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My Money Blog

Personal Finance and Investing Blog

Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:37:55 +0000


Standard eBooks: High-Quality, Free, Public Domain eBooks

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:37:55 +0000

The Standard eBooks Project is a new volunteer-driven, not-for-profit project that produces carefully-formatted, open-source, and free public domain ebooks. They improve upon the work of sites like Project Gutenberg and HathiTrust in the following ways: Modern & consistent typography Proofreading with careful corrections Light modernization of language (spelling, hyphenation) Additional metadata Ready to download in […]

Ally Bank 11-Month No Penalty CD at 1.50% APY for $25k+, 1.25% APY for $5k+

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 22:34:10 +0000

Ally Bank raised the rate on their 11-month No Penalty CD. Here are the new interest rates under their tiered structure: 1.50% APY at $25,000 minimum opening deposit 1.25% APY at $5,000 minimum deposit 1.00% APY at no minimum deposit. The 11-month No Penalty CD is unique in that while the 1.50% APY rate is […]

Starbucks for Outlook: Send $5 Gift Card, Get $5 Gift Card Free

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 21:04:13 +0000

Mmm… caffeine. Here’s a new promotion with Starbucks and Microsoft Outlook that is basically a Give 1 Get 1 Free $5 Starbucks eGfit Card. Here is the promo page and the terms and conditions page. For a limited time, when you send a $5 Starbucks eGift Card using Outlook, you’ll be eligible to get a […]

Research Affiliates Custom Portfolio Expected Returns Tool

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 05:50:03 +0000

Investment advisory firm Research Affiliates has updated their interactive Asset Allocation tool, which now provides estimates of expected returns for more than 130 asset classes and model portfolios. There are two expected return models, “valuation-dependent” and “yield-plus-growth”. In addition, you can input your own custom asset allocation. My initial reaction is that while the tool […] Safe Withdrawal Rate Tool (Updated)

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:07:01 +0000

I just noticed that has updated their Withdrawal Rate Calculator. It has improved visualizations and as a personal finance geek I even found it fun. You can enter your specific asset allocation slices down to 1% and see customized results. The Withdrawal Rates calculator shows the safe withdrawal rate for any asset allocation over […]

A Semi-Retirement Update, Father’s Day 2017

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 07:17:14 +0000

I’ve been told that my blog isn’t personal enough. Father’s Day seemed like an appropriate time to share how our efforts towards financial freedom have altered our day-to-day lives. Guiding principle. When I first started chasing the idea of “early retirement”, it was mostly about escaping the chains of a 9-5 corporate job for the […]

Amazon Dash Wand With Alexa: $20 + $20 in Amazon Credit w/ Prime

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 01:41:16 +0000

Amazon has another gadget, this time called the Amazon Dash Wand With Alexa. You talk to the Alexa voice assistant and do Alexa-type things like ask the weather or order stuff (though it doesn’t play music), or you can scan physical barcodes with it. If you have Amazon Prime, it costs $20 but you’ll get […]

CIT Bank High Yield Savings Account Bonus: 1.15% APY + $125/$250/$425

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 05:40:41 +0000

CIT Bank has a Spring Savings Account promotion that stacks a flat bonus of $125 to $425 on top of their current interest rate of 1.15% APY. Here are the bonus amounts based on the minimum average balance that you maintain over 3 full monthly cycles. The $125 bonus is the best “value” in terms […]

Switch to Sprint, Get One Year of Free Cell Service (Unlimited Talk, Text, Data Plan)

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 05:50:02 +0000

Sprint has a new aggressive promotion aimed at existing postpaid customers of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Sprint will give a free year of service to new customers who switch to Sprint and sign up on by 6/30/17. Your free unlimited talk, text, and data service will run until 7/31/18. There is no requirement to […]

Amazon Cash: Add $20, Get $10 Bonus Credit

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:53:28 +0000

Amazon Cash is a new way to buy things at Amazon without a credit card, debit card, prepaid card, or bank account. You get a unique barcode linked to your Amazon account, and then bring it in to a participating physical store. You can either print it out or use your smartphone. Have the cashier […]

Virgin Atlantic Free Status Match to Silver and Gold

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:50:26 +0000

Virgin Atlantic has a new official status match program that will match the elite status of another airline’s frequent flyer program for a full 12 months. (Oftentimes these status matches are unofficial and only last a few months.) To request a status match, you must already have a future flight booked with Virgin Atlantic in […]

Headwinds/Tailwinds Asymmetry, Gratitude, and Relationship Advice

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 04:55:00 +0000

Freakonomics Radio has a podcast called Why Is My Life So Hard? where they talked with Tom Gilovich of Cornell and Shai Davidai of the New School for Social Research about the concept of headwinds/tailwinds asymmetry: Most of us feel we face more headwinds and obstacles than everyone else — which breeds resentment. We also […]

Free 150 Marriott Rewards Points Promotion

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 06:02:55 +0000

Offer is available again (albeit with less points). You can earn up to 150 free Marriott Rewards points by registering at this Chirpify promotional page and then connecting your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter social media accounts for 50 points each. If you don’t have a Marriott Rewards account yet, go here first and grab 1,000 […]

Existing Discover Cardholders: Free $10 Kohl’s Cash

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 04:10:14 +0000

If you have a Discover credit card and shop at Kohl’s, follow the quick instructions below and check if you have $10 in Kohl’s Cash credit available in your account. There is no purchase required. Availability varies and you might see again next month; this one expires 7/2/17. Found via SD. Log into your Discover […]

New Low-Cost Broad Commodity ETFs from GraniteShares

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 05:53:17 +0000

Commodities are an asset class that some investors include in their portfolio for diversification purposes. Depending on the specific index, you might track the futures market for aluminum, coffee, copper, corn, cotton, crude oil, gold, diesel, lean hogs, live cattle, natural gas, nickel, silver, soybean meal, soybean oil, soybeans, sugar, unleaded gas, wheat, and zinc […]

Don’t Switch Between Cheap Index Funds To Save Money (Try Cheap Milk Instead)

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:28:08 +0000

I’ve seen this Schwab commercial multiple times recently, where Schwab touts that one of its index funds costs “3X less than Fidelity” and “4X less than Vanguard”: I already knew why it bugged me every time I saw it, but I finally ran the numbers. Never mind that this is one cherry-picked fund. Let’s play […]

Lemonade: Homeowners & Renters Insurance With No Incentive To Deny Your Claim?

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:19:42 +0000

Update: Lemonade is now available in California (in addition to New York and Illinois). Get a free quote from Lemonade and see if they are cheaper than your current homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Feel free to leave a comment about whether they were more or less expensive at the same coverage and deductible level. […]

Best Interest Rates on Cash Savings – June 2017

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 04:05:40 +0000

Over the past month, short-term interest rates have inching upwards while the overall yield curve flattened slightly. The value in chasing interest rates continues to rebound ever so slowly, especially if you have idle cash in a megabank paying 0.01% APY or less. Here is my monthly roundup of the best safe rates available, roughly […]

How To Make Your Life Completely Miserable

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 05:19:39 +0000

If you are a fan of Charlie Munger and his principle of inversion, you will enjoy this video by CGP Grey* about the 7 Ways to Maximize Misery. Sometimes the best solution to a problem comes by approaching it backwards. Found via Abnormal Returns. Briefly, here are the 7 ways: Stay still. Screw with your […]

Join Marriott Rewards, Get 1,000 Free Miles + Double Miles

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 05:09:18 +0000

The loyalty program for Marriott Hotels (which recently bought Starwood) is running a promotion for new members. If you enroll in Marriott Rewards through this link, you will earn 1,000 bonus miles from one of the airlines below, as well as double miles on your stays from 6/4/2017 through 9/2/2017 (up to 35,000 bonus miles). […]

Amazon Prime: Buy Sample Box, Get Equal Credit Towards Similar Products

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 06:25:48 +0000

Updated with additional offers. Amazon Prime members can buy sample boxes that come with a credit towards a future purchase in that specific product category. For example, you can buy a beverage sample box for $9.99 and then you’ll get an equal $9.99 credit towards a future purchase that is valid towards items in that […]

Free Digital HD Movie: A Stork’s Journey

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:17:33 +0000

Looking for some free family-friendly entertainment? The new movie A Stork’s Journey is currently free to redeem on Google Play (digital HD version). You can stream it to your computer, smartphone, or TV box. Limited offer from June 1 to June 28, 2017. I’m not really sure why, but it’s not going to be released […]

Big List of Scary Personal Data Websites + Opt Out Info

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 04:39:43 +0000

“People would care more about privacy if they knew how exposed they already are online,” says Geoffrey A. Fowler in his WSJ article Your Data Is Way More Exposed Than You Realize. I would have to agree. I hear this all the time: “I have nothing to hide.” The truth is, pretty much everybody does […]

Blue Business Plus Card from American Express Review: 2X Points on All Purchases Up to $50k/Year

Wed, 31 May 2017 04:13:14 +0000

American Express has rolled out the new Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express. This card is unique in that it offers double Membership Rewards points on all purchases with no annual fee. Therefore, if you can redeem for more than 1 cent per point of value, this card has the potential to beat […]

Work + Skill + Luck + Risk = Big Success

Tue, 30 May 2017 06:36:17 +0000

A new book called Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker promises to reveal surprising facts about what really determines success. The publicity tour has generated several articles about how high school valedictorians are less successful than you might think: This is why class valedictorians don’t become millionaires Wondering What Happened to Your Class […]