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Welcome to the fifteenth edition of The Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance blog carnival, where every featured post is an Editor’s Pick!
By the time you read this I will be sitting at some blackjack table in Las Vegas, with my posse of amateur card counters, trying to take the house for all its worth.
I hate to admit this, but the last time we were in Vegas my posse managed to lose our entire bankroll before finally leaving town with our tails between our legs.
It wasn’t a total loss though. We did manage to get the pit boss at one casino to comp us a few steak sandwiches. Sucker.
Anyway, the selections for this edition of the Best of the Best were based upon those bloggers that correctly guessed the number of Sin City casinos that begged my crack card counting crew to come back and try our luck again after our last pitiful attempt at breaking the bank.
The correct answer: All of them.
Now here’s something you can count on. For the month of May I received 91 qualifying articles for consideration, excluding the prodigious amount of spam, and other flotsam and jetsam that I typically receive every month.
As always, it was a pleasure reading everyone’s submittals again. Thank you all for contributing and if you didn’t make it this month, please try again next month!
Here now, in no particular order, are the best of the best in money and personal finance for May 2010:
Kim Luu presents 5 Good Habits for a DIY Investor Using the Internet posted at Money and Risk saying, “This article is meant to serve as a wake up call that you always need to do your own research when it comes to money.”
Let’s kick off this rousing edition of the best of the best with a nice piece from Kim who outlines some terrific advice on how to effectively do your own investment research on the Internet. I know what you’re thinking. Why should I take the time to do my own research, Len, when I can rely on gurus like Dave Ramsey to tell me what to do? Hey, good point! Perhaps there is an intelligent carnival contributor out there who would like to take a stab at answering that vexing question?
Mike Piper presents Dave Ramsey Gives Bad Investment Advice posted at The Oblivious Investor saying, “While Dave Ramsey has successfully helped many people get out of debt, his investment advice is downright awful.”
Thanks, Mike. I knew I could count on you. (But now it looks like I better reexamine my investment portfolio.)
Jeff Rose, CFP presents Choosing Between 30 Year Mortgage Rate Vs. 15 Year Mortgage Rates posted at Good Financial Cents asking, “What is the true cost of home ownership? (Here’s) a closer look at which is best between a 30 year fixed mortgage rate or a 15 year fixed mortgage rate…”
Somebody who never gives bad advice is Jeff Rose, who goes through the machinations to help you decide whether a 15- or 30-year mortgage is best for you. I am happy to see that Jeff and I decided to follow the same mortgage strategy – for the exact same reasons too.
FMF presents The Ten Worst Money Mistakes Anyone Can Make posted at Free Money Finance saying, “If you want to be wealthy, spend less than you earn for a long time AND avoid these ten moves that can derail the best of net worths.”
In this post, FMF lists his top ten ways to avoid financial disaster. I see “Taking Investment Advice from Dave Ramsey” was not on the list. (That was probably #11.)
Tom presents Dirty Car Dealership Tactics posted at Canadian Finance Blog saying, “Ever wondered how car salesmen try to scam you? Here are a couple of ways my wife and I caught one dealership trying to rip us off.”
A car salesman scamming a customer? Really? Sorry, Tom, but I just can’t believe it.
Bob presents Common Characteristics Of Those Who Thrive posted at Christian Finances saying, “Financial challenges come to us all – but these are some of the common characteristics of those who continue to thrive during tough times…”
Guest poster Jay Peroni went on a quest to find out the differences between those who did well in difficult times and those who didn’t. To find out, he conducted almost 600 interviews. His research found that only five percent of those people moved forward financially in 2009. Incredibly, the other 95% experienced tough times and fell deeper into debt. Find out the five major characteristics that set apart the five percent of those who thrived from those who didn’t. And, speaking of tough times…
First off, let me say I really really really enjoyed this post, Jacqjolie. Now in order to answer your question let’s examine the facts. Exhibit A: You let your son pick up – and eat! – abandoned bags of popcorn and cotton candy in a public movie theater. Exhibit B: Heck, who needs an Exhibit B? After Exhibit A, I don’t think we’ll be waiting too long for Judge Judy to come out of chambers with the verdict.
In tip number 89, PT says, “Four chickens on a quarter acre of land provide free eggs, natural insect control, and free fertilizer.” Not to mention pissed off neighbors who have to deal with the accompanying noise and, um, aroma.
Carmen presents What Type of Credit Card Should I Get? (Infographic) posted at GoBankingRates saying, “There are so many types of credit cards available these days that it’s hard to know how to pick between them all. Take a look at the flow chart and answer the questions to see which card is perfect for you.”
Shame on you, Carmen. (Do you happen to have an application for the Black Card?)
According to Jacob, “Careerism is the idea of concentrating your ‘being the best you can be’ efforts on your workplace or work activities.” While that can be a noble endeavor, Jacob addresses instances when careerism can actually turn out to be a frustrating exercise in futility.
Katie Sorene presents The Ultimate Hotel Booking Guide: 62 Tips That Will Save You Money posted at Travel Blog – Tripbase.
Tip 45: Pretend the mini-bar isn’t there. (Well, to be fair, nobody said these tips had to be realistic.)
The Investor presents Invest in Antique Furniture posted at Monevator saying, “For once, spending money on the good stuff will actually make you richer in the long-term, not poorer. Read on to find out how!”
After reading the Investor’s decision to go “open kimono” and admit that he actually buys furniture from Ikea, well, let’s just say I haven’t been this devastated since the day I found out Santa Claus was just a big ruse. Can we talk, Investor? The thought of you sitting on the floorboards of your London apartment – along with 2,473 screws and wood slats – trying to put together one of those uncomfortable Ikea futons, well, that’s tough to digest. You are the Investor, for God’s sake! I’ve always pictured you sitting on the type of antique furniture the late great Alistair Cooke used to sit on! Like in this picture. Tell me you aren’t really sitting on this.
And with that, this carnival is officially over. Thank you everyone for reading! And remember, this carnival would not exist without your terrific articles.
As a friendly reminder, please please please stick to the carnival guidelines. I receive several excellent articles every month that have to be disqualified because they were posted in the wrong month.
Submissions for the next carnival should include only posts written during the month of June 2010.
Now I’m off to Vegas. Wish me luck! I’m gonna need it.