I'm sticking with my usual method of hosting a carnival -- listing a summary of each piece with the author's reason for submitting the post to the carnival (for those that submitted one) and/or a bit of the post itself as a summary -- so you readers know what to expect before you get to the post.
I've attempted to place entries in appropriate categories to give readers some guidance, but be warned, several of these posts could have been in multiple categories, so you may want to take your time and look them all over.
With that said, here we go:
- Online Bank Contact and Routing Information - I often find myself digging around for custmer service contact information, ABA routing numbers, etc. for the various online savings banks, so I thought that I would try to consolidate that information here, in a single post.
- Insuring Mrs Cleaver - What happens when a Stay At Home Spouse is disabled? We explore the problem, and offer a solution.
- American Income Inequality and its Discontents - The NYT is making available only to subscribers noting the fact that, as the old adage goes, the rich keep getting richer.
- Teaching Kids About Money - As a followup to my recent post on our allowance system, I thought I’d post a link to a report from Montana State University on teaching your kids about finances.
- RRSP or Mortgage Then? - Which is more important a big RRSP or a mortgage paid off early?
- Fixing A Bad Mortgage Sale - "I was sold a bad home mortage. Who do you talk to?" That was a search I got the other day. The answer depends upon where you are in the process.
- Modern Day Dowry - Is owning a home an "asset" for single women?
- Kidney Swaps: Not a 1031 Exchange? - If you give away a kidney, it's tax free. But if you are trading organs, you might have a tax problem. We suggest a modest solution.
- Work and Shop Tax Free - Many moons ago, I suggested shopping in another state as a way of avoiding sales taxes—I believe it was something like, “Live in Washington, shop in Oregon.” Why THAT particular combination? Washington State has no income tax, and Oregon has no sales tax.
- A Veteran at Bootstrapping Offers Advice - I just finished several weeks of teaching about bootstrapping to my students. Charles Hagood, a graduate of Belmont's Massey MBA Program, shared his advice on being a successful bootstrapper.
- Marginal Morningstar - Morningstar announced that it will start rating ETFs, and introduced a few new other categories. Unfortunately, they're fighting their own monster here.
- A Healthy Dose of Skepticism - In order to be a successful investor -- indeed, a successful anything -- you need a healthy dose of skepticism. Not a gray, cloudy cynicism, (knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing) but a specifically wary eye. There are many ways that data is presented, and unless you are cautious, you may miss the subtle ways it can be twisted and exploited. In the markets, this leads to money losing situations.
- Taking a Fresh Look at TheStreet.com - I recently sold out of a position in TheStreet.com. Although it would seem that an acquisition is no longer on the horizon for this company, there are still a number of interesting things about this company that you may have never considered.
- FTD Group Moat Check - This quick review of FTD Group doesn't indicate that this florist has a durable competitive advantage.
- Kosher "arches" - McDonald's as all successful businesses is after one thing, and that's money, so they've compromised their "standards" and opened kosher restaurants in Israel.
- Joel Greenblatt's Little Book Tells Us How to Beat the Market - This post reviews the investing methods recommended in Joel Greenblatt's new book.
- Increasing Efficiency in the Market for Corporate Control - On the evolution of raiders.
- The Future of Recorded Music - The potential of making money off of musicians, rather than off of listeners.
- Shareholder Voting Rights - An economic analysis of the law of corporate shareholder voting rights.
- Tax, Inflation and Stock Market Returns - The real returns are extremely small when you take the tax and inflation into consideration.
- Really Bad Timing - Evidence that investors tend to switch in and out of mutual funds at the worst possible times, thereby damaging their returns.
- Yo Quiero Common Sense - After seeing my receipt from Taco Bell, I wonder if perhaps they're setting the bar too low when hiring employees.
- Debunking Dividend Myths! - In this post I discuss some common misconceptions people have regarding dividends.
- Dealer Math + Rubber Room = GM Making it Easier for Toyota - Setting everything else aside, here's a look at two ways how GM is not helping itself ward off Asian competition. In fact, GM is almost handing it away and its most dangerous threat, Toyota, continues grab market share as GM falters.
- The End of the Yield Curve Inversion - The yield curve will not remain inverted indefinitely. Some speculation on how it could end.
- Does Best Picture Equal Big Box Office? - Political Calculations ranks the box office returns of the Best Picture Oscar winners of the past 30 years - adjusting for inflation, some of the results are pretty surprising (and not a good sign for this year's nominees)!
- Who is Jeffrey Christian? - They pay big bucks to Jeffrey Christian for this advice! For what?
- Some flacks have a way with words. Some flacks no have way. - Taken literally, creative hype often comes across as amateurish, silly overstatement. It's hard to believe that companies continue to put out "news releases" like these with a straight face.
- In a Saturated Blogosphere, How Does Marketing Reach Out to People? - A Boston University business writer is researching an article on innovations in marketing asks this question. He's falling into the age-old trap of mixing up mass reach with hitting the desired target market. (And in many cases, a broad reach alienates your core community.) This post identifies why blogging's social community nature is particularly suited to reach your "White Hot Center."
- Don't Try To Do Anything - You can try to build a rocket ship for travel to the moon, try to win the lottery, and try to be a better person. The problem is, there's no accurate place to place try on the scale of effort – it fits at both extremes.
- Marriage: A Changing Event - Marriage isn't what it used to be. Women are the ones in the drivers seat. We're still interested, but...we have different reasons for being so. It's time folks wised up to the changing nature of marriage, because it will affect the bottom-line in the next decade.
- Email Campaigns Amid Repression Part 2 - I was not surprised to find in my inbox an email message from Vicente Romano of eLagda (eSignature). He started this e-group-based email campaign during the build up to People Power 2 against then President Joseph Estrada.
- Seeking Facts in the UAE Port Debacle - A look at the economics of this controversy.
- The Price of Government Intervention - A look at the real effect of a law designed to "help."
- Land Use - Springfield, OR, Mayor Leiken discusses the state of land use laws and private property rights in Oregon.
- Could 'following the money' lead to regime change in Iran? - Replacing Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad financially would be much easier on the good Iranian people than military strikes at his nuclear sites.
- Government Regulation and Self-Regulation in Corporate Social Responsibility - Corporate social responsibility these days is regulated both by government legislations and self-regulation by companies either internally or through organizations.
- What's Your Motivation Threshold - Over the past year and a half, I’ve seen just what a vital role purpose plays in the pursuit of personal growth. I believe that growth is an inborn human need to a certain degree, and apparently so does Tony Robbins, who includes growth on his list of the six human needs. However, I’ve found that if your only interest in personal growth comes from the level of biological need, you’ll be very limited in the amount of growth you can achieve. As an end it itself, personal growth is certainly motivating, but for some goals it just isn’t motivating enough.
- Know When to Walk Away - When is a job offer not a good deal? There are three times when it may be best to walk away from a job.
- Free Samples - Are free samples applicable to knowledge workers? We address the issue in this post.
- Fluffy Resumes - Resume padding is starting to become a big problem for American corporations. Up to 40% of all job applicants and some CEOs falsify their resumes in the face of intense pressure to succeed. Unfortunately shareholder value suffers as a result.
- Choices - It's easy to assume people only work excessive hours because they have to: that grasping management or greedy bosses force them into it. Even workaholism can be defined as a sickness that drives people to self-destructive behavior. But what if many people work themselves nearly to death because they choose to do so—freely and without external compulsion?
- Starting as a freelancer: Trading services - Over the Work At Home Forum, one of the articles that Vishal Rao linked to is an article about trading services. This is one of the things that you could use when getting started.
- Blogs and connections: Process and goal setting - Blogs are about creating and nurturing conversations, that lead to making connections, that in turn lead to business or personal relationships. While not all bloggers are able to make those connections, let alone build relationships with their readers , the potential for doing so exists. Perhaps the difficulty lies in developing the overall goals for the blog.
- Is Your Business Deciding Whether Or Not To Blog? Here Are Some Things To Consider Before You Start - Blogging is too often looked at as an end - it's not an end, it's a means. Businesses that choose to blog should do so because it supports their web presence - either to sell something or support a customer.
- Notes From The Cinequest Film Festival - Technology is changing movie-making. In the past only 1% of films in film festival were distributed. Now with new technology, independent film-makers and their investors have the chance to see some cash flow.
- Why Web 2.0 Matters - Scott outlines the 4 things that motivate mainstream consumers to try innovative online applications. Do you agree that a product need to have all 4 to cross the threshold into mass adoption?
- Managing All That Business Data - I moderated a panel discussion this past week with two professionals who are on the cutting edge of new search technologies. Read some of the key points they made.
- Localization of Linux distributions, of FOSS in general - A lot of the software that are available is in the English language. However, even if there are many users who are knowledgeable in speaking and reading and writing in English. It would be good also for people to have software that are in their native language. For it to be useful to more people, people must be comfortable in using it and not be intimidated because it comes in another language. Think of how useful the documentation could be, especially for those who are using software for the first time.
- Another look at near-term oil supplies - Econbrowser takes a look at why oil prices remain high.
- Improving Upon Supply and Demand - Both the advocates and opponents of market economies sometimes forget that markets result from human behaviors -- so while they are not always perfect (and can sometimes be improved upon), they also do not always have to be improved upon by government intervention.
- Anti-Capitalist Language - In all of mankind's history, pure Capitalism and pure Free Trade are yet to exist. The best that we can do is look at those peoples who have come closest to living in a way in which private property is truly respected.
- How to beat the fear of starting your own business? - Many people shy away from starting a business due to lack of experience and fear of failure. This article is about how "The Business Experiment" members can help these young entrepreneurs.
- Responsiveness is Your Competitive Advantage - It shouldn’t be, but it is. As a small business you can react quickly to changing conditions. You can meet the demands of your customers in real time. This is a huge advantage. In today’s service-intensive society responsiveness should be the price of entry into any market. It is not.
- You don't have to go quietly - When you are the victim of ageism or discrimination of any kind, you should use every tool at your command to rectify the situation. It may not help you personally, but it may keep others from being subjected to the same treatment.
- Some Assembly Required - For those who have never watched a professional buyer do his thing, sitting in on a tough negotiation is a treat. And an education.
- Lessons from Birding in Mexico - Experienced birders see more birds. That's fairly obvious. But how they do it maybe has wider lessons for other parts of life.
- Wall Street Journal on the state of patent law: "Blame the Lawyers" - A patent lawyer's response to the Wall Street Journal's Op/Ed piece that blames the lawyers for the current state of patent law in the United States (which, they believe, is in disarray).
- Six Sigma at First Sumiden Circuits, Inc. - One of the Philippine-based manufacturing companies that I'm going to study is the First Sumiden Circuits Inc. FSCI is a joint venture among Sumitomo Electric Industries, Inc., First Holdings Corporation, and Sumitomo Corporation.
Thanks for visiting the Carnival of the Capitalists! If you want to know a bit more about Free Money Finance, see my posts of the week for last week.