Welcome to the April 13, 2012 Edition #232 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.

The Carnival of Financial Planningtakes 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

Budgeting and Economics

SFB presents Donate or Sell? My Tax Conundrum posted at Simple Finance Blog, saying, “Should I donate or sell our used items – or donate them for the tax write off? Help me weigh the pros and cons.

Dr. Dean presents 24 Stupid Things People Do With Their Money! posted at Dr. Dean’s TheMillionaireNurse.com Blog, saying, “Have you ever done anything stupid that cost you money? Check out my list of stupid things not to do and see how well you’re doing.”

David presents Wired Capital Markets posted at Wall Street History , saying, ” Looking into the workings of modern securities markets is like looking under the hood of a Prius hybrid car. There are so many complex and obscure parts it’s hard to discern what’s going on. History repeats and informs in market technologies. From the days when front-running involved actual running to the “Victorian Internet era” brought on by telegraphy, we can learn a great deal from looking back at a simpler era.”

Liana presents Q1 2012 Credit Card Landscape Report posted at Card Hub, saying, “Budgeting using credit cards as a tool can be financially beneficial but sometimes tricky. See what the current trends are in the credit card industry and learn how it relates to consumers!

Financial Planning

Stephen Vanderpool presents Western Union WU Pay: Better Option, Not Perfect posted at NerdWallet, saying, “WU Pay may come to serve as a viable financial product for the unbanked. Much like prepaid debit cards, the program provides an alternative means of conducting online transactions. If your options are loading cash onto a prepaid card or paying cash through WU, we highly recommend WU Pay. Adding cash to a prepaid card usually incurs a reload fee similar to the WU Pay cash service fee, but prepaid comes with a whole slew of additional costs. ”

Jim Yih presents Leaving money to a charity through your estate posted at Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “Giving money to charity through your estate can be good for the soul, the community and the pocketbook. Here’s how to give to charity in your Will.

A Blinkin presents How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Quicker posted at Funancials, saying, ” I just told you that I Don’t Want To Be Debt Free and now I’m going to tell you how to pay off your mortgage quicker, how does that make sense? I do so because personal finance is personal. I would never give the same advice to everybody.

Jeremy Waller presents My Car Was Totaled Today posted at Personal Finance Whiz, saying, “Oh man what a rough day. I lost a good friend today. My beloved jeep was totaled in an accident. I was driving to my office today the same as I’ve done every week day for the last 5 years. About 3 miles from my exit, 2 dogs ran onto the road. Unbeknownst to me…

Frank presents Passive Index Fund posted at Individual Investor Strategies, saying, “Short-term mutual fund trading is a zero sum game played against other very well informed mutual fund traders and other securities market traders. On average, higher mutual fund turnover is far more likely to result in lower investment fund performance —instead of superior risk-adjusted performance.”

Suba presents Why You Should Eliminate Your Tax Refund posted at Broke Professionals, saying, “Why give Uncle Sam a no-interest loan on your hard earned money? Simply changing your exemptions on your w-4 forms is all it takes to put more money in your pocket.

Don presents Saving Money By Paying For Health Care Costs posted at MoneySmartGuides, saying, “As my regular readers know, I had some issues earlier this year with my knee. I needed to get an x-ray and then an MRI. For all of my adult life, I had been part of a PPO medical plan.

John presents Learning about finance and investing posted at Personal Financial Planning , saying, ” I have reached the conclusion that 99+% of the financial information that is easily available through the media and the Internet is: self-interested and biased, superficial and non-implementable, historical in nature or just current “noise” reporting without any actionable utility, and/or poorly researched, just plain wrong or unmitigated rubbish. ”

Daniel presents Why You Shouldn’t Wait Til Next Year To Ask For A Raise posted at Sweating the Big Stuff, saying, “Asking for a raise might be uncomfortable, but not asking could cost you a lot more than you expect!

Penny Thots presents A Productive Way to Waste Time: Idea Shopping posted at Penny Thots, saying, “The next time you just need to blow off some steam and wander around for a while try idea shopping. You will be amazed with how much it increases your knowledge of what stores have the best prices on different things, the new tools you will find, and the amount of creativity you can find when simply wandering aimlessly in search of just something new. Check out what I found on my last Idea Shopping trip

PFP presents Financial planning reading posted at Best 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. ”

FG presents Ron Paul: The One True Hope for Change in 2012 posted at Financial God, saying, “It’s now 2012, and the United States will elect a new president to run the still most powerful country in the world. It’s now been nearly four years since the eve of the ongoing global financial troubles, and I am very interested in how this election is going to play out.

Crystal presents How to Get the Best Price for Your Car posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, saying, “A post about how to get the best price for your car.


Odysseas presents 5 Ways to Make Your Job Application Stand Out posted at Wallet Blog, saying, “If you want to manage your personal finances, you probably should pay attention to acquiring personal finances. Finding the righ job is key, but getting noticed over the competition is even more important. Job hunting is not just for the unemployed. This is good advice on any front!

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Interview Questions & Answers posted at Financial Highway, saying, “This guide not only tells you what the interview questions are but also provides insight into what the interviewer is really asking and what types of answers will help you get the job.

Insurance and Risk

Echo presents Why You Should Avoid Mortgage Life Insurance posted at Boomer & Echo, saying, “Buying mortgage life insurance from your bank is generally a bad idea. Term life insurance is much cheaper and offers greater protection.

Sarah presents Portfolio risk and investment returns posted at Do-It-Yourself Financial Planning , saying, ” When making personal finance and retirement planning decisions, individuals must confront the dilemma that, historically, more conservative portfolio investments have yielded substantially lower investment returns than the returns that riskier investments have delivered. With either lower or higher risk-adjusted market return strategies, you simply cannot have your financial cake and you eat it too.”

Hank presents Not Living At Home? You May Need Vacant Home Insurance posted at Money Q&A, saying, “You are at risk of violating your homeowner’s insurance policy if you move out, no one is living in your home, and you do not have vacant home insurance.


FMF presents CAPM: The First Factor of Investing posted at Free Money finance, saying, “CAPM is the one-factor model for investment returns. We learn from CAPM that the markets are inherently volatile but also very profitable. Historically, the market has paid a premium for risk. And although we cannot avoid systemic risk, we can steer clear of specific risks and high fees and expenses.

Philip Taylor presents Should I Use an Online Broker to Start Investing? posted at PT Money Personal Finance, saying, ” Addresses a question from the reader about using an online broker.

Frank Pinter presents No Load Bond Mutual Fundsposted at Cheapest Bond Funds, saying, “Investment research overwhelmingly shows that lower cost fixed income funds tend to yield higher bond investing returns.”

Sustainable PF presents Canadian Dividend Stocks: TransAlta posted at Sustainable Personal Finance, saying, “If you are considering a Canadian dividend stockwith a focus on sustainability, TransAlta might not be a bad choice. There has been a dividend payout since 1993, and TransAlta shows no intention of cutting the dividend anytime soon. What Does TransAlta Do? TransAlta is a power generator, and energy marketer.

DJL presents Global Markets in Distress posted at Nerds on Wall Street , saying, ” Stock markets are almost perfectly transparent, with full information available to all, and the best electronic clearing and settlement in history. These technologies were omitted in building the skyscraper of cards (“house of cards” seems too mild) out of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), credit default swaps (CDSs), synthetic collateralized debt obligations (SCDOs), and the rest. ”

Miranda Marquit presents Advantages Roth IRA: Early Withdrawal posted at Planting Money Seeds, saying, ” There are many advantages to the Roth IRA. One of those is a generous early withdrawal policy.

William presents Mutual Fund Performance posted at No Load Funds , saying, ” Screen out inferior mutual fund performance — but only after using other ETF and mutual fund selection criteria. Superior or even average mutual fund performance in the past simply does not predict similar fund performance in the future.”

Tushar presents Tips for Building a Mutual Fund posted at Start Investing Money, saying, “Before you begin investing in mutual funds blindly, you need to have a firm grasp of what they are and how they can work for your financial portfolio.

Managing Debt

Super Saver presents Seniors Still Paying on Student Loans posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “$36 billion, or 4.2%, of student loans are owed by people 60 and older. Another 11.3% of the student loan debt is owed by people 50-59.

Corey presents Visa Black Card Review posted at Steadfast Finances, saying, ” Looking for an elite credit card with great perks? Look no further. The Visa Black Card is here to provide you with some of the most luxurious benefits.

Princess P presents Smart, Savvy, And On A Budget posted at Portfolio Princess, saying, “Sometimes sticking to a budget is no easy task, but there are ways to make saving money easy by following these simple budgeting tips.

Theresa Torres presents Power of the Extra Dollar posted at CreditDonkey.com Tips, saying, “This infographic illustrates how by paying a little more than the minimum payment on your credit card bills can help you save money in the long run. It also offers some tips on how to reduce debt and improve your credit score towards a better financial future.”

Eddie presents 5 Unusual Ways To Make Money posted at Finance Fox, saying, “Thanks to suggestions by some friends online and in the PF blogging community, I’ve been able to put together a compact list of 5 different and unusual ways to make money.

Jon the Saver presents How Can You Kill Student Debt in School? posted at Free Money Wisdom, saying, “Killing student debt while in college is not an impossible feat. Use these tips to destroy your debt in school and graduate debt free!

Real Estate

Shaun presents Should Families Buy a House or Rent an Apartment: When Renting Is Better Than Buying posted at Smart Family Finance, saying, “While I’m confident that most bloggers and everyday people are losing money by renting for lifetime, I cannot deny that renting can be the better financial decision. Today, I want to cover the circumstances where renting will save you money.

Kay Lynn presents A Lower Mortgage Rate Might Be Yours for the Asking posted at Bucksome Boomer, saying, “Were always looking for a way to lower our recurring expenses whether it be car insurance, cable or phones. One cost I havent been successful in lowering during this blogs lifetime is the mortgage. But that changed.


John presents Early Retirement Extreme posted at Married with Debt, saying, “In a recent post I laid out some money myths designed to keep people trapped in wage slavery. I want to talk today about how to buck those myths and try to achieve early retirement extreme.

Corey presents Easy Ways to Save Money posted at 20s Finances, saying, “Do you have trouble saving money? If you are looking to increase your extra cash flow, whether that is to build an emergency fund or to put money into other financial vehicles, read this article.

Frank Knowles presents S&P 500 Index Funds posted at Large Cap Funds, saying, “The no load index fund strategy of the Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund tracks the S and P 500 stock index. This no load index fund was listed as one of the top 25 lowest cost index mutual funds in a research study.”

PITR presents What is Retirement? posted at Passive Income To Retire, saying, “Find out what the traditional view of retirement is and how I see retirement as something different.

Kanwal presents Are you thinking about investing, but never get around it? posted at Simply Investing, saying, “Here are 2 reasons why you need to start investing on your own today: 1. Each day you spend invested in mutual funds take a look at your company RRSP or 401K statement you are wasting money. Over time this could add up to over $300,000 lost to fees. Click here, and here to read more about this.

Brock presents Best Retirement Software posted at IRA Account Investment, saying, “Whether or not to make investments into “traditional”tax-advantaged employer accounts and IRAs versus investing in “Roth”tax-advantaged employer accounts and personal IRAs is never a straightforward nor simple financial planning decision.”


Steve presents Frugal Meals: Chili posted at Money Infant, saying, “I’m a huge fan of chili. There’s something about the meaty spiciness of chili that makes my mouth water just writing about it. And it is versatile and frugal.

Paul Vachon presents A Guide: Peer-to-Peer Car Share posted at The Frugal Toad, saying, “In a study by Nelson Nygaard Association, car sharing reduces car ownership, miles driven, and increases walking, biking, and use of mass transit. Car sharing can significantly lower the number of vehicles on the road, cutting traffic congestion and eliminating the accompanying CO2 gas emissions.

Financial Freedom presents Savings Rates posted at My Financial Freedom Plan , saying, ” Understand how your current savings rate and retirement withdrawal rate would affect all of your lifetime personal financial planning goals ”

Sean presents 5 Tips to Cutting Your Moving Expenses posted at One Smart Dollar, saying, “Moving can be a very expensive process. Follow these steps to make it a little easier on you and your wallet.


101 Centavos presents Why Study History, Indeed… posted at 101 Centavos, saying, “Doesn’t matter who wins or loses in this year’s Presidential elections, taxes are going up. What’s more, Government at all levels, city, county, state.

MR presents Reasons To Get A Tax Refund posted at Money Reasons, saying, “Tax reasons that getting a tax refund might be the better option for you, and why I declare zero allowances.

Paul Tabbet presents Retirement Planning Softwareposted at Tax Planning Software, saying, “Retirement planning software should automate the development of lifetime projections that incorporate tax laws and rules associated with tax-advantaged retirement investment incentive programs such as traditional IRA, Roth, 401k, 403b, SEP, Keogh, and other retirement plans.”

Maria presents Five things older people have and young people… posted at The Money Principle, saying, “Living in a culture glorifying youth we start fearing aging, forgetting that older people have knowledge, wisdom, wealth, happiness and cheaper insurance.

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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