Personal Finance 
9
comments

BVC #7 – Financial Network Map [VIDEO]

It’s very important that you draw a financial network map and in this video, I briefly discuss why it’s important and some pointers on how you should be drawing this map.

Remember, this map should be designed to give you and your loved ones a clear picture of how your finances are set up and interconnected. You can use whatever conventions you feel are most intuitive and remember to provide a legend!


 Personal Finance 
8
comments

TED Videos: Ariely on Cheating, Gilbert on Value Miscalculation

From time to time you’ll see me post links to videos from TED.com (Schwartz on incentives, Wallace on buying happiness, Lee on American Chinese food). I find a lot of their videos to be absolutely fascinating. Today I watched two videos I wanted to share with you all, one from a behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, and another from a psychologist, Dan Gilbert.

(Click to continue reading…)


 Banking 
14
comments

BVC #6 – Compounding Interest, APR & APY [VIDEO]

I received an email earlier this week from Tomas, asking what daily compounding meant, and I thought it would best be answered with a video post. The video discusses, in very basic terms, what compounding is as well as two common acronyms you see when talking interest rates: APR and APY.

I created an APR to APY (and back) Calculator a while back and it makes it easy to compute the two.

Please let me know what you think!


 Banking 
15
comments

BVC #5: Bank Account Firewalls [VIDEO]

This episode of the Bargaineering VideoCast will discuss a concept I call Bank Account Firewalls.

ING Direct no longer has the top interest rate among online banks but no other bank makes it easier for you to start new accounts. They are the ideal candidate for a bank account firewall because of this simplicity but you can use any account at any bank.


 Banking 
20
comments

BVC #4: Certificate of Deposit (CD) Ladders [VIDEO]

The idea behind certificate of deposit ladders is pretty simple, explaining it in only words is fairly difficult. If you’ve ever tried to understand how a certificate of deposit ladders worked by reading it off a piece of paper, it probably took you a long time or you quit because it was too complicated. With the power of video, we’re able to bring the explanation to life and, if you’ve ever had trouble understanding, clear those things up for you.

If you’re unsure what a certificate of deposit is, take a few moments to read my Basics of Banking post. Under account types, I explain what a certificate of deposit is.

I mentioned how ING Direct made is easier for you to create a CD ladder, there’s more about that on my post explaining how to ladder CDs at ING Direct. As is typical of most banks, they only offer 6-, 9-, 12-month CDs (for CD maturities of less than or equal to 12 months, they offer longer maturity terms though) but you can open multiple CDs through the one form, simplifying things. They don’t have the best CD rates though.


 Reviews 
20
comments

BVC #3: NURU Personal Finance Cards Video Review [VIDEO]

The topic of the third Bargaineering VideoCast is a three-minute product review of the NURU Personal Finance Cards.

Since I read a lot of personal finance content, from blogs to magazine articles to Google Finance bboard pump-and-dump spammers, I’m not the target audience for these Nuru cards. My wife, who is also quite knowledgeable by osmosis, doesn’t spend all day reading this stuff so I asked her what she thought about the cards.

The cards are really good for someone who wants to learn basic personal finance, simple enough not to confuse and they’re good to educate you enough to get you on the path on learning. They’d be good for young people about to graduate college because you need to know all that information and you probably don’t know where to go to find it. It lets you know what you don’t know.

I posed my concerns about the $6.99 price point to Crystalee, one of the members of their marketing department, she made a good point:

One of the salient features of NURU knowledge deck cards is the fact that their hand-held size and key ring make them easily portable. They fit in virtually any pocket of a bag, jacket, jeans, etc. and are meant to be used as a quick-glance knowledge source, like a mini Personal Finance 101 class for anyone willing to pay a $6.99 tuition.

Although an introductory book could include the same information that is presented in our deck, it would not be in the same helpful portable shape/size, and nor would it have the upbeat tone that we make sure to use in NURU cards. We want our decks to reach people at different stages in life and commit to distilling the world’s best information for them.

Like I said in the video, leave a comment and I’ll give away the deck to one lucky commenter next Sunday (March 22nd)!

Please let me know what you think and thanks for watching!


 Business 
9
comments

Incentives Demoralizes Professional Activity

“Excessive reliance on incentives demoralizes professional activity.”

That’s a quote from a TED.com video I watched this week in which Barry Schwartz, Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and social action at Swarthmore College and frequent contributor to the New York Times, calls for discusses how our society has gone mad with an abrupt loss of “practical wisdom” in the face of bureacracy, the failure of incentives, and rules often protect us from disaster but ensure mediocrity.

(Click to continue reading…)


 Personal Finance 
6
comments

Photoretouching the Joneses

Keeping up with the Joneses… for the longest time that seemed like the American past-time. See your neighbor get a 50″-inch flat-screen television, you had to spring for the 72″-incher. See your neighbor roll up in a BMW 3-series, you had to get yourself a lease on a 5-series. See your neighbor install a hot-tub? You had to dig your own in-ground pool. For years, consumerism dominated America and so many people went in the hole to one-up their neighbors, friends, and family.

Fortunately that little game seems to be waning along with the economy but I find that this unhealthy competition looks a lot like photo-retouching… something a recent Dove commercial railed against.

What’s my point?

(Click to continue reading…)


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