2009 Financial Action Plan

With the financial markets the way they are you may be looking to have more concrete plans for the future. Suze Orman has just released a book about how to plan for specific life situations. AADL doesn't have a copy yet, but if you hurry (before 11:59 pm CT tomorrow, Jan 15 2009) then you can grab a free download of the book from Oprah's site. The file is in PDF format.

Here is Suze's recent appearance on Larry King Live:

If you miss the download we do have many other books by Suze Orman and also DVD's of some of her programs like The 9 steps to financial freedom. If your working on some financial resolutions for the new year you might also be interested in a post over at the Wesabe Blog titled Five Ways To Make Any Financial Resolution A Success.


Pulp Tree

Buffett or Buttons?

SmartMoney - December 2008 Issue
Page 17 - Make Money Like Buffett - Find out how preferred shares are sometimes yielding more and why.
Some books about Warren Buffett in our collection:
Even Buffett isn't perfect... Buffettology... Warren Buffett and the interpretation of financial statements...

Threads - November 2008 Issue
Page 30 - For the Love of Buttons - The stock market is not your only source of wealth, look to your buttons. Use the tricks provided (using your teeth, hot needles and your sense of smell and hearing) to determine exactly what your buttons are made of (china, glass, shell, porcelain, metal, or ivory).
Some books about buttons in our collection:
The book of buttons Buttons : the collector's guide...

Estate Planning

Have you been thinking about getting your affairs in order? It is a necessary but daunting task. A recent survey estimates that upwards of 60% of Americans do not have a will. If you keel over without a will or a living trust, probate court makes all the decisions. That means a big, sad mess for your surviving loved ones.

Get Money Smart Now


Washtenaw County will be host to Michigan Money Smart Week Events April 19 - 23. Start with the Money Smart Workshop Saturday, April 19, at the UAW Local 849 Hall, 454 Chidester, in Ypsilanti. You'll learn how to improve your budgeting skills, get out of debt and begin to save. The Money Smart Brown Bag Lunches will further your financial literacy. Space is limited at all events so register now at 734.222-3943 or jonest@ewashtenaw.org.

Credit cents


Do you find credit ratings and debt management baffling? Start the new year out right by taking a three part class on Making Sense of Credit and Debt taught by the Michigan State University Extension. Classes begin on January 14 at the Washtenaw County Library Learning Resource Center. Pre-registration is required. Call 734-222-3943 before January 10 to register.

If going to a class doesn’t fit into your schedule, check out a book from the library's collection on credit and debt management like Starting Out by Sheryl Garrett. Start out 2008 with financial knowledge.

Ron Paul's curious economics

As always, the 2008 presidential election brings us some, shall we say, interesting characters. When it comes to economics, though, few are quite as interesting as Republican Ron Paul. In addition to abolishing the IRS, Mr. Paul hopes to bring back the gold standard as the basis for U.S monetary policy. Ben Bernanke is indubitably shaking in his boots.

Currently, our money is basically as good as our word; other countries accept dollars because they trust that we're willing to trade it for other goods & services. The gold standard, however, makes each one of those dollars equivalent to a specified amount of gold. Paul argues that, in the era of the declining dollar, perhaps we need that gold standard back.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons why we abandoned the gold standard. But one has to give Paul some props for some unconventional economic thinking. Of course, recent economic news may have people clamoring for someone unconventional, just not quite as unconventional as Ron Paul.

Value Line and Morningstar: Research Stocks and Mutual Funds

Value Line LogoValue Line Logo

Value Line has finally decided to allow libraries to provide their patrons’ access to Value Line from home and work. AADL cardholders can now research stocks and mutual funds using Value Line from home, work, or at the library.

All branches of the library have the Value Line Investment Survey, the Value Line Investment Survey: Small and Mid-cap Edition and the Morningstar Mutual Funds in paper form. Downtown also has the Value Line Mutual Fund Survey.

Now both Value Line and Morningstar are also available online remotely through the AADL’s Research page.

These two premier investment services will help you make informed investment decisions based on analyst’s reports, investment objectives, risk, return, and the overall rank of particular stocks and mutual funds.

Saving for Retirement

According to the October 2007 AARP Bulletin, People 55+ are somewhat clueless about financial matters, even as retirement looms. Jane Bryant Quinn writes that health insurance and a part-time job after retirement will be necessary hedges to Social Security for boomers with diminishing pensions and negligible personal savings. AADL subscribes to several periodicals that address financial planning for the second half of life, such as Money, Smart Money, Better Investing. We also have a big selection of books and other materials on personal finance, like Making Bread. Please come in and browse our shelves.

Canadian money - Not just for Monopoly anymore

Ever made fun of that weird-colored Canadian money? If you have, Canadians may be getting the last laugh. Yesterday, the loonie was worth as much as a U.S. dollar.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you're Canadian, it means that U.S. stuff is a lot cheaper. If you're from the United States and want some Canadian swag, though, you might not be so happy. It might even mean that Big Macs in Canada won't seem as cheap anymore.

Still wondering why you should care about Canadian money? Why not check out some of these books on exchange rates and other numbers economists worry about? Of course, maybe you'd just rather plan your next Canadian vacation, even if the prices are a bit higher.

1854 Bank of Washtenaw Five Dollar Note

1854 Five Dollar Bill
(Click image for larger view.)

Other images of early Washtenaw County bank notes are available here

submitted by Wystan Stevens

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