Search found 474 matches

by talzara
Sun May 20, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can which brokerage you choose for your accounts be a risk?
Replies: 11
Views: 1168

Re: Can which brokerage you choose for your accounts be a risk?

Schwab carries excess limits to the 500k SIPC insurance in the amount of 600mm in the aggregate: https://www.schwab.com/public/file/P-3042070 I did not realize that, but it's a nice addition to my list of pleasant surprises about Schwab. Every major broker carries excess insurance. Vanguard carries...
by talzara
Sat May 19, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle featured in Barrons cover story
Replies: 38
Views: 3376

Re: Bogle featured in Barrons cover story

The article mentions that Jack Bogle tried to buy IBM's mutual funds: At Vanguard, Bogle tried to buy International Business Machines’ mutual fund business but lost out to Fleet Financial. Vanguard even launched a proxy fight: Vanguard and Fleet are dueling to acquire the $650 million mutual fund gr...
by talzara
Sat May 19, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner
Replies: 34
Views: 2078

Re: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner

Frankly, a local, knowledgeable salesman can give a rule-of-thumb suited for the local climate. That would explain why your air conditioner is so large. The salesman makes more money by selling you a larger unit. Larger air conditioners extract less humidity because they shut off before the coil ge...
by talzara
Fri May 18, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner
Replies: 34
Views: 2078

Re: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner

Phoenix has higher highs, but I'd still call Oman hotter. For example, this coming Sunday, Muscat will have a high of 90, low of 83, and 51% humidity. Phoenix will have a high of 97, a low of 71, and 13% humidity. https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/Muscat+Oman+MUXX0003:1:MU https://weather.com/we...
by talzara
Fri May 18, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner
Replies: 34
Views: 2078

Re: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner

3. Do the mini split units always have to go on outside walls? No, it's just simpler and cheaper. A ductless mini-split requires the installation of a refrigerant line, a condensate line, and an electrical cable. It's easiest to run it outside the house and then punch through the wall to the air ha...
by talzara
Fri May 18, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner
Replies: 34
Views: 2078

Re: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner

How much cooling you experience depends solely on the cooling capacity installed. Your local climate makes a HUGE difference. I live in a very hot climate and we need around 12,000 BTU (one ton) per 120 sq ft of typical floor space. Either that is a typo or you live on Mercury. Even in US Zone 5, 2...
by talzara
Sat May 12, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Real Estate
Replies: 67
Views: 3482

Re: TIAA Real Estate

I don't really have confidence that the money will be there if everyone panics and sells the fund in a crisis. Weren't there rumors about liquidity problems in 2008? The liquidity guarantee is there to cover that situation. When the TIAA Real Estate Account can no longer meet redemptions, the TIAA ...
by talzara
Sat May 12, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Real Estate
Replies: 67
Views: 3482

Re: TIAA Real Estate

From the TIAA Real Estate Account's 2009 SEC filings: Subsequently, each property is valued each quarter with an independent external appraisal completed for each real estate property at least once a year. In general, the Account obtains appraisals for each real estate property throughout the quarte...
by talzara
Fri May 11, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Real Estate
Replies: 67
Views: 3482

Re: TIAA Real Estate

Having said that, I disagree that TREA is directly comparable to any other real estate fund. Buying a share of TREA means you own a share of a fund that directly owns multiple properties. Buying a share of a REIT mutual fund means you own a share of a fund that owns shares in other funds that then ...
by talzara
Thu May 10, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Geico condo insurance (Homesite)
Replies: 7
Views: 683

Re: Geico condo insurance (Homesite)

This may depend on where you live, but my understanding is that unlike other Geico products, they act as an agent for homeowner's/renter's insurance from other companies, they don't provide it directly. They weren't competitive on Renter's insurance for us despite being great for vehicle and umbrel...
by talzara
Thu May 10, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Real Estate
Replies: 67
Views: 3482

Re: TIAA Real Estate

Direct real estate ownership undeniably costs more to manage than an index fund of common stocks. I have about 10% of my portfolio in TIAA real estate. I view it as a mix between fixed income and equity, and see it's main benefit as having a lower correlation with equities than a typical REIT. The ...
by talzara
Wed May 09, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do unclaimed savings bonds ever expire or escheat?
Replies: 5
Views: 754

Re: Do unclaimed savings bonds ever expire or escheat?

Apparently the states can escheat U.S. savings bonds under certain circumstances. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2015/12/24/2015-32488/regulations-governing-united-states-savings-bonds The Treasury regulation says that it will not recognize a state's claim unless it has title over the bo...
by talzara
Wed May 02, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners Insurance and Roof Coverage
Replies: 4
Views: 605

Re: Homeowners Insurance and Roof Coverage

I noticed now that this year's renewal document lists a new item in the Discounts and Benefits section (if you even want to call this a benefit)..."Roof Actual Cash Value Loss Settlement Endorsement". It seems as now they are depreciating the value of my roof in the event of a wind/hail/damage clai...
by talzara
Wed May 02, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find out the beneficiaries, if any, of a 401K
Replies: 12
Views: 1448

Re: How to find out the beneficiaries, if any, of a 401K

... There was no will. Whether it will be simple to settle things for an estate under $150,000, or it needs to go through probate may affect who is willing to take this on. ... You can't probate the Will if there's no Will. The OP is just following the terminology used by the California courts on t...
by talzara
Tue May 01, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flood Insurance
Replies: 24
Views: 1361

Re: Flood Insurance

Today's CBS morning show had a report on how claims are only paid at 50% of the true cost to repair. Flood insurance pays more to lawyers to avoid paying the claim than the claim was for. If I recall correctly they showed where $184K was paid to lawyers to avoid paying a $40K flood claim. While I c...
by talzara
Tue May 01, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Converting my Vanguard account to the brokerage platform
Replies: 7
Views: 682

Re: Converting my Vanguard account to the brokerage platform

I don't see any major disadvantage. One advantage though is you're covered by SIPC in a brokerage acct. Not so much in a regular mutual fund acct. That's not an advantage. That's a disadvantage. With the brokerage platform, you expose yourself to the risk of brokerage failure. The SIPC then insures...
by talzara
Tue May 01, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find out the beneficiaries, if any, of a 401K
Replies: 12
Views: 1448

Re: How to find out the beneficiaries, if any, of a 401K

Thanks. At this point there is no administrator for the estate. There was no will. Whether it will be simple to settle things for an estate under $150,000, or it needs to go through probate may affect who is willing to take this on. I may end up needing to do this as most of his other relatives liv...
by talzara
Tue May 01, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't it expensive for a company to pay dividends? Not the dividend itself, but the mechanics.
Replies: 11
Views: 916

Re: Isn't it expensive for a company to pay dividends? Not the dividend itself, but the mechanics.

Schwab mails me my Berkshire annual report. Berkshire doesn't send it directly. Neither Schwab nor Berkshire mails the annual report to you. The transfer agent mails annual reports to all Non-Objecting Beneficial Owners (NOBOs). "Non-objecting" means that you haven't objected to the brokerage discl...
by talzara
Tue May 01, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't it expensive for a company to pay dividends? Not the dividend itself, but the mechanics.
Replies: 11
Views: 916

Re: Isn't it expensive for a company to pay dividends? Not the dividend itself, but the mechanics.

I expect it was harder in the past, prior to computers and electronic payments. But, there are probably millions of shareholders for a company who decides to pay dividends. Of those, most will hold shares in brokerage accounts all over the world. So money has to get to the right people, in the righ...
by talzara
Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Banking IT Infrastructure Meltdown - So have you diversified your Custodians and Banks?
Replies: 14
Views: 1897

Re: Banking IT Infrastructure Meltdown - So have you diversified your Custodians and Banks?

Since they report who serves as the custodian of each fund, if it changes you could find out. Buth then what? Say you have nicely arranged things with 1/3 of your assets held by each of 3 different custodians. Then your fund companies decide to change custodians. Worst case, you end up with all you...
by talzara
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should have contacted auto insurance rep sooner
Replies: 5
Views: 751

Re: Should have contacted auto insurance rep sooner

Jackson12 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:41 pm
Yes, they had our Social Security Numbers.Should a soft pull show up on our credit report? It never did.
Soft pulls show up when you request your own credit report. They're only hidden when a company pulls your credit report.
by talzara
Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should have contacted auto insurance rep sooner
Replies: 5
Views: 751

Re: Should have contacted auto insurance rep sooner

Our premiums rose to over $300 a month - 2 cars and ( no accidents for the entire time we’ve had this insurance , 17 years) excellent coverage, etc. A rep did a soft pull on our credit and immediately reduced our rates to $ 161 dollars s month . I was shocked. Should I have been? Credit history is ...
by talzara
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tencent now largest non-US stock
Replies: 40
Views: 4901

Re: Tencent now largest non-US stock

From: https://apinstitutional.invesco.com/ap-public/apinst/dam/jcr:add2148e-3248-4558-a6ce-05c94718925b/Countdown%20to%20MSCI%20China%20A-Share%20Inclusion.pdf 2. Beneficial ownership - It is crucial for China to provide clear recognition of the ultimate beneficial ownership of underlying China A-s...
by talzara
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. Investment Giant(Vanguard) Brings Its Low-Cost Revolution to China
Replies: 5
Views: 543

Re: U.S. Investment Giant(Vanguard) Brings Its Low-Cost Revolution to China

China still has capital controls. There's a quota on how much money Vanguard can invest in Chinese companies.

I hope this won't count against Vanguard's quota.
by talzara
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tencent now largest non-US stock
Replies: 40
Views: 4901

Re: Tencent now largest non-US stock

The article is about the level of protection the courts in China accord to foreign investors during a corporate bankruptcy. Shareholders are usually subordinate to creditors. I am unlikely to believe that foreign shareholders will have greater protection than foreign creditors. I think one has to a...
by talzara
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett tax red herring?
Replies: 13
Views: 2038

Re: Buffett tax red herring?

In any case, in real life such "corporations" are called index funds, and they don't pay taxes. What am I missing? Berkshire Hathaway is not an index fund. It is not even a mutual fund. Mutual funds can pass through dividends and capital gains, but Berkshire Hathaway cannot. At a 21% corporate tax ...
by talzara
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tencent now largest non-US stock
Replies: 40
Views: 4901

Re: Tencent now largest non-US stock

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-amid-china-slowdown-foreign-creditors-face-bankruptcy-riddle-2015-5 The issue is not one of theoretical legal standing, as I had suggested above. China passed bankruptcy code that applies to all investors. However, Chinese courts exercise broad discretion in applyin...
by talzara
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tencent now largest non-US stock
Replies: 40
Views: 4901

Re: Tencent now largest non-US stock

Usually creditors who loan money to the company after it went into bankruptcy are paid first, secured creditors paid second, unsecured creditors paid after that, and holders of common stock are paid last. That's what's supposed to happen, but that's not what always happens. A senior claim does not ...
by talzara
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Safe" funds for a life insurance proceeds
Replies: 15
Views: 1102

Re: "Safe" funds for a life insurance proceeds

The court mandates the money can only be kept in some "safe" investment account buying like CDs or maybe bonds. What is the appropriate Vanguard Bond fund(s) should I invest the money in? Should I go with municipal bond funds for tax reasons? Guardians are usually required to keep the money in prud...
by talzara
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

First American Financial Corp is one of the largest title insurers. https://www.google.com/finance?q=faf Page 103 of the 10k annual report: The company discloses an operating profit margin in excess of 85%. Life is rough when there's audited financial statements required by the SEC. http://d18rn0p2...
by talzara
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which states are similar to NJ in the sense that they do not allow one to deduct contributions to 403b, 457, TSP, etc?
Replies: 16
Views: 2192

Re: Which states are similar to NJ in the sense that they do not allow one to deduct contributions to 403b, 457, TSP, et

If you are always a resident of NJ, there is no double taxation; NJ doesn't tax any money that it already taxed. Double taxation happens if you work in NJ (and thus don't deduct the TSP contributions) and then retire in another state (and pay tax on your TSP withdrawals). In this situation, the Rot...
by talzara
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit Carryover in TurboTax 2017
Replies: 2
Views: 260

Re: Foreign Tax Credit Carryover in TurboTax 2017

The foreign taxes I paid in 2017 exceeded my limit by $253. TurboTax correctly shows the $251 from 2013 in line 10 on Form 1116, and in an “Explanation Statement” for that line. There’s also a “Foreign Tax Credit Carryover Statement,” detailing carryovers from prior years (2007 to 2016). However, u...
by talzara
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How accurately can we measure INFLATION?
Replies: 89
Views: 4090

Re: How accurately can we measure INFLATION?

How do you (or would you) factor in such items as cable TV or Cell phones? Would we regard these as part of out personal inflation? Yes - they are a part of "normal" expenditures for most of us. However, they are the result (in my opinion) of financial choices we make to spend more money. CPI alrea...
by talzara
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Privately) shopping for insurance
Replies: 15
Views: 1594

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

If you have excellent credit, I don't think your first point matters much. If your credit is sub-par, then I guess giving out that information would be essential to getting a more accurate quote. The quote I received from the insurance broker was the same as the final invoice. My experience was wit...
by talzara
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

Title insurance plays on the idea that you should pay for insurance where you can't afford the losses. That is the core premise of insurance. The problem is that the title industry has co-opted the regulatory bodies, creating legal barriers and an exceptionally high profit margin. The title insuran...
by talzara
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

I know you all hate real estate agents around here but we have nothing to do with Title Insurance. We certainly don't get any kickbacks or compensation from our buyer's purchasing it. In most states. In states where real estate agents are allowed to do the closing, they also pocket the kickback fro...
by talzara
Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How accurately can we measure INFLATION?
Replies: 89
Views: 4090

Re: How accurately can we measure INFLATION?

A big issue is how to measure changes in quality. Compare a car from the 1970s to one today. Today's car is more expensive. Part of that is from inflation. Part of that is that today's car are larger, safer, more fuel-efficient, have more features (like GPS), are more durable, etc. From year to yea...
by talzara
Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

Nationwide, the loss ratio was 11.8% in 2011: http://www.naic.org/cipr_newsletter_archive/vol4_title_insurance.htm I imagine that would be aggregated from a higher loss ratio in states where title insurance is heavily regulated, and lower loss ratio in states where title insurance is less well regu...
by talzara
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Privately) shopping for insurance
Replies: 15
Views: 1594

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

My impression is that using a middle man they solicit generic quotes for a two story colonial, roof age <5 yrs, with no previous claims etc etc with replacement cost of x, liability of x, personal property value of x. The middle man would not necessarily have to give out the address of the home or ...
by talzara
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP - IRS says I owe close to $12,000 for 2016 taxes
Replies: 26
Views: 4439

Re: HELP - IRS says I owe close to $12,000 for 2016 taxes

Go to IRS.gov and look for "Get Transcript". You should be able to get the last three years quickly that way. See if there are more than three, as transcripts are free. Then submit Form 4506 to request copies of older returns at $50/each. Schedule B is how you work out the cost basis for free. If y...
by talzara
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

jalbert wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:33 pm
Keep in mind the loss ratio on title insurance is 5%.
Nationwide or in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts.

The countrywide loss ratio has also gone down to 5% recently, but it's usually 5-10%.
by talzara
Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP - IRS says I owe close to $12,000 for 2016 taxes
Replies: 26
Views: 4439

Re: HELP - IRS says I owe close to $12,000 for 2016 taxes

talzara - interesting reading. She never actually got the money from the action, but instead got shares in the new company. Not sure if that affects it being considered dividends. If it is dividends, wouldn't that be worse because the whole amount would be considered dividends? But it clearly was n...
by talzara
Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

This is nothing more than publicly administered title insurance. Done well, it may be better than privatized title insurance, but it isn’t free. It is surely funded by taxes and user fees. It may even provide the opportunity for people who don’t even own property to pay taxes that support title ins...
by talzara
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP - IRS says I owe close to $12,000 for 2016 taxes
Replies: 26
Views: 4439

Re: HELP - IRS says I owe close to $12,000 for 2016 taxes

Johnson Controls had some kind of merger in 2016 and all shares of Johnson Controls got automatically sold. Relative did not understand what happened. I believe all the shares went to buy the new parent company - Johnson Ctls Intl, but that detail is not important. Shareholders were given a choice....
by talzara
Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

Most states do not have attorneys closing transactions and acting as title agents. A title company offers title insurance. They may be the marketing agent and do the title search. They may also function as an escrow company. An insurance company with no client contact may underwrite the risk. This ...
by talzara
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

From: https://www.fraudguides.com/consumers/real-estate-closing-fees-kickback/ What is illegal is a title agent kicking back (returning) a portion of the fee to realtors or lenders who referred the business. You're talking about kickbacks paid by the title agent to the real estate agent. Those are ...
by talzara
Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6067

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

Their business model operates on huge incentives to home closing attorneys and realtors. 40% of fees go into kickbacks, 10% general administrative, and 40% profit. Such kickbacks are illegal in most states. I don’t know about MA. The kickbacks are legal in most states, including Massachusetts. The ...
by talzara
Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost Basis/Tax ?s for inherited mutual funds
Replies: 15
Views: 740

Re: Cost Basis/Tax ?s for inherited mutual funds

Just a couple of comments on what you said with the caveat that I am not an expert on this: the cost basis for a mutual fund would be closing price on the date of death (or if on a weekend, then the following Monday). Or you can do an alternative valuation of the cost six months after the death dat...
by talzara
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost Basis/Tax ?s for inherited mutual funds
Replies: 15
Views: 740

Re: Cost Basis/Tax ?s for inherited mutual funds

My cost basis for all inherited shares should be the closing share price on the date of death correct? close Calculate the mean value of the stock. Add the low and high values for the stock and divide by two. If the date of death fell on a weekend, perform this step for the Friday before and Monday...
by talzara
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost Basis/Tax ?s for inherited mutual funds
Replies: 15
Views: 740

Re: Cost Basis/Tax ?s for inherited mutual funds

Was also thinking that an extension would probably be the safest route, but I am owed money so I was hoping to be reasonably confident enough in my numbers to go ahead and file. You don't have to wait for Vanguard to adjust the cost basis. You could file anyway. Fill out form 8949 with the correct ...