Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as the 2022 Tax Year Filing Guide, most rookie traders quit saving themselves and their marriages, a fun “Guess the House Price” game, we reflect on China’s policy towards Russia and Putin, SBF just can not shut up, economy is improving and so is inflation, get ready for another Tax Season, scammers proliferate and improve, there is a way to shift 529 Plan funds to Roth IRAs, how to end Putin for good, David Letterman goes underground in Kyiv, 10 conflicts to watch in 2023, we get the latest on Covid, the latest global passport rankings, how to tip around the world and reserve the final sections on the latest miles and points addiction and a lot more, enjoy the weekend!
TBB Blog Mission: To Educate. Entertain. Inspire. In That Order!
Support TBB by applying for CREDIT CARDS or visiting our LINKS or Donate
You like my blog? Send a link to someone please!
This blog publishes every Friday and some Tuesdays.
Welcome to all new blog readers from George, your diligent curator of the BEST web content I find and share with you. No ads, no clickbait.
Excellent two page Tax Year 2022 Filing Guide that you can download, you are welcome.
Some interesting conclusions here, amidst the relentless media hype talk of layoffs and recession: The Economy is Improving in Three Major Ways. Inequality is easing, we bent the cost curve in health care, we bounced back after the COVID recession. Archived Link. Also, inflation keeps going down too…
Be careful out there! Scammers pretend to be from your bank to drain your savings. The scammers are getting very smooth lately….beware, doubt every communication you receive!
There was a lot of hype initially how rich taxpayers can load up tax-free Roth IRA accounts of their kids…but the reality of the new tax law is a lot more restrictive. Yet the path exists and will be available in a few cases starting in 2024: Families can make a tax-free rollover from 529 plans to Roth individual retirement accounts starting in 2024.
The restrictions include:
- A $35,000 lifetime cap on transfers.
- Rollovers are subject to the annual Roth IRA contribution limit. (The limit is $6,500 in 2023.)
- The rollover can only be made to the beneficiary’s Roth IRA — not that of the account owner. (In other words, a 529 owned by a parent with the child as beneficiary would need to be rolled into the child’s IRA, not the parent’s.)
- The 529 account must have been open for at least 15 years. (It seems changing account beneficiaries may restart that 15-year clock, Levine said.)
- Accountholders can’t roll over contributions, or earnings on those contributions, made in the last five years.
I don’t know about you but I am excited getting ready to work on 2022 taxes! IRS tax season to begin Jan. 23: What to know about smaller refunds.
Interesting chart about the ETF industry:
This space is so full of scammers and some of them are just not very bright, like this guy: Brother of Criminal Bitcoin Mixing CEO Pleads Guilty to Stealing 712 Bitcoins From IRS.
After gaining access to his brother’s wallets, the newly flush Gary took out a $1.2 million loan through BlockFi, using bitcoin as collateral, to purchase a luxury condo in Cleveland. He also “spent bitcoin extravagantly” at strip clubs and on private jet flights. Photos recovered from his cell phone show a lavish evening out at a club: Gary bathing in a tub full of cash, a blissful smile on his face as scantily clad dancers mingle behind him. A text reveals that Gary paid $122,232 for the privilege of swimming in the pool of 100,000 one-dollar bills surrounded by the dancers. The massive bill included $15,000 for a “dancer fee” and $25,000 for the room…In July 2021, federal agents arrested Gary Harmon and searched his Ohio residence. They found wallets containing approximately $6,000 in bitcoin. As part of his plea agreement, Gary Harmon agreed to the forfeiture of more than $12 million in crypto, including 647 bitcoins, 2 ether and 17.4 million dogecoin.Gary Harmon has not yet been sentenced. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
I am sticking this one in here: Rookie Traders Are Calling It Quits, and Their Families Are Thrilled. It’s a good development for mankind to see all these “rookie traders” go back to real day jobs. I also sometimes wonder how publications can get people to consent to being quoted and even photographed, like this guy below! Archived Link.
Alan Garcia started trading on Webull Financial LLC early in the pandemic, when his work as a musician dried up. Soon, Mr. Garcia was parked at his desk each day from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. to manage his portfolio of about $2,000. He bet heavily on companies like ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp., which makes an electric car seating a single person; ticker symbol, SOLO. The obsession didn’t end when he sat down in the living room with his wife, Adriana Rodriguez, each evening. For about two years, he talked about investing. Mr. Garcia, a 34-year-old Houston resident, even started watching investing videos in bed at night. “He was here,” Ms. Rodriguez said, “but he wasn’t here.” In early 2022, Mr. Garcia lost everything in his portfolio on a bad options bet, leaving him in a foul mood. But the next morning, he felt relieved. After Ms. Rodriguez, a lawyer, left for the office, he worked on his music all day instead of checking the market. He hasn’t traded on the app since. Ms. Rodriguez is thrilled. Mr. Garcia agrees it is for the best—mostly, anyway. “We’ve never been this good in our lives,” he said. “One day I’ll get that $2,000 back though.” [I could unpack this in so many ways but I just can’t…smh!]
In the same WSJ article above, there is another example of a guy trading crypto ten hours a day and his wife who “would get a little frustrated just because it was taking up so much of his time and mental space”. To men: Don’t get sucked into this! To women: Maybe, I don’t know, bail out before you get really hurt? Also, did you notice it is mostly men who fall into this?
In the meantime, FTX bankruptcy folks have already recovered almost $5 billion! And this SBF dude just can’t shut up, wow! Sam Bankman-Fried Denies Stealing FTX Funds in New Online Post.
UKRAINE RUSSIA WAR
Hope this happens, the sooner the better! There’s a way to end Putin for good. There are two paths ahead, one is giving Ukraine all it needs to win the war.
Ukraine is risking everything — not just to defeat Putin, but to preserve the current world order based on right, not might, and on the hegemony of the U.S. as the supreme arbiter of that right. It’s easy to see which path to take.
David Letterman interviews Zelenskyy. In a Kyiv subway station in front of a live audience. With trains coming and going…
Fantastic thread examining China’s policy towards Putin’s Russia…and the world.
ODDZ & ENDZ
Excellent outline of 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2023.
2. Armenia and Azerbaijan
6. Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes
7. The Sahel
We catch up on all things Covid with Andy Slavitt interviewing Laurie Garrett.
Well, we all know how this worked out. But still, to see it in this animation is amazing! The Smartphone Effect on the Camera Market.
This is a fun game! Guess the House Price.
I have a dream: There is no tipping anywhere (and everyone is compensated in a fair way!). Until then, maybe you consult this: How Much You Should Tip Restaurant Staff, Hotel Staff, and Drivers in Every Country.
I think this may be the best one: Global Passport Rankings. Top Five: Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Spain. Bottom Five: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen.
Oh, the good old days of flying, enjoy! When flying stopped being glamorous.
Travel virtually and check out the Museum of Failure.
MILES & POINTS NEWS/PROMOS/MY ACTION
Good summary of The easy foreign airline frequent flyer programs you should be using. Mainly the following:Air Canada Aeroplan, Avios (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Qatar), Air France / KLM Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Avianca LifeMiles. And a follow up post: Challenging award programs you should put up with that lists pros and cons of the following programs: Singapore Airline KrisFlyer, ANA Mileage Club, Turkish Miles & Smiles,
Register for the latest Radisson Rewards Americas to earn 5k points HERE.
You can check out the landing pages of the latest World of Hyatt promotions along with a few online shopping promos for United and American HERE.
Two of the three 90k Chase Ink Cash cards are received and minimum spend taken care off, awaiting almost 200k Chase points to hit our accounts. Daughter’s app is taking longer, she had to sign a paper Chase sent to her to prove she exists. Signed and mailed back and it was received…only to let us know again that they will make a decision within the next 30 days. In the meantime, I transferred $10k to her Chase checking account to assist in the decision process. No phone call to the Chase credit reconsideration department has taken place….yet. It is impossible to resist 90k Signup Bonus for no annual fee cards!
Virgin Atlantic used to be the way to fly Delta on award flights. It still is…but not as much. And I am betting that at some point…it will resemble Delta absurd mileage prices. Save Your SkyMiles, Book Delta Flights through Virgin Atlantic.
A section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life and anything else that just does not fit in another section above.
My mother is staying with us and she is getting settled pretty well it appears. No travel in sight for us while she is here.
Running is going very well lately, hope it continues and no injuries interrupt my marathon training. Always a struggle to stay healthy as we age!
It felt great the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers and notmyfavoriteathlete Aaron Rodgers going home instead of the playoffs!
Peter Sellers was brilliant! Does Your Dog Bite? Lol.
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: 90k CHASE Ink Cash, 90k CHASE Ink Unlimited, 75k Capital One Venture X, 100k CHASE Ink Business Preferred, 60k CHASE Sapphire Preferred, 60k CHASE World of Hyatt Visa, 20k CHASE Freedom Flex, up to 30k CHASE Freedom Unlimited, 140k IHG Rewards Premier AND 1 Free Night and many more, including many AmericanExpress cards, including Delta, Marriott and Hilton cards! Please check out my Affiliate links. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. If you do not see a credit card with my affiliate links, perhaps I could refer you?
This section is about my
hobby addiction of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points since the early 1990’s! SKIP if you are not into it!
As of today, I have burned 31,700 miles/points year to date in 2023 and have 4,178,899 miles/points in the bank. Some do drugs, I do miles lol!
Thanks to US banks, very lucrative travel rewards credit card offers come and go all the time. This section will act as a reference point on the best CURRENT offers. I will designate new material preceded by NEW.
BASICS: This travel hacking hobby is mostly about getting the fat Signup Bonus of travel rewards credit cards while of course NEVER EVER carrying a balance. Banks have a marketing budget and are willing to give us many THOUSANDS of miles/points to travel mostly for free hoping to hook us to charge 20%+ interest rates on our balances. The poor souls who fall for their marketing paying these ludicrous interest rates end up subsidizing us responsible consumers who enjoy taking advantage of, cough, such bank marketing budgets! Some of us have been doing this for thirty years creating amazing travel memories…Feel free to ask me questions or post them in the comments.
BASICS: Prefer credit cards from the proprietary points programs of banks, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Network, Capital One Rewards Miles because they are a lot more flexible and are not devalued as frequently. Over pure airline and hotel travel rewards credit cards. Pure cash back credit cards may work for you best and they are getting more valuable as airline and hotel loyalty programs keep getting devalued. Sometimes, a pure no annual fee 2% cash back card works best for simplicity!
TOP TRAVEL REWARDS SIGNUP BONUS CARDS
These two NO ANNUAL FEE Chase Business cards are now offering an amazing 90,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, the Chase Ink Business Cash and the Chase Business Ink Unlimited! Bottom line, I think these are the BEST business travel rewards cards out there right now! The 90k Signup Bonus can be earned after $6k of spend on the cards in the first three months. I am not going to make a fool of myself with recurring “69 reasons I love these two cards”, this is not a sales maximization blog ok? You can click to find out more about them and you can apply HERE to support this blog, thank you.
The Capital One Venture X card offers a 75,000 point Signup Bonus after a minimum spend of $4k in the first three months. If you like simplicity and looking for one (premium) card, I highly recommend this card (and yes, I have it myself!). It has an annual fee of $395 but it comes with a VERY easy $300 statement credit for travel booked on its excellent travel portal, essentially turning it into a $95 annual fee card. But wait…there is more! On each card anniversary you earn 10,000 points essentially making it FREE! Every dollar of spend earns 2 points and flights booked on the travel portal earn 5 points per dollar. You get access to Capital One and Plaza Premium airport lounges and a Priority Pass Select lounge membership and, this is important, you can add FOUR authorized users FOR FREE who can also have their own Priority Pass Select airline lounge membership. You can transfer your Capital One points to up to 18 Transfer Partners. No foreign transaction fees. Free Hertz President’s Circle rental car top elite status. Cell phone protection and PRIMARY rental car coverage. Awesome seats at baseball stadiums for just 5k points each. And lots more. Available with my Credit Card Links, thank you for your support!
We have higher Chase United card offers! Chase United Airlines Cards: Increased welcome offers, up to 100K. Respect blogs that DO promote the best credit card offers for their readers while hurting their own pockets. Which means run away from blogs that only write about their own inferior affiliate offers hurting their own gullible readers who are kept in the dark. Anyway, my own REFERRAL LINK has the best offers listed, except the offer 90k United Quest card, use the link in the article instead for that one.
There is a new offer which could land you 130,000 Hilton Honor points along with a few Hilton free night certificates if…you can afford to devote $15k of spend on the Hilton Business card. If you are interested, please support the blog by applying for the card HERE, thank you!
Remember, you are NOT allowed to ever carry a credit card balance if you ever get a credit card here!
Let me leave you with this…
Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoy it please pass it on to a family member or friend, thank you!
Some of the links are behind a paywall. You can try to read them using Archive.is.
Follow TBB on Twitter @FlyerTalkerinA2.
You can subscribe to TBB below, winners only!
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.