Search found 1075 matches

by skepticalobserver
Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard REIT (VNQ) crashing?
Replies: 17
Views: 2296

Re: Why is Vanguard REIT (VNQ) crashing?

Newly imposed out-of-state quarantine requirements have hit the markets in general.
by skepticalobserver
Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are all Structured Notes Bad?
Replies: 30
Views: 1727

Re: Are all Structured Notes Bad?

Sounds like a buffered return enhanced note. Forbes’s view: https://www.forbes.com/sites/billconerly/2018/10/26/buffered-return-enhanced-notes-bad-investment-choice-that-sounds-good/#187d8aa32537 This from the Goldman prospectus (PS-13): “Neither you nor any other holder or owner of your notes will ...
by skepticalobserver
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 5546
Views: 1359179

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

On Netflix: Part way through "The Woods." Polish, dubbed. With closed captioning there's somewhat of a divergence between the captions and dubbing.

Also on Netflix: "Reckoning" and "The Stranger," enjoyable thrillers.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Market-Linked CD’s – Your opinions?
Replies: 15
Views: 698

Re: Market-Linked CD’s – Your opinions?

CuriousJoe wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:57 am
So, I decided to just put the amount in a bank CD yielding 0.4%
Not so much of return on principal as return of principal.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my stash of dental floss now worth $3,000?
Replies: 105
Views: 11025

Re: Should I sell my stash of dental floss now worth $3,000?

I'm miss Uneeda Biscuits. Will stake slightly stale stash.
by skepticalobserver
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Market-Linked CD’s – Your opinions?
Replies: 15
Views: 698

Re: Market-Linked CD’s – Your opinions?

Do I hear “structured product?” Yes, I think so. In this regard, an exhaustive 2013 math-heavy study by SLCG (“Structured Certificates of Deposits”), https://www.slcg.com/pdf/workingpapers/Structured%20Certificates%20of%20Deposit.pdf. Cutting to the chase: Our primary findings are that (1) structure...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asset protection strategies
Replies: 31
Views: 2517

Re: Asset protection strategies

Rossdale CLE regularly holds this by phone "Making Your Client Judgment-Proof & Asset Protection,"http://www.mcssl.com/store/legalresourcesinc/catalog/product/f177314ce37f45f09df202c84a13ada0 It's CLE for attorneys. Might provide insight for lay people too. My two cents: Use umbrella and/or professi...
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I start a small multi family rental company? "ACTIVE" STATUS?
Replies: 2
Views: 411

Re: Should I start a small multi family rental company? "ACTIVE" STATUS?

There are several extensive BH threads on real estate investing. From what I gather hands on RE investment is anything but passive: tenants, toilets, taxes and more.

The Bigger Pockets forums tell the tale.

Also, NY hates landlords. Stay away.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Individual investors get burned by collapse of complex securities
Replies: 44
Views: 4699

Re: WSJ: Individual investors get burned by collapse of complex securities

Near the end of the WSJ article one of structured product disclosures stated that the ideal holding period was one day. Except a sharp-eyed day trader, who in the world is this product suited for? The salesman, of course.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Individual investors get burned by collapse of complex securities
Replies: 44
Views: 4699

Re: WSJ: Individual investors get burned by collapse of complex securities

Reminds me of the collapse of the market for Auction Rate Securities sold to many retirees prior to the 2008-9 collapse. I want a free lunch, just like everybody else. For some, however, lunch really may be gratis: “Schapiro’s FINRA Dumped Debt Early.” https://archives.cjr.org/the_audit/bloomberg_s...
by skepticalobserver
Sun May 31, 2020 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CD interest disbursement options
Replies: 11
Views: 717

Re: CD interest disbursement options

One approach to stay within FDIC insurance limits is to purchase the CD at a discount, similar to a T-bill or other zero coupon bond. Say your objective is to invest $250,000 in a CD paying 1.50% for 9 months (as of today NASA FCU offers this nationwide). Use this or a similar calculator (https://ww...
by skepticalobserver
Sun May 31, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Real Estate Investing
Replies: 9
Views: 903

Re: Real Estate Investing

Or perhaps that isn't the way to proceed to add real estate diversification to a portfolio and that a better approach might be thru REITs and private equity investment trusts? Insofar as real estate diversification as a passive investor, the other day The White Coat Investor posted “My Real Estate ...
by skepticalobserver
Sun May 24, 2020 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hertz is declaring bankruptcy
Replies: 73
Views: 7798

Re: Hertz is declaring bankruptcy

And the beauty part is that Hertz borrowed $900 million last November and NEVER MADE A COUPON PAYMENT. What mutual funds and pension plans got stuck with that paper?
by skepticalobserver
Thu May 21, 2020 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax attorney weirdness
Replies: 40
Views: 3318

Re: Tax attorney weirdness

Try an attorney or firm that focuses on business planning. Look, a 529 plan is a tax shelter—you are sheltering income generated from investments in the plan from taxation. A real estate investment can be a tax shelter since it may generate income sheltered from taxation for a time (or maybe forever...
by skepticalobserver
Tue May 19, 2020 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Private Delivery Service Question
Replies: 3
Views: 309

Re: IRS Private Delivery Service Question

The risks are small, but they are real. After theft and counterfeiting of checks mailed from the PO, and generally, PO unreliability, particularly with certified mail, I am willing to run the risk. Certainly, mail that indicates a check within the envelope invites the opportunity to lift routing an...
by skepticalobserver
Tue May 19, 2020 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Private Delivery Service Question
Replies: 3
Views: 309

IRS Private Delivery Service Question

I plan to send my federal tax return and payment by private delivery service, probably FedEx. The IRS provides a list of street addresses of Submission Processing Centers for this purpose (https://www.irs.gov/filing/submission-processing-center-street-addresses-for-private-delivery-service-pds). Unl...
by skepticalobserver
Thu May 14, 2020 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personally guaranteed business loan
Replies: 13
Views: 805

Re: Personally guaranteed business loan

You need to consult with an attorney experienced in financing and debtor rights. The laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Don’t wait.
by skepticalobserver
Wed May 13, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist charges $10 for PPE
Replies: 234
Views: 11329

Re: Dentist charges $10 for PPE

Who's your dentist? Our charges $15!
by skepticalobserver
Wed May 13, 2020 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal Bonds question
Replies: 14
Views: 931

Re: Municipal Bonds question

is there just a list of new muni's offered daily by state somewhere? The WSJ lists some. Fidelity and Schwab have upcoming bond info on their fixed income platforms. Schwab also sends email alerts on new issues. Talk with Schwab and Fidelity fixed income reps who may help with the finer points of a...
by skepticalobserver
Wed May 13, 2020 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal Bonds question
Replies: 14
Views: 931

Re: Municipal Bonds question

Some thoughts: You should be able to do research on individual munis by using the unique CUSIP number (ask for it) for each issue. I don’t know about Vanguard, but on Fidelity’s fixed income platform (searching by CUSIP) you will be able to get some financial disclosure info, the bid/ask spread and ...
by skepticalobserver
Tue May 12, 2020 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America unauthorized ATM withdrawal
Replies: 47
Views: 2328

Re: Bank of America unauthorized ATM withdrawal

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 1:38 pm
Some do multiples of $10
Really? That's a lot of cash for the customers. The banks must be re-loading the machines twice a day+.
Learned something new.
by skepticalobserver
Tue May 12, 2020 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America unauthorized ATM withdrawal
Replies: 47
Views: 2328

Re: Bank of America unauthorized ATM withdrawal

All the ATMs I've used spit out twenties--how do you get to $90?
by skepticalobserver
Mon May 11, 2020 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage lender asking for copy of parents trust
Replies: 12
Views: 821

Re: Mortgage lender asking for copy of parents trust

Get credit reports for you and your wife, perhaps from Credit Karma. Perhaps there have been some transaction on your in laws property that tainted your credit standing?
by skepticalobserver
Fri May 08, 2020 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jumbo refi rates
Replies: 6
Views: 735

Re: Jumbo refi rates

I’ve read that banks have reined in or completely shut down jumbo lending. Apparently, they cannot sell them to institutional buyers (Freddie and Fannie don’t take them) because prospective borrowers are now perceived as too risky and the banks don’t want to be stuck with bad portfolio paper. I’m no...
by skepticalobserver
Tue May 05, 2020 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sending a fax to IRS (w/o a fax machine!)
Replies: 10
Views: 822

Re: sending a fax to IRS (w/o a fax machine!)

Are you near a UPS store, or the like, where you can use their fax equipment? I find the UPS store faxing inexpensive and efficient. They don't have to look at your documents.

PS: Ooops, looks like someone beat me to this.
by skepticalobserver
Sun May 03, 2020 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity SPDA for someone nearing retirement
Replies: 6
Views: 585

Re: Fidelity SPDA for someone nearing retirement

You can get the judgement, but will you be able to collect on it? I’ll be bidding at the fire sale on some of those buildings on Maiden Lane and thereabouts, so the assessments are paid in full.
by skepticalobserver
Sun May 03, 2020 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity SPDA for someone nearing retirement
Replies: 6
Views: 585

Re: Fidelity SPDA for someone nearing retirement

They would be covered by state guaranty funds in case of insurer insolvency. These funds are not guaranteed by the states; they are non-profit state sponsored entities (“associations”) in which insurance companies must participate. They are funded by levies on each insurer. https://www.annuity.org/...
by skepticalobserver
Sun May 03, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity SPDA for someone nearing retirement
Replies: 6
Views: 585

Re: Fidelity SPDA for someone nearing retirement

Funny, just last week a Schwab rep pitched me with the same SPDA-must be something in the water. Generally, when “financial advisors” are selling you should not be buying. Did your rep ever call to pitch a CD or Treasury? Probably not. Do you want to lock up your money for 3 years? How stable are in...
by skepticalobserver
Sat May 02, 2020 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The NYSE floor is closed...how do they reopen?
Replies: 14
Views: 1569

Re: The NYSE floor is closed...how do they reopen?

The CNBC NYSE floor action is a Potemkin Village. There often seemed to be more VIP tourists on the floor than traders.
by skepticalobserver
Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unable to Order Work Out Equipment
Replies: 45
Views: 3501

Re: Unable to Order Work Out Equipment

Have you looked at Johnson Fitness? https://www.johnsonfitness.com/?gclid=C ... 6oQAvD_BwE

I have an windspinner stationary bike from them. Not a discount place but great service. Set-up included in price.
by skepticalobserver
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why the large rate difference between CDs bought in brokerage vs direct from bank
Replies: 6
Views: 586

Re: Why the large rate difference between CDs bought in brokerage vs direct from bank

Two things from my experience with Fidelity: 1. the brokered CDs track treasury yields and offer a bit of a premium to the treasury, so a 3 month CD at .40% looks much better than a 3 month T-bill at .11% and, 2. many brokerage clients are temporarily “hiding out” in CDs and don’t buy them for the l...
by skepticalobserver
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Jim Cramer] "Stop Buying Index Funds"
Replies: 37
Views: 6133

Re: [Jim Cramer] "Stop Buying Index Funds"

3/11/08: "Bear Stearns is fine. Do not take your money out"

oops
by skepticalobserver
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Retail investors who believed they were investing in crude oil"
Replies: 51
Views: 4229

Re: "Retail investors who believed they were investing in crude oil"

Bloomberg has a similar article (Mom and Pop Piled Into Biggest U.S. Oil ETF During Historic Rout) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-22/robinhood-traders-kept-flooding-into-biggest-oil-etf-during-rout?srnd=premium Of USO it notes, “Reverse splits are designed to make potential investor...
by skepticalobserver
Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Price of oil has collapsed; how will this impact the economy?
Replies: 108
Views: 8520

Re: Price of oil has collapsed; how will this impact the economy?

Below Zero? Should I expect the gas station attendant to pay ME to fill up? What will this do to petroleum industry based economies like Texas?
by skepticalobserver
Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get Liquid Hand Soap? seriously.
Replies: 76
Views: 4360

Re: How to get Liquid Hand Soap? seriously.

Use Dawn, etc. or off-brand dish soap.
by skepticalobserver
Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tenancy by entirety for bank account?
Replies: 14
Views: 2301

Re: tenancy by entirety for bank account?

Do you think I’d just have to write a letter to the bank and see? Call the bank. I’d familiarize yourself with how TBE works. As noted above liability insurance should be the first line of defense (and will pay for defense costs). In some professions, like medicine, where the stakes are high and pr...
by skepticalobserver
Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tenancy by entirety for bank account?
Replies: 14
Views: 2301

Re: tenancy by entirety for bank account?

Whether TBE is permitted for financial assets is a matter of state law. In my experience of those jurisdictions that allow TBE there’s been no problem with the brokers, specifically Fidelity, Schwab and TD Ameritrade. On the other hand, when I attempt to title TBE at the banks I get the “what are yo...
by skepticalobserver
Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: JD Power Survey re Car Purchase: Legit or Not?
Replies: 5
Views: 332

Re: JD Power Survey re Car Purchase: Legit or Not?

I wouldn't reply based on privacy concerns. Also, I don't think anybody in interested in an opinion--just PR bunk
by skepticalobserver
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 6.65 million new unemployment [April 2]
Replies: 35
Views: 3529

Re: 6.65 million new unemployment [April 2]

To paraphrase CNBC’s Rick Santelli, if you take away all the bats from the Chicago Cubs the batting average is going to be zero. Of course claims are up, practically no jobs. Things are full stop--for now.
by skepticalobserver
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Market locked up
Replies: 35
Views: 4247

Re: Treasury Market locked up

That's alarming, since the value in bills was liquidity.
by skepticalobserver
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What "happens" on the stock exchange trading floors?
Replies: 12
Views: 1674

Re: What "happens" on the stock exchange trading floors?

Most trading is done electronically. Over the weekend I read that NYSE floor traders pick-up human-to-human info and pass it on to clients for an “edge.” Best I can tell floor activity was highly valued as CNBC backdrop and NYSE publicity.

The $2 broker died long ago.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treasury Auction Tomorrow Morning: 3/19/20
Replies: 20
Views: 1877

Re: Treasury Auctions Tomorrow Morning: 3/19/20

This afternoon (near the close) Fidelity offered only nine T-bills in the secondary market, September thru February. Most had negative yield asks.

Apparently, hedge funds/sovereigns are hogging the market.

The yield curve is steepening, however.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FDIC Insurance Rules Update
Replies: 24
Views: 3598

Re: FDIC Insurance Rules Update

In my opinion, I would usually not try to multiply this $250k by using multiple POD beneficiaries. There is always the chance that the bank or credit union does not have its records 100% accurate and up to date. To avoid potential future hassles, if the bank or credit union goes belly up, I would s...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: T Bills [higher than par?]
Replies: 5
Views: 438

Re: T Bills

Oooops! My screen shows the 1 month T-bill -.032.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: T Bills [higher than par?]
Replies: 5
Views: 438

Re: T Bills

If I recall in and around 2008 T-bills were consistently auctioned at a discount, not above par. This might provide guidance. On the other hand the last week or so has shown anything is possible. You might want to substitute bills with short-term brokered CD's. Those rates are .95%-1%. Of course, no...
by skepticalobserver
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Zero Interest Rate & Retirees.
Replies: 5
Views: 783

Re: Help! Zero Interest Rate & Retirees.

This morning as I checked Fidelity’s fixed income platform for newly issued CDs the rates from three months to one year are around .90%, well above insanely low treasury yields. Can you live with .90% FDIC insured CDs for a year of less? For commission free AAA paper, I’d say it’s a bargain. As test...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Futures Trading
Replies: 25
Views: 1948

Re: Futures Trading

I'd learn what "marked-to-market" means. You can get blown-out in a nanosecond trading futures. If you're shopping brokers you don't know enough about the game.

/S/

Former Local
by skepticalobserver
Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Futures posted on marketwatch
Replies: 20
Views: 2357

Re: Futures posted on marketwatch

Oil and equities plummet. Can a credit crisis be toofar behind when energy loans implode?