Carnival of Personal Finance #307: The Silver Edition

Silver coins hoard from around 1700, England -...

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This is the 307th Carnival of Personal Finance, the Silver Edition.  As of 10:00 PM CDT last night, silver is at $43.76 per ounce.  Three years ago, when I last bought silver, it was at $11.30.  In honor of that, and inspired by my first editor’s pick below, I’m going to share some facts and history about silver.

The last time prices rose like this was in 1979, when the Hunt brothers bought or controlled close to 50% of the world’s silver.  They managed it by leveraging their silver hoard.   As they bought more, prices went up, increasing the value of their hoard, which they then used as collateral for more loans to buy more silver, which caused the prices to go up so they’d use it as collateral….  You get the idea.   Prices went from $11 per ounce to $50 per ounce in less than a year, before the regulators figured out the game and changed the rules, bringing the whole thing crashing down.   The resulting losses and lawsuits bankrupted the former billionaires within 10 years.

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

Editor’s Picks:

First, we have a post from Squirrelers,  Is There a Silver Bubble? How High Can Prices Go?.  This post reminded me of not only the Hunt brothers story, but the small box of silver I own.  Now, I’m debating taking it to a precious metals dealer and cashing out for 400% of my purchase price.

Suba from Wealth Informatics brought Never Pay full price : How to save 10-50% on every purchase.   This was entirely new to me, which surprised me.  I see a lot of ideas presented in new ways, but rarely see something I know absolutely nothing about.

If you’ve got legal papers you need to fill out, or questions you need answered, you could do far worse than to start with the site Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents gives us with 7 Free and Cheap Online Legal Resources.  If you think you don’t need the resources, that means you a complete estate plan, right?  You have a will?

Saving

Dimes, quarters, and half-dollars were 90% silver until 1964.  Half-dollars continued to be 40% silver until 1971.   At that time, the government tightly controlled the price of silver and kept it at $1.29 per ounce so the face value of the coins matched the value of silver they contained.   Today, a supply of 90% silver coins with a face value of $5 can be had for the bargain price of $173.74.

Fanny from Living Richly on a Budget – Personal Budget Blog presents How to Build the Crucial $1,000 Emergency Fund, and says, “How do you finance unexpected personal expenses, such as car repairs, medical visits, home maintenance repairs, etc? The most effective way to finance these expenses is through a personal emergency fund.”

Flexo from ConsumerismCommentary presents Silent Inflation is Destroying Your Net Worth, and says, “Inflation continues to deflate individuals net worth and there are no signs of it getting any better.”

Adam Piplica from Magical Penny presents Avoid Hitting the Rocks of Financial Ruin, and says, “This post draws on a famous story in Homer’s Oddessey how a captain made it safely passed the Sirens because he had protected himself from making a poor short-term decision. It’s exactly the same thing you have to do if you want to grow your pennies.”

Clint from Accumulating Money presents Baby-Boomer Generation Must Get Serious About Planning for Retirement, and says, “The “Baby-Boomer” generation has undergone two severe business-cycle reversals in the past ten years alone. Many of these fifty and sixty year-olds are now facing a daunting task – how do you rebuild your net worth in so short a remaining time period?”

Jason from One Money Design presents Planting a Garden to Save Money, and says, “As Spring is here, planting a garden is a great way to help feed your family and save some money at the same time.”

Career

Silver is almost always found with lead.   Through most of history, mining silver meant mining lead and breathing lead dust.  In the ancient world, silver miners had a life span of about 3 years, so free men refused the job.   This was a slave occupation.

Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents Job Experience – Don’t Rock The Boat, and says, “Being young and ambitious may seem like the best thing in the world but knowing your audience and environment is very important. You don’t want to come off as the young new hothead…here’s a story all about exactly that.”

Well Heeled Blog from Well Heeled Blog presents 5 Ways to Spend Your Raise, and says, “Congratulations, you got a raise! Now what? Now, what to do about this extra money? No matter what, don’t want to fritter this raise away. Here are 5 ways for the extra money to work hard for you. ”

Kathryn @ Financial Highway from Financial Highway presents 30 Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them, and says, “This guide not only tells you what the interview questions are but also provides insight into what the interviewer is really asking and what types of answers will help you get the job.”

Credit

Around 500 BC, Athenians discovered a huge silver mine on land belonging the city-state.   This find was used to finance building their first effective navy, which catapulted them to the heights of power they achieved.

Craig Ford from Money Help for Christians presents Best Ways to Maximize Cash, Credit Card, and Debit Card Rewards, and says, “How to maximize your credit cards or debit card rewards.”

Tim Chen from NerdWallet Credit Card Watch presents Premium Credit Cards: The Value Beyond the Cost, and says, “A premium credit card is a step above your average card: better rewards and extra perks offered at, well, a premium. These exclusive credit cards come with additional goodies like lounge access and free plane tickets, as well as hefty annual fees.”

Kevin (for Moolanomy) from Moolanomy presents How to Avoid Credit Cards and Credit Repair Scams, and says, “Credit cards don’t have to be a bad thing, but they definitely have their fair share of scams out there. Here’s how to avoid them.”

Real Estate

In World of Warcraft, silver is a rare spawn of tin.  If you want to find silver, you should try mining tin.  Over and over.  (Source)

Mike from Green Panda Treehouse presents How Much Should We Spend on Housing?, and says, “How much is the right amount for housing costs?”

Ben from Money Smart Life presents How to Use a Mortgage Calculator to Compare Home Loans, and says, “A post about how to use a mortgage calculator to screen and compare the rates and costs of home loans.”

Frugality

The early discovery that water, wine, milk and vinegar stayed pure longer in silver vessels, led to its desirability as a container for long voyages. Herodotus wrote that Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, a man of vision who established a board of health and a medical dispensary for his citizens, had water drawn from a special stream, “boiled, and very many four wheeled wagons drawn by mules carry it in silver vessels, following the king wheresoever he goes at any time.” (Source)

Donna Freedman from Surviving and Thriving presents This isn’t your grandparents’ recession, and says, “When the going gets tough, it’s tempting to invoke our grandparents and their tribulations during the Great Depression. But some of their advice wouldn’t help us. ”

Glen Craig from Parenting Family Money presents Inexpensive (Cheap) Date Night Ideas for Parents, and says, “It’s tough getting out with the spouse when you have kids. With babysitting and the date it can get expensive. See some inexpensive date night ideas and how you can save on babysitting as well.”

Finance

From 1998 to 2009, Bernard von NotHaus marketed the Liberty Dollar as an alternative to U.S. government fiat currency.   Liberty Dollars were made from silver and later, gold and copper.  von NotHaus was later convicted of–among other things–counterfeiting coins, even though he only produced his own coinage and didn’t pretend it was the same thing.

N.W. Journey from Net Worth Journey presents What is Compound Interest?, and says, “A basic introduction to compound interest.”

Bret from Hope to Prosper presents Age 21: A Year of Change and Humility, and says, “The year I turned 21 was the most tumultuous of my life. In many ways, that one year shaped my life more than any other and determined the direction of my future.”

Economy

Colloidal silver is claimed to be a near-magical cure-all.   Its proponents claim it has the ability to “benefit the immune system; kill disease-causing agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi; serve as an alternative to prescription antibiotics; or treat diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, tuberculosis, syphilis, scarlet fever, shingles, herpes, pneumonia, and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate).”  Scientific evidence for any of this: none. (Source)

Money Beagle from Money Beagle presents The Economy Must Be Improving, and says, “I don’t need a government report to show me that the economy is improving; I look no further than the latest coupon offerings from local restaurants!”

Darwin’s Money from Darwin’s Money presents Stop Complaining About Gas Prices, and says, “Americans are complaining about prices at the pump. I say “Stop Complaining and Look in the Mirror”. Here are some very rational reasons and real solutions.”

Investing

The best method of storing silver is in bullet form.   When the werewolves attack, none of us will have long to fight back.

Mike from The Dividend Guy Blog presents 7 Deadly Sins of Investments, and says, “Are you making these mistakes with investing?”

Mike Piper from Oblivious Investor presents Replacing Index Funds in Your Portfolio, and says, “For the most cost conscious of investors, it might make sense to build a portfolio of individual securities rather than index funds.”

RJ Weiss from Gen Y Wealth presents How to Convert a 401(k) to Traditional or Roth IRA, and says, “Reviewing your options with your 401(k) when leaving or changing jobs. More specifically, to look at the steps to convert your 401K(k) to an IRA, since this is most likely the optimal choice.”

Michael from DoughRoller presents How Half a Percent Can Ruin Your Retirement, and says, “Investing for retirement is crucial to securing your financial future. Make sure to find the best interest rates available, as even half a percent can ruin your retirement aspirations. ”

Money Management

I had a silver ring in my septum for almost 10 years and, in fact, still maintain the piercing, but it’s usually empty.

Cathy Moran from Money Health Central presents An Alternate Truth About Financial Literacy, and says, “Financial literacy is grounded in understanding bigger truths about money, not in acting on those truths.”

Kara from Frugal In My Forties presents Worst Money Lessons My Family Taught Me, and says, “My parents had great financial skills: Unfortunately they weren’t really great about passing them on to their children. These are the 4 big things that I think they should have done differently!”

Mike from The Financial Blogger presents Teaching Finance In High School, and says, “A look at getting finance across at the high school level.”

Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance presents How Your Insurance Rates are Calculated, and says, “Ever wonder how insurance companies determine your monthly rates? Find out what you need to know here.”

FMF from Free Money Finance presents How Millionaires Become Millionaires, and says, “Many people mistakenly think that most millionaires have their wealth handed to them from either their relatives or some stroke of luck (like winning the lottery, being gifted with amazing abilities/talent, etc.) This is completely false. Most people with over seven-figure wealth got it the old-fashioned way, they earned it.”

Matt Bell from Matt About Money presents Money Lessons From the Royal Wedding, and says, “Amid all the royal wedding hoopla, did you notice what Prince William and his fiancée, Kate Middleton, asked for in terms of wedding gifts? Since this is one couple that truly does have everything, they asked anyone wanting to get them a gift to consider making a donation instead. For all of us commoners, there are two lessons we can learn from the royal couple’s philanthropic mindset.”

Debt

Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other, usually copper.  Pure silver is too soft for most applications.  It is, however, the most optically reflective element.

Jacob Irwin from My Personal Finance Journey presents Helping A Friend Get Out of Debt – Part 3 – Cut Your Interest Rates In Half, and says, “A look at the steps my friend and I took to get his credit card interest rates lowered, and how you can too!”

Junior Boomer from Consumer Boomer presents Top 5 Bankruptcy Myths Dispelled For You, and says, “For those who have been considering bankruptcy, but are concerned about the overall impact it could have on their financial future, we are going to break a few myths.”

Other

Silver fulminate is an explosive, ionic, fulminic acid salt of silver.  Yes, silver goes boom.

Echo from Boomer & Echo presents Assessing Your Estate Plan, and says, “Before making an appointment with your lawyer take some time to assess your situation and review your estate plan.”

Sustainable PF from Sustainable Personal Finance presents Eight Favourite Blogs, and says, “There are some awesome PF blogs out there and these are 8 you shouldn’t miss!”

Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents Dissecting an emergency room bill, and says, “Nicole and Maggie discuss how a recent bead up a preschool nose cost one of them $1400. (Actually $1700– a additional bill just came.)”

Tom Drake from Canadian Finance Blog presents The new breed of financial bloggers: Young, frugal and vocal, and says, “I’ve discovered a lot of young bloggers who do care about personal finance. Young bloggers can fill a void in financial education for young people.”

Tom from Stupid Cents presents What Is Term Life Insurance?, and says, “Life insurance is important for everyone but it can be expensive. That is where term life insurance can be the most helpful.”

Philip from PT Money: Personal Finance presents How to Pick a College that Suits You, and says, “Financial and other considerations when deciding on a college.”

That’s it.  If you enjoyed this little journey through silver, please take a moment to subscribe to Live Real, Now.

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  • 29 comments

    Comments

    1. Thanks for hosting!

    2. Thanks for including Boomer’s article on Estate Planning. It’s ironic that you chose the Silver topic, I think it took a beating in the overnight markets after the news last night.

    3. Thank you for choosing my article as an editor’s pick! Also, congrats on buying silver when it was much cheaper. That’s a fantastic rate of return you must have earned, assuming you’ve held.

    4. Thanks so much for including my article about how a simple call to the credit card companies can get interest rates reduced significantly!

    5. Jason,

      Thanks a million for hosting the carnival this week.

      Bret

    6. I didn’t know that history about silver. Nice recap. Good luck with your decision to buy or hold. And thanks for hosting the carnival.

    7. Thanks for hosting!

    8. Thanks for organizing this week’s Carnival!

    9. Thank you for hosting, and for choosing something I wrote.

    10. I love all the information about silver interspersed among the carnival articles. Nicely organized.

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    6. […] Jason at Live Real, Now  hosts this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, the Silver Edition. […]

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    11. […] lot of press lately, both in the mainstream financial media and in the PF blog-o-sphere.  Even the last personal finance carnival had a silver theme.    Squirreler’s post on silver a few days back (“Is There A Silver […]

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