Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as the 2024 EV tax breaks, the FIRE movement, must read about undersea cables, the best winter drives, the best soups, Michigan sports fans living the dream, last minute tax breaks in Congress, historical market returns, Vanguard says no to Bitcoin and Jamie Dimon rips it again, deep dive on Binance and AI may kills us all, learn about barcodes and selling citizenships, amazing photography, scammer dogs and the essential info you need about the crazy wold of frequent flyer miles and points. Enjoy the weekend, stay warm and go Detroit Lions!
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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, 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 on Fridays. This is a one man labor of love operation, enjoy it white it lasts. I may post on a Tuesday going forward if I get to it.
This is just insane to be doing this in mid January! Tax breaks for parents, businesses possible in last-minute deal. And you wonder why Congress has such a low approval rating? Don’t get me wrong, I support these tax breaks but the ship has sailed! Instead of doing this late last year to ensure the IRS finalizes the tax forms and adjust their computer programs embedding these changes…they wasted this opportunity only to let the IRS finalize the tax forms and open its doors to accept efiled tax returns on January 29th. If this passes now, it is going to be hell from the IRS and all tax software providers and the efiling will be postponed. Wearing my CPA hat, if these pass, the already packed tax season is going to get even crazier!
Good post about the Historical Returns For Stocks, Bonds & Cash. To enjoy the higher returns of Stocks you must endure pain, nothing is free.
With a long-term inflation rate of 3% over this period these are the historical real returns for each asset class since 1928:
- Stocks +6.8%
- Bonds +1.6%
- Cash +0.3%
Personally and for my wealth management clients, we choose Option #1. Always.
Investors essentially have two choices since market timing is next to impossible:
1. Diversification. A portfolio made up of stocks, bonds and cash is far from perfect. But a diversified mix of these building block asset classes can be durable under a variety of market and economic environments.
2. Intestinal Fortitude. If you’re going to concentrate all or most of your money in a single asset class like stocks you need to be disciplined when they get crushed from time-to-time. Having a liquid asset like cash can help but some people do have the ability to sit on their hands when stocks fall.
If you are looking to buy an Electric Vehicle and thinking about them tax credits, this is for you: How to Get the Biggest Tax Break for Buying an EV. A guide to the changing rules for federal tax credits on electric-vehicle purchases.
With the introduction of eleven Bitcoin ETFs, I predict more companies will try to jump in before a vicious fee war erupts. And then Vanguard says, no thanks, you can go elsewhere, we don’t need this shit. Vanguard Got Bitcoin Right. This is why the vast majority of my own and clients’ assets are in broad based Vanguard ETFs.
What matters is that Vanguard obeys not the letter of Bogle’s law but its spirit. The company’s decision to exclude bitcoin ETFs meets that standard. Whether Vanguard has selected the right ground onto which to make its stand remains to be seen. What matters is the mindset. Vanguard became the world’s largest fund company partly because its management knew when to say no. That it remains willing to do so is a positive sign for the company’s financial health—and for those of its clients.
It is really very interesting that JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon keeps saying that this is the last time he mentions Bitcoin…repeatedly. So, at Davos, he said it again lol. And here he goes:
Dimon continued his criticism of Bitcoin, saying “it does nothing.” “I call it the pet rock,” he said. Dimon then corrected himself to say he did think Bitcoin did actually have some uses. They just all happened to be illegal such as money laundering, fraud, tax avoidance, or as payment for sex trafficking, he said.
When CNBC asked Dimon about companies that offer crypto products to their clients, he replied with the same dismissiveness he reserved for the asset itself. “Number one I don’t care,” he told Sorkin. “So just please stop talking about this shit.”
But he will take the money eventually…
Molly White unloads on Binance. On video. Everything you wanted to learn about this company, enjoy.
Interesting interview about AI: Benedict Evans: ‘AI will just be software…unless it kills us all’. Tech and media analyst Benedict Evans on the artificial intelligence ‘platform shift’ and why generative AI is giving people ‘infinite interns’. I guess time will tell…
Unless Putin dies or is driven out of power (preferably by being thrown out of a window), the fact remains that Victory Is Ukraine’s Only True Path to Peace.
Can you imagine terrorists attack these cables on a massive scale? Anyway, this is a must read, I had no idea! The Hidden World of Undersea Cables. So fascinatingly educational. The history, videos with sharks eating cables, that building on 60 Hudson Street in Manhattan, just wow.
ODDZ & ENDZ
Fascinating stuff about something we use every day: The Barcode Engineered Its Own Downfall. And how it has not changed in over 50 years #mindblown. We’ll see if the QR codes will last anywhere near this long.
If you need to notarize a document right away, how about connecting with a notary online at Proof?
Amazing talent! Zay Yar Lin Photography.
Hey, wanna get another passport? Selling Citizenship. They are always on sale somewhere around the world for the right price.
It is that time of the year: 13 Beautiful Winter Drives Around the United States.
If you visit Northern Greece, you need to visit: These historic Greek sites shed fresh light on Alexander the Great’s lost kingdom.
For some reason I have cravings for ramen lately, I can not explain it. 20 of the World’s Best Soups. Which one is your favorite? Any recommendations for ramen in Southeast Michigan? I am all ears.
The pictures from the volcano eruption in Iceland are crazy.
MRI results are in and I am seeing my foot doctor later today to explain all the medical terminology on it. My regular doc said to keep resting it. No fractures or tears. And this: “There is edema within the dorsal and plantar interosseous muscles between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals suggestive of muscle strains”. If you can translate it, please do so in the comments. The “strains” reference jumps out at me. A three mile walk yesterday and today I am feeling it at that spot. Time to take up…bodybuilding? Ice fishing? Or…pickleball?
Here in the Detroit area we are living THE dream these days with our sports teams. After a magical undefeated season and national championship by the University of Michigan football team, the Detroit Lions won a playoff game after 32 years! At home. Against the quarterback we swapped with that jump started the team’s revival from the ashes. And get this. We have another home playoff game against a team we beat easily earlier in the season. Of course, we know the team’s losing legacy and expect the worst. But, maybe, this is the new Detroit Lions? Bring it on!
It is difficult to describe how amazing it feels after spectacular misery for decades. It even brings joy to dying fans, like this one: Detroit Lions fan in hospice care dyes hair Honolulu Blue to support the team. And yes, Lions player Amon-Ra St. Brown honored by man in hospice care who died his hair blue and has reached out. Sports can bring these joyful moments, yes.
Also, I really wanted to go but it was way too cold and I value health very highly lol: Fans brave cold to celebrate Michigan football championship parade.
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
It has been another mild winter so far. Until we hit a brutal cold stretch in the past week. We hit -30 F with the wind chill a few times, brrrrrrrrrrrrr.
I am sticking this one here because, why not? 35 Airports Pilots Would Rather Never Land In If They Could Choose. This one is for the aviation geeks.
A reader asked me what happened to the SCAMS section. Well, like everything else around here, everything is fluid. So it has been missing until one day it comes back. Maybe it went to the dogs like this one.
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 separating this Section this way:
It will be interesting to see what these airlines do next: Judge Blocks Spirit/JetBlue Merger After Antitrust Challenge. Spirit’s Board had recommended to accept Frontier’s lower bid but the shareholders held out for more money only to get bitten in the ass. Spirit’s stock was decimated after the decision was announced. Maybe there is a class action lawsuit against the shareholders lol.
It is amazing how Marriott Bonvoy manages to totally wreck any chance for us to get any value out of its program, wow. No Marriott match to MGM, but elite nights live on: MGM / Marriott partnership details.
If you are into Alaska Airlines miles, there is a 70k Alaska Airlines VISA offer right now. $95 annual fee, minimum spend is $3,000 within the first 90 days. Available HERE. In Card Issuer/Bank of America. Watch this bank and make sure your payments do get applied and when you eventually close the card it is indeed closed. There is a 75k offer for a business card link floating online.
Looks like Chase has raised the Signup Bonus on its World of Hyatt cards. And of course they have neglected to let me know too so they are not available with my affiliate links. This happened last time they were going for 75,000 points. Hopefully, they appear and you can support the blog by getting one only after you decide this is the correct decision for you. Here are the details of the Chase World Of Hyatt Business Card: 75,000 Signup Bonus. Note the much higher minimum spend required to get the final 15,000 points. These cards are great for World of Hyatt fans, I keep the personal Visa and in our household we have cycled through them. Maybe I can go and get the Business card later in the year after I have a better feel on whether to try to requalify for World of Hyatt Globalist elite status. Or, to protect yourself from a future steep devaluation in the World of Hyatt program, you know, you can still get the two Chase Ink Business cards below, save the annual fee and still get 75,000 points from each card you can hold on to before you decide where to transfer the points to, Hyatt or Aeroplan or wherever your travel goals can fit them.
The Signup Bonus for the two no annual fee Chase Ink business cards is down to 75,000 points. It is shocking the 90k Signup Bonus that just expired lasted so long. The 75,000 point Signup Bonus is still excellent. I think I am going to keep them both in my Top Three Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers, see below.
The TOP offer NOW is the 75k Capital One Venture X card. It is amazing what you get for free with this card actually. And knowing the stingy history of Capital One bank it amazes me this offer is still alive.
Always check my TOP THREE TRAVEL REWARDS CREDIT CARD OFFERS RIGHT NOW below. Available HERE.
I am still working on the minimum spend on my wife’s latest Chase Ink Business Unlimited card to earn another 90,000+ points. I should have this completed by the 4th of next month when all our credit cards’ statements close.
I had some Avis points from a car rental in Greece a few years back. And those points were expiring so the day before I went online and booked myself an SUV rental. The rep was not in a joking mood when I asked if an upgrade to a Ferrari was available. Anyway, he gave me a Hyundai Santa Fe vehicle which was actually a smooth ride.
I am thinking to travel somewhere for a weekend before client tax return data starts coming in. And combine a night in a fantastic Hilton and Hyatt property, hopefully very close to each other. In a city easy to get in and out of. That we have not visited yet. I know, I am asking for a lot. But any suggestions? These Free Night Certs I have are screaming to be used. I know, first world problem.
I guess I am going to try that with my Hilton Surpass card: Hilton gift cards trigger American Express Surpass statement credits.
Dell statement credits may be on their way out with the Amex Business Platinum card. If I had a dollar every time I read online how unhappy people are with getting these orders to go through…
I am really scared that SLH hotels will ditch World of Hyatt for, please sit down, Capital One, wtf! Small Luxury Hotels of the World & Capital One Travel Partnership.
Son, as I am typing this, is on an Alaska Airlines flight and after he touches down he will satisfy the requirements to achieve MVP Gold elite status. And he has already asked me about matching opportunities with other airlines. And I am looking into it, any advice welcome. I have these two links to study for now:
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: 75k CHASE Ink Business Cash, 75k CHASE Ink Business Unlimited, 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture X, 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, 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 27,829 miles/points year to date (1,148,286 in 2023) and have 4,473,148 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
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!
The Chase Ink Business Cash and Chase Ink Business Unlimited card offers are back down to a 75,000 Signup Bonus! 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 still the BEST business travel rewards cards out there right now! The 75k 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).
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.