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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…
Bret Frohlich – What would you do if you had more than enough money in the bank to do whatever you wanted? Think about it. Bret shares with us his “million dollar dream” and it is an interesting one, to be sure. Check out Bret’s post and then let him know what your “million dollar dream” is.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich – Ramit had a provocative post asking why delusional people think their spending will be different from other folks. My short answer: because they’re, well, delusional! Am I right? But Ramit’s point was, with relatively few exceptions, most of us live similar lives as everybody else – so we should all take advantage of that by asking those who are a decade older than us what they wished they saved for. Great post. (Fair warning: thin-skinned BMW drivers may want to skip this one).
The Digerati Life – Those who are on a budget will be interested in checking out SVB’s article highlighting cheap web hosting services. Apparently I have been over-paying for my service. By the way, who was the wizard that decided “Fat Cow” would be a great name for a web-hosting service? I really fail to see any connection. Yes, the fact that they have a “MiniMoo” plan is cute, but come on… Speaking of cows, my daughter just informed me that a cow’s favorite drink is moo shine and on Saturday nights they love to go to the moovies. Fascinating.
Investing Toolkit - For those who are wondering what the best performing asset classes of the past decade are, Francis had an eye-opening post that revealed the answers. Just keep in mind that past performance does not guarantee future results; in fact, it often suggests just the opposite.
Uncommon Cents – On Wednesday I read a very short post there questioning whether a $6000 bike was really six times better than a $1000 bike, or 12 times better than a $500 bike. If you ask me, my not-so-professional opinion is that although the more expensive bike may not be a proportionate improvement over its cheaper alternative… I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better. (There’s a margarine here in the US called… oh, never mind.)
Credits and Debits
Debit: On Tuesday, Ben Bernanke declared The Great Recession is “very likely” over. From the technical perspective of Wall Street, I have to agree. But for those of us on Main Street it is a much different story; until US unemployment figures drop significantly below double-digit territory, the recession will continue to rage on.
Credit: Of course, Ben will point to the fact that construction of single-family homes and apartments rose 1.5 percent last month to an annual rate of 598,000 units, the highest level since November. That’s the good news. However, the bad news is that the rise in housing starts was due solely to a jump in the volatile apartment-building category. Experts believe the tentative improvements in housing are are largely due to a temporary boost to demand from the $8,000 first-time home-buyer tax credit that expires at the end of November.
Debit: A couple who decided to have a tryst in a dumpster were interrupted in the middle of their tender moment and held up by a man at knifepoint. They were then robbed of their shoes, the man’s wallet and jewelry. As a public service I want to impress upon my readers the importance of never being caught with your pants down. Please, always leave your wallet and other valuables at home before undertaking a tryst in your local dumpster. I do.
Credit: Cartoonist Michael Ramirez chimed in this week on President Obama’s recent decision to heed a request from Big Labor to slap tariffs on Chinese tires. Not surprisingly, he thinks it was a really bad idea.
Debit: Your stimulus money at work: ACORN, the left-wing advocacy group with a rich history of electoral fraud, racketeering, and now, brothel business counseling, was allocated $3 billion worth of taxpayer funding – although they may never see a dime of it now. Almost as appalling is that ACORN has taken in $53.6 million in federal funding since 1994. Maybe if the mainstream press had done its job and actually investigated this despicable group when their nefarious ways first came to light, they would have never received the money in the first place. You can bet this group would have been completely exposed and discredited a long time ago if it were connected to George W. Bush, rather than President Obama.
Debit: The popular online social networking site Facebook helped lead to an alleged burglar’s arrest after he stopped to check his account on the victim’s computer, but forgot to log out before leaving the home with two diamond rings. I don’t really think I need to add a joke here, do you?
Other Useless News- My Famous Followers Keep on Coming!
Guess what? Imagine my surprise when I saw that Barack Obama registered at Len Penzo dot Com this week. Yep! He did leave a curiously funny e-mail address, which I won’t print here because it turns out it is a real address – hey, who knows, maybe Barack is a closet Libertarian! Either that or he just wants to keep closer tabs on me, but I thought that’s what the CIA was for.
Also, my daughter Plonkee was excited to learn that Mylie Cyrus has now joined Jesus Christ and the late Jimmy Stewart as famous Twitter followers of Len Penzo dot Com. What an honor, Mylie! And please give my best to Hannah Montana and Billy Ray for me!
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts You May Have Missed
From February 2009:
Shopping for Low Gas Prices Is A Losing Proposition – This is one of my most popular articles here at Len Penzo dot Com. I know people that will drive 20 miles just to take advantage of a coupon for a free 79-cent cone from Dairy Queen. I also know folks that will always go out of their way just to save three or four cents on a gallon of gas. Dumb and dumber. In this article I once again break out my handy dandy spreadsheet to show you exactly why trying to save money on gasoline is usually a loser’s game.
Update: My Shameless RSS Experiment — Week 14
This is week 14 of My Shameless RSS Experiment. Only three more subscribers last week, but I’m calling ACORN first thing tomorrow morning. (That should really drive up my numbers!)
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:
- Money Hackers – hosted at Four Pillars
- Carnie Wilson – hosted at Wilson Phillips
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