Ah yes, the good ol’ AP rankings. I personally love the ranking system as it adds a much needed pressure to compete at the highest level for these young men.
Another thing I love is rooting for your alma mater (Go Utes!). That adds a sense of belonging to something or someone you normally wouldn’t talk to or get along with.
Now if Utah can win a few more games, they will be headed to the Pac12 Championship against, most likely, the Oregon Ducks (quack-quack-quack!). Now that would be the game of the year!
Boy did I ever think that I would be financially independent.
For those of you who do not know what FIRE stands for, it is Financially Independent, Retire Early. Notice the comma there. The first part leads to the second part. I used to be constrained by loans on loans on loans. Now, I have almost accomplished all of my financial goals. One last one to achieve: home ownership.
When thinking about where I have come, it amazes me. I started with roughly 75K of debt University of Utah debt and have brought that down to 0. I had a 13K car that I paid off in less than 6 years. I had family loans that I paid off immediately (well, within a few weeks). Now, the only tie downs are my annual renter insurance, bi-annual car insurance, and monthly lease payments for rent. If you don’t call that financially independent, then I don’t know what you would.
The reason I have put off home buying is because of my current situation. I live across the street from work, so the commute is heavenly. I am currently obtaining my CPA, so all my attention and time is on grasping that title. Lastly, the market is at a max, so I want it to die down before I make the big call. The last point I just mentioned is the most important for me. I want to buy something when it is down, so that I can have appreciation in value…similar concept to the stock market. Buy low, sell high.
According to all of the recent articles/videos/news stations, it seems as if another recession is going to occur in the next year to year-and-a-half. I will wait it out until then.
One food for thought to leave you all with: what are your financial goals, do you have them mapped out, and when will you consider yourself to be financially independent? If you are already there: congrats! Now what are you going to do to retire early?
Fun fact of the day:
There is only 1 perfect NCAA Men’s Basketball bracket left (see picture). For reference, if every game were a coin toss, the odds of predicting 48 in a row are 1 in 281,474,976,710,656. So, yeah, this is kind of impressive!
The time has finally come: NO MORE DEBT. It is crazy to say and even crazier to think that said has occurred. What a ride it has been. With the help of discipline, friends, and family, I was able to pay off my last $5K student loan through the UofU and my $13.1K car that was financed. Both of which had an interest rate of 3.9%.
However, the student loan could be paid off monthly via a credit card. Such an interesting and dangerous concept: paying off debt with debt.
It will be extravagant to see what happens to the precarious student loan “bubble”. Will it burst and cause the next financial downfall? My money is on yes! The real question will be…who will be stuck in the middle of it with all of the pain and suffering to come?
It’s a three-peat for me! Wow, it feels amazing to join CES once again this new year. CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show and occurs in January each year. Please enjoy the below videos. They will show you what occurs at the event more than words can describe here.
Any questions or thoughts? Please reach out on LinkedIn (Alexander Ricketts) or Facebook (X-Man Az).
It’s a three-peat for me! Wow, it feels amazing to join CES once again this new year. CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show and occurs in January each year. Please enjoy the below pictures. They will explain what occurs at the show more than words can describe here.
Volunteering brings a human some sense of gratitude, belonging, and self-worth. There are many words that describe the act of giving. Not in the monetary sense, but more of time spent to help others.
Andre House in downtown phoenix is a meaningful experience. You get to prepare, serve, and clean-up the food you give to the local homeless population. The time spans 4 hours and flies by because you are having fun! I highly recommend it to anyone that would like to do more in this world.
To give of oneself is to respect others. Be that light to someone’s day. Say those few words that make the biggest impact to a random stranger. Don’t forget to always be grateful for what you have and to say “Please” and “Thank you”.
The day has finally come: FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) STUDENT LOANS ARE NO MORE. The milestone of debt-freeness (I might have just made up that word, oh well) is one which words cannot express how satisfied I am. It is like winning a championship in your favorite sport or achieving a perfect 4.0 in school: not many people do it as quickly and easily as I did. Conquering something that has had so much weight on your shoulders is gratifying; so much weight that you don’t even need a gym membership because you’re “that” in shape.
The 6 total loans spread from 2011 to 2015. Each year you have to fill out the FSA application to determine how much money you will be granted. All of these funds have to be paid back if you do not qualify for Pell Grants (which are basically free money). Some of the loans are subsidized, while others are unsubsidized. The former equates to no interest being accrued while you are in school. The latter has interest while you are in school. By the time I graduated in 2016 with my MBA, I had just under $10K in interest that had been accumulating.
I am beyond humbled and grateful for the support and motivation my family and friends have provided. My family loaned me 2 lump sum amounts of $5K each. One loan I paid off within 2 weeks. The other loan I will be repaying within the next 4 weeks. Most people do not have this luxury of cash liquidity. I call this type of financing “bootlegging”, or straight-up using the resources you have right in front of you. Borrowing low-dollar amounts (okay, $5K can be “high” depending on how you look at it) and paying them off quickly, can give reason to the creditor (my parents in this case) to not charge interest. Not having that money for 2-4 weeks isn’t that big of a deal, right?
While paying off the FSA loans, I did help others in need when they came knocking at my door. I planned appropriately and trusted them. That trust was never lost (thankfully!). However, I do understand that you cannot trust everyone and caution is warranted when loaning dollar-dollar bills y’all.
The overall journey was tough, sacrifices were made, and lessons were learned. I am here to openly discuss and provide bad and good advice (for free of course) to anyone who would like or need it. Contact me on my cell phone, email, or DM. Best of luck to those of you that are still grinding.
The screenshots below are a summary of my total principal. I started repaying my student loans in October of 2016, and finished paying them at the beginning of November 2018 (roughly 2 years). Total principal debt from my undergrad and grad was $61,500 for all FSA loans. The servicer was FedLoan Servicing.
As a side note, I still have over $5K to pay off to the University of Utah. The loan is separate from FAFSA and will come to an end briefly. Stay tuned for that execution, my friends and family.
My questions I pose to you all are: How do we fix this? Who is the “we”? When will tuition stop increasing more than inflation? When will more colleges like ASU offer free tuition (e.g., full-time MBA program)? Will there be a student debt “bubble” that will burst and lead to the ultimate downfall of the American economy?
*Never accepted this loan, hence the $0 Original Balance.
Fun fact of the day:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (abbreviated as FCA) is an Italian and American multinational corporation and is the world’s 8th largest auto maker.
The group was established in late 2014 by merging Fiat and Chrysler into a new holding company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ main headquarters are located in the Netherlands and the financial headquarters are in London for tax purposes.
The company’s portfolio includes automotive brands Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Ram Trucks. Ferrari was spun off from the group in 2016. FCA also owns industrial subsidiaries Comau, Magneti Marelli, Mopar and Teksid. Today FCA operates in 4 global markets (NAFTA, LATAM, APAC, EMEA).
How many of you own one of these cars?
Fun Fact of the Day:
Celsius is so foreign to Americans. Why is that? Well, because we use Fahrenheit. The formula to calculate F degrees is = C * 1.8 + 32 (remember PINK ELEPHANTS MARCH DOWN A STREET).
Now, only the U.S. (including its unincorporated territories), its freely associated states in the Western Pacific (Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands), the Bahamas, Belize, and the Cayman Islands use F degrees.
All other countries in the world now use the Celsius scale, named after Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius, defined since 1954 by absolute zero being −273.15 °C and the triple point of water being at 0.01 °C.
Before 1954, the Celsius scale was based on 0 °C for the freezing point of water and 100 °C for the boiling point of water at 1 atm.
Fun Fact of the Day:
Alexander the Great ruled Macedon. He was born in 356 BC and followed his father in leadership (Philip II). The Greek city Alexandria was named after him.
Fun Fact of the Day:
GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) is a time zone used in some European and African countries; the time can be displayed using both the 24-hour format or the 12-hour format.
UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) is not a time zone, but a time standard that is the basis for civil time and time zones worldwide; this means that no country or territory officially uses UTC as a local time.
Neither UTC nor GMT every change for Daylight Saving Time (DST); however, some of the countries that use GMT switch to different time zones during their DST period.
Fun Fact of the Day:
HDL stands for High-Density Lipoprotein. It absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
In order to raise your HDL levels, there a few things you can do:
1. Eat avocados, fish oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and any omega fats
2. Exercise on a daily basis
3. Quit smoking
4. Lose weight
5. Choose purple produce (contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant)
Have you checked your levels recently?
Ah, yes, the brand-new, all-happening, omnipresent CBD Oil. But what exactly is it and how can it benefit you?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and differs from THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Both are from the cannabis sativa plant though.
CBD does not have the “high” effect of THC. It is a molecule and a cannabinoid. It is one strand found in the plant. There are over 80 other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
Some of the benefits include:
There is a medical article that goes into much more detail here.
CBD can be made from flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp plant or a high-CBD strain of a THC-containing marijuana plant.
There are various ways to consume CBD oil. Here is a list of the most common:
Companies that produce the product can be found on reddit. They are also listed here for your ease of use:
There are also up-and-coming companies that provide reliable products. Some of them are listed here:
Fun Fact of the Day:
Nike was founded on January 25, 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports, by Bill Bowerman & Phil Knight, & officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971.
The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.
Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, & subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International & Converse.
Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) from 1995 and 2008, and previously owned Cole Haan and Umbro.
And so it all comes to a sad end. CES 2018 has officially ended and I cannot wait until next year (check out the videos and photos below).
Some of the biggest hits were:
1. Robot dogs– pet it, feed it, hug it, pick it up. Do as you wish, as this toy is as dog-like as they come. One little note…it has creepy eyes! (check out the video of it below)
2. Fitness trackers– there were compression socks with monitors to diagnose blood pressure, heart beat, etc. Also, shoes and insoles had monitors on them to help use statistics to help individuals change daily habits.
3. MicroLED screens– these bright LEDs allowed for an amazing picture, in what was titled “The Wall” in the Samsung booth (check out the video if it below)
4. 8K screens– double the amount of pixels as a 4K television. However, can an average consumer tell the difference between a 4K and a 8K? My assumption is no. Therefore, although this is a “wow” product, the reality is that this won’t go to market any time soon…especially at the current price point (tens of thousands of dollars).
5. Robot carriers– these help move trash cans, contaminated waste buckets, boxes, and anything else you need moving. Say goodbye to floor workers? Absolutely! I see this as a viable solution to decreasing a company’s SG&A line, decreasing on-site injuries and disasters, and increasing efficiency in the workplace. Plausible locations might take place at retail and manufacturing sites. (check out video of it below)
6. AR glasses– AR stands for augmented reality. Instead of VR, where the individual is fully immersed in a “new” world, AR allows the current “real” world to be seen, with data and information overlayed via smart glasses. This is a strong product in the manufacturing, health (think surgeries), and construction fields.
7. Smart home everything!- yes, there were hundreds of connected devices, all vying for the title of biggest, badest tech device that pairs with Google Home or Amazon Alexa. These included Wi-Fi light bulbs, smart ACs, smart sprinkler systems, smart shower heads, smart refrigerators, and smart stoves (to name a few). Who will be the next big player to integrate the majority of devices used in homes today? My take would be Google.
8. Robots in general– these robots can hang around the home and help protect those inside. Whether it be if someone is seriously injured and the ambulance needs to be called, or if a person wants to Skype her/his grandchildren in another state. Whatever it may be, these robots are the future and are going to help our generation live longer and feel more comfortable on a daily basis. Yes, these are creepy as well!
9. Autonomous driving– driving without the help of a human is Level 5. Every car company is competing vigorously to be the first-to-market for Level 5. Some of the big players include Intel (yay!), Nvidia, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz. One of the most unique technologies in this space is LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). LIDAR uses light laser pulses to gauge how far away objects are from one another.
10. Smart security– companies like Vivint, Ring, ADT, and others are implementing fingerprint detection, 2-way cameras, sirens, and motion and light detectors in order to help secure homes even more. The benefit of some of the smaller companies like Ring is that these devices can be set up with little to no effort, and don’t require a handsome amount of upfront cash to get started. Also, the consumer can cancel services at any time, without penalties.
11. All-in-One devices– I saw a lot of features that were included within all-in-one products. For example, instead of a simple speaker, the product included a bluetooth speaker, radio, night light, weather station, and accepted voice activated commands. The reason for this consolidation of features is to reduce the amount of products that one consumer needs. These solve the problems of clutter and one device not being able to connect with other devices.
Here are the statistics from this year’s massive event:
*As a side note, CES first kicked off in June of 1967, with 250 exhibitors & 17,500 attendees in NYC*
1/8/2018, Las Vegas, NV
Fun fact of the day:
Here is an overview of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, introduced Dec 22, 2017 by President Trump:
1. Top individual tax rate decrease to 37% (previously 39.6%)
2. Still 7 income tax brackets (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
3. Those 7 income tax brackets are as follows: 1- 10%; 2- 12%; 3- 22%; 4- 24%; 5- 32%; 6- 35%; 7- 37%
4. Standard deduction is doubled (single increased from $6,350 to $12K; married/joint increased from $12.7K to $24K) (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
5. Personal exemptions are eliminated ($4,150 could be subtracted for each person before)
6. Most itemized deductions are eliminated (i.e., moving expenses (except military), alimony (paying))
7. Deductions for charitable contributions, retirement savings, & student loan interest are KEPT
8. Deduction on mortgage interest is limited to the 1st $750K of the loan; interest on home equity lines of credit can no longer be deducted; however, current mortgage holders aren’t affected
9. Taxpayers can deduct up to $10K in state & local taxes
10. Medical expenses are expanded in ’17 & ’18 (deduction of medical expenses 7.5% or more of income; previously it was 10% for those born after 1952, while seniors had 7.5%)
11. Obamacare tax is repealed for those w/o health insurance in 2019
12. Estate tax exemption doubled to $11.2M singles and $22.4M couples (changes back to previous levels starting in 2026)
13. Alternative minimum tax increased from $54,300 to $70,300 singles & $84,500 to $109,400 joint; exemptions phase out @ $500K singles & $1M joint (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
14. Child tax credit increased from $1K to $2K; parents who don’t meet threshold to pay taxes can still claim credit up to $1.4K; income level is increased from $110K to $400K for married tax filers
15. Parents can use 529 savings plans for tuition @ private & religious K-12 schools & home-schooled students’ expenses; $500 credit for each non-child dependent
16. Corp tax rate decrease from 35% to 21%
17. Standard deduction for pass-through businesses is raised to 20% (ends in 2025)
18. Pass-through businesses include: sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, S corporations, real estate companies, hedge funds, & private equity funds
19. Deductions phase out for service professionals once their income reaches $157,500 singles & $315K joint filers
20. Interest expense deduction is limited to 30% of income
21. 1st 4 yrs is EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation & Amortizations); then goes back to EBIT (Earnings Before Interest & Taxes)
22. Depreciable assets can be deducted in 1 yr instead of amortizing them over several yrs (equipment has to be purchased from Sept 27, 17 to Jan 1, 23)
23. Carried interest is taxed at $23.8% instead of 39.6% before; firms must hold assets for 1 yr to qualify for lower rate (going to last 3 yrs)
24. Corporate AMT of 20% tax rate is eliminated; companies could not deduct R&D spending or investments in low-income neighborhood
25. System changing from worldwide to territorial system (corporations will not be taxed on foreign profit)
26. Companies can repatriate the $2.6T they hold in foreign cash stockpiles; they pay a 1-time tax rate of 15.5% on cash & 8% on equipment
27. Oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is now allowed
28. Tax credits for electric vehicles & wind farms are maintained
29. Orphan drug research deduction is decreased from 50% to 25% (orphan drugs target rare diseases)
30. Taxes on beer, wine, & liquor is cut
31. Business cuts are permanent; individual cuts expire in 2025 (unless stated otherwise above)
Oh and…those in the 20-80% income range will receive a 1.7% increase in after-tax income and those in the 95-99% range will receive a 2.2% increase. The rich get richer!
CES is just around the corner. It takes place from Jan 9 – 12. My father and I will be attending the 11th & 12th. I cannot wait to take the drive up to LV!
I am now an experienced “CES-er”, having attended this large event the past 2 consecutive years.
Sony will be the biggest surprise when it comes to smartphones during the conference. The Japanese firm is expected to launch several new phones in 2018.
Some of the largest players are Google, Samsung, LG, and Sony.
Last year, Samsung had Virtual Reality “rides” that participants could join in on. These rides flipped, turned, and spun participants in every direction imaginable. It will be interesting to see what Samsung has in store this year. I believe it will be their rumored Galaxy X, which can bend and fold.
Google might feature products such as the Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL phones, Google Home Mini smart speaker, Google PixelBook, and Daydream View VR headset. They have reserved the outdoor Central Plaza of the LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center), plus 8 suites at the Aria hotel.
Sony will most likely reveal it’s new headphones, 4K projectors, Bravia TVs, and Xperia smartphones.
LG will be displaying its lineup of smart TVs, with OLED and FHD technology. Their 88in 8K OLED TV might pop-in with an amazing resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels (record breaker for sure). The LG G7 smartphone and ThinQ speaker could take launch at this year’s conference as well.
This year, the conference will feature smart fridges, 8K televisions, self-driving cars, VR (Virtual Reality), 5G, and AI (Artificial Intelligence).
How many of you will be attending this year’s CES?
Fun fact of the day:
Polarized lenses mitigate glare by using a chemical film either applied to or embedded in the lenses. The chemical filter on polarized sunglasses removes glare by absorbing the incoming horizontal light, while still allowing vertical light. What we perceived as glare is usually reflected horizontal light. The horizontal light that creates the effect of glare is absorbed and nullified by the chemical film on polarized lenses. The lenses only allow vertical light, acting as a chemical Venetian blind.
Fun word of the day: Innocuous- adj., not harmful or offensive
Fun fact of the day:
Sweet Potatoes are extremely healthy for you. They contain the following daily nutrients (1 C; 200 G):
Fun fact of the day:
Speakers and receivers/amplifiers are complicated. But, not as complicated as you would think. There are three main concepts: pressure (voltage), flow (current) and restriction (impedance, coming from the word impede).
Since voltage or pressure is what moves the current, increasing the voltage pressure should increase the current, assuming the impedance doesn’t change. Decreasing the voltage should decrease the current.
On the other hand, increasing the impedance restricting the flow of current will cause the current to decrease, like turning the water hose nozzle toward OFF. Lowering the impedance is like opening the hose nozzle to allow more flow.
This relationship was analyzed by a fellow by the name of George Simon Ohm a long time ago, and he identified a simple formula that is extremely important in electricity and electronics which bears his name: Ohm’s Law.
Make sure you match up your speakers ohms with the ohms of the receiver/amplifier. If speakers ohms > or < receiver ohms, this will result in weak output and poor tone!
Fun fact of the day:
The North Face began as a San Francisco-based climbing equipment retail store, founded in 1966 by Douglas Tompkins and his then-wife, Susie Tompkins.
It was acquired 2 years later by Kenneth “Hap” Klopp.
The north face of a mountain in the northern hemisphere is generally the coldest, iciest and most formidable route to climb.
For a time, the store offered only highly selective merchandise, targeted to climbers and backpackers. By the 1980s, skiwear was added, followed by camping equipment.
How many of you own The North Face gear?
Fun fact of the day:
The words “hot dog” might have come about from a story in the 19th Century. Some say the word was coined in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds on a cold April day.
Vendors were hawking hot dogs from portable hot water tanks shouting “They’re red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!”
A New York Journal sports cartoonist, Tad Dorgan, observed the scene and hastily drew a cartoon of barking dachshund sausages nestled warmly in rolls. Not sure how to spell “dachshund” he simply wrote “hot dog!” The cartoon is said to have been a sensation, thus coining the term “hot dog.”
However, historians have been unable to find this cartoon, despite Dorgan’s enormous body of work and his popularity.
What is your favorite hot dog?
Fun fact of the day:
This one is for all of you Apple (and other “smart” phone) lovers. I recently took a trip into the much-illuminated Apple store to get my brand new battery checked out (and by recent I mean last night, lol). These are the findings associated with prolonging your tiny battery (in terms of mAh, of course):
1. Do not constantly plug in your phone throughout the day. Allow your battery to fully cycle. Let it reach 0%, then charge it thoroughly to 100%.
2. Do not use your phone while it is charging. This equates to double the work for the phone by having it perform output and input tasks simultaneously.
3. Do not put your Night Shift on for long. This actually sucks up more battery than your normal screen brightness. (Settings–>Display & Brightness–>Night Shift–>Choose time range)
4. Turn off most of your location-finding apps; they do not truly need to know your location often, or ever. (Settings–>Privacy–>Location Services–>Choose which apps you would like to have your location…and how often)
5. Turn off most of your Background Refresh on apps; they do not truly need to be refreshed every second. (Settings–>General–>Background App Refresh–>Choose which apps you would like to have refreshed)
6. Make sure your latest iOS is updated
7. Make sure all of your apps are downloaded to their latest updates
Are you going to change your habits? I know I will because a new battery cost was $85 w/ tax, out the door. [Tr]ump change, right?
Fun fact of the day:
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Republic of China.
Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer & the 4th-largest info tech co by revenue. The company is the largest private employer in China and 1 of the largest employers worldwide. Its founder and chairman is Terry Gou.
This massive company produces 2/3 of the world’s iPads.
How many of you own an iPad?
Fun fact of the day:
The *NEW* iPhone X will be available for pre-order on Oct. 27 and will ship on Nov. 3. The price is only $999.
It no longer has a home button and instead has a dedicated Siri button on the right side. On the top of the phone there is an IR camera, which allows the phone to recognize your face completely in the dark.
The screen resolution is OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode), the nicest screen to be put on an apple product to date. The phone can be emerged in 3 ft of water for 30 minutes. Don’t try and do 31 minutes…might not be a good outcome.
Instead of one swipe to get to your notifications, now if you swipe down from the top-left, you get notifications, and down from the top-right, you get the control center.
Will you buy this new phone in November?
Fun fact of the day: Bahama Buck’s is a privately held franchise specializing in shaved ice and other frozen non-alcoholic beverages. The company is headquartered in Lubbock, Texas. It was founded in 1990 by the current president and brand owner, Blake Buchanan.
He started with 1 ice shaver and the hope of a college job that didn’t involve mowing grass or flipping burgers. Constructing the original store by hand, he enlisted volunteer help from 3 generations of his family, staffed it with friends and college students, and opened the doors.
The tropical sensation caught on, and with the help of his wife, Kippi (cool name!), and his friend, Eric Lee (now CFO), the summer job turned into a full-time vocation.
As of March 2017, Bahama Buck’s operates 100 stores (located in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico) with over 100 additional stores in the works. Except for stores operated by Buchanan all stores are franchised.
Have you ever been?
Nothing like a Sunday dinner service to support your local homeless community. Slicing and dicing bread, buttering up each side. No better feeling in this world than helping those less fortunate than yourself. I mean, what is the alternative? Let’s see here…watch Netflix, go shopping, swim at the pool, or sleep. All of which sound particularly inefficient and boring.
I appreciate it when a company as big as Intel provides these types of service events. It gives me motivation to get out of the house and join my coworkers on a weekend afternoon. However, the real thanks goes to the individuals who sponsor and put on these events. Without them this would not be possible. Intel is a large Mothership, and the people make up the whole. Leaders rise to the occasion and help facilitate the get-togethers. After all, companies do not determine what type of person people are, but people determine what type of company they want to work for and how it is perceived by the general community.
I personally want to work for a company that helps make the world a better place. Call it the “basic millennial thought process.” I put in the effort to make this happen.
Fun fact of the day: I usually do not post “opinions,” but let’s try this out. Citigroup has a Mastercard (generally accepted everywhere) credit card titled Double Cash. If you do not use a points card, I HIGHLY recommend this cash card. Individuals earn 1% as they spend, and another 1% as they pay.
Like all other credit cards, it allows users to send text alerts when the card racks up so many dollars (reaches a sum threshold), or when a specific purchase is over a certain threshold (i.e., > $100…or if you are that big spender, always call me before you go shopping, and set your notification limit to $1,000).
The threat detection program works great. I just received a text asking me if I had made a purchase in Austin, TX, to which I called and had my card cancelled straight away (yes, Irish people use this expression) and a new card sent my way.
One of the unparalleled features is the direct deposit for your rewards. You heard that correctly; this credit card allows you to shove your earnings into that huge bank account you have (checking or savings)! Of course, there is always that 1-2 day delay before it is actually liquid “cash.” Another note is that the rewards amount has to reach a total of $25 BEFORE you can redeem any dollar amount. Other options include a check being sent to your residence, a gift card, or a statement credit (which I personally do most often).
One last alteration is the number is on the back (allowing for easier readability and security).
Any questions, let me know!
This year was CES’ 50th anniversary. It had record breaking numbers. I had the pleasure to attend last year’s event and it was so exhilarating (thank you brother). Here are some statistics:
Some of the key highlights encompassed 5G, VR, AR, autonomous driving, Ultra-ultra high-definition TVs (yes, I just made that up), and drones. Sony, Samsung, and LG showed off their baddest TVs. Whether it was 8K, QLED, or OLED. Mass production of these resolution types are within 5 years. So if you didn’t buy that 4K TV this Black Friday, don’t worry, they will be even cheaper in the next 2 years.
Samsung tried to better their name by having a booth solely displayed as “GALAXY.” Since their debacle with the Galaxy Note, reputation has been ruined. This booth included two “rides,” where users could put on a VR headset and twist and turn in the air with a machine. Believe it or not, I was not willing to wait in line to experience this…I was at CES, not Disney Land!
LG had a super awesome clothes steamer DIY system for home use. Just put your suit pants, shirt, and coat in this electric machine, and it will clean your clothes like you took them to the dry cleaners.
LG also had refrigerators that had full-size screens on the front in order to see what food you currently have in the fridge. These screens can tell you your shopping list, or tell you that ice is out and the water filter needs to be changed. I believe some day that all refrigerators will have touch screen fronts to allow users to have more visibility into what they have in their fridge. Eventually, these devices will talk with their owner and help them cook–giving them directions and ingredients to include in meals.
BMW, Nvidia, Intel, and others all displayed self-driving vehicles. BMW’s booth was outside so that driver’s could wait in line and give their cars a test drive. I predict self-driving vehicles will become available to purchase by 2020. The company in the forefront will be Tesla (because of their competitive advantage of first to market with full-blown electric vehicles).
An interesting surprise of companies was American Greetings. They allowed CES-ers to write cards to their friends, loved ones, or peers and send it to this special person, for FREE! Their booth was also outside. They were also making digital cards that included hand-drawn sketches on the computer.
If you could not attend this year, try going down/up next year. If your company does not subsidize your badge entry, it is only $100 to get in for 4 days of awesomeness! Next year’s event will occur Jan 9-12.
Working for a Fortune 100 (#51) company has been amazing. The perks offered are off the charts. The amount of resources provided could make you spoiled. One thing I appreciate most about Intel is the number of Finance get-togethers. You can tell that they truly care about their employees.
As pictured above, I had the opportunity to sit down with fellow coworkers one night and enjoy a bbq. It is pleasant experience to let your mind relax from work for one night and talk about “normal” things with others. Plus, having blow-up slides and corn hole for the kiddos is also wonderful. It allows for people of all different walks of life to come together at a specific point in time and share something common: food and games.
I am excited for the future and cannot wait for what I will bring to Intel in the near future. Cheers!
The best global brands display a drive for growth. They cater towards the customer’s needs. Customers nowadays want things fast. They want it now…not in a minute. Delivering on this want is key.
Companies that have a growth mindset will never fall behind. They are constantly divesting and investing in different business units. Resources are allocated appropriately.
As an Intel employee, it is with bias that I am pleased to announce that Intel has made the Top 100 list produced by Interbrand. We come in at #14. The competition, or where we want to be in the future, is listed below:
Intel was recently put on the 2016 Top 50 list by LATINAStyle, as #10 in best places for Latinas to work. LATINAStyle looked at things such as number of executives, career trajectory, groups supporting Latinas, and flextime.
It is an honor to work for such a diverse company!
With Laptops, 2-1’s, netbooks, and notebooks all decreasing in size, it is of no wonder now to see a tiny 10″ desktop. Yes, you heard me correctly…10″!
It will be available to the public at the end of Sept 2016, for a measly $550.
HP shoved into the device up to 64GB of RAM, an Intel 6th-Gen chip (YAY! :)), and 2TB of Hard Drive (or 1TB if you want it SSD).
Check out the article below if you want more information.
There are many types of USB (Universal Serial Bus). The picture below displays most of them. The most common, which we are all familiar with, is Type-A. This is a large port.
One of the newest is Type-C. This can be inserted into a port either way (thank goodness!). The MacBook was the first computer to use this type. It is about 1/3 the size of Type-A.
There are also different versions of the USB. USB started with 1.0, worked its way up to 2.0, and is now on 3.0. USB 3.0 allows for a faster speed of transfer.
Soon, devices everywhere will be using Type-C (which has the capability to both charge and connect your device to another device).
I had the incredible experience of attending the Economic Summit at the Grand America Hotel in downtown SLC, Utah. I sat in on a panel, representing Simply Mac, Steals.com, and Jamberry Nails. All entrepreneurs start with a problem they want to solve. Eventually they create a solution out of these problems.
It is awesome to see how far Utah has come in the entrepreneur space, and what companies have come to fruition because of the top-talent pool in the Valley. Utah’s economy is booming, housing prices are rising, labor is cheap, and the mountains are 20 minutes away. Who wouldn’t want to start a company here?
And yes, that is my classmate and I “riding” in a Tesla!
I had the privilege to attend an event that only happens so often. In April, Get Motivated came to Sandy, Utah at the South Towne Expo Center off of State Street and 9400 South. This event was from 8am to 5pm, and yes I stuck through the whole thing. But, it was well worth it.
Some of the speakers included: Dr. Keith Jonson, Dr. Willie Jolley, Bob Kittell, and the famous Les Brown. Les chose to be last on the speaker order, in order to see if people actually stayed for the entire seminar.
Speaker topics included: motivation, confidence, real estate, publishing a book, investing, and competitiveness. My favorite topics were confidence and real estate. Right now, the real estate market is doing great. A house offers so many benefits, including tax advantages and an asset that can be sold for a monetary gain.
One of my favorite sayings by a few of the speakers, was that a person needs to know when to let others go. Friends, family members, and acquaintances might not have the same vision you do. If they are constantly telling you “no,” then you will start to believe in the “no.” Therefore, it is best to leave them behind and follow your vision by setting goals. Goals are how you get to your long-term vision. Without goals, a vision seems impossible. But…we all know what impossible really stands for, “I’m Possible!” Just Do It -Nike
Intel recently acquired Yogitech, a company that helps reduce accidents and collisions in self-driving cars or IoT devices. This is a huge step for Intel in their quest to become the biggest and baddest company in the IoT space. Expect many more acquisitions to come within the next 5 to 10 years, specifically IoT companies.
It is nice to have an MBA program that cares about their students. This past weekend, we were given to the opportunity to attend a local hockey game at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah. Most of the first and second year students were in attendance. To be casual for one night is a change. Getting the chance to see everyone in their “normal” clothes is a change. Hearing one of your classmates yell, “Yea, hit him in the face!”, is a change. But guess what, change is good. Without change, companies will not survive in this corporate nation. I have learned to accept and adopt change. This will help me excel rapidly in my career path.
The simple things. Going to the zoo on one of your days off. It was even better because it was a rainy day and most people were indoors, scared to wander the cement. But not my friend and I. We brought an umbrella.
Learning something new every day is something I strive for. Simply reading the plaques that cover ever animal area, knowledge is gained. Even though work is not involved, learning never stops. Try and better yourself as a person. Oh, and do not let the rain hold you back!
I had the tremendous opportunity to attend an entrepreneurship get-together at the Impact Hub in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The VillageCapital Event featured a keynote speaker who is world renowned. Steve Case was the co-founder of America Online (AOL). He is now an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and technology. He recently wrote a book titled The Third Wave, which is set to release April 5, 2016. It can be found on Amazon.com here.
The last half of the event was devoted to leaders from across the United States, telling their story about how they are going to change the way entrepreneurship is thought of, used, and recreating in the capitalist society we live in. It will be interesting to see these cities evolve and help solve some of the world’s biggest problems.