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Re: Verizon to Page Plus - documenting my experience

I've had Page Plus for many years. Couple of tips: 1. If you have an off-contract Verizon phone, you can activate on Page Plus and port your number by calling them at (800) 550-2436. I've always been very satisfied with the service I've received from Page Plus over the phone. Short wait times and ve...
by discman017
Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon to Page Plus - documenting my experience
Replies: 64
Views: 8528

Re: I bonds: October or November?

Wow, I didn't expect to spawn such a flood of comments. Thanks for the feedback. Couple of replies: We need to remember that the inflation factor could also be LOWER in 2018, and that favors buying in October. True. It can't be much lower, since it doesn't go negative, but it's possible that it coul...
by discman017
Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I bonds: October or November?
Replies: 29
Views: 3659

Re: I bonds: October or November?

I'm waiting till November. If you buy now, you're locking in a 1.0% to 1.2% rate for the next 12 months. I'd rather lock in the low rate for 6 months only. You only get that rate for the first 6 months. They quote an annual figure, but you really get half that for 6 months, and then it will adjust ...
by discman017
Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I bonds: October or November?
Replies: 29
Views: 3659

Re: Cable phone internet bill

Internet
$26 per month for DSL

Phone
About $1 per month for MagicJack
Free for Google Voice on Obihai device

TV
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV
by discman017
Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cable phone internet bill
Replies: 12
Views: 1539

Re: I bonds: October or November?

I'm waiting till November. If you buy now, you're locking in a 1.0% to 1.2% rate for the next 12 months. I'd rather lock in the low rate for 6 months only. Maybe inflation won't rise this year or next year. But in 5 years if inflation is up to 3%, then I'll start getting that 3% rate five months soo...
by discman017
Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I bonds: October or November?
Replies: 29
Views: 3659

Re: Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) General Questions

If anybody has a link to find the anthem doctors for specific plans, please post. Anthem provider networks for 2014: http://www.anthem.com/wps/portal/ahpfooter?content_path=national/noapplication/f1/s0/t0/pw_e206383.htm I looked for this a week ago and didn't find it. Even called Anthem at that tim...
by discman017
Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) General Questions
Replies: 33
Views: 5107

Re: Utilizing an HSA under the ACA (on exchange incl. w/subs

Only if you take an unsubsidized plan can you contribute to an HSA. I think you meant to say, "only if you take a plan without cost share reduction can you contribute to an HSA." In other words cost sharing plans and HSA plans are mutually exclusive. There is nothing preventing someone fr...
by discman017
Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Utilizing an HSA under the ACA (on exchange incl. w/subsidy)
Replies: 25
Views: 3282

Re: Utilizing an HSA under the ACA (on exchange incl. w/subs

I've thought about this a lot, so I thought I'd contribute... First, it really pays to find an HSA-eligible plan. I'm in the 15% tax bracket, and every $1 of incremental income also reduces my subsidy by about $0.15. So combining my taxes paid with foregone subsidies, my federal marginal tax rate is...
by discman017
Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Utilizing an HSA under the ACA (on exchange incl. w/subsidy)
Replies: 25
Views: 3282

Re: New cellphone

Apparently, to this crowd, it's unheard of to have the same phone for more than a year. That's hilarious. I've had my phone for a year. But it was 2 years old when I bought it. Presumably after it came off contract, somebody traded it in, so it was available on Cowboom (Best Buy's site for used ele...
by discman017
Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cellphone
Replies: 63
Views: 3908

Re: Recommend a cheap, small tablet?

Yet another vote here for the Nook HD. I had a first-generation Nexus 7 for a while and liked it a lot. Recently replaced it with the Nook HD, which has a better screen and is much faster. And the price is significantly lower than even the first-gen Nexus 7, let alone the second-gen. One recommendat...
by discman017
Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a cheap, small tablet?
Replies: 40
Views: 4282

Re: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K

I've talked with two more people at Fidelity. The plot thickens... It turns out that IRRs of after-tax money are allowed by my plan, but only for current employees. Once employment terminates, the only possibility is a full distribution of the entire account. This is a limitation imposed by my plan,...
by discman017
Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K)
Replies: 7
Views: 888

Re: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K

Thanks so much for the detailed replies Alan. That clears it up. I will attempt the rollover this week, and let you know how it goes.
by discman017
Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K)
Replies: 7
Views: 888

Re: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K

Actually, Alan, I just found a post from Alan S. on the Fairmark forum on this topic in response to a very similar question. Is that you? The post is here: http://fairmark.com/forum/read.php?2,68188 In that post, I see that Alan S. answered: The plan must pro rate basis including the entire balance ...
by discman017
Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K)
Replies: 7
Views: 888

Re: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K

Thanks for the advice! I'm actually OK with converting the after-tax earnings along with the after-tax contributions. I'm in a low tax bracket this year, so paying tax to convert that $5K in earnings from pre-tax to Roth status is desirable anyway. So my only concern is that the after-tax subaccount...
by discman017
Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K)
Replies: 7
Views: 888

In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K)

Need some advice here... I have a 401K from a former employer that contains both pre-tax and after-tax money. For the sake of using round numbers, let's say: $25K pre-tax money (employee and employer contributions and gains) $20K after-tax contributions $5K gains on the after-tax contributions I'd l...
by discman017
Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-plan Roth rollover (after-tax 401K money to Roth 401K)
Replies: 7
Views: 888

Re: Best Discount Printer Cartridge/Refill sites?

Hobbicolors for Canon printers: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=hobbicolors&_sacat=See-All-Categories I eventually decided refilling was too much of a hassle, so I got a Brother printer and use cheap generic cartridges from Amazon, like others have ...
by discman017
Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Discount Printer Cartridge/Refill sites?
Replies: 21
Views: 2145

Re: Please Help me choose software for my Dad

Yep, buy Quicken. The software doesn't change much from year to year, though, so rather than paying full price for the 2012 version, I'd buy the 2011 version for $11. Several sellers on eBay have it for around that price. For instance, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Quicken-Premier-2011-BRAND-NEW-/13061503...
by discman017
Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Help me choose software for my Dad
Replies: 9
Views: 683

Trying to understand Colorado 529 stable value fund

Colorado's CollegeInvest 529 program offers an option called the Stable Value Plus fund (http://www.collegeinvest.org/collegeinvest-savings-plans/stable-value-plus-plan/). Annual return net of fees is around 3%, which looks pretty good. And Colorado is one of the few states that offer an unlimited t...
by discman017
Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to understand Colorado 529 stable value fund
Replies: 3
Views: 385

Re: Jeremy Grantham Bearish Again

I generally get a lot of value out of reading Grantham's letters, but this latest one (available at http://www.gmo.com/websitecontent/JGLetter_ShortestLetterEver_3Q11.pdf) is a bit of a mishmash. Yes, he included the graph that Fortune picked up on, showing that if the resolution of the most recent ...
by discman017
Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jeremy Grantham Bearish Again
Replies: 21
Views: 2076

It's the ex-dividend date that matters. That's the day the mutual fund (or stock) gets repriced to account for the dividend. If you buy on or after the ex-dividend date, you don't get the dividend, because you paid the lower (ex-dividend) price. A recent example that I was just looking into is the F...
by discman017
Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To avoid distribution, buy fund AFTER Record Date
Replies: 47
Views: 5818

Couple of tips: I like the SanDisk Sansa MP3 players a lot. You can often get refurbished ones on newegg.com or buy.com for not much money. I have an m250 ($15), Clip ($15), and Fuze ($30). For the car (an 11-year-old car without a connection for an MP3 player), I use this gadget: http://www.dealext...
by discman017
Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MP3 Players
Replies: 33
Views: 3058

The free trial is a front-page deal on Slickdeals right now:

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1777176

Current deal works even for people who have had Prime before.

I like Prime, although not enough to pay $79 a year for it.
by discman017
Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime? Is it worth it
Replies: 54
Views: 8251

As an example of how much non-regulated tuition has cost the Texas Tomorrow Fund, a family purchasing 120 credit hours for a child's entrance to a public college in 2004 paid a total of $10,000 -- or about $83 per credit hour. Is this right? $10K for 120 credit hours -- four years of tuition? What ...
by discman017
Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Texas Tomorrow Fund
Replies: 36
Views: 10090

Pretty great deal at Staples on a Compaq laptop this week. Intel dual-core T4200, 3GB RAM, Vista Home Premium, 15.6" screen. $320 after $30 rebate. Lots of details in this discussion here: http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=1446999 . Doesn't have HDMI output and doesn't have a webcam...
by discman017
Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My wife wants a laptop/notebook
Replies: 37
Views: 5945

Great way to use miles that you won't use any other way. Local newspaper subscriptions are also an option with some airlines' programs -- usually just an intro offer, for new subscribers only. The $2 subscriptions that they offer you are a sweet deal, too. But yeah, they auto-renew and charge you an...
by discman017
Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magazines for miles-Continental
Replies: 19
Views: 3721

In addition to fatwallet, I look here: http://bankdeals.blogspot.com

Some of the best deals around right now are installment savings accounts, mostly (all?) from Korean-American banks.
by discman017
Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best FDIC savings rates
Replies: 21
Views: 4489

I just applied for <a href="https://www.citicards.com/cards/wv/cardDetail.do?screenID=927">Citi Platinum American Express</a> to replace my Chase card. 5 ThankYou points for every $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores. 3 ThankYou points on everything else for the first 2 years. No ann...
by discman017
Tue May 12, 2009 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase credit card 3% cashback no more
Replies: 280
Views: 62522

+1 for MagicJack. I just switched a week ago -- call quality and reliability are great so far. I had an old computer lying around that I now dedicate to MagicJack -- so my "home phone" is really a computer + a cordless phone. I previously had just a cell phone at $40 a month and no home ph...
by discman017
Tue May 12, 2009 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landline phone
Replies: 89
Views: 13101

I'd hazard a guess that Dividend Growth and Dividend Appreciation Index are two of Vanguard's most-misunderstood funds. Consider their yields vs. that of the S&P 500 (SEC yield, which I retrieved from Vanguard's website just a few minutes ago): Dividend Growth: 2.57% Dividend Appreciation Index:...
by discman017
Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dividends, dividends, dividends.
Replies: 27
Views: 4937

Something seems fishy. If you had a place to store it, you could buy crude on the spot market for $35 and simultaneously sell a CLZ09 for $45, locking in a 25% gain. I can't imagine it costs anywhere near $10 to store it for a year, and the foregone interest on the money is close to 0%. Yes, exactl...
by discman017
Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil in massive contango
Replies: 32
Views: 5185

Re: Alliant Credit Union Savings/Money Market Account

2) Is it easy to move money in and out electronically- the bankdeals blogspot mentioned something about $10,000 daily limits and 6 transaction limit a month, which seems a bit of a pain. I have an Alliant savings account, and yes, the six-transfer / $10K limit is a bit of a pain. One mitigating fac...
by discman017
Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alliant Credit Union Savings/Money Market Account
Replies: 19
Views: 3890

GMO had expected 7 year real returns for REITs at 7% as of Oct 31, they are down about 15% since then. So I'd guess that'd put them at about 9% real, according to GMO's methodology. I use GMO's forecasts as a major input to my investing decisions, too. Let me try to update these numbers based on to...
by discman017
Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REIT Index Dividend = 8.6%
Replies: 33
Views: 6857

Rebalancing and its impact on benchmark performance

When a fund company compares the performance of a balanced fund (target-date retirement fund or similar) to a benchmark, do they assume any rebalancing in the benchmark? If not, you would expect many of these funds to underperform their benchmarks this year, right? For instance, Vanguard's target-da...
by discman017
Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing and its impact on benchmark performance
Replies: 1
Views: 722

I'm not an expert, but my wife and I have been accumulating TIPS in our retirement accounts for the past 2-3 weeks, so I'll give my opinion based on somewhat limited experience. The choice between a 2016 maturity and 2028 really depends on your individual needs. We've been investing in the 2026-2028...
by discman017
Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to buy TIPS tomorrow?
Replies: 1
Views: 852

Yes, I'm quoting the actual auction issue (4/15/2013) in the secondary market at bloomberg.com. That real yield is now quoted as down to 2.42% real. OK, I give -- why would people pay such a big premium for the actual auction issue, vs. other issues with similar maturities? I searched through old p...
by discman017
Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Return to "Normal" for TIPS?
Replies: 29
Views: 4904

Looking at Fidelity's website (since Vanguard's website doesn't let us see TIPS anymore), I see some oddness in the five-year TIPS yields. April 2013: Bid yield 2.50%, ask yield 2.35% (inflation factor 1.04) This is probably the one you're quoting, right Mel? But then look at the TIPS with the close...
by discman017
Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Return to "Normal" for TIPS?
Replies: 29
Views: 4904

So if you have a 4% nominal and 3% real it might be that you have a 2% inflation expected and a 1% risk premium for unexpected inflation. Right now with the amount of liquidity being pumped into the market the risk premium for UNEXPECTED inflation may be rising dramatically. 3% real return plus 2% ...
by discman017
Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS yields rise .78% this week !
Replies: 19
Views: 3897

Vanguard Dividend Growth is a similar fund that's also worth considering. Expense ratio of 0.38%, yield of 2.06%. Strategy, from Vanguard's website: The fund invests primarily in stocks that tend to offer current dividends. The fund focuses on high-quality companies that have prospects for long-term...
by discman017
Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Large cap option
Replies: 2
Views: 1365

Given its financials exposure, DVY would emphatically not be a quality fund. In his latest quarterly commentary, "The Minsky Meltdown and the Trouble with Quantery," Grantham discusses financials, in the context of a broader discussion about why quant models are imperfect: at long and unpr...
by discman017
Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gmo 7 year forecast----high quality us
Replies: 35
Views: 8820

Morningstar posted a blurb on mutual funds bitten by the Bear Stearns collapse: http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=231936 Barrow's Windsor II was the first fund mentioned. As of 12/31, Windsor II owned 6.7% of Bear Stearns' shares, but that only represented 1.4% of fund assets.
by discman017
Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: James Barrow
Replies: 2
Views: 1126

On Vanguard's website, they let you compare price and yield history for two funds. Here's how you do it... 1. Go here: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/tools/pricehistorysearch 2. Select Tax-Exempt Money Mkt 3. Select "Daily Price History" 4. Enter a date range 5. Click "Get His...
by discman017
Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Tax-Exempt MM Funds: recent yield fluctuations
Replies: 6
Views: 2435

Be careful of its ifinancials exposure. Most dividend funds have a lot of financials. Citigroup was a high yielder with a long and good dividend history, as of 6 months ago. Thanks for the caution. From the most recent semiannual report: The fund’s below-average weighting in financials was the main...
by discman017
Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gmo 7 year forecast----high quality us
Replies: 35
Views: 8820

OK, just one more comment... "Based on our judgment, Jeremy Grantham's forecast accuracy rate is 27%, which is very poor. . . ." "In summary, Jeremy Grantham has a very poor track record for predicting U.S. stock market behavior. His forecast sample size is very small, as is our confi...
by discman017
Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gmo 7 year forecast----high quality us
Replies: 35
Views: 8820

One final post on the topic of quality... Among Vanguard funds, the one that I've found that most closely approximates GMO's definition of quality is Dividend Growth (VDIGX). Vanguard's website has this to say about the fund's strategy: The fund invests primarily in stocks that tend to offer current...
by discman017
Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gmo 7 year forecast----high quality us
Replies: 35
Views: 8820

It's not reasonable to take the bet that if in 15 years they have not shown added value because of some special ability to nail down "quality" that it's going to start this year or next year or..... So taking your data, Jensen has underperformed TSM by 1.48% a year since 1992. Over 15 yea...
by discman017
Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gmo 7 year forecast----high quality us
Replies: 35
Views: 8820

Re: gmo 7 year forecast----high quality us

Interesting discussion. I've followed GMO's recommendations for several years now, so I'll weigh in with a few of my thoughts. Generally, their definition of "high quality" stocks are those with a wide moat, high returns on equity, good growth rates, low or no debt and good free cash flow....
by discman017
Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gmo 7 year forecast----high quality us
Replies: 35
Views: 8820

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