Category Archives for "Financial Tools"

Young, Broke, Fat, and in Debt

Now what?

In 12 years, Antoine Walker(notes) made more than $110 million playing professional basketball moderately well.

It always seems to happen.

Whatever the details, it was a big chunk of change, which, amazingly, wasn’t enough.

These guys seem to wind up in debtor’s prison or the poor house, or both. It’s a shame, in a way, to see all that money wind up gone, but at least these guys stimulate the economy, right? I mean, that money didn’t just vanish; it just moved from his pockets to everybody else’s.

I’m really surprised that the professional sports leagues haven’t really come up with a solution to this widespread problem. Why haven’t they employed the likes of American Express, Fidelity, or some of the better-known financial institutions to not only teach these guys how to manage their money, but why not even do more than that?

Don’t you see a very lucrative niche here? I guess much of this is handled by the athletes’ agents. But maybe therein lies the problem.

Why not employ financial planners? Why not, instead of giving them x percent (10 percent, is that the going rate for “talent?”) on the front end, give them 7 percent on the backend?

If I make you money as a financial guru, give me a piece of it when it’s bigger? Then, there is an incentive for both parties to utilize my services?

What am I missing here?

Is it that these guys are so toxic that nobody wants to touch them? Are the sports agents so powerful that nobody can “break in” to this aspect of an athlete’s life?

Why aren’t the players unions more involved? Or are they in on the money grab, too?

Just think what a really talented money manager could make out of an NBA star? It boggles the mind how much better off he could make not only the athlete, but the athlete’s community. And all without the extreme sadness experienced by the once highly-sought after athlete, once he is put out to pasture.

New Video Series: Economists Do It with Models

How’s that for a catchy title? My friend, Jodi Beggs, has begun a video series on intro to econ. If you even remotely are interested in learning about the “dismal science” then you ought to check them out!

<a href="http://www.linkedtube.com/nhmMeRxg-CU87733ac05c55bce7ec3368d699407ef1.htm">LinkedTube</a>

Kids and Money — July 15, 2009

Welcome to the July 15, 2009 edition of kids and money.

Madison presents Summer Jobs for 11 Year Olds – Jobs for 11 Year Olds posted at Kids and Money.

Madison presents Student Loan Rates Will Drop to All Time Low posted at My Dollar Plan.

Finance Tips 101 presents Car Donations ? Knowing The Facts posted at Finance Tips 101.

Ishan @ ILoveFreeSoftware presents How to Setup Virtual Fax Machine for Free posted at I Love Free Software, saying, “Having a regular fax machine is expensive. The best alternative is to use Online fax services. However, most of the fax services come with a monthly fee. In this article I explain how to setup your own free online fax service completely free. No registration fee, no monthly fee, no setup charges. Totally Free.”
Yeah, not kids and money per se, but certainly a tip I wanted to pass along. FREE nowadays is a good thing (always has been, I suppose).

Pamela Parker presents Four Deaths, Four Different Reasons to Plan posted at Legacy.

Cindy Morus, The Money Mender presents Did Your Bank Flip You posted at Mend Your Money.com.

Barry presents Learn To Survive On A $100 Grocery Budget posted at Associate Money.

Steven Chang presents The Truth About Money – Money Blog – Money Making Tips and Money Management posted at Money Making Tips and Money Management, saying, “I hope this short blog post about wealth getting and preservation will benefit your readers.”

Chris McClelland presents In the long run, college will end up hurting your savings. posted at Lucrative Investing.

Chris McClelland presents The untimely death of celebrities has turned into quite a lucrative business posted at Lucrative Investing.

Jack Schmidt presents 7 Tools For Your Money Belt posted at SectorMatic Money Journal, saying, “SectorMatic Money Site – Personal Finance | Everything for the Big Spender on a Budget. Now you can live like a fat cat, even if you’re on a money diet. Laugh all the way to the bank with Jack Schmidt and SectorMatic. It’s for you!”

jim presents What is the Average Credit Score? posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Debt Reduction-Financial Planning Guide Step 10 posted at Financial Highway, saying, “Debt Reduction is the first step in building wealth, here are some strategies that can help you reduce your debt.”

Bobby Leong presents Tissa Godavitarne GDI Leaderboards Home Business posted at Global Domains International Tips.

Jack Schmidt presents Put A Little Passion In Your Wallet posted at SectorMatic Money Journal.

Praveen presents Students Beware! Colleges, Tuition, Loans, and Debt – Will Education Follow the Housing Bust? posted at My Simple Trading System.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents myFICO Score Watch: Equifax Credit Score Monitoring posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Teach your kids the basics of credit and credit scores.”

Joshua presents Re-Using For The Family Budget posted at Family and Parenting, saying, “Recycling is not only good for the environment but also good for your family finances.”

Finance Tips 101 presents Tips To Help You Qualify For A Home Mortgage | Finance Tips 101 posted at Finance Tips 101.

One Family presents Southwest Airlines (LUV) – Stock Analysis posted at One Family’s Blog, saying, “An analysis of Southwest Airlines (LUV) stock.”

Nancy Miller presents The Problems of Implementing ICT in Secondary Education posted at Accredited Online PHD Universities.

josh andreson presents All Boxed Up: Types of Flash Media Packaging posted at Flash Media Packaging.
Another non-kids and money topic, but interesting nonetheless. I use flash media all the time. It’s awesome. And really cheap. I can see a day really soon where ALL your day-to-day data (including OS) is on a stick.

Jack Schmidt presents Real Estate: The Time to “Buy Low” Is Now posted at SectorMatic Money Journal.

Martin Russell presents “Conspiracy of the Rich”- A Review posted at Word of Mouth Marketing.

KCLau presents MoneyWise Interview on BFM 89.9 – The Business Station posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “was chatting with Patrick Michael on Business FM (BFM) 89.90 – The Business Station yesterday regarding some money lessons we can learn from watching the Transformers movies”

Save Money presents Revising and Simplifying My Budget (One More Time) posted at How I Save Money.net.

Chris McClelland presents Estate lessons we can all learn from Michael Jackson posted at Lucrative Investing.
It’s amazing to me how MJ’s demise has inspired all sorts of stories. I hate to think what’s going to happen to me, my stuff, and my family when I die, EVEN with a will. I guess there’s one good thing about not being rich and/or famous — nobody’s probably going to contest my will or challenge any trusts I set up…small victories…

Chris McClelland presents Your credit score may soon lead to targeted Google ads posted at Lucrative Investing.

PicktheBrain presents Top 10 Ways for Grad Students to Save Cash posted at Online Doctoral Programs.

Dan presents Kids Birthday Parties – Better at Home or Out for Theme Party? | My Dad Blog posted at My Dad Blog, saying, “This article considers the pros/cons of home birthday parties vs. themed parties like Bounce-U and Little Gym with topics spanning costs, convenience and fun.”
This is timely for me personally. I have a soon-to-be 2-year-old…last year, we had a party at a park. Happened to be the hottest day of the year (110)! It would have been nice to be able to go inside and get out of the heat. But then again, our house is too small to contain more than 6-8 people (somewhat comfortably), so our giant gathering would have had to take turns. I really like the idea of the Party Palooza type places.

Daniel Drew presents Line of Credit posted at My Business is doing well should I choose an SBA Loan?, saying, “”Lines of credit are generally paid off by opting for a permanent source of financing. In case of commercial property line of credit, the sale of the old property may help repay the line of credit””

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Canadian Discount Brokerage Review and Comparison for TFSA and RRSP posted at Financial Highway, saying, “A look at Canadian Discount Brokers”

Brian McKay presents Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for Dependent Care posted at MonitorBankRates.com, saying, “A dependent care flexible spending Account (FSA) allows you to save money pretax to pay for dependent care in the process also lowering your taxable income.”

Billeater presents Dorm Life – Cheap College Living Tips posted at Billeater.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Balance Transfer Credit Card Tips, Facts and Traps posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “One important area of finance to teach kids about? The use of credit cards. Here is some coverage on balance transfer cards to teach your kids.”
Credit nowadays is a necessity. But I wish it wasn’t. So easy to spend beyond your means.

The Smarter Wallet presents Best Security Software For Your Computer posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “We all need to protect our computers, even the ones used by our families. Here’s how to do it!”

Banker Saver presents How Safe Is Your Retirement Fund? posted at Banker Saver, saying, “Retirement is a ways away for your kids, but it’s something they should understand early on. Investing as early as possible pays off.”

Ray presents Is A Costco Executive Membership Worth It? posted at Money Blue Book.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of kids and money using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Broke Piggy and the Difference Between an ESA and a 529

Here’s a post to a story about the differences between an Education Savings Account and a 529 plan from Broke Piggy.

The highlights:

  • Contribution Limits – With an ESA, you are only allowed to contribute up to $2,000 per year.  Most 529 plans do not have contribution limits, but it depends on each state.
  • Usage Of Funds – 529 plans can only be used for college expenses, while ESA funds may be used for elementary or secondary education such as private school.
  • Investment Options – With an ESA, you can invest in just about anything, so you have more control over your money.  A state 529 plan will give you investment options but doesn’t let you choose specifics.  Your investment options with an ESA are the same as what they would be if you were investing in an IRA.
  • Tax Advantages – The tax advantages of an ESA versus a 529 plan are basically the same.  Money withdrawn from either account is tax-free as long as it is used for qualified education expenses.
  • Age Restrictions – Funds within an ESA must be used by the time the beneficiary (the student) turns 30.  There are no age restrictions for 529 plans.

Read the entire post here — What’s An ESA And How Is It Different Than A 529 Plan? | Broke Piggy

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Wealth-Building Wednesday — June 24, 2009 (Inaugural Edition)

Welcome to the first (of many, hopefully) Wealth-Building Wednesdays, where I try to offer you suggestions on how to build wealth. This would seem to be a departure from the many other fine personal finance blogs that devote a lot of their time and space to teaching you how to save money, be more frugal, and live beneath your means.

I, and a few others like 7 Million in 7 Years, focus, instead, on earning beyond your living.

Of course, taken to extremes, both points of focus can get you in trouble. On the one hand, you will have a really unsatisfying life; on the other, you may tend to forget about controlling your expenses and find yourself no better off with a LOT more income, but also with tremendous debt and expenses and a lifestyle that you may not even want.

Nevertheless, we’ll concentrate here in this special feature on building wealth from the income side. After all, income potential is virtually unlimited while expense savings are finite.

Plus, it’s my site and I’ll approach this topic how I want!

Mindset

To be successful at anything, the most important thing you have to master is your mindset. Simply put, attitude is everything. You can have all the talent in the world, tools at your ready disposable, adequate funds, and everything else, and yet, you still could fail.

Why?

That’s how life works.

Not only do you have to work smart, you have to work hard. Look at nearly anybody you deem “successful.” They all “got there” through working smart, employing experts when necessary, using appropriate tools and resources, but there’s another critical thing they mastered:

Hard work.

Perseverance. “Sticktoitiveness.” Dedication. Burning the candle at both ends. Hard work is an acquired skill that you learn by practice.

This hard work is your front-end payment to a potential big payoff months, years, even decades later.

Even “overnight sensations” worked tirelessly for years, in most cases, to “make it” overnight!

Now that we got that out of the way…in case you missed it, it’s not good enough to work smart or hard. You have to work smart and hard.

Here’s a link to a book that might change the way you look at things. It’s called MindMap to Riches. It’s all about what I’m talking about here; it’s just a lot more detailed and lengthy in its description. By no means can I cover the how to part of creating a positive mindset in this relatively short post.

Suffice it to say it’s passion, hard work, being smart, making a plan, acting on the plan, and making corrections all along the way. Leave a component out and you may not make much progress, but put them all together and you’ve got a winning combination.

Only YOU can determine what success is. We’ve limited our scope here to say that success, in this context, is increasing your wealth.

What is wealth? From a personal finance perspective, it’s pretty simple:

Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth
(aka, “wealth”)

The key to increasing wealth is limiting your liabilities to a manageable level while increasing your income-producing assets. As long as you can do that, you’re well on your way to amassing great wealth.

The pillars of a wealth-building system that we’ve described here are usually hard assets like your house, cars, precious metals, plus paper such as cash, money in the bank, stocks, and bonds. A vital component is a wealth-preservation instrument like liability and life insurance in case life throws you a knuckleball.

But the most valuable asset in your portfolio is YOU. You should think of yourself as an income-producing asset, striving always to become more productive through continuing education and training of the mind, body, and soul.

You are the ONLY one you can truly count on. Gone are the days of working for a company for 30 years, collecting your going-away gold watch and a nice little pension. Especially in light of the current state of the economy, you can be sure those days are gone — if not forever — for a very long time indeed.

If you’ve been here before, you know that I am a firm believer in running your own business. It’s difficult, but the rewards are usually worth it. The greatest benefit to me, however, is the idea that I am not relying on anybody else for gainful employment.

If I want more money, I go out and get it

I am not limited by my boss or a 40-hour workweek.

However, I know jumping ship on your career, no matter how tenuous the concept is nowadays, is not feasible for most people. This is where the smart work comes in. Keep your “day job” and do all your “own” business after hours. Of course, staying up late at night eventually becomes hard work, but you have to devise a plan to manage your time and health.

There are too many opportunities to mention that have potential for solid earnings. Private Label Rights publishing, ecommerce sites, ringtones, affiiate marketing, credit counseling and/or debt management companies — all of these have HUGE potential. Probably always will.

We’ll tackle some of these methods later in the series. For now, just find out what you can about setting your mental ship afloat. Determine what you’re good at, what interests you, what you’re passionate about! Get your head on straight and set yourself up for success!