Search found 216 matches

by smackfu
Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much money do you need to retire at 40?
Replies: 90
Views: 18315

When you have that much savings, wouldn't a high deductible health plan make more sense after a certain point? Assuming you get significant savings for them, a $5k or $10k deductible could work out well, with the high end still being covered to protect your assets.
by smackfu
Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quicken question: How to convert to admiral shares?
Replies: 22
Views: 9378

The Corporate Acquisition method did work for me, although I was a little confused originally by the shares conversion. Admiral conversion is 1:1, right? Well, not if the share price on the Conversion To and Conversion From lines are different. It was actually like 0.99987. Once I got that correct, ...
by smackfu
Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2011 - Any takers?
Replies: 63
Views: 14162

Can anyone figure out why Quicken doesn't track US savings bonds? It seems like a relatively small feature that they could actually list as an update. Instead I need to update the prices manually using the Treasury's Savings Bond wizard. And there is actually a bug in 2011 that makes it hard to upda...
by smackfu
Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meetup.com, anyone?
Replies: 9
Views: 2131

Re: Meetup.com, anyone?

Other than the fact that I like to keep a minimal internet presence, someone could totally use it to figure out when I was attending an event and rob my house. It's not your full name, just your first name and town and photo, so that is pretty tough to tie back to your home address in my opinion. U...
by smackfu
Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wachovia to charge per month for Quicken/Quick Books access
Replies: 23
Views: 5163

It might be only $0.01 per customer, but if only 1 in 600 customers uses the service, the other 599 customers are paying $5.99 for the one who uses the service. Should they pay for you or should you pay for yourself? But since you are only allowing those who pay the fee to use the service, shouldn'...
by smackfu
Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wachovia to charge per month for Quicken/Quick Books access
Replies: 23
Views: 5163

My credit union does not offer directconnect from Quicken. Why? Because Quicken charges for directconnect. The credit union keeps costs low by not offering directconnect. Does your credit union offer directconnect at no fee? It would be interesting to see how much Quicken charges. Clearly it's not ...
by smackfu
Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Postage NOT Going UP in January after all
Replies: 16
Views: 2364

The only stamps I use are for Christmas cards and birthday cards.

I have a nice collection of past year Christmas stamps.
by smackfu
Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LinkedIn: Is the paid or free membership worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 4593

natureexplorer wrote:Personal offline connections are way better. The online networks are for the lazy.
Heh. Given that I am lazy, and much more likely to maintain a connection if there is no actual effort involved, I find it useful. Mainly to keep track of ex-coworkers.
by smackfu
Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Less than $3000 in a Vanguard fund?
Replies: 22
Views: 13510

I think Vanguard will warn you when they want you to top them up and give you a deadline. I predict the deadline will be June 30, 2011. BTW, a while back I got one of these message for a money market fund that I was just using to deposit interest and dividends in. I had the June deadline, and I was...
by smackfu
Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any reason to still use VG directly?
Replies: 18
Views: 4082

Waiting for those additional tax forms is also a drag.
by smackfu
Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accurate home blood pressure monitor?
Replies: 42
Views: 9358

Omron makes really good scales too.
by smackfu
Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Housing: Prime delinquencies 650% greater than subprime
Replies: 1
Views: 992

Hard to evaluate meaning without knowing the "normal" prime delinquency rates.
by smackfu
Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sample question from the CPA exam
Replies: 49
Views: 6339

The CPA exam has contract law questions on it?
by smackfu
Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cult Stocks: How to Avoid a Bad Ending
Replies: 9
Views: 2033

hsv_climber wrote:Amazon would be another one....

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... highlight=
I lost a lot of money once betting that Amazon would come back to earth.
by smackfu
Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online dating sites - worth it?
Replies: 253
Views: 46077

A middle ground is meetup.com. It's certainly not a dating site, but more of a "share activities with people" that lets you meet a lot of people and maybe click with someone. Some of the groups are really specific to hobbies but there are also plenty of "happy hour" or "ethnic food" ones that anyone...
by smackfu
Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant tipping - cash or card?
Replies: 102
Views: 13029

I find it humorous on the rare occasions when a cashier pretends to check the signature. Really are they supposed to be handwriting experts? The signature on the tiny strip on the credit card may not look too much like the one on the receipt or the one on the electronic screen that you sign with th...
by smackfu
Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant tipping - cash or card?
Replies: 102
Views: 13029

I was in Buenos Aires and they generally don't allow tips on the credit card you use to pay for the meal. Very surprising.

I think it might have something to do with only authorizing the actual meal price, rather than allowing room for the tip. Maybe due to fraud?
by smackfu
Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: America's favorite credit card: AmEx
Replies: 84
Views: 21093

Don't forget about corporate cards, where Amex is pretty dominating. That's reason enough for most restaurants to take Amex. And if you want to talk about cards that aren't accepted, I had a Diners Card for work when I started. That was pretty iffy. Now I think they are open by Citi or someone else ...
by smackfu
Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard fund to hold dividends until reinvestment?
Replies: 15
Views: 3321

Incidentally, I did ask Vanguard this same question, on the same day I posted it here. The answer that I received today was: Vanguard does not offer a money market fund that has a minimum balance below $1000. Please note, that the account balance only has to be at this level each June when we assess...
by smackfu
Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard fund to hold dividends until reinvestment?
Replies: 15
Views: 3321

Yeah, I don't think I was supposed to be able to do what I did. I had an old $0 MM account, and I transferred money into Vanguard to buy a new fund. It let me choose the old $0 account as the place for my dividends. If you try to do that for existing accounts, it won't show the $0 account in the lis...
by smackfu
Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard fund to hold dividends until reinvestment?
Replies: 15
Views: 3321

Vanguard fund to hold dividends until reinvestment?

I have seen people discuss a strategy of having all their taxable monthly or quarterly dividends go to a Vanguard money market fund, and then only investing them quarterly or yearly for rebalancing. I gather the advantage over direct reinvesting in each fund would be more choice in allocation and le...
by smackfu
Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best cards (credit, debit) for foreign travel
Replies: 31
Views: 12938

However, I've never run into an international ATM fee, in Europe, Asia, Canada, or the Middle East, so I've never had occasion to test it. Those fees are pretty unusual outside the USA, right? Depends on the country. In Thailand, it's a big problem now. All the banks have a 150 baht per withdrawal,...
by smackfu
Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BRK/B reorganization charge by broker for stock split?
Replies: 20
Views: 5487

Smackfu, Why not review the details for their description of the "reorganization fee?" Let's see: Mandatory reorganization fees are charged when there is a reverse stock split, a mandatory cash merger, or exchange of shares where stockholders have no choice in the reorganization (it is mandated by ...
by smackfu
Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BRK/B reorganization charge by broker for stock split?
Replies: 20
Views: 5487

TD Ameritrade charged a fee too.

MANDATORY REORGANIZATION FEE $20
by smackfu
Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which reward type credit cards is everyone using?
Replies: 87
Views: 72476

You can get 5% at Amazon using the mtvU or Forward cards. Thanks for the tip, I signed up for the Forward card. Yes the $25 minimum to redeem the Amazon card was a bit better but I don't mind earning TY points. Plus Forward gives 5% on restaurants, so it's less of a single-tasker than the Amazon ca...
by smackfu
Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which reward type credit cards is everyone using?
Replies: 87
Views: 72476

I have too many cards. Chase Amazon MC - 3% on Amazon, only use at Amazon I spend enough at Amazon that this is worth it. Citi Plat Amex - 5% everyday, 3% all, in TY points This has a fee, $100 or so? Not a fan of that but it has a couple of add on programs (credit monitor and airline lounges) that ...
by smackfu
Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is going on with iNG Direct ?
Replies: 33
Views: 7837

I've noticed that charts of bank interest rates are in fact curiously hard to come by. One odd place this is recorded is on FatWallet Finance, in the thread listing the best current interest rates. http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/783099/ The quick summary table has a "history" button on the...
by smackfu
Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is going on with iNG Direct ?
Replies: 33
Views: 7837

Surely you realize that despite the fact that various online banks take turn offering the absolute highest savings account rates, they all still kick the crap out of brick and mortar banks even after their rates drop? True, but when's the last time that Ing Direct was actually the best? Years now?
by smackfu
Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: documentation of tax loss
Replies: 8
Views: 1414

If you look at the Schedule D form, line 3 and line 11 seem pretty pointless. They just total up the sales prices, right? As far as I can tell, the reason they exist is to double-check against all your 1099Bs.

If this doesn't match up pretty closely, you will get an automated audit letter.
by smackfu
Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: O/T Pawn stars vs American Pickers
Replies: 38
Views: 9466

Pickers would probably be very poor or out of business if not for the show paying them. they buy junk for 30 and sell for 250 say. they haven't figured in the time, car payments, and other expenses for the profit they claim. it is a couple of guys buying junk and selling junk. sanford and son. That...
by smackfu
Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How does this dividend amount for VWITX make sense?
Replies: 10
Views: 3177

Thanks matt, that was a good explanation. I knew that stock funds dropped by their dividend but didn't realize bond funds worked differently.
by smackfu
Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: private sector - how rare is a pension?
Replies: 30
Views: 4056

IBM eliminated their defined benefit (e.g. pension) and replaced it with a cash balance plan. Then a couple of years later, they got rid of the cash balance plan and decided to just do a very good 401k. (They didn't get rid of the cash balance per se, but they stopped adding new contributions from ...
by smackfu
Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica in July/August
Replies: 15
Views: 2571

I went a couple of years ago in July. It was very rainy in some parts of the country, especially in Arenal. Hiking around the volcano was kind of a bummer. And the rafting trip we wanted to do was canceled because the rivers were too high. Overall, I loved it, but if I went back I would go in the dr...
by smackfu
Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How does this dividend amount for VWITX make sense?
Replies: 10
Views: 3177

You only owned the shares for a few days in Feb and you should only receive the pro rata share of the distribution. Interesting. I didn't know they did that. I'm used to stocks where you either own it on the record date or you don't. But yes, looks like it works out: (4 days owned / 28 days in Feb)...
by smackfu
Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which stock broker are you using and why?
Replies: 43
Views: 6497

Only thing I dislike about Scottrade:
Four easy ways to withdraw money from your account!

* Request a Check
* By Wire
* Check writing/Visa Debit Card
* Transfer a Scottrade account to another Scottrade account
Note that ETF is not one of those.
by smackfu
Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How does this dividend amount for VWITX make sense?
Replies: 10
Views: 3177

How does this dividend amount for VWITX make sense?

Two recent transactions at Vanguard: 02/24/2010 Buy Inter-Term Tax-Exempt Inv $15,000.00 1,105.380 shares at $13.57 per share 02/26/2010 Distribution Inter-Term Tax-Exempt Inv $6.04 The distribution was $0.03830 per share, so by my calculations that $6.04 should be $42.33 or so. Other facts: distrib...
by smackfu
Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BrightScope "Rating your 401K" Has anyone used thi
Replies: 8
Views: 1647

This part is a bit of a joke:
For the average 401k participant, the 15 point difference between this plan's BrightScope Rating (80) and the top rated plan (95) could equate to:
15 additional years of work
Up to $359,300 in lost retirement savings.
by smackfu
Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Got Employee Stock Options? Grok's rule for when to exercise
Replies: 78
Views: 13684

Since my stock options are taxed as W-2 income, the taxes are really significant. I only get around 60% of the money, since it's all taxed at 25% federal plus all the other fed and state taxes.

Which factors should be adjusted for tax rate in this calculation.
by smackfu
Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not necessarily a lost decade for savers
Replies: 8
Views: 1765

That is a fairly dumb article. By that logic, I made a huge amount of money over the last 10 years in my 401k! I started at $0 and now it's worth way more than that.
by smackfu
Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring ESPP Shares
Replies: 17
Views: 14987

It used to be that the only way to transfer shares out was to have them send you certificated shares in the mail. Last year they were able to transfer electronically for the first time. However it still tends to be a pain. The ESPP can hold fractional shares and you can sell fractional shares in th...
by smackfu
Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Major in EE or Computer Engineering?
Replies: 54
Views: 7519

For these majors, I think it really depends on the particular school's program. For instance, at my school Rutgers, CE was just an option under EE, with the main difference being different electives senior year. It was in the engineering school so you had the hard core engineering curriculum with a ...
by smackfu
Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Income Taxes Early
Replies: 29
Views: 4044

For those in the other kind of $999 club, where they are getting a refund, is there any reason not to file early and then amend if there is an update?
by smackfu
Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An Experiment Shows The Risks of Shorting
Replies: 5
Views: 1340

A few years back, I learned my main risk of shorting is that you can't always stay the course even if you are confident in your choice. In contrast to going long, where you can hold your position all the way to $0.

A very expensive lesson.
by smackfu
Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with a $50 gift card from amazon.com?
Replies: 26
Views: 3188

I just apply gift cards to my account, and then they get automatically the next time I buy something.
by smackfu
Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quicken Premier software
Replies: 21
Views: 5251

On the menu bar: Investing->Investing Activites->Reconcile an Account Isn't this what you are looking for? Ah, that's close. Funny thing is that all the amounts are $0 in that window, because I use BuyX and DivX. Since that's a transfer and buy in one line, the cash never hits the account. Oh well.
by smackfu
Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quicken Premier software
Replies: 21
Views: 5251

It does the job. It has some decent asset allocation stuff too, as long as you make sure all the asset classes of your holdings are correct. One thing is that I wish it had better investment statement reconciliation. It really just lets you update your holdings to what was on your statement and crea...
by smackfu
Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever tracked your spending for a year?
Replies: 105
Views: 16834

Yeah, I just use Quicken, so it's not even like this is a burden. Actually I think it's fun, but I'm just weird. At one point, I tried to track my cash expenditures, but at the time I was still going into the office and I had quite a few daily cash expenses. I didn't really feel it was worth the eff...
by smackfu
Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TurboTax
Replies: 60
Views: 15628

Having the sum of the gross proceeds on your Sched D (there is one for ST and one for LT) be less than the sum of what was reported on any 1099B tax forms, is one of the surest ways of getting an IRS letter. Yep, happened to me. Sold a money-market fund and didn't bother to include it because it wa...
by smackfu
Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Six figure salary vs. $20K
Replies: 97
Views: 11239

So even with the original numbers, you're living in NYC with no roommate, saving 15% of your gross, and paying off a hefty student loan. Really not that bad. Especially considering this is just the starting salary. Every dollar of a raise you get can go to discretionary spending or additional savings.
by smackfu
Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TurboTax
Replies: 60
Views: 15628

Different ones have said state return is free with Deluxe but when I go through Vanguard and they direct me to the intuit site it says---- it says "does not include state" In my experience, the state program is free, but state e-filing is $20 extra. I think that's a bit silly considering how simple...