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Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

nonnie wrote:
caklim00 wrote:Lots of places to buy Redbirds online safely.

Well yeah for $30 mostly. Not worth it for me. Anyway, seems like they'll be limited to being loaded with an AMEX soon. Thankfully I didn't invest $30 in that.
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 191
Views: 14593

Re: Boglehead Concert Goers?

I'm not much of a music guy but I have seen the artists/bands that I could imagine paying to go see: Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits) Joe Satriani U2 The only band remaining I'd gladly pay to see is Poets of the Fall. However, they're Finnish and haven't come to the US in my knowledge so far. Perhaps...
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Concert Goers?
Replies: 56
Views: 2607

Re: Get rid of PMI or Max out 401K?

1. Get 401k match. 2. Max Roth IRA. 3. Accumulate 6 months reserves in cash (Roth comes first because it can double as an emergency fund). 4. Pay down mortgage with excess cash until you're rid of PMI. 5. Max out 401k I did a variation of the above except for: 3. Refinance to pay down mortgage to 8...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get rid of PMI or Max out 401K?
Replies: 13
Views: 1220

Re: Job Opportunity

A close friend of mine is also starting training with World Financial Group (WFG) which is basically the arm of TransAmerica selling financial products. They basically got recruited into a pyramid scheme (MLM). I tried very hard persuading them to not pursue this "opportunity" any more. I ...
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Opportunity
Replies: 5
Views: 545

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

VictoriaF, You should definitely call UA and ask them to book this trip. This itinerary seems reasonable to me and should be bookable. From my recent experience (I asked a question here and lots of FT), a stopover and open-jaw at the same place may cause issues. However you don't have that. It shoul...
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 191
Views: 14593

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Okay. So neither me nor my wife can create an account online. CSR says "there is not enough public record. try after 6 months". He seemed like this was a regular complaint. May be it is their way of preventing further sign-ups. Guess I have to move onto NetSpend. Guess I have to move onto...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 163
Views: 62818

529 as a gift

A friend had a child recently. I would like to open a 529 for his child, fund it with a small amount and gift this to him. Is this doable? Basically I have 2 steps: give the child a gift by opening a 529 with the child as beneficiary, then make his father (my friend) the custodian. As I see, it is a...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 as a gift
Replies: 4
Views: 461

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Okay. So neither me nor my wife can create an account online. CSR says "there is not enough public record. try after 6 months". He seemed like this was a regular complaint. May be it is their way of preventing further sign-ups. Guess I have to move onto NetSpend. [OT comments removed by ad...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 163
Views: 62818

Re: Robinhood Investing App

I have only installed it on my wife's iOS but have never used it. I'm waiting for 1) Android app, or web interface, 2) Roth IRA access.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Robinhood Investing App
Replies: 13
Views: 1429

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

I've been trying to open a mango account for awhile but keeps giving me errors telling me my info is wrong... but i've tried many times. :( are you guys entering social security with straight numbers or with dashes? xxx-xx-xxx? or xxxxxxxx? I don't have an official address right now but i use the o...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 163
Views: 62818

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Netspend seems interesting too. I also thought one advantage of Mango was that one could open upto 2 accounts ($10k) using different phone numbers. Is that still true? This may allow simplicity in being able to access 2 savings accounts with one login. Is this correct or do I need 2 different logins...
by slbnoob
Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 163
Views: 62818

Re: Please help plan my itinerary with miles

So I asked around on FT, did a bunch of my research and figured out that I cannot book my originally planned itinerary as a single round trip. Long story short, now I am considering buying one way for Houston-Beijing, and then Delhi to Houston, which will cost 35k and 40k miles separately or 80k as ...
by slbnoob
Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help plan my itinerary with miles
Replies: 4
Views: 520

Re: 13 PMI payments in a year?

I concur with the above. A similar thing happened to me. Although since I kept tracking the escrow account activity closely, I was not surprised.
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 13 PMI payments in a year?
Replies: 3
Views: 542

Re: Vanguard Quarterly Dividends in March

The Precious Metal fund VGPMX is declaring a dividend :)
Now that's a surprise since it hasn't done so in a while.
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Quarterly Dividends in March
Replies: 5
Views: 1443

Re: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service (India)

Go Blue 99 wrote:
bertie wooster wrote:Instead of calling it "Dell tech service (India)" you could just call or Dell tech service.


+1. It's very odd that OP is doing that.

+2, the '(India)' must be at fault here.
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service
Replies: 39
Views: 3368

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

My CU does not have free ACH push. Do you think the following automation will work fine for each month using Ally and Mango after establishing 5k: Ally pulls $10 from CU (source of funding) Ally pushes $10 to Mango as 'direct deposit' Ally pulls $10+$25-$5 (monthly 5%interest-fees) from Mango 5 day...
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 163
Views: 62818

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

My CU does not have free ACH push. Do you think the following automation will work fine for each month using Ally and Mango after establishing 5k: Ally pulls $10 from CU (source of funding) Ally pushes $10 to Mango as 'direct deposit' Ally pulls $10+$25-$5 (monthly 5%interest-fees) from Mango 5 days...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 163
Views: 62818

Re: MangoMoney account: 6% APY for Emergency Funds

It's a savings account you can't easily access, though. You can't easily transfer out the money back to your bank. As I understand it, if you want to withdraw the balance, you will have to withdraw the balance in cash, and pay fees. And it appears that there is a $600 per day maximum you can withdr...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 163
Views: 62818

Re: Refi to rid myself of PMI

I would do it. In fact I refi'd mine last month to get rid of PMI and put up 10k down payment (unexpectedly, since the appraisal came in favorably). Since you're looking to move in 4-5 years, perhaps look at no/low closing costs since that time frame may not be enough to cover closing costs.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi to rid myself of PMI
Replies: 6
Views: 461

Re: Anyone had your home appraised recently?

When I was buying my house last year, the appraisal came in 33k lower than the final buying price in April. This January, I refinanced and the appraisal came in 3k higher than the buying price. All the while, zillow.com estimated the house to be around the same level at about 20k lower than the buyi...
by slbnoob
Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone had your home appraised recently?
Replies: 23
Views: 1712

Please help plan my itinerary with miles

I am looking to plan a trip for two this summer/fall visiting China, India from Houston. I have sign up bonuses (50k) from United, Southwest, US Airways, and some accumulated ones from Delta. My trip will be as follows: Houston (IAH/HOU) to Beijing (PEK): I could use UA 70k miles PEK to HKG: Not sur...
by slbnoob
Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help plan my itinerary with miles
Replies: 4
Views: 520

Re: One share of BRK.B for Geico discount?

I'd called and told them I am a shareholder. They didnt ask for details but I was ready to tell them that I hold it as part of a mutual fund (VTSMX) :)
They did ask me the brokerage I had it at and I said Vanguard. I got the discount, pro-rated.
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One share of BRK.B for Geico discount?
Replies: 18
Views: 2024

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

I wouldn't really consider it as savings.

However when (and if) renting out, I would want the mortgage interest, property tax and insurance to be covered first under the rent. Anything over that amount is paying for my equity in the house.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 410
Views: 20084

Re: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on es

I was in a similar situation 2-3 months ago and I was into my loan about 6 months only. It had angered me to the extent that I started looking for refinancing, if it made sense. Then in January, TNX fell down a lot and I market timed to catch almost the trough of TNX and locked in a rate to refinanc...
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on escrow
Replies: 13
Views: 745

Re: Consumer Cellular increases Minutes, Texts, & Data

The changes are rather marginal so that they won't let me move a tier down and hence save money. However, they do provide me some cushion by increasing the data limit. Welcome change nonetheless.
They're also having a '30 minutes free international till March' thing going on currently.
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular increases Minutes, Texts, & Data
Replies: 14
Views: 931

Lawn & gardening tips for noob

I'm in the Houston area. Spring is upon us (almost). I would like to do a few things to make my front yard look as nice as others on the block. But I'd like to do it myself since I don't mind doing it as long as it gets done right. Few things I need to take care of are: 1) Pull out a dead shrub and ...
by slbnoob
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn & gardening tips for noob
Replies: 2
Views: 256

Re: Thoughts on Chase for everyday banking

If you need a big ATM network, get into a credit union. Likely they will issue cards which can be used anywhere with 'AllPoint'. Even the ATM in Walgreens by Chase is no fee for my credit union issued card. The only time I thought of going with a big bank was when I was considering getting a safe de...
by slbnoob
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Chase for everyday banking
Replies: 28
Views: 1952

Re: Tesla S

Has anyone here bought a used Tesla, or even a Leaf for that matter?
by slbnoob
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 634
Views: 77991

Re: Has anyone restored windows?

If the windows are in decent shape it would be a real shame to lose those very old windows from an old house. The comments about sealing and insulating around the weight pockets are right on target. Good storm windows will help as well. You'll be dealing with lead paint, but you already know that i...
by slbnoob
Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone restored windows?
Replies: 25
Views: 1939

Re: Overfilled Oil in Car - Cause of Oil Leak?

I had a similar issue recently. I got oil changed on my car and noticed a puddle of oil on my garage floor after a few days. I took it in and the oil change place said that there was some oil in the skid plate and they cleaned it. I went home but still noticed a puddle building up under my car on th...
by slbnoob
Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overfilled Oil in Car - Cause of Oil Leak?
Replies: 33
Views: 2022

Re: Mortgage dilemma

+1 to the first response. You really have to work this out yourself. Since you haven't been able to decide for a couple of years, I am guessing you didn't work out the numbers specific to your situation. There is no general good answer. Some people like the freedom of no/less debt, others would not ...
by slbnoob
Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage dilemma
Replies: 17
Views: 2322

Re: My co. is switching HSA providers; Is HSA Bank best?

My megacorp uses Chase and they notified that Chase has been bought by HSA Bank. I hope that they have negotiated so that I don't have to pay fees I was not paying with Chase.
by slbnoob
Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My co. is switching HSA providers; Is HSA Bank best?
Replies: 16
Views: 1226

Re: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)

I bought in May 2014. I would re-emphaisze the following: 1. Do your research on mortgage rates. Start online, approach local CU's and a loan originator/broker. If this search is spread over a few days, keep in mind rates will change. I used to look at movements of the 10 yr treasury bond rates (sym...
by slbnoob
Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5256

Re: Milestone >$100k in my retirement investment portfolio

Congratulations. I should be in a similar situation with respect to retirement accounts in a similar time frame. Although, I don't expect my house equity to increase so much. I am just refinancing my recently bought house. A favorable appraisal gave me the opportunity to pay it down to 20% to get ri...
by slbnoob
Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Milestone >$100k in my retirement investment portfolio
Replies: 30
Views: 3151

Re: Best investment for $500

MJNA
full disclaimer: I wouldn't do it myself.
by slbnoob
Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best investment for $500
Replies: 31
Views: 2200

Re: time to replace my router?

For routine networking requirements, routers are a commodity. I have a $15 Rosewill router I bought from Newegg. I flashed it with DD-WRT and it has been rock solid. There is simply no need to spend more if all you need is to connect your devices to the network. These days though, it might be worth ...
by slbnoob
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 3449

Re: Comcast Wi-Fi Issues

I for one have used this facility when I moved to my house and was still waiting for Comcast to show up and 'install' their service. I am thankful to this good samaritan neighbor of mine :)
by slbnoob
Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast Wi-Fi Issues
Replies: 16
Views: 1020

Re: Call risk--worth it?

Not an answer to your question but it is interesting since I read about this bond's rating improvement this morning in the Katy Rancher of course :)
by slbnoob
Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Call risk--worth it?
Replies: 9
Views: 956

Re: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination req

It seems better to pay down now than risk complications (LTV 78%, 24 months, appraisal etc.) later. I am going to do that to my own situation described in viewtopic.php?f=2&t=156275 to lower my LTV from 85% to 80%.
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination request
Replies: 28
Views: 3488

Re: Refinance motrgage

Thanks. I've been impatiently refreshing this page for confirmation :D However in the meantime, I decided to go ahead with it. No PMI yields direct savings. No escrow frees up cash on a monthly basis. However I will keep that 'escrow' amount in a HY savings account. I'd much rather pay taxes and ins...
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance motrgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1343

Re: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination req

Don't want to deviate from the thread but will the bank also waive escrow if LTV<80%?
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination request
Replies: 28
Views: 3488

Re: Refinance motrgage

My situation has changed slightly since the last time I asked for some refinance/mortgage advice. This is because the appraisal came above what I expected (in sharp contrast with my original financing when I bought the house, 7 months ago). With the current appraisal, my LTV is above 85%. Scenario 1...
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance motrgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1343

Dividend tax question

I have a rather basic tax question for dividends I wanted to get an opinion on. For dividends in my taxable account, I should find out the qualified percentage and divide into qualified and ordinary dividend, right? Also for dividend paid out by stocks in my ESPP, I am guessing I should report that ...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dividend tax question
Replies: 2
Views: 447

Re: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination req

From my limited understanding of these issues and your OP, I think you are in the right here. However I do feel the 24 month thing could be an issue. You may try to push this issue a little more (writing?). But definitely I see no reason why they could deny 3 months from now when you'll be past the ...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination request
Replies: 28
Views: 3488

Re: Iceland

I respectfully disagree with the opinion that Blue Lagoon is comparable to any of the innumerable public pools in Iceland such as Laugardalslaug. Every city has a geothermal pool. Once you go inside they look truly un-remarkable if you didn't know they had geothermal water. They are simply neighborh...
by slbnoob
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland
Replies: 16
Views: 1641

Re: Iceland

Went there last September and can't wait to go back again. It is a very beautiful country. We drove around the Ring Road for 7-8 days and visited all the major attractions. Didn't go to the highlands or West Fjords. Sound advice here and elsewhere on this forum. It wasn't too cold but was getting to...
by slbnoob
Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland
Replies: 16
Views: 1641

Re: Android or iPhone? Which do you like, and why?

More than 2 years ago, I got myself an S3 and wife a 4S. At that time, it peeved me to no end that I had to push multiple buttons on the iPhone to access some settings which were simply a flick away on my Android. Ofcourse I wouldn't get it why anyone would want a smaller screen. Also, Android allow...
by slbnoob
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android or iPhone? Which do you like, and why?
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: How to climb up in a megacorp

Roughly speaking, the chances of becoming a CEO at any given time is on the order of 1 among 100,000, whereas that of top management could be 50-100 times better than that. I am practically only targeting the latter. Ours being a rather tech oriented company, I have not yet seen a single MBA only cr...
by slbnoob
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 5161

How to climb up in a megacorp

It's a very generic question but I was hoping to read some opinions from the wisdom on this board. I'm 30 with a Ph.D. in engineering, working for an O&G megacorp for a little over 2 years now. Assuming I still have my job for the foreseeable future, how can I play my cards right to climb up the...
by slbnoob
Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 5161
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