Sunday, December 13, 2020

DSnews Magazine gives nod

DS news magazine gives nod to my book as part of their Good Reads choice

DSNews Magazine is the leading source of housing, real estate, and mortgage foreclosure insights, and I found out today it recognized my book, Complete Guide to Real Estate Tax Liens and Foreclosure Deeds, as one of their Good Reads. 

One of my earliest publications from years ago, continues to be relevant in this day and age as foreclosures have increased 20% in October during the pandemic, according to HousingWire. This is despite the fact that there's been a foreclosure moratorium across lenders and banks. You can read more about such insights on the Investing Without Losing Facebook group.

What's tax liens and how is it an investing tool?

Tax liens and tax deeds is one of the few instruments where investors can protect themselves against market down turns and can be part of any diversified portfolio. Investing in this asset class also has a direct, positive impact to jobs, cities and municipalities who are in dire need of cash due to a budget crunch.

With proper due diligence, it's relatively safe as the properties themselves have to be paid back, and can be placed inside IRA plans. As always, ensure you have a professional investment advisor to guide you and obviously, read the book.

Monday, January 13, 2020

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed Quickly

In the last couple years, building raised garden beds have become extremely popular.

There's a few advantages:

  1. It's easy for your back, so you don't have to bend over as much. You won't complain when you're young, but repetitive action as you bend over to take care of your gardening can actually hurt you if your posture is incorrect. A raised bed helps reduces that problem.
  2. It's harder for animals like rabbits to steal your produce.
  3. They offer protection against flooding.
  4. They're pleasing to the eyes when setup in your garden.
There's some concerns about raised beds such as your soil drying out quickly. If you mulch well, or use proper cover crops to cover your soil, this isn't really a concern.

There's also some new "technology" that allows you to make garden beds quickly without having any tools or nails. Check this YouTube video below about the new Oldcastle planter boxes.


Saturday, January 11, 2020

American Express Platinum's race to the bottom: Gogo Inflight Internet Wifi Passes gone

The end to half a decade of free Internet

American Express recently announced that the era of free Internet passes on Gogo enabled flights like Delta is over, and also goes the same for Boingo Internet services.

I was recently surprised to find this out on my flights back home. My Gogo passes were no longer available.

Launched in 2014, these Internet passes were especially valuable for business travelers that could connect to the Internet while on flights, a perk roughly that translated to $1600 in savings per year if you totaled up the monthly cost of Internet services on major airlines and airports.

Amex, a race to the bottom

There's various cards out there now that compete with American Express from baggage insurance to airline credits.

Internet passes were real differentiators, considering the card has a $595 annual fee. However, with the parent company being 14.1x debt levels above it's operating profit, and weak growth prospects, I understand that the race to the bottom in reducing costs with the excuse that the perk isn't used as much by members, is likely the main reason and driver.