Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as another FIRE rant, the hunt for FTX assets will go on for years, the hideous Frank scam JP Morgan fell for $175 Million, the most dangerous national parks, investing for the long-term only will keep you sane, stop falling for ever innovative Wall Street ways to separate you from your money, America is on the right track, identical twins business titans, Argentina and Twitter are hardcore basket cases, one hour movie dedicated to showing Crypto is a scam, there goes Genesis bankrupt, an amazing medical mystery story, 10 breakthrough technologies in 2023, amazing dog photography and the most awesome jellyfish you will ever see I guarantee it, latest miles and points promotions, my running resources I use on my long path to qualifying for Boston marathon (ok, this was a joke) and more!
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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.
I added two new sections: Business/Economy and Scams. We are all evolving…
There is no way to do investing right if you focus on the short term. Never! Because, The Long-Term Wins. Always. At the same time, you know, in the long run we are all going to die so…always remember that too ok? And also, remember, there are no guarantees!
I have been in the financial industry for a long time. And I swear, Wall Street is relentless in pursuing to separate investors from their cash. Appealing to their inner greed and fear emotions. An Iowa Farmer Tried to Dodge Stock-Market Turmoil. It cost him $900,000. It just never amazes me how they can keep coming up with such schemes smh…and victims keep falling for them! Archived Link.
Investors can avoid such headaches by trusting—but verifying. Buy nothing whose fees aren’t explicitly disclosed upfront in writing. Buy nothing without a prospectus or offering memorandum that discloses financial data, risks and conflicts of interest. Be wary of anybody who suggests putting private placements in your IRA or 401(k).
You know where I stand on the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement. This write up of mine made into the Wall Street Journal some years ago actually. Anyway, I love rants against FIRE and this is a good one: My First 2023 Rant.
Their pitch goes something like this: “Hey, if I can save half or more of my income, retire at 33, raise three children and put them through college, you can, too. I’ll show you how—for a fee.” FIRE is big business.
My first thought was…Just wait for the debt-ceiling insanity later this year! Despite Everything You Think You Know, America Is on the Right Track. Anyway, you know, media loves negativity and doom and gloom because it sure sells. But when you step back you realize that Yes, America is a wounded giant—but it always has been, and the case for optimism is surprisingly strong. And if I have a fault is that I am an eternal optimist! This reminds me back in the day when I was much younger interviewing for jobs and my greatest weakness always was that I tried too hard lol. Archived Link. If you want a positive take on where we are, read this. It ends this way:
America is a wounded giant, and many of its wounds are self-inflicted. But America has always been a wounded giant. And it has always stumbled forward, driven by an inner turbine of ambition and aspiration that knows no rest.
So, you are identical twins and…you turn this into a business empire focusing on everything involving…identical twins, wow! How two sisters monopolized the identical-twins business. On Nov. 14, 1994, Debbie and Lisa Ganz opened a new restaurant in Manhattan. And then you won’t believe what happened next!
Argentina used to be a very rich country. More than one hundred years ago. And it has been sinking pretty much ever since…but hey, it has three World Cups! Can Argentina Recover? Emerging Market Lessons. Good luck, I hope they do. Will I bet on it? Nope. If Messi ever decides to run for President he will likely win overwhelmingly!
But as the post-World Cup glow subsides, the country faces significant and deep-seated economic and financial challenges. Inflation reached an annualized rate of 92.4% for the period ending 30 November 2022, placing added pressure on a population already hard hit by years of stagflation and anemic economic growth. Moreover, after three decades of deficit spending, concerns about the solvency of Argentina’s public debt remain ever present. Indeed, the current prices of credit default swaps (CDS) indicate a 60% chance of default by 2024, according to Cbonds data. Argentina has not always endured such dire economic conditions. In fact, it was the 10th richest country in the world per capita in the early 20th century. To be “as rich as an Argentine” was a common aspiration.
Best of Web: Extremely Hardcore. Twitter’s staff spent years trying to protect the social media site against impulsive billionaires who wanted to use the reach of its platform for their own ends, and then one made himself the CEO. Wow, must read. In its entirety, no excerpts.
Brace for a battle spanning years: The Hunt for FTX’s Missing Riches.
Counting investors and depositors, ftx has over a million creditors—making it, by this measure, the ugliest corporate carcass ever seen. The empire’s implosion has left 134 insolvent entities in 27 jurisdictions. They range from ftx Zuma, an exchange in rural Nigeria, to Good Luck Games, an online card-game developer. The proceedings could take a decade, and may turn up more allegations of wrongdoing.
Crypto: The World’s Greatest Scam. Screw Netflix, watch this documentary on YouTube.
Update: Just when I was about to click “Publish”, Genesis finally declared bankruptcy. And the dude handling the FTX bankruptcy ordeal hinted that the company may come back…in some form. At this point…anything is possible I guess.
Best of Web: This scam took $175 Million from JP Morgan. For basically…a manufactured email list, amazing! JP Morgan Says Startup Founder Used Millions Of Fake Customers To Dupe It Into An Acquisition. JPMorgan Chase is suing the 30-year-old founder of Frank, a buzzy fintech startup it acquired for $175 million, for allegedly lying about its scale and success by creating an enormous list of fake users to entice the financial giant to buy it. You will freak out when you read this! The audacity of it all…and the sheer stupidity capturing it all in company email accounts LOL. Have fun reading this and if you scream out loud “Why aren’t they in jail?” like me…we understand. This guy went through the lawsuit in a long Twitter thread, grab your popcorn!
UKRAINE RUSSIA WAR
The madness continues as we are nearing a full year since the invasion started on what was supposed to be a three day war…
At this point, how can anyone defend Russia is beyond me…The photo below from that horrific strike on an apartment building in Dnipro shows the terrorist state tactics by the Russian state, 45 dead, six kids included in them and too many injured, it is horror.
ODDZ & ENDZ
Best of Web: One of the most amazing medical mystery stories I have read in a very long time, wow! The DIY Scientist, the Olympian, and the Mutated Gene. How a woman whose muscles disappeared discovered she shared a disease with a muscle-bound Olympic medalist. It will blow you away…
Watch out! 10 Breakthrough Technologies in 2023.
CRISPR for high cholesterol
AI that makes images
A chip design that changes everything
Mass-market military drones
Abortion pills via telemedicine
Organs on demand
The inevitable EV
James Webb Space Telescope
Ancient DNA analysis
I don’t do clickbait. But…I guarantee you that you have never seen such an amazing jellyfish, WOW!
Do you like dogs? Check out some amazing dog photography HERE:
If you have seen before what the underside of icebergs looks like, do not click THIS link.
Everything you wanted to know about the Most Dangerous National Parks in the US. Be really careful at Lake Mead you guys!
MILES & POINTS NEWS/PROMOS/MY ACTION
Still waiting for the third Chase Ink Cash card to get on my hands to go at it to score another 90k Signup bonus. Chase is getting slower shipping them out. This one belongs to my daughter who does have a real business by the way. 90k points for no annual fee cards is excellent. See below for more info and if you are going to wait…don’t because they are going to be pulled suddenly. Available HERE. Or email me for a referral link.
Well, son was not feeling well so we canceled his trip back to Michigan from Honolulu. Played it safe because, well, how we could all live with ourselves if he got his grandmother sick when she is 83 years old! I also canceled a backup award United trip taking my mother back to Greece earlier…So, my United balances are back up suddenly and maybe I spend some time booking some tickets getting us all back from Singapore in November from a wedding.
I see a Bank of America Alaska Airlines card offering 70,000 miles AND a $100 statement credit. Affiliate links do not offer the statement credit. This card was recently revamped at a higher annual fee of $95, companion fare only after $6k spend, free bag and higher earning structure, including a 10% reward bonus if you have an eligible Bank of America account. Alaska Airlines miles can be very valuable (but not as valuable as they used to be). Update: There is now a 72,000 miles offer.
Can Delta Skymiles suck even more? Yes! Delta Destroys Aeromexico Awards With SkyMiles (Here are Alternatives).
After a very long time United finally targeted us for bonus miles in its ongoing MilePlay promotion, check to see what you get.
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 marathon training is going very well. Every time I said that…an injury came along so I would not say it again lol. Running in shorts in January in Michigan is a true blessing. For the blog reader who asked me about my running coach and online exercise plan geared for runners, here it is:
HPC Monthly Workout Plans (I started the “Running Strength & Core” Plan on 1/1/2023)
I saw the movie Plane. It is not going to win any Academy awards but I enjoyed it. I may be thinking about the intense crash landing scenes for a while…
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 0 miles/points year to date in 2023 and have 4,364,599 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…
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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.