has partnered with CardRatings for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support. Portfolio Update – July 2012

Here's a mid-year update of our investment portfolio, including employer 401(k) plans, self-employed retirement plans, Traditional and Roth IRAs, and taxable brokerage holdings. Cash reserves (emergency fund), college savings accounts, and … [Read the rest]

Paying Estimated Taxes With Chase Ink Bold Card +

After getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card $500 in airfare bonus, I developed a taste for Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. You can cash out UR points at a flat 10,000 points = $100. You can also use them towards travel at an Expedia-like portal for … [Read the rest]

Provident Funding Mortgage Refinance Review

We finally signed the closing documents on our most recent mortgage refinance. We ended up going through the same local mortgage broker who linked us up with Provident Funding, which is apparently one of the largest private lenders in the country. … [Read the rest]

Exxon Mobil Speedpass Mastercard Promotion: Save 10 Cents a Gallon

Exxon Mobil and Mastercard have a promotion where if you link your Mastercard to a Speedpass, you'll get 10 cents off per gallon from 6/1/12 to 8/31/12. Good at any Exxon or Mobil, up to 100 gallons total. Rebates will be credited in October … [Read the rest]

S&P Persistence Scorecard: Don’t Pick Mutual Funds Based on Past Performance

It is very tempting to invest in an actively-managed mutual fund that has above-average returns. Why would you invest in the ones with below-average returns? However, there's something behind the whole "past performance does not guarantee future … [Read the rest]

Lending Club vs. Prosper Experiment: Which Has The Highest Returns?

I've decided to invest $10,000 in Prosper and Lending Club to compare their performance as an investment. Putting $5,000 in each will allow me to invest in 200 loans at $25 a piece, so that each loan will only be 0.5% of each respective portfolio. … [Read the rest]

Which Fuel-Efficient Cars Are Worth The Extra Money?

Recently, the NY Times had an article about how many models of fuel-efficient cars may take years to justify the extra cost. Here's a graphic from the article with data from TrueCar: (I note that the NY Times compares the Prius with the … [Read the rest]

New 401k Fee Disclosure Requirement Summary

New 401(k) plan fee disclosure requirements from the US Department of Labor are coming soon. This includes defined benefit, 401(k), 403(b), profit sharing, and other retirement plans. I was getting confused myself, so I wanted to summarize some of … [Read the rest]

Reflections on Fathers and Fatherhood

I've been thinking about fatherhood and my own father/son relationship. When I was young, my father was a comfortably-employed engineer, with two small kids and a house in the suburbs. But he decided that he wanted to go back to graduate school. … [Read the rest]

Zipcar $25 Free Driving Credit Offer

ZipCar is a membership-based car-sharing company that lets you rent cars by the hour (gas + insurance included) in many metro areas and college campuses. It can be good deal for those thinking about having one less car in your household (or who … [Read the rest]

Haggle To Lower Your Cable or Direct TV Satellite Bill

I've written several times about the significant savings you can achieve if you haggle with your media providers like DirecTV, be it broadband internet, telephone, or cable/satellite TV. A simple phone call can save you hundreds of dollars per year. … [Read the rest]

Scottrade Review: Trading Experience & Tips (Updated 2012)

I've had an account with Scottrade for several years now, and here is an updated, in-depth review for 2012 (last one I did was in 2006!). I will focus on all the little things that make brokers different from each other, from completing your taxes to … [Read the rest]

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