Search found 923 matches

by skepticalobserver
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Protecting large sums of cash.
Replies: 30
Views: 3654

Re: Protecting large sums of cash.

Just wondering when was the last time someone actually needed FDIC protection? I've had a couple of banks go south, including one thru a broker. FDIC coverage lets me sleep. Large sums should be invested in treasuries, particularly t-bills (one year currently at 2.64%). The treasury yield curve rol...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Puerto Rico as legal tax Haven?
Replies: 20
Views: 3719

Re: Puerto Rico as legal tax Haven?

If Congress could see its way to exempt PR extraterritorial income from federal taxation that would be a wonderful economic development strategy! The island would sink with snow birders.
by skepticalobserver
Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Commissions For Retirement Accounts
Replies: 1
Views: 319

Commissions For Retirement Accounts

"Merrill Lynch Reverses Course on Commissions For Retirement Accounts" (WealthManagement.com) https://www.wealthmanagement.com/industry/merrill-lynch-reverses-course-commissions-retirement-accounts?NL=WM-025&Issue=WM-025_20180830_WM-025_686&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1_b&utm_rid=CPG09000007280846&utm_...
by skepticalobserver
Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protecting myself against suit for Personal Injury
Replies: 19
Views: 2644

Re: Protecting myself against suit for Personal Injury

GEICO has a duty to defend. Period. That’s what you pay the premium for. Make sure GEICO connects you with defense counsel paid for by GEICO. If there’s a problem, call the hot line for the state insurance administrator. How low could your GEICO limits have been that you might blow thru them with a ...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in a Broadway show production
Replies: 28
Views: 2442

Re: Investing in a Broadway show production

The thing about The Producers is that was based on real people, who charmed widows, trust-funders and dreamers. Line items like “flowers for the star” bloated production budgets. The west coast learned good from the east, thus “Hollywood accounting.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounti...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in a Broadway show production
Replies: 28
Views: 2442

Re: Investing in a Broadway show production

Having done some securities work in the business (the offerings are called "theatricals") and related matters I will say with much certainty that you won't even get a return of capital. Back in the day there was some hope of breaking even, but the production costs these day are sky-high so a show wo...
by skepticalobserver
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 369
Views: 49008

Re: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.

Recent Business Insider article on the provenance of MoviePass (" The strange story of how MoviePass' owner was created by an Indian company accused of massive fraud"). Might be probative of why things are not working out: https://www.businessinsider.com/moviepass-owner-emerged-from-indian-company-a...
by skepticalobserver
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites
Replies: 84
Views: 6801

Re: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites

Earphones.

Eventually the cords on expensive ones fray. At a dollar a pop (plus tax) I buy three at a time. I listen to lots of podcasts on a stationary bike.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: suit shoe combo?
Replies: 49
Views: 3377

Re: suit shoe combo?

Mjar wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:00 pm
I am thinking about going to a black suit with a red colored tie and my red Nike sneakers...what do you all think?
In my other life I'd do it. For yours, go for it!
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-Year Treasury Note Auction
Replies: 102
Views: 9406

Re: 2-Year Treasury Note Auction

Nationally available 3% 2 yr. CD: https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/cd-bank/offers/

On an after (state) tax basis the 2 year note is almost as good. Certainly more liquid.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is day trading profitable?
Replies: 36
Views: 3373

Re: Is day trading profitable?

Thinking of buying a trading system? Is someone selling the Golden Goose--never, not ever.

Most "successful" retail traders have PhDs: parents have dough. Sooner or later they're washed out.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HECM for Purchase
Replies: 9
Views: 845

Re: HECM for Purchase

Origination fees on regular and "reverse to purchase" HECMs are a killer. Unlike a conventional loan where the fee is based on the loan amount only, HUD permits an origination fee on a HECM up to 4% of the FMV of the real estate.

It pays to shop HECMs for the fees.
by skepticalobserver
Wed May 30, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: get sued for posting nagative online review?
Replies: 64
Views: 7537

Re: get sued for posting nagative online review?

Right or wrong, the legal costs of a defamation defense are serious. Don't put it in writing (except, of course, on this board).
by skepticalobserver
Wed May 30, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reverse Mortgages
Replies: 18
Views: 2095

Re: Reverse Mortgages

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 7:32 am
ow is it different than a HELOC?
For one thing, the origination fees. For HECMs HUD permits fees up to 4% of the market value of the property. Generally, for conventional mortgages/HELOCs origination fees (often much less than 4%) are calculated on the loan amount only.

Quite a racket.
by skepticalobserver
Wed May 23, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?
Replies: 104
Views: 6698

Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

My wife made me buy a pair of Brooks Bros dress pants (online) for niece's wedding. I can't remember the last time I bought dress clothes. Closet filled with old suits--they're probably back in style.
by skepticalobserver
Wed May 16, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MassMutual LTC rate hike
Replies: 3
Views: 548

MassMutual LTC rate hike

Today's WSJ: MassMutual seeks to raise LTC premiums by 77% (yes, you read that right) for 3/4 of their policyholders.
by skepticalobserver
Tue May 15, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk?
Replies: 71
Views: 11283

Re: How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk?

How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk? I'm keeping a close on on the replies to this one 'cause I'd like to know. If you can moderate expectations, I think one year t-bills might go to 2.50% soon ($25k p/year) and eighteen month treasury strips should hit 3% (?). As you know...
by skepticalobserver
Fri May 11, 2018 4:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable Living Trust
Replies: 12
Views: 1277

Re: Revocable Living Trust

If your FIL conferred with a knowledgeable attorney there might have been a misunderstanding of the estate plan. Aside from an irrevocable (Medicaid) trust there maybe ways to gift or transfer assets to qualify for Medicaid eligibility outside the 60-month look-back. Be careful, as each state has it...
by skepticalobserver
Thu May 10, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable Living Trust
Replies: 12
Views: 1277

Re: Revocable Living Trust

Your FIL should confer with legal counsel specializing in Medicaid planning. Briefly, however, a gift or transfer of an asset pursuant to a revocable trust will not qualify for the sixty-month look back period.
by skepticalobserver
Sun May 06, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to a Condo -- Educate me on Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1214

Re: Moving to a Condo -- Educate me on Insurance

A recent Wash Post article on condo deductibles. The focus is on DC, VA and MD but the trend might apply to you:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realesta ... 4026b24155
by skepticalobserver
Sat May 05, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning: avoid Windows 10 update 1803
Replies: 117
Views: 13631

Re: Warning: avoid Windows 10 update 1803

Long download and installation. All the programs seem to work OK. If there's a problem you can rollback back to the previous Win 10 version, http://www.thewindowsclub.com/rollback- ... ors-update
by skepticalobserver
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: buying bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 868

Re: buying bonds

Be careful. I don’t use Vanguard but I’m familiar with Fidelity and Schwab: 1. New issued corporate debt available from discounters is tailored to retail ("uniformed") buyers. The maturities tend to be longish, the call provisions unfavorable and the ratings are not the best. I wouldn’t touch ‘em. I...
by skepticalobserver
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living Community
Replies: 11
Views: 1062

Re: Assisted Living Community

ALF’s are not strictly self pay. It varies by state but Medicaid does pay in many states. I stand corrected. On face of it through the Medicaid Home Based and Community Services Waivers program states may offer ALF home care, group home care and low cost facility care if funds are available. Some s...
by skepticalobserver
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living Community
Replies: 11
Views: 1062

Re: Assisted Living Community

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) have a vaguely defined mandate, taking in people with a wide range of physical and cognitive problems. Unlike skilled nursing facilities (SKF) which in large part are paid for by Medicare (for a limited period) and Medicaid, ALF are strictly self-pay. SNF are federal...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 880
Views: 95684

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

Excellent new crime drama, "Seven Seconds." A heart-breaker.
by skepticalobserver
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in foreign treasuries
Replies: 7
Views: 539

Re: Investing in foreign treasuries

f it pays in rupees then currency devaluation will likely offset your returns. If it pays in dollars then there is always risk that India at some point cannot pay its debts. Contrary to many assurances in 1998 Russia devalued the ruble. Foreign and domestic investors holding Russian paper got kille...
by skepticalobserver
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hypothetical situation investing on property vs market
Replies: 21
Views: 1572

Re: Hypothetical situation investing on property vs market

The '1% rule' is far from dead. But you are correct in that it simply isn't possible in many areas. In such areas, rental properties simply do not make sense. I understand the ideal single-family rental business model concerns properties in the $125k to $150k range, suggesting $1,250 to $1,500 rent...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hypothetical situation investing on property vs market
Replies: 21
Views: 1572

Re: Hypothetical situation investing on property vs market

I understand many single family house investors use the "1% Rule" when evaluating a purchase: the monthly rental should be 1% or more of the purchase price. Thus, a $230k property should rent for $2,300 p/m.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best longevity calculator?
Replies: 32
Views: 3481

Re: Best longevity calculator?

JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:45 am
My favorite today is http://media.nmfn.com/tnetwork/lifespan/ since it predicts I'll live to 96.
Says 101!!. Love, love this calculator. Signing up for an immediate annuity today! or maybe not.
by skepticalobserver
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: China Hustle Movie
Replies: 35
Views: 5172

Re: China Hustle Movie

"China Hustle" is available for rental on Comcast on Demand.
by skepticalobserver
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing in syndicated real estate deals
Replies: 11
Views: 1238

Re: Investing in syndicated real estate deals

Stormbringer wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:38 am
if I were to bring in partners, it would be for one and only one reason -- to put more money in my own pocket.
Sage advice. Regarding any "opportunity" I ask: If the investment is so great why do you need my money?
by skepticalobserver
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 368
Views: 33090

Re: Got my Ruth's Chris seminar invitation, "Surviving Retirement"

Go for the Chilled Seafood Tower!
by skepticalobserver
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3761
Views: 1069422

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Watched "The Dinner" the other night (on Netflix). Confused and dull. Don't waste your time. Hard to believe Richard Gere got involved in the project.
Looking forward to "The China Hustle," a documentary available on Comcast ( https://www.thechinahustlefilm.com/), reverse mergers, etc.
by skepticalobserver
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney and home equity
Replies: 3
Views: 365

Re: Power of Attorney and home equity

Make sure the title company will maintain coverage after re-titling as they generally look unfavorably on POA transfers. A real estate attorney should handle this.
by skepticalobserver
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle liability issue
Replies: 5
Views: 813

Re: Vehicle liability issue

My concern is the vehicle liability. If this vehicle were to be involved in an accident would my mother be liable? She still has insurance on the car but others have physical possession of it. Friend, maintain liability coverage until re-titling in name of new owner (get a hard copy of this) or unt...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is SEC Yield dropping for GNMA fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 1483

Re: Why is SEC Yield dropping for GNMA fund?

As I understand it investing in mortgage backed securities like GNMAs can be tricky. When rates decline borrowers refinance at lower rates, high coupon mortgages are called, fund issuers re-invest in mortgages sporting lower coupons, generating lower yields for pass-through investors. When rates ris...
by skepticalobserver
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 880
Views: 95684

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

Second season of "Occupied." Outstanding.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Bill Rates
Replies: 32
Views: 4026

Re: Treasury Bill Rates

MnD wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:02 pm
oes Schwab offer this along with automatic rolling of maturing bills into the next auction?
http://international.schwab.com/public/ ... il_us.html

http://international.schwab.com/public/ ... xed_income
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Bill Rates
Replies: 32
Views: 4026

Re: Treasury Bill Rates

How about you? You remember '08? You think the money markets won't impose gates so's to keep the customers happy? Yesterday NPR's Marketplace had part one of a two part interview with Pasulan, Bernanke and Geithner. Things were pretty bad, https://www.npr.org/podcasts/381444600/marketplace How'd th...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Bill Rates
Replies: 32
Views: 4026

Re: Treasury Bill Rates

indexfundfan wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:33 am
Does anyone know if VBS or Schwab also automates the rolling of bills?
I don't remember if Schwab does but Fidelity always asks.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Bill Rates
Replies: 32
Views: 4026

Re: Treasury Bill Rates

Da5id wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:19 am
VMMXX (Vanguard Prime Money Market) current yield is 1.62%

https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... et-reform/, Vanguard "Allows certain funds to impose liquidity fees and temporarily suspend withdrawals (known as gates) in certain circumstances."

Of importance to you?
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Bill Rates
Replies: 32
Views: 4026

Re: Treasury Bill Rates

If you have a Fidelity or Schwab account, the T-bill thing is a no-brainer. Sign-up for the weekly 1, 3 and 6-month commission free auctions. A one year bill is auctioned monthly and occasionally there’s the odd cash management issue. Here’s the auction schedule, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-ce...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Excess Liability Insurance - Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 55
Views: 4502

Re: Personal Excess Liability Insurance - Umbrella Insurance

the probability of being sued at these levels of coverages is very low The issue is the probability of YOU being sued. Are there behaviors peculiar to you that require coverage? Is the umbrella premium worth peace of mind? Do you want to play the odds that you could be subject to an outlier judgmen...
by skepticalobserver
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach hotel near Boca raton
Replies: 4
Views: 484

Re: Beach hotel near Boca raton

Would you consider going a bit north of Boca to Delray Beach? Berkshire by the Sea (http://www.berkshireresort.com/) is a timeshare that rents out units. They're on A1A across the street from the beach with a pool and a tennis court. You probably know that downtown Delray (just off A1A) is a classy ...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 880
Views: 95684

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

lahob wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:30 pm
except that Bloodline imploded after a promising first season.
Really? It's about people who should know better who do bad.
by skepticalobserver
Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spoke to a financial advisor yesterday - what do you think he's up to?
Replies: 81
Views: 9271

Re: Spoke to a financial advisor yesterday - what do you think he's up to?

rasputin wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:47 pm
He says he finds more efficient funds through careful analysis
He's better at this than a behemoth like Vanguard? At .25%? It don't pass the smell test.
by skepticalobserver
Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Federal court tosses out fiduciary rule
Replies: 60
Views: 7189

Re: Federal court tosses out fiduciary rule

Th Fifth Circuit has the rep for being the most conservative federal circuit. That being said, the promotion of the prospect of fiduciariness by non-registered investment advisors eager to cash in on the rule smacked of abuse.