Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

A look at five interesting personal finance posts from other bloggers around the Web. This week: The high price of art, the high earnings of Amazon, the four stages of retirement, the sleazy upside of home ownership, and how to talk to your kids about a car without actually buying them one.

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1. The $4 million photograph: How do you value art?

[Consumerism Commentary] The question “Is it art?” has been around forever. Here’s a new one: “Is it art because it costs $4,338,500?” Here’s a thoughtful post about why people (mostly rich people) buy art.

2. Fathoming Amazon: 9 things to know

[Frugal Dad] Speaking of art, here’s a nifty and pretty graphic of how Amazon.com makes its money – and it’s free to gaze upon. Did you know Amazon’s annual revenues are bigger than the gross domestic products of half the countries in the world?

3. Retirement in 4 stages

[Gail Vaz-Oxlade] Gail suggests retirement is like The Lord of the Rings. Not sure I buy that, but I do like how she breaks down the all-encompassing “retirement” into manageable stages. Hint: You don’t achieve “full retirement” until the third stage.

4. Why I’ll never rent again and neither should you

[Financial Samurai] We’ve written before about whether you should Rent or Own Your Home, and we’ve provided Tips to Save on Rent. But this post makes a compelling, tongue-in-cheek case to always buy – if you’re a sleazy financial adviser who knows how to squirm out of paying a mortgage. Don’t read this if you already have high blood pressure.

5. A surefire way to get your kids asking you questions about money

[Mighty Bargain Hunter] We’ve also written before about Creative Ways to Teach Kids About Money. Here’s another: When buying a new car, ask your kids for advice. Sounds odd, but in this case, it seems to have worked.

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