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Howdy, ya’ll!

It’s been awhile. So long, in fact, that I learned the word “y’all” from these crazies in South Carolina.

Here’s a life update FAQ.

Location?
I moved to South Carolina. I’ve since learned (“learnt”) the word “y’all.” Truth is, South Carolina is something awesome, given that it’s been 60+ degrees in every day since February.

Seriously?
Yup. I moved here to open up a gym with a friend.

Dude, gyms are a lame investment.
I know, man.

Here’s how it happened: A friend called me up and said he had a sweet biz idea but didn’t have any money. I told him I had no ideas, but I had plenty of money.

So we worked out a deal after drinking way too much and creating a rudimentary model.

It may be the best business I’ve ever seen. I think I bought it at 0.5X 2017 EBIT. I’ll sell it at some multiple several times higher than that to any interested party. 😉

Sidebar: I’ve thought about reviving this blog to discuss private equity investments. Comment if that interests you. Truth is that small business is the best investment. As for the gym, I have the world’s best operator in a commodity business (a license to print money).

What about stocks?
I mean, you can pay too much if you want to. I think that’s your only choice right now, unfortunately.

I’m net neutral. Long and short in equal quantities, plus or minus a few percentage points. Comment here. I’ll email you. I can be more honest that way. I won’t name these companies given a couple of them want me dead.

I run a concentrated portfolio, but recently the movements of the market have been unimportant to my net worth. My recent investments have more to do with finding the truth than making money.

What else is new?
Not much, really. Amused by the current hunt for yield.

How about some fun stuff?
Uh, I’m currently in Omaha with the crazy dude from FinancialUproar.com. I met with Steve from Steveonomics.com, too. Personal finance people are weird, but they’re honest about it. I feel like I spend way too much given how little they spend. Good on them!

Still in Omaha for another ~24 hours or so if you want to meet up.

What’s next?
Retiring on the beaches of Charleston, SC — sooner, rather than later. I’m basically retired*, but I’m not going to write some silly retired-at-26 blog.

Thing is, I feel like writing about being retired is a good way to make sure your money never lasts long enough for you to retire. Karma, or something.

* Does not require Thailand-level living expenses. That stuff doesn’t count.

You didn’t sell out…
…Like the other guys who run PF blogs? No, I didn’t. I really do value conversing with all of you. We all sell out in different ways.

Email me. I prefer private discussion, but comment as you wish — if at all.

But, really, I’d rather chat with you all than blast this place with ads.

Want to chat? Comment here. I need to fix the email forms. If you made it this far, I want to talk to you.

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(I wasn’t paid for posting this, nor do I have any economic interest in you opening a credit card. I actually think this is a sweet deal worthy of your time. Nice guy blogger.)

As I sit here, I wonder if I really need another credit card. I don’t. I have several, many of them the casualties of rapid churning.

It was fun for awhile, but I’ve exhausted most of the offers out there. And now I’ve got something close to $100k in limits I’ll never use — I live on less than $20K a year.

Despite this, I opened another credit card last night. Why?

Free money, yo!

Bank of America has an offer that’s hard to beat. The BankAmericard will give you $25 per quarter just for paying your bill on time with a payment greater than your minimum payment. There are no other rewards, nor an annual fee.

So what do you do?

1. Set up an automated bill
2. Set up an automated payment on the BankAmericard
3. Every 3 months get $25 in cash, tax free!

Adverse selection in action. Customers like me are certain to be unprofitable — but, hey, that’s not my problem.

Anyway, if you’re interested in taking advantage of this deal, check it out here.

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On Entitlement

by JT McGee

Need an intern with a strong sense of entitlement and bad manners? Hire a rich kid.

This article is amazingly interesting. It’s on entitlement among wealthy kids — err, the children of wealth.

I’m lucky enough to have lived a fairly privileged life. Until middle school, or so, my parents were certainly “well off,” at least in Midwestern terms.

Flying private or commercial was never a choice, though — we certainly weren’t that wealthy. In fact, “wealthy” is probably charitable. I mean income rich. Vastly different thing, especially in the eyes of the tax code.

It afforded some comforts. But my parents loved saying no. Loved it. Unless, of course, we wanted something educational. My dad would eagerly open his wallet to feed us knowledge. And I mean eagerly. I only recently threw away a stack of almanacs, math books, etc. that I had saved from childhood.

To some extent, I think being born with wealth is a disadvantage. The disadvantage is asymptotic, though. Super rich = no problems. Moderately rich = problematic. Wealthy enough to think the world owes you something, not wealthy enough to sit on your laurels.

I know far too many people who came from far more privileged backgrounds who are working hard to ensure that familial wealth never makes it past three generations. It amazes me that wealth can be destroyed so easily — so carelessly — in such a short time. But I guess it is what it is. I welcome the opportunity to blow an inheritance.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve ever really read anything from the New York Observer, but I found this article worthy of sharing. Give it 15 seconds…maybe you’ll end up giving it 5 minutes.

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$_1If you’re anything like me, you thought trading cards were dead. They languished to obscurity when collecting became cool again in the late 80s and 1990s, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

An app called Topps Bunt is proving that the market for collectible sports cards is alive and well. Topps Bunt is a digital trading card game in which users collect digital baseball cards. It’s a “freemium” app — you can play for free, but spending real money allows you to buy more cards.

The cards are as popular as ever, despite the fact they are 100% digital. And even though they’re digital, they seem to have real value.

Here’s some recent and insane listings on eBay:

$360 for a Derek Jeter card

$150 for a Mike Trout card

$71 for a collection of different “insert” cards

Bear in mind that these listings have bids. The prices are not the result of an overzealous seller, but of a true market willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a single digital card. And I can guarantee that the ending sales price will be higher than the prices listed in this article. I’ve been a curious spectator for a few weeks now — Jeter and Trout cards can sell for as much as $500 per.

Now, these are “special” cards. The Jeter and Trout cards are one of only 100 in existence. So if you want one, you have to compete with the subset of 297,000 Topps Bunt players who are just as insane as you are.

I find it ridiculous. You probably find it ridiculous. But the fact is that a fool and his money can still be parted.

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