Search found 148 matches

by financeidiot
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Buying my first sofa/couch
Replies: 26
Views: 1069

Help! Buying my first sofa/couch

Hi all! I've read the prior posts here on couch advice but I'd love to get some thoughts as to how you would approach buying your first couch. There's too many decisions, brands, and methods of purchase and I'm in analysis paralysis. Here's my situation: 1. Don't have a car. 2. Renter (expect to mov...
by financeidiot
Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why open a taxable account?
Replies: 27
Views: 2392

Re: Why open a taxable account?

In general, taxable accounts are for: 1. People who have already maxed out their tax advantaged space (401k, IRA, HSA, etc.) and want to invest more. 2. People who want to invest for shorter-term goals than retirement and avoid paying a penalty for early withdrawals. 3. People who want to be able to...
by financeidiot
Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accepting an offer from an employer who said previously no!
Replies: 30
Views: 3257

Re: Accepting an offer from an employer who said previously no!

When choosing between two bad options, pick the third one :wink: . That said, I wouldn't hold it against the employer they didn't hire her the first time. They went with the candidate they liked best and it didn't work out. They also were honest enough to explain why they didn't select her. Perhaps ...
by financeidiot
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: BHs who rent - what % of gross do you spend on rent?
Replies: 71
Views: 4051

Re: Poll: BHs who rent - what % of gross do you spend on rent?

15 - 25% in Washington, DC. Used to be higher until I increased income and added a roommate. Getting rent lower becomes a cost and time tradeoff with transportation.
by financeidiot
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 Year Old Retiring Extremely Early-Domestic Wellesley or Half Global, Half Domestic Wellesley Better for my Bonds?
Replies: 55
Views: 6834

Re: 25 Year Old Retiring Extremely Early-Domestic Wellesley or Half Global, Half Domestic Wellesley Better for my Bonds?

I think you're close to answering your own question about the Wellesley funds. If you see domestic vs. international as a wash, then a 50/50 split between domestic and international and your suggested 1/4 allocation to each fund (or whatever distribution you need to hit your 70/30 equity/bond split ...
by financeidiot
Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 Year Old Retiring Extremely Early-Domestic Wellesley or Half Global, Half Domestic Wellesley Better for my Bonds?
Replies: 55
Views: 6834

Re: 25 Year Old Retiring Extremely Early

Your current position is defensible, your proposed 1/4 each position is defensible. The solution is to set aside a couple hours (or read some investment books like All About Asset Allocation by Rick Ferri) pick an allocation, write it down (as part of your investment policy statement) and stick to i...
by financeidiot
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about HSA Contribution
Replies: 5
Views: 360

Re: Question about HSA Contribution

You should be good to go as long as you both were covered by the HSA for the full month of December this year (Dec 1 - Dec 31). Here's a summary from New Direction IRA. "Last-month rule: If you are an eligible individual on the first day of the last month of your tax year (usually Dec. 1), you are c...
by financeidiot
Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the best current account aggregator online?
Replies: 22
Views: 1482

Re: What is the best current account aggregator online?

I use Personal Capital for tracking investments and Mint for tracking budgets. I don't love either for tracking net worth, though. Mint has trouble updating with Vanguard, while Personal Capital has had issues updating with my HSA. I have noticed that most issues with personal capital are temporary ...
by financeidiot
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Quite a few people I know in real life that normally don't mess with finances have brought up investing in bitcoin
Replies: 74
Views: 7026

Re: Quite a few people I know in real life that normally don't mess with finances have brought up investing in bitcoin

Quite a few of the people I know in my friend circle have all of a sudden come out saying that they just started investing in bitcoin and want me to join the train. I have little interest in doing so as I have my own investments I do with vanguard. Am I wrong or ill informed to pass on this bitcoin...
by financeidiot
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Provider
Replies: 12
Views: 1232

Re: Best 401k Provider

In my opinion, the best 401k provider is the one that gets all employees access to the best and cheapest funds at lowest total cost (not just cost to the company). There are three ways you can pay for this service: Option 1: Asset Under Management (AUM) Fee. Straight up AUM fee with no additional co...
by financeidiot
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Quest for better fund selection in 401 K
Replies: 18
Views: 1366

Re: Quest for better fund selection in 401 K

Not sure how large your company is, but this may be better managed through personal conversations with whoever is in charge of 401k selection. The stock emails you sent sound more like something you would send before a lawsuit than an honest request from someone who is interested in improving the co...
by financeidiot
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Jim Sunglasses (or similar quality)
Replies: 14
Views: 1274

Re: Maui Jim Sunglasses (or similar quality)

You may not get a discount on the sunglasses per se, but you could get discounts at different retailers. For example, buy $100 Cabela's gift cards for $82 (current eBay offer), then purchases the glasses from Cabelas. If you can get them on sale, with free shipping, or with X% off a full-priced item...
by financeidiot
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working on elevator pitching, sales charisma
Replies: 8
Views: 987

Re: Working on elevator pitching, sales charisma

Practice, practice, practice. You should also consider mapping out how you expect your sales process should work from beginning to end (sales funnel). Here's a few questions to get started: Who is your decision maker (person who makes the buy/no buy decision)? How will you contact the decision maker...
by financeidiot
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 492

Re: Disability Insurance

I recently purchased an own-occupation disability insurance policy in addition to my employer's. The three reasons I made the purchase were: (1) I'm young and most of my earning potential is in front of me, (2) I could not afford a long-term disability and meet my other life goals, and (3) a former ...
by financeidiot
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest my emergency fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 1472

Re: Should I invest my emergency fund?

It seems like you're mixing the purposes of your funds. $530,000 is for retirement and not needed for 20+ years. Good. $80,000 in cash split between an emergency fund and a "reserve" for a purchase in 2-4 years. Not good. Divide the $80,000 into an emergency fund and a reserve. Treat them separately...
by financeidiot
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 93
Views: 8083

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I wouldn't necessarily block the number. The phone numbers are typically spoofed (not the actual number they're calling from) and they won't use the same number twice. You could also block a number you want to receive calls from in the future (though unlikely).
by financeidiot
Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 93
Views: 8083

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

Send every call you don't recognize to voicemail. If you answer the phone, they know a real person is responding to your number. I used to get spam calls all the time (at least 3X a day). After a month of not answering my phone for every number I didn't recognize, they've reduced substantially (1-2X...
by financeidiot
Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching to HSA health plan in middle of 2018 - can I open an HSA now?
Replies: 6
Views: 564

Re: Switching to HSA health plan in middle of 2018 - can I open an HSA now?

You can open an HSA. You just can't fund it or do anything else with it until you're covered by the HDHP. Wait until your coverage changes, there's no hurry.
by financeidiot
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Investment Options/Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 762

Re: HSA Investment Options/Strategy

Yes, I am maxing my HSA contributions and my emergency fund is definitely large enough to cover my deductible without me touching the HSA. So I could use it exclusively as a retirement account if I wanted to. But I like the idea, since my company contributes $500, of that covering all my medical ex...
by financeidiot
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help, I've Over Contributed to my ROTH
Replies: 2
Views: 556

Re: Help, I've Over Contributed to my ROTH

Your Roth IRA custodian should be able to help you out if you call them. I'm sure this issue happens all the time. It'll be a pain this year, but you won't make the same mistake again. For the future, just leave yourself a little wiggle room at the end of the year as you finalize your income. There'...
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving back to active: Will Vanguard beat American Funds by 0.24%?
Replies: 6
Views: 1271

Re: Moving back to active: Will Vanguard beat American Funds by 0.24%?

If you believe in the active funds available, go ahead. Unfortunate that there's a penalty for passive investing. Seems like the 401k provider is acting in their own best interest rather than the interests of plan participants.
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving back to active: Will Vanguard beat American Funds by 0.24%?
Replies: 6
Views: 1271

Re: Moving back to active: Will Vanguard beat American Funds by 0.24%?

I may be misinterpreting what you wrote, but isn't the total administrative expense equal for both funds? If you're charged 0.29% administrative fees and credited for 12b-1 fees and other service fees, then wouldn't these be the total costs? Vanguard = Expense ratio + 0.29% administrative service fe...
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan: To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question
Replies: 32
Views: 3356

Re: Student Loan: To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question

How much does the $160k in the ESPP represent of your total portfolio?
by financeidiot
Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: traditional IRA this year?
Replies: 8
Views: 368

Re: traditional IRA this year?

[/quote] Thanks for the correction! How many MAGI's are there? JW [/quote] There are 3 MAGI and they carry gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Seriously though, you'll only be able to figure this one out by doing the math to compare your taxes and healthcare costs for traditional vs. roth contributions (...
by financeidiot
Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I have a lot of liquid cash for emergencies/budgets - better to put in a mutual fund with check writing?
Replies: 7
Views: 780

Re: I have a lot of liquid cash for emergencies/budgets - better to put in a mutual fund with check writing?

So it sounds like you have a $35,000 general emergency fund for 12 months of expenses ($13,000 + $13,000 + $9,000). The Car and Vacation funds are for specific near-term purchases. If $35,000 sounds appropriate, keep your emergency fund where it is. If it's too much, invest the difference according ...
by financeidiot
Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I believe one can beat the market with a simple contrarian strategy. Am I a fool?
Replies: 32
Views: 4324

Re: I believe one can beat the market with a simple contrarian strategy. Am I a fool?

I don't see anywhere in your numbers where you are accounting for the cash drag of the money that you are choosing not to invest in a given month. Looking at the CAGR of your account doesn't mean much, you have to look at the CAGR of your portfolio, which includes the money that you are not investi...
by financeidiot
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Landlords - How clean is clean?
Replies: 37
Views: 2523

Re: Questions for Landlords - How clean is clean?

My gf had a similar under the table arrangement with her landlord. Now he won't return calls or the security deposit and she has to pursue the security deposit through small claims court. Good lessons to keep living arrangements above board, even if it costs a little more, it filters out some crazy ...
by financeidiot
Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have to fire someone that I care about personally
Replies: 83
Views: 5846

Re: I have to fire someone that I care about personally

We are successful now, there's no doubt about that. We're doing well. And don't fix what ain't broke has been discussed in our group ad ad nauseam. That's what makes this such a big and tough decision. But yes, she is by far the weakest performer in the band, and she stands out as such. We will be ...
by financeidiot
Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have to fire someone that I care about personally
Replies: 83
Views: 5846

Re: I have to fire someone that I care about personally

I'd reach out to the management/talent company you're working with. I imagine they have some experience with this and could possibly handle it for you. Was listening to a Freakonomics podcast and Tom Petty had his manager deliver bad news to the Heartbreakers on his behalf when it became clear he sh...
by financeidiot
Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need investment advice since wife became stay-at-home mom
Replies: 19
Views: 2003

Re: Need investment advice since wife became stay-at-home mom

How's your life insurance and disability insurance situation? If something were to happen to the breadwinner, wife would either need to go back to work or have another source of income, she's also missing out on work experience, training, etc. that would otherwise increase her earning potential. If ...
by financeidiot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advisor
Replies: 3
Views: 646

Re: Financial advisor

Also, if you can get your payroll out of Paychex, look into it. Paychex won't integrate with any 401k provider other than Paychex (they use their payroll and other services to funnel people into their other products). I strongly feel they're overcharging for their small business payroll services but...
by financeidiot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advisor
Replies: 3
Views: 646

Re: Financial advisor

I like Employee Fiduciary and think they are one of the best 401k providers for their fee, particularly for companies with low assets under management. As assets grow, a fixed fee provider, such as Ascensus, becomes a better value. If I recall correctly, the breakeven point starts at around $2 milli...
by financeidiot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?
Replies: 57
Views: 5666

Re: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?

If you have 10 days you could complete a course or certification that would make you more competitive or increase your salary. For example, PMP training could be crammed into 10 business days or you could take the Dale Carnegie Course. You might even get your current employer to pay for the training...
by financeidiot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a rental property before primary home?
Replies: 20
Views: 1963

Re: Buy a rental property before primary home?

tomtoms wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:20 pm
I want to create another source of income. Since I already have income coming from my job, business and stocks, real estate should be next. It is more of a long term thing.
Is this something you want to do or feel obligated to do? You could buy some REITs and call it a day.
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a rental property before primary home?
Replies: 20
Views: 1963

Re: Buy a rental property before primary home?

If you don't see yourself living in the area long-term, why would you be comfortable with a rental but not a primary home? Would you be willing to commute and do all the work and upkeep for a distant rental home or hire a property manager to do it for you? If you have $300k in annual income, how muc...
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in private companies
Replies: 31
Views: 2195

Re: Investing in private companies

Normally I wouldn't be interested in such an investment. But the ex CEO of the company I'm working for, and bunch of other people that I know formed a tech company. The company is in a field in which I think there's a future. And I know that these guys are capable. Of course, neither means this a g...
by financeidiot
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

Re: Mechanic expects me to pay for his mistake

You might get him to agree to split the cost of the repair with you 50/50. "I should have done more investigating upfront, you should have made the liability for the repair clearer, let's split the cost of the repair, call it a day, and we'll both be smarter next time."
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conflicting goals, and limited income
Replies: 25
Views: 2509

Re: Conflicting goals, and limited income

What you said about your Roth IRA got my spidey senses tingling. Are you working with some sort of "financial advisor"? Can you help me understand why you are prioritizing putting $5500 into a Roth IRA, when you haven't maxed out the full $18,000 to your TSP? My personal opinion is that the offerin...
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with First Passively managed portfolio
Replies: 2
Views: 249

Re: Help with First Passively managed portfolio

In a vacuum this looks fine. The missing information is your income, annual spending, and risk tolerance. For example, is $25,000 an appropriately sized emergency fund? I think your bond allocation is fine, if I were in your shoes I might even hold more bonds because you're leveraging $200,000+ of d...
by financeidiot
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k Fund Selection for Small Business
Replies: 5
Views: 414

Re: Help with 401k Fund Selection for Small Business

I don't think Vanguard has an International Small Cap Value Fund. I looked on the Vanguard website but couldn't find it. Maybe I didn't look in the right place. I think the closest would be FTSE All World ex-US Small Cap Index & the International Explorer Fund, but both do not have a value tilt. Th...
by financeidiot
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k Fund Selection for Small Business
Replies: 5
Views: 414

Help with 401k Fund Selection for Small Business

Thank you in advance for your help! I'd like to request our company tweak our 401k fund selection and would love some feedback from the group as to what is missing or what should be removed. About our company: 30ish people Age range of 24 - 60, average age of 40 Many employees elect not to participa...
by financeidiot
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you foresee a drop in housing prices in the next 5 years
Replies: 53
Views: 6025

Re: Do you foresee a drop in housing prices in the next 5 years

As the title says do you foresee a drop in housing prices due to prices being too high for new potential home buyers being priced out of the market? Edit: To clarify I am not asking if there will be another housing market crash, but that a simple supply and demand issue where prices are too high fo...
by financeidiot
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too much house? (nervous 1st time buyer)
Replies: 57
Views: 5032

Re: Too much house? (nervous 1st time buyer)

Not going to vote either way, you can definitely afford the house. Given your status and recent job switch, don't forget to consider the value of mobility for increasing your salary and mitigating risk. If you switch employers and locations in 2 years, could you get a higher salary (especially consi...
by financeidiot
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating merit scholarships
Replies: 32
Views: 2418

Re: Negotiating merit scholarships

I wouldn't recommend negotiating unless your nephew is willing to go to a different school over the amount negotiated (a small amount in this case). Schools can retract a scholarship offer, and if you're trying to squeeze an extra $5,000 on top of a $35,000 scholarship, he probably doesn't want to b...
by financeidiot
Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to buy TOO LITTLE house? Is buying a home in a HCOL actually cheaper than a LCOL?
Replies: 14
Views: 1459

Re: Is it possible to buy TOO LITTLE house? Is buying a home in a HCOL actually cheaper than a LCOL?

it is certainly possible to cherry pick different cities which have seen huge population declines and corresponding price declines. Also it looks like you are looking at just the city limits when you should be looking at the greater metro area. Some cities are less desirable within city limits but ...
by financeidiot
Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to buy TOO LITTLE house? Is buying a home in a HCOL actually cheaper than a LCOL?
Replies: 14
Views: 1459

Re: Is it possible to buy TOO LITTLE house? Is buying a home in a HCOL actually cheaper than a LCOL?

I have an older coworker who bought in Massachusetts west of 495 in one of the "dark green" towns about 20 years ago. His payment is very low, but did he make the right decesion? If he stretched 20 years ago and bought in a town with closer proximity to Boston like Newton, Needham, etc. he would ha...
by financeidiot
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA fees??
Replies: 12
Views: 1176

Re: HSA fees??

Depends on how you want to use the HSA. If you have a small balance or intend to use it immediately for healthcare expenses as they come up, an AUM model might save you in fees. If you have a large balance or intend to use it for investing, find the one that is cheapest for doing that. Hopefully, HS...
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is an HSA required if one has HDHP?
Replies: 24
Views: 1651

Re: Is an HSA required if one has HDHP?

Ugh. It's stupid, and it doesn't look right. BUT, $36 per year isn't worth losing healthcare for, and you'd have to convince a government agency their healthcare policy is wrong. Not how I'd want to spend my retirement.
by financeidiot
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is an HSA required if one has HDHP?
Replies: 24
Views: 1651

Re: Is an HSA required if one has HDHP?

I understand that in order to be qualified to have an HSA, one must have only coverage through a HDHP. I just want to verify that the opposite is not a requirement, one can have a HDHP but not have the HSA? I think I know that it is not, but just want to be 100% sure before complaining to my former...
by financeidiot
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit denial letter, Re; Equifax
Replies: 10
Views: 1983

Re: Credit denial letter, Re; Equifax

NCTUE is a separate credit report that uses information from cable providers to provide a database of people who uses cable services and their behaviors. NCTUE is an Equifax product. So the issues you see here are part of your NCTUE credit report, but not your standard Equifax/Experian/Transunion cr...