nug⋅get [nuhg-it] — noun
1. a lump of something, as of precious metal.
2. a lump of native gold.
3. anything of great value, significance, or the like: nuggets of wisdom.

Fred Wilson, a NYC venture capitalist:

As I look over the business plans and projections that these entrepreneurs share with us, one thing I constantly see is a lack of sophistication in calculating the investor’s return.

He explains the “cash flow method” of calculating a Return on Investment (ROI)… assuming you’re able to project your income. As always, there are some interesting tidbits in the comments.

[Via Dan Benjamin]

What USAA did for check depositing, Intuit is doing for tax returns! Their $9.99 TurboTax SnapTax app for iPhone lets you snap a picture of your W-2s, which it uses to autofill some of your data, then you answer some questions & click to file your returns. It’s for California residents only with fairly basic tax return needs, but it sure looks to make them as quick & painless as possible.

There’s a demo video if you want to see it in action.

[Via TUAW]

The Economist:

The most powerful tool, of course, is the interest rate. But central banks are wary of using it to pop bubbles because it risks crushing growth as well. And, with the world economy in its current fragile state, they are rightly unwilling to jack up interest rates now.

But even if governments judge that the risks posed by raising rates now outweighs that of keeping them low, investors still have plenty of reasons to worry. The problem for them is not just that valuations look high by historic standards. It is also that the current combination of high asset prices, low interest rates and massive fiscal deficits is unsustainable.

[…]

Investors tempted to take comfort from the fact that asset prices are still below their peaks would do well to remember that they may yet fall back a very long way. The Japanese stock market still trades at a quarter of the high it reached 20 years ago. The NASDAQ trades at half the level it reached during dotcom mania. Today the prices of many assets are being held up by unsustainable fiscal and monetary stimulus. Something has to give.

I’m all too much of a pessimist already, but I’ve been worrying about this lately.

[Via Jason Fried]

In the face of the worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression, millions of Americans are hurting. The […] interactive map serves as a vivid representation of just how much.

I already feel fortunate to still be gainfully employed, but now even more so. I have quite a few acquaintances who are part of the “more than 31 million people” and my heart goes out to them.

[Via Daring Fireball]

MacHeist is giving away six free apps this week!
Joining in on the fun, 100 developers are putting software on sale.
Use the “OneFingerDiscount” coupon code, and get 20% off.

One Finger Discount currently includes the following personal finance applications for the Mac: Cashculator, Horizon, Chronicle 2, and Moneydance. There’s only one day left and remember that you should click through to aforementioned programs from the One Finger Discount site.

[Via Daring Fireball]

David McCandless:

This image arose out of a frustration with the reporting of billion dollar amounts in the media. That is, they’re reported as self-evident facts, when, in fact, they’re mind-boggling and near incomprehensible without context.

His image does an excellent job providing relative comparisons between various billions earned or spent, visually.

[Via Jonathan Butler]

To call out, cool off, and end the drama he and Jim Cramer had brewing last week, Jon Stewart devoted the entirety of Thursday’s episode of The Daily Show to an interview with him. I didn’t realize that it had actually been edited down and happened across the extended & uncensored version over the weekend. It is far better and a must watch.

Note: As the language is uncensored, I won’t directly embed the videos.

[Via Todd Dailey]

A classic digital short from Saturday Night Live.

“Well, let’s say I don’t have enough money to buy something, should I buy it anyway?”

“No.”

Simple and straightforward to follow. We may not all be in debt because of buying ‘stuff’, but we surely don’t need to buy more when we don’t have the money. I’m guilty of this.

[Via Smarty Pig]

Comedian Louis C.K., on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, discussing how things have changed during his lifetime:

And then, if you wanted money you had to go in the bank for… when it was open for, like, three hours… you had to stand in line, write yourself a check like an idiot, and then, when you ran out of money, you would just go, “Oh, well, I can’t do anymore things now.”

Now our, “Crappiest generation of spoiled idiots,” just continues to borrow when we’re out of money. I catch myself putting stuff on my credit card all the time because I (1) didn’t get cash out, (2) am waiting for payday, or (3) really can’t afford it at all.

BTW – Can anyone help me find a higher quality, more official link to this clip?

[Via Leo Babauta]

A wonderfully arranged 11 minute animation giving an even broader overview of the credit crisis than the FRONTLINE documentary.

Note: He got slammed with a $6K hosting bill over the weekend due to it’s popularity, so buy a shirt to help him pay the bills.

Update: Embedded the entire video from Vimeo instead of the two-parter from YouTube, for your viewing pleasure.

[Via Daring Fireball]