Homeowner’s Insurance: How Much Can You Save By Comparison Shopping?

In an ideal world, you would always comparison shop every product or service. But in the real world, that takes time and effort. Is is worth the bother? To estimate the potential benefit of shopping around, Priceonomics analyzed homeowner’s insurance premiums across 12 states (for a similar level of coverage).

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They ranked each state by taking the difference between quotes in the 25th and 75th percentiles.

We found that the difference between the premiums was substantial, and shopping around can lead to dramatic changes in pricing. Of all the states we looked at, Texas had the biggest discrepancy in prices — there was a $2,182 range in insurance prices between a 25th and 75th percentile quote. Even at the low end, in New Hampshire the price ranges between quotes at these percentiles was $363 per year.

The article does a deeper analysis for California and Texas:

It’s night and day between California and Texas. Texas is one of the most expensive states to get home insurance in the country, owing partly to the frequency of catastrophic weather events and partly due to higher insurer expenses. Not only does zip code 78521 in Brownsville have a 25th percentile of premium greater than San Francisco’s 75th percentile, but it’s 75th percentile is more than double that!

Basically, you should shop around everywhere as you could save hundreds per year at a minimum. But you should really shop around in Texas. You know, unless you don’t want to save potentially $2,000 a year.

Jack Bogle Profile & Vanguard Historical Chart in Barron’s Magazine

barr_boglecoverThe Barron’s magazine cover article* this week is a profile of Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard. It covers a lot of things that Bogle fans may already know (origin story, dislike of ETFs), but there were several bits that were new to me. I look forward to reading his last book that includes an “anecdote-rich history of Vanguard” and personal reflections.

(*Barron’s has a paywall, but usually allows limited access to Google search visitors. Try searching “Jack Bogle’s Battle” in a private window.)

Here’s a chart of how Vanguard has changed since 1974:

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The article brings up the argument that index funds are becoming too popular and now bad for the world. I don’t worry about this at all. If inefficiencies become easy to take advantage of, things will naturally swing back. The loudest complainers always seem to be high-fee managers who are getting paid less lavishly for their services:

His favorite punching bag remains the mutual-fund industry. He likes to point out that closet indexing is pervasive with actively managed funds, and that traditional funds haven’t passed along economies of scale until pressured by Vanguard’s fees. There have been few casualties yet among asset managers, even as active stock funds suffered outflows nine of the past 10 years. And the industry has surely improved: Investor outcomes are better, costs are lower, information is better, thanks in part to Bogle.

Says Bogle, paraphrasing Martin Luther King Jr., “the arc of fiduciary duty is long, but moving in the right direction.” Bogle intends to see that it keeps doing so. “I have no corporate power,” he continues. “But I believe I still have more ethical and intellectual power. And that is good enough for me.”

Bogle is one of those rare authentic voices who say what they think and don’t care if others agree (even the rich and powerful). The adjective “cantankerous” is used – I hope to be called that eventually!

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card Review: $500 Cash Bonus, 1.5% Flat Cash Back, No Annual Fee

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Chase has freshened up their line-up of small business credit cards. The new Ink Business Unlimited Card is offering a $500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. The special feature of this … [Read the rest]

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card Review: 80,000 Point Bonus, Travel Rewards

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Chase has freshened up their line-up of small business credit cards. The Ink Business Preferred Card is offering a 80,000 point bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This flavor is their "premium … [Read the rest]

Chase Ink Business Cash Card Review: $500 Cash Bonus, 5% Back Categories, No Annual Fee

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Chase has freshened up their line-up of small business credit cards. The Ink Business Cash Card is offering a $500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. The special feature of this card is are … [Read the rest]

Motivation: Take Advantage Of Being 29, 39, 49, or 59 Years Old

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I'm turning 40 years old this summer. This number has always been a psychological marker for me. I've always wanted to be financially secure and have started a family by age 40. According to this Atlantic article by Daniel Pink*, I'm far from … [Read the rest]

Frequent Flier Miles: Which Airlines Are Easiest To Redeem Economy Awards?

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Cashing in your frequent flier miles for a free flight can be hit or miss, especially around a holiday. Which airlines are the most generous with making seats available? Each year, IdeaWorks tries to run a fair comparison of all the major … [Read the rest]

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Review – 60,000 Bonus Miles

Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature Card

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, from our partner Citi, has updated the offer on their co-branded American Airlines credit cards.  Here are the updated card highlights: For a limited time, earn 60,000 American … [Read the rest]

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® Review – 70,000 bonus miles

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The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, is running a limited-time offer on their co-branded American Airlines credit cards. Here are the details: Designed for businesses For a limited time, earn 70,000 American … [Read the rest]

Hilton American Express Cards Limited Time Offers (75k, 100k, 125k Points)

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The following Hilton Hotel co-branded credit cards with American Express have limited-time offers. The current AmEx policy is that applicants can only get one welcome offer, per card in your entire lifetime, so if you’re going to get one you might … [Read the rest]

iPhone 6S Plus + New Apple Battery = Best Used/Frugal Phone?

Update 3/17: DailySteals just added new stock in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S at under $200 (Verizon + Fully GSM unlocked). Compare with Swappa. iPhone 6 / 16GB - $149.99 iPhone 6S / 16GB - $189.99 iPhone 7 / 128GB - $379.99 More and more … [Read the rest]

Why Pursue Financial Freedom: Fulfilling Retirement Activity vs. Ideal Job

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski continues to offer smart observations on retirement. For example, when people are working, their idea of leisure is often passive: watching TV, listening to music, shopping, or eating at … [Read the rest]