The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

ShoreLion
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:44 pm

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby ShoreLion » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:45 am

I love the Dollar Tree. Like B&W said, you can get stuff like shower gel and shampoo for cheap that is great for occasional uses. Sometimes they have good deals on some food items. Some is crap of course but some is decent. Cleaning products is another big savings. So are paper and plastic goods. Spices and seasonings are another big savings. You'll pay many dollars more for the same stuff at a grocery store. They also have Whales for $1. For those that don't know, Whales are the knockoff version of Goldfish crackers and I think they actually taste better. When I lived in Maryland (man, it's strange to say that) they had bread, fresh bread I might add, that was trucked every day from a Jewish bakery in Baltimore. Loafs and rolls for a buck. Can't beat it. Another huge savings is greeting cards (often 2 for $1) and stuff like wrapping paper and gift bags. Oh and reading glasses. I need readers and every so often pop in and pick up a few pair just to have extras lying around in case I need them. Seriously, you can save money there on stuff you actually need.

Blue&White
Posts: 3018
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:19 am

Despite having a reasonably heavy beard I use a Braun electric. It struggles to get my neck smooth but it is good enough. Since around Labor Day I've had a goatee and I bought a trimmer at Costco for like $25. So, I trim the goatee with the trimmer and use the razor on everything else. Replacement heads are like $50 each and when I was doing my full face I needed to change them about every 3 or 4 months.

It's probably not cheaper than a blade and handle, but at least I don't carve my face up in the morning.
Is it baseball season yet?

Blue&White
Posts: 3018
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:16 pm

And, the Dow is back over 25,000.
Is it baseball season yet?

psu_dad
Posts: 1804
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby psu_dad » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:38 pm

It's been an incredible January. The DJIA rose more than 7%. A year's losses wiped out in one month. And I didn't say squat because I didn't want to jinx it. So it's totally on you if things go south.
Klaatu barada nikto

Blue&White
Posts: 3018
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:58 pm

January is always a big months for stocks. There is even a name for it - "The January Effect" (not very creative). How much of this is due to this is the month when a lot of investors move for tax and other reasons, and how much is sustainable, remains to be seen.
Is it baseball season yet?

psu_dad
Posts: 1804
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby psu_dad » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:49 am

This guy rocks.

Forget the hot dog cart. This is my new plan B. And I'm totally changing my name to Goldinsky. Tobias Goldinsky.
Klaatu barada nikto

Blue&White
Posts: 3018
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:21 pm

This tax refund thing is a growing story and there are now reports that the reduction in refunds could have some significant impacts on the larger economy as people tend to spend these big refud checks. And, now they are not going to have them. Predicactbly, Trump and the Republicans are getting skewered over this, but the real culrpit seems to be the IRS and how they marketed the changes.

Near as I can tell, the impact is a factor of 2 things: the middle class either lost, or had capped, a number of deductions they used to get and the IRS changed the rate withholding tables so employers withheld more and reduced the amount of reductions paid out the next year. So, this was by design. And, the 2nd factor was much bigger than the 1st.

I was very aware of both items and tried to adjust how I did my self assessments on quarterly estimates accordingly. I'll know in a few weeks how good a job I did as I'll do my taxes later this month. But, I paid a lot of attention to this whole thing. Most people probably did not. The impact is that people who used to get a lot back are now getting very little back or even owe money. And, while for most people (but by no means all) their end-to-end tax liablity may be lower, a lot of people are feeling scammed right now. I get it, too. If the tax rates went down, and everything else remained the same with individuals, then it stands to reason people would expect that they would get around the same refund they got last year. That is not the case. Instead, the IRS took less during the year. But, it was not enough that peple really noticed it, at least not in a meaningful way.

The Republicans are lucky this all happened this year and not next year. If this was an election year, I'd say there was no chance they can recover from this. But, with the election ~20 months away, it may all be water-under-the-bridge as we move into peak scandal season.

Btw, the IRS released a statement saying that only a small percentage of returns have been filed to date and it's unfair extrapolate what the real trend is based on that small sample. The problem with that argument is the GAO and other groups said last summer this was going to happen, and explained exactly why. This was a known thing. Pretending it's a suprise or that a larger sample may show a different outcome is just a stupid comment to make. the IRS changed the rate table methodolgy. They said - although no one really listened - that people shoud adjust their withholdings are at least be aware of the impact. The IRS knew this was going to happen. Trying to play the "wait and see" game is likely to only increae the frustration over the issue.
Is it baseball season yet?

psu_dad
Posts: 1804
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby psu_dad » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:46 pm

If the tax rates went down, and everything else remained the same with individuals, then it stands to reason people would expect that they would get around the same refund they got last year.

Unless their take-home pay was higher due to lower withholding. Don't people look at their pay stubs?
Klaatu barada nikto

LioninVa
Posts: 723
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:49 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby LioninVa » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:58 pm

I don’t think most people do, _dad. Especially the generation that has little experience wit actual checks. They look at their bank account app and see x amount was deposited. Many have no ide what is deducted or why.

As for deductions, did the mortgage deduction go away? I heard that it did but I also heard it did not. I am guessing that the expanded minimum standard deduction rising made the mortgage interest insignificant, but could easily be wrong.

psu_dad
Posts: 1804
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby psu_dad » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:02 pm

The deduction for mortgage interest didn't go away. The deduction for home equity loan interest went away. And yes, for many people this was academic because the large standard deduction made itemizing deductions unnecessary.
Klaatu barada nikto