Closing up for the Holidays, see you in 2014

Happy Holidays

Once again the blog is closing up for some R&R holiday time. You’ll still be able to poke around to your heart’s content, but I won’t be available to respond to questions or comments until after the New Year. But before this year slips away, I did want to say….

Have a Wonderful Holiday

and a

Happy, Healthy and Prosperous

New Year!

Oh, and if you need some ideas for toddler Christmas gifts here’s How to Give Your Kids the Best Christmas Ever. For less than 5 bucks.

And while you read the rest of this post you can listen to a bit of seasonal music from the USAF Band. Fun to watch it come together, too.

Friday December 20th the S&P brushed 1824 the year’s high, before it closed at 1818. This is notable because back in January I wrote a post titled How to be a Stock Market Guru and get on MSNBC. In it I invited readers to enter the first annual Rukeyser Memorial Market Prediction Contest. Upon my return we’ll review the results but you might want to start thinking about your own predictions for 2014 in case you choose to enter.

Oh, and my prediction for the year’s high? 1825. Not bad, eh? If you are curious you can read that post and find out how I did it. And why it is meaningless.

Meanwhile, as always when I leave for a bit, here’s a collection of random stuff that has caught my eye over these past few months. Enjoy!


Mount Rainier casting its shadow. Up.

submarine under street

What’s cruising under your street?


For those not afraid of heights

When I went to FinCon back in October there were some 499 other financial bloggers there. Now I like to keep on top of this stuff as much as the next guy, but candidly I’m not going to wade thru 499 blogs to find the good stuff. Turns out, my pal JMoney does it for me and if you head on over to his site — Rockstar Finance — and subscribe he’ll do the same for you.

Each day he’ll shoot you an email with three suggested posts. It’s a great way to sample what’s out there. You might even find the occasional jlcollinsnh post. Not nearly often enough, but so far J$ has resisted my idea that Rockstar Finance really only needs one Rockstar…

old west

How the Old West really looked


How much caffeine do you get?


This is corn, and yes you can eat it.

The Global Rich List

tribal girltribal guy

Think the world is getting small and we are all becoming the same? Maybe not.

war statue mamayev-kurgan-4[3]

Soviet War Memorial: Notice how tiny the real people are.

A couple of videos:

Fine dining on tarantulas, cockroaches, scorpions and cow eye balls at

The Waldorf Astoria

At least they’re cooked.

13-year-old gives a TED Talk

chinese towers

The Towers of Kaiping


Giant Arrows Across America

I didn’t know about these. Did you know about these?

Shark Bay

Where the red desert meets the blue ocean. Shark Bay, Western Australia

Since it is the holiday season and you’ll likely be spending time with close friends and family, let’s take a moment and examine the power of “strong ties” and “weak ties.”

USA by Brits

The USA as seen by Brits

WWII bomber

More color photos from WWII

Some interesting reads:

finding home in burgundy

What to get me for Christmas

bear made of tires

Ever wonder what happens to your discarded car tires? Yong Ho Ji might just have released their animal spirits.


Itchy Feet blog

Itchy Feet, the book

And finally remember in the coming New Year…..

Fear, the other side

See you in ’14!

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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


    • jlcollinsnh says


      Imagine all the hypnotizing internet time-wastage it took compiling all those… 😉

      Great to see you back posting, BTW.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

  1. JP says


    Those arrows were used to guide pilots to navigate across the U.S. before GPS, radar and radio technology was reliable and available. The technical term for them was “Airway Beacons”. If you want to know more about this, Wikipedia has information about them as a well as Tumblr.

    Happy Holidays for you and your family!


    • jlcollinsnh says

      My pleasure Jason!

      Hope your holidays were joyful!

      We spent ours in Guatemala and are trying now to readjust to the cold and blizzards of NH!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks DM!

      It is, especially in balmy Guatemala where we were!

      Back to soaking up the ice, snow and cold here in NH while you, I’m guessing, are back in sunny FL.

      Here’s to another great year in ’14!

  2. Pura Vida Nick says

    Stop giving me such interesting links to explore! I read the article in the link, it fascinates me, so I start checking out the rest of THAT site, come back to this post, find another interesting link, and the cycle repeats. I learn a ton but next thing you know it’s been 2 hours! Feliz año nuevo!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Glad you liked it, ersg!

      It’s from one of my more widely traveled friends.

      Nothing like a good laugh to start off 2014. Have a great year!

      BTW, are you living in Singapore now or planning to move there when you retire?

  3. Brad@RichmondSavers says

    Thanks for linking to my Vanguard article — I really appreciate it!
    I hope you enjoyed the holidays and here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful 2014 🙂
    I really enjoyed reading your articles this past year, and your Stock Series undoubtedly changed my life…

    • jlcollinsnh says

      My pleasure Brad… was great stuff.

      I’m honored you’ve found such value and enjoyment here.

      All the best in ’14 to you and yours as well!

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