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Financial Question Of The Day #9

By Erik Folgate

What was the defining moment in your life when you decided to start taking control of your finances?

Maybe you’re seeking the knowledge and desire to start taking over your finances, so you might not be able to answer this question yet. But for those of you that enjoy reading this blog and other personal finance blogs, I suspect that you have had a defining moment in your life when you said, “this is it, I’m tired of living like this”, and you changed the way that you started spending, saving, and managing your finances. I’d love to hear your story. Who or what inspired you to start changing the way your handle your finances?

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Mint.com Is Offering a $5,000 Reward To Pay Your Holiday Bills

By Erik Folgate

Over the weekend, I was contacted by an employee at Mint.com to introduce their website to me, and let me know about a contest they are going to be running for the next two weeks. The contest is call the “Holiday Spending Hangover” contest, and Mint.com wants to help you pay off your holiday debts! All you have to do is submit your horror story about spending over the holidays, whether it be a written story or video, they will rate the best or “worst” story and give the winner $5,000 to pay off their bills. It sounds like a pretty cool little promotion. Here’s the full blurb:

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Alan Greenspan’s Policies May Have Hurt You In The Past And Future

By Erik Folgate

This is an interesting article on MSN money about the policies put in place by Alan Greenspan and questioning they helped you or hurt you and how it will affect your future.

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Timing is Everything For Building Wealth

By Erik Folgate

No, I’m not talking about timing the market. I think trying to time the market is silly, and you’ll only lose valuable days of trading if you try to time the market. What I’m talking about is being on time with your bill payments.

Motley Fool has an interesting article about punctuality when it comes to making payments on your bills.

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Five Real Ways To Make More Money This Year

By Erik Folgate

Is there anyone that doesn’t want to make more moneyw this year? I didn’t think so. I made $9,000 more income in 2007 than I did in 2006. This was due to a job promotion and income from a side business with very little expenses. I will propose five ways to make more money this year without having to sell your body on the street.

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Financial Question Of The Day #8

By Erik Folgate

If you could start any small business without worrying about start-up costs, what would you start?

If you’ve got some completely innovative idea, then don’t post it here, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for someone stealing your idea.

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Apple Introduces Thinnest Laptop Ever and Online Movie Rentals

By Erik Folgate

Steve Jobs introduced the Macbook Air and Online Movie Rentals today, trying to continue their dominance in the “ooohhh” and “ahhhhh” field. I have to give it to Steve Jobs. He has been the godfather of making tech stuff look cool and be the desire of tech-geeks in Seattle and San Francisco, but the rest of us are saying, is this really a practical product?

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Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions About An IRA

By Erik Folgate

It’s the new year, and one of your goals for this new year may have been to open a retirement account. Whether you are 18, 38, 58, or 68, I would encourage you to open an IRA tomorrow, and begin contributing to it regularly. The biggest misconception about saving for retirement is that it’s too late. My philosophy is that it’s never too late to save for the future. If you keep dwelling on the negatives, another day passes by when you could have been saving!

Here is a good article from Yahoo Finance with 10 frequently asked questions about an IRA.

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Bank of America Takes One Step Closer To Global Domination

By Erik Folgate

Today, Bank of America announced that it would buy mortgage lender, Countrywide, for $4.1 billion in stock.

For some reason, I thought the largest sub-prime lender in the country would be worth more than this, but maybe this is just enough to make Bank of America the majority stakeholder in the company. Bank of America has already taken over large banks such as Fleet and MBNA, and now they’ll become the largest player in the mortgage industry. But this time, the company they are gobbling up has tons of headaches. There are thousands of pending foreclosures with Countrywide that will now by Bank of America’s problem. But, I am assuming that they are looking at the long-term picture once the market rebounds, and all is good in the world of mortgages.

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Financial Question Of The Day #7

By Erik Folgate

What potential presidential candidate do you believe is best for the economy and your pocket book?

This might be a loaded question, but I want your opinions. Be as aggressive as you want about your opinion on your favorite candidate, but try to be respectful and professional at the same time or I will delete your comment!

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Setting Financial Goals: Education and Evaluation

By Erik Folgate

On Monday, we focused on identifying your financial goals and breaking them down into short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. Remember, making the goals attainable and properly categorizing them is the key to making financial goals that you can achieve. The next two steps are educating yourself about your goals and evaluating or tracking them.

Education: With the age of the internet, there are endless sources for educating yourself about personal finance. Hopefully, this site educates you a little bit about some personal financial issues, but my hope is that you are inspired to learn more about personal finance and be a better manager of your money. One great site to be exposed about many of the great personal finance blogs on the internet is PF Blogs. Also, check out my post about the best personal finance books that you need to read.

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Financial Question of the Day #6

By Erik Folgate

Would you rather start investing in the stock market first or buy a house?

Answer this question without taking into consideration the current market conditions of the housing market. I think that I would rather buy a house first, because you get two things out of it. You get a place to live, and real estate is a great investment in the long term. I like investing in growth stock mutual funds, but I think that I’d rather be owning something that I can upgrade and begin a family in, rather than having a piece of paper earning interest. However, if it meant that I was buying the house with no money in the bank, I’d rather buy stocks. I don’t ever want to be in the situation where the air conditioner dies, and I don’t have any money to fix it. Plus, I wouldn’t want to put my family through that, especially living in Florida.

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Hyundai Is Coming Out With a Luxury Car For the Rich Bargain Hunter

By Erik Folgate

I read an article today in USA Today about the new luxury car coming out soon by Hyundai It’s called the Genesis, and it will boast a V8 engine, loads of safety and luxury features, surround sound also found in the Rolls Royce, and look similar to a BMW. I have a Hyundai Sonata, and I’ve been very impressed by it so far. The engine has a lot of power, it rides smooth, and it’s fairly fuel efficient for a V6. I was skeptical about Hyundai before I bought it, because of the stigma Korean cars have had in the past, but I must say, Hyundai has come a long way. It’s more affordable than Honda and Toyota, and it’s bridging the quality gap very quickly.

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How To Get Your Phone Number Off Google

By Erik Folgate

I read an article in the local Jacksonville paper about taking your phone number off of the Google search engines. I never thought about personal residences being searched on Google, but it makes sense. I have a business line for my home office for the insurance company that I work for, and for some reason, it doesn’t show up as my name, but the company’s name. I get all kinds of phone calls from people that have nothing to do with what I do. It’s pretty annoying. So, does your land line show up on Google? This doesn’t have much to do with personal finance, but it could if you want to reduce the amount of sales calls and credit card company phone calls in your life.

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Should You Buy Liability Umbrella Insurance?

By Erik Folgate

A reader asked me this question today:

What are your thoughts on personal liability “umbrella” insurance and who should have it?

There are two ways to answer this question. How much personal liability do you have in your life? Do you have a lot of assets to protect?

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