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Re: Increase 401k Contribution Limits through Self Loans

Why loan the money to yourself? You can loan the money in your 401k to someone else (i.e. by buying bonds) and still earn the interest in your 401k.
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increase 401k Contribution Limits through Self Loans
Replies: 12
Views: 662

Re: Gold and Silver as an Insurance Policy?

Barter only works if two parties have what the other needs. If society degenerates to a state of barter, won't there be a need for a new medium of exchange? Gold fills this role well. It does not tarnish. It is hard to produce. It is relatively easy to identify or to validate. It has few practical ...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Gold and Silver as an Insurance Policy?
Replies: 37
Views: 2012

Re: Pre-nup at only $1M networth, do I need it?

I don't know what to advise you, but for me personally, there are several times in my marriage that I probably would have pursued a divorce if it's easier. I don't know whether it's a blessing or not, but the fact that the escape route is so hideous probably forces me and my wife to work things thro...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed May 28, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-nup at only $1M networth, do I need it?
Replies: 199
Views: 12485

Re: Pay rent to spouse?

Does she actually consider it "rent", as in she claims it as income, taxes, and all that? Or, does she have a mortgage on her house and you pay half the mortgage? Sounds like you just split the bills. If you split ownership on the previous home, why is it different this time? Actually, wh...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon May 26, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay rent to spouse?
Replies: 16
Views: 2209

Re: If a corp is correctly valued, are stock options worth a

Stock option value has two components. The first component is the intrinsic value, which is basically the true worth of the shares minus the strike price. The second component is the time value - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Option_time_value. I would like to echo another poster's point that start-u...
by chocolatemuffin
Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If a corp is correctly valued, are stock options worth any?
Replies: 17
Views: 1195

Re: Risky investment with a "guaranteed" principal return

I look at it as you are investing not in a business, but in your friend and the relationship between you and him. Since he's the one actively managing the business, and that it sounds like he's much more knowledge-able in this business than you are, he has complete control and can screw you over if ...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risky investment with a "guaranteed" principal return
Replies: 55
Views: 3635

Re: Making $175k/year. What do I do with it all?

You guys have given me a lot to think about regarding going S/C corp or just staying how I am. It's quite standard in my industry to see people going contractor basis or stay employed by a people-farm company... I don't think I'd run into any trouble with the IRS regarding the switch... but I'll ha...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Making $175k/year. What do I do with it all?
Replies: 39
Views: 6466

Re: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?

A lot of the previous posts are something like "if I hold on to stock x, then I would have y amount of money by now". I am not sure whether those are "mistakes". I think they are just unlucky.
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?
Replies: 101
Views: 7905

Re: Bay area Public vs Private School

There are decent school districts in the Bay Area that are less expensive. You may want to consider Sunnyvale and even part of San Jose. The APIs of the schools are publicly available, so you can do some research to look for the better schools.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay area Public vs Private School
Replies: 66
Views: 6474

Re: Sacrificing career for family

I understand how you feel since myself and a couple of my friends have a similar predicament. At the end of the day, it's something to be decided between you and your family. My only advice is that don't relocate unless your wife fully and wholeheartedly endorses it. I have seen cases where things d...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sacrificing career for family
Replies: 40
Views: 4504

Re: CA state capital gains taxes

Here you go - https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2013_calif ... ions.shtml.

California does NOT have special tax rate for long-term capital gain.
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CA state capital gains taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 6463

Re: Do I pay taxes today or when I retire?

Here's an article somewhat related to your question - http://thefinancebuff.com/case-against-roth-401k.html.
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do I pay taxes today or when I retire?
Replies: 63
Views: 3533

Re: Would a bank give me a loan for covering living expenses

What kind of tech job are you looking into? It sounds like you are looking for something computer related, but there are still many different areas. Software development? Software QA? Network administrator? Database administrator? Different jobs require very different qualifications to get an entry-...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would a bank give me a loan for covering living expenses?
Replies: 14
Views: 1108

Re: Bitcoin - how might it affect international investing?

In order for this bitcoin-dominated world to occur, I suspect that there needs to be a phase where value is transferred from national currencies (e.g. US dollar, Euro, Yuan, etc) to bitcoin. That is, the market would put their trust into bitcoin and whatever crowd "backing" it, over the na...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin - how might it affect international investing?
Replies: 29
Views: 2350

Re: Gilroy Hain

This is a sad story. I have a friend who recently got laid off despite having stellar performance reviews for close to the 15 years he has spent at the company. Luckily, he's still relatively young and he's able to find a job quickly, although with a pretty big pay cut.
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gilroy Hain
Replies: 27
Views: 1472

Re: New Job Dilemma

Since you have already accepted the offer (even verbally), it would burn some bridges with company A if you renegade on it. I wouldn't do it if it's just because of better money (unless if life-changing type better, which is unlikely), but I may consider it if the job is really a lot better (e.g. do...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Job Dilemma
Replies: 21
Views: 1753

Re: Software engineering jobs not paying that much?

For Glassdoor data, I think it would be more useful if you search for a particular job that matches your background. For example, if you have 5-10 years of experience in system software development, Software Engineer IV at Cisco makes around $132k for salary + bonus in San Jose, California.
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Software engineering jobs not paying that much?
Replies: 25
Views: 3141

Re: Software engineering jobs not paying that much?

I have worked in the Silicon Valley as a software engineer for about 15 years already. The job does pay reasonably well, but it won't get you rich unless your stock options turn out to be worth millions (that really requires a lot of luck). Actual salary really depends on your skill set. It can go s...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Software engineering jobs not paying that much?
Replies: 25
Views: 3141

Re: Should I get a MBA?

Have you considered Berkeley's part-time MBA program? I think if you can manage to get into that marketing position and finish the part-time MBA in three years (assuming you actually excel in both), then you would be in a very good position to jump to a more desirable job (like those consulting posi...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get a MBA?
Replies: 37
Views: 3072

Re: Renting indefinitely vs buying a condo?

Do you plan to have kids? 1-br is fine for just a couple, but it would be tough when you have kids.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting indefinitely vs buying a condo?
Replies: 28
Views: 3194

Re: Second Bachelor's or terrible idea?

I have worked as a software engineer/manager for over 10 years now. It's true that the pay is relatively good compared to most other jobs, but the work hours and the level of intensity can be quite brutal too. It really depends on the company, but some expect you to work nights and weekends for mont...
by chocolatemuffin
Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Second Bachelor's or terrible idea?
Replies: 49
Views: 4362

Re: Saving for a first (but expensive) home

Where do you work? If you don't mind to look further south (e.g. San Jose), there are more affordable housing options with very decent school districts (i.e. elementary school API > 900). If your job allows flexible hour (e.g. get to work by 10am, for example), which is common in the Bay Area, the t...
by chocolatemuffin
Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for a first (but expensive) home
Replies: 19
Views: 2148

Re: So is a long term bond fund ever good for investing?

For people who follow the permanent portfolio, I think 25% of their portfolio would be invested in long term treasury bond.
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So is a long term bond fund ever good for investing?
Replies: 20
Views: 1748

Re: Mortgage Refi - Take out 2 mortgages?

I did something similar to what you did five years ago to take out two loans so that the first mortgage stays under the conforming loan limit. It also gave me the flexibility to pre-pay the higher rate loan first. One problem I had though was that when I tried to re-finance, the bank holding the sec...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Refi - Take out 2 mortgages?
Replies: 10
Views: 1010

Re: How much do I really have for retirement?

Well, I bought my house in 1981 for $125k and it is now worth ~$600k (no mortgage)--not a bad return. I just retired and feel that my home is a huge asset for me both financially and psychologically. I already have a sizable HELOC (so my access to cash is already there) plus no capital gains if I s...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much do I really have for retirement?
Replies: 65
Views: 5268

Re: How much do I really have for retirement?

I should let the OP speak, but it seems the struggle was with how to use the home equity in the retirement equation. <snip> fd Everyone seems to have their own way of doing it, for my planning purposes I consider it an "investable asset" with the following characteristics: Purchase Fee: ~...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much do I really have for retirement?
Replies: 65
Views: 5268

Re: How much do I really have for retirement?

I count primary home as an asset, but also charge myself a "rent" as an expense.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much do I really have for retirement?
Replies: 65
Views: 5268

Re: Dependent care tax credit vs flexible spend account

Thanks so much for your detail response, "Bob's not my name". I am pretty sure that FSA will give me a bigger benefit, but it's also more paper work. I am trying to see if the bigger benefit is enough to justify the addition in paperwork. Sounds like the difference will be bigger than what...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent care tax credit vs flexible spend account
Replies: 5
Views: 676

Dependent care tax credit vs flexible spend account

I am trying to decide to use flexible spending account or dependent care tax credit for next year, and would like to consult the wisdom of the bogleheads to check my calculations. Estimated expense is $3,000 for 2013. 1) Dependent care flexible spending account - I'll like be paying AMT next year, s...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent care tax credit vs flexible spend account
Replies: 5
Views: 676

The [work] pressure is killing me

My work is giving me too much pressure. The work environment is toxic (lots of politics), the boss is unbearable, the work is uninteresting, and the work load is overwhelming. It's beginning to take a physical toll on my body. I feel nauseous and tired. I really should quit. However, the company has...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The [work] pressure is killing me
Replies: 36
Views: 4926

Re: Infinite Banking

A guaranteed 4% rate of return? I don't know much about infinite banking or whole life insurance, but that seems too good to be true in today's low interest environment.
by chocolatemuffin
Sat May 26, 2012 12:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Infinite Banking
Replies: 4
Views: 853

Re: How is it possible to save and get out of debt?

I actually hold a different opinion. The OP said that he wants a dream car, and he also said that it's only a dream now. With mortgage and student loan, he's certainly not in a position to buy the car now. However, he's still very young, and time is on his side. To the OP: I would say that you shoul...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How is it possible to save and get out of debt?
Replies: 83
Views: 5142

Re: Expiring Incentive Stock Options

you seem to be missing an important point here....taxes are NOT your primary concern....the repurchase agreement and stock valuation methodology, as defined by the ISO plan document, are critical to this exercise. In fact, you should be able to set up your exerces/stock sale as a cashless transacti...
by chocolatemuffin
Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expiring Incentive Stock Options
Replies: 23
Views: 1418

Re: Expiring Incentive Stock Options

Have you talked to some higher up's in the company about your situation? Companies usually want to award loyal employees. They may be able to figure out a way for you to get around this problem.
by chocolatemuffin
Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expiring Incentive Stock Options
Replies: 23
Views: 1418

Re: Expiring Incentive Stock Options

I thought that exercising ISOs were not income events. "exercise and hold" is treated like the purchase of an equity. It establishes the cost basis, but isn't a tax event. NQ options are treated differently. Is it more subtle than that? Unfortunately, it's more complicated than that. Exer...
by chocolatemuffin
Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expiring Incentive Stock Options
Replies: 23
Views: 1418

Re: Expiring Incentive Stock Options

If you exercise the stock options and don't sell in the same year (which you can't in this case since the stock is private, unless there's trading on something like secondmarket.com), then you need to consider the AMT implications. The spread (fair market value at the time of exercise - exercise pri...
by chocolatemuffin
Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expiring Incentive Stock Options
Replies: 23
Views: 1418

Re: Losses in Real Estate Investments

How does AMT prevent you from selling vested stock grants? In 2011 my wife's employer got purchased by another company. She had some stocks that were sold automatically. We had not control over the sale. Our mortgage rate is only 3.375, we had no other losses, we do live in a high tax state, we had...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losses in Real Estate Investments
Replies: 14
Views: 1367

Re: Losses in Real Estate Investments

newkidontheblock wrote:I have vested stock grants from work that I am unable to sell due to AMT.


How does AMT prevent you from selling vested stock grants?
by chocolatemuffin
Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losses in Real Estate Investments
Replies: 14
Views: 1367

Re: Quarterly tax payment

Thanks, sscritic. I also had large capital gain in 2011, such that my regular withholding will not be enough to cover 110% of 2011's tax. Let me confirm my understanding. So in this case, even though I realized my gains in the first quarter of 2012, I can still spread out the tax payment in four qua...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quarterly tax payment
Replies: 5
Views: 444

Quarterly tax payment

I have realized a significant amount of capital gain in the first quarter of 2012, so much that the tax amount would exceed 110% of 2011's full year tax amount. My understanding is that I should pay 110% in advance to satisfy the safe harbor rule. What I can't figure out is how much do I need to pay...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quarterly tax payment
Replies: 5
Views: 444

Re: Need recommendations for a friend with a sad inheritance

will never decline in value They should be careful to not assume this. I personally would sell. Property in Central Hong Kong rarely drops. Land is super scarce so no new buildings going up and the location is the most desirable there is. The location equates to somewhere like Central Manhatten I w...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need recommendations for a friend with a sad inheritance
Replies: 43
Views: 2446

Re: risk of my portfolio

I think VWITX only has a 1.8% SEC yield as of Feb 24, 2012 (see https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0042&FundIntExt=INT#hist=tab%3A0). The over 3% figure is just the distribution yield. That is, you get a over 3% cash flow, but the NAV will go down by the difference between th...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: risk of my portfolio
Replies: 7
Views: 481

How to hedge a stock about to go IPO

I own stock in a company that's about to go IPO (I know this is not bogleheadish, but let's ignore that for now). There's a restriction such that I cannot sell the stock for six months after the IPO. I interpret the restriction as I can't actually sell the stock I own, but I can still use other stra...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to hedge a stock about to go IPO
Replies: 3
Views: 208

Re: Anyone dropping Google (Accounts)

What I do know has changed: I no longer castigate people for not googling before asking questions on bogleheads. I now say, "Have you Binged that?" Doesn't Bing also poll your Facebook account? I think Microsoft and Facebook have a partnership which allow Microsoft to access your Facebook...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone dropping Google (Accounts)
Replies: 21
Views: 1647

Re: CD rate seems a bit too good to be true

I guess it's really too good to be true. I'll stay away from it.
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD rate seems a bit too good to be true
Replies: 7
Views: 1419

CD rate seems a bit too good to be true

Does anyone have experience with this - http://www.jumbocdfund.com/CD_Rates.html?

Their CD rate seems too good to be true, and they claim to be FDIC insured for US deposit.
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD rate seems a bit too good to be true
Replies: 7
Views: 1419

Paying AMT can be good?

Paying AMT is usually considered bad, but I am just considering a scenario where paying AMT may actually SAVE taxes. Say I exercised some ISO, which resulted in me paying AMT for the bargain element. It seems that in this case, I get two things back: 1) An AMT credit 2) The related stock becomes a d...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying AMT can be good?
Replies: 1
Views: 514

AMT credit calculation

I am a bit confused about how to deal with AMT credit. Let's assume the following simplified scenario: Year 1: I exercised some ISO, and ended up paying the AMT. Let's say this ends up giving me $10k in AMT credit. Year 2: I sold the stock related to the ISO. The stock has appreciated from the exerc...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AMT credit calculation
Replies: 0
Views: 192

Re: Ideas to save on taxes

It's all in one very volatile stock, and it's a significant part of the portfolio such that I don't feel comfortable holding on to it (I got it as part of work compensation).
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ideas to save on taxes
Replies: 12
Views: 1028

Ideas to save on taxes

I am holding some individual stock with very low basis (close to 0). I would like to diversify into index funds, but selling the stock would incur large capital gain tax (15% federal plus ~10% California). I am trying to think of ways to reduce the tax liability: - Donating the appreciated stock to ...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ideas to save on taxes
Replies: 12
Views: 1028
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