Many GRS readers have urged me to take a more active role in charity and giving back to my local community. So when my friend and colleague Chris Guillebeau asked me if I’d be willing to help with a local cause, I decided now was a great time to make the leap.

On Friday, October 23rd, Chris and I will attend a benefit dinner and auction to support Sisters of the Road, a local non-profit that fights homelessness and poverty in Portland. If you’re in the Portland area, you’re welcome to join us (and our wives) for this event. Registration is $85 per person and includes dinner, drinks, an auction — and a lively hoe-down. There’s more information at The Art of Non-Conformity. If you’re in the area and feel inclined to join us, we’d love to see you there.

Meanwhile, here are some financial articles that have caught my eye recently:

This morning, USA Today ran an article that made my head spin. I can’t decide if I love it or hate it. Their story on how to rebuild an investment portfolio after a recession actually contains solid advice — for a year or six months ago. “Don’t go to cash,” the article says — advice that investors ought to have been heeding last February, not now.

To me, it feels like the article is completely ignoring the fact that the market has soared since March. In the past seven months:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 48.64%.
  • The S&P 500 Index is up 55.89%.
  • The NASDAQ Index is up 65.81%.

Yet this USA Today article is offering advice as if the market just hit rock bottom. Baffling. Still, as I say, the article’s worth reading because its investment advice is solid. It’s just a few months late.

On a more timely note, Liz Weston posted an article at MSN Money about the rude new tip-jar economy. This summer, I’ve noticed a proliferation of tip jars, too: at the ice cream parlor, at the deli, and at the pizza parlor I walk to every Tuesday. I don’t necessarily think tip jars are rude, but I do agree that it’s fine to ignore them in almost every case. (For more on this subject, check out Mighty Bargain Hunter‘s response.)

Finally, at Wise Bread, Kelly Whalen explores the question: Can you survive with one car in Suburbia? She’s wanted to try the one-car lifestyle, but her husband has resisted. But when their second car needed $2500 in repairs, they decided to give it a shot. “What has worked for us may not work for everyone,” writes Whalen, “but trying to use your car less has many benefits. The main one for my family has been that we are happier and healthier, and we’re staying away from stores when we don’t really need something.”

Before I head home for supper, here’s a round-up of the recent personal finance carnivals:

A blog carnival is a collection of the week’s best posts on specific themes — in this case, money. Visiting a carnival is a great way to find financial information from a variety of viewpoints.

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