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Re: Hybrid Annuities

I've never heard of them. I think it is likely the word was starting to get out about why some vomitrocious old annuity product was vomitrocious, so someone put just enough of a spin on a product to justify giving it a different name. It's not a Prune Annuity, it's a Dried Plum Annuity. Well, Googl...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hybrid Annuities
Replies: 13
Views: 876

Re: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?

When I first started in computers there was a saying: no one ever got fired for buying from IBM. Selling compatibles to IBM
that phrase was the worst. We had better value, integration, hardware and so on. Yet, they still went with IBM.

Today that phrase is a joke.
by Rob5TCP
Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?
Replies: 52
Views: 2798

Re: How is Consumer Cellular

Re: How is Consumer Cellular Post by Rob5TCP » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:28 pm Can you send/receive texts to Canada with their plans? Their website doesn't say - one way or the other. Yes, you can text anywhere; but CC charge $0.20 per text for international. I think you have to dig a bit deeper into the...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How is Consumer Cellular
Replies: 39
Views: 6865

Re: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?

Phishing is becoming more and more convincing (unlike Nigerian scams which appeal to the lowest common denominator) As data become more and more distributed you can expect phishing to take advantage of this as the costs drop dramatically. I get a few of those "invoices" a month and never r...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?
Replies: 35
Views: 2255

Re: 2nd Opinions on Bond Alternatives?

Non - traded REITS; there have been a fair number of stories about them - mostly negative http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2014/08/27/what-you-need-to-know-about-nontraded-reits/ http://www.finra.org/investors/protectyourself/investoralerts/reits/p124232 http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/23/us-...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2nd Opinions on Bond Alternatives?
Replies: 26
Views: 1431

Re: Attorney Hourly Rates?

Welcome to the most corrupt "profession". As numerous NYT articles have exposed... most attorneys bilk their customers by over-stating billable hours on top of charging exorbitant fees. The epitome of rent-seeking. Since you obviously believe you have discovered "the truth", ple...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attorney Hourly Rates?
Replies: 41
Views: 3001

Re: Attorney Hourly Rates?

Here in NYC rates of $500+ per hour are not uncommon. A senior partner can be twice that. However, for more "mundane stuff" I've paid as little as $150 an hour in the past couple of years. We are in a glut of attorneys that need work. Top end get outrageous sums, but for most work, reasona...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attorney Hourly Rates?
Replies: 41
Views: 3001

Re: Fraud charges on CC again...

I have replaced my Capital One c.c. several times in the last two years. Now I cross out the 3 digit number on the back so it helps stop them from using the card online. Next year the chips should help a bit (especially if they use a pin with it). I did track down one of the people that stole my car...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraud charges on CC again...
Replies: 14
Views: 1552

Re: SEP IRA contribution mistake

I have an S Corp with a SEP IRA (one employee - me). From the beginning my Accountant stressed to write checks only from the company to the SEP IRA (Fidelity, then Vanguard). Unless your audited it probably won't be picked up. Still why have a potential flag. See if perhaps you can reverse the contr...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SEP IRA contribution mistake
Replies: 5
Views: 441

Re: What happened to the audiophile?

I was a second hand audiophile - when my friend upgraded his I bought his "old equipment" Thiel CS3.5; I had an adequate Adcom amp; Grado cartridge to an old turntable (it might have been Rekotut) The cables he gave me cost almost what he charged me for the system (mid 1990's) This system ...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 3688

Re: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?

Papers I Bonds important documents Flash drive with important information $10 million dollars in stolen gold and silver (my bank is on the corner of Madison and 45th Street) Obviously kidding about the last. The price rise is having me consider about having a vault in my apartment and sending a heav...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?
Replies: 39
Views: 2567

Re: Four credit cards hacked in a 2 month period

I've had to replace the same card 4 times in a bit over 2 years. I now check every couple of days. I tracked one of the offenders down and they DID NOTHING. So, it continues. Very profitable, low chance of conviction. I wish they had a chip that required a pin. The only thing you can do is scratch o...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Four credit cards hacked in a 2 month period
Replies: 14
Views: 1484

Re: I'm Chuck and I work at Vanguard and Invest in Active Fu

Unless I am missing something: Total Stock Market did better than diversified equity by just about the amount of difference in their expense ratios: over 5 years Total 15.70% Vs. Diversified 15.53% Expense Ratios: Total: .17% vs. Diversified: .40% Much of the higher long term returns of index is the...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm Chuck and I work at Vanguard and Invest in Active Funds
Replies: 44
Views: 7263

Re: 0% Furniture Credit

These deals are very common. What is the catch. If you read the fine print; if you are late for a payment (even a day) interest (usually 20% or more) is retroactive to the day the account was started. If you can get automatic withdrawal and have it taken out almost at the beginning of each cycle, it...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% Furniture Credit
Replies: 29
Views: 1314

Re: How much is your fixed income investment earning?

Newest are Penfed' 3.0 and TobyHanna's 3.04% (5 and 7 year accordingly)
overall including TIPS, I Bonds, munis probably averages out to about 2.75/3.0
It's been awhile since I have done the calculation
by Rob5TCP
Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much is your fixed income investment earning?
Replies: 27
Views: 1764

Re: help me help a friend, financially

I have a friend who is probably considerably less credit worthy than Ben Bernake refinance his mortgage. If she has large equity in the house, it's worth a shot. Even if her credit is so-so. If her house is in a hot area and much of the Bay Area or L.A. are fairly sellable; she might get the lower r...
by Rob5TCP
Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help me help a friend, financially
Replies: 24
Views: 2371

Re: Verizon: Upgrade iPhone - No longer "Loyal Customer"

I had Verizon for close to 10 years. I make maybe 100 minutes of calls per month, but I text tremendously. When I wanted a new phone (a couple of years ago); they upped my cost (only $10 per month), but that got me looking around. I jumped when they started the more expensive plans last year and mov...
by Rob5TCP
Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon: Upgrade iPhone - No longer "Loyal Customer"
Replies: 22
Views: 3640

Re: REIT's

I used to buy individual REITS, but switched to Vanguard quite awhile ago. The only ones I carry outside of the Vanguard REIT fund are Plum Creek Lumber and Weyhauser. Both are timber REITS and give a little diversification (plus I read some of David Swensen's books awhile back). Together, plus the ...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REIT's
Replies: 12
Views: 1032

Re: Critically Acclaimed Movies you did not like

So far, these come to mind- from reading other listings Ordinary People (got the Oscar instead of Raging Bull - who ever watches Ordinary people now; raging bull is in most film courses) The English Patient Shakespeare in Love Pulp Fiction (but loved Kill Bill, go figure) Any Woody Allen movie - way...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Critically Acclaimed Movies you did not like
Replies: 150
Views: 8019

Re: Your opinion on this S&P note

Here is the product my friend bought and the article By Mr. Zweig for the WSJ http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323854904578263941939124314 if the link doesn't work google: How Apple's Fall Bit Bondholders, Too While this is not the same - the end result, statistically speaking, pr...
by Rob5TCP
Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your opinion on this S&P note
Replies: 6
Views: 804

Re: Your opinion on this S&P note

A friend got SOLD a structured note for Apple computer. She thought she was getting 12%. Well, the stock tanked and in the print was she gets the stock if it goes down more than x%. Jason Zweig interviewed her (from my call to him) in one of his articles. She is an EXTREMELY unsophisticated investor...
by Rob5TCP
Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your opinion on this S&P note
Replies: 6
Views: 804

Re: Why not a portfolio of equity index funds and CD's?

I have most of my non-equity in CD's (some bonds from Wellington). For awhile Ally was give 2.4 and 2.7 with only a 60 day EWP. As they mature I am putting them into 5 year with 6 months penalty (Synchronicity Bank) and some into TobyHanna which is 3.0 but with a high EWP. I am comfortable with this...
by Rob5TCP
Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not a portfolio of equity index funds and CD's?
Replies: 27
Views: 2639

Re: Penfed CDs up rates

ChosenGSR wrote:Holding fingers crossed for those 3% CDs later this year.


If your willing to go to 7 years - TobyHanna has 3.0/3.04% rate. The downside is a 2 year EWP.
One major positive, you can add to it in later years.
by Rob5TCP
Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Penfed CDs up rates
Replies: 11
Views: 3009

Re: manipulating Amazon reviews

I have stopped buying from Amazon completely since January, but I still do use their reviews. One aspect I look at is the ratio of 5 stars to 1 stars. If they are even close to 1 to 1, that gives me an indication that their are major problems, despite what the other reviews are. Besides, most produc...
by Rob5TCP
Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: manipulating Amazon reviews
Replies: 33
Views: 2916

Re: Savings account interest rate increase (!)

As mentioned, Ally Bank had several recent increases (after years of small decreases every month).
A few banks had increases over the summer, but it seems more stayed the seem or decreased.
There have been a couple in the 3% range that I thought were gone when PenFed stopped them.
by Rob5TCP
Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings account interest rate increase (!)
Replies: 7
Views: 1427

Re: fidelity v.s. vanguard

The Spartan index funds at Fidelity are similar to the broad market index funds at Vanguard. However, Vanguard has more index funds and other funds with lower expense ratios. One thing I do not like my Vanguard account is that they seem to keep those funds with zero balance (you owned previously) i...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: fidelity v.s. vanguard
Replies: 18
Views: 1741

Re: Slick Airline Ticket Phishing Scam

The grammatical errors are frequently deliberate. They have limited resources to respond to information they get. They want the lowest common denominators. By having numerous errors, the less sophisticated will respond to this. These are the ones they most easily can take advantage of. http://www.qu...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slick Airline Ticket Phishing Scam
Replies: 14
Views: 1614

Re: Slick Airline Ticket Phishing Scam

The slips for Fed ex are for overnight PACKAGES; just click to fill out the form for re-delivery (or whatever they claim) here is the warning from FedEx http://www.fedex.com/us/update2.html One of many from UPS http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/about/news/service_updates/fraud_alert.html about the US...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slick Airline Ticket Phishing Scam
Replies: 14
Views: 1614

Re: Slick Airline Ticket Phishing Scam

There are 100 variations of this scam a delivery ticket from Fed Ex/UPS/USPS etc, An order you placed with xyz company for $x.xx dollars an overdue electrical bill with your local utility as the "sender" A bounced check from your bank All they want you to do is click and download the attac...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slick Airline Ticket Phishing Scam
Replies: 14
Views: 1614

Re: SS website - credit freeze

I would also add 2FA so you have that extra security. Again, you will have to go to the local office. Her reports were deliberately frozen to avoid fraud. Not sure why yours was. Either case, a local visit usually clears it up. We were lucky. When she got there, you take a number and come back. It g...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS website - credit freeze
Replies: 7
Views: 1017

Re: SS website - credit freeze

I was working with a friend who had the same problem. I was the one who advised her to get a credit freeze. You have to unfreeze at all 3 credit bureaus and then re-freeze. We found it easier to walk 10 blocks to the local office and with full identification get her setup on the website. When we wen...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS website - credit freeze
Replies: 7
Views: 1017

Re: bogus schwab email

Vanguard is supposed to have 2FA within 90 days. Let's hope it happens.
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bogus schwab email [Phishing scam]
Replies: 22
Views: 912

Re: Why not 100% CD's?

Thank you Kevin - that's an excellent analysis. It goes with what my more superficial observations noted. I have felt for awhile, CD's; with a 2.5%-3% rate and reasonable EWP where the best of the fixed income options. I have a good amount of IBonds from when the purchase limits (and yields) were hi...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why not 100% CD's?
Replies: 73
Views: 5234

Re: Why not 100% CD's?

With regard to Tobyhanna, as mentioned it is NCUA insured. N.C.U.A. is the equivalent of the FDIC but it's for Federal Credit Unions. http://www.ncua.gov/Pages/default.aspx Just be aware you may still have difficulty getting through. It did take me 3 weeks to open my accounts. They are a small credi...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why not 100% CD's?
Replies: 73
Views: 5234

Re: Why not 100% CD's?

If you are willing to go to 7 years; you can get slightly more than 3% (actually 3.04% yield). It's from TobyHanna Credit Union in PA (though you don't have to live in PA to join). Pro: variable rate with a FLOOR of 3.04% Maximum rate is 7.23% (based on Prime -3.25%; which would currently be zero, b...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why not 100% CD's?
Replies: 73
Views: 5234

Re: Supporting the Operating Costs of the Forum

I think a little button is a good idea. Some sites have a tiny tag that shows you are a support of XYZ.
No one is pressured or forced to support any site; but it does give an incentive for some to support that might not ordinarily.

PS Just made a donation. But the above is not because of that fact.
by Rob5TCP
Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Supporting the Operating Costs of the Forum
Replies: 9
Views: 1116

Re: Vanguard ETF and fund

Automatic reinvestment of dividends without a charge. No need to worry if there is a large bid/ask difference in the ETF.
If the above two are not important, then an ETF is fine.
One posiible danger is the temptation to "play", for some reason, MAY be greater with an ETF than a fund.
by Rob5TCP
Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard ETF and fund
Replies: 19
Views: 1118

Re: Bond King Gross to leave Pimco for Janus

One of the article mentions that his happened just a month after the SEC announced an investigation into his Total Bond Fund ETF.
http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gro ... mco-2014-9
by Rob5TCP
Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross moving from PIMCO to Janus, Monday
Replies: 113
Views: 10011

Re: How Much Renter's Insurance - Liability Coverage

In the early 90's I lived in an apartment in midtown. There was a water blockage and they shutoff the water. I must have left one on because the apartment below me had water damage when they were turned back on. It wasn't huge, but my renter's policy covered that. I did not have an umbrella policy a...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Renter's Insurance - Liability Coverage
Replies: 8
Views: 728

Re: How Much Renter's Insurance - Liability Coverage

Our renter's liability coverage is only $100,000. But my umbrella policy, which includes my rental property covers $2,000,000. I needed the umbrella poicy anyway, I just needed to find out what they required as a minimum on my rental property. A big question is what assets do you have. I felt $2,000...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Renter's Insurance - Liability Coverage
Replies: 8
Views: 728

Re: Do you consider Dan Wiener to be a Boglehead?

One last thing: Vanguard and John Bogle did sue Dan Wierner: for appropriating the Vanguard
name in huge type:

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/21/busin ... -copy.html
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you consider Dan Wiener to be a Boglehead?
Replies: 32
Views: 2152

Re: SSD+nonSSD HD combos seem to work well

I have a 1TB H/D and a 240GB SSD. The prices have come down so much, it's just not worth it to go to a hybrid. The operating system and my most disk intensive programs/files are on the SSD. I still have about 95GB free. My old storage and large video files are on the H/D, but still leave about 400GB...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SSD+nonSSD HD combos seem to work well
Replies: 17
Views: 1773

Re: Dan Wiener

I post this on the other Weiner thread: I think you would be 10x better with Weiner than with a typical adviser from ML, or any of the other major brokerage houses. And his portfolio are mostly low cost funds, even if they are active. You could do worse. After reading here, and other places, I just ...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dan Wiener
Replies: 19
Views: 2624

Re: Do you consider Dan Wiener to be a Boglehead?

I think you would be 10x better with Weiner than with a typical adviser from ML, or any of the other major brokerage houses. And his portfolio are mostly low cost funds, even if they are active. You could do worse. After reading here, and other places, I just didn't think the expense for his newslet...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you consider Dan Wiener to be a Boglehead?
Replies: 32
Views: 2152

Re: Do you consider Dan Wiener to be a Boglehead?

I doubt you will find anyone on this board that really considers him a Boglehead. Actually he is almost 180 degrees. He is 100% active management, with bravado that he will increase your earnings 122%. I did once subscribe to his newsletter and found it interesting. However, once he raised my rate, ...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you consider Dan Wiener to be a Boglehead?
Replies: 32
Views: 2152

Re: Dan Wiener

This has been debated to death for YEARS. Here are a few of the prior articles. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=91464 http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=75987 http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30820 http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dan Wiener
Replies: 19
Views: 2624

Re: Anyone know anything about diamond rings?

The Diamond industry (to me) is the worst industry to deal with. For the most part you have no idea what you are buying. I have friends/family in the diamond industry and would probably buy Blue Nile or Costco unless my gf objected. The markups are huge - Costco the highest markup is 14% plus I am s...
by Rob5TCP
Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone know anything about diamond rings?
Replies: 49
Views: 1950

Re: Rental Property - Still a Good Investment?

There are many considerations: How tough to get a new tenant if this one leaves (every month is large negative cash flow) How are values AND rents appreciating? Do you count the depreciation you take each year (at your top tax rate). Some of this gets recaptured at selling but it's at the lower capi...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property - Still a Good Investment?
Replies: 31
Views: 3620

Re: Identity theft protection

Frequently when you go to open a new account, the first thing they do is check your credit history (checking/savings accounts, credit cards, etc). If you have a freeze they will ask you to unlock it so they can run the check. At that point, only you can unfreeze it. A thief would not have your code ...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Identity theft protection
Replies: 9
Views: 709

Re: Total bond index or 5 yr CD?

To me I want my risk on the equity side. I can get 3.04% on a 7 year (which I can ADD to during the course of the CD) - this one does have a 2 year early withdrawal penalty so i will be adding most funds in future years. The other has a 2.30% with a 6 month early withdrawal penalty. I consider this ...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total bond index or 5 yr CD?
Replies: 36
Views: 2847
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