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:

Chase Blueprint: Manage Your Money Wisely and Pay Down Your Debts Faster

chase blueprint

chase blueprint

In recent times, I have been receiving email from Chase and their “fabulous” new concept: Chase Blueprint. I was a bit reluctant to look into this “new concept” as I wondered how it could really help a person to manage his debt better”¦ especially since the idea came from a bank ;-)

However, I have received more information about the Chase Blueprint features and they appear promising.

chase blueprint #3

chase blueprint

What is Chase Blueprint?

As the name suggests, Chase is offering you a way to create a Blueprint to pay off your debt. Blueprint is a free debt management system that allows setting repayment goals for specific expenses.

The Holiday Finances


Christmas is not my favorite holiday. I enjoy the spirit and the meaning of the season. I am all in favor of celebrating the birth of Christ and I am not all that opposed to a fat man sliding down my chimney to steal my milk and cookies. However, the stress of gifts, gift giving and parties is too much for me to handle. No matter how much my wife and I try to keep a lid on things, we over-extend ourselves financially every year around Christmas. That is why I like Thanksgiving so much.

Friday Gathering: Global Warming Edition

warm flower

How is that Global Warming treating you, Midwest and Northeast? Here are some articles that I found interesting this week:

Jill, one of the new writers at Moolanomy posted a list of items for your end-of-the-year financial checkup. Some good ideas here. Don’t procrastinate!

David at My Two Dollars listed some of the tax law changes. There are some tax increases that might affect you (see AMT and sales tax deductions). Charities will be quite disappointed that gifts from IRA accounts will no longer be tax deductible . . . that one makes me angry.

Investment Strategies With $10,000 or less #2: Index Mutual Funds

Last Tuesday, we looked at how to create a bond ladder with less than $10,000. While certificates of deposit are good to balance out your portfolio and provide peace of mind with security like a comfy blanket while sitting in front of a warm glowing fireplace, they will definitely not provide the growth to make your retirement savings account jump.

Some people won’t be able to endure the cruel market fluctuations and that is fine. This is why they should (even at an early age) setup their bond ladder and minimize their risk. However, if you understand that although your investments drop at times, over the long haul they have always gone back up (if you have a sane asset allocation”¦which will be explained in another post).

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