Search found 44 matches

by mc7
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wealthfront Cash Account Application Asking too many personal questions?
Replies: 39
Views: 3657

Re: Wealthfront Cash Account Application Asking too many personal questions?

Customer due diligence is becoming more strict over time. Many of us, including me, set up our brokerage accounts before the new procedures came into effect. Sources like https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/notice_doc_file_ref/Regulatory-Notice-17-40.pdf strongly imply that net worth informati...
by mc7
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Staying the course is so hard (support thread)
Replies: 141
Views: 14487

Re: Staying the course is so hard (support thread)

Setting up the defined benefit plan sounds like a fantastic idea, even if it's a bit of a short term hassle. As an employee, my tax-deferral options are way more limited, but what I can do, I more or less max out.
by mc7
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Staying the course is so hard (support thread)
Replies: 141
Views: 14487

Re: Staying the course is so hard (support thread)

I have faced some similar dilemmas over the years. I work in a different industry and have no kids, but spent too much time worrying about buying houses and Porsches. One day a colleague got tired of his mid-range Porsche, a few years old with very few miles, and I snatched it up. I've had it for fi...
by mc7
Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Kitces/Pfau rising equity glide path for early retirees with NQDC
Replies: 15
Views: 2115

Re: Kitces/Pfau rising equity glide path for early retirees with NQDC

The type of non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC) that I have is a private sector Section 409a "top hat" plan. I love the tax deferral, but there's no way I would hold bonds in it. The problem is, in the event of corporate insolvency, the plan is an unsecured creditor of the company. It's a ca...
by mc7
Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Kitces/Pfau rising equity glide path for early retirees with NQDC
Replies: 15
Views: 2115

Re: Kitces/Pfau rising equity glide path for early retirees with NQDC

The type of non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC) that I have is a private sector Section 409a "top hat" plan. I love the tax deferral, but there's no way I would hold bonds in it. The problem is, in the event of corporate insolvency, the plan is an unsecured creditor of the company. It's a cal...
by mc7
Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit
Replies: 58
Views: 5611

Re: Consuming Electricity for Fun and Profit

Around $0.24/KWh at peak times here. Maybe I could send you a big lithium power pack and you could ship it back to me charged. :happy
by mc7
Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank's nightmarish online reviews -- should I be worried?
Replies: 97
Views: 10449

Re: Ally Bank's nightmarish online reviews -- should I be worried?

Most of the time they are great. If you are getting any kind of promotional rate, make sure to check the account to verify! You can comply with *all* terms of the offer, get stuck in a different rate, and strung along with promises to fix the rate. That was my experience. After multiple calls and br...
by mc7
Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 'Qualified Opportunity Zones' - are they worthwhile?
Replies: 9
Views: 2239

Re: 'Qualified Opportunity Zones' - are they worthwhile?

This seems like a reasonable vehicle for deferring and reducing taxes, and I've been disappointed not to find many low-cost options to invest passively. Within the identified census tracts ("opportunity zones"), there are a wide range of real estate and businesses that would qualify. I'm aware of Fu...
by mc7
Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for advice on whether to participate in Deferred Compensation Plan
Replies: 18
Views: 2208

Re: Looking for advice on whether to participate in Deferred Compensation Plan

I participate in one, but keep it as close to 10% as possible. I would not be comfortable at 18.5%. Your mileage may vary.
by mc7
Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 99% invested in stocks, bond recommendations please?
Replies: 19
Views: 2648

Re: 99% invested in stocks, bond recommendations please?

NASA Federal Credit Union, 3.25% for 15 months. Good return, and gives you fifteen months to ponder further options.
by mc7
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Question - Upper Mgmt Position
Replies: 6
Views: 1502

Re: Career Question - Upper Mgmt Position

My perspective: Don’t ask for the face time. It should happen organically. You don’t want this exec having to fit you in as a condition of accepting the position. If all goes well, you’ll be spending way more time with that person. And if it doesn’t, negotiated time with them won’t fix it. It would ...
by mc7
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Developer Laptop
Replies: 26
Views: 1945

Re: Developer Laptop

The ability to use an external GPU for number crunching might be interesting. In particular, you could tinker with the processor and internal GPU, and if and when you have a need to scale up, you could get an external one. In this scenario I think Apple is at a disadvantage because even the external...
by mc7
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my MacBook pro?
Replies: 18
Views: 1744

Re: Should I sell my MacBook pro?

I use Apple devices a lot, desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets at both work and home. But after getting a Pixelbook, I find myself using that far more often than the Apple devices, to the point that I'll probably sell my personal MacBook, and I'm ambivalent about updating my iPad. The Pixelbook's...
by mc7
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Picking a Charity
Replies: 69
Views: 3174

Re: Picking a Charity

For disaster relief: Direct Relief and Americares.

For providing great info to the public: Wikimedia Foundation and the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy!

Also medical research, but as others have suggested, no clear winner here.
by mc7
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need burner phone for wife traveling in Italy
Replies: 24
Views: 2167

Re: Need burner phone for wife traveling in Italy

LG Nexus (solid generic Android!) and Google Fi (great service in Europe!). I have one sitting around, pretty good condition except for one stuck pixel (looks like one tiny fleck on screen). Send private message if interested.
by mc7
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today
Replies: 484
Views: 85519

Re: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today

I was looking at two-year CDs recently, but the 3.25% fifteen-month special at NASA Federal Credit Union was too good to pass up (and apparently still available).
by mc7
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security
Replies: 27
Views: 2798

Re: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security

Thanks to all those who took the question seriously and provided helpful suggestions. Of course, this is more interesting to the folks who take a belt-and-suspenders approach to privacy, I realize some bogleheads simply don't care. For my part, I am a senior executive at a large publicly traded corp...
by mc7
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I buy a Tesla?
Replies: 140
Views: 11738

Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

I had been waiting a few years to buy a Tesla. When I finally decided to get a new car, I rented several on Turo for a few days each and ended up getting a Honda Clarity Touring. I love it! I can commute completely on electric power, qualified for a California carpool sticker and Federal tax credit,...
by mc7
Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security
Replies: 27
Views: 2798

Re: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security

Thanks for the first hand experience and suggestions. One thing I noticed last year was that my work phone had far greater access to Google services than locals'. This was in a major city, with lots of foreign business people. My hosts thought that it was because of my phone service provider; knowin...
by mc7
Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security
Replies: 27
Views: 2798

Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security

I will be traveling for work to mainland China. For work systems and data, there are a variety of precautions I'll take. My question is about personal security and privacy. On a previous trip, I left all personal devices behind and avoided logging in to any personal accounts during the entire trip. ...
by mc7
Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tech help needed. What programs/data to remove from MacBook before sending in for repair? And, how to restore it later?
Replies: 22
Views: 1699

Re: Tech help needed. What programs/data to remove from MacBook before sending in for repair? And, how to restore it la

Another great option for backup is Carbon Copy Cloner. It copies basically everything on your drive, and creates a recovery partition on your backup drive. You can even verify that your external backup is complete by booting the computer from it.
by mc7
Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to Hedge Currency Risk? [for US ex-pats and non-US investors]
Replies: 10
Views: 1634

Re: How to Hedge Currency Risk?

Thanks for starting this thread. I think the US dollar carries risk, not only relative to foreign travel, but also in case of a dramatic move relative to other currencies. I am certainly no currency expert, but my impression is that the past forty years have been unusually stable for the dollar. I d...
by mc7
Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 70890

Re: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]

Does anyone how much the taxation of Vanguard's ex-US Real Estate funds (VGRLX, VGXRX) and ETF (VNQI) will change (for a USA investor in the top marginal bracket)?
by mc7
Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:13 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Low cost way to invest in Germany?
Replies: 11
Views: 1549

Re: Low cost way to invest in Germany?

If you, for whatever reason, really want to invest in a Germany ETF with low costs, you could purchase iShares Core DAX® UCITS ETF (DE) at 0.16% ER (Ticker: EXS1) on the German Stock Exchange (Deutsche Börse). It has high AUM, too, at eight billion EUR, which is about nine billion USD. http://www.i...
by mc7
Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Applications of Calculus of Variations?
Replies: 20
Views: 3067

Re: Financial Applications of Calculus of Variations?

Benoit Mandelbrot (famous for his work in fractals) and Richard Hudson (Wall Street Journal editor) wrote a great book called The Misbehavior of Markets. It describes shortcomings of many conventional mathematical models used in finance, such as continuous price movement, normal gaussian distributio...
by mc7
Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Imac retina
Replies: 7
Views: 1219

Re: Imac retina

Consider the Apple Airport Extreme--esp refurbished by Apple if you want to save a few bucks.
by mc7
Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Documenting an IRA to 401k rollover
Replies: 6
Views: 7734

Re: Documenting an IRA to 401k rollover

Alan, thanks. The pointer to the old publication 590 p. 23 (in 2014, publication 590A p. 24) is very helpful.
by mc7
Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop: Windows based vs. Apple
Replies: 87
Views: 15450

Re: Laptop: Windows based vs. Apple

You cannot install TurboTax on Doesn't look correct. TurboTax 2014 for Mac is available from the Apple AppStore. Of course it is available. I've also run TurboTax through the free download program offered to Vanguard's Flagship clients. Additionally, one can purchase the CD version from Amazon (or ...
by mc7
Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Chrome Stalling Out
Replies: 8
Views: 1401

Re: Google Chrome Stalling Out

Anecdotally, yes. Not on Windows 7, and only intermittently. Typing in the Omnibox/search/address box took me away from Google's home page to a blank page and there were no suggestions/auto-completions. There is an App Status Dashboard for a variety of Google products at http://www.google.com/appsst...
by mc7
Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tech Stock Valuations--Mark Cuban's "Bubble"
Replies: 20
Views: 3081

Re: Mark Cuban "Tech Crash Coming" - do you agree?

I don't know the answer. I am very curious about this question. Cuban's blog post called out some interesting patterns but it's hard to know the bottom line. Most of my own portfolio is passive, but a very small number of private investments, made during an earlier bubble, dramatically outperformed ...
by mc7
Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Legal ways to lower MAGI for ACA signup?
Replies: 34
Views: 10218

Re: Any Legal ways to lower MAGI for ACA signup?

What about converting some investments to a deferred annuity (with relatively low cost such as Vanguard's)? Granted, it seems a bit extreme, with money not accessible til age 59.5 and unknowns about future policy.
by mc7
Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use finance s/ware Quicken/MoneyDance etc ?
Replies: 23
Views: 2548

Re: Anyone use finance s/ware Quicken/MoneyDance etc ?

I used Quicken heavily for about ten years and stopped. Pros: automatic download of transactions (some people don't mind manual entry but I consider this essential); automatic categorization of those downloads; reasonably easy to start a budget based on historical data (hugely important for getting ...
by mc7
Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retire Early Dot Com - recent Terhorst interview
Replies: 6
Views: 1420

Re: Retire Early Dot Com - recent Terhorst interview

I believe they retired with about $500K in the 80s and were relying heavily on high yielding CDs. This was made possible due to a high interest rate environment back then. Whether CDs then or stocks now, they haven't seemed to have an investing policy that would enable them to stay the course throug...
by mc7
Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Account [Automatically Closed] due to inactivity
Replies: 29
Views: 5182

Re: Credit Card Account [Automatically Closed] due to inacti

Yes, this can certainly knock your credit score down. They can also confiscate any reward points you haven't redeemed. Both happened to me when one of my accounts was closed due to inactivity. This happened to me a couple of times around 2009 (only one incident involving losing reward points). I thi...
by mc7
Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!
Replies: 107
Views: 12421

Re: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!

Since you mentioned doing number crunching in R, Mathematica, etc., i7 would be better than i5 for sure. Since modern processors adapt to the workload, while using it lightly you'll get good battery life, but when using it heavily it may heat up a little. Don't forget about RAM! Even in the era of S...
by mc7
Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k bond options - should I make a change ?
Replies: 2
Views: 391

Re: 401k bond options - should I make a change ?

I have very similar choices to yours. I'm sticking mostly to Vanguard Total Bond, with a bit on the sidelines in Stable Value. I had PIMCO Total Return for a while, but after a few years of underperformance vs. index, dropped it.
by mc7
Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard not vigilant about taxes?
Replies: 15
Views: 2341

Re: Vanguard not vigilant about taxes?

The 33 percent figure, as explained in the article, is an estimate of the top tax bracket in California. It has nothing to do with short term trading. It's not over-stated. If anything, it may be a little low, for the few folks lucky enough to have income putting them in that top bracket. 20 percent...
by mc7
Wed May 29, 2013 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mix of retirement accounts and Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 1538

Re: Mix of retirement accounts and Backdoor Roth IRA

Thanks for the detailed response, and for your patience with my lack of understanding. In your solution it seems I can do the Roth conversion this year, which would be fantastic. I had been wary of isolating the basis, but it seems like I need to dig deeper and confirm I can do that. I get spooked b...
by mc7
Wed May 29, 2013 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mix of retirement accounts and Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 1538

Mix of retirement accounts and Backdoor Roth IRA

I've got a mix of IRAs and 401k(s). I'm trying to sort out a botched attempt at a Backdoor Roth IRA, and perhaps simplify this mish-mash of accounts. Emergency funds: plenty Debt: -0- Tax filing: single Tax rate: very high Federal, very high State Age: 40-something The retirement accounts are at Mut...