Search found 1628 matches

by patrick
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 76
Views: 4860

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

I'm not sure what counts as regular but I think 500 two-ply sheets is more than regular. The generic toilet paper from Dollar Tree has only 275 two-ply sheets on each roll, so that's what I'd consider as regular -- of course in that case I can buy four of them for a dollar!
by patrick
Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 4% APY credit unions
Replies: 6
Views: 986

Re: 4% APY credit unions

You have to balance: 1. The hoops the credit union/bank want you to jump through to earn the higher rate 2. How long each month it will take you to complete said hoops 3. What the reward is for completing hoops 4. How many of these accounts you will need to satisfy your savings/earnings requirement...
by patrick
Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 4% APY credit unions
Replies: 6
Views: 986

Re: 4% APY credit unions

These accounts were good when savings accounts were paying nothing, but now you can get 2.5% on a regular savings account so the hassle to reward just isn’t there. Many times they require significant spending on a credit card and usually their CCs suck so your losing on that side of the ball. I try...
by patrick
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD's safer than Bond Funds?
Replies: 15
Views: 1750

Re: CD's safer than Bond Funds?

Doesn't a CD (brokered or not) have a defined value: the face value plus the sum of all the interest payments? In contrast, doesn't the value of shares in a Bond fund fluctuate every day? -Mike Except for the uncommon no-penalty CDs, you only get that defined value if you hold the CD to maturity. B...
by patrick
Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do long-term bonds belong in one's portfolio?
Replies: 162
Views: 8289

Re: Do long-term bonds belong in one's portfolio?

Of course, STRIPS aren't speculation for a pension fund with nominal liabilities! You're changing the context of my statement. I have yet to hear a retail investor tell me of a nominal liability of his in 20 to 30 years that would be best covered by investing the money into an ETF of "equal-weighte...
by patrick
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International underperformance - how to break it down
Replies: 52
Views: 4073

Re: International underperformance - how to break it down

Setting aside the last 10 years: 1. UK looks to be a disaster for decades because of Brexit. 2. Continental Europe: see above for cascading effects. 3. Japan: I’d love to hear an argument for future optimism. That’s nearly 60% of ex-US. To paraphrase Dirty Harry re:Europe + Japan: Do you feel lucky...
by patrick
Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX over.... CD, Bonds, HYS?
Replies: 17
Views: 1661

Re: VMMXX over.... CD, Bonds, HYS?

VMMXX is still behind the best deposit accounts. You can get at least 2.4% on a plain savings account and 3.6% on a 5 year CD.
by patrick
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody Miss the Crypto Rage on BH Forums
Replies: 96
Views: 6965

Re: Anybody Miss the Crypto Rage on BH Forums

By the way, at the time of this writing BTC is trading for $3737 a coin. Remember it was around $20,000 this time last year. How many of your "investments" have lost 80+% in a single year? Individual stocks, maybe. That is better than most of the other cryptocurrencies. For instance Ether fell from...
by patrick
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Is Insurance Worth It (Analytically)?
Replies: 89
Views: 4234

Re: Why Is Insurance Worth It (Analytically)?

The traditional concept of risk adjusted returns doesn't easily apply to insurance because it measures risk by volatility of asset prices. When insurance covers major losses, the insurance reduces the risk of very bad results, which is probably the more important kind of risk to consider. If we are ...
by patrick
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond alternative to balance portfolio?
Replies: 25
Views: 2264

Re: Bond alternative to balance portfolio?

There are better yields available on insured deposits than on treasury bonds. Here are some current rates: 2.83% Treasury note (5 year) 3.27% Treasury bond (30 year) 3.60% Northpointe Bank 5-year CD 4.00% Orion Federal Credit Union reward checking ($30000 limit, requires 8 signature debit card purch...
by patrick
Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Banking 1% extra back up to $1,000 on new money deposited
Replies: 493
Views: 49626

Re: Ally Banking 1% extra back up to $1,000 on new money deposited

Citi is offering $600 for 50k deposit. They have a 2% savings rate but we aren't sure if you can get the $600 AND the 2% savings rate. I'm checking tomorrow. Since I'm not eligible for the Ally bonus, shopping around for others. I talked to Citi twice today, and got a consistent answer: the 2% prom...
by patrick
Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSBC online savings; comments?
Replies: 14
Views: 1444

Re: HSBC online savings; comments?

You can get more than 2.01% elsewhere -- see https://www.doctorofcredit.com/high-int ... gs-to-get/ for an extensive list, including plain savings accounts paying 2.35% and much higher with restrictions.
by patrick
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Northwest Federal 2% APY checking account
Replies: 6
Views: 667

Re: Northwest Federal 2% APY checking account

If you are going to use these "reward checking" accounts, you will need to watch closely for changes to the rules. For example, I used to use Northpointe Bank which paid 5% on balances up to $10,000 but earlier this year they reduced the rate all the way down to 1%. Also this year, Consumers Credit ...
by patrick
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to handle individual 401k administration
Replies: 13
Views: 875

Re: How to handle individual 401k administration

I used to have an individual 401K with Vanguard -- there was no third party administrator and I did not miss having one. May I ask, did you file Form 5500-SF yourself? Was there any other administration that you had to take care of? How about when you terminated the plan-how did you handle that? I ...
by patrick
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond prices drop but their yields go up??
Replies: 22
Views: 2678

Re: Bond prices drop but their yields go up??

Let me ask this. I understand individual bonds go up & down in value with interest rates. Now bond funds do not have a fixed end date. The bond fund owns lots of bonds I look at my Vanguard Total Bond Fund and see it has gone down approx 10% in value. Balanced by the increase in dividends. Is the 1...
by patrick
Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Backup Your Phone Locally? How?
Replies: 17
Views: 1052

Re: IT Help Needed: Best Way to Backup a Phone?

What specific data do you want to back up -- photos, text messages, applications, settings, etc?
by patrick
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to handle individual 401k administration
Replies: 13
Views: 875

Re: How to handle individual 401k administration

I used to have an individual 401K with Vanguard -- there was no third party administrator and I did not miss having one.
by patrick
Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 86
Views: 7830

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

What is the advantage of cashing in an older I bond to buy a new one? Wouldn't you be better off to use other cash to buy a new one? Seems like you are "wasting" tax advantaged space with the $10k limit. I can see if you are in the decumulation stage it would make sense. Whether to buy new I bonds ...
by patrick
Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is market cap weighting a dumb idea?
Replies: 64
Views: 3055

Re: Is market cap weighting a dumb idea?

Two things I come away with from this graphic (having not read the tweets): (1) The chart itself is gibberish. It shows the S&P500 return from 1972 to 2018, and compares it with a spliced graph of several stocks over varying time periods. There's no way to discern any intelligible comparison. Indee...
by patrick
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is emerging markets investable?
Replies: 51
Views: 2991

Re: Is emerging markets investable?

A greater concern is Chinese exchange and capital controls. Chinese investors cannot buy the global portfolio and thus may overvalue domestic stocks. The China holdings in regular emerging markets funds are mainly listed outside mainland China -- these are not the same shares that mainland Chinese ...
by patrick
Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is emerging markets investable?
Replies: 51
Views: 2991

Re: Is emerging markets investable?

Do you still think so after reading this article? It is almost a fact that China's stunning GDP growth is reflected to 0% degree into its stock market. The Chinese stock market is a complete casino filled with speculation and no real investment. https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterpham/2018/02/22/wha...
by patrick
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumer Price Index and medication etc. Why TIPS?
Replies: 5
Views: 610

Re: Consumer Price Index and medication etc. Why TIPS?

In any case, I rent too. 2005-2015 data shows rent up 40% by inflation adjustment was only 30%. So health care, housing, food, and energy all seem very suspect. If TIPS don't really reflect the inflation I will be seeing, are they still my best bet to fight inflation? Nominals have inflation baked ...
by patrick
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity and Blackrock employees sue over 401k plans
Replies: 10
Views: 1827

Re: Fidelity and Blackrock employees sue over 401k plans

From the article on the older lawsuit, Fidelity included funds with fees as low as 0.05% and still had to settle the lawsuit. Meanwhile we see lots of people posting on this board about 401ks where the cheapest option is more than ten times that. It seems these lawsuits are focused more on finding d...
by patrick
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?
Replies: 113
Views: 6985

Re: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?

Breaking up the deposits is called structuring and punishable by as much as five years in prison. Whether you like it or not, that’s the law. Gill Nonsense. There has to be a nefarious intent when structuring or smurfing. She isn’t laundering money or committing a financial crime. Could you imagine...
by patrick
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why dismiss sectors?
Replies: 31
Views: 1759

Re: Why dismiss sectors?

In general it seems like sectors are dismissed on this forum for simplicity's sake, and secondarily because the common belief here is that market weighting is efficient and will produce optimal returns. Personally I do buy Vanguard's sector ETF's to 'balance' (in my opinion) my portfolio. S&P 500 i...
by patrick
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad time to invest in govt bonds?
Replies: 20
Views: 2680

Re: Bad time to invest in govt bonds?

What do you guys think about this? https://seekingalpha.com/article/4210496-bnd-avoid-bond-funds-current-environment The Federal Reserve is in the midst of a rate hiking program that is expected to continue for the next year or two. BND has been a steady loser over the past year due to these rate h...
by patrick
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflating AGI to avoid paying back ACA Premium Tax Credit
Replies: 42
Views: 3920

Re: Inflating AGI to avoid paying back ACA Premium Tax Credit

Beyond the ACA income threshold, converting to Roth when you are at a temporarily lower income also takes advantage of the lower tax rate.
by patrick
Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High APY Checking
Replies: 10
Views: 1095

Re: High APY Checking

Consumers Credit Union 4.59% APY On Up To $20k. Hoops to jump through. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/consumers-credit-union-5-07-apy-on-up-to-20000-rewards-checking/ You have inadvertently pointed out the main problem with this kind of account -- you have to constantly watch for changes to the rul...
by patrick
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign bonds
Replies: 14
Views: 812

Re: Foreign bonds

Currency hedged foreign bonds ought to have pretty much the same return as domestic bonds, but with extra trading costs to maintain the currency hedge. Unhedged foreign bonds will be much more volatile than domestic bonds due to currency risk (which being more or less symmetrical wouldn't be expecte...
by patrick
Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there an arbitrage opportunity when the imputed tax rate on a municipal bond varies from one's actual tax rate?
Replies: 5
Views: 518

Re: Is there an arbitrage opportunity when the imputed tax rate on a municipal bond varies from one's actual tax rate?

It's not quite clear what tax rate is actually factored in to muni yields, but I'd expect that munis should have the state tax advantages factored in as well.
by patrick
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CIT Bank Savings Builder
Replies: 8
Views: 1081

Re: CIT Bank Savings Builder

EBSB has a 2.5% savings account.
by patrick
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social considerations with gaming credit cards
Replies: 21
Views: 2595

Re: social considerations with gaming credit cards

For some idea of how much the banks get from card transactions see https://www.helcim.com/us/visa-interchange-rates/ which provides a table by card type. The interchange rates are enough to cover a simple 1% cash back but won't cover the much higher cost of providing signup bonuses.
by patrick
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mega backdoor roth - question about tax on earnings
Replies: 25
Views: 1626

Re: mega backdoor roth - question about tax on earnings

Searched a bit more on this forum and found this relevant post. AIUI after I turn 59.5years, everything will be tax exempt pretty much. Applying the below answer to my example scenario: If I want to withdraw this $11,110 before I turn 59.5, and before 5 tax year ends from the date of rollover: I ca...
by patrick
Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mega backdoor roth - question about tax on earnings
Replies: 25
Views: 1626

Re: mega backdoor roth - question about tax on earnings

Gains earned after converting to Roth are tax free (assuming age 59.5 and Roth open 5 years) -- that is the key benefit of using a Roth. You would however need to keep track of the conversion amounts to determine the tax treatment of early withdrawals.
by patrick
Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allocating 1/3 of Investable Assets to Roth Accounts
Replies: 35
Views: 2149

Re: Allocating 1/3 of Investable Assets to Roth Accounts

I am currently 50/50 Roth/traditional in the TSP (more like 45/55 with the match). But the TSP is currently only 4% of my NW, equities about 12%. I think investing in traditional accounts is akin to giving up on your dreams. I never understood the "I will be in a lower tax bracket in retirement". W...
by patrick
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Online Savings Accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 946

Re: Online Savings Accounts

Don't forget the 6 withdrawal per month limit on savings accounts.
by patrick
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities have never been cheaper - time to buy?
Replies: 46
Views: 5234

Re: Commodities have never been cheaper - time to buy?

It looks like this is not comparing any kind valuation metrics, but rather is looking at past returns of the S&P 500 compared to a commodities index. Does it really make sense to consider commodities cheap just because they underperformed since 2008? If so, why not make the same comparison using tre...
by patrick
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Light bulbs
Replies: 19
Views: 1867

Re: New Light bulbs

Dollar Tree LED bulbs seem good enough to me -- I've had one more than a year and it still works.
by patrick
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 1247
Views: 107146

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

The US has 2 technology companies that are worth 1 trillion dollars. China has 2 companies that are worth about 500 billion dollars. Europe’s largest technology company (Spotify) is worth about 20 billion dollars. Why is it that Europe isn’t growing technology companies at the same rate as other pa...
by patrick
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Zero free funds vs more diversified Fidelity index funds. Pay nothing or pay to get slightly more diversified?
Replies: 8
Views: 1363

Re: Fidelity Zero free funds vs more diversified Fidelity index funds. Pay nothing or pay to get slightly more diversifi

For the US fund, I doubt it would make much difference. The minimum market cap to get in the Fidelity Zero fund's index (as stated in the prospectus) is only $75 million -- even if 2000 such companies are excluded their market cap would total less than $150 billion which is less than 1% of the total...
by patrick
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 1247
Views: 107146

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

You raise a good point. I think your inquiry against my logic is really, what does this trade barrier issue really mean? I'm not saying diversification is bad. I'm not saying that it's better to invest in one thing than many other things. I'm saying that the foundation of market efficiency depends ...
by patrick
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $200 cash bonus offer from Citi
Replies: 57
Views: 5337

Re: $200 cash bonus offer from Citi

I managed to get $2425 in bank account opening bonuses in 2017 and $1750 so far this year. I haven't run into any major downsides, but you do need to be sure to understand the rules for each offer. In the case of the Citi offers particularly, note that they tend to allow the bank to wait up to 90 da...
by patrick
Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with cash/emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 3621

Re: What to do with cash/emergency fund

We are playing the game of high interest checking accounts. With Consumers Credit union, it's 4.59% on up to $20,000, but there are things you will need to do. If you don't have a problem meeting those requirements, then I would recommend it (https://www.myconsumers.org/personal/checking) Another o...
by patrick
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ultra Short Term Bond ETF ?
Replies: 32
Views: 2540

Re: Ultra Short Term Bond ETF ?

You can get 2.25% on FDIC insured savings accounts.
by patrick
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Zero ER Funds are underperforming their equivalent premium class index funds
Replies: 59
Views: 8014

Re: Fidelity Zero ER Funds are underperforming their equivalent premium class index funds

It seems unlikely that all the prices would happen to be at the extreme edges of the possible ranges to explain the whole difference with rounding error. I'd agree that we can't really decide on these numbers though, but would be more likely to assume the differences are startup issues for a new fund.
by patrick
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?
Replies: 158
Views: 14182

Re: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?

Here's a simple question for you: If a 60 year old withdraws $250K from a Roth IRA in one year, are you willing to admit that there would be no tax and no penalty on the withdrawal? 1) From what I have observed, this is the order of dollar amounts (highest to lowest) in the TYPICAL index fund portf...
by patrick
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?
Replies: 158
Views: 14182

Re: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?

Nope. The only way to avoid taxes and penalties with index funds is to decide to live a life of scarcity and poverty. I have read the same blogs and guides that you have. You fill in the 0-15% income brackets. Which is another way of saying, have less income and be less wealthy. See here: https://w...
by patrick
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?
Replies: 158
Views: 14182

Re: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?

No. If I tried utilizing my TSP balance today I would pay a 10 or 20% withdrawal penalty (I'm not over 65) and a 25% tax on traditional assets. Truly a (quality of) life-deferral plan. In a taxable account you have to pay 15-38% taxes. It's a mediocre investment for tax consideration purposes. The ...