Welcome to the July 30, 2010 Edition #152 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.
The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.
This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.
The Skilled Investor , Editor
Matt T. Henterly presents How to Live With a Low Credit Score  posted at The SimpleChecking Blog, saying, “Tips on dealing with a low credit score; when you can’t do much to change it.”
Ryan @ CML presents Fair Debt Collection Practices Act  posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Borrowers are protected by the FDCPA against unfair and illegal debt collection practices. Find out your rights and what you can do if a debt collector violates them.”
Silicon Valley Blogger presents DIY Debt Management Plan: Go On Oprah’s Debt Diet!  posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Some ideas for managing debt.”
David presents One Credit Card Rule Above All Else ? Don?t Pay Interest!  posted at Credit Card Offers IQ, saying, “Tips on how to not pay interest”
The Smarter Wallet presents Are Debt Counseling Services The Way To Debt Relief?  posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “On debt counseling services.”
Money Beagle presents Your Mortgage Is Debt, Too!  posted at Money Beagle, saying, “I think it’s important to understand and track all of your debt, including mortgage debt. After all, it is something you owe!”
Learn Save Invest presents 5 Steps To Debt Reduction  posted at Learn Save Invest, saying, “Here are 5 tips you need to master in order to reduce your debts.”
Craig Ford presents Debt Snowball Explained | How To Pay Off Debt Using the Debt Snowball  posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “An introduction to the debt snowball.”
Big Cajun Man presents Found Money Trap  posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Found money should go on debt no matter what!”
Budgeting and Economics
2 Cents presents The Culture of More: 5 Socioeconomic Bubbles Ready to Pop  posted at , saying, “Here are 5 bubbles that have been inflating over the past couple of decades. If one or more of them pops, it could have a substantial impact on your financial planning.”
Susan Howe presents 9 of the World’s Most Expensive Oil Spills  posted at Insure.com Insurance Blog, saying, “Check out 9 of the world’s most expensive oil spills.”
Super Saver presents Living on a Cash Basis was a Good Experience  posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Living on a cash basis quickly taught me financial responsibility.”
Roshawn Watson presents Will the Economy Collapse In 2011?  posted at Watson Inc, saying, “With the steep increases in federal, state, and local taxes scheduled for next year, will economic activity be stifled to the point of economic collapse in 2011?”
KCLau presents Global Spending: How People Spend their Money  posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Results from a World Bank study entitled Global Purchasing Power Parities and Real Expenditures 2005 International Comparison Program spanning 2003 to 2008.”
The Skilled Investor presents Save More Money  posted at Personal Finance Strategy, saying, “Budgeting and self-control in consumption is far more important than clever investing. Expenditure control and budgeting works, while “clever” investing usually is counter-productive.”
FaithAllen presents How to Do Monthly Financial Budget Planning with Excel | eHow.com  posted at FaithAllen, saying, “Budget your money through excel monthly is a very good way to watch out your spending.”
Roshawn Watson presents Why Is Debt Really Decreasing?  posted at Watson Inc, saying, “In the first quarter of 2008, our debt to disposable income peaked at a staggering 131%. This means for every dollar we earned, we spent $1.31. As of March, our debt as a share of our annual income is presently 122%. If you think this change indicates that we have collectively been so scarred by the “Great Recession” that we are now behaving fiscally responsible, think again. There is a surprising and sad reason why our debt has gone down. Hint, it has nothing to do with frugality.”
Mike @ Green Panda presents The $7.27 Mistake Plus Ways To Avoid It  posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “How to make the most out of your money when going out.”
Bucksome presents 6 Luxuries In My Budget  posted at Buck$ome Boomer’s Journey to Retirement, saying, “By including small luxuries in my budget, it’s easier to follow month after month.”
Arjun Rudra presents Financial Planning Implications Of Marriage Vs. Common Law Relationships : Investing Thesis  posted at Investing Thesis, saying, “July 20th, 2010 marked the 5th anniversary for same-sex couples across Canada. However, despite amendments made by the federal government, many provincial statutes remain unchanged, and there are many jurisdictions which do not recognize common-law couples, whether same or opposite-sex. This can have an impact on both estate planning and property rights.”
Dividend Tree presents Building Core Competency for Long Term Survival  posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “whether it is running a business or individuals investment portfolio, it is important to build a core competency for long term sustainability. In my case, I focus on good quality companies that consistently pay or have potential to pay growing dividends over time.
Jacob A. Irwin presents What order of accounts should I prioritize investing funds to?  posted at My Money Blog – Personal Finance and Investing, saying, “A description of what uses new funds should be prioritized to when they are available to individual investors.”
The Financial Blogger presents My Financial Goals Reviewed  posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “In order to achieve my financial goals, I keep an update every 6 months so I can make sure to make adjustments to my original plan if necessary.”
Jim & Martha presents New Credit Card Applications Hurt Your Credit Score  posted at Wanderlust Journey.
FMF presents Life Planning Part 1: Plenty of Money  posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Thoughts on how to start determining your goals so your financial plan can work to fulfill them.”
Joe Plemon presents Which Comes First: Earning or Saving?  posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “The number one financial principle is to live on less than you earn. Right? Or do you need to get those earnings up first? This post helps the reader think it through.”
Ryan @ MFN presents What to Do With an Enlistment Bonus  posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “What should you use a large cash bonus for? Pay down debt, invest, spend?”
Mike @ Green Panda presents Prioritizing Financial Goals  posted at Green Panda Treehouse.
Larry Russell presents No Load Mutual Funds  posted at Top Index Mutual Funds, saying, “Superior past performance has simply not been shown to be a reliable predictor of superior future performance. However, low costs can lead you to the best mutual funds.
Frank Knight presents Roth IRA Financial Software  posted at Financial Freedom Plan, saying, “Whether to invest in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k versus their traditional retirement account alternatives is one of the most complex personal financial decisions. Roth accounts do not make sense financially for most people. They are a good deal, for a minority, but you need to do the analysis.”
Sustainable Life Blog presents Prioritizing Goals?  posted at Sustainable Life Blog, saying, “Wondering where to turn when starting to attack debt? Here’s a quick guide on how to help you prioritize your goals.”
Financing a Home
Ryan @ CML presents Mortgage Prequalification vs. Preapproval  posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “What is the difference between mortgage preauthorization, prequalification and preapproval?”
Jacob A. Irwin presents How to Improve Your Chances of Being Approved For a Home Mortgage Loan  posted at My Money Blog – Personal Finance and Investing, saying, “A look at 7 tips for making you a more attractive home mortgage loan applicant.”
The Financial Blogger presents Real Estate: Time For The Mortgage!  posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Here are what you need to get a mortgage these days.”
MoneyNing presents How to Use a 529 Plan to Improve College Savings  posted at Money Ning, saying, “A 529 plan can help your college savings tremendously. Check out how the government can help contribute!”
Ryan @ CML presents How to Open a Business Savings Account  posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Opening a business bank account is different than opening a personal bank account. Find out which documents you need to open a business savings or checking account.”
Writers Coin presents The Importance of Failing Fast  posted at The Writer’s Coin, saying, “Failing isn’t something we should be afraid of—it’s a surefire way of getting from A to B as quickly as possible.”
Consumer Boomer presents Finding a High Interest Savings Account  posted at Consumer Boomer.
Darwin presents Why Bear Market Funds are Lousy Investments  posted at ETF Base, saying, “Bear Market Funds came into favor during the recent crash but their performance leaves something to be desired. And long-term, there are several reasons they are terrible investments. Read up so you can defend against aggressive marketing of these investments during the next correction.”
Dividend Tree presents Dividend Investing and Businesses with Moat  posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “In general, companies with moats in their business are very good dividend growth providers. However, the opposite may not be true.”
Praveen presents Caveat Emptor: If An Investment or Opportunity Appears Too Good To Be True, Beware!  posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Beware of investment opportunities that seem to be too good to be true.”
Paul Williams presents Investing Basics: What Are Options and Futures?  posted at Provident Planning, saying, “If you have no idea what options and futures are, this article will give you a basic overview and introduction. It’s also part of a series designed to familiarize you with the very basics of investing.”
Zach Scheidt presents Solar Selloff Close To Exhaustion?  posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Solar stocks are off sharply due to Euro-Zone concerns. Trina Solar could end up being an exceptional value if earnings remain somewhat stable and management is able to calm investor fears.”
Silicon Valley Blogger presents Where To Invest Extra Cash and Savings Today  posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Thanks!”
Michael Pruser presents SmartMoney’s 2010 Best Online Discount Brokers  posted at The Dough Roller, saying, “A review of SmartMoney’s best online discount brokers for 2010”
The Skilled Investor presents Market Timing  posted at Investment Portfolio Management, saying, “Always stay invested to earn risk premiums. You must have your money invested and at risk to get risk premium returns. Jumping out and in or “timing the markets” doesn’t work.”
Intelligent Speculator presents Of course Amazon (AMZN) results are terrible!! Blame Apple (AAPL)  posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “Amazon isn’t doing so well with the iPad now out in the market.”
Barb presents Keep Pace WIth Inflation  posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance, saying, ““Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.” Ronald Reagan Since we haven’t had much inflation in recent years, it’s easy to forget about it’s VIOLENT IMPACT. TIPs are bond-like investments issued by the US government. They have a fixed interest rate… BUT they keep up with inflation because when INFLATION RISES the principal amount of the security (bond) also goes up.”
Frank Vertin presents Top Index Funds  posted at Noload Mutual Fund, saying, “Top ten no load index funds that track the Standard and Poors 500 composite index in terms of lowest costs.
Tomas Escent presents Stock Trading Automation  posted at Nerds on Wall Street
Carlos Sera presents A Puzzling Tale – The Case for Bonds in 2040; Financial Tales  posted at Financial Tales, saying, “Today I release A Puzzling Tale and it falls under the category of Investing Tales. A Puzzling Tale deals with what is called “The Equity Premium Puzzle or EPP.” You’ll have to read the tale if you don’t know exactly what it is. Nevertheless it has baffled investment theorists for decades and to this day has no resolution. This tale speaks to the problem confronting every investor, namely, where do I put my money. How do investors make a trade-off between risk and reward?”
Tushar Mathur presents Can’t Control the Markets? Try controlling the Costs  posted at Everything Finance, saying, “The financial markets are prone to unpredictable periods of turbulence. That can make investing feel a bit like a roller-coaster ride. The disappointing results may have left you feeling concerned over your financial future. You’re not alone.”
Alexander presents Real Estate Invement Trusts  posted at Dividend Stocks, saying, “If you are looking for extra income from your investments, take a look at real estate investment trusts.”
Frank Knight presents Municipal Bond  Financial Software , posted at Personal Finance Software, saying, “Municipal bond investments and your state and federal marginal income tax rates: Some investors hold municipal bonds in an attempt to reduce their tax burden. This article discusses the relationships between tax-exempt municipal bonds, bond market returns, marginal tax rates, and investment asset tax location.”
Dividends4Life presents 15 Dividend Stocks Defending Shareholder Returns  posted at Dividends Value, saying, “Dividend stocks are sometimes referred to as defensive stocks since many investors flee to them in an economic downturn. Their dividends, if sustainable, provide a minimum level of positive return. This cushions the downward pressure from the market. Better yet, great dividend companies not only sustain their dividends in a downturn – they actually raise them.”
Joe Plemon presents This Family Paid Cash For Their Car; You Can Too!  posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “A story about some friends who are excited about paying cash for their car. Turns out they are doing lots of things right.”
Super Saver presents Disputed Price Increase on Phone Bill and Won  posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Last month, our phone bill was up 12%, with no changes made on our part. We disputed the increase and the phone company agreed.”
MoneyNing presents Is Financial Compatibility Important When Choosing a Life Partner?  posted at Money Ning, saying, “Did you and your spouse talk about financial compatibility before your marriage?”
Joe Plemon presents Do We Spend More With Credit Cards? A Study Proves … Maybe  posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Do you spend more money using credit cards or using cash? This post tells of a very intriguing study on how people make spending decisions…but is inconclusive about the credit card / cash debate.”
nissim ziv presents Workplace: Flexibility in the Workplace Can Increase Effectiveness  posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “Basically, workplace flexibility means that the employees have a lot more freedom to do their work. Right from deciding where they wish to sit in the office to working from home for some days of the week, everything is possible.”
BIFS presents True Trick to Save Money on Appliances  posted at Budgeting In the Fun Stuff, saying, “Who knew cleaning these things could save me hundreds or even thousands of dollars overall?”
Pasadena Financial Planner presents Vanguard Investment Performance  posted at Top Mutual Fund, saying, “Compares Vanguard’s actively managed mutual funds and Vanguard’s passively managed index mutual funds. Vanguard investors should read and understand this study.”
FMF presents The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire  posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “12 factors you must consider before you decide to retire.”
PT presents Can You Count on Social Security?  posted at Prime Time Money, saying, “Can you count on the government’s social security program to help you in retirement?”
FMF presents Too Many Relying Too Much on Social Security  posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Too many Americans are counting on too much from Social Security — a move that could be a financial disaster.”
Larry Russell presents Roth IRA Conversions  posted at Best Financial Planning Software, saying, “Trying to decide about a traditional IRA to Roth IRA conversion without first having a comprehensive lifetime financial plan in place makes absolutely no sense. Without such a plan, you cannot figure out whether or not you are likely to achieve the tax savings in retirement that would warrant paying higher taxes now.”
Super Saver presents Retirement Finances – What worked and what did not  posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Here’s my summary of what has worked and what didn’t in our first three years of retirement.”
Jules Wells presents Retirement Calculator –Retirement Savings Software , posted at Retirement Financial Planning, saying, “This article helps you understand the trade-offs between traditional and Roth tax-advantaged retirement plan contributions, including Roth 401k and IRA retirement plans. It helps with the 2010 Roth conversion decision.”
BudgetSnob presents Most Affordable Places To Retire  posted at Budget Snob.
Risk Management and Insurance
FMF presents Four Times You’ll Probably Need Long-Term Care Insurance  posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “If you find yourself in any of these four situations, it’s likely that you’ll need long-term care insurance.”
Jeff Rose, CFP presents Will You Be Able To Afford COBRA Insurance?  posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “If you have been laid off and want to avoid a breakage in health insurance coverage, you can still get COBRA. However, you may find that you premium goes higher without your employer picking up part of the tab. If you can still afford COBRA, that might be something to keep in the interim.”
Jeff Rose, CFP presents Should You Buy Life Insurance for Your Child?  posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Many argue that purchasing a life insurance policy for your child is a low-cost money move that will be beneficial in the future. It can be an effective plan for the future should the child grow up with health problems or have family history of health problems that would be make it difficult for them to get insured as an adult.”
Big Cajun Man presents Self Insured Company Disability Plans  posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Sometimes insurance is not as safe as you might think (in Canada at least)”
Jeff Rose, CFP presents Online Life Insurance Quotes  posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “The Internet does provide a good resource for locating life insurance agents whom you may not otherwise have found searching through the phone book.”
KCLau presents Are You Rich in Internal Assets?  posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “pay attention to the internal assets”
freefrombroke presents Crank Up Your Money Saving Goals With SmartyPig  posted at Free From Broke, saying, “Having a SmartyPig account can be a great way to save up toward specific goals. It’s also a great way to get friends and family involved with your savings goals.”
Jim & Martha presents Passport Fees Increase July 13th  posted at Wanderlust Journey.
Madison DuPaix presents 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate Really Exists  posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “Find out why 2010 could be your year for cashing out stocks. Capital gains rates may never be this good.”
Ryan @ MFN presents Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension for Military and Overseas Federal Employees  posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “There is an extension to the homebuyer tax credit, which is available to military members and federal employees who live overseas.”
Super Saver presents Taxes are Going Up – No Surprise  posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “And it won’t be just for the “wealthy.”
Financial Freedom Plan presents Roth IRA Conversion Financial Software , posted at My Financial Freedom, saying, “The Roth tax optimization puzzle for asset conversions, as well as for annual Roth contributions during working years, is one of the most complex decisions that the ridiculously complex US taxation and retirement planning system forces upon individuals.”
Mike Piper presents 2011 Tax Brackets: What Will Change and How Should We Plan for It?  posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “A look at the likely income tax changes between 2010 and 2011, plus some thoughts on how we can plan for them.
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