Search found 875 matches

by ThePrune
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!
Replies: 26
Views: 1746

Re: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!

If you like museums either Berlin or Munich would be outstanding destinations in Germany. And you don’t need to worry about the weather ruining a museum visit! Museum Island in Berlin has the single largest concentration of great museums in Germany. Get a Berlin Pass and at the same time schedule a ...
by ThePrune
Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Best Leave an IRA to Charity"
Replies: 3
Views: 506

Re: "How to Best Leave an IRA to Charity"

Sure, simply add the charities to the list of beneficiaries for the traditional IRA account. You'll need to supply some unique identification information (I seem to remember supplying the taxpayer identification number of the charity, but it may have had a different name). The beneficiary forms at b...
by ThePrune
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom made a mistake? Annuities
Replies: 51
Views: 5093

Re: Mom made a mistake? Annuities

nedsaid made some very good comments previously in this tread. It'd like to highlight some of these! What Itstoomuch did was essentially buy an expensive put option on the stock market. He is giving up a lot of his potential future investment returns in return for the guarantees. What he was guardi...
by ThePrune
Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom made a mistake? Annuities
Replies: 51
Views: 5093

Re: Mom made a mistake? Annuities

In addition to your comments on the net interest spread, I know that with the indexes that insurance companies will not credit you with the dividends that the index paid, they just give you the price appreciation. Its not so much that the insurance company doesn't pass along the stock index dividen...
by ThePrune
Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom made a mistake? Annuities
Replies: 51
Views: 5093

Re: Mom made a mistake? Annuities

I haven't fully researched this particular annuity but typically the fees on these can be really high. This is not a classic Variable Annuity but based on a stock index, probably the S&P 500. No downside, but the fees (and possibly caps) limit the upside. These products are frowned on here even mor...
by ThePrune
Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom made a mistake? Annuities
Replies: 51
Views: 5093

Re: Mom made a mistake? Annuities

BarbK , since you appear to be interested in learning a little more, I'm glad to help you! I'll start be addressing the misunderstandings in the following statements by FreeMarty : I'm going to confirm with her but it was my understanding that she would receive 6% of the $200K value regardless of t...
by ThePrune
Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dinner plates that do not get so hot after microwaving?
Replies: 37
Views: 3253

Re: Dinner plates that do not get so hot after microwaving?

random_walker_77 came the closest to understanding the root cause for this problem: According to an article I read earlier this year, there's a chemistry angle on this. Earthenware contains water and will heat in a microwave, but stoneware and porcelain will have eliminated all water: https://eic.r...
by ThePrune
Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom made a mistake? Annuities
Replies: 51
Views: 5093

Re: Mom made a mistake? Annuities

Invested: $200K in 2013 Investment: IRA Indexed Annuity Multi-choice Xtra Guaranteed 6% return annually. I think this was her payout annually. Current value: $130K of initial investment (loss of $70K?) Mom's status: 68 and retired As alluded to earlier, the product your mother purchased appears to ...
by ThePrune
Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Order of accounts for taxation
Replies: 3
Views: 479

Re: Order of accounts for taxation

My understandings: Money taken from the taxable account is subject to capital gains tax only (on the gains). If the annually taxable account has bank savings, CDs, corporate bonds, treasuries or bond funds, the interest income on those is taxed as ordinary income. Although stock funds generally thr...
by ThePrune
Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Glassware care
Replies: 12
Views: 801

Re: Glassware care

Here's your forum's retired ceramic engineer with words of wisdom. Assuming the Waterford is a heavy crystal glass (similar to older "lead crystal"), it will have a higher thermal expansion that other types of glass products. This can make it more susceptible to cracking due to sudden heating and co...
by ThePrune
Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Income Certified Professional
Replies: 3
Views: 567

Re: Retirement Income Certified Professional

Here are a few more thoughts that didn't come to my mind while writing my initial posting. I was very pleased that this class addresses income planning for people of ALL income levels. The first class (HS353) spent a lot of time talking about helping lower income retirees make the best choices possi...
by ThePrune
Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Income Certified Professional
Replies: 3
Views: 567

Re: Retirement Income Certified Professional

I'm currently taking this 3 class sequence for my own personal development. (I'm retired, not in the financial services industry.) More specifically, I'm just finishing up the 2nd class. Here is one article of an advisor's impression. http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2015/01/08/ricp-my-impression The stu...
by ThePrune
Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trouble with Universal Life Insurance Policy
Replies: 19
Views: 1787

Re: Trouble with Universal Life Insurance Policy

Additionally, she paid a $2,400 annual premium since 1995. I think in total she paid approximately $92,000 since 1995. The death benefit is $130,000 and the policy owner is an Irrevocable Trust established for my brother who has learning disabilities. The policy had a guaranteed rate of return of 4...
by ThePrune
Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any insights - Who ultimately sells Calls to Insurance Companies?
Replies: 9
Views: 1070

Any insights - Who ultimately sells Calls to Insurance Companies?

This is just a personal interest of mine because of doing a lot of modeling of Fixed Index Annuities. Anyone who has first hand knowledge, please share the facts! Many insurance companies purchase a lot of at-the-money call options to hedge their risks when they sell Fixed Index Annuities (FIA) and ...
by ThePrune
Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee
Replies: 64
Views: 6368

Re: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee

Still the almost 16 difference you got seems too high. Thanks for your patience Thesaints until I could spot the error in my previously calculated data tables. Also thanks to bigwave2 for making a suggestion as to where the error might lie. It turns out the error was not in the type of compounding ...
by ThePrune
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee
Replies: 64
Views: 6368

Re: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee

Long stocks + put also gets the dividends. If on the other hand you are considering a long call, then it is a way less capital intensive position and you should add the risk free rate to the unused capital. The way I see it, the hedged position at worst does as well as the unhedged one, minus $5. T...
by ThePrune
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee
Replies: 64
Views: 6368

Re: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee

I'm uncertain on your results. Let's take the maximum, i.e. the best 12-month period, which you say it is $228.61 for simple stocks and $212.94 for stocks + put. Since the put costs $5 (and obviously expired worthless) how can the two figures not be exactly $5 apart ? I hope the difference is the a...
by ThePrune
Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee
Replies: 64
Views: 6368

Re: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee

I've exchanged PM's with the OP and he had in mind a long call . In my first replies I referred to a put hedge (substantially identical position), since I assumed he already owned the underlying stock portfolio. There are no annuities nor exotic securities involved . I realize that I didn't make th...
by ThePrune
Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RIA [Registered Investment Advisor]
Replies: 7
Views: 726

Re: RIA [Registered Investment Advisor]

Definitely take a few practice tests before you sign up for the real thing . (NOT the free one on Investopedia; that hasn't been updated in probably a decade.) This is a good suggestion! I forgot to mention that I had also purchased a set of Series 65 Exam questions from Fourth Financial LLC. The 2...
by ThePrune
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee
Replies: 64
Views: 6368

Re: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee

What you are proposing is exactly the same as buying an at-the-money call option. It should be easy to verify which is a better deal by comparing the cost of the call option vs. 5% fee. Historical comparisons are not so meaningful because volatility is not constant over time . Currently, volatility...
by ThePrune
Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee
Replies: 64
Views: 6368

Re: 5% fee per year to buy s&p500 with principle gaurantee

This kind of sounds like that horrible product called a fixed index annuity. I agree, that's what it sounds like . PJW It's similar to a traditional FIA, but not exactly so. Strictly speaking, it's a Floor-Design Hybrid ("FIA-like") Variable Annuity that has a 5% annual fee, a Floor (loss limit) of...
by ThePrune
Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AXA Structured Variable Annuity - Help me calculate fees/returns
Replies: 14
Views: 1003

Re: AXA Structured Variable Annuity - Help me calculate fees/returns

So one other question as in prospectus I see the 1.25% you mention and another mention of .61-.72% for underlying investment so would that be added to the 1.25 or is that somehow separate? This is on page 13 of prospectus. In a variable annuity such as this AXA Structured Capital Strategies you als...
by ThePrune
Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RIA [Registered Investment Advisor]
Replies: 7
Views: 726

Re: RIA [Registered Investment Advisor]

I studied using the book, Pass the 65. I thought it was reasonably well organized and yet still detailed.
by ThePrune
Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AXA Structured Variable Annuity - Help me calculate fees/returns
Replies: 14
Views: 1003

Re: AXA Structured Variable Annuity - Help me calculate fees/returns

Next I'd like to post just one quantitative calculation that shows just how bad an investment the AXA Structured Strategies Annuity will be. Since you commented on the Series B, Standard Segment investment over a 5 year period, I chose to model that combination using the Monte Carlo FIA Modeler that...
by ThePrune
Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AXA Structured Variable Annuity - Help me calculate fees/returns
Replies: 14
Views: 1003

Re: AXA Structured Variable Annuity - Help me calculate fees/returns

From within the prospectus (Page 14 of prospectus / page 16 of the electronic document) I see the following table estimating fees. Assumes $10k initial investment with 5% return each year. Does note actual costs may be higher or lower, but based upon those assumptions the costs would be (Class B sh...
by ThePrune
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ameriprise Variable Annuity - Sell now or wait?
Replies: 3
Views: 390

Re: Ameriprise Variable Annuity - Sell now or wait?

Graz, I took a look at the brochure for this VA. There IS a way to eliminate those high annual fees if you are willing to switch all your VA funds over to either the Guaranteed Period Account or the Regular Fixed Account. In essence you would be using this VA as a part of your fixed income allocatio...
by ThePrune
Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents Social Security payments, deceased Father.
Replies: 8
Views: 923

Re: Parents Social Security payments, deceased Father.

As I understand it she is entitled to his SS payment as a survivorship benefit .... Although it typically works out that the lower-earning survivor ends up getting exactly the same benefit that the deceased spouse was receiving, there are exceptions . For those who want to explore this topic in exc...
by ThePrune
Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security
Replies: 17
Views: 2266

Re: Social Security

You mention a computer program, to figure benefits, what is a good one? Free Social Security optimizer programs I have used and found to be decent : Social Security Maximizer You need to create an account to use the program, but no charge to do so. SSAnalyze hosted by Bedrock Capital. AARP Social S...
by ThePrune
Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security
Replies: 17
Views: 2266

Re: Social Security

I have a wife 2 years younger than me and if I understand it correctly if she is going to use her spousal benefit that she can go ahead and file and collect on her record when she turns 66 (born in 1954) and then when I file at 70 she can then get the spousal benefit. So for her to wait till 70 wou...
by ThePrune
Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security
Replies: 17
Views: 2266

Re: Social Security

Here's the part of the Motley Fool article that mentions a case when waiting to file for Social Security benefits might not make sense: Because there's no longer a file-and-suspend-related incentive to wait, many families find that the downside of giving up a larger monthly payment for your own reti...
by ThePrune
Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AXA Structured Capital Strategies
Replies: 16
Views: 1104

Re: AXA Structured Capital Strategies

I do understand that this thing and a market cd are not good replacement for stocks. As a replacement for bonds or a regular cd I am unclear as tp why it is so bad? The median expected return for this thing is about equivalent to a 2% cd for 12 years. For arguments sake, lets say the median return ...
by ThePrune
Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AXA Structured Capital Strategies
Replies: 16
Views: 1104

Re: AXA Structured Capital Strategies

In general, avoid any investment you can't understand (and others in the posting stream have already reminded you of that basic fact of investing). But just for fun I decided to perform a quantitative analysis of one of the investment options offered by this AXA Variable Annuity (VA) product. Here i...
by ThePrune
Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investor Analysis of Index Annuities
Replies: 31
Views: 3836

Re: Investor Analysis of Index Annuities

As mentioned in the previous posting, more and more FIAs are being to be sold with attached Guaranteed Living Benefit (GLB) riders. Such riders will almost always have an associated annual fee ; I've typically seen fees from 70 to 125 basis points annually. To incorporate the "performance drag" crea...
by ThePrune
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is structured notes sound investment choice?
Replies: 18
Views: 1345

Re: Is structured notes sound investment choice?

Fidelity has some of these that are CD's with FDIC guarantees . Much more conservative but I have never seen anything very tempting. It can be a peculiar type of FDIC coverage, however. For example here is the exact description of the FDIC coverage on a 7 year J.P.Morgan Structured CD that was bein...
by ThePrune
Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 5 Pitfalls of Mutual Funds by,....
Replies: 22
Views: 2608

Re: There are almost always better options than mutual funds.

At least when I gave them a thorough look 8 years ago, Fisher Investments (a Registered Investment Advisory firm, an RIA) used a " Separately Managed Account " approach. I know of a few local RIAs that also use Separately Managed Accounts. In essence the portfolio investment committee at these RIAs ...
by ThePrune
Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is structured notes sound investment choice?
Replies: 18
Views: 1345

Re: Is structured notes sound investment choice?

Mingfriz , please post the exact name of the structured note you are looking at, along with an internet link (if you have it) to the prospectus. This will help me give you some definitive advice. When I read your original posting, I realized that I could quantitatively model your structured note us...
by ThePrune
Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Use my HSA for another person
Replies: 7
Views: 764

Re: Use my HSA for another person

Are LTC insurance premiums even a qualified expense? I didn't think so. According to IRS Publication 969 on Health Savings Accounts, LTC insurance premiums are qualified medical expenses, at least up to a limit. Insurance Premiums . You can't treat insurance premiums as qualified medical expenses u...
by ThePrune
Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is structured notes sound investment choice?
Replies: 18
Views: 1345

Re: Is structured notes sound investment choice?

Mingfriz , please post the exact name of the structured note you are looking at, along with an internet link (if you have it) to the prospectus. This will help me give you some definitive advice. When I read your original posting, I realized that I could quantitatively model your structured note us...
by ThePrune
Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investor Analysis of Index Annuities
Replies: 31
Views: 3836

Re: Investor Analysis of Index Annuities

I never viewed our FIa as investing but as Market insurance and a future income stream. We are coming up on the 5th anniversary on one of the GLWB FIa. Initial purchase at $100,000. Guess on Acct Value is ~$108,000 on 5th anniv. GLWB Income Acct value will be 127,628$ @5% compounding. We no longer ...
by ThePrune
Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delaying pension benefits - what would you do?
Replies: 21
Views: 2881

Re: Delaying pension benefits - what would you do?

+1 I agree with #Cruncher 's strictly financial analysis. From a Risk Control perspective : (1) Do you have any reason to believe that future pension payments would be at risk of severe reduction or termination? (Example: a public pension paid by Illinois). If so, it might be a reason to start the p...
by ThePrune
Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Use my HSA for another person
Replies: 7
Views: 764

Re: Use my HSA for another person

The answer to almost any H.S.A.-related question can be found in IRS Publication 969 - Health Savings Account and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans . According to this IRS document, here are the rules for taking a Qualified (i.e. tax and penalty-free) Distribution from your H.S.A.: Qualified medical ex...
by ThePrune
Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investor Analysis of Index Annuities
Replies: 31
Views: 3836

Re: Investor Analysis of Index Annuities

Yet another update for the Fixed Index Annuity - Monte Carlo Modeler : This time I've added the capability to analyze two types of FIA-like Hybrid Annuities : Buffer Design and Floor Design . Such Hybrid Annuities are legally a type of Variable Annuity and must be registered and sold as securities. ...
by ThePrune
Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 pct bonus on fixed index annuity
Replies: 22
Views: 1436

Re: 20 pct bonus on fixed index annuity

Stan Haithcock (AKA "Stan the Annuity Man") published the RetireMentors article Annuity up-front bonuses are not what they appear to be in Feb. 2016. If you've read this far in this posting stream, I think you'll find his entire article interesting. Here is just a bit: Annuity bonuses are not bad in...
by ThePrune
Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for my mother's annuities
Replies: 5
Views: 771

Re: Suggestions for my mother's annuities

Besides the tax situation two other concerns that I have are: Her getting another call from a "friend at the bank" life insurance agent insinuating that she needs to cash in these annuities and purchase some new high cost/commission product. Because of your mother's advanced age (you said she turne...
by ThePrune
Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for my mother's annuities
Replies: 5
Views: 771

Re: Suggestions for my mother's annuities

My concern is that these annuities have already built up $77K in untaxed income and may trigger an excessive tax bill if my mother dies. Since one of your questions has to do with death benefits, do you have and understand the details of who are listed in the two contracts as primary and contingent...
by ThePrune
Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investor Analysis of Index Annuities
Replies: 31
Views: 3836

Re: Investor Analysis of Index Annuities

I've finished updating the Excel-based, Fixed Index Annuity - Monte Carlo modeler with stock index returns through April 2017. This modeler allows investment returns simulation for FIA contracts using any of the following price indexes: S&P Composite (1926+) - Robert Shiller's data S&P 500 (1957+) S...
by ThePrune
Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is Municipal Bond Interest NOT "Tax-free"...
Replies: 15
Views: 1632

When is Municipal Bond Interest NOT "Tax-free"...

... potentially when that municipal bond interest is being received by retirees who are also receiving Social Security benefits. Retirees receiving Social Security benefits need to carefully evaluate recommendations to purchase municipal bonds/funds because of their, "tax-free income". A retired fri...
by ThePrune
Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social security spousal benefit denied
Replies: 8
Views: 2727

Re: social security spousal benefit denied

Social security denied my request for a spousal benefit based on my wife's benefits because I had previously received a reduced benefit (now suspended) when I was below full retirement age. I am now 66, my full retirement age. They say that even though I have suspended my benefits I have already re...
by ThePrune
Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Book - The New Retirementality
Replies: 26
Views: 3765

Re: Book - The New Retirementality

I've read this book repeatedly over the "editions" (now the 4th). This is my favorite book to recommend to folks wanting to think more deeply about the non-financial aspects of retirement.