Search found 1693 matches

by Random Poster
Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are 401k's tied to employers?
Replies: 37
Views: 6246

I have been told (and have no reason to doubt the statement's veracity) that 401k plans were phased in as a substitute for pensions, which is why they are (essentially) tied to employers.
by Random Poster
Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Albuquerque Balloon Festival
Replies: 14
Views: 2085

I would not think it would be difficult to find accommodations in October but we shall see. FYI, the NMOGA annual conference is in Santa Fe on October 3-5. Sometimes conference hotels can be a good deal. More info here: http://www.nmoga.org/default.asp?CustComKey=361910&CategoryKey=361935&pn=Page&D...
by Random Poster
Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills - What should I consider?
Replies: 7
Views: 1502

Assuming that you and your spouse are the biological parents of the child, you need to consider, at a minimum, who will take care of the child if both of you should die before the child reaches the age of majority, and how it will handle (and/or get receipt of) any monies/property that you devise to...
by Random Poster
Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Albuquerque Balloon Festival
Replies: 14
Views: 2085

I remember at one point, they had you park your car and walk off the road a short distance. There was this really spectacular view of the Rio Grande. If we hadn't had the booklet, we never would have known it existed. Yes, this is definitely worth a visit. Here's a blog posting about it: http://inn...
by Random Poster
Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Albuquerque Balloon Festival
Replies: 14
Views: 2085

I've never been, but I hear that the balloon festival is wonderful. That said, and I don't mean to be negative, but Santa Fe is, in my view, one of the most overrated places in the US. But if you must go, at least do the "must sees" and talk a walk around the plaza, hit up the various churches (try ...
by Random Poster
Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My battle with our IRA administrator
Replies: 14
Views: 3149

Re: Finally

Another lesson: Thanks to replies to my questions here I have learned that Churches and church school employees do not have the protection of laws and rules that protect everyone else. This is certainly something to keep in mind if someone is considering taking a teaching position at a church school.
by Random Poster
Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wells Fargo "International Personal Banking"
Replies: 28
Views: 6499

You do not have to accept the currency exchange fee! As I mentioned, I have a Fidelity credit card with zero fee. So the Fidelity credit card does not pass through the 1% that Visa/MC charge for out-of-country transactions? My understanding is that the Capital One and Schwab (no longer offered to n...
by Random Poster
Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wells Fargo "International Personal Banking"
Replies: 28
Views: 6499

I saw this practice blow up on a colleague. I was working in Malaysia in 1997 and he was in Thailand. In January each year he would wire transfer the entire year's local living expenses. Well, part way through 1997 the Asian Currency crisis hit and the Thai Baht was dramatically devalued. The Cost ...
by Random Poster
Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wells Fargo "International Personal Banking"
Replies: 28
Views: 6499

You do not have to accept the currency exchange fee! As I mentioned, I have a Fidelity credit card with zero fee. So the Fidelity credit card does not pass through the 1% that Visa/MC charge for out-of-country transactions? My understanding is that the Capital One and Schwab (no longer offered to n...
by Random Poster
Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wells Fargo "International Personal Banking"
Replies: 28
Views: 6499

I considering accepting an expat position, although the job would involve me remaining on US payroll and being paid in USD, but getting tax equalized. The biggest hitch for me, I guess, would be how to get local money without being nailed each and every time with currency exchange fees, but I can't ...
by Random Poster
Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sample question from the CPA exam
Replies: 49
Views: 6292

But if you want to take your argument to the courthouse, be my guest. I just don't think that you'll win. Here's the abstract of a paper on this topic titled "Is an Advertisement an Offer? Why it is, and Why it Matters". (Full article download here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_i...
by Random Poster
Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sample question from the CPA exam
Replies: 49
Views: 6292

I already showed why A is the correct answer, but even if you don't know the answer to the question, you can review the choices to narrow it down. That is one reason why you should see that the answer is definitely not C . If C is true, then B is also true. If there was no offer, then there is cert...
by Random Poster
Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How To Sell a Car Quickly
Replies: 24
Views: 3932

How To Sell a Car Quickly

I may be moving to a foreign country soon and will need to get rid of a 2002 Honda Civic. It is in reasonable condition, with less than 70,000 miles, and mechanically sound, so surely someone would find it worthwhile to buy. My question, however, is how do I find this person? What is the best way to...
by Random Poster
Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sample question from the CPA exam
Replies: 49
Views: 6292

Re: Sample question from the CPA exam

Released: 2/9/2010 Difficulty: Easy Section: Regulation Question: George reads an ad in the newspaper that has the following language: "Come visit our new auto dealership! The first ten visitors at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday morning get a new BMW for a mere $43,000!" George goes to the dealership on Wedne...
by Random Poster
Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawyers, what is your practice area and billing rate?
Replies: 61
Views: 9199

The "you get what you pay for" comment, at least in law, depends on what kind of law is being practiced. Would I want a $200 an hour M&A attorney running a $500M deal, or would I want a $750 an hour M&A attorney running it? I'd go with the $750 an hour one. Maybe I end up overpaying, but if the $200...
by Random Poster
Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you save more money?
Replies: 59
Views: 7197

Agree with SpecialK22 - if you are saving 35%, you are an aggressive saver. To say that saving 35% is an easy savings rate is to say you are living under a rock because you have no real life expenses such as rent, mortgage, student loan, medical bills, insurance expense, no FICA, no food expense, n...
by Random Poster
Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 100 Items Challenge-Could you do it? Would you even want to?
Replies: 88
Views: 10982

Prepare for the worst. Nothing is impossible. Prepare for authoritarian regimes (Nazis were democratically elected to power). Prepare for peak oil. Prepare for economic collapse. Prepare for terrorist attacks. Prepare for electric grid failure, and all of USA descending into Hurricane Katrina-like ...
by Random Poster
Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 100 Items Challenge-Could you do it? Would you even want to?
Replies: 88
Views: 10982

In terms of liquidity & mobility, here are my measures.. 1) Fly Out Scenario . Would you be able to leave the country at any moment, and by tomorrow afternoon, be standing on a street corner in Paris, with a briefcase of cash, that represents 99% of your net worth. This is pretty ridiculous, especi...
by Random Poster
Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing jobs and have 2 weeks to use $700 of FSA money
Replies: 19
Views: 2077

As far as donations, I believe you have to buy them for yourself or your dependents (that you claim on your tax return) personal use only. Check with your FSA administrator, they might not approve $700 of tylenol. How this would be enforced I have no idea. One way around this is that many FSAs allo...
by Random Poster
Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing jobs and have 2 weeks to use $700 of FSA money
Replies: 19
Views: 2077

I believe OTC medications no longer can be used for FSA. I guess it depends on the plan. Mine allows it. In 2011, I believe, no FSA can be used for OTC meds, unless the same are prescribed by one's doctor, pursuant to the Health Care Reform law. ETA: See http://www.taxgirl.com/health-care-reform-bi...
by Random Poster
Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing jobs and have 2 weeks to use $700 of FSA money
Replies: 19
Views: 2077

Pre-pay for medical/dental/vision care.

Stock up on OTC meds.

Call up a homeless/women's shelter and ask what items they need, buy the same, and donate them.
by Random Poster
Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To Mac or not to Mac? That is the question...
Replies: 304
Views: 29422

Look into the educator discount for the Mac, if you are eligible for it. It can bring the cost down significantly and--sometimes--get you extras for free or at very low cost. I've got a macbook at home and use a PC laptop at work. The macbook just works. Seamlessly. It takes some getting used to, bu...
by Random Poster
Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Low Rates Cutting into Bank Profits
Replies: 7
Views: 1235

I guess that there is a potential problem in the offering, should interest rates rise:

Low-interest rate loans that have been made and that remain on the books, coupled with depositors who are demanding better returns on their money market and savings accounts.
by Random Poster
Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth it? Expensive house, better schools, shorter commute?
Replies: 48
Views: 8663

I'm curious why the taxes are so much less on the "new" house, and if they are expected to increase significantly.
by Random Poster
Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Frequently contributing to a taxable account -bad for taxes?
Replies: 19
Views: 2371

I contribute the same amount of money (low 4 figures) every week to a taxable account. I like to think that I keep good records; I write down the amount invested, the share price of the investment, and the number of shares purchased the day following the investment day. Some may say that my weekly i...
by Random Poster
Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ditching our cable TV
Replies: 46
Views: 7874

They do have free streaming movies and TV shows with this type of contract and you can watch unlimited via your Internet connection. I use a roku player on one TV and use the Wii on the other TV. Works also on ipad, laptop and a lot of other devices. Not all movies can be streamed though (around 10...
by Random Poster
Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What should I do with a $22k loss?
Replies: 12
Views: 2228

If you are single, find a nice partner who has $22K in capital gains, get married, and call it even. :D
by Random Poster
Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: living in a 89 square foot house
Replies: 62
Views: 11856

It does not take much googling to find many websites pertaining to small houses and tiny homes. I've currently got my eye on a 700 square foot floor plan. Like others have stated, for future living needs a key requirement is a first-floor bedroom and wide doorways, which this plan offers. I think th...
by Random Poster
Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax tips for single, high income renters
Replies: 46
Views: 6618

I have no idea how you can earn no interest or taxable dividends, assuming that you are moderately diversified. You could purchase stocks that paid no dividends. BerkshireHathaway comes to mind. For bonds, I used a NY-triple-tax-free bond fund when I lived in NY. The "triple" is because the bonds i...
by Random Poster
Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax tips for single, high income renters
Replies: 46
Views: 6618

I'm curious to know what the proposed answer(s) are myself. As far as I can tell, a single renter that is a W-2 employee and who doesn't want to get married, have children, or buy a house doesn't seem to have many options. Maxing out a 401(K) only takes away $16,500 (more if you are older). I have n...
by Random Poster
Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions on Places to Live
Replies: 18
Views: 2868

Thanks again. One note, however: I don't have to live in a place that offers public or mass transit. I'm not entirely sure where such an impression comes from, but that's not a requirement of mine. By being "car optional," I simply mean "a city that is small enough to get around on by foot or bicycl...
by Random Poster
Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions on Places to Live
Replies: 18
Views: 2868

Thanks everyone. I appreciate all of the links, information, and comments. I had no idea about those websites.
by Random Poster
Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions on Places to Live
Replies: 18
Views: 2868

Suggestions on Places to Live

I'm considering a lifestyle change, but I'm not entirely sure what geographical location would support such a change. For background, I currently work in an office doing legal stuff, in a large semi-tropical and often humid city in Texas, make pretty good money, rent a 1100 square foot apartment nea...
by Random Poster
Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mail in rebates
Replies: 14
Views: 2122

What is/are the substantive difference(s) between a rebate and a coupon?
by Random Poster
Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about vacationing in Australia
Replies: 11
Views: 1827

There is far more to Australia than just Sydney.

A visit to Australia should not, in my view, be undertaken unless you are planning to spend at least 2 weeks there.
by Random Poster
Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I hate dealership service departments!
Replies: 53
Views: 8372

I took my Honda in for an oil change plus all the checks. I let it go in with zero windshield washer fluid. They checked off it was full. What use is taking a vehicle to a dealership when they just write down check marks and don't check things? Legal liability of the parent company and the potentia...
by Random Poster
Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why dont't we teach personal finance in our public schools?
Replies: 108
Views: 10414

Because it is not on any standardized test and not part of the NCLB mandate(s).
by Random Poster
Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What car would you get if you made $2M a year?
Replies: 106
Views: 14081

LTAccumulator wrote:The finest mass produced car ever made, the Lexus LS460. I have one now
+1 (less the "I have one now" part).
by Random Poster
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How many of you would quit your jobs with $2MM @ 55 yrs old
Replies: 111
Views: 18549

Assuming that my residence was paid for, I'd probably retire if: I had $1M at age 60; I had $1.5M to $1.75M at age 50; I had $2M to $2.25M at age 40; or I had $2.5M to $2.75M at age 35. I suspect that you could drop the numbers needed for retiring in the 50 and below years by $1M if you wanted to li...
by Random Poster
Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ARG! Can I reduce my car expense?
Replies: 84
Views: 10351

I know the Boglehead way is to drive your car into the ground, but what cost do you put on safety? I recently traded in my 8 year old van for a new one. The safety features, traction control, many more air bags, crumple zones, etc. far outweighed my frugal nature. Any one else think this way? Same ...
by Random Poster
Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how are Mutual funds cost basis assesed?
Replies: 4
Views: 1057

Re: how are Mutual funds cost basis assesed?

at the risk to sounding like a noob.. this will be at Vanguard in a taxable account. I have been buying/selling stocks and ETFs as opposed to mutual funds. I have had MFs in tax shelters but not in the taxable accounts. Up til now, all my dividends are cash back as opposed to a drips. In a taxable ...
by Random Poster
Thu May 27, 2010 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: King or Queen Size Bed? What Brand?
Replies: 50
Views: 10970

Buying a mattress can be an absolute pain. To minimize the difficulty, I just buy the W Hotel bed through the Westin/W at home website. I believe that the bed is a Simmons model. If you watch for discounts, sometimes you can get the bed (and featherbed, and pillows, and so on) up to 40% off, pay no ...
by Random Poster
Wed May 26, 2010 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship with bank?
Replies: 31
Views: 4135

For amounts over $100K, I bank hop. For my checking account and small-time funds, I stay with one bank. are you saying you are sitting on that much cash? do you need the liquidity or the cash? just curious as it is currently painful to sit in cash and essentially you are shorting global markets by ...
by Random Poster
Wed May 26, 2010 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship with bank?
Replies: 31
Views: 4135

For amounts over $100K, I bank hop.

For my checking account and small-time funds, I stay with one bank.
by Random Poster
Wed May 19, 2010 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most interesting thing to see in the world?
Replies: 113
Views: 14880

Re: Most interesting thing to see in the world?

Does anyone want to recommend the most amazing thing that we should consider putting on our list? I'll second the recommendation for Angkor. I never really wanted to visit the place, but I was in the area and figured that I might as well stop by and see it, and was awed by the experience. Actually,...
by Random Poster
Mon May 17, 2010 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Suzie Orman Show. Not bad.
Replies: 45
Views: 6854

You might find a recent NY Times article on her to be worthwhile reading. See here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/magazine/17orman-t.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=suze%20orman&st=cse Two noteworthy excerpts from the article: Orman began her career as a stockbroker in 1980 and then started her own financial...
by Random Poster
Wed May 12, 2010 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth Obsession-NyTimes
Replies: 107
Views: 16401

Interesting article. I poked around the referenced NetworthIQ site, and what's interesting is that many of the profiles I viewed for the people with high net worth had huge amounts of cash (eg. Net worth 1M, with 300k in cash). It appears that most of them are achieving their net worth through very...
by Random Poster
Wed May 12, 2010 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you do your own taxes?
Replies: 78
Views: 10608

I do my own taxes. I do them by hand. No software. My own taxes have become more complex over time and involve multiple forms and schedules, but they aren't difficult. I suspect that anyone with a college degree from a reputable institution is able to do their own taxes. And I think that they should...
by Random Poster
Tue May 11, 2010 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tree overhang
Replies: 24
Views: 4799

Just a thought: Stand near the fence when your neighbor is throwing over the tree limbs. Move in such a manner so as to get hit by said limb. Upon contact with said limb, seek medical treatment immediately, and initiate a lawsuit against the neighbor for negligence, battery, and any other legal theo...
by Random Poster
Tue May 11, 2010 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Daily Rebalancing?
Replies: 12
Views: 2254

If it is in a taxable account, I'd think taxes would be one potential downside. And record-keeping could be a bear.