Search found 153 matches

by softwaregeek
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay student loans via cash-out refinance?
Replies: 41
Views: 1831

Re: Pay student loans via cash-out refinance?

I certainly wouldn't refi his debt. But I believe he can deduct the mortgage interest even on a cash out. Plus, student loans are basically non dischargeable. I would much rather have the mortgage than the student loan. I would take an ARM, possibly cashing out a little bit to reduce the highest inc...
by softwaregeek
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSBC Buffered accelerated Market Participation Securities
Replies: 18
Views: 680

Re: HSBC Buffered accelerated Market Participation Securities

Fifth, can you even transfer this out with an ACAT? If you can't sell and you can't transfer, it binds you to HSBC like a voodoo curse.


HSBC has a bad reputation for many reasons.
by softwaregeek
Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSBC Buffered accelerated Market Participation Securities
Replies: 18
Views: 680

Re: HSBC Buffered accelerated Market Participation Securities

I am highly suspicious of this for two reasons. First, it's being aggressively marketed. That's a screaming red flag to me. It means there is enough margin in the product, if only personnel time, to make it worthwhile to push. Second, it is not a simple product. It is difficult to understand and the...
by softwaregeek
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice from credit card churners - building supplies
Replies: 14
Views: 1067

Re: Seeking advice from credit card churners - building supplies

balbrec2 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:22 am
Lowes has a CC that gives a 5% discount . Price reduced by that amount at the time purchase.
You can also stack that with a moving coupon for 10 percent you get in a USPS moving packet from the post office.
by softwaregeek
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance - Cautionary Tale
Replies: 22
Views: 2181

Re: Umbrella Insurance - Cautionary Tale

Correct. Many policies exclude punitive damages. However, aggravated liability if alcohol is a factor would drive up the value and would likely be covered in an effort to secure a release on behalf of the parents as well. Some states prohibit insurance coverage of punitive damages as a public polic...
by softwaregeek
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge
Replies: 107
Views: 12506

Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

Moving money to Merrill edge can also lower your mortgage. I double dipped with a mortgage refi and a large bonus. No regrets except the bank service at BofA is terrible. But worth it to save on the mortgage.
by softwaregeek
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate
Replies: 18
Views: 1068

Re: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate

I will admit I have given much thought to moving back in, in about 10 years when my kids finish elementary school. The costs are much lower - it costs me about what a one bedroom apartment costs to rent now - and I do love the place, actually much more than my new one. But it is much smaller then my...
by softwaregeek
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help - Talk to me like I'm 4 y/o please
Replies: 88
Views: 7120

Re: Help - Talk to me like I'm 4 y/o please

You will probably pay some transaction fees but nothing you won't make back in the first two months.
by softwaregeek
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate
Replies: 18
Views: 1068

Re: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate

Yeah, I just wanted to confirm. My spreadsheet says sell, my heart wants to keep it.

It's actually been the very best investment I ever made.
by softwaregeek
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate
Replies: 18
Views: 1068

Re: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate

My house is also in the bay area. And I am probably 15+ years from retirement. Unless I can't find work in my 50s. Tech is notorious for age discrimination.
by softwaregeek
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help - Talk to me like I'm 4 y/o please
Replies: 88
Views: 7120

Re: Help - Talk to me like I'm 4 y/o please

Very simple. Just send an email to your advisor and then tell them you are terminating the relationship. Then pick a discount brokerage (Schwab, Fidelity, Vangaurd, Merrill EDGE etc) and call them to start a transfer. You will open new accounts and then your new broker will help you do an ACATS tran...
by softwaregeek
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate
Replies: 18
Views: 1068

Re: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate

What other assets do you have? Net worth probably in the $5 million range, but hard to know since I do have some non-liquid assets. 900k rental equity (after capital gains and sale costs) 1.6 mil taxable (all stock/ETF/mutual fund, most with substantial capital gain so painful to sell) 500k retirem...
by softwaregeek
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate
Replies: 18
Views: 1068

Keep or Sell Rental Real Estate

I have a residential property on the market that hasn't sold. I'm considering giving it up and renting it out. What do you think? Property was originally bought in 2009 for $640k, about $50k in upgrades. It's listed for $1.4 million right now but I may not get it. It has been reduced a couple of tim...
by softwaregeek
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone itching to dabble in crypto?
Replies: 46
Views: 2782

Re: Anyone itching to dabble in crypto?

The smart money got in early. You didn't get in early? You aren't the smart money.
by softwaregeek
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rush to refill emergency fund after buying 2nd duplex or max out retirement accounts?
Replies: 13
Views: 1122

Re: Rush to refill emergency fund after buying 2nd duplex or max out retirement accounts?

Can you cover two vacant units for three months plus a tenant trashing a place? If not, you need to replenish the emergency fund.
by softwaregeek
Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm beside myself about my dad's investment account
Replies: 32
Views: 5414

Re: I'm beside myself about my dad's investment account

I don’t see the problem. He is almost 90. He should be in safe securities. He is. Yes, the fee is a little high but 200 is a small account and there are fixed compliance and insurance costs for the trustee.
by softwaregeek
Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone itching to dabble in crypto?
Replies: 46
Views: 2782

Re: Anyone itching to dabble in crypto?

Studied cryptography in grad school. No desire to dabble in it.
by softwaregeek
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brokerages with best cash management features
Replies: 2
Views: 341

Re: Brokerages with best cash management features

Schwab is excellent except for low sweep rate. No money market sweep available and rates are low. But banking is best in class.
by softwaregeek
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from multiple accounts to Merrill Edge or Premium?
Replies: 23
Views: 1665

Re: Moving from multiple accounts to Merrill Edge or Premium?

You might be able to call and get status earlier. funds look good though. It's less about being perfect than being somewhere near the wide zone of consensus. People argue different allocations all the time but yours seems reasonable and you certainly are not overpaying.
by softwaregeek
Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance Agent vs DIY
Replies: 7
Views: 534

Re: Insurance Agent vs DIY

I have done the shopping myself. Because I am so cheap I shop a lot of companies and it generally takes at least eight hours. I’m considering going to an agent just to save the time burden.
by softwaregeek
Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mortgage Refinance Question
Replies: 10
Views: 1009

Re: Mortgage Refinance Question

For you, I think a 10/1 ARM would be an excellent thing to look at. By year 10, at your current rate of payoff, you would have so little left that it wouldn't matter what the interest rate is.
by softwaregeek
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does this car exist? Sexy convertible with a backseat
Replies: 53
Views: 3258

Re: Does this car exist? Sexy convertible with a backseat

Second the mustang. It also has the advantage of readily available parts and in the V6 configuration is not monstrously expensive to insure, at least for this middle age male with a good driving record. My co-workers experience with Porsches is that they are horrendously expensive to maintain and in...
by softwaregeek
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question for the 5%...Anyone buying any individual stocks?
Replies: 51
Views: 4271

Re: Question for the 5%...Anyone buying any individual stocks?

I have a large percentage of my portfolio in individual stocks from my pre-boglehead days. I am holding on because I do not want to take the capital gains. Everything new, and dividends, are invested in indexes. I've sold everything where the capital gains would not be prohibitive and reinvested in ...
by softwaregeek
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How is VG's High Yield VWEHX for consistent income?
Replies: 19
Views: 1448

Re: How is VG's High Yield VWEHX for consistent income?

In my opinion, high yield bonds are the worst of all possible options. They crater in a downturn but your yield is capped.
by softwaregeek
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying new house, almost under contract - how many lenders should I get quotes from?
Replies: 2
Views: 488

Re: buying new house, almost under contract - how many lenders should I get quotes from?

I think three is a reasonable number. Brokers can get better rates on conforming but you need a second broker to check that you aren't being taken advantage of. For jumbo, call big banks directly.
by softwaregeek
Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Standalone Umbrella Policy
Replies: 11
Views: 968

Re: Standalone Umbrella Policy

USLI sold us a standalone policy. It was reasonable.
by softwaregeek
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab retirement calculator
Replies: 5
Views: 1420

Re: Schwab retirement calculator

I have used Schwab, fidelity and Merrill edge. Fidelity is the best of them.
by softwaregeek
Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering adding second level to house [Bay Area]
Replies: 37
Views: 2684

Re: Considering adding second level to house [Bay Area]

After going through my current renovation, I offer the following tips for construction in the bay area: 1. Go with a design build firm. I used separate architect, builder, engineer. The engineer was awful and the $3k engineering job probably cost $40k in new work. In addition, the separation between...
by softwaregeek
Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: friend claiming 17% returns on Life Insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 3658

Re: friend claiming 17% returns on Life Insurance

Any life insurance company that consistently gave out 17 percent returns will soon be out of business. Either there is fraud or your friend is mistaken.
by softwaregeek
Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering opening a Wells Fargo Advisors account for 0.25% discount on mortgage interest rate
Replies: 11
Views: 971

Re: Considering opening a Wells Fargo Advisors account for 0.25% discount on mortgage interest rate

You can use wellstrade. I know for a fact. But BofA will match until July 1 and will give an account move bonus as well.
by softwaregeek
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering adding second level to house [Bay Area]
Replies: 37
Views: 2684

Re: Considering adding second level to house [Bay Area]

A much better solution, provided you have space, is to build a cottage in the back yard. You don't have to move out, the cost is lower, and you don't have to do code upgrades.
by softwaregeek
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering adding second level to house [Bay Area]
Replies: 37
Views: 2684

Re: Considering adding second level to house [Bay Area]

If you do it, make sure you use design build. I had separate architect, engineer and builder. It was a disaster. It did get built but at massive cost overrun. At theast minute, we had to rip the entire back of the house off to do seismic. PGE upgrade to 200 amps required 25k of extra work. And the l...
by softwaregeek
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 217
Views: 20288

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Ah, meant to write Wells. I did call Chase and they offered me a comparable rate but with extra points.
by softwaregeek
Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering adding second level to house [Bay Area]
Replies: 37
Views: 2684

Re: Considering adding second level to house [Bay Area]

Currently completing a major add on in this area. Went way above budget. PGE code upgrades alone cost 30k. This was for upgrades to the electric line. You should budget for substantial contingencies.
by softwaregeek
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side Hustle courses
Replies: 45
Views: 5190

Re: Side Hustle courses

I am older. I did side hustles, although in the old days we called them second jobs. In general, for a professional, in my opinion it is better to spend the time honing your skills rather than taking on a second field. Yes, I could make a few bucks on Facebook ads or on mowing lawns, but nothing wil...
by softwaregeek
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from multiple accounts to Merrill Edge or Premium?
Replies: 23
Views: 1665

Re: Moving from multiple accounts to Merrill Edge or Premium?

Those high fee funds in the IRA are awful. 1% compounded over 20 years is 25%. Just simplify down to a few index funds and be done with it. Your broker probably has sample allocations that work fine as a web tool. And don't pay Merrill for account management. This is not hard stuff. If you really do...
by softwaregeek
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reinvesting Dividends or no
Replies: 35
Views: 3867

Re: Reinvesting Dividends or no

Dividends help me rebalance without selling assets and incurring capital gains.
by softwaregeek
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 217
Views: 20288

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

With BofA reducing, Chase and Citi are the best players.
by softwaregeek
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance my mortgage?
Replies: 17
Views: 1702

Re: Should I refinance my mortgage?

You accept a higher interest rate for no cost refi. Also, for a jumbo, check out my thread on relationship mortgages. Of you can move 200 to 250k in assets, you can get a below market mortgage. Typically an eighth per 250k moved. Every big bank has these programs but they are not advertised. I am cu...
by softwaregeek
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a condo in Chicago?
Replies: 52
Views: 5274

Re: Should I buy a condo in Chicago?

All good advice. I would add that in my opinion, in a downturn, the best locations are affected least. So think about a smaller place in the best area rather than trying to get a larger place in a gentrifying area. It was my experience after the dot com boom that many areas in San Francisco that wen...
by softwaregeek
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella policy went up 166%
Replies: 34
Views: 3445

Re: Umbrella policy went up 166%

You can do a comparison rate check with USLI. They offer standalone umbrella.
by softwaregeek
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 217
Views: 20288

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

For what it is worth, I hear BofA is raising minimum balance to get these deals. Wells told me an unbelievable thing. They let you use the relationship mortgage balance as a down payment. So of you have a 250 down payment and a 250 IRA, you can get 0.25 off the mortgage. Not sure I believe either of...
by softwaregeek
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currently Viable Refinance Options when 30-YR Mortgage is Currently at 3.875%?
Replies: 23
Views: 1752

Re: Currently Viable Refinance Options when 30-YR Mortgage is Currently at 3.875%?

If you have 250k to move, a relationship mortgage is an option. Also consider a 10/1 arm.
by softwaregeek
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Southwest Airlines credit card
Replies: 10
Views: 1594

Re: Chase Southwest Airlines credit card

Do your utlities take credit cards? I prepay when I want to hit a credit card spending bonus.
by softwaregeek
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big (expensive) remodel in LA -- advice and tips?
Replies: 12
Views: 1325

Re: Big (expensive) remodel in LA -- advice and tips?

I am just completing a major remodel in silicon valley which went very much over budget. Problem number one was not using a design build. Because of this, nolbody told me that many of my decisions were driving up costs. if I had known, for example that the massive windows I specified meant thicker f...
by softwaregeek
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone buying Beyond Meat stock?
Replies: 35
Views: 2868

Re: Anyone buying Beyond Meat stock?

They served it as an option at work this week. It was actuat really good. Might buy the product but the stock is pure speculation.
by softwaregeek
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Umbrella Insurance - Found out my Geico Umbrella is terrible
Replies: 2
Views: 1127

Personal Umbrella Insurance - Found out my Geico Umbrella is terrible

Based on a recent thread about umbrella insurance, I took a hard look at mine. I have a Geico Umbrella insurance policy. I've been reading about umbrella insurance and what makes good insurance. In particular, I came across this umbrella insurance checklist. https://www.irmi.com/docs/default-source/...
by softwaregeek
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Strategy Vs. Investment Strategy
Replies: 14
Views: 1419

Re: Life Strategy Vs. Investment Strategy

Burnout.Its real. Consider taking a sabbatical or upping your vacations. I always feel refreshed when I get back from a vacation. I need about a week to chill out when I go.