Personal Finance Decision Guide – 1st Edition

April 29, 2007

Simplifying Your Personal Finance
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Personal Finance Decision Guide! Read more about the goals and strategy behind the decision guide here. Then check out the articles listed below to help you focus on simplifying your personal finances by making one decision at a time. If you’ve written about a personal finance decision, you can submit your analysis or experience to the guide.

-Technical Analysis Versus Fundamental Analysis
-Actively Managed vs. Index Funds
-Investing: Real Estate vs. Stock Market
-Stocks vs. Real Estate

-Roth 401k vs. Regular 401k
-Roth IRA or Regular IRA

Real Estate
-Pros/Cons: 15 Year Mortgage vs. 30 Year
-When Renting is Better Than Buying a Home

-HSA vs HMO Analysis

-Paying Cash vs Going Into Debt: Looking at the Numbers
-A New Look at Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

-Tax Talk: ETF vs Mutual Funds
-Passive vs. Active Management – Tax Effect
-Tax Credit vs. Tax Deduction

Consumer Spending
-Shopping small versus big- Mom and Pop vs. Big Box Stores


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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5 Responses to Personal Finance Decision Guide – 1st Edition

  • TFB

    Thank you for the link. This is a great resource. Please carry on and add more.

  • Ben

    Dan, thanks for the analysis. Flexo & david, my hope is to build an index that people can reference when trying to decide between two financial options, hopefully making their decision a little easier.

  • Dan

    Regarding real estate, not only do I agree with buying the large house, provided you can afford it, but the media has completely misinterpretted and overhyped the risks associated with Interest-only ARMs. Agreed, the Option-ARMs are risky and generally not a good idea, but the standard say, 5 or 10 yr ARM is no more risky since most of the initial payments on a conventional are interest payments anyway. I’ve performed a full financial analysis and have the results and spreadsheet available at my blog:


  • david

    Thanks for the link and want to see where this is going!

  • Flexo

    Thanks for the link! This is an interesting concept and I look forward to seeing more.