Friday Gathering: My Daughter’s Birthday Edition

By Stew


Here are some articles from around the personal finance blogosphere that I think you might like.

Do not miss the big third anniversary give-away at The Financial Blogger! Entering the contest requires little effort and the prizes are outstanding. First prize is an iPod Touch, second prize is a $50 Amazon gift certificate and third prize is a $25 gift certificate. Click on over right away!

Being Frugal suggests an inexpensive way to celebrate the holidays: read to your kids! There are so many good Christmas books around and children know you love them when you read to them. I cannot recommend reading to your children highly enough.

A guest post at Cash Money Life suggests using accrual accounts to save for future purchases. I like the idea and ING sub-accounts are a great tool for this kind of saving.

There are a lot of posts around that explain credit scores. Prime Time Money posted the number of points that certain actions will cost you. Did you know that you lose more points if your initial score is higher? Lower scores suffer reduced point penalties when the owners commit credit transgressions.

Four Pillars is no longer participating in leveraged investing. Even though I would never do it, his investment technique fascinates me. Does anyone actually make money investing through this method? I would love to read a real life example where a person makes money by investing money that was borrowed at a competitive interest rate. I know it happens, but . . . wow.

We had a great Thanksgiving with family and we are looking forward to Christmas. Hope your holidays are great – remember don’t just spend money, spend time with family. You can Ask Me Anything at glblstew at

Article by Stew

Photo by Declan TM

6 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Friday Gathering: My Daughter’s Birthday Edition”

  1. Des Says:

    Regarding the Four Pillars post – Yeah, I did something like this earlier this year. I was able to take advantage of the first $7,500 tax credit for first home purchase, which must be paid back over 15 years to the government. It was effectively a zero-interest loan. I put it into a few stocks and some double and triple ETFs and made about $6k (before taxes) in a few months. Then, I pulled out the original $7,500 and used it to pay down my student loans. I built the remaining $6k profit up to $8,500, then pulled out the $6k and left $2,500. The $6k is in an account at SmartyPig earning 2%. The $2,500 is in a few long-term stock bets. The reason I didn’t keep playing is that in March when I got my tax return I knew it was a golden market opportunity – that I was almost SURE to make some money. Now, I don’t feel the opportunity is as great, and thus isn’t worth the risk to me. That, and it took a LOT of time researching and actively trading. The day of reckoning (April 15th) is coming soon when I will need to pay for my active trading transgressions.

  2. Patrick Says:

    Thanks for mentioning the guest post at my site. I enojoyed reading it and was happy to publish it. :)

    By the way, I have an iPod Touch, and it is an amazing tool. I love it! :)

  3. Stew Says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Patrick.

    Des, that is an incredible story, if I tried something like that, I would get burned so bad …

  4. Courtney Says:

    “Did you know that you lose more points if your initial score is higher?”

    That’s generally how percentages work…5% of 750 is more than 5% of 580.

  5. Stew Says:

    Courtney, they are not percentages. For instance, a maxed out credit card reduces a 680 credit score 10 points or a little over 1%. The same offence reduces a 780 credit score a minimum of 25 points or a little over 3%.

  6. Four Pillars Says:

    Thanks for the mention.

    Yes, I certainly made a small profit with my leveraged account but it could have just as easily been a significant loss. It wasn’t worth the hassle in the end which is why I stopped it.