Category Archives: Finance

Smart finance to make life easier.

Market Capitalization Targets

What is the percentage needed to increment or deincrement to the nearest number of arbitrary end number places. How much must market cap change in order to reach the nearest hundred million? In other words, what percentage gain takes 189.5 billion to 189.6 billion? How about down?

1) Know variable number to be measured
2) Know variable number of end number places to target
3) Find variable number percentage needed to move up or down
4) Optionally: Run random or stepped simulations and graph the data and results
5) Optionally: Specify denominations (B=billion, M=million, etc.) with a letter

No prewritten compound algebraic functions
ex: =MOD() is OK if % is not available, =ROUND() may NOT be ok because that can be solved algebraically


Here is a simulation of some numbers when evaluated by my solution:


Flurries of activity, things get done. Lately lucrative bank bonuses earned in exchange for opening new accounts has become very attractive. Giving away my personal information to big financial institutions. Running their respective gauntlets, adhering to the requirements and rules, and operating within the terms and conditions:  Quite an awesome angle on extracting big bucks for simply playing a little game.

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Things Be Gone!

Last night after writing Declutter I separated and stacked a few items and tried to decide which to create a Craigslist listing for first. With the low light of evening less than ideal for positive photography results, it was decided:  I would write item descriptions that evening and take pictures the next morning.

Yeah, those photos didn’t happen.

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A large part of my mental comfort insists on my apartment being orderly. I’ve read or heard it described somewhere that the wide variety of environments we inhabit each day have both positive and negative affects on our moods and mind. It would seem that acute attention should be paid to designing a stimulating and supportive primary living space.

When I walk into a room, especially one that I know well, open spaces and the familiarity of a few cherished mementos placed thoughtfully is a deep and genuine welcome to me. The warm sense that even space and inanimate objects acknowledge my presence and invite me with emptiness is a happy and comfortable feeling indeed.

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The Best Health Savings Account – An HSA Redux

I left my old job in mid 2015. That was a grand moment. As the year came to a close, I enjoyed the last few remaining winter months happily unemployed and free. Then, in March, I went back to work.

Anyway, that doesn’t matter. This story isn’t about work. Instead, it’s all about a little HSA account I adopted way back in 2013, and its now rather imminently impending replacement.

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Tricking Tax Year 2015

That title just sounds a lot slicker than “Unusual Retirement Account Funding Techniques.

Last year in April I wrote Debt Free, my ode to faithfully filling up my Vanguard Traditional IRA to its $5,500 brim. At that time I was about $2,500 short of maxing out my IRA. My solution was to fund my Target REDcard (since discontinued by American Express) by charging the $2.5k to my Capital One VentureOne card, withdrawing the balance from REDcard to my checking account, and finally transferring the funds to my IRA account.

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Debt Free!

Milestone attained. I’m debt free!

No longer have I the big scary education loan or distasteful car note. Nope. All paid off as of January 2015, and on schedule too!

Instead I’ve recently taken out a $2,500 ‘loan’ from Capital One. Not wanting to miss out on contributing to my Traditional IRA for tax year 2014, I took my VentureOne credit card over to Target and loaded funds onto a Target REDcard. Once loaded, the funds were withdrawn to supplement my linked bank account. From there it was simple to transfer the full $5,500 to my Vanguard retirement account. That account holds just 1 fund, VTSMX Investor Shares with a lowly 0.17% expense ratio.

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Manufactured Spending

It’s called “manufactured spending,” and I am not on the cutting edge of this hobby. Unlike with computer hardware, for me manufactured spending (MS) is a strange, new and exciting unexplored world, people have been pursuing this hobby for at least 2 decades. Consider the following scenario:  You apply for a credit card with a lucrative sign-up bonus. The bonus, however, is awarded only after spending a certain amount of money—usually a lot—within a given time frame. How to spend so much? Enter the hobby of creating the appearance that money is being spent, when actually it is not. Briefly, this is one out of many methods to do so:

  1. With a new credit card holding a lucrative bonus behind a big spending barrier, meet this threshold by buying Vanilla Reload gift cards (VGC) at a CVS, Duane Reade, or Walgreens pharmacy store
  2. Unload these gift cards into an American Express Bluebird account from a Wal-Mart Money Center kiosk
  3. Transfer the funds electronically from Bluebird to your bank account
  4. Pay off the credit card balance from your bank account as per usual

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A year has come and gone, and I have since passed smoothly across the 1st anniversary with my current employer. Speaking with those around me, it feels as if I have begun late in the game, and perhaps I have. Always a little behind my peers, even ever since grade school. It was bound to happen:  I am now working amongst team members already in their second and third year. I’ve now began realize this constant trailing in a new and unexpected way.

Not that it has truly impacted my life performance. The benefit of maturity amongst peers has always seemed a position of strength, a credit and asset, another layer of professionalism laid upon my personal veneer.

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