Money Magazine – July 2007

Money Magazine logoThe July 2007 issue of Money Magazine has a nice big cover story on entrepreneurship, a topic that interests me more and more as I grow older and start to create more revenue streams. As usual, though, the issue had a lot of interesting points inside – here are ten that really stuck out at me:

Traveler’s checks are pretty suboptimal in the modern era. Their fees are really high compared to ATM usage. If you’re going to travel internationally (particularly to Europe), just get cash with your ATM card and if you want an emergency reserve, just sock away raw cash someplace safe. (p. 21)

When you’re interviewing for a job, tell a story. Go in there ready to tell a story about your biggest success at your previous job. Better yet, have two or three. Then, when the opportunity presents itself, tell the story – it will do wonders to sell you to the interviewer. (p. 22)

You can do much more with your charitable donation and time if you focus on one charity rather than several. It takes a lot of people making small donations to have the same impact of one person making a solid donation of time and money, so if you really want to help out a charity that really means something to you, focus exclusively on that charity. (p. 34)

If you get a big inheritance, don’t spend it right away. Sit back and actually look at where to put it – you should also contact a CPA and figure out the tax implications before you do a thing. (p. 39)

Why would you want a financial planner? I still don’t understand why a financial planner is useful for anyone who isn’t worth well into the eight figures. With anything less than that, you can easily manage it yourself without a planner eating you alive for the sake of their own profit margins. (p. 43)

The S&P 500 may still be undervalued, after four years of a bull market. I still don’t feel great about investing in stocks right now, but the magazine makes several good points, including the fact that the S&P 500 is still undervalued (a lower-than-average price to earnings ratio compared to the historical average). Interesting… (p. 60)

A diversified portfolio is better than simply investing in what you know. Some investment gurus preach about focusing your investments on what you know, but it turns out that you’re far better off investing in a broad array of things. Another thumbs-up for broad based low cost index funds, I guess. (p. 66)

Their entrepreneurship guide overlaps with most of my guide to self-employment. Much of the same advice is focused on: get your business started while you’re still employed and plan very carefully to make sure you aren’t making a financial suicide leap when you do quit. (p. 81)

People who marry solely for money have issues. Thankfully, the article on how to marry a billionaire was done entirely tongue in cheek (I hope). (p. 94)

Whole Foods isn’t perfect. It’s basically an organized farmer’s market and offers an abundance of organic produce, but that doesn’t guarantee that everything on the shelves there is wonderful. Honestly, I prefer actual farmer’s markets – the prices are better and you actually get to meet the people that make the food. (p. 114)

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