Search found 844 matches

by bberris
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto insurance damage claim
Replies: 47
Views: 1880

Re: Auto insurance damage claim

What would be the procedure if the OP had been in an accident that totaled his car that was the fault of another individual. Would the other insurance company have access to the hail damage payout from years ago or would they be forced to pay the $10k ? They could look it up on carfax, or the CLUE ...
by bberris
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe to file taxes now?
Replies: 57
Views: 4602

Re: Safe to file taxes now?

You don't need a 5498 for filing. You may need to know your 12/31/17 balance for RMD. 5498 won't be issued until May because you have until April 15 to contribute. There is no risk in waiting to file. If you have a refund coming, just file ASAP and file amended if you have to. If you owe money, wait...
by bberris
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve trip cancellation
Replies: 6
Views: 816

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve trip cancellation

Has anybody used this feature of the card? I saw online that I need to work with eclaimsline.com. How long did it take to get the claim through and receive the benefit? How much of a hassle was it? I suspect it is going to take a lot of work to get reimbursed. I've made a claim for travel coverage,...
by bberris
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Scottrade migration to TDAM
Replies: 10
Views: 739

Re: Scottrade migration to TDAM

You can change to whatever TDA office you want. I think everyone goes the same day 2/26. I would download January's statement and take a print of your current holdings before the transfer just to make sure everything transfers. I have a liquidating trust in my account that I'm a little concerned abo...
by bberris
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to qualify wife for ACA subsidy in 2018
Replies: 18
Views: 1431

Re: How to qualify wife for ACA subsidy in 2018

I will be 69 this month and wife is 60. My projected income for 2018 with SS, company pensions, dividends and rent income will be approximately $68K+. Will not take a RMD from my IRA until 2019. If I could keep my income below $66K for 2018 wife qualifies for $977 per month goverment health care, A...
by bberris
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show
Replies: 407
Views: 44711

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

Gomorra. Suburra.

The Italians do crime series incredibly well, and with amazing music.
Start with the movie, which is not as good as the series.

An older series, not on Netflix, called Romanzo Criminale, and another one Il Capo dei Capi. Only the last one is about the Mafia.
by bberris
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what is marginal tax rate?
Replies: 23
Views: 1722

Re: what is marginal tax rate?

Just a thought...seems like it should be called MAXIMUM tax rate rather than MARGINAL. Why marginal? Seems strange nomenclature. Because your maximum tax rate may not be the same as the marginal. You may be taxed at a higher rate on your 40,000th dollar than your 60,000th. Look at the wiki for the ...
by bberris
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House for sale AO with concern
Replies: 11
Views: 945

Re: House for sale AO with concern

The majority of the offers I put in for buyers have some seller contributions requested. I work with their loan officers and they usually tell me what the buyer needs, based on cash on hand. Appraisal is always a concern. If the house was priced properly then there could be a problem. That said, 99...
by bberris
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - H&R Block Software
Replies: 2
Views: 335

Re: Taxes - H&R Block Software

They claim available 2/16.

I switched to HRB from taxact because of myfreetaxes.com and I am very happy with it. Easy importing of w2, 1099s, 1095A, last years tax form. No nagging for upgrades.
by bberris
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax doubts for retirement and moving to the US from Brazil
Replies: 28
Views: 1786

Re: Tax doubts for retirement and moving to the US

OP, Consult a tax advisor who has experience in your home country + US taxes. Its a bad idea as you will have big issues with healthcare - why do you want to relocate to a HCOL in retirement? Actually health care in Rio de janeiro costs our family 10000 USD per year (two kids under 8, me and wife o...
by bberris
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In plain English, please explain what was VIX, what happened to it and why?
Replies: 68
Views: 5840

Re: In plain English, please explain what was VIX, what happened to it and why?

The generic but, I think, useful answer is that it is part of the irregular cycle described by Kindleberger in Panics, Manias, and Crashes . There is a crisis. Regulations are passed to prevent its recurrence. Time passes without any fresh crisis. Everyone relaxes, including regulators. There is al...
by bberris
Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I think US interest rates could drop.
Replies: 62
Views: 6638

Re: I think US interest rates could drop.

3CT_Paddler wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:50 am
I don't think the Fed wants to be stuck at a zero interest rate or right at it when the next crisis hits. I would expect them to continue to push for rate increases until the next crisis hits.
Right. They must raise rates ... so they can lower them.
by bberris
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are the structure problems with whole life insurance?
Replies: 15
Views: 1300

Re: What are the structure problems with whole life insurance?

I think OP wants to know what, in principle , is wrong with WL. Yes there are high fees and commissions, but lots of otherwise good products have them too. And the product is complicated enough to make the fees obscure. But couldn't some ethical provider make the product work well? I think not. The ...
by bberris
Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer and buying a foreclosure?
Replies: 12
Views: 948

Re: Making an offer and buying a foreclosure?

Per the listing realtor, the title is free and clear. I agree that it technically is not a foreclosure but house for sale by bank-owned. Interesting though when you look at the MLS listing, it does say foreclosure! The main issue we are also facing is how to arrange the finances to place an offer w...
by bberris
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer and buying a foreclosure?
Replies: 12
Views: 948

Re: Making an offer and buying a foreclosure?

I have no idea where to start and how to go forward with trying to make this happen! Thoughts? Buying a foreclosure has all sorts of legal pitfalls which will vary by state and sometimes even city so you would want to get a local lawyer that specializes in real estate to write up the offer for you....
by bberris
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer and buying a foreclosure?
Replies: 12
Views: 948

Re: Making an offer and buying a foreclosure?

I doubt that any seller would accept a current-house-sale contingency, unless it had a short time limit. Put yourself in the seller's place; he would have to hold the house off the market until you get the price you want for your house, which may be never. You can make any offer you want, just write...
by bberris
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sale of stock
Replies: 14
Views: 1374

Re: Sale of stock

The amount of money here is not huge, and you could be in the 0 % long-term capital gains bracket anyway. Have you estimated your taxes using a zero cost basis? Hopefully the 1099-B will have something. The Pru stock from class action settlement is a tough one. Is the basis 0? My guess would be it w...
by bberris
Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inverse VIX Cause of Further Selling?
Replies: 15
Views: 1526

Re: Inverse VIX Cause of Further Selling?

When Credit Suisse had to keep buying Vix futures as their short position cratered, they were driving up the price of Vix futures. There was a lack of counterparties, partly because it was after hours. When the spike in expected volatility appeared as higher vix futures, that increased the (apparent...
by bberris
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Volatility as a cause of volatility?
Replies: 18
Views: 1156

Re: Volatility as a cause of volatility?

.... I'm waiting for ways to speculate on the second derivative of volatility. You know, the volatility of volatility. And so on. Into infinity. You do know there's a VIX options market, among other things? Now we are getting somewhere! With the options on vix it should be possible to calculate tha...
by bberris
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Volatility as a cause of volatility?
Replies: 18
Views: 1156

Re: Volatility as a cause of volatility?

I'm waiting for ways to speculate on the second derivative of volatility. You know, the volatility of volatility. And so on. Into infinity.
by bberris
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA...let me get this straight
Replies: 36
Views: 3763

Re: HSA...let me get this straight

runner3081 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:41 pm
OnTrack2020 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:37 pm
Do I need to keep cancelled checks made to the provider, or will just the EOB suffice?
To me, an EOB is worthless. I would not feel comfortable with only that in an audit.

What matters is the amount you paid the provider.
My EOB shows how much I owe the provider.
by bberris
Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loss Assessment Deductible on Umbrella policy?
Replies: 2
Views: 222

Re: Loss Assessment Deductible on Umbrella policy?

My umbrella policy from American Family has a 100,000 limit for loss assessment, no deductible that I could discern, (but no coverage for the HOA deductible). No coverage for government assessment.
by bberris
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Banks Worthless [to invest equity in]?
Replies: 32
Views: 2755

Re: Are Banks Worthless [to invest equity in]?

This Buffett quote about sums up banks IMO: "Banking, if you can just stay away from following the fads and making bad loans, has been a remarkably good business. Since WW II, ROE for banks that have stayed out of trouble has been good . Some large well-run banks earn 20% ROE." Banking as a whole m...
by bberris
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inverse VIX ETN down 80% after hours
Replies: 42
Views: 5183

Re: Inverse VIX ETN down 80% after hours

alpenglow wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:32 pm
This is definitely going to leave a mark on Credit Suisse.
I'm not sure what color the mark is, but CS is a huge gainer in this. The short explanation is that XIV was CS debt.
Here is the long explanation, a really nice article:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/414396 ... an-happens
by bberris
Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Banks Worthless [to invest equity in]?
Replies: 32
Views: 2755

Re: Are Banks Worthless?

"Unlevered" bank assets? There is no unlevered bank I know of. Banks are a great business, that is why there are so many and they spring up like weeds. No other business literally creates money.
by bberris
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inverse VIX ETN down 80% after hours
Replies: 42
Views: 5183

Re: Inverse VIX ETN down 80% after hours

This is a note, not an ETF. I don't think market makers and specialists agreed to go bankrupt trying to wrangle a flawed product.
There's no way this could have been an orderly trade. And this tail may be wagging the dog.
by bberris
Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to keep money to get to Social Security at age 70?
Replies: 14
Views: 1239

Re: Where to keep money to get to Social Security at age 70?

You could buy a term annuity. What I'm doing is just using a higher withdrawal rate until 70.
by bberris
Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save on taxes by putting bonus in 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1774

Re: Save on taxes by putting bonus in 401k?

... This particular piece of income is taxed at a higher rate than my normal income. I'm not really sure why. Maybe someone can shed some light onto that? ... No the bonus is not taxed at a higher rate than regular income. Whether a company pays you a higher salary or you get a bonus, it's still ta...
by bberris
Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inverse VIX ETN down 80% after hours
Replies: 42
Views: 5183

Re: Inverse VIX ETN down 80% after hours

I wouldn't worry too much about large institutions being short volatility. This has been a very profitable trade, and as such has gotten very crowded. I did this myself for a short time, but thankfully bailed a while ago. Being short volatility is selling insurance. When you sell insurance, you need...
by bberris
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nassim Taleb on Bitcoin
Replies: 21
Views: 3203

Re: Nassim Taleb on Bitcoin

It’s pretty clear this forum is anti bitcoin and completely close minded on the subject. Perhaps bogleheads can answer me this: given the choice between two currencies, one that can be freely printed and one that has a fixed supply, why should I choose the freely printable one? I ask because with b...
by bberris
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would you do with this car?
Replies: 27
Views: 1391

Re: What would you do with this car?

Park it in the Bronx? I'm kidding. Sell it now. (Sunk cost fallacy). It's sitting there reminding you and if you don't like it now you will grow to hate it. So what if you can afford it? Buy something you like.
by bberris
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to pay off margin and not get killed on taxes
Replies: 28
Views: 2404

Re: How to pay off margin and not get killed on taxes

... Did you have an advisor or friend that got you in this situation? Has something changed? Have you really had $150,000.00 margin debt for many years? .... Does that matter? She has decided to get out of this situation. My guess is that she simply withdrew cash for living expenses over many years.
by bberris
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When diversification doesn’t work
Replies: 33
Views: 2635

Re: When diversification doesn’t work

JBTX wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:09 pm
First of all I could care less if the market goes down 2% in a week.

But I do find it interesting that seemingly everything went down last week. Stocks. International stocks. Bonds. Commodities. Where did it all go, cash?
I think you need to lower your standards for the word "work".
by bberris
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frequent Flier Miles 101
Replies: 53
Views: 4590

Re: Frequent Flier Miles 101

... That's why I think the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the best cards for travelers. You can use points to book travel, getting an extra 50% value for your points or you can just take the cash value. Too bad the signup bonus is down to 50k UR points (was 100k points)... Another plug for C...
by bberris
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Advisers at Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Pushing Products
Replies: 12
Views: 1432

Re: WSJ: Advisers at Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Pushing Products

Clark Howard mentioned this story on his podcast and I thought it might be worth sharing here. Anyone using reps at brick and mortar locations of these firms needs to be very careful. I am not a subscriber to WSJ so I haven't clicked through but the story has been picked up by several other website...
by bberris
Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American saving rate
Replies: 28
Views: 4949

Re: American saving rate

Baby boomers like me are retiring and have a negative savings rate. That's not a problem.
A high savings rate is a problem for the economy as a whole. Your spending is another guy's income.
by bberris
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Non-Covered Tax Gains
Replies: 3
Views: 432

Re: Help with Non-Covered Tax Gains

Scottrade does have records of your purchase price even if it will not be reported to the IRS (uncovered transaction). Look under Tax Center. I would suggest getting this information before you transfer the shares and before Scottrade transfers you to TDA. They claim that all the tax information wil...
by bberris
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wisdom of Bitcoin
Replies: 90
Views: 6862

Re: Wisdom of Bitcoin

As long as you actually understand the utility of bitcoin is the inherent value, not the fact that the drooling masses ran up the price. If you understand that, then it is not too late. If you don't then yes, it is in fact too late. What? How would understanding affect bitcoin or its poor relatives...
by bberris
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Socially responsible bonds
Replies: 15
Views: 942

Re: Socially responsible bonds

It probably won't make any difference to you. You are of course assuming a higher risk, without higher reward, by being less diversified. And it won't make any difference to the world either. Someone else will buy those tobacco bonds.
by bberris
Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car buy/lease question
Replies: 8
Views: 722

Re: Car buy/lease question

You could also be liable for condition of the car and mileage on a lease. No, one is not better than the other everywhere and always. The main advantage of a lease is lower sales tax if that applies in your state. Also, don't count on buying the car at the end of a lease with the intention of sellin...
by bberris
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Humidifier input please
Replies: 48
Views: 2545

Re: Home Humidifier input please

I tried one once. A very cheap one and I don't remember the details. The problem I had with it is that we have very hard tap water, and the humidifier output a fine white powder of mineral residue that got all over everything. No water softener? That's right. No water softneer. A water softener won...
by bberris
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Figuring your tax bracket
Replies: 24
Views: 1953

Re: Figuring your tax bracket

Really your tax bracket is only part of the picture. I assume you want to know what happens to your taxes when you do something. The important number for decisions about IRAs, roth conversion etc, is your marginal tax rate. There are a lot more moving parts to marginal tax rate that tax bracket. The...
by bberris
Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do Bogleheads reconcile efficient markets theory with Bitcoin?
Replies: 45
Views: 2368

Re: How do Bogleheads reconcile efficient markets theory with Bitcoin?

The version of EMT that I subscribe to says that public information cannot be used to predict future prices or beat the average without taking extra risk. I see nothing in bitcoin history to disprove that. I don't believe that EMT says that markets are "right" or "fair", those words being undefined....
by bberris
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Humidifier input please
Replies: 48
Views: 2545

Re: Home Humidifier input please

Careful! High humidity can promote condensation and mold in the attic and walls in very cold weather. This article spells out limits.

http://www.startribune.com/fixit-what-i ... /11468916/
For example at -10 to -20 deg, you should not go above 20 %.
by bberris
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal tax estimator that includes Social Security income?
Replies: 21
Views: 2451

Re: Federal tax estimator that includes Social Security income?

Taxact's tax calculator (under the "Next Year" tab) does that, but so far has not been updated with 2018 tax rates and brackets. Thanks, that's what I was looking for. I guess I'll have to wait until they update it. Resuscitating this old thread to report that Taxact has suspended the tax calculato...
by bberris
Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amount of Treasury Bonds to Double -- Does Supply/Demand Apply Here?
Replies: 4
Views: 736

Re: Amount of Treasury Bonds to Double -- Does Supply/Demand Apply Here?

Supply and demand always applies. The thing with government bonds is, that the demand increases with the supply. Deficit spending puts money in checking accounts, and some will have to find its way to earn safe returns in the bond market.
by bberris
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: neighborhood advice for Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and Athens
Replies: 11
Views: 686

Re: neighborhood advice for Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and Athens

The Plaka neighborhood of Athens is too touristy for me. Plenty to do and see around the Monastiraki station.
by bberris
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: where does one buy "health insurance" in the USA?
Replies: 17
Views: 1175

Re: where does one buy "health insurance" in the USA?

Opening the yellow pages and just calling insurance companies is not stupid as buying a private plan may indeed by her option. Gathering information now is a good idea. I am not personally familiar with the criteria for ACA eligibility, but surely that information is out there. It is a fact that th...
by bberris
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA alternative for 1 month? (it's $2,400 per month!)
Replies: 69
Views: 3512

Re: COBRA alternative for 1 month? (it's $2,400 per month!)

The past two months. It's retroactive. You can't skip a month or two and then start it. If you elect COBRA, it is continuous coverage from the qualifying event.
by bberris
Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA alternative for 1 month? (it's $2,400 per month!)
Replies: 69
Views: 3512

Re: COBRA alternative for 1 month? (it's $2,400 per month!)

You have 60 days after the qualifying event (quitting your job) to claim and pay for cobra insurance. if you are in the emergency room, the first thing they ask is where you fell! You tell them you are going on your employers insurance as soon as you get around to it. They must treat you in an emerg...