Monthly Archives: January 2011

Did You Leave Some Money Lying Around?

No, I’m not talking about the change under the couch cushions or a dollar in a jacket pocket.  I’m talking about forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, utility deposits, and more!  Real value that goes unclaimed. Here’s how it works (for Arkansas):  … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning

Handy Debt Paydown Letter

Unfun fact: Did you know that many student loan companies will apply extra payments they receive to future interest and principal payments, instead of applying the extra payment to principal? Because of these shennanigans, I’ve put together very explicit (no, not … Continue reading

Posted in Credit, Documents

When to See a Financial Planner?

I was having a conversation with a friend of the firm today, and we ended up talking about people who found themselves in unfortunate situations due to a lack of financial planning.  Do you know what the most interesting take-away … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning

Wow, Have You Seen the Savings Rate Lately?

Check this out!  Courtesy of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.   Look at that!  Americans are saving!  And, not the saving that happens at the bottom of a receipt when you buy 10 … Continue reading

Posted in Current Events

Food for Thought – Credit Scores

Is your credit score a measure of your creditworthiness, or is it a measure of your potential profitability to a lender? Food for thought.

Posted in Credit

Too Big To Fail

The book bills itself as a “brilliantly reported true-life thriller”.  Despite reading the whole book, I remain unthrilled.  That’s probably because a lengthy tome on the recent economic failure reads like a chronology or recent news stories rather than a … Continue reading

Posted in Reading

How To Pay Down Your Debt as Quickly as Possible

 So, let’s say that you decide to pay off your debt; how should you go about it? There are a few schools of thought on how to get out of debt quickly.  Before you get started, though, you need to … Continue reading

Posted in Credit

How I Pick a Checking Account

So there’ve been stories here and there in the news about banks increasing fees for checking accounts, either by no longer making them free, by adding “gotcha!” fees, or both.  Since there will probably be a few people looking around for … Continue reading

Posted in Banking

Anatomy of a Bad Plan*

So I’ve been thinking, what makes people do silly things?  I’m not talking about the little lapses in judgement that we all make from time to time.  I’m thinking about the plans I hear about here and there that have … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

The Great Depression: A Diary

So I spent the weekend head-down in a book, but boy was it a good one!  By Benjamin Roth, “The Great Depression: A Diary” is a fascinating record of the 1930’s and early 40’s from the perspective of a member of the … Continue reading

Posted in Reading

This American Life – Four of My Favorites (Economy Edition)

I enjoyed these shows about the economy, and you might, too.  At the time I write this, the shows can be streamed from the website. 355: The Giant Pool of Money – This is probably This American Life’s most famous … Continue reading

Posted in Current Events

The Invention of Money

I caught parts of This American Life on NPR the other day, asking the question: what is money?  It ranges from discussing the subprime meltdown and bailout to Brazil’s past currency woes to the pre-industrial island of Yap.  It was absolutely fascinating!  … Continue reading

Posted in Current Events

Who’s Snooping on You?

We all know that there are large credit reporting companies that sell our credit records.  Did you also know that there’s a whole slew or other consumer reporting agencies that trade in other information about you?  Happily, Consumer Reports has … Continue reading

Posted in Credit, Documents, Financial Planning, Insurance

Nifty Little Document I Ran Into

So, part fo the many facets fo fun I have while financial planning is looking at estate documents.  Now let me be abundantly clear: I am not a lawyer.  If you need legal advice, don’t ask me, because I don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Estate

How Much Are You Working For?

Tell me who’s ahead: Mr. A.: Earns $60,000, Spends $65,000, Profits -$5,000* Mr. B.: Earns $60,000, Spends $58,000, Profits $2,000 Mr. C.: Earns $60,000, Spends $45,000, Profits $15,000 That wasn’t too hard, was it?  I even did the math for you.  … Continue reading

Posted in Income