Saturday, October 31, 2009

White House trick or treat

Thousands of kids in costumes stop by the Obamas’ house for Halloween.

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Halloween Tricks

One Halloween evening, when I was a restless 25-year-old living with and off my parents (in other words, a college graduate with a worthless degree in English Literature), I had the opportunity to play a trick on my mother — three times.

Lori Curley: It was just before dusk, about 5:30. My brother (also unemployed and over-educated) and I were watching the news under a blanket. It may have been about 50 degrees in the house, which is not that cold, but we were used to the unchecked dorm temperatures and had become thin-blooded. I mention this detail about the blanket because it becomes impo

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Will Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' Win an Oscar?

The king still reigns.
This Is It, the epic documentary about Michael Jackson’s planned series of concerts, has only been in theaters since Wednesday, but it’s already gaining buzz as an Oscar contender.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Cheney told FBI he didn't know about leaker

Then-vice president Dick Cheney told the FBI that he had no idea who leaked the CIA identity of Valerie Plame to the news media.

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Mornings are so nice.

Image via Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson

Image via Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson

I really enjoy going on morning walks. It helps me to feel a lot better about myself. I really like the feeling of the sun coming up and the cool breeze on my face as I am jogging.

I love going out there and looking at everything. I think it just awesome. I love seeing all the empty streets. It is nice because there is nobody around. I love being out in the cool air.

I remember being a kid and doing my morning paper routine. I remember how nice it felt then and still does now. I am glad that I have time to go out and get exercise in the mornings.



It would be so cool if you could catch lightning.

Image via Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmiller/

Image via Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmiller/

I wish that I had a little glass bottle with lightning in it. You could observe the lightning that much better. You could watch the lightning go all over the bottle.

I am pretty sure it will never happen though. It's a sad thing. I think that maybe someone should go out and find a way to attract the lighting into a bottle so that they can store it.

It would probably just end up hurting someone really badly. I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt in the adventure of catching lighting.

I just want to have the lighting captured in a bottle.



I wish that I was famous for one reason or another.

My dream in life is to be in a game like Apples to Apples or Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I think it would be awesome to be that well known. That is pretty much my goal in life. I don't know how I plan to achieve it but I will somehow.

I guess there's only so much you can do to make yourself that famous this late in the game. I will probably end up just being a nobody. I guess it is ok to be unknown. Nobody will ever say negative things about me in the media at least, and people will stay out of my business. That is fair.



My hands sure get dry a lot.

That’s what lotion is good for. I like lotion, but not weird-smelling lotion. If lotion smells too strong I don’t like it because it makes my hands smell really weird and I’m not used to my hands smelling like anything other than me.

Anyway, so I like lotion, but I don’t always have some with me. Sometimes you really need some lotion and no one around you has any. Hopefully your hands don’t get too unbearably dry. That’s not fun at all because when you do finally find some lotion, it stings when you put some on.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The world needs to be a little kinder to each other.

People are always so unkind to one another. It seems like everything anybody cares about is very materialistic. People always get in fights about cars and money. I wish people understood that human beings are more important that new cars or nicer houses.

It is something that will never change in the society that we live in. We are too suing happy. There is nothing that we can do to change it I don't think. Maybe one day everyone will figure out that human lives are more important that the tiny dent in their car or their big screen TV.



Monday, October 26, 2009

Black Friday 2009

Have you ever gone shopping on Black Friday? Do you know what Black Friday is? It is the day after Thanksgiving and it is the biggest shopping day of the year. Not only that, after the first 11 months of the year are almost complete, Black Friday is the day of the year where stores traditionally go into the black. After spending 11 months in the red, they cross over into profit on Black Friday and continue to profit the rest of the year.

The sales on Black Friday are the best sales of the year. Typically that is the day you will save the most by spending the most. Many people do all or most of their holiday shopping on Black Friday.

The biggest problem for me on Black Friday is the crowds. A friend and I decided last year to brave the elements (it was dumping snow) and do the whole Black Friday shopping thing. We started in line at 4:30 a.m. to get big screen TVs for practically nothing. We stood outside in the snow bundled in scarves and hats for 30 minutes until the store opened at 5:00 a.m. only to find we weren't in line early enough to get the really great deal. We then ran over to a department store and grabbed some great sale items and got in the giant line.

There was a pregnant lady in the back of the line who said suddenly she was in labor so everyone let her go to the front of the line. Of course we were all for it. Then we got in the car and drove across town and grabbed a few other things and got in that long long long line. A minute later we heard a lady in the back of the line saying she had just gone into labor and everyone said she could go to the front of the line. It was the same pregnant lady. What a scam!

Maybe if you're pregnant you shouldn't have to stand in line, but that was frustrating. It was a very frustrating day. So for Black Friday 2009 I will be shopping but it will be online. What about you?



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Some Seniors Fend Off Recession On Credit Cards

As the nation slowly recovers from the worst economic meltdown in recent history, older Americans are likely to continue to feel its after-effects. Many seniors on fixed incomes have had to rely on credit cards to stretch their finances, like 74-year-old Florida retiree Esperanza Lops, who accrued $19,000 in debt. David Alecock, a vice president at the non-profit credit counseling service InCharge Debt Solutions, offers advice to those considering retirement.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

American Express 15,000 Membership Rewards Points Bonus

American Express has a new card called the Premier Rewards Gold Card, which offers these primary perks:

* Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months of Card membership. MR points are very versatile, and can be converted to 15,000 frequent flier miles in a number of programs (or 10 Southwest credits), or you can simply get $150 in gift cards at several stores like Home Depot, Crate & Barrel, or Macy’s. I think you can also get cash equivalents at a reduced ratio.

* Offers 3X points on airfare, 2X points on gas and groceries, and 1X points on everything else.

* Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend $30,000 per calendar year.
* No annual fee for your first year. After that it is $175.

There are two ways to maximize this offer. The easy way is to simply sign-up, grab the 15,000 MR points bonus, and then cancel anytime within the first year, that’s a quick $150+ bonus which is rare these days.

The only other scenario is that you are a big spender and purchase a lot of airfare, because triple MR points is pretty rare and you’ll have to reach that $30,000 spending target to offset the $175 annual fee after the first year.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Steve Phillips

Steve Phillips, what are you doing? You're a big guy in the baseball world, but obviously you're not good enough for it. But then again, the production assistant he had an affair with is just as to blame.

What is it with people, thinking they can have sex with whoever they want? Pick one person; commit to them. He has a history of affairs, but the people he worked with have backed him up- saying he hasn't done anything more- when he was accused of sexual harassment. Steve was believed to be sincere, and things got settled outside of court.

I'm willing to believe he was sincere, and the fact that people thought he harassed someone when he didn't is unfortunate and I'm sure it was pretty awful for him. But honestly, had he never had an affair, he wouldn't have had that happen. I'm not saying Phillips deserved it, but he took a risk and risks have consequences. It's like the parable of the wagon drivers- a man wanted to hire a wagon driver and went with the one that drove furthest from the edge, not the one that could get as close to it without falling off.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Have you ever wondered what a star was really like?

Maybe you wanted to be on one because it would be fun? I learned that stars are round (just like our sun) and ALL of them are extremely hot in degrees Celsius. The reason we have the star look the way it is is just because of how the stars would twinkle in the sky.

I believe our sun twinkles but we are to close to notice it. Small stars live up to about ten million years. Medium sized stars live up to around ten billion years. Large stars live up to about one-hundred billion years. Weird knowing that even stars live right? And not just how long we live, but they live what we would call forever.



Reading, Writing, and…Credit Scoring?

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jackhynes

Teaching Your Kids To Be Credit Score Savvy

To prepare your children for successful financial futures, you open savings accounts, pay allowances, and teach them to spend wisely. And with financial institutions toppling all around us, the woes of poor money management is more in the face of this generation than ever before. That’s why it’s up to you to use all the negative economic news to emphasize – from this day forward – that every financial decision they make will impact their credit score.

In the midst of the current credit crisis, a young person's credit score is more essential than ever. "Young adults today are confronted with a series of financial challenges that their parents never had to experience," says Dara Duguay, director of Citi's Office of Financial Education and author of Please Send Money: A Financial Survival Guide for Young Adults on their Own. "They have easier access to credit than older generations. Credit is a powerful tool, and a big responsibility."

The Financial Fingerprint

Teens must understand that their credit (FICO) score will essentially become their financial DNA. Just like you'd drill them with new vocabulary words to prepare for the SAT, you should also make sure they absorb the ins and outs of credit information. Let them know that they're striving for a "perfect score" of 850. Just as colleges look at SAT scores as indicators of academic success, credit scores will be used to predict grades of potential borrowers.

"Credit scoring is more stringent than ever," says Beth Frantz, a loan originator with Eagle Nationwide Mortgage Company who’s worked in the financial industry for 25 years. "We cannot lend to anyone with a credit score below 580… period," says Frantz, explaining why an excellent credit score is so important. "[A score of] 740 is now the benchmark for determining the best credit, and additional fees are charged for anything below 740. This is not lender specific – these are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements now."

Adds Duguay, "Practicing good spending and payment habits now – and building a strong credit history – is essential to getting credit later to rent an apartment, buy or lease a car, or apply for a job."
While the mathematical models used to determine credit score are complex, the steps to obtaining one are not. Let your teen know that like a resume, a good credit score is something that is built over time – starting today.

Avoid the Early Credit Card Trap

"Credit cards have a message," says Paul Richard, the executive vice president of the National Center for Finance Education (NCFE), a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching money management. And that message is "spend."

The proper plastic position to take, says Frantz, is reminding your child that it's OK to be "poor" and do without while in college. "That's why they're there: to learn to earn."

Todd Huettner, a financial analyst and consultant specializing in credit issues, reminds parents that although these tips are obvious to adults, they may not be obvious to children who are accustomed to always seeing credit in use, so be sure to hammer the point home. "Use cash for all discretionary purchases," Huettner tells students. "If you run out of cash, then you are out of money. It takes self discipline."

So how can your teen build a credit history without plastic? For starters, consider that FICO uses credit diversity as 10 percent of the overall credit score. "The best way to establish credit is to save up enough money for a substantial down payment on a car," advises Frantz. "Teens may qualify for a car loan on their own or with their parents cosigning."

Officially on His Own

When your child is earning a regular income, he's finally ready for the responsibility of a credit card. Candi Hinton Sparks, author of the Can I Have Some Money?, puts it simply: "Have an income if you are going to use credit."

Encourage your teen to shop around. "Signing up for a credit card is not an impulse purchase – it takes research to find the best credit card," says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of Low Cards, the leading consumer resource for credit card information. "Compare cards by looking through terms and conditions and the actual interest rates and fees. Look for a card with a low APR, no annual fee, and a grace period of 21 days."

Dissuade your child from responding to every offer he receives "to build credit." Joseph Onesta, former director of education for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Los Angeles, warns young adults to avoid the temptations of T-shirts and other freebies they can get for applying. "Excessive inquiries and application for credit can damage a credit score for upwards to two years," says Onesta, and such activity comprises 10 percent of the overall FICO.

And, don't try building your child's credit history by adding him as an authorized user on your own credit cards. "New FICO scoring guidelines don't create a score for authorized users," advises Siegel, "so this will not establish a credit profile."

Young adults can, however, build credit by taking out student loans, explains Bob Friedman, director of student finance at Yeshiva University. “Students should borrow only what is needed and exhaust federally guaranteed student loans first." Then they can use state and institution loan programs to bridge any gaps.

Using Credit Responsibly

The ultimate goal is not just to establish credit, but to establish good credit. At 35 percent, punctuality of payments is the single largest contributor to one's credit score. Since you won't always be around to remind your teen to send a payment, encourage her to sign up for payment alerts or schedule payments online.

And stress that credit does not replace cash. "Credit cards are not supplemental income intended to help people buy things they can't afford," reinforces Onesta. "Those who get the most out of their credit cards understand the value is convenience, not available credit."
It's just as important to not use all available credit. "Maxing out a credit card is nearly as bad as being late [with payments] in terms of the immediate impact on the credit scores," cautions Patrick Ritchie, author of The Credit Road Map. A significant 30 percent of the FICO score is represented by the utilization rate – the ratio of debt (balances owed) to total available credit (credit limits). The lower the utilization rate, the better the credit score.

Patience, Planning, and Self-Control

A good credit score takes years to develop, but far less time to destroy, and raising a low credit score isn't easy. Scott Mitic, founder and CEO of TrustedID, a consumer and business identity theft protection company, says, "There is no quick fix. It's like losing weight. There are things you can do to look better for a few weeks, but if you really want good credit health, you must behave well over a long period of time."

It's important to teach your kids about responsible spending while you are still there to support them. Gayle Reaume Skiera, founder of The Money Academy, an educational company that works with youth to help them become financially independent and responsible – sums it up well. "Kids learn best through hands-on experience. Transfer financial responsibility to kids gradually, letting them make decisions and mistakes while the stakes are small."


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I hate doing laundry

Every week I get to the point where it is time to do laundry again and I get really frustrated. I want to do the laundry but there is so much to do. It makes it hard for me to be able to do anything else when I have to do laundry all day long. It is really frustrating.

I can't even leave the house. Not only do I have to wash all of my clothes and my sister's clothes but I also have to wash the clothes of all my nieces and nephews as well. I also have to wash all the sheets in the house. It is quite frustrating. I wish someone else would do laundry for once.



Tonight I am having a chocolate fountain party

I am way excited for it. I love chocolate. We are inviting over a bunch of people from work and having this party. We tried to think of all the things that taste really good dipped in chocolate.

I ended up buying pretzels, strawberries, pineapple, marshmallows, and bananas. I thought those were pretty good choices for people. I also asked the guests to bring anything that they want to dip into the chocolate. I think that it is going to be really fun and taste really good. I can't wait for the party to start.



Eye Color

Why is it that people have different eye colors? And for whatever reason it is, why aren’t there eye colors like red or yellow? That would be kind of weird to see someone with yellow eyes unless yellow was already an eye color.

Although it’s kind of nice for people like police so they can have a better description of wanted people. If everyone had the option to change their eye color I wouldn’t change mine. My eye color is blue.

A lot of people look at me and tell me how pretty and bright my eyes are. That reminds me about a time my sister accidentally got pen led in my left eye. Ever since, my right eye has had better vision, but my left eye is still 20-vision. That makes my right eye better than 20-vision.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lord Monckton

I was reading all about Lord Monckton and what he thinks about the new treaty that Obama is about to sign. He definitely wants it to get through congress. Lord Monckton is definitely opposed to this. He is about to kick Obama out of office.

Apparently he thinks this treaty is communistic. He says that the treaty is there to try and create a worldwide government that would supersede congress. If this is true, we of course shouldn't be a part of it. I don't know enough about it to know whether or not that is true for sure.

He says that by signing this treats we are going to be telling the world that we are taking over. I'm sure that wouldn't end on a good not. I really hope that nothing like that is really going on. If it were, I would be extremely disappointed. I don't know how I'd react to something that ridiculous.



McDonalds Monopoly Online

I just started playing McDonalds Monopoly Online. I went to McDonalds this morning for breakfast. We bought a whole bunch of hash browns because that is the cheapest way to get the most game board pieces.

After we got the pieces, we went home and decided to play the Monopoly game online. What you have to do is go to the website and set up an account. After you've set up an account, you take your game pieces and type in the code that is on them.

Every code that you type in will give you one roll on the dice. If you roll doubles, you get to go again which is really exciting. I love the game. I love playing the game. You are only allowed to use ten game pieces a day. We have a whole bunch of pieces waiting to be used. I can't wait until tomorrow when I get to use more to try and win a bunch of money.



Ontario Payday Loan Restrictions Coming into Force

But Nanny State Leanings Make it All Ridiculous

It's all well and good when you're seven, but Ontario wants to nanny its payday loan customers so they don't have to be responsible. (Photo: flickr.com)

It's all well and good when you're a baby, but Ontario wants to nanny its payday loan customers so they don't have to be responsible. (Photo: flickr.com)

When it comes to short-term consumer lending, few products are as quick and convenient as a payday loan. The bulk of payday loan companies in Canada operate within the bounds of established governmental guidelines into order to provide consumers with a safe, affordable product while businesses collect profits that offset operating costs. Yet there are an unfortunate few who attempt to operate “beneath the radar,” charging overly inflated rates and enforcing abusive loan terms. Section 347 of the Canadian criminal code attempts to regulate this with a limit of 60 percent interest that can be charged per annum, but further intervention has been necessary in order to protect consumers. … click here to read the rest of the article titled “Ontario Payday Loan Restrictions Coming into Force



Monday, October 19, 2009

Austere

I have a really close friend who is really harsh and severe in their approaches with people. This is really a bad thing considering she works with people a lot. I told her that is extremely austere in hopes that she might go look up the word later when I'm not around and be less offended. I was hoping that she then could change a little bit. Unfortunately, that plan did not work.

When I told her that she was austere, I neglected to remember that she got her undergraduate in English. Of course she already knew what the word meant. I felt a little bit bad. I didn't know what to do. Of course, telling someone who is austere that they need to change is probably a bad idea as you can imagine. It was pretty humorous.

At least I got a good laugh out of it later on. The moral of this story is to never tell someone who is austere what they really are. It might prove to be funny but still isn't worth it.



Credit Repair Scams are on the Rise

Credit Repair History

If you need credit repair help, make sure you know who you are working with.

If you need credit repair help, make sure you know who you are working with.

Credit repair services started out with an honorable mission: to help people get out of debt and live the American Dream. They were originally designed to help people get back on track financially, while repairing the damage done due to a variety of circumstances that ruined their credit in the first place. They were not, however, designed to help you fraud the financial institutions or even the government.

During the financially prosperous times of the 1980s and ’90s, credit repair services were few in number. Why? Because there just wasn't the market for it like there is today. Unfortunately, with the rise of unemployment and foreclosure disasters, scammers and legitimate companies popped up rather quickly, leaving you to "fend for yourself" in the jungle. Credit repair services can be helpful if you know what to look for in a company. Education is the first step to protecting yourself. … click here to read the rest of the article titled “Credit Repair Scams are on the Rise



Spending Confessions – Can My TV Stop Working?

Do you secretly wish that your TV would break so you can get a brand new one?

Or that your shoes would rip or your hat stolen? These are evil thoughts and may make no sense to the logical person, but they are real, they play a part in our lives, and they affect our decisions in addition to our emotions.

I lost one of my golf clubs the other day at a public place, but it was gone by the time I returned to pick it up. I checked lost and found too but no one turned it in. Yet, a little part of me is celebrating. When every part of my brain is sending signals of frustration, a little devil is cheering the rain of happiness.

I’m extremely happy that I’m fortunate enough to be able to splurge a little without feeling guilty, but it doesn’t mean that I should be totally irresponsible. For those who spend lavishly, there is never going to be enough money. If you sometimes feel like the devil is getting out of hand, adapt from what I plan to do.

  1. Don’t Replace it Right Away – It’s always been a few days and no one turned it in, so chances are slim to none that it will show up. However, you never know. Not having that club when I play next time will also teach me that losing it is actually bad for me.
  2. In Fact, Wait Till Christmas – Let’s kill two birds with one stone. I know I will find an excuse to buy something for Christmas. Why not wait till then so I don’t buy something else for myself during the holiday season? It’s really only several weeks away.

In addition, the usual benefits of waiting apply here – possible sale, new versions from manufacturer, and me finding out that I didn’t need it in the first place are all possible scenarios that will make delaying the purchase a good one.

Ahh, I already feel better with my decision to wait.

Is there anything that you wished just broke or disappeared so you could buy one brand new? It’s okay. No one is judging here. Type away!


Related Articles at Personal Finance Blog by Money Ning:


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Bruce Wasserstein

I had never heard of Bruce Wasserstein until today when I read that he died. He was 61. He had an irregular heartbeat earlier in the week and had been hospitalized, but there is no word yet as to what he died of. It turns out that he was responsible for turning mergers and acquisitions into a business.

His trading and making money buying and selling businesses was like a game to him. Much like I would play a game of chess with my family, he would build a business and make a fortune from it. His sister once told a story of how his brother had always been this way.

Once when they were children, Bruce had planted a stick in the ground in the area where they were playing and declared the area his and called it Bruceania. His first acquisition. He's been involved with such major companies such as Kraft, Time Warner, Lazard, and New York Magazine. All these are great accomplishments for Mr. Wasserstein, but probably his greatest acquisition was of his seven children.



Megan McCain twitter photo

So I heard all about Megan McCain today at work. Apparently she has learned what not to do when it comes to the pictures she puts up of herself on the internet. The Megan McCain twitter photo has been extremely popular in the last day or so.

She apparently put up a picture of herself in a tank top that was a little too revealing and playful for other people to handle. She didn't realize it was going to cause such a fuss.

Now people are looking down on her and saying very bad things about her because of this scandalous picture. It is pretty funny to think that just because she is well known, she is going to get a lot more crap about her picture than people who were just putting it up for their friends to see. The family of politicians has to deal with that apparently.



Balloon boy

I was working on some stuff today when I came across this article that explained to me all about the balloon boy. Apparently this boy was about six years old when his parents believed he floated away in a hot air balloon that they had made at home.

I guess one of his siblings told someone that they saw him climb into the balloon right before it was set off. The search began. I guess they found him hiding in a box in his house later that day. I think it is pretty funny that his parents thought that he had been hiding in the balloon and then they looked for him for so long.

That poor boy is going to have the name of balloon boy for the rest of his life. He probably won't enjoy it at all but that is what he gets.



Businesses Look to Installment Loans Rather than Stocks

Stock Investing Losing Favor

As long as they're OK, consider installment loans for your business's short-term financial needs. (Photo: flickr.com)

As long as they're OK, consider installment loans for your business's short-term financial needs. (Photo: flickr.com)

Small businesses are looking to installment loans rather than stocks for funding options. Before the recession, many small businesses were investing in the stock market, trading for added revenues. Dallas-area financial planner Chance Woods stated his clients have a "mixed feeling of relief at stock gains since March, and are reluctant to fully commit to the market." Research is showing that most small business owners are feeling the same hesitation. The financial hit many of them took due to last years' recession is having a huge effect on their confidence to move towards stock investing again. … click here to read the rest of the article titled “Businesses Look to Installment Loans Rather than Stocks



Thursday, October 15, 2009

PineCone Research Application Link (Paid Online Surveys)

Here is an updated application link at Pinecone Research, which is again accepting new members. (May expire at any time, so apply now if you’re interested!) Looks open to all, but certain demographics will get more surveys. Only one person per household can sign up.

PineCone Research remains one of the better paying and reliable survey companies, with a payout of $3 (check or PayPal) for each 15-minute online survey. The hardest part is getting accepted, as they only take applications intermittently. I shared my thoughts on Pinecone and paid surveys in general here. I call them Bored Money - not terribly efficient but you can do it at your leisure and occasionally get to try some neat things like new soda flavors or even a new Sonicare toothbrush.

The three survey sites that I have been most active with besides Pinecone are NFO MySurvey, Opinion Outpost, and SurveySavvy. I like it them because they consistently offer me paid survey opportunities, they pay upon request reliably (important!), and they don’t mind if I don’t do every single survey offered.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

P2P Lending Update: LendingClub Loan Performance (+$25 Bonus)

Here’s an update for my person-to-person (P2P) lending activity at LendingClub, which are unsecured loans between U.S. residents. It could be for credit card debt consolidation, car financing, business financing, or even buying a house. You can think of it as taking out the bank middleman, which pays tiny interest on checking account balances and then charges high interest to borrowers.

LendingClub Portfolio
I now have made 62 active loans with $1,680.08 in outstanding principal. Most are A grade, with a decent spattering of Bs. Keep in mind that a borrower has to have a 660 credit score as well as other additional requirements just to make their lowest G grade. (Only about 10% of loan applications are accepted.) Although they do have an automated service to pick for you, I tend to pick my own loans to try and find both a combination of good risk profile and also a person who I want to help out. It’s kind of a hobby of mine. Here is a screenshot from my account page:

Performance & Commentary
The good news is that out of the 2 late loans, one of them is now current again and the other one is on a “payment plan”. I am not sure if that means they lowered the amount due, or that they are just allowing a slower payback temporarily, but it is again showing regular payments (and contact) from the borrower. Much better than reading “left voicemail. left voicemail. we haven’t heard from them in 4 months…”. I have no defaults to date.

According to LC, my “Net Annualized Return on Investment” based on my interest payments received so far is 9.14%. As an investor, I would not expect this rate to be my actual rate to maturity, but so far so good. While my goal is to get a substantially higher yield than from a online savings account, it also comes with a healthy dose of risk. Don’t put your emergency fund here!

$25 New Lender Bonus
If you are interested trying P2P lending with no risk, you can still use this special $25 lender sign-up link to get a free $25 to try it out with no future obligation. There is no credit check and you don't even have to deposit anything. After you are approved, the $25 will show up in your account balance, and you can lend it out immediately.

If you’re looking to borrow at LendingClub, it’s relatively straightforward. Send in your information, and see what interest rate they offer you. Compare it with your credit card or other financing options. If you like it, fill out your application carefully (verify income if possible) and go for it. If you don’t like the rate or the full amount is not funded, you can either accept partial funding or walk away with no obligation.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh what a day

Wow I am so glad today is finally over and I can not wait for the 3 day weekend to come.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

There are certain foods in this world that when I get a whiff of them, I tend to gag

Coffee is one of them. I’ve never liked the smell of coffee and I can’t understand how some people do. It’s that bad. Olives too are disgusting. And pickles. I’m sure there are worse things in the world, like rotting tomatoes or something, but if we stick with normal, non-rotting foods then coffee, olives, and pickles have to be on the top of my list of foods I don’t enjoy the smell of. Then there are things that smell kind of bad, but taste good.

I would put gummy bears on this list. I don’t really like the smell of them because it makes me sick, but I can stand to eat gummy bears. Not a whole lot of them, mind you, but I can eat a couple at a time. Anything that is vanilla flavored is another one. I cannot stand the smell of vanilla, but I can eat some things that are vanilla flavored, like ice cream. Then of course there is the category of foods that smell good but taste nasty. I’m not really sure what to put in this category, but I’m sure there are a couple foods that belong here.



Once upon a time there was a pilot

He loved to fly airplanes–really big ones. He loved the satisfaction that came from transporting masses of people to their destinations all around the world.

Sometimes though, as with most things in life, he got tired of the same old routine. He wished sometimes that he could take a little one man plane to somewhere new and exciting, somewhere he had never flown to before. So one day he did just that. He took off in his little personal plane and went somewhere he’d never been before.

And that was the last time anyone ever heard of him. Whether he got to where he was going no body knows, but hopefully he is happy where ever he is.



Consumers Using Installment Loans to Fund Franchises

Consumers and franchises

Papa Johns and many other U.S. franchises are seeing growth as people take their job security into their own hands. Image from Wikimedia.

Papa John's and many other U.S. franchises are seeing growth as people take their job security into their own hands. Image from Wikimedia.

The number of consumers using installment loans to fund their own franchise is steadily increasing.  In a market where people are no longer sure of their jobs, many people are venturing into business ownership to build their own futures.  For example, Jon McIntoch of Philadelphia found himself laid off for the fifth time in his 30-year career as a banker.  Rather than leave his future in the hands of others again, he tapped into his 401(k) and opened his own business that provides home health care to those in need.   McIntosh is now one of America's 1 million, and growing, franchise owners.

Franchises have grown tremendously in the past decade, and have developed new respectability within the job market.  Franchised businesses make up 11 percent of the US private-sector economy and receive 41 percent of retail spending.  Part of their popularity can be attributed to their simple premise. People can be their own bosses, get the training and support they need,  receive financing, and have help with marketing all along the way.  In January of 2009 a Franchise Expo was held in Miami and proved that the franchise business is here to stay. … click here to read the rest of the article titled “Consumers Using Installment Loans to Fund Franchises



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Titanic Memorial Cruise | Oh, the Places You'll Go

Titanic memorial cruise creeps me out

<div style=”float:right;margin-right:5px;margin-bottom:5px;width: 210px”Image from Flikr.

Image from Flikr.

I’m not really a superstitious person. At least, I didn’t think I was until this morning when I read “Titanic memorial cruise to sail on 100th anniversary” in the Associated Press. I just couldn’t help but think that it sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

Still, I am sure the Titanic memorial cruise will fill up quickly. Tickets cost more than some auto loans I’ve seen in my day. They’re $3,900 or more for the 12-day cruise. I don’t know much about cruise prices, is that expensive?

Details on Titanic memorial cruise

The 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking and killing a bunch of people is April 14 2012. The cruise leaves April 8, and the ship will visit the spot where the Titanic sank at the exact time of the crash. The Associated Press says:

A memorial service will be held onboard the cruise exactly 100 years after the Titanic hit the iceberg and sank, between 11:40 p.m., on April 14, 2012, and 2:20 a.m. on April 15.

So if your dream is to relive one of the most famous tragedies in the world, slap that $3,900 on a credit card and make sure you’re in Southampton, England, on April 8, 2012. The destination of the Titanic Memorial Cruise is New York, where the Titanic passengers would have gone 100 years ago if the ship hadn’t sunk. … click here to read the rest of the article titled “Titanic Memorial Cruise | Oh, the Places You’ll Go



Prime Dime Rewards Checking Account $300 Bonus

I haven’t posted a bank promo in a while, but this one isn’t too shabby. Dime Savings Bank is offering up to $300 in bonuses for their Prime Dime Rewards Checking. You can get:

  • $100 for account opening, bonus paid immediately
  • $100 for setting up a monthly recurring direct deposit
  • $100 for completing two Online bill payments

Minimum opening balance is just $1, but there is a $15 monthly maintenance fee if average daily balance is under $5,000. Takes 6 months to get direct deposit and billpay bonuses. Expires 11/15/09. Selected fine print:

*Bonuses for Prime Dime Rewards Checking are $100 for account opening, $100 for setting up a monthly recurring direct deposit, and $100 for completing two Online bill payments. The bonus for account opening will be paid at the time of account opening. The additional two bonuses will be paid 6 months after the opening date if the direct deposit service is established and the bill payments are completed within 3 months of account opening. There are neither account minimum balance nor balance time requirements to obtain the bonuses. If you close your account within 6 months of the opening date, any bonuses paid will be deducted at the time of account closing. Bonuses will be paid for new checking customers only. Bonus accounts are limited to one per household. Promotion is in effect until 11/15/09. All bonus payments will be reported as interest on IRS Form 1099-INT.

Read more about Prime Dime Rewards Checking Account $300 Bonus…



Monday, October 5, 2009

Lucia Zarate

There are remarkable people, some because of the things they had to endure – for instance, Lucia Zarate. Lucia Zarate was born in 1864 in Mexico with a birth defect known as osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II, or Majewski Primordial Dwarfism.

People born with it are typically less than 3 feet tall, and have a wide range of health issues – lifespan is normally under 30 years. At age 17, Lucia weighed less than 5 pounds. She was mentally competent, and spoke some English as well as being fluent in Spanish. She died in 1890, from hypothermia.

Lucia Zarate and her parents made some good payday cash starring in sideshows and circus exhibits, and traveled the world, and was later the first person identified with the disease and credited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the lightest person on Earth.



The Big Money: Let Home Buyer Tax Credit Die a Natural Death

Never mind end-of-life care discussions for senior citizens. We need to have one right now about the home buyer tax credit. The powers that be need to let this program die with dignity when its time comes rather than letting it linger.



Read more about The Big Money: Let Home Buyer Tax Credit Die a Natural Death…



Sunday, October 4, 2009

‘Capitalism: A Love Story' | Michael Moore Movie Reviews

‘Capitalism’ reviews good, but not great

<div style=”float:right;margin-right:5px;margin-bottom:5px;width: 171px”Michael Moore image from Wikimedia.

Michael Moore image from Wikimedia.

In general, it seems people either love or hate Michael Moore’s documentaries based on whether they agree with his point or not. For instance, most people agree that health care is a necessity and it would be rad if we didn’t have to pay for it. Thus, “Sicko” got 93 percent good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Actually, all of Michael Moore’s documentaries got great reviews. So either all of the critics who write for Rotten Tomatoes love Michael Moore, only people who agree with him see his movies or Michael Moore is completely right about everything and makes amazing movies. Who knows? In any case, his new piece of documentary cinema “Capitalism: A Love Story” did get good reviews, but not nearly as good as his previous films.

Michael Moore mayhem

Maybe Moore got easy payday loans from the wrong people for this one and they negatively affected the film, but “Capitalism: A Love Story” movie reviews say only 61 percent of Metacritics liked it, and 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Compare that to “Roger & Me,” “Bowling for Columbine,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and “Sicko,” which all got scores in the 90th percentile. … click here to read the rest of the article titled “‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ | Michael Moore Movie Reviews



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Woody Harrelson - Zombieland

Woody Harrelson is going to be in the upcoming comedy-horror Zombieland film. It looks like it ought to be darkly humorous – if nothing else, it has zombies in it, and some stuff will probably explode.

The big news earlier about the film was the scuffle Woody Harrleson got into with a paparazzi photographer, but lately the big thing has been the question over who is going to have the scene stealing Zombieland cameo.

It could be somebody as a zombie; it could be someone as another “survivor” of the zombie apocalypse. Who knows? Regardless of the cameo, this new Woody Harrelson is part of the Zombie Renaissance, and so plenty of people will line up payday loans to go see Zombieland.