Search found 174 matches

by Eno Deb
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CD rates thread
Replies: 857
Views: 113439

Re: Best CD rates thread

Discussion about why the 1-month CPI change was relatively large in magnitude, whether up in July or down in April, is a red herring in the context of the misunderstanding that I have been trying to correct, which is about the current real return of a high-yield savings account (which we have no wa...
by Eno Deb
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CD rates thread
Replies: 857
Views: 113439

Re: Best CD rates thread

And now we have the June CPI numbers. Seasonally adjusted monthly change for June was +0.57% (reported as 0.6% on BLS site, which only reports to one decimal place). This is an annualized rate of +7.00% (=(1+0.57%)^12-1), so a savings account earning 1% in June earned about -6% real. This is mislea...
by Eno Deb
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best cash-back credit card right now?
Replies: 184
Views: 36791

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

AAA has 3 points per travel, without need to use America Travel Center. So this beats remium Reward Well, the BoA cards only really shine if you have status with BoA/Merrill. With "platinum honors" you get a 1.5 cashback multiplier, which means the card yields 3.5% for travel and dining, ...
by Eno Deb
Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 756
Views: 171742

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Thanks for the information. i am planning to open Joint trading account to invest our savings. That will give preferred rewards status for both if needed. We have IRA/Roth/HSA with Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab. They have options to invest money sitting in trading account into VMFXX, SPRXX and SWVX...
by Eno Deb
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The risks of using account aggregators (how they access your accounts).
Replies: 34
Views: 2878

Re: The risks of using account aggregators (how they access your accounts).

Brian Krebs recently reported that criminals are using account aggregators to circumvent 2-factor authentication (since some of the aggregators have privileged access without requiring the second factor): https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/08/the-risk-of-weak-online-banking-passwords/ Another aspect t...
by Eno Deb
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What cellphone plan do you recommend?
Replies: 60
Views: 4438

Re: What cellphone plan do you recommend?

Adding another vote for Mint. We switched last year and now pay less than a third of what we paid for an AT&T postpaid plan. Mint is also one of the few prepaid plans that supports international calls and international roaming with very reasonable extra fees for calls and texts (only data roamin...
by Eno Deb
Sat May 09, 2020 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SIM Card Hack
Replies: 21
Views: 2772

Re: SIM Card Hack

I check my financial accounts often on my cell phone. All the accounts, including my cell phone, use facial recognition ID. Is this considered a safe set up? I read this morning about a SIM card hack and became concerned. There are really two different issues. As for using banking apps in general, ...
by Eno Deb
Sat May 09, 2020 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit monitoring service
Replies: 9
Views: 636

Re: Best credit monitoring service

These days, I have frozen my credit (and my wife's) at the 4 Credit Reporting Agencies and use FreeCreditReport.Com to periodically check on everything. No plans to go back. I assume you mean annualcreditreport.com (which is the only official site for free credit reports as mandated by the FCRA). Y...
by Eno Deb
Fri May 08, 2020 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best uses of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Replies: 28
Views: 4003

Re: Best uses of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Curious as to why so many recommendations on transferring points to airlines. Chase gives you an extra 25% or 50% (depending on card) to book through its portal. Why would you turn this down? It used to be relatively easy to find transfer options where you could get 2-3 times the value compared to ...
by Eno Deb
Wed May 06, 2020 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online
Replies: 56
Views: 40288

Re: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online

lstone19 wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 8:26 pmYes, one of the choices is “none of the above” but if you’re answering none of the above to every question, pretty much guaranteed you won’t pass the check.
I think "none of the above" is part of the test. I get them fairly often and don't recall ever having had a problem passing.
by Eno Deb
Tue May 05, 2020 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online
Replies: 56
Views: 40288

Re: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online

Not only did I get bogus questions online from Equifax, I got bogus questions from Social Security (which uses Equifax) when I tried to create an online SS account. After 3 lockouts, SS cannot restore your access. So I won’t be able to create a “My SS” account until SS offices reopen in some way po...
by Eno Deb
Mon May 04, 2020 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online
Replies: 56
Views: 40288

Re: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online

How is it possible that this (in my opinion) criminally-negligent enterprise, masquerading as a legitimate business, allowed to stay in business? Not to get too political but the government allows them to exist. Experian and Transunion are just as scummy as Equifax. These companies should all be ru...
by Eno Deb
Mon May 04, 2020 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online
Replies: 56
Views: 40288

Re: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online

I dislike the requirement to create an Equifax "account" for three reasons: 1. I am required to provide Equifax with additional information (e.g., cell phone number, email, etc.) that is now permanently linked to all of my other information in Equifax's database. And now available to hack...
by Eno Deb
Fri May 01, 2020 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 509
Views: 49670

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

BeneIRA wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 1:29 pmKeep in mind there is temporarily a 5X UR bonus on grocery stores for the CSR. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-ca ... ry-stores/
Groceries happen to be the 5% category on the Chase Freedom too this quarter, so you wouldn't lose anything by downgrading.
by Eno Deb
Fri May 01, 2020 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online
Replies: 56
Views: 40288

Re: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online

If you make a free account at my.equifax.com, you can view the Equifax credit report online up to 6 times per year. The account can also be used to manage the security freeze. Just make sure to dodge any attempts by them to get you to sign up for a paid service when you make the account.
by Eno Deb
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [One stop shop with BoA / Merrill Edge]
Replies: 34
Views: 2465

Re: [One stop shop with BoA / Merrill Edge]

The way that the payment system works is through the BillPay system. The credit card generates a e-bill once a month that shows up in BillPay. Right. I guess they thought it would be a good idea to have a unified system for both credit card and other bills, but it does make setting it up a bit more...
by Eno Deb
Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [One stop shop with BoA / Merrill Edge]
Replies: 34
Views: 2465

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

Anyway, the CMA is currently the only automatic sweep option from the brokerage. This is a downside compared to Fidelity's "core position" (although the way money market rates are going now, it's becoming less important). So when you saw that the automatic sweep option for Merrill CMA is ...
by Eno Deb
Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [One stop shop with BoA / Merrill Edge]
Replies: 34
Views: 2465

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

Thanks Dan. I haven't closely evaluated the interest rates but I probably don't expect to keep a whole lot in cash anyways. Maybe $20K. I just Googled up the pdf of ME's CMA and it says it "sweeps into bank accounts with BoA . . . (under the Merrill Lynch Direct Deposit Program)". The &qu...
by Eno Deb
Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proof of ownership and paper statements
Replies: 25
Views: 1849

Re: Proof of ownership and paper statements

I religiously save my bank/brokerage statements in PDF form (on an encrypted Veracrypt volume) and regularly make backups. I don't think the likelihood of needing them for proof of ownership is very high, but it is very well possible that particularly brokerage statements will come in handy in case ...
by Eno Deb
Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 756
Views: 171742

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

One last thing, when I log into my BofA account it shows "wealth management" in the corner but they said that just means that I have both a BofA account and a Merrill Edge account. This was new to me. This is not normal. I have both BoA and ME accounts, and on the web site there is no men...
by Eno Deb
Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get a credit card? Which?
Replies: 21
Views: 1378

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

This card gives you 5% cash back on Amazon purchases--a no-brainer in my opinion. Otherwise you're just leaving money on the table. Remember that you need to subscribe to Prime to get that benefit. So if you don't really need the Prime benefits, you have to consider the $120 per year cost. I'll als...
by Eno Deb
Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease or buy Highlander hybrid, waiting for new technology
Replies: 9
Views: 1120

Re: Lease or buy Highlander hybrid, waiting for new technology

Why not consider something like a Tesla Model Y? Its range more than meets your requirements, and it’s not too far from a Highlander hybrid in cost. We’d like to do some extended long distance back country (desert/mountain) travel where charging stations are scarce. As a second car though, Tesla wo...
by Eno Deb
Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 509
Views: 49670

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

I find it inconceivable that travel restrictions will last more than a couple more months. I think we'll have to get used to many "inconceivable" things. A few months ago nobody would have believed that we'd have a nationwide lockdown. This will almost certainly be a once-in-a-generation ...
by Eno Deb
Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 5994

Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Everybody is different. Don't buy one before trying it first. Personally I don't like the Aeron because of the hard frame around the seat (which uncomfortably pressed into my thighs) and a lack of adjustability. On the other end of the price spectrum, the Ikea chairs seemed a bit flimsy to me. I'm n...
by Eno Deb
Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 509
Views: 49670

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

What would you do with your points? Luckily I didn't have that problem since I had used up most of my points for United business class tickets to Europe last year. Otherwise I would probably transfer them to one of the less expensive Chase cards (Freedom or CSP) and leave them there until traveling...
by Eno Deb
Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 509
Views: 49670

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

You are obviously a big vague (“won’t be fully lifted”), but if I can’t travel or dine out for 1-2 years, the annual fee of the card is probably a drop in the bucket of the financial impact of such a situation (looking at my account balances, it already is a rounding error). Sure, but once you have...
by Eno Deb
Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 509
Views: 49670

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

It may take a bit longer for long distance travel to come back. But again, we are talking months, not years. The various restrictions won't be fully lifted until a majority of the population has gained immunity (either through a vaccine, or by getting through an infection). This is likely to take a...
by Eno Deb
Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America dropped me from the preferred rewards program!?
Replies: 20
Views: 3661

Re: Bank of America dropped me from the preferred rewards program!?

I was told I needed a savings account with at least $500 for preferred rewards. Best just to ask BofA. The web site is pretty clear. No savings account is mentioned. I specifically asked them not to open one for me when I opened the checking account and it didn't affect my preferred rewards eligibi...
by Eno Deb
Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America dropped me from the preferred rewards program!?
Replies: 20
Views: 3661

Re: Bank of America dropped me from the preferred rewards program!?

addicoe wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:17 pm
RudyS wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:53 pm
drk wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:38 pm Did you close your BofA checking account?
Or your BofA savings account?
My savings account was closed by BofA due to having $0 but not my checking.
That shouldn't be the issue. I never had a BoA savings account and still got preferred rewards status.
by Eno Deb
Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda
Replies: 84
Views: 5658

Re: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda

RomeoMustDie wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:09 pmYes, depends on the mileage, but a good place to cash out is before the battery swap somewhere near 100,000 miles.
The batteries seem to typically last significantly longer than that. See e.g.:

https://electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla-ba ... tion-data/
by Eno Deb
Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 756
Views: 171742

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

cowbman wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:38 pmWealth Management means you have at least 250k.
I have significantly more than $250K at Merrill and I'm still in the preferred rewards program. I think what might have happened is that the OP was for some reason switched from the self-directed Edge account to some kind of advisor-guided service.
by Eno Deb
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda
Replies: 84
Views: 5658

Re: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda

I'm not a Tesla guy, but isn't a Model 3 roughly comparable in size/roominess to a Civic, whereas an S is more like an Accord (or perhaps a hair bigger than an Accord?) I would say in terms of roominess the Model 3 is more similar to an Accord than a Civic. It's about the same width and a few inche...
by Eno Deb
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda
Replies: 84
Views: 5658

Re: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda

From my understanding (as someone with limited experience with luxury cars), Teslas have a type of appeal that's broadly similar to that of luxury cars, but different in manifestation. A significant component of the buying market, both for a $90K Tesla S, and for a $90K Mercedes sedan, is driven by...
by Eno Deb
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda
Replies: 84
Views: 5658

Re: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda

If you do this it’ll be fine for awhile. Then you’ll want another luxury car. That is, If you bought the Tesla for any other reason than status. I don't know anyone who bought a Tesla because it's a luxury car. In fact, the interior is nothing to write home about even in the more expensive models. ...
by Eno Deb
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda
Replies: 84
Views: 5658

Re: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda

I currently drive a Model 3 and it's not perfect (some minor quality issues). But honestly, if I can help it I will never go back to driving a non-electric car. It's just so much more fun to drive, and the "autopilot" is a fantastic stress relief on long highway drives. From a pure cost pe...
by Eno Deb
Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Upside down car: advice [car loan]
Replies: 57
Views: 3132

Re: Upside down car: advice

Regarding the car, I'd first run the numbers to see how much he could potentially save by switching (e.g. get insurance offers for a Honda/Toyota or similar). I can't imagine that a 3-year old Audi is that expensive to insure. Also, at least with this car he knows what he has. If he buys a used car ...
by Eno Deb
Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is TLH a no-brainer in this scenario, or better to just keep holding?
Replies: 7
Views: 643

Re: Is TLH a no-brainer in this scenario, or better to just keep holding?

Say I exchange all my taxable shares into something like VOO. Now I am in about the same place I am today, except I also get to offset a good chunk of my 2020 capital gains with a $174k loss. This seems like a no-brainer to me--but I'm not that savvy. Based on what you described I would agree. When...
by Eno Deb
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do people keep saying you have to be right twice?
Replies: 213
Views: 8012

Re: Why do people keep saying you have to be right twice?

You don't, you only have to be right ONCE. You're already up after a single decision to sell at the right time. The second decision is a triviality. Worst case, you can buy back in and break even. Depends on your definition of "being up". If you sell at a profit and want to stay out of th...
by Eno Deb
Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Munis getting slaughtered!
Replies: 194
Views: 19061

Re: Munis getting slaughtered!

I live in CA and hold the California intermediate and long term tax exempt bond funds in my taxable account with Vanguard. They seem like good deals in general, but they have been taking it on the chin during the steep bear market decline in the last few days! I was wondering whether there was a ta...
by Eno Deb
Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Munis getting slaughtered!
Replies: 194
Views: 19061

Re: Munis getting slaughtered!

I remember when VNYTX was barfing out 4%. Good old days. I haven't had any muni fund since 2008. The yields are pathetic even compared to I-Bonds. It depends on your tax situation. If you live e.g. in CA and are in a higher tax bracket, a CA muni fund has actually been a very good deal through the ...
by Eno Deb
Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Munis getting slaughtered!
Replies: 194
Views: 19061

Re: Munis getting slaughtered!

watchnerd wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:07 amThat's for muni MM funds.
Ultra-shorts, to be precise. But this should have a positive effect on longer-term bonds too, since it takes financial pressure off the municipalities and makes them less likely to default.

I wonder why VTEB is doing so much better than MUB today ...
by Eno Deb
Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally 1% bonus, up to $250, sign up by 3/23
Replies: 252
Views: 23980

Re: Ally 1% bonus, up to $250

I also received a confirmation minutes after enrolling, subject: "Good news - you're enrolled in the cash bonus".

Make sure you use the correct email address.
by Eno Deb
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally 1% bonus, up to $250, sign up by 3/23
Replies: 252
Views: 23980

Re: Ally 1% bonus, up to $250

Keep your money elsewhere then and only transfer into Ally when they have a bonus. Without the bonus they generally don't have the best rates anyway, and that's the only real difference between banks when it comes to FDIC-insured products. For me, one big plus with Ally is the accessibility of fund...
by Eno Deb
Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone moving from money market funds to Treasuries?
Replies: 2
Views: 576

Re: Anyone moving from money market funds to Treasuries?

Note that he doesn't recommend to move out of MMF in general, but only those containing commercial paper (i.e. prime MMF). So government/treasury MMF should be fine, and about as safe as FDIC-insured cash accounts (although potentially less liquid). Personally I think it's a good idea. The interest ...
by Eno Deb
Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash vs Money Market ETFs/Funds
Replies: 2
Views: 305

Re: Cash vs Money Market ETFs/Funds

I have a substantial amount of cash at Fidelity in "cash". I have not purchased either a money market ETF or fund. My question is whether Fidelity authomatically places my cash in a money market instrument. Does anyone know the answer? It depends on what your account's "core position...
by Eno Deb
Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Updated 3/18 - "You can't hide in bonds" article
Replies: 183
Views: 10318

Re: "You can't hide in bonds" article

I agree with those saying there is little upside in holding corporate bonds right now. Given the dropping yields I don't see the point of holding these bonds until things have stabilized. I switched all funds/ETFs containing corporate bonds to short-term treasury-only ETFs (in my Roth and taxable ac...
by Eno Deb
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happened with California munis today?
Replies: 3
Views: 678

Re: What happened with California munis today?

I don't think anything in particular happened with CA munis. If you look at another CA Muni ETF (e.g. PWZ) it does not look anything like that. For ETFs that don't have a high volume, just a few medium-sized trades can cause this kind of swing.
by Eno Deb
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cell phone usage in Europe
Replies: 27
Views: 1713

Re: Cell phone usage in Europe

Any solution on getting texts (SMS) on an Android (Samsung) phone forwarded to either Google or a new European Sim Card #? No, forwarding SMS is generally not possible. Some alternatives: - Get a Google Voice number (which can receive SMS) and tell your friends to use that. Then use the Google Voic...
by Eno Deb
Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally no-penalty CD withdrawl
Replies: 10
Views: 1450

Re: Ally no-penalty CD withdrawl

OK it's all-or-nothing then, thanks. The no-penalty CD still seems like a great deal if there's any chance you might need the money before the full term is up. With a $25K deposit, Ally no-penalty 11-month CD pays 1.9%. Their promo special 13-month CD pays 2.1% with a 60 days of interest penalty fo...
by Eno Deb
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity theft
Replies: 13
Views: 2120

Re: Identity theft

jmorgans wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:47 pmMy question is how to prevent this person from figuring out where I legitimately bank or invest, calling and impersonating me and draining my account?
If you haven't already, call your banks. They will add a note to your account and may be able to set up additional security measures for you.