Search found 137 matches

by Ragnoth
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High tax bracket - Go 100% Roth in tax advantaged?
Replies: 43
Views: 3025

Re: High tax bracket - Go 100% Roth in tax advantaged?

On a certain level, the “right” answer requires you to speculate about tax rates in the future. Times like this is makes sense to have “tax diversification”. Hedge your bets and set yourself up with the goal of having a healthy mix of both Roth and Traditional money at retirement. Many people do thi...
by Ragnoth
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting through Renting?
Replies: 11
Views: 1078

Re: Gifting through Renting?

My eldest brother is planning on paying for his kid's housing by putting himself on the lease (just him, not his kid), and paying the $2600 a month in rent (yeah, that's the San Francisco Bay Area) to avoid having to file a gift tax return, since he doesn't want to lose any of his lifetime exemptio...
by Ragnoth
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you pay for your kids' college/graduate education?
Replies: 366
Views: 14204

Re: Will you pay for your kids' college/graduate education?

Parents paid my undergrad, and I was on my own for grad school. I anticipate doing the same for my children.
by Ragnoth
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?
Replies: 61
Views: 5236

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Ultra competitive schools rely on far more than standard scores. It’s merely a threshold indicator, the first and lowest, bar to pass before the real competition for admission begins +1. This was always my understanding. The topmost private schools want to see you crack the 98-99% percentile, but b...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TD Ameritrade automatic investment
Replies: 6
Views: 799

Re: TD Ameritrade automatic investment

Please let us know how this works out.

I don’t think this is a feature for TDA, but it would be worth keeping in mind if they actually offered it.
by Ragnoth
Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable Dress Shoes for Commute
Replies: 36
Views: 2163

Re: Durable Dress Shoes for Commute

I had a similar situation. I eventually started wearing sneakers/boots during the commute (NYC public transit system). It may look a little odd to the casual observer, but the subway is full of eccentrics.
by Ragnoth
Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in guaranteed return or stock market?
Replies: 73
Views: 3266

Re: Invest in guaranteed return or stock market?

The question is poorly posed. Liquidity, holding period, and relative size compared to your overall portfolio matter (not to mention risk tolerance). As given, it’s sort of like asking “are 300k in zero-coupon government bonds better than 300k in equities” completely devoid of context. Assuming this...
by Ragnoth
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineers come in.
Replies: 108
Views: 7774

Re: Engineers come in.

So my question for engineers out there, are those who are "wired" for this field just suppose to be able to cruise through it like he thinks he needs to or does being confused, needing to study, and having trouble all part of the curve? I studied Electrical Engineering, B.S. through Ph.D., but I th...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you pay $120 for a 5 year dishwasher warranty?
Replies: 61
Views: 2906

Re: Would you pay $120 for a 5 year dishwasher warranty?

I don’t buy extended warranties if I can comfortably afford to replace the item. Just like any other insurance, remember that extended warranties are meant to be a money maker. On average, customers will pay more for warrantees than they would to simply buy a new device if it breaks. It’s also worth...
by Ragnoth
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Silver ETF [How does it track the spot price?]
Replies: 17
Views: 990

Re: Silver ETF [How does it track the spot price?]

alenart91 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:36 pm
All investing is speculation
“Investing” and “speculation” are terms of art. I suggest reading Benjamin Graham’s intelligent investor if you would like to understand how those terms are actually used in the investing community at large.
by Ragnoth
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expected returns for 80/20 stock bond for next 10 years.
Replies: 169
Views: 12651

Re: Expected returns for 80/20 stock bond for next 10 years.

If a person truly believes that the next decade was going to be 3% real, shouldnt that person should sell all of her equities and buy treasuries? You would get the same return but none of the risk. What treasury are you buying that gives a 3% real return? You would be lucky to get a nominal rate th...
by Ragnoth
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money
Replies: 75
Views: 7114

Re: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money

I always assumed it was a callback to Benjamin Graham and the intelligent investor, great influences on Buffet and value investing in general. I’m paraphrasing the example in the book (which is similar to the discussion above), but the notion was that some people might buy risky assets in hopes of b...
by Ragnoth
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement
Replies: 74
Views: 7354

Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

I think there are deeper problems than Millennials not having kids. Anecdotally, I know plenty of people that would be more inclined to buy up homes in the burbs and raise a family if they thought they could afford it. Bogleheads aside, there is an enormous amount of debt (either personal or student...
by Ragnoth
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MD&P just purchased X / sold Y [md&pharmacist]
Replies: 198
Views: 12492

Re: MD&P just purchased X / sold Y [md&pharmacist]

So my current holdings are with returns as of 6/11/2018): This list is meaningless without the portion each holds in your portfolio. See earlier comments regarding the ability to construct an XIRR out of your initial portfolio + detailed trades. Thanks for your feedback and civil discourse, moderat...
by Ragnoth
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?
Replies: 276
Views: 14345

Re: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?

"For example, it's not unheard of for joint MD/JD's to have great success in patents or tort litigation related to medical devices or pharmaceuticals." Am I correct that this sort of success would only follow many years of BigLaw-type experience? Success is a relative term, but the people I'm think...
by Ragnoth
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?
Replies: 276
Views: 14345

Re: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?

I'm assuming this is more about personal fulfillment and amusement. Law schools admissions offices probably wouldn't discriminate based on your age (provided that you meet the LSAT/Academic standards and are willing to pay). The academic market for law professors is very competitive, and it's not ab...
by Ragnoth
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Edge versus Chrome
Replies: 27
Views: 1816

Re: Microsoft Edge versus Chrome

I like Chrome. It tends to load things a little faster, the interface is a little sleeker (personal preference), and it seems to have better rendering for the sites I use the most. I used to use Firefox, but it become a bit sluggish and bloated over the years. Edge is passable, but I would invest th...
by Ragnoth
Wed May 23, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article on stock picking
Replies: 3
Views: 567

Re: Article on stock picking

There are at least a few issues here, some with the article itself and some with the underlying argument. 1) The article is fundamentally dishonest and switches measuring method in the middle. They start off the article talking about "High Quality" stocks performing better as determined by S&P ranki...
by Ragnoth
Fri May 18, 2018 1:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are high dividend stocks advantageous for the 15% tax rate?
Replies: 46
Views: 4317

Re: Are high dividend stocks advantageous for the 15% tax rate?

In theory, qualified dividends are going to be preferable to normal interest income. So if the option was qualified dividends v. a savings account (or REIT/Bond ETF), the dividends are likely the better choice tax wise. Compared to long-term capital gains (i.e., comparing high yield dividend strateg...
by Ragnoth
Sat May 12, 2018 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lucrative careers?
Replies: 319
Views: 26599

Re: Lucrative careers?

Lawyers either make 200k+, or 40-60k, with very little in-between (feel free to google the lawyer “bimodal distribution”). It’s very lucrative to the ~10% of students who wind up at a top law school feeding into a top law firm... but the *vast* majority are looking at several hundred grand in debt w...
by Ragnoth
Fri May 11, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?
Replies: 111
Views: 5244

Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Carbon credits are a “carrot” for companies to shift to renewables. People can disagree about the value of “clean” energy, but my preference would be for companies to internalize their negative externalities directly. In any case, it’s a personal/empirical question about how much utility you get fro...
by Ragnoth
Tue May 08, 2018 1:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: can someone explain me AMT in dummy terms?
Replies: 15
Views: 2617

Re: can someone explain me AMT in dummy terms?

Note, I would be careful with the new tax reform in general. Many of the miscellaneous deductions (the ones where you could claim them if it was >2% of AGI) have been disallowed entirely. My recollection is margin interest should still be fully deductible (rule of thumb is things that were fully ded...
by Ragnoth
Thu May 03, 2018 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using P/E as a Metric
Replies: 13
Views: 1119

Re: Using P/E as a Metric

P/E can be used as (1) an blunt market indicator; or (2) a blunt stock-picking tool. For speculators, it's easy to look at P/E and convince yourself you're making meaningful choices. If C is selling at a P/E of 11 and BAC at 15, people assume Citi is the better deal since its "cheaper." That said, t...
by Ragnoth
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me choose a top law school!
Replies: 65
Views: 6317

Re: Help me choose a top law school!

Congratulations on your acceptances! Considering the finances and the career goals, I would lean towards Virginia. The school is well ranked, has good job placement, and the scholarship is quite generous to boot. From an academic/prestige perspective, Chicago is slightly better. That said, the job p...
by Ragnoth
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% credit card to pay off student loan?
Replies: 25
Views: 1856

Re: 0% credit card to pay off student loan?

Much appreciated any word of wisdom. I am trying to get my finances up to speed and with that is freeing myself of debt. No car payments, no credit card debt, or anything else other than mortgage and my wife's student loan. We have a balance of $22,532 with a 6.5% yearly. Payments are $352.86 month...
by Ragnoth
Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EverBank Novel CD Product
Replies: 18
Views: 2082

Re: EverBank Novel CD Product

Since the potential "return" is based on changes in the currency rate there is no guarantee of any "interest" whatsoever. TIAA is currently offering 3-year CDs with a 2.5% interest rate. Over three years, this adds up to 7.7%. This "novel CD product" is just a structured product that charges 7.7% f...
by Ragnoth
Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Lockheed Martin about to become the biggest company in history?
Replies: 66
Views: 7843

Re: Is Lockheed Martin about to become the biggest company in history?

I work in patent law, and did doctoral research in plasma physics (with experience in national laboratories doing fusion research). The connection between “patentable” and “commercially viable” is tenuous at best. Moreover, what they have is a published patent application, not a patent. To be clear,...
by Ragnoth
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you know your kids would go to college?
Replies: 91
Views: 4682

Re: When did you know your kids would go to college?

Much like fiscal responsibility and attitudes towards money, I think a big part of it is the priorities and culture that you instill in your children. I come from a close knit family where college is the default. Even from a young age, everybody always discusses “when” and “where” you will go to col...
by Ragnoth
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a new wardrobe tomorrow | Indochino or other options?
Replies: 9
Views: 1516

Re: Buying a new wardrobe tomorrow | Indochino or other options?

I live in NYC. I used the Indochino shop to get a suit a couple years back. The end result was misshapen and clingy in all the wrong ways. Some people like it... but the tailor was inexperienced at best, the process took forever (lots of shipping and manufacturing time), and the overall quality was ...
by Ragnoth
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Structured Products
Replies: 52
Views: 2825

Re: Structured Products

I wouldn't recommend the structured product, or using options to replicate it; however, I am interested in the theory behind the product. Wouldn't this be similar to buying 3 calls (strike price of the calls would be close to the current value of the index), selling 1 put (strike price of the put w...
by Ragnoth
Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited Commercial Property
Replies: 26
Views: 1907

Re: Inherited Commercial Property

According to past tax assessments, the property was worth about $350 when my dad passed away, so if I sold around 500,000 or so I would have to pay capital gains tax on what's left after paying 6% to an agent and other fees. Owning property can diversify a portfolio and be a good money-maker, but i...
by Ragnoth
Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to short the equity market
Replies: 93
Views: 5645

Re: Best way to short the equity market

Please don’t try to time the market. But if you must, buy year long puts (leaps) on SPY or other heavily traded index fund ETFs. Go deep in the money, and the payout starts to look enough like short selling for most people’s needs. I usually find options superior to inverse ETFs, and it gets you aro...
by Ragnoth
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I bite the bullet and invest in this market?
Replies: 86
Views: 10009

Re: Should I bite the bullet and invest in this market?

If you are nervous about investing all your money at once, you should try to dollar-cost average into the market (spread over the next year or two). Set some benchmarks ahead of time. For example, plan to invest 25% of the remaining money every quarter, and get yourself into the market over the cour...
by Ragnoth
Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need $100,000 in 20 years. Help!
Replies: 52
Views: 6070

Re: Need $100,000 in 20 years. Help!

I’m currently maxing out a Vanguard Roth at $5500/year, putting $4900/year into Valic 403b (including company match), $1800/year to HSA, and $3600/year ($300/month) into the BALCX fund managed by Northwestern Mutual. If this is true, you’re going to be fine. You are getting a lot of advice. But rea...
by Ragnoth
Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Terminology question: what does "losing money" mean?
Replies: 71
Views: 3377

Re: Terminology question: what does "losing money" mean?

I think 2 and 3 are fine. Talking informally with friends, I’d probably use #2. If I was trying to sound formal or academic, I’d probably go with somelike like “real returns were negative” (which sounds closer to #3). It’s a little contextual as well... for some reason #2 feels like the kind of thin...
by Ragnoth
Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonus contribution to 401k
Replies: 9
Views: 910

Re: Bonus contribution to 401k

Bonuses get taxed pretty hard more than a regular paycheck so I would opt for as much as I can since it's tax deferred. +1 on this. Under IRS rules , the employer can either (a) aggregate the bonus with your regular wage and use the calculation normally used to calculate withholding (which takes W-...
by Ragnoth
Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The regular investor can now trade the stock market 24 hours a day with TD Ameritrade
Replies: 48
Views: 3529

Re: The regular investor can now trade the stock market 24 hours a day with TD Ameritrade

TDA has allowed extended hours trading for years and years. In my personal experience, the volume after-hours drops substantially and you see a pretty noticeable spike in the bid-ask spreads (even on otherwise high-volume securities). I don't think allowing 24/7 trading will substantially increase t...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal to pay yourself to earn credit card bonuses?
Replies: 25
Views: 2871

Re: Legal to pay yourself to earn credit card bonuses?

I have some experience with accepting credit cards via PayPal (granted, this was a couple years ago). At the time, they required you to have a business account in order to receive credit card payments. Once you crossed a certain amount in revenue, they would sent out a 1099-Misc (or equivalent) and ...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nice write up in the NY Times about the transformative powers of blockchain on societal interactions
Replies: 24
Views: 2955

Re: Nice write up in the NY Times about the transformative powers of blockchain on societal interactions

Blockchain has always been an interesting bit of technology, and some companies may find interesting ways of using it to produce value. I don’t think that’s the case for the vast majority of ICO’s and the newly founded companies being bandied about... but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It will be ...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we need an emergency supplies kit (go bag)?
Replies: 65
Views: 6045

Re: Do we need an emergency supplies kit (go bag)?

I’m not a big proponent of the “go bag.” Largely for the reasons you laid out in your original post. Where I live there is quite a bit of warning before most disaster events (storms, floods, etc.). We always have toiletries/batteries/first aid/flashlights and more than enough shelf-stable food hangi...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are ETFs Really That Safe?
Replies: 29
Views: 3462

Re: Are ETFs Really That Safe?

Although Bogle has said a lot of negative things about ETFs over the years, it's mostly a response to the proliferation of high-fee garbage funds trying to lure in speculators. For people tempted to day-trade a NASCAR themed "index fund" (or a Nicaraguan-Hedged-Value fund, or a Things-Mentioned-On-T...
by Ragnoth
Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ROTH IRA question - Income > 186,000 and < $196,000
Replies: 8
Views: 755

Re: ROTH IRA question - Income > 186,000 and < $196,000

You could do it that way but it is cumbersome. Instead, You can just ignore the partial Roth contribution and do a 100% backdoor Roth. Contribute the 5500 each to the traditional Ira, then convert it to a Roth the next day, here is a tutorial. https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/backdoor-roth-ira-tut...
by Ragnoth
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Margin Accounts
Replies: 5
Views: 460

Re: Margin Accounts

You aren't likely to get much sympathy or actionable advice. This forum is dedicated to investing, not speculating. If you feel uncomfortable with your positions, I suggest you cease trading on margin and adopt a long-term asset allocation that lets you sleep at night. It's by far the cheapest way t...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lower tax rates for 7 yrs.-Are you switching to Roth 401K
Replies: 65
Views: 6492

Re: Lower tax rates for 7 yrs.-Are you switching to Roth 401K

The future is unknown, both in terms of tax rates and future income needs. People usually frame the Roth vs. Traditional debate as "all-or-nothing," but a little tax diversification is a smart way to hedge your bets. For most people, this comes in the form of a traditional 401k + Roth IRA. For peopl...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth help - income limit
Replies: 13
Views: 1095

Re: Roth help - income limit

Thanks for the responses, much appreciated. So I can open a Traditional IRA with say Vanguard, fund it with post tax $ and then roll that money into my Roth at Vanguard? If so, can I transfer that money from Traditional to Roth a few different times during the year? And doing this avoids the Roth i...
by Ragnoth
Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth help - income limit
Replies: 13
Views: 1095

Re: Roth help - income limit

You are correct that there is an limit to direct contribution to a Roth Account. However, you can contribute to a traditional IRA account (e.g., at Fidelity or Vanguard). Then, a day or two later, roll over that money into a Roth Account. That is, contribute to an IRA account, then follow-up with a...
by Ragnoth
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.
Replies: 175
Views: 12576

Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

Most milestone threads I've seen amount to little more than humble-bragging. Some of them have value as "inspiring testimonials," although I find it more interesting to hear from people who turned their finances around (e.g., by managing a windfall or moving away from high-fee brokers), or people ea...
by Ragnoth
Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sling TV experiences
Replies: 33
Views: 3229

Re: Sling TV experiences

I've had experience with Sling and DirecTV Now. The selection of channels is pretty minimal on both, but it works for what we need. You don't get all of the local channels with Sling, but you can look at the packages and see the trade-offs. Both services are pretty mediocre when it comes to "live" c...
by Ragnoth
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: when S&P sectors are recharacterized
Replies: 2
Views: 265

Re: when S&P sectors are recharacterized

Almost nothing of interest happens. You still hold $100 in each fund, and you are still diversified along similar sector lines. The underlying assets in funds change over time (it's not just a Google and Facebook issue). On the fringes, it might mean you have more/less allocation to a given company,...
by Ragnoth
Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Bitcoins really limited?
Replies: 10
Views: 1735

Re: Are Bitcoins really limited?

The plan is for the number of bitcoins to be limited. It is programmed that way. However, there will always be an incentive to "mine" bitcoins since you can collect the transaction fees from people exchanging coins (even if no new ones are created). Also, the Bitcoin community as a whole could agree...