January 2012 - Posts - The Dollar Stretcher
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The Dollar Stretcher

The Dollar Stretcher blog will explore people and money.

January 2012 - Posts

  • 0% Interest Rates Forever!

    Just saw that the Federal Reserve says that they don't plan on raising interest rates until the end of 2014 (NY Times). That's going to create some challenges for folks like us who believe in savings. Probably a good topic for a future article. Finding good places to get a reasonable return on our money in this environment. I'll let you know when it's written!

    Probably also means that the Fed doesn't expect the economy to take off any time soon. That they expect things to muddle along pretty much the same as they have for the last few years.

    We don't have space to go into a 'what you should do now' type of piece. But, it is a good reminder that we'd all be wise to pay attention to our personal finances. Not only doing what we can to watch our expenses, but also to guard our savings, too.

    Keep on Stretching those Dollars!


  • Of Satellites

    Learned something new (and probably irrelevant) the other day. My wife and I were heading for a conference near Cape Canaveral. We had left time for breakfast and were looking for someplace to eat. I expected to find something like Denny's or Bob Evans, but we weren't having any success. So my bride pulled out her handy phone to search for one.

    After a few minutes I was surprised that she didn't have an answer for us. Her reason? Her phone was unable to find a satellite. Seemed pretty funny to me that in the place where the US started sending satellites into orbit you couldn't find one for an internet connection! Oh, well. Goes to show that the internet doesn't cover the whole globe just yet.

  • Introducing the #DlrChat

    I admit that I don't often get excited. Guess maybe I'm just a reserved kind of guy. Some would say I'm a bit boring. Others might even say, well, that I'm retentive (but we're not going there...this IS a family newsletter).

    But I am excited about this week. First, I get to mention that I was recently interviewed by Steve Pomeranz. Steve's been sharing financial wisdom via radio and TV since 2001. You'll find his site here <http://www.onthemoneyradio.org/>. For a direct link to the program that includes my interview with Steve.

    Next, I get to tell you about our first ever TweetChat. On Weds 1/18 we're doing the first of a monthly series with our friends at Bankrate.com and Cambridge Credit. And I get to be the host! (no brag, just the facts) We'll be talking about "Holiday Financial Hangovers" and how to get rid of financial headaches.

    Our special guest will be Greg McBride. I've known Greg for over a decade and he's one of the smartest financial guys I know. I'll never forget a conversation he and I in a hotel lobby at a conference back in 2001. We were discussing all the new types of mortgages that were being created at the time. We joked about putting all the worst elements into one morgage (0% down, 125% mortgages, no doc mortgages, variable rate, 5 year balloons, etc). We also talked about how those mortgages would blow up sooner or later. And how we had a responsibility to warn people of the risks.

    At the time I thought that only the bankers and homeowners with those mortgages would be hurt. Turns out I was wrong. Many of us who didn't have those mortgages got hurt, too. Regardless, Greg is definitely someone that you want to get financial advice from.

    We'll also be joined by other personal finance bloggers and experts. Our sponsor is Jordan Goodman, a well known financial author. We'll be giving away his new book "Master Your Debt".

    The chat will be held on Weds 1/18 at 3pm EST. You can follow us on Twitter using #DlrChat or go to the chatroom <http://tweetchat.com/room/dlrchat>. Please take a moment to RSVP for the chat here.

    BTW, for those of you not familiar with TweetChats, if you can't make the chat when it's actually happening, you can still read it after here.

    Keep on Stretching those Dollars!


  • Why I'm Excited about 2012

    Hello to all my Frugal Friends!

    Can't speak for anyone else, but I'm excited about this new year.

    It's not that I'm all that optimistic about the economy in the next year. Economists are predicting GNP growth of about 2.5 to 3%. Hardly a booming recovery. Just about enough to keep us where we are today.

    And, the worldwide debt bubble isn't really shrinking. At least not in any significant way. That'll take decades to deflate. Even under the best of circumstances.

    Guess maybe it's just that (like most people) I like 'new' things. We've recently gotten a 'new look' for our website . I'm working to bring some other new things to our community. For instance we'll be doing a variety of contests and give-aways in the future. Just finished one for a Kindle Fire last month.

    And, we'll be co-hosting a TweetChat with our friends at Bankrate and Cambridge on 1/18. It'll be the first of a monthly series that looks really promising. Plus, I've taken the first steps towards doing some videos for you (no promise on when the first will be available!).

    So I guess that perhaps the thought of what some of these new things could become is what has me excited for the future. Sure, there will be plenty of challenges. But, there will always be opportunities, too!

    Keep on Stretching those Dollars!


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Gary is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who edits The Dollar Stretcher website <www.stretcher.com> and newsletters. You can follow Gary on Twitter.com/gary_foreman
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