Today is Labor Day. And today’s Carnival of Wealth is dedicated to the millions of hardworking executives who tell labor what to do. Managers, loosen your ties and enjoy a few hours away from the office. You earned it.
The Carnival of Wealth. Scores, then dozens, now singles of posts about personal finance. From the sublime to the passable. From around the world. Starting now:
The CoW welcomes Harry Campbell at Your PF Pro, who shares our method for figuring out what credit card(s) to get. He writes about reward points, cash back offers and other features, without saying Word 1 about interest. Why? Because, as we’ve pointed out time and again, every card charges an interest rate of 0 if you pay your balance on time. Harry’s advice is basic and straightforward, and some people will still overthink it and refuse to look at anything other than “LOW INTRODUCTORY APR” before willingly signing up to have the credit card issuers take advantage of them. Those people will never be self-determining, let alone rich.
The redoubtable Liana Arnold of CardHub returns with a post about the relentless mission creep of government agencies. Well, that’s not what she intended it as, but that’s how we’re interpreting it.
Last year, thanks to all you idiots who can’t pay your credit card balances on time (see above) and who failed to read the agreements that you signed when you got the cards, the federal government created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Somewhere to complain, and somewhere to fix prices. Today, the CFPB has added the oversight of credit reporting bureaux to its purview. Your tax dollars at idleness. (Alas, Liana cites “Bad Boys” as a Bob Marley song. It was Inner Circle. In Liana’s defense, reggae artists are not hard to confuse.)
From John Kiernan at Wallet Blog, a post that speculates on the challenges that might face the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. No, current chairman Ben Bernanke has not been drawn & quartered (yet), but John thinks that Bernanke might not serve past 2014. As Bernanke’s nemesis and erstwhile presidential hopeful Ron Paul passes from the spotlight this week, we’ll take up the torch and the battle cry – “End the Fed”, the institution that’s gotten in the way of economic recovery throughout its loathsome century-long history.
Recent guest poster W at Off-Road Finance tells us a gambling story. No, not about the fat jackpot he won, but about the money he left on the table. W actually relied on his brain, rather than his gut, but still didn’t capitalize on a golden opportunity. His point? You need to do more than think, however rationally, to make money. You have to employ a little risk, too. The final paragraph of his post is one of the best we’ve ever read on the art of making money.
Free Money Finance begins a series on how to make extra money. Unlike some less rigorous bloggers we could mention, he doesn’t suggest selling your extra stuff or unscrewing the bulb from your oven light. Instead, he recommends that you do what you know; specifically that you teach what you’re proficient at, whether in a classroom setting or informally. If you don’t mind being around children (some of us are masochists), knock yourself out.
Joe Plemon of Personal Finance By The Book, who’s apparently a lot older than he looks, tells the story of his daughter who recently had her home insurance policy cancelled. She made 3 claims in 9 years, got dropped, and signed with someone else for twice as much. Joe doesn’t tell us what the claims were, but does give a few ideas on how to avoid getting in that situation in the first place. The story has a happy ending in that she didn’t have to move back home and sleep in Joe’s garage.
Jill at My Dollar Plan writes about the ultimate fate of the Bush tax cuts, set to expire in 2010 and then given multiple respites. The House wants to extend them for everyone, the Senate wants to restrict them to people under a certain income. This is the same Senate that’s gone 3+ years without creating a budget, so no hurry. Maybe, just maybe, businesses would be more eager to hire people and invest if they could estimate their 2013 tax bills. The Control Your Cash Obvious Tax Plan (standard personal income deduction for everyone, uniform rate on the rest, zero corporate taxes) still doesn’t have any adherents in Congress. They know better.
Dividend Growth Investor tells us his secret, not much of a secret. He invests in blue chips that pay consistent dividends, year after year. (You mean throwing all your money at an unproven company like Facebook isn’t the way to build lasting wealth?) He has a quantifiable if not numerical investment goal – have his dividend income exceed his expenses – and he’s well on his way. This week he explains his criteria for investments. He doesn’t merely invest in any blue chip that bats his eyes at him, but rather at ones that have large moats, customer loyalty, competitive advantages…well, read the post. We don’t want to ruin it.
Mich at Beating the Index knows the Canadian resource markets better than anyone, or at least better than anyone who contributes to the CoW. This week he breaks down Marquee Energy – a Calgary-based oil driller with operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Ray Kroc once said his company is in the real estate business; Marquee might be too, for reasons you’ll discover when you click the link.
Finally, unregistered sex offender Nelson at Financial Uproar took time out from his prurient post series about hot finance babes to write about investing in yourself. That means doing something other than motivating yourself. Motivating yourself is the easy part. Nelson has noticed, as have we, that as a rule the people who read the most self-help books accomplish the least. Kind of like how the people who have the most home gym equipment serving double duty as clothes racks are the fattest.
Self-help books are perfect for letting you feel like you’ve accomplished something when you’ve really just read a book.
A rousing chorus of dittos for that, and we’re done.
A late addition from Lance at Money, Life & More, which slipped just under our clearly stated deadline. Actually it didn’t, it was late, but Lance insisted. This is the much-anticipated sequel to the post of a fortnight ago (Lance was on vacation last week), “How To Write A Check”. Remember that? Why he performed the intermediate step of submitting it to us instead of just forwarding it directly to the Pulitzer Committee, we’re not sure.
This week, Lance suggests that you Save Half Of Every Raise For Retirement! (exclamation point his.) Our conclusion? Some post is walking around with nothing, because this one has it all! (exclamation point ours):
1. Advice given that the writer would never heed himself, phrased as something he’ll do (i.e., won’t do) in the future
I Plan to Save Half of Every Raise for Retirement
2. Homonym confusion
The best part of combating lifestyle inflation is that you’re overall expenses are lower.
3. Facile observation posing as insight
If I save more money now I will have more money at my disposal when I retire.
4. Guest sentence by Emmitt Smith
When it comes to retirement you only need to replaces your expenses
557 words that the author defecated out in less time than it would to defecate something more literal. Oh wait, one more:
5. The obligatory italicized postscript questions, written to inspire comments
So would you consider saving half of every raise for retirement? Which effect do you like better, saving more for retirement or combating lifestyle inflation?
If this post were any more derivative, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz would be taking credit for discovering it. The record for consecutive joke posts submitted to the CoW remains 6 by the chick from Newlyweds on a Budget, the Cal Ripken of blog carnivals. Because Lance missed last week, his streak starts again at 1.