The Katana: Favorite Posts of The Week Ending 11/15

katana-1There are plenty of online marketing sites such as PF Buzz, TIPD, FWISP, DIGG etc to highlight posts and increase breadth of readership.  Anybody know which ones are the best if I had to just focus on a couple?  It seems like one big popularity contest, which brings back fond memories of High School (maybe not).  If anybody wants to submit for me, feel free!

The traffic really is expanding here, especially from overseas countries like China & The Philippines.  International perspectives are always great and I hope our Indian brothers also join in the foray some day.

Sorry if I don’t respond to your e-mails and Twitters during the day.  I shut things off and focus on paying the bills, usually until 7pm PST.  I don’t have a personal PDA or anything either (what’s an iPhone?), but I promise to get back to your inquires when I return!


* In a sit down with Warren Buffet, he advises us to work for a person and organization we admire and forget about the money.  Bill says we need “brash confidence” in ourselves to succeed.  I agree!  If you don’t have confidence in yourself, who will?

* Thousands of readers read “Why Are There Homeless Veterans In America?” Now if thousands of readers could write to the White House HERE and tell them your concerns, perhaps we can make a difference.  Took me 2 minutes.  Thanks Susan for the tip!

* Most people would wisely save their $8.5 million poker winnings, which is really only around $4.5 million after taxes!  Yet some of you are even more adventurous and would buy a business or stocks with the proceeds.  I’m just happy with the $160,000+ a year in risk-free interest income!  Thanks Evan from My Journey To Millions for reminding us about gift tax consequences.  Party poopa!

* Finally, I want to remind folks that it’s never too late to fight to lower your property taxes! Don’t let the government take away your hard earned money as they are counting on the masses to be lazy.  Alex, hope your real estate readers found it useful.  Fight on!

Thanks for everybody’s continued support.  Never feel shy to comment, as your voice is ALWAYS welcome!


I Saved $2.1 Million On Lunch – A Sit Down With Warren Buffett

I thoroughly dislike watching CNBC for investing purposes due to all the noise.  When the markets are up, they bring on every single pundit to talk about how the market is going higher.  When the markets are down, they bring on all the bearish pundits to tell you why the world is coming to an end.  I remember when the S&P hit the ominous 666 level earlier this year, they brought in a “famed” technical analyst who said to expect S&P 200 by year-end.   What was her name again? I forget.  Watch CNBC for entertainment purposes mainly, and a little bit of learning.  Don’t watch CNBC to get rich.

Sometimes though, CNBC puts together something great.  And that great feat was bringing Warren Buffet (Columbia B-School Alum) and Bill Gates together in a town hall with all their business school students to ask them questions.

Here are some of the most memorable lines paraphrased from the show:

Why Are There Homeless Veterans In America?

IwojimaIt upsets me to no end when I read statistics stating there are roughly 131,000 homeless veterans in America.  Why are there homeless veterans?! If the motto “leave no man behind” holds true, why has the US government abandoned the very people who served their country the most?

Whether you’ve served in the military for 1 year or 20 years, veterans  should be able to count on the government for the bare minimum of food, clothing, and shelter.  The government needs to provide maximum support for those wishing to transition to the private sector with job placement and continued training.

How To Lower Your Property Taxes – Adventures In Assessor Land

FACT: The goal of local governments is to get every single penny in tax revenue from you! When I got my property tax bill in 2009, I was astonished to see that the City is taxing my primary residence based off an assessed value 7% HIGHER than in Armageddon 2008!  In the biggest economic downturn ever, the San Francisco assessors office believes my property actually increased?!  What a sham!

Like clock work, assessed values increase 2-3% higher every year, regardless of the economic environment.  It’s as if the City is punishing me for succeeding to lower my assessed value last year by 3%.  Too bad for the city, because they are messing with the WRONG person.  The tax collectors office counts on citizens to roll over and listen to their every whim, but not me, and certainly not you!

I want to share some tips on how you too can fight against the machine.



The Katana: Favorite Articles Of The Week Ending 11/8

katanaI have to admit, it takes a little more for me to get excited about topics in the personal finance arena because there’s generally a consistent rehash of themes we all know we should be doing, like spending less than you earn.  I’m also guilty of this, and that’s why whenever something is fresh, or teaches me something new (I have a lot to learn) I get excited.

From my end, I try and write whatever is on my mind at the moment, and hope it’s never been written before.  I highlight 8 articles of the week.  Is yours one of them?