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Jonathan Ping

Five Ways To Get a Free Credit Score (No Trials!)

Updated 2017. As noted, the government requires the credit bureaus to provide you a free credit report once every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com. Ideally, you should check in more frequently. The services listed below provide you a free credit score updated throughout the year either daily, weekly, or monthly. Most offer additional data taken directly […]

Dimensional Fund Advisors Profile + 529 College Savings Plan Access

Institutional Investor has an interesting profile of Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). Since DFA doesn’t do much marketing, there are very few articles about them in the mainstream financial media. A rare example is this 2007 article (backup copy) by Michael Lewis for a now-defunct magazine. DFA funds are similar to Vanguard index funds in that […]

How to Minimize Investment Returns – By Warren Buffett

At the bottom of the Berkshire Hathaway 2016 Annual Report, you may not have noticed that Warren Buffett republished a previous article from the 2005 annual report titled “How to Minimize Investment Returns”. A version become the first chapter (find it here) of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by Jack Bogle. I am […]

Fidelity Investments Stock and ETF Trades now $4.95

Fidelity Investments has announced their online stock and ETF trades will now cost $4.95, down from $7.95 previously. The press release also points out that they also do not accept payment for order flow (unlike TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and E-Trade), and that their order routing has led to price improvement higher than industry average. I’m […]

Berkshire Hathaway 2016 Annual Letter by Warren Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) released its 2016 Letter to Shareholders [pdf] over the weekend. Although the financial media will create some catchy headlines, I recommend reading it for yourself. It is only roughly 30 pages long and is always written in a straightforward and approachable fashion. Even if you aren’t interested in BRK stock at all, […]

Food Rankings: Most Protein Per Dollar, Caffeine Per Dollar

A while back I did a post on What Does 200 Calories Cost? The Economics of Obesity, where I found that you can find the cheapest calories in things like flour, pasta, oil, bread, and doughnuts. Meanwhile, the most expensive calories included all the fresh fruits and vegetables. Michael Kirk of Efficiency Is Everything has […]

Infographic: It’s Never Too Late To Start

There’s a new movie out about Ray Kroc and McDonald’s called The Founder. Did you know that Kroc was selling milkshake machines into his 50s until he stumbled on a pair of brothers buying a ton of milkshake machines for their new hamburger shop? I don’t know if I would call him a role model, […]

Amazon Promo: $8.62 off $50+ Order (2/22 Only)

In case you don’t visit every day (which is probably a good thing), Amazon.com is giving $8.62 off $50+ orders with promo code BIGTHANKS. Valid until 11:59pm Pacific 2/22 only. Must be shipped and sold by Amazon; other restrictions apply. Added: You can’t buy Amazon gift cards but you can buy gift cards to other […]

Municipal Bonds vs. US Treasury Bond Yield Comparison

As a follow-up to my post on the risks of investing in bonds, I should share that a slight majority of my personal bond holdings are in short-term and intermediate-term municipal bonds. Why? Well, here are some considerations if you are choosing between holding highly-rated municipal bonds and US Treasury bonds right now. The Blackrock […]

Shelter Institute: Learn How to Build Your Own House in 2 Weeks

While listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast with guest Mr. Money Mustache, I came across this quote from John Taylor Gatto in the comments. Apparently Gatto was not a fan of compulsory schooling and offered this instead: I want to give you a yardstick, a gold standard, by which to measure good schooling. The Shelter […]