Carnival of Financial Planning #184 – May 13th, 2011 Edition

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Welcome to the May 13, 2011 Edition (#184) of the Carnival of Financial Planning.
The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.
This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently. Enjoy!

Budgeting and Economics

BIFS presents We Went Over Our Budget | Budgeting In the Fun Stuff posted at Budgeting In the Fun Stuff, saying, “My husband and I have gotten a little lazy with our money. We haven’t gone hog wild, but we’ve definitely loosened the reigns. See what we did right and what we did wrong.”

Judy Blackburn presents Is having an emergency fund essential? posted at Debt Consolidation, saying, “Having an emergency fund is very important in these uncertain times in case of unforeseen issue that might arise.”

Big Cajun Man presents Alcohol + Money = Nothing Good posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “There is a reason that most banks don’t serve liquor, so why do bars have ATM machines?”

Financial Planning

Judy Blackburn presents What You Should Know About Bankruptcy Attorneys posted at Debt Consolidation, saying, “Helping a bankruptcy attorney represent you is the best way to achieve the bankruptcy that you need.”

Frank Knight presents Portfolio Asset Allocation posted at Best Personal Financial Planning Software, saying, “When you are already there and invested in an asset class, you are following a passive asset allocation strategy. Tactical asset allocation strategy advocates suggest that you can anticipate the crowd, but flow-of-funds studies show that almost all tactical asset allocation fund flows are late money flows that chase performance after valuations have already moved.”

Financing a Home

FMF presents The Three Worst Reasons for Buying a Home posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Do not buy a home if any of these three are your reasons for doing so.”

Nathan Richardson presents What Is a Good Credit Score for a Mortgage? posted at Deals & Tips, saying, “Financing a Home in today’s market is tough, especially if your credit score is low. Learn what lenders look for in a mortgage applicant.”

Financing Education

Hussein Sumar presents What is a Federal Pell Grant & How to Apply for Pell Grants? posted at Pell Grant, saying, “The Federal Pell Grant program provides financial aid to low-income & need-based undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to pay for college expenses. Awards from Federal Pell grants can be used at approximately 5,400 post secondary institutions across America. The Pell grant, unlike student loans, does NOT have to be repaid.”

David Leeman presents How to Afford College, Affording College with Limited Savings posted at Financial Freedom Advantage, saying, “Many families with meager college savings funds are wondering how to afford college for their children. Fortunately, there are creative ways of financing college without breaking the bank.”


The Financial Blogger presents Should I Do A MBA? posted at Experiments in Finance, saying, “Will an MBA increase your income?”

The Financial Blogger presents April Monthly Blog Income Report posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “A look at the income picture from the last month.”

Mike @ DNW presents 3 Reasons to Keep Working posted at Do Not Wait, saying, “Why you might need an income in your retirement years.”


Consumer Boomer presents Is Commodities Investing Safe? posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Commodities trading is another way to add to ones investing portfolio but, is it safe?”

Tyler presents Dividend Growth Model posted at Dividend Money, saying, “An explanation of how to use the Dividend Growth Model to evaluate stocks and find the right purchase price for those dividend stocks on your watchlist.”

Ken Faulkenberry presents Benefits of Risk Management in Stock Market posted at Arbor Asset Allocation Model Portfolio (AAAMP) Blog, saying, “Risk management in the stock market is an essential part of successful investment management.”

Hussein Sumar presents S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats of 2011 posted at Best Dividend Stocks, saying, “The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index is the most honorable list of dividend paying stocks as measured by the S&P 500 Index that have consistently increased their dividends for the past 25 years, without missing a single dividend payment. The index measures the performance of large cap, blue-chip companies within the S&P 500 that have a market capitalization of at least $3 billion.”

Alexander presents Use Dividend Funds to Build Your Portfolio posted at Dividend Stocks, saying, “Dividend funds are composed of investments that offer regular payouts. There are high dividend funds, funds comprising dividend aristocrats, and other specializations.”

The Skilled Investor presents Market Timing posted at Personal Investment Management, saying, “Always stay invested to earn risk premiums. You must have your money invested and at risk to get risk premium returns. Jumping out and in or “timing the markets” doesn’t work.”

Intelligent Speculator presents Can you go wrong shorting Research in Motion (RIMM) against Apple (AAPL)? posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “We examine two financial moves.”

DGB presents Why Your Portfolio Needs a Few Heroes posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “What’s missing in your portfolio.”

Mike @ DNW presents Women Decide to Retire posted at Do Not Wait, saying, “How do women retire compared to men?”

Frank Vertin presents Top Index Funds posted at Index Mutual Funds, saying, “Top ten no load index funds that track the Standard and Poors 500 composite index in terms of lowest costs.”

Sun presents Buy and Sell ETFs for Free [Review] posted at The Sun’s Financial Diary.

Intelligent Speculator presents Feels like everyone is investing in Facebook…except me posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “Are you investing in Facebook?”

DGB presents AT&T Stock Analysis posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “We analyze this popular stock.”

Dividends4Life presents 18 Stocks Meeting The Goal Of Higher Dividends posted at Dividend Growth Stocks, saying, “I have stated many times that my goal is to create an ever growing income stream from dividend growth stocks. Secondarily, it is my desire to beat the S&P 500 over time. With that said, I rarely look at the capital performance of individual stocks. What I do watch is the ability of the stocks I own to sustain their dividend growth.”

Pasadena Financial Planner presents Vanguard Funds posted at Top Mutual Funds, saying, “Compares Vanguard’s actively managed mutual funds and Vanguard’s passively managed index mutual funds. Vanguard investors should read and understand this study.”

Mike Piper presents Assessing Your Risk Tolerance: Need and Ability posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “The first step in creating an investment portfolio is to assess your risk tolerance.”

Managing Credit and Debt

Tim Chen presents First Premier Bank Aventium and Centennial: Cards to Avoid posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch, saying, “The Aventium and Centennial credit cards, offered by First Premier Bank, are among the few credit cards offered to those with bad credit and may seem attractive to people who don’t qualify for any other card. However, the cards come with a low credit limit, unreasonably high fees, and a number of “gotcha” charges.”

Hussein Sumar presents What Can Bankruptcy do for you and what can it Not do? posted at Chapter 7 bankruptcy, saying, “Bankruptcy is an effective tool for thousands of Americans who are struggling with all kinds of debts. However, it is important to know what type of debts bankruptcy can discharge you from (in other words what types of debts it can ‘free’ you from) and what type of debts are NOT discharged through bankruptcy.”

Steve presents Small Banks Vs. Big Banks: Which is Better for my Business posted at FastSwings, saying, “Going with the big banks was the ideal solution for small business prior to the recent financial crisis.”


Mike @ Green Panda presents Free Money Tools for Young Adults posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “Some cool free money tools.”

Gal Josefsberg presents Retired At 31, A Lesson In Purposeful Living posted at Equally Happy, saying, “I thought I would show people a lesson in what it means to live with a purpose, especially when it came to retirement. Too often we live our lives without consciously deciding what it is we want to do and how we will get there. So I wanted to inspire people to think otherwise.”

Walter W. Fouse presents Large Cap Funds posted at Best Mutual Fund, saying, “This table of low cost top 10 S&P 500 mutual funds has been organized with the lowest cost index fund first. Nevertheless, each of these S & P 500 index funds is among the least costly on the market.”

Retirement Planning

Dana J. presents Three Tips For Optimizing Your Retirement Plan posted at Not Made Of Money, saying, “It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 55, you should be actively involved in the retirement planning process. This means selecting a good retirement plan that will make you money while reducing your taxes at the same time.”

Jareth presents Retirement Calculator posted at Retirement  Software, saying, “Retirement investment calculator software automatically acts as a comprehensive compound investment calculator that applies historical investment return growth rates to your cash, bond, and stock assets.”

Mike @ Green Panda presents What Are Your Retirement Needs? posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “What do you expect in retirement?”

FMF presents Health Insurance for Those Retiring Early posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “One issue early retirees face is what to do about healthcare. This post offers some suggestions for covering this major expense.”

Jim Wilkerson presents No Load Mutual Funds posted at Best No Load Funds, saying, “Very young stock and bond mutual funds are more likely to put you into the position of being an experimental guinea pig of mutual fund companies and the ETF industry.”

Risk Management and Insurance

Consumer Boomer presents New Health Insurance Law and How It Affects You posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “With the new health care law, it can be a confusing subject with varying opinions. Here are some helpful facts about that new law.”

Moneyedup presents Self Employed Medical Insurance posted at MoneyedUP, saying, “For reasons not expected nor welcomed by some, the ranks of the self employed have swelled in the last few years.”

Susan Howe presents Are Mom’s Really Worth $61,436 a Year? posted at Insure, saying, “Flowers and cards can never quite repay mom for all she’s done, but have you ever thought about how much she’s really worth?”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Why Bundling Your Insurance Policies is a Good Idea posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Have you wondered whether bundling your insurance policies can benefit you? Here are a few good reasons to make the switch.”


Sustainable PF presents Don’t lighten your wallet with inefficient bulbs posted at Sustainable Personal Finance, saying, “As part of our ecoEnergy Retrofit we will replace all of the incandescent lightbulbs the previous owners had installed. Upgrading light bulbs is not covered by the ecoEnergy Retrofit program, however, we recognize that upgrading to compact fluorescent lights (CFL) or even LED (light-emitting diode) ligh bulbs will save us money.”

The Financial Blogger presents Where Are You Keeping Your Money? posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Where do you save your money?”


Financial Freedom presents IRA Contributions, posted at Retirement Worksheet, saying, “The Roth tax optimization puzzle for asset conversions, as well as for annual Roth contributions during working years, is one of the most complex decisions that the ridiculously complex US taxation and retirement planning system forces upon individuals.” 

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Financial Planning using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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    1. Very comprehensive wrap-up. I like the segmentation; makes for easy sorting.
      My recent post Yakezie Okane

    2. Great set of articles for this carnival. I like the Small Banks Vs. Big Banks article from FastSwings. I have been working with larger banks for my real estate business but might look at some local banks after reading this article.

    3. Since all articles are wrapped in this carnival, it becomes easier to gather financial planning information since I also have the same interest. Thank you.
      My recent post Debt Negotiation – How to negotiate debt

    4. Thank you for hosting and including my article.
      Ken Faulkenberry
      My recent post Investment Portfolio Diversification Definition- Examples- &amp Advantages

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