Search found 545 matches

by danaht
Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider? fees? ease of use etc?
Replies: 44
Views: 9924

Re: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider? fees? ease of use etc?

I started a new job 3 months ago - and my new company's 401k is also though Empower. I have checked and there are no recurring maintenance fees - other than the fees that are charged in the mutual funds. The only index fund they offer in the plan is the Vanguard Institutional S&P 500 fund with a .01...
by danaht
Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 1247
Views: 107152

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

I think investing in international should be done by most to diversify - as long as you are doing it with a cap weighted index. That way you are investing in the largest international companies. It's the small international companies that would scare me away. But I am fine with investing into compan...
by danaht
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health care question - self employed- Whats your plan? Advice Needed
Replies: 24
Views: 2020

Re: Health care question - self employed- Whats your plan? Advice Needed

As a self employed individual in TX this year - health insurance became so expensive for me. It was a very easy decision to make when a mega corp offered me a full time W2 position.
by danaht
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UPDATE: Credit Card Fraud - $30K
Replies: 66
Views: 8696

Re: Credit Card Fraud - $30K

The labor of monitoring accounts and increased fraud risk (with a tradeoff between the two) is a less-appreciated background expense of gaming credit card accounts. File under no free lunch. How soon can you usually close a credit card account - once you have received the free sign-up rewards? The ...
by danaht
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UPDATE: Credit Card Fraud - $30K
Replies: 66
Views: 8696

Re: Credit Card Fraud - $30K

Sorry to hear about this. One thing I would say is to never use the same password for any of your accounts. Use a password manager like "Password Safe" (https://www.pwsafe.org/) to create and store random complex passwords that are unique for each account you have. That way if a thief hacks a site -...
by danaht
Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today
Replies: 71
Views: 7083

Re: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today

I am neutral on GE. Seems like it has gone down enough to were it might be an OK purchase. Having said that - the past management has made some really bad business decisions. This included selling parts of their businesses (ie financial) when the these businesses were valued at extreme lows - and th...
by danaht
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Roth conversions a no-brainer for me?
Replies: 22
Views: 2291

Re: Are Roth conversions a no-brainer for me?

If it wasn't for the state taxes - I would say it probably does make sense to convert at 12%. But even with the state taxes it might make sense. I reside in a no income tax state (TX) - and may retire in a high income tax state (CA). Because I'll probably be in a higher tax situation later - I am co...
by danaht
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get 2nd number on smartphone?
Replies: 22
Views: 2373

Re: How to get 2nd number on smartphone?

If your using Android - Google Voice (also accessible via Google Hangouts) is the easy and "free" option to get a 2nd number. It seems to be free for most domestic US calls and there is no monthly fee. Google will assign you a free local number - or you can a pay a little fee to transfer another num...
by danaht
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REIT placement... Why not a Roth? Why tax-deferred?
Replies: 25
Views: 1726

Re: REIT placement... Why not a Roth? Why tax-deferred?

Due to recent tax reform - taxable is not a bad place for an individual REIT stock since you now get up to a 20% tax deduction. It's still preferred to put all REITs in a tax advantaged account because REITs pay large dividends. Also, if your buying a REIT index fund (or ETF) like VNQ - definitely p...
by danaht
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe:Don’t Go “Mad Money”
Replies: 22
Views: 3464

Re: Larry Swedroe:Don’t Go “Mad Money”

If people invested in the "FAANG" stocks the day Cramer created the acronym - they probably would have done much better than the S&P 500 index - since technology has been the #1 sector the last couple of years. Having said that - he also gets picks wrong too. So - stay the course and invest in mostl...
by danaht
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?
Replies: 83
Views: 19547

Re: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?

I have an HSA through Optum Bank as required by my employer to receive their contribution. You're not required to keep the money there, though. The cash drag on $5,000 earning 0.2% is something over $100 per year, depending on what other fixed income you compare it to. I just got a new job where th...
by danaht
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AT&T Stock?
Replies: 20
Views: 2760

Re: AT&T Stock?

I have some AT&T stock. Still prefer to buy indexes - but I will buy individual company stock as well. AT&T is a dividend aristocrat - but that alone does not mean they will be able to keep on paying and raising the dividend. AT&T has made a few mistakes recently - and so the stock price has suffered.
by danaht
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index-ish fund that lacks FAANG?
Replies: 45
Views: 4818

Re: Index-ish fund that lacks FAANG?

I believe FAANG are all in the large cap indexes. Just buy a medium or small cap index fund (VBR). That should exclude your FAANG stocks. Also foreign indexes like VEA, and VWO would exclude FAANG stocks. Although - VWO might have similar Chinese FAANG stocks like Alibaba and Tencent.
by danaht
Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property tax + deductions
Replies: 25
Views: 3304

Re: Property tax + deductions

Yes, $10,000 is the limit per year for state and local taxes (including property taxes). I will no longer be able to bunch my property taxes starting with 2018. On the positive side - I have decided to convert more to a Roth - because income brackets are a little lower for the next 6 years. Although...
by danaht
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: massive Roth conversion
Replies: 40
Views: 3765

Re: massive Roth conversion

Another consideration would be whether or not you wish to make Roth contributions, since the phase-out limits would limit how much you can convert. :confused ... It is my understanding that a Roth conversion has no effect on how much you can contribute to a Roth - since Roth IRA conversions are not...
by danaht
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: transferring funds from individual 401k to T Ira?
Replies: 6
Views: 370

Re: transferring funds from individual 401k to T Ira?

Vanguard can easily rollover the 401k to a IRA. But, since that is a solo 401k - you are probably "closing" the 401k by rolling it into a traditional IRA. If that is the case - then be sure to file all the tax forms. One of the forms I believe is the 5500 EZ - and it needs to be completed soon after...
by danaht
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on IT Certification program
Replies: 93
Views: 4700

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Another approach is to become the main (or only) IT support person at a small 20 to 50 person company. It's easy to get this type of job - because it doesn't pay much. Do this for a year - while also getting certificates in areas that you would like to work on (networking, programming, etc.) After a...
by danaht
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in real estate with Roth IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 905

Re: Investing in real estate with Roth IRA

If you want to invest in real estate in a Roth - i would just buy shares of VNQ instead of trying to do something as complex as you mentioned.
by danaht
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord Maintenance at 3 Years - Am I Getting Hosed?
Replies: 95
Views: 6058

Re: Honda Accord Maintenance at 3 Years - Am I Getting Hosed?

brake fluid dirty: $169.95 most likely not necessary with only 8,000 miles. engine air filter dirty: $57 - you can easily do this yourself for about $8 at Autozone or Walmart a/c cabin filter dirty: $99.99 - you can easily do this yourself for about $8 at Autozone or Walmart tires rotation: $27.95 -...
by danaht
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to obtain older ROTH contribution #'s
Replies: 20
Views: 2687

Re: Best way to obtain older ROTH contribution #'s

Simple solution: just don't withdraw from the Roth until you're wife is 59.5 years old. Use (or build up) your emergency fund if/when you need cash.
by danaht
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: View Vanguard account within Schwab (connected accounts)
Replies: 17
Views: 1481

Re: View Vanguard account within Schwab (connected accounts)

I am hoping that these brokerage firms will start allowing us to create "robo user id's" that have limited access to your account. Then I would feel more comfortable about entering the user name, and password for these sites. Until then - I am just keeping track of all my investments on Google Drive.
by danaht
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put international?
Replies: 35
Views: 3857

Re: Where to put international?

I like to put the international funds that produce mostly unqualified dividends in my tax advantaged accounts (emerging markets ie VWO, SCHE) For the international funds that produce mostly qualified dividends (ie developed international VEA, or SCHF)- I like to place in a taxable account. note: som...
by danaht
Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 366
Views: 21076

Re: What are your property taxes?

In NJ (Monmouth County), my taxes are ~$10,000/yr. I was recently hit with a $2,000 increase in 2017. In NJ, there is a law on the books that the "rate" can only increased no more than 2% annually without special approval by the state. However, in my area they actually re-accessed the land and stru...
by danaht
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA question
Replies: 13
Views: 1132

Re: HSA question

There can be no general health insurance coverage before the minimum HSA plan type deductible is met: There can be no co-pay or co-insurance plan payments even if just for prescriptions. Actually you, can have a HSA qualified plan that bypasses the deductible on prescriptions that are "preventative...
by danaht
Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new thinking under 2018 tax law?
Replies: 21
Views: 3568

Re: new thinking under 2018 tax law?

The 24% tax bracket is the bracket with the highest percentage savings with an almost 4% difference from the old rates. I'm using this opportunity to do Roth conversions every year. I stop converting once I reach the 32% bracket. <i'm using the single bracket>
by danaht
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?
Replies: 55
Views: 6569

Re: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?

You Tube TV is the best. Allows you to record, fast forward, and rewind live-tv. Most other streaming services charge a great deal of extra $$$ for this as an add-on.
by danaht
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: converting some traditional IRA to Roth
Replies: 45
Views: 2754

Re: converting some traditional IRA to Roth

Until I reach 60% deferred, and 40% Roth among my IRA/401k accounts - I will keep converting as long as the tax brackets currently stay in place. 60/40 is a great hedge on any future outcomes. I don't think I'll have enough time to finish converting - since I probably will only have 6 years for this...
by danaht
Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Existing Roth IRA
Replies: 15
Views: 858

Re: Existing Roth IRA

please do not do partial conversions. you backdoor the entire amount each year. otherwise you are paying unnecessary taxes and complicated your returns. If your in a situation where you only have the after tax contribution in your IRA (like most people doing a backdoor Roth) - then I agree that you...
by danaht
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Existing Roth IRA
Replies: 15
Views: 858

Re: Existing Roth IRA

You can just leave your Roth the way it is - you just can't contribute to it directly. You can, however, still contribute to a traditional IRA on an after tax basis. When you do this - just be sure to keep track of your after tax basis (the total money you contributed to all your IRAs after taxes). ...
by danaht
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holding REITs in 401k- Brokeragelink
Replies: 4
Views: 512

Re: Holding REITs in 401k- Brokeragelink

Might be a good strategy - if you are good at picking stocks to hold for the long term. A lot of people do not like to buy individual stocks because individual stocks require constant monitoring and can be unpredictable - even after doing a lot of research. Using a brokerage-link to buy a REIT ETF l...
by danaht
Mon May 28, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index vs 500 Index
Replies: 18
Views: 5111

Re: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index vs 500 Index

If I had a choice - I would pick total stock market - since you get small and mid cap exposure too. My 401k only offers the institutional Vanguard S&P 500 fund - as the only index fund. So, I happily pick that one too, if given no choice. No complaints here.
by danaht
Mon May 28, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

Re: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40

If you stay with a company for too long - sometimes they can take advantage of your situation. It sounds like you have enough experience to have that "senior" title. You might consider changing employers for a couple years - and if you really like your current company - go back and get re-hired as a...
by danaht
Thu May 24, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have a side biz: Should I transfer and then close my biz checking account?
Replies: 11
Views: 941

Re: Have a side biz: Should I transfer and then close my biz checking account?

You would know if it is taxed as a S-corp - because you would have to file a 1120s (usually one month before personal taxes are due). There are very big fines if you forget to file it. Also, you would need to run payroll, and file 940, 941, and a state unemployment tax forms for yourself as an emplo...
by danaht
Fri May 18, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving taxable investments...tax-free?
Replies: 18
Views: 2474

Re: Moving taxable investments...tax-free?

This depends on the brokerage you are transferring to - if they can accept (and can hold) your mutual funds. If the mutual funds you are moving are Vanguard funds - then Vanguard should be able to hold those. If the mutual funds are Fidelity or some other brand of fund - then Vanguard may not be abl...
by danaht
Sat May 12, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TD Ameritrade user? Question regarding selling Free ETFs
Replies: 55
Views: 6827

Re: TD Ameritrade user? Question regarding selling Free ETFs

It certainly would be nice if TDAmeritrade WARNED clients just before they clicked on "Confirm" if the order they were submitting would result in a fee along with the exact amount of the fee. And that means no mushy words like "There may be a fee." As it stands, if one doesn't investigate on their ...
by danaht
Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon to raise Prime membership in US to $119 from $99
Replies: 145
Views: 12548

Re: Amazon to raise Prime membership in US to $119 from $99

If you search for deals - you can probably still keep Prime for $99 or less: 1) Student prime membership is substantially less 2) Ibotta and other coupon sites - usually have a "save $20 / or get a $20 gift card" offer on Prime membership deal. The only reason I subscribe to Prime is for Amazon vide...
by danaht
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 22
Views: 1987

Re: Two Solo 401k Questions

According to Rover.com - it gives you some protection (up to 1,000,000). So I would continue to use Rover.com, if your assets are under 1,000,000. I think it only makes sense to stop using Rover.com - if you plan to create a business with many employees. In that case - creating the LLC, and getting ...
by danaht
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I continue to hold REITs?
Replies: 53
Views: 6813

Re: Should I continue to hold REITs?

REITs tend to be cyclical. We are in a down cycle right now due the rapid rise in interest rates, and to a lesser extent the brick and mortar "retail apocalypse" fear. If you are not comfortable holding during this down cycle - then definitely sell . I like to buy during these times - so I will be b...
by danaht
Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Transfer Index Fund from Fidelity To Vanguard
Replies: 13
Views: 1399

Re: Help Transfer Index Fund from Fidelity To Vanguard

Sorry to disappoint, but you'll have to sell the funds (FSTVX?) for the equivalent VG VTSAX and that will trigger capital gains. You may be able to hold Fidelity in VG however my impression is you want to go all Vanguard funds. That's why I no longer buy non-Vanguard mutual funds in taxable account...
by danaht
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Megacorp?
Replies: 62
Views: 5412

Re: What is Megacorp?

I would consider most large cap companies mega corps. Usually these have large HR departments, and a large bureaucracy.
by danaht
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large Single Stock Position - Can't Sell - Retirement Account
Replies: 45
Views: 3811

Re: Large Single Stock Position - Can't Sell - Retirement Account

Count it as part of your stock equity. Vanguard will even classify it for you as small cap / medium cap / large cap and the type of sector (real estate, energy, technology, retail, etc) Everyone who holds the S & P 500 index is already overweight with Apple, and other fang stocks - so it's just one ...
by danaht
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I invest in an HSA even though I don't go to the hospital much?
Replies: 18
Views: 2055

Re: Should I invest in an HSA even though I don't go to the hospital much?

You definitely should save in a HSA. (if you are eligible to do so). Even if you stay healthy and never use it - you can still withdraw the money as if it were a traditional IRA later. But chances are - your medical expenses will be your biggest expense when you get older. Using a HSA to pay for med...
by danaht
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor recently burglarized- Suggestions for home security
Replies: 101
Views: 10536

Re: Neighbor recently burglarized- Suggestions for home security

I find that having a big dog that stays in the house most of the time helpful. Any big dog will work. Even a big friendly golden retriever with a loud bark will deter a lot of potential thieves. Of course you should like dogs before you get one.
by danaht
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comparison of grocery prices?
Replies: 47
Views: 4891

Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

I pick up items in different places usually - (because I like different items at Target / Kroger / Walmart / Aldis / Sprouts) - everything is in Dallas / Fort Worth This is what I usually get every week: Target 1 gallon milk - $1.98 32 oz "light" non fat vanilla yogurt - $1.79 organic celery stalk -...
by danaht
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH Conversion and 1040ES estimated tax
Replies: 14
Views: 1238

Re: ROTH Conversion and 1040ES estimated tax

The easy way to take care of estimated taxes if your employed - just increase the withholding from your pay checks. You can usually tell your employer you want to issue a new W4 and have them take out an extra $500 per period. Of course this only works if you did the conversion in the early part of ...
by danaht
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Edge sold my ETFs without my consent, SEC, FINRA, CFPB?
Replies: 89
Views: 9477

Re: Merrill Edge sold my ETFs without my consent, SEC, FINRA, CFPB?

Sorry about Merrill Edge/Bank Of America closing your accounts. If I ever get a letter that one of my accounts is being closed - I would probably transfer all my accounts with that provider (not just one). So next time - close (or transfer) all your accounts before they do! Also you might consider c...
by danaht
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Solo 401k As Strategy For Backdoor Roth
Replies: 2
Views: 344

Re: Solo 401k As Strategy For Backdoor Roth

[*]Finally, fully understand the Form 5500-EZ reporting requirements. You are required to file the form when the year-end balance exceeds $250K. Such as when you rollover a large IRA balance that came from a 401k. The filing date for this is 07/31 of the following year and has nothing to do with yo...
by danaht
Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099
Replies: 24
Views: 1674

Re: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099

Three big advantages for 1099: 1) 1099 gives you the ability to put more money in a solo 401k or SEP 2) 1099 gives you the ability to deduct your healthcare premiums (if you do not qualify for a subsidy) 3) Self employed can "expense" some business expenses which will reduce your taxes. 1099 disadva...
by danaht
Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefit of after tax 401k contribution?
Replies: 14
Views: 1498

Re: Benefit of after tax 401k contribution?

When you leave your employer - you can usually rollover the after tax contributions to a Roth, and all the earnings it generated to a rollover IRA. So - it's a huge benefit. I wish I had this option in my 401k!
by danaht
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to short the equity market
Replies: 97
Views: 6991

Re: Best way to short the equity market

You can always open a margin account and open a short-sell order for an ETF like VOO, or VTI. I would not recommend this - you will probably lose an unlimited amount of money!