Sunday, October 5, 2014

Popular Celebrity Net Worth

Celebrity Net Worth
Celebrity Net Worth
Successful careers in sports, acting, singing, or business can lead to tremendous amounts of wealth and celebrity status.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Do you ride the elevator or take the stairs?

Elevator vs. stairs
Elevator vs. stairs
I work in a 13-story building in Bellevue, WA called the Bravern and my office is on the 10th floor. Rather than taking the elevator, I take the stairs every morning. Each floor has approximately 20 steps, meaning that I climb about 200 steps every morning on the way to my desk and another 200 steps down in the evening. Not only does this healthy routine get my heart pumping in the morning, but it also helps wake me up. In a sense, it’s my coffee in the morning that gets me going. This also helps me accumulate physical activity throughout the day.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ridiculous Ways to Save Money #3

Ridiculous money saving tips

Making money is hard, which is why saving money should be a priority.  Here are another five ridiculous money saving tips to get you on the path to saving!

1. Camp out instead of staying at a hotel
Motel 6 may be cheap, but camping is even cheaper. Five to six nights at a campsite is the equivalent of one night at a cheap hotel.  Campsites typically offer shared bathrooms and showers. Even better, drive to a remote location and pitch your tent for free- just be careful to stay away from private property and keep your food away from bears. A night under the stars sure beats an old dingy hotel room any night.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Celebrating 20 years in business... for the last 3 years

The Uptown China Restaurant celebrates 20 years in business
The restaurant business is notorious for rapid openings and just as rapid closings. TV shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant Impossible show us time and time again the difficulties of keeping a restaurant afloat. It's no wonder then that the Uptown China Restaurant in the Queen Anne Neighborhood of Seattle has made a big deal out of its 20 year celebration, one which it has been celebrating for the last 3 years as of 9/2014.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The secret to investing at the optimal time (hint: the best time is now)

A market timing strategy that even a monkey can do
A market timing strategy that even a monkey can do
An old adage in investing is to buy low and to sell high.  It seems so simple that even a monkey could do it. Unfortunately, if it really were that simple, most of us would not be working anymore. All sorts of books promise to teach you how to time the market. One titled Market Timing for Dummies promises to teach you how to “use a wide away of market-timing tools” to help you “make money in any market”.  Despite the complexity of timing the market, one simple strategy will help you come out ahead all the time.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sleepless in Seattle houseboat fetches over $2 million

Tom Hanks's houseboat in Sleepless in Seattle
Sleepless in Seattle houseboat
Floating near the west shore of Lake union is 2460 Westlake Ave North, better known as Sam Baldwin's houseboat in the 1993 romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Was Seattle’s Great Wheel a great investment or a colossal blunder?

Seattle Great Wheel
Seattle's Great Wheel at Pier 57
Rising 175 feet over Elliot Bay, Seattle’s Great Wheel occupies a dominant spot on the ever-changing Seattle skyline. Since opening at Pier 57 in June 2012, the Great Wheel has secured a spot as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Seattle by promising a fun ride with spectacular views of the city, the Puget Sound, and beyond.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

You won’t believe what my realtor sent me

Kevin - congratulations! You have been in your condo for six years as of June 30! Just closed on a unit in the other stack for less than you paid. Crazy market!  Did the building next door take away your view? Hope all is well.  Congrats! Roger.
In 2014, I celebrated six years in my condominium in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle.  I purchased my condo in June 2008 for $327,000, not long after the US entered a severe recession due to the bursting of the housing bubble in mid-2007. At the time, I thought it was an ideal time to buy since housing prices had already started plummeting and the US government offered a first time home buyer credit, which would make the purchase price more affordable.  Although housing prices had started to decline, I knew that historically inflation adjusted housing prices had climbed steadily since at least 1970 and housing seemed like a safe investment. I also figured that rents were only slightly less than a monthly mortgage payment, so I would be better off buying.

Monday, June 9, 2014

How to become a billionaire without founding a company or inheriting your wealth

At Unlimited Net Worth, I aim high and am serious about growing wealth.  Rather than simply aiming to become a millionaire, my ultimate goal is to become a billionaire in United States dollars (it would be cheating to use some other high inflation currencies, like the Zimbabwe dollar, where you can obtain a $100 billion note easily).  Why aim so high?  In high cost cities like New York or San Francisco, one million simply doesn’t go as far as it used to. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Do you hate junk mail and telemarketers? How to hit them where it hurts.

Junk mail continues to annoy
Junk mail
Although junk mail has subsided somewhat in recent years as retailers have shifted to email and other digital forms of marketing, it’s still an annoyance and a waste of paper.  In the same spirit as with telemarketers, increase the cost of their campaign by sending back the return envelopes empty. They’ll have to pay for receiving the envelope and you’ll do your part to support the United States Postal Service.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Double your 401K contribution limit

Double your 401K annual contribution to $36K per year

The IRS limits employee 401K contributions to $18K/year. If you work in corporate America, your company likely offers you the ability to contribute to a 401K plan. If you’re already contributing, you’re off to a great start. If you’re maxing out your 401K plan by contributing $18K a year and you’re not sure what to do with the rest of your income, there is now a new way to double your contribution to $36K/year.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Are you stepping enough each day? Too few steps could cost you.

The FitBit Flex
Most of us wake up in the morning, walk to the kitchen to prepare coffee or breakfast, get in the car, drive to work or school, sit down at our desks, walk to lunch, return to our desks, drive home, prepare dinner, and sit down at the television before going to bed.  Think about your day and how much you walk around.  If you’re lucky, you might clock 4,000 to 5,000 steps a day with this routine.  Many of our modern conveniences reduce the need to be active, and we’re paying a heavy toll.  The Disney movie WALL-E drove this point home.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

9 best cash back credit cards

9 best cash back credit cards
When you shop with your credit card, you can earn cash back for your purchases.  I personally prefer cash back credit cards since I can use the cash for whatever I want vs. a rewards card that forces you to use it in specific categories (i.e. travel).  I use the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card, which offers 2% flat cash back on all purchases with no annual fee.  The chart below contains the 9 best cash back credit cards.  I haven’t included Annual Percentage Rates (APR) below since you should always pay off your credit card in full each month and that should not be a factor in choosing a card.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The art of negotiation and tips to becoming a better negotiator

Parasailing in Cancun, Mexico
Negotiating the price of para-sailing in Mexico made for a very reasonably priced adventure
Throughout your life, you’ll likely be involved in thousands of negotiations.  In fact, you probably negotiate at least a few times each day of your life.  Whether you’re negotiating with your significant other about what movie to watch, deciding what restaurant to eat at with your friends, or haggling over a good price to pay for a used car, you’re negotiating whether you know it or not.

There are certain techniques that you can use that can make you a more effective negotiator.  The goal of using these techniques is not to somehow gain the upper hand in a negotiation, but rather to find out what you value and what the other party values, and to find a solution or deal that satisfies both parties. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ridiculous Ways to Save Money #2

Did you already implement all of our ridiculous money saving tips #1?  Don’t despair, here's a fresh list to keep you saving money like nobody’s business:

1. Unplug electronics when not in use
Leaving your household appliances and electronics, like desktop computers, TVs, cable TV boxes, and toasters plugged in when not in use is a serious drain on your cash.  Even though they’re turned off, they’re still costing you money.  The Department of Energy estimates that 5% – 10% of energy goes towards these devices.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Highest and lowest paying jobs

Construction workers erecting a crane. Construction worker median pay was $41,000 in 2012.
Growing up, one of the toughest decisions is to figure out what job to eventually pursue.  The job should align with your interests and passions, and ideally, should compensate you well.  All jobs are essential for the economy to function, but some jobs simply pay much better than others.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Is Dr. Dre the first billionaire rapper?

Last week, Apple announced its largest deal ever with plans to acquire Beats Electronics, a producer of headphones and speakers, for $3.2 billion.  Forbes' Zack O'Malley estimates that Dr. Dre has a 20% to 25% stake in Beats.  At a valuation of $3.2 billion, Dr. Dre would gross between $640 to $800 million.

After paying California capital gains taxes, which qualify as ordinary income, Dr. Dre would have between $430 and $670 million left.  To become a billionaire, Dr. Dre would need an additional $330 to $570 million outside of his stake in Beats.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

You know you're rich when...

Serene super yacht docked in Seattle at Pier 90
You know you're rich when you own a yacht that carries a crew of 52, includes 12 cabins, your very own master suite, a gym, a pool, a Jacuzzi, multiple smaller boats, an elevator, and two helipads.  The super yacht is called the Serene and is owned by Russian Stoli vodka tycoon Yuri Scheffler.  Built in 2011 by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, the yacht is 439.3 feet long and cost a cool $330 million USD.  Commence drooling in 3, 2, 1...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why we should all love airlines and their added fees

Stormy weather approaching a Lufthansa plane parked at Frankfurt Airport in Germany
If you’ve flown anywhere recently, you’ve likely encountered an agonizing security screening experience, extra fees for everything from your bag to your meal, and overcrowded flights.  Since the 9/11 attacks, security has been tighter than ever, requiring passengers to remove shoes, take out laptops, and proceed through onerous imaging technology.  Airplanes are more crowded than ever as airlines cut back on capacity as they retire older less fuel-efficient planes.  When storms hit and airlines cancel flights, it can be challenging to find new flights in a reasonable time.  Checking in at least one free bag and eating a free meal on your cross-country flight were once birthrights.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What’s the value of your mom on this mother's day?

My mom
With Mother’s Day today, what’s the value of your mom?  Of course, the only right answer is priceless.  However, if you really had to put on a value of all the jobs that your mom does, which is a truly exhaustive list, you’d need to take on another job to cover the cost.  Being a mom requires all sorts of skills ranging from cooking, to driving, to helping with homework.  Not only does a mom need to be proficient in these varied areas, your mom must work overtime and be on call throughout the night.  If you interviewed for a job like this, you’d likely balk at all of the requirements.  How much would the typical mom make a week for everything that she does?

Friday, May 9, 2014

5 Money Saving Tips #2

Happy Friday!  Kick off the weekend with some quick money saving tips:

1. Install energy efficient light bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs might give off a more pleasant color, but most of the electricity goes towards heat.  Consider installing LED or fluorescent light bulbs to reduce your electric bill.  The initial cost might be higher, but the lower energy costs will save money over the long run.  Plus, the color from new LED bulbs is comparable if not better than incandescent light bulbs.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How do you spend your money?

My condo, my single biggest monthly expense
The first step to reducing your expenses is to understand how you’re spending your money.  You should already have a sense for where your money goes, but having a precise view gives you a better understanding of whether you’re spending your money wisely.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Comparing your net worth to others

While it’s interesting to calculate your own net worth to see how your financial situation is progressing, you’ll likely be curious to see how your net worth compares to others.  How does your net worth compare to others with similar age, education, or region of the country?

For example, what’s the net worth of your friend who earns close to what you earn but is constantly buying new clothing, eating out, and living large.  Is your friend simply maxing out all of their credit cards or do they have a trust fund that they’re relying on?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

5 Fun Summer Activities That Won’t Bust the Bank

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.  All sorts of activities are screaming for your attention, but many carry a hefty price tag.  Amusement park admissions are approaching $70 a day at Six Flags and up to $99 a day at Magic Kingdom.  Many camps are approaching $1,000 to watch over your rug rats for a week.  Here are five almost free things to do this summer that are sure to delight:

Monday, May 5, 2014

12 Ways to Know You're a Saver

You probably already know whether you’re a saver or a spender, but if not, this list will help you be certain.  If you’re a proficient saver already, let us know about your most ridiculous money saving tips in the comments below.

1. You turn off the lights when you leave the room to save on your electricity bill.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Easy loophole to win money at casinos on the high seas

Cruise ship casinos offer easy money making opportunities
It’s no surprise that casinos are so lavish and opulent with the odds stacked so severely against the player.  It’s generally a losing battle to win money at a casino.  The house advantage ranges anywhere from 0.5% to 5.9% with Blackjack all the way up to 4% to 14% with slot machines.  In fact, casinos make two thirds of their profits from slot machines.  Casinos take on very little risk and in the long-run they’re sure to win big.  If you’re playing roulette and you’re betting $100 per hour, you’ll lose on average $5.26 an hour.  The longer you play, the more likely you are to lose.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The real life Disney "Up" house

The real life "Up" house in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA
This is what happens when you hold out and reject a one million dollar offer from developers to move out of your home.  Edith Macefield lived in this house in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA through 2008. At 84 years old, Edith simply didn't have the energy to relocate, just like 78 year old Carl in the Disney movie Up.  See other Up houses from around the world.

Monday, April 14, 2014

IRS enjoys another year of interest-free loans from taxpayers

Washington State Capitol Building - Olympia, WA
Washington State Capitol Building
With tax day fast approaching, taxpayers continue to provide the United States government with interest free loans.  According to the Internal Revenue Service, 77% of tax returns result in a refund check, and in 2011, the average refund was close to $3,000.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How I became interested in the tech industry

On the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA
I was born in New York City back in 1983 and I grew up next door in NJ.  Eventually, somehow, I ended up in Seattle, WA working at Microsoft, which is about 3000 miles west of NJ.  If you asked me as a kid where I would someday end up living, never in my wildest imagination would I have thought it would be so far from home.

Why Bundling Products Is Bad For Consumers

You’ve probably seen all sorts of businesses offering bundles, from the local cable company to the nearest fast food restaurant.  A bundle usually involves the business offering some sort of discount for bundling together multiple goods or services.  For example, by subscribing to TV, internet, and phone service through your local cable company, you’ll receive the benefit of a lower overall monthly bill.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tips to writing an amazing resume

When searching for a new job, your resume serves as your first impression to a potential employer.  Messing up your resume is not only embarrassing but means that you probably won’t even get a chance to show off your charming smile or to explain in person why you’re the right candidate for the job.

The Profit Returns

The Profit with Marcus Lemonis on CNBC

Marcus Lemonis returns for season two of the The Profit, which features Marcus hunting for struggling businesses to turn around.  Marcus puts his own cash on the line and offers his expertise in return for a share of the business.  The Profit is one of our favorite business shows here at Unlimited Net Worth with its focus on key business principles and its offering of solid business tips in each episode.

Business must be great to open only one day a week

Glazer's Camera in Seattle, WA - the business is actually open 7 days a week, but for some reason they drive home the fact that they're open on Sundays.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

You'll have to work out a little before reaching these escalators

Escalators at the Bravern in Bellevue, WA. For some reason, you'll need to march up a few stairs before reaching these escalators.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A dollar just isn't what it used to be...

Dollar Giant in Victoria, Canada. Inflation has taken its toll on dollar stores.

What mortgage rate should you pick when buying or refinancing a house?

Purchasing or refinancing a home is the single largest financial decision most people make.  In fact, a mortgage payment is likely the largest monthly expense for most people, especially towards the beginning of the mortgage (over time the mortgage payment will become easier and easier to pay due to inflation).  One of the easiest paths to becoming rich is to keep your costs under control, and with the mortgage payment being one of the largest costs, choosing the right mortgage rate is incredibly important.