Search found 152 matches

by essbeer
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 575806

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Is that different from opening CSR right away getting the benefits and then downgrading to a Freedom card? No need to wait for a year with CSP to become eligible for an upgrade. You have to wait a year when upgrading to a more expensive card, at least that is what I'm told. The CSR will be a more e...
by essbeer
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 575806

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

What I'm thinking is maybe apply for the CSP and use that for the first year, then *maybe* product change it into a CSR the second year. Reasons: First year annual fee is waived on the CSP ($0 vs. $450), the sign-up bonus is the same (50K UR) and as I mentioned earlier, my "Player 2" already has a ...
by essbeer
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?
Replies: 43
Views: 2787

Re: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?

Barclays is supposed to have an option for overnight shipping on a new card for something like $15. The Uber card has no FTF, plus bonuses on restaurants and hotels so it's a great travel card. Worth at least looking into that.
by essbeer
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?
Replies: 56
Views: 7325

Re: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?

FYI, for everyone who wants a restaurant card and is more interested in churning (high signup bonus) rather than long-term use, Cap One has revised their Savor card to offer a $500 sign up bonus. Also now offers 4% on dining. Free for first year, $95 a year after that. https://www.capitalone.com/cr...
by essbeer
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?
Replies: 56
Views: 7325

Re: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?

For some reason people tend to forget that the Uber card has an extra $50 credit after spending $5000. So on the first $5000 you actually get 5% back on restaurants and 4% back on hotels and airfare, provided you can spend that amount.
by essbeer
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Review
Replies: 15
Views: 1297

Re: Credit Card Review

The AA card has no bonus on groceries, so I assume you meant restaurants. How much do you value AA miles at? Uber card gets you 4% on restaurants (5% at exactly $5000) so it's better if you value AA miles less than 2 cents per point. If you value AA miles less than 1.5 cents then the AA card isn't m...
by essbeer
Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1409

Re: Credit card advice

I think generally, if the age of this account is younger than your average age of accounts it will be a drag on your score until it falls off your credit report. If it's not it won't. If closing this account substantially increases your credit utilization you will get dinged for sure. But closing th...
by essbeer
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Medallion Signature guarantee?
Replies: 28
Views: 2356

Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

I've done it at my local Wells Fargo before. Took a while to find somebody at the branch who knew what I was talking about.
by essbeer
Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think my father has a gambling problem
Replies: 78
Views: 6826

Re: I think my father has a gambling problem

The troubling part to me is that, after a year away, you came to visit for 4 days and your father left for half of that to be at a casino. I kind of feel like whether or not he was gambling responsibly is beside the point, he chose visiting the casino (a place he could visit any day) over a rare opp...
by essbeer
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score [What changes your credit score?]
Replies: 42
Views: 3490

Re: Credit Score

It makes sense to me, that when you get moved into a new group you will probably get dinged because there is greater uncertainty about how you will behave in your new group. For instance, when you are in the group of high credit utilizers you probably start at the bottom, but over the years with goo...
by essbeer
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Credit Interest Rate Should I Expect?
Replies: 2
Views: 186

Re: What Credit Interest Rate Should I Expect?

Thanks. We've got a million in reserve, but the project bids came back at around 4 million and took everybody by surprise because there were some building code problems nobody anticipated.
by essbeer
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Credit Interest Rate Should I Expect?
Replies: 2
Views: 186

What Credit Interest Rate Should I Expect?

My HOA has a critical infrastructure need, and we are being asked to vote on whether to take out a loan as an association which the board said would be at around 6% for a 3 year loan or to kick the cost back to the owners as a special assessment. My open line of credit at one of my banks also curren...
by essbeer
Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit report question - expunging invalid derogatory marks
Replies: 10
Views: 976

Re: Credit report question - expunging invalid derogatory marks

I've got derogatory marks on my credit report because a family member died and then she didn't pay her bill on time. I was merely an authorized user, so there doesn't seem to be a requirement that you are legally responsible for the unpaid bill. But this doesn't really seem to effect my ability to g...
by essbeer
Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One more reason for Fidelity Visa
Replies: 15
Views: 3231

Re: One more reason for Fidelity Visa

My Visa Infinite card says it covers "valid and substantiated" loss of use charges by the auto rental company. I assume the only recourse the rental company would have would be to charge my credit card, and any charges that aren't valid or substantiated should be easily removed. My Barclays Uber car...
by essbeer
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (most practical, low cost) Luggage for Airline Travel
Replies: 56
Views: 3905

Re: Best (most practical, low cost) Luggage for Airline Travel

Very few tourist attractions in Europe will check a bag anymore. If I take a suitcase of any kind I pretty much have to go straight to the hotel from the train/plane, which is almost never the best use of my time. I prefer the smallest, lightest backpack I can get away with. I can pack four changes ...
by essbeer
Sat May 05, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score Question
Replies: 25
Views: 2195

Re: Credit Score Question

If your bank is Wells Fargo, they did change both the type of FICO score and the agency this month. At least they did for me. My score went down about 20 points or so.
by essbeer
Sat May 05, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to a Condo -- Educate me on Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1207

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

Should be cheaper. Your condo owner's association will probably have rules about minimum coverage. You are probably required to keep liability insurance to cover building employees working in your unit. You are likely only responsible for damage to the interior, but check your condo docs to make sur...
by essbeer
Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 6731

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

This is outrageous! Is it? I was surprised that it happened in public schools, but it's the normal way every public institution in Houston is funded. Donors get perks, special access, and recognition. The district calls it's program for active parents the VIPS program, not very subtle. I'm absolute...
by essbeer
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 6731

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Probably about $2000/year. And we are borderline slackers, lots of parents contribute $10k+ per year. I honestly have no idea where the money goes, but there is a lot of peer pressure from the other parents to contribute. I once mentioned that I found $400 per person for a public school fundraiser ...
by essbeer
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 6731

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Probably about $2000/year. And we are borderline slackers, lots of parents contribute $10k+ per year. I honestly have no idea where the money goes, but there is a lot of peer pressure from the other parents to contribute. I once mentioned that I found $400 per person for a public school fundraiser p...
by essbeer
Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: dad insists on gifting me all his money- help!
Replies: 23
Views: 4633

Re: dad insists on gifting me all his money- help!

I think you need to get an elder-law lawyer. There are certain types of annuities you can buy to help qualify for Medicaid, but you really shouldn't be trying to do this yourself.
by essbeer
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealership oil change worth it?
Replies: 69
Views: 5992

Re: Dealership oil change worth it?

I've got an RX-8 and nobody but a Mazda dealership has a clue how to work on the thing, and even they are starting to get a little rusty. It's always worth checking the coupon page before you take the car into the dealership and it never hurts to ask for a discount on the quoted service, you will us...
by essbeer
Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?
Replies: 103
Views: 12513

Re: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?

The key word in "What isn't covered" is likely "Taxable" - as opposed to "tax-advantaged" plans such as traditional or Roth 401k and IRA plans, and HSAs. Nowhere in Federal Register :: Definition of the Term “Fiduciary”; Conflict of Interest Rule-Retirement Investment Advice does the word "Roth" oc...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?
Replies: 103
Views: 12513

Re: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?

I'm naturally very cynical. Traditional IRAs fall under the DOL Fiduciary rule and Roth IRAs don't. Hmm. What leads you to believe that? Traditional IRAs fall under the DOL Fiduciary rule and Roth IRAs don't. Hadn't heard that. Couldn't find it in Federal Register :: Investment Advice Fiduciaries a...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?
Replies: 103
Views: 12513

Re: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?

Yesterday he told every single person to save for retirement in a roth. Even people with almost NO 401k savings at age 52. This is completely wrong based on effective tax rate at retirement. Possibly wrong based on marginal tax rate for some of those folks. Has anyone ever thought to call in to Dav...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defining "House Poor"
Replies: 299
Views: 19151

Re: Defining "House Poor"

If you have to live somewhere and pay rent or a mortgage (housing is a consumption), what makes housing any different than any other consumption? Why is no one vacation poor? Eating out poor? Car poor? Private school poor? Car poor is real, common even. There are plenty of brand new pickups parked ...
by essbeer
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defining "House Poor"
Replies: 299
Views: 19151

Re: Defining "House Poor"

Someone who is considerably poorer than their house would make them appear. Technically I think I'd be house poor under that definition, I'm fine with that.
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why open a taxable account?
Replies: 27
Views: 4216

Re: Why open a taxable account?

So I mean I could add myself online in a heartbeat but I just want to understand that after contributing a high amount to both of our 401Ks (hopefully maxing them out on our first full year of full time employment), maxing out both Roth, what is left to do on the brokerage account? Or conversely, w...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the impact of no more Roth recharacterization?
Replies: 30
Views: 3518

Re: What's the impact of no more Roth recharacterization?

We are dismayed with this change. Our business income has been too volatile to correctly predict taxable income until after the close of the tax year. So, to thread between ACA maximum and maximum conversion to Roth, we converted early in the year (best odds for the market rising since conversion) ...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the impact of no more Roth recharacterization?
Replies: 30
Views: 3518

Re: What's the impact of no more Roth recharacterization?

The change has definitely made it more difficult to stay within a specific marginal tax bracket. For example, under old tax law the transition from 15% to 25% was expensive if you missed it, since additional dollars of ordinary income bumped from being taxes at 15 to 25% for federal PLUS an equal d...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?
Replies: 44
Views: 7129

Re: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?

But how the tickets prices are compared to other travel sites (Expedia..etc)? On the UBS site international travel is the exact same price, basically if you can find it on Expedia it's on the site. Domestic doesn't have Spirit airlines, which are usually the cheapest flights for me, but will have a...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?
Replies: 44
Views: 7129

Re: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?

The UBS Infinite still has a 100k points bonus for another month. It only cost 35000 points and has free authorize users, which makes it the cheapest Visa Infinite that I am aware of. Otherwise it's similar to AMEX and Chase Sapphire Reserve -- lots of the same travel perks. It offers 3x on air trav...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does it make sense to buy a condo/house in Texas?
Replies: 97
Views: 7955

Re: Should I buy a house, duplex/multiplex, or condo in Houston, TX? Any advice?

I'm with the rest of the "you should rent" chorus. After living in Houston the past couple years, I'd be a little skeptical of the safety of any condo you could scoop up for $60k. You could, potentially, get a nice condo for $60k in an historic building with a sky high HOA fee. The OP might be able...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 3324

Re: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance

As always, a lot of very interesting, insightful responses. My biggest surprise was the comments about different rates for different military pay grades. I'm an honorably discharged E-5 that served 50 years ago and my lot in life has certainly changed considerable since then. I'm a bit surprised th...
by essbeer
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance
Replies: 156
Views: 12998

Re: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance

I though homeowners insurance was usually required for umbrella insurance, car insurance too.
by essbeer
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 3324

Re: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance

I'm a veteran and I find the USAA veteran family's only gimmick more annoying than enticing. If I want a quote from them they want me to dig out my DD214 from 25 years ago. Like I'm applying for an actual veteran's benefit. Only then will I be allowed to purchase the super special USAA mutual fund w...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft
Replies: 23
Views: 3407

Re: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft

At UBS I can't do any kind of trades without personally speaking to my FA first and he has to make the transaction and I can't electronically transfer funds to any outside account unless I sign a big form and MAIL it in with a voided check for the outside institution. That's horse-and-buggy era tech...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds Growth Fund vs Index
Replies: 9
Views: 1516

Re: American Funds Growth Fund vs Index

I suggest you use the Vanguard Cost Comparison Tool: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsCostCompare It gives you an idea of the costs of holding 2 different funds of a given principal for a given number of years, using an assumed equal market return. Start out choosing American Fund’s Growth Fun...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds 401k Advise
Replies: 42
Views: 3467

Re: American Funds 401k Advise

I have both ANWPX and CWGIX. ANWPX has especially been a standout while I've held it. With American Funds it seems like the more funds, the better since it reduces your manager risk (already pretty low, but free lunch is free lunch.) I just try and spread them evenly around the globe.
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just added Total Int'l Stock; add Total Int'l Bond too?
Replies: 25
Views: 2415

Re: Just added Total Int'l Stock; add Total Int'l Bond too?

Boosting your fixed-income returns by taking on the credit risk of foreign governments seems silly to me - if your investment strategy calls for taking more risk, it probably gets paid better for it by buying more equities, rather than buying riskier bonds. As long as the risk is compensated, I don...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just added Total Int'l Stock; add Total Int'l Bond too?
Replies: 25
Views: 2415

Re: Just added Total Int'l Stock; add Total Int'l Bond too?

International bonds seem like more of a no-brainer to me than international stocks. You get a little protection against dollar inflation, you get a little more risk and a little more yield. They help bonds suck less. Yesterday was a good example, where my US bonds lost .38% my internationals only l...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds 401k Advise
Replies: 42
Views: 3467

Re: American Funds 401k Advise

I've got all the ones your FA recommended and they've done fine. Morningstar Xray is great for American Funds. I would probably want a world balanced portfolio since American Funds seems to have a better advantage internationally. I don't recommend buying any bonds from American Funds, like others h...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy to sell a sought-after condo
Replies: 15
Views: 1223

Re: Strategy to sell a sought-after condo

Google FSBO in your state and find out what the legal requirements are and decide on how much work you want to do yourself and what you want someone else to do. We sold our last house in Colorado very easily. I found a real estate lawyer with a title company that specialized in assisting FSBOs. For...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just added Total Int'l Stock; add Total Int'l Bond too?
Replies: 25
Views: 2415

Re: Just added Total Int'l Stock; add Total Int'l Bond too?

International bonds seem like more of a no-brainer to me than international stocks. You get a little protection against dollar inflation, you get a little more risk and a little more yield. They help bonds suck less. Yesterday was a good example, where my US bonds lost .38% my internationals only l...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just added Total Int'l Stock; add Total Int'l Bond too?
Replies: 25
Views: 2415

Re: Just added Total Int'l Stock; add Total Int'l Bond too?

International bonds seem like more of a no-brainer to me than international stocks. You get a little protection against dollar inflation, you get a little more risk and a little more yield. They help bonds suck less. Yesterday was a good example, where my US bonds lost .38% my internationals only lo...
by essbeer
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family expecting “comps”
Replies: 38
Views: 5365

Re: Family expecting “comps”

Is there a chance that the "friend rate" they give you completely eliminates their profit, but they perceive your business to be higher margin and think you still made a little money off them even after the discount?
by essbeer
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does it make sense to buy a condo/house in Texas?
Replies: 97
Views: 7955

Re: Why would people buy condos/SFH in Texas?

Here's a more apples to apples comparison in the same building. Buy for 200k plus $700/month condo fee, and ~$300 a month property taxes. http://www.har.com/5150-hidalgo-street-806/sale_29326995 Rent for $1800-$2,000 a month: https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/Houston-TX/condo_type/28420288_zpid...
by essbeer
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does it make sense to buy a condo/house in Texas?
Replies: 97
Views: 7955

Re: Why would people buy condos/SFH in Texas?

Where you can rent a 200k downtown condo with a $500/month HOA for $700? I think it will cost more like $2000/month. Anything $700 for rent in central Houston is going to be "edgy" to say the least.