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Re: Amazon.com prices change quickly

http://camelcamelcamel.com is fascinating; I hadn't heard about it before. The ability to set a price point and have it shoot you an email or a tweet is incredible. It feels similar to setting a price point on a stock and having it auto-buy it for you. However -- as JoMoney mentioned above, isn't t...
by tj
Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon.com prices change quickly
Replies: 37
Views: 3158

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

Is that actually documented anywhere? You would think the banks would be forced to send 1099s if so. I think they do if it's over a certain amount and I did receive a 1099misc for the $1000 brokerage bonus I got from TD Ameritrade last year. a brokerage bonus is much different than a credit card ca...
by tj
Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 93
Views: 5033

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

Is that actually documented anywhere? You would think the banks would be forced to send 1099s if so. I think they do if it's over a certain amount and I did receive a 1099misc for the $1000 brokerage bonus I got from TD Ameritrade last year. a brokerage bonus is much different than a credit card ca...
by tj
Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 93
Views: 5033

Re: Best way to sign a credit card?

I never sign them. The only time I was questioned was a small town in New Zealand, and then when my drivers license signature did not match the scribble I put on the receipt, they were bothered.
by tj
Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to sign a credit card?
Replies: 72
Views: 5191

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

I have a question for the board, does everyone list their cash rewards on their tax returns? How about airline miles, free cruises, etc.? Legally cashback/points/whatever is not income. It's considered a discount, like using a coupon, to the IRS. This is not taxable. However, cashback/points/whatev...
by tj
Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 93
Views: 5033

Re: How to avoid ads and not get tracked

Ive used adblockplus and noscript on Firefox for years. Recently added ghostery.
by tj
Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid ads and not get tracked
Replies: 49
Views: 2680

Re: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?

And yet we all manage without even being doctors. ;) Of the people I know in California, I see a lot of "managing" and a lot of "surviving" but not a lot of thriving, even with some rather impressive incomes. The only friend I've got there who I would say is thriving runs a priv...
by tj
Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 142
Views: 8134

Re: Updating Windows 8 to 8.1

8.1 allows the desktop boot without the need for an external "shell". There is no downside in my opinion, and my search tools are fine. I see little difference between 8.1 and 7 from a practical sense, once you avoid the stupid "metro" mode. How do i do this? I hate that Microso...
by tj
Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updating Windows 8 to 8.1
Replies: 15
Views: 1094

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

Have had the new computer for several days now. It's certainly much snappier and more responsive. A really good choice, and it starts up in 15 seconds -- which is faster than I think I've ever seen. But what really prompted me to post though is that Windows 8.1 is fantastic. It's like having a whol...
by tj
Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4166

Re: best cash back credit card

I have more than one Amex card (Costco, Blue Cash, Fido). In talking to Amex customer line about another matter I mentioned the Fido card and was told "it's not really an Amex card" (even tho it has Amex on the front). The Amex rep was unable/(unwilling) to answer any questions I had re t...
by tj
Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20379

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

Do people think the computer I got was not very good? Maybe I should have consulted the bogleheads.:-/ Processor 3.7 GHz AMD A Series RAM 16 GB DDR3 Memory Speed 1333 MHz Hard Drive 1000 GB sATA Number of USB 2.0 Ports 6 Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2 Brand Name Asus Item model number M11BB-US008S Hardwa...
by tj
Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4166

Re: best cash back credit card

I am thinking of entering the frequent flyer zone and applying for a Citi AAvantage card for 30,000 bonus miles since I plan to travel soon. This would be enough for a roundtrip ticket in North America. American Airlines claims that each mile is worth 1.5 cents, so that would be a "free" ...
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20379

Re: Pay credit cards or student loans

if you don't have enough cash flow to pay off the cards before the 0% expires, then you obviously should pay off that first because eventually the rates will be way higher than 5% or 6%.
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay credit cards or student loans
Replies: 11
Views: 585

Re: best cash back credit card

A few months ago, I decided to start taking advantage of some of these cards since I predict more travel in my future. I applied for 4 cards all on the same day and was approved for all. I've now used them for all the bonuses and awards I expect to get. How long should I wait before applying for an...
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20379

Re: best cash back credit card

I'm shredding my credit cards, not applying for new ones. I am doing the opposite. While I am still working, I don't have time for investigating and using credit card offers. In retirement, I will have more time and may be able to save a few hundred dollars per year. So far, I've requested two card...
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20379

Re: Why bad/expensive 401(k)s will likely always be with us

Nuerospere: Can you explain what the "firm's 5500 filing" is and how these forms can be publicly-accessed for the particular company you may work for? You can see a 5500 at brightscope.com and likely elsewhere. I'ts a pretty vague form ,but if you are self employed I can see why you would...
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why bad/expensive 401(k)s will likely always be with us
Replies: 116
Views: 7681

Re: Where to find the right accountant for a small business?

I started a small business that generated about $35k in profit last year. I mostly sell things online. I am looking for an accountant in the LA area that is right for my business but I am not sure how I should proceed. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! What kind of advice are you lookin...
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to find the right accountant for a small business?
Replies: 4
Views: 301

Re: Buy Term Life Now or Wait

When you find something through term4sale.com, is there any reason you wouldn't go through the absolute cheapest (with an excellent rating) company? From what I understand, even if they go bankrupt a different life insurance company picks up their policies. Also, don't states (or is it the federal ...
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy Term Life Now or Wait
Replies: 17
Views: 1116

Re: Buy Term Life Now or Wait

To add something, having just gone through the process - there are a lot more things than health that can affect your premium, so if things look good now, I would probably jump on it and lock it in for the next 20 years. Worst comes to worst, you've spent a few hundred bucks and gotten great protec...
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy Term Life Now or Wait
Replies: 17
Views: 1116

Re: Why bad/expensive 401(k)s will likely always be with us

The basic problem is that 401k plans are attached to employers rather than individuals. In the UK, the tax-free investment wrapper simply has an annual limit on contributions that is not dependent on income, with a free choice of cash or stock investments made by individuals themselves. While "...
by tj
Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why bad/expensive 401(k)s will likely always be with us
Replies: 116
Views: 7681

Re: Why bad/expensive 401(k)s will likely always be with us

100's of CPA's and lawyers?

Just one is expensive....
by tj
Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why bad/expensive 401(k)s will likely always be with us
Replies: 116
Views: 7681

Re: Car Loan Paydown or Roth IRA?

That's a high rate for a car loan. If you re-finance, you could probably cut it in half if not more....which would allow you to save more. :) A place to start: https://www.penfed.org/refinance-auto-loan/ What's the point in refinancing? I don't want to drag the payment out longer. I just want it go...
by tj
Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Loan Paydown or Roth IRA?
Replies: 16
Views: 784

Re: Car Loan Paydown or Roth IRA?

That's a high rate for a car loan. If you re-finance, you could probably cut it in half if not more....which would allow you to save more. :)
by tj
Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Loan Paydown or Roth IRA?
Replies: 16
Views: 784

Re: renting out condo management fees

Is it a good idea to hire a real estate agent or broker, who helps you buy a condo, to manage its rental? BTW, I do not mean to hijack this thread; it's just that I buy a condo and the agent offers to be my condo manager. I wouldn't. I think they are useless in rental situations and as a renter the...
by tj
Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: renting out condo management fees
Replies: 17
Views: 928

Re: renting out condo management fees

I don't plan to do this before I pay off my mortgage. Once I pay off the mortgage I will do this. If I give it to a management agency, I was wondering if there are any gotchas. Do I have to worry about insurance, who sets the monthly price? How much liability will I have? Liability in terms of what...
by tj
Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: renting out condo management fees
Replies: 17
Views: 928

Re: renting out condo management fees

I don't plan to do this before I pay off my mortgage. Once I pay off the mortgage I will do this. If I give it to a management agency, I was wondering if there are any gotchas. Do I have to worry about insurance, who sets the monthly price? How much liability will I have? Liability in terms of what...
by tj
Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: renting out condo management fees
Replies: 17
Views: 928

Re: best small business credit card

sanitynmotion wrote:We currently use Bank of America's business card. What is the best small business credit card out there? My husband is a physician working independently and has his own S corp. Expenses are about $50,000 a year.



It depends on the categories of spending.
by tj
Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best small business credit card
Replies: 2
Views: 225

Re: renting out condo management fees

I plan to rent out my condo and I intend to give it to a professional manager. My questions are: how much are their monthly costs? I would like them to handle 100% of the maintenance, etc..I don't want to deal with the hassle of being a landlord. Ofcourse another option is to sell the condo but I a...
by tj
Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: renting out condo management fees
Replies: 17
Views: 928

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

Harold, what is your budget? I use a computer for similar things as you - I found two computers, one with windows 7, the other with windows 8. I ordered the one with windows 8 because it has more ram and it didn't cost much more: Our IT person said these computers would be just fine for what I need ...
by tj
Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4166

Re: When does depreciating a rental property save on taxes?

Unless the law has changed, If you own at least 10% of the rental property & you "actively participate" in the management of the property, you can take passive losses against ordinary income under $150k. Active participation is a fairly easy test. Such as, are you involved setting ren...
by tj
Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does depreciating a rental property save on taxes?
Replies: 70
Views: 4280

Re: When does depreciating a rental property save on taxes?

I will let others chime in, letsgobobby, but here is my understanding of things: 1) it does not matter if you are an active or passive manager. If you are passive, you can subtract the cost of property management against the rental income. 2) At income of under 150k, you can deduct the losses again...
by tj
Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does depreciating a rental property save on taxes?
Replies: 70
Views: 4280

Re: Girlfriend pays rent - tax filing (Schedule E or elsewhe

I'm in the process of filing my taxes for 2013. I own a condo in San Diego. Last year, my girlfriend paid me about $3,000 in rent, which is below market rate. If I'm able to report this as rental income and file it on schedule E, it works out advantageously for me. I can claim my mortgage interest ...
by tj
Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend pays rent - tax filing (Schedule E or elsewhere?)
Replies: 10
Views: 1400

Re: Girlfriend pays rent - tax filing (Schedule E or elsewhe

Somewhat naive question, but isn't rental income taxed as income? Can you even claim your condo as a rental unit if it's also your primary residence? I'm just confused at how claiming extra income (rental income) can be advantageous to you in terms of taxes! of course. You split your residence into...
by tj
Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend pays rent - tax filing (Schedule E or elsewhere?)
Replies: 10
Views: 1400

Re: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying

Costco is $1500 under invoice for Toyota, at least for the local dealer I got quotes from. I did not buy.
by tj
Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying
Replies: 16
Views: 1785

Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Best (at the time) splurge We bought an original Model 1 Compaq Deskpro in 1984 1 week after it was introduced. It cost $2000


It's crazy to me how much computers have gone down in cost. I just got a new computer with 16 gigs of ram and 1 terabyte hard drive for less than $600.
by tj
Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending on?
Replies: 109
Views: 13484

Re: best cash back credit card

I like Amex because no limits but interested in the fidelity Amex does it have a limit??? Also where's the vanguard Amex? Never going to happen. FIdo Amex is a loss leader. There is no limit on the 2% cashback you can earn with the Fidelity American Express. I was referring to the question about a ...
by tj
Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20379

Re: best cash back credit card

Steady wrote:I like Amex because no limits but interested in the fidelity Amex does it have a limit???

Also where's the vanguard Amex?


Never going to happen. FIdo Amex is a loss leader.
by tj
Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20379

Re: Current Carry Cost of my home

Check back in 10 years when it is renting for 5k/month and is worth 1 million dollars and let us know who you would rather be. You are gambling that rents will be somewhat stable and the owner is gambling that a combo of rent increases an appreciation will make it work out. Long term either of you ...
by tj
Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Current Carry Cost of my home
Replies: 23
Views: 1489

Re: Current Carry Cost of my home

denovo wrote:
Laura wrote:And the money you are giving up by having $281k sitting in the house rather than in the market.

Laura


Oh really? You don't think home values appreciate over time?



Home values fluctuate, just like the stock and bond markets.
by tj
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Current Carry Cost of my home
Replies: 23
Views: 1489

Re: Current Carry Cost of my home

To complete the picture, you should add back the rent for equivalent housing that you don't have to pay. That would change the picture significantly. Jeff Yes, I doubt OP can rent a $380,000 home for $1,500 a month in rent, which is what his carry cost his? Maybe he can share what the rental market...
by tj
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Current Carry Cost of my home
Replies: 23
Views: 1489

Re: Vanguard Tax Managed Balanced

Revenue (Stonehill Colle 0.030% 07/01/2037 $7,140,000 $7,140,000 Indiana Finance Authority Revenue (Lease Appropriation) VRDO 0.040% 02/01/2037 $4,675,000 $4,675,000 District of Columbia Revenue (American University) VRDO 0.030% 10/01/2038 $4,400,000 $4,400,000 Maine Health & Higher Educational...
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Tax Managed Balanced
Replies: 3
Views: 364

Re: Current Carry Cost of my home

Laura wrote:And the money you are giving up by having $281k sitting in the house rather than in the market.

Laura


+1
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Current Carry Cost of my home
Replies: 23
Views: 1489

Re: Bonds vs high interest checking

Yep, that's pretty much all you have to do. Like I said, I've used the debit card once, ever. You can do up to weekly payments to a single account. Every friday, I autopay 1$ to t-mobile, comcast, and capital one(which pays netflix). Also every friday, I also pay 25$ to chase freedom(I use for gas,...
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds vs high interest checking
Replies: 6
Views: 420

Vanguard Tax Managed Balanced

Lately, I've been pondering suggesting Vanguard Tax Managed Balanced - buy and hold, to some people I know who want to be completely hands off with their portfolio and are in a relatively high tax bracket. It says that this fund attempts to track the Russell 1000, but it only has 600-something stock...
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Tax Managed Balanced
Replies: 3
Views: 364

Re: Bonds vs high interest checking

Am I correct in understanding you only need to set up 15 recurring bill pay's (not 15 debit card transactions?) Are they available nationally?

If so, this is a game changer....assuming that one wants $15k in cash/bonds :)
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds vs high interest checking
Replies: 6
Views: 420

Re: Critique these long-term real-estate investments

I'd ask myself if one of the REITS, such as AHM, is buying in that market.


If they aren't, what do you know that they don't?
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Critique these long-term real-estate investments
Replies: 15
Views: 988

Re: Current Carry Cost of my home

I don't understand your question.
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Current Carry Cost of my home
Replies: 23
Views: 1489

Re: Critique these long-term real-estate investments

It's certainly doable, but not very diversified way to invest. It might return more than a 3 fund portfolio, it might not.
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Critique these long-term real-estate investments
Replies: 15
Views: 988

Re: Good to use a insurance broker?

I think similar to mortgages, mortgage brokers can often find the better deals than dealing directly with the lenders like Penfed or the former INGDirect.


I don't think this is true.
by tj
Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good to use a insurance broker?
Replies: 10
Views: 661
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