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FI Weekly – May 3, 2022: Quotes from Berkshire Meeting, I Bonds and Taking Action


Berkshire Annual Meeting: Best Quotes

The Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting  was held this past weekend in Omaha, and Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger were both in top form dishing out wisdom on life, the economy and everything in between.

Here are a few of my favorites (quotes from Business Insider):

  • “Take away the management fees and I’d bet on the monkeys.” (Buffett suggested that most financial advisors are no better at investing than a bunch of monkeys picking stocks by throwing darts at a dartboard.)
  • “We’ve got people who know nothing about stocks being advised by stockbrokers who know even less.” – Munger
  • “The best protection against inflation is still your own personal earnings power. The best investment by far is anything that develops yourself.” – Buffett
  • “Sometimes the stock market is quite investment-oriented, and other times it’s almost totally a casino, a gambling parlor — and that existed to an extraordinary degree in the last couple of years, encouraged by Wall Street.” – Buffett

Interest Rate Increase on ‘I Bonds’

I mentioned in December that Laura and I were each putting $10,000 into the US Government issued ‘I Bonds’ for 2021 and that we’d most likely put in another $20k in 2022 when we found out the new interest rate in May.

Well, the info was JUST updated on the Treasury Direct site (the old-school looking site where you actually buy the bonds online) and the new interest rate for the next six month is a staggering 9.62%.

I don’t know of any other place to get a guaranteed 9.62%, so I’m quite pleased with this as an investing option.

A couple caveats for why this should be considered a medium-term investment strategy: 1) You have to hold them at least 12 months. 2) If you hold them less than 5 years, you lose the last 3 months of interest.


ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Maggie said, “My 1% this week is 12%! Got a 12% raise and joined the six figure club for the first time in my career. You may remember me from around this time last year – I had a crazy story of how I thought I wasn’t making as much as my male coworker because of what he posted on Glassdoor, and my management gave me a raise then. A few months later my boss had medical issues that lasted many months and I had the opportunity to step up and keep things going while he was out, which helped justify the latest raise (as well as me sharing salary ranges of comparable jobs with him). I’m now making just under $21,000 more than this time last year due to the two raises, by advocating for myself – and having an appreciative employer.”
  • Skyler said, “My 1% better is the sum of a whole lot of 1% over the last 18 months. My wife is starting PA (Physician Assistant) school in 2 weeks. Through regular discussions about money since we got married in August 2020 preparing for one income hasn’t been a challenge. We’ve been able to work through hours-long discussions and many budget meetings. So now, we’re able to quickly and effectively have discussions about what we are going to do when we only have one income. Our most recent budget meeting, the one where we are transitioning to one income, was an absolute breeze. Not because it wasn’t valuable. But because over time, we have continued to work at becoming better with our finances, together. Through sinking funds or tracking our spending, we’ve been able to get a great hold on our spending so that the looming cost of PA school isn’t an overwhelming burden. But also being able to continue to live and enjoy our lives once my wife starts PA school is a great benefit of the hard work we’ve put in over the last 18 months. I have no doubt that because of the 1% gains we’ve made and will continue making. We will be able to make the sprint to FI once my wife graduates from PA school.”
  • Joel said, “My 1% better this week was refinancing my student loans again. I refinanced them last summer, getting an excellent interest rate (2.53% fixed). I just got that rate down a month ago to 2.1% fixed for 7 years. It becomes 1% better than previously with the added step of opening a checking account with that company and having my direct deposit go there instead. If I meet their direct deposit dollar threshold each month (which I am able to do then transfer the money out immediately) I get an extra 0.55% off my rate. With that discount it becomes a 1.55% fixed rate 7 year loan. In addition, I was able to convince my wife that paying this off extra early (I’m paying about $300 more per month than the minimum already) didn’t make a lot of sense, so we’re going to put the excess cash into the market. I also set up a donor advised fund for flushing capital gains out of the taxable portfolio with Daffy.org (donor advised fund for you) which has much lower than average annual fees compared to other DAFs. All that combined gives us at least a 1% better. A bit more risk involved than paying down the loan, but the fixed rate loan lets us comfortably keep that leverage and accelerate our savings to meet our goals.”
  • Haley said, “We are making ALL the changes in our life right now! My husband and I just sold our business, a brewery in Seattle, and are in the process of selling our home. We are then moving to Arizona where we can buy twice the house for half the price, and will move into a new home in a great neighborhood and excellent school district in the fall. Until then, we are spending the next ~6mo driving around the country in our small RV with our 2 and 3yo. Once we land in the fall, we plan to mostly live off our savings and enjoy our kids’ younger years in a lower cost of living area doing very part-time work we will enjoy – I plan to teach a financial literacy course I created last fall and my husband wants to do freelance engineering work. Huge leap – totally worth it. You can follow our travels on Instagram @together_we_roll_slowly!”
  • Ben said, “My 1% better for this week was using my taxes to go over and check all my investment accounts were up to date, net worth tracking was accurate, and big picture assets were allocated to match my current and future priorities. My 1.5% better was moving my money emergency/opportunity savings from a low interest free checking account to my higher interest savings account.”
  • Kimi said, “My 1% better this week is that I was able to successfully negotiate a lower medical bill. I had an outpatient medical procedure done at Kaiser in late Feb. I checked their website and got an estimate that it would cost me $500 on average for the procedure so I was prepared to pay that out of pocket. Last month the bill came in at $763.00. It was a bit higher than I anticipated so I contacted Kaiser to ask for a discount. The customer service person said they could only do 5-10% off my bill so I asked if there is anything else I could do. I was going to pay it if all else failed but just wanted to see what they would do. He said that I could file a claim to get it reviewed and I offered to pay $500 to settle it. He took the notes and submitted my claim and said it would take about 30 days for them to review. I said ok, I’ll just wait. I got a call today that they will offer a one time courtesy to me that they will take care of ALL of it. I went from offering to pay $500 to saving myself the full $763! Update: I received an official notice saying my debt was cleared and my balance is officially $0! Wooohoo.”

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