To really cash in as a value investor you need to be contrarian, buying what others scorn. Good luck with that.
A search of Bad Money Advice shows that in what is fast approaching 300 posts I have never discussed collectibles. Although it is true that there is relatively little bad money advice out there on this topic, just about everybody who mentions it, even in passing, says it is a poor place to invest -- it is an area in which people often make money mistakes. So not writing at least one post on it is an oversight that needs correcting.
In particular, I want to talk about a scheme to make money that has, at the very least, occurred to all of us at one time or another. It is buying, or merely not disposing of, the near-valueless noncollectible in the hope that it will one day become a valuable collectible.
The reason this has occurred to us all at some point is that the collecting world is full of examples of easy-money-in-hindsight. Just spend time on eBay. A quick scan recently told me that the first issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine (Autumn 1992) goes for $250. It was $3.95 on the newsstand. That’s an annualized gain of nearly 26% for 18 years. If only I’d thought to buy a thousand copies.
After losing much of her income, blogger sold her house and now lives in other people's vacant homes.
We’re fascinated by unusual lifestyle choices people make, like campground hosting or hiking the Appalachian Trail full time. Lose your job and you may be even more inclined to consider new possibilities.
That happened to Mary, the 48-year-old single woman whose insightful blog, SimplyForties, shares her adventures and great recipes. When her income suddenly dropped, she sold her lovely old home, hit the road and embarked on house-sitting full time.
Spirit Airlines becomes the first carrier to charge for carry-on luggage as well as checked bags. Will others follow?
Spirit Airlines has become the first U.S. airline -- and maybe the first airline in the world, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Middle Seat Terminal blog -- to charge passengers for carry-on bags.
Charges will range up to $45 each way, with a low of $20 for members of the $9 Fare Club who reserve a bag in advance (and don’t forget your $39.95 annual club membership). Non-members can carry on a bag for $30 if they pay in advance.
Lest you think you can disguise your carry-on bag as a purse or computer case, be warned that Spirit will have “bag sizers” at the gate to make sure your “personal items” don’t measure more than 16 by 14 by 12 inches.
Census jobs are available, but you don't need to pay someone to get federal employment.
We've all heard or seen the warnings about the possibility of being scammed by purported census takers who are out to steal our identities. But what about those who cheat people looking for honest work taking the government headcount?
Hawaii has the highest percentage of millionaire households; Mississippi has the lowest.
Did you know that in 2009 there were more than 5 million millionaire households (5,129,385) in the United States?
That’s 4.46% of all households and a number that is probably a lot higher than you expected. It's also a drop from the previous two years. In 2008 there were 5.6 million, and nearly 6 million in 2007. Who knows what 2010 will bring, but it’s still fun to look at statistics, even if you’re not a millionaire.
Fortunately for us, our friends at MainStreet had a fun little slideshow recently showing the states with the most and the fewest millionaires as a percentage of total households.
So, where are all the millionaires?
A plan to write off some debt for 'underwater' borrowers elicits anger but also stories from people who find themselves stuck.
Is it right to forgive mortgage principal for people who owe more than their homes are worth?
What if they refinanced and took out cash to buy new cars and kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances? What if they stretched to buy a home they could barely afford? What if they didn’t put any money down?
In the meantime, you bought a home that was well below what you could afford, put 20% down and are still staring at the old Formica countertops that came with it 20 years ago. Why doesn’t the lender forgive your balance?
So far the $100,000 plug-in is the only vehicle to qualify for an electric-car tax credit this year.
Our hat’s off to Kathy Kristof, a personal-finance columnist (and MSN Money contributor) who has a knack for uncovering financial facts that make absolutely no sense.
Kristof delights in exposing rules and situations that make us cringe -- like the 703.8% interest credit card bill or the bank that allowed a $50,000 fraudulent withdrawal from a business checking account and said, “Oops, you’re out of luck.” In the same vein, she now explains the new $7,500 tax credit for people who buy a $100,000 Tesla Roadster in a new post at CBS MoneyWatch.
Frugal Zeitgeist holds a Bad Boss Festival to acknowledge the contributions of lousy bosses in blogger's life.
“FZ” at Frugal Zeitgeist seems like the kind of boss workers would enjoy and respect. How did she get to be so good? Most of what she learned came from observing managers who oversaw her work -- particularly the bad ones, and she’s had some doozies.
Topping her list at a post called “The Bad Boss Festival” was a “boss who tracked his guesstimates for female employees' menstrual periods on a calendar.”
“There have been many instances in which something my boss at the time did made me feel undervalued, disrespected, marginalized, and completely unappreciated,” she wrote.
Among others on her list:
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