3 Investment Ideas for Retirees Right Now

Ah, retirement. Picture long, blissful walks on the beach. Or you’re watching the sunset from the balcony of your cruise ship and thinking: This is it – the way life should be. Then you casually check your smartphone to see how your investment accounts are doing and, gasp! You might not be as rich as you thought were.

Retirees are facing major headwinds right now when it comes to investing: Troubles in Ukraine, higher inflation and stock market jitters to name a few. If you are in or near retirement and wondering what you can do with your portfolio, here are three ideas I share with some of my clients:

1. Consumer defensive stocks

I want clients to be as diversified as possible. However, I may tilt their portfolio to consumer defensive stocks for retired or more conservative clients. Defensive stocks generally include utility companies like natural gas and electricity providers, healthcare providers and companies whose products we use day-to-day, like toothpaste companies or food and grocery stores.

According to the Center for Corporate Finance, a leading finance educator to financial professionals, defensive stocks tend to be less volatile than other types of stocks. Less volatility can mean less upside potential, but it can also mean less downside risk, which I find is what many retirees want – less downside (and hopefully better sleep at night).

2. Bonds for retirees – but not just any bonds

I like municipal bonds for retirees. Municipal bonds are issued by states, cities or local municipalities. There are many types of municipal bonds. General Obligation municipal bonds are backed by the taxing authority of the issuer – meaning the state or municipality uses taxes to pay the interest to bondholders. Revenue bonds are municipal bonds backed by a specific project. A toll road uses tolls as the revenue to pay bondholders.

Interest from municipal bonds is usually exempt from federal taxes (though there may be alternative minimum tax (AMT) considerations for certain types of investors). If you live in the state where the bond is issued, the interest may be exempt from state taxes as well.

I like tax-free interest for retirees for several reasons. Retirees may have other sources of taxable income, such as pensions, annuities or rental income, whose income may push them into a higher-than-expected income tax bracket. Retirees may also take money out of 401(k)s and traditional IRAs in retirement for required minimum distributions, which are taxable as ordinary income. Having some tax-free interest may prevent the retiree’s income from creeping up into the next higher tax bracket in retirement.

Findings from the 2019 Municipal Finance Conference suggest there is less risk of default with general obligation bonds than revenue bonds. This is because revenue bonds typically depend on the vitality of a project, which is more uncertain than the state or municipality’s ability to raise taxes to pay for a general obligation bond. For this reason, I may tilt a portfolio more toward general obligation municipal bonds than revenue bonds for retirees.

Municipal bonds are not without risk. There is no guarantee of principal and market value will fluctuate so that an investment, if sold before maturity, may be worth more or less than its original cost. Like any bond, municipal bond prices may be negatively impacted by rising interest rates. Also, municipal bonds may be more sensitive to downturns in the economy – investors may fear a struggling state’s economy may be unable to repay the bond.

For these reasons, I like to be as diversified as possible. I may use short-term muni bonds for more principal stability and less interest rate risk. I might also blend in intermediate-term municipal bonds for additional yield. If the portfolio is larger than $250K I prefer to buy individual municipal bonds for greater customization and tax-loss harvesting opportunities.

3. Beyond stocks and bonds

I like to sprinkle in small amounts of other investments. I call these my “satellites.” Depending on the client’s financial situation and tolerance for risk, I may add in real estate or small amounts of commodities, including coal, gold, corn and natural gas. I generally use mutual funds or exchange-traded funds for the diversification and the relatively low cost. I usually only buy small amounts, maybe 2%-5% of a portfolio, to help diversify the portfolio and provide an inflation hedge.

Inflation is a significant real enemy for retirees. Rising prices erode the purchasing power of a portfolio. One nice thing about owning real estate is the owner often can raise rents, which is a hedge against rising prices. I may buy Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) which pool together various properties. I may also use Private REITs, which are not traded on the public market, so they are less liquid, for more sophisticated investors. Private REITs are not suitable for everyone, as they tend to carry higher fees, don’t have published daily prices, but they often provide higher yield than publicly traded REITs.

For more on fighting inflation see my blog post Could Inflation Affect Your Retirement Plans?

Parting thoughts

Investing in retirement is different than investing while working. In retirement, an investor’s time horizon shrinks – they need the money sooner to live off and there’s no paycheck coming in to replenish the account. There is also less time for a retiree’s portfolio to recover from a stock market correction. Because of this, I find retirees fear losses more than they enjoy their gains.

Understanding these differences is important for successful investing in retirement. Using these three approaches – shifting slightly more to consumer defensive stocks, using municipal bonds to help prevent further taxable income, and adding small amounts of inflation-fighting investments like real estate and possibly commodities – in my opinion can all help smooth out the ride for retirees.

The author provides investment and financial planning advice. For more information, or to discuss your investment needs, please click here to schedule a complimentary call.

Disclaimer: Summit Financial is not responsible for hyperlinks and any external referenced information found in this article. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Investors cannot directly purchase an  index. Individual investor portfolios must be constructed based on the individual’s financial resources, investment goals, risk tolerance, investment time horizon, tax situation and other relevant factors.  

CFP®, Summit Financial, LLC

Michael Aloi is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner and Accredited Wealth Management Advisor℠ with Summit Financial, LLC.  With 21 years of experience, Michael specializes in working with executives, professionals and retirees. Since he joined Summit Financial, LLC, Michael has built a process that emphasizes the integration of various facets of financial planning. Supported by a team of in-house estate and income tax specialists, Michael offers his clients coordinated solutions to scattered problems.

Investment advisory and financial planning services are offered through Summit Financial LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser, 4 Campus Drive, Parsippany, NJ 07054. Tel. 973-285-3600 Fax. 973-285-3666. This material is for your information and guidance and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Clients should make all decisions regarding the tax and legal implications of their investments and plans after consulting with their independent tax or legal advisers. Individual investor portfolios must be constructed based on the individual’s financial resources, investment goals, risk tolerance, investment time horizon, tax situation and other relevant factors. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to Summit Financial LLC. Links to third-party websites are provided for your convenience and informational purposes only. Summit is not responsible for the information contained on third-party websites. The Summit financial planning design team admitted attorneys and/or CPAs, who act exclusively in a non-representative capacity with respect to Summit’s clients. Neither they nor Summit provide tax or legal advice to clients.  Any tax statements contained herein were not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding U.S. federal, state or local taxes.

Source: kiplinger.com

The Cheapest Neighborhoods in New Orleans for Renters in 2022

The French Quarter is great and all, but these neighborhoods won’t break the bank.

New Orleans is an exciting place to live. A major tourist destination, you can probably guess which neighborhood is the most expensive — but where are the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans and what makes them special?

Check out the cheapest neighborhoods and apartments in New Orleans.

What is the average rent in New Orleans?

The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New Orleans is $2,311.

The 10 most affordable neighborhoods in New Orleans

Gorgeous and varying styles of architecture, rich culture and location are all major amenities of NOLA’s least expensive neighborhoods.

Though a few of these neighborhoods are completely new to non-residents, the neighborhoods below are some of the most distinct and historical in the city.

10. Medical District

Medical District

Medical District

SOURCE: RENT.COM/CANAL
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,861
  • Rent change since 2021: +0.06%

The Medical District is in the heart of NOLA. Galleries and museums are a short distance away for culture-lovers, and some of the best restaurants in town are in this neighborhood.

The Medical District is where the Tulane University Medical School, School of Public Health and Louisiana State University are all located. There are various other medical institutions in the neighborhood, too, making it ideal for medical students, staff and professionals.

The Medical District has condos and high rises, but gorgeous brick buildings, as well. Many have beautiful detailing and quirky features that give the area a refreshing personality.

Lured by the fantastic location, you’ll find more than those who work in the medical industry in the area, however. Located within walking distance of the French Quarter, Superdome and Smoothie King Center, apartments in the Medical District are near the best nightlife and events.

9. Central Business District

Central Business District, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Central Business District, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/FOUR WINDS NOLA
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,848
  • Rent change since 2021: -0.58%

Central Business District is the city’s “Downtown,” as this is the area where glass skyscrapers and office buildings are. That being said, the Central Business District (CBD) does have its share of architecture from the 19th century that’s well-preserved.

There are endless options for entertainment in CBD, matching the energetic and exciting vibe of the neighborhood. For kids, the Louisiana Children’s Museum and the Audubon Insectarium are instant favorites. Adults can enjoy Broadway shows and concerts hosted at the Saenger, while Orpheum provides more innovative and unique performances.

If there’s one thing it’s impossible to do in the Central Business District, it’s to eat at every restaurant. Foodies might give it a try, but the sheer amount of delicious eateries on one block is staggering.

Perfect for high-energy families, professionals and kids, Central Business District apartments are close to everything you need.

8. Faubourg Lafayette

Faubourg Lafayette

Faubourg Lafayette

SOURCE: RENT.COM/THE MUSES APARTMENT HOMES
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,592
  • Rent change since 2021: N/A

If you’re looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood with tons of amenities, look no further. Centrally located, Faubourg Lafayette connects to some of the most popular neighborhoods, has accessible public transit and is only a 10-minute walk to the Superdome.

One of the great African American neighborhoods in the city, the Ashe Cultural Arts Center is a great place to learn about the arts of the African diaspora. Along St. Charles Avenue, you’ll find some of the most delicious Mexican, Southern and seafood dishes.

Non-profits and cultural arts are revitalizing the neighborhood, drawing young professionals and families to its lively streets. With all the interest and development this neighborhood is quickly becoming one of the hippest places to live in the area, but for now, apartments in Faubourg Lafayette are still some of the most affordable.

7. Central City

Central City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Central City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/1643 JOSEPHINE
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,592
  • Rent change since 2021: N/A

Located smack in the middle of the Central Business District and Garden Districts, when you live in Central City, you can do just about everything on foot.

The neighborhood is a hodgepodge of architecture, though seemingly odd is actually Central City’s rich history on full display. You’ll find shotgun homes — built for an influx of migrant workers — in every direction, architectural gems next to vacant lots and 20th-century apartments in Central City.

Oretha Castle Haley Blvd is a major area of the neighborhood and is where the Central City Festival takes place. It also has some of the best restaurants and cafés to visit, not to mention the art centers and museums. As more investment returns into the neighborhood, the growth will continue to attract new people.

It’s no surprise if you haven’t heard of Central City — many tourists haven’t — but that hasn’t stopped this neighborhood, and the interest in it, from continuing to thrive.

6. Lower Garden District

Lower Garden District

Lower Garden District

SOURCE: RENT.COM/DELANEAUX
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,485
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.91%

Famous for Magazine Street, the Lower Garden District is known for having a million things to do. Whether you’re hanging out at the trendiest new bar or taking in an art exhibit, the options are endless.

Despite the number of boutiques, restaurants and shops located in the Lower Garden District, it’s a neighborhood above all else. This historic area is an eclectic community that features some of the best architecture New Orleans has to offer. From mansions to condos and townhouses, there’s something for families, professionals, couples and everyone else.

Lower Garden District is also great if you love the outdoors. Coliseum Square, a park known for its beautifully preserved and vast amount of green space, is at the center of the city.

A neighborhood that’s full of culture, interesting neighbors and spellbinding old streets, architectural gems aren’t the only thing you’re sure to find here.

5. Mid-City

Mid-City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Mid-City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/AMERICAN CAN APARTMENTS
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,254
  • Rent change since 2021: -5.03%

Not only is Mid-City one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans, but it’s also one of the coolest, too. Without as many tourist attractions as other areas, Mid-City’s economic livelihood relies heavily on local clientele, giving the neighborhood a unique identity.

Mid-City, once the swampy back part of town, now attracts younger people with its diversity, an array of bars and restaurants and quirky local feel. Residents live in historic homes, many of which still have cypress cabinetry and other original architectural features.

Public transit goes throughout the neighborhood, connecting to Uptown and Gentilly, as well as the Canal Street streetcar. Centrally located, when you live in Mid-City, you’re only 10–15 minutes away from everything in New Orleans.

With quick access to outdoor recreational spaces and major commercial corridors that attract residents throughout the city, apartments in Mid-City provide a fusion of spacious Uptown living and the urban vibes of downtown.

4. Fairgrounds

The Esplanade at City Park

The Esplanade at City Park

SOURCE: RENT.COM/THE ESPLANADE AT CITY PARK
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,831
  • Rent change since 2021: +3.6%

Fairgrounds is famous to tourists for the Fair Grounds Race Course — the namesake of the neighborhood — and the New Orleans Jazz Festival, but only true NOLA locals know how much it has to offer.

Predominantly a residential neighborhood, Fairgrounds oozes with the laid-back NOLA charm its long been known for, yet, surprisingly, bursts with life. Residents living in Fairgrounds apartments enjoy easy access to City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art, as well as a central location within the city.

Bordered by the waterway, Bayou St. John, residents have access to a variety of outdoor activities along the bayou, as well as many local bars, restaurants and boutiques to explore. Designed for travel, the neighborhood’s streets are pedestrian- and biker-friendly, making a day out in the neighborhood fun and easy.

As one of the cheapest places to live in New Orleans, you’ll get much more from this area than you imagined.

3. Gert Town

Gert Town, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Gert Town, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/PARKWAY APARTMENTS
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,788
  • Rent change since 2021: -1.11%

Often overlooked, Gert Town is a diverse slice of New Orleans quietly tucked away near the heart of the city. A blend of urban and academia, Gert Town is home to the sprawling campus of Xavier University and the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. As more and more people have found their way to one of the most affordable neighborhoods in New Orleans, the secret has gotten out.

The neighborhood is now going through its own Renaissance of sorts, with developers adding new retailers, homes and apartments in Gert Town. The old Blue Plate building is now filled with artist lofts, and specialty businesses — including a craft brewery, wine shop and chocolatier that now call Gert Town home.

In addition to the converted industrial buildings and new shopping, renters get to enjoy some of the most delicious and diverse bakeries and restaurants, too. As the community continues to steadily redevelop and reengage the community, Gert Town’s hidden treasures will soon be city favorites.

2. Algiers

Algiers

Algiers

SOURCE: RENT.COM/RIVERVIEW VILLA
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,292
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.31%

Algiers is a tight-knit community with a suburban feel — perfect for those who enjoy a slower pace and knowing their neighbors’ names. Sitting on the Mississippi River’s West Bank, this historical neighborhood is the second oldest in the city and one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Residents enjoy walking or biking the levee paths and taking in the gorgeous sunsets along the river, but residents can also head to the Lakewood Golf Course or Park Timbers for tennis.

While walkability isn’t its strong suit, renters living in Algiers have larger apartments and yards, stylish architecture and are only a ferry ride from the French Quarter, where all the action in the city takes place. Thanks to strong interest, the neighborhood is developing quickly with restaurants, cafés, bars and grocery stores popping up.

One of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans, apartments in Algiers offer similar amenities and quality of living found in Uptown but with an unmatched community appeal.

1. Old Aurora

Old Aurora, the cheapest neighborhood in New Orleans.

Old Aurora, the cheapest neighborhood in New Orleans.

Source: Rent.com/Forest Isle Apartments
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,292
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.31%

There’s getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and then there’s Old Aurora. Tucked further inland on the other side of the Mississippi River, Old Aurora is not the fastest commute to the French Quarter’s nightlife, but the residents that call this neighborhood home like it that way.

It’s easy to forget you’re in the Big Easy when you walk Old Aurora. With streets lined with oak trees, friendly neighbors and the distinct sound of quiet, the neighbors love it for its residential feel, diverse population, good schools and safety. Old Aurora is ideal for retirees, couples and raising kids.

Compared to other neighborhoods, apartments in Old Aurora are more spacious and come with a smaller price tag. Along with some of the most affordable rent prices, you’ll also have brilliant views of NOLA’s skyline and river-front shopping, outdoor activities and nightlife.

The most expensive neighborhood in New Orleans

NOLA’s crown jewel, the French Quarter, is world-famous for intoxicating tourists with its alluring charm and picturesque streets. For residents living in the center of the action, however, the French Quarter is about convenience.

Bourbon Street is iconic for its music venues, bars and nightlife in general. It’s also home to elite fine dining establishments that keep tourists packing the neighborhood’s streets.

The rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the French Quarter is $3,242 with a 5.91 percent increase in rent over the past year.

If you’ve fallen in love with this neighborhood and want to live here, finding parking may drive you crazy, but you can reach some pretty amazing places by foot or bike.

Find an affordable neighborhood for your next apartment

Affordable, stylish apartments for rent in New Orleans are easy to find once you know where to look. The cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans offer great amenities, walkability and history that only add to the city’s already welcoming atmosphere.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory as of January 2022. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

Invest in I Bonds And Earn 9.62% Risk-Free

Freaking out over inflation?

If you want a nearly risk-free way to grow your cash, Uncle Sam has an attractive offer for you.

The U.S. government announced a new eye-popping 9.62% interest rate for Series I savings bonds now through October 2022 — the highest interest rate ever for these investments.

Series I bonds — also known as inflation bonds or I bonds — are the only inflation-protected security sold by the Treasury Department.

With inflation at a 40-year high, there’s literally never been a better time to buy I bonds.

At 9.62%, I bonds are not only outpacing inflation, they’re earning more than the stock market so far this year — and even more than bitcoin. (The stock market is down 13.8% in 2022 and bitcoin is down 18.5%).

At 9.62%, these bonds offer a rate about 13 times higher than what you’d currently earn from high-yield savings accounts.

And since I bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, your risk of losing money is basically zero. (Historically, the U.S. government has never defaulted on bonds.)

But before you rush to buy I bonds, there are a few things you need to know.

What Are I Bonds and How Do They Work?

I bonds are issued by the U.S. government and they can be purchased at TreasuryDirect.gov.

The interest rate on I bonds adjusts twice a year (in May and November) based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

I bond rates actually combine two different figures:

  • A semiannual (twice a year) inflation rate that fluctuates based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
  • A fixed rate of return, which remains the same throughout the life of the bond. (It’s currently at 0%.)

In April 2022, inflation increased 8.5% year-over-year, the biggest surge in more than 40 years. As inflation keeps rising, so does the variable rate on I bonds:

  • May 2021:  3.34%
  • November 2021: 7.12%
  • May 2022: 9.62%

While new buyers will enjoy 9.62% on these bonds for now, that rate can change after six months. It goes up or down, depending on national inflation.

Pro Tip

Check out this chart from the U.S. Treasury to see how I bond rates have changed over time. 

On November 1, 2022, The Treasury will calculate a new variable rate. If inflation continues to heat up, you could get more interest on your I bonds. If it cools off, your variable rate declines.

But you won’t lose money if the interest rate goes down — you just won’t earn as much. (The I bond inflation rate in May 2015, for example, was just 0.24%.)

New I bond buyers will miss out on the fixed rate enjoyed by purchasers in years past. That’s because the current fixed rate for I bonds is 0% — where it’s been since May 2020.

Since this half of the bond rate is locked in, your 0% fixed rate won’t increase over time. Instead, all the money you make from an I bond purchased today will be interest earned from the inflation-based semiannual rate.

Must-Know Facts About I Bonds

While I bonds are virtually risk-free, they still come with rules and restrictions.

First, these are 30-year bonds. Your cash isn’t locked up for three decades but you absolutely can’t access your money for at least 12 months. The government won’t allow you to cash out an I bond any sooner.

After a year, you can cash it in, but you’ll lose three months worth of interest if you cash out less than five years after purchase.

I Bond Fast Facts

  • I bonds are sold at face value (no fees, sales tax, etc.)
  • They earn interest monthly that is compounded twice a year.
  • The bond matures (stops earning interest) after 30 years.
  • You have to wait at least one year to cash in I bonds.
  • You’ll lose three months of interest payments if you cash in a bond you’ve owned for less than five years.
  • Minimum investment is $25.
  • Maximum digital I bond investment is $10,000 per person, per year.
  • The value of your I bond will never drop below what you paid for it.
  • It’s exempt from state and municipal taxes.
Pro Tip

You can also buy up to $5,000 in paper I bonds per year. The only way to get paper bonds is at tax time with your federal refund. 

Speaking of taxes, you can choose to either pay federal income tax on the bond each year or defer tax on the interest until the bond is redeemed.

You may be able to forgo paying federal tax altogether by using the bonds for higher education costs. Your adjusted gross income needs to be under $83,200 for a single filer in 2021 to qualify for this education tax perk, or $124,800 for couples.

How to Purchase I Bonds

The fastest and easiest way to purchase I bonds is on the TreasuryDirect website. It’s a free and secure platform where you can view all your account information, including pending transactions.

You can also give I bonds as a gift.

Another option is buying I bonds at tax time with your refund. You can buy I bonds in increments of $50 this way. You don’t need to put your entire refund in bonds — you can earmark just part of it.

FYI: You can’t resell I bonds and you must cash them out directly with the U.S. government. Also, only U.S. citizens, residents and employees can purchase these bonds.

The Treasury also offers a payroll savings option, which lets you purchase electronic savings bonds with money deducted from your paycheck.

Who Are I Bonds Right For?

There are a few ways investors can benefit from purchasing I bonds at the current 9.62% rate.

Scenarios When It Makes Sense to Buy I Bonds

  • You’re worried about inflation and stock market fluctuations.
  • You want to diversify your stock-heavy portfolio with a safe investment.
  • You’re nearing retirement and are shifting your portfolio toward bonds.
  • You want to save money for a child’s future college expenses.
  • You’re saving up for a big purchase that’s at least a year away, and want to earn a little interest on your cash in the meantime.

Because I bonds can’t be cashed in for a year, it’s important to keep enough money in your cash emergency fund to cover immediate expenses.

I bonds won’t make you rich. But for everyday Americans, these investments offer a safe way to grow your cash and hedge against inflation.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. 

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

CryptoKitties – What Are These NFTs and Should You Buy Into This Game?

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Dig Deeper

Additional Resources

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been increasing in popularity for some time, starting with Bitcoin and venturing into a wide range of digital collectibles worth ridiculous sums of money. 

In September 2017, the Ethereum network launched the ERC-20 token standard, a standard that would change the game. Its non-fungible tokens (NFTs), unique tokens you can’t interchange like Bitcoin and Ethereum, could be introducing scarcity to the equation. 

Shortly after the launch, what is now known as Dapper Labs introduced the blockchain game CryptoKitties. It quickly became a craze. But what exactly is CryptoKitties, do the NFTs have value, and how do you get involved?


What Are CryptoKitties?

CryptoKitties is a blockchain game featuring digital cats as NFTs, or crypto collectibles. In the decentralized application, or dApp, an application built on a decentralized platform that’s not governed by a single party, players buy, sell, trade, and breed a decentralized collectible the likes of Beanie Babies. 


You own shares of Apple, Amazon, Tesla. Why not Banksy or Andy Warhol? Their works’ value doesn’t rise and fall with the stock market. And they’re a lot cooler than Jeff Bezos.
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Each cat in the game is unique, as is naturally expected of NFTs today. The collectible’s uniqueness is stored in a “smart contract,” a self-executing agreement between the buyer and seller included directly in the lines of code, offering both scarcity and security. These contracts live on the Flow blockchain.

The game uses Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency. That adds an exciting twist to ownership of the collectibles. As the value of Ethereum rises, the value of tokens that use the Ethereum economy tend to rise as well, outlining one of the ways to make money with CryptoKitties. 

The concept works much like the value of fiat currency (such as the U.S. dollar) when used to purchase traditional investments. When the dollar is more valuable, investments you bought with dollars also increase in value. 


How Does CryptoKitties Work?

It all started with the platform’s genetic algorithm, a computer algorithm designed to ensure that each kitten in the game is born with a unique genome stored on its smart contract. The kittens all have their own “cattributes,” a wide range of features, including things like fur style, color, ear shape, apparel, and even background. 

These features combine to point to the rarity of the cat itself, with each virtual cat falling into one of the following scarcity categories:

  • Normal. This is the most common form of cat in the game. 
  • Fancy. Fancy cats are a rarer type of cat, characterized by special artwork and a fancy cats badge.
  • Special Edition. Special edition cats are in second place as the rarest cats in the game. They also feature special artwork and are released in limited quantities. 
  • Exclusive. Finally, exclusive cats are the highest-scarcity cats in the game. In many cases, exclusive cats will be the only cats of their kind. 

As with any other commodity, digital or otherwise, the value of these cats is based on the law of supply and demand. So the scarcity level of the cat and demand for CryptoKitties play a significant role in the price of the token. 

Once you own a cat, you can breed them to create new, unique NFTs. You do so with a male cat (Sire) and a female cat (Dame), creating a combination of the two. 


How to Play CryptoKitties

To play the game, you’ll need to start by purchasing your first virtual cat, a multistep process that works very much like using a gift card with your Apple or Google Play account.

1. Sign Up for a Cryptocurrency Wallet

To purchase your first cat in the game, you need to have some Ethereum. You can’t put Ethereum in a real-world wallet or on a debit card. Instead, you need a cryptocurrency wallet, which is a device, program, or service that securely stores information about your cryptocurrency transactions. 

There are various options out there, but the big difference between them is whether they’re custodial or noncustodial. Custodial wallets have passwords a company stores and manages, while the wallet-holder manages noncustodial wallets. 

Custodial wallets make it easy to access your crypto assets if you lose your password because there’s a third-party custodian in charge of the platforms these wallets live on. But custodial wallets are also centralized. There’s no central authority on noncustodial wallets. Users determine their wallet management style and are the only parties with their passwords. 

Decide which direction you’d like to go, and choose from one of the many options. For more information, read our article on the best cryptocurrency wallets. 

2. Fund Your Wallet

Next, you need to buy Ethereum and add it to your wallet. Some CryptoKitties are very inexpensive at 0.001 ETH, or about $2.60, while others are very expensive, costing about 1,000 ETH, or more than $2.7 million. 

Also, every time you make a transaction, you pay gas fees that can range from a few bucks to hundreds, depending on the demand on the blockchain at the time of purchase. In crypto, “gas” is the unit of measurement for the amount of computational power it takes to process the transaction and smart contract. You’re essentially paying the miner for the use of their processor.

Considering that, it’s best to start with around $250 worth of Ethereum to ensure you can cover the cost of lower-cost cats and the gas fees associated with owning them. 

3. Sign Up for CryptoKitties

You can find the CryptoKitties marketplace at CryptoKitties.co. Simply sign up for the site and connect your wallet. It’s also a good idea to check the secondhand market for better deals before pulling the trigger, especially for price-sensitive collectors. Some popular secondhand markets include OpenSea, Crypto.com, and Rarible, but OpenSea is best for CryptoKitties.

4. Buy Your First Cat

The game is all about owning, breeding, and earning from the sale or trade of digital cats. To do so, you need to own a cat. Take some time to search through the dedicated marketplace and OpenSea to find a cat you’re interested in owning. 

Once you’ve found it, simply click “Buy” to get started. If the cat you’re interested in isn’t listed for sale, you can bid on it to entice the owner to take your offer.  

5. Trade, Sell, & Breed

Once you own your first cat, you can trade, sell, and breed. Make wise decisions when doing so, and you stand to earn a hefty chunk of profits. 


How to Make Money on CryptoKitties

CryptoKitties are digital assets that can have substantial value. There are a few options for unlocking this value to pad your pockets. 

Sell & Trade Cats

One option for making money with the game is to use the assets within the game as a collection. If you can get your hands on the right cats, holding them for a short period and selling them has the potential to generate profits. 

For example, look for rare cats, like Exclusive and Special Edition or Founder Cats (one of the original 100 cats the game started with), or cats with “mewtations,” which is the first cat in the collection with a new cattribute like a specific fur color or background color. 

It’s also possible to trade cats with other members. In some cases, you can trade your cat for one that has a higher potential to grow in value. For example, someone might need your cat for breeding purposes. Making these trades and holding onto your investment and selling it in the future are other options for making money. 

Breed Cats

The breeding feature of the game is also a compelling way to make money. If you own a Dame, you can search the marketplace for Sire cats and either buy one or pay a small fee to another user to use their Sire as a breeder. 

Once they breed, the new kitty is yours to keep, trade, or sell for a profit. It costs a flat 0.04 ETH fee plus gas to breed your crypto kitties, even if you own both the Sire and the Dame. 

Keep in mind that both the Sire and Dame require a cooldown period after the breeding period, during which no more breeding can take place. That period is longer for Dames than it is for Sires. There are also limitations on how much time you have to breed special-edition traits, like purrstige traits, into your kitties. 

What kind of cat you get after breeding (and therefore how much it’s worth) depends on the cat type and traits of the Dame and Sire.

  • Normal Cats. You can breed normal cats to get either other normal cats or, with the right combination of genetic traits, Fancy Cats.
  • Fancy Cats. You only get the limited-edition Fancy Cats when two cats with very specific traits breed, and there’s a limit to how many times you can breed them, which varies based on the Fancy Cat type. 
  • Special Edition Cats. While you can breed Special Edition Cats to get regular cats, there’s no hope of breeding a Special Edition kitty. You can only buy them.
  • Exclusive Cats. You can breed Exclusive Cats to get regular or Fancy Cats but not Special Edition or Exclusive offspring.

You may also get lucky and end up with highly valuable cats, such as:

  • Misprint Kitties. Misprint kitties are CryptoKitties that were minted with mistakes in their designs. In some cases, the cat doesn’t look anything like its traits suggest. Once they catch the misprint, future traits will be printed properly, but you could make serious money if you end up with a misprint. 
  • Mewtations. Mewtations are CryptoKitties that are the first of their kind with a specific new trait. Only the first cat printed with a trait is given a mewtation gem, making them rarer and highly prized among collectors. 

Sire Cats

If you’re not interested in owning a new kitten and you own a male cat, you’re in luck. You can make money by allowing others to pay a transaction fee to breed their Dames with your Sire, generating passive income in the process. 


CryptoKitty FAQs

It’s natural to have questions, and with CryptoKitties being one of the most popular NFT-centric games on the blockchain. These are the answers to some of the most common questions. 

What Is the Most Expensive CryptoKitty?

The most expensive cat, sold in 2021, was Founder Cat #40. The cat sold for the Ethereum equivalent of a little over $1.06 million. The cat is orange in color and sits on a green background with similar-colored eyes. 

What Happened to CryptoKitties?

In the beginning, this game was one of the hottest on the blockchain, and believe it or not, it still has somewhat of a user base. In 2018, CryptoKitties spun off into Dapper Labs, and since then, several blockchain games have popped up, increasing competition. 

At the same time, a separation in the game between rich players and players with average income began to cut into trading profits, resulting in less demand. According to a 2021 research paper published in Frontiers in Physics, the rapid decline from stardom was largely the result of this divide and a reduction in trading profits for the average player. 

Are CryptoKitties Free?

No, the price for a cat in the game ranges from a few bucks to more than $1 million. 


Final Word

At the end of the day, the big question is whether or not you should buy CryptoKitties. If you’re looking at it from an investor’s point of view, the answer is probably not. 

Sure, there’s a chance the game will rise to stardom in the metaverse yet again. But there’s a larger chance interest in the game will continue fading as increasing competition with more intriguing functionality hits the blockchain.

While the heyday of the CryptoKitty may be in the past, it was fun to watch the rise and eventual fall of the game, and it’s impossible to discount the integral role it played in the development of the metaverse of today. 

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GME is so 2021. Fine art is forever. And its 5-year returns are a heck of a lot better than this week’s meme stock. Invest in something real. Invest with Masterworks.

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Joshua Rodriguez has worked in the finance and investing industry for more than a decade. In 2012, he decided he was ready to break free from the 9 to 5 rat race. By 2013, he became his own boss and hasn’t looked back since. Today, Joshua enjoys sharing his experience and expertise with up and comers to help enrich the financial lives of the masses rather than fuel the ongoing economic divide. When he’s not writing, helping up and comers in the freelance industry, and making his own investments and wise financial decisions, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife, son, daughter, and eight large breed dogs. See what Joshua is up to by following his Twitter or contact him through his website, CNA Finance.

Source: moneycrashers.com

The Cheapest Neighborhoods in Kansas City for Renters in 2022

There’s no shortage of things to do in Kansas City.

This popular tourist destination is also home to many renters who enjoy a great job market and a low unemployment rate. Kansas City is known for its thought-provoking art, museums, culinary delights, entertainment venues and myriads of fountains. Some even state that Kansas City boasts more fountains than Rome itself.

Whether it’s touring the National WWI Museum and Memorial or planning a family-friendly trip to the Kansas City Zoo, interactive experiences await in this “City of Fountains.”

What is the average rent in Kansas City?

Many renters enjoy the flexibility and excitement that Kansas City has to offer. As of Jan. 2022, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Kansas City is $1,341 per month. However, you can still acquire a comfortable two-bedroom apartment by selecting one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Kansas City to settle down.

The 10 most affordable neighborhoods in Kansas City

Budgeting is essential when renting. However, even individuals watching their money can still experience what people love about Kansas City without breaking the bank.

Here, we’ll check out the 10 cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City to help give you a better feel for each one.

10. Barry Harbour

Barry Harbor

Barry Harbor

Source: Rent.com/The Heights at Linden Square
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,238
  • Rent change since 2021: +0.98%

Barry Harbour is a highly residential neighborhood with multiple apartment complexes and townhomes. In fact, several of these are right by Wood Bridge Park. Tenants enjoy walking or driving to this large green space to decompress and relax. Nearby, Highlands Performance Volleyball Club provides training and team play for school-aged girls.

Schools in Barry Harbour include Hopewell Elementary School and LEAD Innovation Studio. Right outside the eastern boundary of Barry Harbour is PowerPlay Metro North Entertainment Center, an entertainment venue with arcade games, laser tag, a carousel and go-karts. In addition to being a family-friendly area, Barry Harbour is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Kansas City.

9. Hill Haven

Hill Haven

Hill Haven

Source: Rent.com/Bennington Park Townhomes
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,162
  • Rent change since 2021: +6.19%

Hill Haven has a broad stripe of green space running down its center. It consists of Hidden Valley Park, with wide, open tracts of land, walking trails and a sports field. Hidden Valley Park encompasses 193.2 acres and some of the land operated as a radio-controlled airplane airfield in the past. In fact, locals sometimes still refer to it as the “Airplane Park.”

Commercial businesses appear throughout the neighborhood of Hill Haven, and many of its apartment complexes and townhomes are close to Hidden Valley Park. The Missouri River runs along Hill Haven’s southern edge. This beautiful and naturally breath-taking area is also one of the cheapest places to live in Kansas City.

8. South Side

South Side

South Side

Source: Rent.com/Meridian at View High
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,123
  • Rent change since 2021: -2.71%

The South Side is a larger residential area with much to offer. Its attractions and employment opportunities make it a popular neighborhood in Kansas City. For example, the Kansas City Zoo is here, with more than 200 sprawling acres and approximately 1,700 animals to view and interact with. The Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City is also on the South Side, offering interactive exhibits to the public. Young children learn about a variety of subjects, including math, art and science.

Many medical centers are in or near the South Side, including University Health Lakewood Medical Center, Saint Luke’s East Hospital, KU Medical Center, Research Medical Center and Rock Hill Medical Plaza. The South Side is also one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

7. Columbus Park

Columbus Park

Columbus Park

Source: Rent.com/One Light Luxury Apartments
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,117
  • Rent change since 2021: +0.40%

Columbus Park has intermittent green spaces and delicious eateries. The Garrison Community Center is over a century old and a well-known community hangout. Its activities, events and clubs help keep youth, adults and seniors engaged. Columbus Square Park allows individuals to unwind after a long, hard day at work, and Harrison Street DIY Skate Park attracts experienced and novice skaters.

Local cuisine includes Vietnamese specialties at the Vietnam Cafe, Italian food at Garozzo’s Downtown and classic brunches at Happy Gillis. Moretina’s Caddy Shack is a popular place to grab a beer or have a glass of wine. The interactive neighborhood of Columbus Park is also one of the cheapest places to live in Kansas City.

6. Fairlane

Fairlane

Fairlane

Source: Rent.com/Haven Apartments
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,107
  • Rent change since 2021: +8.38%

Fairlane has multiple schools to choose from, making it perfect for renters with young or growing families. The Hillcrest Community Center provides events for all age groups and is a great place to socialize. South of the community center sits Jerry Darter Park, where children enjoy a nice playground area.

The residential neighborhood of Fairlane is complete with businesses, pharmacies, churches and restaurants. Its affordable housing and family-friendly community are a bonus considering it’s one of the cheapest places to live in Kansas City.

5. Quality Hill

Quality Hill, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Quality Hill, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Source: Rent.com/Summit on Quality Hill
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,057
  • Rent change since 2021: -5.84%

Quality Hill is abuzz with excitement. Positioned close to Downtown, this neighborhood is unique in its own right. Quaff Bar & Grill is a sports bar serving up cold drinks, classic food like wings and burgers, live music, dancing, games of pool and more. Peanut Downtown is also a well-rated bar and grill with a rich history. It’s Kansas City’s oldest bar, and it operated as a speakeasy in 1933 before the government repealed Prohibition laws.

Not far away, you can enjoy a well-seasoned steak at The Majestic Restaurant while swaying to live jazz in the background. Quality Hill is a happening place, especially for one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

4. East Side

East Side

East Side

Source: Rent.com/Hampton Court
  • Average 2-BR rent: $896
  • Rent change since 2021: +13.04%

The East Side neighborhood covers an immense area and comprises multiple districts. It’s home to Arrowhead Stadium, where professional football games and large concerts last well into the night. Right across the way is Kauffman Stadium, where baseball fans holler for their favorite teams.

There are plenty of family-fun activities on the East Side, too. Play arcade games, mini-golf, speed around in go-karts or test your skills out at the batting cage when you visit Cool Crest Family Fun Center. With plenty of businesses, schools, parks, restaurants, entertainment venues and golf courses, the East Side is one of the busiest places in Missouri. It’s also one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

3. Park Farms

Park Farms, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Park Farms, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Source: Rent.com/Park Meadows
  • Average 2-BR rent: $856
  • Rent change since 2021: +4.87%

Park Farms has clusters of housing and schools. This highly residential neighborhood is not far from Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park. Here, individuals take to the skies via a zip line, hone their ax-throwing skills and navigate their way through various outdoor obstacles.

Park Farms also has its own green space, Cave Spring Park. Cave Spring Park is a National Historic Landmark with trails, picnic tables, a pavilion and a play area. It’s also dog-friendly, though the park does request that dogs stay on their leashes at all times. Park Farms has easy access to other parts of the city and is currently one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

2. Ashland Ridge

Ashland Ridge

Ashland Ridge

Source: Rent.com/Harvard Court
  • Average 2-BR rent: $832
  • Rent change since 2021: +5.51%

Ashland Ridge is known for its unique restaurants and bars. Witness authentic Italian cuisine at V’s Italiano Ristorante, mouthwatering tomato-free chili atop burgers, tacos and spaghetti at Dixon’s Famous Chili Parlor and flavorful Mexican food at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant. Sit back and sip cocktails at the Time Out Lounge or head on over to Harvey’s Neon Bar for a quick bite to eat and a cold beer.

One of Ashland Ridge’s primary attractions is its proximity to large venues like Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium, which are only a car ride away. Sports fans will enjoy being able to hop in the car and head to a nearby game. Currently, Ashland Ridge is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Kansas City.

1. Loma Vista

Courtyard Apartments, the cheapest neighborhood in Kansas City, MO

Courtyard Apartments, the cheapest neighborhood in Kansas City, MO

Source: Rent.com/Courtyard Apartments
  • Average 2-BR rent: $787
  • Rent change since 2021: -17.48%

Loma Vista is a largely residential neighborhood ripe with schools, a public library, pharmacy, restaurants, churches and businesses. Loma Vista has a small park, Schumacher Park. If you’re a nature-lover and want more green space, Loma Vista is exceptionally close to the Blue River Glades Natural Area. Follow along the Eddy-Ballentine Trail, where individuals can walk or hike.

Heart of America Golf Course and Hillcrest Golf Course are also nearby for those who enjoy a good game of golf on the weekends. In addition to being a rather large neighborhood with affordable apartments and housing, Loma Vista is also currently the cheapest neighborhood in Kansas City.

The most expensive neighborhood in Kansas City

Crown Center is a prestigious neighborhood in Kansas City. It has the finest shops, boutiques, attractions and restaurants in Missouri. Everything you can want or imagine is right within this neighborhood, from live theater to an extensive aquarium to swanky shopping centers. Finding things to do in Crown Center is never an issue, so it’s no wonder that it’s the most expensive neighborhood in Kansas City. Currently, the average two-bedroom rent in Crown Center is $2,425, and there has been a 3.67 percent rent change since 2021.

Find an affordable neighborhood for your next apartment

We are here to assist you in your search to find apartments for rent in Kansas City. The cheapest neighborhoods in Kansas City mentioned here will put you well on your way to locating the perfect place to settle down.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory as of Jan. 2022. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches

Ismail Sadiron / Shutterstock.com

WD-40 is marketed as a “multiuse product.”

The spray is known for the capabilities for which it’s usually enlisted — such as lubricating squeaky hinges, loosening rusted parts and driving out moisture. In fact, “WD” stands for “water displacement.”

But WD-40’s uses extend well beyond those tasks.

The San Diego-based WD-40 Co. offers thousands of uses for its namesake product on the WD-40 website, including 2,000-plus uses contributed by the product’s devotees.

Folks have been discovering more uses since the original WD-40 product was developed in 1953 after 39 failed attempts. (Thus, the “40” in its name.)

We’ve rounded up some of the least known but most helpful uses.

If you try a new use for WD-40, test it in a small inconspicuous area first. WD-40’s list of fan-submitted uses notes that the company has not tested those suggestions and that “customers should exercise common sense whenever using WD-40” and read the label.

1. Remove dead bugs and bird droppings

couple taking a road trip in a convertible
AlessandroBiascioli / Shutterstock.com

Is a summertime road trip in your recent past or near future? When the fun is done, remember that WD-40 has been used to remove dead bugs plastered onto everything from car radiators to boat windshields and golf carts.

You can also reach for that familiar blue can the next time you find bird poop peppering the hood or roof of your car.

Just don’t store the can in your car if it’s one of WD-40’s aerosol products. As we explain in “Never Leave These 9 Things in a Car“:

“Aerosol cans — such as those containing spray paint, sunblock or deodorant — shouldn’t be kept in your car, since they are sensitive to heat. The contents of pressurized cans may expand, possibly causing them to explode.”

2. Remove adhesive

Stickers on window
InnervisionArt / Shutterstock.com

Give your fingernails a break. Whether you’re trying to peel off a stubborn sticker, decal, price tag or tape, WD-40 can help. It also works on adhesive residue that has been left behind by stickers.

If you don’t have WD-40 on hand, vinegar, baby oil and baking soda can work for this purpose, too, as we’ve reported.

3. Remove coffee stains

couple eating breakfast in bed
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Examples of successful removal listed on WD-40’s website include coffee stains on cups, tables, counters and floor tiles. Just be sure to wipe up all fluid after cleaning floors so no one slips.

Baking soda can also remove stains from coffee mugs, as we explain in “7 Household Uses for Baking Soda.”

4. Clean shoes

shoes
Natalia Deriabina / Shutterstock.com

Paint or grass stains on your favorite sneakers? Dog poop or salt in the crevices of your boot soles? WD-40 has been used to tackle it all.

Tip: Enlist an old toothbrush for the job. They’re good for cleaning various nooks and crannies, including those in the soles of your shoes, as we report in “7 Ways to Use Old Toothbrushes.”

5. Unstick gum and glue

Tennis shoe with gum on the heel.
Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

WD-40 has been used to remove chewing gum that was stuck to hair, shoes, concrete and lunch trays.

It’s also been used to remove glue from carpet, leather and other surfaces; remove hair-extension glue from hair; and remove glue stains from jeans.

6. Keep squirrels at bay

squirrel
Malachi Ives / Shutterstock.com

WD-40 Co. CEO Garry Ridge told the Los Angeles Times that his favorite story about an unusual use for WD-40 involves a woman who sprayed it on her backyard bird feeder pole because squirrels were filching bird food.

Petroleum jelly works for this purpose as well, as we detail in “9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline.”

7. Wipe away permanent marker

professor using a whiteboard
Rido / Shutterstock.com

Did you or the kids unwittingly pick up a Sharpie and go to town on the dry-erase board? The damage need not be permanent, thanks to WD-40.

8. Prevent car parts from freezing

vehicle key
Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock.com

A frozen-shut door lock or ice-clogged windshield wiper spray nozzle is the last thing you need when you’re running late to work. Lubricating locks with a squirt of WD-40 before winter can keep them from locking up when icy times return.

For more handy driver’s aids, check out “26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car.”

9. Keep lawn mower blades clean

Teenage boy mowing lawn.
By Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock.com

Spray your lawn mower blades with WD-40 to prevent grass clippings from collecting on the blades.

10. Banish barnacles

Boating
freevideophotoagency / Shutterstock.com

If you’re using a boat, hopefully it’s one that you rent or share rather than own — Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson cites boats in “8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look Dumb.”

But in any case, know that WD-40 has been used to remove even barnacles from the undersides of boats.

11. Fend off wasps

bugs
schankz / Shutterstock.com

For evicting the buggers from a nest or preventing them from building one, users of Reddit’s LifeProTips message board agree on WD-40’s effectiveness. Just don’t spray a nest while wasps are around. As one commenter who made this mistake put it, “They do not like it, and will attack.”

12. Separate stubborn Legos

Kid with Legos
KPG Ivary / Shutterstock.com

Did Junior stick those blasted bricks together a little too well? Use WD-40 to spare your fingertips and nails for a slicker way to pry them apart.

13. Open iced mailboxes

cold
juade2000 / Shutterstock.com

Put the ice pick down. WD-40 is a safer “open sesame” when you find your mailbox door frozen shut.

14. Prevent snow from sticking

Shoveling snow
Chiyaca / Shutterstock.com

Spray your shovel and your snowplow blades with WD-40 to stop snow from sticking to them as you clear the walk.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com

5 of the Biggest Celebrities Living in Calabasas, One of LA’s Most Affluent Neighborhoods

Located in the southwest corner of the San Fernando Valley, Calabasas is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Calif.

Including a portion of the Santa Monica mountains, Calabasas is located just over 30 miles from the downtown core.

The swanky suburb is bordered by Woodland Hills to the northeast, Topanga to the east, Malibu to the south, Agoura Hills to the west and Hiddens Hills to the north.

And the pretty people love it there! In recent years, the city of Calabasas has upgraded its amenities to cater to the luxurious lifestyles of the rich and the famous.

The exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood offers a variety of attractions such as the popular retail and entertainment complex Commons at Calabasas, the Malibu Creek State Park and the Pet Memorial Park, to name a few.

Entrance to The Commons, an upscale shopping center in Calabasas, California.
Entrance to The Commons, an upscale shopping center in Calabasas, California. Photo credit: Lux Blue / Shutterstock

Not to mention the swanky gated communities with spectacular mountain views and large lots for multi-million dollar mansions.

And that’s why a growing number of famous folks have set up residence in this upscale Los Angeles neighborhood. On that note, here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest celebrities who currently live in Calabasas.

1. Kourtney Kardashian

In 2014, reality star Kourtney Kardashian purchased a Calabasas compound with her former partner Scott Disick.

Spanning 12,000 square feet, the stunning Tuscan-style estate cost $8.5 million and had previously been home to NFL star Keyshawn Johnson.

Kourtney Kardashian house in Calabasas
Kourtney Kardashian’s house in Calabasas. Image credit: property – Architectural Digest; Kourtney Kardashian – Toglenn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Featuring 6 bedrooms, 9 baths, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a massage room and gym, the Calabasas compound was designed by lauded architect Richard Landry.

The celebrity house was built in 2011 and sits on a nearly 2-acre lot that offers plenty of room for a huge backyard — that includes covered patios with outdoor fireplaces, a cabana and gazebo, sunken basketball court, pool, spa, fruit and shade trees and a barbeque center.

Buying a house nearby is completely out of reach to those that don’t have a million dollar paycheck; mansions on the same street as Kourtney’s house cost between $20 to $30 million.

Most of Kourtney’s famous family lives nearby in the neighboring city of Hidden Hills.

2. Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith

Power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have one of the most luxurious homes in Calabasas. So much so, it has its own zip code!

The sprawling ranch nestled in the Santa Monica mountains has a man-made lake with views of Saddle Peak.

Jada and Will Smith’s house in Calabasas draws inspiration from Persian, Moroccan, Spanish, and Southwest American cultures.
Jada and Will Smith’s house in Calabasas draws inspiration from Persian, Moroccan, Spanish, and Southwest American cultures. Image credit: Roger Davies for Architectural Digest, inset DFree / Shutterstock.com

The couple purchased the 150-acre lot in 2003, and the 25,00-square-foot home — designed specifically for the Smiths by architect Stephen Samuelson — was completed seven years later, in 2010.

Now worth an estimated $42 million, the highly customized Calabasas compound boasts 9 bedrooms, a home theater, meditation lounge, 8-car garage, tennis court, basketball court and outdoor pool, to name a few of the fabulous features.

To read all about it, head on to our dedicated article on Jada and Will Smith’s many houses.

3. Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O’Connell

Joined by their twin daughters, longtime couple Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell live in a secluded home in Calabasas.

Rebecca-Romijn-and-Jerry-OConnell-house-Calabasas
Celebrity couple Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell live in a 1939-built Calabasas house. Photo credit: Google Maps, inset Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Originally purchased for $1.3 million in November 2000 with her ex-husband, Full House star John Stamos, Romijn kept the Calabasas home that was built in 1939.

In an older interview, the model-actress said cowboy star Randolph Scott was one of the former owners. She also shared an interesting tidbit about the private property.

“[The house] used to be a whorehouse!” Romijn said. “When I found it, two old hippies were living here, and they were like, ‘There’s a lotta sexual energy here.’”

Together since 2004, Romijn and O’Connell were wed at their Calabasas home in 2007.

4. Nas

In 2021, rap star Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones joined the ranks of Calabasas celebrities by purchasing a sprawling estate for $3.5 million.

Rapper Nas' 6,500-square-foot Calabasas mansion he bought in 2021 for $3.5 million.
Rapper Nas lives in a 6,500-square-foot Calabasas mansion he bought in 2021 for $3.5 million. Photo credit: Redfin, inset DFree / Shutterstock

Built in 2007, the 6,500 square foot home features 4 bedrooms, 5.5 baths and 10.5+ acres of land with majestic mountain views.

The newly acquired Calabasas compound also boasts a gourmet kitchen, fireside family room, formal dining room, office, wine cellar, billiards room, wet bar, pool, waterslide and beautiful roof deck with views for days.

And it seems to be a perfect fit for Nas; the rapper, whose debut album Illmatic (1994) is considered to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all-time, has an estimated net worth of $70 million.

5. John Travolta

Legendary actor John Travolta lives with his two children in a Mediterranean-style mansion in Calabasas.

Built in 1993, John Travolta's house is a Spanish-style home
Built in 1993, John Travolta’s house is a Spanish-style house that features an ultra-generous 7,500 square feet of living space. Photo credit: MLS, inset Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Tragically, the Pulp Fiction star lost his beloved wife, and the kids’ mother, actress Kelly Preston, to cancer in 2020.

Just before her untimely passing, the couple purchased a stunning estate for $2.65 million in the celebrity-filled suburb of L.A.

Spanning 7,500 square feet, the mansion boasts 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces, a library, wine closet, dining room, home office, chef’s kitchen, pool, spa and spectacular mountain views.

The romantic Spanish-style home has plenty of outdoor amenities that make the most of the picture-perfect location. It comes with an extensive patio space with a fireplace, a detached pergola lounge, a pool and spa, and gardens with meticulous landscaping.

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Source: fancypantshomes.com

Buy and Hold Defined – Is This the Right Investment Strategy for You?

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Investor Warren Buffett once famously said, “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for 10 years, don’t even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” 

Buffett was describing the buy-and-hold investment strategy. The idea is for investors to research companies before buying shares only in the ones they believe will thrive for the long term.

This passive investment strategy has been used by countless people to build wealth, but what exactly is it, and should you use it in your investment portfolio?


What Is the Buy-and-Hold Investment Strategy?

The buy-and-hold strategy is an investment strategy centered around thoroughly researching a stock, buying it, and holding it for a long period of time regardless of its short-term price fluctuations.


Since 2017, Masterworks has successfully sold three paintings, each realizing a net anualized gain of +30% per work. (This is not an indication of Masterworks’ overall performance and past performance is not indicative of future results.)
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With enough research and fundamental analysis, investors should be able to determine whether the company is successful and likely to maintain that success over the next decade or more. Once you’re confident the company is a strong buy, you purchase the stock and pretty much forget about it.

Over the course of a long-term investment, buy-and-hold investors pay little attention to short-term volatility, remaining confident that their original research will lead to a long-term win.  

Because of the set-it-and-forget-it nature of buy-and-hold investing, following this strategy is considered passive investing. However, passive doesn’t necessarily mean no work is involved. For this strategy to work out well, investors must put in significant due diligence in the beginning and rebalance their portfolios at least once annually. 

There are two ways to go about building a buy-and-hold investment portfolio, either through researching and purchasing individual investments or buying shares of investment-grade funds like exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, and index funds.


How the Buy-and-Hold Investment Strategy Works

Here are the steps to employing this strategy:

Step #1: Determine How You’d Like to Invest

Start by determining how you’d like to go about investing: by purchasing individual stocks, bonds, and other assets, or by purchasing investment-grade funds. 

Keep in mind that while there’s more work involved in choosing individual assets, doing so gives you the most control over your money. 

Step #2: Choose Your Investments

This step will be different for those choosing individual investments and those investing in funds. Here’s how each works:

Individual Investments

When choosing individual investments, research is the name of the game. Think of stocks and bonds that might represent the type of companies you’re interested in owning. Then, thoroughly research the fundamentals of each company 

During this fundamental analysis, pay close attention to the following:

  • The Company’s Current and Historical Success. How successful is the company at the moment? Since you’re buying assets to hold for the long term, it’s important to invest in companies that have achieved a high level of success and are likely to continue to do so. Is the company one of the strongest in its category? Is it profitable? Is it generating substantial revenue? 
  • Economic Moat. Only invest in companies with an economic moat. This is a term Buffett uses to describe competitive advantages like patents and proprietary supply chains that stop competitors from offering the same products. 
  • Financial Standing. Determine how strong the company is from a financial perspective by digging into its balance sheet. Even profitable companies are often funded by debt, which could be a recipe for disaster. Make sure you’re not investing in companies following that recipe. 
  • Management. A company is only as strong as its management team. Look into who’s running the company and their history as executives, both where they are now and at the companies they helped to lead in the past. Is the team one you want at the helm of a company you own?
  • Valuation. Although short-term fluctuations aren’t important to buy-and-hold investors, it is important that you purchase stock at a fair valuation. Using metrics like the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, PEG ratio, and price-to-book value ratio, compare the stock to others in its category and make sure you’re paying a fair stock price when buying shares. 

Investment Grade Funds

When choosing investment-grade funds, you’re letting the fund managers do the work for you, but it’s still important to compare your options. Closely consider the following:

  • Historic Performance. Although historic performance isn’t always indicative of future long-term returns, it’s a good measure of how successful the fund manager has been over time. Look at the rate of returns over the past five to 10 years to get an idea of what you can expect ahead. 
  • Expense Ratio. Investment-grade funds come with an annual cost outlined as an expense ratio, or the percentage of your investment dollars you’ll pay each year to invest in the fund. Make sure you pay the lowest expense ratios possible because high expenses cut into your profits. 
  • Passively Managed. Actively managed funds don’t generally buy and hold assets for a long period of time. As such, it’s important that the funds you choose are passively managed, increasing the holding periods of assets in the portfolio. This will help reduce your tax burden on these investments while allowing you to stick to your strategy of holding assets for the long run. 

Step #3: Buy

Using your favorite brokerage account, purchase the stocks and bonds that you’ve decided have the most potential to generate meaningful long-term returns. If you’re not already working with an online broker, it’s time to start looking around at some of the best brokers online. 

Keep in mind that timing is everything in the stock market. You don’t want to buy on highs just before a correction. One of the best ways to time your buy-and-hold investments is through a gradual process called dollar-cost averaging, which involves making multiple equal investments over a period of time to ensure you don’t buy in at the top.

A common way to buy in gradually is to invest a portion of every paycheck or make automated contributions toward your investments every month or quarter.  

Step #4: Hold

Sometimes the hardest part of using a buy-and-hold strategy is the holding. Markets go up and down all the time. A little market volatility is enough to send some types of investors racing for the exit.  

Buy-and-hold investors who have done their research are holding investments they expect to pay off years down the road, not necessarily this week. Resist the urge to watch the markets every day, because the short-term price fluctuations don’t really matter to you until you decide it’s time to sell your investments. 

Step #5: Rebalance Occasionally

A healthy investment portfolio is one with proper asset allocation, but over time, some assets will move at different rates than others, creating an imbalance. When this happens, your portfolio will either become overexposed to risk or underexposed to potential returns. 

To avoid this issue, investors should rebalance their portfolios at least once annually. Many investors rebalance semi-annually, quarterly, or even monthly. 


Pros and Cons of the Buy-and-Hold Investment Strategy

As with any other strategy for accessing the market, there are pros and cons to consider if you’re thinking about becoming a buy-and-hold investor. 

Pros of the Buy-and-Hold Strategy

Some of the biggest perks to using this strategy include:

1. A Common-Sense Approach

Rather than using intricate technical analysis in an attempt to exploit market volatility, the buy-and-hold strategy takes a more common-sense approach. The goal is to find companies that are successful and likely to maintain their success over time. 

You won’t need complex math, a detailed understanding of technical indicators, or the expertise to find patterns in a chart when taking this approach to investing. 

2. Low Taxes on Capital Gains

Any time you make money in the United States, the IRS wants its cut. That cut is smaller on gains from investments held for a year or more than it is on gains from short-term investments. 

According to the IRS, most investors will pay long-term capital gains taxes of no more than 15%. High-income earners will pay a maximum of 20%. However, short-term capital gains are considered standard income, taxed at the standard income tax rate, which caps out at 37%, according to the Tax Foundation.

3. No Need for Market Timing

You’ll be holding your investments for several years, during which time peaks and valleys will happen. So, there’s no point in trying to time the market to find the best entry point. Instead, buy-and-hold investors are better served using dollar-cost averaging to average their entry cost over a period of time. 

4. Reasonable Returns 

Finally, those that take research seriously at the beginning of this strategy have the potential to yield significant long-term returns. While you’re not going to get rich anytime soon using the buy-and-hold strategy, it is a compelling recipe for building wealth over time. 

Cons of the Buy-and-Hold Strategy

Sure, there are plenty of reasons to follow this strategy, but there are a few drawbacks. 

1. Potentially Lower Returns

Passive investing comes with lower levels of risk, but also a lower potential return than active investing. Those with a higher risk tolerance who want to outpace overall market returns are generally better served as active investors.

2. Hard to Hold Through Bear Markets

Following this strategy means you should hold your investments regardless of market conditions. This can lead to painful declines during bear markets that take some time to recover from. 

3. Time to Profitability

Buy-and-hold investments are made for the long term with little concern for short-term growth. As a result, these investments may take a while to pay off, and in some cases, may never reach profitability. 


Is Buy-and-Hold Investing Right for You?

The question of whether buy-and-hold investing is the best option for your portfolio is impossible to answer without knowing more about you. Everyone has a unique tolerance for risk, goals, and financial circumstances. 

Buy-and-hold investing might be best for you if:

  • You Are Risk-Averse. This strategy tends to focus on steady, stable companies with a proven record of success, making it a strong option for risk-averse investors. 
  • You Are Patient. This strategy is a slow-growth option. Although you won’t get rich overnight, it is a tried-and-true way for a patient investor to build wealth over the long run.
  • You Are Busy. Although there is some upfront work involved in this strategy, once your investments are set up, there’s really not much left to do. That makes buy-and-hold a perfect strategy for people who don’t have the time or desire to constantly check in on markets and the companies they invest in.  

Final Word

The buy-and-hold strategy is a compelling way for patient and risk-averse investors to capture the wealth-building power of financial markets. If you choose to follow this strategy, keep in mind that research will be the foundation of your success. 

Take the time to get to know each investment before throwing your hard-earned money into the ring, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the long-term results. 

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Since 2017, Masterworks has successfully sold three paintings, each realizing a net anualized gain of +30% per work. (This is not an indication of Masterworks’ overall performance and past performance is not indicative of future results.)

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Joshua Rodriguez has worked in the finance and investing industry for more than a decade. In 2012, he decided he was ready to break free from the 9 to 5 rat race. By 2013, he became his own boss and hasn’t looked back since. Today, Joshua enjoys sharing his experience and expertise with up and comers to help enrich the financial lives of the masses rather than fuel the ongoing economic divide. When he’s not writing, helping up and comers in the freelance industry, and making his own investments and wise financial decisions, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife, son, daughter, and eight large breed dogs. See what Joshua is up to by following his Twitter or contact him through his website, CNA Finance.

Source: moneycrashers.com