Book Review: A History of Gold in the United States


Having been born after 1971, I have never lived in a time when the dollar was backed by gold. In an effort to learn more about the gold standard, I recently finished One Nation Under Gold: How One Precious Metal Has Dominated the American … [Read the rest]

XKCD on Credit Card Reward Optimization


XKCD has some clever observations about the pursuit of credit card rewards: I definitely spend more time thinking about optimizing things than is... optimal? rational? That's why I started a website, so I can justify it as a business pursuit! … [Read the rest]

Costco New Membership Discount Certificate

Here's a new link for a Costco Membership Activation Certificate where for $60 you can get the following ($115.63 total value): 1-year Gold Star membership ($60 normally), which includes a membership card for the primary cardholder as well as … [Read the rest]

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 [pdf] 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 [pdf]. Through 11/20/17, they trade … [Read the rest]

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Review: 60,000 Miles Limited-Time Offer

Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature Card

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

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® Review – 60,000 Miles Limited-Time Offer


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 60,000 American … [Read the rest]