Mar 25

This week we start with the remarkably prolific Miranda Marquit’s article How to Rollover Your 401k to an IRA, an excellent overview of this tricky process.  The only minor point I’d add the her article – if you wish to convert from the 401(k) to a Roth IRA, it’s preferable to first transfer to a traditional IRA. This lets you accomplish two things. First, a controlled transfer, the ability to convert just enough to keep from getting into the next bracket. And second, you will have the ability to recharacterize should your investments tank, or your income increase enough that you are above the bracket change.

Mr Money Mustache tells us Why I am SO Not Buying an iPad 3. While my high school English teacher would cringe at the use of “so” to mean something like “really,” I understand why the Mustachian is not getting the latest iPad. He had enough gadgetry in his life. I have it on my wish list. By the way, Apple has rebranded this product line. The latest iPad is not being called iPad 3 or iPad HD. It’s simply being called “iPad.” Me? I’m waiting for the Apple store to have it in stock, no lines, no waiting.

At Money Help For Christians Craig Ford answers the questions Is Credit Card Usage a Sin? Are Credit Cards Unbiblical? Craig offers a fair look at this topic, and reaches the same conclusion as I do when it comes to card usage.

At Darwin’s Money, a discussion of What’s Your REAL Inflation Rate? Everyday Price Index. Darwin looks beyond the numbers our government announces and instead, analyzes his person CPI. Let’s just say that a 42% jump in his health care costs really impact his numbers.

We’ll wrap this week up with Hank Coleman’s Top Ten Reasons To Own A Roth IRA. I love this top ten list. With one minor correction I left in a comment, this was a great list and if you don’t yet know what a Roth IRA is, here are ten reasons to learn.

Tune in this week, on Tuesday March 27th, the Roth Movement takes place across over 150 financial blogs.



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Jun 05

Let’s start this week off with DoughRoller’s article Is Dave Ramsey Right that Credit Cards are Evil? Both DR and I are of a similar mind, the blame assigned to card use is far overdone. There are pros and cons to everything, and Dave’s “all or none” approach isn’t for all of us.

At Consumerism Commentary, Rob Bennett had an intriguing The Good Side of Stocks’ Lost Decade, which I read and understood. The premise is that for savers early on, this decade provides a lower cost. In 30 years time, look backwards, there will be a nice stock market price chart, and Rob will be able to say, “every purchase made during this bad time was made at a great discount to the trendline” and he’d be dead-on right. I, personally, am at the other end, where a sustained S&P 2500 would put me in a position to retire.

At Bible Money Matters, my Friend, (and the guy that designed my logo) Peter asked Is It Harder To Not Fall Prey To Consumerism When You Can Afford It More? Some great comments there, mine ended with “There’s an age/income/asset level that prompts the “you can’t take it with you” conversation.”

I think Gold is in bubble land, a financial accident waiting to happen for most gold gamblers. It seems Financial Edge agrees, with 5 Signs Gold Has Peaked.

A recurring question, this week tackled by LifeTuner, Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early a Good Financial Strategy? The desire is out there, but the reality is far from the no-brainer many think it is. Read Chris’ article for more thoughts on this. (Note – no link, as the original article went missing)

I follow Lorie at Clutter Diet for some great tips on how to declutter my life. As many bloggers are quick to point out, clutter can cost you, so there really is a strong tie to one’s personal finances. This week Lorie’s article 4 Ways Clutter Can Kill Your Sex Life was getting some buzz on twitter (it was originally published in 2009) and caught my attention.

Last, another older post really impressed me – Balance Junkie’s Are You Ready for Biflation? A fascinating view on how we don’t live in a single economy, for the last decade the costs of goods and services haven’t risen at the same pace, in fact, goods have gotten cheaper while services have risen. Check out the article for a great discussion.

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May 17

Let me repeat that: Oil Keeping Inflation Down? Yup, that’s what I am going to suggest. I think before I get to the oil impact, it’s important to discuss the word inflation. I recall in grad school courses defining inflation as “too much money chasing too few goods.” By that measure, do you observe that the multitudes’ pockets are swelling with cash? I don’t. No bubble forming in the stock market, no solid bottom in the housing market. And wages are barely keeping up with inflation, if at all. This leads me to ask, do the higher gas prices represent inflation or something else? Now, we know the fed was busy pumping billions trillions into the system, but those dollars seem to be sitting in bank vaults somewhere, I sure don’t see them in my pocket.

Which gets me to the punchline. I was watching CNBC this past weekend and saw that Walmart was concerned about their sales forecast, specifically citing that high gas prices would keep their customers from driving over.  This is something to ponder a moment. I can’t imagine The Bernanke telling the commodities market to bid oil higher if he needed to head off inflation, but Walmart’s sales forecast really got my attention. Is inflation dead? Not at all, not by a longshot. It’s just not here yet, and higher prices for gold and oil are doing more to damper inflation than exacerbate it.

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Feb 20

They say puns are the lowest form of humor, yet puns go way back, well before Shakespeare. So today’s post title is my way of saying this is a roundup of my fellow Money Mavens, some of the best and brightest PF bloggers I know.

Let’s start this week with a chapter from Financial Terms 101 – Do you know what a Professional LLC is? If you are starting or already have a small business, you might want to know and my friend Neil Frankle will explain it all in terms you can understand.

If instead of looking to start your own business you are about to interview for a job, Tom Drake offers you How To Answer Interview Questions With a Story. There are times on my blog I hear from a reader that I just saved her X$ on her taxes or on a deal I suggest, Tom’s post goes beyond that, you may very well pass the interview and land a job for having read it. If you are job hunting, it’s a must read.

We all have our phobias, my favorite is triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, I don’t suffer from it, but have you noticed that buildings usually don’t even have a 13th floor? The elevator buttons skip 13. Take a look. With all the crazy fears that we have, why would I want to add to your list? Well, maybe because your fears are mostly irrational (as are mine) and because Monevator offers one you should actually prepare for: Great expectations: How much should you fear inflation?

Craig Ford takes us back to the basics in How to start investing. This is not a read and walk away post. Craig topped 1000 words (most bloggers are at 400-500 tops per post) and offers you a roadmap of how to get started on the path to a lifetime of successful investing. If you are a new investor or need to educate yourself a bit more, this is a great read.

Len Penzo offers us 100 Words On: Why Excessive Debt Leads to Indentured Servitude. Maybe not, I did a cut/paste into Word and it reported 99. I just didn’t have the heart to tell him. Aside from the 1% shortchanging, it’s a fast reminder of why debt is bad, in plain and simple terms.

At The Military Wallet we’re offered a guest post by the prolific Miranda Marquit, Is It Practical to Live Life Without Debt? There are times when debt is a necessary tool, needed to achieve one’s goals. Want a house? That’s the classic “tough to buy with cash” purchase.

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Jan 30

Another interesting week in the blogosphere. Let’s get right to it –

At Canadian Finance Blog – Tom Drake answers the age old question, How Much Do I Need To Retire? Actually, he offers more than that, a series of rules that will help lead the reader to his magic Number.

Andrew Gordon tells us Why US Middle Class Could Disappear.  He quotes Bloomberg “The rich are getting richer and the middle-class and below are living paycheck to paycheck” and feels that the spending being done by upper-income households and is not going to lead to a sustainable recovery.  Some sobering thoughts in this article.

Miranda guest posted at Personal Dividends Inflation: Silent Wealth Killer. Here we are reminded that our money buys far less today than it did 30 years ago, about 1/3 or so, and we should take inflation into account when we plan out our retirement 20-40 years hence.

At Personal Finance By The Book, Should You Borrow From Your 401(k)? Tim walks us through the rules, the pros and the cons. I like that author offered both sides and didn’t push one over the order. Just a bit of a warning on not borrowing what you can’t pay back. Ok by me.

At Moolanomy, I was honored, along with fellow Money Maven, Len Penzo, to be included in the 11 Lesser Known Finance Blogs to Read in 2011. An excellent group of up and coming bloggers.

And to wrap up another great week, at The Military Wallet Hank suggests ways to Use A Grocery Price Book To Save Money At The Grocery Store. I wondered if anyone else did this, as I think it’s a great idea. Hank offers an example how Splenda in his local commissary is $8.99 for 400 but $21 for the 1000 box at the warehouse store. A glance at the notebook made the decision easy. And he’s also a fan of Evernote which is where I keep all my price data as well.

Have a great week,


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