A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my new-found love of alternate transportation, particularly walking. I wish I could convey exactly how much choosing to walk everywhere has changed my life for the better. Because I’m walking 5-8 miles in every day, I’m getting exercise, have time to read (most of my walking is on pedestrian trails or low-traffic streets), and am actually getting more errands done. It’s awesome. I’m a much happier man.
Speaking of happy: Here are some financial articles from around the web that I’ve enjoyed recently:
While I was in London two years ago, Tim from the Seattle Bubble blog provided a guest post discussing renting vs. buying and the realities of home-ownership. On Monday, he shared a follow up on his site in which he explored what he calls the “forced savings plan” myth. It’s true that over the past two years stocks have outperformed real estate — even though they’ve both lost money! Still, I’m one who believes that long-term, home ownership can be (and has been) a reasonable conservative investment. Under most circumstances, your home’s value will roughly keep pace with inflation.
Over at Bargaineering, Jim has posted a video from Stanford student Josh Chan. Using stop-motion animation, Chan has created a little piece on the power of compound interest called Every Penny Counts. It’s nothing revolutionary, but I thought it was fun.
Author Keith Ferrazzi has a blog now. Earlier today, he posted an article describing how to surpass 95% of your competition with one simple gesture. What’s his secret? Follow-up. When you meet somebody, do a brief follow-up within the first day to keep you in their mind — and them in yours. (I think there’s a careful line to be walked here. In general, I agree, but I think it’s important not to be too eager or pushy.) [link via @andrewjparkes]
Mike at Oblivious Investor just shared his framework for deciding whether to pay down debt or to invest. This mirrors conventional wisdom, but it never hurts to review to make sure you’re on track.
Finally, Donna sent me a link to Sally Herigstad’s article at MSN Money about four real-life stories of bankruptcy. “What really happens to you when you file for bankruptcy?” she asks. “What do you have to do? How do you survive afterward?” Her article explores what happened to four people who had no other choice.
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This article is about Spare Change