Weekly Review – 5/1 to 5/7

There is a lot going on in the world today, after reading 100’s of blog posts across the personal financial blog-o-sphere; here is what we found interesting this week:

Living Richly – Spending money where it matters, enjoying living below your means

Frugal Tips – Spending less on what doesn’t matter, great deals and more

  • ATM Fee News – Chase decided this week to end their trial run of a $5 ATM fee (instead of the usual $3).  $3 or so is still too much in our opinion, for what is a very high profit aspect of banking.  In short, if you are paying ATM fees you are probably doing it wrong and should look for a credit union or bank that doesn’t charge them or even reimburses you for other banks fees.  Over to Bankaholics for more.
  • Be careful with extreme couponing – While taking advantage of good deals when you find them and buying some things now that you expect to be more expensive in the future is prudent, going nuts is… well just nuts.  Money Fest has more.
  • Insurance that is a complete waste – Fivecentnickle also has a good article with 4 types of insurance that are total waste of money.  We would like to add to the list: Rental Car Company provided insurance and most “extended warranties” which are really nothing more than expensive insurance plans.
  • What to save up to $200 a year? Consider washing all your laundry in Warm-Cold or Cold-Cold cycles.  Check out the Laundry Cost Calculator.

Economics / Investing – What’s coming next

  • Silver had a very exciting week – Silver dropped from $48 to a low of $33 but finished the week at $35.80.  This still is a massive $12 or a 25% drop in a week and goes to show you how dangerous it is to chase parabolic blow-off charts.  Silver is now at an interest price point, resting right around the “consolidation area” of Feb. and March 2011.  Time will tell what happens next.

    In other silver news, apparently China was buying on this dip this week and Mexico was buying gold.  It is also important to note that this silver bubble popping was most certainly helped by the various powers that be.  For example, the Comex raised silver future contract margin requirements an unprecedented 5 times this week.

  • Gold held its own this week – While silver got taken out to the woodshed, gold did OK considering.  Gold fell from $1576 to close the week out at $1496.  This is a large $80 move, but only represents a 5% downward move.  Gold bounced off a very important trend line that started on 7/28/2011, if it falls back below $1475 or so, things could get interesting.
  • Dollar had a small rally this week – The USD dollar index was up 3% on the week, which is a big move in the currency markets.  Unfortunately, this brings it up against some technical resistance of a downward trend line started in early January 2011.

  • Apple a $1000 stock and a $1 Trillion Dollar company? – Ugh.  Personally, we wouldn’t be totally shocked to see Apple trade at $600 in a few years.  It won’t however be the result of awesome earnings growth, instead it will result from inflation and the value of the US dollar being reduced by 30 to 50%.

  • Food Prices keep rising –  The UN reported this week that the price of food has hit its second highest level ever.  Bad things happen when people are hungry and can legally pay for what they need to live.

Other stuff…

  • Legal online music gets a little bit cheaper –Amazon this week announced that they would start charging only $0.69 for a bunch of songs, including new popular releases.  This is exactly what the recording industry needs to do in order to fight piracy.  Life Hacker has more.
  • Diesel Car of the Year – BMW 335d a car we discussed here and here just won “Diesel Car of the Year” by The Diesel Driver.
  • Tech / Life Balance – Why this guy returned his iPad. The article is from June of last year, but we came across it recently and think it is pretty interesting.
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