Search found 1048 matches

by bberris
Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 47
Views: 8231

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

For cheapskates, before you buy premium economy, check seat selection to see how many empty seats there are in the back. You can stretch out and sleep in those center seats, 3 or 4 wide, on a typical off-season flight.
by bberris
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you include this in a will?
Replies: 23
Views: 3305

Re: Can you include this in a will?

If you don’t want heirs fighting over your will, can you add a condition that any one who challenges it, forfeits their bequest? Some states allow it. If the will is determined invalid, all of the provisions, included terrorem, are invalid. So, you have to bequeath something of significant value to...
by bberris
Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Heavy Loss in Stable Value Fund of 401k investments
Replies: 31
Views: 3674

Re: Heavy Loss in Stable Value Fund of 401k investments

The stability is only offered, and only offerable, if the investment is continually available to participants. The scheme works because participants are more or less trapped into the option while they are employed. So withdrawals can be met with new deposits, or a small amount of borrowing by the f...
by bberris
Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is dividend yield a part of expected future returns
Replies: 15
Views: 1080

Re: Why is dividend yield a part of expected future returns

But in all these dividend threads, isn't it agreed that the share price of the stock goes down by the amount of the dividend leaving a net zero gain? I guess I'm still confused. Right. So if no dividend was paid, what would have been the dividend would appear as a price/value increase. The point is...
by bberris
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do index funds do when firm's market cap drops?
Replies: 17
Views: 1404

Re: What do index funds do when firm's market cap drops?

An index fund does not have to rebalance because one component is revalued against another by the market. The components are cap-weighted, so changes in value are changes in total capitalization. The fund would only need to trade if the index itself is changed.
by bberris
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Heavy Loss in Stable Value Fund of 401k investments
Replies: 31
Views: 3674

Re: Heavy Loss in Stable Value Fund of 401k investments

The part that is disturbing to me: I had heard of stable value funds loosing money when the employer or an insurance company providing the insurance wrapper had gone out of business. I hadn't heard about a case of stable value funds loosing money (and having the loss passed on to the investors in t...
by bberris
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buyers commission on a condo purchase
Replies: 29
Views: 1736

Re: Buyers commission on a condo purchase

The $400 is probably the Broker Admin fee. This a fee that goes to the Brokerage to cover admin support plus just general office expenses . (Ours is $499). I will waive the fee for the client, and pay it myself, for larger sales. Like staples, paper clips and coffee creamer? Sounds like the doc fee...
by bberris
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treasuries safe?
Replies: 33
Views: 1554

Re: Treasuries safe?

How safe are they? If China starts to sell as well as Saudi Arabia what will US do to insure treasuries are stable and safe? Treasury securities are safe in the sense that you will always get paid at maturity. Ignore anyone who says things like "normal underwriting ...". This just does not apply to...
by bberris
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gore-tex warranty experience
Replies: 7
Views: 831

Re: Gore-tex warranty experience

Try washing and putting it through the drier on high. Directions should be on the coat.
by bberris
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Argument for taking social security before 70. Comments?
Replies: 134
Views: 10190

Re: Argument for taking social security before 70. Comments?

No matter how you refine mortality statistics, they are of little use in predicting when you will die. The average, or median is just that. The range of mortalities is broad and disperse around the median or mean. To me, it is more important to have a plan that will allow you to live the life you wa...
by bberris
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State taxes on income after moving? Double taxation?
Replies: 4
Views: 524

Re: State taxes on income after moving? Double taxation?

Some states (MN and LA) only tax part year residents on the investment income earned while resident, and earned income while working in the state. But the overall tax rate is determined by total taxable income in all states. You can look at the part-year/non-resident tax forms to see how this works.
by bberris
Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What purchase saved you the most money?
Replies: 136
Views: 12677

Re: What purchase saved you the most money?

No one volunteering "Prenup?"
by bberris
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: REI Adventures
Replies: 16
Views: 1899

Re: REI Adventures

I have enjoyed going on Sierra Club outings. They have backpack, basecamp, hotel .. But I could find no trip to Banff right now.
by bberris
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Windows 10 Update might cause data loss [Build 1809]
Replies: 22
Views: 2257

Re: Microsoft Windows 10 Update might cause data loss

Update corrupted my video drivers, and no way to reinstall them or roll back. Restore point would not work. I had to restore from a system backup.
by bberris
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Shorting and buying a stock in two accounts (one is retirement account)
Replies: 19
Views: 1323

Re: Shorting and buying a stock in two accounts (one is retirement account)

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:50 am
It’s gambling. If any of us actually knew that we could reliably gain/lose $5k between now and the end of the year, don’t you think we would all do it?
The gamble has a 4:1 payoff. He wants to generate a loss in taxable to gain the ACA subsidy.
by bberris
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take the hit or ride it out?
Replies: 21
Views: 3642

Re: Take the hit or ride it out?

Thanks to all for taking the trouble to reply to my question. I’m 48 and intend to settle in the USA permanently. Converting in excess of £1 million into USD at a 30 year low exchange rate just feels like bad business to me,when I do have the option to hold it sterling denominated UK equities and t...
by bberris
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tesla Class Action Lawsuit..... Should I Join ?
Replies: 18
Views: 2368

Re: Tesla Class Action Lawsuit..... Should I Join ?

All you have to do to join the suit is ... nothing. In a few years after a settlement is reached, you will file a claim, probably online, stating your loss. This should only take a few minutes. You are in the class automatically if you qualify (sounds like you will). In a few years, you might get a ...
by bberris
Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accepting a Contingency Offer
Replies: 24
Views: 1451

Re: Accepting a Contingency Offer

No. Nope. No.
You are giving the buyer a free option to buy with no expiration. They could take forever to sell their house (how do you know it is priced right?).
Counter without the contingency.
by bberris
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?
Replies: 19
Views: 2167

Re: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?

OECD data from 2017 https://data.oecd.org/conversion/purchasing-power-parities-ppp.htm shows PPP of 0.750 for the Euro using-countries. That means an exchange rate of 1.333 dollars per euro gives you equal purchasing power in the US and Euro zone. The current exchange rate is 1.17. In order to buy t...
by bberris
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?
Replies: 19
Views: 2167

Re: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?

euro loans have also much lower rates. euro bank accounts offer lower rates as well What I cannot understand is why USD value respect euro doesn't decrease at the difference of the rate. It would seem you can arbitrage the whole thing (get a loan in euros, invest in USD, pay back in Euros) As I thi...
by bberris
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using 401k loans to max tax advantaged accounts early in career
Replies: 29
Views: 1965

Re: Using 401k loans to max tax advantaged accounts early in career

It seems like an unnecessarily complicated way to increase your risk. ... Risk is not increased. The 401k loan does not generate leverage, because it is not really a loan; it's a withdrawal. On the other hand, you are not really increasing your 401k balance. When you take out the loan and make cont...
by bberris
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA - AGI and MAGI ... The cliff ahead. need deductions
Replies: 5
Views: 723

Re: ACA - AGI and MAGI ... The cliff ahead. need deductions

... I've had some experience with wash sales. I will probably buy some of the losses back after allowing enough time to pass ... ? If you close out the position with the wash sale (sell what you bought that created the wash) during the year, you will keep that tax loss. That erases the wash. Buying...
by bberris
Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% Bonds to boost returns?
Replies: 61
Views: 6536

Re: 100% Bonds to boost returns?

It looks like you are comparing nominal (after inflation) stock returns with absolute (before inflation) returns from bonds. Assuming an efficient market, bonds would not offer expected returns higher than stocks.
by bberris
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hard Credit Inquiry from Credco
Replies: 10
Views: 1335

Re: Hard Credit Inquiry from Credco

I had an inquiry from Credco when I applied for a mortgage from one company. Then my mortgage company wanted an explanation of who this Credco was and why did they check my credit.
by bberris
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to exchange dollars to euros?
Replies: 49
Views: 3951

Re: Best place to exchange dollars to euros?

michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:47 am
I don't want to hijack the thread, but does TDA reimburse international ATM fees? I know they do domestically.
I think so, but there should not be any in Europe. If they don't do it automatically, call them and they will probably credit you.
by bberris
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to exchange dollars to euros?
Replies: 49
Views: 3951

Re: Best place to exchange dollars to euros?

ATM at the airport in Europe to get your initial money and then other ATMs in europe Yes and no. Some airport ATMs (Travelex) dispense a variety of currencies and have awful fees/exchange rates. On the other hand, a bank ATM located in the airport should be fine. In my experience, European ATMs own...
by bberris
Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most commonly misused/misunderstood investing terms and concepts (on BH forum)
Replies: 220
Views: 11570

Re: Most commonly misused/misunderstood investing terms and concepts (on BH forum)

TwstdSista wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:40 pm
Often misused:

Adverse - Averse
Advice - Advise
Roth - ROTH
ROTH: Retirement On The Halfshell.
by bberris
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information
Replies: 5
Views: 601

Re: I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information

I think a 5+ year old statement suffices to prove five-year opening of the account. You don't have to wait 5 years from each contribution, the wait begins from the first contribution tax year (which might have been the following year) from any roth account.
by bberris
Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What to do at 62?
Replies: 62
Views: 8428

Re: What to do at 62?

SS benefits are currently scheduled to decrease by approximately 25% in the mid 2030's. The laws or economy could change so this is far from certain. ... "Scheduled" is too strong a word for what will happen. The SS website only says that Congress will have to make some changes before then to keep ...
by bberris
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3 and 6 month tbills with the same CUSIP---same maturity
Replies: 4
Views: 517

3 and 6 month tbills with the same CUSIP---same maturity

This was a new one to me. Posting in case someone else is confused by this I was a little surprised to see in my positions at TDameritrade that I had a larger than expected Tbill amount. I bought 6 month tbills, and 3 months later bought 3 month tbills. Surprisingly, they had the same CUSIP, and the...
by bberris
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying cash for a house. Good idea?
Replies: 12
Views: 1821

Re: Paying cash for a house. Good idea?

I would pay cash if I could. You avoid the hassles , paperwork and fees (some to the lender and their associates, some to governments) of a loan. You are also getting a tax free return on the equity in your house. If you borrow most of the cost, you will have to pay tax on the income from the invest...
by bberris
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My son was scammed on Craigslist- how to get money back
Replies: 46
Views: 7647

Re: My son was scammed on Craigslist- how to get money back

Look on the bright side, he could have wired $400k https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Experts-Virtually-All-CA-Real-Estate-Transactions-Targeted-By-Hackers-487165181.html Ten years of sacrifice and dreams of home ownership gone in a flash. That is quite a punch to the gut. We make all of our cli...
by bberris
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negative Insurance Discount with United Health Care and Sentara
Replies: 42
Views: 2864

Re: Negative Insurance Discount with United Health Care and Sentara

mouses wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:03 pm
What's a negative discount?
A kickback.
by bberris
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sign - Speed checked by Radar
Replies: 41
Views: 2955

Re: Sign - Speed checked by Radar

I like the ones that say "enforced by aircraft". I've always wondered how the aircraft plans to stop a speeding vehicle, rather than simply monitor it? I think maybe you have never driven on the outskirts of Alexandria, Louisiana? This was many years ago, but I was one of a line of 20 cars pulled o...
by bberris
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard updated 1099 in August!
Replies: 28
Views: 2131

Re: Vanguard updated 1099 in August!

There won't be a penalty. This would fall under reasonable cause, and you filed a correct return with the information you had.
by bberris
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?
Replies: 96
Views: 7252

Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

I'm amazed this thread continues to offer suggestions that MIGHT lose money when early on in the thread the slam dunk answer was given: Buy a CD with a fixed early withdrawal penalty, then withdraw it early. It's a known penalty and a guaranteed reduction to AGI, which is what the OP needs. The pai...
by bberris
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?
Replies: 96
Views: 7252

Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

What you want are very volatile options, e. g. a single stock, like TSLA or FB. You want them to expire into next year. So you buy a put and a call on the same stock for say $300 each. Now you sell the loser of the pair this year (before expiry) and hold the winner for next year to sell in 2019.
by bberris
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Minnesota muni bond fund
Replies: 4
Views: 471

Re: Minnesota muni bond fund

There are two MN only closed end funds, both leveraged, both at good discounts to NAV when recently they have been at premiums or at par. In other words, while their NAVs have fallen a little, their market prices have fallen much more. NMS and VMM A good tool for closed end funds is www.cefconnect.com
by bberris
Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COBRA grace period concerns
Replies: 17
Views: 2592

Re: COBRA grace period concerns

I can't keep up with all the news about the fate of ACA, and unfortunately I thought I heard and read somewhere that the penalty was removed on 1/1/2018. I guess it must have been fake news. :shock: The penalty is still there for 2018. It would be subtracted from your refund. However, if you owe ta...
by bberris
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vehicle Leasing...Again ;)
Replies: 23
Views: 1929

Re: Vehicle Leasing...Again ;)

$3600/year for the leased vehicle doesn't seem expensive to me because even if you sell the financed vehicle for 25k as suggested that's still $2500/year to keep the financed vehicle. That neglects to account for average market returns and maintenance that you had to spend on that vehicle too thoug...
by bberris
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co - signed a Mortage, Now wants out
Replies: 57
Views: 6234

Re: Co - signed a Mortage, Now wants out

Note that the phrase, "I co-signed my brother in law's mortgage," is not really the right way to think about it. It's really, "My brother-in-law and I co-signed a 30-year mortgage." OP must have got the answer he/she was (not) looking for already. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. For ...
by bberris
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ticks and common sense?
Replies: 74
Views: 4373

Re: Ticks and common sense?

Mostly see them in the woods, not the yard, unless you have lots of trees. When I'm camping, I use lots of DEET and it seems to repel ticks. I have seen many of them but I haven't been stuck this year. Then check yourself and have someone check your back. Learn the proper technique for removing a ti...
by bberris
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuity vs investment
Replies: 40
Views: 2677

Re: Annunity vs investment

The SPIA you want to buy is one with an installment refund which means that the named beneficiary gets what is left in the account if you die prematurely. The idea is to use the smallest amount of funds to buy a SPIA to cover your expenses and put the rest of your assets in a growth portfolio that ...
by bberris
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 96
Views: 9361

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

Minnesota has about the highest taxes in the country for a person of moderate income. Here are the single tax brackets: ​ Tax Bracket Tax Rate $0.00+ 5.35% $25,390.00+ 7.05% $83,400.00+ 7.85% $156,911.00+ 9.85% Personal exemption and standard deduction that were in effect prior to the new federal ta...
by bberris
Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Pay Down Question
Replies: 37
Views: 2139

Re: Credit Card Pay Down Question

Do a 60 day rollover from an IRA; if they can pay it off in 60 to 90 days that gets them most of the way there.
You can even put the money back in the same IRA.
by bberris
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1 year treasuries @ 2.4% instead of bond funds?
Replies: 32
Views: 3832

Re: 1 year treasuries @ 2.4% instead of bond funds?

if stocks crash the 1 year treasury will rally too (assuming the crash is before maturity). If the stock market crashes and 30-year Treasury interest rates fall from 3% to 2% (this is purely hypothetical), 30-year Treasuries will rally about 22%. If the 1-year rate drops from 2.3% all the way to 0%...
by bberris
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old Employer Bought Out, New Employer Not Honoring Existing Contract
Replies: 20
Views: 2696

Re: Old Employer Bought Out, New Employer Not Honoring Existing Contract

smitcat wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:55 pm
A contract was signed with a company that does not exist anymore.
There is no contract.
I wonder why more companies don't use that strategy to repudiate their debts.
by bberris
Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance
Replies: 33
Views: 3642

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance

Edit: My post is about Chase Sapphire Preferred included insurance, not CSR. Someone noted that the terms of the insurance are different with each card. I was only reimbursed for the change fee for my tickets that were canceled. Each ticket was $530 with a $300 change fee each. I argued that we coul...
by bberris
Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter wants to travel on her own to Montreal
Replies: 105
Views: 7198

Re: Daughter wants to travel on her own to Montreal

Pretty much everything is in French so she better have a plan for that. What would one do for 4-5 days in Montreal? Can think of plenty of better places, but to each his own My experience speaking French in Canada and France is that they roll their eyes and answer in English. More people speak Engl...
by bberris
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Looks like 2019 HSA family limits raised to $7000
Replies: 25
Views: 2761

Re: Looks like 2019 HSA family limits raised to $7000

MP123 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:16 pm
And don't forget the additional $1,000 catch up contribution if you or your eligible spouse are over 55.

Too bad that's not indexed for inflation too but take what you can get I guess.
That is 1000 for each, 2,000 if both are over 55.