I couldn’t help but notice that the stock market had two of its worst days in recent history the week before I host the Carnival of Personal Finance. Obviously the market was upset that I wasn’t hosting this particular carnival. Look for 5 consecutive up days this week. In fact, don’t even bother checking. Trust me, it’ll be up.

Apparently you’re supposed to use pictures to break up the page or something when you blog. Yeah, this is the first I’m hearing about it too. Let’s go with the funniest image I could find while searching for carnival on Google.


Oh yeah kids! It’s Dora time!

Just a little note before we get started: chances are, I will make fun of your post. It’s kind of what I do around here. Just remember, they’re jokes. No reason to get all excited, okay? You’ll only have to go through it once, since I’m sure no one will ever let me host a carvnival again.

Start your engines!

Editor’s Picks

Don’t worry, you’re all winners! No, wait, that’s not right. Most of you are, in fact, not winners. It’s okay. Life is but a series of disappointments, and then you die. Except for these 5 choices. Their day just got a little less crappy.

Paula from Afford Anything is good at blogging, and I’m not just saying that because she once wrote me a guest post. Her submission is titled One Joke, Four Quotes, and a Parable. It’s good. Go check it out.

Mike Piper from The Oblivious Investor continues to put out good stuff. This week’s submission explains how the market downturn can teach investors about their risk tolerance. It’s by far the best post written about the market downturn, and I haven’t even read them all.

Darwin From Darwin’s Money is glad the U.S. lost its AAA credit rating. I’m glad he wrote that post. I’d also be glad if you checked it out. See? Everyone’s happy.

Donna Freedman has a great strategy to get free stuff. You just get some crappy service, complain about it on Twitter or Facebook, and watch the rewards roll in.

Bret from Hope To Prosper has an interesting story about how the Federal Reserve secretly lent out 16 trillion dollars. Even though they’re willing to lend out 16 trillion, they still won’t let me borrow a measly 3 billion. Jerks.

Not Editors Picks

Oh good, a link to a French shoe store. How stupid do these people think I am?

Next up we have Nicole and Maggie, who manage to write an entire blog post about flexible spending accounts without mentioning those particular words until the final paragraph. That’s pretty impressive… I guess. I originally thought Nicole and Maggie were lesbians but, alas, they’re not.

Hey, did you know credit cards offer a balance transfer as an incentive to get you to sign up for their card? Me neither! I don’t think anybody on the whole internet has ever written about this. Good thing Smart Balance Transfers is on the case, or else I would gone without this information for my entire life.

Hmm… a post on property laws in Thailand that was written in November? Sorry Brat Smith, no link for you. It’s okay, since I’m pretty sure that’s not even your real name anyway.

Dan from ETF Base submitted a post about what else- ETFs. Specifically he talks about 3 ETFs to buy after America’s “shocking” credit downgrade. Was anybody shocked by S&P’s downgrade? Or was it just Dan?

And here’s Eric J. Nisall from Dollarversity with 3 tips on keeping your finances organized. I personally like to put all my money on the ground and roll around in it. It doesn’t really keep things organized, but it sure is fun. Anyone want to guess what the J stands for? I’m going with jacka- you know what, never mind.

Next we have Dividend Growth Investor blogging about dividend growth investments. There’s no wondering what his blog is about. Specifically he looks at dividend champions. I didn’t know what that meant, so click through to find out what a dividend champion is.

Bryan from Pinch That Penny! (he added the exclamation point) didn’t bother including a summary with his submission, making me click through to find out what his post is about. He compares the movie Amadeus to personal finance. Look for his next movie post, comparing Star Wars to accounting standards.

Writing about the downgrade was popular this week. Mike from The Financial Blogger explains how the downgrade is actually positive for regular schmoes, since it creates opportunities to borrow money cheaply and buy distressed assets. The downgrade also made for some good stock market action, meaning I had an excuse to watch more of the lovely Mandy Drury on CNBC.

Next we have Jake from Nerd Wallet with a post that isn’t even trying to do anything but to get people to sign up for some Chase credit card. Thanks for that Jake.

Janet has a blog called Credit Eh, meaning I’m at least 87% sure that she’s a fellow Canadian. Well, that and the .ca suffix. She talks about not abandoning your financial plan during these tumultuous downgrade financial times.

I told you the downgrade was a popular topic this week. Another blog post about the crazy markets this week, this one by Pat from Compounding Returns. He says you should buy stocks during market downturns. This is solid advice.

Miranda Marquit is everywhere these days. She wrote the 12,184th review of Peer to Peer lending over at Deliver Away Debt. Specifically she looks at Prosper.com, which seems like a decent enough place to lend money to people you’ve never met.

Next up we have Briana from a blog called 20 and Engaged, even though she’s married now. If her blog title is any indication, you shouldn’t believe a word she says. She sold some clothes, for peanuts compared to what she paid. Let her financial pain be a lesson for you.

My fellow Albertan Jimmy Yih is up next, with yet another article about those crazy, crazy stock markets. He thinks you should take this opportunity to rebalance. He also thinks you should take this opportunity to join us in Alberta. Okay, maybe not.

Money Thinking is yet another blog that wrote about the debt downgrade. I guess he was thinking he’d be the only one. He was very wrong.

Heading To Break Up The Monotony

Gen Y Wealth gives us tips on how to find cheap hotel rooms using Priceline. He didn’t mention if these tips work for hotel rooms you only rent by the hour. I’m going to assume that if you’re the type of person who does that, price isn’t a big concern.

Teacher Man from My University Money bought a brand new car. Plus, he needed to finance it. I’m not going to touch this one. Let’s just say I think financing a car isn’t a good idea.

Boomer and Echo submitted the same post as last week. Nice try guys, but no double link for you. It’s actually a decent post. Okay, fine, here’s the link. You guys owe me one.

Do Not Wait says you should not wait to adjust your asset allocation. What are you waiting for? He says you shouldn’t wait!

Up next is a post written by some guy named Nelson over at Canadian Finance Blog, about the how investors shouldn’t get excited about buying just because the market sold off a bit. He’s also handsome. This should not only be an editor’s pick, but also a sexy pick.

Dividend Growth Stocks (not to be confused with the aforementioned Dividend Growth Investor) thinks that buying dividend growth stocks is a good way to play these uncertain stock markets. I bet you couldn’t see that one coming.

There was an article submitted from the Carnival of Personal Finance to the Carnival of Personal Finance. My mind=blown. I’m not sure if this is concrete evidence that the machines are taking over or not. In the meantime, read Revanche’s post on spending being driven by emotion.

Do people still have yard sales anymore? If you’re so inclined to sell your crap, One Money Design has 10 tips on getting the best return on your yard sale. I’d like to offer tip #11: don’t buy so much crap in the first place.

The Financial Student is pimping some bank account that doesn’t charge extra to withdraw from foreign ATMS. The remarkable thing is, he’s doing it just because he likes the product. There’s no affiliate link. Well played sir.

I like Don’t Quit Your Day Job. I don’t like yet another post on the credit downgrade. Plus, their picture/chart isn’t working.

Apparently there are differences between money market funds and high interest savings accounts. Wallet Blog takes many paragraphs to explain that they’re basically the same thing.

Briana is back, this time from Stupid Cents. She lists some advantages of having a virtual business. She listed working in your pajamas as a perk. What if I don’t own pajamas? What? I prefer to sleep nude. So, uh, who wants to come over for a sleepover?

Clint from Accumulating Money got the memo about list posts, contributing 5 deceptively easy ways to contribute to your savings. His groundbreaking tips include having a budget and buying stuff in bulk. Why didn’t everybody else think of that!?

My Dollar Plan suggests you should take a close look at your social security statement that comes in the mail each year. This is a good idea, assuming you can keep your eyes open long enough.

THE Canadian Personal Finance Blog sure does take the ‘the’ part of his name seriously. He compares the recent market sell-off to the Planet Of The Apes. I just watched the new Planet of the Apes movie. Apes beat people up, I enjoyed it.

Keep Going…

Mike from Green Panda Treehouse shares some post about a money college to do list. According to the post, college students should hit up mommy and daddy and get a part time job to help pay for college. And in less obvious news, the sky is blue and grass is green.

I can’t make fun of NetWorthProtect. Their post on the debt downgrade recommends people sell their U.S. bonds and points out that being rated AA is really quite good. I also enjoyed the chart on historical U.S. treasury rates, since I’m cool like that.

Mike from The Dividend Guy Blog recaps Q2 and looks forward to Q3. It’s not a bad post. It’s not a good post. It just exists, taking up space. So, yay for that?

Justin from Money Is The Root missed a credit card payment. And yet, the world kept turning and life went on. Sure, you shouldn’t miss a payment, but it’ll be okay if you miss one every ten years.

If you need tips on how to succeed at work, Revanche from A Gai Shan Life (whatever that is) gives some good tips in this recap of her first year at a new job. I’m glad she doesn’t work where I do, or else she’d have my job in about a week and a half.

Keeping the party rolling is Sean from Grow Money, writing about how micro lending is sweeping across America. When he says “sweeping across America” what he really means is “has some mild interest”. Sean seems like the kind of guy who gets excited from very small things.

Interest rates are really low right now. Phil Taylor of PT Money figured out that refinancing his mortgage would be a good idea. He used a particular company. See if you can guess which one.

From first glance, Outlaw Finance isn’t nearly as bad-ass as the name suggests. The site’s author, Emil, gives us a list of 5 common 401k investing mistakes. He forgot #6, which is literally flushing your money down the toilet. I’ll never do that. Again.

Dividend Monk concludes some series about dividend portfolios by discussing allocating your investments. I’m just happy to see a dividend investor talk about something other than dividends. Well played Matt.

MD from Studeconomics has a downright decent post on how not to suck at travel planning. He’s heading to Poland for an extended vacation in just a little while, where he will undoubtedly teach the local women how to love.

Here’s one of my favorite bloggers, Mike from Money Smarts Blog. He begs you not to sell your investments during market sell offs. He’s on his knees, begging you! Why won’t you listen to him?

Saving To Invest decided to jump on the list post bandwagon, giving us a checklist on what to do during market mayhem. He says to not sell, but then later on says you can sell if you’re “loosing sleep” over the whole situation. So I’m not really sure what I should be doing.

(Aside: Bloggers, learn the difference between loosing and losing. You write a blog. Get this right. Back to the crap posts.)

Jo Robinson from Totally Money gives some tips on using leftovers. For instance, you can take vegetables and pickle them, saving them for later. Or, you can not bother. It’s really your call.

So Close To Finishing…

Kathy Moran from Money Health Central knows the universal tool for debt negotiation. I read the post. Twice. And I can’t figure out what it is. Swing and a miss Kathy.

Money Beagle has a career tip for us all. You should become an expert on something. Didn’t I see that tip on an episode of How I Met Your Mother? If I did, it would be legen- wait for it… -dary! You know this thing is dragging too long when I start making How I Met Your Mother jokes.

Living Richly on a Budget gives us the 5 best credit card rewards for 2011. Better act now, since they’ll be useless in 2012. You should go and apply for about 3 of these. That’s what you’re going for, right?

Brat Smith is back. This time, he’s submitting an article from a site with something to do with HIV. I wish I was making this up.

You shouldn’t rush into a home purchase, according to MD from Passive Income Now. But what if the house is a really good deal? Huh? Didn’t think of that, did ya?

Next up is Well Heeled Blog, which I’m assuming is well read by guys with foot fetishes. She asks if we’re forgetting about our unemployed. I’ve forgotten about them already. What were we talking about?

At least I hosted early enough to avoid the 8,492 back to school posts. Andrew from Credit Donkey beat everyone else to the punch, revealing that, gasp!, it’s expensive to send kids to school. Hold on though, he’s got some tips to save you some cash, including making a list and using coupons. The infographic was relatively cool at least.

No word on what the L stands for from our next submission, L. Marie Joseph, who writes for First Generation White Collar. She gives us 5 reasons why you’re not wealthy. Yes, she’s talking to you, you poor slacker.

Serendipity from Serendipity’s Guide To Savings has the best name ever. Her submission to the carnival asks how much would you pay to meet your idol? Click through to see which celebrity it was. I know what you’re thinking, but, alas, it wasn’t me.

Oh crap. Another list AND back to school post. Glen Craig from Free Money Finance lists 9 ways to save on college textbooks. The post isn’t bad, one commenter actually has a way figured out to make money on textbooks.

Jacob from My Personal Finance Journey has a reader who’s a little scared of the falling stock market. Should he continue to contribute to the market? Of course he should. Click through to see if Jacob agrees with me.

Ben from Money Smart Life has 10 ways to beat your bills. It’s not the worst thing you’ll read. It’s definitely not the best.

Your 401k is a pretty crummy emergency fund. Hank from Money Q&A reminds us that we shouldn’t be withdrawing money from it. He also has a lot of affiliate links for Lending Club.

There are approximately 1.2 million dividend investing blogs. Dividend Stocks Online is another. The submitted post talks about the best investments for steady income. 50 bucks says that these best investments are dividend stocks.

Do you have a Hotmail, Yahoo or AOL email address? If you do, Squirrelers has some bad news for you. This uncool email address is losing you money.

And finally, last and certainly least, we have Control Your Cash, with yet another post on the credit downgrade. All these posts on the credit downgrade are just like Chinese water torture.

That’s It Kids

Thanks to Flexo and Revanche for letting me attempt to make a carnival that was actually entertaining. Up next is Fiscal Fizzle, who I’m sure will be a much nicer host.

Tell everyone, yo!