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Re: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]

Hands down Merrill Lynch (oh, and Putnam too). They ripped us off by selling us an variable annuity 15 years ago, when I had some stock-option money to invest and knew nothing about investments. Quite a few years later, I realized that fees upon fees ate not only gains, but 1/3rd of the capital. I ...
by Milano
Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]
Replies: 95
Views: 10999

Re: "Downgrading" to a Porsche

I can help here. I have a 30 mile each way commute in Los Angeles and drive a 2000 Boxster with 107,000 miles on it. Traffics is heavy on a portion of the freeway South of downtown. I do most maintenance myself. Clutch replaced last year $ 2,000, did not do this myself. A few weeks ago the air oil s...
by Milano
Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Downgrading" to a Porsche
Replies: 39
Views: 6554

Re: Relatively new here. What did you do in 2008/09

I was protected by my ignorance and detachment, since I hadn't yet become actively involved in my own investing and didn't really think of the money as mine. Ignorance won't help me any more, but I'm hoping I can still muster the detachment when needed. Same for me, lost my job February 2009, was u...
by Milano
Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relatively new here. What did you do in 2008/09
Replies: 130
Views: 10168

Re: POLL: Breaking up with advisor

I posted this before: My parents opened a ML IRA, annuity and a cash management account in 1985 while I was a student. Unfortunately I neglected this until I has to take money out due to job loss after the recession. I transferred all to a local office and in the process I was 'twisted ' or 'switche...
by Milano
Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Breaking up with advisor
Replies: 47
Views: 3420

Re: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]

My parents opened a ML IRA, annuity and a cash management account in 1985 while I was a student. Unfortunately I neglected this until I has to take money out due to job loss after the recession. I transferred all to a local office and in the process I was 'twisted ' or 'switched' into a new more exp...
by Milano
Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]
Replies: 95
Views: 10999

Re: POLL: How Old is Your Newest Motor Vehicle? -- REVISED

2000 Boxster 104,000 mi.
1992 318is 140,000 mi.
1988 R100GS 90,000 mi.
by Milano
Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: How Old is Your Newest Motor Vehicle? -- REVISED
Replies: 51
Views: 3277

Re: Evaluating annuities, agent non-responsive

I am in the last steps in getting out of an annuity that was sold to me by a full service brokerage firm when in fact I had asked the full service brokerage firm to transfer my IRA, taxable account and the annuity from one out of state office to a in state office. The slick salesman broker switched ...
by Milano
Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating annuities, agent non-responsive
Replies: 6
Views: 563

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Everyone wants to live near the beach in California. The closer you get to the beach the prices will get higher. You can always live further inland. I live 8 miles from the beach. My 25 year old townhome is only 400K. :shock: I moved here not to go surfing but because of the architecture firm in We...
by Milano
Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 114
Views: 8392

Re: Calling all Cyclists... [help getting into cycling]

Milano: Your route looks a lot more intesting than mine (NW Indiana)! Are you able to ride year round? I can only go April - late Oct. Ed In theory yes but during workdays this does the job. Saves time and one can watch TV. I have not used this much lately, there was a time when it got more 'miles'...
by Milano
Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Cyclists... [help getting into cycling]
Replies: 71
Views: 5991

Re: Calling all Cyclists... [help getting into cycling]

I am getting back into cycling after two years of very little cycling, 16 or 17 rides each year. A good motivator has been the app Ridewitgps it is free and records all your rides mileage calories speed and times on on a webpage. The more popular Strava did not work on my Verizon cell. On both you c...
by Milano
Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Cyclists... [help getting into cycling]
Replies: 71
Views: 5991

Re: Convince me to visit Italy

If this does not convince you, nothing and nobody will: http://www.italia.it/fileadmin/src/img/cluster_gallery/mare/portofino/portofino_porticciolo.jpg Victoria I have been in one those fishermen's boats. Let's wake up at 4:00 in the mattina and turn on the one piston Anzani Diesel engine, the prop...
by Milano
Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince me to visit Italy
Replies: 77
Views: 5787

Re: Convince me to visit Italy

I grew up in Italy, my family moved to the States in the mid seventies. Finished high school here and earned my professional degree here. Have not been back in more than twenty years, not because Italy is bad, but because of work & money. I see Italian tourists here where we live in the summer i...
by Milano
Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince me to visit Italy
Replies: 77
Views: 5787

Re: Talk me out of buying a Porsche Convertible. DISASTER!!!

The Bogleheads forum is great for discussing the financial aspect of this. I drive a paid for '00 Boxster a '92 318is, I do most of the maintenance myself. Best sources for information for your car are: http://www.renntech.org http://www.pelicanparts.com http://www.rennlist.com Discussing what happe...
by Milano
Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Porsche Convertible. DISASTER!!!
Replies: 45
Views: 7117

NYT Article on Fiduciaries

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/your-money/rule-to-make-brokers-act-in-clients-interest-still-pending-after-4-years.html?_r=0 This reflects my experience with my last broker: "David O’Brien, a certified financial planner, has tried to repair the retirement portfolios of several victims over ...
by Milano
Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [NY Times - brokers fight fiduciary obligation]
Replies: 54
Views: 5197

Re: Vanguard Annuity Allocation

Easy as pie. If you want 60/40 they have a fund called "moderate allocation". That is essentially (or exactly) like LIfe Strategy MOderate Growth. But I sense you also think bonds are expensive -- who doesn't. But it would be market timing to make an allocation decision based on that. The...
by Milano
Fri May 23, 2014 10:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Annuity Allocation
Replies: 5
Views: 710

Vanguard Annuity Allocation

I am trying to choose which of the 17 funds I should use in a Vanguard variable annuity that I am 1035 exchanging myself. I have a three fund portfolio in a traditional IRA. I thought of allocating 40% to a bond mutual fund, but that has not preformed well recently and 60% to 2 index funds that are ...
by Milano
Thu May 22, 2014 11:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Annuity Allocation
Replies: 5
Views: 710

Re: Annuity Recinded!

Talk to the Vanguard annuity people. I have heard they are quite knowledgeable. Congratulations! I did call Vanguard this AM, and I am trying to understand the mechanics of completing the 1035 exchange. More important is making sure that closing the previous annuity does not result in taxable incom...
by Milano
Mon May 19, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity Recinded!
Replies: 15
Views: 2941

Re: Annuity Recinded!

A letter from the insurance company was received this week. Previously I filed a complaint with FINRA, both the 'wealth management' firm and the insurance company seem eager to close the annuity by a June deadline. The letter contains a Settlement and Release Agreement and a Taxpayer Information for...
by Milano
Sun May 18, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity Recinded!
Replies: 15
Views: 2941

Re: Annuity - Too Expensive to Ditch

I am in the same position, last year I transferred an IRA an annuity and a taxable account to Vanguard from Merrill Lynch. It took one year and a FINRA complaint to have the insurance company rescind the annuity with no surrender charges. ML sold me the annuity when I was unemployed in 2011, I neede...
by Milano
Fri May 16, 2014 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity - Too Expensive to Ditch
Replies: 10
Views: 1235

Re: Annuity Recinded!

Why was the new annuity considered non suitable. understanding you had been in past annuities. What did the agent do to misrepresent the facts? Until I get a letter from the insurance co. I cannot state the proceedings. The phone call stated that the insurance co. is making an 'offer'. My complaint...
by Milano
Mon May 12, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity Recinded!
Replies: 15
Views: 2941

Re: Annuity Recinded!

mickeyd wrote:Why was FINRA involved? Was a VA involved?


FINRA was involved because I contested the suitability of the sale of annuity (3).

Yes it was a variable annuity.

State is CA, I considered filing with CA Dept. of Insurance if FINRA did not work.
by Milano
Fri May 09, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity Recinded!
Replies: 15
Views: 2941

Re: Annuity Recinded!

So what does rescinded mean? Was annuity two (1996 - 2011 version) reinstated? If so, then you were in two, a change to three was made, the change was rescinded, and you are now back in two. Are these the facts? Based on a phone conversation with the insurer I do not know until I receive their writ...
by Milano
Fri May 09, 2014 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity Recinded!
Replies: 15
Views: 2941

Re: Annuity Recinded!

Sounds to me as if it's being treated as if it never existed with no tax consequences. Bruce This tax part I do not understand. Will the amount of the annuity be seen by the IRS as income? History: With broker since 1985, annuity (1) started. 1996 annuity replaced by new annuity (2) by broker. 2011...
by Milano
Fri May 09, 2014 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity Recinded!
Replies: 15
Views: 2941

Annuity Recinded!

Got a call today from the insurance company that the insurer is rescinding my annuity without surrender charges. This is after a year long battle with the insurer and the broker over the unsuitability of the sale. A complaint was filed with FINRA. I am not 59-1/2 years old, to avoid a 10% penalty I ...
by Milano
Fri May 09, 2014 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity Recinded!
Replies: 15
Views: 2941

Re: [Help me select a fund for my wife's IRA]

If you're investing only in Traditional IRA accounts, maybe you should both consider a Target Retirement of Lifestategy fund that matches your desired asset allocation. Do you either of you have access to an employer plan like 401k, 403b, 457b? Are you self employed? Wife does not work (elderly par...
by Milano
Sat May 03, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Help me select a fund for my wife's IRA]
Replies: 5
Views: 340

Re: [Help me select a fund for my wife's IRA]

What other retirement funds do you have? You should be selecting a fund in the IRA that is complementary with any other retirement accounts that you and the spouse have. I have a 3 fund portfolio in a traditional IRA account. I opened a spousal traditional IRA to maximaze our IRS deductions. Since ...
by Milano
Sat May 03, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Help me select a fund for my wife's IRA]
Replies: 5
Views: 340

[Help me select a fund for my wife's IRA]

[Moved into a stand-alone thread from: If you could hold only one fund, which one would it be? --admin LadyGeek] When filing our 2013 taxes I opened an IRA for my wife at Vanguard, added the maximum $ 5,500.00. The amount is not invested at this time, for this amount I think it might be good to use...
by Milano
Fri May 02, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Help me select a fund for my wife's IRA]
Replies: 5
Views: 340

Re: Annuities - Is Anyone Satisfied?

Very dissatisfied. ML client for fro 29 years until 2013, I was sold a Prudential variable annuity in 2011while transferring from one ML office to another. Did not know what annuity is. After many months of research I realized what a bad mistake this was under my financial circumstances. In 2009 I l...
by Milano
Fri May 02, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuities - Is Anyone Satisfied?
Replies: 37
Views: 2508

Re: Nisiprius answers a question.

thethinker wrote:thank you to everyone who made a post, this has been great information and I am learning lots.


Adding my thanks, having started the three fund portfolio in January, nisiprius's post is crystal clear.
by Milano
Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Please Help me understand 3-fund portfolio
Replies: 21
Views: 3157

Re: Elio Car

I suspect it's going to be vaporware. I honestly don't know much about this company, but have seen several of these similar well-funded trike/cars vanish completely in the past 5 years after getting a fair amount of press and awards. (Like the Aptera , just one of many.) Would otherwise love to see...
by Milano
Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elio Car
Replies: 37
Views: 3619

Re: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?

Milano, you're sitting pretty there. Santa Monica is a favorite area of ours. Do your property taxes go up when you add on to a house or are the taxes still based on your original purchase price? I don't know if the home is reassessed at sale or at permitting new construction. It worked not by inte...
by Milano
Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 142
Views: 10937

Re: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987, for what I do (Commercial & Education Architect) the best projects and firms at the time were either in New York or Los Angeles (now its China). I did not move here to go surfing. Bought a home in 1998 for $ 245,000 with a $ 100,000 down payment. Refinanced in '06...
by Milano
Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 142
Views: 10937

Re: Help deciding to surrender Variable Annuity or not

I am in a similar situation. Over the last year I have been trying to get out of a variable annuity, now I am filing a complaint with FINRA on the basis that in my case this is considered 'switching' or 'twisting', there are suitability issues as I was unemployed at the time of the sale and in need ...
by Milano
Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help deciding to surrender Variable Annuity or not
Replies: 22
Views: 2019

Re: Why does a Boglehead move to an adviser at 1.25% AUM?

555 wrote:Early onset dementia.


Yes, like J. Nesham (sp?) in California in 2012 who went to jail for selling an elderly person a variable annuity, the court reached the verdict based on the fact that the client was on early stages of dementia.
by Milano
Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does a Boglehead move to an adviser at 1.25% AUM?
Replies: 63
Views: 4683

Moving our investments from Merrill Lynch to Vanguard in 198

I have been a Merrill Lynch client since 1985. It was (is) one of the worst decisions I have done.
by Milano
Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch
Replies: 19
Views: 1965

Re: Move to California means what $ ?

Also, to add to what I posted before - However - one real phenomenon that hasn't changed here, even through the recent real estate crash - housing prices appreciate like crazy. The house we bought in the middle of the nadir of the real estate downturn didn't even lose any value whatsoever and rocke...
by Milano
Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to California means what $ ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4703

Re: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?

I have a paid for '00 Boxster with 100,000 miles, I do the maintenance, but used a mechanic to replace the clutch. $ 2,000! This is the only time the car has been to a shop. The car is likely worth $ 10,000.
by Milano
Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?
Replies: 95
Views: 6955

Re: Quick Question About IRA Tax Deduction

Thanks for the valid responses.

The greater question here is if I should eek my way out of the annuity by withdrawing and investing the 10% each year into my IRA and take the tax deductions for then years or take the plunge and 1035 int a lower cost annuity. Doing the math is what I need to learn.
by Milano
Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick Question About IRA Tax Deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 413

Re: Quick Question About IRA Tax Deduction

Is your annuity qualified or non-qualified? In the case of the other thread, his Variable Annuity was inside a SIMPLE-IRA so there would be no tax consequences to rollover to a Traditional IRA or Rollover IRA. If your annuity is non-qualified (outside of IRA, 401k, 403b etc), there would be tax cons...
by Milano
Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick Question About IRA Tax Deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 413

Re: Quick Question About IRA Tax Deduction

It is not too late to contribute to Traditional IRA or Roth IRA for 2013. The deadline for 2013 contributions is April 15, 2014. If you're in a high cost annuity, you may just want to rip the bandaid off in one shot and pay the surrender charges. The surrender charges are a sunk cost that you agree...
by Milano
Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick Question About IRA Tax Deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 413

Quick Question About IRA Tax Deduction

I am trying to get out of an annuity sold to me in 2011. I can withdraw free of penalties 10% every year, to minimize the damage that this annuity is doing to my prtfolio I am planning to to put this amount into my IRA account, it is March now, can I claim a deduction if I transfer the funds now? Or...
by Milano
Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick Question About IRA Tax Deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 413

Re: Cost Analysis: Living in CA vs the South

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987, for what I do for a living I can work in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. I moved here for the work opportunities (architect), the progressive design trends, and the Pacific rim economy. I can work in offices in the SF valley Los Angeles, West LA, and Orange county....
by Milano
Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost Analysis: Living in CA vs the South
Replies: 79
Views: 6045

Re: preventing rust on car exhaust system

We have a '92 318is and a '00 Boxster, both have the original exhaust system, they lasted on both cars because they are stainless steel, I do all maintenance on both cars and have replaced plated steel mufflers on a TR4 and my father's Vista Crusier. I would argue that rust also starts from the insi...
by Milano
Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: preventing rust on car exhaust system
Replies: 28
Views: 2413

I Cannot Afford to Dream

I've always liked cars and motorcycles and working on them, because of curiosity about mechanical things and because of financial necessity. Since school I've always maintained and fixed my cars, motorcycles and bicycles. Currently we have a 2000 Boxster that was bought on '04, It has been to the me...
by Milano
Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your dream car?
Replies: 185
Views: 11481

Re: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?

Blindly trusting the Thundering Herd for 28 years and being sold 3 annuities in the process.
by Milano
Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?
Replies: 101
Views: 8360

Re: Cheapest way to own and operate a car

I like cars and motorcycles, let me start by stating that I wish at 54 I knew more about investments than I do now about cars, financial knowledge is more important than mechanical knowledge. Both cars are paid for long ago prior to the great recession,and this helped survive it. One is a '92 318is ...
by Milano
Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to own and operate a car
Replies: 18
Views: 2242

Re: How many square feet is your home?

900 square feet. Married 54 YO. Paid $ 245,000 in 1998, $100,000 down payment, 4.26% 15 years fixed rate mortgage, nine years left to pay off. I usually pay more than mortgage bill. Many discussions with wife about expanding, adding square footage, or buying a bigger home, how do we finance this? Ho...
by Milano
Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many square feet is your home?
Replies: 162
Views: 11213

Re: Taking ownership of investing kind of like giving birth?

I am experiencing the same problems after 29 years with Merrill Lynch. After enduring long periods of unemployment since February of 2009 and a decrease in earnings close to 1/2 of what I was earning previous to 2009. 54 years old, married, no babies, homeowner, home mortgage left to pay is $ 58,000...
by Milano
Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking ownership of investing kind of like giving birth?
Replies: 14
Views: 806

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

I have transferred out of the broker in May, the money sits in IRA Vanguard account and a taxable account, the majority circa 80% s in the IRA account. I am reading the Bogleheads Guide to Investing and the information on the Wiki about the three fund portfolio. My question is how to distribute the ...
by Milano
Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three Fund Portfolio
Replies: 968
Views: 410344

Re: How many big moves have you made in your lifetime?

1. 1959 Born, Lexington, KY 2. 1959 Milano, Italy 3. 1965 Oxford, UK 4. 1974 London, UK 5. 1974 Milano, Italy 6. 1975 Galveston, TX 7. 1979 Houston, TX (college) 8. 1984 San Antonio, TX (internship) 9.1985 Houston, TX (grad. school) 10. 1986 Austin, TX 11. 1987 Los Angeles, CA 12.1989 San Francisco,...
by Milano
Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many big moves have you made in your lifetime?
Replies: 76
Views: 5776
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