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Re: Where does money come from?

You are confusing money with wealth. Wealth can be all kinds of assets. Money is a medium of exchange. An economy can get wealthier even with the same amount of money.
Strictly speaking money is created by bank loans and federal government deficit spending.
by bberris
Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where does money come from?
Replies: 4
Views: 667

Re: Why is there no mutual fund that truly behaves like rent

Because with a mutual fund you can withdraw your cash in three days. It takes months to sell a house and the transaction costs are huge. That could lead to a cash crunch. You want a reit as others have pointed out. But they are not mutual funds and they are not forced to cash you out, you can only s...
by bberris
Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is there no mutual fund that truly behaves like rental?
Replies: 36
Views: 2443

Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

duolingo
Free smartphone app
Research shows it's better than rosetta stone.
by bberris
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst
Replies: 37
Views: 2448

Re: 401(k) 20% Mandatory Tax Withholding

Only rollover distributions have mandatory withholding. For regular distributions, if you file the w-4p form with the trustee, you can have withholding at any rate you want, including 0. This is for both 401k and IRA. IRS says: Withholding on Periodic Payments Generally, periodic payments are pensio...
by bberris
Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) 20% Mandatory Tax Withholding
Replies: 24
Views: 1900

Re: Future direction of U.S. stock market

It goes up all the time, except when it goes down. It rarely stays the same.
by bberris
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Future direction of U.S. stock market
Replies: 23
Views: 2280

Re: invest in this 401K or not

Since the job is temporary, don't fret the fees. It looks like it costs less than a big mac per month. Contribute what you can, put it in the lowest fee available (maybe stable value, bank account, or money fund). Roll it over to an IRA when you leave.
by bberris
Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: invest in this 401K or not
Replies: 22
Views: 1057

Re: Injury on MBTA: Financially worth it to hire an attorney

Wait, your friend was injured, but you want a lawyer?
Loss of consortium?
by bberris
Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Injury on MBTA: Financially worth it to hire an attorney?
Replies: 27
Views: 1996

Re: Paying back my 401K loan: Am I thinking correctly?

Question 1: Does the repayment get allocated based on my fund contribution breakdown? Yes. Question 2: Very obvious but I'd like someone to spell it out for me ---> With the market at an all time high, I'm most likely repurchasing stock at a higher price than when I sold it to take out the loan, co...
by bberris
Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying back my 401K loan: Am I thinking correctly?
Replies: 8
Views: 700

Re: chip credit cards

The chip-and-sig cards still have a magnetic stripe, so they are still clonable and hackable. The chip might make it easier to use outside the US. Chip and pin may be more secure in person. Does nothing for internet fraud. I am not understanding all the gnashing of teeth here over fraud. It doesn't ...
by bberris
Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: chip credit cards
Replies: 25
Views: 1546

Re: Variable annuity 100k in fees help (UPDATE)

Please don't leave this guy. We need the laughs. Got any more good ones?
by bberris
Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable annuity 100k in fees help (UPDATE)
Replies: 45
Views: 3128

Re: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions

I'll chime in with a couple good points about my home Island of Aruba - it's very easy to get around, and it is VERY safe, especially compared to the rest of the Caribbean Natalee Holloway. I have two reasons not to go to LA. Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson. Actually three, it's not easy to get arou...
by bberris
Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 2594

Re: The Power of Zero: Controversial New Book About Taxes

Wouldn't politicians rather choose the hidden tax method -- i.e. inflation -- rather than outright taxes? That seems rather more likely to me. Inflation is like a tax on savers because it reduces their spending power. But it's not a tax on everyone. It's a benefit for debtors. Since every dollar is...
by bberris
Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Power of Zero: [Book and tax planning for retirement]
Replies: 52
Views: 5253

Re: What if there were only index funds?

It's not going to happen. When indexing gets too big, active investors will be able to pick off a few bucks from indexers. Then that will attract more active managers. Then they won't be able to outperform the index anymore. We will just get to an equilibrium point where active management is just ma...
by bberris
Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What if there were only index funds?
Replies: 23
Views: 2188

Re: Do you tip on the tax? [Restaurants]

Yes I tip on the tax. But I give that tip to the state because of all their hard work.
by bberris
Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip on the tax? [Restaurants]
Replies: 124
Views: 5080

Re: Do Super wealthy have access to different investing vehi

3) in terms of more return/less cost based on leverage. Yes. e.g, normal people pays 4% for 30-year mortgage, while if you have enough money you can pay less than 0.5%. I'm all ears for a source for this. (That means that I believe it to be false. :) ) While we're talking about the secret advantage...
by bberris
Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Super wealthy have access to different investing vehicles
Replies: 76
Views: 6344

Re: 2014 TaxACT online (fed+state), $13.99 'til Aug 31.

jlawrence01 wrote:I have a question.

Is there any way to download the 2014 software so that I can model our what my taxes will be for TY 2014?

From the 2013 version, click on "Next Year" tab and click through a few more pages to get an estimator for 2014 "Tax Calculator".
by bberris
Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014 TaxACT online (fed+state), $13.99 'til Aug 31.
Replies: 6
Views: 720

Re: Reticient sibling [Dispute over execution of trust]

in terrorem (no contest) are very handy for an executor who wants to steal the estate blind . We had a case where the executor awarded himself 60% of the estate and told the 4 sibs they would get NOTHING if they did not let him have the money. I'm not following. How does an executor award himself a...
by bberris
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reticient sibling [Dispute over execution of trust]
Replies: 31
Views: 3031

Re: "Russan Gang Amasses Over A Billion Stolen Passwords"

One of the problems with this is that Hold Security is not notifying sites if their credentials are in the database unless they pay a fee. This is really problematical. http://www.itworld.com/data-protection/430486/massive-russian-hack-has-researchers-scratching-their-heads I'm always wary of peopl...
by bberris
Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Russan Gang Amasses Over A Billion Stolen Passwords"
Replies: 87
Views: 7678

Re: "Russan Gang Amasses Over A Billion Stolen Passwords"

I'm skeptical about this. The guy is promoting protection service. How does he know?
I know it doesn't hurt to change your passwords. But the NYT and others sound way too gullible.
by bberris
Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Russan Gang Amasses Over A Billion Stolen Passwords"
Replies: 87
Views: 7678

Re: FICO to raise credit scores

This raises an interesting question. Is there a limited amount of money available for consumer lending? I think there is. If so, it doesn't matter if everyone's score goes up. There's always someone in last place.
by bberris
Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICO to raise credit scores
Replies: 11
Views: 1840

Re: Telephone Calls! Help!

The free app whoscall will try to identify based on caller ID, and then give you the option to block the number. It also lets you know if another user identified or blocked it. I don't answer any caller id that I don't recognize. I figure I've lost out on 50 different lotteries, Nigerian legacies, a...
by bberris
Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Stopping telemarketing calls]
Replies: 105
Views: 7175

Re: Using a credit card to buy/sell bitcoin, Make $ volatili

Well you can always try to get away with it. Worst that can happen is Fed prison, which I've heard is not as bad as Angola. But I think you will more likely come back here asking "Can I write off my bitcoin losses against my income?"
by bberris
Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using a credit card to buy/sell bitcoin, Make $ volatility
Replies: 7
Views: 754

Re: How do you document your HSA "stuff?"

I'm still trying to figure out how to prove that I was not reimbursed for my copays and deductibles. Blue cross sends me an eob that says that they didn't pay, but that doesn't prove that I didn't have a supplemental policy that paid.
by bberris
Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you document your HSA "stuff?"
Replies: 38
Views: 2217

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

Keep in mind an additional HSA benefit is that you pay no payroll taxes on it. This is just a marginal benefit (1.45 % medicare tax) for those above the social security tax limit. But that makes it better than any ira or 401k on which payroll taxes must be paid. You aren't tied to your employer's HS...
by bberris
Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5721

Re: credit card 0% teasing rate question

Check the terms. Usually the payments are applied first to the 0 % loan, meaning its not going to save you much if you already carry a balance.
by bberris
Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: credit card 0% teasing rate question
Replies: 8
Views: 502

Re: Individual Stocks with Perks

Inspired by a comment on another thread, let's discuss which individual stocks have perks that come with ownership of said stock. Example: Berkshire Hathaway shareholders get up to an 8% discount on their Geico insurance. I believe you only need to own a single share. All you need to do is tell Gei...
by bberris
Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks with Perks
Replies: 21
Views: 2173

Re: Taking out mortgage with zero down. Smart or no?

No, No, NO! My wife and I bought a house 9 years ago with no money down. We thought prices will never go down and only keep going up so we better buy now even though we have to finance 100%. Well the bottom dropped out and we are still underwater. You can tell yourself this will not happen to you b...
by bberris
Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking out mortgage with zero down. Smart or no?
Replies: 64
Views: 3276

Re: Financial planning plz advise

Right, no taxes and penalties. I was just pointing out that borrowing from a 401k does not leverage one's remaining investments in the 401k, because investments are sold to fund the loan. In that sense, its a withdrawal. You could compare that to borrowing from a margin account, where you actually a...
by bberris
Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial planning plz advise
Replies: 9
Views: 823

Re: Financial planning plz advise

Revision: I reread OP. I see that Google matches 1:1 up to 17.5 k. I see your logic in borrowing from 401k- you letting Goog to help you do some of your financing. Be careful that you are leveraging. Do you mean he's leveraging his 401k? Or his real estate investment? No, he's not leveraging his 40...
by bberris
Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial planning plz advise
Replies: 9
Views: 823

Re: Do any boggleheads invest in individual companies?

I own 1 share of BRK.B, just to get the 8% discount on my Geico bills :D In 2009/2010, I did invest in several companies which I thought would rebound faster than the whole market - Ford, Bank of America, Harley Davidson, Citibank, American Capital. 3 years later, the market had outperformed my sel...
by bberris
Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do any boggleheads invest in individual companies?
Replies: 95
Views: 5821

Re: Tendering shares of HSH

There's no tax consequence for tendering your shares in an ira of any sort.
You may want to read the document to see what happens if you don't tender. you could end up being a shareholder in the acquiring co.
by bberris
Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tendering shares of HSH
Replies: 3
Views: 461

Re: Dad had a whole life policy but it sounds like term life

36% / 14yrs = 2.6% gain per year Does this sound right? No. The entire concept of "return" is inapplicable when applied to death benefits (unless you are in the mafia). Think it through -- the best financial scenario would be to die immediately after paying your first premium. You'd have ...
by bberris
Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dad had a whole life policy but it sounds like term life?!
Replies: 25
Views: 1728

Re: Increase 401k Contribution Limits through Self Loans

Incorrect. The interest and principle payback is not tax deductible.
It's also a little misleading when they call these distributions "loans". Investments will be sold in your account to fund the distribution. They will be repurchased when you make payments back to the 401k.
by bberris
Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increase 401k Contribution Limits through Self Loans
Replies: 12
Views: 700

Re: real estate fraud?

Was the house torn down and a new one built on the same lot ten years ago? Public records are tied to the lot.
by bberris
Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: real estate fraud?
Replies: 33
Views: 2686

Re: Help devising winning roulette system

I found a poker machine in LV that actually had a slight advantage to the player. But it only let you bet 25 c. I won $15 or so. I later read that your expectation if you could play incredibly fast and without mistakes you would make an average of 5 or 6 bucks an hour. So my system for beating the c...
by bberris
Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help devising winning roulette system
Replies: 72
Views: 3278

Re: is it normal to have more in your taxable accounts

What I like about my taxable account is that 2/3 of the dividends are tax free.
by bberris
Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: is it normal to have more in your taxable accounts
Replies: 25
Views: 1722

Re: Retiring to a state with expanded Medicaid?

mhalley wrote:If you have to go on medicaid, you haven't saved enough money to retire yet. My opinion.
...
Mike


I'm curious how you could form that opinion when he didn't tell you how much he had saved. WV has no asset test for eligibility.
by bberris
Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring to a state with expanded Medicaid?
Replies: 16
Views: 1134

Re: I want to buy a stock.

I would pick something a little less hyped up than Tesla (of course I looked at Tesla at $90 and thought the same thing). I will be buying some SpaceX when they IPO...probably 25% at IPO and 75% when/if it drops to half IPO in the first year. Less hyped? Hype is what he is looking for. OP, go ahead...
by bberris
Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to buy a stock.
Replies: 43
Views: 2558

Re: Tax simulations?

Taxact has a forecaster called the Tax Calculator. Its under the Next Year tab, after you click continue a few times. They have the brackets adjusted for 2014 (which I guess are official now) and estimated 2015 brackets.
by bberris
Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax simulations?
Replies: 6
Views: 893

Re: Allianz Travel Insurance Question

My credit card has free travel insurance for trip cancellation. I made a claim once and got paid pretty fast. Check yours. For medical, my regular insurance covers me (Blue cross) for emergencies anywhere. I also made a successful claim with them for a dr visit to a river cruise. The point is you ar...
by bberris
Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Allianz Travel Insurance Question
Replies: 8
Views: 546

Re: why not closed end mutual funds?

Load doesn't enter into it. They trade like stocks so you pay whatever commission you would pay on a stock trade. Almost all have expenses higher than vanguard funds and index etfs. I think that is because of the closed end format; there is no competition among funds to lower costs such as has happe...
by bberris
Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why not closed end mutual funds?
Replies: 27
Views: 1495

Re: Can we have negative interest rates?

I didn't know this was possible, but apparently it is. I guess interest rates can keep falling forever. Maybe we ain't seen nuttin yet. Buy Bonds! Even before those nasty inflation figures on Tuesday, negative interest rates in the euro zone were considered a done deal. As one of the only countries...
by bberris
Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can we have negative interest rates?
Replies: 33
Views: 3275

Re: bidet for a boglehead

Since interest rates have no where to go but up, can I just count my drinking fountain as my bidet allocation?
by bberris
Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bidet for a boglehead
Replies: 19
Views: 2203

Re: Delaying Social Security benefits - information from NAS

I take issue with presentations that imply an individual (not a couple) will benefit from waiting and "get more money" -- per month, yes, but not necessarily more total benefits. And I don't like the growing stigmatization of 62 year olds who start benefits as needier than others. We have...
by bberris
Sat May 31, 2014 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delaying Social Security benefits - information from NASI
Replies: 31
Views: 2226

Re: Tips yield [How can the yield be negative?]

Negative nominal interest rates appeared in 2013 on tbills. Although it looked like people were paying to lend money to the government (instead of stacking 100s in their safe deposit box), that isn't the reason rates went below zero. The tbills were/are needed for security for other leveraged bets t...
by bberris
Wed May 28, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tips yield [How can the yield be negative?]
Replies: 16
Views: 1477

Re: Pay off son's mortgage - need advice

A gift of over 100 k would involve you paying a gift tax. The lawyer was wrong (I think probably a miscommunication); 2nd mortgage can foreclose, but they won't bother if the 1st is underwater because they won't get anything. My guess is that they would be open to a settlement. That would put a mark...
by bberris
Mon May 26, 2014 8:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off son's mortgage - need advice
Replies: 14
Views: 997

Re: Term vs Permanent Life Insurance

In my state you can't purchase term insurance after 70 .. Why? Very few, if any, insurance companies write term policies for elderly customers. Term has a low (2%) expectation of going to claim and all the models insurance companies use are based on that. Very interesting! I always thought they use...
by bberris
Fri May 23, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term vs Permanent Life Insurance
Replies: 22
Views: 1289

Re: "Double billing" FSA and HSA?

You are considering double dipping so its certainly not legal. I don't need to look it up. Would you get caught? Probably not. Do you feel lucky?
by bberris
Sun May 11, 2014 10:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Double billing" FSA and HSA?
Replies: 4
Views: 350

Re: Tax for 401k Cash-out NON-USA citizen?

I'm guessing you will have 30 % withholding. Try taking out $100 and see what happens.
You may not actually have to pay taxes at that rate, but you would have to file a return to get a refund.

Despite comparisons of the US and Greece, the US does not make it easy to evade taxes.
by bberris
Fri May 09, 2014 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax for 401k Cash-out NON-USA citizen?
Replies: 8
Views: 564
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