Search found 1232 matches

by tbradnc
Wed May 25, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zenni Optical
Replies: 0
Views: 42

Zenni Optical

My wife is in the market for a new pair of glasses - she's looking for a sport frame with progressive lenses. I'm encouraging her to try Zenni Optical - any feedback would be appreciated.
by tbradnc
Wed May 25, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein says emergency fund part of your "asset allocation?"
Replies: 46
Views: 3436

Re: Bernstein says emergency fund part of your "asset allocation?"

Rather than "emergency fund" a better term might be "inconvenience fund". I think of an emergency in the more traditional use of the word - and if I have an emergency then my asset allocation be damned - it's all on the table. If I need a new roof in 5 years or if I need to buy a...
by tbradnc
Tue May 24, 2016 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

I would put Mango as #2 in the list.

Con: You have to push $500 and pull $497 every month to earn the 6% rate and cover the $3 monthly fee.

Pro: It's a marginally higher rate than Netspend even after the fee and interest is paid monthly instead of quarterly.
by tbradnc
Tue May 24, 2016 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

I'm feeling shamed into finally taking some action on this. Is this post by tfb on the detailed steps still 100% applicable? NetSpend Prepaid Card + 5% Savings Account I note that he does emphasize to do the steps in order, and not try to rush things. Thanks, Kevin Yes, that's the exact formula I u...
by tbradnc
Tue May 24, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Me: 3 Netspend, 1 Mango, 1 Insight In my spouses name I setup: 3 Netspend, 1 Mango I've got a Brinks that failed online activation and I'm not really interested in trying to make it work. $45k is about all I want to put on the line in this niche. I do have another $45k earning 3.0x% in 3 different r...
by tbradnc
Tue May 24, 2016 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Kevin, it is interesting to see you chiming in here, since I view you as an expert on bond alternatives, and you seem to be frequently seeking out CDs with the best rates. You have been a very helpful source in my search for high yielding and safe fixed investments. Do you own these accounts? And i...
by tbradnc
Tue May 24, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein says emergency fund part of your "asset allocation?"
Replies: 46
Views: 3436

Re: Bernstein says emergency fund part of your "asset allocation?"

After retiring I did away with the emergency fund. Now I have approximately 1 year's living expenses earning 1%-5% and the rest is invested in stocks/bonds. In a real emergency, it's all emergency fund. When I retire, I'll like maximum simplicity along these lines. However, I'd still have to have a...
by tbradnc
Tue May 24, 2016 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein says emergency fund part of your "asset allocation?"
Replies: 46
Views: 3436

Re: Bernstein says emergency fund part of your "asset allocation?"

After retiring I did away with the emergency fund.

Now I have approximately 1 year's living expenses earning 1%-5% and the rest is invested in stocks/bonds. In a real emergency, it's all emergency fund.
by tbradnc
Mon May 23, 2016 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your first investment?
Replies: 77
Views: 2304

Re: What was your first investment?

livesoft wrote:Vanguard Money Market Prime back in the early 1980s.


Same.. as I recall the 30 day yield was around 10% at the time.
by tbradnc
Sat May 21, 2016 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

So according to depositaccounts.com, Netspend has been paying 5% since 2008. So sure.. anything is possible. My big concern is that the $5,000 is protected by FDIC insurance.

https://www.depositaccounts.com/blog/20 ... deals.html
by tbradnc
Thu May 19, 2016 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Macbook Air - how to keep it running smoothly?
Replies: 18
Views: 1962

Re: Macbook Air - how to keep it running smoothly?

I run a program called "Clean My Mac" periodically. http://macpaw.com/cleanmymac

In general though, other than emptying trash I pretty much never have any problems with any of my Macs.
by tbradnc
Tue May 17, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

I opened an Ally account for purposes above. if these prepaid cards give you the jitters there's always rewards checking accounts that pay 3%. Of course these prepaid cards promising 5% interest in a world where few banks offer better than 1% and their promised interest in an "FDIC-insured acc...
by tbradnc
Tue May 17, 2016 9:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IF YOU TILT small cap, DO YOU PAIR SP500 or TSM with it?
Replies: 43
Views: 2588

Re: IF YOU TILT small cap, DO YOU PAIR SP500 or TSM with it?

85% Total Stock Market
15% Small-cap Value Index
by tbradnc
Tue May 17, 2016 5:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Not to get too far off topic but if these prepaid cards give you the jitters there's always rewards checking accounts that pay 3%. I've got $45,000 earning 3% or better- meeting the requirements takes about 15 minutes a month. Here's a perfect example: https://lmcu.org/banking/checking/checking_max....
by tbradnc
Mon May 16, 2016 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mango Money - Worried about Direct Deposit
Replies: 20
Views: 2936

Re: Mango Money - Worried about Direct Deposit

packet wrote:Mine worked this month as per normal... pushed in and pulled out via Ally savings.
ETA: x2, mine/wife's

:beerCheers,
packet


Both of mine worked as well. From Ally.
by tbradnc
Sun May 15, 2016 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Probably doesn't make a difference - I just used the recipe here: https://thefinancebuff.com/netspend-5-p ... count.html.
by tbradnc
Sun May 15, 2016 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rich But Middle Class
Replies: 233
Views: 20783

Re: Rich But Middle Class

I have a low 7 figure portfolio at Vanguard, retired, no debt and own my home - and I'm healthy. I feel rich-rich-rich.
by tbradnc
Sun May 15, 2016 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick SPIA question
Replies: 9
Views: 1054

Re: Quick SPIA question

I agree with Taylor. No reason not to spread it around. Do you really believe in the "too big to fail" propaganda? No, I didn't mean too big to fail in a literal sense but more along the lines of are there any insurance companies that someone would feel comfortable exceeding the maximum i...
by tbradnc
Sun May 15, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

In response to this thread, I have set up 3 Netspend accounts and deposited $5K in each, and it has been anything BUT simple. Without going into details, I ran into multiple snags along the way and spent a lot of time with several phone calls. Now I am at the point of trying to set up automatic dep...
by tbradnc
Sun May 15, 2016 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you use cash, when a credit card?
Replies: 49
Views: 4004

Re: When do you use cash, when a credit card?

I'll pay cash if it's a local mom-and-pop store so they'll avoid the transaction fees for processing a card.
by tbradnc
Sun May 15, 2016 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 478
Views: 272645

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Hi all, I opened Mango Money, and a couple of NetSpend accounts for my wife and I. Set it on automatic transactions. So far, so good. But, I was thinking last night that these accounts are individual accounts (and not joint). So, how would I set a beneficiary on the accounts? I looked around the si...
by tbradnc
Sun May 15, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick SPIA question
Replies: 9
Views: 1054

Quick SPIA question

When shopping for a SPIA should you limit the annuity to the maximum covered by that state's guaranty fund - are some companies too big to fail? For example.... TN's guaranty fund covers $250,000 max. If I were shopping for a $1,000,000 SPIA would I want four $250,000 annuities issued by four differ...
by tbradnc
Thu May 12, 2016 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mango Money - Worried about Direct Deposit
Replies: 20
Views: 2936

Re: Mango Money - Worried about Direct Deposit

Who would have thought a company called Mango Money offering 6% no strings attached interest might turn out in fact to be too good to be true? To be fair, there are a few strings you have to pull. As far as bank names - I don't care what the name of the bank is as long as the bank has FDIC insuranc...
by tbradnc
Thu May 12, 2016 6:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Carl Icahn Is Betting Big on a Stock Market Crash
Replies: 32
Views: 7054

Re: Carl Icahn Is Betting Big on a Stock Market Crash

There are people who have enough money to guess and be wrong. I'm not one of them.
by tbradnc
Tue May 10, 2016 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mango Money - Worried about Direct Deposit
Replies: 20
Views: 2936

Re: Mango Money - Worried about Direct Deposit

Any update on this? I'm a new member and will be doing my first $500 push/pull this month, and not sure if this is a real issue or just a one-off thing. I have a pull tomorrow and will post when/if it is successful. With as many people who are using these cards for the savings account my thinking i...
by tbradnc
Fri May 06, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep high amounts of cash for lower ACA premiums?
Replies: 37
Views: 4155

Re: Keep high amounts of cash for lower ACA premiums?

We live in a state that did not expand Medicaid and our income since retirement is about $18k which puts us in the Medicaid camp. In 2015 I watched our income carefully and tried to hit a MAGI of $30k for the year by doing a Roth conversion to create the additional $12k. When we did our taxes it cam...
by tbradnc
Fri May 06, 2016 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mango Money - Worried about Direct Deposit
Replies: 20
Views: 2936

Re: Mango Money - Worried about Direct Deposit

Push from Ally on the 4th posted today: http://imgur.com/7YCjPYl You know... other than a $2 ATM fee and the $3 monthly fee that you can't avoid there doesn't appear to be any other costs to using the card from what I can see. I'm thinking maybe I'll use the card for paying incremental amounts on ou...
by tbradnc
Thu May 05, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many funds in your portfolio?
Replies: 99
Views: 6425

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

6 funds, 15% FTB Tax Deferred: VBILX (Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares) Taxable: VTSAX (Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares) VSIAX (Small-Cap Value Index Fund Admiral) VDIGX (Dividend Growth Fund) VFWAX (FTSE All-World ex-US Index Fund Admiral) VTMGX (Developed Markets Index...
by tbradnc
Wed May 04, 2016 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 7 month / 7% / $7K CD at nrlfcu
Replies: 43
Views: 6244

Re: 7mo/7%/7K CD at nrlfcu

j0nnyg1984 wrote:Applied Sunday, today it changed to "APPROVED PENDING."

No charge on my CC yet, let's hope it goes through.


My card has been charged - shows pending as a purchase - my cash advance limit hasn't changed so I'm confident it'll post as a purchase.
by tbradnc
Wed May 04, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do these products exist?
Replies: 10
Views: 2097

Re: Why do these products exist?

This comes up from time to time. I've asked the same question as have others:

viewtopic.php?t=142835
by tbradnc
Wed May 04, 2016 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 7 month / 7% / $7K CD at nrlfcu
Replies: 43
Views: 6244

Re: 7mo/7%/7K CD at nrlfcu

Miracles never cease - I was approved this morning and have just completed the electronic signatures required to open the account. I'm funding with a credit card - the bank rep assured me it would post as a purchase. Not sure if they ultimately decide that but it was enough to make me take the risk.
by tbradnc
Tue May 03, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 7 month / 7% / $7K CD at nrlfcu
Replies: 43
Views: 6244

Re: 7mo/7%/7K CD at nrlfcu

Still waiting and I applied on the 30th - my credit is frozen and that always throws a problem. I'm going to bet they have so many apps they're just going to deny mine due to the hassle factor.
by tbradnc
Tue May 03, 2016 6:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Quite right, she would be named as beneficiary in the will. However, if she has to wait for the will to be probated, than can take weeks or months and then to jump through whatever hoops Netspend/MetaBank has in place will impose another delay. Plus, Netspend has notoriously poor customer service. ...
by tbradnc
Mon May 02, 2016 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Replies: 41
Views: 3981

Re: Chase Sapphire Preferred

We have an Ink+ and CSP - both of which will transfer UR points to travel partners. We also have a Freedom with 5% rotating categories which will transfer to either the Ink+ or CSP. When the annual fee is due on the CSP I'm going to downgrade it to a Freedom so we can double our 5% spending. For us,...
by tbradnc
Mon May 02, 2016 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunscreen
Replies: 51
Views: 3813

Re: Sunscreen

sarahjane wrote:SPF 15 is sufficient. Higher SPF increases thickness of the lotion and inhibits absorption.


A dermatologist friend told me that anything over SPF 30 is a waste of money.
by tbradnc
Sun May 01, 2016 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 7 month / 7% / $7K CD at nrlfcu
Replies: 43
Views: 6244

Re: 7mo/7%/7K CD at nrlfcu

Joined the CU this morning and am getting one of these.
by tbradnc
Sun May 01, 2016 6:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Almost bought an individual stock today...
Replies: 44
Views: 3985

Re: Almost bought an individual stock today...

All things being equal, buying a "good" stock is better than buying a Mercedes or BMW on my value scale...
by tbradnc
Sun May 01, 2016 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best High-Yield Online Account for Emergency Fund?
Replies: 28
Views: 3371

Re: Best High-Yield Online Account for Emergency Fund?

We are currently sitting on a large amount of cash in our savings account which needs to be moved to an online high-yield account. This is emergency fund cash that we would like to easily access if needed. Our checking and savings are at Chase so I would like to put the emergency fund in an account...
by tbradnc
Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

I have not done any of these 5% accounts though I do have a 3% hi-yield checking. Just wanted to add some insight to the 'if it is too good to be true..' comments. Many of us play the bonuses game. Is there a cost? Maybe to my credit score when it comes to credit card churning. Sure I have to manua...
by tbradnc
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 171
Views: 20213

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Like the other poster, I've set up "auto-pilot" ACH pulls and pushes from my Ally account every 2 months. So theoretically there should be no fees. I have found that the Ally account wouldn't let me add one Insight Visa card, but it did let me add the 1st Insight Visa. So I have had to us...
by tbradnc
Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Tacoma owners?
Replies: 56
Views: 6856

Re: Toyota Tacoma owners?

Not a Tacoma owner. I see TRD on some Tacoma trucks. Something about Toyota Racing. What is that about? Toyota Racing Development. They have 2 versions, off-road and sport. Both are "packages" you can upgrade too. Both come with better suspension than stock, and better interior (seats). T...
by tbradnc
Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: dividend stocks
Replies: 175
Views: 9620

Re: dividend stocks

I own enough of 3 stocks to collect between $510-$540 per month in dividends. These 3 stocks represent less than 7% of my total portfolio value. I enjoy the dividends and use the proceeds to pay home and auto insurance and property taxes. I also bought these shares during market pullbacks and all 3 ...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better than amazon??
Replies: 65
Views: 8885

Re: Better than amazon??

Heck... yesterday I bought 312 rolls of toilet paper from Staples for $5.05 (not a typo) and I almost never buy anything from Staples. Amex has a $25 off $100 at Staples offer and I used $75 of my cash earned from my Amex Blue Cash preferred. Total for the toilet paper was $105.05. Less $25 from th...
by tbradnc
Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roku 3 v. Apple TV v. ???
Replies: 32
Views: 2564

Re: Roku 3 v. Apple TV v. ???

Decent article comparing streaming devices:

http://www.cnet.com/news/chromecast-vs- ... 05-10aaa0a
by tbradnc
Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5% savings account ???
Replies: 17
Views: 5808

Re: 5% savings account ???

there is a fairly robust discussion in fat wallet on these accounts and I doubt there is truly a rock-solid alternative that literally works 100% of the time for everyone..ally usually works, and also alliant,. capital one 360, and discover to mention a couple of others. i've personally used ally a...
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to start Social Security. A different take
Replies: 107
Views: 9513

Re: When to start Social Security. A different take

Maverick3320 wrote:Perhaps I don't understand enough about how SS works, but one huge benefit of starting early, at least from my point of view, that doesn't get brought up enough: what happens if you die before the average US life expectancy?


If you die, you'll be dead and it won't matter.
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any problems with netspend
Replies: 25
Views: 2496

Re: avoiding inactivity fee

A couple questions regarding avoiding the inactivity fee: - activity needs to occur at least every 90 days, correct? - is there a minimum amount for the transaction to "count"? - does it matter if the transaction is a debit or credit? Thanks! I have a $2 bi-monthly recurring transfer to e...
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better than amazon??
Replies: 65
Views: 8885

Re: Better than amazon??

Well.. a person could shop where they get the best final price instead of locking themselves into 1 source. I'll buy from Amazon if it saves me money - after tax it rarely does - but if it does I don't feel like I'm cheating on Jet... Heck... yesterday I bought 312 rolls of toilet paper from Staples...
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any problems with netspend
Replies: 25
Views: 2496

Re: avoiding inactivity fee

A couple questions regarding avoiding the inactivity fee: - activity needs to occur at least every 90 days, correct? - is there a minimum amount for the transaction to "count"? - does it matter if the transaction is a debit or credit? Thanks! I have a $2 bi-monthly recurring transfer to e...
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why am I still scared ? Is it actually normal ?
Replies: 59
Views: 6963

Re: Why am I still scared ? Is it actually normal ?

With due respect to the OP, this question is in the same category as "I'm 12 years old and have $10,000,000. Am i doing ok?" Anyone who is smart enough to be under 50 and put together $1.6 million dollars in liquid assets has to know that's a lot of money and will spin out $40,000 a year a...

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