Unexpectedly Intriguing!
May 30, 2006

As the pioneer (okay, if somebody started doing it before us, we don't know about it!) in bringing web-based calculation tools to the blogosphere, we here at Political Calculations always keep an eye out for other tools developed in other places. Today, we'll drop in on some tools brought to life at other blogs! First up, MyMoneyBlog, which featured the following tools in recent months:

28 Day Treasury Bill APY Calculator

This is a neat tool that estimates your annual percentage yield (APY) from the U.S. 28-day T-bill, taking into account how they actually work (you can't roll-over the entire value of a T-bill after it comes due into a new 28-day T-bill, but you can direct the excess proceeds to an interest-bearing bank account.) It's a very specialized type of investing math that only applies in a unique situation - and it's exactly the kind of application that makes more sense to post in the context of a blog than it does anywhere else.

Rate Chaser Calculator

The only tool I've ever seen that considers how long your investing money is out of action when moving it from an account earning a lower rate of return to a higher one!

Meanwhile, Nathan Whitehead's Paranoid Brain has been at work in developing some pretty interesting tools (or "toys" in paranoid parlance!) Here's a quick sampling of tools posted since we previously noted Nathan's work:

Geometric Arithmetic Mean Converter Calculator

Great fun for statistics fans! The only tool I've encountered that points to the difference between geometric and arithmetic mean, then approximates it!

The first step to weathering a potential financial crisis is planning for it - Nathan's tool for determining how long it will take to set aside a certain number of months of your income is an essential part of that exercise and is therefore one of the better personal finance tools I've come across.

Kelly Formula Calculator

Are you a gambler? Want to determine the optimal size for your bets? This tool is for you!

Investing is Less Risky Than I Thought

Want to see the likely range of your investment return in a diversified portfolio over various time intervals, given the average rate of return you have plus its standard deviation? A Political Calculations' Gold Standard tool for its combination of simple user-interface and high information return! (And, we might add, only the second tool to which we've ever awarded the designation!)

Investing is More Risky Than You Think

Just in case you thought "Paranoid Brain" was just a catch-phrase! This tool was posted on the same day as Nathan's "Less Risky" calculator, but much earlier! This tool uses a different statistical distribution which applies to the returns of a single stock rather than those of a diversified portfolio of stocks. Be sure to read through Nathan's discussion where he catches his initial error!

is good for you

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

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This year, we'll be experimenting with a number of apps to bring more of a current events focus to Political Calculations - we're test driving the app(s) below!

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