Search found 1090 matches

by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of car compared to Gross Income
Replies: 97
Views: 7742

Re: Cost of car compared to Gross Income

The average new car has to be around $30K now. So does that mean the average gross income is $300K? I don't think so. Unfortunately cars are expensive. I believe the average car price is $35k. Of these, 30% are leased. We're also seeing a higher number of defaults on these leases, since the average...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you pay a high AMT, would you take out $1M mortgage?
Replies: 38
Views: 2672

Re: If you pay a high AMT, would you take out $1M mortgage?

A 1M mortgage Is not for most, but it can be an added strategy during high income years if of course you end up cashing out your equity in the end or rent it. If you're just keeping it as a permanent homestead that you live in until you die, well you're just dumping more money into your home, not i...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Discount Points: How many before IRS deems "excessive"?
Replies: 2
Views: 454

Re: Mortgage Discount Points: How many before IRS deems "excessive"?

I paid 2 points on the last mortgage.

That's a pretty penny on a $1mm mortgage. I'll find out if the IRS considers that excessive this year (or the next several).

How many points wee you thinking?
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you pay a high AMT, would you take out $1M mortgage?
Replies: 38
Views: 2672

Re: If you pay a high AMT, would you take out $1M mortgage?

A 1M mortgage Is not for most, but it can be an added strategy during high income years if of course you end up cashing out your equity in the end or rent it. If you're just keeping it as a permanent homestead that you live in until you die, well you're just dumping more money into your home, not i...
by unclescrooge
Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Unwinding all positions and buy back after French Elections
Replies: 53
Views: 4741

Re: Unwinding all positions and buy back after French Elections

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:I love Jack Bogle, "don't do something, just stand there." :happy


Indeed the hardest part about investing is not doing anything!
by unclescrooge
Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Los Angeles house buying
Replies: 32
Views: 2885

Re: Los Angeles house buying

DVMResident wrote:
Right now the rent on my residence is running 0.26% and my investment units rent is at 0.5%. Current market fundamentals favor renters and sellers-not buyers. We're 8 years into this cycle. Hang tight if you can.


Where is your rental? Some areas have slightly better numbers than others.
by unclescrooge
Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Los Angeles house buying
Replies: 32
Views: 2885

Re: Los Angeles house buying

Housing had definitely cooled down in Los Angeles. I just sold my house last month. I just went through my 21st home buying transaction so I've seen a couple of cycles. If you plan to be here long term, you should definitely buy a house. Ignore all the posts from people who live in the cheaper citie...
by unclescrooge
Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cool roof - worth it?
Replies: 8
Views: 1660

Re: Cool roof - worth it?

Solar tends to have a long payback! But, if you're going to go for it --- go all the way Building Integrated Solar Panels or BIPV All the panels, everywhere, in colors! http://www.pvresources.com/en/bipv/transparent.php Yes BIPV were around before SolarCity and Tesla teamed up to make the solar roo...
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cool roof - worth it?
Replies: 8
Views: 1660

Re: Cool roof - worth it?

In general, any color closer to bright white will reflect more sun. You can choose super reflective white and it will be an eyesore in the neighborhood. (Don't laugh, my dad did this and he's super proud, but it's soo ugly) Anyhow... Most people will choose something in the middle, like tan! Tan is...
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cool roof - worth it?
Replies: 8
Views: 1660

Re: Cool roof - worth it?

Galaxy8 wrote:Just wait and get the Tesla solar roof :beer


Good point. We might not get any rains for another decade :mrgreen:
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cool roof - worth it?
Replies: 8
Views: 1660

Cool roof - worth it?

I need to replace my roof. There's some new "cool roof" technology made by Corning Owen that supposedly keeps your house cooler. It'll cost an extra $2,000. Considering I live in southern California, where cooling costs are high I'm trying to figure out if this is worth the extra cost. Has...
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not enough US market listings?
Replies: 14
Views: 1384

Re: Not enough US market listings?

It may not be how it's "supposed to" work, but it's how it has worked for a long time. When a new industry is birthed, the same thing will very likely happen all over again. I don't disagree with what you've said, but when looking at new projects to invest in, most companies have a hurdle...
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the difference between downloaded and online tax software?
Replies: 16
Views: 937

Re: What is the difference between downloaded and online tax software?

Will I be disappointed in this version, (e.g. is it more restricted in capabilities), or is it basically the same as the downloaded one? Can't say about TaxAct, but TurboTax online and downloaded differ for the same nominal version. I concur. Every year someone asks me a question about how to do so...
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should some professions tell people how much they make?
Replies: 39
Views: 4788

Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

I wouldn't do a portfolio but rather have a very good about me section online. +1 Also put student testimonials below it. A close friend of mine charges $280/hr for SAT prep and essay writing. But he started low 15 years ago. Most of his clients are wealthy business owners that live in $15-30 milli...
by unclescrooge
Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not enough US market listings?
Replies: 14
Views: 1384

Re: Not enough US market listings?

Could it be a side effect of low interest rates and too much money looking for a place to be invested? When a company like Amazon, which has no profit motive, and has generated only $5 billion in profit over it's entire lifetime, can borrow billions of dollars for less than 3%, wouldn't it end up dr...
by unclescrooge
Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 51
Views: 3505

Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Unless you live in a custom house with a lot of unique features I don't see the point of having her show the house. The buyers agent will be with any potential buyers and usually they visit the property and talk with the listing agent before showing the house. Hopefully you interviewed several agent...
by unclescrooge
Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to reduce my income tax
Replies: 31
Views: 3052

Re: How to reduce my income tax

I'm not sure that purchasing that rental property to get even more taxable income was the best idea, but I'm just not sure. Putting that $$ into a tax efficient index fund might have been better, producing untaxed growth in coming years along with dividends taxed at 15%... I definitely didn't do th...
by unclescrooge
Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to reduce my income tax
Replies: 31
Views: 3052

Re: How to reduce my income tax

Child Care - I assume the $12K is for one child only. You are not getting a deduction for the whole $12K, I believe there is a $3K limitation per year, therefore you will are losing only a $3K deduction not the full $12K. If you are eligible for an HSA account you can shield another $6,750/year. Yo...
by unclescrooge
Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA or TurboTax
Replies: 18
Views: 1421

Re: CPA or TurboTax

I've been using TT since 2000 (1999 taxes). Between then and now, I've had w2 income, 1099 income from consulting jobs, k-1 income from an S-corp, 18 rental properties, tons of capital gains/losses, carryforward NOLS, and even a 1099-c resulting from a short sale. TT is a bit a confusing sometimes, ...
by unclescrooge
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Real_Estate_Crowd_Funding
Replies: 13
Views: 1274

Re: Real_Estate_Crowd_Funding

I heard an interesting Podcast about alternative investments including real estate crowdfunding and am curious if anyone has any experience or insight into this world? They mentioned various platforms such as GroundFloor, RealtyShares, RealtyMogul and Funding Circle etc. I'm intrigued with the idea...
by unclescrooge
Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mens Blue Jeans - What are we buying now?!
Replies: 86
Views: 7799

Re: Mens Blue Jeans - What are we buying now?!

Flux wrote:I fell in love with Express jeans. I think they were $50 or so a pair, but well worth it. One pair looks like a normal pair of jeans but is actually stretch fabric. They're glorious.


I like the express boot cut jeans...which are being harder to find in stores.
by unclescrooge
Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $10 withdrawal by the IRS?
Replies: 17
Views: 1755

Re: $10 withdrawal by the IRS?

I have an explanation! This is the first year my teenage son filed a federal tax return, and he owed $10. I was showing him how the process worked, and must have used my bank account for the ACH withdrawal. So, nothing nefarious. It should be noted that the name associated w/ the transaction was my...
by unclescrooge
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?
Replies: 75
Views: 5787

Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

I'm not doing any project that requires me to break a sweat. About lawn mowing and sweating ... I have given that up completely. Last time I mowed I started to get heat exhaustion. It was a hot day. Dizziness set in. I was stumbling. Now here's the thing that woke me up. A huge shadow passed over m...
by unclescrooge
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?
Replies: 82
Views: 6480

Re: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?

Of course, the state tax refund will be taxed next year but luckily household income will be lower due to wife not working for 2 months for maternity leave, and I'll get a huge deduction for installing solar. Basically, my refund is paying for a new roof + solar panels. And these are providing a la...
by unclescrooge
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited over $500k looking to invest & produce income
Replies: 13
Views: 2384

Re: Inherited over $500k looking to invest & produce income

I think it's possible to come close. I have two rentals in Midwest. $110k is the latest comparable sale, and they rent for $1100 each. If you bought 5, it would cost about $550k and you'd gross $5,500 a month. Take out 30% for management, repairs, etc and you'll net about $45k a year. Use this money...
by unclescrooge
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?
Replies: 75
Views: 5787

Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

I've done house painting, and would never do it again.

In fact, apart from restaining the patio furniture every few years, I'm not doing any project that requires me to break a sweat.
by unclescrooge
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?
Replies: 82
Views: 6480

Re: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?

I was surprised by the size of my federal and state refunds. They were MASSIVE. This was driven mainly by the large mortgage interest payments, the $20k in points I paid for my new-home-purchase mortgage (which were deducted and not amortized), huge amounts of property tax and state tax. Of course, ...
by unclescrooge
Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my electric bill high?
Replies: 60
Views: 5239

Re: Is my electric bill high?

You need a more efficient pool pump.

Also, you probably have single pane windows.
by unclescrooge
Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have an umbrella policy?
Replies: 129
Views: 12056

Re: Do you have an umbrella policy?

Do umbrella coverage limits always increase in multiples of $1 million?
by unclescrooge
Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC - Assessing Quotes? - Update, New Info
Replies: 40
Views: 3358

Re: New HVAC - Assessing Quotes?

I live in Socal. Last June I replaced the condenser and moved the furnace into the attic. I got 10 quotes. Everyone said I needed a 5 ton unit. Only one person did the manual J load calculation, and his quote was twice as expensive as the 2nd highest. Getting so many quotes helped me improve my unde...
by unclescrooge
Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wrong 1099-R issued!
Replies: 16
Views: 1188

Re: Wrong 1099-R issued!

I tried it via H&R block, it did not ask too many stupid questions but in the end it also put that information on Line 16 as ROLLOVER and taxable amount as 0. So Line 16 is indeed the correct one. I am wondering if switching to TurboTax was a wise choice but as far as I can see H&R does not...
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?
Replies: 24
Views: 3037

Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

I bought a note 5 from Costco. It was Free after mail in rebate. Before that I bought a galaxy S3 or S4 (can't remember, it was 3.5 years ago). That too was Free after mail in rebate. My wife also gets her phones from there. While not free, they've been excellent deals, somewhere in the range of $29...
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on an incompetent advisor
Replies: 9
Views: 1082

Re: Advice on an incompetent advisor

I know very little about them but I have seen posts in the past where people mentioned that you could file a complaint with an organization called FINRA. http://www.finra.org/ You can search the boards to see prior posts about them. What are the chances of successfully suing for malpractice or what...
by unclescrooge
Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?
Replies: 20
Views: 2016

Re: 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 intermed...
by unclescrooge
Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason a buy-and-hold investor would buy gold?
Replies: 121
Views: 6347

Re: Is there any reason a buy-and-hold investor would buy gold?

You don't have to look at 1970s data to see value in holding gold in the withdrawal phase. From 2000 to now . . . . That's cherry-picking another date that happens to favor gold. What happens if you look at 2010, 1990, or 1980? Because there is no fundamental reason for gold to be as valuable as it...
by unclescrooge
Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wrong 1099-R issued!
Replies: 16
Views: 1188

Re: Wrong 1099-R issued!

It's annoying when they change their questions from year to year. This is one of many reasons why I hate interview mode with tax software. Much better to just enter data directly on the forms. Indeed. But when you manually enter data on some forms, it sometimes triggers a error preventing you from ...
by unclescrooge
Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wrong 1099-R issued!
Replies: 16
Views: 1188

Re: Wrong 1099-R issued!

Remember that if you have any other SEP, SIMPLE, or TIRAs with a pre tax balance, Form 8606 will pro rate your 5500 to determine how much of it is taxable. 5500 in Box 2a means nothing. The IRS requires the custodian to enter the full amount of the distribution in 2a and the custodian has no idea o...
by unclescrooge
Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wrong 1099-R issued!
Replies: 16
Views: 1188

Re: Wrong 1099-R issued!

I finally got around to doing my taxes and I realized my financial institution issued a wrong 1099_R. I did a Roth conversion but it lists the $5,500 as a taxable early withdraw. Box 7 is a 2, instead of a G. :oops: How easy is it get them to fix this mistake by the deadline? The 1099-R is not inco...
by unclescrooge
Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wrong 1099-R issued!
Replies: 16
Views: 1188

Wrong 1099-R issued!

I finally got around to doing my taxes and I realized my financial institution issued a wrong 1099_R.

I did a back door Roth conversion but it lists the $5,500 as a taxable early withdraw.

Box 7 is a 2, instead of a G. :oops:

How easy is it get them to fix this mistake by the deadline?
by unclescrooge
Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Skip ESPP? - 5% discount on fix date with holding period of 6 months
Replies: 37
Views: 2405

Re: Skip ESPP? - 5% discount on fix date with holding period of 6 months

Purchase Price: "The price you pay for the stock will be 95% of the closing price of "Company Name" Common Stock on the last business day of the period." Sell, Transfer, or Obtain Certificates "You are required to own the shares for six-months from the date of purchase befo...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ductless mini split vs conventional HVAC system?
Replies: 11
Views: 1066

Re: ductless mini split vs conventional HVAC system?

So I decided to go with the conventional HVAC system downstairs. I went back and got the installer to eat $2,350 of the extra $2,500. I also beefed up the the labor warranty from 1 year to 3 years at no extra cost (parts/compressor is already 10 years). He's very reputable (they're Costco-approved a...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealership rejecting rebate after contract signed
Replies: 82
Views: 6514

Re: Dealership rejecting rebate after contract signed

FWIW, I googled and found this definition https://www.toyotafinancial.com/pub/w/planning_center/financing_options/buy/college_graduate_program That's a completely reasonable definition of "college graduate" in my opinion. I'm boldfacing some parts: Earn your degree. To take advantage of t...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Fool Price
Replies: 8
Views: 1542

Re: The Fool Price

I buy what I want when I NEED it. The only difference is I negotiate the price. I once bought a bedroom set from Ashley furniture. I the set I wanted wasn't on sale, and was amongst their high-end pieces. I eventually got 40% full sticker price. If I wanted to pay full sticker price, I'd send my wif...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ductless mini split vs conventional HVAC system?
Replies: 11
Views: 1066

Re: ductless mini split vs conventional HVAC system?

- can it really work effectively in a sub divided space if ductless? That strikes me you'll get a cold spot in one room, and hot spots in the others? The DOE sponsored a mini-split heat pump study a few years back. A modest number of typically-sized NE US houses had the mini-splits installed, along...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with moms annuity account (>$1M)
Replies: 30
Views: 2525

Re: Help with moms annuity account (>$1M)

I really appreciate these annuity questions. Makes me think on how I can discover and maximize other retirement income streams. :D So I was thinking about this thread in my Silver and Fit class and a thought occur to me for the OP. :P We inherited some property in 2015 which we sold and purchased a...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: paying off bills in 1 shot with HSA or pay with CC
Replies: 6
Views: 570

Re: paying off bills in 1 shot with HSA or pay with CC

My understanding is there is no time limit no reimbursement of costs.

In theory, you could wait until retirement to reimburse yourself.
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The great commodities debate
Replies: 38
Views: 6396

Re: The great commodities debate

Murray Boyd wrote:Heya gang, checking in eight years later. Are commodities back in fashion yet?


No, but the returns are improving :mrgreen:
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The great commodities debate
Replies: 38
Views: 6396

Re: The great commodities debate

bob90245 wrote:
Murray Boyd wrote:What ever happened to the great commodities debate?

It has a new home forevermore. :D

http://seekingalpha.com/article/64411-t ... ate-part-i

http://seekingalpha.com/article/64656-t ... te-part-ii


Thanks for sharing!
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM
Replies: 48
Views: 3146

Re: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM

Did you also look at things like a 5/5 ARM from e.g. Penfed or Navy Federal? There each adjustment is capped at 2% with a life time cap of 5%. Also the rates are a bit lower and if your target range is 5 years it would match. Worst case you get a 2% adjustment for another 5 years. I'm no loan offic...
by unclescrooge
Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM
Replies: 48
Views: 3146

Re: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM

Hi all. I'm a first time home buyer and I have some mortgage questions. With 20% down, I can get a 30yr at 4.125%, or a 20 year at 3.875%. T difference in the monthly payments is about $250. I can afford either without issue, but I'd rather take the extra $250 and invest it elsewhere. Am I making t...

Go to advanced search