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What to do when a market busts

Posted by billspaced | 10:40 AM | , | 0 comments »

Ben Stein has written an article on Yahoo!Finance about what to do in a bust:

Buy more.

Yes, simplistic, but oh-so-true. It's hard to get the gumption to buy when prices are falling, but if you can afford it (read: how can you not afford it?), buy when prices are falling.

This is the reasoning: If at $100 you thought the stock, for example, was fairly valued (you bought it, right?), then at $50 it's a bargain. So, buy more.

The housing industry is the same. Ben offers this sage commentary about people and their penchant for counting on the recent real estate phenomenon of ever-increasing prices:'s a reminder that you shouldn't count on your home to make you rich. Homes are for living in. They shouldn't be your main investment unless you're a builder.

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How to save money on tech

Posted by billspaced | 9:15 AM | | 0 comments »

It seems that the cable, phone, cell, and internet bills never cease rising. Forbes has a brief article on how to save money on tech services like these. I can personally attest to the efficacy of calling your current provider and informing them of a competing offer you've received.

In fact, I recently called Comcast, my cable and internet provider, and told them that I was considering a competing offer from DirecTV. While the retention specialist said that she couldn't lower my cable bill, she did say that she could reduce my internet bill by $10 a month for a year.

That 5 minute phone call saved me $120. And I really didn't want to leave anyway.

Another thing I've done is to unbundle my services to get the best overall deals. "Experts" would have you believe that bundled internet, phone, and cable will save you money. But looking at my only viable option, Comcast's triple play, I save money by getting my phone service through Vonage. Not sure if anybody can beat $16 a month for 500 minutes of phone service.

I wish that some company came along and truly offered everything I needed for the best price. But why would they?

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50 Smartest Things You Can Do with Your Money

Posted by billspaced | 7:06 AM | 0 comments »

Money magazine has published the 50 Smartest Things You Can Do with Your Money.

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How much insurance do you really need?

Posted by billspaced | 10:06 AM | | 0 comments »

The question is how much insurance you really need but the answer is, it depends. Read the article at the Jump for information from a financial guru, Andrew Tobias, about what kinds of insurance you need.

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Financial crib sheet

Posted by billspaced | 9:53 AM | | 0 comments »

From Parade magazine comes one of the most important money hack articles you will ever read (READ it, please, and then DO it!). The idea is that you should have document (in three copies, one for you and your spouse, one for your lawyer and/or best friend, and one for a relative in another region of the country/world) that lists all your financial arrangements: Will, bank info, investments, beneficiaries, etc.

More at the Jump.

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How to avoid "pretexting"

Posted by billspaced | 1:09 PM | 0 comments »

Wired News has an informative article about how not to lose your money, identity, and other critically important pieces of information about yourself. While I don't fully support all of the suggestions in the piece (e.g., don't pay bills online), I do agree that one can never be too safe. You have to balance security and convenience to a point where you are comfortable.


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Great news on the retirement fund front

Posted by billspaced | 9:11 AM | | 0 comments »

Suze Orman, over at yahoo!Finance, has a great article that lists out the new benefits of the The Pension Protection Act of 2006 for 401k, IRAs, and other investment vehicles. It's a good synopsis of all Congress, and the President, did right with pension reform.


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"The best time to buy everything"

Posted by billspaced | 3:20 PM | 0 comments »

Smart Money has a brief article that offers tips on when to buy almost anything (well, okay, it's a short list) here.

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Myth versus reality in identity theft

Posted by billspaced | 10:24 AM | 0 comments »

Cnet has a very good article about common myths on the topic of ID theft (really, as the article points out, it is "ID fraud").


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Tips for protecting your identity

Posted by billspaced | 8:52 PM | 0 comments » offers some really great tips on protecting your identity from theft. Don't pay much attention to the contact numbers at the end, though; they're all based in Canada.

Conceptually, however, the information is very good. Here's a short list:

  • Watch what you carry in your wallet
  • Shred it before you throw it away
  • Keep your PIN private
  • Ever heard of caller ID spoofing? Generally speaking, anybody can make it look like they're calling from a legitimate company like Chase or Wells Fargo, so don't fall victim to this scheme
  • Phishing
  • Use a card with a small credit line to limit your liability
  • Review your credit reports for accuracy

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Debit or Credit?

Posted by billspaced | 5:56 PM | | 0 comments »

The Fools over at have published an article on the pros and cons of the 3 major plastics we use today (debit, credit, or hybrid).

Check on the Jump below for a great source of information about these similar but different products.

I personally use credit as often as possible for several benefits (more of my reasons to come in a later post):

  • Interest-free loans for 25 days or so
  • Personal liability of up to $50
  • Easily disputable
  • Builds credit (facilitates getting other types of loans, like mortgages)

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Does signing the back of a credit card matter?

Posted by billspaced | 10:27 AM | 0 comments »

The folks over at have written a story about whether signing the back of your card matters, in terms of fraud and identity theft. Basically, it does matter. But, then again, it doesn't.

According to the article, both VISA and Mastercard require merchants to verify that the signature on the back of the card match the signature used when signing the credit card slip at the point of purchase. They also state that an unsigned card is invalid.

However, most merchants don't look at the back of the card. Some people have resorted to writing "See ID" in the signature line. This may invalidate your card as well.

So, what to do? Sign the card. Also, write "See ID" on the back somewhere as well. If your credit card company offers it, get a photo emblazoned on the front of the card.

Not mentioned in the story: If you don't sign your card, and just leave the area blank, anybody who gets your card can sign your name any way they want. When they sign the credit card slip at a business, their signature will match the one on the back of the card because they signed it!

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