25 November 2006 

Carnival of Investing #49

  

401k elections for the balance of the year and 2007
Makingourway presents their 401k elections.

MakingOurWay.blogspot.com

Cost Cutting
Jeff Burkey talks about increasing revenue and decreasing costs.

www.HedgeFundDomain.net

Verizon: Fiber is Fine, But Watch the Balance Sheet
Trent talks about Verizon's Fiber to the Home strategy

www.StockMarketBeat.com

Online Banking Savings Account, a Wise Investment?
Jennifer Lynn ponders an online savings account

brokeass-student.typepad.com

Five Keys to Investing Success, Key #2: Set Exciting Goals
FMF talks about setting goals for investing success

www.freemoneyfinance.com

Investments That Aren’t – Just The Bad, and The Ugly
Steve Farber discusses bad investment choices. I especially agree with #1

opportunitiesaplenty.com/Debt_Blog

My 2006 Year-End Stock Market Assessment
Super Saver's 2006 Year-End Stock Market Analysis
my-wealth-builder.blogspot.com


Money Smart Life :: Is Your Investment Portfolio a One Man Team?
Ben's investment portfolio analysis

www.moneysmartlife.com

Some Recent Transactions
Reinvesting dividends are discuessed by The Dividend Guy

www.thedividendguyblog.com

Early retirees: Focus on taxable or tax-deferred?
Fin_Indie talks about taxes and retiring

retiringearly.blogspot.com

What does it mean to be an Investor?
Frugal discusses what it means to be an Investor

www.1stMillionAt33.com3

Income Limits for Converting Traditional IRA Funds to a Roth IRA
Nickel talks about Income Limits for Converting Traditional IRA Funds to a Roth IRA

www.fivecentnickel.com

That's it for this edition of the Carnival of Investing. I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to learn more or become a future host, visit CarnivalofInvesting.net.
 

Carnival of Investing

  

I will be hosting the Carnival of Investing coming up this week. I'm currently preparing for it and sorting through all of the submissions. I hope to have it up early Monday or possibly Sunday night. Until then...
23 November 2006 

Happy Thanksgiving!

  

TurkeyI just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving. I hope that everyone has a great holiday with excellent food.

Also, for all your Black Friday needs, check out all the ads at BFads.net.
21 November 2006 

David Blaine - Gyroscope

  

David Blaine - GyroscopeDavid Blaine recently started his latest stunt. He'll be suspended 40 feet above New York City until Friday. He then will attempt to break free from his shackles, and if he succeeds, he'll accompany 100 kids to a shopping spree in Times Square that will be provided by Target.

David Blaine's been performing magic his whole life, but it wasn't until recently that he became famous. He was offered a $1,000,000 TV deal by ABC in 1999, and he hasn't looked back. It's public knowledge that the ABC execs weren't too sure about him until he performed a little magic and read their minds. He was offered a deal on the spot.

Blaine has done a lot since 1999. Everything from being buried alive to being frozen in a block of ice for 3 days. With each stunt comes more publicity. With more publicity comes more money. Not everyone likes Blaine and rightly so. He's definitely an odd character. But that's exactly what "David Blaine" is...a character. He's a showman. He's created this persona that works for him, and makes many people think that maybe this guy can actually bring flies back to life and stick his hand through glass. Maybe he can read minds. That's why he's so successful. He's an excellent actor who never breaks character. He has the drive and determination to do anything that he puts his mind to, and for that, I give him credit.
18 November 2006 

Casino Royale

  

James Bond in Casino RoyaleFirst, let me say that this has NOTHING to do with getting rich. Now that we have that out of the way...I just saw the new James Bond movie. A lot of people are raving about this movie and saying things like, "This is the best Bond film in years." Go check out some of the reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes, and you'll know what I'm talking about. I was reading a lot of reviews before the movie actually came out and was extremely excited about seeing it opening night. I went in with nothing but excitement and came out very disappointed.

This movie was simply not good at all. I really like Daniel Craig as Bond, but where the heck is the music?!? Not once during an action scene did they play the classic Bond theme song. When Bond's chasing someone or being shot at by 27 different guys, none of which seem to be able to hit him, I want to hear that music!! I found this to be very surprising since David Arnold, the guy who did the music in Tomorrow Never Dies, performed the music. In my opinion, Tomorrow Never Dies is one of the best 007 films when it comes to the music. Extremely disappointing!

Now onto the opening sequence. The traditional opening sequence opens with Bond walking onto the screen, turning, and shooting. That’s gone. Some may say that it's still in there, but the movie does NOT open with that. A classic James Bond staple...gone. Absolutely horrible!

I definitely think that Craig has a future as Bond, and I look forward to seeing him in more movies, but they better do it right next time. I just can't understand how people are saying that this is the best 007 film so far. Yeah, it's okay, but nothing to get that excited over. I know that the writers and producers want to take Bond in a new direction, and that's fine. But to get rid of the music and opening sequence is just unheard of. That's what makes James Bond. I can look past the lack of gadgets and no Q or Moneypenny, but not the rest. Joel Siegel sums it up best. Go watch the video of him on Good Morning America. Again, I think Daniel Craig is going to be an excellent Bond. I just hope that it is executed differently in the next film. However, judging from the critics' reactions so far, I have a feeling that the producers are going to keep everything the same.
15 November 2006 

Top 3 Easiest Ways to Make Money

  

I decided to put together a list of ways to make money that would require little or no effort on your part. The list is by no means official, but I feel that the following are simple ways to generate extra cash, and in some of the cases, make you rich!

#3 – Start an Online Savings Account
I’ve already posted about this before, so I won’t go into too much detail with this one. Visit “Getting the Most from a Savings Account” for the original article. I feel that this is such an easy way to make money, and a lot of people fail to do it. All you do is start up an online savings account with a bank such as Capital One, and let your money grow. For current rates that various banks are offering, visit www.bankrate.com.

#2 – Invest in a Mutual Fund
There are some great mutual fund companies out there right now, and there’s a ton of easy money to be made by investing with them. One of the top companies, in my opinion, is Vanguard. Their S&P 500 Index fund is definitely worth taking a look at. It has returned a little over 12% since the fund’s inception, and it’s a pretty safe bet for the future if you plan on investing long term. If you need some more information about how to make a lot of money through investing, or how compounding interest affects your money, read “Power of Compounding Interest” and "Power of Compounding Interest Part II." In that article, you’ll learn exactly how to turn $10,000 into more than $500,000!

#1 – Invest in your Company’s 401k Plan
Now, I know that not every company offers their employees a 401k plan, but a lot of them do. If you’re not investing in your company’s 401k plan you’re throwing away money. The reason I say that is because most companies that offer 401k plans to their employees usually match a certain percentage of what the employee puts into the plan. For example, say you chose to invest 10% of your paycheck into the 401k. And let’s assume that your gross pay is $1,000 per check. That would mean that $100 from every paycheck is going to the company’s 401k plan. If the company’s matching contribution is 5%, they would tack on an extra $50 to your initial $100 investment. So, the grand total that goes into the 401k is $150. That extra $50 is essentially free money. I say that’s pretty easy!

Those are, in my opinion, the top 3 ways to make money without having to do much of anything. In the future I plan on focusing a little more on each step and going into more detail, but I hope this outline was pretty clear and concise. Check back frequently for more in depth articles on each step. Also, if you think that one doesn’t belong, or if you can think of some better ways to make hard cash without much effort, feel free to email me at or post a comment for others to see.
13 November 2006 

Make Money from Domain Names

  

All you had to do was buy the web site www.cellphones.com or something similar, and you’d be rich right now. No, I’m not kidding. There are hundreds of people out there that are making huge amounts of money by purchasing generic domain names (web sites). http://www.cellphones.com is making, on average, around $1,300 a day. That’s right. I said, a DAY! Calculate that out and you get about $474,500 per year.

Have you ever just typed a generic name into your web browser such as roses.com or eatingdisorders.com? Well, if you haven’t then you’re in the minority. A lot of people just happen to type those generic names into their browser instead of using google or yahoo. When they go to those web pages, they see a page that looks like the following:

www.cellphones.com

The links on those pages are sponsored links that, when clicked, give the web site owner some money. I could go into a lot more detail on this subject, but to be honest there’s just too much to put on this web page in one story. If you want to learn more about this subject, feel free to visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domaining or http://www.domainers.org/.

There’s still a lot of money to be made in buying, and selling domain names. Some people will tell you that it’s better now than it was in the early ‘90s, and some will tell you that it’s not as good now. Imagine going back to 1990 and purchasing addresses such as ibm.com or flowers.com. All you had to do was realize that the internet was going to take off and start buying up some common names. There were only a select few that were doing that at the time. They made millions! Money can still be made by this method, so if you’re interested and want to learn more, visit http://www.dnforum.com/.
11 November 2006 

Genius Ideas

  

Well, it's the weekend and hence 90% of web sites see their traffic plummet. Nevertheless, I wanted to get a quick update on here regarding a few sites that have some great ideas and are definitely worth checking out from time to time. They fall into the, "Why didn't I think of that?" category. The first one I already wrote an article about. In fact it was my 2nd post when I started this site. Check it out if you missed it. The others are just plain cool ideas.

- How to make a million dollars in less than a year. Well, less than 5 months. This kid had an awesome idea that is hard to top.
- Advertise on the site and get double your money back. Hard to believe but true. What a great idea. It just needs some media attention now.
- Trade domain for a higher valued domain until you get one that's worth a million dollars. This could take off. Again, it just needs some media attention.

And there they are. Some great ideas. The last 2 sites may or may not take off, but I think they definitely call for a, "Why didn't I think of that?" moment. Does anyone else know of any quirky web site ideas that have already made a lot of money or have the potential to?
08 November 2006 

Wanna Go To The Carnival?

  

CarnivalIn case you don't know, online carnivals are where a collection of stories about certain subjects are grouped together and posted. Some carnivals weave the posts into a story while others just list the posts. If you are still confused, visit some of the carnivals that I was a part of this week in the links below:

- Carnival of the Capitalists over at Gill Blog
- Carnival of Wealth Building Ideas over at Wealth Building World
- Carnival of Success over at SuccessJolt

Check out all the sites above. They are great sites with a lot of good information.
07 November 2006 

How Much Do You Spend?

  

Game of SpendDo you keep track of how much you spend? If you don’t, you probably should. Not only does it allow you to see exactly what you buy, but it’s the first step to a budget. Once you figure out how much you actually spend in a given week or month, you can then take that one step further by generating a budget based on that amount and figuring out what you’d like to cut it back to.

I’ve never actually kept track of how much I typically spend in any given week. Sure, I keep track of all of my money, and I know what I do with it monthly, but sometimes I wonder how I spent so much or so little in a given month. For example, sometimes my monthly credit card bill is a lot higher or lower than previous months. I always go over my bill to make sure it’s correct, but sometimes find myself trying to figure out what I did differently that makes the bill higher or lower.

I decided to keep track of what I spent in one week’s time:

Monday: $16.84 – Groceries
Tuesday: $0.00
Wednesday: $0.00
Thursday: $12.00 – Haircut, $5.83 – Chinese Food
Friday: $14.82 – Dinner at Applebee’s, $14.00 - $0.00 – Movies (had free tickets!)
Saturday: $12.17 – Grocercies
Sunday: $9.26 – Groceries
Total: $70.92

Not bad for one week. At least I don’t think it is. Multiply that by 4 and you get 283.68 for 1 month. I think I can do that. I wonder why my credit card bill is always higher than that??
06 November 2006 

Don't Make Impulse Purchases

  

Wait a couple of weeks! Thinking about buying that new flatscreen LCD TV that just came out or maybe that brand new laptop that just came out on the market with all of the latest technology? Why don't you hold off for a couple of weeks before making that purchase and think about it a little bit. Do you really want that new TV or that new computer? You may surprise yourself when you hold off a couple of weeks and don't buy it impulsively.

A lot of people don't stop to think before they make a purchase. They see it in the store and say, "I want that." They then proceed to make the purchase, and soon after they get it home they realize that they didn't actually need it or want it. A lot of times if you just wait a couple of weeks before making a purchase, you'll find that you won't actually end up buying the item.

If you decide that you want to buy the item, why not try to find a better deal online? A lot of the times you'll be able to find a better deal by looking for coupons to online stores such as amazon.com or overstock.com. If the item's worth a good amount, do a little research online to see what other people are saying about it. Sometimes you'll find that the product is completely worthless and not worth a single penny.

Basically what I'm saying is wait a little bit before making a big purchase. You'll save money in the long run and become a smart shopper at the same time.
04 November 2006 

What is a College Degree Worth?

  

There's a great article over at Free Money Finance that references Yahoo's article about a college degree. Yahoo.com states that a college degree is worth an extra $23,000 a year more than a high school diploma. That's an incredible gap!

I must say that there are some flaws in the article. I'm sure that a college degree from Yale is a lot more beneficial than a college degree from Anywhere University, but that isn't talked about in the article. It only says that on average, a college degree is worth $23,000 more than a high school diploma. I wish they went into a little more detail with that figure.

Now if that is the national average for a college graduate, then I'm not making nearly enough money. Coming right out of school as a graduate and making $23,000 more than a high school graduate is highly doubtful in my town. That may be the case in some cities across the country, but it's just not reasonable to think that would be the case in my town. I know the article says that it's the average, but I would imagine that there's a lot more people in towns than in cities that are making a lot less than that figure.

Overall, I feel that the article is misleading and not showing the entire picture. I wish they would've went into more detail with it. Either way, what are your thoughts on this?? Leave a comment.
02 November 2006 

Is Bill Gates Rich??

  

Bill GatesIt’s safe to say that everyone knows who Bill Gates is, and why wouldn’t they? He’s only the richest person on the planet according to Forbes’ list of the World’s Richest People. He’s topped that list for roughly 10 years now. I guess someone has to be number one on that list, but why Gates? What did he do, and what can we learn from him?

Everyone knows that Bill Gates invented Microsoft Windows. Most likely, for the majority of people that are reading this article, you are running Microsoft Windows on your personal computer right now. It has become such a staple of computers now days that if you haven’t ever used Windows, you’ve at least seen someone around you using it. It’s amazing to think that 15 years ago computers cost a couple thousand dollars and weren’t that powerful. We’ve come a long way, and Gates is responsible for a lot of that progression.

The thing that makes Bill Gates so unique is the fact that he is a visionary. He doesn’t really think about the present. He has always been a generation ahead of everyone else. A great article over at www.bit-tech.net entitled “The Road Ahead 10 years on” talks about the book that Gates released in 1995. In it he talks about what he thinks the future will hold. Some of his visions were dead on (he basically predicted TIVO), while some weren’t. Or maybe he was thinking so far ahead that they just haven’t happened yet. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that he is a genius when it comes to advancing technology.

In my opinion, the most important lesson one can learn from Mr. Gates is that to get rich, you have to be able to think about the future. What works, what doesn’t work? What could work? How can I improve life for others? What is the world going to be like 10 years from today, and how can I contribute? There’s no doubt that Gates had a little luck along the way, but he was smart enough to know that computers were the future. He knew that he could offer something that people would want, and that’s why he is where he is today. It’s pretty safe to say that you’re not going to reach Bill Gates’ status, but if you can imagine what the world will be like in a couple of years and how you can contribute to that, you may end up surprising yourself.