Search found 625 matches

by bberris
Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Argentina issuing 100-year bond.
Replies: 64
Views: 5350

Re: Argentina issuing 100-year bond.

I wonder what the base strip will trade for? a sub-penny bond.
Perpetual bonds aren't limited to consols. You could consider some corporate preferred stock as a perpetual bond.
by bberris
Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Does Fed Reduce Balance Sheet?
Replies: 24
Views: 2304

Re: How Does Fed Reduce Balance Sheet?

Earlier it was stated that the Fed simply destroys the money it receives back when the bond expires, and gives the interest to the treasury. Question: Why not destroy the interest money it receives as well? It is all money supply. Fungible. If destroying money is good (and I'm not arguing that unwi...
by bberris
Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Those pesky account closing fees
Replies: 14
Views: 1331

Re: Those pesky account closing fees

Are you liquidating or transferring the assets? The receiving firm of a transfer will probably reimburse you, and possibly more.
If you are simply liquidating and need the funds for spending, ask them to waive the fee, if you've been a good customer or have other account.
by bberris
Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overpaid Big Time On Warranty
Replies: 55
Views: 2743

Re: Overpaid Big Time On Warranty

A 72 month car loan? Seriously? ...arghhh. If the financing is zero percent, I thought it would be wise to stretch it out. It will improve your cash flow and there is no mathematical justification for paying off a 0% loan on a shorter term unless there is deflation. In the car business as in any bu...
by bberris
Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overpaid Big Time On Warranty
Replies: 55
Views: 2743

Re: Overpaid Big Time On Warranty

All insurance is a money-losing proposition, on average. That doesn't mean never buy insurance. No one would bet their entire net worth on one roll of the dice, even if the odds were in your favor. (That's why otherwise silly quiz shows like "who wants to be a millionaire" get viewers.) Wh...
by bberris
Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is Municipal Bond Interest NOT "Tax-free"...
Replies: 15
Views: 1351

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

Muni bond interest from out of state is also taxed by your residence state. It also counts for ACA subsidy income, effectively adding 9.6 % marginally, or possibly 10,000 % if the income pushes you over the cliff. Then there is the MN property tax refund, where it also adds to income when considerin...
by bberris
Wed May 31, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2016 trip to Ancient Greece
Replies: 3
Views: 640

Re: 2016 trip to Ancient Greece

I would love to go to Ancient Greece. Can you tell me the name of your time-travel agent?
by bberris
Wed May 31, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seresto Flea and Tick collar
Replies: 4
Views: 401

Re: Seresto Flea and Tick collar

I need to get a flea and tick product for a cat and a dog. Has anyone tried the Seresto 8-month collar? I would hate to drop 55.00 on a collar that did not work. Would consider an alternate product, so long as it works Yes it works. I also live in the tick capital of the world. Max had many imbedde...
by bberris
Wed May 31, 2017 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condo Assoc seeking thoughts
Replies: 24
Views: 2237

Re: Condo Assoc seeking thoughts

Making current owners pay for repairs down the road (2037) doesn't seem fair to me. What if some of them don't plan on staying there that long? My HOA has a reserve of 1 year of operating expenses but we only maintain the common-area landscape and the neighborhood perimeter wall. I'd be interested ...
by bberris
Mon May 29, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit unions are non-profit, how come they do not dominate over banks???
Replies: 73
Views: 5363

Re: Credit unions are non-profit, how come they do not dominate over banks???

Non profit does not exactly mean there is no profit margin. It is really just a tax and ownership issue. For example, a non-profit may choose to pay high salaries and do extravagant travel to lower their retained earnings. And they can always retain earnings as a reserve. Finally remember that prof...
by bberris
Mon May 29, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit unions are non-profit, how come they do not dominate over banks???
Replies: 73
Views: 5363

Re: Credit unions are non-profit, how come they do not dominate over banks???

Non profit does not exactly mean there is no profit margin. It is really just a tax and ownership issue. For example, a non-profit may choose to pay high salaries and do extravagant travel to lower their retained earnings. And they can always retain earnings as a reserve. Finally remember that profi...
by bberris
Wed May 24, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate tax benefit of owning a home
Replies: 28
Views: 1601

Re: How to calculate tax benefit of owning a home

You are mainly discussing the tax benefits of a house note. The real tax benefits come to a buyer who pays cash. Now you still take the standard deduction, but you get the tax free return of rent that you would have paid. So if your $300,000 house would rent for 2,000 a month, you earn 8 % tax free....
by bberris
Mon May 15, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Uses of Debt
Replies: 21
Views: 2320

Re: Uses of Debt

One particular debt/tax strategy that comes to mind would apply to an older person with a large taxable capital gain, say something that would fund fifteen years of consumption in retirement. Start taking margin loans for consumption instead of selling stock. The margin interest is deductible provi...
by bberris
Sat May 13, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Uses of Debt
Replies: 21
Views: 2320

Re: Uses of Debt

Continuing on the fungible money idea: Once you have spent the borrowed money, the debt doesn't care what you spent it on. You owe it anyway. So the argument that debt is good or bad depending on what it is used for isn't very useful to me. The question is was the spending (or investment) worth it. ...
by bberris
Sun May 07, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed Annuities - Pros -vs- Cons
Replies: 26
Views: 2086

Re: Fixed Annuities - Pros -vs- Cons

I have a fixed annuity my parents bought me to the tune of $5k shortly after i was born, so about 37 years ago. I don't really understand what their thinking was, and they don't remember either. At various times over the years I've been tempted to just liquidate it and consolidate the proceeds into...
by bberris
Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are pensions revered, but annuities reviled?
Replies: 113
Views: 10215

Re: Why are pensions revered, but annuities reviled?

The blood-cooking arises when someone wants to buy a fixed index annuity or some flavor of that. The names keep changing to protect the guilty.

I haven't noticed any boiling blood from SPIA's
by bberris
Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Armageddon Insurance - how to spend $100k
Replies: 29
Views: 2681

Re: Financial Armageddon Insurance - how to spend $100k

After Katrina it became clear individuals and families need a plan. Just a few days without modern luxuries and it was causing death. 1. Stored water rotated on a regular basis 2. Enough food for a few days 3. Protection 4. All your critical documentation and necessities in safe but easily accessib...
by bberris
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Droopy sun-visor on honda civic
Replies: 9
Views: 1029

Re: Droopy sun-visor on honda civic

push a small wrapit tie in between the rod and the fabric covering it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpFRPhLdQb8
by bberris
Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide pension benefits, single life, 50%, 75% and/or 100% survival benefits
Replies: 41
Views: 2896

Re: Help me decide pension benefits, single life, 50%, 75% and/or 100% survival benefits

Those calculations based on survival tables are useful for insurance companies and pension funds that insure large numbers of people. Averages can be relied upon for large numbers. But when there are only two people involved, averages mean little. You might expect to have an average life span, but t...
by bberris
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living off loans to limit income?
Replies: 8
Views: 1483

Re: Living off loans to limit income?

Apparently it is common among the uber rich to live off loans secured by property, avoiding income taxes. Is this really true? :confused I don't know if this will satisfy you, but you need to realize that the uber rich ( are those the ones driving their car for me?) have been paying taxes on their ...
by bberris
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of Medicare Cataract surgery?
Replies: 20
Views: 1808

Re: Cost of Medicare Cataract surgery?

... would not even send a dog there for medical care. My late father used to say (only half jokingly) that he would rather go to a veterinarian than a regular doctor because vets charged less and in his experience (with his many dogs over the years) had a better success rate. My vet quoted $556 for...
by bberris
Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Subprime Auto Loans packaged and sold to investors.
Replies: 10
Views: 1309

Re: Subprime Auto Loans packaged and sold to investors.

Sure seems to have similarities to subprime mortgage crisis of a few years ago. I wonder if some credit unions are building up subprime auto loans in their portfolios and having a bigger risk exposure. Adding to this risk is the movement of auto lending to longer terms (such as 84 months for new an...
by bberris
Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: advice on where to put money at age 55 to secure savings in the event of market crash
Replies: 35
Views: 3911

Re: advice on where to put money at age 55 to secure savings in the event of market crash

..... The other 1/3 of my savings are in secure qualified vehicles that can never lose principal. .... It's striking how words used to describe these rackets evolve as they try to race ahead of the bad press. "Whole Life" became "Bank on Yourself". Fixed index annuities became w...
by bberris
Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-Qualified index annuity ???
Replies: 7
Views: 422

Re: Non-Qualified index annuity ???

I read that wiki page. Thanks for that. So all in all a very complicated product where bad out weighs the good? Is there any way to set this up where it is a great investment or is this general kind of product like whole life insurance go against the Boglehead way? If this really appeals to you, do...
by bberris
Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parents offering to invest $300,000 in my name as graduation gift; initial thought is to invest in a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 3041

Re: Parents offering to invest $300,000 in my name as graduation gift; initial thought is to invest in a house?

Caveats: our home in the 36 years of ownership has appreciated at approx 3% cagr without including maintenance, interest, and taxes. Those are pretty big expenses to not include. Your actual returns are obviously much smaller, if not negative. Meanwhile, what has the stock market returned over the ...
by bberris
Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to know if someone has filed your tax returns fradulently?
Replies: 22
Views: 2138

Re: How to know if someone has filed your tax returns fradulently?

I think just using the Where's my refund app at IRS.gov would tell you something. That won't work unless you know the filing status and amount of refund claimed by the person who filed the return fraudulently using your SSN and name. (Note that the amount of refund claimed by that person likely has...
by bberris
Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to know if someone has filed your tax returns fradulently?
Replies: 22
Views: 2138

Re: How to know if someone has filed your tax returns fradulently?

https://www.irs.gov/refunds

Remember they are not filing for your refund, but rather a refund. It is probably a lot larger than yours.
by bberris
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..
Replies: 31
Views: 5643

Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

I think if you talk with someone who has already talked to a salesman the best thing to do is say things like. "I bet he made you feel really comfortable, was a really nice person, told you that you were making the right decision etc... Did he ONLY want to charge you 1% a year, that sounds rea...
by bberris
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I create tax losses with short/long ETF positions?
Replies: 4
Views: 302

Re: Can I create tax losses with short/long ETF positions?

This runs afoul of a general IRS rule called "economic substance". A transaction whose only purpose is to reduce taxes would disallow the tax loss. This might be fraud as well. Since you expect the return to be zero, this would fall under that rule. Note that you would also have to constan...
by bberris
Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokerage house bonuses and hidden bonuses
Replies: 2
Views: 478

Re: Brokerage house bonuses and hidden bonuses

Thanks! Looks like I left money on the table. Good to know for next time.
by bberris
Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Endless Job Interviews (with same company)
Replies: 61
Views: 6580

Re: Endless Job Interviews (with same company)

This usually happens when the direct boss wants you, but he can't convince the higher ups that you are the right one, or that they need the help, or both. I agree with asking on the phone what other information you can provide them with. Another rather sad explanation is that they are trying to pry ...
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard
Replies: 28
Views: 3791

Re: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard

I'm just depressed that I'm about 2 years out on a home purchase and I know interest rates will be higher. I'm figuring in 2 years we'll be between 6-7% on conventional 30 yr mortgages. If that happens, prices will be much lower. Don't count on that either. The inventory isn't there and sellers may...
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard
Replies: 28
Views: 3791

Re: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard

. It has been tough on our senior citizens as this has reduced their income somewhat. I have always wondered about this sentiment. You hear a lot about the "war on savers" with the low interest rates on savings accounts and CDs and such... but it seems to me that it completely tosses asid...
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?
Replies: 7
Views: 461

Re: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?

In the case of VTSAX and VTI, you are right. They have not had a capital gain distribution for a long time.
Not all mutual funds and ETFs operate as a pair that way. Certainly many ETF's and mutuals distribute capital gains.
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?
Replies: 7
Views: 461

Re: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?

The problem with unrealized appreciation in a taxable account is the same whether ETF, CEF, or mutual fund. After the capital gain is realized, you get a taxable distribution without having a comparable actual capital gain. Yes, you could mitigate this by tax-loss harvesting. That is not a clean sol...
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?
Replies: 7
Views: 461

Re: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?

Iorek is correct as he specifies mutual funds. Closed end funds with large unrealized appreciation tend to have higher discounts to NAV, because they trade independently of their assets.

If you are owning this in a tax-shelter like a 401k or IRA, unrealized appreciation won't matter to you.
by bberris
Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard
Replies: 28
Views: 3791

Re: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard

Jags4186 wrote:I'm just depressed that I'm about 2 years out on a home purchase and I know interest rates will be higher. I'm figuring in 2 years we'll be between 6-7% on conventional 30 yr mortgages.


If that happens, prices will be much lower.
by bberris
Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: About to retire and need to realize 5%/year to live on.
Replies: 71
Views: 7626

Re: About to retire and need to realize 5%/year to live on.

dbr wrote:A person I knew was murdered going around collecting rent from his tenants.


And I thought stock investing was risky!
That is risk of a whole nother smoke.
by bberris
Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hitting the Obamacare "cliff" - and a possible way out?
Replies: 8
Views: 1638

Re: Hitting the Obamacare "cliff" - and a possible way out?

Is your health plan HSA compliant? It's not too late to pay into an HSA which might get you under the cliff.

I keep a spreadsheet open to constantly monitor income. There are a lot of moving parts to watch.
by bberris
Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For those considering "magic" annuities
Replies: 10
Views: 1812

Re: For those considering "magic" annuities

"Accumulation Value". So it's a number that you can enjoy on the screen. You can even print it out. You can really do anything you want except spend it.
by bberris
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can COBRA be frozen on the account of travel to outside of Country
Replies: 5
Views: 499

Re: Can COBRA be frozen on the account of travel to outside of Country

Greetings for Ides of March, I am wondering if the COBRA health insurance can be frozen and restarted at a later date on the account of traveling of either primary person or spouse in the family benifit just so that, that time period dont get wasted. Please if anybody can comment on this, thanks My...
by bberris
Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For those considering "magic" annuities
Replies: 10
Views: 1812

Re: For those considering "magic" annuities

But you have to admire his bravery in the face of possible assassination by Wall Street operatives! The ads appear to be browser generated based on the page content or history as they try to target the user. These are often amusing when the words have two meanings. Search for a screwdriver and you g...
by bberris
Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pros and cons of a mortgage
Replies: 10
Views: 1199

Re: Pros and cons of a mortgage

Paying cash for a house gives you the imputed rent tax-free.
Let's say you own your house free and clear. If you sell it and start renting, you now pay tax on the income produced by the sale proceeds, and still have to pay rent. The income you use to pay rent is taxed.
by bberris
Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to go when stocks, bonds overpriced
Replies: 53
Views: 5478

Re: Where to go when stocks, bonds overpriced

Stocks and bonds do not statistically move in opposite directions (they are not very anti-correlated with R of -1). Rather, they are non-correlated with R near zero. Even so, risk is reduced by having a bond allocation since they are not highly correlated (with a positive R). Where to go? Whole Life...
by bberris
Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Soc Sec or spend down investments/assets?
Replies: 28
Views: 2874

Re: Early Soc Sec or spend down investments/assets?

I think you are eligible for file and suspend under the grandfathered rules. Run the calculators to see what is suggested.
by bberris
Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AP: Americans buy existing homes at fastest pace in a decade
Replies: 45
Views: 4334

Re: AP: Americans buy existing homes at fastest pace in a decade

tinscale wrote:I predict that this won't end well. :(


Well, if it does end well, that really wasn't the end, was it?
by bberris
Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Soc Sec or spend down investments/assets?
Replies: 28
Views: 2874

Re: Early Soc Sec or spend down investments/assets?

I second livesoft's recommendation. The main consideration is that you are buying a safe, inflation-indexed, annuity by foregoing current income. Social security income is taxed at a lower rate than other retirement income (except a roth or HSA), so you want to maximize the portion of income that is...
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: 9
Views: 1351

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: 698

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: 1177

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...

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