Search found 3594 matches

by madbrain
Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft
Replies: 43
Views: 3828

Re: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card t

That doesn't give you pause? By law banks have 10 days in a dispute where they can not do anything. All someone has to do is skim your card and they can run arbitrarily many arbitrarily large charges. And if after 10 days the bank says "we think the charge is good," then you are out the m...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft
Replies: 43
Views: 3828

Re: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft

A thief can use them to drain money out of your account, sometimes without ever having handled your card, How can they do it without the card? In order to get cash, they would need to skim both the card and the PIN, and make a copy of the magstripe card. The same could apply to a magstripe credit c...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft
Replies: 43
Views: 3828

Re: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card t

What if one day important payments bounced, your account was drained, and electronic records showed that you made card-present, PIN withdrawals and charges of thousands of dollars? It's not the casual wallet thief you need to be most afraid of. There is a low $500 limit for cash withdrawals with PI...
by madbrain
Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jeremy Siegel : I was too bullish
Replies: 20
Views: 3923

Re: Jeremy Siegel : I was too bullish

I am surprised that he did not point out that now is a really good time to buy stocks... That's because he actually doesn't think it is, right now, if you mention the article, with all the headwinds like possible China devaluation, etc. As someone who holds a large % in EM, which have dropped a lot...
by madbrain
Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft
Replies: 43
Views: 3828

Re: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft

We still used the Fidelity ATM card on our most recent trip. I'm confused, does Fidelity have an ATM card only or are you using the Fidelity debit card on your cash management account only for ATM transactions? Sorry - it's a combo debit/ATM card. But we used it only for cash withdrawals, and not p...
by madbrain
Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

@madbrain. POZ here and single. I picked a HDHP instead of a PPO copay plan and here is why: I take one pill a day and the drug manufacturer will cover out of pocket costs for its medication for me up $6,000 a year. My medication is about $6800 every quarter for a 90 day supply. My insurance has a ...
by madbrain
Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft
Replies: 43
Views: 3828

Re: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft

There are credit cards with 0% international transaction fees as well (Fidelity 2% Cash Back Visa, Penfed, Capital One, etc.) - so you could rely a good portion of your trip on that and don't need to always rely on your debit card. I mean if someone only travels a bit internationally like once ever...
by madbrain
Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft
Replies: 43
Views: 3828

Re: Displeased with Fidelity Cash / BNY Mellon- debit card theft

(The new EMV chips will reduce another type of fraud, card cloning). OP here - sadly, Fidelity/BNY have yet to send me a new EMV VISA debit card. It's still magstripe. And the expiration date is more than 2 years away. At this point, I think they are the only financial institution that didn't send ...
by madbrain
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jeremy Siegel : I was too bullish
Replies: 20
Views: 3923

Jeremy Siegel : I was too bullish

It's not every day you hear perma-bull Jeremy Siegel say this .

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jeremy-si ... 5438.html#

Obligatory actionable question : are you acting on this advice ?
by madbrain
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice - Employer withdrew accepted offer
Replies: 50
Views: 5928

Re: Need advice - Employer withdrew accepted offer

IANAL, but what I would do if I were your wife is the following : 1) Try to get older, low-paying job back If accepted, then move on . And never consider that company again, of course. 2) If unable to get the old job back, consult a local lawyer to evaluate the situation. And keep looking for anothe...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switched employers, have a funded FSA and HSA. How to use?
Replies: 14
Views: 1023

Re: Switched employers, have a funded FSA and HSA. How to use?

JoeJohnson wrote:In 2014 I had a FSA, left that employer and was specifically told I had until the end of the year to spend the money.


You have until the end of the year to file claims, but the claims must be for services rendered before your termination date.
by madbrain
Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

madbrain, Regarding your $60k in prescription drugs being based on the "sticker price," consider that those under HDHPs are paying far below sticker price as well in many cases since their insurers also likely negotiate rates. It's true that before the deductible in the HDHP you would pay...
by madbrain
Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

The devil is in the details. If I went on a traditional plan, I would pay an additional $4k in premiums. And instead of a maximum family OOP of $4k with the HDHP, I would pay $8k with the traditional plan. Under the traditional plan, my maximum exposure would equal CURRENT PREMIUM + $4k additional ...
by madbrain
Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

One should not look only to the tax benefits of the HSA. There are drawbacks to HDHPs. The tax benefits of the HSA may be there, but the HDHP one needs to have to open and contribute to an HSA often has much higher out of pocket costs than traditional plans. Unless you never see a doctor and don't ...
by madbrain
Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

Madbrain, agree in your case it looks like the HSA is not the way to go. What would the math look like if you assumed you don't need the HSA money to pay for your medical expenses every year, I.e. have more money for investing? Great question. If assuming $0 out-of-pocket costs for both plans, the ...
by madbrain
Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

If you are in the 25% federal bracket or higher and sometimes, states allows a deduction for HSA contributions, those tax savings coupled with the savings on the premiums that the employee pay would be higher than the amounts you'd be saving by having a PPO or HRA. I am a CPA and trust me, I ran th...
by madbrain
Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I switch to a HSA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1129

Re: Should I switch to a HSA?

Not enough information. I think you meant "switch to an HDHP". An HSA requires an HDHP. What kind of coverage do you have now ? What are the deductibles for your old plan new plan ? Maximum out of pocket ? Any copays/coinsurance also for things like doctor visits, lab test, drugs, etc. Esp...
by madbrain
Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

From my experience, its either an HSA or a PPO. I think you mean HDHP or PPO. HSA is entirely optional - you could have an HDHP without an HSA, though it may not be the best idea. I haven't heard of many HMOs in recent years. I wish my company still had the HMO. Bad stories of not a lot of good doc...
by madbrain
Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

Time and time again, people who never see a doctor do better with a HDHP. Also, people with chronic conditions who use a lot of healthcare ALSO benefit as their out-of-pockets are less than the traditional plans. We have many chronic conditions include HIV, which are very expensive. The meds alone ...
by madbrain
Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard introducing 0.01% expense ratio funds
Replies: 24
Views: 4626

Re: Vanguard introducing 0.01% expense ratio funds

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-29/vanguard-to-offer-its-lowest-fee-ever-0-01-to-big-investors?cmpid=yhoo.headline Total Stock Market, Total Bond Market, and S&P 500 index funds to get "Institutional Select" share class with minimum investment of $3 billion Any takers h...
by madbrain
Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s
Replies: 25
Views: 4015

Re: WSJ: HSAs Offer Tax Benefits Beyond 401(k)s

One should not look only to the tax benefits of the HSA. There are drawbacks to HDHPs. The tax benefits of the HSA may be there, but the HDHP one needs to have to open and contribute to an HSA often has much higher out of pocket costs than traditional plans. Unless you never see a doctor and don't t...
by madbrain
Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Comcast Blast Helpful with WiFi?
Replies: 17
Views: 1429

Re: Is Comcast Blast Helpful with WiFi?

The Gigabit Ethernet standard was introduced over 15 years ago and was found on most new systems more than a decade ago. Unless the OP is using an old machine, I think it's safe to assume the hard-wired ports are Gigabit Ethernet. The computer may be Gigabit Ethernet, but many Wifi routers still fe...
by madbrain
Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Comcast Blast Helpful with WiFi?
Replies: 17
Views: 1429

Re: Is Comcast Blast Helpful with WiFi?

If you're in a region where Blast is supposed to be 150Mbps and you ran speedtest while hard-wired to the cable modem, you're not getting what you paid for. But this does not play into your WiFi issues. You just may be paying more unnecessarily. I am, and I get 170 - 180 Mbps download with Comcast ...
by madbrain
Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex/Costco Customer Retention Offer
Replies: 16
Views: 2862

Re: Amex/Costco Customer Retention Offer

I have not received any offer either. I don't have any other Amex account.
My average spending on the Amex costco card is $10/month, so that probably has something to do with it.
by madbrain
Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting Cable Cord Only to Strengthen Internet Cord
Replies: 53
Views: 3229

Re: Cutting Cable Cord Only to Strengthen Internet Cord

I'm paying $49.99/month for 150 Mbps down / 10 Mbps up, Internet only with Comcast . This is a 12 month promotion. I bought the modem separately on day 1 for $70 , so no rental fees. I think after 12 months, it will go up to $82, but I will either downgrade the speed or cancel at that point. $49/mon...
by madbrain
Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unexpected Costco cash card and letter in the mail
Replies: 8
Views: 1841

Re: Unexpected Costco cash card and letter in the mail

I would go ahead and call them to ask if the blackberries you purchased on <date> are ok to eat since you got a letter. But most likely, the sub-standard blackberries were sold a while back, like a month or two ago because it would take a while for them to realize the problem, then figure out what ...
by madbrain
Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unexpected Costco cash card and letter in the mail
Replies: 8
Views: 1841

Unexpected Costco cash card and letter in the mail

I received a letter from Costco on wednesday that states : "At Costco, we pride ourselves on purchasing the highest quality produce from our partners - the best growers in the business. Your recent purchase of #791185 Organic Blackberries did not meet our high quality standards. We are sorry fo...
by madbrain
Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 116
Views: 10676

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

We will just have to disagree. The bofa visa returning 2.6% in combination with the Fido Amex is a better deal, in my opinion. That level of rewards requires $100k in investments held with BofA - certainly not worth the extra 0.6% . Avoiding a direct relationship with BofA is well worth switching t...
by madbrain
Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 116
Views: 10676

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

Has anyone seen what the foreign transaction fee will be for the new Fidelity Visa card (from Elan/USBank)? I believe it was 3% on the old one (from FIA/BofA). It is 1%, unchanged. No, it was 3% for the Fidelity FIA VISA. 1% for the Fidelity FIA Amex. With Costco switching to VISA, I was looking fo...
by madbrain
Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom
Replies: 127
Views: 12424

Re: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom

In my case I started with market weight first, then decided to have 5%-6% allocation then increased to eventually around 9% overall. I also re-balance when it get out of bands, that helps me sell high and buy low. Dollar weighted returns are around 3.91% at end of Dec for 11 year period, again noth...
by madbrain
Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom
Replies: 127
Views: 12424

Re: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom

Edit: Growth of $10,000 = $20,600. Original investment doubled in 11 years. Not bad. It really all depends at what price you bought. I bought a big chunk of VWO in my 401k brokerage window, average cost $44 per share. No TLH possible there with that chunk. Frankly I don't know if it will ever make ...
by madbrain
Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom
Replies: 127
Views: 12424

Re: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom

I'm contemplating TLH (again) from FTSE-EX to Emerging Markets in my Taxable Account. This would be a Boglehead sin. Please help me with some perspective. Thanks. If you are changing from one asset class to another, it isn't TLH . TLH would be from, say, IEMG to VWO, as I did earlier this week. I j...
by madbrain
Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom
Replies: 127
Views: 12424

Re: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom

Fat-Tailed Contagion wrote:I'm contemplating TLH (again) from FTSE-EX to Emerging Markets in my Taxable Account.

This would be a Boglehead sin.

Please help me with some perspective.

Thanks.


If you are changing from one asset class to another, it isn't TLH .

TLH would be from, say, IEMG to VWO, as I did earlier this week.
by madbrain
Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much House can I afford with an income of $98,000? My husband gave me a bizarre number
Replies: 110
Views: 12748

Re: How much House can I afford with an income of $98,000? My husband gave me a bizarre number

Hello. Hopefully someone can give me a hand. My husband's income is $98,000 per year. I'm raising our kids and caring for an aging parent. I found a house that would work well for us--it's $359,900. We have no credit card debt, 2 car payments that amount to $700 per month, and $110,000 saved. The b...
by madbrain
Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with extremely delayed medical billing
Replies: 29
Views: 2918

Re: Dealing with extremely delayed medical billing

I had an MD retire last year and instead of sending out ordinary bills, they were all just turned over for collection. :annoyed Is that even legal under the Fair Credit Billing Act ? Even assuming it is, if you dispute the bill within the first 30 days of receipt, the collection agency may lack the...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1438
Views: 275254

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I am going to see Star Wars in IMAX 3D at the Chinese theater (where I think it premiered in 1977, Hayden. Can't wait! My son tells me it is one of only 7 such theaters showing Star Wars in the country and only 14 world wide. Your son is in error. There are more than 7 IMAX 3D theaters showing Star...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 25, 2015 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1438
Views: 275254

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

The Big Short . Highly entertaining. I haven't read the book, but I would be surprised if it has the comic tone of the movie. ... Please do read the book, especially for the humorous side that grows so naturally out of the characters. It's a wonder how Lewis found the perfect characters to reveal t...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jet.com
Replies: 56
Views: 7113

Re: Jet.com

fidobogo wrote:Competition for Amazon is good for the consumer, but Jet.com is not ready to compete.


Agree. Their homepage was unreachable the first time. It loaded the second time. Then I entered a query, and the resulting page said "This website is offline". So much for jet.com .
by madbrain
Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Satellite Radio for a Car Not Specifically Wired
Replies: 15
Views: 1226

Re: Satellite Radio for a Car Not Specifically Wired

I had a free trial subscription in a new car and just let it expire. It wasn't long before I had email solicitations and telephone calls offering special prices if I would subscribe. After a month or so I called and got 6 months for $28. It will expire in a couple of months and I'll try again. I go...
by madbrain
Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Huge credit on Costco AMEX card, can't get rid of it
Replies: 40
Views: 4802

Re: Huge credit on Costco AMEX card, can't get rid of it

It is possible that the vendor already complained to Amex about a missing payment to someone and Amex made them whole. It is possible that it is cheaper for Amex to let you keep the money, than to try to fix it. If they are that badly run, it's no wonder their card processing fees are so much highe...
by madbrain
Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for cash back
Replies: 49
Views: 8259

Re: Best credit card for cash back

This post comes up many times on many personal finance boards and I'm always the only he to mention the best card out there: capital one spark cash. 2% cash back at time you make the charge, no fx fees, cash back is automated and happens every $25. The Capital One Spark Cash seems to be a business ...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new VoIP provider
Replies: 23
Views: 923

Re: Looking for new VoIP provider

Drovor wrote:Have you tried rebooting the cable modem and Ooma device? This might have been the first thing support suggested but wasn't stated. Possible an issue with the Ooma hardware.


Yes, I have tried.
by madbrain
Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new VoIP provider
Replies: 23
Views: 923

Re: Looking for new VoIP provider

With voip.ms there are no monthly taxes or add on fees, just the cost of calls. IIRC I deposit $25 each year which covers my costs but we don't make international calls. I don't know that the OBI 100 is still available but the OBI 200 is an updated version and was on sale for $29.99 recently. Do yo...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new VoIP provider
Replies: 23
Views: 923

Re: Looking for new VoIP provider

Also, for fax, have you tried *99 to tell it you're sending a fax? I just had to do that for the first time in about a year, dusting off my fax machine, but worked just like before. Actually, I had this prefix setup in the machine's admin UI, but not in the Brother PC-Fax software. It needs to be t...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new VoIP provider
Replies: 23
Views: 923

Re: Looking for new VoIP provider

Have you looked into MagicJack? I've been using it for years and it works great. It's also very reasonable for both the device and annual charges. They have a Christmas special going on now where the device and the first two years of service has been reduced. I just read some reviews of MagicJack, ...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new VoIP provider
Replies: 23
Views: 923

Re: Looking for new VoIP provider

You say you've done some Ooma troubleshooting, but let me offer a couple of additional tips in case you haven't tried it yet. Besides bandwidth, latency, jitter and other factors may impact voice quality. I'm having trouble with this VOIP test, but you might check that it isn't something other than...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new VoIP provider
Replies: 23
Views: 923

Re: Looking for new VoIP provider

I've been using voip.ms with an OBIhai 100 for the past 2 years with no problems. I think I paid $30 for the OBI device and I pay a few dollars a month from a prepaid account for U.S. calls. International calling is cheap but is charged by the minute. I connect my Canon printer/fax to the OBI and m...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new VoIP provider
Replies: 23
Views: 923

Re: Looking for new VoIP provider

VOIPo ( http://www.voipo.com ) is an amazing service: 2 years of unlimited domestic calling for $150. They have free fax-out service through their website (you scan the document and then provide the recipient's fax number). They also have 1200 minutes (20 hours) of international calling for an addi...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new VoIP provider
Replies: 23
Views: 923

Re: Looking for new VoIP provider

There are online fax websites that work. I use pamfax.com for the few faxes I send. Does Pamfax show up as a native Windows printer ? The Brother MFC fax does, and that is very convenient. Or do you have to use the Pamfax app to send a fax ? This would entail an extra step in my workflow, and would...

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