Search found 496 matches

by Startled Cat
Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Hub Bank
Replies: 19
Views: 1817

Re: Best Hub Bank

There's one hitch though. Some people might find themselves occasionally breaching the $250,000 FDIC limit. At that point, you start to worry about the solvency of the underlying institution. It’s quite straightforward to extend the FDIC coverage limit by adding beneficiaries. For example, if you h...
by Startled Cat
Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long before online savings get close to 0%?
Replies: 18
Views: 2507

Re: How long before online savings get close to 0%?

Another vote for Ally no-penalty CDs. The rate is slightly higher than the savings account rate, so there's really no downside to locking in the rate with a CD. I've opened a bunch of these in recent weeks.
by Startled Cat
Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $19 Trillion in Corporate Debt At Risk of Default
Replies: 167
Views: 11287

Re: $19 Trillion in Corporate Debt At Risk of Default

willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:27 am
I don't always agree with Larry Swedroe, but his advice to 'take your risk on the equity side' is spot on.
Yeah? How's that working out for you right now?
by Startled Cat
Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Move from bonds to Money Market,CDs, savings acct, etc.?[UPDATE]
Replies: 98
Views: 8582

Re: Move from bonds to Money Market,CDs, savings acct, etc.?

I think we're getting to the point where it makes sense to reevaluate the traditional role of bonds in asset allocation. With bond yields so low that they are unlikely to generate positive after-tax real returns going forward, the orthodoxy of having a significant fraction of one's asset allocation ...
by Startled Cat
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 450
Views: 64889

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

I've gotten extremely aggressive pricing from Citi. 2.375% on a 10/1 with $1M in assets, no closing credits. Mortgage balance approx $1.5M. They're also offering a 30-year fixed, where the first ten years interest-only for 3.25%. That's a product I didn't even know existed. It's the upside of an in...
by Startled Cat
Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HMO vs PPO when premium isn't a factor
Replies: 1
Views: 187

HMO vs PPO when premium isn't a factor

My employer offers me a choice of health insurers between a HMO (Kaiser Permanente) and a PPO (Blue Shield), and pays 95% of the premium for either option. I've been using Kaiser for about 10 years and am satisfied overall. I like having everything under one roof, and not having to think about the c...
by Startled Cat
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 450
Views: 64889

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

I've gotten extremely aggressive pricing from Citi. 2.375% on a 10/1 with $1M in assets, no closing credits. Mortgage balance approx $1.5M. They're also offering a 30-year fixed, where the first ten years interest-only for 3.25%. That's a product I didn't even know existed. It's the upside of an in...
by Startled Cat
Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interest only mortgage: the conservative choice?
Replies: 87
Views: 7559

Re: Interest only mortgage: the conservative choice?

Interest only makes a lot of sense. I strongly considered doing 2.75% I/O instead of 2.625% with amortization, and narrowly went with the lower rate. In retrospect I think I should have gone with interest only, and will lean in that direction if/when I refinance again.
by Startled Cat
Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 450
Views: 64889

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

I’m strongly considering refi’ing my $1.2M note with them now. Seems worth checking if other banks can match or beat the rates. I'm curious for recent data points on 10/1 or 7/1 ARMs. Wells Fargo shows a 2.625% 7/1 jumbo purchase rate on their web site, without any relationship discount. But for re...
by Startled Cat
Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EFAV has more tax cost than EDV
Replies: 4
Views: 520

Re: EFAV has more tax cost than EDV

This is where a tax-managed international ETF would really come in handy. I'm not aware of any, but they would fill an important need. IQLT looks interesting. I don't know offhand how its exposure to various regions and factors differs from a market-weighted index, though, and its ER is a bit high. ...
by Startled Cat
Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VTI and VXUS in Fidelity account?
Replies: 6
Views: 549

Re: VTI and VXUS in Fidelity account?

IXUS is extremely similar to VXUS but consistently more tax-efficient.
by Startled Cat
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Not a bad choice for your EM equity exposure (EYLD)]
Replies: 56
Views: 4569

Re: [Not a bad choice for your EM equity exposure (EYLD)]

There's never anything wrong with that. I still own some VWO. I guess I just don't see EM as a single market in the way that US equities are, or even developed market equities. And I have concerns with market conditions in some of the countries that EYLD addresses (in addition to having strong valu...
by Startled Cat
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2019 QDI figures for international
Replies: 1
Views: 346

2019 QDI figures for international

I took a look at the 2019 qualified dividend percentages for some international funds and they're not very pretty. 2019 QDI%: VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF 76.35% VXUS Vanguard Total International Stock ETF 64.86% VWO Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF 38.41% IEFA iShares Core MSCI EAFE ET...
by Startled Cat
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another thread on fixed vs ARM
Replies: 15
Views: 866

Re: Yet another thread on fixed vs ARM

I had the exact same rates to choose from recently. I went with the ARM. I think the interest savings is compelling, and I wasn't confident enough that I would live in the same home for >11-12 years to make paying extra for the 30 year loan worthwhile.
by Startled Cat
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity as a one stop shop
Replies: 1592
Views: 218757

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

boston10 wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:50 am
Yuck. So I gather that omits the Medicare taxes, presumably in error?
The additional Medicare tax only applies to earned income. The 3.8% NIIT and 0.9% additional Medicare tax would not apply to the same income.
by Startled Cat
Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity as a one stop shop
Replies: 1592
Views: 218757

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

How is this possible? Top federal income tax rate is 37%. If you're that high you're paying the additional Medicare tax but not Social Security, so regular Medicare + Additional Medicare = 2.35%. So 39.35% is the top possible federal rate, no? 44.5% would be the marginal rate on interest from: 35% ...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity as a one stop shop
Replies: 1592
Views: 218757

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

Your marginal state tax rate must be very high to make FDLXX competitive. Even at marginal rates of 40.8% fed and 12.3% state, TEY of FDLXX is 1.50%, while yield of SPRXX is only 5 bps lower at 1.45%. At marginal rates of 27.8% and 9.3%, SPRXX comes out on top (excluding FZDXX at 1.57%) at 1.45%, c...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity as a one stop shop
Replies: 1592
Views: 218757

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

Are any of the CMA compatible, auto-withdrawing MMF state tax exempt? If so, any for CA? I currently use either FSPXX or FDLXX for this purpose, which both try to avoid CA taxes (although I noticed on my 1099 that FSPXX does throw off some income taxable by CA). FSPXX is also exempt from federal ta...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity as a one stop shop
Replies: 1592
Views: 218757

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

Define "relatively large". Fidelity's FZDXX has a $100K minimum investment, but no minimum balance. It tends to track 3-month T-Bills pretty closely. Its 7-day yield is currently 1.57%. It doesn't look like FZDXX is exempt from state taxes. While it does look like it would give me a slightly higher...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity as a one stop shop
Replies: 1592
Views: 218757

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

I'll be making a relatively large deposit into my Fidelity account soon. I don't have a definite time horizon for using the money. It could be as short as a few months or as long as a few years. In general I switch between FSPXX and FDLXX money market funds depending which has a better TEY at any gi...
by Startled Cat
Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Parking Cash BIL vs SHV
Replies: 22
Views: 1630

Re: Parking Cash BIL vs SHV

For parking cash for 3-6 months, which one would you guys recommend BIL or SHV? This of course is ME, where there is no money market fund. Sorry, but Maine does not allow money market funds? ME has no MM funds. Wow. You mean if you have a Vanguard account, you can't put your money in Prime or the T...
by Startled Cat
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Case study Broker trade executions
Replies: 300
Views: 41065

Re: Case study Broker trade executions

Here are some results from trades I placed this morning. All trades were at Merrill Edge. I like to get some of my EM exposure through single country/region ETFs rather holding everything at market cap weight, which skews very heavily towards China/Taiwan. Today I was trading from ERUS into FLRU and...
by Startled Cat
Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Comparing approximate distributions of various Total US Market index funds (Fid, VG, Schwab, iShares)
Replies: 5
Views: 511

Re: Comparing approximate distributions of various Total US Market index funds (Fid, VG, Schwab, iShares)

FZROX 0% ER Has so far distributed in December only Buy $10,000 FZROX on 1-2-2019 at NAV $8.79 equals 1,137.656 shares December 2019 DIVIDENDS of 0.164 equals $186.58 December 2019 CAP GAINS of 0.007 equals $7.96 Total 2019 distributions of $194.54 Something doesn't seem right about this. Unless th...
by Startled Cat
Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Case study Broker trade executions
Replies: 300
Views: 41065

Re: Case study Broker trade executions

I have been unhappy with non-marketable limit orders and generally avoid them. My marketable limit orders haven't seemed to get as much price improvement as my market orders, but I might not have done enough trials to reach statistical significance. For now I am using market orders, but am not sugg...
by Startled Cat
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Case study Broker trade executions
Replies: 300
Views: 41065

Re: Case study Broker trade executions

I may have an interesting data point to add soon. I'm planning to buy about 1100 shares of FLLA (Franklin FTSE Latin America ETF). The average daily volume is 181 shares, and there are only 100,000 shares outstanding. I haven't had a chance to look at bid/ask prices during trading hours, but I imagi...
by Startled Cat
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mini-split electrical installation
Replies: 12
Views: 1535

Re: Mini-split electrical installation

The most relevant thing I found in the national electrical code is from Article 440.61: The total rating of a cord-and-attachment-plug-connected room air-conditioner cannot exceed 50 percent of the rating of a branch-circuit where lighting outlets, other appliances, or general-use receptacles are al...
by Startled Cat
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mini-split electrical installation
Replies: 12
Views: 1535

Re: Mini-split electrical installation

Fastened in place electrical equipment can use no more than 50% of the circuit rating when receptacles or lighting is installed on the same circuit. So if the mini split used 10A at 120V, it could leech off a 20A receptacle circuit. I think most are going to be larger than this, and most are 208-24...
by Startled Cat
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mini-split electrical installation
Replies: 12
Views: 1535

Mini-split electrical installation

I've seen a few mini-split threads on this forum that have been very interesting and informative, so I thought I'd go ahead with my own mini-split question. A year ago I purchased a loft condo. While quite luxurious in many respects, it does have the strange deficiency of only having a single centra...
by Startled Cat
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Not a bad choice for your EM equity exposure (EYLD)]
Replies: 56
Views: 4569

Re: Not a bad choice for your EM equity exposure (EYLD)

Was anyone able to find a breakdown by country?

Edit: it's in the annual report. Relatively light on China (see "Hong Kong", at 15%), but 25% Taiwan, so still very exposed to so-called "greater China".
by Startled Cat
Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to handle 5M capital gain (post-IPO)
Replies: 130
Views: 15677

Re: How to handle 5M capital gain (post-IPO)

Some posters have suggested using opportunity zone funds for capital gains deferral. Keep in mind that California’s tax code does not conform, so this would not help defer or reduce state taxes (as far as I understand). Also, to get the full federal tax benefit, you would need to reinvest by the end...
by Startled Cat
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone ever got car insurance JUST for car rentals?
Replies: 13
Views: 1313

Re: Anyone ever got car insurance JUST for car rentals?

Yes, I have a named non-owner policy through AAA I use for renting cars. The premium is only $100 per year (significantly cheaper than quotes I've received from other carriers). This kind of coverage is worthwhile because, as noted by another poster, credit card car rental insurance does not cover l...
by Startled Cat
Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Payment for Order Flow
Replies: 7
Views: 743

Re: Payment for Order Flow

There's not a lot of public information in this area, and it seems like a lot of the rankings of execution quality are really just guesstimates. People seem to guess that a firm that does not accept payment for order flow is likely to give better execution, because it has no financial incentive to r...
by Startled Cat
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity to $0 Commissions
Replies: 87
Views: 10644

Re: Fidelity to $0 Commissions

Have I read this wrong? According to their most recent 606, they do participate in PFOF: FBS, through its affiliated broker-dealer NFS, received a credit on average of $0.0030 per share for each order routed by it to NASDAQExecution Services, LLC that added liquidity and which subsequently executed...
by Startled Cat
Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)
Replies: 38
Views: 5960

Re: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)

I was able to trade into one of the funds online, without calling in.
by Startled Cat
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)
Replies: 38
Views: 5960

Re: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)

After studying the Cash Management Solutions page (Research->Mutual Funds->Cash Management Solutions Tab) and reading a few prospectus, I will be switching from GOTXX (Federated Government Obligations Tax Managed) to TTTXX (BlackRock Liquidity Funds Treasury Trust). My primary objective is to find ...
by Startled Cat
Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)
Replies: 74
Views: 11725

Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

We have electric radiant floor heating that eats up 8kW per hour it's on. Today I felt remorse for running a 750 W space heater for several hours overnight. Reading this makes me feel slightly better about my own electricity use for heating. PG&E rates have trained me to be very frugal with electri...
by Startled Cat
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If all brokerages charged zero commission for trades, which brokerage would you pick?
Replies: 80
Views: 8234

Re: If all brokerages charged zero commission for trades, which brokerage would you pick?

I've been a very satisfied Fidelity customer and will most likely keep them for checking and new investments regardless of whether they charge commissions (but I do expect them to match Schwab's move). That said, I did move my existing investments to Merrill Edge as part of a mortgage relationship d...
by Startled Cat
Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charles Schwab (SCHW) Eliminating Commissions for Stocks, ETFs and Options Listed on U.S. or Canadian Exchanges
Replies: 106
Views: 11563

Re: Charles Schwab (SCHW) Eliminating Commissions for Stocks, ETFs and Options Listed on U.S. or Canadian Exchanges

The loss of revenue is supposedly only 3-4% out of the 6.8% trading revenue. So it looks like Net interest revenue and Asset management and admin fees will be sufficient to keep the doors open. Other discount brokerages may not fare so well. [Schwab and IB down 10%, E-trade down 15%, TD Ameritrade ...
by Startled Cat
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charles Schwab (SCHW) Eliminating Commissions for Stocks, ETFs and Options Listed on U.S. or Canadian Exchanges
Replies: 106
Views: 11563

Re: Charles Schwab (SCHW) Eliminating Commissions for Stocks, ETFs and Options Listed on U.S. or Canadian Exchanges

I think this was inevitable and Schwab's competitors will match this move shortly. Brokerages have other revenue sources which are more significant than commissions (see https://www.kalzumeus.com/2019/6/26/how-brokerages-make-money/). Stock/ETF trades have been free for me since about 2008 (first wi...
by Startled Cat
Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)
Replies: 38
Views: 5960

Re: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)

I’m not sure about world wide atm reimbursements but once you reach platinum honors BoA will reimburse atm fees for you for using other ATM’s. I suspect that only applies to withdrawals from Bank of America accounts, not Merrill Edge accounts. I agree that the checking capabilities are not as flexi...
by Startled Cat
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth keeping supplemental disability insurance policy?
Replies: 2
Views: 260

Re: Worth keeping supplemental disability insurance policy?

The supplemental policy is portable to other employers and non-cancellable until age 65. The insurer has an AM Best financial strength rating of "A+".

Premiums seemed in-line with other quotes I looked at, but I never went through the underwriting process to seriously consider other products.
by Startled Cat
Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)
Replies: 38
Views: 5960

Re: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)

I'm planning to trade into one of these funds next week. Right now, FFTXX (Federated Institutional Tax-Free Cash Trust) looks most appealing. Now that these money market funds are available, has anyone considered using Merrill Edge as a one-stop shop (similar to the common setup at Fidelity with the...
by Startled Cat
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth keeping supplemental disability insurance policy?
Replies: 2
Views: 260

Worth keeping supplemental disability insurance policy?

About a year and a half ago, I was offered a supplemental disability policy through my employer. For an annual premium of $1863, it provides a $7200/month disability benefit beyond what my group disability insurance provides. This offer led me to research disability insurance to try and understand w...
by Startled Cat
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What drives differences in index fund tax efficiency?
Replies: 4
Views: 669

Re: What drives differences in index fund tax efficiency?

The difference is that they are tracking different indexes, thus have different securities preforming differently and paying taxes differently. Looking at the 2 different funds for about 5 minutes I think it is because VXUS has more small cap and EM in it than IXUS. I'm not entirely convinced. Both...
by Startled Cat
Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for a More Tax-Efficient Intl Index Fund than Vanguard Total International (VTIAX)?
Replies: 34
Views: 4002

Re: Looking for a More Tax-Efficient Intl Index Fund than Vanguard Total International (VTIAX)?

My understanding is that IXUS is more tax-efficient. I've moved a lot of my holdings from VXUS (ETF share class of VTIAX) to IXUS.

At one point I started a thread trying to understand where this difference in tax efficiency comes from, but it never got any replies.
by Startled Cat
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)
Replies: 38
Views: 5960

Re: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)

Thanks for pointing these out. Some of them look like good alternatives to the BIL ETF, which I'm currently using. I'm thinking of using GOTXX. The SEC yield is a few basis points higher, and using a money market fund instead of ETF would simplify tax reporting because individual sales wouldn't need...
by Startled Cat
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4647
Views: 897462

Re: best 4-card strategy

This is pretty much the best, simple-ish plan for ongoing rewards that I can come up with (assuming platinum honors at BoA, 1.5x multiplier for UR points, big enough traveler to use both CSR and premium rewards credits) Chase Sapphire Reserve - 4.5% travel and dining, plus the other goodies Chase I...
by Startled Cat
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please check my tax bracket math
Replies: 7
Views: 965

Re: Please check my tax bracket math

So if they are qualified dividends, does that mean they are excluded from the taxable income calculation? The qualified dividends don't count as income in a particular ordinary tax bracket. You calculate the tax on ordinary income first and then add on the tax on capital gains/qualified dividends w...
by Startled Cat
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please check my tax bracket math
Replies: 7
Views: 965

Re: Please check my tax bracket math

I assume that the $23k of mortgage interest comes from having a significantly higher rate in the first part of the year before refinancing down to 2.65, and going forward you won't get as large a deduction? "Taxable dividends" may be mostly qualified depending on the particulars, and taxed at 15% ra...
by Startled Cat
Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4647
Views: 897462

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I feel like the Citi Premier card is the most compelling card overall from my list. Normally I would get that one first. However, both of the hotel card offers are time-limited, which makes me think maybe I should get one (or both?) before moving on to Citi. I decided it would make sense for my fia...