Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About Markbilliards

  • Rank
    September Call Up
  • Birthday 06/09/1985

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Warrenville, IL

Previous Fields

  • Favorite Sox Minor League Affiliate
    Kannapolis Intimidators (Low-A)
  • What do you like about Soxtalk?
    Most people on here pay attention to more than just what goes on at the MLB level.
  • Favorite Sox player
    Mark Buehrle
  • Favorite Sox minor leaguer
    Stefan Gartrell
  • Favorite Sox moment
    Steve Lyons pulling his pants down during a game
  • Favorite Former Sox Player
    Big Frank
  1. Markbilliards

    Ben Shapiro

    It is acceptable to agree with some of people's opinions and disagree with other parts of their views. I agree with Shapiro on a lot, but definitely disagree on stuff too. Everything doesn't have to be black and white.....
  2. Markbilliards

    2018 Music thread

    Justin Timberlake's new album, "Man of the Woods" is out today and is available to stream for free for Amazon Prime Members. I must still be trying to compare everything he does to "Future Sex Love Sounds" that came out 11 years ago (which for me was the best album ever made). But man, this new one feels pretty bad. I had confidence he could pull off this rustic feel he was going for, but...nope.
  3. Markbilliards


    QUOTE (BigHurt3515 @ Dec 23, 2017 -> 11:04 AM) Vanguard target retirement fund doesn't have fees. Not sure about the actively traded part of it Fees are in the range of .13 to .16 % through Vanguard itself. Not sure if that differs when using a different brokerage. It's all passively managed via index funds. Hence the low expense ratio.
  4. Markbilliards


    QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Dec 21, 2017 -> 09:55 AM) The earlier the better thanks to compounding interest. "If you can" is a pretty good and short intro guide on retirement investing. https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf General guidelines I've seen and follow are: --Save in your 401k up to your employer's match. If they match the first 5%, put in that much. It's free money. --Beyond the employer match, put your next chunk of retirement savings into an IRA or Roth IRA. Which makes more sense for you depends on your current income levels (both phase out as income goes up) and your current and expected retirement tax brackets. The reason to go with your own IRA over your work's 401k is you can choose someone like Vanguard or Fidelity (and I think Schwab) who offer very-low-cost funds whereas you're going to be pretty limited in your options in your 401k. --Once you've maxed your IRA contribution limits ($5.5k/year right now), increase your 401k savings. That caps out at 18% of your income a year. If you max your 401k and your IRA space, congrats, go see a real financial professional because you've got a good problem on your hands. This is critical for another big reason too. With a Roth IRA, you can always pull out your principal that you've put into the account without any tax or penalty for doing so. So if you put $5,500 in each year for 10 years and get 7% interest, you'll have $76,000. If you have some huge financial emergency or retire early, you can take out the $55,000 you put into the account without having to pay taxes or penalties.
  5. Markbilliards


    QUOTE (ptatc @ Dec 21, 2017 -> 10:44 PM) This is what I do. Is this a smart way for those of us who don't know much about the different funds? On the whole, yes. Pumping as much money as you can into your 401k or other tax advantaged accounts is always going to be the key and should be your main focus. Push yourself and find ways to put in more than you thought possible, and that's going to be key in the long term. Otherwise, regarding the retirement age funds, the closer you get to retirement the more the funds increases your % of holdings in bonds and cash and reduce in stocks to be safer. That's a good way to go if you aren't familiar or comfortable with different funds. Personally I think they're usually more conservative than I prefer, but I am also more comfortable with short term risk than most people. The only reason I would advise against it would be due to the expense ratio. When I look at my 401k options, my retirement age-based options have an expense ratio of .7%. For me, that's way too high, so I have 100% of my 401k going into an S&P500 index fund that has a .04% expense ratio. Why does this matter? In the short term, you wouldn't notice much, but the longer term makes a difference. If I put $18,500 into my 401k a year for the next 20 years and I'm getting 7% interest each year for both options, than I will have over $52,000 more if I use the option with the .04% expense ratio. Over 30 years, I will have $192,000 more with the .04% expense ratio.
  6. Markbilliards

    Abreu snubbed of Silver Slugger

    Are stolen bases supposed to be included in the criteria for the SS?
  7. Markbilliards

    Question about Leury on DL

    Just some guessing.... -Maybe they had some insurance money they could recoup from it, although I feel like you usually only hear about that with 60 day DLs and large contract players. -Perhaps they wanted to make it official to be able to have that as an argument to get a slightly better price when arbitration starts up. -Perhaps MLB wants people to make it official so its documented even better if a team knows a player is injured. Just avoiding a Padres situation.
  8. Markbilliards

    Most Surprising White Sox performance in 17?

    Jose Quintana has been pretty surprising thus far. Just not in a good way.
  9. Markbilliards

    Life as a New Parent

    Congrats on the new baby! A lot of good points raised here that I agree with. A few things I would agree or input: For those that have a little one on the way: -Don't expect your child to be a certain way (from infant to adult). You'll read and hear a lot of advice about what to expect, but that's really based on experiences with other people's kids, not yours. The only real expectation you should have is off yourself. Expect yourself to put forth the effort of being the best parent you can every day. -You may not feel like the birth of your child is the greatest thing to ever happen to you immediately. That's ok. It may seem like everyone is instantly in love with their new baby, but others it may take a week, a month, a year. If you find yourself concerned because you sound like one of these parents, just know that it will happen eventually if you are investing yourself in your child. I wanted to have that feeling so badly, but really didn't feel connected to my son until after about 3 months. -Talk to your partner about baby blues vs post partum depression before the child is born. Have a plan for regularly communicating with your partner about how they're doing (as an individual not as a parent). Keep an eye on warning signs. Don't be afraid to seek help from a psychiatrist if you need it. Be transparent with your friends and family on how you feel, even if you've never struggled with depression previously. This advice applies to both new mom's and dads. -Make sure you learn infant CPR and what to do if they're choking before they're born. -Before the birth, plan a date night with your partner 1 month after the birth. Be intentional to have planned date nights every month. Make a rule before the date starts that conversation about baby is limited to x minutes. Sleep Deprivation -The first 3 months were by far the hardest. It was so hard to enjoy this part of being a parent for me. But eventually it ended, and sleep came back. -Do not let your kid's sleep schedule control you after the first few months. Have a plan from the start as to when the child will be sleeping at night in their own crib/room. Have a plan for when you will start letting them self-sooth. 3 months was good for us. I think another post said 6 for them. If go longer, it will come back to bite you in the butt. -You may hear about shaken baby syndrome and figure that only psychos would ever do that. But when you have barely slept in weeks and your kid won't stop crying, you may all of a sudden find yourself in that state where you are so frustrated that you want to shake your kid. If you get even close to feeling that happen, put the kid down in their crib, take a deep breath, and give yourself a break. Baby will be fine for a bit even he/she's crying. The Mother's Expectations -There are a lot of mom's who push really hard for completely natural births and breastfeeding. If your girl wants to go this route, make sure you are supporting her, but also keep her in check that things don't always go as planned, and yet they will still work out. She may give in to get an epidural, she may need a C-section. She struggle with breastfeeding and need to do formula. All those things are ok too, don't let her get too caught up in the mindset of those who shame any route that isn't 100% natural. Learning to Crawl/Walk -You will feel yourself unconsciously comparing your child's milestones to that of the milestones of your peers' kids. Try your best not do that. How fast they reach some of those early milestones has almost no bearing on where they will be compared to other kids in 1 year or 5 years. Just live in the moment with milestones and be proud when they happen. -When a kid becomes mobile, it can be a bit of a disaster for some parents for the kids, but I do agree with Steve. You can contain the kids with gates and don't be lazy. Its not that hard and for some kids, it does relieve a lot of frustration they had. Documenting -Make an effort to keep up with the milestones in a baby book. You'll appreciate it later, because you won't remember otherwise. -Take pictures of your kids, but limit it. Living in the moment can only be done once Get Used to Seeing the doctor. Throughout your child's first years they may be sick a lot. Particularly if they are in daycare. They also will probably have eight billion ear infections. It happens, if possible have finances, PTO, babysitters in place for when it happens. 529s -They are good if you are on track for your own financial and retirement goals. Your child will have opportunities for scholarships, grants, loans for college. You won't get those things for retirement. So yes, contribute to a 529, but that should be secondary to taking care of yourself financially. -Get the college savings plan type. Do not get the prepaid college tuition. -Don't worry about the IL tax deduction. Get your money into Vanguard or somewhere else with low cost index funds. Set up automatic deposits. Look at account 1 time a year to see if you need to adjust your funds. Otherwise don't worry about it. -If you need to withdraw money early for non-education expenses, you can take out any amount of money you added originally without penalty, but there will be some taxes. If you originally put in 8k, but balance is 10k and now taking out 4k, the 4k you with draw is deemed as 80% principal (3200) and 20% interest (800). You will be taxed on that $800. As mentioned above, if you are doing a 529, I hope your finances are in order already and you won't be in this situation. -Any money you pull out beyond the original investment is subject to a 10% penalty if it's not used for education.
  10. Markbilliards

    No more 4 pitch intentional walk

    QUOTE (Jose Abreu @ Feb 21, 2017 -> 10:09 PM) I don't like this, but for a different reason. There are very rare cases where a pitcher is attempting to intentionally walk a batter, but instead throws a wild pitch, or the hitter swings, or somebody (ex: Miguel Cabrera, 2006) gets an RBI knock off an attempted intentional walk. Sure, these cases happen very rarely, but they impact the games greatly when they do happen; eliminating the formality of throwing the four balls prevents them from ever happening, which, in my opinion, is wrong. Exactly what I was thinking.
  11. Markbilliards

    I Was on a Game Show Thread

    QUOTE (ChiliIrishHammock24 @ Jan 17, 2017 -> 02:03 AM) You guys who have been on TV, post the videos if they are online! I'm sick of googling. My Price is Right Time
  12. Markbilliards

    I Was on a Game Show Thread

    QUOTE (LittleHurt05 @ Jan 14, 2017 -> 03:36 PM) Not to be a Debbie Downer, but did they give you a tax bill on all that stuff? I also wondered how that worked Yeah Uncle Sam is always the real winner and a lot of people end up just declining the prizes because of it. Everything you win counts as income. So I owe 7% to the state of California, then the rest of your income adds onto what you already make for your tax bracket for federal, so for me 25% to federal. PIR claims the value of my winnings is almost 9k. So as of right now my taxes look like $630 to CA and $2,250. The reality is that I would probably only get about 3k if I sold all my stuff on craigslist/ebay/etc. And that doesn't take into account any kind of fees or any I have to pay to sell on ebay (10%) So from what I've read, I will need to document the fair market value of these items around the time I receive them. Then on my 2017 taxes I can dispute what PIR puts on my 1099 and provide documentation about the real value of the prizes comes out to be. I think that will help me get away with paying the true amount of taxes. I don't need to pay any of the federal taxes now, but CA state requires PIR to have people pay up front. So I had to get cashiers check and send it. Once they receive that, they will send me the prizes in the next 3 months.
  13. Markbilliards

    I Was on a Game Show Thread

    Back in October my wife and I went to the Price is Right when we were in LA. I ended up being called to "Come on Down", won the bidding, got on stage for a game and won a TV, elliptical, Marc Jacobs handbags, a telescope, and a home vending machine. It was really fun. The episode aired today and of course as I'm in a room full of 20 coworkers ready to see it...right when it was supposed to start, on comes some breaking news report about a police probe that blocks the entire 1 hour show. It was pretty disappointing because I hadn't told any of them anything in the past 3 months except that my wife and I went to see the price is right, it was fun, and that the episode would be on the air on 1/13. Oh well, at least its online. Anyways....I thought this might be an interesting thread for people to share about times they were on game shows, tv shows, or have won contests.
  14. QUOTE (Feeky Magee @ Jan 6, 2017 -> 05:57 PM) Eddy Alvarez, followed by Eddy Alvarez, then Eddy Alvarez, also Brian Clark, Nick Delmonico and Adam Engel but mainly Eddy Alvarez. Agreed, followed by agreed, then agreed. Yata yata yata but mainly agreed.
  15. Markbilliards

    Your All Time White Sox Favorites

    C Jamie Burke 1B Konerko 2B Ray Durham 3B Greg Norton (THE GREATEST!) SS Tony Graffanino (Had to force him in there somewhere) LF Tim Raines CF Lance Johnson RF Magglio Ordonez DH Big Frank SP Mark Buehrle SP Jose Quintana SP Jason Bere SP Esteban Loaiza SP Chris Sale RP Bobby Jenks RP Bobby Howry RP Neal Cotts RP Keith Foulke RP Matt Thornton RP Damaso Marte Favorite Guy Against the Cubs - Carlos Lee Favorite Guy to Blame - Ron Karkovice Favorite Minor League Guy Who Didn't Reach His Potential: Dewon Day & Fautino De Los Santos Favorite White Sox Blooper - Favorite White Sox Play -