Last night, I attended a benefit to raise money for JDRF: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The event, where Crosby, Stills and Nash) performed, raised nearly 3 million dollars for diabetes research. It was an honor to go and support this worthwhile charity.

There was a silent auction at the event and one of the items we bid on and won was a 10-pound bar of milk chocolate with almonds. It also included a tour of the chocolate factory for 10 people, led by the CEO himself. What parent wouldn’t want to take her chocoholic spouse and kids to a real live chocolate factory? It was too good an opportunity to pass up. I’ll let you know how it goes in January, when we take the tour.

Meanwhile, we played some Crosby, Stills, and Nash tunes on the show this morning, in honor of the JDRF event.

NEW THINKGLINK/REAL WORLD SEMINARS EVENT – How To Invest In 2010 – March 27, 2010

The worst economy in decades has been followed by an incredible 60 percent bounce in the stock market. Some economists are predicting we’ll have a double-dip recession while others think the worst is behind us. Most investors are scratching their heads, wondering “What’s next?”

Will the economy move forward?
Will it fall back into recession?
Will the stock market move forward or retest market lows?
Should you play it safer or take on more risk?

For our next event, How To Invest In 2010, we’ll bring together the best local investment advisors, financial planners, tax experts and successful investors.

Together, we’ll explore this new world of investing. We’ll look at short-term and long-term investments, retirement savings and your child’s college education fund. We’ll look at stocks, bonds, ETFs, real estate investing and the biggest mistakes investors make.

So plan to join me on March 27, 2010 for my How To Invest In 2010.

The ticket window is open. The EARLY BIRD SPECIAL is on for a limited time only! If you’ve been to one of my events, you know that the best price is the first price. You can also purchase a VIP ticket, or a special package of ebooks we’re creating especially for this event.

You’ll have face-to-face time with our experts and will be able to get answers to your own investing questions. So, SAVE THE DATE and join us March 27, 2010 for How To Invest In 2010.

Renovation Costs: Cost v. Value Survey from Remodeling Magazine and

A listener called to ask how she can figure out how much to spend on her renovation project. I told her to look around at as many homes in the neighborhood as she can to get an idea of what the “neighborhood standard” is. Ideally, you want to be at the neighborhood standard in terms of condition, but because of declining home prices, you want to do more for less money.

In other words, put in a granite kitchen countertop, but don’t pay six times more to get some sort of unusual granite flown in from Italy. No one will pay for that extra cost, and you’ll wind up losing money.

Whenever you think about an improvement, you need to know what it will cost and what you’re willing to spend. You should also shop around to save money. For example, Sam and I recently replaced our kitchen faucet. A local home improvement store wanted us to pay $800. We found the same faucet at for $179 – and Sam installed it himself. So, we have the look we wanted at a fraction of the price.

What are renovations really worth? Each year Remodeling Magazine and do a joint Cost v. Value survey. Here are the 2008 Cost v. Value survey results. The 2009 results should be available soon.