Search found 719 matches

Go to advanced search

by Bfwolf
Fri May 22, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confirming that I should not use my 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 1084

Re: Confirming that I should not use my 401k

I think you're on the right track based on your comment about meager incomes. If you're in the marginal 10% or 15% federal tax bracket (combined income between you and wife less than $74,900), then the Roth IRA is probably your best choice. Based on your comments on meager income, I'm guessing that ...
by Bfwolf
Sat May 16, 2015 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GMAT prep
Replies: 28
Views: 2067

Re: GMAT prep

toto238 wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:Congratulations on an outstanding score!


Thank you! Harvard in the Fall of 2017, here I come!


That's quite a ways out. Any particular reason you took the GMAT now? How long is your GMAT score good for?
by Bfwolf
Sat May 16, 2015 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GMAT prep
Replies: 28
Views: 2067

Re: GMAT prep

Congratulations on an outstanding score!
by Bfwolf
Wed May 13, 2015 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Do you plan to keep an Ultimate Rewards Card? Ink Plus perhaps? I plan to keep my Sapphire Preferred card to prevent losing my UR points. If they're willing to waive the annual fee on the Sapphire Preferred I'll keep that. If they won't (which I expect), I'll cancel it and keep the Ink Plus...I've ...
by Bfwolf
Wed May 13, 2015 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

As you can see from my list above, I already have a lot of Chase cards. When I got the Ritz Carlton card, I had to call the reconsideration line and suggest they move some credit around before I got approved. I suspect that will happen again. So basically I'm planning on applying, expecting to see ...
by Bfwolf
Wed May 13, 2015 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Now I've just got to spend $15K on these cards in the next 3 months. Shouldn't be an issue with my Serve card as long as they don't change the rules. My understanding is that to get a Serve you have to first cancel your Redcard. Do you know if that can be done online, or do you have to go into a Ta...
by Bfwolf
Tue May 12, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Success on all 4 cards! I had to call Chase up...it seems there was an error on my application (the wrong state) but after that was corrected I was approved immediately. Then I applied for the Amex business card. They said they needed more info and gave me a # to call. That # turned out to be a pers...
by Bfwolf
Tue May 12, 2015 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I think they'll see the hard pulls from whatever agency they look at, but will they be able to see that I just got approved for a credit card with some limit? I'm wondering if that takes some time. And since I'm mixing and matching credit agencies, I figure it might make it hard to tell what I'm up ...
by Bfwolf
Mon May 11, 2015 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Tomorrow will be the 3 month anniversary since I was issued my last new credit card, so I am going to embark on my first ever App-O-Rama, applying for 5 different cards on the same day. The hope here is that I'll get approved for the fifth one without them knowing there's a one through four (though ...
by Bfwolf
Mon May 11, 2015 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mega Back Door Roth Specs for Different Companies
Replies: 8
Views: 636

Re: Mega Back Door Roth Specs for Different Companies

I am going to add more info than you asked for. I worked for a Fortune 500 company until June, and here were it's rules impacting the mega back door Roth: 1) You could contribute up to 10% of your salary after-tax to the 401k 2) In service withdrawals were not allowed until you had 5 years of servic...
by Bfwolf
Sun May 10, 2015 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total World Stock Index
Replies: 44
Views: 3715

Re: Total World Stock Index

retiredjg wrote:1) Many people want less than market weight of international.

2) The two funds separately are a little cheaper (unless things have changed).


I agree these are the reasons. There's probably also an ancillary benefit of having more capital loss harvesting opportunities by keeping them separate.
by Bfwolf
Sat May 09, 2015 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: 2% rebate credit cards; will they last?
Replies: 30
Views: 3270

Re: NYT: 2% rebate credit cards; will they last?

If every store offered a 4% cash discount, I'd still use my credit card to pay for everything. The benefits are well worth that cost.
by Bfwolf
Thu May 07, 2015 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I'm not sure. But here's the Flyertalk thread on Serve.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufact ... 015-a.html
by Bfwolf
Thu May 07, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thanks for the info. So you can load your Serve card with ten $500 gift cards per month, for which you pay 1% ($50)? Is that how it works? Do you have to do load your Serve in person, in a store, or can you do that online? And you have to buy the gift cards in a store, right? In that case, I suppos...
by Bfwolf
Thu May 07, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I have read about the Serve thing, but to me it seems a bit more trouble than it is worth, no? (And even more trouble if you are using gift cards for loading). If Serve no longer accepts online loads, if you can only do $1K/month, and you have to make a trip to Walmart to load it, why would you go ...
by Bfwolf
Thu May 07, 2015 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

So digging around the Internet, I found out that the ability to load $1,000 to Serve online through credit cards is dead for new Serve cards. Seems like the best option for manufacturing spending might be Serve or Bluebird through Walmarts that have a MoneyCenter Express Kiosk. I think there is one...
by Bfwolf
Wed May 06, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

So digging around the Internet, I found out that the ability to load $1,000 to Serve online through credit cards is dead for new Serve cards. Seems like the best option for manufacturing spending might be Serve or Bluebird through Walmarts that have a MoneyCenter Express Kiosk. I think there is one ...
by Bfwolf
Wed May 06, 2015 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

So what's the consensus on the best way to MS now? I'd love to be able to MS a couple grand a month just to be able to keep the introductory offers flowing.

Can I go back to Amex Serve and get that $1,000/month in MS?
by Bfwolf
Tue May 05, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where does one find benchmark returns?
Replies: 9
Views: 726

Re: Where does one find benchmark returns?

After doing some digging, the best source for free benchmark data is S&P. They have indexes for: US Stocks - http://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-total-market-index-tmi Int'l Stocks - http://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-global-ex-us-bmi US Bonds - https://us.spindices.com/indices/fixe...
by Bfwolf
Fri May 01, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethical [Compensation based on sales]
Replies: 67
Views: 4330

Re: Ethical [Compensation based on sales]

this company clearly has no interest in or respect for their salespeople and their efforts. When they convert a top performing person to salary they are capping his earnings but the company's earnings get even larger (not paying commissions). They don't recognize that when the salesperson's earning...
by Bfwolf
Fri May 01, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where does one find benchmark returns?
Replies: 9
Views: 726

Re: Where does one find benchmark returns?

Are their less esoteric indexes that are very similar to the ones above that one can track total returns between any 2 dates?
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to advise clients
Replies: 18
Views: 1748

Re: How to advise clients

There's plenty of value you can bring to the financial planning side of the equation: helping people flesh out their goals, understanding how much these will cost, figuring out what kind of annuities they'll get from SS and pensions and determining the remaining gap, figuring out how much they need ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where does one find benchmark returns?
Replies: 9
Views: 726

Re: Where does one find benchmark returns?

Right, I saw that on their site, but you're limited to whatever time periods they give you there. So is there an option where one can enter dates? Or are there similar benchmarks one can enter dates against?
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where does one find benchmark returns?
Replies: 9
Views: 726

Where does one find benchmark returns?

If I'm comparing how my portfolio did vs its benchmarks for any arbitrary amount of time, where can I get the information on how the benchmarks did inclusive of dividends? So for instance if I've got a typical basket of Vanguard Total Stock Market, Vanguard Total Int'l Stock Market, Vanguard Total B...
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to ask friend my money back?
Replies: 32
Views: 3399

Re: how to ask friend my money back?

I don't think this is anywhere near as big a deal as some people are making it out to be. Your friend probably just forgot. My friends and I have bought things for each other many times, and sometimes things just slip through the cracks. I've frequently reminded friends to pay me back for stuff with...
by Bfwolf
Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethical [Compensation based on sales]
Replies: 67
Views: 4330

Re: Ethical

As described, it sounds completely unethical and is in fact stealing from the company like you said.
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I think you'll find it's difficult to make a significant dent in the cost of a large purchase like the cruise with cash back cards. The REAL value in signing up for these cards is in the introductory offers. Most of the cards that have good introductory offers have a rewards system predicated on poi...
by Bfwolf
Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New York New York casino
Replies: 9
Views: 1478

Re: New York New York casino

I was just there a couple of weeks ago. It's a dated hotel at this point, but I had a nice fast foodish meal at the Shake Shack right outside and a cold beer with live music at the Nine Fine Irishmen ($5 cover on a Thursday night). The hotel deal that I got gave me 2 free breakfast buffets, which tu...
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 185
Views: 12028

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

I don't think your son can go wrong, and if the aid offer is better at Minnesota, that may be the tiebreaker. BUT, I will say that he should be REALLY sure he's ready to put with the Minnesota winter for 4 years and is willing to put up with Midwest Winters for a few years after that. Minnesota is r...
by Bfwolf
Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

protagonist wrote:Wow, thanks for that tidbit!! I was unaware. I need to book my summer rooms in Europe soon!!
I assume if you book before 6/1 for the summer the offer still stands. That is what a poster said on the CC Flyertalk forum to which you referred.


Yes, that's what I've read.
by Bfwolf
Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?
Replies: 36
Views: 2595

Re: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?

IMO, if digital had been invented first, vinyl never would have been invented and people would think you are crazy to even consider it. I believe vinyl is really about nostalgia rather than sound quality.
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

If you are making 4 night bookings, and if they have a hotel where you want to go, consider the three Club Carlson cards. Two cards have an 85K bonus and the third has a 60K bonus. But in addition, if you buy your room with points for one night you get the second night free. I got a really nice roo...
by Bfwolf
Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager recommendations?
Replies: 48
Views: 3020

Re: Password manager recommendations?

Another vote for LastPass. It's just REALLY easy to use.

I get the "Trust No One" approach that doesn't like cloud solutions like LastPass, but I also believe that given their entire business model is predicated on keeping those passwords secure that LastPass would be very hard to crack.
by Bfwolf
Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best fish oil/omega-3 supplement?
Replies: 18
Views: 1271

Re: Best fish oil/omega-3 supplement?

I was taking the Kirkland Signature Omega 3 capsule daily, but with recent research raising doubts about the value of fish oil supplements, I've stopped.
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I renege [on a] job offer?
Replies: 48
Views: 4515

Re: Should I renege [on a] job offer?

I agree with the consensus: take the consulting job. Doing I banking just to earn more money will lead you to misery. Management consultants earn a great living and it's reasonably easy to eventually parlay it into a job at one of the companies you work. Or you can go back and get your MBA. Doing I ...
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernanke's Blog: why are interest rates so low?
Replies: 52
Views: 7137

Re: Bernanke's Blog: why are interest rates so low?

Thanks for sharing this article. A very clear and concise explanation that a layperson can understand.
by Bfwolf
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My evil plan backfired
Replies: 53
Views: 7000

Re: My evil plan backfired

Let the guy have his play money. Set 5% of your entire portfolio for his individual stocks. I hate the term play money. Play money to me is money that you could easily afford to lose, the type that you can lose entirely and not lose one night's sleep. If you anyone posted on this forum that they bu...
by Bfwolf
Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My evil plan backfired
Replies: 53
Views: 7000

Re: My evil plan backfired

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, had to get my evil plan laugh out of my system. First, congrats on making money. But you're right--it's kind of like when a really bad shooter makes a 3 pointer in the beginning of a game of basketball. Great to get the 3 points, but now he/she is jacking them up for the rest...
by Bfwolf
Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Great ESPP not for "ME"?
Replies: 20
Views: 1868

Re: Great ESPP not for "ME"?

Keep in mind that $5,000 in a 401k is not necessarily equal to $5,000 in a taxable account. When you withdraw the money from a 401k in retirement, you will likely pay some income tax on it. So in essence, the government owns a portion of your 401k. Of course with your taxable account there are likel...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 9339

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

The money that I earn is used in the following order: 1. For food, clothing and shelter today. 2. Fund 401K upto the match. 3. Fund Roth IRA or backdoor Roth. 4. Fund balance of the 401K. 5. Fund HSA (as stealth IRA) 6. Fund 529 ac to the extent of the state tax exemption. 7. Fund 457 B plan. (My 4...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Munis when moving to a different state
Replies: 9
Views: 1165

Re: Munis when moving to a different state

Welcome to the forum! There will be almost no cost to switch funds when you move; capital gains on muni funds are usually very low. If you move from NY to CA, you will owe NY tax on any dividends you earned while you are a NY resident, and CA tax on any dividends you earned while you are a CA resid...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 9339

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

It makes sense to me because we are already fully funding our 401K and Roth IRAs. I figured that setting aside some money in a 529 was preferable to a taxable account since I plan to pay for my son's college one day and the 529 means no tax on gains, dividends or interest. I make sure I don't over ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 9339

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

That state tax deduction come with a cost that Roth IRA does not have. What if you move and your children will be studying different state?? How certain are you that you will be in the same state 10 to 15 years from now?? KlangFool But that shouldn't matter. You've already taken the state tax deduc...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 9339

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

Certainly maxing out the 401k and HSA makes sense for most people who are in the 25% or higher tax bracket. Roth IRAs are more flexible than 529s. BUT, Roth IRA contributions do not offer state tax deductions for contributions like 529s do for some states. So for money that someone is confident thei...
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Congrats, Victoria! Glad you were able to find flights that worked.
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Savings Options for a Niece
Replies: 6
Views: 641

Re: College Savings Options for a Niece

I think the same rationale that applied to your child would apply to your niece. If you're not maxing out your 401k and are in a high federal/state tax bracket, that's likely your first priority. However, I think it's worth considering whether you still plan on being employed when these kids hit col...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thank you, Bfwolf! My trip to Germany is to Berlin, but I could not find any Saver flights to Berlin and switched my stop-over to Frankfurt as the largest hub in the area. I am booking with plenty of time before and after my Berlin event, which would enable me to travel between Frankfurt and Berlin...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

When I called up to book my complex ticket with them, I had the whole itinerary worked out, leg by leg. You can use United's search engine to find all the individual legs and see if there is Saver availability. So when I wanted to go from Tokyo to Hanoi, I already knew there was no direct flight wi...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Victoria, I recalled from an earlier post that you were planning on being in Germany until 8/16 and then in Seoul on 8/21. It seems you've switched your Germany city from Berlin to Frankfurt....so I'm not 100% sure we're talking about the same itinerary, but on a lark I went on the United site and s...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 141001

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thank you for the heads up about NRT and ICN being in different regions! I have definitely seen it before, but at the time of looking for the routes I forgot about it. However, my itinerary has changed, and this would not be an issue. Now I want to book: 1) IAD-FRA 2) FRA-ICN 3) ICN-DCA When I iden...

Go to advanced search