Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tipping Guidelines

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]Aug 1, 2008: This summer, during our cross country US Tour, we had to pay quite a lot of tips to bellboys, skycaps, waiters and waitresses at restaurants, taxi drivers, food delivery and room service. Since our travel lasted for nearly 8 weeks and spanned across ten expensive US metropolitans, we ended up

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How To Measure The Performance of A Mutual Fund?

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (] While browsing through the archives of Vanguard's Plain Talk on Investing Podcast series we came upon an interesting podcast that explains ways to measure a fund's performance. In this podcast, Joseph Brennan, principal in charge of Vanguard's Portfolio Review Group, explains how to measure a fund's

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

$50 Sign-upBonus from Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card!

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]
Today we present a $50 sign-up bonus from Citibank's old war horse - Diamond Preferred Rewards Card. This card is a cool one for folks seeking a 5% cash back on supermarkets, gas and drugstore purchases for next 12 months. It has no annual fee, and comes with a 0% APR on balance transfers for a year ......

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sneaky Credit Card Trick #9 - 0% APR - Take Care with the Fine Print

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]If we have a good credit history, we'll receive plenty of 0% APR offers for new cards from reputed credit card companies. Congrats!Beware of the fine print though. Perhaps it's time to grab a magnifying glass and read the fine print well.What is sneaky about 0% APR offers?Most cards sneakily mention whether

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sneaky Credit Card Trick #8 - Fixed Rates are NOT Fixed

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]It is a known fact that credit card companies attract new clients by advertising low "Fixed" APRs. Newbies might think that APRs on their balances are fixed till they pay it off, right? No dear, we are nowhere near the truth!What is sneaky about fixed rates?According to credit card jargon, "fixed rate" means

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Digging for Gold - Online!

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]July 21, 2008: In order to diversify a portfolio, many experts suggest adding a few sector funds or ETFs. Why? Such a diversification helps hedge a portfolio during a bear market.Sector funds having a high negative co-relation to stocks help dampen the losses when the stock market takes a nose dive. Quite

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Early Retirement Case Study - Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]In our popular post "Top Resources For Early Retirement Planning," we had presented a short profile of Billy and Akaisha Kaderli. They are well known for having reached FIRE really early. Today while browsing through Kiplinger archives we found a detailed case study profiling Billy and Akaisha's early

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Citi mtvU Platinum Select Visa - 5% Cash Back Card for College Students

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]
In our college days there were hardly any credit cards that offered cash back rewards. To get an unsecured credit card which was by itself a big deal. But Citi has eased it for present day college students with mtvU Platinum Select Visa. It offers 5% cash back for purchases which students make every day at

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sneaky Credit Card Trick #7 - High Cash Advance Fees & Rates

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]Cash is king when its not a debt but has been accumulated as a result of our savings. And like convenience checks, cash advances from our credit card accounts is a terrible mistake. We should avoid it at all costs.What is sneaky about cash advances?The rate for cash advances is much higher than the APRs

Thursday, July 10, 2008

10% Discount on Lifelock Identity Theft Prevention

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]Famous for its CEO giving out his Social Security Number in advertising and national press, LifeLock is the only Identity Theft Prevention Solution backed by a one-million dollar guarantee. This program has received a five-star rating in the industry of Identity Theft. Also, LifeLock was the only Identity

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

$200 Sign-up Bonus - Citi Premier Pass Elite Card!

Citi is offering a cool 20,000 bonus points (equivalent to $200) as a sign-up bonus for Premier Pass Elite Master card. However the bonus comes after $600 in purchases within 3 months. There is a $75 annual fee with this card. If we deduct that from the sign-up bonus, this deal is still worth $125.

Another attractive feature of this card is that we earn 1 bonus point for every mile we fly. Note

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sneaky Credit Card Trick #6 - Lower Minimum Payments

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (] To boost their profits, credit card companies often lure their clients by sending lucrative offers with lower minimum payments on debts. The lowered minimum payments can be as low as 2% of our owed balance.What is sneaky about lowering minimum payments?Stay away from this gimmick at all costs. Else we might

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Investment Risks at a Glance

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]July 7, 2008: The sub-prime mortgage fiasco and its effect on our investments prompted us to reconsider our portfolio's risk tolerance capability. It also reminded us that the threat of losing our money due to some bad investment decisions on our part, is not the only risk. Admittedly it is the most important

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Driving Rebates + 3% Cash Back - Citi Driver's Edge Card for Students!

Back in good ol' days (?) when we were college students we started off with prepaid secure credit cards. After we had established a credit history we got a regular card. Sadly most of them did not have any associated rewards or cash back programs. But thanks to Citibank, present day college students can now earn a healthy cash back on their purchases and also reap rewards for the miles they