Mirror The Trades Of Financial Professionals With kaChing.

Not sure I would ever start doing this with my own money, but just came across a post at Lifehacker about kaChing, which lets you do the exact same trades as professional investors. Looks like it is an investment website that you can join, which used to just let you follow the trades of different professionals, but they just changed the site into a brokerage of sorts (although assets remain in your own account). Now you can have them automatically make all the trades that your favorite investing “genius” makes in real time:

kaChing is the best place to find and follow top investing talent. Where you can see at a glance if they’re skilled or lucky. And where you can see every trade they make in real time, so you can make the same trades yourself. Better yet, we can make them for you.

You can pick a “genius”, tell the system to invest just like them, and kaChing accesses your assets and does the work for you. Of course, it looks like they charge a fee (why wouldn’t they, as I guess they are doing you a service of sorts), but if you want to do more investing like your favorite investor, you should check it out. It’s not for me, but it might be for you.



6 Easy Ways To Save Energy & Money At Your House.

CNN is running an article from Real Simple that outlines 6 simple ways to save some energy (and money) at home. While I wrote about 29 free or low cost ways to save energy and money in the past, you can never talk about it enough. So here is what they had to add to the conversation…

Seal sneaky leaks – Seal electrical outlets in the exterior walls of your house

Go with the flow – Install a high-performance showerhead. This uses 1½ gallons of water per minute (gpm) rather than 2½ gallons

Swap out bulbs – Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs

Be cool – Wash clothes in cold water

Close (or open) your blinds – Leave blinds down on south-and west-facing windows on hot summer days to keep your space cool

Upgrade your heating (and cooling) system – Install (and properly program) a programmable thermostat

What would you add to their list?


How To Save The Economy And Bring Back Prosperity…Tomorrow.

I am no economist (as anyone who reads this site can attest to), but I have come up with a solution I think will fix the economy the minute it gets implemented. My plan involves the interest rate we pay on any money we borrow and how much interest we earn on any money we save. While current average interest rates, for anything from car loans to mortgages run between 0% and 5.5%, my plan is this: reduce the interest charged on every loan other than mortgages to just 2%. That’s car loans, student loans, payment plans, credit cards, everything. All the talking heads want people to shop, consume, and prop up the economy, so there you go – reduce the interest rate on everything other than mortgages to just 2%. Surely, people would start financing and borrowing money to buy almost everything you can imagine. Voila – the talking head’s wet dream – consumers who are back to consuming!

See, here’s the thing…

I currently earn a whopping 1.30% interest on the cash I hold over at ING Direct. It’s not that I am necessarily upset about this low rate, as every bank is around the same or less right now. But if I am only making 1.30% on my money that the banks are lending out (and most banks pay less), shouldn’t interest rates be lower than they are? I mean, if I am not making anything on my money, then maybe the banks shouldn’t be making much more on my money either. By giving a loan on a car for, say, 5% interest, they are making a 3.7% profit on my money – more than enough, in my book. Especially when the banks and Wall Street are the ones who brought us down into this mess in the first place.

But by lowering the interest rate on any kind of debt (other than mortgages) to just 2%, a few things would happen:

– People would borrow more
– There would be less bankruptcy filings due to payments being lower
– Families would have more cash to spend on even more stuff other than debt
– Banks would still make money, but not have the ability to hand out multi-million dollar bonuses to workers who screwed the system up
– Our economy would start to rebound almost instantly with all the consuming going on

After all, the financial system of the U.S. is based solely on consumption – we barely even make any of our own products anymore. So, lower the interest rates to all time standardized lows for all, and watch the economy recover almost instantly!

Yes, this is sarcasm. Or is it?


Looking At The Comcast Triple-Play Package For My New Home.

This is where having such amazing readers comes in handy – I need your advice! I am considering signing up for the Comcast Triple-Play package at my new apartment, which consists of internet, VOIP phone, and cable TV with some HD channels. Right now, I have a mish-mash of different providers for all three, and I am looking at A. saving some money and B. consolidating the three down to a single bill each month. However, after hearing so many horror stories about Comcast, I am a little hesitant to pull the trigger on signing up. (Although, I have had more than my fair share of problems with DirecTV, so who knows…) Here is what I currently have as a set up here at my house in New Mexico:

  • Internet – Qwest “naked DSL” for $54 per month
  • Phone – Vonage for $31 per month
  • Satellite – DirecTV for $67 per month

Grand total for my services here? $152 per month. Not bad, but not great. Now, what I can get with the triple-play in Colorado?

  • Faster Internet, VOIP phone, and HD cable TV – $130 per month ($114 + fees)

Now granted, it looks like I am only going to save about $20 per month, but that’s $240 a year – which isn’t pocket change. I would be MORE than happy to get rid of DirecTV – in fact, I cannot wait for the day to be free of them. However, Qwest has always been great, as has Vonage. But a savings $240 is cash in my pocket, and in exchange for that savings I get more cable channels and faster internet service. In 12 months, the rate goes up of course, but I can always cancel and get something else (or ask for another 12 months under threat of canceling). On paper, this all sounds great…which is hopefully where you guys come in!

Do any of you have this package? How much do you pay? Is it worth it? Are the horror stories about Comcast true? I realize everyone has different experiences with companies, but you never know. If anyone has any thoughts on this, or any experiences they would like to share, I I would love to hear from you! And yes, I know I could go without cable TV – and I have at different times. But considering the fact that A. I work from home and B. my work involves writing about what goes on in the world, I consider it an investment in my sanity and my work!


Sunday Money Roundup – 3 More Weeks Edition.

Only 20 more days until I move! I have packed everything I can pack in advance, and am now just waiting to do the rest when the date gets closer. Very excited to move to my new city and looking forward to discovering all that it has to offer. (ps – If you are a pf blogger and would like to have a guest post published here on MTD while I am moving, just let me know!) While I stare at this pile of boxes, check out some articles that caught my eye over this past week:

Frugal Zeitgeist says that this Law of Attraction stuff is a load of hooey. I pretty much agree, too.

Mrs. Micah wants you to Save on Christmas Spending with Swagbucks.

The Digerati Life has some great tips for shopping at Costco even if you’re not a member.

Cash Money Life answers the question: What Can I Do About Increased Credit Card Interest Rates?

My Dollar Plan asks if you need a local bank.

Frugal Dad ran a great guest post titled 3 Easy Steps To Dump Your Resentments ““ And The Money You’ll Save When You Do.

Brip Blap talks about the side effects of transparency and blogging. It’s a difficult line to stay on, for sure.

Lazy Man & Money asks if Pottery Barn Give them a Refund…what do you think?

Home Ec 101 talks Vacuum Recommendations. I have a Dyson, and you couldn’t steal if from me if you try. It is hands-down the best vacuum I have ever owned.

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