Thursday, July 29, 2010

Free Year of Amazon Prime for Students just launched Amazon Student. One of the benefits offered is a free year of Amazon Prime that gives you FREE Two-Day shipping with no minimum order requirement. For example, if you purchase an item for $10, you don’t have to buy $15 more just to get free shipping. An Amazon Prime membership normally costs $79 per year.

Personally, I'm not able to take advantage of this offer because it requires an .edu Email address. I don't have one anymore, and I haven't had one for a long time.

Anyway, if you are interested this deal, here is how to get a FREE year of Amazon Prime:
  1. Sign up for Amazon Student and sign into your Amazon account.
  2. Enter your .edu email address, state, school, academic level and major.
  3. Confirm your email address.
  4. Get your free 1 year subscription to Amazon Prime.
Actually, one thing that I just thought of while writing this post is that although I don't have an "edu" Email address, I remember that some college alumni associations offer Email forwarding services. I once received a note from my college alumni association that would allow me to get an account that forward e-mail from their alumni Email server. I wonder if that would work with Amazon. Has anybody tried to do something like that?

Anyway, I've digressed... If you are currently an Amazon Prime members. You can get a refund the remaining months left on your current Amazon Prime subscription, if you qualify for this offer and sign up for Amazon Student.

Note that when you sign up, you will get student deals emailed to you. If you don’t want to receive these Emails, then you have to give up the free Amazon Prime membership.

Lastly also sent me a link to their latest Back-to-School Savings deals.

Need money now? Get payday loans from today!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Coke Rewards Codes

Do you know what this is: B4WFFML 5RFRJVH? If you answered that it is a My Coke Rewards Code, then you probably got that from the title of this post. But more specifically, it is a new unredeemed (as of 4/10/12) 14-digit My Coke Rewards Code. For months, I have been hiding My Coke Rewards codes in various posts at I am not sure if anyone has noticed because nobody has asked me what these seemingly random letters and numbers are, or what they are doing in my blog.

The codes can be redeemed at My Coke Rewards for various prizes. I have decided not to use these codes myself, so I have been hiding them in my blog. Any reader who finds one is free to use an unredeemed code. Please post a comment here (or send me an Email message) letting me know which code you've used, so that I will know to hide more codes. This works like an Easter egg hunt for readers to find codes.

Unfortunately, not everybody leaves a comment when they use a code, and you may find a code that is no longer valid. In this case, please let me know that the code is already RNBM (Redeemed Not By Me), and I will erase the old code and hide a new one somewhere else on my blog.

Lastly, I've hidden some unredeemed codes on links that go outside of this blog. So, leave no LINK unclicked! Happy hunting!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Frontier Communications (FTR): A New Stock?

When I last updated my E*TRADE stock portfolio in Microsoft Money, I was surprised to find that a new stock had been added to my portfolio. I was now the owner of 48 shares of Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR) that I didn't purchase. E*TRADE is not in the habit of giving away free stock, so I figured that there must be another reason. I turns out that this stock is due to the spin off on July 2, 2010 of Frontier shares from Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) which I own.

I usually don't get too excited about spin offs because they require me to re-calculate the tax basis of the stock shares that I own. In this case, I need to find the cost basis for both the Verizon and Frontier shares that I now own. Also when I finally sell the stock, I will be charged two sets of commissions -- one for Verizon (VZ) and another one for Frontier (FTR). Thankfully, I was able to find a tax-basis document on the Verizon investor relations website that can help with the tax basis calculations.

The gist of the document is that an owner of Verizon shares prior to the spinoff would allocate 93.7989% of the cost basis to Verizon shares. And 6.2011% of the cost basis would be allocated to shares of Frontier. There is also a small portion of the cost basis that may be paid out as "cash in lieu" (CIL) of fractional shares. If you received case in lieu, you would subtract that amount from the portion that is allocated to Frontier.

Using my own case as an example, I own 200 shares of Verizon. My original cost basis for the 200 shares of Verizon was $6705.00 (including commissions). This works out to $33.53 per share. So after the spinoff, 93.7989% of that amount or $6289.22 is attributed to the 200 shares of Verizon that I own (the new cost basis is $31.45 per share). The portion that is allocated to the 48 shares of Frontier is 6.2011% or $415.78. However, I did receive $0.06 (6 cents) of cash-in-lieu, so I would decrease my Frontier basis by that amount. My cost basis works out to $8.66 per share of Frontier. I have updated these values in MS Money, and will use these as the basis for whenever I decide to sell my shares.

Note that I did notice a few minor errors in the document provided by Verizon investor relations. I plan to contact them about these errors. But for the most part, these errors would not affect your calculations. So, is this explanation as clear as mud?

See Also: Trade Triangle: Frontier Communications (FTR)

NOTE: For more information about the Frontier spin off see also: Update on Verizon Frontier Spin Off

UPDATE: I did contact Verizon investor relations about errors in their document. I have an early version that had some calculation errors and several typos. After Verizon received my message, they updated the PDF document on their website, giving it a new name: "VZ-FTR Cost Basis_V3.pdf". Presumably this is "version 3" of the document. I have updated the links in my post to link to the most current Verizon document.

For reference, I am also including a link to the older cost-basis document without a "V3" in the name. If you examine the second page of this document, you will find that the text refers to an incorrect cost-basis for Frontier of $7.501. Another typo in the second paragraph of the example is that it ends with the term "Frontier sock." This should read as "Frontier stock."

Disclaimer: The example provided here is for illustrative purposes only. I am not providing tax advice, and I encourages readers to consult with a tax adviser if they have specific questions about cost basis calculation.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Wesabe to Shutdown

A while ago, I put up a poll on the sidebar of that asks readers "Which financial account management website do you use?" Readers are asked to vote among financial aggregation sites such as Wesabe, Mint, and Yodlee. After not receiving any votes for Wesabe, I wrote a post asking if anybody uses Wesabe? I didn't know anybody who actually did use Wesabe at the time. But again, I didn't get any affirmative responses.

Now, I have been informed that Wesabe would be discontinued by the end of July. Here is a message that was posted on the Wesabe website (I have kept the original links intact).

Dear Wesabeans,

I am deeply unhappy to have to announce that Wesabe will be discontinuing our Accounts tab, and all of the related personal finance tools we offer, as of July 31st, 2010. The Groups tab, which hosts discussions on personal finance topics, will remain online indefinitely. A FAQ about this shutdown is available.

You will be able to download all of your data from now until July 31st by visiting our export page. After that date, we will delete all data and all credentials we hold for security and privacy reasons. If you prefer, you may delete your membership immediately or at any time before July 31st.

We are planning to offer additional tools for export and use of your data. Future blog posts will go into more detail as we have it ready.

In recent months Wesabe has been operating on a shoestring budget, with support from some of the developers and operations people who made up our core team. While the site has remained online and we continue to hear from people who find it helpful, we have not been able to provide the support people need to use it for something so central as financial management. I've felt especially terrible that some members have a good initial experience but then hit a problem, often after investing many hours, and aren't able to get help with it. That's obviously a bad experience, and not what we want to offer. Also, because Wesabe stores such highly sensitive data, continuing to operate the service with shoestring operations and security staff is not acceptable, and we do not want to continue accepting new accounts if we cannot guarantee the security level we believe our service requires.

Wesabe Groups is easier to host on a low-cost basis, and one of our customers has agreed to fund its continued service. I have always been amazed by how fantastic the conversations in Groups are -- supportive, constructive, and unique. While many or all of the features of our Accounts tab are now available on other sites, our competitors have either dismissed the value of community, or have not been able to create a community as rich as Wesabe Groups, so I'm very happy we are able to keep that part of the service going.

I have had a wonderful time working on Wesabe and have been gratified by the many messages we get from members telling us how helpful it has been. The past five years have been an amazing ride. Of course I wish things had turned out differently and I would not have needed to write this post, but I've enjoyed my job for these years more than anything before it. The people we worked with, the people who supported us, the reward of helping even some people have better financial lives, all of that is irreplaceable. Thanks to everyone who has made Wesabe possible.

We will answer as many questions as possible about the planned shutdown in this Groups thread and update the FAQ as needed.

Marc Hedlund, CEO, Wesabe

I guess that this pretty much spells the end of Wesabe as a financial management site. What will Wesabe users do? Can anybody compare Wesabe versus Mint? Or Wesabe vs. Yodlee? Do readers have any other opinions?


Friday, July 2, 2010

Is Amazon Losing It?

A few days ago, I received an Email predicting that (Nasdaq: AMZN) will experience a substantial pull back from its recent high. The Email links to the following video (below).

If you have any trouble with the video, you can Click here to view it.

Do any of my readers own stock, or have opinion on how it will do?