Busy Week at the JLP Household

This is our last week of school. Lots of stuff going on this week with awards ceremonies, picnics, and 8th Grade Day. Hard to believe we’ll have two in high school next year. I’m starting to feel old.

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend. We didn’t do much, which was nice.

I’ll try to post when I can.

Why You Should Love $5 Gas (Yeah, Right)

I saw this article on MSN: Why You Should Love $5 Gas.

Some of the author’s (questionable) reasons:

Fewer people will die. Fewer people on the road meand fewer people will die.

Higher prices will lead to lower prices. Theoretically the government will open up the floodgates and more oil will be produced. Hasn’t happened yet (as far as I know).

End of wars because they’ll be too expensive to fight. Interesting…

We’ll starve despots out of existence. Wow. Gas prices are high because oil prices are high. Worldwide demand for oil is high. If the U.S. doesn’t buy oil from despots, they’ll simply sell it to China or India. We aren’t going to starve anyone out of existence.

People who make more money can ride out the surge in gas prices. It’s the people at lower income levels who don’t want to hear how high gas prices are a good thing.

Money Magazine Advice for Helping Your College Grad

I just read a decent article over on Money titled, Financial Tips for Recent College Graduates.

As a parent, I hope my kids understand the importance of budgeting BEFORE they go to college.

I also hope that I will do a good job at helping my kids understand the importance of saving money for an emergency fund, down payment on a house, future purchases, and retirement.

Being financially responsible is basically a lifestyle choice. I understand a college grad’s desire to spend their money on a new car and a fancy apartment but if you can get through to them BEFORE they waste their money on such things, they will thank you when they are thirty.

Financial Planning Magazine: Indexing Works

Good article: The Big Idea – Indexing Works

…according to Vanguard: In four out of seven bear markets since January 1973, the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index beat the average actively managed fund. The two bears in which many funds did better than the index were both in the 1980s.

This graphic included in the article doesn’t do much for the active management side of the argument (the graphic is slightly confusing because it doesn’t make clear that the bars represent the percentage of active managers that beat the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index. You may click on the graphic to see a larger version):

This is all stuff we already knew but it’s interesting to read about it in a financial planning magazine.

Question of the Day: GOP Nomination for 2012

Let’s see if we can discuss this like adults.

Here is today’s question of the day:

Who do you think will get the GOP nomination for the 2012 Presidential election?

Personally, I think Herman Cain stands a chance at getting the nomination. I don’t know a whole lot about Cain but what I know so far, I like. He has a certain charisma about him. Seems like a decent and likeable guy.

One thing I don’t like about him is I read somewhere yesterday that he said he doesn’t get any respect from the GOP. Sounded as if he was whining and whining isn’t a good trait for a leader.

The rest of the field, I’m disappointed in because I don’t think any of them are electable.

What are your thoughts?

One other thing:

Do you think President Obama will go unchallenged by the Democrats? I think he probably will.

Question of the Day: Could You Come Up With $2,000 in 30 Days?

A facebook friend of mine posted this question this morning:

Could you come up with $2K in 30 days? One quarter of Americans report that they would certainly not be able to come up with such funds, and an additional 19% would do so by relying at least in part on pawning or selling possessions or taking payday loans.

He said he got his information from a recent NBER Working Paper. I haven’t read the paper.

Anyway, to answer the question…

Yes, I could come up with $2,000 in 30 days. I’m not sure just how much I could come up with in 30 days. I suppose it would depend on the severity of the need.

It’s pretty sad that 25% of the population could not come up with $2,000 and another 19% could only gain access to $2,000 through payday loans or selling/pawning possessions. I’m thankful for the position we are in.