Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: finances

Daily Reading List — January 28th

Ikea Wants You To Stop Throwing Away Your Ikea Furniture – Good…'cause I've got some stuff that needs to be traded in.

Staging Servers Must Die

Tear up your IT support SLAs – There's a lot of wisdom here. What if we looked at customer service first, then built the SLAs around them?

How These Parents Work And Homeschool Too – Maybe I'm just being difficult here, but…

Do parents who work and send their kids to school not teach their kids stuff?

Why not just say we're going to learn all the time and leave it at that?

#unschool

Security Firm Sued Over Alleged Failure To End Casino Cyberattack

The Best Podcasts For Kids – Thinking of starting one that consists of nothing but screams, parrot noises, and requests for band-aids. Kids really seem to enjoy that stuff.

MGM to bring parking fees to Vegas Strip – Where are we going? And why am I in this hand basket?

How to Feel Safe in Stocks When the Market Seems Dangerous – Step 1: have an over-sized bucket filled with safe assets. I'll come back and pick up at Step 2 when I feel like that bucket is big enough and full enough.

Daily Reading List — April 28th

SoundCloud Opens Its Podcasting Features To Everyone – This is cool. I could see it being used for doing things like leaving really long voicemails for people. Why would you want to do that? Well, if you do it as a podcast, it’s like leaving a voicemail without having to call and take the risk that they’ll actually pick up the phone.

“Soundcloud – Talk To The People You Don’t Want To Listen To”

Help out South Doyle Boys Rugby – Nationally ranked, and in need of travel money!

If You Add Drunk People to Fitness Quotes, Things Get Hilarious – Finally someone speaks the truth.

4 Reasons Introverts Make Some Of The Best Entrepreneurs – Also, we’re probably less likely to say something that ticks someone off. That is, until we say something.

The Future Of Big Data Looks Like Streaming

Nevada among most financially illiterate states – The hell you say!

10 Small, Unexpected Things That Will Make You Happier – And a tiny speck of dust rugby.

‘Millionaire Next Door’ author dies in crash – Sad to hear. As I was opened up my feed reader this morning and scrolling through the posts of all the blogs I followed, I actually thought, “Man…Thomas Stanley’s is one of the only blogs I read every single post from.”

Racing Is Just Like Getting Drunk

I was talking to Neighbor Ben last night about racing. And racing. And racing. He’d just finished a run, and I’d just finished a bike ride, and there was only one beer each involved in this conversation. One of the themes that kept rising to the surface is that some people like to train more than they like to race, and other people like to race more than they like to train.

Neighbor Ben likes to race.

I know this because he said, “I like to race.”

I like to train.

I know this because I train a lot, and I hardly ever race.

I know there are lots of factors involved, even if I can’t exactly put my finger on all of them. I won’t lie–one big factor is that racing, especially triathlon racing,  is expensive. A local race we were talking about doing last night is $100. This is for a no-frills Olympic distance race. Hard to justify that when a new low-end pair of bike shoes cost the same amount, but I still haven’t forked over money for them, even though I probably should have done that a couple of years ago.

Racing is also more time consuming. As soon as your training day becomes a race day you are committed to showing up early to set up your transition area and sticking around for results. That means either dragging the family along or spending time away from them. And that’s just if you’re racing locally. Racing can also involve travel.

Yet another reason I try to avoid racing for the most part is a character flaw I have. I seem to always find a way to rationalize taking way too much time off after a race. That’s not good.

But mostly, I just enjoy the training more in general. Maybe it’s just my personality makeup. I’ve always liked practice. I was the same way with rugby. I don’t think I’d go so far as to say I liked practice more than games there, but I really did enjoy going to practice. With triathlon, I think I’m in it for the training and lifestyle more than the racing.

For me, racing is like getting drunk. It’s fun and all, but not something I want to do more than a few times a year (if that).

So in the case of our proposed Olympic distance race. It’s tempting, mostly because of the peer pressure being exerted by I-Love-To-Race-Neighbor-Ben, but it doesn’t sound nearly as interesting to me as swimming across the Indian River just for fun.

I know some people line things up as “A” races, “B” races, “C” races…whatever. That’s great if it works for them, but I don’t think it works for me. I may not enjoy racing as much as I enjoy training, but when I am racing, I’m racing. I can’t imagine a situation where I slap down money to enter a race and then “just train through it.”

Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks I guess. But it’s good for me to think long and hard about who I am before throwing down entry fees in $100 increments.

[image credit]

Comparison of Roth IRAs and Your Current Residence

Assumption: you bought your current residence as an investment with the intent of selling it for a profit at some point.

Paper Street Soap Investment
Paper Street Soap Investment Property

Similarities

  • Both are purchased with after tax money
  • No capital gains taxes due when the gains are realized
  • Not taxable as income when the gains are realized
  • No guaranteed rate of appreciation
Differences
  • Roth IRA has a $5k/year limit on how much you can invest, but your home doesn’t
  • You can’t touch the gains of your Roth without penalty until you are 59.5, but you can get the gains from your residence whenever you choose without penalty
  • While you aren’t guaranteed appreciation in either vehicle, if your home has a mortgage you are guaranteed a percentage of interest savings by paying down (investing) the principal early. True, you lessen the tax deduction on the interest, but does it really make sense to pay the bank $100 so that you don’t have to pay the gov’ment $25 anyway?
  • Any improvement-type investments you make into your home (for instance, a foreclosure that needed a lot of work) can be enjoyed by you immediately while you wait for the market to appreciate and can also help you sell quickly and for a higher price later on.
What am I missing here? I’m not a financial professional…just something I was thinking.

All Hallows Link Dump

Apple to Make Remote Obsolete? – Because sitting on your ass staring at a screen just isn’t easy enough yet. For some people, the only exercise they get is lifting sofa cushions to look for the remote.

How to Get a Personalized Financial Plan Without Spending a Fortune – Awesome idea, but not sure if I like the idea of giving up the personal attention. Then again, I don’t like the idea of giving up $100 an hour for personal attention.

Signs Of A Slowdown Are Obvious (In China) – They should probably borrow some money to work on that wall thing. You know, infrastructure and all.

7 Steps for Building A Mobile Future In Your Enterprise

Gmail to Unveil New Interface – Unlike FB, I think something Google can really leverage is becoming a place you live, not a site you visit. This looks much more like G+.

100-Year-Old Man Completes Marathon – How old are you?

Investing for Triathletes

During yesterday’s market tumble, I saw this tweet from @lokibeat…

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/lokibeat/statuses/100660260204843008″]

It made me chuckle, but it also made me think of a couple of things triathletes and runners can hopefully relate to. First of all, the practical…

I prefer to think of dips in the market the same way I do water stops. At first glance, water stops cost me time in races because I walk them. But the truth is, water stops gain me time because I walk them. Walking the water stops gives me a chance to take in a lot more fluid than I could if I tried to run through them. That fluid is an investment in my total race. So I think of dips in the market as a chance to buy more of the same thing I was buying a couple of weeks ago at a discount. We’re talking about investing, not trading, right? It’s a ironman/marathon, and I’m not selling next week whether the market is up or down.

Secondly, @lokibeat is right…it is more about the trip than it is the destination. I think a lot of us enjoy the day-in-day-out training more than we do crossing the finish line at a race. Even on race day, when we say we “had fun”, we’re talking about the entire race…not just the finish line.

So chill out, walk the water stops, and take in as much fluid as you can while someone’s there to hand it to you.

And you might as well go ahead and make friends with the pain for now. You’ll feel better in a few miles.

Running, Drinking and Nerding Out Link Dump

Long Distance Half-Steppers

“Self-knowledge is a bitch.”

I have been all of these people at one point or another, and I’ve definitely run with all of them. There are more I could add to the list too!

Desmos Graphing Calculator – I am in nerd heaven. I can’t wait to play with this gadget. I can’t wait until my kids are learning higher math and we can do this together!!!

Get Drunk Not Fat – My knees wish my brain had been supplied this information at an earlier date.

‘Til debt do us part :

Leverage is leverage, and leverage always brings with it increased risk.

True, but what scares me most is the amount of this “leverage” that represents items of depreciating value or Super Value Meals. And that’s just on the consumer debt.

HTC EVO 3D Review – Hope to get mine before it’s obsolete.

iDoneThis – Very cool, very simple service. Every day it sends you an email, and you respond with that you did. Makes TPS reports a snap.

The 5 Switches of Manliness: Provide – Haven’t even read this one yet, but if it’s half as good as the others, it’s a must read.

India’s $35 Android Tablet Finally Ready Ship – Would be hard not to buy at least one of these. HT @_Neville

High-Pressure Tactics Culture At Groupon – More dumping on Groupon. The more details I read about this company, the more I am wary of it.

Forget Student Loans, And Maybe Even College – Can’t say it enough times–student loans are horrible. The whole industry is basically pay day lending that you can’t bankrupt.

Short Groupon – “Groupon is essentially holding a portfolio of loans backed by the receivables of small businesses. If a business goes under, consumers will come back to Groupon for their money back. Unless Groupon is actually doing credit assessments on businesses that it chooses to feature, this is a big risk for Groupon.”

Perfect Iced Coffee – A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give up coffee for 30 days. This post is the first time I’ve regretted that decision.

Kindle Price Dropping and A Bunch of Other Financial Stuff

Here’s another mind dump of thoughts on a few of the link worthy things I’ve read lately…enjoy!

Now you can buy a Kindle for $114! The gotcha here is that you have to be willing to look at ads and special offers. Still, I’m glad to see the price coming down one way or another. I still think the magic price for this device is $99. At least, that’s the price at which I’d bite.

5 Common Remote Work Misconceptions – Word!

Roth IRA: Time to retire Roth IRAs – Could not be more wrong. This guy needs to run the numbers, although I doubt he’d know where to start to do that. Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs generate the exact same tax revenue if you make the assumption that the tax rate doesn’t change. But for the gov’ment, they get to have their candy now instead of waiting for you to retire. The upside for the account holder only comes if they end up in a higher tax bracket or tax rates rise across the board. Look where people have placed their bets.

Gov Shutdown’s Impact – Great argument by @newscoma for keeping $ in state instead of sending it to D.C. 🙂

IKEA desktop – <3 IKEA. This is pretty cool.

Portugal, Illinois and Caterpillar – “The Portugese have decided to protest against mathematics….” That’s pretty much all you need to know. Of course, as Dave Ramsey likes to point out, if they’d been doing math they wouldn’t be in this mess.

I’m reading– January 12th through January 17th

Portraits of Financial Normalcy – Some financial personality categories from @daveramsey.

Eight Crazy Constitutional Scenarios – HT @kleinheider. This reminds me of those crazy scenarios that can turn up in baseball. In baseball, they seem to actually turn up eventually too.

BMI(wife) < BMI(husband) Means a Happier Marriage – Good news for me. Barring an amputation, no danger of this changing any time soon.

Elected Official Constitutional Knowledge: Disgraceful – HT @russm. Maybe they should not only read the Constitution at the beginning of each legislative session, but also explain it as well.

Record Foreclosures in 2011? – The bright side–these properties (at least the ones I've seen) all need a lot of work. When (if) they make their way back to the market, lots of money is going to be spent to get them habitable again. Even stuff like neglected landscaping that needs to be re-done means jobs for somebody.

Hope Is Not A Strategy (Training) – I like Amanda's approach personally. Stick to the schedule, and don't be a slave to the schedule.

The 5 states where housing will recover first – At least we can be warm in Florida while we wait.

Should I work for free? – Heh

I’m reading– January 6th through January 10th

Katherine Coble on College Debt: – “…the Student Loan is in many ways the new subprime mortgage.” Yeah, except you can bankrupt a sub-prime mortgage. This needs to be hammered home.

The Explosion In Sudden-Loan Debt – “…unlike a mortgage, in which a borrower can refinance or—at worst—face foreclosure and bankruptcy, student loans do not go away.” I wonder what percentage of borrowers are aware of that little gotcha when they are sold student loans as “investments”. Debt == Bad.

A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Treadmill Desk – Thankfully, there’s no article on setting up a spin-desk. That would give me one less excuse.

10 bizarre side effects of exercise – I can think of a few others, but they aren’t topics for polite company.

People Who Drink More Exercise More – Playing rugby with commitment is the most grueling thing I’ve ever done physically. Just saying. Still not sure what excuse all the guys with sketchy practice attendance will use though.

Why Programmers Suck at CSS – I plan on using this, like, A LOT! Hope I don’t gang aft agley.

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