Search found 366 matches

by mervinj7
Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Date Fund Investment Strategy
Replies: 12
Views: 981

Re: Target Date Fund Investment Strategy

Generally, folks prefer not to use target date funds in taxable accounts since its not tax efficient. See below.
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax-eff ... _placement
by mervinj7
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 124
Views: 9918

Re: H&R Block Software

That looks like a good deal. Thanks DarkNyte. Although it looks like H&R dropped the 10% Amazon rebate that they’ve offered over the last several years. https://www.amazon.com/Block-Software-Deluxe-Refund-Download/dp/B075XY6ZKK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1510623713&sr=8-3&keywords=h%26r+block+tax+softw...
by mervinj7
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying for news?
Replies: 60
Views: 4061

Re: Paying for news?

JupiterJones wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:01 am
I subscribe to the NYT. More than a buck a month, certainly, but worth it to me to support what I consider to be quality journalism.

I do not have a Facebook account.
Same here. Also subscribe to the Washington Post through Amazon digital subscription.
by mervinj7
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 124
Views: 9918

Re: H&R Block Software

yukonjack wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:11 am
That looks like a good deal. Thanks DarkNyte. Although it looks like H&R dropped the 10% Amazon rebate that they’ve offered over the last several years.
It looks like this year will be only 5% which isn't any better than the prime card discount.
by mervinj7
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone used Zelle?
Replies: 37
Views: 4182

Re: Anyone used Zelle?

I use it every month to send the monthly home daycare bill and to receive rent from my tenant. No issues except for the transaction limit that some banks have.
by mervinj7
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lowering taxes on business in the US
Replies: 17
Views: 1374

Re: Lowering taxes on business in the US

Bacchus01 wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:04 am
So, you came here to post about speculative legislation and market timing?
Looks like it. And that's precisely why this thread needs to be locked.
by mervinj7
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 401k
Replies: 22
Views: 2196

Re: Fidelity 401k

How much is too much or too little tilt for small/mid cap? I do not fully understand the consequences of tilting too much in one direction aside from the obvious takeaway of taking on additional risk and volatility for the opportunity to earn a little more. I have done some research but no one has ...
by mervinj7
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Care Extended Warranty experience?
Replies: 46
Views: 22878

Re: Honda Care Extended Warranty experience?

TLC1957 wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:05 pm
So where did you end up buying the warranty from the list of dealers you listed?
Sacucci since I could do it all online and pay using PayPal.
by mervinj7
Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 401k
Replies: 22
Views: 2196

Re: Fidelity 401k

I agree with the other posters, except with a strong recommendation to go with Fidelity since you already have your 401k there. It makes it very easy then to see your overall portfolio with one sign-on. Move your Roth IRA to Fidelity. Park your assets in FFNOX (Fidelity Four-In-One Index Fund, ER 0....
by mervinj7
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Care Extended Warranty experience?
Replies: 46
Views: 22878

Re: Honda Care Extended Warranty experience?

Thanks for the update. I am 'waiting' for the 2018 Pilot to come out.... What website do you get the best price for warranty? I got quotes from the following: http://www.curryhondacare.com http://www.saccucci.com Other Honda Care sites include (but were not available in CA at the time): http://www....
by mervinj7
Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Care Extended Warranty experience?
Replies: 46
Views: 22878

Re: Honda Care Extended Warranty experience?

Sorry to bring this thread back.... Just purchased a 2017 CRV Touring (paid cash) and I am considering buying the Honda Care warranty since this vehicle is completely new line with many electronic parts. Looks like about $1000 for 8 year 120K mile plan. I have had mixed experience with Honda, have ...
by mervinj7
Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?
Replies: 76
Views: 6538

Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Zelle is payment transfer system supported by most of the big banks. I use them for my renters and to pay my daycare. No issues with either. https://www.zellepay.com/get-started Thanks, Mervin! I learned something new today. I thought Venmo was the only way to do this. I see Zelle allows my bank an...
by mervinj7
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?
Replies: 76
Views: 6538

Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Zelle is payment transfer system supported by most of the big banks. I use them for my renters and to pay my daycare. No issues with either.

https://www.zellepay.com/get-started
by mervinj7
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 401k is almost all cash now. 1/2 Mil
Replies: 89
Views: 8995

Re: My 401k is almost all cash now. 1/2 Mil

First time poster here. Have around $530K all in Stable Fund. Age 48. I have seen crashes of 1999 and then 2008. Since 2011 I started selling and now it is all cash. Thinking that I will see one more major crash, buy back all again and retire after next cycle. I play around with ETF GLD, SLV but th...
by mervinj7
Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Difference in ERs between Vanguard's Funds vs ETFs
Replies: 13
Views: 883

Re: Difference in ERs between Vanguard's Funds vs ETFs

Just noticed a 13 basis point difference in ERs between Vanguard's Small Cap International Mutual Fund (VFSVX 0.27) and EFT (VSS 0.13). In general, how long does it take for fund volume to catch up and offset expenses so that these ERs so they are closer? The market cap of both of these are similar...
by mervinj7
Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charles schwab - why so much cheaper?
Replies: 53
Views: 7948

Re: Charles schwab - why so much cheaper?

WoodSpinner wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:21 am
Jack,

What are your costs for trading and reinvesting dividends of Vanguard funds at Fidelity? I can’t seem to get a clear answer on their website.
The Vanguard funds are in our 401ks held at Fidelity. They are no additional fees for trading or reinvesting dividends.
by mervinj7
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: idiot proof router?
Replies: 53
Views: 4358

Re: idiot proof router?

Most routers are fairly simple to setup though some (a select few) require some expertise I have a 50$ ubiquiti edgerouter x, which has totally improved the latency of me gaming while the so watches Netflix using the fq_codel algorithm... That router requires expertise. Fortunately it's something I...
by mervinj7
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a crash coming soon?
Replies: 64
Views: 5877

Re: Is a crash coming soon?

I remember that before the crash in 2000 everybody was aware of how nuts the market was, but they were making so much money every day that nobody wanted to get out. Then they all got creamed. This time, everybody is aware of how nuts the market is and making more noise about getting out. But I'm no...
by mervinj7
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charles schwab - why so much cheaper?
Replies: 53
Views: 7948

Re: Charles schwab - why so much cheaper?

Thanks for all the insightful replies! My take away would be, if you wan free commission fee and wana win that 0.01% ER, then it's worth it. And the customer service. Since I'm only buying ETF, I don't think there's such a thing as customer service. I'll stick to vanguard as they do seem more trust...
by mervinj7
Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?
Replies: 37
Views: 4084

Re: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?

Plus if you use TDA , instead of commission free Vanguard VTI you can now use the new commission free SPDR Gender Diversity ETF. Regards, John Nice to know that SHE (SPDR Gender Diversity ETF) will be available commission-free! https://www.ssga.com/investment-topics/general-investing/2017/Better-To...
by mervinj7
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Personal Capital
Replies: 18
Views: 1705

Re: Question about Personal Capital

I've gotten a lot of calls and emails from Personal Capital. Kind of annoying. I also don't think their tools are all that great. I am happy using FutureAdvisor. They never bug you. All I really use them for is to get a second opinion on allocation weights (to compare to my own). The only advantage...
by mervinj7
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I contribute 100% of paycheck to 401k?
Replies: 13
Views: 2614

Re: Should I contribute 100% of paycheck to 401k?

Another issue is that if you change employers halfway through the year, you won't get a chance to get matching with the second employer and you will miss out on matching from the first employer.
by mervinj7
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA taxation in Calif
Replies: 21
Views: 1835

Re: HSA taxation in Calif

Since our HSA is managed by Fidelity, does anybody have any recommendations for good Fidelity TIPS fund that has no transaction fees? We also live in CA and just want to minimize any overhead (e.g. keeping track of all distributions manually in order to file CA taxes) with this HSA. We were looking...
by mervinj7
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA taxation in Calif
Replies: 21
Views: 1835

Re: HSA taxation in Calif

Additionally, the invested part of my HSA I have invested in TIPS fund and the sweep fund is in federal money market, so at least the income is state tax free, and I only have to worry about the cap gains (And I don't reinvest dividends or cap gains automatically, to keep it simpler). Since our HSA...
by mervinj7
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 18 Year Old - Starting Investment
Replies: 8
Views: 764

Re: 18 Year Old - Starting Investment

Put $3k into a Vanguard 2060 Fund (VTTSX) if he earned at least that much in the current tax year. If you or your parents can match his contribution up to the $5500/year limit, he will be quite well set. No need to worry about re-balancing, asset classes, or expense ratios for now. Revisit after fin...
by mervinj7
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer Roth IRA from Fidelity to VG
Replies: 5
Views: 548

Re: Transfer Roth IRA from Fidelity to VG

I agree with the others. Fido has great service and very low ER index funds. Don't bother moving. Though, you may want to sell off that biotech find if you want to simplify your holdings.
by mervinj7
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Utah Vs. New York 529 - Which one and why?
Replies: 20
Views: 2495

Re: Utah Vs. New York 529 - Which one and why?

BH's, We're ready to make our first deposit, to our first child's 529. Our little one is about 1 year old and we live in NJ. I've done a lot of research on the Utah and NY plans and feel one of these would be best. Could you please share your opinion with a little detail? NY is marginally cheaper. ...
by mervinj7
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outback Vs Forester Vs CR-V ??
Replies: 58
Views: 5390

Re: Outback Vs Forester Vs CR-V ??

Oil burning is not good. CVT has longitivity issue. SUV CG is too high and easy to roll off. As a boglehead, I will just go for a Honda Civic hatchback with 6MT. Drive it 200k and sell it. Is the oil burning/longevity an inherent problem of the CVT? We've had our CRV for a couple of years and haven...
by mervinj7
Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab now offering Index funds at lower ER than Vanguard
Replies: 9
Views: 1366

Re: Schwab now offering Index funds at lower ER than Vanguard

Not sure what the "Schwab 1000" index is, but if you want to track a broader index than the S&P 500, the Vanguard Total Market ETF is only 0.04% ER. https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundIntExt=INT&FundId=0970 An even cheaper option is the iShares Core S&P Total Market (ITOT) for 0.03%...
by mervinj7
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pro and cons of the Prime offer by Amazon.......
Replies: 39
Views: 3957

Re: Pro and cons of the Prime offer by Amazon.......

Prime has been absolutely essential for us ever since we had a baby. 20% off diapers already makes it a great deal plus all the weekly shipments of whatever baby product we need at the time we need it (e.g. bottles, nipples, food bowls, crib sheets, car seats, umbrella strollers). Not that it should...
by mervinj7
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Thermostat
Replies: 55
Views: 4108

Re: Wifi Thermostat

I got really turned-off to Wifi thermostats when I read the terms and conditions connected with one version awhile back. The wifi service in that instance required an account on a server operated by the manufacturer. The T&C said that while the service was currently provided without charge there wa...
by mervinj7
Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental properties in lieu of bond in AA?
Replies: 29
Views: 1020

Re: Rental properties in lieu of bond in AA?

Yes. I happen to have lived at areas with lowest rent-to-price ratio. 2.5% is the current ratio. It used to be better before the price ran up recently. Appreciation beats rent hand down. I hire professional management and stay hands off. That is why I don't see it as business. It is a passive incom...
by mervinj7
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Rollover Question
Replies: 4
Views: 464

Re: 529 Rollover Question

We have three kids and started a Maryland 529 account for each of them at the beginning of this year (2017). The fees in MD's plan (administered by T.Rowe Price) are fairly high (.66% for one and .72% for the other two) for the AA we want. I'm thinking of rolling the accounts over each year to anot...
by mervinj7
Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much worth house should one buy?
Replies: 73
Views: 4470

Re: How much worth house should one buy?

learning_head, In my neighborhood, the annual median household income is 150K and median house price is around 500K to 600K. Basically, there is no money left to save after the house. In general, people buy the house at about 3X to 4X their gross income. So, how can they save any money? KlangFool Q...
by mervinj7
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home automation
Replies: 30
Views: 4485

Re: Home automation

Have you also thought about adding an Amazon Echo or Google Home for voice control? I was amazed how quickly my family got used it even though not everybody is as techy as me. Even my 72 year-old French mother-in-law commands the Google Home to turn off the lights.
by mervinj7
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 15418

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

SV Housing doesn't have to crash, by the way. It could stabilize at 6x, 7x in 2-3 years, and then just be stagnant for a decade or two. But 10% annual increases going forward long-term is very unlikely. I was looking through the thread again, I don't think anybody is saying that the RE here will co...
by mervinj7
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 15418

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

That is a bad analogy. Over the long term the value of stock funds grow mostly because companies earn a profit and either pay more dividends that can be reinvested, invest the profit and grow, or do stock buybacks. There is no limit on how much the value of the companies and stock index can grow an...
by mervinj7
Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 15418

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

As an outsider looking in, I think the way to win the California real estate game is to purchase a single home in your lifetime, preferably sooner than later, and die in this home. +1. I've been reading BH for years and have seen many Bay Area real estate posts over the years. In them, you will fin...
by mervinj7
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I have to choose between buying home in HCOL and FIRE or can I have both?
Replies: 35
Views: 2775

Re: Do I have to choose between buying home in HCOL and FIRE or can I have both?

Would the 900k home be similar to what you are renting for $2600k? If so, renting for the foreseeable future may be a better option. Also, even though you work in a HCOL area, you don't necessarily have to retire in it. My family and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and although we own a home he...
by mervinj7
Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 15418

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

The math only works out if you really want to be here. I encourage anyone who doesn’t think the Bay Area is worth the expense to move somewhere else. You will save yourself some money and make it cheaper for the locals. One future trend that I would imagine will eventually lead to a big housing unl...
by mervinj7
Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences
Replies: 108
Views: 17521

Re: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences

itstoomuch wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:19 am
Anybody placed their rentals into a LLC?
We do have Umbrella Ins.
We have just 1 rental.
+1 I'm also wondering what the benefits of using an LLC for rental property is. As I understand it, it's very cumbersome to do so in CA.
by mervinj7
Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?
Replies: 130
Views: 9520

Re: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?

Just as a datapoint, we got a nice custom sectional (microfiber) 4 years ago (from a local furniture store, the sofa was put together in San Jose, CA), and I think we paid something like $3K. It has held up very well over the past 4 years, under constant use. Something around $3000 is my upper boun...
by mervinj7
Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 15418

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

In terms of net worth, do you think your friends would have been ahead had they bought that $400k house in Campbell, vs investing in a total stock market index along the way and renting? I have no idea how much she and her husband has, this was 2001-2002 time frame. Not 2000, that was the peak for ...
by mervinj7
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advice pay off mortgage now or keep cash for closing
Replies: 13
Views: 1335

Re: Financial advice pay off mortgage now or keep cash for closing

Hi, The building is under construction and they cannot do closings until the building has a CO or is substantially completed. Since there are potentially 300+ people moving in the developers want to spread closings/moving in out over 4 months. Very interesting. Good to know to know that in all-cash...
by mervinj7
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advice pay off mortgage now or keep cash for closing
Replies: 13
Views: 1335

Re: Financial advice pay off mortgage now or keep cash for closing

colddeadfish wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:49 pm
The closing for the condo is approx. 15 months away.
Just curious. Why is the closing so far away? I feel like I had to push to get my lender to allow a 60 day closing without paying extra for a rate lock extension.
by mervinj7
Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rolling over previous 401k to a solo 401k
Replies: 8
Views: 635

Re: Rolling over previous 401k to a solo 401k

My two cents: 1. I wouldn't keep the money in a 401k with both high expense ratios and an admin fee 2. For the new 401k, confirm that there is a admin fee on funds rolled into it. If so, then skip this option. 3. A Fidelity Solo 401k looks like a great option with its low fees. They also allow rollo...
by mervinj7
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Bogleheads you would most like to meet and why?
Replies: 134
Views: 9888

Re: Bogleheads you would most like to meet and why?

Tanelorn wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:52 am
Experts no longer with us:

Old Meph - insurance
sscritic - social security
LH2004 - taxes
Sad. I didn't know sscritic had passed. In addition to SS, lots of good info on HSAs and AMT as well.
by mervinj7
Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Freedom® 2045 Fund FSNZX vs FXIAX?
Replies: 3
Views: 352

Re: Fidelity Freedom® 2045 Fund FSNZX vs FXIAX?

You have some great low-cost index fund options. I would switch immediately to them. For now you can try to match the allocation (stock/bond ratio, US/intl ratio) of the 2045 fund and revisit another day. Also, check to see if you have a low-cost bond fund (e.g. Vanguard Total Bond).
by mervinj7
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?
Replies: 35
Views: 3173

Re: "Luxury" Vinyl vs Laminate flooring?

Any advice for rental properties? What flooring options are resilient and relatively maintenance free? On Bigger Pockets luxury vinyl plank and tile are well regarded. Especially products that are water proof and feature a thick wear layer. Really any solid surface is well regarded in rentals. If y...