Search found 400 matches

by mpsz
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPS Package Odd Routing
Replies: 22
Views: 1763

Re: USPS Package Odd Routing

The logistics/shipping industry is dealing with unprecedented volume right now as the world moves to online shopping. It takes a different form depending on where you are located... here in my area, I've had multiple packages delayed 2+ weeks by UPS, some USPS packages have shipped cross-country wit...
by mpsz
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My friend does not trust one brokerage Firm?
Replies: 24
Views: 1617

Re: My friend does not trust one brokerage Firm?

I think this is pretty reasonable. I use two brokerages, and have a taxable account at each. My IRAs and HSA are spread between these two but I don't have any duplicate accounts here. For me, it's because of errors or fraud. I've been locked out of brokerage A because they repeatedly sent invalid 2F...
by mpsz
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the single best piece of exercise equipment you bought for your home?
Replies: 221
Views: 11417

Re: What is the single best piece of exercise equipment you bought for your home?

I bought a set of Power Blocks and a Schwinn spinning bike. It took some time, but they both came back in stock shipped and sold by Amazon, so I got them for close to retail price. I'm probably never going back to my gym again, and these will pay for themselves in 18 months. Hopefully the added weig...
by mpsz
Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSABank changing terms about account minimums?
Replies: 55
Views: 3887

Re: HSABank changing terms about account minimums?

HSA Bank is owned by Webster Bank, they've got a pretty large presence in southern New England. I wonder if this is a sign their parent is under financial stress due to the current events. I was a former HSA Bank user and I had a heck of a time getting my money out for a rollover. Had to file a CFPB...
by mpsz
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anti-Vanguard Broker Experiment - So Far
Replies: 25
Views: 1860

Re: Anti-Vanguard Broker Experiment - So Far

I've also considered Fidelity, which has many supporters around here - but, what can I say, if one firm offers $3k to try them out and the other offers nothing, hard to go for $0. If you are looking for bonuses, you have probably chosen the right ones. If you are looking for a future financial home...
by mpsz
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: M1 or SoFi Customer Service
Replies: 28
Views: 998

Re: M1 or SoFi Customer Service

M1 is responsive to email. I've experienced the exact opposite. I've been emailing them for months with no response. I send a follow-up email every few weeks, but I never receive a response. I'll split the difference. It takes 24h to get a reply on a good day. It can take will over a week to get a ...
by mpsz
Sat May 30, 2020 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips to stick to a weight loss diet?
Replies: 183
Views: 9820

Re: Tips to stick to a weight loss diet?

I lost 55 pounds in the last 10 months, and then gained 10 of it back during the quarantine. Here's my takeaways: What helped me lose weight: Track everything you eat or drink, besides water. I use the MyFitnessPal app. I'm a techie: I have a WiFI bathroom scale that syncs my weight into MFP each ti...
by mpsz
Sat May 30, 2020 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best One Stop Shop w/ banking & leveraged funds
Replies: 12
Views: 1004

Re: Ally vs. M1 (One Stop Shop w/ banking & leveraged funds)

Note that Schwab does not issue their own credit cards. The card has a Schwab logo on it, and gets rewards that you can redeem into your Schwab account, but everything else about this card is an AmEx. You manage the card at AmEx's website, you get AmEx benefits, AmEx decides if you are approved, etc...
by mpsz
Sat May 30, 2020 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best One Stop Shop w/ banking & leveraged funds
Replies: 12
Views: 1004

Re: Ally vs. M1 (One Stop Shop w/ banking & leveraged funds)

- No joint checking account. Both me and DW would have to maintain separate checking accounts for check and debit spending. (Can one write checks & mobile deposit on the "Spend" account? No mobile deposit, or I haven't found it yet. Checks are not offered and the disclosures specifically state that...
by mpsz
Tue May 12, 2020 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex platinum card - $20 streaming and wireless provider credit
Replies: 38
Views: 3304

Re: Amex platinum card - $20 streaming and wireless provider credit

Right now, Verizon offers $5/line discount if you have autopay using a debit card. My family line only has 3 lines, so I’d assume it makes sense to jump to suing Amex since I get an extra $5 month credit? Emphasis mine. Amusing typo. :D In a similar boat, but only getting $5 autopay discount. No-br...
by mpsz
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FDIC Insurance and Fintech/Sweep accounts
Replies: 2
Views: 219

FDIC Insurance and Fintech/Sweep accounts

Over the last few years, there have been tons of new products appear that claim to offer FDIC insurance well over the $250k limit. They accomplish this by partnering with multiple banks, and holding less than $250k at each bank, while the customer only deals with the company offering the product, wh...
by mpsz
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mobile Deposits/ATM
Replies: 42
Views: 1690

Re: Mobile Deposits/ATM

Maybe it's because I'm a millennial, but depositing a check via mobile deposit feels like the safest way to do it (even ignoring virus concerns). If something goes wrong in the deposit process, you still have possession of the paper check and can resolve it from there. I haven't brought a paper chec...
by mpsz
Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get Liquid Hand Soap? seriously.
Replies: 76
Views: 4369

Re: How to get Liquid Hand Soap? seriously.

boxed.com has a ton in stock.

For anyone with an AmEx Gold, Boxed also counts for the $10/mo dining credit.
by mpsz
Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Government stimulus payments]
Replies: 358
Views: 28663

Re: just got my $1200 stimulus payment

I manage finances for an elderly relative of mine, and I see a pending deposit of $1,200 from "IRS TREAS". She has not filed yet for this year (but will), and is currently receiving Social Security retirement benefits. I don't have anything in my personal account, but that's not surprising since I d...
by mpsz
Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One QuickSilver credit card limit
Replies: 36
Views: 1885

Re: Capital One QuickSilver credit card limit

I opened the Quicksilver a few years back and got a 10k limit. Credit score hovering around 800 +/- 20. Income was about 90k. Total credit lines probably just north of 100k with 1-3% utilization. Renter. Besides the 1-3% utilization on cards, my only other debt was a car loan. I had applied for C1 c...
by mpsz
Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?
Replies: 114
Views: 6334

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

I'm a member of Anytime Fitness and 100% dissatisfied with how they handled this. Their corporate stance until 2 days ago was "hey, we have the same hand sanitizer at the gyms we've always had" and are leaving the rest to franchises. My state closed gyms early in March. Anytime remained totally sile...
by mpsz
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Protection Laws?
Replies: 7
Views: 442

Re: Consumer Protection Laws?

StubHub sent an email on March 7 with the following text, it sounds like they intend to make people whole (edited below) As a valued StubHub customer, I am personally reaching out to you regarding the current Coronavirus situation. We know it’s an unsettling time for everyone and our hearts go out t...
by mpsz
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: weird thing about applying for an Amex credit card
Replies: 24
Views: 2441

Re: weird thing about applying for an Amex credit card

Also, note that with AmEx there is a difference between grocery stores and supermarkets, where only the latter earns the higher rewards rate. Can you explain this further? What do they classify as grocery stores? Also, note that with AmEx there is a difference between grocery stores and supermarket...
by mpsz
Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: weird thing about applying for an Amex credit card
Replies: 24
Views: 2441

Re: weird thing about applying for an Amex credit card

This isn't related to your original question, but If the Blue Cash 3/2/1 card would "produce a noticeable amount of extra money per year", then I would suggest re-running your numbers with the $95 Blue Cash Preferred. If you spend more than $61 a week at a supermarket, you come out ahead with the BC...
by mpsz
Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Alliant is stealing my money via wrongful right of offset
Replies: 21
Views: 2797

Re: Help! Alliant is stealing my money via wrongful right of offset

Do the CFPB complaint as your next step -- don't bother contacting the executives. You've already gone through proper channels and they have failed to address your issue.
by mpsz
Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:58 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Disable edits after 48 hours, 1 week, etc.
Replies: 48
Views: 3577

Re: Disable edits after 48 hours, 1 week, etc.

Ultimately it is the site owners that define policies and generally it works, until such time as it doesn't, as in the case being discussed here. Personally I believe there should be some window of time allowed to edit a post (i.e. make corrections), but not forever, exactly because of this situati...
by mpsz
Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do those with an established bank get better mortgage rates?
Replies: 7
Views: 778

Re: Do those with an established bank get better mortgage rates?

Some institutions do offer a rate discount if you have additional business with them, often times called a relationship discount. For example, Schwab offers 0.25% to 0.75% off if you have between $250k and $5m+ with them. Citi has a similar program, BofA offers a discount on closing costs for Prefer...
by mpsz
Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard is worrying me
Replies: 70
Views: 9493

Re: Vanguard is worrying me

I've never had a major issue on Vanguard's website, but I have seen some concerning information displayed that was automatically fixed on the next business day. These days, I have spread out my holdings to Schwab and Fidelity. I don't like having all of my eggs in one basket anymore, and it's not th...
by mpsz
Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online utility bill pay
Replies: 24
Views: 1371

Re: Online utility bill pay

I pay through my bank's online bill pay. In my area, Comcast is the only "utility" that allows a credit card without an additional fee.
by mpsz
Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2019 accomplishments
Replies: 56
Views: 3522

Re: 2019 accomplishments

Paid off my car early (was 0%, but just wanted the loan gone).
Maxed 401k/IRA/HSA and saving an additional 50% of take-home in taxable.
Lost 40 lbs (20 go to!)
by mpsz
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quickest way to pay off catastrophic credit card debt?
Replies: 43
Views: 2978

Re: Quickest way to pay off catastrophic credit card debt?

Nobody cares about high-dollar ACH transactions, as there's a paper trail. If this was cash, it would be a different story. Take the $60k in one withdrawal.
by mpsz
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?
Replies: 45
Views: 2314

Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

My letter carrier misdelivers a good amount of my mail, and does everything possible to avoid having to deliver packages. I consider the taxes I pay to be a gift.
by mpsz
Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Taxes: Interesting State Border Towns? (E.g., Low Income Tax, Property Tax, Sales Tax combo?)
Replies: 34
Views: 3428

Re: State Taxes: Interesting State Border Towns? (E.g., Low Income Tax, Property Tax, Sales Tax combo?)

Most (all?) states with a sales tax also impose a use tax that requires you to declare untaxed items and pay the local sales tax on them. So those purchases made over the border are still taxed in your home state. While a significant majority of people fail to comply with this requirement (or are u...
by mpsz
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATMs with Contactless
Replies: 4
Views: 557

Re: ATMs with Contactless

Another option might be to go to a store, make a purchase with your debit card, and get cash back. I haven't tried this with contactless, though.
by mpsz
Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Lane keep assist
Replies: 94
Views: 6177

Re: Honda Lane keep assist

I used Acura's (same company as Honda) LKAS on a highway drive last month, I found it very helpful there. I did not like it in the city.
by mpsz
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good DNS to use?
Replies: 15
Views: 1577

Re: Good DNS to use?

I like and use Quad9: https://www.quad9.net/ 9.9.9.9 149.112.112.112 Free and sponsored by a few industry companies (IBM, packet clearinghouse). It blocks known threat domain names so I guess if some thing on my network gets compromised, maybe it won't be able to phone home to its control servers (...
by mpsz
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tech guys need help with Mesh wifi booster...
Replies: 48
Views: 2813

Re: Tech guys need help with Mesh wifi booster...

Other things to consider- you might want in your install to include a password free guest wifi account so you don't have to share your password. Most mesh networks allow you to do that. Separate guest network is a good idea, but always password protect all WiFi networks. You can be liable if your c...
by mpsz
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AMEX Platinum Card - Review?
Replies: 47
Views: 3334

Re: AMEX Platinum Card - Review?

I found Uber credits to be difficult. I am in NYC so rarely use Uber in general but when I do, with all the new surcharges, it always come out to be more than $15 (closer to 20 most of the time) even for short distances in Manhattan. And I find it very annoying that then I would have to add the min...
by mpsz
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wealthfront now offers 2.51% APY
Replies: 84
Views: 11978

Re: Wealthfront now offers 2.51% APY

I'm one of the folks who jumped on this when it was new... Has anyone else noticed that every month, your funds have been moved to a different partner bank? In August my funds moved from CrossFirst to Wells Fargo, in September they moved from Wells Fargo to TriState. Am I overreacting by being a bit...
by mpsz
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]
Replies: 102
Views: 9647

Re: Wallets

I use a card wallet. I carry 6-7 payment cards for various purposes (different reward categories, business CC, authorized user, etc), health insurance card, driver's license, and $60 cash. I keep those cards, plus a few more in Apple Pay. I am not a fan of phone wallets because it would be exponenti...
by mpsz
Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with paper EE bonds with elderly parent
Replies: 21
Views: 1941

Re: Dealing with paper EE bonds with elderly parent

I know this is an old thread, but I had the same question and was wondering about the mechanics of working with Treasury Direct. I have a similar situation, my grandmother is in her mid 90's and does not use a computer. She has a large pile of EE bonds that are maturing, and her credit union does no...
by mpsz
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outgoing mail (package) in mailbox?
Replies: 15
Views: 1519

Re: Outgoing mail (package) in mailbox?

Yes, the carrier will pick it up. However, theft of outgoing mail from mailboxes, particularly where the red flag is raised, is not uncommon. I put nothing valuable and nothing important in my mailbox for pickup by the carrier. Better to swing by the post office or drop it in one of their boxes. Ag...
by mpsz
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many are switching from Fidelity?
Replies: 140
Views: 17614

Re: How many are switching from Fidelity?

It's only been a few days. I would imagine that Fidelity will drop their trading fees in the very near term as well.
by mpsz
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: burner phone for failing iphone?
Replies: 18
Views: 1966

Re: burner phone for failing iphone?

Personally, I would buy a battery case like https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R8TTRPF/ (not endorsing or recommending this particular one) instead of switching phones twice in a few months.
by mpsz
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do early retirees survive bad markets?
Replies: 26
Views: 5231

Re: How do early retirees survive bad markets?

Let's say you need $10,000 and have $50,000 in a taxable account invested in stocks, and another $50,000 in your 401k invested in bonds. The stock market drops by 50% and bonds stay the same -- so you have $25,000 in your taxable account and still have $50,000 in your 401k. You can sell $10,000 in s...
by mpsz
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?
Replies: 63
Views: 5290

Re: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?

Between $0 and ~$4,000. I contribute to my employer's crap HSA plan and rollover once every 13-14 months to my main HSA, currently at Fidelity. That Fidelity HSA is 100% invested.
by mpsz
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off Phone Bill via Amex Platinum or Debit Card?
Replies: 33
Views: 2033

Re: Pay off Phone Bill via Amex Platinum or Debit Card?

$300 would earn you 300 Membership Rewards points. $5 / 300 = 1.6667 cents. If you value a Membership Rewards point at more than 1.6667 points use the Amex. Otherwise, take the discount. Normally, you can get both by setting the auto-pay to charge the credit card. Not on Verizon. It must be a debit ...
by mpsz
Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR pro's: who pays 401k plan setup fees?
Replies: 7
Views: 756

Re: HR pro's: who pays 401k plan setup fees?

My current employer has always passed fees of this type on to the employee in some form or another... such as having to pay a 401k distribution fee when they change plan providers, paper check issuance fees to switch HSA providers, etc. I have not seen a setup fee, though. My personal feeling is tha...
by mpsz
Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Young with large windfall - would appreciate input on nuanced investment plan
Replies: 14
Views: 3648

Re: Young with large windfall - would appreciate input on nuanced investment plan

5. Final question - how can I get FDIC protection on the cash while I'm DCAing? From my understanding it's limited to $250k per institution. Does this apply for a Vanguard MM fund as well? Look into sweep accounts. Basically, you open an account and make all of your transactions with one bank. Over...
by mpsz
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where should I open my HSA? Fidelity?
Replies: 20
Views: 1201

Re: Where should I open my HSA? Fidelity?

I contribute to my employer's HSA provider, whoever that may be at any given time (seems to change annually) solely for the cafeteria plan tax breaks (not subject to income or FICA taxes)... and then roll over annually to Fidelity to invest the funds. My HSA account is at Optum. Have had it there fo...
by mpsz
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside to using 'trusted contact' feature for financial accounts?
Replies: 17
Views: 2008

Re: Any downside to using 'trusted contact' feature for financial accounts?

I just discovered the 'trusted contact' option/feature that is now available on several of my financial accounts. Shame on me :shock: , it's apparently been around for a year or two, but I'm just noticing now that it's there. Looks like a good thing to do, initial feedback I've found suggests posit...
by mpsz
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beneficiaries at Marcus/GS Bank? (Cannot specify percentages or primary/secondary).
Replies: 8
Views: 725

Re: Beneficiaries at Marcus/GS Bank? (Cannot specify percentages or primary/secondary).

+1, change banks. This is such a standard thing that it's really ridiculous it's not available. Some alternatives... I use the Wealthfront Cash account (2.57% interest... for now) and Alliant CU for HYSA. Both let me define a percentage for beneficiaries. SoFi Money doesn't let you set beneficiaries...
by mpsz
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?
Replies: 129
Views: 9792

Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

I get the latest iPhone each year... one of a small handful of indulgences I enjoy outside the Bogleheads philosophy. I'm a tech/gadgets guy, software engineer by trade, etc. I'm on Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program. Costs me the same to finance versus buy outright, and I have the option of trading in ...
by mpsz
Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:08 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Length Limit on Quotes
Replies: 16
Views: 2274

Re: Length Limit on Quotes

I agree with this idea... quotes are certainly useful for context but there are certain abuses that occur pretty frequently. For example, if you are the second post in a thread, you do not need to quote the OP. Very frustrating when it's a long post. Some forums "fold" the quote... it shows as maybe...
by mpsz
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wealthfront now offers 2.51% APY
Replies: 84
Views: 11978

Re: Wealthfront now offers 2.51% APY

With other online banks like Marcus and Purepoint dropping rates, how long will Wealthfront keep it's 2.57% rate ? I enjoy it while it lasts. +1. I think Wealthfront will keep rates higher than competitors for the next few months since they're promoting this new product. IMO raising the rate from 2...