3 Diamonds and a Dog #14

Jan 9, 2013 by

In each post of the Money Counselor “Diamonds & Dogs” series, I pick three items—an article, a website, a video, an image—that in my humble opinion would be especially valuable—the Diamonds—in helping Money Counselor readers make better money choices. And to balance the three Diamonds, I pick just one lame item—the Dog.

money idea gems3 Diamonds

  • Jason at WorkSaveLive strikes me as wise beyond his relatively few years. I think maybe he got that way by packing a boatload of bad money choices in just a few years as a young adult. But he’s working to right his ship and shares what he’s learned. We all like to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going at the beginning of each year, and Jason’s piece “4 Keys to Achieving Financial Peace” I think can help you set some Big Picture principles to get on the right track money-wise. A key insight: Financial peace isn’t about how much money you have; it’s about adopting a philosophy and techniques that will help you feel secure and content.
  • The Savers Tax Credit made the last edition of Diamonds and Dogs, but Saving2Invest recently published a good post on the subject too, and it’s something you really should know about. As soon as your brain emerges from its post-holiday fog, the topic of taxes will start nagging at you, and you might take a moment to learn about this credit. Read “A $2000 Savers Tax Credit in 2012 and 2013 to Help Workers Save for Retirement” for the good tax news for savers, not borrowers, for a change.
  • Joe at Retire by 40 did exactly that—he quit his corporate job in 2012 (but he’s not really “retired” from earning money; he’s just doing it on his own now). His article “A Little Active Income Goes A Long Way In Early Retirement” makes an excellent case for continuing paid employment even after one is in the enviable position of having lots of passive income (dividends, rent, peer-to-peer lending, etc.) coming in. He also inserts a key chart from a book every Money Counselor follower should read: “Your Money or Your Life.” Don’t miss the enlightening comment discussion following Joe’s post.

 lame money adviceA Dog

A December 11 press release from the Federal Trade Commission caught my eye. The release announced a $24.3 million settlement the FTC had reached with the “promoters of a bogus investment scheme.” Here’s an excerpt:

The settlements resolve an FTC enforcement action filed in May 2011, which charged Harry R. Tanner, Jr., his wife, Andrea Tanner, and their company, American Precious Metals LLC, with violating federal law.  Sam J. Goldman was named a co-defendant in November 2011, based upon his alleged role as an owner or manager of the business.  According to the FTC, the defendants promised consumers they would earn large profits quickly on precious metals investments, but they did not disclose the hefty fees or significant risks.

The FTC complaint alleged that consumers often were not told their investments were financed and that they had received loans for up to 80 percent of the purchase price of their precious metals.  Consumers also did not know their investments were subject to equity calls that might require them to pay more money to prevent their investments from being liquidated.

Particularly when interest rates have been so low for so long, many—including me—struggle with urges to find a way to earn more on savings. Frustrated, that’s when we’re vulnerable to getting sucked into some ‘get rich quick’ scheme and potentially losing a lot of money.

The investment universe is teeming with crooks, scams, and schemes. Keep your guard up, and always remember: The greater the potential return, the greater the risk, always!

Nominations Please

Do you have a nomination for a Diamond or Dog? Send it to me please using the Free Advice link at the top of the page. I’ll give you credit if I use it in a “3 Diamonds and a Dog” post.

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  • Jason @ WorkSaveLive

    Thanks so much Kurt for linking up to my post! My lessons certainly came from falling flat on my face. 🙂 Isn’t that the best way to learn? lol

    • At least you picked yourself up while you’re still young! Some don’t…

  • Brick By Brick Investing

    I like the idea, definitely an interesting post. I too believe you should figure out what you want out of life before pursuing riches.

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