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Messages - CajunDynamo

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Anyone else going to have a family with no income?
« on: June 29, 2005, 12:44:49 PM »
Hey Ms. Scurvy,

Financial planning isn't really my forte', so take everything I say w/ a pound of salt.

Common sense (well, to me anyway) would suggest that if the loan on your student interest rate is 'X', if you can make a guaranteed return more than 'X' than by all means take the money and get the extra return.

For example, under the old Stafford rates of 2.77%, it would've made sense to plop that money into, say, for example, an ING Savings acc't which pays a rate of 3% (as of 6/29/05).  Why not earn an extra .23% interest w/ no risk?  Plus, your student loan interest is tax deductible if you meet certain AGI threshholds.

I'm not quite as sold on the idea of putting the money into your house.  Most people, even if the 'make too much' to deduct their student loan interest, are still eligible to deduct their home mortgage interest.  Why would you want to pay off mortgage interest that is probably deductible with student loan proceeds whose interest you probably won't be able to deduct?

The trick now is that current Stafford loan interest rates are b/t 4.7 - 5.3%.  I'm not certain if that'll apply to loans taken out before the rate increase on June 30, 2005.  In other words, are the Stafford loans I've qualified for but haven't rec'd yet (not til August) are eligible for the older, lower rate or if I'm just hosed and have to pay the higher rates?

Assuming it's all at higher rates, I would lean ever so slightly towards reducing the amount of student loans I'd take out.  A major exception to that would be if I thought I might need those funds to live off of during law school.  Another exception might be if you think that over three year period that you're taking out the loans you could earn at least 5% on that money elsewhere.  I think I'm going gamble a little bit to see if I can make a few bucks off my loan, but I'm probably in the minority in that regard.

Sorry I basically said, "I don't know" over five paragraphs, but hopefully you'll find something useful in my mess above.


Incoming 1Ls / Re: Anyone else going to have a family with no income?
« on: June 29, 2005, 09:28:23 AM »
I have great financial situation with a wife that works (about $55k) and I am leaving a similar paying career to go to law school.  We also wanted to maintain our current lifestyle while in school.  I recently recieved a scholarship that amounts to a full ride so that took care of the need for student loans for lifestyle maintenance.  Now I am still going to take out the student loans but I am going to use them to accumulate a very large downpayment on my first home when I graduate from law school.  Many different financial advisors have recommended this route to me and after running the numbers myself (Finance major and CFA) I can't believe how great this is going to work out for me.  In retrospect, I would have been a tremendous fool to take out the loans to maintain a lifestyle but to use the money has an investment in primary residence is a no-brainer.

Hey Matt,

I found your idea intriging.  Would you mind fleshing out a few thoughts/points I had?

1.)  If you're taking out the student loans, obviously you'll owe the student interest on them (ie: minimum 3 years for loans taken during 1L, 2 years for loans taken out during 2L, and 1 year for loan taken out during 3L).  Presuming you have Stafford loans, won't the interest you'll accumulate and have to pay on those loans run anywhere b/t 4.7 & 5.3%?  Are those rates really that materially different from a regular home mortgage loan?  

2.)  Presuming you have to take out a home mortgage loan even after using your accumulated student loans for a down payment, won't having a large student loan balance at least somewhat negatively impact you're ability to land a the home mortgage loan you'll need to cover that difference?

3.)  Presuming you're making the big bucks after graduating law school, that student loan interest won't be deductible, but home mortage interest would be (AGI threshhold is a lot higher for home mortgage interest phaseouts that student loan interest).

Sorry for the long winded questions.  But I really like your idea and hoping you can educate me on some matters to that I can effectively apply it also!



General Off-Topic Board / Re: u.n. on guantanamo
« on: June 24, 2005, 05:38:16 AM »
Look Julie, you're absolutely right.

I mean, if you can trust anonymous UN sources, particularly given the their track record on handling human rights abuses ranging from human trafficing & mass rape to wholesale genocide, I don't know who can you trust.

Please, keep on digging until you either can find, or assist in manufacturing, evidence about what a despicable country the U.S. is.  I've often found that wanting to believe something is 99% of the way to actually believing something.

Of course, I've always believed that the U.S. was a faultless enterprise, never willing to admit their mistakes or try to learn from them.  Those House and Senate investigations are such a sham, eh?  Then again, me and my blind eyes have never made an honest living in my life, so what do I know?

Like I said, you're right.  And don't worry, this is my final post on this thread.  Reading the missives of people who pretend to write in broken English and refer to themselves in the third person bore the hell out of me.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: u.n. on guantanamo
« on: June 24, 2005, 05:08:01 AM »
As always Julie, your country appreciates your steadfast support.


General Off-Topic Board / Re: Houston Happy Hour Anyone???
« on: June 15, 2005, 06:42:25 PM »
Hola all,

For whatever it's worth, I stopped by the Tavern around 8:20-ish (earliest I could get off work).  I walked around the Tavern by didn't see y'all.  I was particularly looking for Scurvy since I've actually met her in person, but I didn't see her around.

Oh well, I figure I'll see y'all in August.


Incoming 1Ls / Re: Guantanamo Detention Facility
« on: June 14, 2005, 06:36:07 PM »
But you're not an evil person.  I believe in evil acts, but I don't believe in people who're pure evil

And with that comment, along w/ the WWII bombings argument SGY, you've lost all credibility. 

It's now painfully obvious you neither truly understand human nature nor world history.  I'd go into a lot more detail, but frankly I don't feel like wasting the words on you. 

And, forgive me, but I'm having a real difficult time figuring out how one can be a both a patriot and at the same time have the audacity to compare how we ended WWII to SAVE American and European lives to the terrorist acts committed by our friends in the Middle East.

And no, some things ARE black and white.  9/11 WAS wrong by any sane standard.  Taking the steps to end terrorism IS right, by any sane standard.  And you bending over backwards, and I'm tempted to say forwards, to defend terrorists captured on a battlefield frankly isn't patriotic. 

So I've not doubt after law school you'll be volunteering to defend some of those 'misguided' souls down there.  I'll look forward to your book and how morally outrageous it was for the U.S. to hold such noble souls in detention. 

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Guantanamo Detention Facility
« on: June 14, 2005, 02:09:44 PM »
The point is that there are a lot of reasons you might have been fighting on the side of terrorists.  It doesn't make you a monster (necessarily) or nonhuman.  It might make you terribly ignorant, or you might be a victim of the Talibanís draft.  But you should have a chance to explain your actions and a chance to learn what is actually so great about our country.

Mr. SleepyGuyYawn (SGY),

In the past I've generally enjoyed your posts.  But to be perfectly honest with you, I find your comments rather disturbing.

If you're fighting on the side of terrorists, by definition you are a monster.  Period.  It is, frankly, irrelevant WHY you would decide to strap ammunitions to your person and detonate oneself knowing innocents WILL die, or fly a plane into a building knowing innocents WILL die, take a civilian prisoner and BEHEAD them.   

HOW you reached that point is inconsequential.  It doesn't matter if you came to the conclusion on your own powers of deduction after studying a Koran or if the Taliban brainwashed your from birth.  You know, or at least innately (ie conscience) should know, that killing non-military personnel is wrong.

Using your logic, would it be OK if I stole or harmed you if my upbringing justified it (ie I grew up in an abusive household, etc).  After all, if my situation is intolerable, it's gotta be your fault, or at least it's justifiable for me to exact my outrage on your person.  Right?

And I have to follow up on the portion of your quote I indicated above.  I'll break it up into two parts:

"a chance to explain your actions" 

You're not really being serious here, are you?  Can you please come up with, say, three plausible, rational explanations for this sentence:  "I want to slit the throats of (or blow myself up near) Americans and/or Jews because....."

And keep in mind they must be rational explanations.  Otherwise, perhaps someone who shoots a doctor who performs abortions or the drug dealer who shoots a kid in a drive by shooting can use similar justifications for their actions. 

a chance to learn what is actually so great about our country.

The fact that you even write this is frightening.  I'm assuming you have a background in mental health by even suggesting this.  A chance to learn what is so great about our country?!?  How would you suggest we do this? 

Say these people were brainwashed, do you have any idea how they could be 'de-programmed'?  What criteria could even be used to determine if they were 'de-programmed?  What would happen afterwards? They certainly couldn't be sent back to their original countries, b/c after all, they could be brainwashed all over again.

Worse, if they came to there irrational hatred of our country threw their own deductions, how could we persuade them that their conclusions were wrong?  What if they initially see the errors of there ways, but after being immersed in parts of our culture re-conclude that, no, we are immoral infidels and take up their murderous ways again.

Also, it's pretty clear that the reason why these people hate us so much is BECAUSE of what they know about us.  They hate the fact that we have religious freedom, that we have freedom of expression, that we have so many 'immoral' images available to us on TV, etc.  The 9/11 hijackers knew a heck of a lot about us before they commandered those planes.  You're talking fundamental cultural differences here.  Put the shoe on the other foot.  Could you be truly convinced that women shouldn't be able to vote, that it should be illegal to possess a Bible, especially when the persuasion would be coming from the rather mundane practices of the US, not the brutal, torturing techniques of the Middle East.

As I mentioned earlier SGY, I've generally enjoyed your posts on other matters, but on this issue you're simply wrong.  For some reason you're morally equating, with disturbing eagerness, treatment of terrorists with treatments of your typical American criminal, and you just can't do that. 

Please SGY, we've got North Korea, Iran, China on the front burners, and Russia, Venezuala, and a host of others on the back burners.  We need people like you supporting the USA at this critical time in our country's history.  Having compassion for those that will kill is misguided at best, and destructive at worst.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Houston Happy Hour Anyone???
« on: June 03, 2005, 05:09:48 PM »
I'm voting for the 15th too.  I have classes on Tuesday and Thursday, so the 16th is out for me.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: CPAs?
« on: March 25, 2005, 08:56:20 PM »
Sorry...I started this topic and haven't added anything.

I just wanted to see if there were any other CPAs out there pursuing this whole law school thing.  Are you guys in a Big 4 firm, local firm, private industry, etc?  Do you practice audit, tax, finance, etc?

For those in tax, do you think you want to practice tax law or have you had enough and want to get out and do someting else?

Anyways, I thought I would try to keep this topic going.


Hey KG

I'm a CPA w/ a MS in Taxation & about a decade worth of experience. I spent a little over two years w/ KPMG (which is why I'm entirely unimpressed w/ the Big 4), 6 years w/ large regional firms (wish I'd never left), and two w/ my current employer in industry (don't want to give the name... yet).  I'll be starting law school this Fall.

In a nutshell, I can't wait to get out of the 'grunt' portion of taxation.  I have two acquantances who are tax attorneys, and their $$$ and quality of life are far superior to mine. 

I have to believe that the CPA exam tipped the scales in my favor as far as gaining admittances to the law schools that I'd applied to.  Granted, my LSAT score was pretty good, but being able to say that I passed the CPA exam in one sitting had to stand out.  Heck, I've heard the CPA exam is a tad harder than the bar- certainly the pass rates for the CPA are lower than the bars. 

Actually, I think the true worth in the CPA designation comes when applying for 1L and 2L jobs.  Given how tough the competition is for tax positions in summer internships (the tax groups at most law firms are pretty selective), being able to flash your CPA badge is just a huge, huge edge.  Especially if you have any relevant tax work experience, you'll know more tax than your typical 2L and 3L..... from a strictly tax point of view that is, not from a 'law' point of view.  But considering that most summer associates aren't handling any significant legal matters, most tax CPA's have a big edge b/c we DO have a practical tax knowledge.  We can actually look at your typical corporate tax document and have a clue what's being discussed.

All that being said, I'm definitely looking to broaden my career horizons with my law degree.  Tax is all fine and good, but in all honesty, how many tax CPAs roll out of bed in the morning and are actually excited about what they do?  Especially during tax filing seasons, you cannot honestly tell met that any tax CPA is psyched about pissing away months out of their lives to appease the IRS, or, worse, a superior in industry w/ little in the way of tax knowledge but a lot in being an overbearing schmuck.

If nothing else, I'm more willing to watch father time take away a few more of my years while I'm getting paid tax attorney, as opposed to tax CPA, rates.  At least I'll be able to retire sooner.

Oh well, just my pre tax 2 cents worth.


Incoming 1Ls / Re: Going to U of Houston! Who's with me?
« on: March 21, 2005, 08:38:29 AM »
Hola ScurvyWench,

Right now I'm signed up for FT, since that's the only way you can qualify for any scholarships.  Lord willing I'll get something, as my scores and GPA were pretty decent.  If I get anything at all, I'll go FT to UH and just bite the financial bullet for 3 years.

If nothing comes thru, I'll switch to PT and just suffer thru 4 years of crappola  ;)

Or, I might just throw caution and short term solvency to the wind and go to UT!

Still, I hope UH works out.  If for no other reason than to hear Prof. Buchanan sing a few more jingles.  ;D

Hope your move goes as smoothly as it can!


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