Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Video Weekly, Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Front Fell Off

Last year, an oil taker split in two dumping thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean off the coast of Australia. In this video, a senator from Australia is being interviewed about why the 'front fell off' the oil tanker.

Watching it, I thought I was watching a Monty Python skit. While the situation was serious, this interview is riotously funny.

* Editor's Note: I just received a note that this video is indeed a comedy sketch after all. And, the tanker in question was from an incident in the early 1990s. Snopes.com has its backstory.

h/t my friend Doug

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It Can Always Be Worse

Think you have tough family trials and tribulations? Well, you may. But there are always others who have it far worse than you. Read the below obit to see what I mean. Click the image to embiggen it.
h/t to The Bilerico Project

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thoughtful Cartoon

Click on cartoon to 'embiggen' it.

h/t to todd littleton

If You're Gonna do it, do it right

A part of me feels ashamed to pass along this bit of wisdom but hey, if you're gonna do it anyways, there is a 'proper' way to do it.

h/t to caughtinthemiddle and sbctoodazed

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Video Weekly

Here is this week's Video Weekly. I put it in our church's eNewsletter on Tuesday, but haven't posted it on here until just now.

The Senility Prayer

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Improving Your Situation in Life

We all want a better life, right? We want to be comfortable--maybe not insanely wealthy, just enough to pay our bills, vacation twice a year, and enjoy our idle time. Unfortunately, one of the reasons we aren't as comfortable as we like is because we've made wrong choices. This is most apparent in our lifestyle choices: what kind of car we drive, our big our house is, and deciding we no longer need to keep learning. How does that last choice affect our comfortability? When we stop learning, we stop seeking ways to learn new ways of making better decisions.

Yahoo's Finance quotes a great post from TheStreet.com about the reasons we make bad choices and how those choices affect our income. I am reprinting that story below. After reading it, see if you fit into any of its categories..and then, see if you can pick one category and change it.

10 (More) Reasons You're Not Rich

by Jeffrey Strain
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
provided by

Many people assume they aren't rich because they don't earn enough money. If I only earned a little more, I could save and invest better, they say.

The problem with that theory is they were probably making exactly the same argument before their last several raises. Becoming a millionaire has less to do with how much you make, it's how you treat money in your daily life.

The list of reasons you may not be rich doesn't end at 10. Caring what your neighbors think, not being patient, having bad habits, not having goals, not being prepared, trying to make a quick buck, relying on others to handle your money, investing in things you don't understand, being financially afraid and ignoring your finances.

Here are 10 more possible reasons you aren't rich:

You care what your car looks like: A car is a means of transportation to get from one place to another, but many people don't view it that way. Instead, they consider it a reflection of themselves and spend money every two years or so to impress others instead of driving the car for its entire useful life and investing the money saved.

You feel entitlement: If you believe you deserve to live a certain lifestyle, have certain things and spend a certain amount before you have earned to live that way, you will have to borrow money. That large chunk of debt will keep you from building wealth.

You lack diversification: There is a reason one of the oldest pieces of financial advice is to not keep all your eggs in a single basket. Having a diversified investment portfolio makes it much less likely that wealth will suddenly disappear.

You started too late: The magic of compound interest works best over long periods of time. If you find you're always saying there will be time to save and invest in a couple more years, you'll wake up one day to find retirement is just around the corner and there is still nothing in your retirement account.

You don't do what you enjoy: While your job doesn't necessarily need to be your dream job, you need to enjoy it. If you choose a job you don't like just for the money, you'll likely spend all that extra cash trying to relieve the stress of doing work you hate.

You don't like to learn: You may have assumed that once you graduated from college, there was no need to study or learn. That attitude might be enough to get you your first job or keep you employed, but it will never make you rich. A willingness to learn to improve your career and finances are essential if you want to eventually become wealthy.

You buy things you don't use: Take a look around your house, in the closets, basement, attic and garage and see if there are a lot of things you haven't used in the past year. If there are, chances are that all those things you purchased were wasted money that could have been used to increase your net worth.

You don't understand value: You buy things for any number of reasons besides the value that the purchase brings to you. This is not limited to those who feel the need to buy the most expensive items, but can also apply to those who always purchase the cheapest goods. Rarely are either the best value, and it's only when you learn to purchase good value that you have money left over to invest for your future.

Your house is too big: When you buy a house that is bigger than you can afford or need, you end up spending extra money on longer debt payments, increased taxes, higher upkeep and more things to fill it. Some people will try to argue that the increased value of the house makes it a good investment, but the truth is that unless you are willing to downgrade your living standards, which most people are not, it will never be a liquid asset or money that you can ever use and enjoy.

You fail to take advantage of opportunities: There has probably been more than one occasion where you heard about someone who has made it big and thought to yourself, "I could have thought of that." There are plenty of opportunities if you have the will and determination to keep your eyes open.

Copyrighted, TheStreet.Com. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Video Weekly

Well technology keeps presenting itself to me and I keep trying to find ways to incorporate it. One latest example is our church's new webcam. I purchased it to record a video version of our weekly eNewsletter The Weekly. Tentatively called The Video Weekly (creative, huh?), it will feature what's going on in our congregation each week plus give you a heads up to the sermon on Sunday.

So, without further ado, or adue...or however you spell it, here is our first Video Weekly. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dave Ramsey's Economic Fix

I received an email today from Dave Ramsey, the personal financial consultant and author of a few debt management books and video courses. As many of you know, we just finished offering his Financial Peace University's Debt Management Course and let me tell you, it was transformational for all who attended. My personal debt is finally manageable and I have already paid off significant debt, with the rest on a very do-able pay-off plan plus have a Savings Account with over $2000 in it.

Anyways, Dave Ramsey just sent an email with his recommendation for the financial mess on Wall Street. You can read online his entire proposal. He is urging those who received it to forward it onto our senators and lawmakers. It looks pretty sound although I really have no idea about what the particulars actually mean.

So I am posting it here for you to look at and see if you think it's helpful.

The Common Sense Fix

Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country,
but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following threestep Common Sense Plan.


a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance.
Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the
world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.

b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two
1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.

a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.

b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.

2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.

c. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.


a. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.

b. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on
failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.


a. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock
market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in
the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.

b. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping
the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the
economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement
investments that go up instead of down.

This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to
stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.


What do you think? Do you think this can work or is his Reagan-like 'trickle down' investment solution a thing of history not worth repeating?