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My Money Blog

Personal Finance and Investing Blog

Last Build Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 22:00:59 +0000


Robinhood: Free Share of Stock for New Users – Estimated Value

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:55:22 +0000

Robinhood is a sleek smartphone app that’s a brokerage account with unlimited $0 trades with no minimum balance requirement. They’ve been around for a few years now and I’ve been impressed that they’ve kept up the free trade business model, partially by recently rolling out premium paid features. I enjoy the minimalist and intuitive interface. […]

Robinhood App Review: $0 Stock Trades, Easy-to-Use Interface

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:53:15 +0000

Updated. The Robinhood app wants to “democratize the financial markets” by creating brokerage account in your pocket that offers unlimited free trades with no minimum balance requirement. That is a pretty bold move, and I was skeptical as I’ve been an long-time early adopter of free trading platforms (read: cheapskate investor). I started out as […]

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Review – 50,000 Bonus Points

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:22:04 +0000

After some sneak peaks and rumors, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card is now officially live. This card is a new addition to Bank of America’s rewards card line-up, and the question will be if the added benefits outweigh the $95 annual fee. This card also participates in the Preferred Rewards program, which […]

University of Berkshire Hathaway: Notes From Annual Shareholders Meeting (Book Review)

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 05:36:06 +0000

If you are a Buffett & Munger follower, you should be intrigued by University of Berkshire Hathaway: 30 Years of Lessons Learned from Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger at the Annual Shareholders Meeting by Daniel Pecaut and Corey Wrenn. Anyone can buy all the old BRK shareholder letters, but there are very few transcripts from […]

5% Cash Back Credit Cards: Rotating Categories Update 2017

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 07:01:01 +0000

Activation for 4th Quarter 2017 is live. The credit cards below offer a hefty 5% cash back on categories that rotate each quarter. It takes a little extra attention, but I also rack up over a hundred dollars in additional rewards per year without changing my spending habits. You can also buy gift cards with […]

Free 100 Air Canada Aeroplan Bonus Miles

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:34:48 +0000

New offer. Even small amounts of bonus miles can be handy as Air Canada requires activity every 12 months to prevent Aeroplan miles expiration. Give some feedback on a short video at get 100 bonus Aeroplan miles. 100 bonus miles will be credited to your account in the next 6–8 weeks. Free 100 Air Canada […]

Amazon Prints Promotional Code: 50 Free 4×6 Photo Prints + Free Shipping

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 19:44:39 +0000

New code for 50 free prints. Amazon Prints is offering another round of 50 free 4×6 photo prints, with free shipping for Prime members. Use promotional code FREE50PRINTS by September 17, 2017 11:59pm PT. This current code should work again even if you already got 50 free prints using a previous code. Supposedly the actual […]

Surprise! A Few Reasons for Hope and Optimism

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 07:36:17 +0000

The amount of negative information that surrounds us can sometimes feel overwhelming. To be sure, there is plenty to be concerned about. However, here are some reasons to be hopeful. You probably won’t find them on the front page of any major media site, or even homegrown conspiracy site. The Energy Problem. I found positivity […]

Big List of Ways To Protect Your Credit: Free Credit Monitoring, Credit Locks, Fraud Alerts, and Credit Freezes

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:26:56 +0000

As you probably know, Equifax was hacked and literally half of all Americans could be affected. It seems like every media outlet has a “what you should do now” article, but I’ve also gotten some e-mails asking for my personal take (for which I’m flattered). Here goes… Free credit reports. Everyone should take advantage of […]

How Much International Stocks In Your Portfolio? 2017 Outlook

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:20:51 +0000

Here are some updated thoughts on holding stocks based outside the US in your portfolio. There is no “ideal” amount of international stocks that experts agree upon. You have numbers ranging from 0% (US only) to 50% (market-cap weighting). For a good summary of this situation, check out these two recent articles from Christine Benz […]

Amazon Prime + American Express Promotion: Fire Tablets $15

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 06:48:06 +0000

Here’s another quick deal for Amazon Prime members that also have American Express Membership Rewards points. First, all Amazon Prime members can get the following prices this week: All-New 8GB Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa for $34.99 All-New 16GB Fire 8 HD Tablet with Alexa for $54.99 However, if you have an American Express Rewards […]

Discover Card + Amazon 1-Click $10 Promotion

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 06:26:31 +0000

Amazon has a targeted offer for $10 Amazon credit when you switch your 1-Click default payment method to an eligible Discover credit card. They’ve run similar offers for Citi and Chase in the past, I guess now Discover gets a turn to give me an easy ten bucks. The link should show your eligibility (for […]

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Review: 50,000 Points = $500 Limited-Time Bonus

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 06:39:38 +0000

Update – This offer is now EXPIRED. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus(TM) World Elite MasterCard® is a travel rewards card with a limited-time offer worth at least $500 and the annual fee is waived the first year. Here are the card highlights: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 […]

Equifax Hack Check Tool, Free Year of Identity Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 06:22:16 +0000

Equifax announced that they were hacked between May-July 2017, exposing the personal information of potentially over 143 million people. As one of the three major credit bureaus, they have a lot of data: credit card numbers, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. Essentially, everything you need for identity fraud. Equifax has […]

Plastiq Promotion: Pay Mortgage With Mastercard for 1.5% Fee

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:30:55 +0000

Plastiq has a new 1.5% promo rate (standard fee is 2.5%) if you schedule 3 or more mortgage payments with your Mastercard by end of this 2017. You must pay the standard 2.5% first, and then discount will come in the form of a rebate check sent by January 5, 2018. The check will be […]

Absolute vs. Relative Standard of Living: What is Enough?

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 06:51:45 +0000

I’m currently reading University of Berkshire Hathaway: 30 Years of Lessons Learned from Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger at the Annual Shareholders Meeting by Daniel Pecaut and Corey Wrenn. As opposed to a rehash of the BRK shareholder letters, it contains highlights from listening to Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger live during the shareholder meetings […]

Best Interest Rates on Cash Savings – September 2017

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 19:41:09 +0000

Interest rates are slowly waking up from their multi-year slumber, so I’m paying closer attention to the various changes each month. Don’t let a megabank pay you 0.01% APY or less for your idle cash. Here is my monthly roundup of the best safe rates available, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. Rates checked […]

AirBnB Free Temporary Housing for Hurricane Harvey Evacuees

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 20:29:44 +0000

The devastation done by Hurricane Harvey has been heartbreaking. AirBnB has a special disaster relief program that helps connect those in need of temporary housing with generous hosts that are willing to open their homes free of charge to evacuees. It is inspiring to see all the listings available; new hosts can also sign up […]

Discover Card: Free Social Security Number Monitoring and New Account Alerts

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 07:29:13 +0000

Discover has a new free alert service available to Discover cardholders on an opt-in basis. I must have missed the initial announcement. This is not complete identity protection (which usually costs a monthly fee of $10 or more) but the following subset: Social Security Number Monitoring. Discover scans the internet including the “dark web” where […]

Free 3-Month Tidal Premium Subscription Voucher Code

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 07:26:28 +0000

Ready for more music? Groupon is offering a free 3-month subscription of Tidal Premium music streaming service, which usually costs $9.99 per month. The standard free trial offer is only for 30 days. Promotional value expires 30 days after purchase. Amount paid never expires. New subscribers only. Limit 1 per person. Claim codes cannot be […]

S-Corporations vs. LLC: Example of Self-Employment Income Tax Savings

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 19:08:32 +0000

Updated. I have been the President and CEO of a profitable US corporation for over 10 years. I’m also all the other executive positions – CIO, CFO, COO – as there is only one employee (me). Here’s a brief overview of why I chose to incorporate my business into an S-corporation. Please don’t take this […]

The Rise of Sole Proprietorships, LLCs, and S-Corporations

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 06:56:05 +0000

The Tax Foundation has an interesting article on pass-through businesses, where the business income “passed-through” to the individual income tax return of the business owner. Pass-through businesses include sole-proprietorships, partnerships, S-corporations, and LLCs designated to be treated as sole-prop/S-corp/partnerships for tax purposes. These usually represent small businesses started by an individual, couple, or very small […]

Municipal Bonds vs. Treasury Bonds Yield Gap: Liquidity Risk

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 04:00:41 +0000

In my personal portfolio, I’ve been investing in tax-exempt municipal bonds instead of treasury bonds due to their higher taxable-equivalent yields. If you’ve done the same, you may be interested to know that Larry Swedroe at Advisor Perspectives argues that the reason for this yield spread is not credit risk, but liquidity risk. After the […]

World’s Most Popular Online Course: Learning How to Learn (Free)

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 05:11:59 +0000

The NY Times highlighted what is “arguably the world’s most successful online course”, Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by Drs. Oakley and Sejnowski and sponsored by the University of California, San Diego. The course has been taken by 1.8 million people and it is free to access […]

Amazon Prime: Spend $25, Get Free Snack ($5-$8 value) and Free Vitamins ($10-$25 value)

Sun, 27 Aug 2017 22:16:42 +0000

(Update: Amazon is also offering free vitamins with a $25+ order. If you haven’t done the snack deal below yet, you can stack them and get both a free snack and free vitamins with a single $25+ order.) Amazon Prime members who spend $25 or more can get a free Happy Belly or Wickedly Prime […]