I’ve been meaning to write a “best of” post for some time. I had been putting it off, because I’m a tough critic of myself and even though I might like a post today, I might not like it tomorrow. Plus, when you are as lazy as I am, sometimes you just need a kick in the rear to get going. Free Money Finance is kind enough to provide that kick by running a March Madness-style Tournament of Personal Finance posts. Conveniently, this post can also help serve as an application.
So here are the best of the best:
- Cutting the Cable TV – This is, by far, the article I spent the most amount of time writing. Not only did I spend a fair amount of time researching, but I believe the idea of using a Slingbox from a friend’s home is uniquely mine (though I may be proven wrong here). Lastly, you get a picture, a rarity from Lazy Man and Money.
- Throw Away Your 401k – I came to the realization that limited investment choices, unclear administration fees, taxation as regular income instead of dividends, and early withdrawal penalties hurt the effectiveness of a 401k plan. It’s half a devil’s advocate post – I still max out my 401K every year. Add a rhyming title to all that and I think this could be a formidable article in the Tournament.
- How to Beat The 10% Compounding Myth – In a sister article to this, I debunk the idea that investing in the stock market will make you 10% over the long haul. After inflation, investing fees, and taxes, it could be as low as 3.5%. This article discusses a way to beat that percentage using Prosper.com. Judging risk on Prosper is something that’s very difficult to impossible, so it’s hard to say whether this idea stands up to the test. I note especially because Prosper’s Director of Communications reached out to me and put it in Prosper’s In the Blogs section.
- Alternative Income Streams – I had hoped the concept of continuously updating your alternative income (much like net worth) would spread around person finance blogs, but it hasn’t. There are a few bloggers who do it, but it’s usually quarterly – if it’s that often. While the post itself might not be best written, the concept of reminding yourself about your alternative income each month is valuable. Divorce to Financial Freedom says “I really, really like his idea of monitoring your Passive Income… It is like finding a new toy. Love it!”
If everyone reading this leaves some comments here or at Free Money Finance’s Tournament Announcement, it might help me win go deep in the tournament.