Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Top 100 List

In case you missed my post on Twitter and Facebook, or the new link in the sidebar, I would like to bring your attention to something. Online MBA Guide recently published the "100 Best Financial Planning Blogs".
Yours truly, here at DebtFree4ever.NET was listed at number 75 on the list. Feel free to check it out, and see all the blogs that made the list.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beware of Counterfeit Coupons

Do you print coupons off the internet? If so did you know that you may be unwittingly be counterfeiting? Recently, Proctor and Gamble (P&G) sent information o its sales reps, distributors and retailers.
In their information they made three points
  • P&G does not authorize sales of coupons to consumers. (P&G does sell Pamper Certificates, which have a coupon-like appearance.)
  • P&G "Terms of Proper Coupon Redemption" state coupons are void if transferred )including sold or auctioned) to any person, firm or group and void if reproduced (including by electronic, photographic or any other means in any media).
  • P&G does NOT distribute internet print at home coupons.

  • Think about it folks. Do you really think there are coupons for a free multi-pack of Bounty or Charmin? Common sense should tell you that there is no such thing as "FREE" coupons when the product is over $10 (as the 2 examples above are). Really, it would be questionable if the coupon has a value of more then $2, period.

    You cannot buy legit coupons on eBay or any other auction site. That should be a red flag rite there.

    P&G is so serious about finding those issuing the counterfeit coupons that they are offering a reward of $2500 to the successful prosecution of the individual(s) responsible for producing counterfeit coupons.

    Individuals and internet sites attempting to redeem, transmit, auction, post, reproduce, transfer, barter or sell counterfeit coupons may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or civil action.

    So be wary, internet coupons are suspicious and more often then not down right counterfeits. The only way to be sure a coupon is legit is from your local newspaper or the direct mailers (often from the company itself) that you get in the mail.

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    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Are Savers Getting Hosed?

    That is the question, I was left with after reading a recent LA Times article.

    Who's really bailing out the banks?

    Taxpayers, for sure. But the largely unsung victims of the financial system rescue are loyal bank depositors -- especially older people who have relied on interest income from savings certificates to live.
    - LA Times article.

    The problem is, it appears, according to the article, is interest rates. Well duh, even in best of times, bank interest rates are pathetic savings tools.

    To save the banks from soaring loan losses, the Federal Reserve did what it always does when the industry gets into trouble: Policymakers hacked their benchmark short-term interest rate, which in turn pulled down all other short-term rates, including on savings vehicles.

    But this time the Fed went to rock-bottom on rates. In December, the central bank declared that it would allow its benchmark rate to fall as low as zero.

    Savers still are paying the price for that gift to the banks. Average rates on certificates of deposit nationwide have continued to slide this year, according to rate tracker Informa Research Services in Calabasas.

    The average yield on a six-month CD fell to 1.27% this week, down from 1.86% on Jan. 1 and 2.24% a year ago.

    Anyone who has a CD maturing soon should be prepared for serious sticker shock.
    - LA Times article.

    Listen, when you give up risk, for safety, you lose the potential earning power. That holds more true, with the down turn of the economy. Why would the LA Times run this article? It's not shocking news. It's basic economics, that anyone who saves, should already know.
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    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Carnivals was included in one blog carnival this week. n Monday, April 20, the Carnival of Everything Money, included my interview with the 3 co-hosts of Happy Hour.
    Prince of Thrift presents Happy Hour Hosts Sits Down with DebtFree4ever posted at Becoming & Staying Debt Free, saying, "The Fox Business Channel, co-hosts of Happy Hour. Rebecca Diamond, Cody Willard and Eric Bolling set down to answer a few questions for the blog."

    To my knowledge there weren't any other carnivals that linked to me this week.

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    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Sell of Underperforming Stock Doubles Money

    The other day, when I interviewed Cody Willard, Rebecca Diamond and Eric Bolling I asked Cody about Pier 1 (PIR). Willard said
    I can't give stock advice directly, but how about this? I don't own it.

    The stock had been bellow $1/share for some time. Then came last Thursday, the day I posted the interview. The stock soared up 50 cents to close at $1.45. Finally, the stock was above $1. It was about time. Do I continue holding? Or do I sell. I decided to hedge and put in a stop-loss order.
    For, those unfamiliar with a stop-loss, that means I put in a sell order to only enact if the stock goes down. If the stock goes up, I continue holding onto my shares. My stop-loss order was for $1.44. Allowing it to drop only 1 cent. Thankfully, on Friday it went up again. Closing at $1.70. I placed a new stop-loss order for $1.68. This time allowing it to drop 2 cents, before I cut and ran.
    Monday came, and the stock fell. Closing the day at $1.47. I however had sold my 142 shares at $1.68. That means my initial $64 (+8 commission) investment became $228.73 (after the $9.95 sell commission).

    $228 wont go very far, and for now it remains in my Sharebuilder money market account. Now, do I make a new investment, as I work towards owning a piece of every publicly traded retail company? Or do I cash out that money and use it to pay down my car loan? One thing for sure, I will have to save enough to pay the tax implications.

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    BREAKING NEWS: Freddie Mac CFO Found Dead

    FOX News and the Washington Post are reporting that David Kellerman, 41, acting CFO of Freddie Mac, was found dead this morning of an apparent suicide.

    The acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac was found dead in his home Wednesday morning of an apparent suicide, Fairfax, Va., police have confirmed to FOX News.

    Kellermann, a 16-year veteran of the mortgage loan guarantor, was reportedly discovered by his wife.
    - Fox News

    The Washington Post said
    David Kellermann, 41, was a longtime Freddie Mac executive who joined the firm as analyst in 1992. He was named acting chief financial officer last September when the federal government seized Freddie Mac. The company had made risky mortgage-related investments that were causing billions in losses.
    - Washington Post

    We at DebtFree4ever, would like to wish our condolences to his family and loved ones in this time of sorrow.

    Freddie Mac CFO Found Hanging in His Basement, Law Enforcement Officials Tell ABC News [9:37 a.m. ET]

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    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Happy Hour Hosts Sits Down with DebtFree4ever

    One of my goals in coming to New York, was to land an interview with some big names. Well a week or two out from my scheduled trip, I was able to secure a promise from one-third of a trio of financial stars. Well, at least they are stars if you want to call them that, on the Fox Business Channel, where they co-host Happy Hour. Rebecca Diamond, Cody Willard and Eric Bolling are their names. I was originally suppose to be at the bar on Monday, and I was, but they were having technical problems, so they moved the production back to FOX studios. Which dashed my opportunities a bit. Still though, I did not give up. I returned on Tuesday, my last full day in New York, and was finally able to meet the trio in person. So without further ado, we will go to the interview.

    Prince Of Thrift (POT): Where did you go to College? and what was your degree?

    Cody: I attended the University of New Mexico and earned a degree in economics. In addition, I am an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, where I teach a class called Revolutionomics focused on technology and business.

    Eric: I attended Rollins College, undergraduate, with a degree in business and economics. I also attended Duke University, but I didn't graduate because I was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. True story.

    Rebecca: University of Maryland with a degree in journalism.

    POT: Do you think the current economic climate will finally get people to realize that debt is bad and retirement saving should be a priority?

    Rebecca: I hope so. That has been a theme on the show. The government wants us to borrow more, when that's what got us in this mess to begin with.

    I might also say that I have been cutting back on my own spending and saving more.

    Cody: Yes! Absolutely! It is an entire tipping point that we have.

    POT: Who is your favorite economist?

    Cody: Plato

    Eric: Ronald Reagan - he saved the economy.

    Rebecca: I don't really have one... I tend to take snippets from several different ones...both Republicans and Democrats.

    POT: What happens to the shareholders, if a stock is de-listed by the New York Stock Exchange, because it fell below $1 per share?

    Cody: Sometimes it doesn't matter. It moves to the bulletin board. If the business turns, it goes up and makes it's way back to the NYSE.

    POT: What if it goes private, because of the de-listing?

    It's possible. The shareholder wouldn't lose their shares. They would just own a piece of a privately held company.

    POT: Should I hold my pier 1 stock?

    Cody: I can't give stock advice directly, but how about this? I don't own it.

    Rebecca: They say that could be the next one to go bankrupt or be bought out.

    POT: In a recent LA Times article, it said you were a childhood friends with Neil Patrick Harris. How did that happen?

    Cody: My mom was friends with his mom and we grew up in the same small town (in New Mexico).

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    New York - Awesome!

    statue of Liberty

    My 1st full day in New York went pretty quick. At least the first half. I awoke at 6 AM, which is later then normal for me, but after being awake for over 24 hours, with nothing more then a few cat naps, here and there, that's understandable.

    After showering and eating breakfast, I went to Rockefeller Center. Where I seen both the Empire State building and Chrysler building from the observation deck. After that, i was on my way over to the Empire State Building to view the Chrysler building and "The Rock," from their observation deck. Not to mention the view of Central Park from that high up on both buildings. Even though, I hate heights, I loved the great view that both provided. Surprisingly I was through both of them by 10 AM. What eventually slowed me down and took up most of the rest of my day, was the huge line for the Statue of Liberty. After nearly two-hours, I was through security and on board the ferry boat to Liberty Island. The view of the the Statue of Liberty from that close was amazing.

    After that, I was heading out to see Grant's tomb, but took the wrong train. Realizing that, if I continued, I would be late for the Fox Business Network's "Happy hour" program, over at the Bull & Bear at the Waldorf. Arriving before the bar even opened, I walked around the magnificent hotel, looking at the beauty of such a prestigious hotel. Eventually, I learned that the program was being moved back to the studio that day, because some kind of technical problem with the equipment (it was popping and smoking). So I went back to the hotel, which unfortunately had FOX-TV but not FBN. I would try again on Tuesday. I have to get that interview that I was promised with Rebekkah, Cody and Eric.

    One thing, that I had wanted to see while in New york, was Ground Zero. I however, as I walked to my hotel from the subway, I quickly learned that I would not have to make a special trip. My hotel was in the Financial Center (what a perfect place for a financial blogger). That means every day to get between the subway and my hotel, I would have to use the pathway constructed over the top of the construction taking place where the World Trade Center was, before that tragic day nearly 8-years ago. I hope we as Americans never forget that day.

    Back to the hotel, I made a point to go across the street and walk through the Irish Hunger Memorial. It looked nice and all, but more could have been done to let visitors know what it was and what it was about. Something, I will write more about on my travel blog, when I get back.

    My second day, I started the day, by going way out to nowhere (tourist speaking) to view what is the largest tomb in America. The tomb, of a great Civil war General and President of the United States. Ulysses S. Grant. While there, I asked one of the park rangers, how the question of who's buried in Grant's Tomb got started. It seems the joke is only from the 1950's and was started by Groucho Marx. Who would ask the question at the end of his game show. The answer is that no one really is buried there as both Grant and his wife are above ground (as they are entombed rather the buried), however an acceptable answer would be Grant or Grant and his wife. It really was a trick question and there was never any doubt who was buried (or entombed) there.

    Of course, I couldn't go to New York without seeing Times Square. Actually, I wasn't even planning to, but the transfer point in the subway (on my way to Trump Tower) was Times Square. So I thought what the heck, and went upstairs (above ground) and looked around. Then I was on my way again, to get a few pictures of Trump Towers, which is located on 5th Avenue. As I left there, I noticed a huge line of people, waiting to be admitted into someplace. Curious as to what the attraction was, I began looking. Turns out it wasn't an attraction per se. Rather, it was a huge store...Abercrombie Finch.

    I spent the rest of the day at the hotel preparing for my interview. About 3 PM, I left for the Bull & Bear Bar and Restaurant at the Waldorf. I wanted to arrive (at 4) about an hour before the show began (at 5). Which, I did, and you will be seeing the interview here, later this afternoon.

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    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Have You Filed Yet? How Did You Do It?

    Good morning. As I write this I am in the hotel's business center, before getting my last "free breakfast." I ducked in here, because the copy of the USA Today that the hotel provided, had an interesting article. An article that was particularly relevant to today.

    As most of my American readers know, today is Tax Day. That means, if you haven't already done so, you have until midnight, tonight (April 15) to get those taxes in the mail. However, the news is reporting today, don't procrastanate. Many post offices that have stayed open late, in past years, will close at regular times this year. It's all part budgetary constraints of the current economy. However, that's not what I am here to write about.

    According to the USA Today (Wednsday, April 15, 2009) more taxpayers are filing solo. That is, they are doing their tax prparation theirselves.
  • H & R Block, the nations largest tax preparation company is reporting they have prepared 6% fewer tax returns this year. However, sales of their online and desktop software rose 22% of last year (figures as of March 15).

  • Jackson Hewitt, the country's 2nd largest such company also reported fewer tax returns prepared. Their own self forecast
    is to be down 12%-13% in 2009.

  • However, as alluded to above software programs and online services have seen a dramatic increase. TurboTax, which is probably the best known of the tax software programs out there, reported sales were 10% through March 14. However, that ws mainly through its online sales that was up 41%. It's desktop sales fell 12%.

    So how about you? Did you use a preparer? Or did you do your own taxes? Or have you waited until the last minute?

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    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Seven Financial Lessons Learned While In Flight

    As I was flying this past Sunday, I had a chance to catch up on some reading. I thought, I wouold use that opportunity to to write about what i was reading.

    One thing, I read on the plane was Kiplinger Magazine. There were a number of articles that I found interesting in the current issue. One such article was 7 Lessons from the Meltdown.

    1. Where's the Money? - You'd Better Know Literally!
    Simply put after Berney Madoff swindled $50 billion dollars and Allen Stanford alledgedly swindled $8 million, it is important to know where your money really is at ALL times. There is no such thing as unpublicized investment opportunities. (If you find someone trying to sell you one, RUN!)
    ie: When you invest in the market, know which investments you are in and follow their ticker symbols. This includes your 401(k), 403b and other retirement investments.

    2. New Investment Gadgets Won't Save You
    These long-short mutual funds sound good in theory, but in the end they flopped to. Why? Because, they own more long (traditional way of owning stocks) then short (betting on a down market). According to the Kiplinger article, the best way to minimize your losses while you wait for the market to come back, is to
    pair a fund that tracks Standard & Poor's 500-stock index with short-term government or municiple bonds.

    3. Don't Deify Those Who warned About Losses
    This one is simple common sense. Few of those paid annalists rarely get it right, but those beating their chests, that they did aren't heroes.
    That said, if your adviser, who is always negative, suddenly urged you to switch more into cash and treasuries about a year ago, then you should being thanking him (or her).

    4. Wild Swings Over Short Periods Are The New normal
    Don't get worried or excited just hold on, it's going to be a rollercoaster. However, if you do sell, consider the time of day.
    Don't sell them early in the day unless the company announced that it is filling for bankruptcy or some other catastrophe. Why? Because,
    before midday, the bargain hunters will poach, narrowing that 10% loss to a more palatable 4% or so. If you need to sell, that's the time to do it.

    5. Cash Is NEVER Trash
    In times like this, it is actually better to earn only 1% in a money market rather then losing it. Not to mention there is another reason.
    the beauty of cash in times like these isn't that it protects you from losses in stocks and other stuff, although it does do that. The lure of cash is that it enables you to pick up investments on sale. Gobs of high-quality stocks are down 50% or more over the past year. You can't buy them unless you have some money in reserve

    6. You're Taking More Chances Then Ever Before
    If you have looked at investing much, you have seen the "pyramid of risk," however with the current market, almost every investment is riskier.
    With the current crisis, move all your investments (except your cash accounts-ie: bank accounts, t-bills and money funds) up one level.

    7. We Live In A Tightly Wrapped World
    We have become a very global economy, therefore your investments should be to. Instead of diversification in funds, REIT's (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and the like, by country, you should (and so should I) spread out accross catagories (investing in both domestic and international stocks).

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    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Musical Inspires Me To Dream Again

    By the time this is posted, I will be well on my way to New York. However, last night, I had tickets to see Conway Twitty, The Man, The Music, The Legend, The Musical. When it first started, I was rolling my eyes and thought, good God, what did I get myself into? It wasn't long before I had gotten into it. It was awesome, and shortly after the 15-minute intermission, I was taken back to when I was a teenager and my early 20's.

    You see, my dream was to be professional writer and one of Conway Twitty's songs had become my theme song. It clearly was my favorite song. Even though, I wasn't a country fan, my favorite song was country. That song, which was performed by the talented man, in the title role, was "That's My Job." A terrific song, that I used to encourage me in my dream. However, I let my dream die, by believing the words of the naysayers including my verbally abusive family.

    All my teenage years and throughout most of my 20's all, I wanted was to be a professional writer and a public servant. Sadly, both of those dreams had never been realized, and I have often kicked myself for giving up the pursuit.

    Perhaps, I should dream again, but will I let the dream die again? Or will I say screw it, and go for it. As the speaker at the Rich Dad seminar said the other day, the only way something is going to be obtained, is to go for it. That would include this dream. Perhaps, I would be happier, if I was writing full time. Even, serving the public in the public service that I so highly sought and no one gave me a chance at. Maybe, I just didn't try hard enough. Well anyway, I better get moving.
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    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Free Tax Preparation

    Have you done your taxes yet? If not, what are you waiting for. You have to have them filed by Wednesday (April 15).
    Recently Debt Free Dude ad a post, that linked to all the places, that you can do your taxes online, for free. Since, that is such a huge expense for many of us, I thought I would present his list to all of you here.
    By doing them online (or with software) is usually more accurate than doing the taxes yourself on the paper form because the software used will make the calculations and keep track of all the rules. Certainly something to check out, especially if you have a simple return.

    * Free 1040 Tax Return

    * File Your Taxes

    * EZ Tax Return

    * E-File Tax Returns

    * Complete Tax

    * Tax Act Online

    * 123 Easy Tax Filing

    * 1040 Now

    * Free Tax Return

    * I Can Free File

    * Tax Slayer

    * Tax Simple

    * Online Tax Pros

    * Citizen Tax Free

    * E-Smart Tax


    * Turbo Tax
    * Free Tax USA

    * H&R Block

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    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Coming To An End

    So as I near the end of the month of eating nothing but what I have in my cupboards and freezer, I still have plenty to continue the project. Perhaps, I should continue the project after I return and until my trip to Spokane in late May. Glad I'm not footing the bill for that trip.

    Sunday, I leave out for New York, for a few days. While there I will finally get an up close view of the Statue of Liberty, Trump Plaza, Empire State Building, Ground Zero and much more. All the big items like the attractions and hotel have been prepaid. So all I will have to pay for is food and any souvenirs. The souvenirs will be kept to a minimum, but I certainly will purchase a couple.

    In New York, I even had three people of interest agree to sit down for a group interview, while I am there. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook and I will keep my status updated via my cell phone. Perhaps, you may even see me on TV (in the background at least), but we shall see.
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    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Create A Full and Prosperous Life

    Recently, I finished reading The Flow of Time and Money, by Lloyd Watts, PHD.
    The book begins with the basics.
    For most peope in the middle class, their financial lives are like a leaky bucket. They have job income, which is poured into their bucket by their employer, and the money leaks out in the form of expenses, purchases and taxes. All they have to show for their financial lives is the possessions they've bought over the years - cars, furniture, TV's, etc. Usually, these possessions are worth a lot less then they originally cost.
    - Quote from page 4 of The Flow of Time and Money

    The idea was illustrated by the leaky bucket diagram. Income comes in and fills up the top of your bucket. However, the income leaks out through the holes in the bottom, which represent your expenses, taxes and general spending.
    What we must do is catch some of that income into savings before it leaks out. The number one vehicle to do this is your retirement plan set up at your workplace. You have to control your money and this book try's to teach you how to do that.

    The flow of time is much the same concept. Everyone of us has 168 hours a week. However, how each one of us spend that 168 hours can be quite different. Here the leaky bucket is leaking out in the form of commuting, watching TV, eating, working and sleeping. Our time is valuable and the more time we spending watching TV, the less valuable we are individually. That means investing our free time, in what the book calls, life assets. Those things that enable you to accomplish more in less time. So what are life assets? Education, relationships, health, organization and legacy all fall into this category.

    The book was an interesting read. Although at times, I felt bogged down by the lingo used. The author a PHD, claimed to be writing for a regular Joe, but several times I felt it was over my head. That said, the illustrations, helped a lot to bring everything into perspective. Over all, it is a book that will help me change things in my own life and I think it will also help you in yours. It is a book you should check out (buy) of your local library (bookstore) and read.

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    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Is it time?

    I was recently informed that Wal-Mart has an Acer laptop for under $300. The same person also told me target and Best Buy, both, also had similar laptops (brand unknown) for less the $300. Perhaps it's time to finally get my laptop. What do you all think?

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    Friday, April 3, 2009

    Very Useful Free Education

    A couple days ago, I mentioned that I would be going to Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad's Stock Seminar Preview. Well last night, was the night and I must say it was interesting.
    From listening to is audio book, "Retire Young, Retire Rich," and his CD, "The Perfect Business," I knew there was some differences from Dave Ramsey. For example, Dave Ramsey says do not borrow for anything. However, the teacher (Judy Sharma) that lead this free preview said debt is bad only if you are buying a liability. It is good, if you are buying an asset like stocks.

    Of course I wondered, what if something happens that you lose your job and can't afford to make those payments, but I digress.

    She did say, and I would have to agree, there will be many people that will have to work until they die. That is something I don't want to do, which is why I will not ever go into debt again. I will scrimp and save and pay cash. The same will be true for my investments. I will shovel every available dollar, I can, into my investments to make them grow. I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck, and I know longer want to be part of the 95%. Instead, I want to be part of the 5% that has a savings and yes, has money working for them.

    The key theme of the free seminar was to educate yourself about your investments (including retirement accounts). Don't be ignorant about them. Know what mutual funds/stocks you own. For retirement accounts, know what their symbols are and be ready to move them to other funds in your account, to protect yourself from losses. This means, taking the few moments a day, to research your holding performance.

    During the meeting she encouraged people to take chances and offered to give away a copy of "Rich Dad Poor Dad," to who ever gave her $1. I kind of hesitated, and did not get a the copy. A few minutes later, she picked up the 2nd copy on the table and began the speech again. I gave her my dollar bill before she was even finished making the offer. In the end, she gave both of us our dollars back and we both (the stranger and I) had free copies of Robert's best known book. I will take mine to New York with me to read while I am on the plane and in the hotel room.

    The final thing she explained was the MACD. She made it real simple to understand. Which, I will translate here. The tool gives you an idea of the history of the stock, to give you an idea of when to buy and sell a stock. The black line moves first. When it intersects with the blue line, it is an indication that it is changing directions. Which means time to consider selling or buying. Ok, so that is a very simple layman's definition. So what do the black lines mean?
  • Black = weekly average close price
  • Blue = monthly average close price

    As I said, it was a free preview of the 3-day seminar that costs $495. The cost includes Robert's book Prophesy that was written about 6 years ago and predicted the current economic meltdown, which he actually estimated would happen in 2010 or 2011. Unfortunately, I can't leave work for 3-days, especially since I will be on vacation, right before the big meeting in Wichita. Not to mention, $500 is to expensive for me.

    I was very interested in attending the big seminar and though that maybe next year, when they come through again, I might be in the position to do so. However, that thought has kind of soured after reading the rip off reports website.

    This company got me for about $4,00.00 on credit cards as a downpayment on a $16,000.00 course in Nov. 2007. That was at the $199.00 three day (weekend) course. I was told this was a discount price for the course but, I had to sighn up that day to get this price, You wouldn't believe the real price!! So it was attractive compared to around 35,000.00. Their three day cancellation period would include the following Mon. Tues. and Wed. which I discussed with them, explaining that I didn't have that kind of money laying around, so I would have to apply for a loan, or re-financing of my home, or a home equity line of credit, or a bank loan etc. and that you can't get an answer on these things in three days. I was told by the representative who did my sighning up that I would be given time to get all my answers.

    However, it was only one person complaining and am not sure how accurate it is. They give you the books, CD's and software at the free seminar preview, and you can begin using them that night. So what is this extra $16,000 at the 3-day weekend that this person speaks of?

    I did look on ebay (where I had gotten all of my Rich Dad CD's) and found several copies of both the print and audio versions of "Prophecy." I however, did not find the EduTrader software that would be the most desired tool of the set.

    After the meeting, I had to literally ask for the free gift they advertised would be given out at the end of the meeting. Makes me suspicions of the education team, since they advertised so heavily (even on their website) and then doesn't hand them out unless someone asks about it. The 2 GB flash drive, however wasn't empty. Instead it was full of educational materials that look very interesting and I will be eagerly devouring it in the near future.

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  • Thursday, April 2, 2009

    What is Buffett's Best Investment

    Recently a group of 27 Kansas State students, took a field trip to Omaha to meet with the Oracle of Omaha.

    The students, member of the Student Finance Association, traveled by chartered bus to Omaha for the meeting.

    The trip was organized by Greg Foote, a senior and the bond fund manager for the SFA.

    Foote said Buffett genuinely seems to enjoy talking with students. In a question and answer session that lasted two hours, there were no limits on what questions he would take.

    Buffett meets with student groups four times a year, and Foote said when he contacted Buffett’s office last fall he was told the waiting list for one of the sessions was two or three years long.

    But he stayed in touch with Buffett’s personal secretary, and when a group had to cancel, she called Foote and invited him to bring a group . Foote said one important message Buffett gave the students was the importance of communication. He said the students were all smart enough to master the technical details of finance, but communication is what brings success.

    Laura Liston, SFA president, said, “He is an incredibly charismatic individual, and he provides humor at all the right moments.”
    - Topeka Capital Journal

    Thed article, that was in Monday's Capital Journal also stated:

    One of the K-State students asked Buffett the most important lesson he had learned from Benjamin Graham, considered the father of “value investing.”

    The reply was to think of investing as owning a part of a company, rather than thinking of it as gambling that the stock price will rise to produce a profit from selling it.
    - Topeka Capital Journal

    But one answer surprised many of the students in attendance. Buffett told students on Friday March 27, 2009, that his best investment ever made was a marriage license.

    The quip about his marriage license being his best investment was said half in jest, half serious. Buffett knew the student who asked the question was expecting the name of a company Buffett had invested in. But Buffett said the selection of the right mate provides the greatest quality of life and the most enjoyment of life.
    - Topeka Capital Journal

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    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    The Prince's Life Update - the Good, Bad & Ugly

    The Good

  • I was the 100th caller, to a local radio station, and won a pair of tickets to see "Conway Twitty the Musical." The performance will be the night before I fly out to New York. Now I just need to find a date to go with me.

  • I was able to secure an interview, while I am in New York. You can look for this interview to appear on the blog, on or around April 16. If you have any questions, that you would like me to ask these people involved in finance, please submit them to me via Facebook, Twitter or email.

  • April is National Financial Literacy Month...Seems like a great month to learn about financial Literacy.

    The Bad

  • I had planed to go on one of the tours of the Federal Reserve of New York, when I am there. Unfortunately, I was unable to secure a spot, even for just myself. The only tour time they had still open, in all of April was the Friday before I arrive at 9:30 AM. Which really sucks, but what can I do?

    The Ugly

  • Got my taxes back from the preparer. The good news, is that the Feds owe me $274 (which will be applied to my IRS tax bill). The ugly news, is that I once again owe the state of Kansas, even though I moved my deductions from 1 to 0 last year. This year, I owe the state a total of $47.

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  • Chance To Win $5,000

    Well, look at what I just found. A link in which one in three actually do win some cash. The amount of cash you can vary, from $20 to $10,000.

    I know it seems hard to believe, but it's true. Yesterday, I was skeptical, like I'm sure you are, but I tried it, and won $5,000. This morning, I went to my Western Union agent and picked up the cash that they had sent me via Western Union. Go ahead and click the link above and see, how much you might win.

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