Search found 120 matches

by andrewj
Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: specifics of credit card balances and FICO score
Replies: 11
Views: 1255

Re: specifics of credit card balances and FICO score

The scenarios OP posted are a little strange because anyone with good credit should have $8K-$10K credit limit on a visa/mastercard (nonstore credit card). If someone has decent credit (>740), opening a credit card or two shouldn't significantly affect your FICO score, especially after about 6 mont...
by andrewj
Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: specifics of credit card balances and FICO score
Replies: 11
Views: 1255

Re: specifics of credit card balances and FICO score

Thanks. Though I still wonder if it's the total balance on all the cards, percentage of total credit limit, or percentage of credit on an individual card, that is the dominant factor in the FICO score! (I'm concerned about the FICO score for the purposes of refinancing the mortgage, not getting a ne...
by andrewj
Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: specifics of credit card balances and FICO score
Replies: 11
Views: 1255

specifics of credit card balances and FICO score

We are interested in refinancing our mortgage and would like to optimize our FICO score. It turns out that since we obtained our mortgage, I opened up a couple credit cards with great promotional offers (no interest for 12 months, no fee balance transfers) while we redid our kitchen. However, the do...
by andrewj
Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Med school at 29 year old, is this a viable plan?
Replies: 89
Views: 8115

Re: Med school at 29 year old, is this a viable plan?

I worked with half a dozen MDs over the last 10 years and at least half of them said they wouldnt do it again. Grass is greener? Think again. I may have to gently disagree. The majority of the MDs I work with would do it again (I would personally). If you want/need to make more money, I would do so...
by andrewj
Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Back to Med School - Financially Worth It?
Replies: 87
Views: 13403

Re: Back to Med School - Financially Worth It?

The OP mentions "sound humanistic reasons" which are certainly valid. From my limited/intermittent time spent on this forum, there is a fair amount of negativity about the medical profession and what it entails, with many advocating (valid) health care alternatives such as NP, PA, pharmacy, etc., et...
by andrewj
Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Back to Med School - Financially Worth It?
Replies: 87
Views: 13403

Re: Back to Med School - Financially Worth It?

At the end of the day, becoming a physician isn't totally about financial worth, since the satisfaction of caring for patients, etc., as hokey as it may sound, makes up the difference.
by andrewj
Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: beginner questions about home equity loans
Replies: 3
Views: 519

Re: beginner questions about home equity loans

Just to follow up, after further discussion with a loan officer, it turns out that the bank will generally lend only up to 80% of the value of the home, so if one were just to put down 20%, then you couldn't turn around and request a home equity loan off the bat. On the other hand, if the appraised ...
by andrewj
Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: beginner questions about home equity loans
Replies: 3
Views: 519

Re: beginner questions about home equity loans

Two quick questions: you say that you have 20% available for a down payment, so I assume you'll get a mortgage for the remaining 80%. Is the home equity loan (HEL) for subsequent improvements, above and beyond the purchase price? Second, when you say "new house", do you mean new construction? I bel...
by andrewj
Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: beginner questions about home equity loans
Replies: 3
Views: 519

beginner questions about home equity loans

We are in the process of purchasing a new home and we are wondering how home equity loans. We are planning on putting 20% down. Question: what's the turn around time for getting a home equity loan? Suppose we're also carrying two mortgages as well. Does that count against your ability to get a home ...
by andrewj
Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift tax and $5,000,000 and $13,000 annual exclusion
Replies: 4
Views: 1221

Re: gift tax and $5,000,000 and $13,000 annual exclusion

Thanks everyone for your input. Yes, all parties involved are U.S. citizens. It seems like the easiest thing to do just to declare this as a gift rather than a loan. I don't think he'll come close to the $5,000,000 lifetime limit (and if that is the case, it seems that $100,00 - $13,000 would be a t...
by andrewj
Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:23 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Tapatalk Integration
Replies: 50
Views: 18011

Re: Tapatalk Integration

Some kind of way for viewing it better on the iPhone, either a mobile version of the website or integration with Tapatalk (which I haven't tried yet but have heard about it) would be great!
by andrewj
Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift tax and $5,000,000 and $13,000 annual exclusion
Replies: 4
Views: 1221

gift tax and $5,000,000 and $13,000 annual exclusion

Apologies if this issue has been previously addressed, but my father-in-law is planning in contributing $100,000 for our down payment on a place. Question were raised about the $13,000 annual exclusion. However, I've also read that "the rules let you give a substantial amount during your lifetime wi...
by andrewj
Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rent v. buy for 70-year-old mother-in-law
Replies: 6
Views: 1872

Thanks. All good points. I guess this NYT calculator is helpful for providing some numbers, though I imagine readers here already know about it: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/busi ... lator.html
by andrewj
Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rent v. buy for 70-year-old mother-in-law
Replies: 6
Views: 1872

rent v. buy for 70-year-old mother-in-law

This is another variation in the rent v. buy question, but in this case, this is for my 70-year-old mother-in-law. She is planning on selling her home with her husband but planning on living separately (semi-complicated situation, not getting divorced, but staying married). She is planning on stayin...
by andrewj
Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: filing 8606 form late
Replies: 8
Views: 2435

Thanks, your experience is very helpful to know. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'll be able to dodge any late fees. My spouse and I both filed late 8606's this year. Two for 2004 and two for 2009. We were not charged a late fee for any of them. I wrote an explanation on the 8606 that we were una...
by andrewj
Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: filing 8606 form late
Replies: 8
Views: 2435

filing 8606 form late

Curious to know if any other forum members have filed their 8606 form late. The form 8606 came up while I was looking into whether or not to convert my IRA to a Roth IRA, and the Vanguard service representative brought up this form. Embarrassingly, I didn't file it with my non-deductible contributio...
by andrewj
Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Mass. 529 plan v. Utah 529 plan for Mass. child
Replies: 17
Views: 4748

calculator for expense ratio for Utah's customized plan

All right, I took the plunge and started a 529 plan in Utah. For people interested in the customized option, their site has a calculator that will let you estimate the costs: http://www.uesp.org/feecalculator.html. For my situation, the expense ratio ended up being only 0.29% (in other words, the Ut...
by andrewj
Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Mass. 529 plan v. Utah 529 plan for Mass. child
Replies: 17
Views: 4748

If you already have Fidelity accounts, I would choose the Fidelity 529. The Index Portfolios range from 0.25% to 0.35%. The Utah Plan looks like fees can range from 0.22% to 0.69% depending on what options you choose. Either way those are low fees and you aren't doing anything wrong in choosing eit...
by andrewj
Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Mass. 529 plan v. Utah 529 plan for Mass. child
Replies: 17
Views: 4748

For what it's worth, I live in Mass and use the Nevada plan. I like the simplicity and low costs. I was also considering the Nevada plan. I like how you can access the Nevada plan directly through the Vanguard website. However, what are your thoughts about the expenses associated with the plan? The...
by andrewj
Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Mass. 529 plan v. Utah 529 plan for Mass. child
Replies: 17
Views: 4748

Fidelity Mass. 529 plan v. Utah 529 plan for Mass. child

Hi, I'm currently a Massachusetts resident and am looking at 529 plans. Our oldest child is already in the 529 plan administered through Fidelity (the U.Fund Index Portfolio 2024). We now have a son, and I was thinking more broadly about 529 plans. I've seen some good comments about the Utah plan he...
by andrewj
Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HYSA vs VG Short Term Tax-Ex
Replies: 5
Views: 1193

Vanguard's Short and Limited Term Tax Exempt Funds are paying 0.73% and 1.36% right now. You're definitely better off in your HYSA vs. the Short. The Limited yield is equivalent to 1.88% if you're in the 28% federal bracket, but in a prior post you indicated that you'll have little federal tax to p...
by andrewj
Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2010 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION
Replies: 284
Views: 32589

1237
by andrewj
Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Motley Fool's new mutual fund
Replies: 38
Views: 10895

I just received an e-mail promotion for the "Million Dollar Portfolio" from fool.com, so I thought it would be worthwhile revisiting this thread, now that some time has elapsed. If you compare the performance of FOOLX, http://www.google.com/finance?q=foolx, as of today, it's performed similar to the...
by andrewj
Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Premium Gas on Acura MDX vs Honda Pilot
Replies: 48
Views: 56041

By not using the manufacturer-recommended octane for my vehicle, I'd have two main concerns: 1. My car is not performing at its maximum potential, 2. An engine warranty claim may be denied if the warranty-provider determines that I have not been using the fuel recommended by the Owner's Manual. For...
by andrewj
Fri May 15, 2009 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: GMAC Bank is now Ally Bank
Replies: 15
Views: 3390

GMAC Bank is now Ally Bank

Just got this e-mail notifying me that GMAC Bank is now Ally Bank. I wonder how that changes people's feelings. Interest rates on new CDs, etc. appears to be about the same as before. Haven't tried logging into my account yet though.
by andrewj
Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions regarding Yale University
Replies: 71
Views: 10129

I think the only reason my little brother hasn't made Yale his official choice is because he is weighing a second approach offered by my parents. If he chooses to go to OU for free, my parents would set aside the same amount of money for him that they did for my other brother and me when we were in...
by andrewj
Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VMLTX vs. VMMXX for Cash
Replies: 3
Views: 3565

An alternative is also to consider VWSTX, short term tax exempt. I'm also interested in looking for yields higher than VMMXX, and put some money in VWSTX. While its yield isn't as high as VMLTX (since short term's duration is shorter), what you get in return is less volatility in the NAV. Over the p...
by andrewj
Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bank that offers refund of ATM fees
Replies: 26
Views: 6339

I use Fidelity's mySmartCash (I also live in the Boston area). ATM fee refunds the next day (e.g. when I use the Bank of America machines).
by andrewj
Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online Backup Services: recommendations?
Replies: 45
Views: 8263

Another vote for mozy.com. I have >250 GB stored there. Only wrinkle is that it's not that fast when it comes to uploading your data to mozy. I get rates of about 2 GB/day. So if you have a lot of data on your hard drive, it could take more than a month before your hard drive is completely backed. O...
by andrewj
Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Effect of GM bankruptcy on GMAC Bank
Replies: 5
Views: 4597

Any updated thoughts on how people feel about this, given more recent concerns about GM's viability? Suppose GM does file for bankruptcy and/or gets liquidated, would that affect what goes on at GMAC? And what about this holding company business (not sure if I completely understand what that means)....
by andrewj
Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to put money that will go toward a house?
Replies: 19
Views: 3027

Another vote for an FDIC-insured account. My credit union is paying 2.07% on a Money Market Account $50k and over. That's about what Prime MM is paying now, maybe a smidgen less. The interest on any safe account will not make or break your house purchase. Loss of capital will. So you need FDIC (or ...
by andrewj
Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1040-ES estimated payments for 2009
Replies: 9
Views: 2620

Speaking of 1040-ES payments, can you pay them as one lump sum at the end of the year? Or do you have to pay them quarterly?
by andrewj
Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: another Madoff post: what did he do with the $50 billion
Replies: 26
Views: 4113

another Madoff post: what did he do with the $50 billion

Hopefully I can be forgiven for posting something about Madoff. But do people wonder what he did with the alleged $50 billion? Do people think it's stashed away somewhere? Or forever lost? I haven't seen anything addressing this question specifically (perhaps I should do more reading). (I just read ...
by andrewj
Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me get started (medical)
Replies: 34
Views: 8559

public medical schools are often much cheaper... First off, good luck getting into medical school. It's hard just to get your foot into the door. However, if you do have a choice, I'd like to add a contrarian view. Yes public medical schools are generally much cheaper. And often times, it probably ...
by andrewj
Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYtimes: The End of the Princeton Pipeline to Wall St?
Replies: 25
Views: 3783

This is also good news for people who are just interested in finance. I'm thinking of a friend who went to a flagship state university, majored in finance, but couldn't get a foot in the door on Wall St., since apparently what everybody wanted was tall guys with great hair and degrees in English fr...
by andrewj
Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYtimes: The End of the Princeton Pipeline to Wall St?
Replies: 25
Views: 3783

Why Princeton ? Princeton doesn't have a business school, does it? It doesn't. But coming out of undergrad, that doesn't really matter. I imagine the trend will be very similar at Harvard, Yale, Wharton, etc. Not sure why Princeton in particular was the focus of the article, though. I think Princet...
by andrewj
Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Best and Most Underrated Bond Fund?
Replies: 17
Views: 4905

Re: Statistical snapshots:

Barry Barnitz wrote:From the Wiki:

Vanguard Statistical Data Spreadsheets

Vanguard GNMA Fund

Vanguard US Government Bond Fund Comparative Statistics

The past is not necessarily prologue.

regards,
This is great, I didn't know these spreadsheets even existed! A great resource.
by andrewj
Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is short term tax exempt VWSTX maybe beter than prime MMF?
Replies: 16
Views: 6818

is short term tax exempt VWSTX maybe beter than prime MMF?

This is a variation of where-do-you-keep-your-emergency-fund, but I'm just throwing this out there: how do people feel about short term tax exempt (VWSTX)? Compared to other short term funds, the NAV is not that volatile, maybe the next best thing to a money market fund? Plus the yields are better t...
by andrewj
Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Best and Most Underrated Bond Fund?
Replies: 17
Views: 4905

I understand the argument against GNMA funds, and it makes sense to me, so I have favored VBIIX, an oft-advised alternative to VFIIX, but what is the statistical evidence re volatility, for example? Also, do GNMAs outperform in bear markets because of the capital safety factor? Since 1994, VBIIX ha...
by andrewj
Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Funniest movies of all time? Name five of your favorites...
Replies: 172
Views: 28087

Another vote for Spinal Tap. As well as Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.

And no mentions of Kentucky Fried Movie?
by andrewj
Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do ATM fee refunds cost banks lots of money?
Replies: 11
Views: 2139

Well it may be a wash for regular banks, for Fidelity or Schwab, which don't have freestanding ATMs (or not many of them), it's probably not a complete wash. For a mySmart Cash account, the cost of ATM fee reimbursements could easily exceed that amount of interest that is paid out. If it were simply...
by andrewj
Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do ATM fee refunds cost banks lots of money?
Replies: 11
Views: 2139

do ATM fee refunds cost banks lots of money?

For those of you have accounts that offer ATM fee refunds (e.g. Fidelity mySmart cash), do you wonder if banks etc. lose significant amounts of money from refunding ATM fees? Or no money lost at all? You could imagine a scenario where someone goes to an ATM and withdraws from it multiple times/day e...
by andrewj
Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternatives to Money Markets?
Replies: 35
Views: 7852

I've been doing a similar shift, from Treasury MM to Short Term Bond. With my year end bonus thrown in, I'm starting with a cushion of short term savings that's about 10-15% more than I would in a MM to compensate for interest rate risk. I feel pretty confident with that, but that's in large part b...
by andrewj
Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Do Not Treat" Order to Prevent Catastrophe
Replies: 133
Views: 19849

I thought about this discussion a bit more and want to reverse IceNomad's question. If one is unconcious, is taken to a hospital and a lot of expensive procedures are performed without his knowledge and concent, is he still responsible financially? In other words, instead of carrying a note "do not...
by andrewj
Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Do Not Treat" Order to Prevent Catastrophe
Replies: 133
Views: 19849

This probably goes without saying, but I would spend the money for health insurance (or find a job that offers health insurance) first before investing any money for retirement.
by andrewj
Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Do Not Treat" Order to Prevent Catastrophe
Replies: 133
Views: 19849

Speaking as someone in the medical field, I don't think a DNR or do-not-treat order would be honored if it came from an otherwise healthy 20-year-old. Most medical people would question the "capacity" to make such a decision. (Different scenario if you were to have a terminal illness). Don't take p...
by andrewj
Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Do Not Treat" Order to Prevent Catastrophe
Replies: 133
Views: 19849

Speaking as someone in the medical field, I don't think a DNR or do-not-treat order would be honored if it came from an otherwise healthy 20-year-old. Most medical people would question the "capacity" to make such a decision. (Different scenario if you were to have a terminal illness). So to answer ...
by andrewj
Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard accounts, minimums and loopholes
Replies: 15
Views: 2506

I spoke to Vanguard about this for my retirement account last month, and you can can let it fall below $3000. As for non-retirement accounts, not sure. Plus, suppose Vanguard was going to close your account for low balance. You would get a warning letter first before they were to take any action.
by andrewj
Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: now a good time to buy VGSIX Vanguard REIT index fund?
Replies: 6
Views: 2811

Thanks, that must have been some bull market.

But question: could VGSIX be viewed like a highly volatile bond that generates significant amounts of income?