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Re: Professional gambler in unique investment situation

First, figure out how much capital your professional gambling career requires. I would exclude that from your allocation entirely. You might want to reduce or eliminate the risk on your investment portfolio. Clearly you can bear short term fluctuations but I'd argue that an income that fluctuates ma...
by billern
Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Professional gambler in unique investment situation
Replies: 7
Views: 1366

Re: Help with a large business decision

I have some clients in manufacturing businesses that buy large machinery. OP, I don't know exactly what you do but I'm guessing you are in a similar position to what I see. Often, these large pieces of machinery take time (usually a year) before they are really operating at 100%. There is software a...
by billern
Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with a large business decision [capital expenditure]
Replies: 36
Views: 1394

Re: Young Guy, Probably Not Going To Live A Long Time

If you don't want family drama, the most important thing to do is meet with an estate planning attorney and make sure your will/etc are set up properly per your wishes. That is much more important and will net a greater return than any financial product. Great idea. However, I have a very basic wil...
by billern
Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Guy, Probably Not Going To Live A Long Time
Replies: 30
Views: 4272

Re: CalPERS Eliminates Hedge Fund Program

Interesting but $4B of a $300 billion dollar portfolio is a pretty small piece of the pie. It is not like they were heavily invested in hedge funds before this change.
by billern
Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CalPERS Eliminates Hedge Fund Program
Replies: 44
Views: 2841

Re: Young Guy, Probably Not Going To Live A Long Time

If you don't want family drama, the most important thing to do is meet with an estate planning attorney and make sure your will/etc are set up properly per your wishes. That is much more important and will net a greater return than any financial product.
by billern
Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Guy, Probably Not Going To Live A Long Time
Replies: 30
Views: 4272

Re: Car Advice: When to Replace?

Interesting question. I drive a 2001 Honda Civic 2 door car that I have owned since new. It has 100K miles and is still in very good condition, except for the paint. It will probably take $1-2K to keep running for another 5 years which is a lot cheaper than buying a new car. I'm trying to hold off r...
by billern
Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Advice: When to Replace?
Replies: 37
Views: 2771

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

I have an odd question - are there insurance companies out there that sell annuities targeted to individuals in OPs circumstances? It seems like the actuarial tables would provide high annuity payouts for high-risk individuals. If one could purchase such an annuity, it seems like that could cover th...
by billern
Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 74
Views: 6026

Re: Cold Brew Coffee and whole coffee beans

You don't need to buy a fancy appliance to do cold brew coffee. You can use a mason jar or some other container. Just grind the beans to the desired texture, put into brewing vessel, add water, shake to mix, and leave out for 12 to 24 hours (depending on how you like it). When done, strain out the c...
by billern
Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold Brew Coffee and whole coffee beans
Replies: 7
Views: 750

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

What this sounds like is a case where the husband is concerned about his 4 adult children. He sounds like he's anticipating that if he leaves everything to his wife, upon her passing she will leave everything to child #5, and children #1-4 will end up with nothing. There are ways to use trusts to p...
by billern
Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 17352

Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

I figure you have two choices if an earthquake happens and you don't have insurance. 1) You will have to get a loan from FEMA to rebuild your house. 2) Walk away. Let the banks foreclose. You lose your equity and your credit rating. #3 Sell the land. #4 Self insure. #5 Spend money now to retrofit h...
by billern
Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 54
Views: 3193

Re: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?

I'm a professional in a service industry. Most of my colleagues will check email regularly while on vacation and often work half days or more while on vacation. It is a real problem for them and the firm. I'm in the habit of taking 2 weeks international trips each year. I started doing this the firs...
by billern
Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?
Replies: 88
Views: 5716

Re: What to consider while purchasing an existing business?

What are you receiving for fifty thousand bucks? I have no idea what the assets are of a manicure business, but that seems like an awful lot of money for some furniture, implements and goodwill. If the owner is so incompetent and your wife has the client following, why don't you just open up anothe...
by billern
Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to consider while purchasing an existing business?
Replies: 48
Views: 3661

Re: Kaiser vs Blue Shield

I've have had good experiences with Kaiser in Sonoma County. Not everyone likes the Kaiser system.I like not having to deal with or worry about whether something is in network or not. Go to a Kaiser facility and you are guaranteed not to run into out of network issues. When looking at insurance, the...
by billern
Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser vs Blue Shield
Replies: 83
Views: 5536

Re: Defining "Stay the Course"

A change in how 4% of your assets are invested is pretty much a rounding error. That said, if you want to make a change to your portfolio because recent market turmoil or the financial press have got to you, it is very easy to justify making a change based upon some other factor in your life. Be car...
by billern
Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Defining "Stay the Course"
Replies: 41
Views: 3737

Re: Who sells fresh coffee that is not as strong as Starbuck

I just signed up for a subscription from http://www.coffeecsa.org/. You chose your subscription type and the number of lbs per month and they send you freshly roasted organic coffee coffee each month. Two lbs per month is $30 shipped which is not cheap. More of the money goes to the farmer, which is...
by billern
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who sells fresh coffee that is not as strong as Starbucks?
Replies: 50
Views: 2412

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

And that's why homeownership makes sense in some situations and not others. In more affordable markets, it's usually cheaper to own than to rent. But where I live, just outside of Chicago, property taxes on a modest home can easily run into the 5 figures. That means an extra $1000 every month for i...
by billern
Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 92
Views: 11019

Re: Wills, Spouses, Prenups, etc.

IANYL, but in my state, full disclosure of assets and having the opportunity of independent representation (paid for by the other side if necessary) are key to a pre-nup being upheld. If I were representing him, I would have made sure she had her own attorney (or a signed disclosure by her that she...
by billern
Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills, Spouses, Prenups, etc.
Replies: 67
Views: 3803

Re: Dealership wants to buyback my car

This is a sales tactic. They don't particularly want your car. They want to sell you a new car and they know getting you in to talk about buying back your car can trigger a new car sale.
by billern
Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealership wants to buyback my car
Replies: 32
Views: 3439

Re: Investing for Home Downpayment in Bay Area (California)

We both have good Software jobs with a combined income of $220,000. Given the super high real estate prices in the Bay Area, we have a long-term plan to save for 10 years and buy a house worth around 1.5 million. We plan to save for atleast 60% of the total cost in downpayment. Why is your goal 60%...
by billern
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for Home Downpayment in Bay Area (California)
Replies: 12
Views: 1110

Re: Is "Private Equity" just the new "Hedge Fund"?

I don't think private equity is anything new. While is has a certain cachet similar to hedge funds and the compensation to the managers may be similar, they function completely differently. Private equity invests in very risky, illiquid, long-term investments in promising start-ups. Many of the inve...
by billern
Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is "Private Equity" just the new "Hedge Fund"?
Replies: 7
Views: 689

Re: Tips for incorpating a charity

I wouldn't incorporate or register in California unless the charity is going to be operating and soliciting business in the state. We aren't the most friendly state to operate in. I'd try find a CPA who believes in your cause and get them involved in the charity. You may be able to get the exempt ap...
by billern
Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips for incorpating a charity
Replies: 10
Views: 529

Re: In your opinion, who is in a riskier financial position?

The risk of borrowing against marketable securities is that the loans are often callable or the lender has the right to liquidate the portfolio when the securities drop in value. That is additional risk. Home mortgages are usually not callable. Additionally, home loans are non-recourse in certain st...
by billern
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In your opinion, who is in a riskier financial position?
Replies: 36
Views: 2951

Re: Best Coffee Maker? What do you have?

I started doing cold brew coffee. All you need is coffee grounds, a jar, something to filter the coffee when it is done, and 48 hours to let it sit. If you want to get fancy, you can order this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UEPGFY/. It holds the coffee grounds while brewing. It makes clean u...
by billern
Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Coffee Maker? What do you have?
Replies: 75
Views: 6121

Re: Please help settle an argument

Argument A: It ALWAYS makes sense to take out a vehicle loan, as long as it is no greater than 3-5%, rather than pay cash for the vehicle up front. If you invest the cash in the S&P 500 you will always come out ahead. Big picture, there is no guarantee that you will make money on an investment ...
by billern
Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help settle an argument
Replies: 23
Views: 1985

Re: 24 Years Old Looking for Conservative, Inflation Hedged

At your age, you should have mostly equities. Some people use age in bonds as the determining factor. That would be 24-25% bonds based upon your age. The more conservative you want to be, the larger percentage of fixed income you should hold. The more fixed income you hold, the more likely your port...
by billern
Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 Years Old Looking for Conservative, Inflation Hedged Port
Replies: 10
Views: 784

Re: Have you quit your job because of your boss?

I left a dysfunctional work environment. It wasn't one boss per se. It was the tone from the top which was horrible. I haven't regretted the decision once. It is much better to line up a new job before quitting. It is much easier in this environment to get hired for a new job when currently employed...
by billern
Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you quit your job because of your boss?
Replies: 66
Views: 7451

Re: What after-tax income could you live on today?

The problem with this poll is it does not specify who 'you' is.

One person, versus a couple, versus a family have different costs. Looking at a poll that does not differentiate between these categories is like comparing apples to oranges.
by billern
Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What after-tax income could you live on today?
Replies: 48
Views: 5179

Re: Are VRBO upgrades worth it for improving occupancy

A friend used the strategy of listing below market and making sure he kept customers satisfied to get a number of reviews and a high rating on the listing site. Once he got a lot of reviews and was rated highly, he was able to increase the price to market and keep it rented out on a regular basis. I...
by billern
Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are VRBO upgrades worth it for improving occupancy
Replies: 2
Views: 971

Re: International exposure: does it really help?

Maybe I'm just biased but could the current lukewarm sentiment towards international stock be based upon recent performance relative to the US stock market?

I don't want to make a shift out of an asset class just because it has had a bad run recently.
by billern
Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International exposure: does it really help?
Replies: 75
Views: 7830

Re: Fiduciary Employee Question

ERISA Stone , Employee Fiduciary is an excellent low-cost provider of group 401k plans. You have a solo 401k. If all you need is one form filled out by an expert, use an accountant. It'll be a one-time fee and after you see how it's done you can probably do it yourself the next year. My point is th...
by billern
Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Employee Fiduciary] Question
Replies: 10
Views: 1268

Re: Dip into IRAs to pay off CC debt?

Cut costs to avoid any additional CC debt. Get a line of credit on your house to pay off the high interest debt to get the rate lowered. Aggressively pay off debt. As soon as debt it paid off, shift those extra monthly funds towards contributing to retirement accounts for you and your wife\.
by billern
Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dip into IRAs to pay off CC debt?
Replies: 28
Views: 2091

Re: IRS limits direct deposts of refunds to fight Identity T

The IRS has a hard time with this as delaying/limiting direct deposits conflicts with their other stated goal of providing refunds to taxpayers as soon as possible. If people are in a hurry to get their refunds, they should adjust their withholding. While I agree that adjusting withholding during t...
by billern
Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS limits direct deposts of refunds to fight Identity Theft
Replies: 25
Views: 3427

Re: IRS limits direct deposts of refunds to fight Identity T

The IRS has a hard time with this as delaying/limiting direct deposits conflicts with their other stated goal of providing refunds to taxpayers as soon as possible. I wouldn't be surprised if they work out a deal with certain third party vendors (such as tax preparers) that exempts certain approved ...
by billern
Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS limits direct deposts of refunds to fight Identity Theft
Replies: 25
Views: 3427

Re: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info

I am trying to quantify the damage here. Let's say OP makes 150K a year. So he has missed out on 4% of 75K, which is $3000. If he makes 100K, he is missing out on $2000. I must be out of my mind but for that I would not raise a stink at all. I could also that this should be spelled out in the Summa...
by billern
Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info
Replies: 27
Views: 2355

Re: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info

Here is what the IRS says: http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/401(k)-Plan-Fix-It-Guide---Eligible-employees-were-not-given-the-opportunity-to-make-an-elective-deferral-election-(excluding-eligible-employees). and http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Fixing-Common-Plan-Mistakes---Failure-to-Provide-a...
by billern
Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info
Replies: 27
Views: 2355

Re: Diversifying specifically against AAPL?

Sell more of your AAPL stock or give it away to charity. You get a deduction for the current value and don't have to pick up the capital gain into income. This is a good deal if you would otherwise be donating cash to charity as you don't pay tax on the gain.
by billern
Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversifying specifically against AAPL?
Replies: 16
Views: 965

Re: Experience with Lynda.com? [online tech training]

They have some great excel tutorials. I like the structure. Instead of having to sit through an hour long video, you can search on the site and find a short video that covers the specific function you want to use. It is a very efficient way to learn something specific that you need to impliment.
by billern
Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Lynda.com? [online tech training]
Replies: 7
Views: 1003

Re: Complicated 401(k) question

The $17,500 are not valid deferrals, which must be taken from the paycheck of the employee of the plan sponsor. That's a basic spec found at the beginning of IRC subsection 401(k) and 401(a). I think I agree with this. You cannot make salary deferrals into a non-employee plan. This isn't passing th...
by billern
Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Complicated 401(k) question
Replies: 11
Views: 1358

Re: Complicated 401(k) question

We all form an S Corp that then contracts to provide services to the clinic. So I am not an employee of the clinic, only my corporation. I participate with the clinic's 401(k) plan but with my own separate account. Also, the $17,500 contribution was made from my personal money and the remaining mat...
by billern
Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Complicated 401(k) question
Replies: 11
Views: 1358

Re: Best arrangement for two person company (LLC, S-Corp. et

Just from personal experience - you can pay (either via W2 or salary distributions with Self employment taxes) as much as you want. The pass through at the end of the year will be split 50/50 - but if that pass through is only a few thousand dollars (or less - ideally close to zero)- it should not ...
by billern
Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best arrangement for two person company (LLC, S-Corp. etc)
Replies: 7
Views: 712

Re: Blind sided by IRS Audit of 2012 return: 529 plan earnin

You are not being audited. What you received is an automated 1099 matching notice. My money would be on the IRS making a mistake with regards to your 529 plan distribution. I've seen it before and the IRS just has a hard time matching those numbers. It does not mean you did something wrong.
by billern
Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Blind sided by IRS Audit of 2012 return: 529 plan earnings
Replies: 2
Views: 583

Re: Fitness tracker recommendation

It sounds like you would like the Fitbit One. I clip it onto my pocket and wear it around all day. It syncs to my phone and computer via bluetooth. The only challenge for me is that it is small so it can be lost if you are not careful.
by billern
Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitness tracker recommendation
Replies: 12
Views: 996

Re: Heading to Sonoma next week, recommendations please

If you like beer, there is Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa and Bear Republic in Healdsburg.
by billern
Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heading to Sonoma next week, recommendations please
Replies: 15
Views: 633

Re: Would you work without pay?

Most importantly to me is that if you're not being paid, your time is pretty close to worthless to your employer. I had to do all kinds of crap that never would have made sense from an efficiency basis if I had been paid even $10/hour. While working for free may get your foot in the door, I found t...
by billern
Thu May 29, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you work without pay?
Replies: 63
Views: 4127

Re: Your Company Ever Been "Spun-Off"? Any Stories/Suggestio

Start thinking about what value you add and what opportunities you will have in the spun-off company. There may be some opportunities for growth (personally and professionally) and there may be some reason to start thinking about finding a job outside the company.
by billern
Tue May 27, 2014 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Company Ever Been "Spun-Off"? Any Stories/Suggestions?
Replies: 23
Views: 1888

Re: Best Large Purchase(s) Ever?

15 years ago, I shelled out $100 for a technical jacket. It is thin and breathable (ie: not wind or waterproof). At the time, that was a lot of money for me for that type of clothing. 15 years later it still looks good and I wear it all the time. I've looked repeatedly for a replacement but nothing ...
by billern
Tue May 27, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Large Purchase(s) Ever?
Replies: 45
Views: 3276

Re: exchanging foreign currency in washington:ASAP

Steelersfan wrote:Not to be snide, but you put ASAP in your post title and 12 days later you come back to say you'll try some of the suggestions?

Not classy.

But you'll do better next time.
What is the value in attacking OP? Take a deep breath and relax.
by billern
Tue May 27, 2014 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: exchanging foreign currency in washington:ASAP
Replies: 12
Views: 663

Re: This market is a snoozer, do you like it?

Too boring. People, myself included, are becoming complacent. It is funny how quickly people forget the bad when things are good. The next exciting stock market drop will freak people out. My crystal ball says that tech company valuations are once again out of touch with reality (eg: whatsapp and be...
by billern
Tue May 27, 2014 1:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This market is a snoozer, do you like it?
Replies: 45
Views: 4552

Re: Profit Sharing plan - must move money upon job terminati

Most plans don't require any paperwork to be sent in if you want to keep the funds in the plan. What does the paperwork say will happen if she doesn't do anything now? On a side note, profit sharing plans sometimes have significant restrictions on when funds can be transferred as they are pooled acc...
by billern
Thu May 15, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Profit Sharing plan - must move money upon job termination?
Replies: 8
Views: 796

Re: Buying a new suit for a promotion

I'm not the most fashionable person out there but I think you would get more mileage out of buying one or more nice sports coats and ties to match. Bring someone with good business fashion taste to help you pick out clothes that are versatile and fit you well. I did this at Nordstroms and found a sp...
by billern
Wed May 14, 2014 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a new suit for a promotion
Replies: 20
Views: 2427
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