Search found 242 matches

by softwaregeek
Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best bank bonus (savings/checkings) for $75K
Replies: 12
Views: 1689

Re: best bank bonus (savings/checkings) for $75K

Just had my wife do this. Put into a short term bond fund.
by softwaregeek
Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap or Free Prepaid Credit Cards
Replies: 6
Views: 489

Re: Cheap or Free Prepaid Credit Cards

I give an amex bluebird to my nanny so she can spend some money on the kids without recourse to our finances. No fee and works great, can be bought at Walmart for a couple of bucks.
by softwaregeek
Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm an indexer, but should I be buying my companies discounted stock?
Replies: 42
Views: 3206

Re: I'm an indexer, but should I be buying my companies discounted stock?

Sure, buy it at a discount and sell upon vesting. Consider it alongside your other taxable investments. +1. I dont think this is true. But the taxation of ESPP is quite complicated. What is not true? My rationale is the following. I have two choices. 1) Do not buy shares. Then the expected value is...
by softwaregeek
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: learning about consulting side job - taxes, etc.
Replies: 6
Views: 750

Re: learning about consulting side job - taxes, etc.

Also, you may be able to deduct certain expenses. I did a consulting gig and was able to deduct mileage. But that was a while ago and laws might have changed , so YMMV.
by softwaregeek
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm an indexer, but should I be buying my companies discounted stock?
Replies: 42
Views: 3206

Re: I'm an indexer, but should I be buying my companies discounted stock?

student wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:00 am
Tamarind wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:57 am
Sure, buy it at a discount and sell upon vesting. Consider it alongside your other taxable investments.
+1.
I dont think this is true. But the taxation of ESPP is quite complicated.
by softwaregeek
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a condo owner need umbrella insurance?
Replies: 13
Views: 1294

Re: Does a condo owner need umbrella insurance?

Condo insurance is super cheap. It generally covers everything from the studs in. For example, let's say the building burns down. The association insurance will pay for the structure. However, you have kitchen cabinets and appliances which would be expensive to replace. (walls, paint, wiring, plumbi...
by softwaregeek
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company being acquired - severance strategy?
Replies: 23
Views: 2186

Re: Company being acquired - severance strategy?

Depending on your financial situation, I would cut expenses to the bone and build up as much of a cash cushion as possible. You might not need it but better to be safe. And I disagree with taking the vacation time if you have a set amount of time off. That gets paid out on termination should you be ...
by softwaregeek
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase "You Invest" account - Biggest complaint
Replies: 24
Views: 3675

Re: Chase "You Invest" account - Biggest complaint

A few points. 1. I hold my cash in you invest in an ultra short bond fund. 2. Chase UR points are worth minimum 1.5c per point when cashed out through their travel portal with certain credit cards. Google 'chase trifecta' for details. 3. Merrill edge is not perfect but better. You invest is still a ...
by softwaregeek
Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: More than one Investment Company
Replies: 21
Views: 1458

Re: More than one Investment Company

I have accounts at five institutions. I started off all Schwab. Then got 401k from the employer at Fidelity. Then employee stock plan through E-Trade. Then I got a mortgage deal from BofA that required me to move assets to Merrill Edge. Then I decided I wanted a free museum card from Chase so I move...
by softwaregeek
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making money with oversized rooftop solar system?
Replies: 22
Views: 2661

Re: Making money with oversized rooftop solar system?

In CA with pge if you have a negative bill (produced more electricity than you used) at the end of your one year true up, the credit goes to zero. Be sure this will not happen where you are at. Also they can change the rules on you. I would not over do it with the goal of making money. For now, at ...
by softwaregeek
Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making money with oversized rooftop solar system?
Replies: 22
Views: 2661

Re: Making money with oversized rooftop solar system?

Can you increase your electric usage to match your rooftop potential? I’m thinking heat pump hot water heater, induction stove, and an electric vehicle. I do have an electric stove, but I drive a beater as my daily driver. I also tend to buy used. I drive less than 5000 miles a year so car isn't a ...
by softwaregeek
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making money with oversized rooftop solar system?
Replies: 22
Views: 2661

Re: Making money with oversized rooftop solar system?

Yes, from ca in pge territory. And the system is probably a little oversized right now, because I sized it for a future electric car. But not intended for resale.
by softwaregeek
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance or Accounting Degree?
Replies: 81
Views: 5619

Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

From my experience (married to an accountant) CPA is an incredibly good career choice. Above all, it's a very flexible, portable degree. I've worked in multiple industries, including a formerly very hot industry that has fallen on hard times. At a reunion for former employees, many had been laid off...
by softwaregeek
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making money with oversized rooftop solar system?
Replies: 22
Views: 2661

Making money with oversized rooftop solar system?

I just signed a contract to have a rooftop solar system installed. The cost of power is extremely high here, about 21c per KWH. I also have an ideal roof for solar panels, at exactly the right tilt and no shade. I recently discovered that through an "energy choice aggregator" I can sell surplus powe...
by softwaregeek
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 311
Views: 36087

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Commissions at wellstrade are about three bucks. Not worth worrying about.
by softwaregeek
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 8253

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

In 5 years nobody will remember what they are or how the flowers were.
by softwaregeek
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 311
Views: 36087

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

I was curious about refinance rates from hsbc and called since they weren't listed. Exactly .375 higher than new purchase listed on website. I didn't get into details etc but they seemed to be highly competitive at 3.25 at the 1mm elite level.
by softwaregeek
Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you think about $0 commission free trade
Replies: 30
Views: 2171

Re: What do you think about $0 commission free trade

Some Robin hood shares were floating around on the private market a year or two ago here in silicon valley. Valuation was pretty absurd in my opinion at the 5bn level. I passed but was kind of kicking myself. Not kicking myself any more. Schwab will do just fine since they make most of their money f...
by softwaregeek
Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber in foreign countries
Replies: 25
Views: 1712

Re: Uber in foreign countries

Took an uber rickshaw in india. Under a dollar.
by softwaregeek
Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How doe the TYPICAL investor balance against interest And inflation spike risk?
Replies: 24
Views: 1931

Re: How doe the TYPICAL investor balance against interest And inflation spike risk?

With a house leveraged on a 30 year fixed mortgage. Inflation up means mortgage shrinks in real terms.
by softwaregeek
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Terminated with Merril, now I have a mess to clean up
Replies: 24
Views: 4315

Re: Terminated with Merril, now I have a mess to clean up

I have never seen a bank portfolio on this forum that wasn't overcomplicated and illogical.
by softwaregeek
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to safely park/invest shorter term cash to maximize returns - a *little* risk is OK
Replies: 27
Views: 3261

Re: Where to safely park/invest shorter term cash to maximize returns - a *little* risk is OK

Read up on Schwab YieldPlus sometime. It's a pretty horrific story that ended badly. I used to get postcards from Schwab advertising it again and again.
by softwaregeek
Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How hard is it to get into college?
Replies: 167
Views: 10461

Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Has she considered taking up rowing? How are her photoshop skills? Seriously, though, I think there is too much pressure. Wife went to community college and qualified for automatic transfer to Berkeley because of her grades. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Meanwhile, local high school stud...
by softwaregeek
Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Large one-time purchase: ETF or Admiral fund?
Replies: 18
Views: 1601

Re: Large one-time purchase: ETF or Admiral fund?

I would go with the etf. If at some point you move brokerage's it is easier. I had a Schwab index fund I couldn't move to Merrill edge. There is no guarantee the admiral shares could be moved easily.
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taking A Crack At This...[Portfolio Review]
Replies: 23
Views: 2209

Re: Taking A Crack At This...

Agree with the other posters. You have 30 plus years horizon, just stuff it all in the low cost index fund for now and evaluate in five years.
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage rate last week
Replies: 38
Views: 4205

Re: Mortgage rate last week

There might have been negative points on the loan. I got a quarter point rebate which brought my cost down.
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Currently invested in 100% stock
Replies: 130
Views: 13877

Re: Currently invested in 100% stock

I am 43 and have 95% stocks. But I do carry a two year emergency fund as well and am married to a state employee with both civil service tenure and a pension.
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 311
Views: 36087

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Cash out rates are typically higher I believe but I have never done one. Sounds like a great deal.
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage
Replies: 33
Views: 3131

Re: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage

Should also add Schwab bank gives .25 off mortgages at 250k held in a brokerage account there.
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage
Replies: 33
Views: 3131

Re: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage

Yes. You transfer stocks to their discount broker. That is it. I moved ETF to Merrill edge and got a significantly under market rate. Generally an eighth per 250k moved.
by softwaregeek
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage rate discount: Roll 401k to Traditional IRA during backdoor Roth year?
Replies: 5
Views: 417

Re: Mortgage rate discount: Roll 401k to Traditional IRA during backdoor Roth year?

Is the deal better than wf or bofa? Discount brokerage and relationship mortgage rates at both.
by softwaregeek
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Be Aware of "Fake" Credit Unions
Replies: 10
Views: 2182

Re: Be Aware of "Fake" Credit Unions

Star 1 is a legit cu. They advertise on the radio all the time.
by softwaregeek
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow account between neighbors?
Replies: 11
Views: 1504

Re: Escrow account between neighbors?

Agree with sandtrap. This is a nightmare from a legal perspective. Either you move or they move, new people come in with new ideas. And a legal release doesn't seem strong enough.

If the money is big enough, reasonable people can act unreasonable.
by softwaregeek
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area budget for $350k family income
Replies: 94
Views: 7551

Re: Bay Area budget for $350k family income

The issue here is clearly one of defining the term "middle-class lifestyle". The hypothetical family is living an upper-class lifestyle, but trying to 'convince themselves' that they are middle-class. $4200/year for a baby, $6000/y for 'entertainment' ($500/m buys a lot of Netflix), and $8000/y for...
by softwaregeek
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area budget for $350k family income
Replies: 94
Views: 7551

Re: Bay Area budget for $350k family income

Post this same article link on MMM and will get shred to pieces there hehe. Seems like a lot of bloated expenses such as over 2k on food, 400 for clothes, and whoa 4.5k for childcare expenses for 2 kids? Can imagine in this case a full time nanny can be had for maybe half that amount to care for bo...
by softwaregeek
Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area budget for $350k family income
Replies: 94
Views: 7551

Re: Bay Area budget for $350k family income

Post this same article link on MMM and will get shred to pieces there hehe. Seems like a lot of bloated expenses such as over 2k on food, 400 for clothes, and whoa 4.5k for childcare expenses for 2 kids? Can imagine in this case a full time nanny can be had for maybe half that amount to care for bo...
by softwaregeek
Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab cutting 600 jobs - announced today
Replies: 28
Views: 5614

Re: Schwab cutting 600 jobs - announced today

Schwab makes much of its money investing idle cash. You have 10k in cash, schwab pays almost nothing and lends it out to margin investors, and invests the rest in various bonds, as most banks do. But rates are going down and therefore margins. So less to play with. Trade fees are not the primary sou...
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage
Replies: 33
Views: 3131

Re: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage

I just closed a 2.75% 7-year ARM no closing cost refinance with HSBC after moving some assets over to HSBC. Without moving assets the rate they offered was about 3%. That was a month back and rates have dropped further so you should get better rates now. Thanks, was there >20% equity? I am just try...
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage
Replies: 33
Views: 3131

Re: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage

I just closed a 2.75% 7-year ARM no closing cost refinance with HSBC after moving some assets over to HSBC. Without moving assets the rate they offered was about 3%. That was a month back and rates have dropped further so you should get better rates now. Thanks, was there >20% equity? I am just try...
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Yet Another] How much house can I afford ?
Replies: 28
Views: 3184

Re: [Yet Another] How much house can I afford ?

I don't know. You're talking about buying homes that are 65-100% of your net worth and 4.5-7x your current income. That's too much for me. I'm in a similar financial situation and when I was house shopping this past year, I set $1.2M as the price that I wouldn't cross, and even there I felt that a ...
by softwaregeek
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Yet Another] How much house can I afford ?
Replies: 28
Views: 3184

Re: [Yet Another] How much house can I afford ?

Fixer upper is an excellent suggestion thanks ! As it so happens there is one available and I am pondering whether to go after it. But I am a complete novice when it comes to building houses. And from what I understand general contractors in this area love to take gullible clients for a nice long h...
by softwaregeek
Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers

Not possible to donate as far as I know in California. And using the power in the summer is easy, you just crank up the AC. In the winter, I suppose I could get an electric heater to reduce my gas bill or mine bitcoin. It wouldn't be much but more than 2c per hour. Batteries don't make much sense f...
by softwaregeek
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers

Not possible to donate as far as I know in California. And using the power in the summer is easy, you just crank up the AC. In the winter, I suppose I could get an electric heater to reduce my gas bill or mine bitcoin. It wouldn't be much but more than 2c per hour. Batteries don't make much sense fr...
by softwaregeek
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers

Wow that's breath taking.... In Silicon Valley, everything costs more. Minimum wage is $15 in my town. Rent on a studio apartment is 2400 a month in my area. Gas and grocery cost maybe 25% more than the national average. People say things like "I live in a HCOL area, my house costs $500k" and I lau...
by softwaregeek
Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me compare mortgage lenders
Replies: 4
Views: 577

Re: Help me compare mortgage lenders

I am against paying points as well. In fact, I usually take negative points to cover the closing.
by softwaregeek
Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers

Consider Tesla, 7.6 kW system for $15k after incentives. Tesla mounting won't work with the tile roof I have. I don't have plywood underneath. It's something they did in the SF bay area. It's just tile over 2x4 every foot or so. Also,bad reputation and skimpy warranty. On SolarReviews, the company ...
by softwaregeek
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 21 Years Old - Trying to learn young!!
Replies: 21
Views: 2117

Re: 21 Years Old - Trying to learn young!!

And the other important thing is just to keep saving, add to the pot year after year and don't freak out when the market goes down, as it will from time to time.
by softwaregeek
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers

They both seem a bit on the high side, I would think as long as the system works well the first few years you should be set so I don't put much value on the warranty. If the small guy goes out of business you have the manufacturers warranty and you can hire out swapping out the equipment. Just to p...
by softwaregeek
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Another solar post - Large vs Small installers

I am in Silicon Valley, which explains the huge price. Everything here costs more, since labor is expensive, as is regulatory overhead. There were actually six quotes, these are the last two. I quoted Sunpower and SunRun, two of the larger guys. They came in close to each other but SunPower has the ...
by softwaregeek
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related
Replies: 70
Views: 5161

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you aren't great in the interview. You need to hire an interview consultant (they do exist.). $500 to the interview consultant was the best investment of my life. I sucked at interviews; I was an introverted geek who looked great on paper and flamed out in the i...