Saturday, July 19, 2008

I like this Blogger...lots of good insight and info on saving, investing and personal finance!

I was looking though the various personal finance BLOGGERS, and I came across Financial Learn, who I had never read. Lots of good stuff here.....stuff to think about and learn from.

Check it out.....I particularly liked this one on "5 Reasons People Suck At Saving".

From The Website

5 Reasons People Suck at Saving Money

1. Not Having a PlanI’m going to tell you right now, if you don’t have a plan, you chances of success are less than 5%. Creating a plan is your first step to saving money. Your plan can be as detailed or as vague as you want, just make sure you have an idea of how you’re going to save money.

2. ProcrastinationI am guilty of this one. If you made a plan, follow it. Try not to get into the habit of pushing your plan to the following week, month or even year.

3. Not Setting GoalsWhat prevents me from procrastination is the fact that I have certain financial goals that I want to accomplish such as paying off the house in 20 years instead of 25, retiring at 55 instead of 60 or going on an all inclusive vacation at the end of March if I save XXX amount of dollars. Setting goals gives me the motivation to follow my plan.

4. Lack of Knowledge on How to SaveIf you have little idea on how to cut down costs and how to be more frugal just read a book or better yet peruse the thousands of personal finance blogs or websites for FREE located here on the net.

5. Going too Hard too FastI’ve seen many people go full tilt and save lots of money right at the start and think that they can trim there 25 year mortgage into 5 if they try really hard. They cut out everything that made them happy and after a few weeks they get bored and find that paying off the house in 5 years is too much work and THEY GO BACK TO THEIR REGULAR SPENDING WAYS.

The best approach is a slow and gradual one. Set small goals and cut out little things at first. When you think about saving money, think of it as a lifestyle and not a chore. If you ease yourself into it, saving money will eventually be a natural habit that won’t seem like work at all.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

House prices in Westford Mass have taken a good size hit....

No matter how you slice it.....going from close to $500,000 down to below $400,000 is a 20% hit.

I can't believe the seasonal nature of the market I see there....well, I knew there was a seasonality to the sales volume, but price too!

Maybe that only occures in what we today call a distressed market. (or should I say what we have today)

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

It would be funny if it were not true!

Here is a chart (above) from the is spoofing the fact that we seem to be repairing one bubble by going into another!

No kidding....the .COM bubble was "papered over" by acceleration of the Housing Bubble....which is currently being papered over by the Commidities Bubble.

Why not create another one!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A good Investopedia Article Outlining 5 Signs You Are Living Over Your Means

A pretty good pair of articles that talk about knowing when you are stretched, and then some steps to control the situation.

Here are the signs of being beyond your means: (here is the article)
Sign No. 1 - Your Credit Score is Below 600
Sign No. 2 - You are Saving Less Than 5%
Sign No. 3 - Your Credit Card Balances are Rising
Sign No. 4 - More Than 28% of Income Goes To Your House
Sign No. 5 - Your Bills are Spiraling Out of Control

Here are the 5 stratigies for survival: (here is the article)
1. Don't Buy What You Can't Afford
2. If You Can't Pay Cash, You Probably Can't Afford It
3. Paying Interest on Anything Makes Somebody Else Rich
4. If You Are in Debt, stop Spending Money
5. Don't Count on Somebody Else to Save You

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I.O.U.S.A - Coming soon to a screen near you!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Well actually....YES......I instructed my financial advisor to move my investments to high grade bond funds.

I had initially instructed that it go to cash, but changed my mind when he countered with the BOND fund option. (highest grade corporate bonds)

He did NOT agree with my assesment and my making this move, and put such a comment in our transation notes....but I am not happy seeing my investments slowly eroding. (with no sign of recovery in sight)

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Move to Cash....wise, too late, or too little too late?

Well, I emailed my financial planner and asked him to move everything to cash. Yup....the Fanny Mae / Freddie Mac situation is glowing hot and things are not looking up in the general investment environment.

The market is lip sliding away.....stocks and bonds seem to be eroding as I watch.

So I'm at the point where I'm trying to decide what to do...but I just feel I have to stop the bleeding!

Is this a bad time to fall out, I suppose there is always a potential problem of selling low, buying high.....but I don't think this is the bottom.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Hmmm....good information on the Mortgage Market

This BLOG introduced me tot he graph above and it is all making sense now.

That is, I have been looking at house prices in Westford, Mass and noticing that the last couple of months has seen a major drop in sale prices, and of foreclosures.

Well....the graph above explains it....well, that with the idea that actual forclosure takes about 6 months from people getting in trouble. (reset of ARM, etc....)

So off we go....hopefully with prices settling in too.