By Amanda Morrall (email)
1) 20 new rules of money
Have the rules for investing irrevocably changed since the Global Financial Crisis? Some people tend to think so.
Forbes Money, here, puts a case forward for change including the need to abandon the traditional buy and hold strategy, to avoid diversification and to come to terms with permanent volatility. It also rates tax management as an increasingly important piece of the investment puzzle.
2) Are you worthy?
In very simple terms there are two ways to grow one's money; spending less so you can save more, or earning more so you can increase savings with less sacrifice. I reckon you'll hit your financial sweet spot through a combination of the two.
The following, also published in Forbes Money, suggests this is an unlikely strategy because savers and earners exhibit markedly different personalities and behaviours. Savers tend to be conservative, cautious and thrifty whereas earners are bolder, more confident and more willing to take on risk, the author argues. Savers, she suggests, are scaredy cats, who can't, won't or don't know how to take charge and change their circumstances for the better.
Which camp do you sit in and are you worthy of that pay rise this year? Go on...
2) Take stock of what you have
Or could it be that savers are merely a more sensible lot who can content themselves with what they do have?
Gratitude certainly goes a long way to curbing unnecessary consumer urges I would argue. A similar view is reflected in this blog from liverealnow.net on how to find happiness outside of materialism.
3) Eye on Aussie
Don't shoot the messenger, please. Personal finance blogger financialsamurai's latest blog extols the benefits of living in Australia. Some interesting stats and information across a range of variables including health, income and taxation.
4) Eat less meat
I must confess, I am not a big fan of agri-business. My contempt comes from reading about suicide seeds and bullying antics from the likes of Monsanto. I suppose I'm one of those "misguided greenies" that likes the idea of buying and supporting local.
George Mason University professor and economist Tyler Cowen, author of an "An Economist Gets Lunch", says locavores like myself have it wrong and won't be doing the planet any big favours by shunning the mainstream supermarkets. His book argues that the embedded energy costs are much higher for small scale, organic, local food production.
Cowen, in this interview with MSN, argues that do-gooders wanting to save the planet would be better off going vegetarian and riding their bikes. Lord Stern, of the famed Stern Report on Climate Change, made a similar argument if you recall.
5) Budgeting blunders
Budgeting gets a bad rap sometimes. Ironically, the trash talking has come from exasperated financial advisors fed up with seeing budgets botched by financially unrestrained clients. New research from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management also casts some doubt as to the effectiveness of budgeting.
This piece, published by the Globe and Mail, explains how budgets can have the opposite intended effect because of the weird underlying psychology at play.
Ipad lovers will be get a kick out of this video. I know I did.