Search found 228 matches

by DesertMan
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon Visa
Replies: 33
Views: 2195

Re: Verizon Visa

I would run, not walk, in the opposite direction. I’ve had FIOS for 10 years, and Verizon Wireless longer than that. Their communication services are top notch. I’m happy to pay those bills every month. That’s what they’re good at. Excellent customer service on both. Have you followed the absurdity...
by DesertMan
Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon Visa
Replies: 33
Views: 2195

Re: Verizon Visa

I see no advantage. Fidelity or Double Cash Citi will give you 2% cash on everything. You get a discount per wireless line (my addition: on their already outrageous prices that could easily be halved going somewhere else). Not quite as useless as Uber points, if you have a Verizon wireless plan, bu...
by DesertMan
Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon Visa
Replies: 33
Views: 2195

Re: Verizon Visa

That is strange - 4% on groceries/gas (that's pretty good), 3% on dining (also pretty good), then only 2% on VZ purchases. You'd think they give the best discount on their own stuff. Similar thing Uber did with its credit card; before they changed the reward program and made it essentially useless....
by DesertMan
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon Visa
Replies: 33
Views: 2195

Re: Verizon Visa

I don't think you get an autopay discount if you enrolled in autopay before you got the card.

The main draw is for those with lots of grocery spend but not enough to justify the BCP.
by DesertMan
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

If the 3% is really hurting you, though... maybe you're carrying too much debt going into a recession. I think you misunderstand me. 3% is overpaying. I regularly get 1% balance transfer fee. Not as good when as when they were capped (I took $100k on BT and put them in high yield CDs for a few year...
by DesertMan
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

Attention PenFed credit-card holders: there is currently a promotion now and if you need it you might want to do so ASAP. DesertMan, I didn't see anything except $20 off on Turbotax. More information if possible. Many thanks! I got the PenFed offer by email two months or so ago. It did not appear t...
by DesertMan
Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

But you missed the part in my post about exchanging bonds held in my tax advantaged accounts for equities during downturns to ensure I am not ever selling low. As to your second point, this would be true for anyone with a taxable account that didnt have the restraint to control their spending. Sett...
by DesertMan
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

Our no cost HELOC covers two years of expenses. No first mortgage, so it's unlikely to get frozen since the max draw of $250k is only 23% LTV. Also, we have taxable. Yes that has 100% stocks, but if we had to sell at a loss, we just sell bonds in tax deferred and buy back similar funds, but not ide...
by DesertMan
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

We just had a bathroom leak. Our house is barely 20 years old and just recently passed an inspection... so completely unexpected. We don't know the cost will be but I am thankful that I have the cash to cover it. This case is exactly why you need to have at least 6 months of expenses in cash. I am ...
by DesertMan
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

I currently have a savings account at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, with a piddly interest rate of 1.05%. Are Netspend, DCU, and St. Mary's Bank the real deal? Is it relatively easy to add to and withdraw from their savings accounts? Are they actually offering interest of 5%-6%--or just advertising thos...
by DesertMan
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

Attention PenFed credit-card holders: there is currently a promotion now and if you need it you might want to do so ASAP. DesertMan, I didn't see anything except $20 off on Turbotax. More information if possible. Many thanks! I got the PenFed offer by email two months or so ago. It did not appear t...
by DesertMan
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

Our no cost HELOC covers two years of expenses. No first mortgage, so it's unlikely to get frozen since the max draw of $250k is only 23% LTV. Also, we have taxable. Yes that has 100% stocks, but if we had to sell at a loss, we just sell bonds in tax deferred and buy back similar funds, but not ide...
by DesertMan
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

I get the security but an Efund for two years for me vs invested in stocks would be $1000/month lost sitting in a HYSA. But that assumes that you know what the market will do over a month. Anyone who could figure that out with any level of certainty on a consistent basis would be a millionaire in a...
by DesertMan
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

How I learned to love my low yield emergency fund

Lately many Bogleheads forum posters have been talking about how carrying an emergency fund annoys them in this age of near zero bank interest rates and the omnipresent FOMO urge to invest the money. Here is a personal story and a pep talk. We just had a bathroom leak. Our house is barely 20 years o...
by DesertMan
Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Using credit cards for leverage (no, seriously)
Replies: 53
Views: 3934

Re: Using credit cards for leverage (no, seriously)

You would need to farm 0% balance transfer promotions. So you're taking a risk that you can continue to get them especially in the current economy. To mitigate this risk you must hold cash equal to your balance on which you will earn a pittance. That opportunity cost defeats the strategy. But you co...
by DesertMan
Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FYI: M1 Finance margin accounts do not prevent good faith violations
Replies: 0
Views: 193

FYI: M1 Finance margin accounts do not prevent good faith violations

If you use M1 Finance, be aware that their margin accounts (M1 Borrow) do not advance credit to pay for unsettled trades. Most brokerages will debit your margin account to pay for unsettled trades so as to prevent a good faith violation. M1 does not. I suppose that makes sense since they are not des...
by DesertMan
Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not 100% PSLDX?
Replies: 275
Views: 25641

Re: Why not 100% PSLDX?

Someone needs to coin a pithy term for the fallacy that “something that goes down must eventually come back up again” Lots of Bogleheads suffer from this unfortunate affliction, costing them lots of money in the form of expensive fixed rate mortgages and unrenumerative short term bond holdings. I a...
by DesertMan
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on today's sell-off?
Replies: 194
Views: 16234

Re: Thoughts on today's sell-off?

You’re feeling FOMO and now you want to use your EF to buy more stocks? You need a formal IPS, with your emergency fund amount that isn’t your chasing the market slush fund. This. A good cure for emergency-fund-raiding-FOMOsis is to take the time you would spend watching CNBC et al. and use it to i...
by DesertMan
Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1602

Re: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio

Risk-parity very specifically does not attempt to forecast returns. That being the case, a pure risk-parity allocation is not an optimized , approach, and can't (or shouldn't) be intermingled with the idea of increasing a Sharpe ratio. By attempting to increase (optimize) the Sharpe ratio of the po...
by DesertMan
Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1602

Re: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio

The idea of protection against unusual situations is fundamental to the strategy. It is an intentionally conservative strategy that gives up return (e.g. compared to Dalio's "Pure Alpha" fund) precisely in order to protect against bad situations. Robbins bills it as providing "the least amount of r...
by DesertMan
Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1602

Re: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio

I take issue with a lot of the comments in that article. Agreed on all fronts. If you sat in Dalio's All Weather for 1st quarter 2020 you were not disappointed at all. It preformed like a champ. Now moving forward...who knows, but it certainly did it's job and then some. This article actually made ...
by DesertMan
Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1602

Re: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio

I take issue with a lot of the comments in that article. Agreed on all fronts. If you sat in Dalio's All Weather for 1st quarter 2020 you were not disappointed at all. It preformed like a champ. Now moving forward...who knows, but it certainly did it's job and then some. This article actually made ...
by DesertMan
Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1602

Bond Bubble Proofing the Robbins/Dalio All Seasons Portfolio

You may be familiar with the All Seasons Portfolio proposed by Tony Robbins, itself based upon the Ray Dalio All Weather risk parity strategy. It calls for an allocation of 40% long term Treasury (LTT) bonds alongside the following: All Seasons Typical ETF Asset TLT 40% long term Treasury VGIT 15% i...
by DesertMan
Fri May 29, 2020 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this the end of risk parity?
Replies: 60
Views: 4744

Re: Is this the end of risk parity?

I thought the Target Retirement Income Fund VTINX was 30/70 stock/bond. Ouch! I knew something was wrong. Sorry. Thank you. :oops: Corrected. I should have posted the following, and have corrected the posting above accordingly: In the bad weather this year, the Wealthfront Risk Parity Fund (blue) f...
by DesertMan
Fri May 29, 2020 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this the end of risk parity?
Replies: 60
Views: 4744

Re: Is this the end of risk parity?

Risk parity is an asset allocation strategy that balances out risk across the four main economic environments. This typically involves having a large allocation to Treasuries (especially longer-term Treasuries) in order to hedge stock market risk. However, today the 30 year Treasury is at 0.881 and...
by DesertMan
Sat May 23, 2020 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ecobee3 lite - smart choice?
Replies: 10
Views: 843

Re: Ecobee3 lite - smart choice?

I think the ecobee 3 series supports remote sensors. You probably need to put one in the bedroom. I am considering replacing my Nest gen 2 with an ecobee 3 lite for the SmartThings integration.
by DesertMan
Sat May 23, 2020 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Servicer Changing from Cenlar to Ally Bank
Replies: 8
Views: 673

Re: Mortgage Servicer Changing from Cenlar to Ally Bank

Ally is a good bank. You will have a nice experience with them. You might also qualify for their customer parks like the free Webroot anti-virus.
by DesertMan
Fri May 15, 2020 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stop me from market timing!
Replies: 36
Views: 2509

Re: Stop me from market timing!

If you're having trouble staying the course, invest in a diversified buy and hold lazy portfolio such as All Weather or the Permanent Portfolio, that matches your needs and risk tolerance.
by DesertMan
Thu May 14, 2020 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 0% Employer Match 401k Questions
Replies: 30
Views: 1673

Re: 0% Employer Match 401k Questions

The answer depends on a few variables, including your current & expected future tax bracket (federal and state) and the investment options within your 401(k). And when you plan to retire. 401ks generally tie up your money until age 59 1/2 or you leave your job. And if you withdraw before that age, ...
by DesertMan
Wed May 13, 2020 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discarding old tax returns
Replies: 62
Views: 5552

Re: Discarding old tax returns

Be mindful of info from your old returns that you need to track such as Roth IRA basis. I needed to early withdraw from my Roth to buy a house but since I started the Roth at Scottrade (no longer exists) I had to bend over backwards to get my basis.
by DesertMan
Tue May 12, 2020 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fast ?::Do grocery delivery services count as supermarkets for Amex Blue Cash cards?
Replies: 14
Views: 986

Re: Fast ?::Do grocery delivery services count as supermarkets for Amex Blue Cash cards?

macaroon wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:59 pm
I have the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card and I just checked my Rewards account to be sure -- and yes, Instacart counts. I got reward dollars just last month on my Instacart delivery from Publix.
Thank you! :mrgreen: I'll be applying once my refi closes.
by DesertMan
Tue May 12, 2020 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fast ?::Do grocery delivery services count as supermarkets for Amex Blue Cash cards?
Replies: 14
Views: 986

Re: Fast ?::Do grocery delivery services count as supermarkets for Amex Blue Cash cards?

onourway wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:38 pm
Yes, Instacart is crediting at 5% on my (older) Amex Blue Cash card on my most current statement.
Great! It should also count on the Preferred but would be nice to hear from someone who has it as well.
by DesertMan
Tue May 12, 2020 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fast ?::Do grocery delivery services count as supermarkets for Amex Blue Cash cards?
Replies: 14
Views: 986

Fast ?::Do grocery delivery services count as supermarkets for Amex Blue Cash cards?

Does anyone happen to know whether grocery delivery services such as Instacart count as supermarkets for Amex Blue Cash cards, for purposes of the rewards category? I'm considering the Blue Cash preferred and that will make or break the decision. Thanks.
by DesertMan
Mon May 11, 2020 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Tudor: Compelling case for bitcoin ?
Replies: 229
Views: 11513

Re: Paul Tudor: Compelling case for bitcoin ?

All the good stuff he attributed to bitcoin is equally applicable to physical gold. Gold has the added advantage of never going obsolete . CNBC; Bitcoin undergoes 3rd 'halving', falls vs U.S. dollar https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/11/bitcoin-undergoes-3rd-halving-falls-vs-us-dollar.html?__source=andro...
by DesertMan
Mon May 11, 2020 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Tudor: Compelling case for bitcoin ?
Replies: 229
Views: 11513

Re: Paul Tudor: Compelling case for bitcoin ?

Owning Bitcoin is a great way to defend oneself against the GMI (Great Monetary Inflation) , given the current fact set. Bitcoin lost 30% of its value in one day last month. To the degree that inflation is defined as the loss of purchasing power, I would say that BTC has demonstrated regular bouts ...
by DesertMan
Mon May 11, 2020 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Tudor: Compelling case for bitcoin ?
Replies: 229
Views: 11513

Re: Paul Tudor: Compelling case for bitcoin ?

All the good stuff he attributed to bitcoin is equally applicable to physical gold. Gold has the added advantage of never going obsolete.
by DesertMan
Mon May 11, 2020 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial strength of Lutheran Church Extension Fund
Replies: 10
Views: 875

Re: Financial strength of Lutheran Church Extension Fund

I once considered investing with Thrivent (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America equivalent of LCEF) until I realized that the sponsoring church denomination (the ELCA) is in a severe and probably irreversible population decline. If the ELCA were to go away, Thrivent will be either acquired by...
by DesertMan
Mon May 11, 2020 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial strength of Lutheran Church Extension Fund
Replies: 10
Views: 875

Re: Financial strength of Lutheran Church Extension Fund

I once considered investing with Thrivent (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America equivalent of LCEF) until I realized that the sponsoring church denomination (the ELCA) is in a severe and probably irreversible population decline. If the ELCA were to go away, Thrivent will be either acquired by ...
by DesertMan
Fri May 08, 2020 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Build Browne Permanent Portfolio at M1; leverage it and hold the cash in a reward checking account.
Replies: 33
Views: 2397

Re: Build Browne Permanent Portfolio at M1; leverage it and hold the cash in a reward checking account.

P.S. Just kidding on the backtests - they are useless! Might I ask why you think so? Obviously backtesting cannot guarantee future performance (nothing can) but you just called everything from Firecalc to Betterment to Portfolio Visualizer to Fidelity Go to Vanguard's investor questionnaire useless.
by DesertMan
Thu May 07, 2020 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical
Replies: 132
Views: 9951

Re: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical

This is an interesting debate. As a high bracket tax payer, I too get uncomfortable sometimes seeing all the efforts by those with well-funded retirements manage their income in order to qualify for ACA. You might want to consider doing the same thing. Sounds like you work for a great company but w...
by DesertMan
Thu May 07, 2020 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical
Replies: 132
Views: 9951

Re: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical

I pay $ 1,050 per month to BCBS, $ 6,750 out of pocket limit for deductible and co-insurance. My wife pays $ 750 per month to BCBS, $ 4,700 out of pocket limit. It is by far our highest expense. I pay it myself, but we CAN itemize deductions so we get a bit of a write-off on our Federal taxes. OMG....
by DesertMan
Wed May 06, 2020 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical
Replies: 132
Views: 9951

Re: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical

LilyFleur wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:18 pm
The Supreme is slated to hear a case that will determine the future of Obamacare, in October 2020.
If the ACA is still a thing I am planning to control my income so as to qualify for discounted Silver plans. I will use a combo of 457 and taxable assets (along with contract work income)
by DesertMan
Wed May 06, 2020 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yahoo: The Downsides of 401(k)s That You’ve Never Heard Of
Replies: 60
Views: 7935

Re: Yahoo: The Downsides of 401(k)s That You’ve Never Heard Of

maybe I'm an outlier but the author is correct on all his points. Yes, I get the issue of 'speculative investments', and as a former C-level company officer, I refused to allow speculative investments into our 401k plan. (HR reported to me.) But, as a result, two of our long time engineers, refused...
by DesertMan
Wed May 06, 2020 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: NUSI: ETF that uses a collar option strategy to protect against downside
Replies: 10
Views: 698

Re: NUSI: ETF that uses a collar option strategy to protect against downside

The arguments for using something like this over just adding bonds to your portfolio are... 1. Interest rates are extremely low so bonds don't give you much return. 2. For the same reason, you will lose principal on your bonds if rates rise and they almost certainly will 3. You have simplicity here ...
by DesertMan
Wed May 06, 2020 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yahoo: The Downsides of 401(k)s That You’ve Never Heard Of
Replies: 60
Views: 7935

Re: Yahoo: The Downsides of 401(k)s That You’ve Never Heard Of

401ks ofen leave out significant asset clases such as extended market, international stocks and bonds, long Treasuries, and gold. So you cannot build a modern portfolio with just a 401k.
by DesertMan
Tue May 05, 2020 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Build Browne Permanent Portfolio at M1; leverage it and hold the cash in a reward checking account.
Replies: 33
Views: 2397

Re: Build Browne Permanent Portfolio at M1; leverage it and hold the cash in a reward checking account.

Off site, but check this from a BogleHead member. https://www.theoptimizingblog.com/leveraged-all-weather-portfolio/ Yours is similar to the 2x version given there but you've wisely dumped the oil and added the Nasdaq. Edit: And the Sortino ratio is well over 2 despite the use of leverage. The Sort...
by DesertMan
Tue May 05, 2020 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Build Browne Permanent Portfolio at M1; leverage it and hold the cash in a reward checking account.
Replies: 33
Views: 2397

Re: Build Browne Permanent Portfolio at M1; leverage it and hold the cash in a reward checking account.

What do you think about this idea: Build the Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio (25% TSM, 25% gold, 25% long term Treasuries, 25% cash) at M1 Finance for its easy rebalancing and cheap leverage. But leave out the cash portion. Hold it in a rewards checking account that yields 1.5% instead. That's a n...
by DesertMan
Tue May 05, 2020 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 administrator wants medallion guarantee to do a rollover. Weird?
Replies: 6
Views: 307

Re: 529 administrator wants medallion guarantee to do a rollover. Weird?

IOW, call a different 529 administrator who will do the medallion remotely and roll over into their plan instead. Assuming that a medallion can be done remotely. That's another question. Another 529 administrator won't provide you a medallion. Only banks/brokerages do this. Different plans have dif...