10 May 2021
Have you ever wondered how all of these bloggers and Instagram influencers travel and maintain their budget? Well, we may not address high fliers, but Joe does talk to George Igoe of George Goes Everywhere. He shares with us how to travel and have a meaningful experience for the low, low price of a sole Benjamin. Plus, we will tackle a couple of headlines ripped from the press, humor Doug with his “incredible, mind blowing, fantastic, etc.” trivia, and throw out the Haven Lifeline.
Beverley Schottenstein said two grandsons who managed her money at JPMorgan forged documents, ran up commissions with inappropriate trading and made her miss tens of millions of dollars in gains. So she decided to teach them all a lesson.
“Beverley Schottenstein was 93 years old when she decided to go to war with the biggest bank in the U.S.
It was a June day, and the Atlantic shimmered beyond the balcony of her Florida condominium. Beverley studied an independent review of her accounts as family and lawyers gathered around a table and listened in by phone. The document confirmed her worst fears: Her two financial advisers at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who oversaw more than $80 million for her, had run up big commissions putting her money in risky investments they weren’t telling her about. It was the latest red flag about the bankers. There had been missing account statements. Document shredding. Unexplained credit-card charges.
Although some relatives urged Beverley not to make waves, she was resolute. What the money managers did was wrong, she told the group. They needed to pay, she said. Even though they were her own grandsons.
And pay they did. With the help of her lawyers, Beverley dragged her grandsons and JPMorgan in front of arbitrators from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra. She sought as much as $69 million. After testimony that spread over months and ended in January, the panel issued a swift decision in Beverley’s favor.”
In an unfortunate, all too common story of poor financial oversight of family members and a large financial institution, a 93 year-old woman who entrusted her grandsons with her financial wellbeing, Beverley Schottenstein filed suit and won against JP Morgan and her two grandsons, brokers at the bank, for mismanagement of her accounts. She went through a third party to investigate the management of her accounts, and found many alarming investment choices. The suit filed with FINRA alleged lack of oversight and misappropriation of investment funds that was not conducted in her best interest.
The arbitration resulted in a $4.3 million payment to be paid by JP Morgan, as well as a refund of the money invested in the Caymans fund, deemed too risky for her investor profile. Additionally, she was awarded $600,000 from her grandson, Avi, who was head broker on her account. JP Morgan distanced themselves from the grandsons by terminating their employment immediately.
“Bill and Melinda Gates, the leaders of the world’s most venerated and powerful philanthropy, said on Monday that they were getting a divorce — an earthquake moment in the nonprofit sector.
The billionaire couple sets the strategic vision for the $50 billion Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which they co-founded and which spends more than $5 billion a year on causes like US education and worldwide disease eradication. Their divorce potentially has enormous implications for their work.
The Gateses are America’s most famous billionaire philanthropists, with the power and profile to corral foreign governments, lobby for policy change, and inspire other billionaires to donate their money to charity. During the coronavirus pandemic, Bill Gates in particular has been one of the nation’s leading public health experts, appearing seemingly everywhere in the media and encouraging people to take the virus seriously.
The couple made the surprise announcement in concurrent posts on their personal Twitter pages. Upon posting the announcement, Melinda Gates added her maiden name, French, to her Twitter profile, suggesting that she may use the full name “Melinda French Gates” going forward.
In their statement, the Gateses said they would “continue our work together at the foundation.”
“But we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
A Gates Foundation spokesperson said that the philanthropy did not anticipate changes to its work. Both Bill Gates and Melinda Gates will remain co-chairs and trustees of the foundation in their name, a spokesman said.”
This unexpected announcement shocked the world, and sent many of the philanthropic organizations their foundation supports into a tizzy. The couple assured the world that they will continue to work together toward making the world a better place…but how that unfolds remains to be seen.
Joe and OG discuss the financial repercussions of divorce in general – not just how it pertains to the Gateses. From experience, they both advocate for staying on top of all financial matters, not just when divorce is imminent, but throughout the relationship. This is why Joe advocates heavily for a weekly family meeting to discuss all financial matters – from spending plans to where money is saved and invested to visualizing goals and dreams together (and making an action plan to get there).
Interview with George Igoe
George is part of the Million Stories Community, and has dedicated his talents to sharing his experiences traveling on the cheap without sacrificing on the quality of experience. He has canvassed the nation, seeking out destinations where fun can be had and memories made for a maximum of $100.
The process starts by doing research before traveling, ensuring that he doesn’t get caught at a tourist trap and paying $23 for a cheeseburger. Igoe likes digging into a potential destination through Tripadvisor, Atlas Obscura, or just a plain Google search. He strongly recommends going past the first few pages in your searches, however, stating that you’re more likely to find interesting, off the beaten path hidden gems. Staying on the first page of search results will pretty much guarantee you only see the popular tourist destinations – which often carry a higher price tag.
This can also be a way to find undiscovered-to-you destinations in your hometown. By scouring deeper search results, you may very well find a point of interest closeby, and make an inexpensive staycation out of a free weekend. In fact, Joe confirms this was his experience with Cheryl when they left Detroit for a few years and then returned, stating, “I went and saw all this stuff that, having lived there before, I never did.”
Tips for traveling in luxury on the cheap
- Just because you have a $100 budget does not mean you necessarily have to be relegated to the nosebleed seats on your transportation method of choice. George is a huge proponent of stacking credit card and frequent flier rewards to enable a low out-of-pocket trip. George mentions that taking advantage of credit card sign up bonuses is a big win category. Then, spending prudently and paying off the credit card like clockwork every month allows for quick accumulation of rewards that can be applied towards luxury air travel.
- Signing up for local tours is a win-win, especially in these trying times. You are likely to be able to strike up deals with local tour operators who may otherwise remain idle. These opportunities can be a goldmine of off-the-beaten-path tours where you will dive deeper into the local culture and history.
- For a more authentic experience, seek out local restaurants. It is a good sign to see locals packing a little diner that is tucked away from the main touristy routes. You’re likely to enjoy a better quality food experience at a better price. You can also mingle with the locals and truly savor the experience.
- Lean in and embrace quirky, unique opportunities. The example both Joe and George use to personify this tip is a local corn maze that is only available in the autumn months. While it may not be high class and high culture, the experience you can share with your partner and friends will be a memorable experience you’ll cherish forever.
- Go in with a positive and humble attitude. Be ready to learn something new, often at the expense of your pride. You can’t live like a local without a learning curve, after all.
About Million Stories
This is a series about great ways to use money mindfully. George got connected through a friend who knew people at the site that were seeking out someone who makes videos about traveling on a small budget. The content that George had already created on his YouTube channel was a perfect fit and demonstrated his ability to mesh well with the existing team.
Joe’s Mom’s Neighbor Doug
Q: What country is the band U2 from, and bonus points for the city?
A: U2, and frontman Bono, are from Dublin, Ireland
Happy Small Business Month, Stackers!
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Haven Lifeline Call
Bill from Charleston, SC, asks: if he dies while covered by a term life insurance policy, will his wife have to pay taxes on the money from the insurance company?
Per our resident CFP professional, proceeds from a life insurance policy are 100% tax-free. Keep in mind that other accounts on which a loved one is a beneficiary may not be entirely tax free. Plan your estate comprehensively and according to your individual situation.
If you have any questions, feel free to call in at stackingbenjamins.com/voicemail. You may even receive a little thank you swag from the show.