Twitch, Fidgit Spinners, Pokémon, Robinhood, Avocado Toast, WSB

If you haven’t a clue of what any of the words in the tile means then stop reading right now. You probably don’t know since you’re not part of the generation that does. This post is for the generation that is about to overtake you, your economy, and will become the dominate workforce in 10 years. Most likely you won’t care that there is some asshole with $50,000 on twitch that is live streaming his or her’s r/wallstreet bet moves on robinhood like it’s some videogame. There is a chatroom full of lulz and great hot stock tips! Make sure you totally make a move on a stock tips that some dumbass kid heard on Facebook. I guess they have to make a trade every 5 mins and you can vote on what move they will make. What a social experiment in dumb millennial money! Anyways if you want to play along buy these funds to essentially own every possible stock that will be suggested in this little experiment:

Name Ticker Expense ratio
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF VTI 0.04
iShares Russell 3000 IWV 0.2
SPDR® Russell 3000 ETF THRK 0.1
Vanguard Russell 3000 ETF VTHR 0.15
Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF SCHB 0.03
iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF ITOT 0.03
Vanguard Extended Market Index ETF VXF 0.09

Note that you have to own both SPY (or the equivalent IVV) and VXF to capture all of the Large, Mid, Small, Micro and Nano caps. The combination of SPY and VXF accounts for 3,675 different companies, check out this file: Every Stock in SPY and VXF or IVV and VXF for a list of every possible Tradable American Company (not in pink sheets or OTC)!

Good Luck!

-Derp

31 May Deadline: How To Maintain 2¢ Per MR Point

Edit June 06, 2017: Loophole is closed, no more double dipping points!

I booked 4 tickets to Traverse city using MR points and I got 50% of my points back for a sweet 2 cents per point. Today I got 5x points on top of that bonus as well by choosing a linked personal Pt card on check out, and I will earn ass in seat points on American Airlines when I fly them. Perfect triple dip earning situation here!

Unfortunately this turned out to be so unsustainable for AmEx that the they rolled back the bonus to a measly 35%, but if you got the card between 06 October 2016 and 31 May 2017 you will be grandfathered into the old 50% for one year from application approval date.

Since I got my card outside of my the eligibility window (by product change from gold biz), the bonus will revert back to 35% points back for all flight bookings on 01 June 2017. I am planning on just using this link here to get yet another card just for the sake of preserving 50% cashback and to get another $200 on American gift cards. The current offer is:

Don’t think I can hit the bonus without a bunch of MSing. Not really the point here, and I am not even sure if I am eligible for another bonus, even thought I didn’t get one for the gold card I PCed to. Go and use this link here if you plan on getting another Business Platinum. Also don’t forget to combine it with the Personal Platinum (Link Here) to get 4x back on top.(not true anymore)

I went ahead and asked about the bonus language on the online chat and sure enough they said even a PC from gold to platinum would make me ineligible since I had the product before at any point. Reports out there don’t look good, unless you had canceled the procuct over 7 years ago. However they never showed me having the Biz Platinum on their records. Might be worth a try with the old gold coin churn.

I had two options really at this point, either book all of my flights before 01 June 2017 or go ahead and get another AmEx Business Platinum. I tried my best to spend all my points, and sure enough I am still getting the bonus:

Since I can only book flights 330 days out from today, and I am in a tough travel situation with the newborn, I decided my only option was to get another AmEx Platinum Business Card. THis would buy me at least another year in order to spend down the rest of my points. I got approved, putting me well over the theoretical 5 Charge Card Limit. Total count now is 7 Charge cards: MS, CS, MB, Personal, PRG, 2 Biz cards.

Now I have the choice of chosing a new airline for my bonus. Not sure if i should stick with American or switch to united. My wife thankfully has one more year on her United, so I might stick with American and then downgrade my old Platinum Biz to a gold for any future offers or categories. Seems like big changes for Q3 regarding their business lines.

-Derp

Luxury Lounge Visit

They gave me an umbrella on a rainy day! Totally worth the $995 annual fee?! Right after the TIF meeting I went over to the lounge and was surprised they don’t have any sort of sophisticated verification method to ensure that my Luxury Card is still valid. Take that information any way you want. They just looked at my card and wrote down my name and last 4 on the sign in sheet.

My card is still valid since I have till January 2018 until the $995 annual fee hits. This is all because the SCRA fee waiver has been discontinued. Upon entering you can order coffee, hot coco, water, and Starbucks bottled drinks from the menu. Also snacks are offered as well. The lounge has a coat rack, bathroom and kitchen all hidden behind the back wall. The bathroom is well appointed with Luxury soap that the Queen of England uses for her hands when they are gross.

There have been some reviews of the lounge here and here. The lounge is located at 645 MADISON AVENUE NEW YORK, NY and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Go on a rainy day, look all drenched and pathetic, and you might get a free umbrella!

The lounge was empty on a Thursday afternoon. Staff was friendly and the Fiji water and snacks were endless. We had some good conversations about the future of the economy and politics with the staff. I definitely recommend a visit, make sure you you have the physical card in hand. I am almost sold on a product change to the $195 Titanium Card if more of these things pop up around the world.

-Derp

 

2017 Tiffany & Co. Shareholders’ Meeting

I want to give a shout out to this guy who gave me the idea to start attending the numerous shareholder meetings I get invited to every year. Full disclosure I have a single share of TIF that I bought some 9 years ago to celebrate the one year (paper anniversary) of our wedding. I reinvested my dividends, and as of today we have a grand total of 1.167063 shares! One share in paper form, and 1/6 of a share is held as electronic digits on some computer at Computershare.

I bought the one share as an Apex Member of TD Ameritrade, which back in the day you could just ask nicely and they will certificate it for you for free. Those days are now gone, but now you would have to buy the share (you could use MR points too) , and then ask nicely to transfer it to Computershare, then pay the $25 to have it printed out and sent to you.

I asked, but the Tiffany’s & Co. umbrellas are not for sale

The meeting took place at the Rubin Museum of Art, which is housed in the former Barney’s Department Store on 150th West 17th street in NYC Manhattan. Previous meetings according to the other attendees were in the W hotel, which isn’t very glamorous at all. When the venue and event was announced, I thought it would be worth a trip to check it out since it wasn’t just some hotel conference room.

My wife could not attend, but was gracious enough to watch two children, and gave me 24 hour liberty to scout out the meeting for our visit next year. I sent in my reply to get on the guest list and it was not problem getting in today. The check in desk made it clear that I could not get in if I had held on the share in a brokerage account and if I didn’t relinquish the proxy.

The event included a private tour of the Rubin Museum after the meeting. On the 4th floor is a soundscape and a recreation of a Tibetan temple for relaxation. There is also a large commissioned artwork of the circle of life showing the rise and fall and reincarnation of all things. This zen experience is perfect for a company that just lost 9% in market value the day before the shareholders meeting.

Julie did not disclose her share total as part of the microphone etiquette

Check in was nice, they had my name on a super special list of losers single shareholders that have nothing better to do. They also had a huge leger of every shareholder on record open for inspection. I wasn’t even given a ballot since they figured my 1 share out of 124,650,000+ would not count for anything at all. I could of voted by proxy, but I forgot to this time. The meeting was nicely catered with pastries, tea, juice, coffee, yogurt, and fresh cut up fruit. All served in real china with mindful attendants clearing the empty plates and glasses.

The meeting started promptly at 9:32 and finished up at 10:00 am with a single new shareholder, Julie Werner from “Better Investing” asking all the questions. I got to sit next to her in the very small venue, she was talking to the many board members before the meeting even started. Her questions were just soft underhand pitches for the CEO to knock out of the park, but more on that later.The meeting stated out with the scripted matter of business motions for the 5 agenda items, including the vote for dropping PWHC as the accounting firm. The declarations were made and a certified Inspector of Election was present to tally up all the votes for each item. This was kind of a farce since the proxy absentee ballots have already been counted. No one voted at the meeting, no ballots were cast, and in the end, the only item I cared about which was regarding PWHC. The vote result was 1 million for dropping PWHC as the firm for what I can presume as reaction to their Oscar Flub. However 112 million voted with the board to keep them on for another chance. Once the official business was completed, a PowerPoint presentation was given that outlined all their product lines, and where they were heading.

Let me sum up the entire presentation: apparently this company makes jewelry and cardboard boxes with bows. They also make paper bags that have white handles to hold these boxes. They are committed to making more jewelry in the future, and have invested money to make “rare” carbon rocks even more desirable, despite technologies to make perfect shiny carbon rocks in the lab.

Then they also noticed that these broke ass kids today don’t want to buy any more jewelry, and once all the old folks with money die, there will be no one to sell their stuff to. They are looking for some one to fix this problem some time soon. Hopefully they can find some one to take the Avocado Toast model and bring it to TIF in order to sell perfect non rare carbon rocks to people who would pay $19 for avocado and toast, but instead for rocks and metal.

Despite a near 10% loss in market value, stagnation of the brand, failure of Lady GaGa to drum up sales since the Superbowl Ad, there was no question or outrage from the shareholders. It was business as usual for everyone. Back to Julie Werner, her only questions were the full page Ads for “All In Paris Climate Accord” causing the backlash to the brand. The other question was about having too much clutter in the showroom display cases. Apparently this TIF company has retail locations, that no millennial has time, or reason to even to go to.

The answers paraphrased are: We are working on getting the millennials to buy our stuff, they love this kind of hippie green shit, and the second answer is, hey we got a website, who cares about our retail location, its always too much, or too little, but no one buys anything there anyways.

What was there to learn from the meeting? Nothing really that you could not find out by just reading the K-1 report and the annual report. It was a fun time to check out what the word on the street is. Remember the majority shareholders are the fund managers at Vanguard. These shareholders dominate the vote since they own the most of TIF via their Mid Cap Growth VOT, Mid Cap Value VOE, and Mid Cap ETF VO funds as well at every S&P 500 index tracking fund out there. And I assume they just vote with the board recommendation.

the remaining spiral staircase from Barney’s

The coffee and museum tour were really good too. If you got time on you hand, it’s worth a visit, but don’t think you are going to get any sort of market edge here. Next up: My LuxuryCard lounge visit.

-Derp

 

AmEx & Delta: The Inverted United Experience

I flew delta today on points and I got the opposite experience than Dr. David Dao on United. First off, I put my global entry number in the passenger information instead of my DoD ID number. What resulted is NO PRE-CHECK! I wanted to save time so I didn’t even try to have it changed at the ticket counter. I went ahead and endured the normie line of the back scatter x-ray machine and taking off my jacket, shoes, and my laptop of of my bag. It was very humbling to see what the rest of you suckers endure every trip to the airport. Lesson learned, always use your DoD ID in the Know Traveler ID box, otherwise you might get the random no pre-check like I did.

The partnership between AmEx and Delta has resulted in a flight experience that is beyond that of having gold status on United. My AmEx Platinum Card gives me free access to their Sky Club lounges on departure as well as arrival. My Business AmEx Platinum card gives me free in flight WiFi. Every year I get a companion certificate on my Delta Reserve Credit Card and Delta Platinum Credit Card. I have no idea why I have the Gold Delta Card. That might be the one I close *gasp* since its been about two years holding on to that thing.

When I checked in to the lounge they greeted me my name and offered an earlier flight since mine was delayed 15 minutes. CHecking on flight status seems to be part of the check in process. Since I didn’t check a bag they went ahead and booked me on a flight leaving in 15 minutes, and a full two hours earlier than my original flight! He advised me to take two shots of whiskey in the lounge and hurry off to my gate. I complied and ended up on an early flight for no change fee! Best part is they put me in the Comfort Plus seat that included free booze, extra leg room, and priority boarding.

Best part is on arrival I ended up at the historic Terminal A, the “Marine Air terminal” built in the early days of flight to accommodate sea planes. A quick Blue route bus ride over got me to terminal B for a quick drink at the Centurion Lounge, United Lounge and Air Canada Lounge before they all close at 8.

Food till 8 pm, but the Centurion Bar closes at 7:30 pm, hop over to Air Canada for a late arrival drink up till 8 pm

Best part of the whole trip is just spending the 37,500 points for the free round trip flight. More to come on the The Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club, Select Membership in NYC, and the Tiffany’s and Company Shareholder Meeting.

-Derp

 

Claim Your Abandoned Money & Digitize Your Mail

Tip for today, go to https://www.unclaimed.org and search every state you lived in to see if you left money behind. I had a local O-4 reader get over $2,300 in abandoned property! Most of these times the checks go un-cashed and are turned over to the state treasure as abandoned property. One of the account is cam upon myself is a bank account my wife has opened and forgot about when she was 8 years old!

Second tip is to sign up to view your USPS mail deliveries for the day. If you have not been informed, the USPS already takes a photo of every piece of mail for the cops, and retains it for 30 days. Instead of feeing mad or violated, you might as well take advantage of this service and sign up for informed delivery by USPS. This way you get a preview of every piece of mail coming in your mailbox every morning.

-Derp

Gundecking a Strategy

I never got a straight answer from my advisor on the advantage of Investing in both Value and Growth Funds of the same index versus buying the underlaying index itself. I was just given the pat on the head and an explanation that a few basis points don’t matter and this was the way to hedge against loss. This “strategy” would capture stocks that pass both the growth and value selection criteria. Since these criteria are mutually exclusive, I figured there would be very little overlap. He also warned against a pure indexing strategy which he found to be a disturbing trend. Davey says its a more of a marketing strategy to cover for “closet indexing” AKA: Index hugger.

Just to trust but verify, I went ahead and compared the holdings of VO, VOT, and VOE which are the Vanguard Mid-Cap Index, Growth, and Value funds respectfully. I analyzed the Mid caps because there are just 400 of them versus 500 large cap, and 2000 small cap companies. I got the list of holdings all using my MCCS Library trick. Just click the link, then Morningstar on top. This will allow you to download holdings of every fund under portfolio > summary detail tab > premium detail view:

Then I combined them into a single Excel document VOE_VO_VOT. After simply looking at the list, it turns out my suspicions were correct! There is only an overlap of 8 stocks without any omissions from just owning VO by itself. There is only 7 individual companies (two classes of Liberty Broadband) that overlap when you hold both VOE and VOT. If you are curious, the overlaps are:

Trip Dip Company Name Ticker
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd KORS
Liberty Broadband Corp A LBRDA
Liberty Broadband Corp C LBRDK
Micron Technology Inc MU
Tiffany & Co TIF
United Rentals Inc URI
Cimarex Energy Co XEC
Xilinx Inc XLNX

Regarding companies found only in VO and not VOT/VOE:

Holdings Ticker Shares Owned Market Value in VO
Patterson Companies Inc PDCO 1247 $55,479
Calpine Corp CPN 5307 $54,131
Conduent Inc CNDT 2552 $41,623
Frontier Communications Corp Class B FTR 17313 $32,548
DXC Technology Co DXC 284 $21,397

I figure these companies are either too small and soon to be small caps, or too big and soon to be large caps. Otherwise their weight is less than 1 percent.

So whats the damn point? This strategy also exists in both the small and large cap companies of American Stocks. Why are we paying more than 0.06% for VO in order to buy VOT and VOE at 0.07%? Yes 0.01% is not a lot, but it’s just stupid to make it so complicated. If we expand it out, could just own it all; Value & Growth of all Large, Mid, Small Caps with VTI at almost half the cost at 0.04%.

The uncomfortable truth is the 1.37% paid for this strategy needs to be justified some how, and I think its just your average MS client doesn’t care. I think its better to be wowed by a 19 fund portfolio, rather than put any thought into what it’s made of.

-Derp

PRESS PASS DENIED!

Talk about due diligence, I checked into the press center and sure enough they had a lengthy write up on the blog, and it looks like my viewership did not wow them. I love you guys, but I guess we’re too weird for prime time. I retreated back to the safety of the AmEx lounge dreaming of someday being a Japanese Salaryman. Selling the finest tuna to American Restaurants.

-Derp

Eagerly Awaiting Press Credentials At The AmEx Open lounge

Here I am, a fish out of water, military churner, now lifestyle blogger getting the runaround at the NRA show. I am headed over to the press center after being denied a badge at the self service terminal(s). On my way I stoped into the AmEx OPEN lounge on the 2 and a half floor for some coffee and power for my devices. Sure enough, they let me in with the personal platnum. Up to two guests, no credentials required.

I am still making my case to the NRA, we have a very unique population of readers here. Military members with 30 days of annual leave, disposable income, and are all savvy churners that save money on the flight and the hotel with points. With these expenses are reduced, we take these savings to spend towards lifestyle such as dining and entertainment. All while earning mad 3x UR points on it to further this cycle. Hope thats as convincing to them as it is to myself.

Wish me luck!

Derp

What 1.37% Buys You: Prestige, Tea and Sympathy

First off a shout out to Millennial Revolution who are a great alternative to Dave Ramsey. These hippies have one mil in savings, and retired at 31, and here I am working like a sucker! Fascinating story with sensible investment advice.

This is a completion post to my analysis of what my Morgan Stanley Advisor put my wife’s Roth IRA in for a steep 1.3% fee along with a 7 basis point fee overlay fee from Morgan Stanley. This fee is charged quarterly, and will be about $700 a year, every year, till the money is all spent. I am using these allocations as a way to benchmark to my Roth IRA performance and other investments. This is not the first advisor that I have been approached by. I have had the run of mill bros that cold call me, and I have had the super shady ones too. I went with Morgan Stanley because I wanted the branded AmEx Platinum Card, plus this guy seemed transparent in his selection process and is quick to justify his moves. In the first post I listed 84% of the holdings. Here is what the rest of the holdings are and their equivalents:

Symbol Expenses % Schwab One Source Other ETF TSP Description % of Portfolio
DXJ 0.48% HFXJ EWJ I Fund (Just Japan) Japan Stock 3%
VOE 0.07% SCHM VASVX S Fund Mid-Cap Value 3%
VOT 0.07% MDYG RFG S Fund Mid-Cap Growth 3%
BIL 0.14% SCHO VBISX G Fund (kind of) 1-3 Mth T-Bill 2%
DEVIX 0.99% SLYV VISVX S Fund Small Cap Value 1%
JKK 0.3% SLYG VISGX S Fund Small Cap Growth 1%
IJS 0.25% SLYV VISVX S Fund Small Cap Value 1%
Total 14%

Again we see this overlap of Value and Growth Funds of the same indices. The holding both strategy means we double up on a few companies and leaving a few possible diamonds in the dust. This move I am not entirely convinced that is better than owning the underlying index. I am suggesting the S&P 500 for large, S&P 400 for Mid Caps, and the Russell 2000 for small caps. If we break it down by asset class we can simplify the situation. For US equities we can just do this:

13% VUG US Large Cap Growth
7.5% SDY US Large Cap Value
7% DLN US Large Cap Value
3% VOT US Mid Cap Growth
3% VOE US Mid Cap Value
1% JKK US Small Cap Growth
1% DEVIX US Small Cap Value
1% IJS US Small Cap Value

This could just become 27.5% Large Caps (C Fund), 6% Midcaps and 3% Small Caps as 9% in S Fund. Hell you could just put in 36.5% into VTI as a single ETF to represent your entire US Equity Market exposure. For Foreign Equities they got me spread out all over the place:

4 HLEMX Emerging Markets Equities
4.5 VWO Emerging Markets Equities
22 IEFA International Equities
3 DXJ Japan Equities

International equities can be split up into emerging markets and developed market. Japan is a developed market so we can combine them as 25% into I Fund. China is slowly being included into the MCSI index for developed economies, and shares are cheaper for these Chinese companies trading as H shares in Hong Kong. I suggest buying 4.5% FXI as mentioned by Dr. Sjuggerud to represent and front run this transition. This will be H shares of the same companies that VWO holds. For the developing international equities we can put in 4% in to the good old Schwab’s SCHE for that exposure. For Bonds, its also a mess:

7 AGDYX High Yield Fixed Income
4 STPZ Inflation Linked Secs
4 SCPB Short Term Fixed Income
4 VCSH Short Term Fixed Income
2 BIL Ultra Short Term Fixed Income
3 BND US Taxable Core Bonds
4 TOTL US Taxable Core Bonds

We can break bonds down into Investment Grade and High Yield. Then also in government vs corporate. It’s hard to fit G fund into everything since its an custom Treasury product for TSP. F Fund is also all American bonds that are investment grade. I don’t know too much about bonds so lets just say so we can say lets do 4% TIPS via the Schwab SCHP, 7% G fund, 8% F Fund, 7% into a Junk Bond ETF like JNK. Or even simpler we can just do the classic three fund portfolio and get these allocations:

Cash 2%
Bonds 28%
International 33.50%
US Stocks 36.50%

So there you have it, I hope my $700 goes a long way! You are on your own reading this article, this advice was free advice from a rambling dentist, you are responsible for your own allocations, although it would be difficult to lose all your money with this diversification. I paid my $700 so I could have the prestige to be managed by Morgan Stanley.

Did I mention I have a portfolio with Morgan Stanley? Yes, it is kind of a big deal, you normally need a half million for that, but I am proof you don’t at all. Lets just try to maintain that illusion, so that will be our little secret. Yes, I did it all to have that silly logo on my metal charge card. The other service I bought is “Behavioral Management”, and when the market tanks I got a guy to call and cry to! Maybe he will invite me over to his office for some tea too. Some day I might get invited to his yacht that we all paid for!

-Derp