Carnival of Wealth, Breast Cancer Awareness Edition

 

Guys, and you thought removing a conventional bra was awkward

Guys, and you thought removing a conventional bra was awkward

 

(EDIT: Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles 27 years ago. Also, The Cosby Show is no longer on the air.)

Are you aware of breast cancer? It’s a disease whereby malignant cells multiply in a woman’s (and less often, a man’s) breast tissue. We weren’t sure if you’d heard of it, so in keeping with the spirit of the season we thought we’d tell you about it. There, now excuse us as we pat ourselves on the back for that little stint of “charity work.” CYC is all about others.

Other bloggers, that is! Welcome to the Carnival of Wealth, our weekly anthology of posts written by people who aren’t us. People like Mike St. Pierre of Annuity Hates HQ, who doesn’t seem to notice that we run his weekly posts in which he touts annuities as the singular path to financial comfort. We’re putting him in the top spot this week because he somehow managed to write the same post 100 weeks in a row. Mike, your commemorative bottle of armagnac is in the mail.

Harry Campbell at The 4-Hour Workday (wonder why he hasn’t copyrighted that yet?) wrote about taking vacations from work, and as agreeable a guy as Harry might be we take exception with his opening line:

One of the perks of having a day job is getting paid when you go on vacation.

Poor, naïve, misguided Harry. Here, let’s try that again:

One of the perks many parlor tricks of you’ll be subject to while having a day job is getting paid watching your employer rearrange your pay so that it appears you’re still getting paid when you go on vacation.

Harry’s old employer used to sell vacation days to its employees, and people wonder why capitalism works so well.

One of our favorite publicly traded stocks is Realty Income, with the catchy ticker symbol O. The company pays monthly dividends, and unlike almost all other equities is openly engineered to produce cash flow rather than appreciate. Heck, it’s even mentioned in the name of the company. Imagine if Facebook called itself “Social Media Speculation.” Naturally, Dividend Growth Investor owns him some O. He also bought some British Petroleum (one of our favorites), and supplemented that with some British Petroleum options.

If you needed another reason not to be eligible for a tax refund, how about this one? Amanda at My Dollar Plan reports that while the IRS continues to levy and collect taxes during the government shutdown, the service’s accounts payable department is considered non-essential.

Let that sink in again. The federal government is happy to apply capital and labor to the task of taking your money during the shutdown, but not to paying it out. Just like the National Park Service is using more manpower to lock up national monuments than it takes to keep them open. But no, there’s no political grandstanding by the White House here, none at all. Anyhow, the way to take advantage of the IRS’s arcane rules is to owe money at the deadline, rather than to give the agency an interest-free loan throughout the year.

Quick, how should your nest egg assets be allocated between debt and equity? Everyone knows the 110 minus your age rule, right? Well, Jason at Hull Financial Planning knows it and has debunked it. Or at least come up with a counterintuitive result. Invest conservatively when you reach traditional retirement age and more aggressively beyond that? He’s crazy, right? No, he isn’t and when you digest his latest post you’ll agree.

Hire a pro like Jason, or go it alone? Marie Engen at Boomer & Echo cites the reasons most folks have for taking the latter course of action, not the least of which is the psychological high of beating the experts. Which is fine, except that the object here is to make the most money possible per unit of effort rendered, not to chase intangible feelings.

Go it alone like the people Marie cites in her post, or hire a pro like Sandi Martin of Spring Personal Finance? The Cottage Country Coquette projects the future of the Canada Pension Plan, reasoning that it’ll still exist when today’s young employeds are ready to retire. Regrettably, Ms. Martin delves into profanity in her latest post: we needed a couch and a cold compress after she referred to the prospect of the CPP going bankrupt as, ahem, “bull hockey.” She closes by asking you to not be “fashionably cynical”, advice that the world at large could benefit from.

Justin at Root of Good recently celebrated his .8333th anniversary as a retiree. Then he started writing about what his school-age kids have been doing and we lost interest.

We could never lose interest in Paula Pant at Afford Anything, who not only managed to visit 30 countries by her 30th birthday, but is lamenting how little she’s traveled. We should point out that she’s lamenting this from a sparkling private residence in the Netherlands Antilles Aruba, by the way. Paula’s got a point: about 85% of the globe is still uncharted territory for her.

We already joked about the uncanny similarities between Paula and Pauline Paquin of Reach Financial Independence. This week the latter brushes aside the advice given by 5,134% of personal finance bloggers (scientific estimate.) You can only cut spending so much. The limits to how much money you can make, however, are considerably larger. So why doesn’t everyone concentrate on making more rather than spending less? You could ask the overextended student loan holders as they apply for cubicle jobs befitting their pricey educations, or you could ask the international woman of adventure who spends her time riding motorcycles from Turkey to Norway.

Finally, Barbara Friedberg has written the Grand Unified Blog Post. How to cope with money and life problems. Unsurprisingly, Barbara recommends common sense over fretting and letting your emotions dictate your actions. Please ignore her recommendation to create an emergency fund while heeding everything else she writes.

And we’re done. See you tomorrow.

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