My company has recently started to offer after tax 401k option.  As I have been looking for all ways to reduce taxes, I did quite a bit of research on this topic and want to share my findings.   Let me start with the bottom line first, “For high income individual/families, this is an awesome to increase your contribution in Roth IRA.”  I won’t cover the virtues of Roth IRA here, there are ample materials on this topic already.   Read More →

On the last day of 2014, I thought this would be a good time review the major financial decisions and accomplishments for 2014, and see how many of the 2014 goals we were able to hit.
As with the 2013 review, I have broken the post into four major categories,
  • Stock Investment – stocks, mutual funds, stock options, restricted stock units, etc.
  • Financial Protection – life insurance, living trust
  • Real estate – deal with all things related to our primary residence, investment properties etc.
  • Major purchase – big ticket items

For each item, I try to give an objective rating on how we did in standard letter grade scale.    For this year, the focus was on investment and financial protection, so we will start with these.

Read More →

Happy holidays! After a long hiatus from blog, I’m back. The last few months have been a little crazy. Now I’m in sunny Orlando enjoying a much deserved vacation with family.

This will be a series of posts on how to travel in style and luxury without spending a ton of money or time. I follow some of the travel with points blog, I admire the length they would go to get the bargains. You guys know I’m all about finding good bargains without spending a ton of time. Frankly I don’t have the time or energy, what I do is quick and easy, good return for the amount of time I spend. Read More →

In the last post, I discussed consolidating checking and savings accounts.  Now I will continue and talk about consolidate investment accounts, both taxable and non-taxable.

Step 3:  Consolidate non-taxable accounts

401K Retirement NontaxalbeNon-taxable accounts include 401k, IRA, Roth IRA accounts.   It’s easier to consolidate compare to the taxable accounts for two reasons 1)  you can do different rollovers, most online brokerage houses offer straight forward process to do this on line directly.   2) transactions within these accounts do not trigger taxes so you have one less thing to worry about. Read More →

stock bond mutual fund portfolioAs I mentioned in my 2014 financial goals post, I believe that the market correction will happen and want to protect my profits for my stock holdings.  I have been monitoring the stock market regularly, but was looking for a more automated to do this.  Trailing stop loss order and trailing stop limit order are my answers.  I came across it by accident as I was setting up manual stop loss order on After investing in stocks for 15+ years, I’m just learning about it.  I thought it was super useful and wanted to share. Read More →

While this is intended to be my personal finance blog, I thought I would add my personal goals for 2014 here as well as a reminder to myself.

1. Exercise more regularly

exercise regularlyI’m sure it’s on most people’s list.  I want to create a goal i can actual stick with.  I’m in pretty decent shape, mostly just want to do some toning and stretching to stay healthy and look good.

Phase 1: Get into a habit (Q1)

Setting modest goal to start with, 2-3 times a week, 20-30 minutes each. Mostly Pilates and yoga.  I busted my knee over the holiday skiing, once the doctor gives me the go ahead, I will add some strengthening exercise for my weak knee.

Phase 2: Tone (Q2)

While I’m pretty okay with my weight, I like to tone a couple of areas, tummy, arms and butt specifically.  I like to add 20 minutes of weight training to my routine, and dare I be ambitiou, increase the frequency to 4-5 times a week.  I recently read The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess.  The basic premise is not to bother with barbie weights (2-3 lbs), push yourself to get the maximum benefit.  Sounds like a reasonable approach, I’ll give it try. Read More →

New year new goals.  I have slacking off on posting lately, work has been extremely busy and frankly I just got out of the habit of writing.  With the new year, I thought I would try to get back into the swing of things.  Here’re my financial goals for this year.  I have broken the post into four major categories.  The categories has changed a bit since my 2013 review.

  • Real estate – deal with all things related to real estate (primary residence or investment)
  • Major purchase – big ticket items
  • investment – stocks, mutual funds, stock options, restricted stock units etc.
  • Financial Protection – life insurance, living trust Read More →

I get this question quite often, what’s the best real estate listing website?  Which site should I use?  The answer is, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses, I use all three actively.  Which one I use depends what I am trying to do.

All three sites have many similar functionalities to provide search and browse capability for real estate listings, all have decent iPhone/iPad applications for on the go usage.   Let me highlight the key differences I see and how use them.   At high level, I found Redfin has the most up to date information but weak search capability, Ziprealty has the best search capability but not quite as up to data as Redfin, finally Zillow has the most comprehensive but least up to date information.  I’ll go through each site in more details in this post. Read More →