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Re: Citibank Structured Notes

You do realize that these are essentially speculation on relative long and short term rates? The risk is not citigroup (not mainly anyway), the risk is changing relative rates. I didn't read enough to know the details, because I don't need to. But I know if they are paying you 10 % that these crap s...
by bberris
Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Citibank Structured Notes
Replies: 3
Views: 448

Re: Small Principal High Rate Debt vs Very Large Principal L

Those "many people" (Many, Louisiana?) are correct. While you would possible save more on interest cost in constant dollar terms paying down a long term note, those interest savings are far in the future. Those far-in-the-future dollars need to be discounted to the present day.
by bberris
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Principal High Rate Debt vs Very Large Principal Low R
Replies: 2
Views: 218

Re: Car Accident in Front Yard

Am I right in assuming a tow truck took the car away? In Louisiana the tow truck is responsible for cleaning up the debris, but they usually don't.
by bberris
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Accident in Front Yard
Replies: 30
Views: 2283

Re: Employer 401ks with high fees

Strange that no one pays a fee for an IRA, with the same reporting and record keeping as a 401k which supposedly costs so much to run.
by bberris
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer 401ks with high fees
Replies: 5
Views: 503

Re: Full Faith and Credit

The US cannot default unless it wants to. I don't know how much comfort you take in that, but to me it means the US will never default. In other words, it always has the ability (but the remote possibility that it won't out of I-don't-know-what) to pay its due bills. They do this by changing numbers...
by bberris
Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Full Faith and Credit
Replies: 37
Views: 2358

Re: New Lexus NX Not an Economy Bargain

I think perhaps you are missing the point of driving a luxury car.
by bberris
Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Lexus NX Not an Economy Bargain
Replies: 38
Views: 3036

Re: Bill Gross majority shareholder in his own fund?

You guys are missing something. He pays the fund management fee to himself. Every other shareholder foots the bill. There is a huge conflict of interest here.
by bberris
Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross majority shareholder in his own fund?
Replies: 20
Views: 1410

Re: Ultra-low or Negative Mortgage Rates and Retirement?

They are probably offering teaser rates on a floating rate loan.
My guess is its just not true. What happened is that the index has gone below zero, but retail mortgages have a margin above the index.
This sound byte is a nothing burger.
by bberris
Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ultra-low or Negative Mortgage Rates and Retirement?
Replies: 1
Views: 294

Re: Are car loans really that bad?

A loan is a loan. Whether you borrow money to buy a car, or a house you still owe the same amount of money. The only difference is the collateral for the loan, and that would only matter if you are in such severe default that they take the collateral. So the argument that borrowing against a car is ...
by bberris
Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are car loans really that bad?
Replies: 86
Views: 6758

Re: Term Life - Return of Premium

It sure looks like whole life to me. It has a savings account built in. Its just that the return is 0 % on the savings part, and there is a severe penalty (100 %) for lapse. In return, the cost is not as high as "whole whole" life. It could be called "Half-Life".
by bberris
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life - Return of Premium
Replies: 13
Views: 826

Re: Need serious help regarding my company's retirement plan

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I don't really see much bad here; the fees are paid by the company. Remember that waiting til the end of the year means an average 6 mo delay; not really that significant. The main problem is that the investing is one-size fits all; not appropriate for...
by bberris
Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need serious help regarding my company's retirement plan
Replies: 19
Views: 1528

Re: TD Ameritrade HSA Options

I made one trade before I saw that you need to sign up. I signed up after, sent an email, and they refunded the commish.
by bberris
Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TD Ameritrade HSA Options
Replies: 13
Views: 832

Re: $7 gas - what would you do?

Try to stop taking hallucinogens.
by bberris
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $7 gas - what would you do?
Replies: 125
Views: 18880

Re: Dave Ramsey's bad advice at an all time high!

This may come as a surprise to you, but Dave is in it for the money. and Vanguard is not? I've got a bridge to sell you. It's true that Vanguard is the low-cost provider, so is Wal-Mart, you think Wal-Mart is in it to be nice? How about any other low-cost providers (insert here). We are a capitalis...
by bberris
Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dave Ramsey's bad advice at an all time high!
Replies: 40
Views: 6441

Re: Inflation-Indexing Wish List

The thresholds for taxation of social security benefits.. but don't hold your breath for this one. The trust fund needs all it can get. Do ordinary income taxes go into the SS Trust Fund? I thought only SS taxes did, and only when there's a surplus (as was designed in with the 1983 rescue), setting...
by bberris
Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation-Indexing Wish List
Replies: 12
Views: 917

Re: "Vanguard Group execs say deflation a real risk..."

To really bet on deflation, 30 year zero coupon treasuries are your chip.
by bberris
Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard Group execs say deflation a real risk..."
Replies: 61
Views: 6310

Re: I see rental properties as bonds. Am I completely off b

These posts are all of a pattern:

My (job, social security, dividend stocks, rental property, house I live in, trust fund ...) pay like bonds. Interest rates have to go up.

Really if you don't want to own bonds no one is forcing you. But don't delude yourself into this kind of thinking.
by bberris
Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I see rental properties as bonds. Am I completely off base?
Replies: 28
Views: 2405

Re: What's Driving LT Treasuries This Year?

Rate hikes have been imminent for the last 4 years. I have a feeling they will continue to be imminent as long as I live and then some.
by bberris
Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's Driving LT Treasuries This Year?
Replies: 17
Views: 1903

Re: Boglehead theory on p2p lending?

Besides, I already use an index-like strategy for P2P lending. You mentioned buying shares of a particular type or class of loan. My (simplified) filters invest me into borrowers with 110k+ income and who are refinancing debt. I have been buying every single note that fits this criteria for the pas...
by bberris
Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead theory on p2p lending?
Replies: 52
Views: 5666

Re: Corperate Bonds vs Muni Bonds (for short term Roth accou

There are taxable muni bonds and bond funds (build america bonds) and you are allowed to put them in a tax deferred account. Also you are allowed to put tax free bonds in a sheltered account but it's not advisable.
by bberris
Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Corperate Bonds vs Muni Bonds (for short term Roth account)
Replies: 10
Views: 1305

Re: Travel Insurance

Maybe you are already insured and don't realize it. Did you check your credit card benefits? Mine covers up to $10,000. I'm pretty sure that usually only covers stuff like the tour gets cancelled or interrupted. Not that you need to renege because your elderly parent is in the hospital. Chase Sapph...
by bberris
Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel Insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 3038

Re: Travel Insurance

Maybe you are already insured and don't realize it. Did you check your credit card benefits? Mine covers up to $10,000.
by bberris
Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel Insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 3038

Re: Foreign tax credit if I sell?

If you are thinking of hanging on just to get the foreign tax credit, don't. Lets assume $51 NAV and a $3 dividend soon. After the dividend, you will have a $48 NAV, $2 in cash, and a $1 tax credit. Still $51.
by bberris
Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign tax credit if I sell?
Replies: 14
Views: 1404

Re: An interesting way I just thought about debt

There's nothing special about spending on your debt service. Whether you spend the money on debt service for your previous consumption, or spend it today for current consumption makes no difference in after tax terms. All of your expenses are after tax. So if you go out to eat and pay the $100 bill ...
by bberris
Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: An interesting way I just thought about debt
Replies: 18
Views: 2704

Re: Bond fund that pays no taxable interest?

A CEF (and open end fund as well) has to follow certain rules to be a pass-through entity. If they retain taxable earnings, you and irs get a form imputing the income to you. Very few CEFs do that, I remember it happening only with capital gains. A fund that holds taxable instruments will either pay...
by bberris
Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond fund that pays no taxable interest?
Replies: 12
Views: 1528

Re: Zion National Park

I don't see why you would need a guide. There are probably significant restrictions on guiding in the park. The best hike ever, I have done it twice is orderville canyon. Park at the visitor center, get a permit the day before, and hire a shuttle service (their cards are next to the permit desk) to ...
by bberris
Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zion National Park
Replies: 16
Views: 1233

Re: Dealing with unauthorized (lawyer) bill

Phone? And miss two pages of deliberately obfuscated threads? What would be the point of that?
by bberris
Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with unauthorized (lawyer) bill
Replies: 61
Views: 9753

Re: Does investing in a 401k actually save any money?

The answer is yes for most people, but it depends. The big benefit is that you contribute at your marginal rate, probably 25 % or higher, but your withdrawals will be at least partially tax free (personal exemptions + standard deduction) and low tax 15 % bracket to 73,000. So lower taxes in retireme...
by bberris
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does investing in a 401k actually save any money?
Replies: 75
Views: 10650

Re: Vacation in France

Money can buy happiness, but you have to spend it. Accumulating wealth is not an end in itself.
by bberris
Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation in France
Replies: 96
Views: 11449

Re: Mortgage Fraud-People take out mortgage on YOUR property

Suspicious activity does not equal fraud. Maybe the suspicious people have just become more suspicious. Most mortgage fraud involves buyers or refinancers inflating their income and property values. Anyway, wouldn't the bank be the loser in this fraud? It seems pretty easy to prove that you are stil...
by bberris
Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Fraud-People take out mortgage on YOUR property???
Replies: 8
Views: 2209

Re: Investing in Chocolate? New to all of this.. need help.

Investing in chocolate! Great. At least this isn't another Tesla thread.
by bberris
Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Chocolate? New to all of this.. need help.
Replies: 23
Views: 4561

Re: Can active funds reliably beat the index? Actually, Yes

I am reminded of my engineer colleague who found that his three experiments would precisely fit to a quadratic equation. With zero error!
by bberris
Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can active funds reliably beat the index? Actually, Yes.
Replies: 41
Views: 7782

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Oryx and Crake series by Margaret Atwood. She disclaims that they are sci fi, but I think she really means they are not space-opera.
by bberris
Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 155
Views: 8955

Re: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund

The consumer solar energy market is an uneconomical boondogle driven by two things: government and regulation. OK, thats one thing. If the government pulls the rug out, all these companies are busted. Costs of solar power have been plummeting. Is this due to government and regulation? If so, it's a...
by bberris
Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund
Replies: 67
Views: 6948

Re: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund

The consumer solar energy market is an uneconomical boondogle driven by two things: government and regulation. OK, thats one thing. If the government pulls the rug out, all these companies are busted.
by bberris
Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund
Replies: 67
Views: 6948

Re: Company stock

Well you know your company better than us. If I worked for Exxon, I would take advantage of that offer, assuming it was a smallish portion of my portfolio.
by bberris
Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Company stock
Replies: 9
Views: 971

Re: Photos from my recent bicycle ride across Wales

Beautiful photos.

It reminds me of visiting Cheptstow castle a few years ago. There was some kind of reenactment going on with people dressed up as medieval knights and monks. One of the monks was talking on his iphone.
by bberris
Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photos from my recent bicycle ride across Wales
Replies: 16
Views: 1944

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

They don't make money off of you. They make money off of folks who don't use their features as wisely as you do. Furthermore, they prevent the competition from having your money. I agree. I've had a $100K Merrill Edge account for a couple of months, filled with a handful of ETFs I never trade. For ...
by bberris
Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 48
Views: 3581

Re: RBD for Gold Miners

RBD's for gold miners are RGDs for the rest of us. I realize that some people work in the industry but what does it really accomplish for society?
They dig dirt out of the ground, extract gold with cyanide, melt the gold into bars, and then return the bars to a different hole in the ground.
by bberris
Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RBD for Gold Miners
Replies: 12
Views: 1665

Re: Airline Ticket Price Differences

Did you actually click through to buy the ticket? Try it on Orbitz. You get to the final page and they say "the price is now $135 more than it was 2 minutes ago." I don't believe an agent can get you cheaper tickets than the airline. The OLTAs may be able to show you some more flights than...
by bberris
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airline Ticket Price Differences
Replies: 6
Views: 1057

Re: Lump Sum vs Pension

You can check the websites to price an annuity with the lump. I'll give you 10:1 that you are better off continuing to take the pension.
by bberris
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Pension
Replies: 15
Views: 1528

Re: What funds are negatively correlated with stocks?

nisiprius wrote:
parsi1 wrote:ProShares Short S&P500 (SH)
or if you want stronger negative correlation: ProShares UltraPro Short Dow30 (SDOW)
I believe parsi1 is telling a joke with a straight face.

That joke went over my head. OP wants a hedge. These are hedges.
by bberris
Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What funds are negatively correlated with stocks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3434

Re: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?

I loved using audio walking guides. There were a great series of these from Robert Wright, available for free. but sadly gone now. I wish I could find the files!
Here is something similar, that I haven't done yet:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/audio/ ... heart-city
by bberris
Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?
Replies: 36
Views: 2330

Re: How does one hedge against deflation?

But it *is* a contradiction to say there could be prolonged deflation and no impairment of government debt quality, also starting with today's high debt load and already slow growth... With Japan's decades-long struggle with deflation and many large European countries poised on the brink of deflati...
by bberris
Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does one hedge against deflation?
Replies: 52
Views: 4401

Re: Debit Card was hacked. Should I just use cash from now

Who is going to cover your losses if the cash in your wallet gets "hacked".
by bberris
Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit Card was hacked. Should I just use cash from now on?
Replies: 56
Views: 4071

Re: Former employee patent compensation

You won't get it unless you ask. Negotiate a contract, keep track of your hours, and send a bill every month.
by bberris
Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former employee patent compensation
Replies: 5
Views: 738

Re: Young Professional Looking to Consciously Invest

I would (and do) go with the standard pretax 401k with a 31 % marginal tax rate.
by bberris
Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Professional Looking to Consciously Invest
Replies: 7
Views: 1226

Re: Index usage error in Mortgage Document.

cheese_breath wrote:
LongerPrimer wrote:This carp needs to end.

Yes. There's definitely something fishy going on here.

Good catch!
by bberris
Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Index usage error in Mortgage Document.
Replies: 13
Views: 768

Re: First RMD Divisor - 27.4 or 26.5

Thanks all for the help. It looks like a person only has to know their birth date to determine their first RMD Divisor. With the time value of money, it's not clear if the two groups are treated equally. Those born July through December get to wait until age 71 to take their first RMD. As if that w...
by bberris
Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First RMD Divisor - 27.4 or 26.5
Replies: 11
Views: 1307

Re: Securities lending

You didn't say whether this was in a taxable account or not. If you lend securities, the dividend payments become "in lieu" of dividends and they are ordinary income, not qualified for the reduced dividend tax rate. So I would say pass if this is a taxable account. If its an IRA, the borro...
by bberris
Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Securities lending
Replies: 16
Views: 1520
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