Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Everything you need to know about Initial Public Offerings (IPO's) - Made Simple

The Ultimate Guide to Initial Public Offerings

About: The Ultimate Guide to Initial Public Offerings (IPO's, including a review of Loyal3).

First off, IPO is an acronym and not worth that many points in scrabble (well, I don't even think acronyms are allowed). But it's a nice picture right?

Anyways, wouldn't it have been nice if you could have purchased Facebook, Alibaba, or GoPro at the IPO price? You could have made a nice chunk of money if that opportunity were available to you. The year 2014 was a big year for IPO's and 2015 may also be a big year.

I want to help make Initial Public Offers simple to understand. So follow along. Here is everything you need to know:

What are Initial Public offerings (IPO's)?

When a company decides to go "Public" and offer part or all of its ownership to investors, they work with a bank or banks to set up an IPO. This whole process is called underwriting. Some of the big name underwriters that carry out this process are Goldman Sach, Stanley Morgan, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Citi, etc. You get the idea. You'll recognize the bigger names when you see them. There are hundreds because even smaller banks also facilitate IPO's. The bigger the bank, the bigger the IPO.

JP Morgan IPO

Is this important? Yes, because generally there is much more risk with smaller IPO's. So if you see an IPO that has "small town capital group" as the underwriter, there is more risk in that IPO...but where there is more risk there is usually more potential and opportunity.

However, you'll probably only hear about the bigger IPO' maybe it isn't important to you.

So once a soon-to-be public company finds an underwriter(s) they then work together to agree upon how many shares (how many pieces of the pie) will be offered and for how much. There is a price that is agreed upon between the company and the banks facilitating the IPO. This price is generally set in stone the day before the stock goes onto the stock exchange market.

Companies can make the price as high as they want, BUT if it's too high not enough people will buy into the company. If the share price and number of shares are too low they won't be able to raise the capital they need to grow the company.

This price is based on a number of factors such as:

  • Company's current financial statements (profit, debt, liabilities...)
  • Market "buzz" for the company
  • General economic conditions
  • Growth potential
  • Speculation
  • Etcetera (It's kind of nice to actually spell out the whole word)
Why would a company want to go "Public" and sell ownership to share holders? Well, it's simple....More opportunity to grow, more working capital, and greater flexibility in their business.

So basically an IPO looks like this:

When to buy into an IPO

When you hear about getting into an IPO stock it's VERY important to understand WHEN you are getting into the IPO. Are you getting in HERE?:

or are you getting in HERE?:

If you are getting in on the latter, you better be careful. You want to be able to get in BEFORE the stock starts trading on the market. This is called the IPO allocation price. Why do you want in here? Because generally that will be the cheapest price (we'll look at some data below to illustrate this). This is the tricky part though. How do you do that if you are not a privileged investor, employee, or a big bank?

How to get into an IPO

Until recently the only way to actually purchase this IPO allocation was to be 'privileged' as mentioned before. You could be considered 'privileged in a few different ways:

  1. Large investor. For example, if you had hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments with JP Morgan and they were the main underwriter for the IPO, then there is a good chance you would be offered an IPO allocation.
  2. Employees. Lets say you worked for Facebook as an employee before it went might be offered the IPO allocation. Thanks Facebook!
  3. Customers. Another way that I was actually offered an IPO allocation was from being a customer of the company going public. For the past 4 years I have been a customer of and when they went public I was offered IPO allocations. there there is another option for the 'common' folk to purchase IPO shares.

Another Way

There is another way for others who are not so privileged to get a piece of the IPO pie. A new company called Loyal3 provides a way for ANYONE to get IPO allocations from select IPOs. Loyal3 is a fee-free brokerage that allows anyone (with money of course) to purchase select stocks and IPO's. Only select big name companies are available through them....but I think this is a good thing when it comes to IPO's. 

The bigger IPO's have a better chance of increasing in value from day one because they generate a lot of hype. This is at least good in the short term. 

Here is a list of all the IPO's that were available last year in 2014 through Loyal 3:

As you can see, if you were to have gotten the IPO share price of ANY of these stocks you would have had a 5% - 75% increase in your investment. That's IF you decided to sell your shares the 1st day or the 1st week. Thus far, most of those stocks have gone on to make much larger gains, although 2 of the 8 have had significant loses. Yes, 2014 was a great year for IPO's, but those are still great numbers.

Loyal3 can make IPO's available to you and me because they do it through "Social IPO" purchasing -meaning Loyal3 utilizes the power of groups of people to make these IPO's available to you as an individual.

How much can you get with Loya3?

Currently the maximum amount of IPO shares you can purchase via Loyal3 is $10,000. But just because you put in an order for $10,000 in shares does not mean you will get that much. Loyal3 only gets a set number of shares available for them to give to their customers from the company going public. If a small amount of Loyal3 customers are wanting the IPO allocation, then there is a good chance you'll get your full order. If there is high demand, then you will probably only get a part of what you wanted.

For example, back in November I requested purchasing $10,000 worth of Store Capital (STOR) IPO shares. When everything was settled I only got $1,300 worth of the shares (I did this for my wife's account also so you can multiply that by 2).

 If I were to have requested only $1000 worth of IPO allocation, I would have only received around $130 worth of shares. That would have been really disappointing. I imagine that this is common for all of the IPO's Loyal3 offers, so if you really want the most you can get, put in the max amount (and have your spouse do the same under a separate account!).

Loyal3 IPO tip: If you decide to sign up with Loyal3 (it doesn't cost anything to sign up), you will want to get on the IPO notification list with the following link:

When an IPO is made available, immediately sign up for the max $10,000. If you wait more than a few hours, the IPO will not longer be available to you. You can later cancel or change the amount without any consequence or fees.

The Strategy

If you can get into an IPO it's great, although there is ALWAYS the chance of losing money on any investment. But the risk of a big named company that is featured on Loyal3 having its price go below the initial allocation price is low as I pointed out earlier (0 have done that so far).

Go Short

So the strategy is simple. Get as much IPO allocation as you can and then sell it the first day it starts trading. Maybe you would even consider selling it after a few days to let it possibly rise a little more. The downside to this is that you will have to pay short term capital gains tax on an profit you make, which is equal to your income tax for the year (ranging from 10% to 39%).

Go Long

Now if you feel like you really like the company that you are invested in then you could keep if for the long term (anything over a year). Now I would say there is more risk involved in doing this, but there is also greater potential. Also, When you do sell, you won't have to pay as much tax (0%, 10%, or 20% depending on your tax bracket).

For my purchase of Store Capital (STOR) I decided I liked the company and wanted to keep the shares for the long term (at least 1 year). You must be aware that brand new stocks are very volatile and will have big ups and big downs. If you do decide to stay for the long term, maybe it's best not to look at the stock price everyday as that might make you go crazy.
IPO Long or short?
Which is Better? Short term or long term?

You will have to decide that in the end. For me, there are some companies that I would want to stay with long term and others I wouldn't. Generally, to play it safe, I think the short term would be the safest way to go.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a professional financial advisor and only offer my perspective. Please be prudent in your financial decisions. I would recommend investing most your money in diversified index funds with low fees such as Vanguard index funds. This has been proven to be the wisest, safest way to invest. I would recommend only investing in high risk individual stocks with a smaller potion of your investments and if you have the risk tolerance.

Are all IPO's successful? NO!!!! Check out King Digital Entertainment (KING) (candy crush company). Their price dropped almost 20% the first day. However, companies want their stock to increase in value from day 1 and therefore usually try to set an IPO price up for success.

Some terms that you may want to be aware of:

Prospectus -- All the legal mumbo jumbo that discloses all the companies financial statements and details of the initial public offering. It may be too much to read the whole thing, but I would go through it. Particularly, I like to see the what the company intends to do with the raised capital.

Flipping - Buying and selling stocks in a short amount of time (days or even within the same day). It is perfectly legal, however it my be frowned upon by the bank you are doing it with. The only thing this means is that the bank may limit your participation of IPO's in the future. Institutions do this all the time.

Lock-up Period - Period of time where executives and other investors working with the company going public are not allowed to sell or "flip" there shares for a certain time period...usually about 90 days. It is not uncommon to see a drop in the stock price when this period ends as many of these investors want to realize their returns.

Quiet Period - Period of time where a company cannot make any announcements about itself including new management, financial statements, new products, acquisitions, plans, etc. This period usually lasts 30 days.

Dutch Auction - A method of setting the IPO price. It's sort of like an auction (hence Dutch Auction). The way it works is investors place a bid for 'X' amount of shares at 'X" price and then all the investors that had the top prices bid will get their shares. However, they will get their shares set at the price of the lowest successful bidder.

Potential 2015 big name IPO's

  • Airbnb
  • Box
  • DropBox
  • GoDaddy
  • Palantir Technologies
  • Pinterest
  • SnapChat
  • Spotify
  • Square
  • Stripe
  • Uber
  • Vice Media
  • Smashburger
  • Ferrari
  • Univision
  • PayPal

What do you think? Questions? Share your experience with IPO's!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cheapest Place To Get Passport Photos

My wife and I will be traveling out of the country this summer and her passport needed to be updated. I just did a little research on where the cheapest locations are and i'd like to share it with you.

Lets go in order from Cheapest to Most Expensive

  1. Costco: $5.
    • You get 4 passport photos.
    • If you are not a member, its okay. All you have to do it buy a Costco gift card online. Having a Costco gift card is the same as having a membership card. 
  2. Sams Club: $5
    1. You get 2 passport photos
  3. Walmart: $7.50
    • You get 2 passport photos
  4. Rite Aid: $8 (with coupon)
    • You get 2 passport photos
    • $1 off coupon here
  5. CVS: $10 (with coupon)
    • You get 2 passport photos
    • print $2 off coupon here
  6. Walgreens: $12
    • You get 2 passport photos
  7. UPS store: $13
    • You get 2 passport photos
  8. Local Post Office: $15
    • This is convenient because you can go to the post office to do passport paperwork but not the best price.
  9. Fedex: $15-17
    • You get 2 passport photos

Go to Costco or Sam's Club for the cheapest price. If you don't have a membership you can try and buy a discounted gift card there online. I bought a $50 Costco gift card online for $48.50 and used that. All the places only take about five minutes to process the photos.

Friday, January 2, 2015

My Blog Stastics and Revenue

Wanna know the statistics and revenue of my blog? 

I've had my blog for about 3 years now. The first year, I would actually post 8-10 posts a month. Now I've slacked off and only post about 1-2 time a month. Here is a snap shot of my page views: 

The average daily page views ranges from about 50-100. Most of them come from organic google searches. The following are my top posts:

I have never made any posts in an attempt to make money, however, my friend suggested using (affiliate links) for a couple of my posts (especially "Cheapest Place to get Contact") that were getting a lot of page views. So I did and whenever I write a post that has a product or website that I recommend I might put a link for that product. Honestly, there are very few posts that actually have these links. I have very little knowledge on how to create a website and monetize it.

So my blog does make some money (mainly from "Cheapest Place to get Contacts Lens"). Of course this has been a pleasant surprise/bonus for me. Now I get a check in the mail every month for about $150-$250.  Here are a couple of checks that I've recently received:

I also have Google Adsense Ads, but they don't really make any money...on average of about $1-$3 a month. 

There you have it. I'm pretty happy with making some extra money on something that I don't expect any money on. 

I recently started reading and listening to which has a lot of interesting information about making money in the internet world. Maybe I'll venture into actually trying to make money online if I have the time and desire....I'll let you know if I ever do anything. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cafe Rio, Shell Gas, and Cheesecake Factory

UPDATE: Cafe Rio and Cheesecake Factory no longer available. 

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope everyone is enjoying this time of year and not getting too caught up with all the hustle and bustle and gift craziness...but here are a few last minute deals I have taken advantage of that I thought I would mention:

1. Cafe Rio (one of the best foods on the planet!) has a promotion going on right now. When you buy a $25 gift card you get a free $10 gift card. This is great especially since they almost never run promotions or have coupons. That's essentially 30% off. I asked them and they said you can get this deal online as well, but there is a $1.95 shipping fee and you won't see the free $10 certificate in your cart, but you will receive it in the mail. Deal is good until Christmas tomorrow so act fast (maybe they'll extend it though)! I stocked up for the whole year:)

2. Shell Gas Stations - Gas is cheap right now, but why not make it cheaper? If you have American Express (AMEX) credit cards you can get $5 off $30 purchase at the pump. That's essentially %16 off your gas. You have to first login to your AMEX account and click on "AMEX offers for you" and look for "Shell" and then click "Save Offer". All of my cards had the offer so I'm assuming most people will have the offer if there are shell gas stations where they live. Offer is good until Feb 8th 2015. This was perfect for me as I'm traveling for Christmas. I signed up all 10 of my AMEX cards so all my gas will basically be under $2 for a couple of months. Sweeeeet! Note: the best way to max the deal is to put $30 in your tank at a time.

3. Cheesecake Factory - I love the cheesecake factory cheesecake and we usually get it for birthdays. Right now until the end of the year when you buy a $25 gift card you will receive certificate for a free slice of cheesecake that is redeemable from 1/1/15 to 3/29/15.

I love these deals cause they are purchases I would normally make and to save some money on them is great. If there is a deal/discount for something that I normally wouldn't buy, then in the end I'm probably spending more money then saving, so I would only recommend these deals if they are products you use!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Small Business Saturday experience

I wrote about Small Business Saturday a few weeks ago HERE. Well, today was the day and I thought I would share with you my experience.

I exclusively went to restaurants that I've been to and like and I only purchased gift cards/certificates. Here's a picture of my loot:

  • $40 at "The Place" - breakfast restaurant
  • $50 at "Lamar's" - donut shop
  • $20 at "Chino Bandido" - asian/mexican food
  • $40 at "Macayo's" - mexican food
  • $100 at "Barros" - Pizza
  • $50 at "Pier 83" - Fish and chips
  • $30 at "Caramba's" - Mexican food

Total: $330 in free food!!! Better than any Black Friday deals by a long shot. 

The only downside was that it took about 2 hours to run around everywhere, but well worth it I think. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Free Stuff - Small Business Saturday

Registration starts today (Nov 16th).

Every year American Express runs a promotion on the Saturday after Thanksgiving called "Small Business Saturday". This year that falls on November 29th. You MUST REGISTER your card before you use it on Small Business Saturday. Registration for that begins on NOV 11th and it can fill up so doing it sooner than later is best. I'll post a link on Nov. 16th to where you register your cards, so check back then!

What is Small Business Saturday?

American Express will credit your credit card account $10 when you make a purchase at a small business for at least $10. You can do this 3 times with each credit card you have. So it's essentially free money! Now there's a strategy behind getting the most out of this promotion.

Where does it work?

Small businesses! Take a look at this map for participating locations. My area shows about 100 restaurants, 50 services, etc in the area that are participating. Last year I redeemed for gift certificates at Cold Stones (not eligible this year), a local pizza place, and another restaurant. I like the restaurants the best for sure.

The Strategy

The purchases have to be on Saturday November 29th for the promotion to work. Well, if you want to maximize the promotion the best thing to do is go to a small business that sells GIFT CERTIFICATES  that can be used at that store or restaurant. That way you can purchase gift cards in $10 increments so 1) you end up not spending anything and 2) you can go to the store or restaurant in the future whenever you want.

I have about 10 AMEX credit cards between me and my wife. So each of those cards can get up to $30 in credits ($10 x 3). That's up to $300 in free gift certificates I plan on getting! So this is what I will do when I go to my pizza joint:

I'll ask for a gift certificate for $50 in gift certificates. Then I'll tell them I want to "split" the amount on 5 different cards ($10 on each). If you feel uncomfortable splitting on that many cards do a smaller amount like $20 or $30. The small business don't care though because they are getting your business! (small business saturday doesn't cost them anything). There you go, a free $50 in certificates! Then I'll do this at another restaurant until I have used all my cards

Don't have an American Express Card? or only have 1 or 2?

You still have time to get one before Small Business Saturday

Here are a couple of my favorite cards

AMEX SPG - you can get a nice 25,000 bonus and the annual fee of $65 is waived the first year.

AMEX Everyday - you can get a 10,000 bonus and there is NO annual fee.

Of course there are many other cards available. 

Another way to get more out of this promotion is to add "Authorized users" to your existing accounts. You can add as many authorized users as you want and each authorized user can get up to $30 from the promotion. 

Questions? Have fun getting free stuff!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Cost of NOT brushing your teeth

I'm a dental student/soon-to-be dentist, so I thought I would write a post about the cost of dental work. Like many things in life, most people don't think about how much dental work costs until they have a problem and they are at the dental office. You're smarter than that though right?

I want to just give you an example of the progression of dental decay/cavities and average associated costs

You have a cavity! - cost: about $150.

                                New White (composite) filling

Guess what? The filling won't last you the rest of your life. You will eventually have more problems with that filling down the road. Fillings only last on average about 15 years. Maybe it will last only a few years, maybe it will last 30+ years. This depends on a lot of factors like oral hygiene, diet, biting habits, etc.


                                       Old White filling nees replacement

5-20 years down the road:Time to replace the filling because of more decay/fractures/etc. Cost: $200. Once again this filling won't last forever. You would be happy to get 15+ years out of it.

More decay around the filling or your tooth has cracked: Cost $1200 (for crown):

Tooth with Cracks and more decay around the edges

Every time you have more decay and have to replace fillings you lose more tooth structure. After replacing a filling once, there is a good chance that you will soon have a tooth that is not very strong and need to have a cap or crown put on the tooth.

10-15 years later you have more decay around the tooth with a crown. Time to replace the crown! This time the decay is close to or into the nerve of the tooth so you'll need a root canal also.

Underneath a crown that needs to be replaced

Cost: $1500 for the crown and $1200 for the root canal.

10-15 years later you get more decay around the tooth and this time there is not enough tooth structure to even put a crown on the tooth so you have to extract/pull the tooth.

Time to come out buddy

Cost for extraction: $200.

Now you want to replace the missing tooth so you can do all the things we take for granted like chewing, speaking, and looking good. So it's time to get a dental implant.

Dental implant with crown

Cost: $3000+.

Total cost for 1 tooth: $7500!!! Now times that by the 28 teeth that you have = $208,000!!!

Now of course individual circumstances vary greatly and you certainly are not going to be putting 28 implants in your mouth, but you get the idea. Here's a simple Dental Fee Estimator if you want to estimate some more costs of your dental work.

Guess what??? It costs a pretty good amount of money if you don't take care of your teeth!

What do I mean by taking care of your teeth?

  • Brushing at least 2 times a day for 2 mintues
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • In office dental cleanings - once every 3  months to 1 year. This varies with individuals.
  • Following instructions given to you by your dentist

Ways to save money:

  • Get your work done at a dental school
  • Find a clinic that offers cheaper rates
  • Dental benefits through your employer 

Be aware that cheaper is not always better, especially when we are talking about healthcare. I could also add that there is great value in staying with one dentist as he/she will more than likely take more ownership for the work that they have done.

So start brushing your teeth!

Do I have fillings? Yes, I do.

I'm not perfect. Almost all of my back (posterior) teeth have fillings. I don't expect them to last forever, but I'm I'm really good at taking care of them, the cost of replacing them will be far less.

Monday, October 13, 2014 - Free Full Credit Report

With all the breaches in credit and personal identity information recently (Target, Home Depot, Chase, Kmart, etc.), it is very important to monitor your credit. I've mentioned several ways to keep track of your credit score and report and where to get those scores and reports for free in some of my past posts. (i.e Free Credit Scores, Free Credit Score)

Credit Karma now has a NEW beta feature that will give you your full credit report for FREE on top of giving you a free credit score.

First you will need to create an account if you don't already have one...don't worry, you will NOT need to pay for anything and you will NOT need your credit card. This is completely free.

After you created your account or if you already have an account, login and under the "My Finances" tab you will see "Full Credit Report":

It's that simple and very useful to make sure there is no suspicious activity going on under your identity. The score and report are updated once a week. 


Here's a quick list of places you can get a free credit SCORE: - updates about once every 3 months - updates every week - updates every month card holders - updates every month
UsBank card holders - updates every month
Barclays card holders - updates every month

Here's a quick list of places you can get a free credit REPORT: - you can get a report every year - Updates every week

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Credit Card Everyone Should Have

I'm asked the question: Which credit card should I get?
A: It usually depends on a lot of factors, such as what type of spender are you?, do you pay off your cards in full every month?, what type of rewards are you looking to get?, etc. HOWEVER, there is a new card that I think EVERYONE would benefit from (unless you don't follow "the Rules").

What is it? 

Citi's new "Double Cash" 

Key points: 

  • NO LIMIT to the rewards you get
  • ALL spending earns you 2% cash back
  • You get 1% for the purchase PLUS 1% when you make the payment on the purchase. 
  • O% APR interest for the first 15 months. 

Q: Why should everyone have it?
A: It gets you 2% cash back on EVERY purchase. Other cards will give 1%-1.5% and often it's not for all purchases. So if you spend a little OR a lot, this card will always give you 2% cash back. So if you had one credit card to make all of your purchases with, this card would be an excellent option. In short, this card is great for the "advanced" credit card guru and the first time credit card noob.

Q: Are there other 2% cash back credit cards?
A: Kind of. They just are as straight forward as this card. Barclays has a card that will get you 2% back, but the rewards MUST be towards TRAVEL. Fidelity also has a 2% american express card, but you have to have a Fidelity account and the rewards are only available to put into your Fidelity account. Also, those rewards count toward your contribution limit, which is a negative to some people.

The only negative about this card that I can think of is that a Bonus offer is not available for it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 Free credit score

Getting a free credit report and score these days is actually really easy. No credit cards. No "free-trials". Just free credit scores and reports. The latest resource to help with this is is a great tool to help keep track of your spending, and now there is a Beta free credit score that you can get with them. I just logged onto my account and the free score was available to me after answering a few questions. Login to your account to see if you have the free Beta tool to get your free score.

Want a free credit report? You can get 3 free reports from each bureau each year at

There are several other ways to get free credit scores. Check out this POST to discover easy ways to get your free credit score.

How Often should you check your credit score?
A: I think once a month is good enough. With so much identity theft and stolen credit card information, it's good to keep yourself updated.

Why do I get different scores from different sources?
A: Most free credit scores are only estimates, but are fairly accurate. There are also 3 companies that these estimates are based off of: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. So you will get slightly different.

What's the difference between a credit score and credit report?
A: A score is just that--a's an actual number with out all the details. A report will not have a number, but give specific details about where your credit it is coming from. Both are good to know.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cereal Deals - $$$ and Movies

Cereal boxes have some fun deals every once in a while. Usually, it's for worthless toys, once in a blue moon, there are actually some pretty awesome deals. Over a year ago, I was able to get free movie tickets for a year!

Right now there are a couple of cereal box deals that are noteworthy.

1. Free digital copy of 1 of 12 movies by General Mills on specially marked boxes. 

What do you have to do?
A: Buy 2 specially marked boxes with the displayed deal...maybe your grocery store has it maybe'll have to check it out at your local store. 

Which Movies?

Which Cereals?

Is it Worth it?
A: Depends. Do you like cereal? Do you like any of the movies that are offered? What is the cost of the cereal box? For me it was worth it, because Winco had a coupon for a free box of I go free cheerios and a free movie. 


2. $5 Cash (check) from specially marked Kellogg's Cereal

What do you have to do?

Which Cereals?

These (and a few other). They are specially marked. 

Is it Worth it?
Depends. Do you like cereal? What is the cost? For me it was worth it. I like cereal and the Raisin Bran was on sale for $1.50 a box so I'll actually make some money on this deal. I spent $4.50 and will get $5 back. Cool.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cheap (but quality) AAA and AA batteries!


This deal is good through the end of the month (7/31/14)

You can get 72 AAA or 72 AA Sony Stamina Plus batteries for only $15.99 right now on I usually don't post too many deals, but this is actually a really good deal that EVERYONE could use. The total price after shipping and tax is $20.98 (you can avoid paying shipping by adding sets of batteries to your cart), still very worth it...So basically these batteries are 1/2 the cost you will find else where.

These are selling for $42.99 on

So if you need to stock up on some batteries, now is a great time. Plan for the future!...these batteries will last through 2024! Will come in handy for your games, toys, and especially flash lights when the world comes to an end!

What good deals have you found on lately? Would you like if I posted more deals?....most deals are not for everyone, but every one in a while deals like this pop up that would be useful for everyone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cow Appreciation Day is Back!

Get some FREE Chik-fil-A this Friday, July 11th for Cow appreciation day. My first time to Chik-Fil-A was on Cow Appreciation Day and now I love it!

HERE are the details

  • You get a Full meal (sandwich, fries, drink) if you wear a full outfit. 

  • You get a free entree if you wear anything to do with a cow.

It's very easy to dress like a cow to get a free meal. I have black scrubs and I just taped white paper spots on and they gave me a free full meal. Look at the FAQ's on the bottom of their page for more easy ideas. They even give you a page you can print to make your own costume out of paper.

  1. Start with items that you already have at home - cow-printed accessories stashed in your closet will work perfectly. Hats, vests, scarves, neckties, pants, shoes, pajamas - just about any cow-spotted item will work. Just make sure you're covered head to toe.
  2. Wear white, and then just add spots. Throw on a white T-shirt with white pants (even sweatpants) and stick on your spots using black paper. You can cut spots out of construction paper and tape them to your shirt and pants. If nothing else, you can grab an old white T-shirt and color black spots all over it with a marker - and you'll still get a FREE entrée.
  3. Not feeling too creative and want an easy costume? Search the Internet for "cow costumes" and you will be flooded with full-body costumes available for purchase. (And hey, you'll be set for Halloween, too!)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

BOGO movie theater offer

UPDATE: Check back in the summer of 2015 for this offer to come back.

Buy one movie ticket, get one free!

Now through August 8th you can get a FREE movie ticket when you purchase one or more movie tickets. Here are the Key points:

  • ONLY available on FRIDAYS. It won't work if you try on a day that is NOT Friday. 
  • Must be purchased through Don't go directly to
  • You MUST have a Visa SIGNATURE credit card to make the purchase with. HERE is a list of credit cards that might qualify. Usually it will say "Signature" under the Visa logo. 
  • You can get this offer once per month per credit if you have multiple Visa Signatures credit cards this is not an issue. 
  • Ends Aug 8th and the deal is while supplies/tickets last. 
  • This offer has been happening every summer so if you miss out this summer, there is always next summer. 
Here are the steps from their website:

 Go to on your desktop or mobile device:

1.    Enter all 16 digits of your Visa Signature card number to ensure you are eligible for the offer. Your card will not be charged until you confirm your purchase on the check-out page. The card number is used for verification of eligibility for the offer. Your information is transmitted over a high level encryption (SSL) and is not used for any other purposes.
2.    Once you are verified, search for available movies.
3.    Enter your ZIP code or city name in the box provided to find theatres in your area that offer online ticketing through Fandango.
4.    Choose your Friday show date, theater and movie. Click on a show time listed in red to purchase tickets for that Friday show.
5.    Enter the number of tickets you would like. You must select at least two (2) tickets to participate in this offer.
6.    Enter your Visa Signature card number to pay for your order. On the Review page you’ll see the price of one ticket and the convenience fee for one ticket deducted from your order, up to $19.50 total, compliments of Visa Signature.
7.    Complete the purchase process and follow the instructions on your confirmation page to claim your tickets at the theater.

Enjoy the movies!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Will having a lot of credit cards hurt my loan application?

Disclaimer: This post is from my own personal research and I am sharing with you MY experience. 

When I tell people I have 20+ credit cards people are amazed. I'm a dental student and so one question that comes up is: "won't having a lot of credit cards hurt my future business loan application?"

Answer: NO!!! The fact that I have a lot of credit cards in and of itself is not a bad thing, if fact it can be a good thing. If I mismanaged my credit, then YES of course having that many credit cards is a bad fact mismanaging your credit cards on 1-2 cards is also bad! But if you never miss a payment, have low credit utilization, and have good history with your credit cards, your loan application will be good.

I may need to get a business loan for my future dental practice in 2-5 years. I decided to ask the business loan experts at Wells Fargo bank. I explained that that I have a LOT of credit cards and ALL of them are in good standing. In fact, I pay my bills in FULL every month (and you should too...otherwise, stay away from credit cards). I told them my FICO score was 750+. Then I asked if they felt that having a lot of credit cards would hurt my loan application. Here are some of their responses:

"While  20 “revolving” accounts is quite a few – the most important factor is the amount of credit you have used vs. the amount of credit you have available. If you continue to pay off the balance’s each month, you shouldn’t have any issues maintaining your high credit score. "

Morgan Stump
Business Development Manager
Mountain-West Region (OR, UT, NV, WY)

"Great question!   Having multiple credit cards is not a bad thing.  Make sure you pay them on time and if you can, pay more than the minimum amount required each month.  This will help your credit and credit score overall."

Kris Nishihira
VP, Business Development Manager
Wells Fargo Practice Finance | 111 W. Ocean Blvd Suite 950 | Long Beach, CA 90802

"Thanks for reaching out.  I saw both Kris and Morgan’s responses and I agree with both.  The only things I might add are that if you were to decide to close some of the credit cards, I would recommend closing the newer cards as opposed to the well-established cards.  The longer you have an account open the better it is for your credit score.  The other side of that is closing an account can temporarily hurt your credit score.  Not by much, but a small amount.   Your score will recover quickly but just want you to be aware.  Your goal in managing your FICO score should be to keep it above 750-775.  Anytime your score is over that threshold you are typically going to get the best rates and offers." 

Vice President
Business Development Manager
Wells Fargo Practice Finance | 2410 S Power Rd. | Mesa, AZ 85209
MAC S3937-015

Thank you Christian for your email, it sounds like you are doing great. 
·        750 is a great FICO. 
·        I know you said you are paying them off – continue to pay as much of card balances down or pay them off - keep them all open.  Don’t close credit cards.
·        Sign up for one of the credit protection services to make sure you are notified of any changes
·        Make sure all your student loans are in good standing
·        Take as many business classes offered during the tradeshow events or in your school
·        On your free time, write a business plan and update it as you learn more about how to be successful in business (form attached)
·        When you have time take on the challenge of being a speaker for whatever public or school event you have.

Sina J. Mansouri
Vice President, Business Development Manager
Wells Fargo Practice Finance
855.544.0245 Office

And then this one was from a home mortgage loan officer:

"Hello Christian,

It all comes down to your debt to income.  The nice thing about credit cards is we just look at the minimum payment.  You would probably be just fine!  Call me any time to run some numbers."


Tyson M. Barry
Presidents and Top Producers Club
1750 E Northrop Blvd. Suite 230
Chandler, AZ 85286

I understand all but one response came from Wells Fargo, so the sample size is not that large. However, if you were to ask other personal and business loan officers you would get a similar response. I don't agree with everything these experts said and they don't all agree with themselves. Here are the key points to take away:

  • DON'T use credit cards unless you pay your balances off in FULL.
  • The main focus on loan application is your FICO score and how well you manage your credit. My score has actually increased since I started getting a lot of credit cards. Other factors come into play, but if you manage your credit cards well, it won't hurt your application.
  • Try to keep your oldest credit cards open (this will help your FICO score)....preferable this would be a card without an annual fee. It's okay to close credit cards, but it's better to close your newer ones. Your score will drop a little temporarily when you close a line of credit, so don't do this before applying for a loan. 
  • Don't open a lot of credit cards 1 year prior to applying for a big loan. Getting 1-2 would be okay, but don't do that right before applying for your loan. 
  • Different lenders will look and focus on different things. Remember, there are a lot of banks out there so you can shop around if one lender is not helpful to you. 
What do you think? Any of you have experiences with applying for a large loan while having a lot of credit cards/credit lines?