Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Being Nice Has Its Rewards: A General Update

Update Gremlin here. Asking nicely has its rewards for sure

Recently Share Builder (SB) offered me a promotion for its new Portfolio Builder type account, which is essentially building an ETF or mutual fund portfolio.  You set up what funds you want, and invest the amount you want divided the way you want.  Each trade is done for $18.95.  They offered me 1 free trade.

At first I misread the email, thinking I had a standard SB free trade I got excited and pondered how to use it.  Then I read the details, and despite being disappointed hatched a plan.  My plan was to ask SB if I could change the free trade into one for SB.  I figured they say 'no', but I asked as nicely as possible and made it almost seem like I had little idea what was going on.  Lo and behold, they replied with an offer of 2 free trades ($6.95 a piece) and asked if that was suitable.  I said yes and thank you of course and had one placed in each account (Roth and taxable).

This brings me to a total of 3 free trades for this year: 2 regular trades and 1 automatic investment credit that I will get for my birthday.  This addition of free trades also got me to thinking about pulling the trigger sooner on my next buy.  My next big buy should be shortly coming in my Roth account.  I have moved all the accumulated dividends and cash from my taxable account into my Roth in order to make this possible.  So look forward to seeing that.

In the mean time I have added more Unilever, UL via Loyal3.  However, I have not been able to add as much as I want because my car needs breaks and my wedding has a leftover cost.  My wife wanted me to get her dress dry cleaned so she can store it away clean.  You would not believe how much it costs to get that thing dry cleaned!

Long UL, see you soon.

- Gremlin

PS - there will be a sports update with the Superbowl and NHL all-star break around the corner.  I also have some potential leads on a side job, but hopefully that works out in the next few months.


  1. They offered you their ETF with a free trade, and you didn't get the ETF but still got free trades to your other accounts? This is amazing that it worked and so funny that you had that idea to play dumb! I have to try things like that more often! Congrats on adding more UL, I'd love to pick up more myself :)

    Take it easy!

    1. Ryan,

      Yes it was well played by me. I think SB saw the opportunity in their mind to give me less, but I still feel like I won this battle. Their Portfolio Builder does have promise if you have a ton of money and no time. People can set up a series of ETFs or other funds and make one buy and it splits the money between those ETFs/funds at a % identified by the user. So every time you want to make a buy you just log in and hit go. Novel idea, but not for me.

      Thanks for the comment,

  2. DG,

    Well done, sir, well done! :) It's amazing how asking nicely sometimes gets you what you want.

    And happy to hear you bought some more Unilever. As you've probably already read I'm a huge fan of the company, not only as an investor, but also as a customer. That's one of the main reasons why I so strongly believe in their business model, products and future growth.


    1. NMW,

      Tell me about it. One time I got an iPod for $30 (this was almost 9 years ago now), because the one I had stopped working almost 1 month after the warranty was up. It had been bought as a gift, so I did not know the exact date. I went to the closest Apple store and went through the motions being nice and they gave me one for the cost of the warranty. Pretty awesome.

      Yea we have UL products in the kitchen and bathroom. Probably buy someone of theirs once a week, especially if I splurge and get some Ben and Jerry's Cinnamon Bun flavor ice cream (personal favorite).

      Thanks for the comment.