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My Money Blog

Personal Finance and Investing Blog

Last Build Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 05:56:52 +0000


Good News: Here’s How the World Has Improved Over the Past 25 and 50 Years

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 05:50:18 +0000

Bad news seems to come at us from all angles, but sometimes we need to step back and point out the good news. Here is a chart of how the the worldwide level of hunger, poverty, illiteracy, child poverty, and pollution has fallen over the last 25 years. Via @dinapomeranz and @johanknorberg. Here are some […]

Amazon Coupon Code: $5 off $15+ of Print Books

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:50:18 +0000

New book coupon code. Amazon has $5 off $15+ of print book purchases with promo code BOOKGIFT17. Can be one book or multiple. Offer expires at 11:59pm Pacific 12/14/17. Must be sold by Here are some popular recent books that are on my reading list: Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best […]

Emerging Markets ETF Comparison: Vanguard, iShares Core, and Schwab

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:34:25 +0000

The Vanguard Blog has an article Is price everything for ETFs? that reminds us that while low costs may be the most important factor in ETF selection, it is not the only factor. When there are multiple ETFs covering similar asset classes, the DIY investor should dig a bit deeper to get the complete picture. […]

Ally Bank 11-Month No Penalty CD at 1.60% APY for $25k+, 18-Month CD 1.75% APY

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:33:10 +0000

Updated. Ally Bank raised the rate on their 11-month No Penalty CD. Here are the new interest rates under their tiered structure: 1.60% APY at $25,000 minimum opening deposit 1.35% APY at $5,000 minimum deposit 1.15% APY at no minimum deposit. The 11-month No Penalty CD is unique in that while the 1.60% APY rate […]

Navy Federal Credit Union CD Special: 2.25% APY for 15 Months w/ Add-On

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:26:27 +0000

Navy Federal Credit Union (membership now limited primarily to those with military affiliation) announced their year-end limited-time Special Certificates: 15-month Certificate at 2.25% APY. Open with $50 minimum. Make additional deposits anytime (up to $50,000 max). 32-Month IRA Certificate at 2.75% APY. IRA & ESA only. Open with $50 minimum. Make additional deposits anytime (up […]

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Review: 60,000 Miles Limited-Time Offer

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:31:40 +0000

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, from our partner Citi, is running a limited-time offer on their co-branded American Airlines credit cards.  Here are the updated card highlights: For a limited time, earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening* […]

Wyndham Rewards Visa Card: 45,000 Point Bonus (Worth 3 Free Hotel Nights)

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:20:56 +0000

This Wyndham Rewards Visa Card special link (annual fee version) is currently offering a limited-time sign-up bonus of 45,000 Wyndham Rewards points. This is enough points to be redeemed for 3 award nights at nearly any Wyndham property with no blackout dates. (The standard offer is usually 30,000 points.) You earn 30,000 bonus points after […]

The Real Estate Crowdfunding Capital Stack: Equity vs. Debt

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 06:30:24 +0000

Before I share more about my real-estate crowdfunding experiments, I wanted to take a quick step back in order to provide better context. Just as ETFs and mutual funds are separated into stocks and bonds, real estate can be separated into two general types of investments: Equity = an ownership interest in the asset. Debt […]

The Stock Market Boom / Bust Cycle: Where Are We At Now?

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 06:19:49 +0000

There appears to be a trend of everyone is getting their “stocks are highly-valued” calls on record in so that when the next drawdown occurs, they’ll have their “I told you so” ready to go. I should probably do that too. Example: Goldman Warns That Market Valuations Are at Their Highest Since 1900. Here’s the […]

Lemonade: Homeowners & Renters Insurance With No Incentive To Deny Your Claim? (Giveback Update, New States, Zero Deductible Option)

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 06:16:42 +0000

(Update: Lemonade continues its rollout to now 8 states – see map above. Added info about their first year GiveBack results and their new $0 deductible option. 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 […]

Free Limited-Edition Gund Teddy Bear with $100 Amazon Gift Card

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 18:40:54 +0000

Each holiday season, Amazon teams up with Gund to create a limited-edition teddy bear. Gund is known for their quality stuffed animals and they do everything from Elmo to Curious George to Boo the Dog. Amazon Prime customers can now get a free 10″ 2017 Gund Teddy Bear with the purchase of $100 Amazon gift […]

Best Interest Rates on Cash – December 2017

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 06:38:14 +0000

Short-term interest rates are rising. Don’t let a megabank pay you nothing for your idle cash. Here is my monthly roundup of the best safe rates available, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. You could also use this information to make a bank CD ladder to replace bonds. I focus on rates that are […]

Target 10% Off Gift Cards on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 06:35:36 +0000

Back for 2017. Target will offer 10% off Target Gift Cards on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 only. You are limited to $300 face value of Target gift cards in physical stores and also another $300 face value online. Basically, you’d save $30 if you buy $300 in gift cards. Additional details: Limit one transaction up […]

Buy It Nice or Buy It Twice: Kitchen Tools and Cookware (Extended Edition)

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 08:42:53 +0000

(Added some items.) When buying kitchen items, I am firmly in the “pay for quality” camp. Reader Chris sent in the following question (edited for clarity): I read in your website about cast iron pans and KitchenAid mixers. I want to buy a small home and have nothing. What are some must-have kitchen items that […]

US vs. International Stocks: Historical Cycles of Outperformance

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 07:04:54 +0000

One major question in portfolio construction is how to allocate between US stocks and non-US stocks. Over the last 10 years, US stocks have outperformed International stocks significantly. However, as the following chart shows, they tend to take turns outperforming each other in cycles: Chart is from Factor Investor, found via Abnormal Returns. This is […]

H&R Block Desktop Tax Software 2017: Fed + State $20 (11/29 Only)

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 17:31:55 +0000

The benefit of “old-school” desktop tax software is that it doesn’t require your Social Security Number and financial details to be stored in the cloud. Here’s a limited-time deal on H&R Block Tax Software 2017 (download or physical CD). Amazon has H&R Block Deluxe Federal + State for $19.99. Federal only is $14, and Premium […]

Howard Marks Memo on High Stock Market Prices and Risk Management

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 07:00:49 +0000

There seems to be a lot of angst about the stock market these days. It’s been going up, up, up. Is it too high? Will there be a crash? Accordingly, I just caught up on the most recent Howard Marks memos – There They Go Again… Again [pdf] and the follow-up Yet Again?. Everyone from […]

Giving Tuesday 2017: Matching Donations

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 06:55:25 +0000

Tuesday, November 28th is Giving Tuesday 2017. Black Friday, Cyber Monday… don’t forget that this time of the year is also huge for charities. I’ve saw a stat that 40% of donations occur in the last six weeks of the year. Here are some ways you can make your donation go farther with a match. […]

Amazon Cyber Monday Deals Week: Kindle Unlimited, Fire Tablets, Echo Dot, Smart Plugs, Fire TV

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 06:53:02 +0000

Updated. Amazon has switched it up now to their Cyber Monday Deals Week List. Some of the Amazon device deals are still available, plus a few different Amazon offerings and lots of “flash” temporary deals. Bose QC25 Noise-Cancelling Headphones for $179, lowest price on record Kindle Unlimited up to 40% off. This matches the biggest […] Additional $10 Off Gift Cards Cyber Monday (11/27 Only)

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 06:51:36 +0000 lets you buy and sell gift cards online and instantly via app, and according to them they are the largest online marketplace for gift cards. They offer a 1 Year Money-Back Guarantee against gift cards that don’t have the promised value. Lasting until midnight Central 11/27/17, they are having a Cyber Monday Sale. Get […]

Stock and Bond Returns from 1926-2016: Rarely Average

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 06:27:43 +0000

The Vanguard Blog has an interesting scatter plot of annual stock and bond returns from 1926-2016. The vertical axis is bond returns (broad US bond indexes), with the blue shaded areas indicating bond returns between 3% and 7%. The horizontal axis is stock returns (broad US stock indexes), with the purple shaded areas indicating stock […]

IKEA Gift Cards: Buy $100 in Gift Cards, Get Free $20 eGift Card

Sun, 26 Nov 2017 19:37:11 +0000

IKEA has a limited-time promotion where for every $100 gift card that you buy online, you will receive a bonus $20 eGift Card. There doesn’t appear to be a limit. Expires on Monday night, 11/27/17 at 11:59PM EST. Selected terms and conditions: For every $100 in IKEA gift cards purchased online from IKEA US in […]

Discount Magazines Black Friday Sale 2017

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:10:33 +0000 is running their Black Friday Blowout Sale through Sunday 11/26. Nice time to either get some gifts or just lock-in cheap pricing for multiple years. Here are some sample magazine prices during the sale. Consumer Reports Magazine. 1 year 13 issues for $18.49 ($1.42/issue) Money Magazine. 1 year 12 issues for $$4.75 ($0.40/issue) Kiplinger’s […]

Target Black Friday Promotions: 20% Off Coupon, 15% Off Sitewide

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:06:05 +0000

Target has announced their Black Friday and Cyber Monday week promotions. Here are the more general deals and those that can be used on everyday purchases. Wednesday 11/22. REDcard holders always get 5% off, but on Wednesday 11/22 they will also get early access to select Black Friday deals on Black Friday 11/24. If […]

Thanksgiving Reader: The Power of Gratitude

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:47:41 +0000

It’s kind of sad when you hear the term “Black Friday Week” more often than Thanksgiving. I would like to interrupt the flow of deals to briefly connect personal finance and Thanksgiving in a different way. Seth Godin has put together something called the Thanksgiving Reader, which is a collection of quotes and stories dealing […]