Search found 987 matches

by wshang
Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

The payback for your solar depends upon your state. http://sroeco.com/solar/top-10-solar-payback-states-1216 Although New York used to rank even higher, we are now 6th with a projected 8 year payback. http://solarenergy.net/News/2013080701-where-do-you-get-the-fastest-payback-on-rooftop-solar/ Part ...
by wshang
Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: look at structured notes
Replies: 16
Views: 1342

Re: look at structured notes

I've purchased some of these on the secondary market. It takes some indepth research, but at the right price, someone else's junk can be gold. But I agree, as a primary offering, many of these are bad investments.
by wshang
Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2945

Re: Thoughts on Fixed-Maturity Bond Funds?

There is an interesting bond fund BLH which matures in 2018. Right now it is trading at $14.87 although the NAV is above $15, the amount it should distribute at maturity. In the past, similar Blackrock products such as BLN which I have owned have done very well, distributing capital gains as well as...
by wshang
Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan vs 401K
Replies: 7
Views: 854

Re: Defined Benefit Plan vs 401K

I'm a physician who have set up this as a dual 401k-DB. If I may ask, what is approximate cost of setting up a 401k-DB plan? $3-4k to set up, followed by $1-2k per year and about the same to take down. But this is for a small physician practice. Basically, if you can escape 33 or 35% tax bracket or...
by wshang
Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYSE Volume - Large Increase in Last 30 Minutes of Trading
Replies: 5
Views: 1033

Re: NYSE Volume - Large Increase in Last 30 Minutes of Trading

The order imbalance reports come out from the various exchanges at various times prior to close. The hedge funds are attempting to scalp index funds and those who need to even up with futures and options contracts. What you are seeing are the sharks taking little bites off the prey at the end of the...
by wshang
Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan vs 401K
Replies: 7
Views: 854

Re: Defined Benefit Plan vs 401K

I'm a physician who have set up this as a dual 401k-DB. It is very complex and expensive. That said, it is extremely useful and one of the most underutilized tax shelters available to high-wage earners. The overall strategy is to decrease the tax rate when working and take it out at a lower rate whe...
by wshang
Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chinese CD's
Replies: 55
Views: 7483

Re: Chinese CD's

Figured I'd give some follow-up. I have two CD's, the two year just matured, and earned 4.04% compounded return. I'll probably reinvest the money which looks like 3.41% for the current two year paper since my experience with the Chinese bank has continued to be positive. On the exchange side, since ...
by wshang
Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you learn anything from 2008?
Replies: 105
Views: 9905

Re: Did you learn anything from 2008?

As one nears the magic number, one needs to gradually ratchet down risk. It is one thing to hit the number with a portfolio of equities. It is absolutely necessary to practice a form of dynamic asset allocation as one nears the number. I was very fortunate to have begun the process of balancing into...
by wshang
Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds with Sinking fund = rising interest rate protection?
Replies: 3
Views: 479

Bonds with Sinking fund = rising interest rate protection?

Many of us are interested in protecting our portfolio, particularly the bond side from rising interest rates. Lately I came across this idea regarding purchasing bonds with a sinking fund provision. If one were able to purchase these below par value and with scheduled impending redemptions, then if ...
by wshang
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is structured settlement annuity investing a good deal?
Replies: 7
Views: 981

Re: Is structured settlement annuity investing a good deal?

There are many shops offering rotating inventories such as these. The interest rates on these can exceed comparable high quality munis and these can be backed by insurance policies from Berkshire for example. I actually visited one of these shops to talk with the firm's lawyer to make sure they are ...
by wshang
Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should a BH investor never use futures/options?
Replies: 70
Views: 5391

Re: Should a BH investor never use futures/options?

Just like active management, options are a true zero-sum game, meaning the expected return of all parties after transaction costs is always negative. This is not mentioned enough! You are playing a negative-sum game (after costs) against professionals. That should be all you need to know to discard...
by wshang
Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should a BH investor never use futures/options?
Replies: 70
Views: 5391

Re: Should a BH investor never use futures/options?

You can sell out of the money puts on SPY and get paid to rebalance when markets fall. Assuming these short puts are cash-covered, this strategy does not necessarily outperform just putting that cash in the index, though. Just for the sake of being contrarian, take a look here: http://papers.ssrn.c...
by wshang
Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should a BH investor never use futures/options?
Replies: 70
Views: 5391

Re: Should a BH investor never use futures/options?

Why would anyone ask this question on this forum? Of course you get these expected answers. It is indeed possible through a combination of option strategies to have a greater risk adjusted return. It takes work, homework, lots of it to understand these strategies. If you truly wish to invest time to...
by wshang
Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $600 night guard for teeth grinding, really?
Replies: 92
Views: 6982

Re: $600 night guard for teeth grinding, really?

Over the years, I have ordered a couple of custom bite guards from these commercial labs directly. While your results might vary, I have been quite pleased with the fit and quality. The price is of course significantly lower, providing you can follow the directions in making your own impression. If ...
by wshang
Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Muni bonds vs. Treasuries - Please explain to me like I'm 5
Replies: 25
Views: 2944

Re: Muni bonds vs. Treasuries - Please explain to me like I'

There is yet one more explanation which I rarely hear. Investors come from all over the globe now; US investors tend to forget that. Muni's favored interest rates tend to favor US taxpayer investors. It could be much like I-bonds, large international investors are just not interested.
by wshang
Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Average amount saved for retirement by age
Replies: 133
Views: 29276

Re:

Disagree completely. It is a cop out to state the poor don't have money to save. They do they just choose to spend it. I would love to see how many poor who state they don't have enough to save for retirement who have cable television, eat out, and have cell phones. Reminds me of this reality TV sh...
by wshang
Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA strategy
Replies: 15
Views: 3334

Re: Roth IRA strategy

This strategy is well outlined in Jim Lange's book, The Roth Revolution. Actually the time you can recharacterize is longer than the OP mentions if you file an tax extension every year. I might recommend Jim's book if for no other reason than he goes over critical dates, variations and possible pitf...
by wshang
Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Runners, Triathletes, Cyclists,...
Replies: 22
Views: 2255

Re: Runners, Triathletes, Cyclists,...

I would second Quickfoot, ultra distances are generally considered detrimental to health. I draw the line at 100 miles biking, afterward it is no longer any fun. Cycling gives me the sensation of freedom and flight. Whether cycling alone or with the club, it is something I am confident I can do for ...
by wshang
Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?
Replies: 33
Views: 3701

Re: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?

avenger wrote:I was hoping to contribute as much of the $6300 as I could. Hence my concern over getting the calculation correct right now.

You can add to it later.
by wshang
Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?
Replies: 33
Views: 3701

Re: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?

avenger wrote:
wshang wrote:My accountant advised me to put in $100 now (to show earnest) and work out the final amount next year near tax time.

"Put in $100?" You mean paying estimated tax?

Make a $100 contribution for 2014 now. Wasn't that part of your original question?
by wshang
Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?
Replies: 33
Views: 3701

Re: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?

My accountant advised me to put in $100 now (to show earnest) and work out the final amount next year near tax time.
by wshang
Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?
Replies: 33
Views: 3701

Re: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?

avenger wrote:Can someone help me calculate this? I want to do this right the first time. Many thanks in advance.

www.irs.gov/publications/p560/ch05.html
this is the worksheet in addition to VG's calculator for the total
Just about to do it myself.
by wshang
Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it speculation to use the Callan Periodic table?
Replies: 35
Views: 3832

Re: Is it speculation to use the Callan Periodic table?

There is a profitable way to use the Callan Table, especially if one is doing Roth conversions. Of course this would entail a good deal of work, but say you have a million in a tIRA and your intention is to convert $100k per year. You could take 10% and put it into each of sectors of the Callan Tabl...
by wshang
Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why So Many Used Prius for Sale?
Replies: 51
Views: 7891

Re: Why So Many Used Prius for Sale?

We bought a 2011 Prius, the previous year's model when in 2012 there was the news hoopla over the proported automatous brake failure and speeding. At the time, the local dealership was offering $50 to test drive. Incentives after incentives to take last year's new car off their lot. Quite a contrast...
by wshang
Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?
Replies: 33
Views: 3701

Re: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?

Oh yeah, in order to have money, you have to study money! One reason why I was able to retire from full-time practice was having a defined benefit, 401k and a separate sideline business with yet another salary deferral. Physicians have to learn more about this otherwise the combination of high debt ...
by wshang
Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?
Replies: 33
Views: 3701

Re: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?

I am doing exactly this, but applied and received an EIN number prior to opening a 401k at Vanguard. This was the advice when I called VG earlier in the year. You still have time if you want to go this route.
by wshang
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification among Bonds?
Replies: 32
Views: 4016

Re: Diversification among Bonds?

Call risk also exists for Munis. Just yesterday we received a dreaded call flag on some 5.25% coupon 2034 tax free munis purchased 3-4 years ago. Now we must try to replace a cash flow in our taxable account that is pretty much irreplaceable. Adding minor insult to injury is that we also owe capita...
by wshang
Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEPP for early retiree
Replies: 6
Views: 1481

Re: SEPP for early retiree

Many thanks for Alan, Spectec and VirginiaBob for taking the time to answer. While I was able to google 72t.net, I was not able to link to it nor bring it up on my browser. Taking into consideration the relative merits of Roth conversion: 1) Flexibility of amount, subsequent frequency 2) Better tax ...
by wshang
Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEPP for early retiree
Replies: 6
Views: 1481

SEPP for early retiree

I am an early retiree, in his early 50’s. While retired from my main source of income, I still have some Schedule C income which is entirely shieldable from taxation using a 401k, as does my wife. Together our taxable incomes along with qualified dividends give us an annual minimum taxable income of...
by wshang
Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?
Replies: 51
Views: 8095

Re: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?

The sensation is akin to learning to ride a bike and realizing the training wheels are off and you are flying. (not off the handlebars) For some, the sensation that the daily fluctuation is greater than your monthly pay or a new BMW is a weird feeling. At some point, seeing no substantive effect of ...
by wshang
Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice sought for $6M investment
Replies: 36
Views: 4066

Re: Advice sought for $6M investment

If I were you I would quit working tax problems solved. Actually, if you can tolerate or enjoy your work, working allows you to do things not normally available for tax planning purposes. There are special 401k withdraw rules for leaving your company only at age 55, Roth and IRA contribution and ro...
by wshang
Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice sought for $6M investment
Replies: 36
Views: 4066

Re: Advice sought for $6M investment

Second record keeping is a PITA. Third managing bond calls and maturations is a PITA. Finally if you have to sell before maturity, they'll nick you or worse. Even if you are as wealthy as you are, I'd stick to low cost muni index funds (and I have!). While whether you regard it as a PITA depends up...
by wshang
Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice sought for $6M investment
Replies: 36
Views: 4066

Re: Advice sought for $6M investment

My situation bears similarities to yours. You are wealthy enough to own an individual muni bond portfolio. While I won't go into the benefits in detail, there are major benefits to having tax loss harvesting with individual munis, especially zeros. I would buy as many I-bonds as possible each year, ...
by wshang
Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not 100% Stocks?
Replies: 274
Views: 24427

Re: Why not 100% Stocks?

Teleradiology from third world nations? That's pretty absurd when considering the regulations involved in practicing medicine. Ha, ha. That's just the thing. Regulations are based upon sentiment, politics and influence. Wait till "they" figure out changing regulations increases competitio...
by wshang
Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not 100% Stocks?
Replies: 274
Views: 24427

Re: Why not 100% Stocks?

To me, this is a false dichotomy. I have a individual bond portfolio which in certain years outperformed stocks. I have options which have outperformed stocks over certain intervals. I also plan to buy annuities which might outperform stocks -given the right circumstance. One might easily find thems...
by wshang
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Power of Zero: [Book and tax planning for retirement]
Replies: 52
Views: 6656

Re: The Power of Zero: Controversial New Book About Taxes

There are a couple of details the OP should pay attention if 401k or tIRA is large: 1) Attempt to leave a job where the 401k resides at age 55 to take an distribution. Consider a Essentially Equal 401(k) Distributions before age 59.5. 2) Convert as much in the 15% bracket before age 70 to Roth 3) Tr...
by wshang
Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 92
Views: 12806

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

On this forum there is little respect for purchasing gold or other nonproductive assets. Compare this greater-fool type of asset to home ownership. If it weren't for the government's, post Depression era standard 30 year mortgage and the constant drum beat of "American dream" propaganda, a...
by wshang
Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 5201

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

RustyShackleford wrote:I still don't see how "it is possible to do better than the best performing of these categories".

Easy to explain. The Callan Periodic Table does not have gold or long-term Treasuries which outperformed the categories listed for some of the years followed.
by wshang
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 5201

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

Pocket Cruiser wrote:
wshang wrote:Although I've brought up a variation of your Roth conversion strategy on this forum before, no one ever seems to get excited .

Would you elaborate on this please?

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=120771&hilit=+roth
by wshang
Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 5201

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

Although I've brought up a variation of your Roth conversion strategy on this forum before, no one ever seems to get excited as I do. Take a look at the Callan Periodic Table and you can see that by splitting further and by filing an filing extension, you can easily get 40%+ on one of the converted ...
by wshang
Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: portfolio turnover
Replies: 9
Views: 1097

Re: portfolio turnover

To carry the OP's question further, since turnover costs such as commission are not reflected in the expense ratio, isn't at some point advantage accruing to an investor with a laddered, diversified individual bond portfolio? I seem to remember Larry advocating a high quality bond holding over a bon...
by wshang
Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?
Replies: 60
Views: 4592

Re: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?

My understanding is that the only option strategy available in a tax favored account like a 401(k) or IRA is covered call writing. Any puts or naked calls have to be in your taxable account. Ralph Hmmm. Perhaps if this interests you, check out other brokerages. TD allows me to do this in my 401(k) ...
by wshang
Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?
Replies: 60
Views: 4592

Re: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?

Well let me say at the outset, I am not here to convince you this is a good strategy. In fact, I hope this is an obscure enough forum and most people don't bother to learn options well and mess with my golden goose. :oops: wshang: that's kind of what I thought when I said "just an illusion"...
by wshang
Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?
Replies: 60
Views: 4592

Re: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?

You can purchase ETF's at a discount by selling the put options naked (cash secured). (repeat until exercised) I don't fully understand this. Are you sure it's not an illusion? You could end up paying a higher price days or weeks later than the person who was willing to buy at market price. There a...
by wshang
Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can a single investor influence the market?
Replies: 20
Views: 1865

Re: Can a single investor influence the market?

It is actually too easy to do. Some closed end funds have a thinly traded to almost no regular daily trading volume. If you happen to be selling into, or buying, take a look at the Level II quotes. You will be moving the market (to your own detriment). Yet another reason to be mostly in a large, hig...
by wshang
Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?
Replies: 60
Views: 4592

Re: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?

You can purchase ETF's at a discount by selling the put options naked (cash secured). (repeat until exercised) Another advantage is setting the purchase by limit orders. It is very difficult in practice to set an automatic purchase at a lower than present day price with mutual funds. This extends to...
by wshang
Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Carnival Cruises
Replies: 21
Views: 3147

Re: Cheap Carnival Cruises

This just might be a time to break the BH rule on buying individual stock. If you purchase 100 shares of Carnival Cruise (CCL) or Royal Caribbean (RCL) can receive up to $250 in onboard credits. We bought our two weeks prior to departure, it entitles you to these credits each time thereafter. Carniv...
by wshang
Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Deferred] Annuity Purchase Excluded from RMD Calculation
Replies: 17
Views: 1121

Re: [Deferred] Annuity Purchase Excluded from RMD Calculatio

Time to resurrect this discussion, since now it is a actionable reality. http://www.kitces.com/blog/why-the-new-qualifying-longevity-annuity-contract-qlac-rmd-regulations-for-dont-mean-much-for-retirement-income-yet/ To be eligible as a QLAC, a longevity annuity must meet the following requirements:...
by wshang
Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica
Replies: 11
Views: 1920

Re: Costa Rica

I've been to many places in Costa Rica. It's so diverse a country that you need to tell us a little bit more about your preferences before anyone can have an reasonable answer. :annoyed :wink:
by wshang
Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I think I might have too much saved in a 401k
Replies: 40
Views: 4497

Re: I think I might have too much saved in a 401k

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=120771

Take a look here if considering another angle. I have yet another idea which if you are interested, please pm me.

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