Search found 4519 matches

by protagonist
Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds May 2017
Replies: 30
Views: 2874

Re: I bonds May 2017

Of course I can redeem an I Bond in a year with minimum penalty and in 5 years with none and EE Bonds when purchased with the expectation of a 3.53% nominal return have an enormous penalty if redeemed in the first 19 years 364 days of ownership. I just can't get past being stuck in an investment wh...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1442
Views: 208909

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Ohhhhhhh, exciting news, rumor of a new card from US Bank: http://www.doctorofcredit.com/confirmed-details-regarding-u-s-banks-altitude-premium-visa-infinite-credit-card-eligibility-requirements/ Cliff notes: From US Bank, annual fee $400 $325 annual travel credits, so really a $75 card if you use ...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area
Replies: 31
Views: 2246

Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

I live in Chicago NW suburbs Software field, I make $150k + bonus. I have 2 offers from from with in our company - one at new jersey for same salary and another at northern NY(weschester county) for an additional 10% salary. Both carry an additional 5% bonus and relocation assistance. So far here i...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit score and closing old cards
Replies: 9
Views: 719

Re: Credit score and closing old cards

If the credit cards don't cost anything to keep, keep them. You can destroy the cards. It will be good for your credit score (a longer credit history and a smaller percentage of "used credit" to "available credit" both enhance your score), and you won't have to ever think about t...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?
Replies: 14
Views: 1530

Re: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?

Just curious. Is it videos that are pushing you over 64GB or GPS maps? My 16GB and 32 GB mobile devices are constraining only due to videos. Maybe there is something else that chews up space. Mostly music. I have over 10K songs on my phone. I have already deleted multiple videos and apps to make sp...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?
Replies: 14
Views: 1530

Re: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?

I have the Moto G5 Plus (64gb version) and love it. The G4 Plus is also a very good phone for the money, but if I needed to buy a new phone I would definitely go with the G5 because of the smaller size, better camera and slightly better battery life. I just noticed the CNET review of the G5 Plus is...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?
Replies: 14
Views: 1530

Re: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?

I purchased a ZTE Axon 7. http://www.techradar.com/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/zte-axon-7-1322212/review Newegg was offering a great deal on this phone- I never saw it for less than $399 before, but if you order quickly through newegg's store on eBay (ONLY through their eBay listings) you can get t...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?
Replies: 14
Views: 1530

Re: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?

Thank you all for your helpful responses so far. I'm leaning towards the Moto G5 Plus, which, as somebody suggested above, is an incremental improvement over the G4 Plus. But still giving it thought. I may not act for a few months, and who knows what new possibilities there may be? Fortunately, unli...
by protagonist
Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?
Replies: 14
Views: 1530

Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?

My Oneplus One has served me well , but it is now over 2 years old and I am constantly having to delete stuff to conform to the 64 Gb maximum. The battery is also getting weaker, as my charge is not lasting as long as it used to. I am considering getting a new phone sometime in the near to intermedi...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes- Should I take De Minimis Safe Harbor Election?
Replies: 5
Views: 694

Re: Taxes- Should I take Di Minimus Safe Harbor Election?

If you don't need the deduction of expensing items under $2,500 this year, then it would make sense to depreciate them to move some of that deduction out into future years when it would be more valuable. You ALREADY need to keep every receipt. That's how you prove to the IRS that you bought what yo...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes- Should I take De Minimis Safe Harbor Election?
Replies: 5
Views: 694

Taxes- Should I take De Minimis Safe Harbor Election?

Currently I am paying zero in federal taxes. I expect my taxes to rise in future years. I own rental property that I have been depreciating and for which I have been taking a loss annually. I noticed this year the option of taking a "Di Minimus Safe Harbor Election", which allows one to de...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me
Replies: 160
Views: 9831

Re: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me

They really ARE moderate, if you look at the history of civilization. Oh, no argument here. I'm just pointing out when you are worried about those world-historic disaster scenarios, bonds in the same jurisdiction are not the answer. But they can in fact help in serious situations, albeit not if the...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me
Replies: 160
Views: 9831

Re: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me

Maybe I can say all of that a little bit more concisely. My personal goal for accumulating wealth is to feel secure and have nice things in retirement. One of the nice things I want to have in retirement, that makes me feel secure, is low volatility in my portfolio. Period. Some want a Lexus, some ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me
Replies: 160
Views: 9831

Re: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me

There is a real possibility that the stock market could lose 90%, or even 99%, of its value, and it could take decades or centuries to recover. Is it likely to happen at some time in "future history"? I don't know, but I think so, given enough time. Is it likely to happen in our lifetime?...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me
Replies: 160
Views: 9831

Re: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me

There are few, if any, absolute truths in the universe. But one that seems to come very close, in finance, business, romance, sports, whatever, is the positive relationship between risk and reward. Yes, 100% stocks will probably make you richer than a 50/50 portfolio, and if you define "lack of...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me
Replies: 160
Views: 9831

Re: Rebalancing to control risk doesn't make sense to me

So let's say I've got a 50/50 portfolio. Stocks surge and suddenly I'm 60/40. My risk has increased, right? Well, the probable volatility of my portfolio has increased, but do I have a higher risk of running out of money? No! For illustration , let's take a more extreme example. Scenario 1. You hav...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm Bank 2.3% 5 yr IRA CD- No EWP if over 59.5yo?
Replies: 2
Views: 354

Re: State Farm Bank 2.3% 5 yr IRA CD- No EWP if over 59.5yo?

State Farm Bank offers a 2.3% APY 5 yr IRA with the following stipulation: "Normal distributions will be allowed on IRAs without incurring an early withdrawal penalty for customers who have reach age 59½. Transfers or rollovers to another IRA are not considered normal distributions." http...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable living trust via online software
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: Revocable living trust via online software

I have been in other situations where I felt that, left to my own devices, I would have done a much better job at something than a hired professional. In fact, when it comes to investing, that is a big part of what this whole site is about. I feel the same way too, however, most of those situations...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm Bank 2.3% 5 yr IRA CD- No EWP if over 59.5yo?
Replies: 2
Views: 354

State Farm Bank 2.3% 5 yr IRA CD- No EWP if over 59.5yo?

State Farm Bank offers a 2.3% APY 5 yr IRA with the following stipulation: "Normal distributions will be allowed on IRAs without incurring an early withdrawal penalty for customers who have reach age 59½. Transfers or rollovers to another IRA are not considered normal distributions." https...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable living trust via online software
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: Revocable living trust via online software

The true test of a well done trust/will is not when things go well, it's when thing's go horribly wrong (disputes, conflicts, etc) and/or substantial wealth is involved. Only at those times will a well done trust/will hold water. There are no "test runs". But here is the glitch.... Whethe...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delaying SS (or not) and the tax torpedo
Replies: 41
Views: 4358

Re: Delaying SS (or not) and the tax torpedo

I posted this in a similar recent thread, relevant here..... A huge mistake I humbly believe that many people make on this site is equating "maximum wealth" with "happiness" and "better life"...the latter is much more correlated with peace of mind. In that context, deci...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Healthcare Sharing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1002

Re: Thoughts on Healthcare Sharing?

OP, also be aware that some of these groups may not pay for conditions caused by activities that they deem offensive or morally repugnant, e.g., smoking, premarital or extramarital sex, etc. Pay close attention to the membership terms. Especially if you have dependents you are "insuring" ...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable living trust via online software
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: Revocable living trust via online software

Thank you all so far for the above replies. The software I used was a NOLO product for creating living trusts. You are all correct that the purpose is to avoid probate, not to avoid taxes. My estate is very simple....some real estate, plus my investment portfolio and personal property. I have only o...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable living trust via online software
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Revocable living trust via online software

Years ago I set up a revocable living trust using software that came bundled with Quicken WillMaker (I think it was all free, or very cheap, if my memory serves me well). I never added my primary residence to the trust (yes, I know, stupid....basically I was just lazy and putting it off). Also a ren...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Healthcare Sharing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1002

Re: Thoughts on Healthcare Sharing?

Healthcare ministries are not regulated. There is no guarantee of compensation in the case of an expensive medical situation (which are the only ones that really need insurance in the first place) If you disagree regarding your compensation I don't believe that you can sue the group. That is not ins...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase $500 Bonus For New Checking/Savings Accounts - Worth It?
Replies: 63
Views: 7534

Re: Chase $500 Bonus For New Checking/Savings Accounts - Worth It?

To start with, I have never had an account with Chase. Recently I received $500 bonus offer in mail for opening new checking/savings accounts. The promo is, I will get $300 after opening checking account + direct deposit. Additional $200 if I open savings account and maintain $15,000 in the account...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Breaking up with my Financial Advisor
Replies: 37
Views: 2416

Re: Breaking up with my Financial Advisor

After reading a lot on this forum and also the Boglehead guide to Investing I've decided that I need to take back control and stop paying high fees but I don't know how to break up with my financial adviser of 11 years. Naively I never thought to ask about his fees and with no experience of investi...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to slow down.
Replies: 33
Views: 5117

Re: When to slow down.

The extra money is great but just wondering how long I should work for or if anyone else has worked multiple jobs for a long time and when did you finally decide to call it quits. My girlfriend is in school so I figured I'd work till she's done but that could be years... Thanks, Qwertykid Any decis...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused [about investing books]
Replies: 16
Views: 1466

Re: Confused [about investing books]

Investment strategy is very important. My advice is to keep reading highly recommended books until you decide you understand things well enough to make an educated decision, even if that educated decision is uncertain based on an uncertain world. Since my decision was to go with an investment strate...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HSBC Bank- Easy (???) $350 bonus
Replies: 50
Views: 7499

Re: HSBC Bank- Easy (???) $350 bonus

"Qualified customers will automatically receive a $350 welcome deposit into their new HSBC checking account approximately eight weeks after completing all offer requirements", which may have included 3 consecutive monthly deposits. I made at least $2300 pre-tax dollars doing bank promos li...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Combatting mosquitoes traveling in S. America
Replies: 37
Views: 1804

Re: Combatting mosquitoes traveling in S. America

(btw, Honduras is in North America). You ought to meet halfway on this. Honduras is actually in Central America. True, but Central America is part of North America (as are Mexico, the USA and Canada). "Central America (Spanish: "América Central" or "Centroamérica") is the s...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to expand my vocabulary?
Replies: 102
Views: 5129

Re: Best way to expand my vocabulary?

One observation in the study is the use of needlessly long words *reduced* readers' impressions of the intelligence of the writer! So beware of your desire to appear intelligent by improving your vocabulary! :) I would agree with this. If you don't have trouble communicating your thoughts, your voc...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Combatting mosquitoes traveling in S. America
Replies: 37
Views: 1804

Re: Combatting mosquitoes traveling in S. America

DEET and a mosquito net while sleeping that surrounds your bed. Malaria prophylaxis if a risk where you are traveling.

(btw, Honduras is in North America).
by protagonist
Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new honda or continue with old one
Replies: 33
Views: 3099

Re: Buy a new honda or continue with old one

[quote="hrbhki"]My current 2006 Honda Accord VP has 210,000 miles on it. I'm hearing all sort of noises, I wanted to drive it until wheels come off. But would it be better to buy a new Honda Fit (wife wouldn't agree with used car) when old car has some value left on it rather than waiting ...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing to put less than 20% down...why is this wrong?
Replies: 51
Views: 4886

Re: Choosing to put less than 20% down...why is this wrong?

Why is it wrong? Simple answer....because it means more debt. i.e. spending more money that you don't have. And that most likely means: 1. losing to inflation. (Would you make an investment if you knew you would probably lose money?) 2. risk of uncertainty. (If you suffered an unexpected financial r...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Plan based on an atypical use pattern
Replies: 20
Views: 920

Re: Cell Plan based on an atypical use pattern

I consider myself to be a low user of cell service. I have a home office, so mostly during the week, I am using a landline packaged with my ISP provider, Verizon. Occasional texting at night, sending or responding to quick messages. This is about 90% of my pattern. Nevertheless, when I am away from...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 138
Views: 9206

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

Or save $700 or so and get a Weber charcoal kettle grill, which never breaks, doesn't have to be covered, and never requires maintenance or refilling the gas canisters in the middle of a cookout. The coals are very easy to light if you get one of those cylinder chimney thingies. As per amazingribs.c...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 51
Views: 2914

Re: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

BW1985 wrote:The portal is cash pricing though, are you saying the cash price was less than 400?



Cash price was less than $600. and you can use CSR points in the portal at 1.5/1.

In the past I have always transferred points, but in this case it was much more economical to use the portal.
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Priorities
Replies: 91
Views: 13585

Re: Priorities

The author focuses, quite reasonably, on "giving more hugs", etc., and we couldn't agree more. I just saw your post, ResearchMed. I'm sorry to hear about your health setback. I hope everything turns out ok. Re: "giving more hugs"....there is likely more to that than meets the ey...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Priorities
Replies: 91
Views: 13585

Re: Priorities

Also, you said: "They say that any unexplainable chest pain in those over 40 should be treated with suspicion." I didn't understand what that meant, could you elaborate? Did I say that? I don't recall. If I did, I was probably recalling what I learned years ago in medical training....that...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 51
Views: 2914

Re: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

As for gas, I just take the 10 cents off with my Cumberland Farms card- free at any CF gas station .

That amounts to about 5% immediate savings. I figure a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 51
Views: 2914

Re: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Last year when drug stores were a category, I stocked up on gas gift cards then, too. Drug stores is a category now. Was this a typo? How do you take advantage by stocking up on gas gift cards if drug stores are a category? And are gas gift cards free in gas stations? When gas stations were a 5x ca...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 51
Views: 2914

Re: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

I don't want to be accumulating URs for the sake of accumulating, and 3% cashback is more fungible. Thus, for me, a prudent plan could be: - Early 2018 - get a CSR (after I qualify, for a nice bonus) - Keep CSP to maintain UR transfer privileges - Get a Costco card - Early 2019 - cancel a CSR (afte...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 51
Views: 2914

Re: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

As an added bonus when using the Ultimate Rewards Portal, aside from the flexibility, is that it is considered a revenue fare by the airlines, so you will get frequent flier miles/qualifying miles on purchases. And there are no additional surcharges. This winter I flew Cathay Pacific RT from NYC to...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 51
Views: 2914

Re: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

BeneIRA wrote: Last year when drug stores were a category, I stocked up on gas gift cards then, too.


Drug stores is a category now. Was this a typo? How do you take advantage by stocking up on gas gift cards if drug stores are a category?

And are gas gift cards free in gas stations?
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 51
Views: 2914

Re: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

The bang for the buck with all of these cards is the promotion. Day-to-day spending won't make you much money. CSR offers you 105K-115K points for 4K spending. Plus, if you time it right, $600 in travel expenses, $100 global entry, and numerous other benefits for $450. That is huge. What does Costco...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: best place to keep $20k for 2 years
Replies: 20
Views: 2202

Re: best place to keep $20k for 2 years

sergeant wrote:A 24 month CD.


Or a 5+ year CD with 6 month EWP if the 2 year return after breaking the CD is greater.
by protagonist
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering new approach to credit card churning
Replies: 31
Views: 4590

Re: Considering new approach to credit card churning

SPG points are so valuable and transferable that I will keep at least my personal and possibly my business one (which lets you access the Sheraton Club Room lounges). Problem with transferring SPG points is that, unlike UR points or Thank You points, it takes time. If you suddenly find you need 25K...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees
Replies: 42
Views: 3994

Re: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees

Given the proportion of the populace that pays in stores with credit cards (especially for more expensive items), I doubt if you are shafting local merchants with card fees. I imagine their pricing structure already takes into account their cost of doing business, including what they lose to the CC ...

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