Author Bios: Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar have their MBA’s and CFA’s and are the coauthors of “On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide To Personal Finance.”
Publisher / Physical Description: Adams Media. Paper back. 148-pages of easy reading.
The Summary: With a tag-line of “how to talk money with your honey,” how can you not like a book with this kind of wit? Personal finance books tend to be a little bit mundane and redundant, but not so with Manisha and Sharon’s latest offering.
The first point of interest simply lies on page two. All page two says is “To All Women…” As I am not a woman, I immediately began preparing myself for some male criticism. Does ‘To All Women” really mean “Stay Away All Men”? To my relief, the real meaning of page two is about empowering women to become financially independent on their own.
Getting financially naked really is about having as clear of an understanding of each partner’s finances as possible. The authors don’t want women to one day wake up realizing all their money is gone after their husband invested their finances in some unscrupulous investment. Women need to have a full grasp of each others finances so that there are no surprises. Even before marriage, our authors go through steps to discover whether a couple is financially compatible. Financial matter shouldn’t be taboo among serious couples. Read more…
2009 was the year I rediscovered tennis. Ironically, I figured I’d better utilize the club as much as possible because I couldn’t afford any other luxuries after the markets imploded! Just last year, I failed miserably at breaking a 10 handicap (got to 10.2 and ricocheted) in golf and decided to quit before I threw my bag into the lake.
For the past 15 years, I forsook the game I played so diligently as a youngster. It was boring running around, hitting a ball back and forth. Now, I’m hooked again because of the camaraderie of the game. Although tennis is an individual sport, there’s a team aspect to it if you join a league. Meanwhile, my evil plan is to get my wife to get good enough so we can play some competitive mixed doubles my next summer!
PHYSICAL PROBLEMS MATERIALIZE Read more…
What is this blasphemy you say? One of our main tenets is to observe what people DO with their money, and not what they preach. The public clearly loves Bank of America and Wall Street again because how else would Bank of America be able to raise $19 billion from us, to pay us back?
In an “Open Letter To Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup” we urged Vik to sell the 34% government stake back to the very public that bailed Citigroup out before year-end. Why? So Citigroup can pay their employees big bonuses in 2009 by saying they are no longer under the government’s stewardship. Sure, paying back $45 billion in TARP sounds like a lot, but Bank of America just did it!
In fact, joining Bank of America are Bank of NY Mellon Group, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and State Street who’ve all been able to pay back their TARP loans and pay their people handsomely this year. This begs the question, what’s wrong with Citigroup, one of my main “go broke banks” used to optimize my finances.
SORRY, I DONNO
Primary Residence Zestimate
To prove our point regarding “Your Net Worth Is An Illusion” I took a look at Zillow’s latest zestimates of my primary residence and rental property. Apparently, in a span of 3 months, my primary residence gained a whopping $300,000! I’m popping open a bottle of Crystal, buying a rose gold Patek Philippe Calatrava at Tiffany’s, and ordering the Audi R8 on as we speak. Just kidding, especially since September is frugality month. Besides, Zillow isn’t writing me a check for $300,000!
The dollar sign shows the purchase price after a 4 month escrow that began in late 2004. In other words, the purchase price was $250,000 below what the zestimate measured as fair value in the middle of winter. You’d think that after 4+ years of existence, Zillow’s price algorithms would be more refined. Perhaps the data is legit, but I’m not buying it. Since net worth calculations don’t include one’s primary residence, let’s strike this example and look at a rental property. Read more…
If you go $106,000 into personal debt, and pay it off in 5 years, you apparently get the Professional Achievement and Counseling Excellence (PACE) 2009 Graduate Client of the Year Award. I was hoping for a longer award name, but what a great nugget to put on their resume!
The kicker? The Hildebrandt’s decided to dive back into debt with one year left on their pay back plan by buying a house! Furthermore, they took advantage of the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit. The article ends with sage advice from the Hildebrandt’s saying, “Get out of debt, it’s a choke-hold.”
One of the greatest things about America is free speech. Good or bad, we are a society that coddles fragile self-esteem and rewards people for situations they shouldn’t be in from the onset. Although The Hildebrandt’s aren’t practicing what they preach, they’ve got their award and are living the American dream. Congrats guys! We can’t wait for your next award.
Meet The Hildebrandt’s and read about their great achievement.
“Should The First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Be Expanded And Extended?” from Xin Lu of Wise Bread and The Baglady.
“Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”
Who's Behind The Shadow Government?
After reading several of my favorite sites out there, I’m beginning to wonder whether there is a shadow government running America. The “Cash for Clunkers” program will cost the US tax payer $3 billion to graciously put 700,000 people who drive beaters into cars costing 5-6X more. Yay, there’s a one time boost to August US auto sales due to hundreds of thousands of people who can’t afford new cars (according to the 1/10th rule)!
Over at DINKS Finance, I’m reminded that the income limit for Roth IRA contribution for single people is $105,000. So they’re telling us after saving a party-throwing $6,000 bucks, the moment you make over $105,000 you can no longer contribute? Too bad for you 29 year old grad students out of business school with a median income of $105,000. Oh yeah, and all you doctors who spent 8+ years of your life AFTER college and those bagillion hours studying, so sorry! The government isn’t willing to help you save for retirement. No soup for you! Read more…
If there’s one infatuation I and many men have, it is the love affair with cars. When I got my first paycheck, I bought myself not only a nice 850GLT Volvo (yes, an old man car for a 22 yr old kid), but also a Honda CBR600 racing bike! I had nowhere to park them in in NYC, so I actually had to park 20 blocks away, and take the subway back to my apartment! I dumped $18,000 in cash for the vehicles, and had to pay an additional $300/month for parking and transportation fees to my vehicles! How ridiculous is that?
Most of us have some materialistic vice we go gaga over. One lady I know has $20,000 worth of purses, and another $10,000 worth of shoes. But if you think about it, her vice isn’t so bad since the average car a guy desires is probably in the $25-45,000 range. Why we throw so much money discipline out the window when we stumble across our vices, I donno. What I will tell you after purchasing and selling 8 different cars (new and old), is that I’ve figured out some fantastic tips to: 1) Getting the best deal, and 2) Satiating ones desires.
GETTING THE BEST DEAL – 5 SIMPLE RULES Read more…