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Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
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…
Early Retirement Extreme – Well, once again a post from Jacob caught my wandering eye. This time it was something entitled “How to Decide When to Unsubscribe from a Blog.” I have to admit, he made some really great points in his article and so, after a lot of thought, I reluctantly decided to unsubscribe from my own blog.
Wise Money Matters – No, it’s not Ryan Seacrest and American Top 40, but CJ and Dan’s money podcasts are always well done and a great way to learn about the world of personal finance. Check ‘em out! You know, I first found out about their podcasts in July after my post entitled The 4 Biggest Ways to Stretch Your Income was selected for their show. When my 9-year-old daughter, Plonkee, overheard CJ and Dan discussing my post she started running through the house screaming that I was famous! The best part is she’s told all her friends, too, and now I’m selling them autographs at a dollar a pop! By the way, CJ, if you ever need a guest blabberer-er, well, you know where to find me.
The Digerati Life – As I confessed in last week’s edition of Black Coffee, I’ve got a crush on The Digerati Life’s Logo Girl. And although it’s been a week since she first caught my fancy, I still can’t get Logo Girl out of my head. Yes, I know she’s a graphical image. Yes, I know I am a happily married man. Yes, I know I should check myself into the nearest mental health ward for a 72-hour observation period – but I don’t care. I mean, look at her! Anyway, I pledged to stay away all week long; alas, I was able to hold out for less than one day. If there was any good to come out of my twisted obsession, it’s that I did come across this excellent review of on-line broker TradeKing.
Financial Methods – When it comes to massive, insurmountable credit card debt many people resort to one of two options: bankruptcy or credit card debt settlements. Matt tries to help answer which option is the better choice for you. If you’re not buried in debt, please stop on by anyway and tell Matt that I said hello.
Speaking of debt, if you are in to debt management calculators: Here is an article highlighting 103 of them. What’s kind of cool is the article follows a logical progression of debt reduction… meaning it starts with tools for calculating how much debt you have, followed by tools for calculating net income, and so on.
Credits and Debits
Credit: It is apparent that numerous Congressional Democrats were caught completely off-guard this week after getting an earful from their angry constituents at town hall meetings across the nation regarding their plans to pass some kind of Obama-care legislation. Here’s Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Michael Ramirez’s funny take on the mood of those congressmen after the recent spate of public brouhahas.
Credit: Consumer prices fell 2.1 percent over the past 12 months, the biggest annual decline since a similar drop in the period ending in January 1950. For consumers, that’s great news; it’s basically the equivalent of getting an additional 2.1% raise over the past year. Does the drop in prices mean the fear of inflation is over-blown? No. That’s because most of the past year’s price declines are a reflection of energy prices falling an aberrational 28.1 percent since peaking in July 2008. When things finally do turn around, unless the Fed can pull a rabbit out of its hat and successfully remove a lot of the excess liquidity they released into the economy that is currently sitting on the sidelines, high inflation will be inevitable.
Debit: Despite the continuing drop in prices, consumer confidence fell in early August as a growing number of Americans fretted about their finances even though they expected the broader economy to improve, a survey showed on Friday. The University of Michigan’s index of consumer confidence for August fell to 63.2 from 66.0 in July as job losses, shorter working hours, and mounting bills trumped signs that the economy’s slide was beginning to wane.
Debit: Police said a mysterious woman known as Senora Monica offered to spiritually “cleanse” money for at least seven Hispanic families, but it was the families who got cleaned out. The families turned over their money for “cleansing” and were supposed to get it back last Sunday night. The woman, whose description by the way fits the Honeybee almost to a tee, vanished with $140,000. This story should serve as a stark reminder to everyone that there are a lot frauds out there preying on naive people - so please, to avoid being ripped off, always make sure you only patronize certified licensed money cleansers.
Credit: A 34-year-old man is in custody after authorities said he gave a teller his account number and showed her his picture ID before robbing an Anchorage bank. The FBI alleges Jarell Paul Arnold walked up to a teller last Friday and inquired about the balance on his account. The teller asked for his name, account number and ID. The FBI said the suspect complied and then handed over a receipt with a note on the back demanding money before walking out the door with $600. Court records show that Arnold was sentenced to 57 months in prison for bank robbery in 2004 – the records are unclear, however, whether he decided to tip off the police and warn them of his plans prior to conducting that particular heist.
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts You May Have Missed
From March 2009: (please, no e-mails – that’s 35 months ago in dog-years)
Evaluate All Your Options Before Selling Your Gold Jewelery – Before you decide to sell your gold for a little quick cash, you might be wise to look at this trade study I did on all of the various gold-selling options available to you and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Update: My Shameless RSS Experiment — Week 9
This is week nine of My Shameless RSS Experiment. I’m almost half way to my goal! This week I gained six more new subscribers. I might have been more than half way there, but I’m certain that I wasn’t the only Len Penzo dot Com subscriber who read Jacob’s piece and took his advice to heart. Darn you, Jacob!
As always, if you like what you’re reading, don’t listen to Jacob and please, please, take a moment to subscribe. I’d really appreciate it! And, as always, thanks to all of you who have already chosen to follow me here at Len Penzo dot Com!
Last week I had absolutely zero posts that I know of featured at any carnivals. (Next week will be a different story…)
Hey! If you liked this article, please be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed! (Even those of you who recently unsubscribed after reading Jacob’s article).