Sunday, January 7, 2007

New way to shop on!!

Shop on by pictures instead of descriptions at Makes browsing for good stuff a whole lot quicker.

Financial Law: Consumer Goods Shall Not be Included in Net Worth. Good Call.

I was really surprised to see that some people include things like cars, jewelry, and golf clubs in their net worth estimate. I have several problems with this.

While I understand that new worth does technically include those things, I think it's misleading to yourself to inflate your financial picture with "stuff." If an investment opportunity came a long, would you liquidate your "stuff" to invest in it? Probably not. Do you plan on selling your stuff to live on in retirement? Probably not.

Secondly, it's impossible to know what you might get for your "stuff" until you actually try to sell it. is full of stuff that is being sold at 1/2 to 1/3 of it's retail value. My mechanic friend that buys old cars to fix up and sell took some major losses when gas prices shot up on the trucks he had in his inventory. "Stuff" isn't very liquid and you just can't count on getting fair market value.

Private Mortgage Insurance Now Tax Deductible

On December 20, 2006, private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums became tax deductible. PMI is like a monthly fee you pay when you can't put a down payment of 20% of the home's value. It's not really a fee, of course - it's officially default insurance (statistics show that people unable to put 20% down are more likely to default on a loan.) It can run anywhere from $50 to $100 a month for most people (.5% of the home price, I think) and can be cancelled once you've reached 20% equity in your home.

The Bad News:

-The deduction will expire at the end of 2007 (though Congress has the
option to extend it).

-It's only available to homeowners whose adjusted gross income is less than $100,000.

-It's only available to mortgages issued after Dec. 31, 2006.

The Good News:

-Existing mortgages may qualify if the owner refinances, as long as the
amount being refinanced doesn't exceed the amount of the original loan.

Articles about the new & improved tax deductible PMI:

Brandenton Herald