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Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

It doesn't matter what I consider them. All that matters is the bottom line. Rules like saving 50% of net income are arbitrary.
by Ketawa
Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 103
Views: 4015

Re: How to hedge a 5/5 ARM?

Mango, Union Plus, and Santander accounts. Several blog posts by The Finance Buff describe them and there is a thread about Mango here.

They take some time and effort to set up and automate. With my setup, I have about $17k total invested in them and I earn about 5.8% FDIC insured.
by Ketawa
Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to hedge a 5/5 ARM?
Replies: 20
Views: 1202

Re: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?

DVD Terms and Conditions Allocation, Delivery and Return of Rented DVDs: We reserve the right to process orders and otherwise allocate and ship DVDs among our members in any manner that we, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine. In addition, we will, in our sole and absolute discretion, de...
by Ketawa
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?
Replies: 79
Views: 10220

Re: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set

Between the recommendations in this thread and The Sweethome recommendation, I just ordered a Victorinox Fibrox 8" Chef's Knife. I'm not particularly interested in cooking but my current knife set is terrible and I had been considering a replacement. I already have a Chef's Choice electric shar...
by Ketawa
Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set
Replies: 64
Views: 2401

Re: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?

I haven't received one of those emails in years. I used to have 2 day turnaround. For a couple months now, Netflix has received discs the day after I dropped them in the mail, but I wouldn't receive my next disc until 2 days after it shipped. Total 3 day turnaround. I can't tell what it has been the...
by Ketawa
Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?
Replies: 79
Views: 10220

Re: how best to supplement heat with heat pump

ASHPs drop to COP of 1.0 (ie electric bar) below about 20F above that you should still see COPs above 1.0 (ie 1 kwhr of energy used to move 1 kwhr of hot or 'cold'). You really can't generalize that way. There are ASHP that have a COP greater than 2* down to -15F. It's really an economic question. ...
by Ketawa
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how best to supplement heat with heat pump
Replies: 49
Views: 2380

Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

QLEIX targets value, momentum, and quality. It invests only in equities. It also has positive beta exposure and tactically adjusts the amount of exposure. QSPIX targets value, momentum, defensive (similar to quality AFAIK), and carry. It invests in equities, equity indices, commodities, fixed income...
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 307
Views: 35952

Re: Car Battery in Unusual Cold

I had an EverStart battery from Wal-Mart which comes with a 3 year warranty for free replacement. After about 30 months, it had the above symptoms as the weather cooled. I took it to Wal-Mart and had it tested, where they determined they could replace it under warranty since it did not perform at s...
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Battery in Unusual Cold
Replies: 87
Views: 3694

Re: Refinance Question

A 5/5 ARM might be a good balance that lets you pay a lower interest rate while still having the flexibility of a 30 year amortization. You could continue to make extra payments towards principal. When the rate resets at the 5 year mark, the loan should recast to reflect the lower principal payment ...
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1195

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

In the fatwallet thread, a poster said he was limited to 3 accounts total between Mango and Union Plus. Between Mango and Union Plus, there's a max. limit of 3 accounts per household/address. My wife and I opened an a/c in each and the 4th account in UP (my wife's) was suspended after we put in 5K. ...
by Ketawa
Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 96
Views: 42988

Re: Best Condo Sell Strategy?

I don't have any problem with offering a high commission on any ethical or legal grounds. I just think offering a 10% higher commission to get a 10% higher sale price is horribly inefficient. You'll turn off potential buyers simply due to the price. IMO any qualified buyer will know the comps better...
by Ketawa
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Condo Sell Strategy?
Replies: 17
Views: 901

Re: Best Condo Sell Strategy?

skepticalobserver wrote:Incentivize your broker: dramatically raise the commission so your salesman will really focus on moving the property. Fifteen percent or more might do it.


Explain how pricing a condo 10% above market value and simultaneously raising the broker commission an extra 10% makes any kind of sense.
by Ketawa
Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Condo Sell Strategy?
Replies: 17
Views: 901

Re: Car Battery in Unusual Cold

An issue I've noticed with cars today is it's a lot more difficult to tell when the battery is getting weak. In the old cars you could hear it laboring and running down as it cranked the engine. But not so in today's cars. It seems they suck every last bit of juice out of the battery before you kno...
by Ketawa
Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Battery in Unusual Cold
Replies: 87
Views: 3694

Re: Which Credit Card Should I Open?

You don't have one credit score. Do you know which score you are even concerned with? If you want a new card, get one that makes the most sense and don't worry about what it will do to your utilization or credit score. I have opened 13 new cards in the last year and one of my TransUnion scores (acco...
by Ketawa
Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Credit Card Should I Open?
Replies: 19
Views: 1963

Re: Wash Sale, VWO vs IEMG

Several non-obvious ways you might have triggered a wash sale. This probably isn't related to the substantially identical rule.

Did you purchase VWO within the last 30 days in your taxable account?

Did you reinvest dividends from VWO?

Did you purchase VWO in an IRA held at E*Trade?
by Ketawa
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wash Sale, VWO vs IEMG
Replies: 9
Views: 377

Re: What is the best company to open a credit card with?

h8 2 lose wrote:Where did op state looking for a spare card?


Fifth post in the thread.
by Ketawa
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best company to open a credit card with?
Replies: 22
Views: 1424

Re: What is the best company to open a credit card with?

I voted Chase. You said you're looking for a spare card. You might as well get one that can be useful. Chase Freedom is great: no annual fee, rotating 5% cash back categories, signup bonus is currently $100 (10k UR points) but goes up to $200 for a short time about once a year. That happened late la...
by Ketawa
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best company to open a credit card with?
Replies: 22
Views: 1424

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

I reported my interest income in box 1 and both my federal and state returns have been accepted. However, I don't have to file Schedule B and merely reported it in Form 1040 line 8a. I also don't owe any state tax to Ohio since my wage income is deductible in Ohio (military stationed out of state).
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 96
Views: 42988

Re: Navy Federal $100 IRA bonus

It will take me about an hour to contribute $100 to an EasyStart certificate, get the bonus, and complete paperwork next year to roll the IRA over somewhere else. My time is worth a lot less than $100/hr, so I'll probably do it. Thanks for the pointer.
by Ketawa
Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Navy Federal $100 IRA bonus
Replies: 8
Views: 722

Re: Best Small Cap Value Funds (Poll)

I'm one of them, but I only have about $20k.
by Ketawa
Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Small Cap Value Funds (Poll)
Replies: 23
Views: 2614

Re: No "Value Premium" in real mutual funds

Here then is the comparative performance of small growth and small value in two DFA funds, the connoisseur's choice for the best factor exposures available in the real world. Blue, small-cap growth, the "black hole" of the factor universe. orange, small-cap value, the fashion queen of the...
by Ketawa
Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No "Value Premium" in real mutual funds
Replies: 32
Views: 3026

Re: Best Small Cap Value Funds (Poll)

I answered PXSV, VBR, IJS, DFSVX, and PDN. I believe they are all suitable options. I would have included VIOV, QSMLX, BOSVX, FNDC, and SFILX in the poll. VIOV follows the same index as IJS with free trades at Vanguard, lower expenses, somewhat less liquidity. I will soon be holding QSMLX. I wouldn'...
by Ketawa
Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Small Cap Value Funds (Poll)
Replies: 23
Views: 2614

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, Chip + PIN, and might be worth holding anyway since it has 5% cash back at gas stations. Only a great deal half the year since Chase Freedom typically has two periods where the bonus category includes gas stations. Thank yo...
by Ketawa
Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1820

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, Chip + PIN, and might be worth holding anyway since it has 5% cash back at gas stations. Only a great deal half the year since Chase Freedom typically has two periods where the bonus category includes gas stations.
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1820

Re: Performance of TSP funds

Something is very wrong with the new graph comparing the F Fund and an unclear bond fund.
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Performance of TSP funds
Replies: 39
Views: 2052

Re: Performance of TSP funds

Like others, I assumed the lower ERs would lead to slight outperformance rather than underperformance. Your graph has upset my applecart a bit. But I'll survive. :happy I'm not sure what you're seeing. VTSMX beat the C Fund, but that's mainly because it includes the S Fund. The S Fund beat the C Fu...
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Performance of TSP funds
Replies: 39
Views: 2052

Re: Performance of TSP funds

The TSP funds don't have tickers, but the C, S, and F funds are basically the same as Vanguard funds with Admiral shares, not Investor shares. It's easy to qualify for Admiral shares, so they should be used for the comparison. VFIAX, VEXAX, and VBTLX. All the TSP funds had an ER of 0.029% in 2013. ...
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Performance of TSP funds
Replies: 39
Views: 2052

Re: Performance of TSP funds

I was very skeptical of the graphs, as well. I thought the OP might have used NAV for the Vanguard funds, which would have left out distributions. But I compared VFIAX (good proxy for the C Fund) to VTSMX and it approximately matched the graph in the OP. The TSP funds don't have tickers, but the C, ...
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Performance of TSP funds
Replies: 39
Views: 2052

Re: Best Small Cap Value Funds

PXSV has 100% qualified dividends. See the spreadsheet at this link: https://www.invesco.com/us/files/1099-workbook.xls . It also has a very low yield, so it's tax efficient. The only question in my mind is whether PowerShares might change the index again, or increase the expense ratio. That is a po...
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Small Cap Value Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 4259

Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

This fund is a black box. The strategies are documented in the literature and AQR materials, but knowing which strategy performed poorly in the last three weeks might be difficult to suss out. This is an example of all you're probably going to get from the 2013 shareholder letter: Two of the Fund’s ...
by Ketawa
Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 307
Views: 35952

Re: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)

$100-$200 federal tax due with about $5k total owed. I shoot for having a small amount due. There are advantages to this e.g. if I was a target of fraud I wouldn't have to wait for a refund.
by Ketawa
Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)
Replies: 110
Views: 7125

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

I called UnionPlus about the 1099-INT error. The customer service rep already was aware about the Box 3 (US bonds interest) error and told me to just enter the amount in Box 3 as regular interest on my tax forms and it would be OK. I explained that the IRS gets copies of these 1099s and that this i...
by Ketawa
Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 96
Views: 42988

Re: What to do with extra space in 15% bracket

Foreign stocks pay more dividends today, so there isn't much difference between foreign or domestic in taxable. I'm not sure I understand your logic. Wouldn't I prefer stocks that pay higher dividends to be in tax advantaged accounts? In addition if I am paying 0 tax on qualified dividends why woul...
by Ketawa
Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with extra space in 15% bracket
Replies: 7
Views: 905

Re: What to do with extra space in 15% bracket

1) Would you be contributing to traditional retirement accounts in the 15% bracket or should I consider changing some of my 401k contributions to roth? I would think after a couple of years of raises we will bump into the 25% bracket but if that happens I can start doing traditional IRA's instead o...
by Ketawa
Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with extra space in 15% bracket
Replies: 7
Views: 905

Re: Student Loan Interest

You have a required monthly payment. The extra payments must go towards reducing the loan principal or are being counted as credit towards future payments. It could be that I'm misunderstanding how student loans work, but I don't see how extra payments could (legally) go towards interest that doesn'...
by Ketawa
Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Interest
Replies: 23
Views: 1951

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

They should definitely correct this issue. I'm worried it would trigger an audit if I used box 1 instead of box 3 and the IRS didn't have matching numbers. Regardless, I'm guessing it shouldn't have an effect on most federal returns; I checked mine in TurboTax. I also don't have any state tax owed, ...
by Ketawa
Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 96
Views: 42988

Re: iShares Files for Intl Quality and Momentum Factor ETFs

Quality is the weakest of the factors and has the weakest risk story, maybe even nonexistent. I think value, size, and momentum should be the focus. I just checked the data and do not agree with this statement. Below please see Return & Standard Devation Numbers for the factors from July 1957 t...
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: iShares Files for Intl Quality and Momentum Factor ETFs
Replies: 28
Views: 2205

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

I am still maintaining my second Mango account on the disconnected Tracfone number with no problems. I may try to get a 3rd Mango account using Google Voice. I guess I just sign up for a Google Voice number and have it forwarded to my landline? Mango requires a mobile phone number to have an accoun...
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 96
Views: 42988

Re: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make

As a member of the military, I say that it's possible to find out my exact salary using publicly available data.
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make?
Replies: 107
Views: 10332

Re: iShares Files for Intl Quality and Momentum Factor ETFs

How does IEIS stack up? iShares Enhanced International Small-Cap ETF attempts to capture quality, value, and size factors. Have you looked at AQR International Core Equity Fund Class L (QICLX)? Depending on how effectively it captures the factors, it may be the best choice despite an er of .70%. I ...
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: iShares Files for Intl Quality and Momentum Factor ETFs
Replies: 28
Views: 2205

Re: Are car loans really that bad?

The reason I ask is that my last two car loans were for 1.99%. That doesn't seem too bad to me. I know that a car is a depreciating asset but, unfortunately, I am going to need to own this depreciating asset no matter what.... so what is the big deal about 1.99% interest vs cash. The only thing I c...
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are car loans really that bad?
Replies: 86
Views: 6751

Re: Buying a Home. 30yr FRM vs. 15yrFRM vs. ARM 5/1

I would not use any of those options. I would look at a 5/5 ARM. It's safer than a 5/1 ARM, and you can do better than 2.9%. PenFed's 5/5 ARM is currently 2.75% with no points.
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home. 30yr FRM vs. 15yrFRM vs. ARM 5/1
Replies: 14
Views: 1386

Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

Some places state the ER above 2%, but this isn't accurate since it includes dividends paid on shorts. I don't know why they include that in the ER. It doesn't reflect the costs of operating a fund, since the value of a short increases when a dividend is paid. QSPIX has an ER of 1.5% and QSPNX has a...
by Ketawa
Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 307
Views: 35952

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

tj wrote:Why tax free?


I was pointing out that using $500 to avoid the $2 fee is like a 4.8% tax free return.
by Ketawa
Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 96
Views: 42988

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

I received my 1099-INT forms for both Mango and UnionPlus. For some reason, the interest was reported in box 3. Has anyone else had this issue? It should be in box 1, like last year. Has anyone had success recently attempting to sign up for more than one card? I have been trying to get a second card...
by Ketawa
Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 96
Views: 42988

Re: Refinance motrgage

I would put down enough to avoid PMI.
by Ketawa
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance motrgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1316

Re: What is your BMI?

27.0. 6'5", 227 lbs. I lift 4-5x/week, cardio 2-3x/week. I deadlift over 400 easily.
by Ketawa
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: What is your BMI?
Replies: 28
Views: 2044

Re: W-4 - Change Marital Status?

Use IRS Pub 15-A and you can find the exact amount that will be withheld from your paycheck based on the number of exemptions you claim. I modify my W-4 and dial in my withholding so I owe about $100 when I file my taxes.
by Ketawa
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W-4 - Change Marital Status?
Replies: 7
Views: 554

Re: why is the Starwoods Preferred Guest AMEX worth the fee?

You kind of answered your own question. It's not worth a lot unless you frequently stay at Starwood hotels. It has a $65 annual fee. Starpoints are valuable, so if you stay at Starwood properties frequently, the annual fee might pay for itself with extra points. At Starwood properties, $0.02/point x...
by Ketawa
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: why is the Starwoods Preferred Guest AMEX worth the fee?
Replies: 5
Views: 667

Re: Refinance with Third Federal? 3/1 ARM, 2.34%, $295 costs

That was disappointing. Third Federal received my application but is unable to finance my condo since it is a converted property. The property was built in 1908 and is in a historic district. It was converted to condos sometime in the 1980s. I'm sticking with my NFCU mortgage at 3.00%. This informat...
by Ketawa
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance with Third Federal? 3/1 ARM, 2.34%, $295 costs
Replies: 8
Views: 1044
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