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Ramblings March 24

March 24th, 2012 at 05:52 pm

What a week.
Signed all the documents for the refinance last weekend but had some issues with some of the numbers so decided to call the bank rather then send them in. I was concerned because it was listed like I had all the assets (and k had only a few), etc. The bank said not a problem they just put down minimums. The guy started looking to see if there were any other issues... after about an hour on the phone, he took it over to the underwriter.... ... Came back DENIED. I have a big ding on my credit, something went to collection.

[backstory - in 2007 I switched my phone from verizon to AT&T. Verizon charged me $300 for breaking the contract. I hadn't had a contract with them for years, they tried to say that when they sent me info and I didn't do anything that was a contract. So I called the Government commission listed on the phone bill, and they looked into it. Ruling was in my favor.]

So the loan was stopped. There are other loans that allow that ding, but they didn't have good cash out or APR and some wanted me to come up with $40,000. [one good point, was on the phone for 2 hours and the bank guy said I was the most calm, composed person he ever had to deal with, even after this unexpected screw up].

So then I called the government commission and found out their databanks don't go back that far.

So then I called Verizon. Got transferred a few times, hung up on a few times, and finally got through to someone who knew what I wanted and looked me up and said the credit was off the books and he would forward that to the reporting company and fax me a letter within 24 hours. YAH!

I got the fax the next day. It said the bill was paid off. I called my bank, and read them the fax, and they said it wouldn't work. The ding has to be totally removed from my credit. I asked them specifically what the magic buzz words to use were. They said it can't say collections, and it can't indicate I was ever late.

So I called back Verizon. Got transferred and hung up on a few times. But I'm persistent. Got through to the right place. Told them the buzz words. They said they could do it. They are sending the credit people another update, and faxed me a paper that said the ding will be totally removed from my credit.

I will call my bank at the end of the week and ask them to do a hard pull on my credit (I asked what the magic buzz words are) to see if its gone. And then restart the loan procedure. They can use most of the signed disclosures, so it won't be so bad.

I am planning on sending Verizon an invoice billing them for at least 4 hours of my time (more if its not done yet). Apparently this works sometimes.

The bank figures the ding was only noticed so late in the procedure because my score was so high, they just assumed I couldn't have anything big on it. Who knew.

So I transferred k's 401 from his old company (invested in a hodge podge, he tends to just equally choose funds) into an IRA brokerage account. He wants me to invest. Its a bit scarier playing with someone else's money. I'm going to probably go with low cost index funds and a few choice stocks. I don't think we will be adding to this fund. He has a retirement fund with his work (which I think discredits you?). I am trying to put money in roths for both of us, but maxing it out is $833 a month to save, and right now that's not happening.

The refinance was going to include paying off $16,000 I have in 'business' debt. Since I am sole owner the debt is mine. I consider it 'business' because it was used to buy inventory, and I was hoping the business would make enough to pay it off. But I am trying to grow the business, its currently in my house and I would eventually like to move it out. My dream is that k and I will buy the property and the business will incorporate and rent it from us.

The business is internet based, we sell custom clothing. There are currently over 10 people who help with production and shipping. The sewers are mostly stay-home-moms. It started off as a make-income for my friends with babies and I've had friends running it. I took over a few years ago and changed the business model a bit and did massive organization, before it was limping along making enough money to pay everyone and pay me enough for the bother of it in my house and the work I did on the occassional weekend. But I decided to build it up to move it out to a retail store which would significantly increase business. The plan is to move it out when I know I can afford all the expenses from the current business. And I want to have most of the stock. I don't want to grow in debt.

But I am in debt now, I used the card to make some major stock purchases last year, and to cover cash flow. Its only been 5 months since we re-organized and I am now taking an active role and making sure everything is progressing. I am not involved in daily production or shipping. I am doing the finances, logistics, and web work. I'm also making sure the house (my house) has room to expand. And, like all owners of small businesses, I take out the garbage. I am the direction. I have great people doing the work. I think its going to grow well. Its already shown it can limp along without even good pictures of our products.

And my point was... The $16,000 credit card debt for the 'business'. I'm going to pay it off with my 6- month emergency fund. It will wipe it out. I have been putting $1200 a month towards it, so it will grow again. I have psychological issues with putting my money towards the business debt, but I really need to get over them since its all me. (sole owner) Yes, I can write off credit card interest as a business expense. But its an unnecessary expense. And its better the business invest in itself and not have debt. So as the credit cards come in, I will pay them off.

I would still like to take the cash from the refi to pay off k's card. its at $12,000.

TSP and taxes

February 28th, 2012 at 12:27 am

I just changed my TSP to transfer 65% of my current savings (1300) to the 'c' fund (S&P index with expenses of 0.025) and routed all my current contributions to that fund. My other choices are tracking the Dow or International index. Or the 'lifestyle funds' which have a different percentage of the other funds. S&P index fund with low fees works fine for me.

I got an estimate on my taxes, the business lost $17,000 so I am getting $6000 back. I had a choice of putting $5000 in a ROTH or $2700 in a trad IRA (and getting more back). Decided to do the ROTH.

I started an automatic monthly withdrawal of $250 for taxes. I need to save more ($833.34 is full ROTH for k and I) but I also need to pay off k's card.

Stocks for my S/D SEP IRA

February 6th, 2012 at 09:15 pm

I had $8283 in my S/D SEP IRA brokerage cash account, and decided to pick up 2 on my list - Chipotle (CMG) and Cost Plus (CPWM). I bought approximately equal amounts - $90 more of Cost Plus. Chipotle stocks are very expensive - $4097 only got me 11!
The trades haven't gone through yet but I set the limit price well within todays dailies so they should trigger it.

Its exciting buying stock.

Update Feb 4

February 4th, 2012 at 05:24 pm

Went to the accountants today. I didn't bring one of my 1099s and W2s, but everything else is done and accounted for. I am hoping I will be able to contribute a bit to my ROTH IRA.

I got my log in info for my TSP, and found out the deduction I asked for hadn't gone through. I have the signed paperwork so I don't know why, but I'll add it to my things to do at HR next week. I think I might want to up it to 10% instead of 5. This is a percentage from 1/2 my income, so will end up being 5% of my total income. I'm not that crazy about the fund choices, right now I have everything in an Government securities fund which is making like 4%. There are a couple of bond index and other index funds I might like too.

Investing - IRA

January 30th, 2012 at 09:59 pm

I decided what to invest the $31,000 I had in cash in my traditional IRA. Some of the money was not invested when I rolled money over, some is from 99 cent only store sales.

So I am set up to buy (tomorrow hopefully, I have market limits set that should get triggered).:
Starbucks (SBUX), Intercontinental (IHG), Southwest (LUV), and Seniors Living (SRZ). The first 3 are companies I use frequently and think they will be in business for a while. The last was a calculated gamble. Well, its all a calculated gamble. More than just numbers.

I currently have $31,000 already invested in this account, stocks I bought in July when I rolled. $4000 of that is earnings, the stocks I chose are doing ok. I'm quite liking Coach - COH.

This is an interesting retirement account, I don't think I will be able to add money to it. So it starts here and goes for 14-24 years. I'll switch to more conservative investments in the future :} Or not. Perhaps I'll be conservative with other accounts.

I have a few other brokerage accounts that need stock. TO DO.

Too many accounts!

January 26th, 2012 at 08:16 pm

I have too many brokerage accounts. There. I've said it. Now I suppose I have to do something about it.
At least get them organized.

I got my history from my 4 investment accounts with USAA, they uploaded back from 2007 to the document area and I printed them out and put them in folders labeled. I have a joint brokerage (with k), a traditional ira, a roth ira, and a sep ira. And a mutual fund that was cashed in this year. I sold stock too, but it looks like I sold some at a loss to make the total gain only a few hundred. So that won't add to my tax burden. I have a lot of cash in these accounts that need to be invested, when I have time to think about what to invest in. I rolled over an IRA. I invested about half in July and made $3707 or 15.89%. That includes the NDN that was sold.

I also have 2 first trade accounts that I have had for a while. I used to do a bit of day trading and quicker investments, during the 90s. I took most of the earnings out, but never sold any of the stocks that lost money, so I have some bizarre things going on. I have a few stocks without symbols I can't trade. and a few work 0.004 or 0.002 or 1.46.
Of value:
8 shares of ARET for $9.28
235 shares of GERON for $488.80
and $2167.88 cash.

My 99 cent only store (NDN) stock sold 1/17/2112, 99 shares for 2178. I will need to declare than next year.

I have a ROTH IRA account with First Trade it has 488 shares of GERN for $1015. And about $5 in the cash account.

I have an ING brokerage account. I set it up with automatic investments coming from the business account and buying NDN stock. The stock buying was automatic too. The stock I had got sold for about $7300 and I transferred that back to the business to pay a credit card. The business is increasing stock and has a bit of debt. I am going to have to pay tax on the stock sale next year.

I used to have an etrade brokerage account. I'm going to continue to ignore it. Its probably gone.

The only IRA I can add to is the SEP IRA, and I think only if the business makes profit. I make too much income to add to an IRA. I am putting money away through one of my incomes, which I also need to organize. I just started this year, I think its about $4000/year. And I think its getting matched.

I also need to organize k's retirements, he has a few from a few jobs too. This will be the major project after taxes.