Search found 451 matches

by Startled Cat
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)
Replies: 10
Views: 1048

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: 4078
Views: 753592

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: 880

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: 880

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: 4078
Views: 753592

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...
by Startled Cat
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753592

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Some thoughts: I got the Citi Premier at the beginning of the year and am finding it surprisingly useful. I'd always thought Thank You points were sorta crap but they actually have some good sweet spots. The ability to transfer to Turkish and then book anywhere in the USA to Hawaii for 7.5K is pret...
by Startled Cat
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753592

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Currently pondering which card to apply for next. I currently have: Citi Dividend, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Chase Freedom, Elan Fidelity 529, Discover It, Wells Fargo Rewards Visa, AMEX Blue Cash Everyday, Capital One, Chase Hyatt, Barclays Aviator Red, US Bank Club Carlson, BofA Cash Rewards, Citi ...
by Startled Cat
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California - tax consequences of buying property with a non-spouse
Replies: 4
Views: 368

Re: California - tax consequences of buying property with a non-spouse

Another important point is that as tenants in common, you can execute a legal agreement governing your tenancy in common. It can address issues like how property expenses are shared, and what happens if one party wants out. NOLO publishes a sample TIC agreement. I created one with my fiancé, and eve...
by Startled Cat
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California - tax consequences of buying property with a non-spouse
Replies: 4
Views: 368

Re: California - tax consequences of buying property with a non-spouse

There are different ways to take title with a second person. Look up tenancy in common and joint tenancy. I seem to remember that the surviving tenant inherits the property interest in a joint tenancy, but I’m not completely sure. Otherwise, in California you can execute a transfer on death deed tha...
by Startled Cat
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review Request
Replies: 10
Views: 740

Re: Portfolio Review Request

Future tax rate is an unknown quanitty, current tax rate is low on both absolute and historical scales.
by Startled Cat
Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review Request
Replies: 10
Views: 740

Re: Portfolio Request 2: Because My Employer is Adding a Roth 401k Option

At 12% + 3.23% I think Roth is a no-brainer.
by Startled Cat
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: That's enough for me in 2019
Replies: 814
Views: 92400

Re: That's enough for me in 2019

What mechanism do you use to short long-term bonds, and how is it that the effective borrowing rate is so low? My understanding was that the government can borrow at treasury rates, but other entities generally can't because they are considered riskier counterparties. I thought that futures and opti...
by Startled Cat
Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finally considering paying off my mortgage
Replies: 38
Views: 3223

Re: Finally planning to pay off my mortgage

I wish you luck. Personally, I'm keeping my 2.625% mortgage. It's hard to think of a scenario where I would want to pay it off. Here's a thought experiment: suppose your mortgage has a very attractive rate, and it clearly doesn't make sense to pay it off, but then tomorrow, yields across the curve s...
by Startled Cat
Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella insurance without auto?
Replies: 4
Views: 397

Re: Umbrella insurance without auto?

Yes, get a named non-owner policy. Shop around for it as the premium can vary wildly. I pay just over $100/year for mine though AAA. Geico wanted a lot more.
by Startled Cat
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Trigger GEARS - structured notes
Replies: 17
Views: 880

Re: Trigger GEARS - structured notes

So you are saying that Dad has never held one through a major downturn. Three words: PLAYING. WITH. FIRE. This reaction seems a bit extreme to me. The return profile is pretty clear from the note's prospectus, and is disected in the original post. There is some degree of downside protection, althou...
by Startled Cat
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Trigger GEARS - structured notes
Replies: 17
Views: 880

Re: Trigger GEARS - structured notes

I have looked at similar investments before but have always passed so far. I had not considered holding this kind of a note in an IRA, which would mitigate some of the downsides (poor tax treatment and illiquidity). The point raised by talzara about returns being evaluated in local currency is huge,...
by Startled Cat
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating interest-only mortgage
Replies: 13
Views: 1295

Re: Evaluating interest-only mortgage

With strong liquidity, you can continue to chase the lowest possible interest rates on the debt wherever its best (5/7/10). I'm curious why you didn't show the 5/7 options as well (your rates seem really great btw!). I decided a 10 year ARM was best for me. I'm much more comfortable with a 10 year ...
by Startled Cat
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating interest-only mortgage
Replies: 13
Views: 1295

Re: Evaluating interest-only mortgage

Relative portfolio size vs. the mortgage would matter to me here. I did a 7 year ARM (not IO) for the tax-deductible max (750k) because the overall portfolio is 4.3x that liability invested roughly 55% stocks 45% bonds. The bond + stock rally already has me well in the black after-tax benefits sinc...
by Startled Cat
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating interest-only mortgage
Replies: 13
Views: 1295

Re: Evaluating interest-only mortgage

The simple fact of owning a home isn't a financially smart decision for most people in most of the country (renting + investing often has higher returns). Yet many of us want to own homes anyway. I completely agree! It so happens that I was never especially keen on homebuying. I take a pretty analy...
by Startled Cat
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating interest-only mortgage
Replies: 13
Views: 1295

Evaluating interest-only mortgage

I'm struggling with a choice between a normal amortizing mortgage and the interest-only equivalent. I thought I'd turn to the collective wisdom of Bogleheads. The loan is a 10/1 jumbo ARM, and the options are: 2.625% for the first 10 years, amortizing (monthly payment ~$5,825), 0.125% lender credit ...
by Startled Cat
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to interpret different raise percents?
Replies: 41
Views: 2650

Re: How to interpret different raise percents?

It must be very, very company-specific. The companies I’ve worked for have been a bit random (but often generous) about giving raises, and definitely don’t follow the 0-4% rule I see described in this thread. For example, I took a new job in August 2017, and since then received the following salary ...
by Startled Cat
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions on bicycle disc brakes?
Replies: 45
Views: 3683

Re: Opinions on bicycle disc brakes?

I have 10's of thousands of miles on a Avid BB7 ( mechanical discs) equipped Co-Motion Americano touring bike. This is essentially a very heavy steel-famed road bike with mountings on the fork and stays for racks to hold panniers. The bike is suitable for riding on asphalt to gravel and maybe even ...
by Startled Cat
Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What drives differences in index fund tax efficiency?
Replies: 0
Views: 164

What drives differences in index fund tax efficiency?

This thread got me thinking about what leads to differences in tax efficiency between index funds that track similar indices. In my case, I'm most interested in VXUS vs. IXUS. Both funds are big components of my portfolio, but recently I've been adding to VXUS rather than IXUS because I trust Vangu...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions on bicycle disc brakes?
Replies: 45
Views: 3683

Re: Opinions on bicycle disc brakes?

A post-mortem on this (wow, almost two years later). I continued having problems with extremely loud squealing noises from the V-brake. I eventually had it working decently, but a few months ago I replaced the pad due to wear, and was back to square one. A series of adjustments at the bike shop only...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supplemental disability
Replies: 8
Views: 511

Re: Supplemental disability

I have a supplemental disability policy. It was offered to all employees covered by my PEO (TriNet HR) meeting certain criteria. Because of the way the policy was marketed through my employer, there was no underwriting requirement, and the amount of supplemental coverage offered was more than I thin...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tilting to VUG in California After-Tax?
Replies: 14
Views: 790

Re: Tilting to VUG in California After-Tax?

Any thoughts for similar substitutions on the international side? I've noted that IEFA/IXUS have lower tax costs than their corresponding Vanguard equivalents VEA/VXUS. I own a fair amount of the iShares funds, but I've been reluctant to switch over completely because anything I hold in taxable migh...
by Startled Cat
Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3
Replies: 182
Views: 16628

Re: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3

TBD but I have a nagging suspicion it will be the house I am in now, a 1600 sqft’er bought last year for $1.8M, and appraised 12 months later at the same price. This is after years of double digit appreciation in this Bay Area neighborhood. FWIW I have the sense that appraisals are very rough and t...
by Startled Cat
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turkish Airlines ?
Replies: 38
Views: 2651

Re: Turkish Airlines ?

If you’re unsure... spend the extra money and go with a company you’re sure of. Try Norwegian airlines This is a curious response. Turkish Airlines has much higher standards of service than Norwegian. Turkish Airlines is a full-service airline; Norwegian is not. OP, you probably won’t find a better...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One will only send security notices if you let them spy on you once in a while
Replies: 46
Views: 3272

Re: Capital One will only send security notices if you let them spy on you once in a while

It’s idiotic for companies to base any functionality on the assumption that customers opt in to web bugs.

I’ve been seeing more and more of this recently. I assume it’s because Gmail loads images by default - and everyone uses Gmail, right?
by Startled Cat
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 38
Views: 2823

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

I’ve been happy with KeepGo’s global SIM. I just top it up once a year for around $30.
by Startled Cat
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Same rate as fully amortized rate, but with 30% down payment requirement. (In that post, for the IO product, i was adding the Relationship discount of .25% — boy BofA only seem to allow 0.25% discount upon $500k relationship NNM, whereas other banks let you bring in more $1MM leading upto 0.5% rela...
by Startled Cat
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

BofA will allow me to go interest only at the cost of paying points or going with a 1/8% higher rate. Here are the options: 10/1 ARM, amortizing, 2.625% initial rate, 0.125% lender credit 10/1 ARM, interest only at 2.625% initial rate, 1/3 point 10/1 ARM, interest only at 2.75% initial rate, 0.275% ...
by Startled Cat
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Based on where you are in the process you should still be able to change the term or to IO. Just ask. Also, the relationship rate won’t be reflected in the loan estimate initially as you were told, but they’ll come through with it so long as you move the assets. I will ask about it, thanks. I have ...
by Startled Cat
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

I refi’ed a few months ago with BofA. $3M mortgage Interest only 10 year IO at 2.625% with the 0.5% discount for moving over $1M Also got about $5k in cash bonuses so long as I keep my assets there for 9 months They offered me 2.375% on the 7 year IO The 10 year treasury is down about .25% from 2.3...
by Startled Cat
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

WOW BofA finally came through after several days with this offer: 2.625% 10/1 ARM, -1/8 point lender credit, conditional on $500k in new money This caused me to give BOA a call today. The guy basically said that was impossible (I'm not questioning Startled Cat, the CSR could be wrong). For 10/1, th...
by Startled Cat
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Impressive rate. Wonder what the 5/1 or 7/1 would have been. Was this a standard offer or did you have to "price match" with another lender? This did involve a price match. As I understand it, the mortgage banker took Citi’s 2.875% rate (which includes a $1M AUM relationship discount) to his manage...
by Startled Cat
Fri May 31, 2019 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

WOW BofA finally came through after several days with this offer: 2.625% 10/1 ARM, -1/8 point lender credit, conditional on $500k in new money That’s fantastic and I’m still not sure I actually believe it. But assuming it’s legitimate, it sounds like I’ll be working with them. I’d get to keep the Me...
by Startled Cat
Thu May 30, 2019 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Look at 10/1 as well as 7/1. I saw 10/1 pricing out better in some cases. It doesn’t really make sense to me.
by Startled Cat
Tue May 28, 2019 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

So far WF has matched Citi. Both are offering a 0.125% lender credit on the 2.875% rate. Citi may be able to double the lender credit - I will find out in about an hour. BofA seems intent on matching, even without bringing over as much new money, but it will take a few days to work through the bure...
by Startled Cat
Tue May 28, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

I'm working on one of these now. I originally preferred to wait a little longer for a time when it would be more convenient to move assets around, but the recent move in rates means it makes sense to at least start some conversations. The property is a condo in SF, approx value $1.83M. LTV on my cu...
by Startled Cat
Sun May 26, 2019 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Are you willing to pay off ~500k of mortgage to get your balance down to the deductible limit? Otherwise it doesn’t matter, your balance will be more than high enough. I own the property with my significant other as tenants in common, and we can each deduct interest on up to $750k. One reason why w...
by Startled Cat
Sun May 26, 2019 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Played this game with Wells 3 years ago. Asset discount tiers were significantly higher then, at $1m, 2.5m, and 5m. Moved assets from Fidelity to WellsTrade in-kind, left them there for approx. 1 year, made zero trades, and then transferred back to Fidelity, who gave us a $2500 bonus to move the as...
by Startled Cat
Sat May 25, 2019 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

.... or just goto a credit union. Patelco 3.0% 5/1 ARM done. None of this goofy AUM nonsense. It’s probably not the absolute lowest, but darn close, without the hassles. Okay, but the 10/1 ARM is 3.375%, which is exactly Citi's rate without the relationship discount. It's a difference of 0.5% - do ...
by Startled Cat
Sat May 25, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

I'm working on one of these now. I originally preferred to wait a little longer for a time when it would be more convenient to move assets around, but the recent move in rates means it makes sense to at least start some conversations. The property is a condo in SF, approx value $1.83M. LTV on my cur...
by Startled Cat
Sun May 19, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 3.04% APY 20-month CD?
Replies: 4
Views: 1057

Re: 3.04% APY 20-month CD?

The slight yield premium over T-bills wouldn't be enough for me to give up liquidity, but some people would disagree.
by Startled Cat
Wed May 15, 2019 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

I was told my the WF Broker it only needed to be there for a few days. Assuming our appraisal is OK we will be getting the ball rolling and opening a WellsTrade account. Why do you need to move the funds out? I don't think WF is asking for new assets Thanks, you may have just saved me $190. I assum...
by Startled Cat
Wed May 15, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 290
Views: 28975

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

Did anyone who talked to Wells Fargo find out if they have a lookback period for assets under management? I'm trying to decide if I should move my WellsTrade accounts to a different brokerage (at a cost of $190 in transfer fees), in anticipation of possibly getting a relationship mortgage from Wells...
by Startled Cat
Wed May 15, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 361
Views: 61564

Re: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

With VCTXX at a SEC of 1.41% I'm now indifferent to VCTXX vs. VUSXX. I'm switching back to VUSXX today. I suppose I should feel grateful for a few weeks of slightly higher TEY, but I find myself mostly being annoyed that this area of the market is so inefficient, and I have to watch yields instead o...
by Startled Cat
Wed May 15, 2019 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: You Invest by JP Morgan Chase
Replies: 172
Views: 24972

Re: You Invest by JP Morgan Chase

You Invest wouldn't let me place a buy order for an ETF when I didn't have cash available, even though I had an open sell order on a money market fund. I thought this was supposed to be possible even in a cash account, because mutual funds settle on T+1 and stocks/ETFs settle on T+2. It's a little r...
by Startled Cat
Sun May 12, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camera Lens Recommendation - 50-250MM
Replies: 12
Views: 752

Re: Camera Lens Recommendation - 50-250MM

I'm happy with the Canon EF-S 55-250 IS STM that other posters have mentioned. I recently went on a safari and took over 1000 photos, nearly all of them with this lens. I was pleased with the results. I bought the cheaper "gray market" version with no warranty, which is currently selling for $134 on...