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Morningstar Star Ratings, Still Less Useful Than Expense Ratios

For investment nerds, the recent Wall Street Journal article The Morningstar Mirage was high drama. The subtitle got straight to the point: Investors everywhere think a 5-star rating from Morningstar means a mutual fund will be a top performer—it … [Read the rest]

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 50,000 Miles Limited-Time Offer

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards credit card has increased their sign-up bonus to 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Those 50,000 miles can be redeemed as a $500 credit towards any travel purchase … [Read the rest]

Early Retirement Income Update 2017 Q3: Do I Have Enough Yet?

How do you know when you portfolio is enough to retire on? You have to figure out a withdrawal strategy first. This is a tricky question and full of worries about running out of money. You could take out a fixed amount (i.e. $50,000 a year). … [Read the rest]

Early Retirement Portfolio Asset Allocation, 2017 Third Quarter Update

Here is an update on my investment portfolio holdings after the third quarter 2017. This includes tax-deferred 401k/403b/IRAs and taxable brokerage holdings, but excludes things like our primary home, cash reserves, and a few other side investments. … [Read the rest]

Housing Has Higher Long-Term Returns Than Stocks?

I finally got around to reading an academic paper that looked a bit dry but had a great title: The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870–2015 ] by Jorda, Knoll, Kuvshinov, Schularick, and Taylor. I wonder which of the authors came up with … [Read the rest]

California Residents: Southwest Credit Card Companion Pass Shortcut Offer

If you are a California resident, check out this special offer on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card that provides a shortcut to the SWA Companion Pass: Plus Consumer (CA Only), $69 annual fee, 40,000 point bonus Premier Consumer (CA … [Read the rest]

TD Ameritrade Commission-Free ETF List – Changes Effective November 2017

Updated. As of October 2017, TD Ameritrade notified their clients of the following changes to their commission-free ETF trading program. Here are the highlights from the e-mail: Here is the old ETF list ]. Through 11/20/17, they trade … [Read the rest]

Social Security Provides Majority of Retirement Income for Most Americans

The Washington Post has a rather depressing article on The New Reality of Old Age in America, which includes the following chart about Social Security: For 1/3rd of recipients age 65+, Social Security represents 90% or more of all their … [Read the rest]

Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman on Mental Accounting

Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize for Economics this year for his pioneering work in Behavioral Economics. Of course, he promptly said he would spend the prize money "as irrationally as possible". Here's a light-hearted Q&A from the NY Times. … [Read the rest]

Amazon Prime: Buying Add-On Items Without Minimums w/ Alexa

On of the main benefits of Amazon Prime is that you can buy things whenever you want with no minimum purchase requirement, shipped to you for free. Mostly. Amazon classifies some of their lower-priced products as "Add-On" items, which must be … [Read the rest]

MoviesAnywhere: 5 Free Digital Movies After Linking Accounts

MoviesAnywhere is a service that links up movies that you bought online at one retailer and lets you view them on another retailer. For example, you might buy a movie from iTunes and watch it from Amazon Video. This "digital movie locker" service … [Read the rest]

Amazon Cash: Add $25, Get $5 Bonus Credit

Updated. Amazon is running a new promotion that gives you $5 Amazon bonus credit if you add $25 via Amazon Cash. Amazon ran a similar promo earlier this year that expired, so note that this one is only valid if you haven't used Amazon Cash … [Read the rest]

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