Search found 1184 matches

by bberris
Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: PEMEX (Petróleos Mexicanos) Bonds --- investment grade --- nice yield
Replies: 9
Views: 846

Re: PEMEX (Petróleos Mexicanos) Bonds --- investment grade --- nice yield

Take your risk in equities, take your safety in bonds. As bond rating gets lower, the correlation with stock returns increases. So you are not getting the risk reduction from your bonds; the only incentive for investing in them is risk reduction since the expected return is lower.
by bberris
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead
Replies: 61
Views: 5331

Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

As you guessed, I think you are being conned. Did you look up your water provider's analyses? I'm skeptical of that chlorine number. The EPA action level is 4 ppm, Plymouth MN is typically 0.5-0.9. Water cos typically measure at household taps for heavy metals, and at their delivery points for chlor...
by bberris
Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do when you can no longer invest in a Roth IRA?
Replies: 5
Views: 805

Re: What to do when you can no longer invest in a Roth IRA?

Why would you want a Roth IRA if your income is high? If your marginal tax rate is higher than your expected weighted average tax on withdrawals, you would be better off with a deductible 401k contribution. This would almost certainly be the case unless you have a large pension coming.
by bberris
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental & Vision Coverage
Replies: 16
Views: 1317

Re: Dental & Vision Coverage

No vision or dental insurance here. I get glasses from Zenni or Costco. For dental, I join a paid discount plan that gives you negotiated rates but no insurance. Dental insurance isn't appealing to me: Appalling claims service, denied claims, exclusion of pre-existing conditions (aren't they all?), ...
by bberris
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filter drinking water when water softener is installed?
Replies: 5
Views: 508

Re: Filter drinking water when water softener is installed?

At our house the frig and cold kitchen water are not softened. A water softener replaces calcium and magnesium ions with sodium. While the amounts are small compared to your food and drinks, it is obviously preferable to take in calcium and magnesium rather than sodium. A simple carbon filter won't ...
by bberris
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security deductions after maxing out Social Security benefit?
Replies: 23
Views: 2264

Re: Social Security deductions after maxing out Social Security benefit?

Maybe your feelings about Social Security are influenced by the epithet "deduction". FICA is a tax. You are not contributing to your retirement with this deduction; you are paying a tax. True that your retirement benefits under SS are heavily influenced by your earnings and FICA taxes you paid, but ...
by bberris
Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS proposing changes to 2017 tax return (Cafe 125 HSA)
Replies: 5
Views: 599

Re: IRS proposing changes to 2017 tax return

Is it possible that you double-dipped this HSA deduction? Maybe you took a deduction on form 8889 twice, once as an employer contribution on line 9 (even if it was deducted from your paycheck, this is the way it is described) and once as an employee as a contribution funded by your checking acct on ...
by bberris
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working for the Airlines - Value of Free Travel
Replies: 62
Views: 4882

Re: Working for the Airlines - Value of Free Travel

I'm wondering is it really completely free? Surely the company won't pay the taxes for you. How about fuel surcharge? A little humble brag on my flight to Zurich from Minneapolis Aug 27 to Sept 4: Traveler 1: Adult$463.74 Flight$1.00 Taxes & Fees$462.74 Trip total: $463.74 All prices are quoted in U...
by bberris
Wed May 29, 2019 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow Holdback
Replies: 8
Views: 616

Re: Escrow Holdback

Yes, that's what we did. It shouldn't affect what you pay. If the closer has a fee for this, it should be paid by the builder.
by bberris
Mon May 27, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I deduct a loss for non-paying patients?
Replies: 48
Views: 3534

Re: Can I deduct a loss for non-paying patients?

A friend of mine is an a ER physician and in a large group of 50 plus providers group. He said that his group is organized as a not for profit organization even though it is an eat what you kill practice . They Call all denied and non collected money as charity care that allows them to call themsel...
by bberris
Sun May 26, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: MTUM momentum ETF article
Replies: 13
Views: 1180

MTUM momentum ETF article

A low-cost easy way to exploit the momentum factor using the ETF ticker MTUM, (and momentum in general) was discussed on Seeking Alpha:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/426648 ... mentum-etf
by bberris
Sun May 26, 2019 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will my checks work?
Replies: 26
Views: 1861

Re: Will my checks work?

Andrew321 wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 4:14 pm
Hi all,

I have checks for a checking account that display an old address. Do I need to buy new ones for the checks to clear?

Andrew
You can have the wrong address, and you can have the wrong signature. It will clear.
by bberris
Fri May 24, 2019 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Quantify the Financial Benefits of Buying and Holding Rather than Selling?
Replies: 5
Views: 713

Re: How to Quantify the Financial Benefits of Buying and Holding Rather than Selling?

Houses and cars have extremely high transaction costs. I only move if I have to, I only buy cars when the current one is dead.
by bberris
Thu May 23, 2019 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a margin loan - for a second house
Replies: 10
Views: 1025

Re: Getting a margin loan - for a second house

With a margin loan you are subject to margin calls. So when the market drops by 20% you now have a stock balance of $560K and can only borrow $280K. So you have to come up with $70K cash to reduce you $350K loan and cover the lost margin ratio. Most people who get caught in this situation end up se...
by bberris
Sat May 18, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What "other" tax advantaged accounts should one know about?
Replies: 7
Views: 1559

Re: What "other" tax advantaged accounts should one know about?

Retirement accounts being the default that everyone recognizes. I know there are also college and health related accounts. I don't plan to have kids but intend to look into HSAs. Are there any other tax advantaged accounts one should learn about? PS: I live overseas as an American citizen Tax loss ...
by bberris
Wed May 15, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Using 401k Loans to increase contribution
Replies: 17
Views: 1109

Re: Using 401k Loans to increase contribution

A 401k loan does not leverage your investments. Is that what you meant by "supercharge"? The loan is actually a withdrawal and is funded by selling your assets. So you would be taking a withdrawal to make a contribution. The only situation where this might be useful is if you expect a windfall for n...
by bberris
Tue May 14, 2019 5:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Social security should you take early if you don’t need the money?
Replies: 24
Views: 2798

Re: Social security should you take early if you don’t need the money?

RMDs play a big role here. If your RMDs our you into a higher tax bracket on the SS, you might want to claim early and increase your long-term post-tax benefit. On the other hand, if you delay social security you extend your taxed IRA withdrawals over a longer period, and more likely to be in a low...
by bberris
Sun May 12, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Hiking Tours (where they transfer your luggage to the next spot)
Replies: 8
Views: 876

Re: European Hiking Tours (where they transfer your luggage to the next spot)

I haven't done one, but I've hiked hut-to-hut in Italy and Austria over three trips. I have shopped those tours and they seemed really overpriced. But the worst feature is that you can't change your plans for bad weather, sore knees, or you just hear about a great place to go. I generally just book ...
by bberris
Fri May 10, 2019 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me
Replies: 52
Views: 5804

Re: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me

Even staying under the ACA cliff, you lose 9.8 % in subsidy when you do a conversion just as you would on any taxable income. You need to add that to your marginal tax rate when evaluating the benefits of conversion.
by bberris
Sat May 04, 2019 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 149
Views: 11818

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

is there a required periodic reporting on the status of the annuitants, ie to proof they are both alive? LSLover: I am 95 and own two SPIA annuities. One company has never asked me if I'm alive. The other (Genworth) has sent me two letters requesting certified proof I'm alive. Someday I will make t...
by bberris
Fri May 03, 2019 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Risk of securities lending
Replies: 3
Views: 348

Re: Risk of securities lending

The risk is very small. However, if your fund is held in a taxable account, the payment-in-lieu of dividends would be non-qualified for favored tax treatment.
by bberris
Fri May 03, 2019 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canadian Pharmacies
Replies: 27
Views: 2386

Re: Canadian Pharmacies

Don't believe the warnings. The drugs are sometimes the same as those sold in the US. They are all held to the same standards wherever they are made. Indian drug makers manufacture for export so they comply with US rules. If you are buying for yourself the package will clear customs. We have bought ...
by bberris
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is ACH Billpay risky?
Replies: 41
Views: 3132

Re: Is ACH Billpay risky?

Risky compared to what? Writing a check? All the information necessary to draw from your checking account (routing and account numbers) is on that check.
by bberris
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Premium Tax Credit for ACA
Replies: 8
Views: 600

Re: Premium Tax Credit for ACA

If you go $1 over the 4x poverty level, you lose all the subsidy. I'll let you calculate a marginal tax rate on that buck.
by bberris
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle Says ‘Avoid Bitcoin Like the Plague’
Replies: 321
Views: 39108

Re: Jack Bogle Says ‘Avoid Bitcoin Like the Plague’

The U.S. is monetarily sovereign - meaning it is a currency issuer, and the U.S. federal government, like the Japanese government, and any other country that issues its own currency, cannot go bankrupt, ever. These countries can always pay their debts. Do a google search and learn about "Modern Mon...
by bberris
Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Efficient Markets Indeed
Replies: 49
Views: 4207

Re: Efficient Markets Indeed

.... Even after a large clerical error distorted the price the market is going to push it back to where it should be. ... More likely a pump and dump. Thinly traded stocks are easy to manipulate. I doubt any sort of legit institution would make this rookie mistake. Don't even think about shorting i...
by bberris
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the Pro’s and Con’s to Tips?
Replies: 7
Views: 932

Re: What are the Pro’s and Con’s to Tips?

CON: in a taxable account, the increase in value due to inflation is taxed, but not received in cash. The interest payment is received in cash and is also taxable. These payments and non-payments are exempt from state income tax. https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/tips/res_tips_ta...
by bberris
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - How Secure?
Replies: 28
Views: 1548

Re: Social Security - How Secure?

How much of a discount are you putting on your stock portfolio?
by bberris
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor of Will - Selling House in Poor Condition
Replies: 84
Views: 6542

Re: Executor of Will - Selling House in Poor Condition

Sell quickly as is.

Taxes are 6,000 on a house worth maybe 130,000?? Get rid of it fast.
by bberris
Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Home equity as % of AA
Replies: 41
Views: 3021

Re: Home equity as % of AA

Hello all, I'm curious to know if anyone considers the equity in your home as part of your overall asset allocation for investments. When I do my investing/rebalancing I only consider my stock/bond allocation, typically never giving much thought to home equity. However, I've thought about this when...
by bberris
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 700 Years of Falling Interest Rates, 1310-2018
Replies: 57
Views: 6647

Re: 700 Years of Falling Interest Rates, 1310-2018

As part of their original study, the Bank of England also researched inflation data along with their real interest rate series, giving a sense of the average nominal interest rates for each century (chart below): [chart here] Interesting the degree to which inflation contributed to the historical i...
by bberris
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Opening a IRA at ages 64
Replies: 20
Views: 1463

Re: Opening a IRA at ages 64

I owe almost $4000.00 to fed and the H&R rep said I could open IRA's for me and my wife and reduce that amount for 2018. The money would come from low paying savings. Do you think this is an advantage at our ages? Even if you retire next year, and your income is the same, you could be taxed less on...
by bberris
Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unique Hit and Run Situation
Replies: 40
Views: 4687

Re: Unique Hit and Run Situation

This was my experience with the police "investigation" of a hit and run. My son was rear-ended, got the license plate number, and driver took off. The police knocked on the door of the registered address, were told that the owner of the car did not live there any more. Police would not disclose any ...
by bberris
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: supplemental dental& vision insurance plans
Replies: 12
Views: 911

Re: supplemental dental& vision insurance plans

Instead of insurance, I use a discount plan. Network dentists give you a discount when you have the card. It is not insurance and there are no claims to file or get rejected. Forget about vision and buy from a discount retailer like Costco or Zenni. Any eye problem other than corrective lenses will ...
by bberris
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Baby boomer vicious cycle crash
Replies: 63
Views: 5638

Re: Baby boomer vicious cycle crash

hoops777 wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 am
You are thinking too much and trying to predict the unpredictable.
Demographics are about the most predictable statistic about humans. Since the demographics are already known, there isn't anything useful there about the future of the markets.
by bberris
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help me make the most of a bad 401K!
Replies: 17
Views: 1165

Re: Help me make the most of a bad 401K!

These are bad choices, but the match makes up for some of the bad. I would not neglect starting a taxable account, especially if you are in a low tax bracket. If you plan on changing jobs in a few years, keep contributing and roll over into an IRA when you leave.
by bberris
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?
Replies: 72
Views: 3899

Re: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?

Thanks to everyone for all that info so quickly. So is it true that agents have access to listings that are not in MLS or online anywhere? That's interesting. Is this common? Ask yourself why a listing agent would want to limit the exposure of a house for sale. Even celebrity houses get listed wide...
by bberris
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hospice and Medicare Advantage Plans - a little known Catch22
Replies: 40
Views: 3209

Re: Hospice and Medicare Advantage Plans - a little known Catch22

Quoting my booklet: “Original Medicare (rather than our plan) will pay for your hospice services and any Part A and Part B services related to your terminal prognosis. While you are in the hospice program, your hospice provider will bill original Medicare for the services that original Medicare pay...
by bberris
Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not much work at new megacorp job
Replies: 70
Views: 5614

Re: Not much work at new megacorp job

Maybe they are looking for you to create a new project. Having a free rein could be a dream job. Just be careful not to infringe on someone else.
by bberris
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "dividend preference anomaly"
Replies: 183
Views: 8640

Re: The "dividend preference anomaly"

“most dividend investors do not even realize that the stock price is marked down by the amount of the dividend paid“ Do you know how the prices at which stocks on the NYSE actually trade are determined? What is it that you claim is “marked down”, the bid or the ask? Who do you claim does this “mark...
by bberris
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "dividend preference anomaly"
Replies: 183
Views: 8640

Re: The "dividend preference anomaly"

If you want to see the dividend preference written in large capital letters, take a look at these two closed-end funds run by Cornerstone: CRF. pays out 20% per year and currently trades at a 10 % premium to NAV. It's premium has been as high as 29 % this year. CLM. has similar payout and premium. T...
by bberris
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are yields form tax free Muni Bonds so high?
Replies: 17
Views: 2525

Re: Why are yields form tax free Muni Bonds so high?

Aside from credit quality and duration, muni bonds are generally callable. This is a heads I win, tails you lose situation. A bond holder gets punished by rising interest rates, but does not get the benefit of falling interest rates. To compensate for that risk, Munis have to pay more. Treasury secu...
by bberris
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards Debt and Illness
Replies: 6
Views: 797

Re: Credit Cards Debt and Illness

What's the problem? If he can't pay, and he has no assets, just stop paying. When they call, tell them the situation. Make sure his social security is deposited into an account that does not have autopay, etc.
by bberris
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasonable timeframe to 'average in' to index funds?
Replies: 45
Views: 3509

Re: Reasonable timeframe to 'average in' to index funds?

As has been noted repeatedly, if DCA was a good strategy for a lump sum, then it would be a good strategy for already invested money, at least in tax-advantaged accounts. So one should be constantly selling and doing DCA back in. Anything else is mental accounting, by treating money in cash differe...
by bberris
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 days in Munich, Germany
Replies: 28
Views: 1721

Re: 4 days in Munich, Germany

My favorite part of Munich isn't in Munich. It's the town near the airport called Freising. Uncrowded, charming, great cheap restaurants and beer gardens, and maybe the oldest brewery in the world. We found it as an overnight before our flight home. No Glockenspiel.
by bberris
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 149
Views: 11818

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

I can see skipping the COLA but not the cash refund or period certain. These seem like a reasonable way to assure the insurance company does not get an outsized return while still providing lifetime income. Why do you care if the insurance company gets lucky? Would it bother you if your neighbor wo...
by bberris
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 149
Views: 11818

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

I can see skipping the COLA but not the cash refund or period certain. These seem like a reasonable way to assure the insurance company does not get an outsized return while still providing lifetime income. Why do you care if the insurance company gets lucky? Would it bother you if your neighbor wo...
by bberris
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?
Replies: 88
Views: 9398

Re: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?

mega317 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:45 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:17 pm
but Larry Swedroe has come full circle on the topic and now is in favor of it.
This is an honest question: then why does he bother writing and advising others instead of trading constantly and becoming fabulously wealthy?
Momentum gives you only a slight edge.
by bberris
Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Companies that pay dividends to their shareholders not in the form of cash, but rather in the form of additional shares
Replies: 15
Views: 1105

Re: Companies that pay dividends to their shareholders not in the form of cash, but rather in the form of additional sha

A company paying out "dividends" in its own stock is only increasing the number of its shares outstanding. It's a wash and should be of no interest to the investor. One's proportion of ownership remains unchanged and the stock's price per share should drop proportionately. If a company touts this a...
by bberris
Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st time on ACA
Replies: 35
Views: 3109

Re: 1st time on ACA

ACA says that up to the cliff, you spend a maximum of 9.8 % of MAGI on premiums for the second lowest cost silver plan. That effectively means that your marginal income is taxed 9.8 % in addition to federal and state income taxes.