Search found 269 matches

by Ragnoth
Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin and the US Dollar
Replies: 122
Views: 8281

Re: Bitcoin and the US Dollar

I'm not sure how you would expect a single currency (or collectable, or commodity, or good) to destabilize the U.S. Dollar. The whole premise seems flawed. Currencies can collapse for a number of reasons (e.g., hyperinflation, unsustainable pegs, etc.) but it's unclear why an increased popularity in...
by Ragnoth
Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 18 to 100 percent annual return fund
Replies: 140
Views: 11110

Re: 18 to 100 percent annual return fund

They have a brochure on the website. For lower level investors, they will have you open up an account at interactive brokers (or TDA) and actively buy/sell index funds on your behalf. The following are some of the most relevant/interesting tidbits: Our fees will range from 1.5% to 1.75% per year bas...
by Ragnoth
Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help find an unbiased news source...
Replies: 90
Views: 4567

Re: Help find an unbiased news source...

I'm always surprised when people recommend the Economist in response to a question like this. I've tried it several times hoping for neutrality but on each occasion I've lasted for just a few months with it. The pieces seem to be all opinion pieces. Fine if you agree with them I guess. But if you d...
by Ragnoth
Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help find an unbiased news source...
Replies: 90
Views: 4567

Re: Help find an unbiased news source...

Setting aside the metaphysics of whether or not something can be truly unbiased, sources like the AP and Reuters aim for a neutral perspective. Foreign papers are also to have a relatively neutral view of domestic politics (but you can find plenty of exceptions). But honestly, you are probably bette...
by Ragnoth
Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you have FOMO (Bitcoin, TSLA, whatever?)
Replies: 201
Views: 12715

Re: Do you have FOMO (Bitcoin, TSLA, whatever?)

My current allocation let’s me sleep well. I own all the TSLA that I need through index funds, and hold a very small amount of bitcoin from an old experiment with mining (back when it was valued in the tens of dollars, instead of the tens of thousands). I’m extremely bearish on both of them, but I’m...
by Ragnoth
Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Case Against 529's
Replies: 219
Views: 12460

Re: The Case Against 529's

For the ultra-wealthy 529s are sub-optimal from a gift/estate tax perspective. Direct tuition payments have their own gift tax exemption. If you have well in excess of $20 million and planning to maximize lifetime gifts, you are better using you annual gift exclusion to fund something other than a 5...
by Ragnoth
Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin @ 23K, why am I anti-Bitcoin?
Replies: 404
Views: 20148

Re: Bitcoin @ 23K, why am I anti-Bitcoin?

I’ve held onto a small amount for years now, the remnants of an experiment with mining bitcoin back when it was feasible to do so effectively with a graphics card. But it’s enough to keep FOMO from setting in. That said, I have never heard a convincing argument for why it should have significant int...
by Ragnoth
Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best 2% cash back credit card which is NOT the Citi Double Cash?
Replies: 49
Views: 4712

Re: What is the best 2% cash back credit card which is NOT the Citi Double Cash?

Highly recommend the BoA 2.62+% combo as described by Frugal Professor: https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit-card-rewards-strategy-2019-edition/ This is what I use for general spending, and I would also highly recommend it. Only caveat is you need $100k worth of stock/ETFs that you can park at M...
by Ragnoth
Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letting neighbor use dock
Replies: 26
Views: 2206

Re: Letting neighbor use dock

The dock is old, it’s not in need of repair. I don’t go down there and sweep off the goose $&@! or pressure wash it ever year. It’s sturdy and the boards are firm. I’ll was hoping to find advice of a waiver, I guess I need to talk to a lawyer about that. Thanks Waivers of this type (anything de...
by Ragnoth
Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax exemption from home improvement expenses?
Replies: 8
Views: 742

Re: Tax exemption from home improvement expenses?

2. This forum is super sensitive IME to the possible implication of 'play fast and loose with the tax code'. Let's assume you mean 'clever, aggressive tax reduction measures within the law'. In which case you can't really do that. First as was just mentioned the owning entity has to depreciate the ...
by Ragnoth
Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax exemption from home improvement expenses?
Replies: 8
Views: 742

Re: Tax exemption from home improvement expenses?

You should talk to an accountant, but the answer is probably: "no, you can't just write it off on your income taxes." It sounds like you want to treat this as an investment property. If you sell it right now, there will be no capital gains (your "cost basis" is the market value o...
by Ragnoth
Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When a company pays a dividend, what is the literal reason for the stock price decrease?
Replies: 57
Views: 4693

Re: When a company pays a dividend, what is the literal reason for the stock price decrease?

The "value" of the shares include the value of the cash the company has floating around (which is reduced when they pay dividends). For example, Company XYZ might be worth 100 million, and have 1 million shares outstanding worth $100 each. Of that $100 million, lets say $5 million is cash ...
by Ragnoth
Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it really passive index if S&P actively excludes Tesla?
Replies: 160
Views: 12246

Re: Is it really passive index if S&P actively excludes Tesla?

I don’t own individual TSLA stock, and I use the total stock market for most of my US equity allocation. But as somebody that does not hold an S&P fund, I think the notion that that investing in an S&P 500 index fund is “active” because they are dragging their feet on a single company is pre...
by Ragnoth
Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Winklevoss: The Case for $500,000 Bitcoin
Replies: 349
Views: 24230

Re: Winklevoss: The Case for $500,000 Bitcoin

To summarize the article: 1) Hyperinflation is coming in the USA. 2) Oil isn't a store of value because total supply is unknown, it is expensive to hold, and total demand will fluctuate. 3) Gold isn't a store of value because the supply is unlimited once you start space mining (described as a "...
by Ragnoth
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cousin died He did not leave a will
Replies: 85
Views: 11493

Re: Cousin died He did not leave a will

When did you last see your disabled cousin? Had you visited him regularly? Pre-Covid 19 I drove up to visit him a couple of times. He was in a assisted living facility. I went to see him when he was first admitted. When Covid-19 turned into an epidemic, visitors were not allowed. He died at the fac...
by Ragnoth
Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advice to a Millennial about nest egg "Critical Mass"
Replies: 150
Views: 17838

Re: Advice to a Millennial about nest egg "Critical Mass"

Living below your means and investing early is still the best advice you can get. That works regardless if you are dealing with a pension plan or a 401k, and if your career is with a single company or 10 companies. Your standard of living will always depends on the relative cost of education, housin...
by Ragnoth
Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Assets going from 600K->15M, should I change my asset allocation?
Replies: 175
Views: 18088

Re: Assets going from 600K->15M, should I change my asset allocation?

The actual asset allocation doesn’t change. You can have a thousand, a million, or tens of millions. The Bogleheads philosophy works fine, and you are unlikely to find a financial advisor who can do much better than a well balanced low-cost portfolio. However, the real limiting factor is that aggres...
by Ragnoth
Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Impact of negative interest rates on bonds and CDs?
Replies: 16
Views: 1545

Re: Impact of negative interest rates on bonds and CDs?

It's very hard to drive nominal bond yields into deep negative territory. You can issue debt with small negative yields (maybe somewhere around 50-100 basis points) because banks and institutional investors are willing to pay up a bit for safety/liquidity, and it's very difficult to hold physical as...
by Ragnoth
Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch Preferred Deposit
Replies: 34
Views: 15783

Re: Merrill Lynch Preferred Deposit

How do Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, etc. make money with no annual fees and how do big brokerage firms stay in business with $125 annual fees? https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bogleheads%C2%AE_investment_philosophy I agree with the premise of value low cost investing in the link, but how does Vanguar...
by Ragnoth
Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch Preferred Deposit
Replies: 34
Views: 15783

Re: Merrill Lynch Preferred Deposit

Preferred Deposit interest rate is now only 0.05% Is $125 a year to have an account at a big brokerage firm expensive? Extremely, since most of us pay $0 a year to.have accounts at Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, etc. How do Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, etc. make money with no annual fees and how do big...
by Ragnoth
Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Holding Vanguard ETFs in Merril Edge
Replies: 19
Views: 1763

Re: Holding Vanguard ETFs in Merril Edge

I hold over $100k in Merrill Edge accounts, and buy and sell VTI all the time (with no fees). It used to be that you had to have a certain account balance for no-fee ETF/stock trades, but I think they did away with those fees for all accounts a year or two ago. So you should be fine just moving over...
by Ragnoth
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders planning on cancelling?
Replies: 92
Views: 9507

Re: Any Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders planning on cancelling?

I ditched a while ago for the BofA cards (and an Amex for groceries). If you have 100k sitting with Merrill/BofA the premium card works out to 2.625% on all purchases. Also, the everyday cash back with the “online” category selected works out to 5.25% back for things like Amazon, Seamless/Grubhub, e...
by Ragnoth
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Crummey trust as eventual recipient of inherited Roth IRA?
Replies: 13
Views: 1227

Re: Crummy trust as eventual recipient of inherited Roth IRA?

This is really a question for an estate lawyer, but I don’t think there are any problems with the idea. You are basically just suggesting a trust that is funded with annual exclusion gifts during your life by giving crummy powers to the beneficiary, that you also designate as the beneficiary on your...
by Ragnoth
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to destroy old external Hard Drives
Replies: 103
Views: 5707

Re: Need to destroy old external Hard Drives

Drill a hole or two and throw it away. Even if it turns up in the dump, nobody but the Feds is going to be able/willing to do anything with it at that point.
by Ragnoth
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm not getting why all the love for gold. here's why.
Replies: 87
Views: 4718

Re: I'm not getting why all the love for gold. here's why.

It’s an (almost) uncorrelated asset class. Even if you don’t believe it should produce long term returns, it can reduce the volatility in your portfolio. I’m that sense, I think it serves the same purpose in a portfolio as art and collectibles. I don’t put much faith in back-testing, and I don’t kno...
by Ragnoth
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to sell physical gold bars?
Replies: 3
Views: 807

Re: Best way to sell physical gold bars?

I lived in a big metropolis and used to do this at local jewelry/pawn shops. Not sure how viable that is for you. The standard rate offered was about 5% below spot, give or take. There was a bunch of stores in the area, so I would always ask around a bit first. My buddy tried to liquidate some gold ...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate tax for marital and QTIP trusts
Replies: 19
Views: 897

Re: Leaving inheritance to children/grandchildren

Almost. It's the ability to appoint in favor of at least one of yourself, your estate, your creditors or the creditors of your estate that results in the trust being included in your estate, not whether you exercise your power in that way. If you have that power, it's included, even if you don't ex...
by Ragnoth
Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving inheritance to children/grandchildren
Replies: 37
Views: 4529

Re: Leaving inheritance to children/grandchildren

What affect would being able to decide who gets the balance at their death have on including the trust assets in their estates for tax purposes, especially inclusion of the assets for estate tax purposes and for step up on death? Would it affect a creditor's ability to get at the trust assets? As l...
by Ragnoth
Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 229
Views: 23224

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

I'm a millennial, and my in-laws live in a 55+ community. The houses are nice, well maintained, and they have a pretty active social life with people around their age that have similar interests (book clubs, televised sports, a wine tasting group, etc.). The HOA fees are high, but they also enjoy lo...
by Ragnoth
Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving inheritance to children/grandchildren
Replies: 37
Views: 4529

Re: Leaving inheritance to children/grandchildren

I am troubled about how to distribute our estate (3 million). We have 2 kids ages 35 and 36. The 36 year old is single, a horrible saver and not very ambitious. The 36 year old works for the 35 year old. My younger son has his own framing company. He’s a hard worker, but also spends every dollar he...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes from selling rentals
Replies: 2
Views: 330

Re: taxes from selling rentals

The short version is that your cost basis gets smaller every time you deduct that depreciation. For example, if you bought the property for $100k and took deductions for ~20k of depreciation, you effective cost basis has become $80k. When you eventually sell it for $300k, that means you will be payi...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: GERM ETF
Replies: 9
Views: 1093

Re: GERM ETF

I mean i only bought it for a quick pop in return, and so far its up by a lot. Wasn't a long term investment, all of my things are in VTSAX. It was just purchased for a quick buy and sell. We'll see what happens with it This seems merely reckless and speculative. The one thing it has going for it i...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TLH Again: The "Sell All" Exception to Wash Sale, Stacked Indefinitely?!
Replies: 7
Views: 740

Re: TLH Again: The "Sell All" Exception to Wash Sale, Stacked Indefinitely?!

There is no “sell all” exception. They have described something correctly (i.e., there is no “wash sale” if I buy 100 shares on Monday, then decide to sell everything Tuesday and never buy another stock again), but it’s being described using some poorly chosen language. Wash sales are triggered in t...
by Ragnoth
Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new BoA Premium Card benefit
Replies: 101
Views: 11842

Re: new BoA Premium Card benefit

I got the same offer. I rarely use the card, but I keep it around for the 2.625% on general purchases. I primarily use a BoA cash back card for online purchases, or an Amex card for groceries. I actually ignored the email and wrote it off as spam (until I saw this thread). But if it’s legit, I guess...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a forgiven loan a gift?
Replies: 13
Views: 1131

Re: Is a forgiven loan a gift?

Forgiving the loan is a “gift.” Also, to the extent that you are not charging any interest, that is also considered a “gift.” For example, if the market rate is 2% and you have an interest free loan for 50k, the IRS would treat the loan like a gift of 1k per year. If you want to avoid filing anythin...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Morgan Stanley Says the 60/40 Portfolio Is Doomed
Replies: 107
Views: 11702

Re: Why Morgan Stanley Says the 60/40 Portfolio Is Doomed

The article claims that returns over the next 10 years are unlikely to be as good as returns over the preceding 10 years as a result of (1) high valuations for the S&P coupled with (2) low bond yields. The claims might be correct (and similar articles are a dime a dozen), but there isn’t much yo...
by Ragnoth
Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High net worth portfolio advice
Replies: 154
Views: 23061

Re: High net worth portfolio advice

This may sound like heresy, but people with high net worth (i.e., seven-figures and above) can get a lot of benefit by working with financial advisors/estate planners. They will charge you exorbitant fees, but there are a handful of strategies for extremely wealthy individuals that are rarely discus...
by Ragnoth
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Susie Orman Says You are Crazy to be Investing in Bonds
Replies: 173
Views: 18240

Re: Susie Orman Says You are Crazy to be Investing in Bonds

The short and simple version is that bond are just loans made to companies/governments. Each one has an interest rate (i.e., a percent of the principal that is paid out each year), and at the end of some fixed period of time the principal is returned to you. If the interest rate goes up, the value o...
by Ragnoth
Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up and Managing a Private Foundation
Replies: 42
Views: 1624

Re: Setting up and Managing a Private Foundation

Private foundations have some pretty strict filing and reporting requirements, along with obligations to distribute a fixed portion of the endowment each year (my vague recollection is that it is 5%). It’s not the kind of thing anybody should be trying to do on their own. Depending on why you want t...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Undergrad college list parameters.
Replies: 100
Views: 4458

Re: Undergrad college list parameters.

I would be very careful about planning too far ahead when it comes to college majors and grad school. Most of the people I went to school with flirted with different majors (at least to some degree). After a semester or two, that interest in psychology could easily turn into a passion for sociology,...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone wish they would have invested more during recent downturn?
Replies: 124
Views: 11499

Re: Anyone wish they would have invested more during recent downturn?

I rebalanced on 3/23 because my equity allocation drifted ~5% or so from my target allocation. I inadvertently called the bottom (or was pretty darn close to it), but it was all dumb luck.
by Ragnoth
Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any 529 abusers here ?
Replies: 38
Views: 5300

Re: Any 529 abusers here ?

Just to round off discussion, how about estate benefits? If one is thinking networth that might exceed estate exemption...... If you have enough wealth to be seriously worried about gift/estate taxes (think 50+ million) there are often better approaches than 529 accounts. For example, there is no g...
by Ragnoth
Fri May 15, 2020 1:58 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?
Replies: 505
Views: 56886

Re: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?

Wife and I have white-collar professional jobs (legal and banking). We are both working from home. Everything is stable for right now, but rumor is that the company is about to start buyouts for some of the lower-paid support staff (e.g., tech guys, secretaries, cleaners, cafe workers, mailroom, etc...
by Ragnoth
Fri May 15, 2020 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Tax Question
Replies: 6
Views: 687

Re: Estate Tax Question

My in-laws live in Minnesota and are struggling to set up a will because my FIL has been wanting to give it more thought for about the last 8 years, in addition to being quite frugal and not wanting to pay a lawyer/accountant. A proper estate plan might cost ~$5k-10k, but it is worth every penny. A...
by Ragnoth
Thu May 14, 2020 4:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rethinking chase sapphire during pandemic
Replies: 8
Views: 1217

Re: Rethinking chase sapphire during pandemic

I did the math and wound up downgrading my Chase to a card without an annual fee. I had already used up my $300 credit, and the remaining benefits weren’t really worth the $450 renewal fee. Since I wasn’t going to be redeeming points for travel any time soon, it didn’t really make sense. Right now I...
by Ragnoth
Sun May 03, 2020 3:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BofA PPP loan - amount less than requested
Replies: 17
Views: 1768

Re: BofA PPP loan - amount less than requested

Somebody in my wife’s family got his loan (some local bank), and it was somewhere around 2-2.5 months of payroll. I’m not sure what he asked for, but that might just be the ballpark number they are handing out.
by Ragnoth
Fri May 01, 2020 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who owns the IP - School or Me?
Replies: 23
Views: 2629

Re: Who owns the IP - School or Me?

In January I quit my good paying job to pursue a Masters degree and pursue some business opportunities through my LLC. Of course, due to the very nature of my business and research, I am trying to do double duty - get my MS, and develop products. The things I'm learning at the school are helping me...
by Ragnoth
Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why shouldn´t I buy oil futures now?
Replies: 92
Views: 7601

Re: Why shouldn´t I buy oil futures now?

To make this work, you would need to figure out when oil will go up, and what the rest of the market is going to do in the interim (and to figure it out better/faster than everybody else). There is a world of difference between being an average guy who "knows" oil will go back up eventuall...
by Ragnoth
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:25 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: In the future will Bitcoin end up replacing Gold?
Replies: 64
Views: 2642

Re: In the future will Bitcoin end up replacing Gold?

It sounds like the argument is that Bitcoin is more useful than Gold as an alternative currency and a store of value when (1) faith in local fiat currency has eroded; (2) you have sufficient infrastructure to have internet access; and (3) the government tolerates its use—or is unable or unwilling t...