Search found 1546 matches

by patrick
Fri May 11, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ally online savings now at 1.60%
Replies: 171
Views: 25609

Re: Ally online savings now at 1.60%

With Popular Direct at 2% I don't see why these 1.6% accounts are so popular.
by patrick
Thu May 10, 2018 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi bank bonus offer: any recent experience?
Replies: 8
Views: 1410

Re: Citi bank bonus offer: any recent experience?

I got their $300 checking bonus last year without any problems. I don't have any specific suggestions beyond a basic reminder to pay attention to all the requirements for the bonus, as well as what you have to do to prevent monthly fees. If you decide to go for a Chase bonus next, be warned that Cha...
by patrick
Thu May 03, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Swollen Emergency Fund....What now?
Replies: 43
Views: 3161

Re: Swollen Emergency Fund....What now?

If you are going to keep a lot of money in cash you might as well get the best interest. See https://www.doctorofcredit.com/high-interest-savings-to-get/ for an extensive list of high interest options. Some highlights: You can get 2% on a plain savings account from Popular Direct. You can get 5% (on...
by patrick
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my computer obsolete?
Replies: 60
Views: 4203

Re: Is my computer obsolete?

vs. There are actually three semi-related bugs here: Spectre is variants 1 and 2; then there’s variant 3, which researchers dubbed Meltdown. Variant 1 (Spectre) is arguably the most difficult of them all to fix, and as such Intel doesn’t have a hardware solution for it yet. Link - https://techcrunc...
by patrick
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my computer obsolete?
Replies: 60
Views: 4203

Re: Is my computer obsolete?

Windows 10 is more secure than Windows 7, but neither it nor up to date anti-malware will protect you from hardware exploits. The big problem with hardware that is more than five years old is security - not performance. One issue with old hardware is that hardware manufacturers only patch their new...
by patrick
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my computer obsolete?
Replies: 60
Views: 4203

Re: Is my computer obsolete?

I don't think it's obsolete. Most PC specs haven't improved much lately. If you were to buy a new laptop from Dell at the Core i5 level today, you'd get a Core i5-7200U which (according to cpubenchmark.net) is only about 36% faster than your old processor. There are plenty of slower PCs sold today. ...
by patrick
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lack of FDIC Insurance a big deal?
Replies: 39
Views: 3725

Re: Lack of FDIC Insurance a big deal?

At one point, IIRC, the cap was 5-1/2% for commercial banks, 5-3/4% for S&L's, and 6% for credit unions. Unable to compete on interest rates, banks competed on account-opening gifts, and bank lobbies were crowded with huge pyramid-like piles of bathroom scales (at the bottom), clock-radios (in the ...
by patrick
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lack of FDIC Insurance a big deal?
Replies: 39
Views: 3725

Re: Lack of FDIC Insurance a big deal?

Popular Direct now has an FDIC insured savings account yielding 2%. Why settle for 1.8% uninsured when you can get 2.0% insured?
by patrick
Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free 2017 Tax Software Suggestions
Replies: 12
Views: 469

Re: Free 2017 Tax Software Suggestions

I used Taxhawk (another name for Freetaxusa) the last two years with seemingly good results. It will do federal returns for free for everyone, though they charge for state returns.
by patrick
Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it time to dump high yield savings for prime money market?
Replies: 128
Views: 19157

Re: Is it time to dump high yield savings for prime money market?

Cash is cash. Money Market Fund is near-cash, but is not the same. Is a 0.1% interest rate advantage worth the risk of the MMF having a redemption gate imposed during a financial crisis? Popular Direct has a 2% savings account. Since the MMF advantage is actually negative I doubt it's worth the risk.
by patrick
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Money Market Funds
Replies: 13
Views: 2314

Re: Money Market Funds

It's still behind the best savings accounts -- see https://www.depositaccounts.com/savings/ for several examples including Popular Direct which pays 2%.
by patrick
Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaid card 5% savings account and safety
Replies: 1
Views: 347

Re: Prepaid card 5% savings account and safety

They should be safe. The funds are FDIC insured. Fraudulent transactions should be unlikely since you'd never make purchases at all, eliminating the opportunity for anyone to steal the number, plus you wouldn't have any money in the spending account anyway so an attempted fraudulent transaction shou...
by patrick
Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Bond Safety
Replies: 15
Views: 1444

Re: Savings Bond Safety

Rainier wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:20 pm
Have you used Treasury Direct?

How do you use a keylogger to capture the password for TD?
Perhaps not just a mere keylogger ... but log the keystrokes to the the userid, and the mouse click locations for the password.
by patrick
Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Bond Safety
Replies: 15
Views: 1444

Re: Savings Bond Safety

Sure, but now convince me that banks and brokerages don't have similar language themselves. For example, Ally Bank says: Authorized Transactions: You agree to safeguard your username, password, other security devices or credentials and your Account number(s). If you give someone your Online Banking...
by patrick
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Muni Money Market funds starting to look good!
Replies: 139
Views: 23856

Re: Muni Money Market funds starting to look good!

Perhaps I am missing something, but M* gives different yields. For example: http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/fund/chart?t=VMSXX®ion=usa&culture=en-US (VMSXX) 0.82 Vanguard: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/JSP/Funds/Profile/VGIFundProfile0045Content.jsf?tab=0&FundId=0045&FundIntExt=INT#tab=1 ...
by patrick
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 108
Views: 5924

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

Note that the "guarantee" is usually before the explicit fees are accounted for -- you can easily lose money after the various layers of fees are subtracted.
by patrick
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Online High Interest Savings Accounts
Replies: 17
Views: 2301

Re: Online High Interest Savings Accounts

Someone posted this a while back, haven't looked into it yet. Preferred Rewards Checking, 3.5%. https://www.nwbonline.bank/checking#prefrewards This is much better than the usual reward checking account -- most of them have either a lower rate or a lower limit. Too bad it's not available in my stat...
by patrick
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement - 401K/IRA or Life Insurance ?
Replies: 16
Views: 769

Re: Retirement - 401K/IRA or Life Insurance ?

I went to one of those life insurance seminar - there seems to be 5 different life insurance type. they seems to try to sell the Maximum funded indexed universal life vs fixed indexed annuties. can you give some example of the extremely complex, toxic, etc - I do see the high fees - but when you co...
by patrick
Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to pull some data off some old 5-1/4" floppy disks
Replies: 20
Views: 2619

Re: Need to pull some data off some old 5-1/4" floppy disks

Note that if the floppy disks are in non-PC format, a PC generally can't read them. In that case you'd probably need to get another computer of whichever type they were originally written with. Assuming they are PC format: Most PCs from the last 10 years or so don't even have floppy disk interfaces ...
by patrick
Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K: Guaranteed 9.3% Return?
Replies: 43
Views: 5935

Re: 401K: Guaranteed 9.3% Return?

I believe when you retire, CA will come after you for the tax, even if you move to another state. They use to, but that practice was made illegal around 1996 as I recall by Congress. CA was very aggressive about it. At the time I worked in CA and was very concerned and in fact stopped taking new co...
by patrick
Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Tax Advantaged Account To Put 1099 Income
Replies: 12
Views: 868

Re: What Tax Advantaged Account To Put 1099 Income

So to summarize, the current 401K I have and the contributions to it in no way impact my ability to use a Solo 401K. I can open a Solo 401K and contribute all of the $10-15,000 1099 income as a traditional Solo 401K contribution since it is less than the $18,500 limit and basically pay little to no...
by patrick
Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ETF's vs. Mutual Funds During Market Panics
Replies: 22
Views: 1829

Re: ETF's vs. Mutual Funds During Market Panics

To further conclude: I still don't see the blurring of lines between ETNs and ETFs. ETFdb called GLD an ETF, but it is an ETN, not an ETF. Investopedia, the Seattle Times, and Reuters called XIV an ETF, but it an ETN, not an ETF. You don't see this as a "blurring of lines?" Wouldn't it bother you i...
by patrick
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why International again?
Replies: 224
Views: 19839

Re: Why International again?

If you are going to look at past results, note that Australian and South African stocks have both dramatically outperformed US stocks from 1900 to present -- a much longer period than the short time you are looking at. With this long history of superior performance, why not keep all of your investme...
by patrick
Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto Index Fund
Replies: 26
Views: 2179

Re: Crypto Index Fund

It looks like this only includes 4 assets. What is the point of paying 2% a year for something when it wouldn't be that hard to just buy the components individually?
by patrick
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying and Spending Bitcoin
Replies: 199
Views: 27109

Re: Buying and Spending Bitcoin

Good post. Essentially governments would also have to implement the equivalent of KYC regulations for previously-anonymous person-to-person crypto sales. So...make it illegal to sell bitcoin to an anonymous counterparty? Not necessarily the same as KYC, but some sort of information gathering is one...
by patrick
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 7372

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

Life happens. - One morning you go to work, your car broke down. You need a replacement car. - One night you come back from work, your wife tells you she wants a divorce. - Just as you come back home from a vacation, a fire destroy your house and all your belongings. - One day you wake up, your wif...
by patrick
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency costs
Replies: 22
Views: 1463

Re: Emergency costs

We both (me and husband) have long-term disability insurance (and it ain't cheap) but would greatly make 1&2 financially easier -- I'd check that you have enough in your work policy to actually cover living expenses (blah blah you are more likely to be disabled than die early blah bah and I don't w...
by patrick
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency costs
Replies: 22
Views: 1463

Re: Emergency costs

We both (me and husband) have long-term disability insurance (and it ain't cheap) but would greatly make 1&2 financially easier -- I'd check that you have enough in your work policy to actually cover living expenses (blah blah you are more likely to be disabled than die early blah bah and I don't w...
by patrick
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying and Spending Bitcoin
Replies: 199
Views: 27109

Re: Buying and Spending Bitcoin

NYT touched on this concept recently: Why the I.R.S. Fears Bitcoin . Obviously I am not advocating tax evasion, but I am advocating discussing its problems openly. Snippet from the NYT op-ed: Here is a simple tax dodge that would be hard for the I.R.S. to prove: Suppose A, B and C are electronic ad...
by patrick
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Substantially Equal Periodic Payments (Funding Early Retirement)
Replies: 17
Views: 1492

Re: Substantially Equal Periodic Payments (Funding Early Retirement)

In case you didn't know already, note that SEPP does not work well with Roth accounts.
by patrick
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying and Spending Bitcoin
Replies: 199
Views: 27109

Re: Buying and Spending Bitcoin

With regard to Lightning Network, I should not have compared it to PayPal. However, Mathematical Proof That the Lightning Network Cannot Be a Decentralized Bitcoin Scaling Solution claims to provide mathematical proof that Lightning Network will need to be centralized in order to function, and I do...
by patrick
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In plain English, please explain what was VIX, what happened to it and why?
Replies: 68
Views: 6142

Re: In plain English, please explain what was VIX, what happened to it and why?

So out of curiosity I looked up the XIV prospectus http://app.velocitysharesetns.com/files/prospectus/CS_VIX_VelocityShares_ETN_Amended_Final_Pricing_Supplement_AR48_long_form_2.PDF and saw this footnote. Reflects the number of such ETNs offered hereby. As of January 26, 2018, there were issued and...
by patrick
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I claim chapter 7 bankruptcy? debt 110k
Replies: 64
Views: 6901

Re: Should I claim chapter 7 bankruptcy? debt 110k

Why not file for bankruptcy? A brokerage that allows you to buy things like SVXY on margin deserves to lose $110k.
by patrick
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: split international into developed and emerging for lower expenses?
Replies: 3
Views: 528

split international into developed and emerging for lower expenses?

I was looking over the current Vanguard expense ratios and notice the following for international funds: 0.07% VTMGX (Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund Admiral Shares) 0.11% VTIAX (Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares) 0.14% VEMAX (Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fu...
by patrick
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home printer
Replies: 21
Views: 1088

Re: Home printer

They charge that much because they can. You could try to find compatible ink not made by the printer manufacturer at a lower price.
by patrick
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond funds and stock funds, which one is riskier?
Replies: 50
Views: 4309

Re: Bond funds and stock funds, which one is riskier?

In the long term it is not clear if anything is safe. In the past US stocks tended to recover from losses if held long enough but I don't see any reason to think that is guaranteed to happen in the future. Nominal bonds are fairly safe in the short term but due to inflation are risky in the long ter...
by patrick
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: your assets - now verses end of year?
Replies: 38
Views: 2553

Re: your assets - now verses end of year?

I'm up $1,333.36 for the year. This is due to new income being added, not because I brilliantly timed the market.
by patrick
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing muni bond funds
Replies: 52
Views: 5262

Re: Choosing muni bond funds

SNTIX blows VWITX out of the water for returns at every interval. Check it out. 2x the Sharpe ratio and a 30% higher yield. SNTIX has outperformed in the last 10 years, but if you go back its inception (in 1988) it has slightly underpformed compared to VWITX. Due to its credit quality, a better com...
by patrick
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing muni bond funds
Replies: 52
Views: 5262

Re: Choosing muni bond funds

SNTIX blows VWITX out of the water for returns at every interval. Check it out. 2x the Sharpe ratio and a 30% higher yield. SNTIX has outperformed in the last 10 years, but if you go back its inception (in 1988) it has slightly underpformed compared to VWITX. Due to its credit quality, a better com...
by patrick
Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 0% 18/MO.Balance Transfer w/2% fee
Replies: 17
Views: 941

Re: 0% 18/MO.Balance Transfer w/2% fee

Leveraging a portfolio usually adds lots of risk. However, there seems to be a very small opening to win on this without extra risk. Assuming you are about to (or just did) put a lot of money on a regular credit card anyway, then you might have an advantage from transferring to this card and buying ...
by patrick
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total International Index funds
Replies: 8
Views: 1183

Re: Total International Index funds

In this case it is probably more due to looking at prices from different times rather than a currency effect. Stock prices (including US-listed foreign stock ETFs) went down in the US late in the trading day yesterday, after foreign markets had closed. The losses seen in foreign markets today are la...
by patrick
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin in Freefall
Replies: 168
Views: 19847

Re: Bitcoin in Freefall

You still need to have two sides to a transaction. Perhaps a miner can't make a profit selling bitcoin for less than, say $5,000/BTC, so perhaps the "ask" is resistant to dropping below some number, but that doesn't automatically mean they can sell as many as they like--or need to sell to keep thei...
by patrick
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Today was a Really Bad Day
Replies: 278
Views: 47526

Re: Today was a Really Bad Day

You know it is a *really* bad day when the Vanguard website goes down!
by patrick
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Insight Visa still giving 5% on 5k?
Replies: 6
Views: 707

Re: Is Insight Visa still giving 5% on 5k?

This article might shed some light on the matter: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/insight- ... w-account/

It seems that if you have a Republic Bank of Chicago backed Insight card you still get the 5% interest, but not if you have the Axiom Bank ones.
by patrick
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another one bites the dust (Northpointe 5% checking account going away)
Replies: 5
Views: 795

Another one bites the dust (Northpointe 5% checking account going away)

Rewards checking accounts have been mentioned here a few times, and it now seems that another one has essentially disappeared. I recently got a notice in the mail from Northpointe (which is rather easier to mistake for just another boring copy of their privacy policy) about changes that make the acc...
by patrick
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin in Freefall
Replies: 168
Views: 19847

Re: Bitcoin in Freefall

This is amazing to watch in real time. I'm not sure which way I'm rooting for - I don't have anything riding on the outcome. Yes you have if you in the stocks or bonds. Ripples of mass scale wipeout of wealth among bit-coin holder will be felt among TSM and TBM holders, even proeprty prices as as w...
by patrick
Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Forget Bitcoin! Bananacoin is here!
Replies: 12
Views: 2061

Re: Forget Bitcoin! Bananacoin is here!

You don't need to have "coin" in the name to make money off crypto. According to https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/useless-ethereum-token/ one of the best-performing crypto assets is Useless Ethereum Token (symbol UET) which has more than quadrupled in value in the past week. And it achieved tho...
by patrick
Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Forget Bitcoin! Bananacoin is here!
Replies: 12
Views: 2061

Re: Forget Bitcoin! Bananacoin is here!

You don't need to have "coin" in the name to make money off crypto. According to https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/useless-ethereum-token/ one of the best-performing crypto assets is Useless Ethereum Token (symbol UET) which has more than quadrupled in value in the past week. And it achieved thos...
by patrick
Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: likely date for a bitcoin crash: does this make sense to you?
Replies: 114
Views: 10612

Re: likely date for a bitcoin crash: does this make sense to you?

More seriously since the London documentary was mentioned above, I read that e.g. in the UK they have exchanges that store bitcoin off the network in cold storage (like coinfloor) so there seem to be ways to keep it safe. Best thing IMO is either invest zero or only a small sum, so it doesn't affec...
by patrick
Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unclear how to incorporate company pension into my asset allocation
Replies: 20
Views: 1506

Re: Unclear how to incorporate company pension into my asset allocation

I suspect the pension only resets the rate at certain times rather than every day. You can see the current and historical treasury rates on https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yield If you have the right to withdraw the balance (which yo...