It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe...
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…
Financial Highway – Well, it’s September again and most experienced investors know what that means – those who failed to get out by the end of August will essentially be broke by the end of the month! It’s a good thing Ray has a short but sweet piece on his site that addresses the dreaded “September Effect” and whether it is real or imagined.
Old School Value – Speaking of investing, how diversified is your portfolio? Perhaps more importantly, how do you know whether it is time to diversify or concentrate your portfolio? Of course, for me, that last question is subject to my 50/50/90 rule: Whenever I have a 50/50 chance of guessing correctly, there is a 90 percent probability I’ll end up picking the wrong answer. Fortunately, for people like me, Jae has a nice article on portfolio management and asset allocation that explores these questions and he provides some interesting insights too. Check it out!
Canadian Finance Blog – Anybody who themes a carnival around G.I. Joe is #1 in my book, as Tom did as the recent host of the Festival of Frugality. You know, I had a whole army of G.I. Joes as a kid growing up in the 70s. In fact, me and my G.I. Joes used to go on secret midnight raids into my sister’s room where we kidnapped her Ken doll, stripped and hog-tied him, and then took him hostage back to G.I. Joe headquarters. Ken was then water-boarded and interrogated, sometimes for days, until my sister would finally notice he was missing. Of course, Sis would then vehemently complain to “President Dad” who would order Ken released back to Barbie’s house on humanitarian grounds. Good times.
Fiscal Geek – Speaking of G.I. Joe, it’s just too bad Paul and I weren’t friends when I was a kid. Otherwise he could have showed me back then how to make this cool miniature grappling hook for my army doll posse. You can bet after I’m done with this article I’m going over to Paul’s house to see if he can come outside and play!
The Happy Rock – John had a nice article bestowing the virtues of tap water. Tap water has virtues, you ask? Oh yes it does, so be sure to stop on by if you’re curious to find out which ones. John also was wondering how many people out there drink tap versus bottled water. Personally, I am a bottled water guy, but after reading John’s article he once again reminded me how expensive shunning the tap can really be. One of these days I’m going to get my act together and go back to filtered tap water. One of these days.
Punny Money – Nick reminds all of us why fat people and smokers actually save you money on health care. What’s the matter? He’s right, you know. (Note to smokers and fatties: I can joke about this – I weigh 486 pounds and smoke three packs a day.)
Moolanomy – I thought I would check in with my boss, Pinyo, and see what was cooking up at the home office. There was an interesting article on his site earlier this week regarding eight things you can get for a steal in this recession. It was mentioned that smart brides-to-be can now get wedding gear cheaply. Coincidentally, smart grooms-to-be can now buy mail order brides much more cheaply than they could before the economy went into the dumpster too.
Credits and Debits
Debit: Despite continuing signs that the economy has finally bottomed out, regulators closed three more banks this week in California, Minnesota and Maryland, pushing U.S. bank failures to 84 this year amid continuing fallout from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Banks continue to be shuttered at the fastest pace in 17 years and more are likely as losses from toxic real-estate debt continue to mount.
Credit: This week BP announced a major deep water crude oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico that may be the biggest in 10 years. The find is located in the Thunder Horse oil field which is already producing nearly 300,000-barrels-per-day — that makes it the the second biggest producer in the U.S. after Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay. Thunder Horse has been instrumental in stopping the almost non-stop decline in US domestic oil production that has occurred since the 1970s. Domestic oil is out there folks – we just have to be willing to drill for it.
Debit: Police say three attackers used health care reform as a ruse to approach their victims before forcing their way into a Long Island home. The suspects told the home’s residents they were selling insurance, referring to President Barack Obama’s push to overhaul America’s health care system. Police say the attackers then forced their way in, demanded money and then shot and pistol-whipped the victims. What a fitting analogy for this whole Obama-care saga – just exchange the attackers for our over-zealous government officials and the unfortunate victims with the American taxpayer.
Credit: Police in Fort Lauderdale used the promise of economic stimulus checks last week to lure 76 people to their arrest on a variety of outstanding warrants. “Operation Show Me the Money” rounded up on-the-lam scofflaws wanted on charges ranging from second-degree murder to failure to pay child support. This follows in the footsteps of several other wildly successful police stings recently implemented by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department including “Operation Help: I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!”, “Operation Say Hello to My Little Friend”, and “Operation Pardon Me, Would You Happen to Have Any Grey Poupon?”
Other Useless News
I’m happy to say that my traffic numbers here at Len Penzo dot Com continue to rise beyond what can be reasonably be assumed to be my immediate relatives and friends. I’m not entirely sure why, but I have now gone 11 straight days with over 125 page views, and nine of the last 11 days have seen at least 100 unique visitors! I know, JD Roth over at Get Rich Slowly hasn’t seen numbers that low since shortly after Al Gore invented the Internet, but they’re awesome to me!
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts You May Have Missed
From December 2008:
Categorizing Wants From Needs in 6 Easy Steps - Your budget is a valuable tool that, when faithfully followed, helps track monthly expenses, control spending, set money aside for retirement and rainy days, and even save for vacations and other big-ticket purchases. Before you can competently establish a credible budget that can help you down the road to financial freedom, you first have to identify your discretionary expenses. This is not always an easy task, but not to worry – this article shows you how to do it in six easy steps.
Update: My Shameless RSS Experiment — Week 12
This is the twelfth week of My Shameless RSS Experiment. I continue to move closer to my goal of getting 100 subscribers. It was a good week this week, as I got six more new subscribers! Yea! (I’m easy to please). I am comfortably over the hump and within shouting distance of the goal line now.
As always, if you like what you’re reading 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 articles featured in the following carnivals and podcasts:
- Wise Money Matters Podcast (Thanks, CJ and Dan! Nina says hello! Again.) LOL
- Carnival of Personal Finance hosted at Stretchy Dollar
- Carnival of Money Stories hosted at Dough Roller
- Money Hacks Carnival hosted at Automatic Finances
- Carnegie Deli hosted at Carnegie Hall
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