Search found 564 matches

by bberris
Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Senior Unsecured Notes
Replies: 12
Views: 351

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: 20
Views: 1190

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: 20
Views: 1190

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: 76
Views: 2415

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: 713

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: 660

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: 1029

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: 2094

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: 1000

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: 1653

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: 2107

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: 2689

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: 2747

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: 687

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: 2526

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: 6915

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: 1329

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: 724

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: 6388

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: 398

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: 398

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: 597

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: 661

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: 505

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: 2760

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: 1657

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: 219
Views: 21956

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: 3660

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: 611

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: 245

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: 696

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: 1326

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: 1326

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: 1326

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: 857

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: 857

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.
by bberris
Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wash sales with HSA?
Replies: 6
Views: 638

Re: Wash sales with HSA?

The thing about the IRS is that not everything specifically outlawed is legal. In general, you can expect auditors to be skeptical of transactions that have no purpose except to reduce your taxes. In any case, individual trades in 401k and HSA accounts are not reported to the IRS. I don't mean to su...
by bberris
Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA prescription drug coverage appeal
Replies: 12
Views: 939

Re: ACA prescription drug coverage appeal

If your appeals do not work out, consider going to our northern neighbor. I have saved huge amounts by buying some expensive drugs there. Even thought hey were covered by my plan, the cost was still 3x higher than what U could buy it for from Canada. In case it wasn't obvious, you don't have to dri...
by bberris
Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Loan Repayment
Replies: 5
Views: 479

Re: 401K Loan Repayment

I bought a new home and sold my old home at the same time. I used a 401K loan in place of a bridge loan to cover my down payment until my old home sold. This entire process took about 40-45 days. I now have the entire sum of money ready to pay back, but given the recent developments should I pay it...
by bberris
Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-loss harvesting question
Replies: 7
Views: 831

Re: Tax-loss harvesting question

401k is not included in potential wash sale issues for tax loss harvesting. So far all I have seen is IRA accounts and taxable accounts are included. I believe this is completely false. Feel fee to post the IRS document listing 401k for wash sales (hint, IRA's are explicitly included). It has been ...
by bberris
Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 ACA subsidies not available if elgible for Cobra?
Replies: 15
Views: 1591

Re: 2017 ACA subsidies not available if elgible for Cobra?

Question: Once my employer healthcare coverage runs out in March 2017, I can go on ACA/Obamacare instead of COBRA under the "special enrollment" period for 2017. Is that accurate? Yes, that is accurate. And you get to pay another deductible. Consider starting your new plan on Jan 1 if you...
by bberris
Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: google phone project fi
Replies: 37
Views: 4108

Re: google phone project fi

Google Phone luxus 5x Anyone use google project fi luxus 5x phone or some experience I'm using the google carrier project fi with luxus 5x phone But the the signal is very bad,and phone cuts off middle of talking,and sender can not hear from me .im very disappointing, I'm thinking to switch to anot...
by bberris
Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual stocks that are sound w/ indexing
Replies: 84
Views: 6560

Re: Individual stocks that are sound w/ indexing

I hold 3 shares of APPL and 5 shares of TSLA. I also contribute 100 bucks a month to an ExxonMobil DRIP. Apple's visionary is dead. Tesla's visionary has stated emphatically that he believes we are all probably living in a simulation! This makes me VERY nervous about his mental state and continued ...
by bberris
Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA income shuffle
Replies: 33
Views: 3829

Re: ACA income shuffle

I guess this is what happens when the subsidy is determined only by income and not by assets. Things like the FAFSA and Medicaid are annoyingly complex, but at least they look at both of these two mostly fungible assets. Part of me (the cynical side) is starting to think that it was intentional. Bu...
by bberris
Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA income shuffle
Replies: 33
Views: 3829

Re: ACA income shuffle

Da5id wrote:You should just make sure any moves you make to avoid the higher premiums don't leave you worse off net.

....


Very unlikely. The subsidy is worth $14,000 to my family this year.
by bberris
Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax on short term and long term gains in taxable account
Replies: 6
Views: 790

Re: Tax on short term and long term gains in taxable account

Short term or long term loss does not matter. Up to 3,000 of it reduces your taxable income. If you have more losses than that, the remainder can be used in future years to offset capital gains (unlimited) or to reduce income up to 3,000 until it is used up. If you die, the capital loss carry forwar...
by bberris
Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA income shuffle
Replies: 33
Views: 3829

Re: ACA income shuffle

Pay no attention to accusations of gaming the system. We had nothing to do with setting the rules. And the taxes paid to support obamacare will not be lowered if you don't play the obamacare game. Remember that capital gains count as obamacare income, as does tax-free bond income. You can deduct hsa...
by bberris
Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do people use banks?
Replies: 66
Views: 6363

Re: Why do people use banks?

Don't confuse "non-profit" with a good deal. Non-profits do not have to sell at cost. Even if they did, salaries could sop up the profit margin. And non-profits are allowed to accumulate earnings. They call them "surplus earnings". It is not a profit only in that it is not taxable.
by bberris
Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowner in default passes - who pays?
Replies: 20
Views: 2360

Re: Homeowner in default passes - who pays?

Debt dies with him. You can refuse the house, and it will be foreclosed anyway so you won't be burdened by it. If he is still of sound mind, have him change the will to ease your mind. It sounds like there will be no residual estate anyway. To help him, pay his costs directly from your account, don'...
by bberris
Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Commission Free ETFs and different Brokers
Replies: 21
Views: 1104

Re: Commission Free ETFs and different Brokers

The broker should be able to give you an alert when an etf is going to be removed. I checked TDA alerts and none of them relate to commission free etfs.

Go to advanced search