There were a whole lot of very good articles published on the personal finance blogosphere this week. Here are some of the really good ones:
Moolanomi had an excellent post on the topic of asset allocation, complete with a bunch of charts, methods and tools. A really good free tool that he points to in the article is Morning Star's free portfolio x-ray tool. You can use this to understand the inner workings of your portfolio, including any asset overlaps in mutual funds, your exposure to different asset classes and sectors and so forth. As I said, this is a really useful post.
Jim from Blueprint for Financial Prosperity makes a point that I agree with 100%: don't invest in what you know, because you only think you have a clue... even the professionals can't seem to beat the market long term. What makes you think that you can?
Tough Money Love looks at the sad state of retirement savings in this country. He also has some good advice on how to avoid getting to retirement in a dismal state yourself.
Another post I really liked this week was The Simple Dollar's article about creation vs. consumption. His common sense advice is to focus on improving your skills rather than on buying the best tools around. He gives the example of improving your writing skills rather than using the fanciest notebook around. This one really resonated with me.
Fabulously Broke in the City wrote an article about how now that she is a consultant and gets paid by the hour, she doesn't mind being asked by her clients to sit around and do nothing, since the clock just keeps on ticking. I understand the feeling, but I tend to invent things to do when I don't have any active projects. I get bored really easily.
Here's a way to save money: buy used things. Not everything needs to be new to be useful. American Consumer News rightly points out that certain things work just as well used and gives the examples of books, DVDs and computer games. Right on. Personally, I like using half.com for my used purchases -but in all honesty, I don't make too many of those.