Carnival of Financial Planning – 4P Edition!

by Mike Holman

Welcome to the April 17, 2009 edition of the Carnival of Financial Planning.

A big thanks to The Skilled Investor who created this carnival and did the editing for this edition.  If you want to read financial planning posts – then this is the place to be!

Investing

Investing School presents Etrade vs Tradeking vs Zecco – Trading Commissions Comparison posted at Investing School, saying, “Have you written Etrade off just because the commissions are higher? Is Zecco or TradeKing better? This takes a look at these three stock brokers on a fees comparison.”

The Financial Blogger presents What does a DIY Investor (besides thinking he’s smarter than Wall Street?). posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Several people think (and I used to be a part of it) that they can beat the market and that they can do better than most of portfolio managers.”

Dorian Wales presents Stock Surges Are Usually Unexpected – How To Make Sure You Won’t Miss Out posted at The Personal Financier, saying, “Historical market data explains why many investors, including myself, missed on the recent surge in stock prices”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents TradeKing Review: How Does TradeKing Measure Up? posted at The Digerati Life

Frank Vertin presents Just Buy Index Funds Directly posted at NO LOAD INDEX FUND, saying, “Buying an S&P 500 index fund through an investment counselor can substantially increase your initial purchasing costs and and drive up your annual management expense fees. Unfortunately, the vast majority of individual investors buy mutual funds and ETFs through brokers and investment advisers. Rarely do financial advisors recommend that you buy index funds with low fees. This is because low cost, no load mutual funds do not pay them as well as loaded, high fee mutual funds.”

Barry presents Bullish Days Ahead But Bear Is Lying In Wait For The Kill | Jeflin’s Investment Blog posted at Jeflin’s Investment Blog.

VC presents When Will The Economy Turn? posted at The Penny Daily, saying, “What to look for in order to determine if the market and the economy have turned for the better.”

Tyrone Solee presents Investment Planning posted at Millionaire Acts, saying, “Learn how to write your own investment plans.”

Walter W. Fouse presents 7 Ways to Pick the Best Noload Mutual Funds and ETFs posted at Best No Load Funds, saying, “The vast body of investment research studies show that there really are better approaches to buying and owning mutual funds and ETFs. You do not need to frantically chase fund performance. Performance chasing simply does not work.”

FIRE Getters presents What is the Rule of 72? posted at FIRE Finance.

Sage presents Performance Guaranteed Variable Annuities posted at Pragmatic Sage Weekly, saying, “I give three reasons why to stay away from Performance Guaranteed Variable Annuities.”

Jae Jun presents Best Small Companies Fair Value Estimates posted at Old School Value, saying, “Find out what many companies are worth from my fair value calculations and stock price comparisons.”

Richard M. Rothschild presents The Top 14 Low Cost Taxable United States Bond Mutual Funds (Low Minimum Deposit) posted at Bond Market Index Funds, saying, “The top 14 low cost taxable US fixed income funds with a $10,000 or lower initial deposit. Low investment management fees are very important with fixed income funds. Simply put, if you pay higher bond mutual fund fees, then these bond management expenses tend just to be a deadweight loss to you. When you pay more in bond mutual fund fees, you are just wasting your money.”

Dividends4Life presents Auto Parts Retailers Rallying posted at Dividends Value, saying, “As consumers delay in purchasing new cars, they are forced to perform additional maintenance on their existing cars. The primary beneficiary of this phenomenon and one of the few industries experiencing success in this downturn are retail auto parts companies such as Autozone (AZO).”

Money Tipper presents Rule of 72: Estimate Your Money’s Doubling Time posted at Money Tipper, saying, “The Rule of 72 is a handy little rule of thumb for quickly estimating how long it’ll take for your money to double.”

jim presents Consumer Reports America’s Best Brokers posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Larry Russell presents 7 Ways to Pick the Best Noload Mutual Funds and ETFs posted at Best No Load Funds, saying, “Taken as a whole, the vast body of investment research studies show that there really are better approaches to buying and owning mutual funds and ETFs. You do not need to frantically chase fund performance. Performance chasing simply does not work.”

MoneyNing presents Ins and Outs of a Stock Exchange posted at Investing School, saying, “Stock exchanges perform a critical function in the world of trading. Find out what they do by going through the article.”

Shaun Connell presents The Case for Buying Gold posted at Financial Planning, saying, “Buying gold is a polarizing investment. I know several people who are putting all of their current investments into gold out of fear of runaway inflation in the next few years. Others are scoffing at the idea, and think this is the perfect time to buy stocks, not metal.”

Economics

Writers Coin presents The Credit Crisis: What Happened? posted at The Writer’s Coin, saying, “Two great videos that explain how we got into the current economic mess in really simple, easy-to-understand terms.”

Roshawn Watson presents Mark to Market NOT Mark to Myth posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Half the country’s banks–4,000 in all–would be bust if they marked their loans to what the loans would fetch in an auction. Banks are fooling themselves by refusing to mark busted assets down. Banks are on a prayer mission that somehow prices will come back and they won’t have to face reality.”

Britannica Blog presents Do Americans Support Capitalism, and Which Capitalism? posted at Britannica Blog, saying, “I’m being asked to participate in a debate on whether America’s economic system should remain capitalist or embrace socialism.”

Estate Planning

Tushar Mathur presents Getting finances in order posted at Everything Finance, saying, “Keeping organized records is a gift to your family and to yourself. It helps ensure that your wishes are followed, that your assets are accounted for, and that your money is available to meet your family’s needs in a timely fashion.”

Financial Planning

Big Cajun Man presents That is so Obvious! posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Sometimes the obvious financial planning ideas, aren’t.”

Jeff Rose presents 7 Questions To Ask Your Financial Planner posted at Jeff Rose.

Financing a Home

ChristianPF presents Reverse Mortgages: Advantages and Disadvantages posted at Money in the Bible | Christian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Playing a little devil’s advocate with Reverse Mortgages”

Brian McKay presents When to Refinance your Mortgage posted at MonitorBankRates.com, saying, “The time is right to refinance your mortgage. Rates are at historic lows – even lower than the rates several years ago that helped contribute to the housing boom and bust.”

Madison presents Making Home Affordable Program Launched posted at My Dollar Plan.

Claudia Gonella presents Are real estate prices sticker in Central America? posted at Real estate data for Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Belize, saying, “Implications of availability of financing on real estate prices in Central America”

kathryn presents Free Money from the Government posted at Out of Debt Christian, saying, “The government is offering free money to new home buyers that have not owned a home in the last three years. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides up to $8000 in a tax credit to anyone that qualifies for the program. The amount received is determined by the value of the home (10 %) that is purchased.”

Tallahassee Real Estate presents How To Make An Offer In Today’s Real Estate Market posted at Tallahassee Real Estate Blog, saying, “I was talking with a Tallahassee REALTOR yesterday and we were discussing an offer he had just made on a foreclosure offering in Tallahassee. We discussed strategy for making an offer to a bank (the home had been foreclosed upon and was for sale by the bank that held the financing on the home) and how the strategy had to be different than when making an offer to a typical homeowner.”

Health Care

Jim DeSantis presents How To Investigate Health Insurance Providers posted at On Line Tribune | Health, saying, “The growing number of consumers needing reasonably priced health insurance plans with decent coverage has led to the mushrooming of scam health insurance providers. These providers often target new retirees, the elderly, young families, and small-business owners who can’t negotiate group rates with legitimate insurers. Here’s how to find legitimate low cost providers.”

Income

The Smarter Wallet presents Find Freelance Work At This Online Job Search Site: GoFreelance.com posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “Thanks!”

Writers Coin presents Want to Get Paid Like a Trader? posted at The Writer’s Coin, saying, “Would you want to get paid based on a formula that determines how good of an employee you are? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn’t….here’s a little exploration on the subject”

Managing Debt

jim presents Borrowing Money from Social Lending Networks posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

MoneyNing presents 25 Debt Reduction Tips For Your Immediate Action Plan posted at Money Ning, saying, “There’s no time to waste. Get your act together and fix your debt right away.”

Miscellaneous

Len Penzo presents My Ten Commandments of Personal Finance posted at Len Penzo . Com, saying, “On this Easter week, I thought it would be appropriate to submit my Ten Commandments of Personal Finance.”

Retirement Planning

FMF presents Free Money Finance: Social Security 6: The 70-66 Strategy posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Thoughts for people aged 66 t0 70 on how to deal with Social Security.”

Risk Management and Insurance

nickel presents How to Save Money on Life Insurance posted at fivecentnickel.com, saying, “Life insurance is an important financial tool, but it’s important not to pay too much for it.”

John Russell presents 14 Auto Insurance Savings Secrets – Part-1 of 14 posted at The Low Cost Auto Insurance Guru, saying, “If you knew how this industry actually works, it would save you thousands of dollars each year on auto insurance. Want to know the secrets behind the premiums you pay?”

Budgeting

The Budgeter presents Four Steps To Create A Guilt-Free Budget posted at Keep Your Cash, saying, “A brief rundown on how to create a guilt-free budget”

Michael Gvirtzman presents Budget Planning Tool posted at Mind Listings, saying, “Family budget spreadsheet with explanations on budget tracking and cash flow forecasting using this free tool.”

Pasadena Financial Planner presents Living Expense Tracking Methods posted at Pasadena Financial Planner, saying “Many people do not track their living expenses and do not understand the magnitude of their consumption. Failure to monitor your consumption expenditures means that they are flying blindly regarding their future finances. If you do not understand how much you spend and how much you are saving and investing, you simply do not have a financial plan. This situation dramatically increases your family’s long-term financial risk.”

Jim DeSantis presents 3 Reasons That Can Cause Your Family Budget To Fail posted at Free Family Budgeting eBook from On Line Tribune, saying, “Money is the only tool you have to secure your future and the future of your family and to live a good life today. Unless you get spending under control and start treating your household like the gold mine it really is, you are destined to struggle financially for the rest of your life.”

Writers Coin presents Buying Shiny New Things Without The Guilt posted at The Writer’s Coin, saying, “Buying an expensive new gadget doesn’t mean you have to feel guilty about it. As long as you plan it out beforehand…”

Larry Russell presents Financial Planning Reading List posted at Pasadena Financial Planner, saying “When I work with clients to develop their customized lifetime financial and investment plans, they often ask what they should read to improve their financial literacy. This article provides a list of recommended reading from among the many hundreds of articles that I have authored in the past several years.”

Savings

The Dough Roller presents Get Your Green On-13 Energy (and Money) Saving Gadgets posted at The Dough Roller, saying, “The technology that is available today is quite remarkable, and many green gadgets can not only lessen our impact on the environment, but also save money.”

Curt presents 7 Reasons to Grow Your Savings Account While You Are Still Employed posted at PennyJobs.com.

Brandon Rowe presents Best Savings Account Interest Rates posted at Bank Rates.

Wenchypoo presents *WARNING! WARNING! BOOK DANGER!!* posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket, saying, “This book advocates the use of whole life insurance policies as the new ATM–insurance is NOT for financing spending!!”

KCLau presents Learning to be Happy with Less posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “How you can be happy with less material things”

The Skilled Investor presents Most Individual Investors Are Poor Personal Portfolio Managers | Personal Investment Management posted at Personal Investment Management, saying, “Investors more easily understand investment costs that are directly measurable, such as fees deducted on investment statements. However, many investors ignore or are unaware of the opportunity costs of their sub-optimal investment behaviors. Opportunity costs are usually much more difficult to measure directly, but these investment costs can be even higher than more visible investment fees.”

Taxes

George L Smyth presents One Minute How-To – How To File A Tax Extension posted at George L Smyth, saying, “Ryan Thompson explains how you can get an additional six months to file your taxes.”

Mike G presents The Revised 1099 or 1099-Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh! posted at Money TLD, saying, “When it comes to taxes, it can pay to procrastinate due to the dreaded revised 1099. If you invest, then you will likely get one.”

Patrick @ Military Money presents Free Tax Deadline Extensions for Military Members posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Military members can file for an extension for filing their taxes – especially if they were deployed to a tax free zone.”

Super Saver presents Claiming a Parent as a Dependent on a Tax Return posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “With more children caring for or providing financial support for aging parents, the question of whether a parent can be claimed as a dependent sometimes arises. Here is my understanding of the criteria.”

Barb A. Ryan presents Asset Allocation, Investment Asset Tax Location, and Emergency Cash Management posted at Fee Only Financial Planner, saying As you move your cash, bond, and stock financial assets into lower cost, more broadly diversified investment mutual funds and/or ETFs, you should also consider how to “locate” your investment asset allocation with respect to more optimal taxation. This article will discusses some ideas about where and how to hold your cash assets and how to make emergency cash available.”

Beno Varghese presents An Average Person’s Tax Dollars posted at Beno Varghese dot-com.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Financial Planning using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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