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Carnival of Financial Planning

Newsletter AdThis week ZachStocks hosts the 112th edition of the Carnival of Financial Planning, the best personal financial planning and personal investment articles this week from personal financial blogs.

Welcome to the October 23, 2009 Edition #112 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


Wise_Bread presents 3 Steps to Organize and Track Your Finances Without the Hassle posted at Wisebread.

GLBL presents Money Savings Tips for a Wedding posted at Gather Little By Little, saying, “I will share all the money savings tips related to weddings that I used for my own wedding: – Talk to people – Go back to school – The DIY method – Try combinations – Prioritize”

Susan Savering presents Personal Budgets posted at Family Financial Planners, saying, “When you don’t understand how much you spend and how much you save and invest, you do not have a financial plan. This dramatically increases your family’s long-term financial risk.”


Darwin presents Could the US Dollar be Replaced as the World’s Reserve Currency? What it Would Mean posted at Darwin’s Finance, saying, “Could the US Dollar be Replaced as the World’s Reserve Currency? Based on alleged secret meetings between Central Bankers of foreign countries that fund our debt, the US Dollar may have seen its best days. What it Would Mean?”

Roshawn Watson presents The Rich Get Poorer posted at Watson Inc, saying, “The implications of this recent recession have been far-reaching enough to put a big dent in American and world wealth. Both the magnitude of wealth and the number of millionaires decreased profoundly in 2008.”

Tyler Tervooren presents I Am Responsible for the Corporate World’s Waste, or A Lesson in Micro Economics posted at Frugally Green, saying, “When a fellow blogger questioned why we focus our environmental efforts at the individual level when large businesses waste so much more than each of us without prejudice, this is the response I wrote. The answer, interestingly enough, is all about money. You may not have much, and I may not have much, but together, we have more than we could ever imagine. Money talks, and when we use it to tell the business world what we really value, they listen and provide.”

Zach Scheidt presents Mortgage Crisis, Part Deux posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Commercial Mortgages continue to clog bank balance sheets and losses do not appear to have been recognized. Watch for weakness in regional banks with heavy exposure to commercial real estate loans.”

Estate Planning

The Financial Blogger presents Estate Planning: 5 Reasons Why You Should Have A Professional Among Your Liquidators posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “managing an estate is more complicated than simply writing a few checks! Fortunately, for those who can afford it, you can name a professional among your liquidators.”

Financial Planning

Patrick @ Military Money presents How Much Life Insurance Do Military Members Need? posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Military members may have different life insurance needs than civilians. Here is information regarding how much life insurance military members should buy, and some resources for finding the best life insurance deals.”

Big Larry presents Fantastic Free Resources for Your Annual Credit Check-Up posted at Out of Debt Christian, saying, “Just like your annual physical, it’s vital that you perform a credit check-up each year. We’ve uncovered some great and truly free resources to help you make sure your credit reports are accurate and your scores are as high as they can be.”

jim presents Beware Bank-paid Complimentary AD&D Insurance posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity, saying, “If your bank offers you “free” AD&D insurance, take a closer look because you might be signing up for more than you bargained for.”

Susan Saverton presents Financial Advisor Pasadena California posted at Pasadena Financial Planner, saying, “Appropriately setting your personal asset allocation in line with your personal risk tolerance is a critical decision for every investor. The percentages that are allocated to various asset classes tend to change slowly over time, so it is important to get it right at the outset.”

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.”

Financing a Home

Alex Fotopoulos presents When to Refinance a Mortgage? posted at My Trader’s Journal, saying, “Some key points to consider when refinancing your home.”

Financing Education

Praveen presents Will Education Follow the Housing Bust? posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Tips for students to avoid excessive loans and debt”

Health Care

KCLau presents Withdraw EPF Fund to Pay Insurance Premium? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Vincent Lee from Penang generously shares an idea to use your EPF”


FMF presents The Top Ten Turnoffs About Networking posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Networking is a key part of making the most from your career. This piece lists some of the circumstances that keep people from reaching out to others.”

April presents Five Steps to Six Figures in Seven Years posted at Get Rich Slowly, saying, “FMF from Free Money Finances offers up a guest post in which he recounts, step-by-step, how he was able to generate a 6-figure income in just 7 years.”

Dividend Tree presents Three Companies with Sustainable Dividends posted at Dividend Tree, saying, “Even in soft economic environment, there are companies out there that are continuing to increase dividends for their shareholders. While dividend increase is good, it is more critical to make sure we understand that companies can sustain their dividends.”


The Investor presents Think you’ve spread your risk? Think again posted at, saying, “Research shows different asset classes are more closely correlated than ever before. Is it still possible to create a less risky portfolio?”

Super Saver presents Why Stocks Still Make Sense to Me posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “I still believe stocks are a great investment.”

Manshu presents Brazil ETF List posted at OneMint, saying, “A list of ETFs that give you exposure to Brazil”

ABC presents Stock Purchase – Bid/Ask Prices posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “Bid and Ask prices – Information if you are buying or selling a stock.”

Praveen presents India Fund (IFN) Trade Example posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “An example of how having a trading system gives you an edge, and let’s you take advantage of market moves outside of your control.”

Jules Wells presents Best Investment Strategy posted at Financial Planning Software, saying, “Personal investing seems incredibly complex, but the best investment strategy also tends to be a more simple investment strategy.”

Leslie Brown presents The Ten Best ETFs You’ve Never Heard Of posted at ETFdb.

Zach Scheidt presents Strategic Acquisition Boosts EBIX posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Ebix Inc. (EBIX) made a strategic acquisition this month which should increase earnings and give the company an inroad to serving a new sector of clients. Shares could increase 50% in the next few quarters.”

Fred Elkins presents Bond Fund Primer: Part Two – Look Before You Leap posted at Finance Banter, saying, “Part two of our bond fund investing series”

Tomas Escent presents Professional Investment Management posted at Nerds on Wall Street, saying, “Think of this book as sort of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to Wired Markets. There are no robots parking cars for six million years, but there are robots trading millions of shares in six milliseconds, so maybe that’s close enough.”

The Skilled Investor presents Investing Strategy posted at Personal Investment Manager, 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.”

The Financial Blogger presents ETFs VS Index Mutual Funds: The Ultimate Battle! posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Let’s look at why you probably think ETFs are the best investment in the world: The very first argument is the one that doesn’t lie: yield graph over the past 5 years comparing the TSX 60, the XIU (TSX 60 ETF) and the Altamira Canadian Index Fund (NBC814)”

The Smarter Wallet presents Lending Club Review: Lending Money For Profit posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “Alternative investing using a lending platform.”

Tushar Mathur presents Can’t Control the Markets? Try controlling the Costs posted at Everything Finance, saying, “As 2008 proved, 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 that many mutual funds posted in 2008 and at the outset of 2009 may have left you feeling concerned over your financial future. You’re not alone.”

Frank Vertin presents Low Cost Index Fund posted at Best 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.”

Dividends4Life presents 3 Dividend Stocks Rewarding Their Shareholders posted at Dividends Value, saying, “Investing in dividend stocks provides the investor with continuous feedback. As time passes, dividend investors see their income steadily grow. You do not have to wait five to ten years to determine if the strategy is working.”

FMF presents Bond Primer: Yield vs. Total Return posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “The basics of investing in bonds.”

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

ABC presents More Exciting Facts About Stock Indexes posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “Some interesting facts about stock indexes.”

Mike Piper presents The Best (Lowest-Cost) ETFs to Buy & Hold posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “A collection of the lowest-cost ETFs in each asset class–ideal for constructing a buy & hold portfolio.”

Managing Debt

Adam Williams presents Dave Ramsey said to sell my stuff and payoff debt posted at, saying, “A post in the form of a letter to Dave Ramsey about my experiences in selling my stuff to pay down debt as Dave suggests in his Financial Peace University course.”

Peak Personal Finance presents Teach Your Child About Responsible Credit Use posted at Peak Personal Finance, saying, “Help your children understand proper use of credit.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents What to do About Increased Credit Card Interest Rates posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Tips on your options if your credit card company raises your interest rates or changes the terms of your credit card agreement. Options include closing the card, transferring the balance to another credit card, or accepting the terms.”

Tom Drake presents When To Consider Filing For Bankruptcy posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “There are many people who are feeling overwhelmed by the burden of their high credit load. If you are feeling like you’ll never be able to pay off the debt you’ve accumulated, you might be wondering if you should file for bankruptcy.”

The Smarter Wallet presents How To Get A Credit Card That’s Right For You posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “How to shop for the right credit card.”

MoneyNing presents Credit vs Debit Transactions with Your ATM Card posted at Money Ning, saying, “Are there any difference with saying credit or debit when you hand over an ATM card?”

FMF presents Make Sure Your Credit Card Has Smart Features posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Use the right credit card and make it work FOR you — not against you.”

Peak Personal Finance presents How to Compare Secured Loans posted at Peak Personal Finance, saying, “Selecting the right secured loan can save you a heap of money over the life of the loan. This article helps you avoid common pitfalls to identify the best loan for you.”


FMF presents The Basics Will Make You Rich posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “If you follow a few, simple steps, you will become wealthy.”

No Load Bond Funds presents Low Cost Bond Funds posted at Bond Index Fund, saying, “Simply put, if you pay higher bond mutual fund fees, then these bond management expenses tend just to be a deadweight loss to you. The best bond fund buying strategy is to pick only very low-cost no load bond funds.”

nissim ziv presents Career Statement: Examples of Career Statement posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “The purpose of writing a career statement is to give the professional a clear direction for the future. A career statement is a creation of your career vision for inspiring and motivating youself.”

Roshawn Watson presents Should You Buy A House Outright? posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Suppose you find yourself in the somewhat unique predicament of having the resources to purchase your house outright without a mortgage. Is it then financially-wise to make the purchase?”

Susan Savering presents Personal Financial Strategy posted at Family Financial Planner, saying, “When pursuing optimal financial planning and investing strategies and controlling your costs and capital gains taxes, you also need to establish a time-efficient system to monitor, adjust, and adhere to your financial plan.”

Retirement Planning

Jeff Rose presents Why You Should Keep Contributing to Your 401k posted at Jeff Rose.

Madison presents 2010 Roth 401k and Roth IRA Limits posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “Time to plan for 2010. Here are the 2010 401k and IRA limits.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents Should You Rollover a 401k into an IRA? posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “When you leave your company you have to decide what to do with your 401k. One option is to roll it over into an IRA.”

Paul Kamp presents Bad Attitude, Las Vegas, Retirement, Caution, Risk, American International Group, Gambling Bias, Rationality posted at Don’t Quit Your Day Job – Personal Finance, Economics and Investing, saying, “Vegas is not a good place to learn about retirement planning. It is a good place, however, to learn what not to do.”

Top Stock Index Mutual Funds presents Stock Index Funds posted at Top 10 Index Fund, saying, “To build your retirement portfolio, buy some of these top 10 very low cost no load S&P 500 index mutual funds directly. You do not have to pay the heavy added expenses of buying through a stock broker, financial adviser, investment adviser, or investment counselor.”

Risk Management and Insurance

Jeff Rose presents Term Life Insurance Vs. Cash Value Life Insurance: What Is the Difference? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Depending on what your needs are will decide if term life insurance vs. cash value is better in your situation.”

Evolution Of Wealth presents Social Psychological Change posted at Evolution of Wealth, saying, “Have you ever heard of cognitive dissonance? Chances are it is intertwined with your life. It is probably causing some undue stress. If you don’t know you have a problem or want to pretend you don’t then it becomes extremely difficult to fix it. It might just be time to make a change in your financial world.”

Patrick @ Military Money presents COBRA Benefits 2009 Economic Stimulus Recovery Act posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “The 2009 Economic Stimulus Plan includes additional COBRA and unemployment benefits.”


Silicon Valley Blogger presents Ally Bank (GMAC Bank) Review posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “A review of a popular savings bank.”

Jody T Fransch presents The Law of Saving | jody fransch posted at jody fransch.

MoneyNing presents Why Do High Yield Savings Account Rates Change posted at Money Ning, saying, “Here’s a way to figure out which online bank is best for your money going forward.

KCLau presents How much money you spend in a lifetime? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “How much do u spend in a lifetime”

Four Pillars presents $8,000 Credit For First-Time Homebuyers Extended 6 Months – Not Increased To $15k posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Home buyers credit extended 6 months.”

Four Pillars presents Back To School Cell Phone Deals posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Comparison of the best cell phone deals for students heading back to school.”


Mike Piper presents 72(t) Distribution Rules posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “An explanation of the 72(t) rule, which can be used to withdraw money from an IRA prior to age 59 1/2 without having to pay the 10% penalty.”

Jeff Rose presents 2010 Traditional IRA to Roth IRA Conversion Tax Rules posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Tax implications of converting from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Don’t forget the after-tax contributions.”

Super Saver presents End of Year Tax Planning – Deductions posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “For me, October is a good time to review my 2009 financial status for tax return filing purposes. It gives me a few months to make any changes that can lower my taxes.”

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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Carnival of Financial Planning

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