20 Cents from April 2011

20 Cents from April 2011

I’ve been pretty distracted lately with the whole house-hunting/moving to a new city thing, so I haven’t been able to follow the financial world as closely as usual. In spite of being out of town and preoccupied a fair bit in April, I was able to dig up some real gems for this month’s round-up. I hope you enjoy them!

1. Regular readers will recognize David Stockman’s name as I’ve referred to his writing a few times. He has some very strong views on the U.S. fiscal situation and the role of the Federal Reserve in the economy and the markets. He expressed those views again last month in a New York Times Op-Ed on The Bipartisan March to Fiscal Madness. Whether you agree with all of Mr. Stockman’s analysis or not, it’s nice to read some straightforward give-your-head-a-shake prose that’s not oozing with partisan salesmanship.

2. I don’t believe in luck. I think we make our own luck, but I’m not sure I could ever capture what exactly I mean by that the way Erik Calonius did in a guest post on the Jonathan Fields blog. I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on What Lucky People Do Differently.

3. Squawkfox kicked off the month with an article highlighting some of the well-deserved media attention she’s gathered recently. In April’s Fool, she somehow managed to produce a witty summary of a number of articles that are well worth your time. She was even kind enough to mention yours truly. Thanks Kerry!

4. Linsey from Financial Highway offered a few things to watch out for in order to avoid become an April fool (or a fool in any other month) in 4 Ways a Sale May Not Be a Bargain.

5. Tom from Canadian Finance Blog wrote about Insurance You Can Do Without – Long Term Care Insurance.

6. Rob Bennett wrote about the contrast between magical thinking and the Reality Principle at Out of Your Rut: The Real Reason for Investment Bubbles: Bubble Logic.

7. Mark from My Own Advisor offered a Spring Update on his 2011 Personal Finance and Investing Goals. Well done Mark!

8. What if you needed to cash in some of your investments for some reason? Which ones should you choose? Boomer (of Boomer and Echo) offers some good suggestions in When You Need Cash from Your Investments.

9. Barry Ritholtz of The Big Picture highlighted a Business Week article in which economist Hernando de Soto discussed The Destruction of Economic Facts. Here’s a taste:

“The very systems that could have provided markets and governments with the means to understand the global financial crisis—and to prevent another one—are being eroded. Governments have allowed shadow markets to develop and reach a size beyond comprehension. Mortgages have been granted and recorded with such inattention that homeowners and banks often don’t know and can’t prove who owns their homes. In a few short decades the West undercut 150 years of legal reforms that made the global economy possible.

10. On a similar theme, Danielle Park of Juggling Dynamite commented on a recent article by Tony Crescenzi: The End of QEII: It’s Time to Make Donuts.

If you follow me on Twitter (@BalanceJunkie), you know that we finally bought a home on Monday night. We’ll be moving in August, and I’ll write more about it next week. I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of 20 Cents. Thanks to the great authors who put out consistently great content and thanks to you for reading! :)

Feel free to comment on your favourite articles!

Written by Kim Petch

8 Responses to 20 Cents from April 2011

  1. Thanks for mentioning Boomer’s article on cashing in your investments. If I heard right, you found a house now so that must be a huge relief for you. Congrats!

    • It is a huge relief, but we still have to sell our house and there seems like a never-ending list of things to think about and accomplish. One step at a time, I guess! 😉

      Thanks Rob!

  2. Thanks for your kind mention of my article celebrating the Reality Principle.

    The Reality Principle is like a good husband or a good wife. It’s always there for you, it’s always honest, it’s always kind. And by being always there and always honest and always kind, in the long run it ends up being a whole big bunch more fun than the temporary flash stuff that tempts but cannot deliver.

    Hey! Maybe it’s my wife’s fault that i have such heretical investing ideas. She spoiled me!


    • I guess heresy is in the eye of the beholder. But you do seem to have a knack for making waves! If it’s because your wife spoiled you, then I’d say you’re still a lucky man. Choosing fantasy and flash over reality and quality usually doesn’t work out in the long run – in marriage, investing, or life. 😉

      Thanks for your thoughts Rob!

  3. Hey Kim,

    Thanks very much for the mention! You’ve got a great list of articles there and I have to get on my horse and get reading them!

    BTW – I wanted to say great stuff, on getting nominated by the Globe and Mail for one of Canada’s best personal finance blogs. Amazing work, and well deserved. Keep up the great work and I’ll do my best to stop by often.


    • Thanks Mark. I was happy to include your article. I was really surprised to be included in the Globe’s poll on Canada’s best personal finance bloggers. I’m not even close to being in the running, but I’m happy to see some of my favourite bloggers in the lead! :)

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