Search found 52 matches

by clown
Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I am in the investment advice industry and I'm not sure if I provide any value
Replies: 67
Views: 6394

Re: I am in the investment advice industry and I'm not sure if I provide any value

With courtesy all due respect to poster "CnC" above, I object to the notion that OP can be of use to the "common man" only, together with the implication that the "common man" is not intelligent enough to go it alone. There are some very smart people with plenty of intelligence (certainly more than ...
by clown
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: stopped check / holder in due course
Replies: 13
Views: 1246

Re: stopped check / holder in due course

Hold on folks -- let's look at the negotiable instruments law. To the best of my knowledge, Louisiana is the only state that has not adopted the UCC. As a retired banker, my experience is different from several views expressed here. Each person who endorses a check vouches for the endorsers before h...
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 96 percent of stocks are no better then TBills
Replies: 22
Views: 4548

Re: 96 percent of stocks are no better then TBills

I think the prior post (privatefarmer) is one the right track. If the study considered some 26,000 stocks, and there are some 3600 actively traded stocks in the total stock market at this time, that suggests there were over 22,000 others who either: failed - think buggy whips were bought out by some...
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did Chase Apply My "Additional Principal" Payment Legally?
Replies: 41
Views: 2361

Re: Did Chase Apply My "Additional Principal" Payment Legally?

To OP - check the fine print your loan agreement. As a retired banker, my experience is that it will typically say that the $5000 payment will be applied as follows -- first, to any interest due as of the date the payment is received, secondly to any principal due as of the date the payment is recei...
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Irrational Despair?
Replies: 39
Views: 5866

Re: Irrational Despair?

Speaking of media coverage, I was disappointed to hear a FOX anchor say the market PLUNGED a couple days ago. The change was about 1.4%. Hardly a PLUNGE by any reasonable definition. And that would apply only if you were 100% in the Dow.
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond fund SEC yield
Replies: 14
Views: 1839

Re: Bond fund SEC yield

I thought the SEC requires the disclosure of the SEC Yield, and also a prospectus before an investor is allowed to buy a fund. It is my opinion, as a non-expert, that these were SEC rules -- not discretionary decisions on the part of the fund sponsor. Personally, I would pass.
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I have a computer virus?
Replies: 13
Views: 1646

Re: Do I have a computer virus?

Two thoughts. Firstly, the update procedure should create "restore points" as part of the process. You can revert your computer to the last known good "restore point" when your computer was running well. You may lose the "benefits" of the "update," but I am skeptical that they are worthwhile benefit...
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost $7000 today in ONE DAY!
Replies: 183
Views: 16220

Re: Lost $7000 today in ONE DAY!

To OP - you haven't "lost" anything in terms of cash. You have the same number of shares today as you did yesterday. No loss is sustained unless you sell. The only difference is that Mr. Market will pay you less today than yesterday. I suggest you consider the change in value in percentage terms. If...
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travelers Checks Question
Replies: 6
Views: 844

Re: Travelers Checks Question

The preceding post contains the correct answer in my experience as a retired banker. That is what we used to do. If TCs are taken to a bank and they don't know what to do, then either it is a minor unsophisticated branch in the middle of nowhere, or you need a better bank.
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market timing alert !!
Replies: 30
Views: 6316

Re: Market timing alert !!

Since VGTSX is certain to go down significantly, can I short it? :D :oops:
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dumb, basic question about market-cap weighted funds?
Replies: 57
Views: 4011

Re: Dumb, basic question about market-cap weighted funds?

Two points. First, there is no such thing as a dumb question. No apology is needed. I can assure you that, in this and other areas of life, there are other folks that have the same question but are too timid to ask. Second, jbolden1517 mentions other possibilities that may interest you. How about co...
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review Request
Replies: 14
Views: 1376

Re: Portfolio Review Request

Given all the complexity involved, and the various priorities and life events you have, it may be worthwhile to consider a fee-only financial planner to consolidate and set things up, and you can run the money going forward.
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exit Strategy from Northwest Mutual Advisor
Replies: 13
Views: 1649

Re: Exit Strategy from Northwest Mutual Advisor

To OP - you mention taking a $7k bath on the insurance policies. Better to take a $7k bath now than to take a bigger bath later. Losses are the price of experience. Rather than focusing on the $7k, think of all the fees you will have saved in the ears you won't be at NWM. Proprietary funds (i.e. tho...
by clown
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SINGLE FUND for retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 2355

Re: SINGLE FUND for retirement

Kudos to you for the fine progress you have made. May I suggest the Vanguard Wellington Fund (VWELX). Created in 1929 (yes 1929), VWELX is Vanguard's oldest mutual fund and the nation's oldest balanced fund. The target is ~66% equities and ~33% fixed income -- which may be more bonds then you want. ...
by clown
Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to upgrade iPhones ?
Replies: 37
Views: 3736

Re: Cheapest way to upgrade iPhones ?

Before jumping ship from AT&T, be aware that you will lose some services available only to AT&T brand clients. Wi-fi calling is an example. AT&T brand SIM chips allow phones to call on wi-fi. AT&T Reseller (technically MVNO companies) SIM chips do NOT allow wi-fi calling. If you need that particular...
by clown
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good article about having the "RIGHT" asset allocation
Replies: 27
Views: 3603

Re: Good article about having the "RIGHT" asset allocation

I have tried without success to access the WSJ article -- both via the OP's link and via the WSJ homepage by on my own. In both cases, the article opens and then greys out. It is as if an opaque screen is placed between me and the article. Does anyone know how to get around this problem? Thanks in a...
by clown
Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metal vs Vinyl sheds
Replies: 25
Views: 1875

Re: Metal vs Vinyl sheds

We also live in the SF Bay Area, and recently purchased a Lifetime brand 8x8 vinyl shed from Costco. The panels are heavy duty and click-lock together and than get screws (included). It has a floor and seems VERY well engineered. It weights just about 500 pounds. After assembly, it feels very solid....
by clown
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?
Replies: 18
Views: 1942

Re: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?

I too have struggled with this. As opposed to the OP, who has a defined contribution plan, I am retired and have a traditional defined benefit pension plan. I can present-value the cash flows, assuming I live to age 85 and using a reasonable historical rate like 6% (although the rate is not reflecte...
by clown
Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why no federal income tax obligation?
Replies: 31
Views: 2866

Re: Why no federal income tax obligation?

OK - getting back to the point - here are numbers from 2016. Interest Income $ 5 Ordinary Dividends $12,350 (Qualified = $7757) Capital loss carryforward ($3,000) Pension Income $22,174 Social Security - taxable portion $15,478 (Total = $47,242) Total Income (line 22) $47,007 Adjusted Gross Income $...
by clown
Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why no federal income tax obligation?
Replies: 31
Views: 2866

Why no federal income tax obligation?

We are both in our 70's. Because of large medical expenses, our taxable income (after itemized deductions) is small but it IS positive on Form 1040 line 43. We have no special credits on 1040 lines 48 through 54. So how can we have a positive taxable income but no lax liability? We use Turbo Tax, an...
by clown
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to find Loaded Index Funds
Replies: 64
Views: 4489

Re: Need to find Loaded Index Funds

I think we are too far out in the weeds with this discussion. Let's back up. You say that your Compliance Dept requires that you keep all your investments with your employer. I would question that assertion closely. Such a "requirement" does not make sense to me. Don't blindly accept their interpret...
by clown
Sun May 07, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Motor Home Financing
Replies: 11
Views: 1319

Re: Motor Home Financing

If you take a loan against your home, you can probably deduct the interest on schedule A and realize some income tax reduction. There are some wrinkles involved (like how big of a mortgage on which you can deduction interest), so it is probably worth a call to your tax advisor or homework on your ow...
by clown
Sun May 07, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to figure out whether my tIRA was funded with pre or post-tax dollars.
Replies: 7
Views: 561

Re: How to figure out whether my tIRA was funded with pre or post-tax dollars.

No expert here, but I would check with the financial firm that presently holds your IRA. To the best of my knowledge, they usually keep track of that so they can report withdrawals to the IRS and generate your tax reporting forms.
by clown
Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Choices
Replies: 45
Views: 4138

Re: Car Choices

Have you looked at Chevy? They have majorly improved in the past couple years. According to the automotive press, reliability is as good as any European brand and virtually as good as the Japanese cars. Many GM cars have a higher made-in-America content than Ford, Chrysler, or the European or Japane...
by clown
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe says "Goodbye."
Replies: 336
Views: 41783

Re: Larry Swedroe says "Goodby."

Larry - At age 71, I look back and ask how many people I have positively impacted (outside of immediate family). For some of us, me included, the answer is "very few" and the impact was quite small -- leading to a disappointing view of one's life. You, however, are in a totally different p...
by clown
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?
Replies: 83
Views: 8091

Re: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?

After all deductions and exemptions. Sorry I wasn't clear in earlier post.
by clown
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?
Replies: 83
Views: 8091

Re: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?

We are in our 70s. Depending on medical expenses, our taxable income is $4,000 to $7',000. We do not claim any special credits (e.g. renters credit). Why do we have a zero federal taxliability? The tax table seems to say we should have 10% tax.
by clown
Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: why bond funds are sharply up today?
Replies: 13
Views: 2399

Re: why bond funds are sharply up today?

My favorite news leads are of the format "Dow dropped 80 points today on news of XYZ".[/quote]

I hear them say the market PLUNGED 80 points today --- let's see 80 points is what percentage? And that is PLUNGED? Give me a break. They should report in percentages, maybe percentages only.
by clown
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealership rejecting rebate after contract signed
Replies: 118
Views: 15869

Re: Dealership rejecting rebate after contract signed

In California, a car must be "cashiered" at the DMV by the dealer within 10 days of the transaction. Cashiering means that the sale is reported to DMV and the taxes are paid. I recommend finding out your state's requirements. After the car is cashiered at DMV, the title is issued and plate...
by clown
Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Public School Teacher: Need help with 403b
Replies: 41
Views: 2288

Re: Public School Teacher: Need help with 403b

I have the utmost respect for public school teachers (aka heroes). It is unfortunate that virtually all our public schools do not offer high school students courses in personal finance. That said, I recommend mobilizing your fellow teachers and lobbying both the union and the district to offer less ...
by clown
Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have an umbrella policy?
Replies: 141
Views: 15916

Re: Do you have an umbrella policy?

Yes, $1MM policy. The price is cheap compared to a lot of things in our life -- sporting event tickets, lattes, etc. $2MM coverage was not twice as expensive as $1MM coverage, and so would be a relative bargain, but I only needed $1MM. There is a bit of a hidden cost, at least with my insurer. Befor...
by clown
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: one last stupid question [What are "cash equivalents"?]
Replies: 44
Views: 4573

Re: one last stupid question [What are "cash equivalents"?]

OP - the only dumb question is the question that doesn't get asked. Given the number of differing answers you have received, it is clear that (1) the question is not at all dumb and (2) there are several different answers depending upon the person's individual perceptions. Yes, accounting standards ...
by clown
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VA loan with negative points, quick low cost refinance to ARM?
Replies: 5
Views: 443

Re: VA loan with negative points, quick low cost refinance to ARM?

Two point to consider: 1) In some states, a lender making a "purchase money loan" (a loan whose proceeds are used to make the actual home purchase) can only seek recovery from the property itself -- not the borrower's other assets. In these situations, the lender (NFCU in your case) cannot...
by clown
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency fund - in Prime Money Market?
Replies: 7
Views: 946

Re: Emergency fund - in Prime Money Market?

In my view, Prime's yield is predicated upon the yields generated by the underlying securities it holds. As the fed raises rates, yields on money market instruments in general will rise, so Prime's yield will rise. Bank products are not drive by the same forces, thus need not rise.
by clown
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sitting on cash....Waiting for a crash
Replies: 129
Views: 20442

Re: Sitting on cash....Waiting for a crash

Of course, there is always another side. What if the crash doesn't come? What growth opportunities are foregone by waiting? Case in point. Last fall, before the election, there was some concern (not universal agreement) that the market was overvalued. If one sat on their cash from October until now,...
by clown
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short Vs. Intermediate Corp. Bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 808

Re: Short Vs. Intermediate Corp. Bonds

Well, of course the ST fund has a lower duration so would have lesser impact from future interest rate increases. On the other hand, if you have a 10 year time frame, TBM pays more and has time to reinvest at higher rates than ST. I have no numbers to back this up, and I am no guru, but the gut feel...
by clown
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you purposely spend with companies in your investment portfolio?
Replies: 42
Views: 2793

Re: Do you purposely spend with companies in your investment portfolio?

Some companies that make good/popular products are bad as investments. Some companies that make bad/inferior products are good as investments. Both types are included in the broad market indexes. You don't really have a choice as to who is in the index, but you do have a choice as to what you buy. I...
by clown
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula
Replies: 173
Views: 20056

Re: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula

As I understand it, the formula says that being in the military is not working -- essentially that being in the military is a waste of time. Two observations: 1. Send the author to USMC boot camp, and see if the opinion changes. 2. There are things bigger than self and wallet. Serving the Stars and ...
by clown
Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using turbo tax online
Replies: 20
Views: 1174

Re: Using turbo tax online

Random question. When you use turbo tax online, where does your data reside? Does it reside online? Does it reside on your computer?
by clown
Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Time Re-Balancing
Replies: 4
Views: 513

Re: First Time Re-Balancing

What does 5% mean? For example if you want to be at 65% in Investment X -- is the threshold 5% of 65%, or is in 5 % of the whole portfolio?
by clown
Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking to Drop Wells Fargo for Online Banking
Replies: 48
Views: 3576

Re: Looking to Drop Wells Fargo for Online Banking

To the OP - are you current or ex-military (commissioned or warrant or enlisted)? If so, I suggest checking out USAA bank. Service cannot be beat. No fees. No ATM charges. Straight forward. Great outfit. I have been a client there for 50 years, wouldn't change a thing. Also, their car and home insur...
by clown
Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole life - 7 "pithy" questions to ask the salesman
Replies: 43
Views: 5081

Re: Whole life - 7 "pithy" questions to ask the salesman

If your daughter is convinced they need life insurance, term is the way to go. The purpose is to replace your income if you die -- which need could apply (1) if there are children to consider or (2) if the spouse doesn't make sufficient income to get by. Since they are military, call USAA. They offe...
by clown
Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?
Replies: 81
Views: 7789

Re: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?

I think the best company around is USAA, a diversified financial services company catering to the military and offering banking, investment and insurance. In the last few decades, the membership criteria has expanded significantly and now includes: -- active duty military - all enlisted, warrant, an...
by clown
Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you get Bond Fund Dividends if You Sell Before Month End?
Replies: 11
Views: 1139

Re: Do you get Bond Fund Dividends if You Sell Before Month End?

Re the above question, not an expert, but I "think" that a stock dividend would be similar to a cash dividend in the sense that the company announces a dividend payable to shareholders of record as of xx/xx/xxxx date. If you sell your shares after the dividend date, you still get them beca...
by clown
Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are ETFs really becoming a bad idea?
Replies: 47
Views: 6498

Re: Are ETFs really becoming a bad idea?

If ETFs make you uncomfortable (regardless of the reason or the accuracy thereof), Vanguard MAY be willing (perhaps) to accommodate you with a share conversion, swapping out the ETF share class for its equivalent mutual fund share class. They MAY do this for SOME of the ETFs you own. Call them and a...
by clown
Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving Stocks/ETFs to Vanguard Brokerage
Replies: 6
Views: 399

Re: Moving Stocks/ETFs to Vanguard Brokerage

It sounds as if you may be a Vanguard "Flagship" client based on asset size. If so, you can call your VG rep and ask for details. Also, when I had a situation similar to yours, I called the VG rep and told him what the basis was -- and he entered that info into VG's computer system without...
by clown
Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS cashed unsigned check
Replies: 40
Views: 5312

Re: IRS cashed unsigned check

Back in the day (prior to the 1980's), checks were sent to the bank branch where the account was carried. Every clerical/teller employee had a given number of file drawers (each of which had maybe an average of a dozen customer accounts). The employees were trained to check for the date, the payee e...
by clown
Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 208
Views: 31429

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

The big question is WHY would they offer a rate like this. If the solid money center banks and money market funds are paying well under 1%, then by definition that is the market. So WHY would anybody have to / want to pay 5%? In my experience, the underlying reason is that their financial condition ...
by clown
Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does online banking work? Fraud on credit card
Replies: 20
Views: 1822

Re: How does online banking work?

To the original poster -- Your original question seemed to ask for basic info, not a debate on which method is best. There are two different ways to go about this: 1. Contact your utility/telephone/etc company, with your checkbook in hand, and tell them you want to arrange for automatic debits from ...
by clown
Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black formal shoes with sneaker like support
Replies: 56
Views: 6555

Re: Black formal shoes with sneaker like support

Eccos probably won't work if you have wide feet such as E or EEE. Ecco does not do wide. I have had great luck going to Bates and looking at police dress uniform shoes (I am not a cop), as they are made for guys who are on their feet for hours at a time. If your definition of "black formal shoe...