Archives for November 17, 2016

FreeCreditReport.com Review: Free Experian Credit Report Every Month, No Credit Card Required

freecreditreport0Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, has bought the domain FreeCreditReport.com and converted it to a place where consumers can view their Experian Credit Report for free. There is no credit card required, no trial membership required. Like most of its competitors, “free” does mean that you’ll see advertisements and offers for paid premium features. Checking your own credit will not hurt your credit scores.

All things equal, why not get your credit reports “straight from the source”? If I get my Experian data directly from Experian, that means one less third-party that may have access to my personal information. (I admit, I do sign up for a lot of such sites anyway, and I signed up for this one as well.) Here’s a screenshot (click to enlarge):

freecreditreport1

Sign-up process. You will need to provide your personal information like name, address, birthdate, and Social Security Number. You’ll also need to verify your identity by answering some multiple-choice questions based on your credit report data.

I’m okay with some unobtrusive ads and upsells in exchange for free monthly credit reports. I have not tried any of their paid premium features. I did notice that when you sign up, it is not mandatory to sign up for their special offers. You can still proceed even if you uncheck the box.

How can I refresh my report? You can refresh your Experian credit report as often as every 30 days, but only if you log in to the website. Many sites operate this way, as it reduces their costs of grabbing your score if you are no longer interested. Also, they want you to log in so that they can show you advertisements.

Bottom line. FreeCreditReport.com is legit, owned by Experian, and offers free access to your Experian credit report. Experian already has all your information anyway. No credit card is required. Being able to get an updated report every 30 days is more frequent than other options.

See also: Get a free copy of your TransUnion credit report (another of the three major credit bureaus) through the TransUnion-owned site called TrueIdentity.

Amazon Prime $20 Off Grand Tour Promotion (11/18 Only!)

grandtour0If you’ve been in withdrawal from “proper” Top Gear, the new Amazon series The Grand Tour premiers on Friday, November 18th (press release). The three original stars Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have gotten back together and there are 12 new episodes that will stream weekly.

To try and attract these new gearheads, Amazon is running a one-day Grand Tour Prime promotion on Friday 11/18 from 12:00am ET to 11:59pm PT.

For one-day only, eligible new Prime members can join Amazon Prime for $79 (normally $99) and save $20 on your first year’s membership in celebration of The Grand Tour launch.

The promotion does not apply to existing or gift memberships. I’m not 100% positive on this, but I believe that a “new” membership simply means that your account must not currently have an active Amazon Prime membership, not that you’ve never had one in the past.

Here’s the official trailer on YouTube. If you already have Amazon Prime, here is the Grand Tour streaming link. I’ll definitely be watching. 🙂

IKEA In-Store Discount: $25 off $150 Coupon

ikea0Back again for this holiday season, IKEA has a printable $25 off $150 coupon ] that is valid until December 24th, 2016. The coupon states that you can also show it on your phone at checkout. Valid in-store only.

These are pretty rare. Here is the fine print:

Valid November 14 – December 24, 2016. One coupon per household. Valid in stores only. No cash value. Cannot be combined with other IKEA offers or discounts, except IKEA FAMILY product offers. Not valid on IKEA Kitchen Event offer, IKEA services, Eat for Free or Kids Eat Free IKEA Food Offers, IKEA FAMILY Individual Kitchen Planning Service Offer. Not valid on previous purchases or the purchase of IKEA Gift Cards. See store for details.

How To Become a Venture Capitalist for $100

indie_equity0

How would you like to add “Venture Capitalist” to your social media profiles?

Indiegogo and Microventures have teamed up to offer equity stakes in startups to virtually anyone for as little as $100. Here is an Indiegogo blog post and a NY Times article covering the announcement. Previously, only accredited investors were allowed access in such markets, and that required an annual income of $200,000+ or a net worth of $1 million+.

This is different from Kickstarter crowdfunding where you put up monetary support and at most get an early product sample or some form of personal recognition. This is an actual investment with the opportunity to earn a significant return. (Or you might never see it again.)

I decided to look more closely at one of the available investments. Republic Restoratives is an urban, small batch distillery and craft cocktail bar in Washington, D.C. You can invest as little as $100, which will get you the perk of being “periodically invited to special parties, happy hours and previews”. If you invest at least $250, you’ll also get a founders signed bottle of CIVIC Vodka.

In terms of financial upside, you have to look closely at the investment terms:

Security Type: Secured Promissory Notes
Round Size: Min: $50,000; Max: $300,000
Interest Rate: Revenue sharing agreement which provides the investors 10% of the Company’s gross revenue, up to the repayment amount of 1.5x of their investment
Length of Term: Until the repayment amount of 1.5x investment is repaid
Conversion Provisions: None

In this case, you don’t actually get equity. You have a promissory note that says you have dibs on part of future gross revenue, but only up to 150% of your initial investment. For example, if they raise $100,000 and they manage to bring in $1,500,000 in gross revenue, they’ll pay out $150,000. If you invested $100, you’ll then get at most $150 back. Even if they take over the world and become the next Pappy Van Winkle brand, you’ll get the same amount back. Too bad, I’d rather be able to say that I am partial owner of a bar. 😉

A brief look at another investment option, BeatStars, shows that you have the possibility of owning preferred shares of the business if the note converts.

Bottom line. In financial terms, equity crowdfunding is very risky. The businesses available are unproven and have decided not to go the traditional VC route. To put it bluntly, you really shouldn’t expect to see your money again. In my opinion, the benefits are mostly psychological. You get to feel good about supporting a business you want to succeed. You may get personal recognition via your name on a wall or a signed bottle of vodka. I like the idea of telling people that I “provide venture capital to startups” instead of my real job.

читайте здесь avtomaticheskij-poliv.net.ua

www.maxformer.com/richtraki