Unexpectedly Intriguing!
17 May 2006

Here at Political Calculations(TM), we do tools. Lots of them! Our unique expertise, in fact, lies in bringing web-based computation tools into the context that blogs provide, which makes the tools much more than just stand-alone web pages. As such, we have a high appreciation for other, more traditional sites that make extensive use of applications similar to what we've developed, and especially those that do so in ways that increase the user's knowledge about how they can use these tools in ways that help them make better decisions.

That's why we're pointing to one of the better investor education sites we've come across: Moneychimp. The site takes its name from the dart-throwing simians who do about as well as professional analysts do in picking stocks, and the site's authors have done a remarkable job in integrating tools throughout their financial education lessons. Here's a quick sample of what you'll find:

Compound Annual Growth Rate

Moneychimp's CAGR calculator works out the performance of the S&P 500 index, for the years between 1975 and 2005. The only limitation is that you can only select full calendar year performance - in other words, you can only find the CAGR of the S&P 500 for an investment beginning on January 1 of one year and ending on December 31 of the same or later year. We have a similar tool that models the best and worst recorded CAGRs for the S&P 500 index for full-year increments between 1900 and 2005 - the main difference is that Moneychimp's tool finds the specific CAGR for the time period you enter.

Federal Tax Brackets

A great tool, updated for 2006, that lets you determine your marginal tax bracket. Why is this important? If you're choosing between a taxable or tax-free investment vehicle, it matters!

Rule of 72

Why is 72 the most important number for investors? Moneychimp explains why and offers two tools to run your numbers!

Monte Carlo Retirement Calculator

Want to find the odds of whether you'll achieve your investment goals for retirement? The calculator is off to the right hand side of the page for this application, so don't mistake it for an advertisement - the open space in the middle of the page is for a graph the tool generates!

Try them out! The greenback-loving great apes have put together a really cool site!

About Political Calculations

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

Thanks in advance!

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Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.