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Recently, I read Suze Orman’s The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. At several points during the book, Suze refers to herself as a “Certified Financial Planner” several times, with the words in capitalized format. At the time, I somewhat brushed this off and kept plowing through her advice, but I kept wondering what exactly is a “Certified Financial Planner”? So what is it? Basically, a “Certified Financial Planner” is an individual who has been certified by a group called the …

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Five weeks ago, I began the process of analyzing and rewriting Money Magazine’s 25 Rules to Grow Rich By as an exercise in examining the fundamentals behind some of the often-repeated statements on how to get ahead financially. Below, you’ll find the rewritten list of rules. Each rule is linked to an article that describes the original rule from the Money article, the investigation of that rule, and the conclusions that led to a rewrite of the rule. After that …

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#25: Warranties

December 15 2006
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This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index. Should I Buy Warranties on Electronics? Rule #25: When you shop for electronics, don’t pay for an extended warranty. One exception: It’s a laptop and the warranty is from the manufacturer. Most extended warranties merely serve to put more …

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This week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of the personal finance philosophy title Your Money or Your Life. This book looks at a whole-life approach to the relationship between a person and his money and applies a nine step process to fleshing out this relationship. Do these methods work? Let’s dig in and find out! Right at the start of the prologue of Your Money or Your Life, the authors have a list of questions for you …

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At some point, we all get disheartened with blogging. Maybe we feel out of touch with the readers, or maybe it’s simply a matter of level or slightly falling traffic. Maybe it’s just a sense of isolation and disinterest in the topic. This is perhaps the most important period in the life of your blog, and this moment is what separates successful blogs from unsuccessful ones. Successful blogs are the ones that reach this point and keep going, doing whatever …

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Yesterday, a local talk radio show did a segment on the ethics behind car title loans and rent-to-owns. The host, one J. Michael McKoy, argued that such services are vital for low income families, while his more sensible sidekick was arguing vehemently against them. The callers were a motley crew of various opinions, as you would expect from a local call-in show, but for some reason I was persuaded to pick up the phone and call in to set the …

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I’ve always loved the writings of William Shakespeare, ever since I first read Hamlet in eighth grade. Since then, I’ve read almost everything by The Bard, excepting some of the sonnets, and I’ve enjoyed both the famous and the obscure. The breadth of topics tackled by Shakespeare is large, so I recently wondered what thoughts he had on financial issues. I expected to find a few pithy quotes, but what I actually found were several profound statements from strong, intelligent …

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#24: Frequent Flier Miles

December 14 2006

This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index. Rule #24: Don’t redeem frequent-flier miles unless you can get more than a dollar’s worth of air fare or other stuff for every 100 miles you spend. Throughout this series, I have often criticized the rules on this list …

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This week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of the personal finance philosophy title Your Money or Your Life. This book looks at a whole-life approach to the relationship between a person and his money and applies a nine step process to fleshing out this relationship. Do these methods work? Let’s dig in and find out! The final three steps of Your Money or Your Life build upon the life re-evaluation that fills up the first two thirds …

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This seems like a contradiction, doesn’t it? On a series on professional blogging on a personal finance site, I’m writing that money doesn’t matter? What gives? The truth is that many people dream about becoming professional bloggers, but after blogging for a month, they peek at their AdSense account, see they’ve only earned $1.03, and they get very disheartened. They slow down their posting and move on to other things. A few months later, they see they’ve only earned $1.54 …

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