Search found 57 matches

by ddd
Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 10 biggest new ETFs of 2019
Replies: 14
Views: 1477

Re: The 10 biggest new ETFs of 2019

Be very careful when seeking investment advice from others without doing your own research. The ETFs mentioned in this thread on cloud computing do NOT hold stocks from the major cloud providers in the industry.
by ddd
Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a Pre-Owned iPhone
Replies: 23
Views: 1770

Re: Purchasing a Pre-Owned iPhone

The phones I bought are all more than 3-5 years old. And I made sure they were sold by the original owner. They would all have been out of payment plans if any. You could ask the seller to confirm that's it's free and clear. If they lie, then there is your evidence for a credit card transaction disp...
by ddd
Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a Pre-Owned iPhone
Replies: 23
Views: 1770

Re: Purchasing a Pre-Owned iPhone

I have purchased 3 factory unlocked iPhones from eBay in the past. All went without issues. I specifically chose individual sellers, with well documented photos, and clear shot of the IMEI number. I then went to the carrier of my choice to check the IMEI for eligibility before making the purchase/bid.
by ddd
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Cell Phone Plan
Replies: 50
Views: 5841

Re: Cheap Cell Phone Plan

That's right. If you want 100% guarantee that you don't loose your number, then buy a plan that auto renews. On the other hand, burning $10 in 90 days is also easy to achieve. Just listen to your favorite music service or internet radio during commute. Or make a single video call. Or do a speed test...
by ddd
Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Cell Phone Plan
Replies: 50
Views: 5841

Re: Cheap Cell Phone Plan

[...] Wow! I didn't know that Tello had dropped lower. I love their customer service; however, they did drop the ball in not informing me about the lower costs. They automatically changed my plan - I have 300 phone minutes that I don't need - to maintain my monthly cost! :oops: I need to wait until...
by ddd
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Cost Burner Phone?
Replies: 16
Views: 2405

Re: Low Cost Burner Phone?

for sprint compatible phones: tello.
for gsm (t-mo, att): lycamobile

true pay-as-you-go. no monthly fee. no expiration date. as long as you use it as least once per 90 days to keep the number alive. just make a 1min call or send a text, 1-2c.
by ddd
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best cash-back credit card right now?
Replies: 116
Views: 24211

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

The annual fee on the premium rewards card can be negated pretty easily with the $100 travel credits: https://www.frugalprofessor.com/best-credit-card-rewards-strategy-2018-edition/. I also prefer it due to the cash rewards it provides rather than the travel rewards. Premium Rewards = 3.5% cash bac...
by ddd
Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which category to liquidate to cover a margin
Replies: 7
Views: 709

Re: Which category to liquidate to cover a margin

@grabiner, rebalancing in 401k is a great idea! I will probably do that if liquidation is imminent. Thanks!

@CurlyDave, I never thought that the margin rates were negotiable. Will call them tomorrow. I might as well keep a portion of the balance if they offer me 3.37%.
by ddd
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which category to liquidate to cover a margin
Replies: 7
Views: 709

Re: Which category to liquidate to cover a margin

For some reason, I need to provide a cash loan to a close relative on short notice. This leaves me with a large 8.325% margin at Fidelity. I think liquidating a portion of my portfolio is likely less expensive than paying the margin rate. My emergency cash reserve is intact, so are our day jobs. My...
by ddd
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which category to liquidate to cover a margin
Replies: 7
Views: 709

Which category to liquidate to cover a margin

For some reason, I need to provide a cash loan to a close relative on short notice. This leaves me with a large 8.325% margin at Fidelity. I think liquidating a portion of my portfolio is likely less expensive than paying the margin rate. My emergency cash reserve is intact, so are our day jobs. My ...
by ddd
Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best verizon mvno for little to no data.
Replies: 20
Views: 1714

Re: Best verizon mvno for little to no data.

If Sprint has good coverage in your area, then switch to tello.com. Your Verizon phone should be compatible with Sprint.

$0/month if you don't use. otherwise it's pay-as-you-go, 3c/min 1c/min.
by ddd
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?
Replies: 39
Views: 2825

Re: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?

Avoid all printers with a starter cartridge. Look for a Brother laser printer with a *standard* toner cartridge. Mine is a $50 HL-5240. The first cartridge lasted more than 5 years.

As an added bonus, if your router has a USB port, plug it in and make it a network printer.
by ddd
Thu May 09, 2019 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepaid iPhone for Light User
Replies: 12
Views: 1349

Re: Prepaid iPhone for Light User

My family of 3 phones with Tello paid a total of $50 for 2018. all pay-as-you-go, zero minutes pre-purchased.
by ddd
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experiences with Quicken to GNUCash Conversion.
Replies: 25
Views: 5584

Re: Experiences with Quicken to GNUCash Conversion.

Break the import process into two steps.

1. Import all existing accounts first. There is an export accounts option in Quicken.
2. Import all transactions.

This will eliminate all duplicate transactions. I was able to import 20 years worth of Quicken data without a glitch.
by ddd
Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get cash quickly
Replies: 102
Views: 7539

Re: How to get cash quickly

you have 3 ATM cards (Ally, Fidelity, Vanguard) and 2 days.

- get $1000 for each ATM card today
- after midnight or early tomorrow morning, get $500 from one ATM card
by ddd
Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to use Apple Pay Cash
Replies: 19
Views: 1978

Re: Best way to use Apple Pay Cash

For the sake of security and privacy, I don't use Apple Pay/PayPal to send/receive cash. Don't want to give my bank info to any 3rd party. Use Zelle. Zelle is a third party site, though major banks own it . if your bank does not support Zelle directly, you are out of luck! make a switch if p2p tran...
by ddd
Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to use Apple Pay Cash
Replies: 19
Views: 1978

Re: Best way to use Apple Pay Cash

For the sake of security and privacy, I don't use Apple Pay/PayPal to send/receive cash. Don't want to give my bank info to any 3rd party. Use Zelle.
by ddd
Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GNUcash Question
Replies: 5
Views: 955

Re: GNUcash Question

I think (1) and (2) are the same issue. Like jpsfranks said, each investment account/subaccount is tied to a security. You need to make sure there is a conversion to the default currency. If it's a publicly traded stock/fund, then in Tools/security editor, you tell it where to get the latest price (...
by ddd
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is it time for a new smartphone?
Replies: 66
Views: 4645

Re: When is it time for a new smartphone?

If you have a $30+ monthly plan, the cost of the phone could be insignificant. Switch to a PAYG plan first, use offline maps, then get a second hand iPhone for $100. When the battery wears out, get a $20 kit and DIY.
by ddd
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BofA is improving their autopay
Replies: 15
Views: 1658

Re: BofA is improving their autopay

Unless they make an improvement, I do NOT recommend autopay using BoA bill pay. I have been bitten by this and lost 100 points on my credit score. Their autopay currently requires you to set up e-bills to be sent to them. And through that they auto pay. The problem is the e-bill arrangement is tied ...
by ddd
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Zero tax efficiency
Replies: 19
Views: 1805

Re: Fidelity Zero tax efficiency

Not an accountant here. But AFAIK, the presence of capital gain distributions is not a good measure of a fund's tax efficiency. The tax rate for long term capital gains is always lower or equal to that for dividends. Non-qualified dividends are taxed as regular income. Also, the tax efficiency of V...
by ddd
Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Zero tax efficiency
Replies: 19
Views: 1805

Re: Fidelity Zero tax efficiency

Not an accountant here. But AFAIK, the presence of capital gain distributions is not a good measure of a fund's tax efficiency. The tax rate for long term capital gains is always lower or equal to that for dividends. Non-qualified dividends are taxed as regular income. Also, the tax efficiency of Va...
by ddd
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cell phone and plan needed for elderly mom
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Cell phone and plan needed for elderly mom

For low usage users, tello.com is the best. Pay nothing if you don't use it. True pay-as-you-go. You need a sprint/verizon CDMA phone.

Also checkout Lyca mobile. They have an unadvertised PAYG plan. no monthly fee. on GSM network (att/tmo).
by ddd
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Options for International Cell Phone Use
Replies: 35
Views: 1675

Re: Options for International Cell Phone Use

I'm a Page Plus customer and Page Plus supports international calling, but not texting or data usage while outside of the US. I will be out of the country and am uncomfortable with not being able to call/text. I am considering switching to Xfinity Mobile, although my current phone will not work on ...
by ddd
Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More efficient way to move funds from Vanguard to Fidelity?
Replies: 10
Views: 1019

Re: More efficient way to move funds from Vanguard to Fidelity?

You can do the following to have zero wait time: 1. Find the ACH routing number and account number of your vanguard brokerage account. 2. Add your Vanguard 'checking' account to your Fidelity bank transfer bank info section. They request a voided check or a bank statement. 3. Enable margin trading o...
by ddd
Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America Merrill Edge Up to $900 Bonus for Preferred Rewards Clients
Replies: 58
Views: 7545

Re: Bank of America Merrill Edge Up to $900 Bonus for Preferred Rewards Clients

For those who took advantage of the offer through an *existing* account, could you provide instructions on how to proceed? I tried the 'Get Started' button and it eventually led me to opening an new account. I prefer not to have another CMA@MLE. Thanks!
by ddd
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card for International Travel
Replies: 67
Views: 8749

Re: Credit Card for International Travel

IMHO, boa travel rewards card is better. It carries no annual fee. And with the exception of dining, its rebates are equal or higher than the premium card. In particular, all travel purchases (airfare, hotel, car, cruise etc.) through boa travel center carry double rewards. So it's 3% rebate. The p...
by ddd
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card for International Travel
Replies: 67
Views: 8749

Re: Credit Card for International Travel

I think the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is, by far, the best option for several reasons It's not even the best Bank of America card for international travel. Premium Rewards is better on each of the points you listed. Yes, it has a $95 annual fee, but it also has a $100 annual airline fee c...
by ddd
Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity takes 10 days for funds available to trade
Replies: 4
Views: 553

Re: Fidelity takes 10 days for funds available to trade

OP was referring to check deposits, not ACH transfers. Here is the official answer: "Deposits are generally available for withdrawal or to purchase securities online within 4 business days. Your confirmation will indicate the availability of funds for your specific account." I have not deposited a c...
by ddd
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I *not* claim all the state tax in my itemized deduction?
Replies: 39
Views: 6690

Re: Can I *not* claim all the state tax in my itemized deduction?

Most states allow you to contribute to a list of endorsed non-profit funds. California has 40 of them. Just donate 100% of your refund amount on your state form. That donation may also earn you a deduction on next year's 1040. Interesting thought but won't you still get a 1099G for the entire refun...
by ddd
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I *not* claim all the state tax in my itemized deduction?
Replies: 39
Views: 6690

Re: Can I *not* claim all the state tax in my itemized deduction?

Most states allow you to contribute to a list of endorsed non-profit funds. California has 40 of them.

Just donate 100% of your refund amount on your state form. That donation may also earn you a deduction on next year's 1040.
by ddd
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Allegiant Airlines...Anyone watch CBS 60 Minutes?
Replies: 55
Views: 8038

Re: Allegiant Airlines...Anyone watch CBS 60 Minutes?

I'm a pilot, and wouldn't board any MD plane in service, and certainly not Allegiant. That manufacture isn't around anymore to take care of the planes. Rode on MD to St Louis a decade or longer ago, and the noise, metal pops, and gear noise was the loudest I've ever heard. Decided then that I would...
by ddd
Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are the Best Tablet to Read PDFs?
Replies: 29
Views: 12925

Re: What are the Best Tablet to Read PDFs?

You can write notes on pdfs with iOS iBooks. it's available on all Apple phones and tablets. download the pdf and add it to iBooks. open, pick a pen, start writing or typing.
by ddd
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 502
Views: 139290

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

I strongly recommend against boa auto pay through ebills. I had it before for one credit card and paid less attention on its payments until a collection letter came. It turns out the ebill is tied to the credit card number, not the account itself. So if the card number changes for any reason, their...
by ddd
Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pizza delivery asked for security code on my credit card with order
Replies: 50
Views: 11730

Re: Pizza delivery asked for security code on my credit card with order

OP, next time when this happens, use a one-time credit card number. Don't have to reveal or cancel the real number. Bank of America cards offer this through Shop-Safe. Other banks may have different names for it.
by ddd
Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!
Replies: 151
Views: 12539

Re: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!

I just replaced the battery in my dying 5s DIY. Now it runs like a new one without a bulky battery case. cost for the battery: $20. Where did you buy the battery? what equipment did you use to perform the swap. I am in precisely this situation with my 5s. Bought it from amazon. The kit came with ne...
by ddd
Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!
Replies: 151
Views: 12539

Re: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!

I just replaced the battery in my dying 5s DIY. Now it runs like a new one without a bulky battery case. cost for the battery: $20.
by ddd
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 502
Views: 139290

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

I strongly recommend against boa auto pay through ebills. I had it before for one credit card and paid less attention on its payments until a collection letter came. It turns out the ebill is tied to the credit card number, not the account itself. So if the card number changes for any reason, their ...
by ddd
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will you take this Fidelity bait ?
Replies: 126
Views: 16769

Re: Will you take this Fidelity bait ?

Take it. I think your offer is worth $12500, not 5000. It's $2500 for each $1m transferred. You will have to phase it $1m/year. IMHO, I will switch without the bonus. Vanguard service is horrible. Fidelity reps are always helpful, knowledgable, and respectful. Fidelity ATM card is my work horse for ...
by ddd
Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Boglehead runners
Replies: 28
Views: 2424

Re: Questions for Boglehead runners

1. this year: 2 races, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of socks, one trip (not sole purpose though). total ~$2000
2. W-F 8-9am, 6miles/day. S: 6-8am, 12miles.
3. no music. I talk to my running buddies or think about work/life.
by ddd
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: sell fidelity index mutual fund and replace with etf index for tax benefit?
Replies: 21
Views: 3215

Re: sell fidelity index mutual fund and replace with etf index for tax benefit?

Yes, FSTVX is not as tax efficient as ITOT. What's not clear to me is that, if one comes ahead of the other when you sell them, why does it matter? For example, according to Fidelity, the average annual returns after taxes on distributions and sale of fund shares are: 1Y 3Y 5Y 10Y FSTVX 10.92% 8.21%...
by ddd
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PayPal alternative?
Replies: 47
Views: 3578

Re: PayPal alternative?

if you want an instant transfer like PayPal does, and the recipient does not mind gift cards. Use your credit card to buy an electronic gift card (e.g. amazon).

Your friend gets the gift, and you get a cash back reward.
by ddd
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...
Replies: 66
Views: 9448

Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

For me the final nail in the coffin for Quicken is security and privacy. Starting from the 2014 version, they started requiring that all of your bank account passwords be passed to their Quicken servers. Your data is downloaded from the banks to Quicken servers and then passed onto Quicken software ...
by ddd
Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]
Replies: 63
Views: 7540

Re: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]

Does anyone know a GSM equivalent of Tello.com? for low usage users, $0/month and true reasonable PAYG. lycamobile PAYG used to support data, but not anymore.

truSim burns too fast @9c/mb :)

Thanks!
by ddd
Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bofa (Bank of America) Mobile Transfer experience warning
Replies: 5
Views: 878

Re: Bofa (Bank of America) Mobile Transfer experience warning

if what BoA claimed were true, then two things are broken: - TP was able to link your friend's number to his TP account without verification. - Two banks (Boa and CU) both managed to register the same mobile number in Zelle. Maybe you can tried these: - can BoA confirm that the TP account does not b...
by ddd
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what is your weekly workout routine?
Replies: 68
Views: 7447

Re: what is your weekly workout routine?

I used to run 6 miles 5 days a week.

Now I do 6 miles on MWF and 12 miles on Saturdays.
by ddd
Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I need a better online checking w billpay and mobile check deposit
Replies: 44
Views: 6493

Re: I need a better online checking w billpay and mobile check deposit

Billpay comes with two forms of payment delivery: electronic, laser check. The quickest and most reliable is of course electronic. Most bill pay services behave similarly in electronic payments. The unreliable part comes in with paper checks through USPS. Additionally, there is one minor detail in l...
by ddd
Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast negotiations
Replies: 58
Views: 8858

Re: Comcast negotiations

I live in the Bay Area. For some reason, threatening to cancel never worked for me. The rep would say go ahead and there is nothing I can do for you. One rep even turned my service off on the same day I called. So I always have to switch between AT&T and Comcast every other year. Next time I will tr...
by ddd
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Iphone/Ipad fingerprint signin reasonably secure?
Replies: 57
Views: 5719

Re: Is Iphone/Ipad fingerprint signin reasonably secure?

technically it is less secure. because it adds one more way for access besides your passcode. now that banks (e.g. boa, fidelity) allow you to login with your thumbs, it is no longer necessary to crack your passwords to get access. it is technically easier to obtain your fingerprints than cracking y...
by ddd
Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long ethernet cable or wireless?
Replies: 81
Views: 9628

Re: Long ethernet cable or wireless?

The short answer is, yes, a wireless network weakens your home network security as it provides an additional access besides your WAN link. All of your computers behind the router are equally exposed the the outside. A wireless link opens a second door to your house. Once the link encryption is crack...