How Much Better is a 5-Star Hotel vs. a 3-Star One?

I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family. As a child, I don’t remember staying in hotels very often, if at all. Whenever we took vacations, we stayed with family or friends, or went camping. Now that I’m older, I can see why. The two most expensive parts of a vacation are airfare and lodging. Sometimes you have no choice but to fly, so if you can cut that lodging cost down, it results in big savings! Continue reading “How Much Better is a 5-Star Hotel vs. a 3-Star One?”

bebe Stores Gets a New Partner

It wasn’t the good news I was hoping for (a takeout), but it was good enough. This morning, B. Riley announced it was taking a 29.4% financial stake in bebe stores. This announcement is good for two reasons. First, B. Riley is converting its bridge loan into equity, which takes away any risk of bankruptcy. Second, all transactions were done above the last closing price of $4.44, confirming my view that bebe stores is significantly undervalued.

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Get Your Fat Ass Out of My Car!

Okay, a couple of things need to be said about the title. First, I’ve never, ever, said this to anybody, although I’ve wanted to many, many, times. Second, there are repercussions to saying something like this. Any money you save may be totally offset by medical payments. Third, although getting fat asses out of your car will save you money, this really applies to any and all excess weight in your vehicle since this all affects fuel economy.

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Why I Don’t Know My Salary Or My Net Worth

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Maybe it’s a big secret since I talk about personal finance and investing. I don’t know my own salary. Or my net worth. Or how much my investments are up (or down). Sometimes I don’t even remember my own name. I keep track of my expenses, but I don’t really look at that either.

I know what all these numbers are directionally. But my point is I don’t keep track of them on a regular basis. If you want to be successful, you wouldn’t keep track of any of this stuff either, except your name. You sound like an idiot if you don’t know that.

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Most Commonly Used Valuation Methods

If you’re new to investing, there’s one thing you should know: investors are lazy. If you’re an experienced investor, you should already know this because you are lazy. With thousands of stocks listed in the US alone, investors are too lazy to do in-depth research on them all. Looking at valuation helps investors quickly judge a company and compare them vs. peers.

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BEBE’s Taking an Axe to Costs

Although there have been a few hiccups along the way, like the voluntary delisting from NASDAQ to OTC in December and the sale of its headquarters falling through, BEBE is largely living up to expectations.

As I have discussed previously, the company is moving to a licensing-only model. Since it will no longer need designers, warehouses, and distribution centers, costs should become immaterial. There’s been some debate around how low costs can go, since the company is not great around providing detailed information. Now, it appears we finally have a rough idea, and it’s better than I expected.
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Why You’ll Never Become a Billionaire

I realize most people don’t have aspirations to become a billionaire. Most people just want to get out of debt and maybe live a middle class lifestyle. The more ambitious of you want to become millionaires. Trust me, being a millionaire is over-rated. Millionaires may have been an exclusive segment of the population 50 years ago, but it’s not so exclusive anymore. According to this CNBC article, there are 10.8mn households that have a net worth of $1 million or more, or 10% of total households. Being a millionaire used to be like having platinum status, and now it’s more like gold. Maybe even silver. Continue reading “Why You’ll Never Become a Billionaire”

How to Maximize Your Business Travel Like a Boss

Like most people, I need to travel for business. I don’t travel much, maybe 5-10 times a year. So I’m not like those hardcore travel warriors that are flying every week and have executive platinum status for everything. I honestly don’t know how those people do it. First, it must suck being away from family for so long (maybe that’s not such a bad thing when you have small children). I think some of them fly so often they know the flight attendants by name! But I do travel enough where it makes sense to take advantage of what I spend. Here are my tips on how to maximize your business travel spend.

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8 Things You Can Buy With One Bitcoin

one bitcoin

You have one bitcoin burning a hole in your hard drive and the holidays are coming, so you’re looking for gift ideas – congratulations! Right now one bitcoin is going for around $17,500. Hopefully you mined this bitcoin in its infancy, or bought it when it was under $100. Because if you did, it’s all upside! Less so if you bought it yesterday, although you’ve done fairly well if you bought it two days ago. I have no view on where bitcoin will go, but now may not be a bad time to take a little off the table. Here are my suggestions on what you can buy for $17,500. Tax not included, but if you have one bitcoin, I’m sure you can scrounge for the rest!

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