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Re: Bring USD to Louisiana USA from Philippines

Doesn't customs relate to carrying more than $10k in cash? Does a $35k check count?

Either way. I'd wire it in.
by Rainier
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bring USD to Louisiana USA from Philippines
Replies: 19
Views: 1675

Re: Perplexed by Oil Heating Issue

Do you have a priority Switch? Some systems have a zone priority that gives priority to one zone, typically the upstairs zone.

We have one that was setup wrong. It was giving priority to the upstairs even though our furnace could easily heat the whole house.
by Rainier
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perplexed by Oil Heating Issue
Replies: 8
Views: 982

Re: Snow on Gas Meter?

Makes it harder for them to cut you off when you get delinquent on your bills.

Real Answers:

That's where the emergency cutoff is (and out in the street)
That's where they read the meter (i think they drive by mine with a sensor)
by Rainier
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow on Gas Meter?
Replies: 13
Views: 1501

Re: UMB vs HSA?

My wife's company just changed from chasehsa to UMB. I wish we had chase back, their funds were cheaper than UMB.

In that list of 170 funds, there is literally not one cheap option. The fidelity funds even have massive loads.

I am leaning toward the annual rollover and using Saturna Capital.
by Rainier
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: UMB vs HSA?
Replies: 13
Views: 1418

Re: Did the Swiss stock market really lose 9%?

The Swiss have utterly destroyed their economy. I am going to Switzerland in three weeks. I already rebooked one hotel that was less expensive and negotiated a 10% discount on the other. I plan on requesting a discount on virtually everything I buy there if their prices have not been adjusted. Swiss...
by Rainier
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did the Swiss stock market really lose 9%?
Replies: 15
Views: 2201

Re: Avoiding the Kiddie Tax on Capital Gains

Exactly, harvest the gains to stay under the annual limit. Wash sales don't apply, but the fir may restrict the sell-buy
by Rainier
Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Avoiding the Kiddie Tax on Capital Gains
Replies: 4
Views: 529

Re: Amazon Prime Is $72 Tomorrow for New Users

My wife got the email but I didn't. Problem solved, my wife registered today for prime.
by Rainier
Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Is $72 Tomorrow for New Users
Replies: 27
Views: 2916

Re: Amazon Prime Is $72 Tomorrow for New Users

What defines a new user?

My prime expired on 12/31 and I didn't renew. Think I will get it for $72 tomorrow?
by Rainier
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Is $72 Tomorrow for New Users
Replies: 27
Views: 2916

Re: Riverboat Cruising in US

Do these exist? The Mississippi sounds mighty borIng to what you've seen in Europe. Columbia sounds interesting. What about the Erie Canal?
by Rainier
Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riverboat Cruising in US
Replies: 5
Views: 889

Re: Is $50 oil really the norm?

Why can you discuss oil prices and not the price of the Swiss Franc? How is this any different? Will a forum admin answer this? I have expenses I have to pay in CHF in a few weeks just like everyone has to buy oil. It's supply and demand, not politics. Gas is so cheap now I just leave my car running...
by Rainier
Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $50 oil really the norm?
Replies: 41
Views: 3510

Re: Confused: Why does anyone buy German bonds?

Germans do. Large companies and banks do because they don't have deposit insurance.
by Rainier
Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Confused: Why does anyone buy German bonds?
Replies: 24
Views: 2673

Re: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro

ge1 wrote:No, it means that banks who deposit CHF with the Swiss National Bank need to pay for the pleasure of having a CHF deposit.


Agreed, this is what negative interest means.

Why isn't SNB just printing cash? This is going to crush their economy.
by Rainier
Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro
Replies: 25
Views: 2271

Re: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro

The central bank also cut its main interest rate to -0.75 percent—a move further into negative territory. They have negative interest rates? And here I thought rates in the US could only go up. What does that mean? If I borrow money in Switzerland, I only have to give back some of it? No, it means ...
by Rainier
Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro
Replies: 25
Views: 2271

Re: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro

Looks like the market is saying the CHF should be at parity with the EUR. Seems logical to me, not sure why their economy would be any different than the continent that surrounds them in the long run. Expect some exciting hedge fund bankruptcies to emerge from this currency move....pigs get slaughte...
by Rainier
Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro
Replies: 25
Views: 2271

Re: Anybody use Google Hangouts on cellphone to make WiFi ca

It's troubling that hangouts uses data to make call? How so? That's the entire basis of the app. Planning on forwarding my cell mumber to google voice while overseas so I can receive calls (while on wifi). I should be able to make free calls to the U.S. as well. What software are you using that keep...
by Rainier
Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody use Google Hangouts on cellphone to make WiFi calls?
Replies: 18
Views: 1801

Re: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro

Lucky me! I'm going to Switzerland in four weeks. My trip is about 15% more expensive than it was yesterday. I may call up my hotel and ask to pay now (ask for a discount too) to lock in some of my costs. Any thoughts on what to do? We are currently planning on spending two nights in Brig (train to ...
by Rainier
Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro
Replies: 25
Views: 2271

Re: Overseas Foreign Exchange Rates

It's 23 cents in a $1400 purchase! Less than two basis points. Who cares?
by Rainier
Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overseas Foreign Exchange Rates
Replies: 3
Views: 373

Re: Denver area ski in/out lodging?

Denver is in the plains. I wouldn't call those Denver ski areas.

I highly recommend Cooper. The ski area is great. I'm not sure what the truth is with those distances. Probably somewhere in the middle. 1000 feet isn't that far either way
by Rainier
Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Denver area ski in/out lodging?
Replies: 22
Views: 1419

Re: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate

So...it looks like you are getting a competitive market exchange rate on these cards. I'm a little tired of the playing the bonus game and cancelling after a year. My AMEX is my main card, but I would like a good Visa/MC for backup (and no foreign fees). I'm currently using a Chase Freedom that only...
by Rainier
Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

Re: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate

I cancelled the Barclay Arrival+ last month just before the one year anniversary. They didn't ask or pressure me into staying. I would have stayed, but I didn't want to pay the fee. The card was actually enrolled in my wife's name (I had a card too). I wonder if I could do another card in my name an...
by Rainier
Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate

I'm looking for a no foreign transaction fee (and no annual fee) credit card. A chip card would also be good. Right now I'm looking at the BankAmericard Travel Rewards and the VentureOne card. I'm open to other suggestions. My main questions is about the no foreign transaction fee deal. Since I am n...
by Rainier
Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

Switzerland / Italy in February with Kids

I just booked a flight to Milan for my family (me, wife and two kids aged 3 and 5). We have no other plans right now, but I'd like to spend most of the time in Switzerland. We land in Milan on Saturday the 14th around noon and leave the following Saturday afternoon. Not even sure if we want to rent ...
by Rainier
Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switzerland / Italy in February with Kids
Replies: 0
Views: 347

Re: EZ-Pass scam?

The real scam is monthly fees. How is that even legal? It's your choice whether to pay monthly fees--you can obtain an E-Z Pass from any state that issues them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-ZPass#Fees_and_discounts_by_state And of course the appropriate response is not to click on links in *any* ...
by Rainier
Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [phishing with fake] EZ-Pass [e-mail]
Replies: 15
Views: 1640

Re: EZ-Pass scam?

The real scam is monthly fees. How is that even legal? Ez-pass saves the toll companies so much money.
by Rainier
Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [phishing with fake] EZ-Pass [e-mail]
Replies: 15
Views: 1640

Re: DINK 200K household income - ways to reduce taxable inco

Have kids
Donate more
Work less
Take a pay cut
Retire early
by Rainier
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DINK 200K household income - ways to reduce taxable income?
Replies: 31
Views: 3760

Re: Mortgage sold to shady lender

Hazard insurance has nothing to do with your escrow. Hazard insurance is what lenders place when you don't have insurance.

You can pick your insurance company and still escrow the payment.
by Rainier
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mortgage sold to shady lender
Replies: 9
Views: 1089

Re: Speeding in CT with NY license

Are you sure it wasn't 81 in a 55? We don't have many 65 zones in CT.

I'd probably just pay and move on. I my first ticket a few years ago in VT with a CT license. It was a scam to raise funds to pay for repairs after Irene. My speed was totally inflated but the cost of fighting was too high.
by Rainier
Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Speeding in CT with NY license
Replies: 14
Views: 1337

Re: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed

I'm not sure HD has the situation under control yet. My coworker went to the store on Wednesday night to buy something. Last night she got a call from her cc company that there was suspicious activity on he her card. They were right, somebody had already cloned the card and were making fraudulent pu...
by Rainier
Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed
Replies: 43
Views: 6446

Re: frontier markets

I doubt you can invest in any frontier markets for less than 79bps. Not really fair to call it expensive when comparing it to domestic funds. I was going to buy an ounce of silver but instead I bought one share of FM (no commission at Fidelity). Figured it had earning power and much lower costs of t...
by Rainier
Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: frontier markets
Replies: 15
Views: 1267

Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

I also recommend Interlaken, Grindelwald and taking the train up the Jungfrau.

I wish we went to Zermatt to see the Marterhorn.

Trains are very easy and go everywhere.
by Rainier
Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?
Replies: 14
Views: 1104

Re: Pay off Debt, by cashing in Retirement account?

Sounds like a a fast track to bankruptcy. You won't do it this time, but something in your brain is saying this May be a good idea next time...maybe to buy a house. You take out $50k in a few years and they blow the withholding so you spend all of it. Come tax time you owe $20k for the privilege of ...
by Rainier
Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off Debt, by cashing in Retirement account?
Replies: 25
Views: 2187

Re: downpayment .. now or next year ?

Somebody buying a $700k house shouldn't worry about paying an extra $2200 in taxes. It seems like a trivial amount compared to your assets/income. Doesn't make any sense to me.
by Rainier
Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: downpayment .. now or next year ?
Replies: 8
Views: 843

Re: Taxable account as emergency fund?

With $400k in a taxable account you don't need an emergency fund...you have $400k!

Get a margin account with check writing and you could write a $200k check anytime you want. Sell stock to cover the check and you might pay 3 days of margin interest at the most.
by Rainier
Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable account as emergency fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 850

Re: Help with Personal Investments

No, do it yourself. Isn't that why you came here? You can figure it out.
by Rainier
Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Personal Investments
Replies: 15
Views: 1295

Re: NYC [Visit to New York City]

If you're a runner go for a loop around Central Park Staten Island ferry and brooklyn bridge are free. Just went to the top of the Statue of Liberty today for the first time. Coolest thing I have ever done in NYC. Besides running the NYC marathon. If you have ancestors that came through Ellis Island...
by Rainier
Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC [Visit to New York City]
Replies: 45
Views: 2329

Re: Norton Auto Renewal

It's cheaper to just buy a new version of the software than it is to renew.

You don't even have to install the new software, just use the product key it comes with
by Rainier
Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Symantec anti-virus] Norton Auto Renewal
Replies: 21
Views: 1294

Re: Why do we tip restaurant servers?

There is a Freakonomics Podcast on this topic, listen to it. Most of what was said above is statistically wrong. For example, there is almost no correlation to the quality of service and the size of the tip. Basically, the customer gives the same amount no matter what...but the servers still serve l...
by Rainier
Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do we tip restaurant servers?
Replies: 44
Views: 2453

Re: Pay off that Mortgage?

I wouldn't pay it off.

I assume you already have enough income to cover the payments. I'd invest the surplus, you could be very conservative and still beat that rate.
by Rainier
Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off that Mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 2554

Re: Muni bond fund - MUB or ?

I would use MUB.

You can reinvest dividends at Fidelity with ETFs, so you get fractional shares just like a mutual fund.
by Rainier
Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni bond fund - MUB or ?
Replies: 10
Views: 884

Actively Managed Bond Portfolio

I am basically running a three fund portfolio right now (total us, total international, and total bond market). It seems like a lot of people here are branching out into CDs and individual treasuries. I am curious what you are buying and why? I'm not looking to market time or buy distressed junk bon...
by Rainier
Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Actively Managed Bond Portfolio
Replies: 1
Views: 324

Re: Runners and compression socks

The more you wear them the less they do. I think your body just adapts to the pressure.

I started wearing them last summer when I had Achilles tendinitis. I think they helped at first, but the benefit seemed to wear off.
by Rainier
Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Runners and compression socks
Replies: 18
Views: 1716

Re: Any suggestions/feedback is appreciated

At fidelity I can reinvest dividend into regular stocks and etfs, and I get partial shares. The problem with REITs isn't just the ordinary income they pay out, they also have return of capital so your cost basis is constantly changing (dropping). Not a big issue anymore because it is all tracked by ...
by Rainier
Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any suggestions/feedback is appreciated
Replies: 19
Views: 1200

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

At a minimum shorten the flight and reduce time zone changes as much as possible.

There are plenty of exotic places to go that are closer than Southeast Asia.
by Rainier
Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?
Replies: 40
Views: 2998

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!
by Rainier
Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?
Replies: 40
Views: 2998

Re: cash reserves

Berkshire Hathaway has $50b in cash reserves right now with a vow to never have less than $20b

All they do is market time. Buying when values are low and selling when they are high.
by Rainier
Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cash reserves
Replies: 19
Views: 1888

Re: Considering a trip to Bali

I was there in 2005. Spent a few nights at a resort on Nusa Lembongan. It was beautiful.

It's easy to avoid the motorbike dangers....don't drive one or ride on one.

Not sure I can add much. It is affordable, except it is really far away and costs a lot to get there.
by Rainier
Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a trip to Bali
Replies: 10
Views: 1384

Re: Tiny portfolio allocation for student

For $500 I wouldn't bother, sorry. Odds of losing money in one year are pretty high with that allocation.

What about I bonds? Not easy to access for a year (which is good).
by Rainier
Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tiny portfolio allocation for student
Replies: 7
Views: 620

Re: Tell Vanguard they need 2 factor authentication

Do a poll. How many people have had money stolen from Vanguard and not been made whole?
by Rainier
Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell Vanguard they need 2 factor authentication
Replies: 52
Views: 2774

Re: The Worst Investment You Can Make: Buying a Home

Pretty sure having kids is far worse. Who is going to write that article?
by Rainier
Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Worst Investment You Can Make: Buying a Home
Replies: 135
Views: 17088

Re: How do you address your inlaws and being addressed?

I've generally avoided the whole thing for seven years now.

Since having kids it's easier because I can just call them grandma and grandpa now.
by Rainier
Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you address your inlaws and being addressed?
Replies: 84
Views: 5250
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