Search found 289 matches

by bryanm
Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2781
Views: 219864

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just closed this morning on a 2.75% no-cost 30-year fixed with LenderFi. Initially locked on June 13. Process was very smooth. Thank you to this thread for helping me get there!
by bryanm
Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for customizing a new HP desktop tower purchase
Replies: 20
Views: 850

Re: Recommendations for customizing a new HP desktop tower purchase

My techie son said there is the potential for unforeseen problems if Windows Pro 10 is just downloaded into existing machine. Solution seems simple--just download Windows Pro 10, and see if these "unforeseen problems" arise. If they do, you can buy a new machine (or fix the problems). If not, you'v...
by bryanm
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Travel - How to get money back ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1200

Re: Chase Travel - How to get money back ?

As others have noted, I accessed the chat via the Ultimate Rewards page on chase.com. Basically, pull up your itinerary for your booked flight, and there should be a chat option on the bottom right.
by bryanm
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Travel - How to get money back ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1200

Re: Chase Travel - How to get money back ?

And yes, DoT says refund is mandatory if they cancel flight.
by bryanm
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Travel - How to get money back ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1200

Re: Chase Travel - How to get money back ?

I would suggest you use the chat function on the Chase website, and ask for a refund. This happened in two recent bookings for me, and I received full refunds (in cash+points) for both. I didn’t have to fight, just asked and they did it. An important point here is not to accept credits, or do anythi...
by bryanm
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth it to refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 821

Re: Worth it to refinance?

I agree that you should look into a no-cost refi. The general rule is a no-cost refi always makes sense if you can lower your interest rate. As others have noted, extension of term isn't an issue as you can just pre-pay. It seems very likely to me that you can lower your rate with no costs. In the m...
by bryanm
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS to Pay Interest on Tax Refunds
Replies: 23
Views: 2603

Re: IRS to Pay Interest on Tax Refunds

the way wrote:So still wondering when the interest clock starts, April 15, the day it's sent, July 15, or the day it's processed?
Per the IRS clock starts on 4/15.
by bryanm
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS to Pay Interest on Tax Refunds
Replies: 23
Views: 2603

IRS to Pay Interest on Tax Refunds

Title says it all. IRS to pay interest from 4/15/2020 on tax refunds. 5% Interest for 2nd quarter, 3% for 3rd quarter. Pretty good risk-free rate.



Maybe I should have paper filed...
by bryanm
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Be gentle [Help with portfolio]
Replies: 31
Views: 1547

Re: Complete beginner

Doing some basic reading, I would love to re-allocate what I am doing to be better balanced, also considering the benefits of having certain types of investments in varying vehicles. Regarding this point, the basics (with exceptions to each rule) are: Taxable is generally much less desirable than t...
by bryanm
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Be gentle [Help with portfolio]
Replies: 31
Views: 1547

Re: Complete beginner

Welcome to the forum! Others will come along with better insight than me, but here's what I see: You have significant student loan debt. What is the interest rate, and are you incurring interest during deferment? (Also, can you explain how this is $400 a month in deferment, when deferment typically ...
by bryanm
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effect of open-source software on SWE careers and start-up companies.
Replies: 34
Views: 2115

Re: Effect of open-source software on SWE careers and start-up companies.

I'm afraid you may be conflating "open source" with "no IP." You can patent (and copyright) open-source software, and you can elect not to patent closed-source software. There is some overlap in strategy, but not much. How does open-sourcing software affect companies?: The question is what the compa...
by bryanm
Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another 'should I pay off mortage?' thread
Replies: 28
Views: 2326

Re: Another 'should I pay off mortage?' thread

The dollar value of stocks remains the same, but isn't there also a risk that shifting stocks to 401k ultimately increases taxes? By shifting the stock from taxable to tax deferred, you would likely be taxed at ordinary income rate rather than capital gains rate on any gains. This is a common misco...
by bryanm
Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another 'should I pay off mortage?' thread
Replies: 28
Views: 2326

Re: Another 'should I pay off mortage?' thread

Thinking about this more, I believe you are right. It basically undoes your TLH. However, I wouldn't let the tax-tail wag the return-dog. The value of TLH is deferred taxes (assuming you sell later). So you save taxes now and you pay taxes later. The other part of the value is the ability for capit...
by bryanm
Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another 'should I pay off mortage?' thread
Replies: 28
Views: 2326

Re: Another 'should I pay off mortage?' thread

On the question of tax-loss harvesting, it really depends on when you sell those assets. If you assume you're going to sell them eventually, then you've put the loss-harvesting to good use now (increasing your basis and reducing taxes when you sell). You're probably right that losing the rolling de...
by bryanm
Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another 'should I pay off mortage?' thread
Replies: 28
Views: 2326

Re: Another 'should I pay off mortage?' thread

Unless you need the liquidity (and I assume you don't, as your net worth is > $1MM), you should pay off the mortgage. Giving up an asset yielding 2% to pay off an asset costing 3% is basically a no-brainer. (Seems to hold true even if you assume you're deducting mortgage interest, given your current...
by bryanm
Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2781
Views: 219864

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

For whatever reason, I saw a huge drop in rates from LenderFi yesterday. Received a loan estimate on a 30 year fixed for 2.75% with ~$700 in total closing costs. $1500 in lender credits, appraisal waived. I'm seeing same as well. FOMC meeting yesterday Correct. They signaled 0% rates likely extendi...
by bryanm
Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2781
Views: 219864

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

For whatever reason, I saw a huge drop in rates from LenderFi yesterday. Received a loan estimate on a 30 year fixed for 2.75% with ~$700 in total closing costs. $1500 in lender credits, appraisal waived.
by bryanm
Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Linux Users- Are you running antivirus?
Replies: 21
Views: 1364

Re: Linux Users- Are you running antivirus?

Just be aware that running a typical distro from a USB stick is not recommended, as the number of writes can quickly wear down the life of the USB stick. "Live" distros are specially designed to minimize writes to the USB stick.
by bryanm
Thu May 28, 2020 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why math, why? [How do I calculate portfolio gain/loss from asset allocation?]
Replies: 15
Views: 1621

Re: Why math, why?

OK, but being argumentative, I would point out that when people have "5% rebalancing bands" that means they plan to rebalance when 50/50 becomes 45/55. It is not intuitive to most people that it takes a 20% change in the stock market to hit a 5% band. Fair point! I am 100% stocks, so I hadn't come ...
by bryanm
Thu May 28, 2020 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why math, why? [How do I calculate portfolio gain/loss from asset allocation?]
Replies: 15
Views: 1621

Re: Why math, why?

I think I read somewhere that a 4% drop in the S&P equalled a 1% drop for a 50/50 portfolio, but that may be wrong too and I'm looking at a 60/40 portfolio. A 4% drop in stocks equals a 1% change in the allocation ratio of a 50/50 portfolio, turning it into a 49/51 portfolio. That's an interesting ...
by bryanm
Thu May 28, 2020 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why math, why? [How do I calculate portfolio gain/loss from asset allocation?]
Replies: 15
Views: 1621

Re: Why math, why?

I may be missing something, but from a math perspective, a 60/40 portfolio will get 60% of whatever happens to the S&P side. So a 4% drop in S&P--assuming bonds stay steady--means 60% of 4% in the 60/40: 2.4%. Of course, bonds probably won't stay steady, but at that point you're trying to put precis...
by bryanm
Wed May 27, 2020 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The stocks are up but the economy's down"--good "Indicator" podcast episode
Replies: 20
Views: 2892

Re: "The stocks are up but the economy's down"--good "Indicator" podcast episode

Off topic but I've always thought it's odd that you can't invest in people. I'm sure a lot of people going into college could benefit from having the option of equity financing rather than debt financing, for example. And it would create an interesting new asset class... If you remember that equity...
by bryanm
Wed May 06, 2020 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home brewing recommendations
Replies: 25
Views: 1356

Re: Home brewing recommendations

I highly recommend "How to Brew" by John Palmer. The first edition is free online and the fourth edition is $15 . It really does have everything you need to know to get started, and is easy to understand. It has great recommendations for basic equipement. I do recommend you start with extract--I pre...
by bryanm
Wed May 06, 2020 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property
Replies: 158
Views: 16641

Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

For what it's worth (and I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer, etc.), I'm not convinced the language in the initial proposal is a valid contract in any case. There is no benefit to OP (no "consideration"). Instead, it would seem to just be written permission--a defense against a trespassing charge. Th...
by bryanm
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment that grows long-term without (much) income along the way?
Replies: 10
Views: 469

Re: Investment that grows long-term without (much) income along the way?

If you are okay with some income, there are a number of "tax-managed' funds, such as VTCLX, that attempt to minimize income. If you truly need no income, then you'e stuck buying individual stocks for companies that do not pay dividends. Berkshire is one example, with the bonus of some diversificatio...
by bryanm
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: old (dry) pasta
Replies: 29
Views: 2069

Re: old (dry) pasta

I would cook it and see how it tastes. I don't think pasta could harbor any bacterial growth, so the only potential spoilage would seem to be rancidity. That's unlikely if well packaged and kept in the fridge, and you would taste it. There might also be some issue with starch aging (I doubt it) but ...
by bryanm
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Elephant in the Room: What Index Funds When the Market Surges
Replies: 17
Views: 2105

Re: Elephant in the Room: What Index Funds When the Market Surges

The problem with fund selection is essentially the same as market timing. If you pick funds that you expect to do well in times like these, you must expect that everyone else has also picked and invested in those funds, and that the current price reflects those expectations. You might know better th...
by bryanm
Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin is around $6k... why is nobody talking about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8573

Re: Bitcoin is around $6k... why is nobody talking about this?

I'm seeing headlines every day online. I don't click on them, but they're there. To your point though, gold is collectible rocks. Bitcoin is already the next gold. It's already achieved that. You just don't realize it. This is all you get. There are industrial uses for gold. A lot of them. Why does...
by bryanm
Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 year mortgage under 3%
Replies: 301
Views: 46176

Re: 30 year mortgage under 3%

I am dropping my rate from 3.25 to 3.0, costs covered. This is not a massive monthly savings and is a pain in the rear, but I'm not afraid of doing the work and the savings are like free money. It's easier than investing, for sure. Locking in a modest cost reduction for zero cost has an infinite ra...
by bryanm
Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Paying down mortgage instead of buying bonds
Replies: 16
Views: 1155

Re: Paying down mortgage instead of buying bonds

Why are you 85/15 to begin with? If you're in the "bonds are for safety" camp and are concerned that you couldn't stomach a big drop in your investment portfolio value, then don't redirect to a mortgage. If it's because you think 85/15 will get you non-psychological benefits, paying your mortgage mi...
by bryanm
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Info Overload?
Replies: 10
Views: 1072

Re: Info Overload?

Rather than post a suggested course of action, I thought it might be helpful to provide some context. There is a "rule of thumb" in retirement circles that one can withdraw 4% of a portfolio, inflation adjusted, every year and generally be okay. I'm glossing over details here—some say the percentage...
by bryanm
Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett: American public has been going ‘wild’ with enthusiasm for index funds
Replies: 9
Views: 3316

Re: "America going wild for conglomerates in the last few years, but they call them Index Funds" - Warren Buffett 2/24/2

I think a key point here is that Buffett was defending Berkshire from criticism that it incurs the negative effects of a conglomerate. His analogy to index funds was basically an argument that Berkshire should be viewed more like a passive investor in its companies than an over-controlling conglomer...
by bryanm
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Car Loan pay off or VTSAX
Replies: 32
Views: 1758

Re: Car Loan pay off or VTSAX

To those posters suggesting paying off the loan: is the advice the same if OP has a mortgage at 3.74%? That is, should new funds go to pay off the mortgage before being invested in stocks? If the answer is different, why? (For simplicity, let's assume that my hypothetical OP, like the vast majority...
by bryanm
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Car Loan pay off or VTSAX
Replies: 32
Views: 1758

Re: Car Loan pay off or VTSAX

To those posters suggesting paying off the loan: is the advice the same if OP has a mortgage at 3.74%? That is, should new funds go to pay off the mortgage before being invested in stocks? If the answer is different, why? (For simplicity, let's assume that my hypothetical OP, like the vast majority ...
by bryanm
Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 2020-2030 Returns Projection Table
Replies: 115
Views: 8294

Re: Vanguard 2020-2030 Returns Projection Table

Note that these are projected nominal returns, not real.
by bryanm
Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to reuse glass (Gerolsteiner) water bottles
Replies: 35
Views: 2729

Re: Is it safe to reuse glass (Gerolsteiner) water bottles

Hey all, I drink quite a bit of Gerolsteiner, so I have a bunch of empty bottles. I could recycle them, etc., but I'd rather reuse them (in the name of reduce, REUSE, recycle). I'm specifically talking about these bottles (I buy them from Trader Joe's for best price): https://www.instacart.com/prod...
by bryanm
Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times - "How Millennials Could Make the Fed’s Job Harder" FIRE mentioned 2/17/20
Replies: 64
Views: 6653

Re: NY Times - "How Millennials Could Make the Fed’s Job Harder" FIRE mentioned 2/17/20

"The Rieckens may be extreme savers, but many millennials with means are prioritizing saving. According to a recent Bank of America survey, 25 percent of millennial savers had amassed more than $100,000, up from 16 percent in 2018." Articles like this always strike me as being written by someone to...
by bryanm
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?
Replies: 65
Views: 4234

Re: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?

Another option if possible (without a tax impact) is to separate out an account with 2x of the amount the one person got. Have the beneficiaries on that account be the 2 people who didn't get the early disbursement only. That way, the regular account would have 3 beneficiaries, and the special acco...
by bryanm
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?
Replies: 65
Views: 4234

Re: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?

So I see what you're saying and you're correct, its just slightly more then 123's way. I ran some numbers on a third way mentioned earlier. IF the early inheritance is 10% of the beginning value of $1mil and the end value of assets is $1.75 mil the new estimated gift would be $175k. This 175k would...
by bryanm
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?
Replies: 65
Views: 4234

Re: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?

[...snip...] the two post right here is exactly why I'm so confused. Sorry! I'm actually agreeing with 123. It's just that his math is a bit off. If you want to use the percentage method, you can't just subtract the initial distribution from the final distribution. You do that first, and then you d...
by bryanm
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?
Replies: 65
Views: 4234

Re: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?

As long as you keep in mind the percentage of the estate distributed to each beneficiary it is (relatively) easy. But you do need some historical numbers to do it accurately. Example: Beneficiary "A" got an "advance inheritance" of $100,000 five years ago when the total value of the estate was $1 m...
by bryanm
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: iPad for Financial Transactions on the Internet
Replies: 28
Views: 2769

Re: iPad for Financial Transactions on the Internet

You're assuming that the VPN strictly adds security when there's little reason to believe that's true. The VPN is *itself* an untrusted channel IMO. I have zero faith in Norton's ability to keep their VPN secure. Using a VPN is definitely not recommended as a best practice by anyone who actually wo...
by bryanm
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: iPad for Financial Transactions on the Internet
Replies: 28
Views: 2769

Re: iPad for Financial Transactions on the Internet

You're assuming that the VPN strictly adds security when there's little reason to believe that's true. The VPN is *itself* an untrusted channel IMO. I have zero faith in Norton's ability to keep their VPN secure. Using a VPN is definitely not recommended as a best practice by anyone who actually wo...
by bryanm
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: iPad for Financial Transactions on the Internet
Replies: 28
Views: 2769

Re: iPad for Financial Transactions on the Internet

Things to make it more secure: Use a cellular enabled iPad, turn off bluetooth and WiFi in public, use 2 factor authentication. There is NO risk of using a financial app on your iPad on public Wifi. Zero, nada, zilch. There’s always a >0 risk using a financial app on any device, anywhere. The only ...
by bryanm
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can a company buy itself?
Replies: 31
Views: 2055

Re: Can a company buy itself?

It looks like the answer is “no” because laws would prevent the company from acquiring more than a certain % of its total market cap. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasury_stock#Limitations_of_treasury_stock In practice, long before something like this is viable the company would either be acquire...
by bryanm
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can a company buy itself?
Replies: 31
Views: 2055

Re: Can a company buy itself?

Yep, the logic above doesn't apply to non-profits, because there is no "sale." Assets are instead gifted. Interesting to learn that!
by bryanm
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can a company buy itself?
Replies: 31
Views: 2055

Re: Can a company buy itself?

I am imagining a company decides to use its cash, or some of it, to buy back all of its shares--and it succeeds in doing so. ... [N]ow they are a for-profit company with literally no owner. You are missing that the cash of the company is owned by the shareholders. The last shareholder cannot sell h...
by bryanm
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can a company buy itself?
Replies: 31
Views: 2055

Re: Can a company buy itself?

I am imagining a company [that] decides to use its cash, or some of it, to buy back all of its shares--and it succeeds in doing so. ... [N]ow they are a for-profit company with literally no owner. You are missing that the cash of the company is owned by the shareholders. The last shareholder cannot...
by bryanm
Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone and WiFi not working together
Replies: 8
Views: 673

Re: iPhone and WiFi not working together

I've had some similar issues in the past related to "channel width." For whatever reason, if my 2.4GHz wifi is set to 'wide channel' (that is, 40MHz), my iPhone doesn't work. Setting the channel to 20MHz fixes the issue. You'd need to reference your router's manual to figure out how to change the ch...
by bryanm
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rounded up share price on tax form
Replies: 2
Views: 339

Re: Rounded up share price on tax form

Might want to send @SpiritRider a PM?