calendar october 2010

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  • puddonhead
    06-05 05:22 PM
    Your leverage is $270,000 in this investment, and you pay 5% interest on it which is tax deductible. You don't suppose one can borrow 270Gs to invest in, per my example, S&P 500 to get 10% annually? Of course the you are able to borrow that much on a home is because it is considered relatively a safe debt for the lender. That can't be said for stocks.

    How/where else will you earn $15,000 (equity) per year by spending $13,500 (interest).

    Now we are getting into another different fun topic - how does a real estate "investment" compare with other forms of investment.

    1. Leverage = speculation = risk. By taking the leverage and buying the house - you lock in a 3-5% return and a lot of risk (for a 200k house - that would be 10k/year max). The 3-5% comes from long term price appreciation trends.

    If I did not buy that 200k house - I would invest the initial 40k and the rest of 160k gradually every month. For simplistic calculations:
    return from 40k - 5% (I can show you reward checking accounts with that rate even now). Inflation protected TIPS could be a good place if you are afraid of hyperinflation
    Earnings = 2k.

    You save 3k each year by renting.
    Running Total = 5k.

    Every year - you put in some money to your investment vehicle = mortgage amortization. So over 30 years - you would have been earning investment income on $80k @5% on an average = 4k.
    Running Total = 9k.

    So you are making 1k more by buying - AND taking a lot of leverage = risk.

    Inflation can upset this calculation - but not much. 1980 - 2008 was an unusual period of low inflation and high growth = high housing price increase. Any bets on how sustainable that would be? Typically housing price appreciation would be at or below inflation - which would favor other investment vehicles over real estate.

    I personally would need much more compelling reasons than the above to buy.

    This calculation does not take into account the flexibility in relocation if you do not buying a house. It alos does not consider the risk associated with having the largest chunk of your portfolio invested in a single non-diversified house instead of having a properly diversified portfolio.

    Probably not very relevant - but you can get a lot of leverage if you have the stomach for it by opening a brokerage account with 40k (your initial downpayment). A good semi-professional one would be IB ( Margin accounts give a 3X/4x leverage any day. Buy a few interest rate, currency or commodity swaps with that - and your leverage can reach stratospheric levels. I know I dont have the stomach for that.

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  • anjans
    07-14 02:05 PM
    guys, it is very frustrating to be waiting for GC 8yrs from applying! with you there. But As VB says it will come to FY03 levels in Oct so, it is just a few months away.

    Also, who gets EB2 vs EB3 is decided on the job requirement. If we believe that we have been able to "fool" the system to get into a higher queue priority, if reflects that we have broken rules and calls for re-auditing all applications.So bringing up something which cannot be substantiated should be avoided.

    I realise that a new kid in the block with a 5 yr exp or MS comes to US and applies in 2008 for PERM, at this rate EB3 from 2004-2008 run the risk of syaing put till all the new EB2's clear up as that queue will be serviced fast, but i guess the problem is that people who changed jobs and used previous exp are going to benefit whileas people who joined their first job and stayed there till GC will suffer...unfortunately there is not much that can be done , except fight for visa recapture.

    It is not about ppl, USA values a phd level job vs a MS level job vs a B.S level job, and would rather incentivice them in that order. The fact you qualify for M.S level job today means that you may have to go out take it and recertify your LC.

    I dont think EB3 ppl are jealous. But dont react with emotion.

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  • vamsi_poondla
    09-30 10:30 PM
    Rightly said. This is the case with most of us mpadapa. We too are in the process of starting Australia PR. Perth area, while not as great as Silicon Valley, according to many, is a breeding ground for innovation.

    I cannot let this uncertainty - whether Obama's immigration policy will be same as Durbin's immigration policy for highly skilled immigrants - ruin my future. I have a career ahead and want to be in control of my fate.

    When I visited Statue Of Liberty last week, I had a strange feeling. First time I suspected that it is an age old fable that America used to accept immigrants with open arms to flourish - grow and contribute back. It seems too good to be true because our GC process is so irrational. 8 years wait for becoming PR in contrast with other western democracies could do it in < 5 years with a smoother process. Something wrong here.

    If Obama becomes president can he restore the faith of high-skilled immigrant who play by the books and still have to wait for decades to get their Green Card.

    After graduating with a Electrical engg degree from a top school in India, I got a job with a world leading semiconductor company. I first came to USA almost 12 years ago on a business trip as part of a multinational chip design effort for high end Telecommunication market. I was very impressed with the group of professionals I worked with. I felt the work environment stimulated the creativity in me and brought the best out of me. After the short trip I went back to my home country but that visit left a lasting impression on me and I felt USA would be the place I can further my professional abilities. Couple of years later, I came to USA for my Masters to embark on that journey. Even though I graduated when the US economy was in recession (2001), my unique skill set was much sought after and hence I got a job with a R&D startup division of a popular Japanese company. Working with a great group of professionals brought out the creativity in me. I currently have 10 US patents. The sailing was smooth until I started my Green Card process. The outdated immigration system and the long wait in the limbo state has been impacting my professional and personal life. I am starting to doubt that my American dream is slipping away day by day. I hope if Obama becomes the president he would restore some credibility to my faith in the immigration system. But if Sen. Durbin is driving Obama's immigration policy then I fear even more long waits for high-skilled immigrants because of Sen. Durbin's aggressive stance against H1B's. Mean while I have started to look at immigrant friendly countries like Australia and Canada as my possible future destination. Due to too much headaches with immigration process my Director had decided not to hire any more foreign workers, this decision has crippled our divisions expansion as most of the interested candidates require H1's. All the new projects which otherwise would have started in USA has moved to other places all because of the broken immigration process.

    Obama has mentioned many times on the campaign trail that "his education" is the reason why he has risen to where he is now. I feel Obama is a person who values higher education and high-skilled professional and I do have great faith in Obama's skills, I hope he takes a strong stance on the need to reform the high-skilled immigration system.

    Many have been looking at the high-skilled immigrants through a narrow pin hole, even Sen Durbin has been swayed by such critics. NFAP report shows that almost 50% of the private venture backed companies started between 1995 and 2005 are founded by immigrants. Guess what Sen. Durbin and high-skilled immigrant critics majority of those immigrants would've taken the route of H1 -> GreenCard -> US citizen. The companies started by those immigrants employ thousands of Americans and millions in tax revenue. Then why is America so hostile towards the same high-skilled immigration system which in the long run benefits America. Why are Sen. Durbin so short sighted on the high-skilled immigration system? Hope Obama can look at the high-skilled immigration system with a long term perspective and persuade his colleagues in Congress to enact a legislation to fix this broken system.

    Here is the link to the NFAP report which I talked about 6.pdf

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  • vactorboy29
    10-01 04:18 PM
    I do support Obama reason for that he got good plans to rescue this economy .He also understand how it feels when you treated differently .Another thought I have is, his father was came to this country for higher study and he understands What is American dream.
    That is how i feel he will do better on our cause than his opponent.


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  • ilwaiting
    04-09 11:09 AM
    Looks like everyone want to talk about their specific selfish advantages and ignore the problem on a whole if this bill passes.

    I think this bill ironically works out well for doctors and researchers!

    We are not consultants.Most of the times we stick to one place. Either doing residency or postdoc we are usually in one place. Most universities are very rigorous with the labour certification process and residency is obtained via "match".

    The consulting companies have been responsible for for flooding the GC process. Consequently researchers and doctors have to wait with the rest of the crowd. This new bills will turn out to be very advantageous to doctors and scientists ( in nonprofit organizations).

    Would like to hear opinions for and against this view......

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  • BumbleBee
    03-24 02:41 PM
    Again, I am not the one you should be asking to define "full-time" and "temp" type jobs. Ask USCIS or DOL or whoever is going to adjudicate your green card.

    I am simply saying that if USCIS has made a distinction between perm job and temp job, AND if they feel that consulting job is of temp type, someone along the line has dropped the ball and missed this. They also missed the fact that the employee needs to work at the LCA specified location. They also missed (or circumvented) that benching is not allowed.

    You can blame anyone and everyone for it. Maybe the immigration attorneys were the ones that should have warned both the employers and employees that consulting jobs do not fit the H-1B requirement. Maybe USCIS was sleeping all the while and suddenly they decided to start enforcing this. But the fact that they can ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN claim that H-1B visa is for permanent jobs only, AND that employees need to stay in the LCA location means that our lawyers, employers, and employees were incompetent in their judgment and did not do their due diligence to protect against potential audits and queries.
    I am telling you the same thing I told the other guy .... you don't need to give me justifications.

    Just hope that USCIS will buy your story! D&vgnextchannel=1847c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1 RCRD

    Q : What is an H-1B?

    The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

    As per USCIS, H1B is for temporary job


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  • wellwisher02
    03-29 08:49 AM


    PMI premium payments are now tax deductible. This is effective Dec 2007. I remember reading an article on this. (I do not pay PMI and therefore do not keep a tab on this. However you may wanna check up on what I say.)

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  • funny
    09-30 04:10 PM
    I think you are right - as soon as they see I140 revocation they are doing the easiest thing, that is to reject underlying I485. They can easily check the 180 days period; alternately they can actually issue NoticeOfIntenttoDeny (NOID) and give a chance to the candidate why I485 should not be rejected - this is also equally easy for them to do (just send a letter and give a 45 day or something similar time). I think they are simply rejecting so it reduces the total pending I485 cases. It might be possible for us to open MTR and resolve this but if working on EAD we will be in soup and also MTR's typically take longer to get resolved.

    I guess this discussion is going on in a different direction.. "AC21 is the focus here" while we are at it, I want to ask if someone has seen a denial, just because someone used AC21 and the I-140 was not revoked.


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  • nojoke
    04-17 04:13 PM

    It is down by 100K compared to last year. Just like I said, every year it is going to be 100K down for 2 more years.:D

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  • axp817
    03-25 01:26 PM
    Any stories of AOS applicants porting to self employment under AC21, that you could share with us?

    Given your explanation on risks involved with porting to a small company, I wonder how self employment plays out in an AC21 scenario.

    Thanks very much, as always.


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  • nojoke
    06-26 04:58 PM
    Well - your approach smells of speculation, which is pretty dangerous!!

    I take the following approach

    Left Side: Add my rent

    Right Side: Add all my expenses (mortgage + maintenance + tax)

    As soon as Left > right - it is a time to buy.

    If you get to the nitti-gritties - it can get very complicated. e.g. you usually put 20% down. Plus the principal payment is technically not "expenditure" - it is "investment in your home equity". Owning means you lose flexibility. It is impossible to put numbers against all these.

    However, my personal "estimate"/"Tipping point" (taking into account the loss of flexibility etc) is when I have positive cash flow from owning (i.e. rent > mortgage + tax + maintenance). Some very successful RE investors I know take the same approach and are very successful.

    No. Speculators generally drive up the prices. What I am doing is not speculation. It is being cautious and rational(with the data I have). The one who drove up the housing price are the ones who were speculating that it will go up in price forever and created this huge bubble. You got the meaning of speculation wrong.
    Speculation is "engagement in business transactions involving considerable risk but offering the chance of large gains, esp. trading in commodities, stocks, etc., in the hope of profit from changes in the market price."
    There are people who are waiting for the house prices to come to back to sane levels. And there are people who cannot get loan even if they wish to buy. They are not speculators.

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 06:44 PM
    A man was sitting reading his papers when his wife hit him round the head with a frying pan.

    'What was that for?' the man asked.

    The wife replied 'That was for the piece of paper with the name Jenny on it that I found in your pants pocket'.

    The man then said 'When I was at the races last week Jenny was the name of the horse I bet on'

    The wife apologized and went on with the housework.

    Three days later the man is watching TV when his wife bashes him on the head with an even bigger frying pan, knocking him unconscious.

    Upon re-gaining consciousness the man asked why she had hit again. Wife replied. 'Your horse phoned'


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  • Winner
    03-25 11:01 AM
    Thanks for contributing to IV with meaningful discussions. Would you all consider making a monetary contribution to IV?

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  • puddonhead
    06-07 05:39 PM
    5% per month is easily attainable with some options strategies. But not everyone has the temperament/stomach/psyche for active trading.
    Reward checking accounts are your friend....
    Reward Checking Account Discussion (

    They typically have some requirements like you may have to
    1. Make 8-12 debit card transactions a month. Automatic payments for small amounts are usually your friend here.
    2. Some of them may also need one or two direct deposits per month into the account.

    The max balance up to which they will pay this interest rate is usually 25k. If you are rich - simply open up more than one at different financial institutions.

    Right now - the rates are in the 4% range - but this is a very unusual time. I have seen rates in 6-7% range most of the time.

    And if you are worried about risk - I guess nothing in this world can beat FDIC insurance in terms of risk hedge. I don't mean to say that the US government can never go bankrupt. In fact - the current strategy to spend spend spend out of the recession increases that chance. But there is NOTHING, not even stuffing your money in your mattress (hint: inflation) - which is superior in terms of preserving your capital.


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  • dpp
    05-16 12:07 PM
    No need to have Durbin's bill. Just ban Outsourcing, then all jobs will come back and everybody will be happy here in US.

    My view is not based on my personal gain or loss. My view is even if they ban consulting H1b numbers will not be reduced so much and cap will be reached. Number of permanent jobs will increase and they will hire H1b only when there is real shortage. Why do you think IEEE-USA members are undeserving and lazy just because they are interesting to put restrictions in H1b? Infact they are interested in more green cards. We are appreciating. Just because they are pointing out some problems in the program we cannot brand them as anti immigrants or lazy people. We ourself know that there are some issues in the program. While we were studying in the college it was big achivement if our research article comes into IEEE. So IEEE is considered as one of world best academic association.

    It is not TCS,Infy,Wipro is causing delay to GC. Infact I worked one of those companies and still they are one of best in India. Still I may work those companies if I go to India.

    If there is real shortage of skilled people then we will pass all the tests which are given in Durbin proposal and we can get H1b. What is the problem in accepting? Infact I am not supporting Ban of H1b on consulting but other than that everything can be fine and easily passed by most of H1b persons

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  • validIV
    06-26 10:20 AM
    Renting is not throwing money away..why ? for one - you get a place to stay, flexibility, maintenance / property tax paid by property owner, you can rent closer to your work and move around as per needs etc etc.. housing has its own benefits (but renting has its own too .."it is not as easy as saying renting is throwing money away" ..I have been asked to write about this in detail in the IV wiki ..will post a link here later

    ok if its not throwing money away, how do you get the money back you spent on renting? Nothing you said above answers that question.


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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 02:56 PM
    I just got several red dots for expressing my opinions...

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  • raj2007
    04-07 11:39 PM
    Desis who come here are all engineers and well educated. I couldn't believe that some of them are falling for the realtor tricks. I know someone who last year paid 200K more on an advertised price of 1million. He said the realtor told him that there was bidding war and he kept rising it and eventually got the house for 1.2million. What stupidity. Doesn't he know about phantom bids that realtors use to jack up the price.:( This is last year end when housing here started crashing. I asked him how he is going to pay when his arm resets. He says he will refinance. God save him.

    They are well educated but not street smart. Realtors are same everywhere and they know, how to misguide.

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  • araj_98
    05-25 12:45 PM
    retrogression is there was no unified voice to atleast speak out, when the serious problems that the legal immigrants are facing was anticipated, write about these issues. Now we have one in IV.

    The only problem in what you advocate is this: while each of us is free to speak as we like, that dilutes our focus and produces a gaggle of voices. This results in lack of attention and gradual erosion of the effort. We don't have a full time paid director / administrators to brings things to order. All work here is at IV is voluntary. That's why we need to stop people from promoting Lou Dobbs. Remember, one swallow doen't make a summer.

    Also remember: these channels have (or may have) an hidden agenda. Rather than pure news and opinion disseminating channels, they are jockeying to be a opinion influencing channel. That's where they fail; when they can't convince people (how can you, in a few minutes of news coverage), they confuse poeple.

    February 23, 2006
    Watch Video of Author Tom Friedman's Lecture

    Please note: You will need Quicktime 7 to view this video.

    BTW People who support Lou and his view are as ignorant and xenophobic as he is.

    Communique - Your posts dont suggest that you are an immigrant or even pro-immigrant.

    07-15 11:01 AM
    Like anything else there are people of all kinds...there are h1b's who own a house and BMW's (and stock options in the valley) and there are h1b's that share a apartment with a couple of roomates to save some money.I have been here for 10 years and I have seen all kinds...basically what a h1b does depends on wether he is bachelor,family man ,his age , experience and his priorities in life etc..the only thing common is that everyone of them can be much more productive if they get permanent residency.A GC will give them a lot of choices and will give them wings to fly.

    Wish everyone the best ...keep up the spirit and the good work.

    08-05 10:53 AM
    Why should they?

    So, you don't believe in helping others.