Search found 491 matches

by bberris
Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: yahoo class action email suit
Replies: 13
Views: 1160

Re: yahoo class action email suit

In general, you "join" a class-action suit by doing nothing. You have to actively opt-out if you don't want to be conscripted. Some time later, after a settlement is reached, you would need to make a claim. You are usually notified through your (hacked!) email address. As others have said,...
by bberris
Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k) loan to invest in taxable
Replies: 18
Views: 1434

Re: 401(k) loan to invest in taxable

What's the tax advantage? I don't get it. If you left the money in the 401k, it is tax-deferred. If you borrow it out, you have to pay taxes on the gains? Then you pay that back into the 401k, and still pay tax on it when you eventually withdraw it? Outside a 401k you only pay taxes on the realized...
by bberris
Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companies that buy homes for cash- good or bad?
Replies: 13
Views: 1341

Re: Companies that buy homes for cash- good or bad?

A lot of these places don't actually "buy" the home. They want to get you to sign an assignable contract and then they try to wholesale the house before they have to pony up any cash. They make their profit on the spread between what they get you to accept and what they can get another bu...
by bberris
Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cities like New Orleans?
Replies: 112
Views: 5155

Re: Cities like New Orleans?

The Wizard wrote:...
We did hit the FQ a few nights, but couldn't even get in the Acme Oyster House this time with the line outside.
I fear it has been Discovered by bus tours or something...
:(


Lucky you. It's an overpriced tourist trap. It was very fair.
by bberris
Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cities like New Orleans?
Replies: 112
Views: 5155

Re: Cities like New Orleans?

Its very expensive for the south. Crime is very high and very violent, not just pickpockets. 11 % sales tax on everything except food (that's only 4 %) 6 % income tax on almost everything including pensions (but not social security) If you eat that great food it will kill you eventually. Hot sweaty ...
by bberris
Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Countries holding gold among assets
Replies: 7
Views: 646

Re: Countries holding gold among assets

Countries can use gold purchases to stimulate the economy. It puts dollars into circulation. It sends miners, refiners, and prospectors to work. And then you get to hire soldiers and guards to guard the gold when you bury it again. This isn't very effective today because gold mining is such a small ...
by bberris
Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ["Wells Fargo Fined for Years of Harm to Customers"]
Replies: 129
Views: 7991

Re: ["Wells Fargo Fined for Years of Harm to Customers"]

I don't see why people are shocked at this. Insider lending brought down a huge portion of the S & L's in the 80's. I guess I am showing my age.
by bberris
Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends, and the curse of popularity
Replies: 91
Views: 6532

Re: Dividends, and the curse of popularity

For more anecdotal evidence of the mind games dividends play to individual investors, look at the ridiculous premiums on the cornerstone closed end funds. They raise new investor money each year through rights offerings, and then pay an absurdly high dividend rate giving it back.
by bberris
Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early planning for ACA 2017
Replies: 11
Views: 1454

Re: Early planning for ACA 2017

Why not keep your income at the medicaid level? Then everything will be paid for, no premiums, no deductibles.
I really don't think a roth conversion is worth giving that up.
by bberris
Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to create a bond proxy?
Replies: 11
Views: 674

Re: How to create a bond proxy?

I think the OP means he is comfortable with the risk of a 10 year t-bond, not that he wants to make a bond fund the same as a bond. OP, there is not a hell-whole lot of difference between 10 year and 9 year duration in terms of interest rate risk. Have a look at this clever graphic and toy with the ...
by bberris
Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Chevy Volt - Buy vs Lease
Replies: 22
Views: 1729

Re: 2017 Chevy Volt - Buy vs Lease

If you lease the Volt, make sure the full $7500 federal incentive is factored into the lease. The incentive gets paid to the owner, which is the leasing company. Apparently some Chevy dealers have been using this as a negotiating tool. Checkout the leasehackr.com and edmunds.com for recent deals. A...
by bberris
Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to report IRS impersonation scams
Replies: 26
Views: 1699

Re: Where to report IRS impersonation scams

Call your local police immediately. What do you expect some local policeman to do about a phone call from another country? I stand by my response. Your first phone call should be to your local police. They will know how to handle your complaint and escalate as needed. Sorry if you disagree. I tried...
by bberris
Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047
Replies: 19
Views: 3132

Re: The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047

Good title for a gold-bug fantasy.
by bberris
Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Gain Harvesting Question
Replies: 13
Views: 1014

Re: Tax Gain Harvesting Question

BL wrote:I believe Capital Losses offset Capital Gains even if they are 0%, so that loss is essentially lost.

You would have to take losses and gains in separate years. That allows you to convert taxed earned income to 0 %.
by bberris
Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused about HSA
Replies: 7
Views: 829

Re: Confused about HSA

Katietsu wrote:Yes. It will come out the same in the end.

Almost. HSA payroll deductions are untaxed by FICA and medicare. If you pay from the checking account, you will have paid those taxes.
by bberris
Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solo Travel
Replies: 40
Views: 3718

Re: Solo Travel

Last fall son and I went hut-to-hut hiking in the alps. There were several young women walking solo (at the start anyway). You won't have to pay a single supplement since everyone sleeps dormitory style.
by bberris
Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suckered into Marriott Kauai Timeshare Presentation
Replies: 101
Views: 11182

Re: Suckered into Marriott Kauai Timeshare Presentation

heikejohn1 wrote:Take the kids with you!!!
The presenters will probably be happy to see you leave early if your kids start to get bored and disrupt the presentation. :twisted:

Be sure to get them a double espresso with extra sugar and cocoa puffs.
by bberris
Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension decision: Lump sum or annuity. Now or later?
Replies: 19
Views: 1275

Re: Pension decision: Lump sum or annuity. Now or later?

I find the approach to this decision by calculating expected returns and interest rates to be pure guesswork. Try pricing a comparable annuity using the lump sum payoff from one of the on line sites. I'm sure you will find the lump sum option to be worse. The question is, do you want an annuity? If ...
by bberris
Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London theatre tickets
Replies: 10
Views: 760

Re: London theatre tickets

You should check out the plays off of the West End. Smaller venues, much cheaper, no big stars.
This place was fun, but I'm sure there are many others:
http://www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com/

Above a nice pub.
by bberris
Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Immediate annuities and my retirement plan
Replies: 48
Views: 4317

Re: Immediate annuities and my retirement plan

Thanks for responding. I'll be 59 this November. Yes she is 60. I want to collect SS at 62.5. This is definitely not the optimal plan. Delaying Social Security is tantamount to buying an (very high-quality!) annuity: you get a higher guaranteed, inflation-indexed payout for life. It turns out that ...
by bberris
Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm Term Life
Replies: 14
Views: 1059

Re: State Farm Term Life

In the thread, it was mentioned that few keep level term all through the level premium period. At the risk of a thread hijack, I want to discuss keeping level term policies till end of term. I was recently considering dropping my term policy in its last year at age 60 because I retired. I am paying ...
by bberris
Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling municipal bonds before maturity
Replies: 21
Views: 1067

Re: Selling municipal bonds before maturity

It's a good time to sell bonds. Many muni's are selling at sizable premiums. Perhaps sell a few and invest the cash into something with a higher tax adjusted YTM with the captured principal. I don't see how this could be true or possible (getting a higher interest rate). If the bonds are at a decen...
by bberris
Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are zero interest rates the natural order of things?
Replies: 14
Views: 1246

Re: Are zero interest rates the natural order of things?

There is that school of thought. When you hear people complain about central bank oppression, they are really talking about activities that raise the rate from zero (where it would be) in the absence of central bank draining liquidity. You can read about the theory here: http://www.cfeps.org/pubs/wp...
by bberris
Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of SIM card
Replies: 17
Views: 1420

Re: Cost of SIM card

You need to go to a network-owned store to get a free sim. A random mall shop selling all services is going to charge you.
by bberris
Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any instances when permanent life insurance is appropriate?
Replies: 26
Views: 2140

Re: Are there any instances when permanent life insurance is appropriate?

Yes there are some places where the asset protection of whole life is useful. Think Tony Soprano.
by bberris
Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happens to European bonds if the euro starts to fail?
Replies: 43
Views: 2473

Re: What happens to European bonds if the euro starts to fail?

If there is a Brexit, an impetus could be provided for more countries to leave the EU. Some of these may, in a worst case scenario, be eurozone countries like France. What would happen to Eurozone government bond index funds and ETFs in such a scenario? How would a eurozone Boglehead hedge against ...
by bberris
Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advisor tells the truth
Replies: 33
Views: 4386

Re: Advisor tells the truth

The above reference to 1% in yearly fees equating to taking 25%-33% of someone's assets is based on the assumption that a portfolio doesn't grow at all over the next three to four decades. ..... Maybe so but the focus on assets is not the issue. If your safe withdrawal rate is 4 %, taking 1 % of as...
by bberris
Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to best afford IVF
Replies: 53
Views: 4748

Re: How to best afford IVF

In Mexico, $4,000.
by bberris
Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lending Club desperate for investors?
Replies: 63
Views: 6021

Re: Lending Club desperate for investors?

[/quote] ... I had (mis) understood that if you made a loan via the LC platform, and the borrower defaulted, you could claim from that borrower. Legally you had loaned them the money and you had creditor rights. This is apparently not the case. You have lent LC money, and it lends them to all of its...
by bberris
Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lending Club desperate for investors?
Replies: 63
Views: 6021

Re: Lending Club desperate for investors?

I don't have any data, but I believe most borrowers from P2P sources "pay off" their loans with new ones. I wonder why the nursing manager referred to in another post could not refinance her loan. That sort of anecdotal evidence leads (jumps?) me to the conclusion that P2P platforms need ...
by bberris
Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lending Club desperate for investors?
Replies: 63
Views: 6021

Re: Lending Club desperate for investors?

I don't have any data, but I believe most borrowers from P2P sources "pay off" their loans with new ones. I wonder why the nursing manager referred to in another post could not refinance her loan. That sort of anecdotal evidence leads (jumps?) me to the conclusion that P2P platforms need ...
by bberris
Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lending Club desperate for investors?
Replies: 63
Views: 6021

Re: Lending Club desperate for investors?

I don't have any data, but I believe most borrowers from P2P sources "pay off" their loans with new ones. I wonder why the nursing manager referred to in another post could not refinance her loan. That sort of anecdotal evidence leads (jumps?) me to the conclusion that P2P platforms need f...
by bberris
Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about starting in 401k and Divorce
Replies: 18
Views: 1701

Re: Question about starting in 401k and Divorce

Suggest getting advice from your attorney. There may be differences in which catagories of assets being split with the ex. Hypothetical example - put $2,000 under the mattress and you keep it all vs $3,000 (with the match) in the 401k and you keep half ($1,500). Simple answer in this example is tha...
by bberris
Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about starting in 401k and Divorce
Replies: 18
Views: 1701

Re: Question about starting in 401k and Divorce

First, turn off the Glenn Beck (or is it zerohedge) about decline of the dollar, inflation, and other nonsense. Second, it is not a pain to figure out the divorce split. Whether you live in a community property state, or an equitable-split state, the result is the same. You just tell the plan admini...
by bberris
Mon May 23, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement and IRA's and/or Soc Sec- Bridge the Gap
Replies: 21
Views: 2288

Re: Early Retirement and IRA's and/or Soc Sec- Bridge the Gap

What year do you turn 59.5? It is actually Jan 1 of that year. I suspect you will be that in 2018 which is only 19 months and you have two year cash in taxable and you are worrying about a non-existant problem. I thought it was the actual 59 1/2 date. Are you thinking about separation from service ...
by bberris
Fri May 20, 2016 9:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: a new look at the size premium
Replies: 44
Views: 4228

Re: a new look at the size premium

Isn't the size premium merely a reflection of the greater risk and leverage in small companies? So I can get equivalently higher returns investing in large cap with leverage?
by bberris
Fri May 20, 2016 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Chiropractic Medicine mumbo jumbo?
Replies: 10
Views: 1280

Re: Is Chiropractic Medicine mumbo jumbo?

gwrvmd wrote:$2,700 for injections? In most states chiropractors are not authorized to write prescriptions or give injections........Gordon

They are probably allowed to give saline injections and homeopathic remedies. You know, the drugs that have nothing in them.
by bberris
Wed May 18, 2016 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multi-destination trip---how to book
Replies: 10
Views: 1027

Re: Multi-destination trip---how to book

I found that the fare on Asiana for Seoul to Yeosu was cheaper when I walked up to the ticket counter at the airport for the flight leaving in 1 h, than it was booking in advance from the US. I'm guessing this is normal, that local prices are much different from US. So if you are flexible you may no...
by bberris
Sun May 08, 2016 5:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexed annuities
Replies: 32
Views: 2398

Re: Indexed annuities

The flaws are high commissions, high surrender fees, misrepresentative and reprehensible sales tactics, especially to seniors. Lastly, the product does nothing that an investor can't do themselves at little or no expense. By buying bonds and index options with the interest you effectively duplicate ...
by bberris
Thu May 05, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does your 401k allow regular distributions?
Replies: 1
Views: 236

Does your 401k allow regular distributions?

I recently retired, and, liking my 401k at ML, thought I would keep it after retirement during the distribution part of my life. It turns out, according to them. I can keep my 401k there if I don't take withdrawals. But I can only distribute the entire account, as in rollover to ira. I had never hea...
by bberris
Mon May 02, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital gains from sale of real estate
Replies: 15
Views: 1630

Re: Capital gains from sale of real estate

"...Does seller financing help me mathematically, from a tax standpoint? My take on it (analytically) is that all the gain is still taxed, it's just spread out...." Are you sure about that? It looks like you realize all the gain at closing and owe all the tax soon after. If you finance the...
by bberris
Mon May 02, 2016 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sue your employer over 401k
Replies: 26
Views: 3700

Re: Sue your employer over 401k

munemaker wrote:I am thinking that suing your employer may not be a good career move.

It may turn out to be a career move.
by bberris
Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Semi-Retirement and Mexico/Central America
Replies: 14
Views: 1692

Re: Semi-Retirement and Mexico/Central America

littlebird wrote:
WasabiOsbourne wrote: gentile retirement


I think the word you're looking for is "genteel".

Maybe he gave up his synagogue membership.
by bberris
Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this hidden fee an acceptable practice for a 401k Custodian?
Replies: 8
Views: 1392

Re: Is this hidden fee an acceptable practice for a 401k Custodian?

This reminds me of one of the Superman movies and the movie Office Space. In both, the crooks stole the fractional penny from each account adding up to millions. Turns out they were pikers compared to these guys.
by bberris
Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buyer's Fee in RE agent contract
Replies: 18
Views: 1986

Re: Buyer's Fee in RE agent contract

Maybe the agent can't negotiate it but I can. They can pay the $435 out of their pocket. The agent can choose their broker and I can choose my agent.
by bberris
Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buyer's Fee in RE agent contract
Replies: 18
Views: 1986

Re: Buyer's Fee in RE agent contract

The fee is "administrative". Code for more profit for the brokerage. I was told that this fee goes to the brokerage, not the agent. This should have been disclosed to you in advance. If it wasn't in something you signed, I would decline to pay it. If it's not in writing with your signatur...
by bberris
Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buyer's Fee in RE agent contract
Replies: 18
Views: 1986

Re: Buyer's Fee in RE agent contract

The fee is "administrative". Code for more profit for the brokerage. I was told that this fee goes to the brokerage, not the agent.
by bberris
Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buyer's Fee in RE agent contract
Replies: 18
Views: 1986

Buyer's Fee in RE agent contract

How common is an additional buyer's fee (over commission)? Our agent was charging $435 to the buyer over what they received from the seller's agent split. Please chime in on your experience in the last two years.
by bberris
Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: James Dale Davidson's prediction of 2016 collapse
Replies: 42
Views: 8298

Re: James Dale Davidson's prediction of 2016 collapse

I have a theory that cranks predicting apocalypsi always use three names. Are there any exceptions?

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