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Free $5 Gift Card for Joining Starbucks Rewards

Starbucks is offering a free $5 gift card for new members of their Starbucks Rewards program that register a Starbucks (gift) card. If you don't have one, you can either buy one from a physical store or use their mobile app. Ends … [Read the rest]

iShares Core ETF List: Lower-Cost Index ETFs for Buy-and-Hold Investors

The index fund fee wars continue... You may or may not know that Blackrock's iShares is the largest ETF provider in the world, with over 250 US-listed ETFs and the largest asset base by a good margin. iShares ETFs tend to have big volume and are … [Read the rest]

Fidelity Freedom Funds Review: Avoid High Cost Target Date Retirement Funds

Updated and revised. Fidelity Investments does a lot of things well, but their Fidelity Freedom series of target-date retirement funds is not one of them. I've been warning people about these funds since 2006, although recently they've been … [Read the rest]

Fidelity Spartan Index Mutual Fund Fee Reductions, Lower Minimum Investments

Fidelity Investments made some cost-cutting moves recently to try and keep their index fund products competitive (full press release). This comes at the same time that their actively-managed equity funds are seeing large amount of withdrawals, per … [Read the rest]

Recent Vanguard Index Fund Benchmark Changes = Lower Costs

Recently, Vanguard has made some big moves in the index fund space. Well, they were big for people in the business, but for individual investors it basically boiled down to some simple good news: even lower costs, which happily means larger … [Read the rest]

Billboard #1 Song In The US is about Frugality?!?

For the 4th week in a row, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 is "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz. It's also currently the #1 download on Amazon MP3 Top 100. The song is about... frugality? ...buying clothes from … [Read the rest]

LivingSocial: 20% Off Coupon Code 2/20-2/22

LivingSocial has a new promo code MYFEB which will get you 20% off almost any deal for $100 or less, local or nationwide. Look for "Redeem promo code" during checkout. Valid for first 10,000 uses. Must be used by February 22, 2013, 11:59 p.m. … [Read the rest]

Links: How to Make Money in the New Share Economy

Forbes has an article about how the share economy is taking off. The primary focus is on AirBNB, which lets you rent out a room in your home with ease and last year booked around 15 million nights of stays. I've written about some of these sites … [Read the rest]

Jemstep Portfolio Manager Review

When I first reviewed JemStep in 2011, it analyzed your current portfolio and made customized mutual fund rankings. Flash forward to 2013, and they've moved into the portfolio management and advice space, similar to previously-reviewed sites like … [Read the rest]

A Beach Less Traveled: From Corporate Job to Flip Flop Perfumer – Book Review

The book A Beach Less Traveled sounded like just the thing to read during a winter weekend... an American couple shares about their true story of going from "corporate chaos" to living in a tropical paradise where they run a small perfume shop. I … [Read the rest]

Market Timing Is Hard: Actual Investor Returns Lag Fund Returns

When you look up the historical performance of mutual funds, you are typically getting what is called a time-weighted return. For example, the 5-year return is what you would have gotten if you bought the fund five years ago and held it continuously … [Read the rest]

Motif Investing Adds New Passive, Index Fund Portfolios

Motif Investing is a new brokerage firm that is unique in that it lets you buy an entire basket of up to 30 stocks for only $9.95 per trade. I previously thought that this would be useful to creating your own "custom ETF" of whatever you want, for … [Read the rest]