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Stupid questions about Financing/Investing

Morgan81

It's not my lawn. It's OUR lawn.
pilot
Contributor
Great idea for a thread...
I have a decent amount stashed away for a home purchase. I was planning on buying once I got out of flight school and knew where I was going to be stationed for more then six months down the road. However, I was thinking about getting a place wherever I wind up in advanced and then just renting it out. I've been itching to get into real estate for a while since I saw a friend buy and sell 4 house over the course of about 16 months and essentially double his income for the year. This isn't what I want to do, but I really want to start building equity and have some sort of substantial asset to my name.
Now with Whiting forcing single studs to move into the BOQ, I'm afraid that might catch hold in other flight school locations and obviously dry the market up a bit.
I was wondering if anyone did this or should I just leave the cash in the bank for now.
Thanks.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
I don't think the single SNA pool will make or break the housing market in a given Navy town. That is a drop in the bucket compared to everything else.

Everyone goes gaga over real estate and knows someone who made a killing off a move. Remember you need a solid plan if a house lays dormant for a while. Also, the high returns on real estate are really a result of the high leverage that mortage loans give. Essentially you're doing a margin trade, except instead of the 10% margin the stock market requires, you can get away with almost 0%.
 

dephyler

Member
Contributor
So I just got my mypay account established, looked at my LES, and thought, wth is this? A little googling later and I found a pdf that steps through each entry in the LES, something that my NOSC never did during indoc. I don't know how many other people will be as confused as I was, but I figured the file was worth sharing just in case.

EDIT: my bad, just found it in the gouge page and should've posted there. the link is dead, so the file is attached.
 

Attachments

AJB37

Well-Known Member
What are people's opinions on USAA's online brokerage? Would anyone recommend another brokerage over them. I have a Schwab account, but I just opened my USAA account so if USAA is about the same or better for trading I think I would be easier just to have everything at one bank.
 

RHPF

KSNA 059/2048
pilot
Contributor
I like it with one big exception (fwiw I haven't used another brokerage in so long that I can't think if this would even be an issue with others):
The other day I wanted to place a trade, but forgot that it takes 7 days for the money to move from checking (USAA) to brokerage account (USAA). By the time the money would have been available the good deal was gone. I passed on it, it did go up substantially and was a bummer. You would think with modern technology being what it is, it should be a quick process to move digital money from one account to another at the same company.
 

Catmando

Keep your knots up.
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
... By the time the money would have been available the good deal was gone....
Consider opening a margin account, so you never have to worry about the length of time of fund transfer.
 

nugget61

Active Member
pilot
Bringing back an older thread...
Nat'l City just sold to PNC, who I left before due to their incompetencies. My only credit card is with Nat'l City, but I will likely leave them soon now.
I also plan on getting PRK in about 2 weeks and thought that it would be a good way to build credit to put it on a new card. So can y'all recommend a good company/card to go with that will carry me throughout my whole career? (I'm assuming I'll need it for international use too)
 

MasterBates

Well-Known Member
Okay, I've searched. Couldn't find a better thread to put this in.

The DJIA and Wall Street in general is at it's lowest point in 12+ years.

Background:
Most know my story here. Divorced, got hosed badly. Got slammed with a ton of martial debt and some extramarital debt among other things.

I have lived cheap as hell for the last two years. I have paid off every last bill save the tow biatches I owe money to. One is my ex wife, the other is SallieMae.

Student loans total $62k at a 3.17% weighted average interest rate. $650/mo payment all totaled out.
Manatee is a flat $1500/mo "fee"

I own the Puma, my 10 year old truck and 6 year old motorcycle outright. No credit card debt, I pay it in full each month. No substantial assets or savings otherwise. I am still living cheap.

Right now I am putting 3% into TSP.

What I would like to get the opninion of the AW crew on is the following:

Would now be a good time to get a brokerage account opened, and buy stocks now when the market is slammed? I'd plan on avoiding the "Toxic" companies but may buy a couple hunded dollars worth of GM/BoA/Citi as a "What the hell, if it goes back to normal, I'll make out, otherwise it was $100".

The majority I was thinking of putting into bluechip companies, GE, Boeing, Energy Compaines. Stuff that will sell good economy or bad.

Does this pass the sanity check? And any horror stories about brokerage firms? All things being equal I was thinking of USAA but I'm not set on it.

Probably be putting about $500/mo into it for and idea of "how much".
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Okay, I've searched. Couldn't find a better thread to put this in.

The DJIA and Wall Street in general is at it's lowest point in 12+ years.

Background:
Most know my story here. Divorced, got hosed badly. Got slammed with a ton of martial debt and some extramarital debt among other things.

I have lived cheap as hell for the last two years. I have paid off every last bill save the tow biatches I owe money to. One is my ex wife, the other is SallieMae.

Student loans total $62k at a 3.17% weighted average interest rate. $650/mo payment all totaled out.
Manatee is a flat $1500/mo "fee"

I own the Puma, my 10 year old truck and 6 year old motorcycle outright. No credit card debt, I pay it in full each month. No substantial assets or savings otherwise. I am still living cheap.

Right now I am putting 3% into TSP.

What I would like to get the opninion of the AW crew on is the following:

Would now be a good time to get a brokerage account opened, and buy stocks now when the market is slammed? I'd plan on avoiding the "Toxic" companies but may buy a couple hunded dollars worth of GM/BoA/Citi as a "What the hell, if it goes back to normal, I'll make out, otherwise it was $100".

The majority I was thinking of putting into bluechip companies, GE, Boeing, Energy Compaines. Stuff that will sell good economy or bad.

Does this pass the sanity check? And any horror stories about brokerage firms? All things being equal I was thinking of USAA but I'm not set on it.

Probably be putting about $500/mo into it for and idea of "how much".
Passes my smell check. The key is to find a company which is doing reasonably well; i.e. not GM, Citigroup, or anything like that. I think if you can afford it, now is the time. But you may not see a return on that investment for awhile. Lots of things can cause a company to go TU, and it pays to pay attention to the stock. I had a bunch of Wachovia which was great when it was $55/share. I thought "it's a major bank and an blue chip stock; it'll never fail." SCHWACK. I now own some piddling amount of Wells Fargo worth jack and shit (90% loss :eek:).

But even in the financials, there are people who will make a killing in a few years, IMO. People will always need banks, it's just a question of which banks are going to weather the storm. I would avoid Citi right now; ever since they got hosed on the Wachovia acquisition, they've been on life support.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
Passes my smell check. The key is to find a company which is doing reasonably well; i.e. not GM, Citigroup, or anything like that. I think if you can afford it, now is the time. But you may not see a return on that investment for awhile. Lots of things can cause a company to go TU, and it pays to pay attention to the stock. I had a bunch of Wachovia which was great when it was $55/share. I thought "it's a major bank and an blue chip stock; it'll never fail." SCHWACK. I now own some piddling amount of Wells Fargo worth jack and shit (90% loss :eek:).
Citi can't go much lower and may be "too big to fail." If you're a speculator (i.e. don't use this as a foundation of your overall plan) it may be worth seeing if Uncle Sam buys it up as part of the ongoing nationalization (or socialization, if you prefer) of the financial sector.

Then again, I bought (a little)Sirius pre-merger and have watched it go down the crapper. Some good that Wharton degree did me! So my speculative eye was weak--I've always been a slow-and-steady dollar-cost-average guy, anyway.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Does this pass the sanity check? And any horror stories about brokerage firms? All things being equal I was thinking of USAA but I'm not set on it.
Short answer- probably.

My free advice, worth what you paid for it with standard caveats:

-Get a few different opinions (already doing that).

-Diversity is good. Five different speculative investments is probably enough.

-The question boils down to what investments will likely survive an prosper and what is acceptable risk/reward for you? I think you're probably already there ("...otherwise it was $100.").

-Things may not be bottomed out and they may not come back up for some time, but at 12 year lows they are pretty close and will probably remain depressed for a while. Fear and greed and rational thought take turns driving the markets and we're pretty solidly in the fear phase for the time being. So try to be the rational guy and don't rush your decision.

Just my opinion...

(and I've been pretty happy with USAA, you should read up on their "asset management account" and figure out if that is a good fit for you)
 

a2b2c3

Mmmm Poundcake
pilot
Contributor
I use USAA Master. Been using them for about 2 years now for my own personal stock trading. Never had a problem with them and their stock portion of the website is as easy to use as the rest of their website.
 

bert

Enjoying the real world
pilot
Contributor
This advice is worth TWICE what you paid for it!

My opinion: nothing wrong with getting back in the market now if you are in it for the long haul. Personally, I tend to be very limited in what individual stocks I will buy. Ignore for a moment the current gloom and doom cycle, and all you have to do is watch the way the market reacts to the standard information cycles to see that the average guy on the street is at an enormous competitive disadvantage compared to the information the "professional" ass clowns have access to. Don't get me wrong, there is money to be made if you have the know-how and the time to devote to it, but we all are starting out behind the power curve and speaking for myself I don't have the time to be a serious individual investor.

If it were me and the money in question was my nest egg, I would look for a low cost, no-load/fee mutual fund with an un-ambitious agenda (USAA or Vanguard index funds, for instance) then sit back and ignore them for ten years. For individual stocks I would be looking at solid, steady, good dividend types (i.e. PG and stocks of that ilk). You won't get the thrills of the internet bubble, but you won't go broke either. Time and patience kills greed over the long haul.

As for speculative plays: well, the market is chock full of them. If you know that you won't be bothered by losing it all then go ahead and take a flyer on some of these pummelled stocks. But the little guy holding common stock generally gets diddly/squat in the end when a company tanks.
 

Sinatra

ALOHA LAMPS
Real Estate

So here is my situation:

I own a home in IA and have been renting it out through a property manager since October. The renters extended the lease early last month through July 2010, and yesterday I received an e-mail from a realtor at the same company that I use for property management that said my renters were interested in buying the house.

I don't have much equity in the house (I've only purchased it in July 2005) and the rent covers the mortgage minus property taxes but the annual tax credit when filing is twice what I pay in property taxes. So, basically I'm breaking even/making a little having renters in the place.

The market in the area is saturated, there are 4 comparable houses on my street that are/have been on the market for over a year with prices varying form 10G below to 20G above the last assessed value of my house. If I were to sell for exactly the assessed value I'd probably break even or come out with a $1000 check when all fees, taxes, etc were taken into consideration.

Also, the area is a college town, so there seems to always be an abundance of renters, although I'd rather not rent to undergrads since it is more of a family oriented neighborhood.

So, what do I do? I won't sell for a loss. If offered enough to walk away from the house with little or no cash to me do I go for it, or hold on to the place for a while, build equity and hope to sell later?

I have a 30 yr fixed at 5.5. Definitely not more house than I could afford.

Hmmm after writing this I think I've already made up my mind, but would still like to hear coments.
 
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