It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…
Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Here’s what caught my attention over the past week…
Well kids, Len is on holiday this week, so allow myself to introduce … myself. I’m Nelson Smith, and I blog over at Financial Uproar. Blogging is a loose term, since pretty much all I do is crack bad jokes and ogle the four remaining female readers who haven’t left in disgust. Or, as I like to call it, LIVING THE DREAM.
The Penzo family is heading off to Hawaii this week, but I’m convinced that’s just a ruse. Every good Canadian knows that you go to Hawaii in January or February, before you literally go insane because of the spirit-crushing winter. And because it’s bad parenting to leave the kids at home by themselves, they were forced to bring the rugrats along. I can imagine things going a little like this:
Matthew: (hits Nina)
Len: Matthew, don’t hit your sister.
Matthew: (hits her again)
Len: HEY! STOP IT! I’LL TURN THIS CAR AROUND!
Matthew: No you won’t.
Len: YES I WILL!
Honeybee: Uh, Len. We’re on a plane.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
I come from a small town in rural Alberta and summer has finally arrived. (That’s in Canada. There, I saved you the embarrassment of asking.) This means I’ve been spending as much time as possible outside, doing various outside things and wearing shorts. (Or, as we call them in Canada: shorts.) The temperature has been in the mid 80s, which up here is commonly referred to as THE HOTTEST DAY EVER. This has left me with little time to read blogs, but I’ll see what I can dig up for you kids.
Control Your Cash – How To Screw The Man and Feel Great Doing It. If you read my blog, you’ll know I link to Control Your Cash pretty much every week during my weekly link dumps. They continue their streak of quality this week by pointing out how big of a ripoff Ticketmaster fees are and an incredibly easy way to avoid them.
Weakonomics – Who Needs Retirement?. I’m a fan of those early retirement blogs, because they promote something we should all be striving for – financial independence. I just don’t get the obsession with retirement, especially when they all admit they’ll be working on stuff when they retire. Besides, you’d just look funny if you retired at 35 and then tried to join Agnes and Millie for a rousing game of shuffleboard.
Oblivious Investor – Professional Financial Advice: How Much Should Investors Pay. Once again, Mike Piper is reading War and Peace while the rest of us are barely making it through People magazine. Most sites focus on getting people to save (which is an admirable goal) but The Oblivious Investor is light years beyond that. Fees are important when it comes to your returns. Go read now.
Financial Uproar – Identifying Hotwire Rooms Before You Book. Man, this Financial Uproar guy is everywhere today. Plus, I hear he’s handsome.
Money Mamba – Active Investing In Small Cap Stocks. If you’re a reader who’s a little tired of reading about the basics of personal finance, go check out JT’s piece on investing in small cap stocks. It’s better than anything I’ll ever write, anyway.
From June 2009:
Credits and Debits
Credit: Apple is widely rumored to come out with a new iPad, one with a smaller screen and price tag. Good for Apple, since we all know all the Mac fanboys will be lining up for this iPad/iPod/iPhone hybrid.
Debit: Seriously people, enough with buying this stuff. Has anybody ever said “I’d like an iPad, but the current model is just too large and cumbersome for my active lifestyle?”
Debit: The new MacBook (with the fancy display) starts at $2100. The laptop I’m currently typing this on cost me $449 THREE YEARS AGO. You’re not going to become a graphic designer just because you bought the fancy laptop.
Credit: What I’ll get if I steal your fancy new $2100 laptop when you’re not looking. Trust me, I’m doing you a favor.
Debit: I’m calling the top on all things Apple. The exciting new products are a slightly smaller tablet and a laptop with a nicer screen? DROP EVERYTHING AND BUY SEVERAL. I can’t believe you people get excited about this.
Debit: This is coming from an iPhone owner, as well as an iPod owner. My iPod is fantastic, while my iPhone is glitchy, kinda slow and BARELY WORKS AS A PHONE.
Credit: Although, in Apple’s defense, that last qualm might be because of the horrible telecom company providing the network. Hey, give Canada a break. We only got cell phones eight months ago.
Credit: There is a rainbow outside my window right now.
Debit: I hate rainbows.
The Question of The Week
Normally Len has a poll here. My question is a little different: How do you sleep at night?
The Other Question of the Week
By the Numbers
274 Number of pistachios I ate while composing this edition of Black Coffee. (approximately)
8 Number of times I shook my fist at the rainbow outside: (and counting)
2 Number of times I yelled at some teenagers to get off my lawn.
0 Number of times there were actually teenagers on my lawn.
3 Number of people who laughed at me when I tripped over a tractor today.
8 Number of tears I shed over the incident.
1 Number of sore thighs I now have.
12,492 Number of you laughing at me because of the above tripping incident (hey wait, that’s all of you).
Other Useless News
If you have any sort of issue with the guy Len picked to host this edition, I’d recommend emailing Len. (firstname.lastname@example.org) And if you’re one of Len’s female readers who’s dying to ask me out on a date, you can email me. (email@example.com) But remember, ladies, I’m a person, NOT A PIECE OF MEAT.
Top 25 Referrers for June
It’s the first weekend of the month, which means it’s time once again to thank the top 25 referring websites to Len Penzo dot Com.
1. MSN: Smart Spending
2. The Simple Dollar
5. Oblivious Investor
6. Budgets Are Sexy
7. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
8. Money Talks News
9. Financial Uproar
10. PT Money
11. Mr. Money Mustache
12. The Free Financial Advisor
13. The Quest for $85,000
14. Time Magazine: Moneyland
15. The Millionaire Nurse Blog
17. Afford Anything
18. Wealth Pilgrim
19. DC Urban Moms and Dads
20. Don’t Quit Your Day Job
21. Lazy Man and Money
22. Money Help for Christians
24. Control Your Cash
25. So Over Debt
Thank you to everyone who refers their readers to Len’s little ol’ blog! It’s much appreciated.
Letters, I Get Letters
Every week Len features the most interesting question or comment – assuming he gets one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not!
I wasn’t expecting this, but somebody sent me a letter:
Nelson: Pick up milk later. And bread. We’ll watch the Blue Jays game once you get home from work. Sincerely, Future Nelson.
THAT’S GOOD LETTERIN!
I’m Nelson Smith, and right about now Len probably thinks this was a bad idea.