I’m a stock-market genius!

On December 1st, I wrote about an idiotic USA Today article, which tried to convince readers that investing on the first day of the month was a sound strategy. “Stock investors looking for a trading pattern that all but guarantees a profit need look no further than the first trading day of a new month,” the author wrote. He pointed out that in ten out of twelve months this year, the market has risen on the first day of the month.

I crunched my own numbers to find that on the eighth trading day of the month, the market had gone up nine out of eleven times. Sure enough, last Friday the market went up on the eighth trading day of December, too. Maybe I can pitch this news to USA Today so they’ll publish it in their Money section.

Okay, okay. Enough snottiness. It’s time to look at some of this week’s best financial stories from around the web:

First up, I know it’s getting a little late for this, but Yahoo Finance has a list of seven items worth waiting for — especially if you’re going to “gift” yourself. These are things like electronics, winter clothes, calendars, and so on — things that go on sale in the weeks after Christmas.

Even as I’m writing a column for Entrepreneur that gives tips on using credit cards wisely, Kiplinger is making the case for cutting out credit cards completely. Robert Long writes that he has no credit cards, and he’s happy that way. If you’ve thought about leaving credit behind, read about Long’s experience. I lived without a personal credit card for nearly a decade, so I know it can be done. But I know that it’s possible to live safely with credit cards, too.

Over at Gen-Y Wealth, RJ has a nice list of 20 financial milestones you want to reach in your 20s. I like this list, and I’d actually love to see similar lists for different age ranges. People could use it as a sort of road map to where they ought to be. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to compile such a beast. (Maybe I could try to create something like this…)

You all know how important I think it is to increase your income. Well, the Mighty Bargain Hunter has a short write-up listing five ways to make your hobbies pay. “If you’re looking to supplement your existing income, start with something you do well,” he advises. Then share it with others.

Finally, The Motley Fool has a list of ten really simple financial lessons to live by. These are all drawn from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book, The Bed of Procrustes. They’re simple aphorisms to live your life by, like: “The sucker’s trap is when you focus on what you know and what others don’t know, rather than the reverse.” Sort of like investing on the first (or eighth) trading day of the month because it always goes up!

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