Sunday, November 30, 2008

Want $500x2 to open up a brokerage account for you and your spouse?

The deal ends tonight, so time is of the essence (link here, be sure to enter C3 into promo code box during application, or simply click here to bypass that step). I'm putting $600 into an account for myself and $600 into an account for Tiffany. Supposedly, optionsxpress will match $500 for each account (after you leave your money in there for 6 months). Discussions on the promotion are here and here.

Based on the comments of the above links, there doesn't seem to be a great understanding of whether the $500 bonus per account can be cashed out or whether it is strictly to be used as a credit for future trading comissions.

I'm confident that the $500 cash out option will be clarified tomorrow in these threads, as users will post comments after talking to customer service reps. If the $500 turns out to be credits only, then I simply won't bother funding the accounts this week (but I still opened up the two accounts tonight, just in case it turns out favorably tomorrow) .

If it's true, this promotion is the best I've seen in a long time. A while back, I made $240 through a similar Sharebuilder promotion.

As far as I can tell, there is no hard credit pull for opening the account, so your credit won't get dinged (based on comments from the above links).

Good luck to anyone joining me in in this promotion.

UPDATE: As of Tuesday, 12/2, there have been hundreds of comments in the forums linked above confirming that the $500 may be cashed out in 6 months. Happy $1,000 to anyone who created their accounts in time!

UPDATE: As of 5/20, the $1000 was deposited into our accounts and the promotion worked as planned. Yippee. Best promotion I've ever seen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where We're Storing Our Cash

What a crazy year this has been in the financial markets. A few weeks back I wrote a post about timing the markets, claiming that it was impossible. I can assure you that if I could time the markets, I would, and I would be a lot richer right now.

With that said, I hear a lot of people around me saying that now is a good time to buy. I don't agree with this statement. I believe in efficient markets and believe that any time is a good time to buy, because the price of stocks should always reflect all publicly available information, and that the best strategy is to buy a little stock with every paycheck. This article explains that stock prices are not exceptionally cheap right now; they are about on par with historical averages.

Sorry about my stock market rant.

Now, to the point of my post...We're storing our cash under our mattress.

Just joking. We've been using a WAMU savings account which was paying 4.0% just a few weeks ago. Now it's down to 2.5%. With inflation at 4-5%, a 2.5% yield on savings isn't particularly impressive. We decided to open up a savings account at Dollar Savings Direct. As of today, this is the best rate available in the country. Deposits are insured up to 250k by the FDIC. I'm not sure how long the rate will last, but I was excited to find out about it and thought I'd share the info with you. The account opening process wasn't too painful and the website is easy enough to use. More discussion on Dollar Savings Direct is found here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

And the name is...

Having trouble managing multiple gmail accounts?

If you're anything like me, you hate logging in each time you want to check your email. If you're anything like me, you also appreciate having a separate email address than your spouse. Since Tiff and I both use gmail, it seems like every time we wanted to send an email, we'd always have to log the other person out. It used to drive me CRAZY. We got to the point where one of us used firefox, while the other person used internet explorer. It worked, but it was a less-than-perfect solution.

The solution: If you use Firefox, install the Cookie Swap Add-on ( With a simple click of the button, you can swap between several cookie profiles, meaning that it tricks the computer into thinking that you are still logged into all of your accounts. I LOVE COOKIE SWAP!!!!