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Re: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?

Because interest rates. NZD interest rate is 3.5%. USD interest rate 0.23%. (Both numbers 3 month LIBOR) In the future market, if you short dollars and go long on NZD, you would make 3.2% per year per notional dollar.... Assuming exchange rates don't change. At the amount of leverage that you can d...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?
Replies: 432
Views: 37949

Re: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?

If rates have gone up, then my options are to sell (probably won't do this due to massive taxes/depreciation owed), pay down principal, do nothing. If rates have gone up, the price may well have gone down, so you may not have massive appreciation anymore. But you would still owe taxes on depreciati...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?
Replies: 26
Views: 2692

Re: VGPMX: anyone contrarian enough to buy it?

slbnoob wrote:Did anyone else notice the 5.4% drop today? :)


dividend maybe ?
by madbrain
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VGPMX: anyone contrarian enough to buy it?
Replies: 60
Views: 7841

Re: The safest 4 door sedan out there

So in one of the threads that refers to Boglehead like urls I discovered the following one for cars: http://www.informedforlife.org/ A bit surprised to see Tesla is not on the list. They have been claiming their model S is one of the safest cars on the road. Looks like this is the reason : http://w...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The safest 4 door sedan out there
Replies: 66
Views: 2873

Re: PPO vs HSA (hsa seems too good to be true)

What's the Boglehead consensus on PPO vs CDHP? From previous threads, about what you'd expect. HDHPs generally shift more burden to the individual in the worst case (though not always -- prescriptions are subject to the OOP max, where they generally aren't in traditional PPOs), I think you mean tha...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO vs HSA (hsa seems too good to be true)
Replies: 20
Views: 1763

Re: Tips on winning a small claims court case in California.

I will reiterate what I said last year . http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=139827#p2090628 I would look at it this way : You paid $12k for the car and were reimbursed $4k after it had issues. Ie. you paid a net of $8k for a non-working car. If you had never spent another penny...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips on winning a small claims court case in California...
Replies: 17
Views: 1692

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

Valuethinker wrote:I am guessing there is an Ap that will tell you your car's charging status and battery level?

If there is not, there will be.


Yes, all current EVs have apps for them.
If someone unplugs me, the car will send me a text to let me know.
Same if the charge is complete. This is on my Nissan Leaf.
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 20
Views: 1320

Re: Tips on winning a small claims court case in California.

Not sure if you have seen this, but can't hurt to read it :

http://www.scscourt.org/self_help/small ... ourt.shtml

Good luck with your case.
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips on winning a small claims court case in California...
Replies: 17
Views: 1692

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

Reminds me of the film serials I used to see at the movies every Saturday when I was a kid in the '50s. Anxiously awaiting the next chapter. :twisted: May be someone will hire me to write a script for a TV series. Victoria I hope that TV series is eventually broadcast on a channel carried by Comcast.
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you own
Replies: 34
Views: 3504

Re: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...

Bottom line: they were wrong about the PPO deductibles and OOPMs. It is true there is a $1000 deductible and $6000 OOPM for a family, but there is *also* a $500 deductible and $3000 OOPM for any individual in the family. For the pharmacy benefit there is no deductible, a $3000 OOPM for an individua...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...
Replies: 13
Views: 1278

Re: Most financially economical choice for a car

Battery packs for the Nissan LEAF cost $10-12k which is about the cost of a relatively new car using a combustion engine. Not sure about Prius haven't done much research. Maybe it's cheaper because it's a hybrid? In 2009 I replaced the battery pack on a 2001 Prius. The cost was $3600 including labo...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most financially economical choice for a car
Replies: 50
Views: 3741

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

To get back to the original topic, a large part of the savings will be due to federal tax incentive, and other state incentives. These incentives often make it cheaper to lease, as they are usually applied by the dealer as if you had made a downpayment in the amount of the incentives. This means you...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 20
Views: 1320

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

Are you assuming it takes the full 8? either way, leave $4 at the front desk. This approach might work in a small company if there are just a couple of EVs and circuit, but certainly won't work at a larger one. Otherwise, businesses will be tempted to solve this "problem" with an unnecess...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 20
Views: 1320

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

The reality is that - though slower - you can get more than enough charge from a standard wall outlet in the time you need it. For example, if it at work for 7-8 hours charging from a wall outlet, you will get more than enough charge from a wall socket to get you home. With level 1 charging (ie. 11...
by madbrain
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 20
Views: 1320

Re: Apple Pay, Google Wallet, credit, and us

wannabeeBH wrote:[b]But what do I lose?


You missed one : the ability to pay if your phone is ever out of battery.
by madbrain
Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay, Google Wallet, credit, and us
Replies: 73
Views: 5724

Re: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...

Since I spent time on this. Download this : https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1eSSO_7gwqeZ1A4QWVIZnFYZVk/view?usp=sharing (openoffice format) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1eSSO_7gwqeanVKWEh2ZmVhWkU/view?usp=sharing (MS excel format) Edit cells B19/B20 for your projected costs. B41 for your tax ...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...
Replies: 13
Views: 1278

Re: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...

So I see an immediate savings of $1300+$1600+$1840 = $4740. This ignores any long term benefits from tax-deferred or tax-free growth in the HSA. Warning : this post may be long. If you truly want to ignore the benefits of tax-deferral and tax-free growth - and IMO, this is the right way to look at ...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...
Replies: 13
Views: 1278

Re: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...

Can you construct any scenario in which my risk with the HDHP is more than $4740 higher than with the PPO? My gut is telling me there is one, but my brain is not seeing it. I think I have been staring at this spreadsheet for too many days in a row. I'm not sure if there is one but one thing you fai...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...
Replies: 13
Views: 1278

Re: VGPMX: anyone contrarian enough to buy it?

I would agree that -37% YTD qualifies this to be called a dog. The total return is about -6.5% YTD . http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/fund/chart.action?t=VGPMX&region=usa&culture=en-US&dataParams=%7B%22zoomKey%22%3A5%2C%22version%22%3A%22US%22%2C%22showNav%22%3Atrue%2C%22defaultShowN...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VGPMX: anyone contrarian enough to buy it?
Replies: 60
Views: 7841

Re: Bogleheads.org equivalents for other areas of life?

True to my name, here is one I find quite generous with good information: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=1e84d30c40d16165bb8e6ae7ed55fbe6;wwwRedirect Now there's a forum everybody can enjoy! It may be hard for you to fathom, but some people don't eat pizza (I'm one).
by madbrain
Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads.org equivalents for other areas of life?
Replies: 69
Views: 6674

Re: I moved, so my credit score dropped by 50 points

Humans don't seem to have been involved when I was trying to get a mortgage a couple of decades ago. I had retired and so had minimal income (not old enough for Social Security and most of my savings were in IRAs) but assets well in excess of the requested mortgage amount. I didn't want to go into ...
by madbrain
Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I moved, so my credit score dropped by 50 points
Replies: 14
Views: 1823

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

BogleBoogie wrote:
Perhaps a van, down by the river?


The parking might cost you as much as rent.
by madbrain
Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 10596

Re: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?

You are wrong. The New York Times has had numerous articles on prescription drug prices in the last year or so. Some "standard" cancer drugs are in the highest tier possible in some plans, which is bankrupt city. Without remembering the exact numbers, some can cost $100,000 a month, and g...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?

I wasn't planning on renting out, I wasn't sure at all. I don't know why people are so anti-ARM, I suppose it's because they don't like the risk. But for me, I would rather under-pay and take the risk than over-pay. I think the break even point on a 7/1 arm also came out to 9 or 10 years compared t...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?
Replies: 26
Views: 2692

Re: So you think you're a Risk-taker?

Neither above link worked for me. But dropped the title (So you think you're a Risk-taker?) into google, and google's link escorted me into article. Yet the article link, and second link above, appear to be the same. Go figure. I think this is because WSJ is checking the HTTP Referer header, so tha...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So you think you're a Risk-taker?
Replies: 36
Views: 3785

Re: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?

In essence, you can have the best in network, out of network, coverage in the world and still get bankrupted by the drug costs. Presumably, this is because of some new experimental drug not being on the insurance company's formulary, and the insurer's medical board refusing to pay anything for it. ...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?

Inpatient hospitalization under Plan #1 is $200, under Plan #2 10% of in-network, 30% if out-of-network. The two plans have the same drug coverage. A $200 hospitalization fee with plan 1 is still not going to you near the max OOP. But with plan 2, 10% of in-network has a pretty good chance of makin...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?

Stay aware of the cost of an out of network service with Plan #2. Often the insurance companies will only reimburse based on what they term a reasonable and customary fee. Example: the patient needs an unusual procedure that needs to be done on premise. There are two providers that will do this pro...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?

The wording for deductible and eligible coinsurance and copayments caught my eye. In another section the brochure gave examples of costs between preferred and no-preferred. Each showed the patient paying way more for an out of network provider than the catastrophic limit quoted. I thought how could...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

mikefixac wrote:So I was wondering, how often do you change your car's oil?


Much to the chagrin of the local dealer who has offered me free oil changes for it, my Nissan Leaf doesn't have any oil to change.
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 131
Views: 6219

Re: Tesla S

flyingaway wrote:Today, you can summon a taxi to your driveway, or a rental car to your driveway on demand.


That depends on where you live - maybe you can, but I can't get a rental car dropped off to my house at the top of the hills.
And at most hours of the night, taxis will not come either.
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 556
Views: 61856

Re: Tesla S

"so I found myself driving for 1.5 to 2.5 hours then stopping for 45 minutes to an hour to charge the car." This actually sound miserable to me. I would think the newness of the car/toy (meant in the best sense of the word) and your first time being in those particular locations added qui...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 556
Views: 61856

Re: Tesla S

I think that ownership model will change with the advancement of self-driving car technology. I mean, what do cars do most of the day? They just sit there, parked, doing nothing. I'm a big car fan, but I'll be the first to admit that they are a waste of money, too. When the technology gets to the p...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 556
Views: 61856

Re: Fidelity AMEX chip EMV cards

People will need a PIN, adoption of tokenization (a form of virtual card number linked to acct, specific to each merchant), a mobile account,,or some other authentication mechanism to confirm the right person is using the card on both sides. This is not yet fully agreed by the banks, merchants, pro...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity AMEX chip EMV cards
Replies: 5
Views: 606

Re: Fidelity AMEX chip EMV cards

How do chip cards work for online use? They don't so far, really. The chip part is not used online, because the software & hardware to interface with the chip is not generally available on most computers/phones/tablets. Old magstripe cards have that 3-digit extra number printed on the back that...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity AMEX chip EMV cards
Replies: 5
Views: 606

Re: Phone for Europe trip

It is cheaper to make calls to Europe or USA using my USA T-mobile phone than to use a local phone with minutes. Also, there is no additional charge to use T-mobile text or data plan overseas. This depends on the plan. Not all T-Mobile plans are like this. Only the newer "Simple Choice" p...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone for Europe trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1476

Re: Fidelity AMEX chip EMV cards

FYI, I specifically called FIA about a year ago to have the EMV chip added to both my Fidelity Amex and Fidelity VISA. Both cards got compromised the old fashioned way, with number, several times since then. I don't know how. Every time this happens, FIA first send a new card with a new number witho...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity AMEX chip EMV cards
Replies: 5
Views: 606

Re: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?

It sounds like she is basically guaranteed to hit her out of pocket maximum next year. That is far from a given, the way the OP framed things. *If* plan #1 really pays 100% of "nearly all in-network services", and that includes the surgery and the cancer drugs, then there may not be much ...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?

Bogleheads, I would appreciate your advice on choosing a health insurance plan. My sister was just diagnosed with cancer and will be undergoing surgery and ongoing drug treatment 2015. Her prognosis is good, fortunately. It is open season for her health insurance at work and I'm reviewing the optio...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?

madbrain, if I understood your post correctly, you way overpaid your taxes. I estimate your Federal tax to be about $3k plus maybe $1k in state tax. If you paid $10k due to the sale of the residence, then that $50 tax program cost you a ton of money. The program is only as good as the accuracy of t...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?
Replies: 26
Views: 2692

Re: Do you regret buying your home?

As a lifelong renter, I've often wondered about this: 80 percent of homebuyers have at least one major regret about their new home, according to a recent HSH.com survey of 2,000 U.S. adults at least 25 years old and in possession of a driver's license. Only 20 percent of respondents said they had n...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you regret buying your home?
Replies: 82
Views: 6778

Re: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?

Nowhere in all of Warren Buffett's text do I see any mention of whether he thinks IBM is continuing to make good products or provide good services . Maybe he takes it for granted. Or maybe he just has no clue about tech and doesn't want to look foolish by trying to talk about the tech products/serv...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?
Replies: 65
Views: 4060

Re: EverBank

I like them and I still have an account, though it's not my primary one anymore. I really like the scanner check deposits, which almost no one else offers . They also offer mobile deposits, but I find the scanner to be a faster and more convenient process. You can also get your ATM withdrawal limit ...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EverBank
Replies: 13
Views: 1896

Re: Forbes Article On Active vs Passive Investing

Taylor, I just got done reading/browsing the latest print edition of Forbes I received yesterday. I find there is a certain humoristic value in it, especially in Steve Forbes' editorials, for how wrong and misguided they are. They are getting a bit predictable lately, though. Madbrain: Bogleheads Me...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes Article On Active vs Passive Investing
Replies: 35
Views: 3856

Re: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?

Hmm so you're saying that if I rent it out for two years and lived in it for 3 before that I would only get a capital gains tax exclusion of (3/5)*250k = 150k? I don't think that's right from what I've been reading. I thought all you had to do was live 2 out of the past 5. If I lived 1 out of the p...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?
Replies: 26
Views: 2692

Re: Forbes Article On Active vs Passive Investing

Nonsense articles like this are what caused me to not renew my Forbes subscription years ago. I just got done reading/browsing the latest print edition of Forbes I received yesterday. I find there is a certain humoristic value in it, especially in Steve Forbes' editorials, for how wrong and misguid...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes Article On Active vs Passive Investing
Replies: 35
Views: 3856

Re: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?

I will owe around 205k next summer so if I sell at that time for 375k (minus 6% of 375k for realtor fees = 352.5) that would leave me with 147.5k in cash (352.5 - 205k). So I'm making around 5.7% on this idle cash (my equity) in a best case scenario, but likely there will be expenses so I'd say the...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would You Sell Or Continue Renting Out My Condo?
Replies: 26
Views: 2692

Re: Don't auto-renew your ACA plan, shop around

True, out of network coverage has always been an issue with HMOs. It wasn't until the ACA however that it became impossible to buy individual PPO coverage in my state - both the exchange plans and off exchange plans are all now HMOs. Yes, that's a bit strange that the PPOs would no longer be offere...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Don't auto-renew your ACA plan, shop around
Replies: 16
Views: 1224

Re: US Chip & Signature --> Chip & PIN 2020

Apple pay with single use numbers seem to be a winner to me. Here is one case where Apple may prove to have more marketing clout than Google in a very important way. Google Wallet which has been around for 3 years uses the single use number concept over NFC just as Apple Pay does. For one reason or...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Chip & Signature --> Chip & PIN 2020
Replies: 24
Views: 1318

Re: Don't auto-renew your ACA plan, shop around

Emergencies tend to be covered, yes. OK, so now we are talking about a different risk altogether than what you originally said. However, I'm not thinking of accidents like that (which are rare). I'm more worried that I go in for some serious procedure and a second out of network doctor gets called ...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Don't auto-renew your ACA plan, shop around
Replies: 16
Views: 1224
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