In response to my latest balance sheet, Wacko asked a question:
Any pointers on how to calculate an automobile’s depreciation? Obviously I can look at Kelley Blue Book, but I do not know the monthly depreciation.
Also, I was wondering if anyone knew of an accurate way to determine the value of one’s home. I want to be able to balance the current value of my home with the loan on it.
What is the true value of an asset? Read the full article →
Word must be getting around the office that I’m up on the current personal finance issues in the world. A coworker who I don’t normally work with came to me to ask my opinion the other day. She’s saving for her wedding, seven months from now. The soon-to-be bride, who received some money earmarked for the wedding, had heard about ING Direct and wanted my opinion.
I steered her away. Even though I keep a lot of my savings at ING Direct, I generally don’t recommend them anymore. They have great customer service to be sure, but there are better places to stash cash, offering better short term returns. I suggested two safe options. Obviously, with such a short time frame, the stock market was out.
For savings, I suggested HSBC Direct, which is currently offering a 5.05% annual percentage yield. To compare, ING Direct just increased their APY from 4.4% to 4.5%. HSBC Direct has been easy enough for me to deal with. The log-in security issues are a bit annoying, but this seems to be a trend spreading throughout all online financial accounts. Although I did not tell her this — this site is supposedly anonymous so I don’t bring attention — I maintain a list of online savings account interest rates.
I also suggested 6-month CDs. The highest APY offered on 6 month CDs, according to BankRate.com, is 5.51%. That’s significantly higher than HSBC Direct, but early withdrawals can draw penalties. I would have to know more about her financial situation to determine if she has enough emergency cash to allow her to tie up the funds for six months.
Maybe I’ll get invited to the wedding.
Scott from the MoneyBloggerPodcast has posted a new interview with Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, the Frugal Duchess. They have a great discussion about product markups and the discount ruse. Is a 60% discount really a great deal when the original markup could be 1,000%?
Thanks to Scott for another great interview and to Sharon for making it interesting. Watch out — she has plans!
It was actually two weeks ago that I posed the question about the “biggest weakness” question that we’ve all experienced in some form in job interviews. Some great responses followed, and one was randomly selected to win my copy of The Smartest Investment Book YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll Ever Read, which I reviewed earlier this month. Here’s a few selected anecdotes provided by readers:
When I interviewed for my current job, I thought everything went really well – we seemed to all hit it off and they seemed impressed by my qualifications. Right off the bat, everyone assumed I was a whiz with computers and math (somewhat yes, completely no) – my supervisor told me recently that they assumed I had those qualifications, though we didn’t talk about them at any length in the interview, because I wore white socks with black shoes and therefore I must be a geek.
Jeremy was asked the dreaded question:
I ended up saying one of my biggest weaknesses was the fact that I have trouble delegating work. I can have a hard time letting go of control over every aspect of a project, thus I end up doing a lot of mundane tasks that eat up time that could be better spent doing more appropriate tasks.
The winner of the giveaway, samerwriter, was on the other side of the conference room table:
We’re always told to ask this question (or similar “behavioral” questions) when we interview potential employees. I don’t like them, for the reasons you mentioned. You really wind up testing someone’s interview skills rather than their job skills. Other examples of this type of question are “Give me an example of a time when you failed.” But what you’re looking for, and you don’t need to be a psychologist for this, is someone who recognizes that they aren’t perfect.
Here are the rest of the comments.