Search found 1391 matches

by mervinj7
Sun May 31, 2020 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000? [Archived]
Replies: 1479
Views: 322705

Re: A Rolex Watch Story

Bogleheads: In 1945, at the end of the war in Europe, I was sent to Switzerland to represent the 101st Airborne Division in a United States Army swimming meet. I had received back-pay so I had a considerable amount of money to spend (I never thought about saving). I wanted to send something to my M...
by mervinj7
Fri May 29, 2020 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 Savings Promo
Replies: 101
Views: 11685

Re: Capital One 360 Savings Promo

well that was a disappointing phone call. Just got off the phone with capital one customer service and they said since I already had capital one savings accounts opened, I'm ineligible for this SCORE500 promo. didnt realize this was only for new customers. guess I have to learn to read the fine pri...
by mervinj7
Fri May 29, 2020 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying Voo - Robinhood or Vanguard?
Replies: 41
Views: 1567

Re: Buying Voo - Robinhood or Vanguard?

I don't understand the need to buy fractional shares of an ETF since you can always put any amount into an index fund at Fidelity/Vanguard/Schwab or similar. It only seems useful if you wanted to buy individual stocks (or narrow-focused ETFs), and that's not the question here (and not advised here ...
by mervinj7
Fri May 29, 2020 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying Voo - Robinhood or Vanguard?
Replies: 41
Views: 1567

Re: Buying Voo - Robinhood or Vanguard?

Would someone mind explaining how people are getting hurt by the bid/ask spreads on these ETFs? ETFs like VOO, VTI, SPY are trading so frequently that I’ve never seen this to be an issue, especially using limit orders. Occasionally, one pays a premium to NAV, or could pay a premium. I think the iss...
by mervinj7
Fri May 29, 2020 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 1589
Views: 145824

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I am purchasing a new home and we are set to close mid June. I bought the home for 890 and am putting 10% down. In order to secure the rate, I had to transfer 100k cash to the bank. For this jumbo loan, I received 3%, 0 points, and a .25% credit towards closing costs which are at approximately 14,0...
by mervinj7
Thu May 28, 2020 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 401
Views: 33182

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

They have officially kept the renewal fee down at the $450 for remainder of year as of this morning: https://thepointsguy.com/news/sapphire-reserve-annual-fee-credit-coronavirus/ Excellent. I was planning on cancelling the card because of our reduced/non-existent travel plans. However, $300 travel ...
by mervinj7
Wed May 27, 2020 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Target Adds TIPS?
Replies: 67
Views: 4067

Re: Vanguard Target Adds TIPS?

I don't think Vanguard has ever actually explained why they don't include TIPS earlier in their glide path. Although I think their approach to bonds in the Target Retirement funds is "fine", it honestly doesn't make much sense. Their explanation can be found here: https://www.vanguard.com/pdf/s167....
by mervinj7
Wed May 27, 2020 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Target Adds TIPS?
Replies: 67
Views: 4067

Re: Vanguard Target Adds TIPS?

Can someone please explain why Vanguard adds TIPS only upon retirement age to their Target Retirement funds? What is it about TIPS and/or Vanguard's view on TIPS that only makes them appropriate in one's deccumulation phase? Are TIPS in Vanguard's TBM as part of its treasurys holdings? You can find...
by mervinj7
Tue May 26, 2020 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity HSA - 2 fund Vanguard or 2 fund fidelity ZERO fee?
Replies: 19
Views: 1015

Re: Fidelity HSA - 2 fund Vanguard or 2 fund fidelity ZERO fee?

I have a Fidelity HSA. I have seen some posts saying that the vanguard funds have performed better then the fidelity ZERO funds, but Fidelity ZERO funds have zero fees. I'm thinking of a 60/40 split between the US total market and international. Which way would be the most beneficial for me? I cont...
by mervinj7
Tue May 26, 2020 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?
Replies: 73
Views: 5703

Re: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?

As a bonus, I was able (I am a EE) to rig it up so I can connect a small inverter and patch that into the home electrical panel during power outages (kinda like a generator, with the usual caveats about interlock so as not to energize dead power lines and endangering linepersons). It can support so...
by mervinj7
Mon May 25, 2020 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help understanding Credit Utilization (new to credit cards)
Replies: 14
Views: 644

Re: Help understanding Credit Utilization (new to credit cards)

Credit utilization is calculated when they send you the bill. Not necessarily, I have a credit card that reports on the last calendar day of each month (which is not the same as the statement date). Thanks, all! So, is there any reason not to pay off any charges the moment they show on my balance? ...
by mervinj7
Mon May 25, 2020 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17505

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

I already commented, but I wish that rim on the main unit outside the stainless steel pot was easier to clean. I put the rest (sealing ring, lid, SS pot) in the dishwasher. I wrap a skewer or skinny end of a small utensil in a paper towel and that kind of does the job but it could be easier. Given ...
by mervinj7
Mon May 25, 2020 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17505

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

One safety note with dried beans: Kidney beans, particularly red kidney beans, cannellini beans, broad beans, and some other bean varieties have a toxin that MUST be cooked to an internal temperature of 100C (boiling) for at least 10 minutes to neutralize the toxin. Tests have showed that 80C (slow...
by mervinj7
Sun May 24, 2020 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17505

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

ruhigste wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:00 am
bampf wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:50 am
Love it. Do it.
+2
+3 Use it 3-4 times a week.
For cleaning, I stick the steel insert and rubber ring into the dishwasher. I don't remove any small pieces like someone mentioned above. Easy peasy.
This week, we made lentils, beef short ribs, pork ribs, egg curry, and mint chicken soup.
by mervinj7
Sat May 23, 2020 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 1589
Views: 145824

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I just wanted to share an amazing rate I just locked. Apparently UWM has new insane pricing.. I just locked in a 30 year conventional loan for 2.875% . And its better than no cost - covering all costs plus also $1,000 of my escrow payment . This is in AZ. I would suggest finding a broker that works...
by mervinj7
Sat May 23, 2020 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?
Replies: 73
Views: 5703

Re: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?

As a bonus, I was able (I am a EE) to rig it up so I can connect a small inverter and patch that into the home electrical panel during power outages (kinda like a generator, with the usual caveats about interlock so as not to energize dead power lines and endangering linepersons). It can support so...
by mervinj7
Fri May 22, 2020 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does fidelity have a total world stock for their HSA?
Replies: 10
Views: 556

Re: Does fidelity have a total world stock for their HSA?

Stop worrying and learn to love ETFs. Then you can buy VT at no cost in your Fidelity HSA. It does show VT as an option. It says I can't sell my current mutual fund and transfer into it. I have to sell all my shares of FFLEX, then after the sale I can use them to buy Vanguard VT through Fidelity. T...
by mervinj7
Fri May 22, 2020 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does fidelity have a total world stock for their HSA?
Replies: 10
Views: 556

Re: Does fidelity have a total world stock for their HSA?

I have a 100% VTWAX for my Roth IRA. My Fidelity HSA is in FFLEX. I changed my Roth IRA to not have any bonds for more aggressive growth compared to the target date fund. Does Fidelity have something that's low cost and similar to VTWAX? I have 20 years of growth before retirement and am completely...
by mervinj7
Thu May 21, 2020 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 Savings Promo
Replies: 101
Views: 11685

Re: Capital One 360 Savings Promo

I haven’t gone through the registration process yet to open an account. Once I create the account can I deposit a check by taking a picture of it? I can with BoA and Fidelity. They do allow mobile check deposit but at most $5000 day. If you're aiming for the highest bonus (deposit of $50000), you'd...
by mervinj7
Thu May 21, 2020 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 Savings Promo
Replies: 101
Views: 11685

Re: Capital One 360 Savings Promo

I haven’t gone through the registration process yet to open an account. Once I create the account can I deposit a check by taking a picture of it? I can with BoA and Fidelity. They do allow mobile check deposit but at most $5000 day. If you're aiming for the highest bonus (deposit of $50000), you'd...
by mervinj7
Wed May 20, 2020 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safely disinfecting frozen food packages from corona virus?
Replies: 51
Views: 3581

Re: Safely disinfecting frozen food packages from corona virus?

Diluted bleach spray on a paper towel. Wipe, air dry 30 seconds, place in fridge.
by mervinj7
Tue May 19, 2020 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Paying ETF Expense Ratios EXPLAINED
Replies: 6
Views: 546

Re: Paying ETF Expense Ratios EXPLAINED

Please help me understand the mechanics of this. I'm very overwhelmed trying to learn about this. :shock: :shock: :shock: Thanks! Welcome, new investor. If you are overwhelmed, might I suggest a three fund portfolio? It's all the rage here and you don't need to keep buying and selling out of the po...
by mervinj7
Tue May 19, 2020 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to park cash in Fidelity?
Replies: 63
Views: 6252

Re: Where to park cash in Fidelity?

I also use VZDXX. Requires a high initial deposit but you need not maintain the balance. It used to be quite competitive with online banks, but no longer. So now I keep up to about $10K in VZDXX for expenses (I use Fidelity as my main checking account), and the rest in a high yield online account f...
by mervinj7
Tue May 19, 2020 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 1589
Views: 145824

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Need some tips/guidance here please: I am on a 30 year fixed at 3.5%. Loan dates back to 2012. Was a refinance on the original loan from 2010. So I "lost" 2 years. But it was well worth it! Balance is around $130K. Home value is around $350K. Excellent credit score. AZ based. Goals: I don't want to...
by mervinj7
Mon May 18, 2020 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Holding cash the right choice?
Replies: 17
Views: 2420

Re: Holding cash the right choice?

Actual cash I know folks who keep between $500 to $3k in hard cash at home. Sometimes in a safe, sometimes not. Anything more than that can (and should be) in something safer like a HYS or local bank. If the purpose of the Emergency Fund is to help you sleep better at night, I certainly would NOT f...
by mervinj7
Mon May 18, 2020 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 1589
Views: 145824

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I just closed at 3.25% jumbo on a new home loan at the end of April. It’s a 85% ltv, and came with serious lender credits (paid all closing costs). Required 200k in asset based relationship money. Should I already be looking to refinance? I could bring loan below the conforming 765k or bring ltv to...
by mervinj7
Mon May 18, 2020 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to convince amazon.com - Spending is difficult and confusing to track
Replies: 17
Views: 2155

Re: How to convince amazon.com - Spending is difficult and confusing to track

Would the order history report give you what you want? https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201983330 Very cool feature! Didn't realize they had an export to Excel option. The report does have: Customizable Date Option (e.g. last month, YTD) Items categorized Payment Method L...
by mervinj7
Sat May 16, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth refinancing?
Replies: 18
Views: 1028

Re: Worth refinancing?

800 FICO and that rate seems off, unless debt-to-income or something else is going on... i know it might be very location dependent and weird underwriting factors, but I am almost closing on a refi from 30 year 3.875 to 15 year 2.875 with $160 out of pocket when all is said and done... probably cou...
by mervinj7
Fri May 15, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 1589
Views: 145824

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Well, that was fast. I received an email from Chase offering to lower my rate without a refi, but when I clicked through the link it said the website was temporarily unavailable. So, planning to try again later tonight to see what comes up. I also received a 2nd email from Chase offering to refinan...
by mervinj7
Wed May 13, 2020 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding on refinance, confused about closing costs
Replies: 9
Views: 977

Re: Deciding on refinance, confused about closing costs

I have the below charges under C. Services You can shop for TITLE - Closing Protection Letter - $50 TITLE - Documentation Preparation - $100 TITLE - Lender's Title Policy - $475 TITLE - Settlement / Closing Charges - $675 How can I shop for the last two charges? I am in Metro Atlanta area You can c...
by mervinj7
Tue May 12, 2020 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying 2nd home: Mortgage or HELOC?
Replies: 3
Views: 459

Re: Buying 2nd home: Mortgage or HELOC?

My question is do I go the standard 30 year mortgage route, paying a fixed 3.5% and some points and origination, etc. fees. Or do I simply tap into my primary home HELOC and pay 2.9% variable rate, understanding that rate could change but betting it won't be too big a swing -- and if it does, given...
by mervinj7
Sun May 10, 2020 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee-grounds/beans/leftover - uses in garden besides compost
Replies: 10
Views: 1428

Re: Coffee-grounds/beans/leftover - uses in garden besides compost

https://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/techniques/coffee-grounds-composting I agree with most of the info above. However, I've seen no evidence they repel slugs. I dump half the grounds each week into a compost tumbler along with banana peels, and finely crushed eggshells. The other half I dire...
by mervinj7
Sat May 09, 2020 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $2 million dollar house pre requisites
Replies: 109
Views: 9758

Re: $2 million dollar house pre requisites

My rules of thumb: 1. You should have enough in liquid assets to buy the house in cash 2. The value of your house should not be more than half of your total net worth. The lower this proportion is, the better. So in your case, you should have at least $4 million in liquid net worth to be able to af...
by mervinj7
Sat May 09, 2020 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $2 million dollar house pre requisites
Replies: 109
Views: 9758

Re: $2 million dollar house pre requisites

OP, last time you posted the same question, it was for a $1.5M house. Has your hypothetical situation changed?
If you were not happy with the answers you got before, it's probably better to use your own specific situation.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=297035&p=4880299#p4880299
by mervinj7
Fri May 08, 2020 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 1589
Views: 145824

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

So I'm coming down the home stretch as I'm out of underwriting and awaiting my closing disclosures. I'm still able to switch my options if I so choose. With the numbers in play now that my title stuff is completed, I am looking at the following: Rate Points Breakeven* Closing Costs^ ------ ------ -...
by mervinj7
Thu May 07, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: keep emergency cash at local bank?
Replies: 26
Views: 1229

Re: keep emergency cash at local bank?

Maybe I'm missing something. When does one ever need $5k in hard cash immediately within minutes outside of normal banking hours? I can't think of a single situation that's within reason. $5k in hard cash? I see your point for having actual cash. If I needed that much cash, I would likely have adva...
by mervinj7
Thu May 07, 2020 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: keep emergency cash at local bank?
Replies: 26
Views: 1229

Re: keep emergency cash at local bank?

go_mets wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 1:30 pm
Which online banks have ATM cards?

I have onine savings accounts with Marcus and Barclays.
I use Fidelity (not a bank) for it's Cash Management Account. ATM fees are refunded worldwide but most accounts are limited to $500/day cash withdrawal at ATMs.
by mervinj7
Thu May 07, 2020 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: keep emergency cash at local bank?
Replies: 26
Views: 1229

Re: keep emergency cash at local bank?

Am I being irrational for wanting to keep $5K for easy access just because? Yes I ended closing that account and moving it to the other brick and mortar bank. The interest is also low at 0.20% but the minimum is $200 vs $5000. I don't see a benefit in the B&M location over an online account. The wa...
by mervinj7
Wed May 06, 2020 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [thinking about buying a house in LA, wait for RE crash?]
Replies: 56
Views: 3320

Re: [thinking about buying a house in LA, wait for RE crash?]

One of the other duplexes in my neighborhood sold in six days last week. Only slightly above asking so I guess that's a slowdown by Bay Area standards.
by mervinj7
Tue May 05, 2020 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity HSA investments better then target date?
Replies: 7
Views: 555

Re: Fidelity HSA investments better then target date?

I'm in the Fidelity Fidelity Freedom® Index 2060 Fund - Investor Class FDKLX My manual plan was putting 70% in the total us Stock Market and 30% international. But I don't know how to re-balance these things. I'm learning the older I get to not jump into things I don't understand or can't keep up w...
by mervinj7
Tue May 05, 2020 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Notary Signature Amidst COVID 19
Replies: 22
Views: 1348

Re: Notary Signature Amidst COVID 19

Mobile notary. They will come to your house. We used one in our front yard with a folding desk.
by mervinj7
Tue May 05, 2020 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30yr Jumbo Refi-- rates!
Replies: 6
Views: 1228

Re: 30yr Jumbo Refi-- rates!

I know nothing about what a jumbo loan is. I just finished a refi with AIMLoan.com, per the recommendation of this forum. I started it prior to the Covid nonsense. They gave me a 3.375 rate, 20 years. They gave me enough “points” that they actually paid me to refi. I would have opted for a lower ra...
by mervinj7
Tue May 05, 2020 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance Carriers
Replies: 6
Views: 683

Re: Umbrella Insurance Carriers

VillageVanguard wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 10:37 am
Hello,

Does anyone know of any good Umbrella Insurance Carriers?
Who holds your car and home insurance? I used GEICO for umbrella since they have a steep discount for auto at the same time.
by mervinj7
Mon May 04, 2020 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a locking mailbox necessary or helpful, or more hassle than it's worth?
Replies: 43
Views: 2260

Re: Is a locking mailbox necessary or helpful, or more hassle than it's worth?

I've lived in the same house in a quiet suburban middle class neighborhood for 18 years and never had mail or a package stolen. Recently I've seen my neighbors replacing their traditional mailboxes with locking ones. I understand mail theft and associated identity theft is a real issue and a proble...
by mervinj7
Sun May 03, 2020 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mesh Wifi
Replies: 124
Views: 7849

Re: Mesh Wifi

Any Asus router with AImesh. Great security updates Third party firmware. Not locked into a specialized device Easy to expand or replace as needed No google spying Tx.. I see they sell them on packs of two. I guess you can add more. Do you know if you can use Aimesh bridging from another router? I ...
by mervinj7
Sat May 02, 2020 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 450
Views: 64861

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Incidentally, I had to rule out BoA because they couldn't close faster than 45 days in a best case. Citi offered 2.75% out of the gate, but wouldn't negotiate at all after that. WF would have done 2.625 after a lot of negotiating. Any reason why you need to close in 45 days? BofA have a lock for 90...
by mervinj7
Sat May 02, 2020 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 450
Views: 64861

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Incidentally, I had to rule out BoA because they couldn't close faster than 45 days in a best case. Citi offered 2.75% out of the gate, but wouldn't negotiate at all after that. WF would have done 2.625 after a lot of negotiating. Any reason why you need to close in 45 days? BofA have a lock for 90...
by mervinj7
Fri May 01, 2020 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 1589
Views: 145824

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I have the following offer from my usual broker that I intend on moving forward with unless anyone else knows of a a place I can do better: 304,000 30yr fixed 3.25% $1703 lender credit covers all closing costs It is about $1600 better than what I’m seeing on LenderFi. I’m currently at 3.625% The be...
by mervinj7
Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 1589
Views: 145824

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Rate Points Breakeven Cash to close ------ ------ --------- ------------- 3.00% 0 -$1,351 (credit to me) 2.875% 0.48% 51 months -$ 700 (credit to me) 2.75% 0.85% 45 months -$ 203 (credit to me) 2.625% 1.23% 43 months $ 303 2.5% 1.74% 46 months $ 996 Hmm, new wrinkle. Turns out that if I accept havi...