Hump Day Help – An @ClementsMoney Collection

by | 26Sep2018 | Credit, Housing, Hump Day Help, Investing | 2 comments

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Welcome to the Hump Day Help. Each Wednesday we take some advice from Jonathan Clements‘ blog Humble Dollar and “militarize” it for you. Jonathan Clements was a longtime personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and he offers great advice at the best price you can get…free. Here is this week’s Hump Day Help:

It’s late and I still have to pack for FinCon 18, where I am heading in an effort to try and improve this blog! Since I don’t have a ton of time to comment on one of Mr. Clements’ tidbits of wisdom, here are a few from this site this week that i thought were helpful. See you at FinCon!


TRUTH – NO. 90: HOME IMPROVEMENTS are money losers. Yes, homes typically climb in price over time. But the only sure source of appreciation is the land. The house itself deteriorates and requires hefty expenditures just to maintain its value. Indeed, if you fix up your home, you might recoup just 50% to 90% of the money spent—assuming you sell within a year.

ACT – FREEZE YOUR CREDIT—something you can now do at no cost. This will prevent data thieves from taking out loans and credit cards using your identity. But it also means you’ll need to contact the three credit bureaus and unfreeze your credit temporarily whenever applying for credit. Sound like a hassle? As an alternative, consider setting up a fraud alert.

THINK – DIVERSIFICATION. While diversifying is important with bonds, it’s crucial with stocks—and involves investing in hundreds and perhaps thousands of companies from a host of market sectors and countries. If we don’t diversify, and instead focus our money on a handful of stocks or a single sector, there’s a danger we’ll take the risk of stock market investing—without getting the reward.



  1. Xrayvsn

    I have my credit frozen currently when I noticed a suspicious credit card application submitted. Definitely check your credit scores from all 3 bureaus yearly (it’s free) to make sure all activity reported is yours.

    I agree with the home improvement stuff. It is funny but realtors etc often say do home improvements because you can get 70-90% return on your money which means you are losing money (but it is cleverly said so it seems like you are making a profit). They encourage home improvements because it will make something sell quick and at a higher cost so they can get more commission for less work (but that higher cost does not mean the take home from that comes anywhere close to the renovation cost itself)

    • Still In

      I have an active duty fraud alert on my accounts, which is a little less painful than placing a freeze. For example, I’m applying for the Citi Double Cash Back and a fraud alert allows me to do it with the moderate pain of some additional steps. A freeze would have made it much more painful to to do.

      Thanks for reading!


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