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Re: What's wrong with dividend ETF's in a taxable account?

Invest in an equity ETF in your taxable account that is more tax efficient. It will likely increase your after tax return over a long period of time without the tax drag. Total market, S&P 500, foreign, etc.
by billern
Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's wrong with dividend ETF's in a taxable account?
Replies: 4
Views: 363

Re: Helping prepare family financially if earner dies early

I'm sure there are a lot of resources out there for cancer patients and their families. Books, online discussion groups, and in-person. It would be good to get connected to that to get that support. It sounds like your kids are growing up and will be out of the house in the not too distant future so...
by billern
Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping prepare family financially if earner dies early
Replies: 8
Views: 1050

Re: Feeling very fortunate today!

A confirmed case of OMY syndrome. Changing your retirement plans b/c the market has "pulled back" to 1860? What if it goes back up to 2000? What if over the course of the next year it continues to drop? Will you work 2 more years? 3 more? Being in my mid-50s and having a really good job I...
by billern
Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feeling very fortunate today!
Replies: 50
Views: 5623

Re: You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you o

They assessed this charge for me. When I contest it, they said they would 'investigate' and ended up removing the charge without contacting me. Next month my cable service fee was increased by the same amount with no explanation. What a despicable company. I wish I had another option for high speed ...
by billern
Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you own
Replies: 29
Views: 2704

Re: Minimizing AMT impact

An increase in charity will definitely help. But you have hit part of the nail on the head without realizing it. Given that I live in the Northeast, where our tax burden is so high, there is no hope that I will ever escape the AMT. However, last year when I used TurboTax, I noticed that if I change...
by billern
Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minimizing AMT impact
Replies: 18
Views: 1955

Re: Wells Fargo Advisor Sales Load/Fee Question

WFA is generally a % of assets under management fee arrangement for their clients. I don't know why there would be a large trading fee on a stock.
by billern
Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wells Fargo Advisor Sales Load/Fee Question
Replies: 6
Views: 441

Re: Headed for a 300+ point loss today?

What is the significance of severe volatility in the market with no catastrophic events evident to justify such volatility? The S&P swinging by over 33 points up then down (up till this hour) on two successive days?!! Is it a signal for something about to happen? It is speculation about future ...
by billern
Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Headed for a 300+ point loss today?
Replies: 428
Views: 27818

Re: Headed for a 300+ point loss today?

The Wizard wrote:It could be the beginning of a Really Bad Week...
Or it could keep going up and down each day with the market not making up its mind! Stay the course...
by billern
Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Headed for a 300+ point loss today?
Replies: 428
Views: 27818

Re: Critically Acclaimed Movies you did not like

Wow, this is a rough crowd!

I'll nominate Forest Gump.
by billern
Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Critically Acclaimed Movies you did not like
Replies: 150
Views: 8007

Re: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?

So based on that... maybe I'm good? We're not even putting 13% towards retirement. He puts 10% of his income and I put 3% of mine, so I think it's more like 6-7% when we average it out. Maybe only 5-6% because I earn more. . I think I read that you were bringing home 75% of the income - but I can't...
by billern
Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?
Replies: 198
Views: 15720

Re: Is there an "upper limit" on Boglehead theory?

I think it gets slightly more complicated due to higher margin tax rates, alternative minimum tax, and additional taxes that only apply to high-income earners like the net investment income tax. It may be worth doing things different to get a better after tax return. There are also gift and estate t...
by billern
Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there an "upper limit" on Boglehead theory?
Replies: 58
Views: 4141

Re: Why not 100% Stocks?

I've been pretty much 100% stocks since I started investing over 10 years ago. It can be rough at time but I'm committed to staying the course even if there is a drastic downturn for a number of years. The only concerns I'd have about going 100% stocks now is recency bias and underestimating your ri...
by billern
Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not 100% Stocks?
Replies: 274
Views: 20168

Re: Tell me about Paris

If you only have a couple days, I would recommend avoiding Versailles Palace. Louvre and Orsay were much more interesting. I'd say plan on spending a whole day in the Louvre (it is huge and hard to get between the different sections). Also, when we went, the lines at Orsay were crazy. Even with buyi...
by billern
Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Paris
Replies: 65
Views: 3569

Re: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?

Spend some time traveling around any poor third-world country to realize how good we have it here.

Then start thinking about what you need to do to grow into a job where you are doing what you want to do and being compensated to a level that allows the standard of living you want to achieve.
by billern
Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?
Replies: 130
Views: 13915

Re: Bill Gross moving from PIMCO to Janus, Monday

Folks, we don't know the truth and never will. We will learn the likely truth soon. :!: :?: :D "Never" is a long time. I suspect we won't know the truth until enough time has passed that it doesn't matter to investors. But as long as we're speculating :) there's a third possibility. I don...
by billern
Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross moving from PIMCO to Janus, Monday
Replies: 113
Views: 10000

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: 23
Views: 3782

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: 1411

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: 4333

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: 2944

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: 4333

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: 2875

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: 6335

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: 807

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: 17852

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: 3266

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: 5947

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: 50
Views: 4106

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: 5769

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: 3787

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: 2509

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: 11301

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: 3889

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: 3499

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: 1193

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: 717

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: 548

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: 3031

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: 6310

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: 2044

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: 798

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: 7499

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: 5273

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: 977

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: 7971

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: 1274

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: 2149

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: 3435

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: 3435

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: 2369

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: 2369
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