Thursday, November 30, 2006

Top 100 Blogs To Read In 2007...

While recently roaming the net for my sites address, I came accross something interesting. An article on creditcard.org dated December 8th 2006, with the headline "Bloggers Tell Financial Secrets." It goes on to spotlight Tricia from "Blogging Away Debt," and then shows a list of it's pick for the "Top 100 Blogs To Read In 2007." All of them seem to be personal finance blogs, and they are all nominated for "a national award." Surprisingly I'm one of the blogs on that list...

Snips And Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails...

My wife and I recently visited the doctors office for our 19 week sonogram appointment. It's the one where they check EVERYTHING. From fingers and toes, to cleft lips and any heart deformations. Turns out everything looks fine and we're having a BOY! We didn't really have a preference, only for a healthy and happy baby. Though I have to say whew! You see, my paternal line is pretty thin. My great grandfather was the only male of seven children, my grandfather the only male of four children, my father was an only child, and I'm my fathers only son. When searching the net for articles on the cost of raising a child nowa days, I came accross Bankrates baby cost calculator.


According to them it's going to cost about 190k to rasie a child until the age of 18! That's hard to believe. With this one being our first, we talk about having a couple more. Does that really mean about 600k? I'll have more time to pay off a mortgage than raising children. Can you say hand me downs, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Oh well, so far it's worth it. It's a wonderful time in our lives, and I can't put a price on that....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Retriement Portfolio: 401 (k) Asset Re-allocation...

In a post long ago, I mentioned that I intended on creating a less expensive, and better performing 401 (k) portfolio. Well, I finally got off my butt and did it. Unfortunately my options were limited to Prudential Financial's 9 mutual funds, one fixed income fund, and my companies stock. Those mutual funds had an average expense ratio of 0.92% and a front load of 4.61%, not that bad I suppose, I've heard of worse options.

I wound up dropping CABDX, SPVAX, and MIGFX. My portfolio in particular averaged an expense ratio of 1.07% and front load of 5.30%. I kept AEPGX, LAVX and obtained an index fund, PDSIX. No load at all, and it has an expense ratio of 0.30%. Nowa days my portfolio is averaging an expense ratio of 0.73% and front load of 3.83%. The funds I now have, average a five year performance of a little under 11%, and ten year of a little over 12%.

I'll try my best to re-balance every quarter, and at the least every two quarters depending on how each sector of the economy, and the funds perform. Next I'll have to research my wife's 401 (k) portfolio, to find the best value for our money. That should be fun playing with 17 different funds ranging from Vanguard's 500 index fund to Dodge & Cox's Stock fund!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Forbes Richest Fictional 15?

Wow, Forbes has a rich list for everyone, even people that don't exist. So of all of the fictional characters you've seen in movies, shows, stories and even cartoons, who do you thinks tops them all at #1? Is it Richie Rich? No, but he's up there. Then it has to be Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island?! Nope, not even close. Ah ha! It's Mr. Monopoly! NO, but getting warmer....Forbes Fictional 15

Monday, November 20, 2006

50 Leading Women to Watch in 2007...

Today the Wall Street Journal Online reports on something very interesting, the new breed of women moving up the ranks to the top of the worlds biggest companies. They find that women held 16.4% of the Fortune 500 corporate-officer job in 2005. These jobs include positions of vice president or higher that require board approval. That was a 0.7 percentage higher since 2002. The same survey found that woman made up 6.4% of the top five earners among officers which is a rise of 1.2% in the same period.


Women of color -- African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans -- held just 1.7% of corporate-officer positions in 2005, and were 1% of the top five earners at Fortune 500 companies.

All these people have one thing in common: They're breaking stereotypes about what women can and can't do well, and opening up new opportunities for women who will follow them.


Melinda Gates tops the list of the top 50 women to watch next year.

Friday, November 17, 2006

FESTIVAL OF UNDER 30 FINANCES: # 10

Today's super fun "festival of under 30 finances" will be @ Tired But Happy. Today's submissions cover subjects ranging from issues with room mates to spam that saves you money. From credit cards teaching youth about personal finance to 5 lessons that a millionaire taught me. So be there or be square!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Moving the power cord out of the wall, and into our wallet...

Well, it's that time of the month again. Time to see how we did with saving on electric. Well, only a little, but that's better that having to shell out more this year than last year. Since the wifey is pregnant, we've been using more heat so far this year. I'm guessing that's going to be a big factor in our electric bill in the next several months. More heat, more stove usage to due to the increase of cravings, and eventually air conditioning. We're starting to take a few more steps to help energy efficiency around the house. We're going to replace our patio door within the next few weeks, and that'll help a lot. Something like 20-30% of savings on energy use a year We've been told. Luckily we have friends who have contracting businesses, so it'll cost less then using someone else. The money we save on electricity, is helping power our savings!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thanks E-Loan, That Was Fast And Easy...

On Monday I mentioned that I decided to open another savings account, this time @ E-Loan. I logged in today to find that the very next day my $5,000 initial deposit was already transferred and in the new account! I also noticed that the verification deposits had already been deposited and debited, the next day. I've already initiated the money transfer only two days after opening the account, not bad. This is probably the easiest online savings account opening I've had...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November Net Worth Snapshot...

Not a bad month, I'll take it. This month we find that our net worth has increased by $4,862.26 or 4.05%. And by the looks of it we probably could've done better if we tried. We spent more than the average on dining out. Not much out of the ordinary on this one. I noticed that our debt to load ratio is down almost 10% for the year. According to some experts, the debt-load ratio should be around 35%, and most of it should consist of the mortgage. Looks like it'll be a couple of years before we're there. The emergency fund is growing nicely, that'll come in handy with a baby on the way (due date April 25th). This is the another month with our net worth increasing over 4%, which is pretty nice. Climbing the ladder, slowly but surely...