Search found 2950 matches

by neurosphere
Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab slashes ETF fees
Replies: 84
Views: 11947

Re: Schwab slashes ETF fees

I bought and sold SCHB earlier this week and bid-ask was about $0.01, at the most. In my case, the choice is between: 1) high ER mutual funds for the asset classes I desire (in the range of 0.7 - 1.3% expense ratios) 2) Vanguard ETFs with a $9 fee 3) Schwab ETFs with no fee. #1 is not a good option...
by neurosphere
Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Many Mutual Funds Do You Own?
Replies: 95
Views: 5061

Re: How Many Mutual Funds Do You Own?

I have 14 funds, but that is because I have 11 asset classes, with at least 5% target allocation to every one: 5% US LG 15% US LV 5% US SG 15% US SV 15% developed large 10% emerging large 10% developed small 5% emerging small 5% US real estate 5% foreign real estate 10% bonds Two of the three extra...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab slashes ETF fees
Replies: 84
Views: 11947

Re: Schwab slashes ETF fees

indexfundfan wrote: If you have the PCRA setup in your 401(k) plan, it will appear as an investment option in the Schwab 401(k) retirement website (just like any other investment option, for e.g. Pimco's Total Return Bond fund).
Found it!!! Thanks, that saved me a lot of time.

NS
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k fees
Replies: 28
Views: 3740

Re: 401k fees

@neurosphere, do you run or own a business? ... No. Another way to think of this: If the owner can make the worker-bees pay all the costs of the 401(k) plan, then the owners have saved themselves money and can give themselves a big year-end bonus. If the owner pays $5,000 a year in 401(k) fund fees...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab slashes ETF fees
Replies: 84
Views: 11947

Re: Schwab slashes ETF fees

My wife's 401k is with schwab, but doesn't allow for investments outside of the selected mutual funds...oh but WAIT! I logged in and poked around, and saw this PCRA option, which seems like it's similar to an "add-on" brokerage account to the 401k. I had read their literature on it in the past, and ...
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k fees
Replies: 28
Views: 3740

Re: 401k fees

I'm always surprised at the reason upper management allow their firm to have a high cost 401k. Because I assume that upper management and owners have 1) higher salaries, and 2) are more likely to contribute to their 401ks and 3) will tend to stay with the firm a long time. All of this leads to highe...
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the deal with free prescription cards?
Replies: 22
Views: 2091

Re: What's the deal with free prescription cards?

I'm not a pharmacist, but my guess would be that the Rx copay on your policy covers a one-month supply, but there is no distinction between a one-month and three-day supply in the copay pricing. Meanwhile, when paying cash you are paying for three pills instead of 30 pills, which may be individuall...
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the deal with free prescription cards?
Replies: 22
Views: 2091

Re: What's the deal with free prescription cards?

wow, I too am fascinated with this. Can yoiu help me understand the following transaction? I went to one of the chain pharmacies to fill a prescription for a short course of antibiotics. My co-pay was $30. I was about to pay, when it struck me that I was paying $10 per pill (one pill per day x 3 day...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will Your (TSM) Equity Bet Pay Off?
Replies: 222
Views: 13249

Re: Will Your (TSM) Equity Bet Pay Off?

Serious question... Restricting ourselves only to the world of US publicly traded companies. What is the lowest cost one can hold the "average" portfolio, aka TSM? In the form of ETF, VTI is 0.06%, right? I assume that's about as low as one can go? Now, what is the cheapest cost needed in order to t...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to my wife's health insurance?
Replies: 25
Views: 2427

Re: Switch to my wife's health insurance?

I'd like to add that there should be at some point, a suggestion that posting a listing of assets as "hers" and "mine" suggests that everyone here knows that it's probably a heterosexual couple. I like the old button that said "Don't Assume I'm Straight". This might be better discussed in its own t...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to NYC -- Advice on CC
Replies: 6
Views: 612

Re: Going to NYC -- Advice on CC

Just to emphasize. Taxi cabs are REQUIRED to accept credit cards. If you wish to use a credit card, do not be fooled by the "machine is broken". If the machine is truly broken, you will have a free ride! I have had 7-8 "broken machines" since credit card payments were mandated. And in each of those ...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase website is down
Replies: 5
Views: 1261

Chase website is down

http://www.chase.com is down, according to http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/

Is it just me, or have lots of financial sites had intermittent access issues recently? More than usual, I mean.
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to NYC -- Advice on CC
Replies: 6
Views: 612

Re: Going to NYC -- Advice on CC

I would not come to NYC with a Discover or AMEX alone. There are many places which do not take discover, and some places which do not take Amex, and some places which take neither. I'm thinking mostly of restaurants, but this applies to some merchants as well. On the other hand, if you ensured you h...
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: student loan repayment schedules
Replies: 2
Views: 420

Re: student loan repayment schedules

I don't think you are missing anything. By selecting the loan with the longest term, you get the maximum flexibility. The only problem is if you don't have discipline, or don't anticipate the rising payments which come with a longer term, graduated payment. I.e. suppose you can do 10 year fixed at $...
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth --> Money Market E-Fund
Replies: 10
Views: 843

Re: Backdoor Roth --> Money Market E-Fund

When you say temporary e-fund, how long do you anticipate? Also, I assume we are talking amounts less than $50,000, and probably a fraction of that, as opposed to say, $5 million? :D Although there is a risk of money market funds "breaking the buck" and you losing some of your principle, my sense is...
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pick up pennies?
Replies: 56
Views: 3677

Re: Do you pick up pennies?

bengal22 wrote:Yes I pick up pennies because you never know when a fuse might go out
Now, that's penny wise and pound foolish! :D
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds
Replies: 16
Views: 2204

Re: EE bonds

A coworker is getting a 15 year refinance at 2.75% and the closing cost is reported to be $100. Since there are buyers of these mortgages, there has to be some belief that we may have these unbelievably low rates for a long time. 5-6 years ago I was able to consolidate all my student loans with the...
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k fees
Replies: 28
Views: 3740

Re: 401k fees

Why waste time haggling with this 401k broker/insurance company? There are plenty of other good options out there who have the same offerings or better at a much lower cost. I believe Fidelity would give you a quote and Employee Fiduciary is highly recommended on here. Agreed. Get a quote or two, a...
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Gem: "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need"
Replies: 31
Views: 6161

Re: A Gem: "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need"

Here are a couple of other quotes which hopefully were updated: Internet investing positively teases you to play. It make you feel powerful--moving thousand of dollars in and out, click, click, click. Talk about computer games! -- Four things will surely get you: the commissions, the spreads, the ta...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pick up pennies?
Replies: 56
Views: 3677

Re: Do you pick up pennies?

Too much Ben Franklin wisdom inculcated into a Philly youth's schooling not to: "A penny saved is a penny earned." How much was one cent in Ben Franklin's day, in terms of today's cents? According to this site: http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/relativevalue.php the answer is somewhere betwee...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pick up pennies?
Replies: 56
Views: 3677

Re: Do you pick up pennies?

FabLab wrote:Too much Ben Franklin wisdom inculcated into a Philly youth's schooling not to:

"A penny saved is a penny earned."
How much was one cent in Ben Franklin's day, in terms of today's cents?
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will Your (TSM) Equity Bet Pay Off?
Replies: 222
Views: 13249

Re: Will Your (TSM) Equity Bet Pay Off?

The market is just the basket of all the traded securities. That's it. That's one definition yes. But also note, another definition is to use "market" as a shorthand for the "average market". In your definition, there is no concept of "average", no way to take your definition and apply any quantifi...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will Your (TSM) Equity Bet Pay Off?
Replies: 222
Views: 13249

Re: Will Your (TSM) Equity Bet Pay Off?

Yes, right. The important take away is the "market" is not defined by how it's weighted. It's defined by its holdings. Different weights of the same securities produces different exposures to the risk/return forces. And my point is that cap weighting these securities leads to a significant bias tow...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Tax withholding allowances
Replies: 8
Views: 807

Re: Income Tax withholding allowances

NS, I have a question about this. As I understand it, W-2 withholding, unlike an estimated tax payment, is deemed to have occurred evenly across the whole year, irrespective of when the money was withheld. So, in theory you could change your W-4 at the right time mid year and withhold your entire p...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Tax withholding allowances
Replies: 8
Views: 807

Re: Income Tax withholding allowances

Do any of you set an outrageously high number of allowances on your W-4 so that you have zero income taxes withdrawn on your paycheck? Careful, there are legal ways to do this, and illegal ways to do this. Briefly, the US tax system is basically pay as you go, not wait until april and pay at one ti...
by neurosphere
Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds
Replies: 16
Views: 2204

Re: EE bonds

Yep. I still like I-bonds, but also purchased some EE bonds as a hedge against long term low rates. Not that it's a significant portion of my portfolio, so it won't make much of a difference in the long run, but for otherwise short term money they are not a bad place to park cash and see what happen...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3094

Re: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 40

In another thread, someone asked about the SS COLA. Here is my stab at it.... If next months CPI-W is the same as this months (i.e. no change next month), then the 3 month average becomes 226.56. This would make the COLA for 2013 226.56/223.233 = 1.0149 which is an increase of 1.49% of course. NS I...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3094

Re: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 40

Thus, the 2013 IRA contribution limits will be increased to $5500. Right? I'm worn out. It's intellectually stimulating to understand what's going on but at the end of the day, does the extra $500 really make that big a difference? We are only doing this for fun. Too much time on our hands. The sma...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3094

Re: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 40

In another thread, someone asked about the SS COLA. Here is my stab at it. For reference, go here: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/latestCOLA.html The Q3 average CPI-W for 2011 is 223.233. We have the first two values for Q3 2012: 225.568 and 227.056. The average of those two numbers is 226.312. Using ...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3094

Re: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 40

[Note, edited to fix typos] Here is the math on IRA contributions, assuming the correct data to use is AVERAGE SEP-AUG CPI-U, compared to a baseline of the same 12 months ending in AUG 2007 when the IRA limits were set at $5000. So SEP 2006-AUG 2007 average CPI-U was: 204.873 The previous 12 months ...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3094

Re: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 40

As I read this, you average the last 12 months (4); you don't just take the August number Thank you for digging into the law. It looks like 401k uses Q3 average year over year but IRA uses 12-month Sept-Aug. average year over year. I thought they both use Q3 average. I will double check. Only SS us...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3094

Re: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 40

I confused with which inflation adjustments rely on the CPI-W vs. the CPI-U. The site at TFB doesn't explicitly specify. If IRA contribution limits are based on the CPI-U, then the limits will increase to $5500 provided the CPI-U next months is at least 227.69, which is 1.1% less than where it is t...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3094

Re: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 40

TFB has a great page that makes it easy to calculate the magic CPI-U number needed for adjustments to 401ks, IRAs, etc.: http://thefinancebuff.com/2012-401k-and-ira-contribution-limits.html I confused with which inflation adjustments rely on the CPI-W vs. the CPI-U. The site at TFB doesn't explicit...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Share a grocery list with wife.
Replies: 20
Views: 1913

Re: Share a grocery list with wife.

Google docs. (either a spread sheet or text document) This is one of the few case where the cloud actually adds functionality. Microsoft's Skydrive is also great for sharing Office applications. you could put the list in either Excel or Word, and then add items either from your desktop, on the web,...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best HSA custodian
Replies: 54
Views: 25622

Re: Best HSA custodian

With the pre-tax benefits, and taxes being deferred until withdrawal, isn't is practically a no lose situation? Just another tax-advantaged account. While we have limited uses for the funds, I'm sure that we will find ways to spend it since we have two little kids (4mo and 2 yr old). Thoughts? It's...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3094

Aug. CPI out today: Implications for Ibonds, IRAs and 401ks?

I didn't see a post on this yet so... The august CPI numbers were released this morning: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t01.htm The CPI-U is up 0.6% and the CPI-W is up 0.7 percent today (not seasonally adjusted). The august data give us 5 of 6 data points which are used to calculate I-bond inf...
by neurosphere
Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon & California
Replies: 9
Views: 1411

Re: Amazon & California

I think this is a more complex accounting issue than some people appreciate. E.g., I've begun to tell my small business clients who have online retailing operations that they may be put out of business if the federal laws change. Ok, very true. I do appreciate the complexity involved of collecting ...
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon & California
Replies: 9
Views: 1411

Re: Amazon & California

I think this is good news, and hope that all on-line sellers will someday be required to collect sales tax. Many (all?) states require one to pay sales tax on all on-line purchases. If it is not collected by the seller, then I have to keep track of each purchase myself and then declare the sales tax...
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:28 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: FED related topics locked or deleted
Replies: 2
Views: 954

Re: FED related topics locked or deleted

Well, those are the rules. There is not much more to say about it than that.
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE Bond Redemption Strategy
Replies: 9
Views: 993

Re: EE Bond Redemption Strategy

1) any bond over 30 years is earning the same amount of interest as the dimes in my couch cushions. Redeem those now. 2) After that, we can't give advice without knowing the age and amount of the bonds, as well as the amount he wants/needs to redeem. Sounds like it's in his best interests to make a ...
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do i use 401K money to invest in a business?
Replies: 17
Views: 1233

Re: How do i use 401K money to invest in a business?

I have been vetting the company for about 6 months now, been to their offices several times in Jacksonville, done credit and background checks on the principles and got plenty of references. They are very open in terms of looking at their books, bank statements, P&L Reports, Merchant Accounts to ve...
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: July CPI-U Released; I-bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 1966

Re: July CPI-U Released; I-bonds

Since the announcement is in mid-October, you have two months for speculation, not just one. You are correct there is only one more data point to support your speculation, because the second data point will end your suspense (assuming you know the round-off rules). While you are at it, why not gues...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Truly Disruptive Car Technology
Replies: 25
Views: 2704

Re: Truly Disruptive Car Technology

I'd hate to have to remove one of them from the grill of my E150! I think a two seater might be a winner, this model, not so much. Sam I Am I wonder, given the gyroscopic technology, if they might be much much safer than motorcycles. One can imaging dozens of scenarios where a motorcycles gets tapp...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zero income taxes in retirement?
Replies: 48
Views: 4418

Re: Zero income taxes in retirement?

http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/memos/income/m12_3i.pdf I guess we do disagree on vocabulary. There are 8 NYS income tax brackets. You conveniently started at the 40k of taxable income level with your breakdown of the brackets, leaving out of course: 0-16k: 4% 16k-22k: 4.5% 22k-26k: 5.25% 26k-40k: 5.95% ...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zero income taxes in retirement?
Replies: 48
Views: 4418

Re: Zero income taxes in retirement?

New York state has a progressive income tax. $40,001 to $150,000 --> 6.45% $150,001 to $300,000 --> 6.65% $300,001 to $2 million --> 6.85% I guess we disagree only on vocabulary. When someone making $2,000,000 pays a rate 0.4% higher than someone making $40,001, I call that flat. Yes I consider NY ...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Teaser: How many Vg funds and $ amount to own them all?
Replies: 14
Views: 1730

Re: Teaser: How many Vg funds and $ amount to own them all?

Funny, along these same lines, I was wondering what it might cost to buy one share of every stock in, say, the DOW, or the SP500, and get a physical certificate. For the sake of collecting rather than investing. It was sparked by the thread about the guy who bought one physical share of Pixar, which...
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 Comma Club
Replies: 60
Views: 8721

Re: 2 Comma Club

Having two commas is a nice achievement, but the meaning and format may vary by currency and location. In India, the notation would have this format, making it easier to reach 2 commas: 1,23,45,67,890.12 Jerry Whoa. Really? That looks so bizarre to my eyes. I never realized that some cultures may m...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fee shenanigans?
Replies: 13
Views: 1432

Re: 401k fee shenanigans?

Individualized fee disclosures should be coming to you by the end of November with a dollar amount/$1,000 in assets. Not hard to calculate, no, but just more of giving us the run-around. So in these individualized fee disclosures, listed as a dollar amount, WILL include ALL fees? So that one will b...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fee shenanigans?
Replies: 13
Views: 1432

Re: 401k fee shenanigans?

Individualized fee disclosures should be coming to you by the end of November with a dollar amount/$1,000 in assets. Not hard to calculate, no, but just more of giving us the run-around. So in these individualized fee disclosures, listed as a dollar amount, WILL include ALL fees? So that one will b...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fee shenanigans?
Replies: 13
Views: 1432

Re: 401k fee shenanigans?

My 401K charges a similar fee for record keeping. I've worked out the percentages. It costs me 0.4% per year (charged quarterly) for the 401K administrator (not Schwab), and ~ 0.05% a year (again charged quarterly) for the record keeping at Schwab. It wasn't mentioned in my 401K fee disclosure stat...