Search found 1095 matches

by bberris
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building Wealth Through Home Equity--Myth or Reality?
Replies: 94
Views: 6077

Re: Building Wealth Through Home Equity--Myth or Reality?

This is not surprising at all because most people are not very good at managing their finances. Buying a house forces them to put money into that asset, which will usually appreciate (the number I recall seeing is more like 2% per year on average). Most people who are renting are not putting the mo...
by bberris
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United, American Airlines, Delta--about the same?
Replies: 144
Views: 7770

Re: United, American Airlines, Delta--about the same?

I think there is a larger difference in service and equipment within an airline than between them. All the majors fly some old equipment and some have dated insides. Before you buy your ticket, check the aircraft (although this could be changed, expecially for a flight far ahead). All have some grou...
by bberris
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do I start? I can’t do a Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 683

Re: Where do I start? I can’t do a Roth IRA?

You might be confused by Kiosaki's books. Most of what he writes is untrue. The rest is lies.
by bberris
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab vs TD Ameritrade on Treasury Fees
Replies: 10
Views: 671

Re: Schwab vs TD Ameritrade on Treasury Fees

Those are the regular fees for TDA. They are waived for Private client services, so if you have other accounts with them, they might waive it. Otherwise, you could use SPTS commission free.
by bberris
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is too old to buy a house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4043

Re: How old is too old to buy a house?

If you are underground, it is definitely too late to buy.
by bberris
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard To Liquidate Convertible Securities Fund
Replies: 24
Views: 1783

Re: Vanguard To Liquidate Convertible Securities Fund

Convertible securities sound like a bet on high volatility. There’s a story for the upside and downside, but they perform worse than high-yield bonds if the company just kind of muddles along. I’m not sure volatility strategies should be part of any passive portfolio. The stock market tends to fall...
by bberris
Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV antennas...
Replies: 35
Views: 2632

Re: TV antennas...

FWIW, the quality of OTA HD is far superior to satellite or cable TV HD imagery. This always used to drive me nuts watching DirecTV in our home. They (and I suppose the other vendors as well) used much higher compression (lower bit rates) on video than the local DTV stations did, which ended up cau...
by bberris
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2018 Tax Law - Subtle LTCG Rate Calc Change
Replies: 4
Views: 837

Re: 2018 Tax Law - Subtle LTCG Rate Calc Change

trueblueky wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:55 pm
Noted.

The next LTCG bracket is 15%, so for a $100 span, they're taxed heavier than ordinary income.
Is this the LTCG Lump, or Hump, or Torpedo?
by bberris
Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard To Liquidate Convertible Securities Fund
Replies: 24
Views: 1783

Re: Vanguard To Liquidate Convertible Securities Fund

And a logical replacement for this fund (among Vanguard funds, available in Vanguard mutual fund accounts) would be... ? I'm not sure of a fund, but a convertible bond has two aspects: an ordinary corporate bond, and an option to buy stock of the corporation. So I don't think it is a suitable inves...
by bberris
Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying More Paper Assets or Rental Properties
Replies: 15
Views: 1299

Re: Buying More Paper Assets or Rental Properties

What is a paper asset? The definition is an asset which is carried on the balance sheet as an "asset" but can't be liquidated, has no practical value, remains as an accounting artifact waiting to be written off. But what I think what was meant from the context, is an asset that has ownership transf...
by bberris
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father-in-law denied apartment for lack of income even though he has assets. What to do?
Replies: 77
Views: 7608

Re: Father-in-law denied apartment for lack of income even though he has assets. What to do?

It is a lot easier for assets to go elsewhere than income, so this is why you see this type of requirement. ..." Easier? I think it would be a lot easier to gamble away one-month's pay than 1MM savings. If he has 12 months of rent in the bank that should be sufficient. The management is being ridic...
by bberris
Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father-in-law denied apartment for lack of income even though he has assets. What to do?
Replies: 77
Views: 7608

Re: Father-in-law denied apartment for lack of income even though he has assets. What to do?

It is a lot easier for assets to go elsewhere than income, so this is why you see this type of requirement. ..." Easier? I think it would be a lot easier to gamble away one-month's pay than 1MM savings. If he has 12 months of rent in the bank that should be sufficient. The management is being ridic...
by bberris
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a Nassim Taleb portfolio?
Replies: 38
Views: 4351

Re: Is there a Nassim Taleb portfolio?

What’s a positive black swan (in the context of investing)? In his case, a convex options payoff. i.e. Buy out-of-money options when they're very cheap and sell them once they've exploded. Losses are capped at the small amount of $$ invested, but upside is potentially unlimited. This sounds a lot l...
by bberris
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Ira losses
Replies: 13
Views: 1359

Re: Roth Ira losses

As of 2018, you cannot recharacterize (reverse) a Roth conversion, so there is nothing to do. You might have found references to being able to save on taxes by recharacterizing. The effect would have been to save the tax paid on the amount of the loss. This possibility was eliminated by the TCJA. I ...
by bberris
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we officially in bear market ?
Replies: 79
Views: 9733

Re: Are we officially in bear market ?

Jimsad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:55 pm
Some cable channels declared S&P 500 officially entered bear market today .
Is this correct ?
What should I do when S&P stamps "OFFICIAL" on it? Or is it the cable channel that puts the stamp on it?
by bberris
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Massive losses; what if I die [before offsetting the losses]?
Replies: 55
Views: 7005

Re: Massive losses; what if I die?

J G Bankerton wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:05 am
Way back in January I sold/bought VTI for long term gains. I now have losses so large if I sold in January I may not live long enough, at $3,000 a year limit, to write them all off. What should I do? $3,000 is too low, way too low.
We don't know what the tax situation will be in the afterlife.
by bberris
Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condor moved me from Business to Economy. Recourse?
Replies: 54
Views: 4900

Re: Condor moved me from Business to Economy. Recourse?

dpm321 wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:29 am
Take the flight and the refund. It's only 6 hours and $400 each is a bargain.
$800 RT is not a bargain.

I have been able to find many flights in economy from MSP to Europe under 500 RT even in summer.
by bberris
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Peer to Peer Lending/Investing
Replies: 17
Views: 1020

Re: Peer to Peer Lending/Investing

If the borrower defaults you don't get paid. What many investors don't realize, is that if Lending Club itself is insolvent, you don't get paid, even if your borrower is current. As a lender to LC you are the lowest subordinated claim on LC. Most LC loans go to pay other loans. Then the borrower has...
by bberris
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about skyscanner
Replies: 3
Views: 547

Re: Question about skyscanner

Some of the linked Skyscanner sites (the travel agents you've never heard of) are very sketchy.
Orbitz is probably ok, but many times I have gone through the purchase process and then been told the price is different. I don't buy from them now. Did you try to complete the purchase?
by bberris
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General Rule for Home appreciation over 25 year+ period?
Replies: 48
Views: 2514

Re: General Rule for Home appreciation over 25 year+ period?

There isn't any reason for a house value to appreciate. The structure and mechanicals have limited lifetimes that require maintenance and replacement. Moreover, styles change and what a house buyer wants 10 years from now might not be what you have bought. The investment return on a house that occup...
by bberris
Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Confused by cruise gratuities
Replies: 51
Views: 4054

Re: Confused by cruise gratuities

You can of course reduce or increase your tip add-on by visiting guest services during or after your cruise. If you want to lower the tip, expect to be asked how the service did not meet your expectations and who specifically was underperforming. That discussion would make a lot of people uncomforta...
by bberris
Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wash Sale Tax and Logistics Question
Replies: 13
Views: 782

Re: Wash Sale Tax and Logistics Question

This is really helpful. Thanks. Any reason for waiting more than one day. I would exchange the shares in the 401K on Monday and should wake up Tuesday and the shares that would have been replacement shares would be gone from the 401K. Also, why would this be a test case if the wash sale is definite...
by bberris
Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wash Sale Tax and Logistics Question
Replies: 13
Views: 782

Re: Wash Sale Tax and Logistics Question

Selling in the 401k would not mitigate the wash sale, if it exists. You have no basis in the 401k. I don't believe this will be reported as a wash sale in the 1099b. It is apparently controversial as to whether a 401k purchase can wash a sale in a taxable account. Certainly an IRA purchase can cause...
by bberris
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car totalled - amex insurance issue
Replies: 19
Views: 3306

Re: Rental car totalled - amex insurance issue

My rental car got stuck in a flooded road and was totaled. I rent on American Express card and pay for amex premium coverage as primary and assumed it will all be taken care of. After a couple of months I heard from the car rental company that amex is paying for approx 90% of the net ACV ( actual c...
by bberris
Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My ACA premiums went up 128% in 2019 anybody else get hit with big increases
Replies: 21
Views: 3431

Re: My ACA premiums went up 128% in 2019 anybody else get hit with big increases

With a heavily subsidized plan, you are paying the small difference between two large numbers, the premium on the plan you choose, and your subsidy. That difference is going to be volatile, even when there are smallish changes in the two large numbers.
by bberris
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Retirement Is Broken And Needs To Be Reinvented
Replies: 174
Views: 12429

Re: Why Retirement Is Broken And Needs To Be Reinvented

What does it mean "overpromised" ? Why it is so difficult to account for deferred compensation ? Pensions don't necessarily have to be funded by contributions. If an employer offers a 150k/yr. salary, nobody bats an eye, but if they offer 100k/yr. plus 5k/yr. per year of service starting at age 65,...
by bberris
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realize Losses vs Pay More Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 710

Re: Realize Losses vs Pay More Taxes

.. the logic. Why would I want to realize a $30,000 loss instead of just paying an extra $6,000-$8,000 to the IRS? Sure, nobody wants to pay more taxes but to take a loss that is more than 3 times bigger than what I would have to send to Uncle Sam doesn't make sense to me. Is there something I'm no...
by bberris
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far back can HSA Expenses go?
Replies: 14
Views: 1578

Re: How far back can HSA Expenses go?

I am a retiree using an HSA that I built up by deferring reimbursements while working. I can tell you that this concern about keeping receipts forever is a non-issue. First, I used a substantial portion of the HSA to fund COBRA premiums. Then high deductibles, dental, glasses, easily eat up the rest...
by bberris
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing ACA income with a Vanguard Variable Annuity
Replies: 17
Views: 1455

Re: Managing ACA income with a Variable Annuity

Another possible plan is to change the CDs to lower yielding stock index funds in the taxable account, while changing to bonds in tax deferred account (so as to keep the same allocation). In 2019, a couple over 55 can put 9,000 per year into HSAs with a compliant plan. Of course, you can withdraw ta...
by bberris
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "The Steak Dinner Annuity Pitch"
Replies: 68
Views: 7812

Re: "The Steak Dinner Annuity Pitch"

Even an article critical of FIAs can make a word slip that is misleading. The author says that the insurance company "adds money to your account" according to a formula. They don't add any money. They change a number on a computer. (OK, that's also what a bank does when they give you a loan). But th...
by bberris
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this annuity a good deal?
Replies: 14
Views: 1977

Re: Is this annuity a good deal?

That's an amazingly great deal for an annuity. That monthly amount is normal for an SPIA that is fixed for life. The 3% bump each year is basically *free*. That's awesome. I don't now how they can afford to give you that. (Well, they basically don't want to give you a lump sum for some reason, beca...
by bberris
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much will my T-Note be worth?
Replies: 14
Views: 1071

Re: How much will my T-Note be worth?

I think you want the yield-to-maturity.
Use the YIELD function on google sheets or Excel.
by bberris
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mailing lithium ion battery internationally - how ?
Replies: 8
Views: 824

Re: mailing lithium ion battery internationally - how ?

samsdad wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:18 am
Where was that battery made? Surely it wasn’t born here, i.e., it was shipped before.

Also, looks like you can buy them on eBay.
It was shipped on a ship.
by bberris
Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows to Android file transfer over Wifi?
Replies: 7
Views: 426

Re: Windows to Android file transfer over Wifi?

ASUS file manager app.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... r&hl=en_US
Despite the name, it will go on any android phone.
Use the PC file transfer button
by bberris
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High premiums on life insurance from financial advisor?
Replies: 13
Views: 969

Re: High premiums on life insurance from financial advisor?

Why did you sign up for YRT? This was my financial advisors idea and I didn't understand it fully at the time. My understanding however is that at my age I can get the full $3MM benefit cheapest by mixing GLT and YRT for the next, say, 10 years then switching the YRT to GLT at a later date. I don't...
by bberris
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA cliff and MAGI; to ACA or Cobra?
Replies: 9
Views: 827

Re: ACA cliff and MAGI; to ACA or Cobra?

You can take another 2,000 hsa deduction if you are both over 55.
I think you are better off taking PTO in 2018. Are the taxes on that sum more than the difference between cobra and ACA after subsidy?
by bberris
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System
Replies: 19
Views: 1449

Re: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System

A water taxi is a custom ride at a high price. Just like it sounds. A vaporetto is a bus on water, still kind of expensive, but it is mass transit. And a traghetto is a quick cheap ride across the canal. Eating in Venice does not have to be expensive, and in some places is downright cheap. Just don'...
by bberris
Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System
Replies: 19
Views: 1449

Re: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System

It's hard to imagine how small Venice is. If you want to save some money, and you are traveling light, you can walk from Piazzale Roma (where the airport bus drops you off) to St Marks in 30 min, faster than the boat. There are steps and little bridges (and the Rialto Bridge) so luggage could be a p...
by bberris
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Falling off the ACA subsidy cliff
Replies: 62
Views: 5168

Re: Falling off the ACA subsidy cliff

... Strats that leave you poorer: Go to the doctor and spend enough money to generate deductible medical expenses (if you are itemizing, which is getting more rare nowadays). Donate to charity. Charitable deductions do not reduce your ACA income. Only medical expenses in excess of 10 % of your inco...
by bberris
Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Falling off the ACA subsidy cliff
Replies: 62
Views: 5168

Re: Falling off the ACA subsidy cliff

If less than 60 days have elapsed since your IRA withdrawal you can redeposit it (rollover, even to the same account). Make sure you specify rollover deposit to the broker. If you have earned income (from working) you can deposit to an IRA. If your health plan is HSA compliant, you can make a deposi...
by bberris
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First U.S. Penny Will Be Auctioned for 100 Million Times Its Monetary Value
Replies: 13
Views: 2470

Re: First U.S. Penny Will Be Auctioned for 100 Million Times Its Monetary Value

F150HD wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:01 pm
Thats one heck of an investment.....for 1 cent.

...
8.5 % annual return
by bberris
Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to Minnesota
Replies: 28
Views: 2955

Re: Moving to Minnesota

I assume a promotion means more money, and since we have a 7-9% state income tax, we're happy to have you! Not sure if I should send congrats or condolences. We also have higher sales tax. Can you move to Hudson, or stay on the WI side, since you're already a resident? White Bear Lake is 5-10 miles...
by bberris
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return of Capital Transaction - should I opt in or out
Replies: 5
Views: 651

Re: Return of Capital Transaction - should I opt in or out

There is a tender offer for the stock, at about $45, the current market price. Me, I would sell it all and diversify, unless this would be a big tax liability.
by bberris
Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Level Premium Term Life is Whole-Life Lite
Replies: 2
Views: 312

Level Premium Term Life is Whole-Life Lite

When arguing against whole life policies, the alternative is usually level-premium term. I realized that level premium term has a little savings account aspect to it, albeit one you cannot access as easily as whole life. To see this, realize that your risk of dying increases each year, but your prem...
by bberris
Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advise on term vs whole life
Replies: 31
Views: 2287

Re: Advise on term vs whole life

... 4) Arguments that money is "being thrown away" in term life are specious. Insurance is insurance. Nobody argues that you are "throwing money away" in your homeowner's or auto insurance even if you never make a claim. The argument doesn't come up with other kinds of insurance protection because ...
by bberris
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advise on term vs whole life
Replies: 31
Views: 2287

Re: Advise on term vs whole life

After running the number for term vs whole the monthly cost difference was not much but I'm in excellent health. This is hard to believe - monthly cost difference between term and whole life is not much? Many times, whole life is about 10 times as expensive as term for the same amount of coverage. ...
by bberris
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COBRA clarification (loophole?)
Replies: 13
Views: 1038

Re: COBRA clarification (loophole?)

For those that advocate immediate COBRA enrollment, you should know that it is usually not even possible. After termination, the forms are sent to your house with some delay, so that at least one month without coverage will pass in any event. Yes, you can wait two months to see if your benefits woul...
by bberris
Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 47
Views: 8589

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: 3622

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: 32
Views: 4420

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...