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Thank You, John C. Bogle

Vanguard announced on January 16, 2019 that its founder, John C. Bogle, passed away on at his home in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania at 89 years old. There will no doubt be many tributes; here are a few same-day articles from WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters, and great tweet from Morgan Housel.

Jack Bogle was a champion of thrift, simplicity, and keeping investing costs low. While he reached the popularity level where people would write entire columns about “Why Bogle is Wrong about This or That”, I was always annoyed when people would pick at one little thing he said. I felt that his strongest message was that of common sense. Sometimes it took multiple readings and time, but he really offered a lot of valuable, reasoned knowledge in his books. Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about my Jack Bogle Appreciation curve:

boglecurve

My first mutual fund investment was in the Janus Mercury fund in the very early 2000s. I was chasing performance and Morningstar ratings, and the fund was actively managed with high turnover and high expenses. Thanks to reading his books, my subsequent investments were in low-cost Vanguard funds that were available to a DIY investor. You can now buy ultra-cheap commission-free ETFs from nearly every brokerage account. New investors may take this for granted, but I’m old enough to remember that this was not always the case! This was solely due to Vanguard’s success:

vanguardbarr

He created a unique structure where the unnecessary “Helper” fees stayed in the pockets of the people who invested with Vanguard (and indirectly anyone who invests in a low-cost index fund today). This has resulted in an estimated $1 trillion saved by average everyday investors.

Today, my family is financially secure and we have a pretty clear plan for the future as well. The majority of my net worth is held at Vanguard. My life was materially improved by a man that I never got the honor to meet. The best I could do was to win a personally-signed book from a charity auction for his foundation.

Thank you, Mr. Bogle. I will try my best to heed your advice.

p.s. If you do not know that I am talking about, please do yourself a favor and read The Little Book of Common Sense Investing from the library or buy a copy. It is very short and a good place to start.

Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – January 2019

Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Uber/Lyft, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb? You are eligible to open a small business credit card, which keeps your personal and business expenses separate. If you are not a corporation or LLC, you can apply as a sole proprietorship, with your name as the business name and your Social Security number as the Tax ID number. I did this for years successfully before incorporating my business.

Small business credit cards are offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to try out a new card. Below are the top 10 credit card offers that I would apply for (or have applied for already) as of January 2019. Recent changes:

  • Added new United Explorer Business limited-time offer.
  • Updated Alaska Air card offer.
  • Updated Capital One Spark for Business – New limited-time bonus up to $2,000 bonus cash back or 200,000 bonus miles.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers for personal cards. Notice that small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Note: Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards on your credit report within the past 2 years. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

  • 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,000 towards travel!) after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

United Explorer Business Card

  • 75,000 United miles after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip).
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to redeem for that saver award economy ticket.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business Card

  • Up to $2,000 cash bonus. Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. In addition, you can earn an additional $1,500 cash bonus if you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 2% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card

  • Up to 200,000 bonus miles. Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. In addition, you can earn an additional 150,000 bonus miles if you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months. 200,000 miles is redeemable for $2,000 towards travel. See link for details.
  • Flat 2X miles per dollar on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

  • 60,000 Rapid Rewards points (redeemable for $900+ in Wanna Getaway airfare) after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • $99 annual fee.
  • Combine with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Consumer Card to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

American Express Plum Card

  • $600 cash back. Earn a $200 statement credit after each $10,000 you spend in purchases, up to $30,000, within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 1.5% early pay discount on all purchases which stacks on top of the bonus above.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $250.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card

  • 75,000 bonus points after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Points can be used towards Starwood and Marriott hotel stays, or converted to select airlines miles.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95. Receive free night award (up to 35,000 points) upon card anniversary.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard

  • 70,000 American Airlines miles after $4,000 in purchases in the first 4 months. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic flights perk ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard (Barclaycard)

  • 60,000 Hawaiian miles after $1,000 in purchases with the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and the Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card (Bank of America)

  • 30,000 Alaska miles + BOGO Companion Fare Voucher after $1,000 in purchase within 90 days. See link for details.
  • Companion fare voucher is “Buy one ticket, get one for just taxes and fees” ($0 fare taxes and fees from just $22).
  • Free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • $50 annual fee for company, $25 per card.

United Explorer Business Card Review – 75,000 Bonus Miles Limited-Time Offer

The United Explorer Business Card is a co-branded business credit card between Chase and United Airlines. This card offers unique perks for regular United customers including free checked bags and expanded award seat availability for redeeming … [Read the rest]

Fidelity Rewards Visa Review: 2% Flat Cash Back + $100 Sign-up Bonus

Updated. Fidelity has condensed their rewards credit card line-up to a single card, the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card issued by Elan Financial Services (subsidiary of US Bank). It earns a flat 2% cash back when directed to an eligible … [Read the rest]

Chart: Stock Market Declines Are More Common Than You Think

If you invest in stocks, you know that they go up and down. Below is an S&P 500 histogram (source) showing the distribution of annual returns, which were negative 1/3rd of the time (and thus positive 2/3rd of the time). Not bad, you'll take those … [Read the rest]

IKEA Coupon January 2019: $25 off $150

IKEA has a new printable $25 off $150 coupon ] that is valid for two days only: January 19-20, 2019. The coupon states that you can also show it on your phone at checkout. Valid in US stores only. The fine print: Coupon is valid in store … [Read the rest]

Blooom Review 2019: Free 401k Analysis + Human CFP Financial Advice For $10 a Month

Does the New Year have you motivated to give your retirement account a tune-up? As opposed to many other online advisors, Blooom.com (with three Os) focuses on providing advice for 401k, 403b, 457, and TSP accounts by offering both a free 401k … [Read the rest]

Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – January 2019

Updated January 2019. That space in your wallet or purse is more valuable than you think. Credit card companies are fighting it out, offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to encourage you to apply and try it … [Read the rest]

Southwest Companion Pass via (a Single) Chase Southwest Credit Card Bonus

New shorter but easier Companion Pass offer with a single card sign-up. Southwest Airlines offers a unique feature called the Companion Pass, which lets you pick one person to fly with free when you book your own paid OR award flights. The … [Read the rest]

Best Interest Rates on Cash – January 2019

Here's my monthly roundup of the best interest rates on cash for January 2019, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. Check out my Ultimate Rate-Chaser Calculator to get an idea of how much extra interest you'd earn if you are moving … [Read the rest]

Sprint Free Year of Unlimited Data Promo: Get Free Service Through March 31st, 2020

Offer extended! Bring your existing AT&T or Verizon phone over to Sprint and get free unlimited data through March 31st, 2020. Sprint has an unadvertised "secret" promotion (no TV, radio, newspaper ads, not even mentioned on front page of … [Read the rest]

Big List of Free Consumer Data Reports (2/2): See Your Confidential Rental History, Insurance, Retail, & Employment Data

Links checked and new agencies added for 2019. Here is the second part of my big list of free consumer reports from over 50 different reporting agencies. The first part included your credit, banking, and subprime lending-related information. This … [Read the rest]

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