Search found 418 matches

by bberris
Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Structured Products - Protected Principal. Is this a good investment ever?
Replies: 7
Views: 260

Re: Structured Products - Protected Principal. Is this a good investment ever?

No merit. None. Nada. If you really like the concept, structure it yourself. All they've done is buy a put option at 10 % under, and a call option to provide the unlimited upside.
by bberris
Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your favorite Financial Quote or Metaphor??
Replies: 179
Views: 9275

Re: What is your favorite Financial Quote or Metaphor??

"... ‘Don’t gamble’; take all your savings and buy some good stock, and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.”

- Will Rogers
by bberris
Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would a Boglehead do? (CC Debt Dilemma)
Replies: 62
Views: 3809

Re: What would a Boglehead do? (CC Debt Dilemma)

Sorry, I just don't get the emergency fund when you owe cc at 24 %. If you have an emergency after you've used your ready cash (real emergency, like dental or furnace repair) you can go back to the cards.
by bberris
Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with decision [Pension]
Replies: 18
Views: 1500

Re: Help with decision [Pension]

I don't know which one you want, but if you want to know if it's a good deal try pricing an annuity with a cola.
And if you are worried about both of you dying right away, most plans have a five year payment to your beneficiary.
by bberris
Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign income
Replies: 6
Views: 585

Re: Foreign income

I would appreciate your thoughts. I have income from consulting work in Canada, paid in Canadian dollars. Due to the currency exchange rate, I usually take a loss in the conversion to US Dollars (which is not considered a loss for tax purposes according to TurboTax.) Since I don't need the income t...
by bberris
Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to start retirement decumulation from 401k with social security delay
Replies: 12
Views: 1188

Re: How to start retirement decumulation from 401k with social security delay

One thing to consider is depending on your income sources up to 85% of your SS benefits could be taxed. So from 66 - 70 if all of your income is taxable, it might be worthwhile to compare tax expenses between taking SS benefits at 66 vs 70. No mater what, enjoy what the future has in store for you!...
by bberris
Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post-Deductible FSA? Greatest thing since sliced bread?
Replies: 7
Views: 736

Re: Post-Deductible FSA? Greatest thing since sliced bread?

It's a limited purpose FSA. Dental, vision, and preventive care only. I believe the preventive care is new this year,
by bberris
Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct no longer handles sale of stock
Replies: 18
Views: 1609

Re: TaxAct no longer handles sale of stock

The plus version (middle) for $15 handles investment income. The state version is 15 more, but in LA you can efile by filling on line forms for free.
during the year, they offered a $10 price.
by bberris
Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Market] Correction...Corection...Correction
Replies: 103
Views: 9771

Re: CORRECTION...Corection...Correction

Both Roth's funded for 2016 over the last two days. That 1%-earning emergency fund is being cannibalized day after day of this "correction". Making me a little seasick in my 40s, but so it is. I'm not sure what you mean about your emergency fund, but you might want to recharacterize your ...
by bberris
Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Replacing some total-stock funds with high yield muni funds
Replies: 24
Views: 1810

Re: Replacing some total-stock funds with high yield muni funds

You need to be very careful with closed end funds. Specifically, NIO is slated to merge with NVG. NIO is at 9 % discount, NVG 11.4. The merger will blend the funds at NAV so buying NIO now would book you for a 2.4 % loss. Look at all 4 funds involved. More information at Nuveen.com
by bberris
Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is maxing out my 401k a bad idea?
Replies: 14
Views: 2121

Re: Is maxing out my 401k a bad idea?

I didn't say never contribute to a 401k, just that it depends. And a high cost 401k can tip the balance Dividends and capital gains can be taxed at 0 % with rather high incomes. Married couple, two kids, with maximum 401k and HSA contributions taking the standard deduction : 12,600 std ded 12,000 pe...
by bberris
Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is maxing out my 401k a bad idea?
Replies: 14
Views: 2121

Re: Is maxing out my 401k a bad idea?

Even if your marginal rate is higher than your current, not all of your 401k withdrawals will necessarily be at that marginal rate. But most of the advice posted here exaggerates the benefit of tax deferral, and ignores the benefits of low current tax rates on dividends and capital gains for assets ...
by bberris
Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Developed Markets Index fund dividend down ~24%
Replies: 14
Views: 1837

Re: Developed Markets Index fund dividend down ~24%

rkhusky wrote:I would rather live off capital gains than dividends and interest. I expect to pay 0% on the former and 15% on the latter.

why is that? Qual divs and LTCG have the same reduced tax rate. Interest income is taxed at ordinary rates.
by bberris
Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: where to put cash out refi?
Replies: 68
Views: 3228

Re: where to put cash out refi?

Agreed. . .free advice is, well, free. I just know there are some savvy financial folks on here. Thought I'd take a shot. I will run it by a 2nd attorney. I think what you all are missing is the equity in the house is now exposed. The funds would go into an account that is PROTECTED. Multi-partner ...
by bberris
Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: where to put cash out refi?
Replies: 68
Views: 3228

Re: where to put cash out refi?

I would use the cash out refi to pay off the loan I just got.
You mean you aren't going to tell us the reason your atty wants you to have ready cash?
Are you planning something big?
by bberris
Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convertible notes: are they stocks or bonds? (Aussie Boglehead)
Replies: 6
Views: 366

Re: Convertible notes: are they stocks or bonds? (Aussie Boglehead)

A convertible bond is two securities in one. It is a bond that pays interest. It also has an option (usually call option), the conversion feature. So you have the option of conversion (depending on the terms during its life or at maturity) . The conversion is done at maturity if the terms of convers...
by bberris
Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Are there any exploitable inefficiencies?]
Replies: 82
Views: 6172

Re: Have the Bogleheads gone too far?

Index Fan wrote:Those who can beat the market with ease, please post in real time how you do this, not after the fact. It is easy to be a genius after the fact.

If I told everyone, it wouldn't work any more.
by bberris
Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double health coverage?
Replies: 6
Views: 560

Re: Double health coverage?

If you have a high- or any- deductible, you need to satisfy both deductibles before benefits kick in. Do not have duplicate coverage if there is any deductible on both plans.
by bberris
Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Outraged with John Hancock
Replies: 39
Views: 4606

Re: Outraged with John Hancock

... Year 26 Savings Deposited $344,250 Total Taxes Saved $96,390 Investment Value $815,270 Fees Incurred $102,044 (Fees surpass tax savings) ... It's worse than that. You haven't saved any taxes, just postponed them. You still owe taxes on your 401k withdrawals. Most people change jobs in a few yea...
by bberris
Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panels purchase as an inflation indexed bond
Replies: 23
Views: 1786

Re: Solar panels purchase as an inflation indexed bond

I consider my cars to be bonds because I don't have to buy bus tickets.
by bberris
Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone successfully able to use own router for u-verse?
Replies: 3
Views: 535

Re: Anyone successfully able to use own router for u-verse?

I am doing that now. I followed instructions similar to those posted above.
You will need att's modem however. I don't know of a way out of that.
by bberris
Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal fee issue at my alma mater
Replies: 13
Views: 1760

Re: Legal fee issue at my alma mater

Should have sent them here, since they want to joust at windmills:

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/cervan ... plete.html
by bberris
Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Worth cashing out taxable, move to tax-deferred?
Replies: 42
Views: 2244

Re: Worth cashing out taxable, move to tax-deferred?

You still have to pay tax on the tax deferred accounts; possibly at very high marginal rates (Is it a bump or a hump, or a SS tax torpedo?). 15 % tax looks good to me. The problem you have is that the taxable account is not diversified enough. You can still just buy an index fund in your taxable.
by bberris
Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem with 401k Administrator
Replies: 10
Views: 1018

Re: Problem with 401k Administrator

With the understanding that this is a small sample, is this something we should be concerned about? Is there any way that an unethical brokerage could profit from clients by delaying fund settlement? I am planning to ask for explanation of the inconsistent settlement dates, but is there anything el...
by bberris
Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Mortgage Closing Costs - Please Help!
Replies: 14
Views: 1516

Re: Home Mortgage Closing Costs - Please Help!

There are typically 3 money components that a mortgagee has to pay to close a loan on a house - .... 3. Pre-paids are not closing costs - this is money that the lender requires up front at closing to insure the property is covered - these are items like paid ahead (or escrowed) house insurance, uti...
by bberris
Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leaving my financial advisor - almost retired
Replies: 10
Views: 1578

Re: Leaving my financial advisor - almost retired

Wait, you think 1 % is a low fee? You realize that is 25 % of your safe withdrawal? How would you feel about paying an extra 25 % tax?
by bberris
Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When should I excerise my stock options?
Replies: 12
Views: 914

Re: When should I excerise my stock options?

When you exercise your option, you have to pay the strike price. There is no reason to do this unless both of these are true:

1. The stock is worth more than the exercise (strike) price.
2. The options are expiring.
by bberris
Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lower Cost Plane Tickets
Replies: 8
Views: 1532

Re: Lower Cost Plane Tickets

My experience shows this can be true.

I had a roundtrip ticket from gimpo to Yeosu korea, bought in the US for $258. Missed the flight, got a refund and bought a fresh ticket walking up to the ticket desk at the airport 45 min before the flight RT for $160.
by bberris
Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easy Question about 401k Loan
Replies: 19
Views: 737

Re: Easy Question about 401k Loan

As someone else posted, they liquidate some of your portfolio to fund the loan. This isn't really a loan at all. It's a withdrawal, followed by increased contributions. It's not always a losing proposition to take out a loan. If your portfolio drops after the loan is funded, you are ahead. In no way...
by bberris
Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could a treasury bond selloff happen?
Replies: 27
Views: 2494

Re: Could a treasury bond selloff happen?

Ok, so we're conditioned to believe that treasuries are the safest type of investment securities since the government can always print money. Not to get political here, but what about if Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling thereby triggering a default? Are there any extreme cases in which tr...
by bberris
Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most wildly volatile fund you know of
Replies: 30
Views: 2267

Re: Most wildly volatile fund you know of

Sometimes you look for wild volatility. Of course, individual stocks show the most volatility, or maybe derivatives like vix. I'm thinking here about the multiple roth account conversion strategy, that has been threaded previously here. To summarize, in January, convert into multiple roths, each wit...
by bberris
Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buy government securities at 0%?
Replies: 27
Views: 3294

Re: Why buy government securities at 0%?

I'm guessing you already have government securities paying zero, OP. Look in your wallet.
by bberris
Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growing gap in life span by income
Replies: 6
Views: 1325

Re: Growing gap in life span by income

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
by bberris
Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unadvertised Deals for Seniors
Replies: 42
Views: 4955

Re: Unadvertised Deals for Seniors

DrippingSprings wrote:Mother's Cafe in Austin, Texas

I guess no one has told you the old saw:

Never eat at a place called Mother's. Never play cards against a man named Tex.
by bberris
Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone actually used gold or silver coins for a purchase?
Replies: 57
Views: 4977

Re: Has anyone actually used gold or silver coins for a purchase?

When I was a kid it was commonplace to use a silver dime or quarter. In retrospect I wish I had used paper singles and got silver quarters back. Then again, a buck was something to behold! Who knew? I don't think this is what OP is referring to. Back then the value of a dime was more than the silve...
by bberris
Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critique of an actively managed fund
Replies: 24
Views: 2212

Re: Critique of an actively managed fund

One of the funds top 5 holdings is a long position in US treasuries. It looks like that position has worked out well so far but I shouldn't have to explain the risk involved. If you want to compare returns, look at Wellington which has a similar return profile with substantially less risk. Risk? US...
by bberris
Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4589

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

The gold bugs are an anti-social bunch, literally. Any failure of society is an event for them to cheer. They hope for failure and think we deserve it for "spending too much" as if money was an end in itself. And these specious arguments about "too much debt" pushing up the price...
by bberris
Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Deleveraging Closed End Muni Funds
Replies: 19
Views: 957

Re: Deleveraging Closed End Muni Funds

If you don't want the leverage, sell down to the no leverage point. There's no need to sell all of your muni funds, just enough to get to the leverage you feel comfortable with.

So if your fund has 33 % leverage, you would sell 33 % of the fund. No more leverage!
by bberris
Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Penson -- critique my analysis vs. lump sum
Replies: 6
Views: 600

Re: Penson -- critique my analysis vs. lump sum

It sounds like you want an annuity (rather than leaving it to your heirs, for example), since you are calculating a withdrawal rate. Given that, the decision is pretty simple. Take your lump sum and see how much annuity you can buy with that lump sum. I already know what the answer will be: keep the...
by bberris
Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy
Replies: 13
Views: 1983

Re: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy

Savers are very important to the economy too, of course .. Your bank savings aren't just sitting there, but rather being lent to people to buy houses and start new businesses, and they're lent to governments to manage debt and invest in the economy I think it's a bigger worry at the moment that we'...
by bberris
Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scotland / Ireland Castles?
Replies: 29
Views: 3002

Re: Scotland / Ireland Castles?

Simple Simon wrote:Wales has many good castles but it rains a lot. Many of the castles were built for defence in the 11th-14th centuries and are therefore the real deal


I guess it's defence because the castles protected English invaders from the Welsh residents.
by bberris
Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: losing money on a house....how do Bogleheads deal with it emotionally?
Replies: 76
Views: 6683

Re: losing money on a house....how do Bogleheads deal with it emotionally?

I don't understand this mind set that houses always must increase in value. You are living in a depreciating consumable just like a driving a car (except for the land portion of the asset). You don't expect your car to go up in value.
by bberris
Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Removing PMI: get appraisal or pay down mortgage?
Replies: 17
Views: 1124

Re: Removing PMI: get appraisal or pay down mortgage?

Wait a minute. Your choice is to pay $350 for an appraisal that you say you know will produce sufficient Comps to remove PMI......or to hand over $4K to the bank ?? Don't overthink this, my friend. Don't underthink it either. The $350 is a fee, and it could still go sideways. The $4000 is a prepaym...
by bberris
Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 5089

Re: Travel to Greece

AP says foreigners will have no limits on ATM withdrawals (presumably from their foreign accounts), and ATMs will open today but with 60 euro limit for domestic accounts.
by bberris
Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lucent offering pension buyout to retirees: what to do?
Replies: 88
Views: 18286

Re: Lucent offering pension buyout to retirees: what to do?

If the buyout amount is fair, he can always turn around and purchase his own annuities with that money (multiple, to spread out the risk among institutions). The annuity from the pension plan will probably pay more than one that he can buy from an insurance company, though it won't be diversified a...
by bberris
Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 5089

Re: Travel to Greece

Sidney wrote:What's the risk? Based on history, Greek civilization will still be there in 2016. They've been around longer than we have.

The one they have now is not the one they had then.
by bberris
Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: So my pension has been frozen...
Replies: 34
Views: 6614

Re: So my pension has been frozen...

Ged wrote:For that small amount of money there is no reason to mess with a pension. Roll it into an IRA.

If you found a $20 on the street it would probably not affect your retirement very much. I would just leave it.
by bberris
Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Establishing residency in Florida
Replies: 19
Views: 2832

Re: Establishing residency in Florida

The audit guidelines referenced by bsteiner makes it quite clear that staying in your Florida condo for over six months will not by itself make you a Florida resident in the eyes of NY. Florida needs to truly become your home. Gill Well that's what OP is asking. What does "truly" mean? Se...
by bberris
Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age to Take Social Security: The Ideal and the Reality
Replies: 31
Views: 5755

Re: Age to Take Social Security: The Ideal and the Reality

A lot of people I have talked to feel they have worked their entire life, are concerned about the future of social security and want to start taking their money as soon as they can while they can still enjoy it. A decision with a lot of emotion tied in with it. Taking money is not enjoyment. Spendi...

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