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:

vanguardbarr

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

inkunlimited2018Chase 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 card is a flat, unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Here are the details:

  • $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit. Simple.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • No annual fee.

Ultimate Rewards points. The cash sign-up bonus actually comes in the form of Ultimate Rewards points at 1 point = 1 cent in cash. 50,000 points = $500 cash. If you have one of the other annual fee cards that offer a boost in value like the Ink Business Preferred, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer your points between Ultimate Rewards accounts and redeem using that other card’s 25% travel bonus. This can increase the value of your points.

You could think of this card as the small business version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

Prefer airline and/or hotel points? If you transfer over your Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (or Ink Plus business card), then you can use that card to transfer into hotel and/or airline miles. If you value those miles/points at more than 1 cent per point, then your 1.5X rewards from this card can be significantly higher. Examples:

– You could earn 1.5 United miles per dollar spent.
– You could earn 1.5 Hyatt points per dollar spent.
– You could earn 1.5 British Airways Avios per dollar spent.
– You could earn 1.5 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent.

For example, if you placed a perceived value of 1.5 cents on each United mile or Southwest Rapid Rewards point, then you’d receive 2.25 cents of perceived value per dollar spent with this card. Your actual numbers will depend on your own specific redemption choices.

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

Bottom line. This Chase small business card has a large sign-up bonus and flat 1.5% cash back with no annual fee. If you have certain other Chase credit cards, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points over to those cards and increase your value. Be sure to compare with other Chase small business cards – Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Cash.

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

inkpreferred2018

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

inkcash200

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]

Free National Emerald Club Executive Membership

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(Update 2018: Here is a new alternative sign-up link that should give you instant Emerald Executive Club status at National. I'm not sure if my previous link below still works, but it did as of March 2018 according to the comments. More details … [Read the rest]