Financial Samurai Joins “The Million Dollar Club!”

million_dollar_club_seal_MLuck will have it there are others out there who also want to become millionaires!  Who would have thunk.  After putting up my $1 million dollar “Freedom Fund” tracker this past June, I’ve had a number of inquiries regarding what it’s all about.  By starting completely over in my Freedom Fund this past summer, I will be as honest about my finances as possible.  If you’ve read my earlier Net Worth posts, you’ll know that I believe people should have a Cash Goal, rather than a Net Worth goal.  Very simply, we have a better chance of counting on Cash during retirement, than on all the other stuff.

I was surfing the PF network and stumbled across J. Money’s site, “Budgets Are Sexy.” He started “The Million Dollar Club” for all those who simply wish to be millionaires.  There isn’t any red velvet rope to get in and I don’t want to be alone in my journey towards gathering $1 million cash, so I’m joining!  It’s all about community and I’m looking forward to J and my fellow members stopping by with their support.

The Katana: Must Read Articles of The Week Ending 9/26

katanaEvery week, we will highlight the best posts on the web.  They can either be thought provoking or simply have made us laugh.  This week’s highlights include:

1) Five Pence Piece: 10 Economic Predictions for 2010. Lee provides his dire predictions for the UK, and I just love his conviction!

2) Wisebread’s Paul Michael: 51 Unusual Money-Saving Tips From Readers. Paul puts together a hilarious list of shady tips the best cheapskates can appreciate!

3) Get Rich Slowly’s April Dykman: Renters Insurance: Peace of Mind For 10 Bucks A Month. We’re all either renters, landlords, or live in mom’s basement.  Make sure you’re covered or at least know about the costs just in case disaster strikes.

Previously from Financial Samurai:

1) Obama’s Health Care Proposal. A quick intro about the proposal and unique individual viewpoints which should make people think.  Things aren’t so clear cut.

2) Be Your Own Venture Capitalist & Build A Broad Portfolio. The are opportunities everywhere to build relationships.  Change your mindset.

3) To MBA Or Not To MBA. November usually signals the first round of application deadlines and applications are up 30% year over year.  Read this article before you decide to spend all that money and time.  Competition is fierce!

Keigu,

Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Follow me on Twitter @FinancialSamurai

Financial Samurai Guest Posts For Wise Bread!

My Victory Sign

My Victory Sign

One of the main reasons why I returned my Macbook was because I failed to get published on Wise Bread before my return policy ran out.  I figured why not have this goal in order to justify spending such a large some of money?  After all, a writer needs his tools!  Well, I’m excited to announce that my guest article on Wise Bread is now live!  Better late than never.

Please enjoy reading: “Knowing When To Walk Away – Financial Planning For An Unknown Ending”

A snippet: “People have a notion that they must amass a certain amount of money, no matter how long it takes, before they can retire. But what if it took you 40 years of work to reach $1 million, and the very next year you died?”

A special thanks to Senior Writer Linsey Knerl at Wise Bread for accepting my guest post submission and taking the time to edit.  Linsey was always so responsive, even in the wee hours of night when I was pounding away and asking her questions.  Thanks for the support Linsey.  You rock!

Please follow me and Oprah over at Twitter @FinancialSamurai.  It’s getting addicting!

Keigu,

Financial Samurai

“Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Laptop Returned, Money Saved, Old Computer Optimized!

Goodbye my pretty.

Goodbye My Precious!

After much debate, I walked over to the Apple store and returned my oh so sweet Macbook Pro.  Today was the last day until the return policy expired.  I actually felt a little bit sad, because I got to see the laptop when the store clerked cut open the sticker to make sure I wasn’t returning a couple cement blocks instead.  My reasoning to return were quite simple:

  1. No reasonable bids came in for my 8GB, iPod touch for $199 because the day after Apple stopped their promotion of a free iPod with every Macbook purchase, they lowered their price from $239 to $199!  I didn’t change my pricing until the second week, and by that time, it was a little too late to negotiate.
  2. My guest post failed to get published within two weeks at this large personal finance site.  I made a submission with outline, thesis, and bio which was immediately responded to and accepted the very next day.  Several hours were spent writing 1,350 words, as well as several more hours revising.  Although they have confirmed receipt of my 2nd draft, it’s still in the queue.  At least I got a nice $10 gift card at Amazon! :)
  3. My cash flow cannot afford $1,465 for September because a $1,700 bill is coming due for a couple airlines tickets purchased at the end of August.  I try to only buy stuff through cash flow, and never touch savings, otherwise how will I ever build a big enough nut for retirement?  Going into revolving credit card debt is NOT an option and never will be!
  4. I made a promise not to buy anything in September and feel guilty breaking a promise.  With only 6 more days left to go for the month, I need……… to……. stand…….. strong……… and fight the spending addiction!  I wonder if this is how a recovering addict feels, where every day of non-use, and in my case non-spend, is a victory?  It feels good to go 24 days in a row without buying anything other than food!
  5. Finally, my wife actually fixed my old iBook G4!  Its speed is as good as new thanks to several updates and clean ups.  Too bad the battery life only lasts 25 minutes now.

An Open Letter To Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup

Every now and again, it’s good for the little people to ask the big people for some help.  Our inaugural “Open Letter Series” is inspired by a bank teller friend of mine at Citigroup who lost her job through no fault of her own.  She recently found a new position at a private bank (congrats!) and wishes all her non-executive old colleagues to flourish again.  If you have an open letter idea in mind, please let us know!

Dear Vik,

Tax Payers Bailout, Tax Payers Buy Back & Repeat

Tax Payers Bail Out, Tax Payers Buy Back, Repeat, Get Rich.

After collecting more than $45 billion in government support last year, Citigroup is considered by many as the true “Bank of America”.  We the people own 34% of Citigroup, so we were quite disappointed when you decided to jack up our credit card interest rate from 7% to 14% earlier in the year.  We’ve never been late, have always payed in full, and are fully aware the Fed Funds and 10 year treasury yields are at record lows.  What happened to rewarding customer loyalty?  What’s more, you let go of our favorite bank teller at the main branch we went to for the past 5 years.

We’re happy you went on record last Thursday in NYC saying, “Yes, $100,000,000 in bonus money for one of your employees is too much.” However, we’re then disappointed you proceed to say “all the noise will disappear” if you continue “executing your strategy.” Trust us, as long as our credit card rate along with millions of others is usurously high, and as long as we still own a large chunk of Citigroup, the noise will never go away.

Our advice to you is quite simple Vik. First, just pay Andrew Hall his $100,000,000 in stock that vests over a 10-year period.  You know a contract is a contract and you’re going to pay him anyway despite what you were quoted earlier.  Suddenly, his bonus “only” looks like $10 million a year and critics will be tricked into appeasment.  In ten years, Andrew will probably ironically make more than $100 million given where you’re striking him today.  Second, take Timothy Geithner, Head of the US Treasury Depart out to Smith & Wollensky’s (don’t expense it though) and tell him over a hard vodka tonic and medium-rare rib-eye to hurry up and put a syndication together to offload America’s 34% stake!

You know the stock markets are back to their risk-loving ways.  As soon as the government offloads their stake, critics will have nothing to say.  You win because Citigroup essentially gets a “free” 10 month survival loan since you state the government is not all up in your business.  You’ve even been able to raise base salaries of thousands of executives by 50% this year as well.  By selling the government stake back to the very public who helped bail you out, you’re just in time to implement attractive pay packages to you and and thousands of employees for 2009. You can even hire back our hard working friend, who never caused any trouble.  Not sure if she wants to go back though!

Vik, by following our advice, you’ll be able to party like it’s 2007 again.  You can even raise base pay for executives by another 50% while the rest of America struggles if you want to (that might cause a revolt, so better not).  Given all this good advice, at the very least, can you tell your credit card department head to lower our interest rate down to 7% again?  We’re on a fixed income and what you guys did crimps our style.  Oh, and maybe you can give all the readers at Financial Samurai a reprieve as well.  If you accept the people’s assistance, please also protect your own common employees who aren’t making the mega-millions.  Thanks buddy.  Long live America!

Related Posts:

“Government Employee Entitled to $100,000,000 Bonus!”

“Do Higher Taxes Lead To Socialism In America?”

“America’s Shadow Government”

Keigu,

Financial Samurai

“Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”