On Witchy Feelings About My Index Fund

"the cost basis tab ... it shows me how much I originally put in" Not quite. It shows you what you originally put in, plus the amounts of dividends/interest/capital gains that have been "paid out" to you and which have/will show up on a 1099 at year end. Example (simple one): On 1/1/13, you put $10,000 into a fund that is entirely stock that pays exactly $500 in annual dividends. In Jan-14, you get a 1099 for $500 of dividend income, and your cost basis will show $10,500. After ten years, you'll have a cost basis of $15,000, which you use to determine your taxable gain if you sell.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm 0

On How Taylor Swift Does Money

"What percentage of her income do you think she spends on housing? Just the 30% the experts advise? " Well, if you're talking cash purchase, you need to look at the inverse--it's something like 3 to 4 times one's annual income is what you should look to buy. But, of course, in her tier of assets, it's all about allocations--is $40 million allocated to real estate too much? If she has $150 million plus in other assets (cash, stocks, etc, airplane(s), art, jewelry), then I'd say certainly not; if it's more like "only" another $40-50m (so she's like 50% in 3 houses) then she's over-allocated and possibly going the Nic Cage route eventually.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm 2

On How Taylor Swift Does Money

@therealjaygatsby "It’s insane that a person who sings songs can buy $37 million in property." What about a guy who *sells* other people's songs being a billionaire? [Branson] We are in the era of the "WTF? How's *that* worth a billion?" runs rampant--hedge fund dudes get paid for betting right with *other people's money*. That's *far* more insane than someone taking in $20 each from 50,000,000 people (or $100 each from 10 million) who like to hear her sing. Seems totally plausible and fully understandable to me.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm 2

On Jimmy John's Non-Compete Agreement Bans Employees From Working at Restaurants that Serve Sandwiches

@NoReally " non-compete clauses are all about intimidating the ignorant, and completely unenforceable" Depends upon the state. And, even then, someone working front-line for a retailer, "completely unenforceable" is right. Now, if you're "Director of Research" or CFO or something, they become possibly enforceable even in the states where they are generally unenforceable. But for a sandwich maker? GTFOOH.

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 3:39 pm 0

On Amazon vs Target, and How "Transparent" Changes Things

@clo And the little businesses are taking advantage of your desire to not fund the big corporations. Subsistence farming for everyone!!

Posted on October 14, 2014 at 7:16 pm 0

On The Story Behind Costco's Free Samples

@HelloTheFuture " Is that universal, or just a Costco thing?" Neither. There are some stores that have regular employees doing samples, and others that only have outside people doing so, and others (Whole Foods, here is Chicago, is one) that use a mix, depending on the product. Often, the outside person is a rep for the product, or hired by the product company to do the sampling.

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm 0

On What Will You Do With Your Extra $200?

@garysixpack "When they cap the payments at $117k, they also cap the benefits to that income level" But it doesn't *have* to be that way. Once the fiction that social security tax is something other than a component of Income Tax goes away (that is, once regular income tax starts paying for a portion of it), then there stops being a good political reason to have them separate. Social security and medicare taxes are just components of "Federal Income Tax", being income-based taxes levied by the federal government. Discussing them any other way is giving in to the BS politics of DC.

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm 0

On What Will You Do With Your Extra $200?

@jfruh "those 47 percent mostly do, so probably they paid more of their income as federal taxation than he did" Not really, as zero income tax + 6.2% OASDI + 1.45% Medicare tax is still less than 15% LTCG/qualified dividends tax. There is more than enough to hang the "Anti-47%-ers" with while still being right on the facts.

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 11:55 am 0

On Caitlin Moran on Being Absorbed Into The Middle Class

@eatmoredumplings "Britishness plays a HUGE part in this" Britishness is the core of it. One cannot directly relate British concepts of 'class' with American concepts of 'class'. They're too different. The 'upper class' of America is almost entirely about money--if your parents lost all of your (rich) grandparents money before you were born, and you therefore grew up living in cheap apartments, you aren't 'upper class'. But there is 400 years of British literature about the broke aristocracy, who are permanent 'upper class'. On the flip side, the many many Americans who grew up *poor* (not 'merely' working class, but basically "American dalit') and get to a place that's less than a quarter of Moran's life--like by getting a career civil service job--mostly would see themselves as middle class through and through. Not to mention the fact that 90%+ of Americans see themselves as "middle class"--all but the richest of the rich, and those surviving on public aid. There's blue collar and white collar, but that's all mushed together as "middle class"--with or without the "middle class lifestyle".

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 6:07 pm 0

On Secret Debt Threatened My Marriage

@@fo oh, and, ps, I think that the issue was more about the (implied) deception by omission rather than about the debt itself. And we didn't have that (very important) issue to deal with.

Posted on September 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm 0