Weekly Roundup – First Day of Summer Edition

I debated about calling this one the “Father’s Day Edition, ” but decided to go with the “First Day of Summer Edition” because: (1) today is, in fact, the first day of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, and (2) I totally forgot this little factoid until this evening and figured that I wasn’t alone. […]


Converting Mutual Funds Into Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) Without Incurring Taxes

Did you know that you can convert directly from mutual funds to exchange traded funds (ETFs) without incurring taxes? I didn’t. I’ve been operating under the impression that selling the mutual fund shares would be a taxable event. What I didn’t realize is that, at least with Vanguard equity funds, the conversion of conventional shares […]


Index Mutual Funds vs. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

As a followup to yesterday’s post about mutual funds, I thought I’d talk today about the merits of exchange traded funds (ETFs) vs. low cost index funds. Which is a better choice and why? What are index mutual funds? Index mutual funds are simply mutual funds that track a market index such as the S&P […]


What is a Mutual Fund?

The term “mutual fund” is so widely used in investing circles that few people ever bother to define it. That’s all well and good if you’re “in the know, ” but it can be problematic if you’re not. With that said, I thought it would be worth taking a step back and providing a (very) […]


Appealing Our Property Tax Assessment (Again)

In what is rapidly becoming an annual rite of passage, I just appealed our property tax assessment. For those that aren’t aware, I did this a year ago in response to an unreasonable jump in the “value” of our house following a renovation, and we got a quick reduction in our assessment. This time around, […]


Benefits of Homemade Household Cleaners

Have you ever considered making your own household cleaning products? It’s actually pretty easy to do, and the results can be quite good. But is it worth the trouble? As with many do-it-yourself projects, there’s a tendency to focus on cost when deciding whether or not to make your own cleaning products. Some people assert […]


Q2 Estimated Tax Payments Due

This is just a quick reminder to anyone out there that pays estimated taxes… The second quarterly payment is due this coming Monday (June 15th). So… If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get things pulled together and write that check. If you pay late, you might end up facing an underpayment penalty […]


More Thoughts on Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

About a month ago, we had a pretty lively discussion about whether or not you should pay off your mortgage early. A number of readers made great points on both sides of the debate. Since that time, I put together some thoughts on how to pay off your mortgage early for those that are interested […]


Gardening for Health, Wealth, and Independence

“How fair is a garden amid the toils and passions of existence.” -Benjamin Disraeli In recent years, the adoption of an independent and sustainable lifestyle has become increasingly attractive to a growing number of people. I am one of the many who seek such a lifestyle and, though I am far from reaching this goal, […]


Lending Club Historical Repayment Rates

As a followup to my recent posts about investing through Lending Club, I thought it would be interesting to crunch some numbers related to historical loan performance. One obvious concern when it comes to peer-to-peer lending is that the borrowers will default. At best, this will severely dent the return of your overall portfolio. At […]