Search found 578 matches

by bberris
Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bull/Sell your stock before dividend date or after dividend date?
Replies: 8
Views: 839

Re: Bull/Sell your stock before dividend date or after dividend date?

Suppose you want to buy a mutual fund for total stock market. There's VTSAX which gives dividends for times a year. There's SWTSX which gives dividends once a year. Assuming stock doesn't really change in price between the two days, would you want to BUY it the day before or the day after it's ex-d...
by bberris
Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Has Raised Its Prices
Replies: 2
Views: 549

Re: TaxAct Has Raised Its Prices

Taxact pricing is fixed when you respond to an offer. If a lower offer comes along, you can respond to it and delete the older offer. Filing time does not matter.

They have clearly adopted a kind of airline ticket pricing model. Probably no deals now.
by bberris
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20% low-risk one month return from Thrift Conversions (bank demutualization/IPOs)
Replies: 10
Views: 648

Re: 20% low-risk one month return from Thrift Conversions (bank demutualization/IPOs)

Speaking of these, check out some of the SEC actions at the bottom of this investor alert. https://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/mutualconversion.htm They got a little aggressive and illegal. For example, one of them used friends and relatives to open accounts all over the US, and supplied the funds fo...
by bberris
Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling no-longer-needed term life policies
Replies: 25
Views: 1692

Re: Selling no-longer-needed term life policies

Keep in mind that level term policies near the end of the term can be a very good bet. Morbid thoughts aside, this is just a simple calculation. Look up the chance of dying next year, and you might want to keep paying the premiums. Of course you can adjust for the health of the insured. I considered...
by bberris
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on car leases
Replies: 12
Views: 766

Re: Question on car leases

Another thing about leases. When you turn in the car, it has to have legal tread on the tires. So think about buying a new set of tires for someone you never met, like we did.
by bberris
Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Munich,Germany- advice on things to not miss
Replies: 34
Views: 1485

Re: Munich,Germany- advise on things to not miss

I enjoyed Freising and stayed there the night before our flight. It's an easy trip to the airport. Great food (we got tired of German and went to a Vietnamese place that was excellent and really cheap). It's much more peaceful and less crowded than central Munich, with a nice square and walking arou...
by bberris
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct still not importing stock data
Replies: 24
Views: 2367

Re: TaxAct still not importing stock data

Make your own attachments using spreadsheet software after downloading the csv. Use "Enter totals from a statement of transactions that you will attach to your return." You need to separate long and short term, covered and non-covered transactions so that each is on a separate sheet. Mayb...
by bberris
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: get rid of landline but keep access to 911
Replies: 38
Views: 3198

Re: get rid of landline but keep access to 911

Keeping a land line for 911 is a good idea if you plan to be home for all emergencies.
by bberris
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct still not importing stock data
Replies: 24
Views: 2367

Re: TaxAct still not importing stock data

Make your own attachments using spreadsheet software after downloading the csv.

Use "Enter totals from a statement of transactions that you will attach to your return."

You need to separate long and short term, covered and non-covered transactions so that each is on a separate sheet.
by bberris
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about ML trading practices
Replies: 11
Views: 794

Re: Question about ML trading practices

They do this because they get money from every trade. Even if there are no commissions, if one sells a few cents below the price one could get on the national market by using an odd-lot and NOT using a round lot, then the broker makes money. By the same token, if one buys and a pays a few cents mor...
by bberris
Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 2893

Re: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?

Big Bucks? Not really. The usual amount for fraud claims is about $20,000 and the insurance co will pay. If they try for too much the insurance will go to trial.
by bberris
Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 2893

Re: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?

This is why everyone in Russia has a dash cam. Check out youtube for video of pedestrians throwing themselves onto moving cars' hoods. Coming soon to a country near you.
by bberris
Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: still possible to register for ACA until 31st January
Replies: 7
Views: 571

Re: still possible to register for ACA until 31st January

willthrill81 wrote:If you get coverage, there's a good chance that it will only cover you for this year. It's anyone's guess right now what will be available for these people beginning next year.


That has always been the case, even when my employer provided insurance. You can only live one year at a time.
by bberris
Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA spent incorrectly
Replies: 4
Views: 737

Re: HSA spent incorrectly

First thing, get a good record of your out of pocket from the insurance explanation-of-benefits. This should be readily obtainable; you don't need to keep track as you go. Then add to that dental expenses, and mileage @ $ 0.17 per mile to and from every doctor, dental, pharmacy trip. You might find ...
by bberris
Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Senior Unsecured Notes
Replies: 19
Views: 1152

Re: Senior Unsecured Notes

I love the term "negative gains". The sooner you dispose of these losers, you will be on the road to negative losses.
by bberris
Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons against margin aside from risk of margin call?
Replies: 23
Views: 1614

Re: Reasons against margin aside from risk of margin call?

I think there is a difference between actual use of margin and having a margin-approved account as to whether shares are lent. I have a margin account and use margin for a few days in small amounts on occasion. I got caught with cash-in-lieu once or twice, I haven't used it in years and never had a ...
by bberris
Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons against margin aside from risk of margin call?
Replies: 23
Views: 1614

Re: Reasons against margin aside from risk of margin call?

This one is a biggie for me. If you use margin, your broker can lend out your shares for short-sellers. You gave your permission when you signed the margin agreement. I have nothing against short-sellers, but they pay you cash-in-lieu of a dividend. This is taxed as ordinary income instead of the lo...
by bberris
Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 3316

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

This isn't a way for the insurance co to pressure docs to join. It's a way for hospitals and doctors to collude and avoid negotiated rates for care. These are the same drive-by docs who you never see but are always used in operating rooms, and are never in network.
by bberris
Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Porting a phone number
Replies: 8
Views: 765

Re: Porting a phone number

Not exactly the same, but I ported my number to Google Fi from Verizon. Verizon closed my account immediately. I never even spoke to them. So I would be worried about porting a number to Google voice if you are keeping your phone service.
by bberris
Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for some insights into the age-old Buy vs Lease discussion for a car
Replies: 9
Views: 734

Re: Looking for some insights into the age-old Buy vs Lease discussion for a car

Selling the car at the end of the lease is not so simple. You often have to pay a fee, but the worst of it is you pay the residual sales tax, even though you only own the residual for a few days. Then your buyer pays the sales tax again. And when you buy or lease another car, more sales tax.
by bberris
Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Contribution [Maximum allowable?]
Replies: 12
Views: 1070

Re: HSA Contribution [Maximum allowable?]

If both spouses are covered by the HDHP and both are over 55, the maximum for the full year of coverage is 8,750. The catch is that the makeup contributions (the extra $1,000 each) need to be in separate HSA's.

IRS Pub 969 for details.
by bberris
Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring - "not subject to tax" 401K funds
Replies: 20
Views: 2188

Re: Retiring - "not subject to tax" 401K funds

I had a small portion of non-taxable 401k. You can ask for that portion by check as a non-taxable withdrawal. Not sure how a roth conversion would work.
by bberris
Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the most inexpensive way to learn driving in Seattle?
Replies: 14
Views: 1031

Re: What is the most inexpensive way to learn driving in Seattle?

If you're 30 and never learned to drive, why start now? Not that it's a bad idea but if you think $700 is a lot of money then you're in for a rude awakening when you purchase insurance, car, gas, maintenance, etc... so it might not even be worth your time. I read somewhere comparing the cost of Ube...
by bberris
Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Marijuana stocks
Replies: 17
Views: 1717

Re: Marijuana stocks

Indeed there are lots of opportunities in the weed industry for sleazy stock promoters, their easily manipulated penny stocks and naive "investors". Most went public from failed shells by reverse merger. Those shells are the remainder of the last heavily promoted stock fad. What was it, go...
by bberris
Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you treat 401k Match for IRR Purposes?
Replies: 46
Views: 2218

Re: How do you treat 401k Match for IRR Purposes?

The match is part of your compensation. It is not a return on investment. To see this, imagine quitting your job. Your rate of return does not go down drastically because you quit.
by bberris
Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The man vs. machine argument and how thinking can hurt you!
Replies: 26
Views: 2740

Re: The man vs. machine argument and how thinking can hurt you!

I recommend the book "Drunkard's Walk" by Mlodinow. It discusses how our intuition is frequently misled by random events. One experiment that was very telling: Make a deck of cards with three reds for each black and shuffle. Now start guessing the card color. Your optimum strategy is to al...
by bberris
Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anything I can do to reduce my taxes for 2016 or future?
Replies: 24
Views: 2799

Re: Anything I can do to reduce my taxes for 2016 or future?

A non-deductible IRA seems like a bad idea vs a taxable account, unless you plan to convert it to a roth. Dividends and capital gains in an IRA are taxed as ordinary income. Capital gains and dividends have favored tax treatment. You can choose investments that pay small or no dividends and postpone...
by bberris
Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elective Procedures/Dental Work outside the US - $/quality
Replies: 11
Views: 723

Re: Elective Procedures/Dental Work outside the US - $/quality

I think it's too general to consider dental by country. There must be good and bad dentists everywhere. I know there are good dentists in Mexico. Try to get to know someone you trust who can refer you locally.
by bberris
Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cappuccino/Espresso machine recommendations?
Replies: 39
Views: 2590

Re: Cappuccino/Espresso machine recommendations?

I vote for a machine that uses ground coffee. I have a Mr coffee machine that works well. No pump; uses the steam pressure of water. I liked my DeLonghi, but the pump wore out. Using Bustelo, about 6 c a cup. You could also try a stovetop bialletti, useful in power outage emergencies.
by bberris
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork
Replies: 32
Views: 6976

Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

One way of limiting losses without taking complete control is to have her use a limited debit card.

I'm not sure how you could stop her from giving away "stuff" but I'm guessing the cons are not too interested in old things.
by bberris
Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why does life insurance company insist on this?
Replies: 7
Views: 1371

Re: Why does life insurance company insist on this?

You didn't ask, but you were thinking about canceling the old policy. Keeping a level term policy to the end can be a good deal, especially towards the end of the term. This is obvious when you think about it. Your risk of dying goes up each year, but you are paying the same each year. You don't nee...
by bberris
Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC or S-corp for higher ACA subsidy
Replies: 11
Views: 765

Re: LLC or S-corp for higher ACA subsidy

You reconcile the advance tax credit (ATC) with your tax return. See forms 1095 and instructions. I just found out today (Here!) that if you keep under 4x federal poverty level that you may not have to pay back all of the ATC.
by bberris
Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global bonds suffer worst monthly meltdown, cause for concern?
Replies: 46
Views: 6489

Re: Global bonds suffer worst monthly meltdown, cause for concern?

SEC yield is not just a "math" thing. (ok some math is involved) When bonds are priced at a premium to face value, the distribution yield overstates the true, fair, SEC yield.
by bberris
Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: USA-NRA Investing: TBM vs 1yr CD in non-USA Bank
Replies: 4
Views: 437

Re: USA-NRA Investing: TBM vs 1yr CD in non-USA Bank

Wrong. Following that reasoning, all investments have zero risk.
Oh sorry for being from the USA. Do you have deposit insurance in Costa Rica for domestic banks?
by bberris
Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: USA-NRA Investing: TBM vs 1yr CD in non-USA Bank
Replies: 4
Views: 437

Re: USA-NRA Investing: TBM vs 1yr CD in non-USA Bank

Take the FDIC insured CD. Take risk in the stock portfolio, not in the bond-equivalent (CD) portion.
I could not imagine buying a private-bank CD. There are also brokered CD's that you could look at, FDIC insured, some from foreign banks operating in the US.
by bberris
Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State income tax when withdrawing a pension
Replies: 3
Views: 606

Re: State income tax when withdrawing a pension

Make sure that you sever all ties with the taxing state. There are plenty of threads about a former residence state pursuing people who relocate. States want to continue to tax when they think you are temporarily gone and plan to return (because you still have a house there, for example.)
by bberris
Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are cap gains taxed on tax free muni bonds when sold in a taxable accout?
Replies: 8
Views: 673

Re: Are cap gains taxed on tax free muni bonds when sold in a taxable accout?

There are many situations in which nominally tax-free interest becomes taxed. Two prominent examples are ACA subsidy loss, and taxation of social security benefits.
by bberris
Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct having a cyber Monday sale preorder
Replies: 2
Views: 526

TaxAct having a cyber Monday sale preorder

They are calling it a cybermonday sale but it's on now.
You can lock in a low price. I don't work for them, but I like the product. It also has a nice planning tool.

$10.50 for Plus (for investors)
by bberris
Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: From no state-tax to state-tax
Replies: 26
Views: 2821

Re: From no state-tax to state-tax

I'm guessing a very large multinational oil company, sort of a tiger, transferred the OP. I've heard they don't ask your opinion about whether it is good or not. Have you asked for additional compensation for the higher cost of living?
by bberris
Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why would anyone do tax loss harvesting??
Replies: 25
Views: 1708

Re: Why would anyone do tax loss harvesting??

Indeed, one should only buy stocks that go up.
by bberris
Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retreat to cash
Replies: 223
Views: 23535

Re: Retreat to cash

Maybe you could find another outlet for your political expression that would not sabotage your future.
by bberris
Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cab driver turned down a tip??
Replies: 19
Views: 3717

Re: Cab driver turned down a tip??

Perhaps there were financial reasons behind refusing a tip. He may have wanted to keep within his existing tax bracket, he may have wanted to limit his income for purposes of the ACA, or maybe he wanted to stay within the income limits for a direct Roth contribution. Keeping within a tax bracket ma...
by bberris
Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I harvest a loss in a bond fund?
Replies: 4
Views: 636

Re: Should I harvest a loss in a bond fund?

You don't need to wait 30 days, just buy a different bond fund.
by bberris
Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Insurance policy fund choices/policy rep. comments
Replies: 3
Views: 252

Re: Insurance policy fund choices/policy rep. comments

Hello, I own an insurance policy and I noted the fees for the investment vehicle for this policy. The fees for the mutual fund (active management) are arounfd1%. I asked my representative for a list of investment vehicles and they do offer some index products. I thought I would say his comments on ...
by bberris
Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting
Replies: 5
Views: 700

Re: Gifting

Careful, you have to file a gift tax return if you are splitting the gift with spouse. In effect, if you want to take advantage of both persons exclusion to give 28,000 total in one year, you need to file a return. So even though both gifts are each under the 14,000 limit, and the total would not co...
by bberris
Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Non publicly traded REIT buyback offer
Replies: 14
Views: 1375

Re: Non publicly traded REIT buyback offer

When a Reit issues a tender offer, they are probably paying less than it is worth. Valuing a non-traded reit is not an exact science. Commercial properties are often unique. On the other hand the buyer is not the operator of the reit, it is the reit itself. They are using funds in the trust (or borr...
by bberris
Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Non publicly traded REIT buyback offer
Replies: 14
Views: 1375

Re: Non publicly traded REIT buyback offer

When these questions appear, it confirms that we need the fiduciary rule. These were obviously sold to people who didn't understand what they were buying, and there were much better alternatives available.
by bberris
Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Non publicly traded REIT buyback offer
Replies: 14
Views: 1375

Re: Non publicly traded REIT buyback offer

I am having trouble, too like Kelly above. The buyback offer is between $2.94 and $2.45 in $0.07 increments. You check the price you want to tender your shares. My statement reflects a current market price of $3.14/share. When I called Inventrust, they said their Board was given a secondary market ...
by bberris
Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Oops - Didn't Report Cap Gains as Income for PTC
Replies: 12
Views: 887

Re: Oops - Didn't Report Cap Gains as Income for PTC

Would it help to stop IRA distributions now and perhaps put back those which are under 60 days old (last two months)? Great idea but I spent all of my taxable money on the house and expense until that well went dry and now I am living off of my IRA distributions. Thanks. Then borrow it. It has to b...
by bberris
Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Oops - Didn't Report Cap Gains as Income for PTC
Replies: 12
Views: 887

Re: Oops - Didn't Report Cap Gains as Income for PTC

Is your plan HSA compliant? Will making an HSA deposit get you under the cliff?
Other than that and capital loss, I think you are sol.

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