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Weekend Reading: Plutus Award Nominations End Monday, Roth IRA Vs. Debt, Meeting Advisors

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The Plutus Awards celebrate the best in personal finance by rewarding the best products and services, with nominations and voting open to the public. The Plutus 2.0 Awards is a special set of awards designed to recognize the best personal finance writing on the internet, and each winner of a Plutus 2.0 Award will receive a gift from one or more sponsors.

The nomination phase will end tomorrow, Monday, January 11, 2010. If you haven’t already, nominate your favorite products and blogs for a Plutus Award.

Here are a few articles worth reading.

Money Crashers 2010 New Year Giveaway Bash. The Money Crashers website has assembled $7,400 worth of cash and prizes, and Consumerism Commentary is one of the sponsors. Over one hundred winners will be chosen randomly among readers who subscribe to The Money Crashers mailing list. You can gain additional entries in this giveaway by subscribing the Money Crashers RSS feed, participating on the Money Crashers website, and using Twitter to promote the Money Crashers website.

Contributing to a Roth IRA Versus Paying Down Debt. In response to a questions from a reader, Philip Brewer from Wise Bread argues that investing in a Roth IRA while you qualify is a legitimate reason for not paying off a student loan more aggressively. Student loans have recently been some of the cheapest debt available. You could reasonably expect the Roth IRA to pay off in the long run. You will always have a chance to pay off your student debt as long as your income increases. For the particular Wise Bread reader who asked that question, this answer works. Keep in mind personal finance advice is individualistic — suggestions for one person may not be appropriate for another.

Why It’s Worth Your Time to Meet Your Financial Advisors. If you deal with a financial advisor who you trust for making or help you make decisions with your money, then there is no doubt: meet them face to face. Trent and his wife met the “financial advisor” who represented their 403(b) plan. He was not so much of a financial advisor as he was a salesperson. This was someone who is paid to represent the plan, not the investor, so this encounter didn’t surprise me. I’m also not surprised that a bad experience with a representative encouraged Trent and his wife to remove their funds from the 403(b).

I am, however, surprised that the main reason for choosing to invest outside wasn’t something more material, like better investment options offered elsewhere. The “financial advisor” they met with was a salesperson employed by the company, not a fiduciary acting in the investor’s best interest. Their approach to walking into his office should have been like walking into a car dealership when you’re deciding whether to buy a Honda or a Ford. The salesperson’s attitude shouldn’t affect your decision, and you wouldn’t rely on the salesperson for vehicle advice.

Don’t miss these articles:

Last Monday’s Carnival of Personal Finance was hosted by The Financial Blogger. Included among the submissions are five tricks to keep your New Year’s resolutions.

Updated June 23, 2016 and originally published January 10, 2010.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous


Glad you liked the post – I didn’t see you comment though backing me up against the “evil” wife!

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avatar 2 Luke Landes

Evan: I try not to get involved with domestic disputes. :-)

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avatar 3 Anonymous

So whatever happened to the Plutus Awards?

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avatar 4 Luke Landes

We’re dealing with a slight delay but I hope to have an update soon.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Cool – just wondering. :)

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