The Fish Wrap: an occasional grouping of interesting links, mostly centered around finance topics, largely from personal finance blogs. A carnival of sorts, curated in no particularly consistent fashion, and only loosely governed by editorial standards.
Every once in a while, that Drafts folder has to be cleaned out. Old post ideas, thought nubs and topic snippets that are just taking up space. This week, it’s the turn of:
Obamacare, Lodge Doctors and Fraternal Insurance Organizations
Ambitious title, but precious little work done in it. Inspired in part by Don’t Quite Your Day Job’s look at the economics of health care (“Health Care Is No Different Than Any Other Good“), it was going to be (and may yet still be) a concise look at how fraternal organizations like the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Knights of Pythias provided various types of social services and insu
rance — including health — to minorities and the working class. Peaking in the 1920′s and falling off a cliff in the post-war period, the decline of fraternal organizations has been variously attributed to loss of urban community cohesiveness and migration to the suburbs, wage controls set by the federal government, and the growth of the welfare state.
Well, topic of discussion for another time. In the meantime, enjoy this carnival of sorts. Excellent posts on personal finance brought to you by well, me.
It’s that time of the year: World Nutella Day. To celebrate, try making some easy Nutella muffins. To be noshed on in moderation, natch.
Kale chips, baked sweet potato chips, and zucchini oven chips. A way to cut down on carbs for the mid-season premier of Walking Dead. Anything but tortilla chips and salsa, still a little queasy with the memory of Super Sunday over-indulgences
Update on those sweet potato chips: Miss Perfect Martha Stewart says 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Well, depending on the particular temperature of your oven, mileage may vary. We had to do 40-45 minutes, and then use the broiler to get them to the final “crisp”.
Good wintertime fare from Pauline Pauquin, over at If You Can Read, You Can Cook: Beef and Lentils Vegetable Soup. Good way to use up that tough ‘ol round steak.
Eat right, and you you’ll feel better. Be proactive, and don’t skimp on your health, says Paula @ Afford Anything.
Death and Taxes
Mostly taxes. Mostly depressing. But no reason to spend more than you have to. Control Your Cash with “H&R Block? What the Hell For?“. Title is self-explanatory, and not an advert for Turbo Tax.
Darwin’s Money takes down some self-described market experts, permabulls who have been predicting a market crash for some time now. Of course a market crash is coming. Knowing exactly when is tricky, isn’t it? “Why Hasn’t The Market Crashed Like The Experts Warned?”
Rental Property Investing from Krantcents.
Beginning investors, start here. Mochi and Macarons at Budgeting Tool with Investing Series: What does re-balancing a portfolio mean?
Nelson gets “hard in the pants” about preferred shares and private mortgage lending, two seldom-covered categories of passive income. Read Financial Uproar for the rest.
Get your dancing shoes, Shilpan at Street Smart Finance shows How To Tap Dance to Work
“Index Investing Is Just For Lazy People, Right?” Rhetorical question from Jim Collins. Knowing Jim’s investing style, no.
“Luck and Logic: How To Make Your Own Luck.” Some of the time you get lucky, but mostly you just have to work hard. Suba @ Wealth Informatics.
No category on Investing should be complete without Money Mamba and Beating the Index: here’s JT on Einhorn’s suit against Apple (why Apple should have income-producing preferred shares), and Mich on Tri-Oil Resources and its new sugar daddy (high-yielding Petrobakken Energy).
Around the World
A demographics roundup and book review at Marginal Revolution: “What To Expect When No One’s Expecting“. The opposite worse of having too many babies, is not having enough of them. Columnist Jonathan V. Last’s book on America’s baby bust gets both praise and flak.
What’s got to do with investing? Nothing at micro level, babies are a massive income drain. But the quote from PJ O’Rourke on the Amazon page of the subject book is noteworthy:
“A powerful argument that the only thing worse than having children is not having them. I’m reading What To Expect When No One’s Expecting aloud to the three little arguments for birth control at my house in hope they’ll quit squabbling and making messes and start acting so cute that all my neighbors decide to conceive.”
Not enough babies, not enough replacement tax payers, for one thing. And secondly, reading the linked articles and reviews shows a different perspective on immigration: countries with declining birth rates stop sending immigrants to the U.S. In 1970, Mexico used to have a 6.74 fertility rate for birth-age woman. Now, fertility is at or below replacement rate, and on balance, the northward flow of Mexican immigrants has peaked. Something to think about next time we hear demagogue politicians jabber and splutter on immigration non-policy.
Over on the other side of the pond, John and Maria shed a hundred thousand pounds. In debt, that is. That’s one hundred and fifty seven thousand Federal Reserve notes to you and me. No telling how many farthings and half-farthings. Go read the Money Principle.
Adina J coins a new phrase: house-horny, which partly explains the unfathomable decision to live in Edmonton, Canada. Been there once, myself. Once was enough. Cold enough to freeze the nads off any primate, brass or otherwise. So, head on over to Timeless Finance: “Why We Decided To Live in Edmonton”
About half of the Google traffic on this blog comes from image searches. Partly because the blog is on a Magazine “theme”, I feel better if every post includes even a vaguely-related image. Here’s Modest Money with some tips on optimizing blog images for your blog.
13 Reasons The Future Belongs to the Writer, @ CopyBlogger
Nassim Taleb on EconTalk with Russ Roberts. The topic is “anti-fragility”, which somehow applies to “health, finance, political systems, the Fed, your career, Seneca, shame, heroism, and a few more.” Sounds odd, but it works. A worthwhile hour-long listen while taking the stupid dog on a walk.
More on Taleb and Anti-Fragility at the Biz of Life. Grouch breaks down the Taleb’s interview video with timestops.
That’s it for this week, the sun is shining and garden work beckons. This spring, seed starting will take a back seat to convenience. A heavy travel schedule is going to be hell on garden maintenance, so seedlings from the nursery will be the strategy. Thanks for dropping in, readers, and head on over to the highlighted links for some edification on personal finance and investing.
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