Tour de Personal Finance, Stage 15, Round 4 – Posts 33-46

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Without further a due, let’s continue on with the 15th Stage (the second Stage of the 4th round of competition) of the 2011 My Personal Finance Journey Tour de Personal Finance (to follow all of the action, click on the Tour de Personal Finance category link and scroll down to read all the posts involved in this subject).

There are only 6 blogs/posts remaining in the 2011 Tour, so the competition should be quite interesting from here on out! To view the most up-to-date brackets of the competition, click the following link –2011 Tour de PF Bracket

Going along with Tour de France cycling tradition, I’ve listed each competition within each stage as an “intermediate sprint” (one post versus another) along with the description provided by the blog author when the post was submitted.

Also, if applicable, I will give a brief description of the stage of the Tour de France that took place the same day as the competition.

How to Vote

You can vote for the one article (since there’s only one intermediate sprint today) you’d like to see proceed in the Tour by commenting in the comments section below and telling which are your favorites.

I’ve listed a keyword after each post title to make it easy to vote (as a made-up example, you can just comment: Sprint 1: Mutual; Sprint 2: 401k, etc.) Be sure to comment which one you like the best out of each set of two! Criteria for the best article is completely up to you, but you can use these factors as a guide: 1) post of your favorite blogger, 2) most interesting post, 3) most thought-provoking post, 4) most unique post, or 5) most actionable post.

Here is today’s competitions:

Voting will continue until July 22nd for this Stage!

Intermediate Sprint # 1
  • If I Had a Million Dollars, I’d Go Into Debt (Debt): What would I do if I won a million dollars? This post describes how I’d invest every last penny, scrutinizing tax benefits, risk, returns, real estate, and why I would go into debt — yes, I would go into debt — if I were a millionaire. And don’t just take my word for it: Einstein backs me up, and so does third-world poverty theory. Read this post to find out more.
  • What The Piano Tuner Taught Me (Piano): You can learn a lot from a person by their chosen profession even if that profession is not something you fully understand or are familiar with. Their passion, their spirit, their seemingly perfect fit with the intricate details involved – these things are clear when someone truly loves what they do. That and much more is what I learned from Howard the piano tuner. Read this article to learn more!  

Tour de France Daily Recap

While competition in the 2011 Tour de Personal Finance rages on here at My Personal Finance Journey, the riders of the 2011 Tour de France are enjoying a well-deserved rest day today. The race will continue tomorrow with a big show-down on the way in the Alps mountains! In these coming stages, we’ll be able to see if Contador has what it takes to be acclaimed as the best climber and stage race rider in the world currently! Should be exciting!

    ***Photo courtesy of


    1. Debt

    2. Debt
      My recent post Yakezie Ikura

    3. Piano
      My recent post A frugal egg-speriment.

    4. affordanything says:

      My recent post A 28-year-old Writes on Money for Her Generation

    5. Piano

    6. piano
      My recent post Make Money With Your Blog

    7. Definitely can't vote for someone going into debt if they were a millionaire. Holy crap that sounds absurd to me.

      Luckily my vote was for piano anyway. Keep rocking it Jesse! Good luck dude!

      • affordanything says:

        @Brad — I respect your vote, but I don't think that taking on strategic debt for the sake of growing a low-risk business is “absurd.” I hope I've laid out a pretty good case for why leveraging that money into a rental business could be a good strategy. If you have any specific questions or objections, I'd be happy to hear them.
        My recent post A 28-year-old Writes on Money for Her Generation

        • It's nothing personal. I think starting a business with debt is one of the worst ways to fund a business since the debt incurred is essentially putting your business at risk if “anything” should happen. Not to mention, why would a millionaire need to use debt (other peoples money) to start or grow a business? From what I've read, there aren't many smart millionaires who “leverage” debt. Most millionaires claim that debt freedom is a guiding principle and one of the reasons they are a millionaire.

          I think it's a bad idea but I didn't mean to start a debate here. You could make a million cases and not one would convince me since borrowing money means you owe someone else money regardless of the reason. My belief is that NOT owing anyone money is ALWAYS better than owing anyone money. It's why we're debt free for life and the reason why we won't even get a mortgage.

          Brad Chaffee
          Enemy of Debt

          My recent post Frugality Tips – Spending Less Before and During Vacation

          • Interesting use of “smart” to qualify “millionaires.” By doing so, you are using a subtle (but logically invalid) trick that invalidates the opinion of millionaires who do use debt by automatically categorizing them as “not smart.” This is a variation of the straw-man argument, a type of logical fallacy.

            Anyway, that point aside, there are very good reasons why access to debt/credit is very important to growing a business. If you look at countries where access to credit is limited or non-existent, the ability to grow a business is very difficult and you end up seeing a few people with all of the national resources.

            On the flip-side, obviously too-easy credit is not a good thing either. I don't think anyone needs to be reminded of that right now. But no access to credit is far worse. If you don't believe me, go somewhere that people have no credit, but are totally debt free. You will probably not have a hard time deciding which system is better.

            It's fine for you to be debt free, but perhaps you should realize that such a general statement like “NOT owing anyone money is ALWAYS better than owing anyone money” is going to be a pretty tough ideological sell.

            • HI Will, thanks for weighing in. You seem to be disregarding the rest of my statement simply because I referred to those millionaires who didn't leverage debt as smart. Smart was my personal choice of words since even your scenario of borrowing in other countries has nothing to do with borrowing in the USA, although I would simply add that borrowing is only a better option in other countries because of the political system in place. In America, it's stupid (personal opinion) to borrow money when the only thing keeping you from not borrowing money is you. (not you, but in general)

              You also seem to imply that one MUST borrow money to start a business. That may be true in other countries, I do not live in another country, but it's a ridiculous statement. It's the same as saying that one couldn't pay cash for a house without having to get a mortgage. It's more than possible, and a majority of millionaires seem to agree, it's just that the mindset people now have (in America) is one of instant gratification where no one seems to want to save to do anything worthy without borrowing to do it.

              Sure there are a few millionaires that claim to leverage debt but that doesn't mean it is smart . I stand by my belief that not owing someone money is better than owing someone money. Whether you want to admit it it is a form of slavery and bondage and often comes at a hefty price. Sorry I just don't buy the debt is a tool line of thinking because I think that's exactly why we (in America) are where we are today. Too much debt because too many people believed the myth that debt was a tool.

              I understand not everyone has to buy into my arguments or beliefs about debt but if most people just take a look around, they'll see how big of a problem debt really is. In my mind, that's not illogical, it's common sense.

              I don't think it's tough at all to those that live paycheck to paycheck because they thought debt was a tool. Just because you have the ability to start a business before you're financially ready to do so doesn't mean it was smart. To start a business that you don't know is going to be successful or not in the red, is not a very smart decision. Sometimes it works for those that choose to gamble but that doesn't make it smart. I simply say that the risk is not worth what you end up giving up which is financial freedom.


              Brad Chaffee
              Enemy of Debt
              My recent post Are You Teaching Your Children to Avoid a Financial Stomach Ache?

              • This is a really good debate! I've enjoyed reading both sides of the argument. Thanks for getting involved!
                My recent post Tips on Saving Money for the Future

                • ih8debt says:

                  Thank you and I hope it was okay. Since I am the “Enemy of Debt” I just thought I would chime in and didn't think a response would happen. Since it did, I thought the discussion was awesome. I respect both of those who commented and their opinions.

                  To me it's simple though. Debt is stupid period. Some people do it, some people don't. Some people win the lottery but most people don't. Just because some people win the lottery doesn't mean it isn't stupid. Some people succeed using debt as a tool, but most people don't. Debt is a dice game.

                  GREAT BLOG! 😀
                  My recent post Are You Teaching Your Children to Avoid a Financial Stomach Ache?

          • affordanything says:

            HI Brad – Thanks for the reply. You mentioned that you don't want to start a debate, so I'll hold off from responding … besides, I think my post speaks for itself, particularly the bottom half of the post. I guess with a name like “Enemy of Debt,” you're pretty firmly in the anti-debt camp! 🙂 I like the fact that our conversation brings to light that there are some pretty different opinions, in the personal finance community, about the best ways to manage money. More the reason to read a wide variety of PF blogs and books, and hear about all the different perspectives!

            Take care … and I'll see you in Chicago this October! 🙂
            My recent post Savings Snowball: New Method for Saving More

            • Brad chaffee says:

              I certainly respect your opinion and do not think that my way is the only way, but with my apparent hatred and beliefs about debt I do think it's the smartest way. 🙂

              I do understand my opinion is not viewed as popular but I do believe it is becoming more accepted by more ad more people. I too look forward to meeting you in October as well. It's going to be great! 🙂
              My recent post Are You Teaching Your Children to Avoid a Financial Stomach Ache?

    8. Piano
      My recent post Getting a Good Car Loan with Less Than Good Credit

    9. Piano
      My recent post How to Find a Lawyer

    10. Piano
      My recent post Debate Tournament Results

    11. KNS Financial says:
    12. debt

    13. Debt baby, all the way!

    14. piano
      My recent post Ways to be Inspired

    15. JoeTaxpayer says:

      My recent post Introducing Bargain Jack

    16. Debt

    17. Piano
      My recent post 3 Economic Concepts Everyone Should Know

    18. debt!
      Really well thought out post!

    19. Debt

    20. Debt!

    21. bob taylor says:


    22. Debt

    23. Debt

    24. Rachael says:


    25. Melody Heilscher says:


    26. My vote is for the Debt article

    27. Raju Kharel says:

      I vote for Debt.

    28. Debt

    29. Voting for this Stage is now closed. Debt is the winner and will proceed to the championship round, which will start July 25th.
      My recent post How Do Your Car Insurance Rates Vary Based on Age, Gender, and Geographic Location?

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