Category Archives: Intro

TV Deal of the Day!

What a difference a year makes, last year you were lucky to find a 4K TV for under 2 grand. SAMSUNGDEALNow the deals are just pouring in. Case and point this 55inch Samsung for $1600. To me this deal is incredible for several reasons.

  1. First off its a Samsung, not a Westinghouse, or Insignia, or some other company no one has ever hear of. These guys are a leader in 4K TVs.
  2. Secondly its a new TV, not a refurb. When I first saw it I thought it was refurb pricing. I am not against refurbs, but new is of course preferred.
  3.  Can’t forget the model number, the 9000 line of Samsung TV’s a solid, mid range entry.
  4. The cherry on top, it comes with a 3d blu ray play, also a Samsung. I find its always best to match the player with the TV.

A deal like this wont last so head over to Ebay quickly if you are in the market for a new 4k TV. The only downside for some would be the curve. That’s a personal choice that you will have to weigh on your own. as someone who spent months last year looking and reviewing several of the top 4K TV I can honestly say that if I didn’t already own a 4K TV I would probably be buying this one.

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Black Friday Is HERE! Three Deals to Get Things Started.

We are in it now. Black Friday, the official kick off to the holiday shopping season. Last year I openly wondered if the deals were real or if this was all hype.  Every situation is different, but in my experience you have to believe. With that in mind, let’s begin.

Now before you run off and grab your conquests you have to prepare. A deal is great but multiple deals, stacked on top of each other is the best. Do you have a Discover card? Did you activate the 5% cashback bonus for this quarter? It works at Amazon, department stores, and clothing stores. All it takes is a few clicks and you can take on extra savings to your deals.

You also can’t forget Fatwallet and Ebates. These site not only help you find deals, but the offer cash back at hundreds of retailers. Looking over their deals I can tell you that the cashback is very high this year.

Alrighty, with all that settles here are some deals to get you  started.

  • Marvel Art – Signed By Stan Lee - Men in general and young men specifically are rather difficult to shop for. Right now comic book character are quite popular and Stan Lee is the current king of the art form. “Beyond the Rack is offering up a wide assortment of limited edition prints depicting SpidermanMr. Lee’s most iconic character like this one of Spider Man. They are doing so at a great discount, retailing at $500 and reduced for your right now to $129.99. This is a great gift for a comic or movie fan that they can keep on their wall for years and year. The best part is that their is a strong possibility that this piece will hold its value or even increase in value over time. Once they have outgrow that phase they can sell your gift, like an investment.
  • Samsonite Luggage - I know what you might be thinking, luggage? Really? Luggage? Stay with me. If you have a member of your family that is engaged or is going on a big vacation like a long cruise or a trip to Disney this could be the best gift ever. LuggageLuggage is expensive, this set retails for over 400 dollars. Right now you can have this well reviewed, TSA approved Samsonite set for $119.99. Give it to them next December and they will sing your praises when they return from their next trip.
  • Ipad Mini 2 – Last year we gave my sister one and now she uses it more than her laptop.Ipad mini 2 It small and light and the screen is beautiful. I know the two is now considered and older model, but at $199 you really can’t bet the price. This deal is offered from Walmart and they a sweeting in the pot with either Free shipping or free in store pick up for those of you who want to lock down that gift right now.

So there you are, three deals to start the ball rolling, more to follow.

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My Backyard Garden – The Harvest

As my second year of backyard farming comes to a close and I am enjoying the tasty yields of my harvest, I now have time to reflect. harvestHere in New York we have enjoyed a hot, sunny, and mostly dry Summer. These conditions have benefited most of my crops, while hurting others. My corn has been picked, as have some of my watermelons. Tomorrow I may dug up my potatoes and my tomatoes continue to give me a mixed yield.

Here are how things worked out my plant:

  • Sugar Baby Watermelons: The best news first. These little guys were a great big home run. I have 8 melons, I have already harvested 4. They are very heavy(juicy) and very sweet. These plants were completely problem free. I watered them steadily and gave them organic fertilizer and they just took off.  I was very aggressive with vine management, making sure to keep them out of other beds or tangling with each other. I am going to seed save from my biggest melon and use them in next years harvest. I give them an A.
  • Tomatoes: Now the bad news. I have three varieties of tomatoes. My “Sunburst Cherry” variety is robust and giving me hundreds, literally hundreds of little cherry tomatoes. My pepper style is also very hearty, great color, great yield. The troubled plants and the one that dominates most of my time are my Beefstakes. This is completely my fault. I only had four tomato cages and used them on my cherry variety. I neglected to stake my beef stakes, mostly because they appeared so hearty and it cost me dearly. Instead of growing up they grew out. When the tomatoes started to appear they weighed down the branches causing damage and stress. This hurt the overall health of the pants and caused a massive loss of yield. This was completely my fault and I will not make the same mistake next year. I give my results a C-
  • “Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn” – A very solid variety, it yielded some really large full ears, 24 in all. My experiment to CORNplant each of the 3 rows 1 week apart was a total dud. My heart was in the right place, but I definitely over thought it. Despite my “help” the plants recovered and the loss was limited to one or two plants. A thunderstorm damaged two more, but that is almost unavoidable. The real trick with corn is water. If you don’t give it consistent water you will have missed kernels. I had that problem last year, but I managed to avoid it mostly this year. When all is said and done I give my corn a B+
  • “Binteje Potatoes” – As I mentioned before, I have no harvested them so it is impossible to know how they are. The leafy portion of the plant looks very very healthy, but the part that matters is a mystery. Time will tell.

Mistakes will come, but they can be valuable if you learn from them. I will have my full report and my final grade in a few weeks.

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The PiggyBankBuilder Portfolio Challenge – The July Slide

It’s bad, it doesn’t show any signs of getting better. Here are my results:

  • Krogers (KR) – Purchase price – $63.53, number of shares 46. Current Price: $38.72  a gain of $319.70
  • Microsoft (MSFT) – Purchase price $46.76, number of 32. Current Price: $46.62, a loss of $4.48
  • iShares Silver Trust (SLV) – Purchase price $15.11, number of shares 99. Current Price: $13.99 a loss of $110.88
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) - Purchase price $10.82, number of shares 138, Current Price $7.66 a loss of $436.08

I’m slightly less red, down $231.74. QuestionWhile my portfolio recovered a small amount my confidence in this market is waining. All the news that I read is bad, all of the earnings I see are misses. A great case for another recession could be convincingly and easily made to me. I am trying to maintain a level head, but sometimes the sky is falling. Is this one of those times? I suspect that time will tell.

 

***Please not that I am not and investment adviser.Please consult your investment adviser before making any financial decisions that could result in loss.

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Prime Day is Coming!

In a few short hours Amazon is unleashing prime day“Prime Day”. What many are describing as Black Friday in July, Prime day is an event that offers huge sale prices on popular items to “Prime Members”. These are people who enroll in the $99 a year programs that gives them free two day shipping, access to the Amazon Prime video library, and few other temping perks.

Rumors are all over the web about what we can expect on sale. Among the most interesting are:

  • Bose headphones for the lowest price ever on Amazon
  • A 4K TV bundle for under 1000 bucks
  • 50% off select tools

The sale launches at 3:00 am eastern time. I will comb through the deals and share my favorites with you tomorrow. Until then keep your mouse fingers nimble and get ready for those deals.

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My Backyard Garden – Two Months Out

The Summer has really been flying by and my garden has been prospering. This being my second year of gardening, I have a better understanding of what to expect. As of today all of my crops are coming along nicely. Here is my take away thus far:

  • The “Sugar Baby” Watermelons : The primary concern with watermelon plants is vine management.  These guys like to spread and they move fast. Once the roots take hold these things will grow almost a foot a day under the right conditions. I have to make sure that the don’t grow into other plants or onto my lawn. All it requires is moving the vines at the right time, but you have to stay on top of them. Baby WatermelonThey appear healthy, they have begun flowering and a few days ago I got my first baby water melon.
  • The Tomatoes: They come in three varieties, Big Beef, BrandyWine, and one that I can’t recall. I now have the taller plants caged and they are doing great. I do make a point to pure them back from time to time. This stops the branches from growing into and shading each other and it allows the plant to grow stronger and taller. All eight plants have little green tomatoes on them, I am hoping for a massive yield.
  • Binteje Potatoes: In the center bed closest to the camera are my potatoes. They are new comers to my garden Crops July 2ndand I am learning as I go. From as far as I can tell they seem to be doing well. The potatoes themselves grow underground, butt he leafy portion of the plant is growing strong and looks very healthy. As best as I can tell, so far so good.
  • Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn”: I dropped the ball on these guys. In an effort to “help” the rows furthest from the sun I planted the three rows about a week apart. The thinking was that the younger plants wouldn’t shade the older ones. It was just dumb and now I have corn at three different heights and three different ages. The older corn is pushing the younger and the pollination is going to be so spread out that the oldest corn will not benefit from the younger. On the upside the quality of the plants themselves are top notch, strong tall and thick. Perhaps my corn will compensate from my poor planting strategy. 

Thus far I am very happy with my garden. I expect to pick some tomatoes in the next week and I will provide you with a yield count soon. As of right now I am expecting to beat last years totals.

 

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The PiggyBankBuilder Portfolio Challege – May 2015 Results

I’m starting to read some concerning things about the stock market and the economy. Let’s see how I fared and then I will give my final analysis.

  • Krogers (KR) – Purchase price – $63.53, number of shares 23. Current Price: $71.68  a gain of $187.45
  • Microsoft (MSFT) – Purchase price $46.76, number of 32. Current Price: $46.28, a loss of $25.28
  • iShares Silver Trust (SLV) – Purchase price $15.11, number of shares 99. Current Price: $15.77 a gain of $13.86
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) - Purchase price $10.82, number of shares 138, Current Price $9.80 a loss of $219.42

Well there it is, I’m in the red, I am down $43.39. crashIs this the end of the world? No, but could it be the beginning of trouble? You bet 

I predicted that I would be up by 200 about now, WRONG! Looking ahead I am going to hang in there and see what the rest of June brings. Is another recession coming? I certainly hope not and I won’t make such a dire prediction with out more data. As always time will tell.

 

***Please not that I am not and investment advisor.Please consult your investment advisors before making any financial decisions that could result in loss.

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The PiggyBankBuilder Portfolio Challenge – February Results

Another month in the books and I am feeling pretty good. How did I do? Let’s look at my results:

  • Krogers (KR) – Purchase price – $63.53, number of shares 23. Current Price: $69.98 a gain of $148.35
  • Microsoft (MSFT) – Purchase price $46.76, number of 32. Current Price: $43.28, a loss of $111.36
  • iShares Silver Trust (SLV) – Purchase price $15.11, number of shares 99. Current Price: $15.57 a gain of $45.54
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) - Purchase price $10.82, number of shares 138, Current Price $10.96 a gain of $19.32

February saw a stock market recovery and the portfolio benefited nicely. 2015 stockIt is now up $101.85 or 2% ! A year back my portfolio was up only about 40 bucks, so this is a sizable improvement. 

Krogers continues to be a steady grower and BlackBerry just released a new crop of phones that look very impressive. Looking towards the next month its hard for me to say where things are going. The market is at all time highs and investors seem happy. That makes me a little nervous, the market has been going strong for over 6 years. Sooner or later things will change.

 

***Please not that I am not and investment advisor.Please consult your investment advisors before making any financial decisions that could result in loss.

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Eat24, Delivery Just Got Even Easier

Sometimes you just want to dine in, especially when its 2 degrees outside. You order delivery from your favorite place, but inevitably something goes awry. Your drinks are wrong or not there all together, the driver says they no longer honor your coupon, you get the bill and wonder “does a driver fee go to the driver or should I tip?” Who needs such aggravation?  The entire process would benefit immensely from some computerized simplicity.

Enter “Eat24″ a dining delivery site for the smartphone ages. eat24Affiliated with the popular dining review site “Yelp”, EAT24 streamlines the delivery/ take out ordering process with magnificence efficiency. If you are an undecided shopper looking for some tasty ideas “Eat24″ has you covered with tons of options. If you have a favorite place that you always go to, chances are they can take care of that as well. Once you select the eating establishment you are interested in you can search through an online menu and select your meal.

Eat24 totals up the order and you can pay for it via credit card. The site handles the transaction all the restaurant has to do is prepare the food for pick up or delivery. “Eat24″ will alos save this order for future use, thus reducing your next visit to a few mere clicks. Last week the Bride wanted our favorite pizza, I logged into “Eat24″ and ordered our favorite pie before she even got to the room to ask me to order.

As a bargain hunter I am a big fan of Eat24’s weekly weekend coupon codes that I receive in my e-mail. They vary greatly, but on a handful of occasions the discount was so good that it was actually cheaper for me to order a delivery using Eat24 than it would have been for me to go and pick it up at the place. You can’t beat that.

So if you haven’t tried it, I recommend that you check out Eat24. Save yourself some time.

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How Does Prosper Deal With Deadbeats?

For those of you who don’t know Prosper is a personal lending investment service. People come to the site looking for loans and you as the investor can choose to fund a portion of those loans for a share of the interest paid on them. What makes tprosper lendinghis appealing to you as the investor are the returns. While traditional bank accounts are paying around 1%, Prospers loans can yield anywhere from 5-12% depending on the amount of risk you are willing to take. 

I have been a Prosper investor for almost 18 months and the experience has been great.  I have invested into 39 different loans and my annual return is just shy of 10%. Prosper has done a solid job of making process of finding and investing very straight forward and the layout is simple and easy to understand. Once a month I  deposit funds and I invest that and the payment money from my existing loans into new loans.

As I said everything has been running very smoothly until one day it happened. Someone didn’t pay. For over a year everything was great and then I look down my  list of “current” loans and saw a delinquency. I’m not going to lie, it was concerning. Of course I knew such a thing was possible, you could even suggest inevitable, but I had gone so long with out a problem, then boom. I contacted Prosper about this issue and they responded with the list of actions. Here is an outline of their collection process:

  • 1-15 days: Prosper will make calls and send emails to the borrower.
  • 16-20 days: Prosper engages with a collection agency to collect on the delinquent note. A late fee is charged at day 16, 46, 76 and 106 days past due and is passed on to the Investors.
  • Delinquency reported to Experian and Transunion on a monthly basis at 31 days past due until the loan is charged-off.
  • 121+ days: The loan is charged-off and sent to an external charge-off collection agency.
  • Collection Agencies will charge fees (up to 40% any recovered funds, plus legal fees and expenses) for any recovered funds.  Investors in a delinquent Note will have these fees deducted from any recovered funds on a pro-rata basis.  If no funds are recovered, Investors do not pay any collection fees.

Fortunately for me, the late loan was paid up in a matter of days. It appears to have been just a simple error. Since then none of my other loans has been late. This reassures my confidence in Prospers screening process. Delinquent loans are bad for business. When I saw a late payment it alarmed me, if it went unresolved I might pause my investment in the site. I am sure this is a common reaction.

To their credit Prosper has and continues to do an excellent job. I recommend their service to anyone who is looking to create a passive income stream and has the extra capital to risk.

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