Why I Can’t Bank At Wells Fargo

A Wells Fargo Senior VP, Cheronda Guyton moved into a foreclosed $12 million mansion with her family and hosted extravagant house parties.  Meanwhile, her job is to figure out how to profit from foreclosures (well done!), but she didn’t allow brokers to show the Wells Fargo-owned place because her family was squatting!

I knew there was something funny a couple years ago, when I was talking to one of their mortgage brokers and the rates he was quoting were 50-100bps higher than everyone else.  Bank of America got my business instead.  Too bad Ken Lewis was so empire-building driven and panic bought Merrill at the market open, instead of after the close.  What’s $25 billion more between between shareholders?

Given we live in bizarro world, don’t be surprised if Wells Fargo goes ahead and promotes her to lead up a different department.  After all, Wells Fargo does technically own the foreclosed home, and can do what they will.  Their $60,000/month vacation rental asking price might sound excessive, but not as excessive as Cheronda Guyton not letting anybody rent it out because she wanted to pump up the base herself!

Great to see our $25 billion in tax payer bailout money be put to good use.  Thanks for everything Cheronda.  Tell you what guys, since we are PR experts here at Financial Samurai, why don’t you Cheronda donate the $240,000 in lost rental income to the LA firefighter’s fund, and ask your employer to match it.  Here’s your article with further details.


Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Fortunes, Fortunes, Everywhere!

Back in 2002, the Oakland longshoremen went on strike because they were against new technology which could cut their jobs.  The issue was quite contentious, and it was a matter of “national security” the union get back to work according to many politicians.  What I remember most clearly, however, were salary figures that just boggled my mind.

According to widely spread documentation at the time, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) required their longshoremen to work no longer than 35 hours a week.  Furthermore, it was cited that the average income for an Oakland longshoreman was between $100,000-$120,000, with many senior employees earning $160,-190,000.  When I read the news, it was about 8pm and I had been in the office since 5:45am.  For that one day, I dreamt I was a longshoreman.


Mea Culpa – I Just Spent $1,450 At The Apple Store

The Apple IIc!

The Apple IIc!

Despite making a promise on August 31st to buy nothing this September, I broke down and bought a 13-inch Apple Macbook Pro yesterday.  You see, I was tempted by two things.  1) Apple’s promotion of getting a free $230 i-Touch with every notebook purchase, and 2) Steve Jobs is back in  San Francisco this week to address new product launches!


  • I have been looking for a new laptop for two years now given my current 12″ i-Book is a hand me down from my wife.   It’s got only 512megs of RAM, a 20 gig hard drive, a sticky space bar, and is slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter!
  • My wife, on the otherhand, has a shiny 1-year old Macbook I bought her for Christmas.  Clearly, I am a little bit envious.
  • I walked down aisle 7 at Walgreens and a Loreal shampoo bottle told me, “Because you’re worth it!”
  • Nobody really buys me anything for my birthday and the holidays except for my wife.  I take it back.  My mom got me a nifty plastic cube with a clam in it last winter.  I think she found it in an old cubbard.  So who’s going to buy me anything?  Cue the violins!
  • Furthermore, $1,450 really isn’t $1,450 once I get my $230 rebate in the mail for my i-Touch.  I can then sell the darn thing on Craigslist for $199 and bring my total outlay down to $1,051!
  • Besides, how am I supposed to be a prolific personal finance writer on such old equipment anyway?  I can barely do any editing on my 12-inch screen.  Oh, the justifications of spending come spouting out now, and I can’t help it.

Revenge of The Nerds: Golf & Tennis Are #1!

According to Harris Interactive,  the most popular male athlete in America is Tiger Woods, and the most popular female athlete is Serena Williams.  This got me thinking…. hmmmm, America is absolutely obsessed with football, baseball, and basketball and yet golf and tennis are #1!  Since High School, the stereotype has always been that nerds played golf and tennis, and jocks played the other sports.  So, what’s up with this latest poll?

The Financial Samurai theory:

* Whoever controls the most amount of money is the most influential, and therefore, the most popular.   The reason why Tiger Woods makes $100 million a year is because he generates billions in incremental revenue.  Since nerds by definition get better grades,  they may go to better schools  and get better paying jobs.  Therefore, their chances of making more money increases.  More nerds play golf and tennis, and therefore spend more on those sports.

Ouch! Sam Bradford & New College Academic Polls

Given it’s the weekend, I’m not going to write too much, but two things worth highlighting given it relates to some of our previous posts.

1) Sam Bradford of Oklahoma got injured and his then #3 Oklahoma Sooner’s LOST to BYU (#20).  What does this mean?  He may never play up to his potential again, thereby losing $20,000,000 in guaranteed money by not going to the NFL last year.  Perhaps just as painful, Oklahoma will not be considered to play in the national championships again this year.

Oh well, that’s life.  Who needs the money anyway when you can have so much fun in college and get your degree?  However, all you prospective pro athletes, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail for advice.  We’ll look out for you, even if the Sooner faithful won’t look out for Sam by telling him to stay!

Related Post: “Forgoing $50 Million For The Love Of Football”

2) The September/October issue of Washington Monthly come out with a new type of college ranking.  I thought it was intriguing because they basically bash US News & World Report’s methodology, due to the blatant cheating by some faculty at Clemson and University of Florida to manipulate the results.

Washington Monthly’s believes that “America’s colleges are those that work hardest to help economically disadvantaged students earn the credentials that the job market demands.  They contribute new scientific discoveries, and they emphasize the obligations students have to serve their communities and the nation at large.” Hence, they offer three broad rating categories: Social Mobility, Research, and Service.

The 10 Best Universities in America

1. UC Berkeley (#21 in US News)

2. UC San diego (35)

3. UC Los Angeles (25)

4. Stanford University (4)

5. Texas A&M College Station (64)

6. South Carolina State University (NR)

7. Penn State (470

8. The College of William & Mary (32)

9. University of Texas – Austin (47)

10. UC Davis (44)

Several observations: 1) California schools dominate.  2) There’s only one private school in the Top 10.  3) The traditionally perceived elite schools are not there except for Stanford.  Is spending $50,000/year to go to private school in the east coast worth it?  Hard to say after reading the report!

Related post: “Survey Says: Get 1,300 On Your SATs & A 3.9 GPA And You’re Set for Life!”

Hope everybody is having a great weekend!  Upcoming posts will be about Net Worth, The Right Sports, and How Everything Is Relative.


Financial Samurai

Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries