Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #160 – October 11th, 2010

Best Personal Financial Planning and Personal Investment Articles this Week from Personal Finance Blogs

Welcome to the October 11th, 2010 Edition #160 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.
Day 291 Oct 8

This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.


The Skilled Investor, Editor

Budgeting and Economics

ditchtheboss presents First step towards financial freedom – create your personal financial statement posted at Your Financial Independence, saying, “The first step is always the most hard. For whatever reason you have decided to take control of your finances in order to achieve financial freedom. That is a good start. The very first action you need to take is to understand your current financial situation in order to devise a plan of action to achieve your financial dreams. The following steps show you how to create your personal financial statement which will give you an accurate picture of where you are with your personal finances.”

Joe Plemon presents Five Steps Toward Automating Your Way to Wealth posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Will power won’t get the job done, but automating your finances will. This post tells how.”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents How To Book Cheap Flights & Air Travel Deals posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Some ideas for smart shopping and finding good deals for airline flights.”

Roshawn Watson presents Economists Blame ME for the Slow Recovery posted at Watson Inc, saying, “We are responsible with our money, yet instead of admiration (or even understanding), these efforts garner contempt as the frugal once again get the blame for dismal economic activity.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents How To Save Money on Coffee posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “If the first thing you look for in the morning is your beloved coffee, then listen up, because the following tidbits could save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars per year.”

The Skilled Investor presents Save More posted at Personal Financial 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.”

MoneyNing presents Money Mistakes That (Mostly) Women Make posted at Money Ning, saying, “Women are prone to make certain money mistakes more often than others.”

Estate Planning

Jeff Rose, CFP presents What Happens When a Minor Becomes the Beneficiary posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Most parents want to name their children as beneficiaries of their trust and/or retirement accounts. This may cause a few problems and you need to know the facts before naming your minor child as a beneficiary.”

Financial Planning

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.

FMF presents Assessing Your Finances at Age 50 posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Questions and considerations 50-year-olds should consider.”

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.”

freefrombroke presents Did You Opt-In For Overdraft Protection? Tips For Avoiding The Overdraft Fees posted at Free From Broke, saying, “Ways a person can reduce or avoid overdraft fees on their checking account.”

Larry Russell presents Best No Load Mutual Funds posted at Best 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.

The Financial Blogger presents A Day As A Financial Planner posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “A look at the work involved with being a financial planner.”

jim presents Review Your Credit Reports Every Year posted at Identity Theft Wall

MoneyThinking presents Student Loans: What’s the Difference? posted at Money Thinking, saying, “I will also share with you some other hints and tips for funding your education, like applying for grants and scholarships and how best to save for it.”

Frank Knight presents Asset Allocation Strategy posted at Best Personal Financial Planning Software, saying, “When you are already there and invested in an asset class, you are following a passive asset allocation strategy. Tactical asset allocation strategy advocates suggest that you can anticipate the crowd, but flow-of-funds studies show that almost all tactical asset allocation fund flows are late money flows that chase performance after valuations have already moved.”

Financing a Home

PT presents Should You Be Renting Your Home? posted at Prime Time Money, saying, “In this post I discuss when it’s better to keep renting vs buying a home, and I go over the consequences of buying too soon.”

Dan Green presents 2011 Conforming Mortgage Loan Limits : Same As 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 posted at The Mortgage Reports, saying, “In 2011, the single-family conforming mortgage loan limit will be $417,000. Review the complete list of 2011 conforming loan limits, county-by-county.”

Financing Education

Ryan @ MFN presents Can You Get a Montgomery GI Bill Refund? posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “The Montgomery GI Bill is usually a use it or lose it benefit. But some veterans may now be eligible to receive a refund on their MGIB.”

Praveen presents Is The Education Market The Next Credit Bubble? posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “How educational loans appears to be a bubble like mortgages.”

Health Care

Ryan @ MFN presents Get a Free Flu Shot from the VA posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “Military veterans are eligible for a free flu shot from their local VA. Thanks for your service!

Jeff Rose, CFP presents How to Get Low Cost Health Insurance Quotes posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “With a little research, you might find getting low cost health insurance quotes is not as difficult as it first appears.”


Joe Plemon presents Four Ways a Part Time Job Will Change Your Life Forever posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “If you associate “part time job” with drudgery, exhaustion and meaningless toil, this article is not for you. The right part time job, however, done with purpose and parameters, can be a life changing experience.”

MoneyNing presents 15 Ways to Earn Extra Money posted at Money Ning, saying, “There are lots of ways to make more money. Here are 15 to start you off.”


The Financial Blogger presents The First Time Is Always The Worst posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “A tale of an investment gone wrong the first time.”

DGB presents Dividend Investing With Less Than $1,000; The Importance of Asset Allocation posted at The Dividend Guy Blog.

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.”

Intelligent Speculator presents Including international exposure in your investments posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “An interesting situation involving international risk.”

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.”

Matt from Dividend Monk presents The Benefit of Smaller Dividend Payers posted at Dividend Monk, saying, “A description of the benefits of picking some smaller dividend companies, plus two examples of profitable smaller dividend payers that are worth a look.”

mike presents 6 Reasons For Not Reinvesting Dividends posted at Mike, saying, “Reinvesting dividends is a good strategy, but consider the alternatives as well.”

Ryan @ CML presents Invest in Gold, Silver or Precious Metals? posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Gold and other precious metals are at or near record highs. Should you invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals?”

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.”

Michael Pruser presents Understanding the Penny Stocks of the Stock Market posted at The Dough Roller, saying, “Penny stocks often are assumed to be risky investments but after a quick review, they’re REALLY RISKY investments.”

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents I Should Have Bought An Index Fund posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “Index funds based on these indexes are a great way to invest in the stock market without buying individual stocks or actively managed mutual funds.”

Frank Vertin presents Top Index Funds posted at Index Mutual Funds, saying, “Top ten no load index funds that track the Standard and Poors 500 composite index in terms of lowest costs.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Your Mutual Fund Investment Portfolio: How Many Funds Should You Own? posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “How many mutual funds should you own? Some thoughts on fund investing.”

Dan presents Insane Pattern: Stocks Gain More on First Day of Month Than Rest of Month Combined posted at ETF Base, saying, “There’s an incredible pattern in the stock market that until this week recieved scant attention. Stocks gain more on the 1st day of the month then the rest of the month COMBINED! This is worth checking out if only to ponder the bizarre nature of such a pattern in “efficient markets”.”

The Skilled Investor presents Stock Market Timing posted at Personal Investment 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.”

2 Cents presents The End of Free Markets: A Great Reason to Buy Stocks posted at Balance Junkie, saying, “Quantitative easing may not do anything to help the real economy, but there’s a good chance it may cause stocks to rise.”

Dividends4Life presents 5 Companies Willing and Capable To Raise Dividends posted at Dividends Value, saying, “The main focus of dividend investing is finding and buying stocks that will continue to raise their dividends in the future. In making this determination there are many factors to consider such as dividend payout ratio, debt levels, the company’s dividend policy and track record.”

Frank Knight presents Muni Bond Financial Software, posted at Best Financial Planning 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.”

Mike Piper presents Planning Your Retirement Spending posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “Does it make sense for investors to plan to spend the same amount every year during retirement, or is there a better option?”

Tomas Escent presents Stock Trader Automation posted at Nerds on Wall Street

Intelligent Speculator presents Why I do not use intra-day stops posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “My rationale is explained in the article.”

Managing Debt

Mike @ Green Panda presents Four Reasons Why YOU Are Broke posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “It’s now time that you take full accountability for your finances by understanding why you are broke.”

Junior Boomer presents Protect Your Credit Score With My Fico Review posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Your FICO score is very important to your healthy financial future. Find out this score can help/hinder your financial future.”

The Smarter Wallet presents Are Debt Counseling Services The Way To Debt Relief? posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “On debt counseling services.”

Tim Chen presents Disney Credit Card: Doesn’t Make the Cut for Rewards or Low APR posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch, saying, “The Disney Visa credit card from Chase is a hugely popular credit card. We really can’t understand why.”

Jeff Weber presents A Quick Tip to Improve Your Credit Score posted at Smart Balance Transfers, saying, “This article explains how paying your credit card bill before the due date can improve your credit score by creating the appearance you are carrying less debt at the end of the month. Thanks for considering my entry.”

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.”

Arjun Rudra presents Dealing With The $1.41 Trillion Burden Of Household Debt On Canadians posted at Investing Thesis, saying, “If household debt was evenly spread across all Canadians, each individual would carry approximately $41,740 in outstanding debt; an amount which is 2.5 times greater than in 1989. A recent report by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) shows that borrowing has put a heavy burden on Canadians, pushing national household debt to a new all time high of $1.41 trillion in 2009.”

Big Cajun Man presents Found Money Trap posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Found money should go on debt no matter what!”


Madison DuPaix presents 5 Steps to Building (and Keeping) Good Credit posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “With new credit laws coming into play, it’s a good time for a reminder on how to build or re-build your credit.”

MoneyNing presents Can You Be Rich and Miserable? posted at Money Ning, saying, “It is easy to feel miserable no matter how much money you have, but do you get more upset when you see someone who has a load of money but can’t find happiness?”

Joe Plemon presents Financial Tips for Life After Divorce posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “I have heard it said that divorce turns marriage into a business transaction. The purpose of this post is to make that transaction be as trouble free as possible.”

Pasadena Financial Planner presents Vanguard’s Investment Performance posted at Top Mutual Funds, saying, “Compares Vanguard’s actively managed mutual funds and Vanguard’s passively managed index mutual funds. Vanguard investors should read and understand this study.”

nissim ziv presents Who is Your Hero? Who Influenced/inspires You The Most? posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “By prompting you to answer such a question, the employer wants to judge your character, your value system and your personality.”

Retirement Planning

The Financial Blogger presents Where Will Your Retirement Income Come From? posted at Do Not Wait, saying, “For most mere mortals, the question that begs to be asked is: where will your retirement income come from?”

Super Saver presents Why to Not Work in Retirement posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Last week, I wrote Why Work in Retirement. This week I offer some reasons on why to not work in retirement.”

Neal Frankle presents Boost Social Security Spousal Benefits ? 3 Smart Overlooked Tactics posted at Wealth Pilgrim: Money Management Advice, Financial Stess Management, Addiction Recovery Plan & Resources, saying, “Don’t overlook ways to boost Social Security Spousal Benefits. There are a handful of ways you can boost social security spousal benefits. This is one important way to increase your retirement income.”

Jules Wells presents Retirement Planning CalculatorRetirement Savings Software, posted at Retirement Income 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.”

Consumer Boomer presents Distribution Rules For Roth IRA posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “The Roth IRA is an excellent tool to invest and save money toward retirement. Find out what unique benefits a Roth IRA offers.”

Ryan @ CML presents How to Make a 401k Hardship Withdrawal posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Tips on how to make a hardship withdrawal from your 401k, and why to avoid it if possible!”

Larry Russell presents Roth IRA Conversion posted at Personal 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.”

Mike @ Green Panda presents Retirement Planning When You are in your 20s posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “We should all consider retirement planning as soon as possible. Ideally, your retirement plan should start as early as you when you land your first job… while still in school.”

Walter W. Fouse presents Top Ten Large Cap Core Mutual Funds posted at Best No Load Funds, saying, “This table of low cost top 10 S&P 500 mutual funds has been organized with the lowest cost index fund first. Nevertheless, each of these S & P 500 index funds is among the least costly on the market.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents How Steady is Your Fixed Income? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “While you consider your retirement portfolio of investments, ask yourself a simple question. How steady is my fixed income portion of the portfolio?”

Frank Knight presents Roth IRA ConversionFinancial Planning Software posted at My 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.”

Risk Management and Insurance

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)”

Jim & Martha presents Is Vacation Trip Cancellation Insurance Worth It? posted at Wanderlust Journey.

Consumer Boomer presents Term Life Quotes posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “When you purchase an insurance policy it is important to know exactly what you are buying. Here is some important information about Term Life quotes.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents You Never Know When It Might Rain, Better Have Your Umbrella (Policy) Handy posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Personal umbrella insurance policies are often misinterpreted by consumer and are surrounded by myths. Here are some important facts you need to know.”

N.W. Journey presents What to Do if You Are a Victim of Identity Fraud posted at Networth Journey, saying, “Tips for dealing with identity fraud.”

FMF presents Toileting and Retirement, Should I Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance? Part 1 posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Comprehensive series on the risks and benefits of long-term-care insurance.”

Jules Wells presents Investment Risk Tolerance Questionnaire Financial Planning Software, posted at Financial Answers saying, “There is a way for you to get a much better assessment of your risk tolerance than you would from a simple conservative versus aggressive financial industry investor questionnaire.”


FIRE Getters presents $6000! Save Your Hard Earned Money! posted at FIRE Finance, saying, “We have all heard the saying “Tiny drops of water make an ocean”. Over years, life has taught us that tiny savings can go a long way in making us wealthy …”

KCLau presents Are You Rich in Internal Assets? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “pay attention to the internal assets.”


David de Souza presents 8 Reasons You Will Need To Complete A Tax Return posted at UK Tax Blog, saying, “Guide to 8 common reasons why you may be asked to complete a tax return”

Super Saver presents Qualifying for Money Giveaways from the Government posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Since retiring in October 2007, our taxable income is much lower. We now qualify for a number of tax credits that we weren’t eligible for in the past.”

Katie Sorene presents 10 Sunny Places to Escape the Tax Man posted at Travel Blog – Tripbase, saying, “Top 10 sunny tax havens in the world to protect your money and escape to the good life!”

Ryan @ MFN presents Challenge Property Taxes posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “Tips on how to successfully challenge your property tax assessment to lower your property tax bill.”

Financial Freedom presents Roth IRAFinancial Software, posted at 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.”

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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