Archives For January 2011

The winner of last week’s “No Excuses” Giveaway was commenter #35, Eric. Congratulations to Eric.

I’ll host another giveaway soon. Stay tuned.

I finally took the time to update the S&P 500 “Fun Facts” that I orginally posted nearly four years ago. I had received several emails from readers asking for an update. Below are the “Fun Facts” for Annual, 5-Year, 10-Year, and 20-Year rolling periods. Or, if you prefer, you can download a PDF version with all the tables on one page: S&P 500 “Fun Facts” (1926-2010). Also, scroll past the graphics to see links to PDF files of the returns I used to make my calculations.

Finally, a lot of work went into putting this together so PLEASE share it with your friends.

S&P 500 5-Year Rolling Period Returns (1926-2010)

S&P 500 10-Year Rolling Period Returns (1926-2010)

S&P 500 20-Year Rolling Period Returns (1926-2010)

25 Years Ago Today…

January 28, 2011

President Reagan’s remarks—one of his most poignant speeches, in my opinion. It still makes me tear up.

I remember that day. I just happened to be sitting in a science class when the explosion happened. Our science teacher had a TV brought into the room. The room was silent. I remember having a pit in my stomach.

Happy Friday, everyone!

After receiving several emails over the last year or so regarding my S&P 500 “Fun Facts” post from 2007 (and a follow-up here), I decided to update the data to reflect 2010’s numbers. The information will go live on Monday morning. Hey, I have to give you something to look forward to.

I’ll also announce the winner of the latest AFM Giveaway on Monday morning so there’s still time to enter if you haven’t done so already.

We’re getting closer to April 15th. Today’s question of the day is about tax refunds:

Will you get a tax refund this year? If so, what do you typically do with the money? Do you save it or treat it like found money?

We haven’t gotten a refund in years. This year we will owe more than usual thanks to entirely losing the child tax credit. My numbers aren’t official but it looks like we’ll owe somewhere around $2,100.

It’s almost mind-numbing when you think about how much you pay in taxes each year. I bet for us, our number is over $50,000 (federal, property, social security, medicare, sales tax, gas taxes, etc.). Makes my head hurt.

It’s been a while since AFM has sponsored a giveaway. Here’s one you might like. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Brian Tracy’s “No Exuses!” Brian’s work is always motivating and this book is no exception.

If you would like a chance to win a copy (hard copy or Kindle version, your choice), leave a comment below and please remember my two rules:

1. You must be a resident of North America (I will not ship internationally).

2. You can only enter one time.

Have a great day!

In his book, No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline*, Brian Tracy explains two of the biggest enemies to personal success, which are the Path of Least Resistance and the Expediency Factor.

Regarding the Path of Least Resistance, Tracy writes:

The Path of Least Resistance is what causes people to take the easy way in almost every situation. They seek shortcuts to everything. They arrive at work at the last minute and leave at the first opportunity. They look for get-rich-quick schemes and easy money. Over time, they develop the habit of always seeking an easier, faster way to get the things they want rather than doing what is hard but necessary to achieve real success.

The Expediency Factor is related:

The Expediency Factor, which is an extension of the law of least resistance, is even worse when leading people to failure and underachievement. This principle says, “People invariably seek the fastest and easiest way to get the things they want, right now, with little or no concern for the long-term consequences of their behaviors.” In other words, most people do what is expedient, what is fun and easy rather than what is necessary for success.

I think the Expediency Factor is the reason so many people get into trouble with debt. My wife and I have even experienced this earlier in our marriage. It’s important to understand the true cost of each of our financial decisions. Unfortunately, the true cost requires a calculation that goes beyond just the monthly payment. Why do you suppose car salesmen always ask, “What payment can you afford?”

I think it’s natural for people to take the path of least resistance. It’s the easy way. I know I have fallen into that rut during my lifetime. Heck, I’m in that rut right now!

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