Black Coffee: Dogs, Cats, Wolves, Lambs & the Economic Rabbit Hole

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…

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.

Let’s get right to it this week.

Credits and Debits

Credit: It looks like the US economy is finally firing on all cylinders now as the unemployment rate in December fell to 6.7%. Hooray! In case you’re wondering,

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100 Words On: Why You Don’t Need an MBA to Manage Your Finances

Never assume that just because a person holds an MBA, he knows how to run a business; the road is littered with MBA-sporting CEOs who ignominiously drove their companies into the ground. Conversely, there are just as many CEOs — guys like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Oracle’s Larry Ellison — who achieved phenomenal success without the fancy business school sheepskin.

The bottom line: If guys like Gates and Ellison can successfully

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The 7 Deadly Sins of Personal Finance

Back when I was a kid, I remember going to Catechism and learning about the seven deadly sins.

Maybe that’s why this national sin survey, conducted by a Kansas State University team of geographers, caught my attention last week. The provocative survey, actually an academic study, measured and created a “sin index” for 3000 US counties with respect to pride, envy, lust, gluttony, wrath, greed, and sloth.

Fascinating stuff.

Did you know your personal

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News Flash: A High Income Can’t Guarantee Financial Freedom

Remember Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich? He’s the guy who was impeached in 2009 and then convicted in Federal court a couple of years later on multiple corruption charges, including the solicitation of bribes for political appointments.

Blagojevich’s actions left a lot of people wondering why the ex-governor would ever do such a thing. Here’s the short answer: “Blago” needed the money — even though he and his wife had a combined

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Black Coffee: Out With the Old and In With the New

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…

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.

I’m working this weekend. Again. So it’s time for another espresso edition of Black Coffee.

So let’s get right to it …

The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed

From November 2010:

Come On, People! Quit

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100 Words On: The Most Valuable Subject Taught In Grade School

If you’re looking to earn the biggest annualized net return on your college investment, studies consistently show that your best bet is via a science- or math-based technical degree. With that in mind, one would assume science or math is the most valuable subject taught in grade school. Not true; it’s English. Especially when you consider that our customers, bosses, and colleagues often gauge our competence and evaluate our work based

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A Fond Look Back at My 10 Most Popular Posts of 2013

All in all it was a successful year here at Len Penzo dot Com. In terms of traffic, the blog had almost one million visits and nearly two million page views in 2013.

I know. I don’t understand why either — but I’ll take it!

Anyway, thank you all for occasionally stopping by and taking a few minutes to read what I post here. I do appreciate it!

For what it’s worth, I

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Black Coffee: The Engine Is Redlined and the Wheels Are Falling Off

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…

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.

I hope y’all had a great Christmas. I know I did.

I’ve got lots of credits and debits today, so off we go …

The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed

From March 2009:

Gordon Gecko

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What Influences Your Credit Report Score?

If you’ve ever gotten a free credit report score, you’ve probably wondered exactly what factors influence your overall credit score. Unfortunately, your credit score is a complicated number that is influenced by a variety of factors that differ from one person to the next.

Major credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion gather data on your credit behaviors. This data includes your payment history, loans, credit cards, limit on credit cards,

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The Top 40 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

One of the first and most important tasks most everybody should tackle as an adult is establishing and improving their credit score. That’s because people with great credit enjoy lower loan rates that can result in serious monetary savings.

It’s no secret that mortgage rates can vary by 1.5 percentage points or more between the highest and lowest credit tier.

To put that in perspective, if you borrow $200,000 and get a

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