The 5 Worst US State Quarter Designs

It’s hard to believe, but the US Mint’s very successful 50 State Quarters program ended five years ago. It was a 10-year initiative that honored each of the nation’s states in the order that they ratified the Constitution or were admitted into the Union. Each quarter was only minted for a brief 10-week period, and will never be produced again.

At the time, it seemed like everybody was collecting these quarters. I completed my

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100 Words On: Why Inflation Is Taxation without Representation

Inflation is a tax that doesn’t require legislative approval. Here’s why: Assume your saving account earns 3% interest. (I know; but play along.) Whether that interest is taxed at 100% in a zero-inflationary environment, or earned tax-free with 3% inflation, the end result is identical. Considering the US is mired in over $100 trillion of debt and unfunded obligations, that’s especially convenient.

The bottom line: Legislators know that imposing onerous taxes on

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Brazilian Hyperinflation: A Reader Explains What Life Was Like (Part 2)

(In Part 1, Leasi shared her account of life in Brazil during the hyperinflation that raged there between 1980 and 1994. For Part 2, I have a Q&A with Leasi that sheds a little more light on what she endured during that time.)

Len: Thanks for taking the time to share your story with me and my readers, Leasi! You mentioned that you had trouble finding a job in your chosen profession after

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Brazilian Hyperinflation: A Reader Explains What Life Was Like

(Readers: In 1990, inflation in Brazil was running at 3000% per year. At that rate, a loaf of bread that cost $3 on New Year’s Day would cost $93 by December 31. With that in mind, awhile back one my readers, Leasi, mentioned that she had lived in Brazil during its hyperinflationary period from 1980-1994. So I rolled the dice and asked her if she would be willing to share

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100 Words On: The One-Armed Bandit's Armless Cousin

Who hasn’t been fleeced by a casino slot machine? Although only Keno offers worse odds of winning, slots are by far the most popular casino game, responsible for 70 percent of gambling industry winnings — so it’s really no surprise they’re derisively called one-armed bandits. Like casinos, banks have their own army of two-faced dollar desperadoes: automated teller machines. ATMs have no qualms heisting 15 percent per $20 withdrawal. For

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How Fees Quickly Erode Your Savings Account Returns

Remember when this was considered a paltry return?

Your savings are a long-term investment, and whether you have accounts for short term purchases to furnish your home or fill your wardrobe, or whether you have your emergency fund and bill payment funds saved in the same place, you have worked hard to earn your money.

You have also worked hard to be disciplined enough to save it in the first place — so

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18 Facts You Didn’t Know About Hyperinflation

In October 2013, the US National Debt surpassed the $17 trillion mark — and by the end of 2014, the debt is expected to reach $18 trillion.

At some point, the world will finally lose faith in our currency and conclude that it no longer makes sense to store their wealth in US dollars.

When that happens, the sell-off of “the almighty dollar” will begin in earnest. As those dollars return to

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100 Words On: A Surefire Way to Teach Kids the Value of Money

One of the more difficult jobs any parent faces is teaching their kids the value of a dollar.  Sadly, some kids never learn that money doesn’t grow on trees.

It may seem cruel, but parents who aren’t afraid to let their kids spend their money on ill-advised purchases — especially those with limited shelf lives — are actually doing them a favor.  Experience is a terrific teacher and, with respect to

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What Everyone Should Know Before Depositing Their Money In a Bank

In case you’re wondering, only 10% of all humans have an “outie” belly button. At least that’s what Wikipedia claims.

For what it’s worth, like most folks, I have an “innie.”

By the way, belly buttons don’t have a monopoly on innies and outies; the financial world has them too. Specifically, I’m talking about the dangerous practice of bailouts and bail-ins that governments are employing with increasing frequency to save so-called “too

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I'm Stumped: 7 Perplexing Money Questions Without a Good Answer

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister David Cameron offered $1.54 million to the person who could solve mankind’s greatest challenge, whatever that might be. However, before the challenge can officially begin, Mr. Cameron must wait for an official list of the world’s biggest problems from a committee of extremely wise fellows who are now collecting the best suggestions from abroad.

The first candidate problem that immediately crossed my mind was how

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Chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?

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