More Opinion by The Springboard

THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Retiring Early Is About the Little Things

Most of the time when we think of saving money, the word 'sacrifice' comes immediately to mind. And while it is true that starting the process of saving money may require some of that, the end goal is to accumulate the money by making small changes in the short term so that money is more readily available down the road for life's little pleasures, and having more freedom to pursue them without robbing yourself in the short term to enjoy them.

It is important to identify what those small changes are in order to maximize them. It may be as simple as cutting out that daily coffee at an expensive coffee shop, or even cutting out the K-Cups, or even the higher end premium coffee beans or blends we may buy. Switch to Folgers or Maxwell House, or even a store brand so long as you can stomach it. Maybe keep a package of the better stuff for a weekend treat.

Other things that can be cut-down may be those expensive energy drinks. If nothing else, don't buy them at gas stations where the price is usually ramped up. Buy them at your local grocery store, and by all means look for sales if you really can't bear cutting them out altogether.

Fill water bottles from your tap before you leave the house. How bad is tap water really? It's really just a mind over matter thing in all honesty. You can do the same with soda on the run. Buy the soda in 2-liter bottles and fill smaller bottles before you leave the house. A 2-liter bottle costs about the same as a 20-ounce bottle on the run, so you are actually saving quite a lot of money on this doing it this way.

There a number of things, if you examine closely enough, you can probably live without, or at least curb to save a little bit of money. I could make a ton of suggestions. Most of them are even likely to be cliché and very well known, or even obvious. The key is to identify for yourself what is important and what is not in your daily spending habits. And again, keep in mind that what you should be examining are the little things.The nickle and dime stuff. Not necessarily the bigger things.

Okay. One other small suggestion before I move on; start the habit of slushing in your checking account.

What is slushing? It is sort of like the idea of tossing your loose change into a coin jar to cash in later. Simply round up any transaction you make out of your checking account—if you do an annual audit or reconciliation of your checking balance you should be able to determine how much you have slushed and be able to make a good decision about what to do with it.

So what do you do with any savings? It is important to put that money you are not spending to work. I will tell you now it is best to avoid putting the money into a savings account since generally speaking, you earn so little interest it is simply not worth it. Besides that, the key to building your money and creating more value is by beating inflation. Something a simple savings account, and nowadays even a CD, simply will not do.

So, you want to have your money growing in the markets. Even with the ebb and flow of the stock market, history has proven time and time again without waiver that over time, the markets always grow. And if your money is in the market, so will your money grow. But, you do not need to be Warren Buffet in order to achieve a respectable gain on your money. Putting your money into a simple fund that tracks the S&P 500 has always been a good, sound place to put your hard earned, and well saved money.

I do recommend learning all you can about the markets since those in the know do better over time. But the idea here is just to get you into something simple that will provide a better bang for what savings you are able to muster.

The key here is two-fold. You are trying to retain as much of the money you earn today as you can in order to have more of it tomorrow and into retirement. These days I use my money for both of those things. Income replacement, and retirement funding. At some point, having saved and invested over time, it is not so much of a surprise that what you earn in dividends may meet or beat what your actual paycheck is. And once this is accomplished, this is what I mean by putting aside those little things today to enjoy them (and actually be able to afford them) once you have accumulated enough money that it becomes a virtual cash gifter that just keeps on giving.

Haste makes waste is something most people don't apply to money matters. But hastily buying that latte today will surely waste an opportunity to put $5 to work today that could be worth $10 in eight years based on the track record of money doubling in the markets about every eight years. When you start thinking about the dollar here and the dollar there, and what those dollars are worth over time, and how much they earn in dividends and other gains, it starts to make perfect sense. And even should be a little bit exciting.

One last thought, pertaining to the slushing. So, you might say, "But I don't use my checking account.I charge it," to which I would simply say—

If you had money you would not have a need for the credit card, and may be just one of the other little things keeping you away from getting beyond just working for your money and living paycheck to paycheck.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

The NFL Is Protesting Nothing

Is it just me? Am I the only one who is just fed up with all of the fake in the world today? It's not enough that each and every day we are inundated by fake news—we are being spoon fed what is obviously garbage and it seems never ending. From Russia stole the election to hands up, and now we of course have the fake protests by players in the NFL.

What exactly are they protesting is my question?

Police injustice? Racism? Inequality? I mean, what is it exactly that is being protested against? The fact is that white cops killing blacks is actually statistically rare. Racism is a bit of a joke especially if you consider it being touted by players in the NFL.

Ummm, the NFL is comprised of 75% blacks. The NBA is comprised of a much higher percentage of that. In both cases the players are picked and paid based on their performance. They are all multi-millionaires.

Inequality? How many of the fans enjoy the salaries these guys do?

Beyond that, even as far back as Ferguson I keep on asking myself why no one wants to talk about, and especially not to protest, the real tragedy. The real injustice. And quite frankly the real problem.

Of course I am talking about black on black crime, and more specifically, black on black murder. When do we begin that dialogue? When do we address that issue? When do we protest that? Because if you really want to see perfectly clear where there is a real problem, it is here. It is with that. And yet there is silence from the Al Sharpton's and Jesse Jackson's of the world. Nobody is taking a stand against that. No black NFL players or NBA players are stepping into the bloody streets of Chicago and asking what the hell is going on there.

Here are some stats to think about:

  • Somewhere around 7600 blacks were murdered in the U.S. in 2016
  • Of those murdered 92% had criminal records
  • Of those murdered 97% of them were murdered by other blacks
  • 265 of those blacks were murdered by cops while committing a crime
  • Of those 265 only 16 of them were not armed
Where exactly is the problem? What exactly are players taking a knee for or locking arms for? Injustice? If it is police brutality the statistics do not support that. If it is inequality and racism, the stats don't support that either. And if racism is such a rampant problem why is it the case that there are so many multi-millionaires who are black?

From Jay-Z to Puff Daddy, to Ben Carson who ran for president and Herman Cain who also ran for president, and by the way, was a very prominent CEO as well? These are very successful black people who are well respected—even by whites. How does Morgan Freeman or Will Smith or Samuel Jackson or Denzel Washington not only attract throngs of white viewers, but command big dollars for their performances in Hollywood?

How does Barack Obama become president of the United States?

The entire thing is a false narrative. It is all a story, and a fictional one at that. It's a joke honestly. The whole thing. Every single bit of it. We know it, and I think they know it too. They have to. It's just too obvious. They can't not know it. When they open their garages and wipe the handprints off their Bentley, their Range Rover, their Hummer, their Lamborgini, they cannot honestly tell themselves that those cars, and all of that fame and fortune was afforded them by racism and inequality and injustice. They can't. They can't tell themselves that racism is alive and well as throngs of adoring white fans drool in their presence. They simply cannot.

The only light at the end of the tunnel is that I think the vast majority of Americans are seeing it for what it is. A false protest. There is no merit to any of it. The fact that no one has really been able to coherently explain the protest is just icing on the cake. And the fact that no one mentions the thousands of lifeless black bodies, even in the streets of Chicago, is all very telling of the reality. Until we address the real problem facing black America, nobody will put a whole lot of stock in what the players seem to have a problem with. And quite frankly it makes them all look like blubbering fools.

Without being overly silly, the NFL players have a plane heading straight for them about to crash. They see a football ready to slam someone in the head and they rush to that person's aid without even recognizing the bigger disaster right in front of them.

Statistic bullets courtesy of Gary Neely.

You Deserve a Vacation!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Do Not Stay At Super 8 Eau Claire 6260 Texaco Dr., Eau Claire WI 54703

I travel a lot on business and as such have become a Diamond Member of Wyndham. That being said, as I have always said, Super 8 hotels lack consistency. That is to be said about the quality of the room as well as the quality of customer service and other factors. Traveling as much as I do I do take note of the hotel rooms to stay in, and ones to avoid.

The Super 8 at 6260 Texaco Dr. Eau Claire, WI 54703 is one to avoid.

It's just not a good hotel. The area is seedy, the room is mediocre, and the entire hotel seems like something from the past. It's not a great place to stay for anyone.

What made it worse is that there was an outage for the cable. I went to the front desk and said I understood that the outage was not their fault, but that I was a diamond member and I wanted a discount for my room due to the fact that I could not watch TV. I do not want anything for free, rarely ask for discounts, and always pay my way.

The woman at the front desk did not care about my issue. She said there would be no discount because it was "not her fault." And when I mentioned that I was a diamond member she actually seemed to be angered by this.

"You get PERKS," she said.

"Not tonight," I told her.

I told her I would never stay at her hotel again and she told me, a diamond member who spends over $6000 a year in Wyndham hotels that she "was sorry to hear that but there is nothing I can do for you."

That is not customer service. For someone at the highest level of rewards that was not customer service. I was not treated like a diamond member. I was treated like any other one night stay that happened to rent a night at their hotel.

I have been treated MUCH better at other Wyndham hotels. But this one? Nope. I will never stay here again based on the condition of the hotel AND the lack of customer service, especially the lack of customer service for a member who has reached the highest level and who spends over $6000 a year on their hotels.

Never again.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

More Blame From Crooked Hilary?

It never ceased to amaze me throughout Barack Obama's eight years in office his narcissistic ways. And yet, Hilary Clinton appears to suffer a similar syndrome which is made ever more evident with what is being reported to be the contents of her new book coming out in mid-September which is to bring forth her version of why she thinks she lost the election. The thing I marvel at is how much everything about the book seems to suggest that the devastating loss in the 2016 election was due to everyone else around her and had nothing to do with her. 

In the aftermath we have heard it all. It was uneducated deplorables. It was Bernie soaking up too much of what should have been her air in the room. It was James Comey. It was her team. It was bad advice from even Barack Obama which she said made her feel like she was in a straitjacket. It was the Russians.

Everyone but Hilary Clinton herself was the root cause of her epic failed presidential run.

It seems to me that people will still buy the book. Not because it is going to be informative or enlightening in any way, because we know all too well that is not going to be the case. People are going to buy the book for the same reason they might tune into Jerry Springer. You simply want to know what she is going to say even if you go into the whole thing with a clear head knowing it will be nothing but passing the buck and probably all-out lies to boot.

Some have suggested that Hilary's daughter may even be getting pegged for a possible future democratic run for president. Look, the one thing that is clear to me here is that a large part of the reason Hilary Clinton did not win has everything to do with who Hilary Clinton is. Yes, she is crooked as President Trump stated over and over again during his campaign. She's as crooked as they come. She was arrogant as was demonstrated time and time again from accounts from secret service agents when she was First Lady, to her time in office as Secretary of State using private servers and potentially compromising national security—because she felt she was above the law. The fact is that the Clinton's are done politically. So her daughter was stand no discernible chance at any time in the future for the highest office in the land.

The book is not one I will buy. I simply have no desire to read a bunch of worn out whining and complaining, deflection, woe-is-me, and whatever other bullshit she wants to spin with it. She's a piece of work. The people saw it. Voters responded. Trump won. Enough said.

As I said before, what is sad to me is that she doesn't get it. But luckily, apparently neither does the entire democrat party. That will help us in the mid-terms and help Trump to win handily again when he comes up for reelection.

Pete's Place Plug: 09/06/2017

Okay, so this blog is mostly about politics and money and business. But it is primarily supposed to be a simple hodgepodge of all of those things, and the occasional random thought. And that's exactly where this sort of post fits in.

The truth is I started vaping after quitting smoking a few months back, and being new to that whole community and everything about vaping, it has been something of a fun thing to troll the Internet and find out as much as I can about what it is, and get some intel on whatever I can regarding all things vape.

Surprisingly, while ordinarily you might think that this whole subject matter would be dry as hell, there is a lot of what I have found to be quite entertaining commentary and video on the whole world of vaping.

One guy in particular who I have taken a liking to, very much enjoying his whit and humor, and because he is actually quite informative as well to boot, that would be Pete's Place. Or for you You Tuber's out there, Vaping At Pete's Place. If you type that into the search field I am sure you will find him.

He does some live stuff weekly which so far are a bit wonky, but as I told him when I used that word in the comments, in no way am I suggesting the word wonky in a pejorative way. It's just to say that they are a bit clunky, but still nonetheless interesting to watch.

At least I find that to be the case.

So to that end because I like his vaping commentary as much as I do, from time to time I thought it might be fun and a nice thing to do to plug a video of his. He's definitely worth watching and I think there is a lot that can be learned from him from his own vaping experiences. His channel is loaded with tons of interesting tidbits, reviews, commentary and the like.

In this particular video he is reviewing some e-juice flavors that were sent to him for exactly that purpose. To do a review. As I am beginning to contribute a few of my own videos to the vaping community maybe I will be lucky enough to eventually have a few free juices sent my way for reviewing.

Win win, right? Get paid a little for the videos and get free juice?

In any event, and without further ado, here's Pete's little contribution to the vaping world. Looks like he put this one out on the 5th.


MY OWN LITTLE CONTRIBUTION



AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT