Search found 4540 matches

by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard's Security image going away?
Replies: 81
Views: 7925

Re: Vanguard's Security image going away?

EDIT: As it turns out it was not a password problem, but rather I am currently on holiday in a blocked country. Vanguard has a variety of countries they block from accessing your account. So you either need a VPN to access or must wait til you are out of that country. Would have been nice to know b...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland & Scotland tour
Replies: 11
Views: 932

Re: Ireland & Scotland tour

I have actually found it much easier to drive on the left than I had anticipated. Basically, follow others, and repeat the mantra "left-turn easy, right-turn hard." It's not just the driving on the left. It's also roads narrower than your driveway, and roundabouts, and box junctions, and ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Commit to Lifelong Renting in Bay area?
Replies: 18
Views: 2104

Re: Commit to Lifelong Renting in Bay area?

By the way how do I document the contribution? Does Form 5498 serve that purpose? I have form 5498 for most of my original Roth IRA direct contributions but not all. I think a combination of form 5498 from the Roth IRA that receives the money and a 1099R from the 401(k) that distributed the money. ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion: Threshold checklist
Replies: 43
Views: 2386

Re: Roth conversion: Threshold checklist

the reason I want to get rid of the RMDs and unrealized gains is that I want to avoid or minimize the 46.25% bracket for the singles With 2 pensions, I'm not sure you can avoid the 46.25% bracket. The way I see it, the 46.25% bracket is like a donut. You go into it and you go out of it back into yo...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Commit to Lifelong Renting in Bay area?
Replies: 18
Views: 2104

Re: Commit to Lifelong Renting in Bay area?

... I'll also add that Roth contributions (not earnings) can be withdrawn completely tax free which plays nicely with Option A (the "mega-backdoor Roth"). I believe you have to wait 5 years after the conversion to withdrawal the money tax free, but I'll leave you to your own research on t...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [looking] for car suggestions
Replies: 60
Views: 3614

Re: look for car suggestions

the concern is more with kids and family. i have elderly parents that will be 5 minutes away but accessible on through pretty hilly driving and our kids will be starting school - there have been a number of "daytime" snowstorms where people get stuck. fair point though - we may be able to...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safe Harbor / Q3 Estimated Payment
Replies: 6
Views: 458

Re: Safe Harbor / Q3 Estimated Payment

I'm wondering WRT to the above, can I just pay the safe harbor amount covering my total 2014 tax payments * 110%? In particular, does safe harbor apply to AMT and long-term gains, or just income taxes? I may still pay the entire net amount that I estimated, but I want to make sure that no matter wh...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [looking] for car suggestions
Replies: 60
Views: 3614

Re: look for car suggestions

For those not from the area, 1500 ft on the west side of the mountains probably gets hit with snow or icy conditions a couple times a year with some big dumps possible. It's for certain not the rocky mountains. The snow that does fall will likely be wet, heavy, and compacted to ice shortly since sa...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unequal estimated tax payments
Replies: 27
Views: 2075

Re: Unequal estimated tax payments

As has been suggested, the underpayment penalties are often small enough that it is more expensive in time and headache to try to figure out the rules than to just pay it. I believe my penalty two years ago was around $45 because I did not meet safe harbors and did not bother to pay any estimated t...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low mileage oil change
Replies: 37
Views: 3731

Re: Low mileage oil change

My wife's mother (age 81) only puts about 2500 miles on her 2002 Maxima each year... drives just around her town...most trips being 30 miles or less and never on a major highway or interstate. We were visiting recently and I just noticed she hasn't had an oil change in about a year....should an oil...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unequal estimated tax payments
Replies: 27
Views: 2075

Re: Unequal estimated tax payments

This is surprisingly complex. A full answer requires detailed knowledge of the rules or details of your situation you did not give. There are at least some circumstances where making a small payment immediately will reduce the penalty. First of all check which safe harbor you used to calculate your ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cap weight maximum diversification?
Replies: 46
Views: 2374

Re: Cap weight maximum diversification?

In any case, if we assume a multifactor model (e.g. Fama-French 3 factor) to be true, I'm pretty sure under most assumptions of factor returns, you end up with the market portfolio not having the best risk-adjusted returns. This seems like something Fama should have addressed somewhere in some pape...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cap weight maximum diversification?
Replies: 46
Views: 2374

Re: Cap weight maximum diversification?

In any case, if we assume a multifactor model (e.g. Fama-French 3 factor) to be true, I'm pretty sure under most assumptions of factor returns, you end up with the market portfolio not having the best risk-adjusted returns. This seems like something Fama should have addressed somewhere in some pape...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asking for separate checks?
Replies: 88
Views: 6294

Re: Asking for separate checks?

I have friends from the Northeast who are amazed that restaurants will even do separate checks, but that is pretty common down here. Although if I'm going out with a larger group, I always check in advance. (It is usually only an issue if trying to split more than 5- 6 ways). I've been to many part...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cap weight maximum diversification?
Replies: 46
Views: 2374

Re: Cap weight maximum diversification?

I believe, according to the theory, constructing an index any other way than market-cap-weighting should give it a lower risk-adjusted return ( but generally a higher return as you're taking on more risk ) In theory the bold part is incorrect. You only get paid for taking undiversifiable risk. This...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not paying estimated taxes
Replies: 20
Views: 2276

Re: Not paying estimated taxes

A lot of people here seem confused. I think this is a good idea as I don't like where my IRA is and I don't mind taking from it, BUT I WANT THE TAX HIT TO BE AS SMALL AS POSSIBLE I think it is a good idea to just take the penalty given your current situation. What I was saying is since you can with...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balance between saving in taxable account and retirement account? (mega backdoor version)
Replies: 13
Views: 1537

Re: Balance between saving in taxable account and retirement account? (mega backdoor version)

First decide the balance between spending and savings. You should not let the government's arbitrary limits on various accounts determine what you do with your money. Once you've decided how much to save put the money in the best places, until all your savings are accounted for. You need to look at ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Harry Markowitz wrong? Why Optimal Portfolios Are So Difficult To Create
Replies: 33
Views: 2990

Re: Is Harry Markowitz wrong? Why Optimal Portfolios Are So Difficult To Create

Epsilon Delta, in your own words, then: In the real world, given the limitations of available data and the limitations of personal behavior, a) Can an individual retail investor apply MPT in his own portfolio? b) If so, should an individual retail investor apply MPT in his own portfolio? c) If so, ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Harry Markowitz wrong? Why Optimal Portfolios Are So Difficult To Create
Replies: 33
Views: 2990

Re: Is Harry Markowitz wrong? Why Optimal Portfolios Are So Difficult To Create

Contrasting the "MPT way" with the "pre-MPT way": I feel fortunate that my original investing lessons were taught to me by experienced investors that had not yet embraced MPT. Instead, my original teachers taught that investment selections should be based on a carefully research...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can You Contribute to Parents Roth IRA?
Replies: 26
Views: 2253

Re: Can You Contribute to Parents Roth IRA?

A minor thing to keep in mind is the gift tax if contributing to their Roth accounts pushes your total gifts over $14000 per person. $14K per year is the annual exclusion limit. But I doubt he is going to give them $5.4M in lifetime gifts. Above $14K would trigger the threshold to report, however, ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Harry Markowitz wrong? Why Optimal Portfolios Are So Difficult To Create
Replies: 33
Views: 2990

Re: Is Harry Markowitz wrong? Why Optimal Portfolios Are So Difficult To Create

There are other ways to estimate portfolio risk and return that circumvent correlation estimates. One way is to assume there is no efficient frontier. This shows the main problem with MPT. People either do not read it or having read it do not understand it. The efficient frontier is not defined as ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Harry Markowitz wrong? Why Optimal Portfolios Are So Difficult To Create
Replies: 33
Views: 2990

Re: Is Harry Markowitz wrong? Why Optimal Portfolios Are So Difficult To Create

There are other ways to estimate portfolio risk and return that circumvent correlation estimates. One way is to assume there is no efficient frontier. This shows the main problem with MPT. People either do not read it or having read it do not understand it. The efficient frontier is not defined as ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get a job as a software developer?
Replies: 52
Views: 4675

Re: How to get a job as a software developer?

Another way to get some experience is to do some something for your current employer. Either by switching jobs or by just taking a problem you find, or somebody else has, and solving it. I believe the OP is a file clerk. There may be opportunities to help somebody doing something out of the ordinary...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lock for $500 bike
Replies: 27
Views: 2472

Re: lock for $500 bike

You've received good advice so far but I would say most of it is overkill. If you live in a relatively low crime area and will be leaving your bike in mostly high traffic areas (Walmart, grocery stores) I would go with a simple cable and either tumbler lock or master lock. REI sells them in various...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: honda civic or Prius?
Replies: 86
Views: 7250

Re: honda civic or Prius?

I will also note my reading reviews has told me these cars -really- suffer on gas mileage in colder areas and I've heard a lot of regrets from people in the northern U.S.. This is hearsay, just take of that what you will. All cars suffer in the cold. When you go 25 mpg to 20 in the winter, you thin...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transporting Car 1,800 miles
Replies: 23
Views: 1671

Re: Transporting Car 1,800 miles

It's worth considering selling the car in middle America and buying a different one on the east coast. Sometimes the transaction costs are less than the shipping costs, bearing in mind that some of the transaction costs (e.g. registering in the new state) are going to have to be paid anyway.
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So many anomalies -- so little time: buy a nomaly basket
Replies: 22
Views: 1805

Re: So many anomalies -- so little time: buy a nomaly basket

It is a good benchmark though, and it does imply the following practical rule: If costs are low enough, the premium exists. ... Hypothetically speaking, what prevents someone from writing a computer algorithm that generates their own "index" and then trades against that index just as effi...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So many anomalies -- so little time: buy a nomaly basket
Replies: 22
Views: 1805

Re: So many anomalies -- so little time: buy a nomaly basket

It is a good benchmark though, and it does imply the following practical rule: If costs are low enough, the premium exists. ... Hypothetically speaking, what prevents someone from writing a computer algorithm that generates their own "index" and then trades against that index just as effi...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing wireless router - advice needed
Replies: 21
Views: 2113

Re: Replacing wireless router - advice needed

Routers don't just slow down; if the radio burns out, they quit entirely. Interference is a likely cause of the slowdown; While interferenece is a likely cause I have had cases where a radio partially fails. One example is the antennae breaks off and the access point continues to work in a degraded...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Philosophical HVAC Question: When to Replace AC/furnace
Replies: 24
Views: 1797

Re: Philosophical HVAC Question: When to Replace AC/furnace

When the temperature is 90+ and RH is 95+%, it is very difficult to pull sufficient moisture out at a normal room temperature with a 13 SEER unit. The difference in comfort with the new unit was significant - I was able to set the thermostat 4 degrees F higher. Maybe so, but our 12 SEER units do a ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can You Contribute to Parents Roth IRA?
Replies: 26
Views: 2253

Re: Can You Contribute to Parents Roth IRA?

It sounds like your parents will have a very low marginal rate in retirement, probably lower than their current rate. As such, a deductible TIRA contribution will work out better than a Roth contribution because they will get the deduction now at a higher rate than they will be taxed later on. Don'...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Probability/statistics thinkers: should a skilled speculator go broke?
Replies: 36
Views: 2861

Re: Probability/statistics thinkers: should a skilled speculator go broke?

Discipline, sure But I think if you took a 5-year-old, a chimpanzee and an experienced investor, and had them follow the rules off a sheet of A5 paper, they'd all produce the same results Being forced or persuaded to do something is not a skill. Getting a 5-year-old, a chimpanzee or an experienced ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Probability/statistics thinkers: should a skilled speculator go broke?
Replies: 36
Views: 2861

Re: Probability/statistics thinkers: should a skilled speculator go broke?

What can be said, mathematically, about the internal rate of return of a series that starts and ends at zero? That's a serious question, I can't figure it out, but I think the answer must either be "zero" or "indeterminate." If you start and end at zero the IRR is indeterminate ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are the more expensive bikes worth paying for?
Replies: 78
Views: 3941

Re: Are the more expensive bikes worth paying for?

Thanks all for the feedback. I will have to visit a bike shop and check the bikes out. I am definitely leaning toward the Trek. The one concern that I have is that there is a higher risk of this bike being stolen. Are there bike stands you can attach to a car that can securely attach a bike to? I h...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand - is an accumulating ETF a bad thing?
Replies: 10
Views: 992

Re: Help me understand - is an accumulating ETF a bad thing?

I don't know your specific tax situation, but we here in the US would love to have accumulating funds. I, for one, would always use them in my taxable account. Alas, they are not allowed. It doesn't matter if accumulating funds are allowed if the reinvested income is taxed. This is the case in many...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]
Replies: 12
Views: 1049

Re: Which professional to contact? [Front yard maintenance]

You can fill shallow hollows by spreading a thin layer of topsoil/compost on top of the grass. The grass will grow through it, and you can repeat if needed. Exactly how thick a layer you can use and how often you can do it depends on the type of grass and climate. Typically 1/2 an inch a couple of t...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Builder wants to put a retaining wall on my property
Replies: 52
Views: 4573

Re: Builder wants to put a retaining wall on my property

One thing to consider if you decide to sell them some land. The developer will own a strip of land several feet wide at the top of the wall and adjacent to your land. They might use this for, say, storing garbage cans. You might want to include some sort of restrictions on what they can do with this...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS tax forms
Replies: 25
Views: 754

Re: IRS tax forms

This may seem very "simple" but we've been paying a CPA for years to do our taxes. We no longer have rental properties, write-offs, etc. I'm sure I can do it myself. Does one just go to IRS.gov and input the info on the form and mail it in? Duh, sorry, but I've seen the 1040's on their we...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shouldn't riskier stocks have better returns?
Replies: 20
Views: 1465

Re: Shouldn't riskier stocks have better returns?

So the general rule of thumb is that any risk that needs to be taken and can't be eliminated through diversification should have a higher expected return the more the risk is. Thus stocks are naturally riskier than bonds, and therefore have a higher long-term expected return. All of this discussion...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop wifi connection + keyboard
Replies: 9
Views: 633

Re: Desktop wifi connection + keyboard

It's easy to see if there is any performance difference between ethernet and wifi . Connect using ethernet only, and run a couple of speed tests at speedtest.net. Unplug ethernet and connect using WiFi. Run speed tests again and see if the speeds are different. Wireless is more likely to have inter...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wiring home network cable type?
Replies: 30
Views: 1940

Re: Wiring home network cable type?

Semi-serious question. What do you do if you assume that technology will advance and that you really ought to rewire your house for data every ten years or so? Is there some kind of system of channels that makes it trivially easy to slip cables in and out? Completely concealed access panels in base...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wiring home network cable type?
Replies: 30
Views: 1940

Re: Wiring home network cable type?

Probably not relevant to the OP but may be to some lurker. Ethernet over coax is still supported. You can buy adaptors and reuse coax originally installed for TVs. You won't get Gbit but it it should be enough for streaming. This may be cheaper if stringing new wire involves cutting and patching dry...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Voyageurs National Park Vacation
Replies: 11
Views: 1124

Re: Voyageurs National Park Vacation

http://www.nps.gov/voya/planyourvisit/bears-and-food-storage.htm Black Bears mostly wreck stuff, looking for food. It's always best to check directly with the local rangers (or their web-site) for current procedures. In a couple of places they update the recommendations in the four or five years be...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No dipstick on a new Audi engine!?!!
Replies: 73
Views: 7182

Re: No dipstick on a new Audi engine!?!!

Of course, it's still easier to change fan belt in a 1980 Renault Le Car than a Prius, despite the fact that you had to partially dismantle the engine in the Renault due to clearance issues if you didn't have expensive special tools. I doubt that. Swapping the serpentine belt on a Prius takes 15 mi...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No dipstick on a new Audi engine!?!!
Replies: 73
Views: 7182

Re: No dipstick on a new Audi engine!?!!

Cars like 2014 Audi don't have an ECM, they have multiple ECMs. The most current cars , especially the latest from the Germans, are rolling networks of integrated systems modules. Starting a MB requires 5 separate ECMs to sequential integrate and execute the engine start sequence. More than one poo...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Management
Replies: 56
Views: 2945

Re: Password Management

I'm still asking for opinions as to whether a memorized random PW together with 2 factor is good enough, say for Vanguard access. Once you've selected a password just a bit more complex than "password" or your mother's maiden name the longer password is protecting against errors of the ot...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Management
Replies: 56
Views: 2945

Re: Password Management

On the other hand the three factors are: ⋅ Something you are (e.g. fingerprints) ⋅ Something you have (e.g. dongle) ⋅ Something you know (e.g. password) One problem: an "unnamed" nation state now has fingerprints for 1M+ Americans so the whole assumption that...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Layout: Where to put Dining Table?
Replies: 23
Views: 1748

Re: House Layout: Where to put Dining Table?

If a dining table is rarely used it's worth considering a table with variable size, such as a gate leg table or one with multiple leaves. For example the breakfast table could expand into the family room, or you could have a gate leg table in the family room that is kept folded most of the time.
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Management
Replies: 56
Views: 2945

Re: Password Management

I've used Lastpass for years, generally with simpler passwords, but with more complex or generated PWs for financial accounts. With the coming of 2 factor verification availability I'm more comfortable with simpler passwords and am considering going to ones I can actually remember. Am I deluding my...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No dipstick on a new Audi engine!?!!
Replies: 73
Views: 7182

Re: No dipstick on a new Audi engine!?!!

Yeah, I will take a 2014 Audi without a dipstick, any day over a 1999 camry. It is a beautiful car and super nice, so congratulations on this modern car which looks great and drives so well! As far as the dipstick itself, I don't really see why it is an issue. The car can tell you when the oil is l...

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