Are You Missing Money?

March 26, 2015
Every year in January I go to the website MissingMoney and search for MY money that wasn't delivered to me for one reason or another.  What happens is a bank, utility or some random business owes me money but it didn't get to me for one reason or another (often due to a changed address).  Those businesses don't get to keep your money, they are required by law to turn your funds into each state's Treasury.  At that point, your money just sits there until you, or your heirs, put in a claim for it.  

You're probably reading this and thinking "I really doubt I have any missing money".  I'm sure you're a responsible person who doesn't leave money sitting around.  Well, I also consider myself extremely organized and responsible as are most of my family, friends, clients and contacts.  Nonetheless, when I searched for approximately 80 people this past January, about 75% of us had money sitting there for the taking.  It's like this every year.  I even found money for my mother who passed away in 2003, my great-grandmother in Pittsburgh who died in the 1970s and my Grandfather in Des Moines who I lost in 1992. Almost all my friends and clients either had money sitting there or someone in their family did.  

Admittedly, it's a lot easier to search for Reinwasser than it is for someone with a common name like Charles Smith. Nonetheless, this is most definitely worth the effort.  It's not some scam or a way your state's government is trying to trick you.  The only downside to MissingMoney is that just 39 states participate.  If you live or lived in the other 11 states you'll have to search on that state's unclaimed property database.  

Happy Hunting!  Please send me your success stories, it will put a smile on my face.  

(A bank tried sending me $213 to an old address, found it on Missing Money)

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Class Action Lawsuits - March 11, 2015

March 11, 2015
Here are quite a few class actions you may be eligible for. 
  1. Kirin Beer - Lawsuit claims Anheuser-Busch deceived consumers into thinking this beer was made in Japan.  Withut proof of purchase, you can claim up to $12 per household.  Time to complete:  30 seconds. 
  2. LinkedIn Premium Users - Up to $50 for Linked-In premium users.  Lawsuit claims LinkedIn did not adequately safeguard passwords and personal information.  Time to complete:  30 seconds.
  3. Arm & Hammer deodorant - This class actions stems...

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Deals I Like - March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015
  1. Free 1,000 Club Carlson (Radisson) points just for following them on twitter.  
  2. Logitech M185 wireless mouse for $8.99 @ BestBuy.  This mouse has a high rating over at Amazon.  
  3. $50 off $100 over at Neiman Marcus when you use Visa Checkout (select it when you're checking out instead of signing in).  This will work on most items but not all.
  4. If you need tires, you're in luck, Discount Tire is offering $100 off $400 + purchases, in addition to any manufacturer rebates. Of course, I bought tires fr...

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Pay Down the Mortgage or Invest the Money?

March 8, 2015
A question that comes up fairly regularly is what to do with a windfall?  Pay down the mortgage or invest the money. Lets say you're 40-something, have $300,000 left on your mortgage and you have $125,000 saved in various retirement accounts and you just inherited $100,000.  

I'd first recommend you max out your qualified retirement accounts (401k, IRAs, spouse IRAs).  From there it really depends on the individual and their personal psychological interpretation of risk and how capable they ar...
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Clever Ticker Symbols

March 6, 2015
Some stocks and exchange traded funds have clever and funny ticker symbols.  You've probably heard of LUV (Southwest Airlines) or BUD (Anheuser Busch InBev) but there are dozens more out there that show off a company's personality.  Here are some of my favorites:
  • EAT (Brinker International) - Home of Chili's restaurants
  • GEEK (Internet America) - Rural internet services
  • GRR (Asian Tiger Fund) - Invests in Asian securities
  • CASH (Meta Financial Group) - Banking products
  • BABY (Natus Medical) - Healthc...

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It's Good To Be a Walton

February 20, 2015
The genesis of the phrase The Rich Get Richer, comes from families earning so much in passive income that they can't possibly spend it all, which invariably leads to their personal balance sheet increasing perpetually.  A perfect example of this is the legacy Sam Walton left to his family.  The Walton family collectively owns 1.6 billion of the 3.2 billion Wal-Mart shares.  In 2015, Wal-Mart announced a quarterly dividend per share of $.49, meaning the family is going to pocket $3.1 billion i...
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Movie Lovers Rejoice

February 19, 2015
If you go to a lot of movies, you're going to have a new payment option to consider:  Movie Pass.  AMC Theatres has been running a trial for the last year in Boston and Denver and the results are encouraging (for them - typically the subscription is underutilized) and now they're looking to roll out their monthly subscription nationwide.  Movie Pass allows you to go to one movie per day for a flat monthly rate.  It's been either $35 or $45 in their test markets.  The higher amount includes pr...
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Stay 3-5 Nights In Vegas for Free -**DEAD**

February 9, 2015

You can find some super cheap hotel nights in Las Vegas (sub $30) if you're traveling there during the week.  Obviously you won't be staying at the Wynn for rates likes that but some of these places aren't terrible.  Anyhow, Expedia has what might be a mistake promo code going right now that lets you take $100 off 3 nights (DISCVR105) , $150 off 4 nights (DISCVR151) or 200 off 5 nights (DISCVR 201).  Promo codes in parenthesis.  

So if you can find a hotel for $33 or less/night that qu...
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Deals I Like Feb 5 2015

February 6, 2015
1) Free pair of Thorlos socks, you pay $4 for shipping.  They have a variety of socks for different activities and they go for about $15/pair.  I've heard nothing but good things about their hiking socks.  

2) Free Skinny Cow Iced Coffee at Fry's.  Not sure if this deal is going on at other Kroger family stores.  They are currently selling for $1 and you can get a $1 digital coupon or $1 off at (search under beverage use zip 85225).

3) 50% off clearance computers at Staples stores. ...
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Deals I Like Feb 4 2015

February 4, 2015
1) Google Earth Pro is now free (was $400).  You might have to try signing up a few times because the server appears to be overloaded with activity.  

2) If you happen to be a Hilton Diamond member, enter your log-in information here, some people are getting 100k Hilton points.  

3) All February receive free 16oz Iced or 12oz Hot coffee from Chick-Fil-A.  No coupon necessary, one free coffee per visit. 

4) If you have a Marlboro account (and you should), play their "Hot Streak" game one time and...
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