Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

Life hacks to master before you’re 30, why you should shop around, 5 things to know about jury duty, how to buy a new computer and sell your old one and why you shouldn’t pick stocks.

Better Investing

1. Stock Picking Is Almost Always a Losing Game

[Cash Cow Couple] “I can’t turn on the TV without hearing something about the intraday movement of the stock market, and it’s nearly that bad on the Internet. If someone isn’t flat-out telling you to buy Google and sell Microsoft, they are busy bragging about their most recent home-run investment that returned 100 percent in just 3 months.”

I couldn’t agree more. The longer I invest, the more I realize just how silly the whole idea of stock-picking is. Granted, I’ve made money doing it, but I probably would have made just as much with a mutual fund. Want to buy stocks? Read this first.

2. How I Bought A New Computer & Sold My Old One

[Chip’s Money Tips] “I needed a new computer, but I didn’t have a guy. Do you have a guy? I don’t have a guy. Then it occurred to me that my union may have the hook-up to get a computer at a discount. So I called SAG-AFTRA and, voila, they’ve got a guy! Well, a website.”

Chip takes us through a humorous step-by-step on getting the best deal on a new computer, then getting the most money out of your old one. If you’re in the market, it’s a must-read.

3. 5 Things You Need To Know About Serving On Jury Duty

[Clever Dude] “I wasn’t very excited to receive a jury duty notification in the mail last month. Life is extremely busy, and any time I have to spend in a courtroom will be a day-for-day relationship to how far behind I fall at work. But, I understand it’s my civic duty to be a part of the process from time to time, so I just have to educate myself as much as possible and make the best of it.”

If you’ve never been summoned, here’s a quick list of what to expect, from whether you’ll get paid by your employer while on jury duty (it depends) to whether you have to report any compensation you collect (yes).

4. Here’s Why It Always Pays to Shop Around

[Club Thrifty] “Here’s what happened: Basically, our water heater died sometime during the night without our knowledge. My lucky husband just happened to be the person who learned this knowledge firsthand when he entered the shower for his morning rinse.”

This article describes how easily we can radically overpay for things, especially when the need is urgent. It’s both amusing and completely accurate.

5. 10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30

[Wise Bread] “Are you a 20-something trying your best to transition fully into adulthood? We’ve all been there. It’s time to start developing those go-to skills that will make adult life much easier.”

Since I’m nearly twice the target age, I was certainly hoping I’d mastered all 10 of these hacks. I’m happy to report a perfect score. The list includes mending your own clothes, cooking a meal, changing a tire, calculating tips, packing effectively and more. Can you do them all?

Who do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites and authors. If you’ve got a favorite, let us know below or on our Facebook page! You can also talk to us about anything you’d like simply by hitting “reply” to your daily email update. (Not subscribed? Fix that right now!)

Stacy Johnson

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