Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #134 – March 26, 2010

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

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


Squawkfox presents Financial Planning Series: How to Make a Budget posted at squawkfox, saying, “This article is the introduction to a multiple part financial planning series called How to Make a Budget (the unboring way).”

Mike @ Green Panda presents 3 Tricks to Succeed When Making a Budget posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “Tired of getting squeezed at the end of each month? Tired of counting your pennies and looking at the balance of your bank account on a daily basis? there are 3 basics rules to follow when writing down your budget…”

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Budgeting Tools Online And Beyond posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “One of the biggest obstacles to making and keeping a budget is not knowing where to begin. Thankfully, the Internet age has brought with it some wonderful tools designed to help you keep an eye on your spending.”

The Skilled Investor presents How to Save Money posted at Financial Decision Rules, saying, “The most dominant determinants of your long-term financial well-being are how much you earn, spend, budget, and save. 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.”

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.”


Smruti Ranjan presents Top 10 Economic Journals for Economics Scholars posted at Business News This Week, saying, “Economic journals are the best for the research scholars those can read the abstract initially and get their complete research if they wish to go further into the work.Economic Journals also avails the opportunity to submit your work online.”

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 – 2008.”

Estate Planning

Consumer Boomer presents Charitable Gifting Rules for Baby Boomers posted at Consumer Boomer.

FMF presents Your Parents’ Estate Plan Part 2: What You Need to Know posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Helping your parents through estate planning issues.”

Joe Plemon presents Should You Leave an Inheritance to Your Children? posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “Leaving an inheritance is a dicey issue. Do you? How much? Now or later? This post doesn’t have all the answers, but will challenge your thinking.”

Financial Planning

Craig Ford presents FICO Score Matters: Sorry, Dave Ramsey posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “This article introduces some benefits of a good credit score.”

jim presents Roth and Traditional IRA Contribution Limits posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Roshawn Watson presents Thoughts on Escaping The Rat Race posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Do you yearn to be free…really free? What would you do if money was not a big limitation? Perhaps the primary reason for increasing your financial literacy is so you may indeed escape the rat race.”

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 How to Find a Professional Financial Advisor posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Thoughts on how to find a great financial planner.”

Frank Knight presents Roth IRAsFinancial 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.”

jim presents Sallie Mae Bank Review posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

DaveOzment presents Views of Money ? Part 1: Objective Setting and Simple and Advanced Cash Flow posted at Do You Dave Ramsey?, saying, “Our relationship with money will determine our success and our relationship is based on how we view money. Do Better!”

Nigel Savers presents Portfolio Asset AllocationComprehensive Financial Plan, posted at Pasadena Financial Planner saying, “Diversification means that the specific risks of businesses and other investment entities can be eliminated from a portfolio without reducing expected returns. You should diversify your investments completely and globally – now and always.”

Big Cajun Man presents Personal Finance Resolutions for the New Year? posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Are Financial New Years resolutions a good idea? Yes, but make them achievable, don’t try to boil the ocean, just take small steps!”

Larry Russell presents Mutual Fund Loads posted at Top 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 Dough Roller presents Change Banks in 5 Easy Steps posted at The Dough Roller.

Financing a Home

Roshawn Watson presents Is Bigger Better? Scaling Down The American Dream posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Today’s post-crash buyers are not willing (nor able in some cases) to extend themselves like before, and the impact on the housing market is substantial.”

Patrick @ Military Money presents VA Loan Eligibility and Financing posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Find out who is eligible for a VA Loan and how much money you may be able to get in guaranteed financing. This is great information for any military veteran.”

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

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 @ Cash Money Life presents Create a Net Worth Statement posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “How to create a net worth statement and how to use it to improve your financial situation.”

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

Patrick @ Military Money presents Open Enrollment Window Open for Some posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Open enrollment is the only time of the year that many people are able to make changes to their health insurance elections. Make sure you take advantage of this time to select the best health care option for your needs.”


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.”


Consumer Boomer presents Roth IRA Limits: Aged, Contributed, Phased Out, and Converted posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Here’s a quick rundown on all the Roth IRA limits: age limits, contribution limits, phaseout limits, and conversion limits.”

ABC presents Short Selling Stocks posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “A brief explanation of short selling stocks.”

Steve Alexander presents Magic Formula Stock Review: Lender Processing Services (LPS) posted at MagicDiligence – Optimizing Joel Greenblatts Value Stock Strategy, saying, “Lender Processing Services is riding the historic wave of mortgage defaults, and with continuing high rates of late mortgages and a building backlog of foreclosures, business looks good for 2010 as well. But there are some real risks to consider before investing.”

Darwin presents Can a 130/30 Fund Beat the Market? You Bet! posted at Darwin’s Finance, saying, “Never heard of a 130/30 Fund? If not, it’s worth finding out since some of them can actually beat the market on a sustained basis.”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents EverkBank Review: Online Bank For High Yield Investment Accounts posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “There are some great investment opportunities we can take through Everbank. I’ve checked them out and it’s one place I go for foreign currency diversification in lower risk CDs.”

The Smarter Wallet presents How To Trade Stocks Without Risk: Try Virtual Stock Trading Systems posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “Use virtual trading systems to learn how to trade stocks without taking risks.”

PT Money presents Starting Up Taxable Investing posted at Prime Time Money, saying, “Why would you ever use a taxable investing account to save for retirement? In this article I discuss some reasons to do so.”

Zach Scheidt presents Mastercard Concerns for a Potential Market Turn posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Mastercard Inc. (MA) is vulnerable to a decline in consumer spending and could also be affected by weakness in regional banks. Consider a short position as the stock shows poor relative strength.”

Steve Alexander presents 5 Reasons Not to Short Sell Stocks – MagicDiligence posted at  Joel Greenblatts Value Stock Strategy, saying, “Could adding a short-selling component to the Magic Formula strategy improve results? It is possible, but there are important arguments for MFI investors to avoid the practice.”

Hussein Sumar presents How to Calculate Return on Invesment (ROI) posted at Accounting, saying, “Return on Invesment as the name suggests is a financial valuation method that determines the percent of return investors are getting from their portfolio of investments. Return on Investment is probably one of the most important ratios that companies need to keep track of in order to determine the viability & continuity of their business.”

Arohan presents Separately Managed Accounts could be a good investment management option | Personal Dividends – Money+Lifestyle posted at Personal Dividends, saying, “Separately managed accounts are a good investment management option for investors with substantial assets providing professional investment management and flexibility. They provide diversification benefits one gets with mutual funds but at the same time have flexibility to direct ones investments according to one’s own personal philosophy and tax situation.”

Jeff Rose presents Building Real Wealth: Small Company Equity posted at Jeff Rose.

MoneyNing presents Investing in Physical Gold Can Cost You posted at Money Ning, saying, “Gold is one thing but buying the physical product will cost you. Here’s why.”

Praveen presents Omnivision Technologies (OVTI) posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Discussion of OVTI stock”

Intelligent Speculator presents New leveraged ETF’s to suffer from less erosion? posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “volatility can have an important impact on the return of the ETF and as time goes by, the return will not be correlated as much with the underlying index it is intended to track.”

Four Pillars presents Use Your Cell Phone Apps To Manage Your Money posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Some cell phone apps to help track your finances”

Frank Knight presents Municipal Bond Returns Financial Planning 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.”

Frank Vertin presents Top 10 Index Funds posted at No Load Mutual Funds, saying, “Useful information on the top ten no load index funds that track the Standard and Poors 500 composite index in terms of lowest costs.”

The Skilled Investor presents Stock Market Timing posted at Personal Investment Management, saying, “Stay invested always in the securities markets 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. Professionals and amateurs are both really lousy at market timing.”

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.”

Tomas Escent presents Securities Trading Applications posted at Nerds on Wall Street, saying, “A little artificial intelligence goes a long way on Wall Street. If you give someone a program, you will frustrate them for a day; if you teach them how to program, you will frustrate them for a lifetime.”

BeaBu presents Cut Profits Short and Ride Losses posted at, saying, “One often quoted investing and trading rule is “Cut your losses short and ride your winners”. While this is a good thing to do in most situations, there are some kinds of market conditions when it’s not as simple as it seems. With finance, no rule is 100%.”

Dividends4Life presents 9 Dividend Stocks Building Future Yield posted at Dividends Value, saying, “Having narrowly missed the tech bubble bursting, I purchased my first dividend stock on December 11, 2003. I had heard dividend investments were supposed to be safer, but knew very little else about the strategy. I was fortunate enough to accidentally buy enough good dividend stocks to learn the “secret” of dividend investing.”

Mike Piper presents Single Premium Immediate Annuity: When and How Much to Buy posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “Single Premium Immediate Annuities can be a useful tool for retirement planning. But when and how much should you buy?”

Managing Debt

Sylvia Blake presents American Express Blue Cash Card for Best Cash Back Credit Rewards posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “A review of a great cash back credit card.”

Abigail Perry presents Emergency funds: Yea or nay? posted at I Pick Up Pennies, saying, “The accepted wisdom is that emergency funds are absolutely necessary. But is that true?”

Big Cajun Man presents Do You Have a Financial GPS? posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Do you need a financial GPS?”

The Smarter Wallet presents myFICO Coupon Code: 26% Discount on FICO Standard posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “Discounts on a credit reporting service.”

Sylvia Blake presents myFICO Promotional Code and Review posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Here’s a review of myFICO products and how to get them for less.”

Keith Morris presents Credit Card Paradox: I Need You To Stop Your Payments posted at LifeTuner, saying, “Of the people who have credit cards, they either pay them off each month, or they don’t. Most of us do. But I’m here to plead for you to stop making your credit card payments each month, so I can keep mine!”


Joe Plemon presents People Are Begging for Financial Help. Five Things You Can Do posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “The recession has a positive spin off: people are seeking more financial knowledge. This post gives some ideas of how to reach out and help someone.”

Pasadena Financial Planner presents Mutual Fund 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.”

Joe Plemon presents Reverse Mortgages Part Four: Should You Get One? posted at Personal Finance By The Book, saying, “This post (part 4 of 4) gets to the crux of the reverse mortgage issue: should you get one?”

Nissim Ziv presents Problem Solving Interview Questions and Answers posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “When asking problem solving interview questions, the interviewer is trying to get a brief idea on several aspects related to your personality: • Your problem solving and analytic thinking skills. • Your abilities to work in a stressful environment. • How do you cope with complex situations?”

Retirement Planning

Writers Coin presents Getting Fired? Ask One Question to Get Free Money | Wise Bread posted at Wise Bread, saying, “One question can make a world of difference when you get let go from your job.”

Jules Wells presents Retirement Savings CalculatorRetirement Planning Software, posted at Fee-only 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.”

Jeff Rose presents Rules and Limits to Open a SEP IRA posted at Jeff Rose.

The Financial Blogger presents Freedom 75? posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Life is full of irony! While my retirement goal is to stop being part of the rat race by 35, we see more and more people working pass the “normal” age of retirement of 65. I must admit that most of us will define themselves according to our job: “Hello Mike, nice to meet you, tell me, what are you doing in life?” A) I am me. B) I am a father. C) I am a passionate man who loves watching hockey, playing golf, blogging, play soccer with my son and making pony tails to my little girl, and.. and.. bla blab la… D) I am a financial planner / web entrepreneur I can tell that most people will answer “D”. So if we define ourselves according to our job, what do we become if we quit working?”

Larry Russell presents Evaluating Roth IRA Conversions posted at Best 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.”

Madison presents 2010 Roth Conversion Rules posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “All the rules you need to know about making a Roth conversion this year.”

Risk Management and Insurance

Jeff Rose presents What Happens When a Life Insurance Policy Lapses posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “In case you ever let your life insurance policy lapse, here’s what you need to know.”


Ryan @ Cash Money Life presents Comparing Money Market and Savings Accounts posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “What is the difference between a money market and savings account, and is one a better option for emergency funds or long term savings?”

Juliana Torres presents 100 Personal Finance Posts Every College Student Needs to Read posted at Career Overview.

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


Consumer Boomer presents Should You Pay Your Tax Bill With Your Credit Card? posted at Consumer Boomer.

GLBL presents How to Properly Prepare for Filing Your Taxes posted at Gather Little By Little, saying, “The main causes of tax filing errors are rushing and not having all necessary tax documents on hand.”

PeakPersonalFinance presents Are You Eligible for These 5 Tax Breaks? posted at Peak Personal Finance, saying, “5 tax breaks you might not be aware of.”

Super Saver presents Being Prepared for an IRS Audit posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “While the overall chances of being audited are less than 1%, returns with inconsistencies, certain deductions, or specific credits may have a higher chance of being audited. Here are the things I do to be ready for an audit.”

Four Pillars presents How Long Before I Get My Income Tax Refund? posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “A guideline for how long you have to wait for a tax refund.”

Financial Freedom Plan presents Roth IRA Conversion CalculatorPersonal Finance Software, posted at My Financial Freedom Plan, 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.


2 Responses to “Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #134 – March 26, 2010”

  1. Great job, thanks for including me.


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