Archive for December, 2009

New Credit Card Legislation

In February of 2010, the new Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act will go into affect. If you do not use credit cards, you will not be directly affected by this change. The only changes that you will see are higher fees on your regular bank usage as financial institutions try to find other ways to increase revenue. Here are the changes with a few comments from me (as usual):

The Last Carnival of Personal Finance of the Year!

Welcome to the last edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance for 2009! In today’s edition, I will share what I have enjoyed the most during the last 2 weeks of the year.

#1 Editor’s Pick: This is my Favorite Holiday!

I actually love Christmas time (who doesn’t?). This is the special period of the year where everything is touched by magic. We spend time with our families, we play with the kids outside and we are able to watch the world through the eyes of a child especially to see the amazed look on their faces when they unwrap their gifts. Definitely, this is my favourite time of the year. So here are my favourite articles for this Carnival:

Friday Gathering: Christmas Day Edition

I thought I would share one of my favorite Christmas songs. Enjoy this day for the opportunity to be with family and take some time to reflect upon the implications of Christmas Day.

In the First Light

In the first light of a new day
No one knew He had arrived
Things continued as they had been
While a new born softly cried.

But the heavens wrapped in wonder
Knew the meaning of His birth
In the weakness of a baby
They knew God had come to earth.

A Merry Christmas For All!

We are now the 24th of December and my children are getting pretty excited! They just can’t wait to get their gifts from Santa”¦ and I just can’t wait to eat the delicious homemade cookies they will leave for Santa before going to sleep tonight ;-)

But seriously folks, I think Christmas is more than a fancy and overly marketed Holiday abused by gifts and excesses of all kinds. Christmas is a special time of the year where you have the unique opportunity to connect with all the people you love. It is time to forget about your old disputes and call those people you call “friend”, “father”, “sister”, etc.

Financial Challenges from Proverbs 22

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

God has promised to meet your needs, you do not need to trade your good character or reputation in order to get ahead in life. After all, our lives are “but a vapor” in light of eternity. Do right in every circumstance.

The rich and the poor meet together; the LORD is the maker of them all.

Why Bonds Are Going To Tank In 2010-2011

We are approaching Christmas and most of us are now  shopping in “light speed mode”. Unfortunately, Santa won’t give us many gifts with regards to fixed income. Rates are currently at their lowest since the legend of Saint-Nicolas was first told and things probably are not going to be better in a few months. Can rates go lower? That is not the problem. In fact, I would be more worried if interest rates start rising. If you were bitten hard enough by the stock market in 2008 and decided to switch your investments towards bonds, you will see that your portfolio can suffer negative results as well. Why? Because bond values drop as interest rates goes up.

Money Saving Monday: Air Travel

I set out to write a post about how to get the best deal on air travel. My list consisted of the following:

  • Book travel as far in advance as possible.
  • Use an air travel aggregator site.
  • Get an airline “miles” credit card.
  • Look for airlines that feature child fares.

That is a pretty good list, not too much wrong with it, but most of you knew all of that already.

SmartyPig Card Giveaways and Link Roundup

It is now time to name the 2 SmartyPig contest winners of a $50 gift card for their SmartyPig account!

#1 CM (comment #12)

#2 Rebecca (comment #27)

I’ll be contacting the winners to send them the money over next weekend. Congrats and thanks to everybody who participated!
I am also adding a chart at the bottom of this post that compares all the CD’s and savings bank account you can get. You will see that Smarty Pigs is by far the best deal around right now! (note: the table is too big right now, I am working on this ;-) ).

Investment Strategies With $10,000 or less #3: Preauthorized Investing Setup

Last week, I discussed why I really like index mutual funds. Some readers might prefer to trade ETFs (Exchange Traded Fund) directly, in order to replicate stock market indices with lower fees. However, there are 2 major inconveniences with ETFs when you are investing smaller amounts (i.e. less than $10,000):

#1 You are limited in your trades due to your small amount (you shouldn’t buy 5 or 6 ETFs with 10K)

#2 Transaction fees will eat up a lot of your yield (if you buy an ETF with $3,000 and you buying cost is $10 and your selling cost is $10, this represents close to 1% already).

Save $2,000 or more this year. Maybe.


I do not normally like to steal other people’s ideas, but I thought I would offer some responses to a recent article that I saw in a magazine. No, not online, an actually paper-and-ink glossy magazine that someone gave my wife and she had it sitting around the house. I do a lot of personal finance reading and naturally a title like “Save $2,010 in 2010!” would catch my eye. The article appeared in the January 2010 issue of Woman’s Day.

Here are the suggestions from the article and my peanut-gallery comments: