Saturday, February 25, 2006

Great jobs that don't require a degree?! says that there are 20 great jobs out there that don't require a degree. Looks like there's hope after all for those of us without a degree. They mention that Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and David Geffen don't have a college degree. But I believe Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout. The article goes on to mention the 20 great jobs out there in more detail, check it out!

America's net worth slowly climbing...

The federal reserve recently released a study that shows America's net worth grew only slightly between 2001 and 2004. The survey shows the median net worth raising 1.5%, to $93,100. That means half of all the households had a higher net worth. Can you guess why there was a smaller raise this time around? If you said it's because there was an increase in debts, especially mortgages, you're right! Give yourself 10 points. That's actually the biggest reason. It's lists several reasons why net worth has increased only slightly.
  • Net worth: The increase in net worth in the latest survey was due mostly to an increase in home ownership and an increase in housing prices
  • Income: A decline in wages also helped account for the slow growth in net worth.
  • Savings: The percent of families who said they'd saved in the preceding year fell 3.1 percentage points, to 56.1 percent.
  • Assets: The percentage of families who owned assets rose 1.2 percentage points to 97.9 percent.
  • Debt: The share of families with debt rose 1.3 percentage points to 76.4 percent.
  • Stock ownership: The percentage of families investing in stocks, directly or indirectly through mutual funds, fell 3.3 percentage points, to 48.6 percent.
That's just a quick synopsis. If you're interested in a little more detail of each, check out the article.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Financial Firsts...

Since the start of the "Reverse Carnival of money mistakes" has been going on, I've been curious about everyone's "financial firsts." I've never run accross any national stats on basic financial firsts, like when did you start receiving an allowance, if you didn't, how many did or didn't?. Or when was your first savings and checking account opened? When did you open your first credit card account, who taught you most about money? I can assume some of the major things were done when people became adults, but there are exceptions. A friend of mine didn't have a checking account until his late 20's, he had to use money orders until then. Another friend of mine in middle school (grade 7) had a credit card! I was proud when I opned my first savings account when I was 17. I'm curious what the financial firsts are of the people who frequent all of the finance blogs out there. If you are too, take the poll on the bottom of the page. When was your "financial first?" 04/15 Update: To make room for the next poll, and keep the polls active and ongoing (due to a low amount of votes) I've decided to store them here. Please vote!

How much do YOU know about Money?!

A recent article I read inquires "Who knows the most about money?" When that question is asked, who's the first person you think of? My first thought was Bill Gates, the richest man in the world. He has the most, so he must be top of the list! Nope, according to a survey Forbes conducted, he was on the top 10, but not most knowledgable about money. Forbes editors and reporters chose two dozen candidates for the survey. The people they chose ranged from hedge fund managers to celebrity musicians. Once they had their list, over 4,000 readers, and senior editors made their pick. So who do 44% of readers think knows the most about money? This person filed their first income tax return at the age of 13, and claimed a $35 deductible for his bicycle! Wow, and I thought I was cool because I was getting 15 bucks a week allowence. So place your bets and check out the article to find out who knows the most about money.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

For your reading pleasure...

I do a little reading here and there through out the year, so I'll be recommending books accordingly on my blog. For the most part, they don't seem to be of the mainstream sort. But none the less, they are good books, and are closely related to money and finance. Todays book is called "The House of Morgan." It's of course excellently written by one of my favorite authors Ron Chernow. It chronicles the great history of the Morgan empire. From a small bank started in England, to it's peak when it was lending money to the government to get it out of trouble in the late 19th century, to the companies it's become today...well, at least 1990 when the book was written. It's now JP Morgan Chase (the bank) and the investment company (Morgan Stanley.) It's one of the worlds largest banks with 1.2 trillion dollars in assests! If you're into biography, history, banking and financing, this one's for you.

VirtualBank 4.60% APY....

VirtualBank is offering a emoney market account with a rate of 4.50%, and a 4.60% yield. Here are some of the important specs....
  • Open with as little as $100
  • No monthly fees
  • Free online transfers from your existing personal checking account
  • Free electronic deposits and withdrawals
They have pretty decent CD rates as well. There's a $20 dollar bonus for signing up using a reference from someone with an existing account. I unfortunately don't have an account with them...yet, but plan on it once ING's "Winter save up sale" is through on April 15th. There are sites that do offer referrals... Bank Deals - Best rates and deals and Mymoneyblog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Money Blogger Podcast...

I'd like to do a little preaching about a new and popular finance type blog that's been around for approximately a month now...Money Blogger Podcast. It's a site dedicated to interviewing the owners of some of the most popluar personal finance blogs out there. As of now, there is one interview per week. I've just finished listening to all 5 interviews, and I must say it's pretty interesting to actually put a voice to some of my favorite bloggers out there. I think it's a great idea, and I'm excited to see what's to come of it, and who will be in the next interview. MBP is open to interviewee suggestions as well as questions for them. I've made sure to e-mail Scott, who is the owner of the MBP with my list of people who I'd like to hear. Take a look at the site and give him your input. Here's a list of bloggers he's talked with since the beginning... 01/18/06: Jonathan of MyMoneyBlog 01/23/06: Dawn from Frugal for Life 01/30/06: Flexo from Consumerism Commentary 02/06/06: Cap from Stop Buying Crap 02/13/06: Jim of BlueprintforFinancialProsperity

Friday, February 10, 2006

Are you taking advantage of ING Direct's great rates?

If you haven't, E-mail me and I'll send you a referral. If you open the account with at least $250, you'll receive a $25 dollar bonus. Any additional deposits and new accounts will be earning a nice 4.75% interest rate until April 15th. Unfortunately that's a promo rate. As of now, that rate will return to the going rate, which is 3.80%.

Inspirational books...

One of the many things that motivated me to improve our financial situation were a few inspirational books. Some are shown at the bottom of the page. But one of the first is a biography on one of the richest men that ever lived, John D. Rockefeller. The book is called "Titan," and it was supurbly written by Ron Chernow. It choronicles his modest, but disiplined upbringing. It shows his rise from a exceptional accountant, to a National giant. From an ordinary person, to the worlds first billionaire. That was the nutshell review. Check it out, and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Useful posts...

One thing I'd like to do is make my posts interesting or useful. Due to time constraints today, it'll have to be useful. Today's subject is realty. A great real estate research tool I used when searching for our first home Domania A similiar site I've learned about today @ It's useful for evaluating real estate, selling or buying.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

February Networth...

Our net worth for the month of February networth.xls (13 KB) Do you know what your net worth is? CNN Money Net Worth Calculator

First post, first step...

The name I've chosen for my blog is a metaphor that represents our finacial progress in a climbing , upward moving motion...hopefully. I'll use it to record and measure the finances of me and my wife. I've come accross so many interesting and impressive blogs recently, that it's inspired me to create one of my own. I suppose I'll consider this post, the first step on "The Financial Ladder!"