The Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance #7

Welcome to edition seven of The Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance, where every featured post is an Editor’s Pick! The top selections for this edition were based upon entries that came closest to guessing the amount of money that avowed anti-capitalist Michael Moore has seen his movies rake in since 1989.

The correct answer: $174,803,281

Now that, Alanis Morissette, is something that’s truly ironic.

Hey, here’s another fun factoid: For the month of September I received 117 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 submissions 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 September 2009:

Betty Kincaid presents The Floyd Mayweather Asset Fire Sale, Coming Soon to an Auction House Near You, posted at Control Your Cash, saying, “Floyd Mayweather, poster boy for bad financial decisions.”

This is an extremely well-written and entertaining post regarding champion boxer Floyd Mayweather’s repossessed Maybach 57S, which retails for just a hair under $400,000. This piece highlights Mayweather’s mistakes, including agreeing to a terrible finance plan and then failing to make payments. However, I have to disagree with the article’s conclusion that somebody as ridiculously wealthy as Mayweather should have paid cash for the car. Most rich people that know how to manage their wealth efficiently refuse to pay cash for a new car because it makes poor economic sense. The trick is to get decent terms and make your payments on time. Still, this article is a great read! :-)

The Investor presents Seven Ways to Invest In the Stock Market When You’ve Got No Money, posted at Monevator, saying, “Got no dough? That’s no excuse not to get started with investing… Here’s a few ideas!”

In this excellent piece The Investor correctly notes that in order to see any benefits from investing, people have to start as early as possible and then make it a habit. But what if you are short on cash, or are carrying lots of high-interest debt? Have no fear, because The Investor shares eight great ideas to get you acquainted with the ins and outs of investing before you even commit your first dollar (or pound, as the case may be)! :-)

Emily Simmons presents How to Have a Successful Yard Sale, presented at Be In Health Now, saying, “These are some of the tips my husband and I followed, which helped us to have a very successful yard sale, resulting in more than $400 extra in our traveling fund! Hope you find them helpful too.”

Ah, yes. Another yard sale article – and this particular one from Emily is an absolute gem! In fact, it is a complete user’s manual on what to do to prepare for and have a successful yard sale, neatly listing dozens of tasks and clever ideas in chronological order in simple categories such as “A Few Weeks Ahead of Time” to “The Day Before” and “The Big Day.” This is one heck of an article – very well done! :-)

20s Money presents The Secret to Financial Freedom is Not More Money, posted at 20s Money, saying, “A look at why having more money is not the secret to having financial freedom.”

How much money is enough? The answer, of course, is a lot less than you think – you just have to be willing to live within your means. This intriguing article was written by a stay-at-home mom of average means who, after befriending another young mom whose husband was a professional athlete, discovered high incomes really don’t guarantee financial freedom. Her story provides an interesting look into the real world of how professional athletes live. :-)

Mike Piper presents Overweighting Small-Cap and Value Stocks, posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “One change in your portfolio could (potentially) decrease risk while increasing return.”

When it comes to U.S. stock holdings, how could anything be more diversified than a fund that simply tracks the entire market? This quick little post explains exactly how and why that is so. If you are interested in squeezing a little more return out of your investments, you’ll want to check out Mike’s post. :-)

Debbie Pierce presents Take Control of Your Finances – Tips I Learned from Barbara Stanny, posted at Rose Goddess Bliss.

I know what you’re thinking. Who the heck is Barbara Stanny and why should I care? Barbara Stanny’s father is the “R” in H&R Block. It turns out that Ms. Stanny never felt the need to get involved in the family finances because her ex-husband was also the family “financial adviser.” That was an unfortunate decision because her ex ended up gambling away the family’s sizable fortune. Today, Ms. Stanny is a personal finance lecturer and author, and this post highlights some of her wisdom regarding money management, essential financial habits and increasing income. :-)

Wisebread presents Reject Variable Terms and Conditions, posted at Wisebread.

In this provocative post, Phillip Brewer asks, “What person in their right mind would agree to borrow money on terms that the lender can change at any time?” But that’s what most people who choose to use credit cards do: they agree to abide by “terms and conditions” that let the banks unilaterally change anything they want. This article looks at ways to minimize the impacts of variable terms and conditions from corporations who are out to maximize their profits at any cost. :-)

Linders presents Hitler’s Gold: Uncovering the Biggest Bank Heist in History, posted at Money Hacker – Australia’s Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Among the chaos of the collapse of Hitler’s empire in April 1945, the biggest heist in history took place. Gold bars, jewels and stolen foreign currency with an estimated worth of $3.34 billion vanished from the Reichsbank vaults, in Germany. But after 60 years the bulk of this bounty still hasn’t turned up, so just where is Hitler’s missing gold?”

Perhaps the Nazis gave it to Ms. Stanny’s ex-husband for safe keeping – that would explain why nobody can account for it. But seriously, fans of the X-Files and conspiracy buffs will love this article from the land down under. I found it to be a very fun read and I’m sure you will too. Hey mates, don’t forget to put an extra shrimp on the barbie for me! (I know, that was lame.) :-)

Patrick presents Are Money Merge Accounts a Great Way to Pay Your Mortgage Quickly, or Are They a Scam? posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Money Merge Accounts, or mortgage accelerator programs offer homeowners the ability to pay their mortgage off in a fraction of the time. But is it worth the $3,500 purchase price?”

P.T. Barnum allegedly said “There is a sucker born every minute.” Patrick has put together a very thorough investigation and pragmatic analysis on why money merge accounts are tailor-made for the type of people coveted by Barnum. :-)

Jeff Rose presents 2010 Traditional IRA to Roth IRA Conversion Tax Rules, posted at Good Financial Cents.

Converting from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can be extremely complicated; if you’re not careful, you can easily end up paying more in taxes than you need to. Fortunately Jeff, who is a certified financial planner, has put together a very helpful post outlining the tax implications of the upcoming 2010 Roth IRA Conversion Event that will permit those making over $100,000 per year to convert their Traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. Best of all, he has even provided a couple of relatively simple examples to help illustrate the issues. Great post, Jeff! :-)

And with that the September edition of the Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance is officially over!

Please send your entries for the October 2009 edition of the Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance using our carnival submission form. For more information, check out our carnival index page.

As a friendly reminder, please please please stick to the carnival guidelines. Submissions for the next carnival should include only posts written during the month of October 2009.

Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t subscribed to my RSS feed yet, please consider doing so! It would be an honor to have you on board! :-)

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