) entered into freely have a purpose and benefit both sides, however unevenly.
Another well-written post? On the same topic? No way. Michelle White at CardHub reviews the latest prepaid card from…well, it’s a joint venture between American Express and Zynga – the creators of FarmVille. The FarmVille prepaid card. The infantilization of America continues unabated. We’re sure it’s an awful card just on appearances, but Michelle breaks down the card’s worthlessness in greater detail and with more patience than we’d be willing to put on the task.
Last week we got an email from a personal finance blogger who lamented that nearly 100 people submitted to a similar carnival he’d been taxed with hosting. We pointed out that all he has to do is alienate the lousy submitters, and he’ll get that number down to something more manageable in no time. It’s about quality, not quantity. Meaning that we can devote expanded attention to informative bloggers like Andrew at 101 Centavos. Andrew has that fear we all have – peniaphobia. (Oh, grow up.) Richer people than him have ended up sleeping in flophouses, so Andrew’s taking steps now to take care of the downside. Best of all, he wrote this entire post without talking about the inanity of emergency funds, a fallback topic for most personal finance bloggers.
The formidable Οδυσσέας Παπαδημητρίου of Wallet Blog (that’s Odysseas Papadimitriou to you, Ace) returns this week, asking if tax evasion in Austria and Luxembourg affects investors in the United States. We wouldn’t have guessed that Οδυσσέας is in the pro-collection camp, but that’s just part of what makes the CoW interesting.
(Post rejected because it’s a throwaway English as a Second Language submission from someone with a child’s understanding of credit card rewards. We’re not going to let it ruin an otherwise perfect CoW. And we just jinxed it.)
New submitter this week, Dave at Dividends For The Long Run. Yes, he wrote about Facebook but a) he was self-aware about his choice of topic, b) he’s an active-duty Army officer, and c) the man can write.
(Got dang. On first pass, we merely scanned his post. Now we’re reading it in detail. This is the rare “we wish we’d written this” post. Every word is gold. We can’t even restrict ourselves to a particular passage to showcase here. It’s tough, but let’s try:)
Large numbers of retail investors tried to make a quick killing on an extremely popular social-media company without doing anything approaching due diligence prior to hitting the “submit” button on their discount brokerage’s website. Predictable events (the stock price did not double, triple, or any other sort of -iple on the first day) and unpredictable events (the NASDAQ system had a stroke) conspired to part the fools from their money in a matter of hours. Instead of taking the lesson to heart (don’t buy IPOs) these poor souls have resorted to a more instinctively American response: “It’s not my fault”.
We get the feeling Dave will be a regular feature around these parts.
(Rejected. A “back-to-school” post from last August. Even worse, they’re Canadian. No. We can’t accommodate any garbage this week. Things are going too swimmingly.)
We wrote a piece for Investopedia this week on the basics of investing. (That’s not the link, the piece hasn’t posted yet. That’s the link to our most recent Investopedia piece, which the San Francisco Chronicle picked up.) When the piece does run, it’ll bear an eerie similarity to Free Money Finance‘s recommendations for the novice investor. He simplifies it to a huge degree, but what he says is valid and worth remembering when you try to complicate things.
(Post rejected. Did you seriously think we were going to run something titled “The 8 Worst Exercises For Your Joints” just because it’s posted on a site with the word “insurance” in its title? Anyhow, it’s easy enough to find if you want to read it. And if you’re fat and need 8 excuses not to exercise.)
(“10 Ways Canadians Can Save Money At The Movies”. Good Lord. How about “7 Ways To Reject Banal Posts”?)
Sometimes we wonder if Dividend Growth Investor would be interested in any stock that’s guaranteed to double in value but promises not to pay a dividend. Ask Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett how they feel about dividends (from the perspective of the company that issues the stock.) Alright, you can’t ask Jobs because he’s dead and you can’t ask Buffett because he’s traveling the world with the surviving member of that odd little threesome he was once a part of, but you get the point. Dividend Growth Investor argues that you can make $1000 a month in dividend income if you pay enough attention. He also gives helpful descriptions of Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, Philip Morris and McDonald’s, just in case you’re unfamiliar with those companies.
Finally, PKamp3 at DQYDJ.net discusses options. Even a bright guy like him admits that such first-order financial derivatives are too complex for his investing tastes. However, if you look at the prices of puts and calls, and their upcoming strike dates, you can plot where collective wisdom says the S&P 500 will end up. The accompanying graphs just add to the authoritative nature of this interesting take on the information that can be gleaned from options prices.
GOOD LORD. EVERY POST WAS A WINNER THIS WEEK. That has never happened before, and will never happen again. It’s as if an 8-planet conjunction bowled a 300 game, then spent a romantic night with Liz Claman.
Thanks for coming. Here’s our latest on Forbes. Forbes! Ghost Malcolm Forbes can barely pull away from Ghost Elizabeth Taylor long enough to look at the destruction left in our wake. We’re also on Yahoo! Finance, Investopedia, ProBlogger, etc., etc. New blog post here Wednesday, new Anti-Tip of the Day everyday, new CoW Monday. Sayonara.