March 2008

How Low Can Housing Prices Go?

Posted by on March 31, 2008 in Real Estate

It appears wherever you go now the question on everyone’s lips is not “are the good times over?” but “how bad will it get?” It appears, in certain parts of the United States, a lot further. An often-cited indicator of how far the real estate bubble has to fall is the price-rent ratio. Often called [...]

Blogs by Banks: Back to the Drawing Board?

Posted by on March 28, 2008 in Misc.

RBC recently launched a blog aimed at the youth market called RBC p2p. To quote the website: “…a site for students by students.” The first bank, as far as I know, who went into the blogging world as extended advertising was Wells Fargo which took a much more eclectic approach as their bloggers hit all [...]

Prosper: Insider the Lender’s Documents

Posted by on March 27, 2008 in Misc.

Peer to peer lending for personal and small business loans have been the latest incarnation of the micro finance trend. Traditionally confined to borrowers that banks otherwise would not lend personal and small business loans to in developing nations, such as the Oprah endorsed Kiva, peer to peer lending has gone upstream to a more [...]

Reflections on Bear Stearns and the future of financial stocks

Posted by on March 26, 2008 in Investment Products

Many see the fire sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase as the first horsemen of impending financial apocalypse but, more than a week since these events, it may be prudent to look at Bear Stearns and financial stocks in a discerning light and removing the sheer panicked tones that surrounded the reporting of the [...]

What is the True Rate of Return on Real Estate?

Posted by on March 25, 2008 in Real Estate

I am going to fully admit my bias up-front: I do not consider residential real estate a good investment. The costs of residential home ownership or upkeep of residential real estate investments are too great relative to other forms of investments (commercial real estate or residential on scale are different ballgame since the rules are [...]

Making Sense of Insurance: A Primer on Criticial Illness and Disability Insurance

Posted by on March 24, 2008 in Investment Products

There’s an old saying in the law: “the big print giveth, the small print taketh” and no where is this truer than when buying insurance. Buying insurance is like buying a car now: the base model is attractively priced but you really need to buy quite a number of upgrades to really make it work [...]

VISA IPO: The Final Share Price is…..

Posted by on March 19, 2008 in Investment Products

…if I wrote “priceless” who would be madder, Visa or Mastercard? (I am in my hotel room on business travel mucking about so I though I would add a bonus post this week.) The final price for the Visa IPO is $44/share which is $2 more than the initial maximum share price. Public trading starts [...]

One Family’s Personal Finance Tale, March Edition

Posted by on March 18, 2008 in Mom2KG Columns

Mom2KG is our monthly columnist on TMW. Starting in 2008, her family has resolved to get a control of their financial house and every month she updates us on their progress. February’s report can be found here.  Today, Mom2KG muses about the cost of taking care of two young children. Take it away Mom2KG. I’m [...]

Sleepless Nights in Tokyo

Posted by on March 17, 2008 in Misc.

While I am on business travel, Expat, a regular reader of TMW, has agreed to guest-post on personal finance issues in Japan. As his pen name implies, Expat is a North American now making Japan home. As the post indicates, personal finance issues are the same the world around; it is only the names and [...]

Need Money? Increasing your chances of obtaining a loan

Posted by on March 17, 2008 in Resources

This post is a prelude to next week’s post about Prosper and personal and small business loans loans via peer to peer lending networks (to give you a preview, I am looking at the loan documents provided by Prosper and translating them into plain English). However, with certain regions of North America in a full-out [...]