Monday, February 27, 2006

Things I Learned Today

My short notes on things that are interesting

  1. Health is Wealth A site that lists the portions needed for the 5 a day rule. Vegetables and fruit

  2. A excellent review of three credit monitoring websites offered by the same company!!! by stopbuyingcrap. btw the credit score given by these websites are fake (approximation of the actual one). To see the actual one you need to go to myFICO. myFICO has a bunch of calculators that might of interest to you.

  3. myFICO default value for monthly expense is $2500. hmm interesting

  4. Found this interesting rule @ financial train wreck If you haven’t used it in 12 months, you probably won’t, so get rid of it. Either sell it or give it away. Exceptions: family keepsakes and some paper records

  5. This is a good site for magazine subscriptions. btw i subscribe to money, consumer report and get a lot of tech magazines for free. i plan to keep money and drop others.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Things I Learned Today

From today onwards, i will be posting a list of things i learn each day about investments and other related things. Although it might not be done on a daily basis this would be a great help in keeping tracks of things i need to remember. So here we go

  1. Tempting CD deal CD Deal. for $2500 locked up for 1 yr, get 4.80% (which is not bad) and a ipod shuffle (resale value of $50 or $60).

  2. Purchase postage stamps at discount warehouses stores such as Costco to save a few pennies. Purchasing from can result in 10% discount although you need to buy in bulk (in $50, $100, $200 lots). In most cases, you can't request a specific value stamp. Some dealers will simply state the total value of the stamps while others may tell your the general values of the stamps in the lot (for example, all stamps range in price from 5 cents to 20 cents). The stamps can be used to send any item through the postal system. Some may be older - even 50 years old, but all are still perfectly legal to use. (from Savingadvice)

  3. I modified How to build emergency funds (from YoungandBroke Blog and bankrate) article to create a roll over fund for unaccounted expenses. Note: I already have a emergency fund (3 to 4 months of salary) kept as CD
    • Paying your future self Start a roll over fund into which $100 is put every month.
    • Budget-clipping tips refinance mortgage, use public transportation, keep ur car (4 6 to 8 yrs), do energy check @ home, and When the 12 year old says, 'Where's my $10?' cut it back to $7
    • when you under budget, put the difference into the roll over fund

  4. Kids and Money (from AllThingsFinancial)

  5. Buying a home that you can afford: Calculate all your income and make sure that your housing expenses -- mortgage payment, homeowners insurance and property taxes -- don’t exceed 25% or 28%. (from MoneyCentral). Most people say that a mortgage in the ballpark of 3 times your salary is easily managable.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Getting a new job and being happy with it

She Said

I am in the final round of negotiations for a new job at a new company...or more like the same job for a new company and these are some of the reasons i ended up settling for this offer.

* They accomadated my requirement to relocate at the end of the year
* They offer a lot of valuable free training and certification which would be a real resume booster for future
* The salary is competitive not extraordinary, good not great but first 2 points were a higher priority
* They have decent benefits and a sizable % matching on my 401k

All together I think I am happy with the offer and am looking forward to joining soon.

Some tips for people out there looking to switch jobs

Update your resume, if you know you are going to be job hunting soon...revisit the technology you are working on ...polish your about latest advances...basically get a tune up...and most of all get an idea what the market is looking for and see how you can be what they want

Get in touch with your contacts ....I feel it is so much easier to get a job through people you know in your field than applying from a website but then again this is just my opinion.

Define your expectations and don't compromise on things that are your highest priority.

increasing traffic to blog

He said

Yep, i am trying out all ways to increase traffic to my site. More than anything the purpose of the blog was to hear comments from others about our thoughts on money and other related issues. so i have added the site to coupl eof search engines, to a list of blog directories (like LS Blogs) and also put up adsense banner (while we dont include the revenue with ads in our finanical calculations, we dont want to discount it either :). Let us know of your ideas on increasing traffic to the blog. Thanks

Stock Picking

He said

When it comes to stock market, i do feel like camel (as someone called me :). The fact that there is too much information and views on what stocks are good. Well just not stocks alone, mutual funds, options, etc. I have developed a fondness for Mutual funds (yeah they have limitations like expense ratio and higher entry barrier), but i think no-load index funds and retirement target funds are really good. My plan (about to start from this year mid) is to keep my 401k on retirement target fund, keep my Roth IRA and personal investments in Vanguard and Fidelity no-load mutual funds. I also intend to play in the stock market (US and indian) with small amounts of sum like $200 per month.

So then comes the issue of stock picking. i have decided to play it safe by watching a few stocks, the stocks i am watching include MSFT, Google (just for fun), AMGN and Mittal steel. in the end i might pick a few shares in steel and pharma industry. I am keeping track of steel, banking and airline industry in the indian market. I feel the indian market is getting pricey. I might pick a few shares in all these industries. I will detail the picks along with the reason when i conclude the transactions.

BTW the standard disclaimer. We (He said and she said) disclaim any liabilities whatsoever from your decisions based influenced by this site. Furthermore, if you use any information in this web site in any manner, you automatically consent to the following rules:
1. The information given in this site is under AS IS condition and represent the views of the person at the time when s/he wrote it.

2. There is an explicit understanding that by reading this blog, the reader consents that he or she wont impose any legal binding on the authors.

In short, you are free to use the information found in this blog the way you like, but you will never come back to us with a complaint or legal notice.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Gifting Smart

She Said

Seeing that He is already taking over what I thought was 'our' blog (men!) and feeling much like the arab who let the camel in his tent and eventually had no place in it...I have decided to put my 2 pennies worth in as well.

Yesterday my roommate and I went gift shopping for our friends' bridal shower.We had an idea of what kind of gift we wanted to give her..something in the housewares section.The premium outlets we went to had a lot of choices ;too many that we went shop hopping all day...We went into Mikasa for what might have been the tenth time in the day and started looking again..that is when we saw a delightful platinum formal dining set for a price that was nearly 1/2 that of what the others of the same kind were.We asked the lady in the store what was wrong with it and why so cheap , she said the only reason was that the plate set was part of a discontinued line and so was priced to sell...So we ended up getting an exquisite 20 pc plate set which I know my friend would adore for a price which was exponentially lower than what it usually sold for...Good DEAL!

So all of you people looking for fine things whether for yourself or for your friends...keep your eye out for discontinued lines/items coming off displays and you are bound to get exceptional things for very agreeable prices!!

Open Close principle

He Said

I have been reading so many personal finance blogs ( and for some time now. Yet i did not have much interest in blogging about my financial status or even just blog. Then she came saying she was planning to start a blog, so i thought why not write down about finance also. That is the genesis behind this blog.

With the decision to blog on financial status made, the issue is to what extend to blog. Most finance blog detail their entire financial status. We have decided to take a minimalist approach instead (the Open close principle). There are couple of reasons for it like we have NDA status with our respective companies, or we dont bother to find the assets' value (ancestral property)

Anyway the blog will be open in terms of decisions made, investments done, goals set and will be closed in terms the actual assets we have, and our salaries. Lets hope that is the best way to proceed :)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Born Free, taxed to death

He Said.

Yeah its that time of the year. i am already done with my taxes and mailed them on saturday. Its interesting to note that people are given more than 2 months to do their taxes and still on the deadline day the post office has long Queues. Hmm i guess procrastinating is something truly human. i do procrastinate on certain things, so i guess i should not pick on people and taxes too much.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Investment Principles

He Said

Investment Commandment
1. Even while throwing money into sea, count and throw.
2. Family is the most important wealth. Never forget that all these are for their welfare and safety.
3. Nothing is worse than being penny wise smart and pound wise foolish. Spend money when needed.
4. Teach the next generation on value of money and importance of saving, also teach them to give as they earn
5. Liquid money flows so turn them into solid investments (CDs, real estate).
6. Start investments early (early 20s) and aggressively (invest in high risk high return protfolio), then end with assest protection (as u age).
7. A penny saved from expenditure is better than a penny earned through income.
8. Just because you can afford things doesn't mean you should
9. Don’t invest in anything you don’t understand.
10. Avoid recurring costs to the extend possible.

Investment Rules
1. Continously evaluate the expenditure and trim expenses without too much comfort reduction
2. Live like college student till you hit 30.
3. Do free activities like visiting museum, fairs, park and spending time with family
4. Continous learning about investments
5. Buy things using Upromise and bondrewards
6. Subscribe to Kiplinger’s and Smart Money and begin a lifetime of learning about the world of investing and personal finance
7. The APY for all investment accounts (brokerage, kidsInvest, roth IRA and 401k) should be 11%.
8. Make the tax withholidings tuned such that you owe govt money during tax filing period (about $1k)
9. Keep copies of tax filings for atleast 3 years.