Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as buy and keep holding, a deep dive on the Nvidia CEO, the CRISPR era is here, the 24 best places to go, World of Hyatt program changes, how we earn money is more important than what we earn, most Americans are doing great financially, updates on the Ukraine Russia war, Henry Kissinger dies finally, several amazing photography links, music industry revenues, world of water towers, natural wonders hard to get to, adventure cats and a lot more!
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Welcome to my quirky original authentic blog. It all started back in 2012 focusing on my crazy
hobby addiction of frequent flyer miles along with hotel and bank points. It has since evolved to a curated weekly post of the best web content I find along with my commentary. Here to Educate primarily, sometimes Entertain and if I get to Inspire you, well, that is a bonus.
This blog publishes every Friday. If not Friday, it will be Monday. This is a one man labor of love operation, enjoy it white it lasts. I may post on a day that is not Monday or Friday.
We start out today’s blog post with a great article which I sent to my kids to read so when that happens you know it is great indeed: How You Earn Is As Important As What You Earn. The pitfalls of “easy money,” cannibalism, and the wisdom of Matthew McConaughey.
Yeah, so many grifters out there, avoid them at all costs:
“Seeking the easiest path to wealth is arguably a natural instinct, rooted in our ancestral past…It explains why financial media publishes so many articles glorifying supposedly lucrative yet easy side hustles. They generate a lot of clicks. (Real article title: “31-year-old mom left her job for a ‘simple and easy’ side hustle—she brings in up to $101,000 a month, works 30 minutes a day”…In many instances, individuals flaunting a luxurious lifestyle aren’t actually wealthy due to day trading or property flipping. Instead, their wealth often comes not from their strategies or hacks but from selling courses for them – they are essentially grifters. )“
And this is so true:
Becoming wealthy isn’t complicated: spend less than you earn and invest the surplus. While straightforward and achievable for almost anyone, the real challenge lies in the patience, discipline and emotional resilience required over many years. It involves enduring market fluctuations and potential losses, as investing is a long-term game.
As Warren Buffett succinctly put it: “Investing is simple, but not easy.”
The temptation of the easy option is always present, yet it’s not always the wisest choice. Better to take the harder road, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be quick about it. Save as much as you can and keep investing. Value perseverance. Focus on consistently striving for the greater rewards in life, recognizing that the most fulfilling achievements often require time, dedication and resilience.
I just can not understand the pessimism and negativity out there. I think social media and seeing everyone putting their best self on it is a major reason for this. But when you take a good objective look at where we stand you will realize that Most Americans are better off financially now than before the pandemic. Ok, the key word is “most” of course. But, I mean, come on now:
Jobs, paychecks, spending, wealth, and financial security have made big gains, which offset the burden of higher inflation. That’s true for most families. The good news stretches far beyond the rich.
- Millions more good jobs.
- Bigger paychecks, even after inflation.
- Consumer spending back on strong pre-Covid trend.
- Historic increases in wealth, including at the bottom.
- Lowest debt burdens on record.
Let’s keep building on this ok?
Jeff Sommer of the New York Times is becoming one of the few personal finance must reads lately. With his latest column: In the Stock Market, Don’t Buy and Hold, Just Hold. New research finding out there showed, please sit down, that market timing indeed does not work. The article gets into the advantages of passive investing and of course…holding which is definitely NOT easy to do when markets go into their regular tail spins. I have been through several of them and it is still very difficult to hold. And even harder to buy when everything is burning. Let others fall victim to their emotions, stay the course.
At this point I was going to add a new section titled “CHARLIE MUNGER” with some material about him now that he passed away at age 99 just about a month short his 100th birthday. But, you know, I have accumulated some great links about him and I think I am going to do a special post and publish it next Tuesday. So come back then ok?
Meanwhile, Dow is over 36,000 again and at a new high for 2023 and it has been a while for another all-time high. Of course, the opposite can happen in the short term. So, don’t go looking at the value of your portfolio this weekend and never ever fall in love with the highest number you see in your portfolio, just hold 😉
This is a long and great article on How Jensen Huang’s Nvidia Is Powering the A.I. Revolution. Definitely worth your time if you are interested. Very interesting background info on this genuinely nice guy who was bullied growing up and started Nvidia in a Denny’s restaurant. And this is a link bypassing the paywall.
And what a contrast with this genuine asshole who seems determined to kill Twitter just because he can smh: “Go f*ck yourself” — Elon Musk melts down on stage (video). You watch him and you wonder how many drugs he is on, sad!
I am hardly posting or spending time on Twitter anymore. But here are a few tweets from Illia Ponomarkenko that are must reads imho:
Ok, this one is not about geopolitics in general but it is about the Haunting of Modern China which I found very interesting how rapid urbanization is stoking paranormal anxieties there. In Nanjing, Hong Kong and other Chinese cities, rapid urbanisation is multiplying a fear of death and belief in ghosts. Boo!
I was not going to say anything about Henry Kissinger dying at age 100 as I am definitely not a fan. But I am going to let you read this article if you are interested: A tortured and deadly legacy: Kissinger and realpolitik in US foreign policy. Ok, if you think this is harsh…how about this one in the Rolling Stone publication: “Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies“. What a headline, ouch. Almost everyone in Cyprus and Greece hold this guy responsible for Turkey invading Cyprus and keeping that island divided since 1974…
ODDZ & ENDZ
This is big: “The CRISPR Era is Here“. I do remember watching the recipient of this on 60 Minutes some time ago and I am so happy that she has been cured and she is back to normal not having to go through such excruciating pains anymore. From The Atlantic. The much-hyped technology for editing genes has fulfilled one of its biggest promises. Still, it feels like messing with nature…and what happens if this is taken over by AI and stuff like that?
Newstands. Around the world.
Amazing Lazhar Mansouri photography exhibition at Westwood Gallery in New York City.
Another photography link, the best shots from the All About Photo Magazine Awards. It is all about…shapes.
50 Years of Music Industry Revenues, by Format. I do have lots of vinyl albums, cassettes and CDs in my basement.
Some surprising places on this list: The 24 Best Places to Go in 2024. Like, Accra in Ghana? And Kosovo, Red Sea and Upstate New York?
Interesting stuff, especially if you are into water towers: The Weird, Wonderful World of Water Towers.
Better get to these before we get too old! 5 Hard-to-Reach U.S. Natural Wonders That Are Worth the Effort.
If you are into cats and traveling: Man’s Best Friend Can’t Compare to These 9 Adventure Cats. Meow.
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
I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Where the University of Michigan beat Ohio State to remain undefeated last weekend. And what was the second most exciting thing that happened around here? It was this one lol: 12-year-old arrested after leading police on chase in forklift.
Very touchy car ad, too bad this was not by Ford: A Holiday to Remember.
Here in the Detroit area we can not believe two things when it comes to pro sports. The Detroit Lions having an 8-3 record in December and the Detroit Pistons just losing 16 straight games…what the hell happened to this historic franchise? We have the highest paid NBA coach now and this is what we get? How embarrassing smh.
Doing shockwave therapy on my left foot and I think it is time to do an MRI next…
This blog started with a focus on miles and points and travel. It has evolved since then. Everything below deals with the hobby of collecting frequent flyer miles and points and maximizing your travel experiences. If you are not interested, you can stop here, thank you.
MILES & POINTS NEWS/PROMOS/MY ACTION
I am going to try separating this Section this way:
If you stop at the Detroit Airport and you are looking at places to eat, here is a review by Eater: Where to Eat at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW).
Hyatt came out with some news revamping its Guest of Honor program, changing and adding new Milestone Rewards, adding gifting of rewards options and a lot more. Nothing earth shattering and not one of those “enhancements” we have gotten used to by the airlines lately. Hyatt has a smaller footprint and they just can not go full speed on devaluing its frequent guest program. So I guess loyalty does count a little bit more with them than other programs. But for how long? Always be loyal to yourself first!
For the longer version: Redefining Loyalty? World of Hyatt Announces Big Changes for 2024!
The miles and points online industry relies on pushing credit card sales via affiliate links. Over 90% of the
blogs businesses in it will quit when the banks stop paying them sales commissions from getting you the newbie to click on their credit card affiliate links. And you can take that to the bank (pun intended)! So, these blogs businesses just continue to pump out content marketing material to show you how amazing all these travel rewards credit cards can be. EVERY day 24/7, 365. You need to recognize that and only support bloggers you value!
So, this is what you get:
5 Great Trips You Can Book with a Single Credit Card Bonus – Remember the paragraph above.
A Beginner’s Credit Card Plan: How to Plan Your First Year Earning Points and Miles – Newbies have lots of clicks ahead of them, YOU are the target.
Did you see most of the blogs post about the Hyatt changes almost at the same time and wondered why? Because most of these bloggers were invited and wined and dined at the Hyatt Headquarters and if you think that has not influenced their writeups, well, I think you are wrong. I don’t get invited to such things. Even if I did how in the world can I then do an honest review? By accepting the invite you are already NOT impartial! So, like I said, just be careful out there.
I try to make all my credit card statements close on the Fourth of the month. And then I sit down and pay them all around the Sixth of the month. I use Mint to monitor them but the service is ending December 31 and will need to find another one, I have been using Mint for so many years and I will miss it.
November Blog Revenue: 2 credit card sales (both on November 1st and zilch for the rest of the month!), 2 Chase credit card personal referrals and 4 coffees sold. This is considered to be a good month around here actually. One day I need to move on but the few clicks keep this “business” going lol. Update: A third credit card sale happened late on November 30! There will not be any hiring around here sadly lol. Thank you for the support.
Always check my TOP THREE TRAVEL REWARDS CREDIT CARD OFFERS RIGHT NOW below. At this point, the two no brainer cards are still the two 90,000 NO Annual Fee Chase Business Ink cards, by far! 4 Reasons to Get a Chase Ink Cash or Unlimited Card Right Now. Available HERE. Chase will give you around $1,000 for free, come on! And also available with my REFERRAL link. I still can’t believe the 90k offers are STILL alive!
I did three more nights at a nearby Hyatt Place for 3,500 World of Hyatt points each. Which coincide with that promo ending November 30 that earns 3,000 points every three nights. I managed to earn a total of 18,000 points this way! This gets me to 53 night credits, 2 more will appear in a week after my personal World of Hyatt Visa statement closes for spending another $5k. And then I have another five nights booked in local Hyatt Place properties costing me 3,500 points each to get me to 60 elite night credits to requalify as a World of Hyatt Globalist. Not sure I have it in me to requalify in 2024, hoping for some amazing promotions along the way. And I am also thinking where to go in 2024 to use my suite upgrades, any suggestions?
So around the Fifth of the month I will get another 99,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for my latest Chase Business Ink Unlimited card. I have slowed way down doing this and I really need to focus on burning my stash. But, you know, it is hard to say no to fat SUBs (Sign Up Bonuses) from travel rewards credit cards and take from the banks. This only happens here in the US, what a country! 🙂
Remember when I filed an EU claim against Lufthansa for turning around the flight from Detroit to Frankfurt back to Detroit earlier this year with my mother? I used Flightright to help me file my claim and they were really good keeping me informed of the process. At some point in the late summer I was told that it will go to litigation and since then absolutely no word from them. So, incredibly disappointing and at this point I have mentally written it off. If something comes through it will be a bonus. The flight in question was back in late February 2023! Good post here on how to go about it without hiring a company to help you out: How I got over $1,400 for a delayed flight: A Guide to EU 261 Claims. Also, Lufthansa is probably the worst airline in handling these claims. Singapore Airlines is not. For the record. Update: Flightright just informed me that they are making a final request for payment from Lufthansa before they take the airline to court. Update2: Again, Lufthansa stalled and refused payment so there is a lawsuit active right now which will take another 6 to 12 months to resolve. So, if this happens to you, be very patient with Lufthansa!
It is good to see another bank jump into the travel rewards space I guess. I wish it was not Wells Fargo but it is as they appear to make a serious effort finally. We’ll soon find out more and especially the travel partners to be announced soon. Some old timer hobbyists took this bank to the cleaners earning almost unlimited 5% cash back, a hole they let wide open for a very long time. I guess the bank finally overcame that trauma to get back in the saddle lol. I am not talking anything illegal of course, just legendarily badly run. Anyway, something to look forward to I guess and definitely do not plan to go big most likely: Wells Fargo to add transfer partners and launch new Autograph card.
But this one we definitely need to monitor! AmEx Starts to Have “Up To XXX” Wording in Welcome Offer. Stop it now, enough tinkering for Pete’s sake!
It is hard to believe that Mile Nerd has been retired for five years! He only posts on the first of each month and the December post is really good talking about how he went to win a car in a game show for the sixth time and connecting with another game participant who has terminal cancer and just a few months to live. Also, he ponders like I do why he keeps blogging. The answer he comes up with is “To connect with you”. Which does sound true from my perspective as well.
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: 90k CHASE Ink Business Cash, 90k CHASE Ink Business Unlimited, 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture X, 75k CHASE Southwest Plus/Premier/Priority, 150k CAPITAL ONE Venture X Business, 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture Rewards, 100k CHASE Ink Business Preferred, 60K CITI Premier, $1,000 Cash Back CHASE Ink Business Premier, 140K CHASE IHG Rewards Premier (with $100 Statement Credit), 60k CHASE Sapphire, 60K CHASE Sapphire Reserve, 60k US BANK Business Altitude and many more including many AmericanExpress cards such as Delta Airlines, Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors 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 1,081,350 miles/points year to date in 2023 and have 4,256,614 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.
TOP THREE TRAVEL REWARDS CREDIT CARD OFFERS RIGHT NOW
Ok, the amazing 90k Chase Ink Business Cash and Chase Ink Business Unlimited card offers are back! These are NO ANNUAL fee cards. The Ink Business Cash earns 5% on office supply stores and internet/cable/phone services and 2% on gas and restaurants. Why don’t you go to Office Depot and buy gift cards of the stores you usually buy from, hello 5% Amazon! The Ink Business Unlimited works differently, it just earns 1.5% on everything…so if you were going to use a card to earn 1% why don’t you pull this one out instead? 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. you can apply HERE to support this blog, thank you (they can be found under Category/Business).
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 an 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!
Remember, you are NOT allowed to ever carry a credit card balance if you ever get a credit card here!
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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.