Famous Sports Stars Who Are Known Gamblers

Famous sports stars who are known gamblers, which is really not all that surprising. People need to be able to take chances in order to really become skilled in sports. It takes a lot of energy to build up the skills that are necessary to become a professional athlete. A lot of professional athletes will spend a lot of time trying to make themselves look as muscular and athletic as possible.

They will do this while they engage of a lot of different athletic activities that may or may not be sustainable for people in that time period over the long term. This mindset has not gone away altogether. A lot of people have found that the older ideas of gambling are continuing to have an effect on who they are. This becomes even clearer when reading the biographies of modern athletes who love to gamble.

Pete Rose is an example that a lot of people will know. There have been a lot of sports gambling scandals over the years. A surprising number of them involve Pete Rose, even today. Even though fewer people even know Pete Rose today, his reputation as a gambler lives on and continues to influence portrayals of him. This might be what he is known for historically at this point in time.

Michael Jordan is very famous today. A lot of people will still know the name of Michael Jordan, even though there have been a lot of famous basketball players since then at this point. Michael Jordan is still more famous for being a basketball player than he is for being a gambler, although he is truly both. He is one of the most famous gamblers in Hollywood, with this hobby causing him to lose shocking amounts of money right away.

At least with some of the older professional athletes, the idea of being a famous gambler makes some sense. It’s almost as if some of these stars have managed to have two careers in that way. This is not the case with the young Wayne Rooney, who was already famous for his gambling activities at the age of 25. He managed to lose a lot of money very early, demonstrating that this is the sort of thing that truly can happen to professional athletes who experience an early degree of success.

Some of these athletes might be interested in Red Flush casino games. Of course, a lot of them seem to be very traditional gamblers in a lot of ways. This might be because some of them just started all of their gambling adventures in the days when online casino gaming was still relatively uncommon. However, in other cases, it might be partly due to the fact that a lot of these people are performers who want to do a lot of risky things in public. Gambling in public in front of a crowd just makes a lot of sense to them naturally, even though they might end up losing more money than they would have intended.

Justin Verlander Net Worth

The 2017 World Series is upon us and it features the best two teams in the MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros.  The Astros are in search of the club’s first World Series pennant, while the Dodgers haven’t won the title since 1988.  Many are familiar with the Dodgers ace, Clayton Kershaw, but the Astros have a pitcher of their own that is among the league’s elite.  That pitcher is Justin Verlander.  Verlander is a pitching veteran who spent the first part of his career with the Detroit Tigers before being traded to the Astros earlier this season.  He now is hoping to lead the Astros organization to their first ever World Series title, but to do that he has to get past the Dodgers and their home field advantage.  Despite the task at hand, Verlander’s success on the field has led to Justin Verlander net worth to be $90 million.

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Astros pitcher Justin Verlander

At 34 years of age, Justin has had an illustrious MLB career thus far.  He is a six-time all star who won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2006.  Despite pitching on great teams in years past, Verlander is still looking to become a World Series Champion.  He helped lead the Detroit Tigers to two World Series back in 2006 and 2012, but the team came up short each time.  A World Series championship in 2017 would help to round out Verlander as one of the all time greats on the mound.

The majority of Justin Verlander net worth comes from his on the field earnings throughout his career.  He was the second overall pick in the 2004 draft out of Old Dominion.  His initial contract included a signing bonus of over $3 million, but it wasn’t until later in his career that he was able to really cash in.  After seeing the promise in their young star, the Tigers gave Verlander a five year $80 million contract before the start of the 2010 season.  While this might sound like a lot, it fails in comparison to his most recent contract he signed back in 2013.  In March of 2013, Justin signed an enormous six year contract valued at $162 million.  His total career earnings to date through the MLB total over $170 million.  As for what the future holds for Justin… More money.  He is scheduled to make nearly $80 million over the next three season as part of his contract.  This would easily bump Justin Verlander’s net worth to nine figures.

Verlander is a native of Virgina.  He is more famously known around Hollywood as the guy who is engaged to supermodel Kate Upton.  The couple got engaged back in 2016 and plans to tie the knot in the near future.  When Justin isn’t spending time with his fiancee, he commits himself to charitable work, most notably the Wins For Warriors Foundation.

Using Home Warranties to Guard against Financial Uncertainty

As a new homeowner, you have many things to be thankful for. For starters, you are no longer paying rent, or living with friends and family. You have your own piece of real estate, and that is truly incredible. Homeownership comes with many benefits and responsibilities. For starters, you will be required to maintain your property – upkeep, maintenance etc.

As a new homeowner, you can purchase a condominium, a single-family home, or a town home. Each dwelling is unique. Homeowners association fees typically cover the costs of gated communities, the exterior maintenance of your buildings, the yard and the aesthetics of the complex.

However, when it comes to the internal systems and appliances of your home, that’s an entirely different ballgame. Every homeowner is responsible for his/her systems and appliances. These include washers, microwaves, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, garbage disposal units, ACs, pool motors, garage door motors etc. As you can imagine, these expensive systems need to be covered by a home warranty or a manufacturer’s warranty.

Experts state that for every $100 spent on an appliance or a system, you can expect at least a year’s worth of usage. For an appliance that is nearing the end of its life term, it is probably a good idea to have home warranty coverage for repair or replacement. By contrast, appliances that are brand-new are typically covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. However, it’s equally important to read the fine print of a warranty before you discard home warranty coverage.

How Do Home Warranties Help You Overcome Financial Uncertainty?

Think about the costs of repair or replacement of systems and appliances in the absence of home warranty coverage. According to various authorities, the national average for installing an appliance is $191, with a typical range of $115 on the low end and $274 on the high-end. This figure is attributed to smart home appliances, washers, dryers, stoves, ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, and microwaves. Home appliances cost significantly more than that. Consider the following:

  • A dryer can last between 8 years – 12 years and costs between $400 and $1,000
  • A dishwasher lasts between 8 years – 10 years and costs between $400 and $700
  • A washer can last between 8 years – 12 years and costs between $700 and $1,000
  • A refrigerator typically lasts between 6 – 15 years and costs between $900 and $8,000
  • A range/oven can last between 10 years – 15 years and costs between $650 and $2,000

As you can imagine, these costs can put a significant dent in your savings, in the absence of a home warranty plan. One of the leading home warranty providers is American Home Guard. This home warranty company has been operational for 4 years and it covers a wide range of appliances such as HVAC units, pools, spas, appliances and systems.

Costs of Home Warranty Coverage by American Home Guard

There are plans starting at $530 per year for the red/white plan, while the blue plan costs $600 per year. Among the many benefits of selecting this company for home warranty coverage are the following:

  • Fully comprehensive coverage
  • High customer satisfaction rates
  • A 30-day money back guarantee
  • Around-the-clock customer support

Coverage includes air-conditioning up to 5-ton capacity, but nonessential components such as stands, grills, air filters, and the like will not be covered by the plan. Heating systems are covered, including all components, modules and parts of the heating framework. Again, there is a 5-ton limit. All minor parts are not covered by the plans, which is standard across the home warranty industry.

For both systems, coverage is limited to $500 within the first 3 months of the contract and beyond that it increases to $2,000. Electrical systems are important, and many components of the electrical system will be covered by the home warranty plan including switches, breakers, outlets, wiring etc. Additional coverage is available for well pumps, limited roof leaks, plumbing/lighting, pool/spa equipment etc.  For the red plan and the white plan, the service call fee is $65 and the cost is $529.99. For the blue plan, the cost is $599.99, and the service call fee is $65.



Universal Personal Finance Tips You Can Start Using Today

Personal finance is a topic that is important to put thought into on a regular basis. Having savings and a good credit score will make it possible to get credit, loans and similar things when you need them. Learning more about some of the very basic personal finance tips is a great place to get started. These apply to people of all ages and you can start putting them into practice today. You should also check out Don Gayhardt’s CrunchBase for further information.

Set Financial Goals

You want to make some plans about paying off debt and saving extra money. Your goals should be reasonable and in line with the amount of money you make. When you are setting goals, make sure that you are specific concerning the dates and the amounts. This makes it easier to track them and make sure that you are making the right progress.

Create a Budget

This is one of the first things that you want to do because you have to know what you can safely spend. When you look at expert personal finance resources, such as Don Gayhardt’s CrunchBase, they will suggest that you start the budget process by determining your monthly net income. This is the amount of money that you are bringing home from your job. The next step is figuring out your expenses. Just subtract these from your net income to see what is left.

If you have little to nothing left, it is time to start making cuts to your expenses. You might also opt to find ways to earn a little more money. This will give you a larger financial cushion each month and it makes it possible to start saving.

Manage Your Debt

If you do not have an effective debt management plan in place, it is too easy to just keep accumulating debt. As it grows, it will become much harder to get out from under it. Common debts are your credit cards, your mortgage, your car payment and student loans. If your finances are tight, start with one of these and start paying it down faster.

For example, student loans are often costly and it is nice to get rid of them for good. Even if you just add an extra $100 a month to your payments, this is an extra $1,200 per year you are putting on them. This goes a long way in getting the total cost of the loan paid off in advance.

Pay Attention to Your Spending

Once a week, take a few minutes to review where your money went. This will give you a good idea about where extra spending is going. For example, you might find that you are spending too much on lunch or coffee. You can easily cut down such expenses by preparing them at home.

Simplify Your Financial Situation

Your finances do not have to be complicated. When you simplify them, it will be a lot easier to handle them. Pay off your debts, keep credit accounts to a minimum and try to pay cash whenever you can. Warren Buffet is a good example of living simply since he still lives in the $31,500 home he purchased in 1957. Imagine how much he has saved over the years by refusing to buy new homes that are considerably more expensive. This also plays into making sure that you live within your means.

Between the basics and a few expert tips, you can be on your way to better personal finances. What is important is that you do not wait and that you are honest with yourself. This will help to ensure that your finance situation is able to improve as soon as possible.

Claim Denied: How A DIY Disaster Can Impact Your Insurance

You take out insurance cover to cover against an unexpected loss and if your property is damaged in some way you might decide to make a claim to cover the cost of repairs.

The big problem is that if the damage is caused by a scenario that is not covered by your insurer or your DIY disaster means you fall foul of their rules, your claim could be denied and you will be left to pick up the bill.

Here is an overview of some of the circumstances that could cause an insurance claim to be denied, including some common mishaps that could leave you out of pocket, why you need to take building codes seriously, plus a reminder about a risk to your personal safety.

Check your coverage

Although you can’t say for sure that your insurer is going to say no to a claim for damage to your property because of a DIY faux-pas that needs putting right, the type of cover you have will definitely be an influential factor.

If you haven’t paid for full accidental damage cover there is a high chance that the insurer will take the view that you are at fault and will be unlikely to consider your request for financial assistance.

Using the right tools for the job, like these, will help improve your odds of doing the job properly in the first place but you also need to have a more comprehensive level of insurance if you want a better chance of getting your insurers help to put things right.

Staying on the right side of codes and laws

If you are carrying out certain repairs or renovations to your property, especially if you are working with electrics and plumbing, it is likely that you might need to get a permit for the work being done.

Permits and local safety laws are designed to protect the homeowner and whoever uses the property from harm by having minimum standards and requirements that need to be met when the work is carried out.

If you decide to do this type of work yourself you will not only be putting yourself and others at risk if the electrical or plumbing is not up to standard, you are also likely to be facing a hefty repair bill on your own if something subsequently goes wrong.

If your insurer discovers that an installation or repair doesn’t have a permit or hasn’t be carried out by an approved qualified contractor, they are very likely to dismiss your claim in a heartbeat.

Any home improvement project or DIY repair comes with a risk attached if you are not qualified to do the work, and another issue that is also worth pointing out is that if you don’t have the right protective gear and safety training, you could be putting yourself at risk of injury.

A DIY disaster can cause you a lot of problems and if you cut corners or don’t play by the rules, you might find that your insurer won’t offer the level of financial support you hoped for when making a claim.

2018 401(k) Contribution Limit Unveiled

Death and taxes.  The two things that most say are certain in life.  Well now at least when it comes to taxes you might be able to avoid some because of a recent decision by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The IRS recently came out with the guidelines for 2018 when it comes to tax-advantaged retirement accounts.  Although none of the changes were dramatic, they made a few tweaks that will allow individuals to boost retirement savings in certain tax friendly accounts.

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The 2018 401(k) contribution limit is being pushed slightly upward to $18,500 per year.  This is a $500 increase on what it used to be.  Individuals who are 50 and over can still save an additional $6,000 meaning some can contribute as much as $24,500 into a company 401(k) plan.  While an increase in the 2018 401(k) contribution limit came about for the upcoming year, other retirement plans such as IRA’s and Roth IRA’s remain unchanged.  You are still only able to contribute $5,500 per year to both traditional or Roth IRA.


The short answer is absolutely!  While not all companies offer 401(k) plans for employees, a lot do.  It is highly recommend that you put in at least the minimum amount required to get the full match your company offers.  Once you have done this, see if you can contribute a little bit more and further increase your retirement savings.  At my first job, I began contributing 6% which was what I needed to do to get the entirety of my company’s match; however, I began to increase it over time.  Get a 3% raise?  Try increasing your 401(k) contribution by 2%.  This was a simple and easy method I did each time I’d receive one, and the best part was I never missed the money at all.


Yes again.  Is it hard?  Sure it can be, but is it doable?  Absolutely.  How do I know it’s possible?  Because I myself max out my retirement account for my 401(k).  I never see the money.  It’s taken directly out of my paycheck, so I never miss out on spending it.  The recent increase of the 2018 401(k) contribution limit is something that I will take advantage of.  A small percentage bump can make a lasting impact during one’s retirement.

In closing, the increase of the 2018 401(k) contribution limit won’t have much of an impact on most people.  Very few actually max out their retirement accounts.  But if you’re like myself, then you welcome the news with open arms.  While 2018 saw an increase to the 401(k) contribution limit, 2019 has a very good chance to see an increase for contribution limits to both traditional and Roth IRA’s.  Only time will tell.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

An Alternative to Stocks – CFD’s Defined

A Contract for Difference, commonly known as CFD, is among a list of very popular ways to increase returns in the financial markets. Just as the name suggests, it’s a contract executed between two parties. These two counterparties – the broker and the client, agree to pay or receive from each other the difference between the shifts in the value of an asset. How much each pays or earns is entirely dependent on the direction the price takes and the extent it moves.

CFDs and Stocks Explained

In financial terms, CFDs are usually referred to as financial markets derivatives. When the value of something is derived from something else, it becomes a derivative. In this case, CFDs are derived from the value of another financial asset such as stocks or shares. Although there are other assets such as foreign exchange rates and interest rates, a large portion of CFDs are based on stocks.

Through a CFD, you can trade an underlying asset such as stocks without really buying it. You never own the asset. However, you’ll be making either profits or losses depending on the movement of the prices. When entering into a CFD, you’ll take a position of whether or not the stock will rise or fall within a certain amount of time. If you expect the stock to rise, you’ll create the CFD with a CFD broker, in addition to a small fee, and once your prediction turns out to be correct, you earn a profit.

For many people, a CFD can be an advantage as you never own the actual stock, which brings higher costs, yet you still benefit as the security rises in value. One of the ways stockbrokers earn money is by charging commission to investors for every buy and sell order. A CFD charges commission that’s usually within .25 to 5 percent of the security purchased. These prices are usually lower than what you would pay a broker to buy the actual stock.

Why do a CFD instead of buying stocks?

Extra leverage

When buying stocks, you’ll have to pay 100% of the total value at the time of making the purchase. But when you opt for a CFD you’ll only have to deposit with the broker enough money to cover up your potential losses. This is normally a small percentage based on the value of the asset in question. It could be as low as 2%. That actually implies less capital outlay for you as an investor yet greater potential of high returns.

The ability to trade after hours

Another benefit CFDs have is the ability to trade even after the markets have closed. There are CFD brokers that allow you to establish a contract after hours to make it more convenient. To limit losses, you would set a Stop Loss price that would automatically sell the CFD if the stock plunges the following day while at work. The implementation of proper risk management functions like this will allow you to stay on top of your account should things turn sour.

Easy trading options (Long or short)

As an investor, you can profit from a declining market by capitalizing on share price declines. Since CFD is based on the movement of prices of the underlying asset and no ownership is required, selling is pretty easy and so is buying. Initially, before CFDs came along, traditional brokers were the only ones who would help you if you short a share, and they would charge extra fees above the normal brokerage. Interestingly, for short CFD positions, a CFD broker will, in fact, pay your interest.

So to sum up, CFDs can be an interesting alternative to stocks. Looking at all these advantages, one can’t help but notice the many ways an investor can reap huge and enjoy a host of financial benefits using CFDs. Enlisting the services of a CFD broker can be more cost-effective than hiring a stockbroker.

Easiest Way to Become Landlord (From a Guy Who Knows)

Passive income is a term we hear about but might not truly understand.  What is passive income?  It’s the ability to generate a source of income where one is not directly involved.  One example can be dividends from stock and bond investments, but a more common passive income is rental income.

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Becoming a landlord and generating income might seem like a big task, but it can actually be done with a relatively simple process.  In the steps that follow, I will discuss the easiest way to become a landlord.  These steps are easy because I have done it, and it wasn’t very difficult.

Easiest Way to Become a Landlord (3 Steps)

Step 1:

The first step in becoming a landlord is to own a property, and thus purchasing one.  Right after school, I moved to a brand new city I had never lived in before.  I lived with an old friend for six months before I purchased my first home.  Whenever you begin thinking about purchasing a residence, always make sure you know the area.  For example, the home I purchased was near a local college and had many long-term residents as neighbors.  To complete this step requires a little bit of research, an understanding of the area you reside, and the ability to make the purchase.

Step 2:

Live in the place you purchase.  Many people get caught up in buying a rental property and renting it out immediately.  While this may work for some people, it can be a stressful situation.  You have to make sure the house is in livable condition, you have to market the place, then you have to meet potential tenants at the place throughout the week to show them the property.  All of this adds up and makes finding a tenant a long and complicated process.  By living in the place you purchase for say a year or two, you become comfortable with the property.  You won’t have to travel to show it to potential tenants, you can create your own date the property will become available, and you give yourself time to find another living situation while you look to create income.  I lived in my house for 18 months before I began renting it out.  The best part was that it was right at the beginning of summer which meant… No yard work! If you catch yourself needing to do some work around the house and you’re on a budget, you can get great vouchers and discounts online to save on these expenses.

Step 3:

Find a good tenant and pronounce yourself “Landlord”.  Although finding a good tenant isn’t always the easiest part, you can use your best judgement and various tools in order to ensure you are getting yourself into a good situation.  I made all of my applicants run a credit report on themselves and provide me with the results.  Bad credit can sometimes mean a bad tenant.  I also required the tenant to provide an additional month’s rent to ensure payments were never behind.

While there might be many easy ways to become a landlord, for me the easiest way to become a landlord was through the process I outlined above.  I have now been a landlord going on four years and having someone else pay my mortgage feels like quite the accomplishment.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise


Don’t Let an Accident Jeopardize Your Stability: Why Income Protection Insurance is Essential to a Family Plan

Every year, millions of Americans find themselves out of work either due to prolonged illness or injury or because their employer has ceased trading. Unfortunately, without the gift of foresight it is just not possible to predict how events may conspire against you in the future but you can take some steps to give yourself maximum protection against all eventualities.

When a principal breadwinner loses their income, it can have a devastating ripple effect on the rest of the family. If the reasons behind your inability to work are medical, there are the additional expenses to factor in to your household budget which has already lost most of its income stream. Struggling to pay for expenses in this situation can lead to additional stress and even confrontation within the family.

What is Income Protection Insurance?

Income protection insurance is also known as permanent health insurance as it is in place over the long term to protect you should you be unable to work due to illness or injury. When you have an income protection policy you will continue to receive a regular income until such times as you are able to return to work or retirement, if that time comes first.

This kind of insurance also replaces part of your income if you have to reduce your working hours due to disability and basically provides solid financial support all the way through to retirement. Most illnesses that leave you unable to work are covered in these policies, whether short or long term conditions and you can make claims as many times as you need to while you hold the policy.

Do you need Income Protection Insurance?

Whether you choose to take out income protection should not be based on whether you have dependents or not, although naturally your family are of concern if you’re unable to work. Income protection is designed to give you a blanket of protection against serious illness so that you can continue to provide for yourself if you are unable to continue working.  If prolonged illness or injury would leave you in a situation where you could not afford to pay your bills, you need to consider it as an option.

For people who are self-employed and at risk of losing considerably more than their income if they should suffer from serious illness, income protection insurance is a must. Not being able to work when you are a sole trader is a more significant problem than if you work for a business organization and there could be some delay in getting government benefits to supplement your income in these situations. Income protection means that you are already set up to continue receiving an income from the moment you are unable to work and best protects you and your family from any financial shocks.

Why is Income Protection Important to My Family?

No matter how secure you are in your job or how confident you are of your financial future, it is impossible to clearly predict. Insurance is an affordable way of protecting against high risk situations such as the possibility of losing a principal income due to serious illness. A good family plan should include adequate support for all other members should one be incapacitated in any way so that the others aren’t disadvantaged. It is definitely worth further research and getting some competitive income protection quotes online.

Stephen Strasburg Net Worth

October is finally here, and for baseball fans around the country that means one thing… PLAYOFFS.  If your MLB team is lucky enough to make the postseason, then you are likely to be glued to the TV throughout the month rooting them on.  One of the teams who did make the playoffs is the Washington Nationals.  The Nationals have seen progress over the past few season and part of it is due to the stellar pitching of Stephen Strasburg.  Stephen has spent all seven of his professional years with the Nationals and is coming off back to back 15 win seasons.  Because of his success, Stephen Strasburg net worth tops out at $25 million.

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Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg

At 29 years old, Strasburg has secured his standing as a top pitcher in the MLB.  His professional career began in 2009 when the Nationals selected the pitcher as the first overall pick in the MLB draft.  His initial four year $15.1 million contract was the highest of any rookie ever to that point.  This initial contract helped to jump start Stephen Strasburg’s net worth.  After signing a number of one year contracts with the team, Stephen was finally rewarded a long term contract with the organization.  In May of 2016, Strasburg signed a seven year contract valued at $175 million.  The contract is designed in such a way that gives Strasburg a player option beginning in the 2020 season.  It also includes a performance bonus.  The bonus is based on the number of innings he pitches during the regular season.  If he exceeds 180.0 innings pitched, he is rewarded with a $1 million bonus.

In order to justify his new contract, Stephen went out and performed quite well during the 2016 season.  He posted a 15-4 record and an ERA of 3.60.  He followed it up with another stellar performance in 2017.  For this current baseball season, he has another 15-4 overall record but has lowered his ERA to just 2.52.  Since pitchers in the National League are required to bat, Strasburg even went so far as to hit two home runs during the 2017 season.  He also was able to secure his third All-Star appearance this season representing the National League.

Stephen Strasburg net worth is due in large part to his career earnings while playing baseball professionally.  To date, he has earned over $60 million in career earnings through the 2017 season.  Strasburg is not a super flashy and well known player like his teammate Bryce Harper.  Thus, he lacks a lot of the endorsement deals that come with big name players.

Strasburg is still quite young in terms of baseball’s longevity.  We expect Stephen Strasburg’s net worth to continue to increase over the next years quite substantially.  While his net worth sits at $25 million now, it can easily double in a few years time.