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Re: Same old, same old

Hypothesis 0: there has been a steady improvement in car safety over the last 30 years. In any given year getting a one (or ten) year newer car has roughly the same effect. ESC is just one of the many technologies and is nothing special. Hypothesis 1: There has recently been a large increase in the...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicles are (apparently) MUCH safer in last few years
Replies: 47
Views: 2733

Re: Same old, same old

randomguy wrote:
Actually that chart looks to me like we had the same improvement in 4 years that we had in the previous 8.

So 20 equals 39.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicles are (apparently) MUCH safer in last few years
Replies: 47
Views: 2733

Re: Same old, same old

Hypothesis 0: there has been a steady improvement in car safety over the last 30 years. In any given year getting a one (or ten) year newer car has roughly the same effect. ESC is just one of the many technologies and is nothing special. Hypothesis 1: There has recently been a large increase in the ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicles are (apparently) MUCH safer in last few years
Replies: 47
Views: 2733

Re: Searching with google while using Safari

I can't understand the problem the OP is having, but maybe that's just me. My own experience has been that there are no disadvantages to having the single box. I strongly prefer it to having a separate search box. There is never a time when I can use both simultaneously, so why have two boxes? Ther...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Searching with google while using Safari
Replies: 31
Views: 1163

Same old, same old

Deaths / year per million registered vehicles:

1985-1987 average: 200
1999-2002 average: 87
2008 average: 48
2011 average: 28

Image

I'd expect to see a HUGE change without squinting.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicles are (apparently) MUCH safer in last few years
Replies: 47
Views: 2733

Re: Chaos, complexity and entropy [for non-physicists]

Epsilon Delta: Ok, you piqued my curiosity.....how did you calculate the 0.0000013 sigma event for the million atom imbalance?.....and let's postulate that before the stopcock is opened.....there are exactly the same number of Argon atoms in bulb A as bulb B. As explained above the number of atoms ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chaos, complexity and entropy [for non-physicists]
Replies: 61
Views: 3485

Re: Assisted Living Facilities... Weird 'Atmosphere...'

scone wrote:a room dominated by introverts


How exactly does this work? Given the sheer cluelessness of the typical extrovert with respect to subtle social cues I assume it involves poison.
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assisted Living Facilities... Weird 'Atmosphere...'
Replies: 28
Views: 2836

Re: Home Thermostat Wiring

On the doityourself.com forums, I was told it is not recommended to use a setback stat on a heatpump system (which mine is). If your temperature is more than 2-3 degrees below the set point.... the electric heat will come on, causing higher electric bills. So my new Honeywell programmable stat look...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Thermostat Wiring
Replies: 12
Views: 1523

Re: cvt transmissions

More precisely the eCVT transmission is ... an excellent transmission system because mechanically it is so simple. One single planetary gearset, no gear-shifting wear-and-tear, no clutch, no hot-running torque converter, no regular-CVT friction belts . https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=2...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cvt transmissions
Replies: 45
Views: 2466

Re: Chaos, complexity and entropy [for non-physicists]

The concept of irreversible entropy can be illustrated by a simple thought experiment: Take two glass bulbs of equal volume (denote them by A and B). They are connected by a glass tube with a closed stopcock. Each bulb contains 20 grams of Argon gas. The air temperature outside the bulbs is kept at...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chaos, complexity and entropy [for non-physicists]
Replies: 61
Views: 3485

Re: New car safety features

The difference in safety between different vehicles is smaller today than it was in the past. It made more sense to pay attention 40 years ago when older vehicles did not have airbags, or 20 years ago when older SUVs were far less crash worthy. Actually, if one is shopping for a used pre-2012 car t...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3640

Re: Renaissance tech vs EMH

The interesting question to me is, is the expected value for their efforts negative because "that's the way it has to be" or is it negative because they really don't put the necessary work in to legitimately analyze business valuations? I am in the camp of the latter. Most retail investor...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renaissance tech vs EMH
Replies: 37
Views: 1816

Re: Chaos, complexity and entropy simplified

The trouble is physicists by choice only allow the possibility of a forgetting observer to be outside a closed system. They don't allow a learning observer to be, because learning requires actually constructing some states. Forgetting, well, who knows what you did know, before you forgot. Maybe you...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chaos, complexity and entropy [for non-physicists]
Replies: 61
Views: 3485

Re: Vanguard U.S. Gov. Obligations 2014 File

Storage and bandwidth may be cheap but they're not free. Vanguard is paying for the outgoing bandwidth, so a little attention to efficiency would be worthwhile. It would probably take someone longer to fix it, get it approved, etc. than to just serve up the file. I imagine they have large amounts o...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard U.S. Gov. Obligations 2014 File
Replies: 9
Views: 834

Re: Perplexed by Oil Heating Issue

Check all thermostat wires at the furnace. Make sure all connected/snugged properly. Otherwise sounds like a circuit board. Furnace itself otherwise sounds fine as your second floor heat call is ok. Don't forget the actual wire. They can and do fail, even if lots of people assume they can't. If it'...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perplexed by Oil Heating Issue
Replies: 8
Views: 960

Re: Newer washing machine freaks out dog

Dogs can usually hear high frequency sounds that humans can't. Think dog whistles. A lot of modern electronics uses switching power supplies. Motor controllers do the same to efficiently control speed. Switching power supplies work by rapidly turning a current on and off. This causes a high frequenc...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newer washing machine freaks out dog
Replies: 34
Views: 2151

Re: Vanguard U.S. Gov. Obligations 2014 File

. Has anyone else noticed that the US Government Obligations file from Vanguard for 2014 is 1954KB when it has ranged from 33KB to 104KB over the last 10 years? https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/usgo_012015.pdf Somebody should look inside that thing. Maybe they've got the list of officer salaries o...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard U.S. Gov. Obligations 2014 File
Replies: 9
Views: 834

Re: Get 17% in russian savings account?

Fair enough. But there was no expectation in 1998 that the Russians would default on some debt and not on other debt. Fair enough, but there was a belief that Russia was a kleptocracy run by crazed ex-communists. They were inherently unpredictable. Not expecting a selective default was right up the...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get 17% in russian savings account?
Replies: 49
Views: 4441

Re: New car safety features

I agree that for almost everyone paying up for better safety is a wise move. Gone are the days of saying "my car is 10 years old and has 150k miles on it and I plan to drive it another 100k". That made frugal sense for many years - been there done that. Today it is penny wise pound foolis...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3640

Re: New car safety features

I try to avoid auto breaking. Auto braking might be one way to do this.
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3640

Re: Get 17% in russian savings account?

I do not remember the details but one of the things that brought LTCM down in 1998 was that the Russians defaulted on one type of debt, but not another. So that shows they are at least capable of doing something other than what the market expects. Doing what LTCM expects is not the same as doing wh...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get 17% in russian savings account?
Replies: 49
Views: 4441

Re: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up

What will your future income do? Will you bump along the 15%/25% divide for a decade and then drop back into the 15% bracket or will you blow right through on the way to 39.6%? Many of the responses you get will be tacitly assuming one or the other (or something else).
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up
Replies: 26
Views: 2558

Re: Help - Small Medical Bill Went to Collections

If it went to collections, you will likely get a paper bill if there is any balance. It was the hospital who told you it went to collections, not a collections agency. Sounds like misinformation on that person's part. :) lafder You have to listen very carefully and parse very finely. Sometimes &quo...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - Small Medical Bill Went to Collections
Replies: 9
Views: 1129

Re: Mixed treasury mutual fund

Can anyone recommend a passively managed mutual fund (not ETF) that is a mix of US treasury instruments, e.g., 1/4 t-bills, 1/4 t-notes, 1/4 t-bonds, 1/4 TIPS? The division into bills, notes and bonds is arbitrary. It also under-determines the portfolio. The average maturity of such a portfolio cou...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mixed treasury mutual fund
Replies: 10
Views: 747

Re: Roth IRA phase out calculator

Do you know why you got a difference? Was it because you were using different MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) for Roth purposes? Was it because the upper and lower income limits for the phase out range were different in the different calculators? If you can narrow it down it's easier to figure...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA phase out calculator
Replies: 7
Views: 670

Re: Factors and zero-sum investing

... In an efficient market, does it make sense to believe that you will be on the right side of the zero sum game, whatever strategy you follow, and that there will be investors on the other side are collectively dumber than you are? It seems unlikely. Perhaps this was the part of the argument Alex...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Factors and zero-sum investing
Replies: 57
Views: 2907

Re: Google Chrome: is this a mega security problem?

I still hold to my original view. In contrast to what you are saying, this browser sync is NOT a brand new functionality. It has been around for at least a year now, and millions upon millions of people have used it without problem. I do strongly feel that widespread common use without failures it ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Chrome: is this a mega security problem?
Replies: 111
Views: 6573

Re: What to do w/ .2c intrest credited after doing backdoor

Also what does below mean? VG Brokerage accounts more (relatively) safer than non-Brokerage (Mutual fund?) accounts? Vanguard funds not held in a brokerage account are held by The Vanguard Group, Inc. and are not protected by SIPC. This has been covered before, since this is a large topic and not d...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do w/ 2¢ interest credited after doing backdoor Roth
Replies: 9
Views: 1252

Re: What to do w/ .2c intrest credited after doing backdoor

2) Leave 0.02cents as it as and during next year conversion, convert the new $5500+0.02cents. Just want to be sure this trailing 0.02cents from this year will not cause any issues while converting the next year's contribution. I'll inject my 2¢. This ↑ is what I'd do. It does not matter what you do...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do w/ 2¢ interest credited after doing backdoor Roth
Replies: 9
Views: 1252

Re: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund

They really don't get it or are really sinister. How anyone on their planning committee could not see the uproar is a puzzlement. I'd go with cynical. The job of the planning committee is to maximize profits. I'd say the planning committee saw the uproar but doesn't think it matters. They've been r...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund
Replies: 23
Views: 2137

Re:

I wonder then, could most important paper documents be scanned and stored? What documents need to be kept and protected safely enough to require a deposit box or safe that a scanned version wouldn't be just as well from a legal perspective? I'm curious since I'm much more diligent about protecting ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anti-theft Fire Waterproof Safe
Replies: 16
Views: 1988

Re: Diversity b/t t-IRA and roth-IRA

I put stocks in my Roth. I do this because I think stocks are expected to do better, but have a higher risk.* This interacts with progressive tax rates. If I put the stocks in the tIRA then if the stocks do badly I will pay low taxes, while if the stocks do well I will pay at a higher rate. If I put...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversity b/t t-IRA and roth-IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 542

Re: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?

Some of the changes of location may be due to closing USPS facilities. If I mail a letter to my neighbor it used to go to a sorting facility 5 miles away. Now it goes to one 100 miles away. Local mail takes a 200 mile round trip. In contrast mail to a point near the new facility is a 100 mile trip. ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?
Replies: 41
Views: 3822

Re: 1099-R from Mega Backdoor Roth IRA

Thank you Alan.
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099-R from Mega Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 1042

Re: Bid ask spreads - larger after market closes?

And if you think anybody knew that when it was possible to act on it I've got a bridge to sell. If you are requiring 100% certainty, then I agree with you. For folks who do not require 100% certainty, I thought there was an opportunity today, so I took it. No you don't need certainty, but after any...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bid ask spreads - larger after market closes?
Replies: 11
Views: 458

Re: 1099-R from Mega Backdoor Roth IRA

How is the 401(k) custodian supposed to know that the money was rolled over to a Roth? All the custodian does is send a check made out the "Vanguard FBO Epsilon Delta" I could deposit it in either a Roth or traditional without the 401(k) custodian knowing.
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099-R from Mega Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 1042

Re: Bid ask spreads - larger after market closes?

Kinda makes mutual funds seem preferable again (at least admiral shares) Except today you could've bought VTI 1.8% cheaper than you could buy VTSAX. This is why ETFs can sometimes be great! In a day or so, that 1.8% cheaper possiblity will not show up in any of the data available such as Morningsta...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bid ask spreads - larger after market closes?
Replies: 11
Views: 458

Re: when did Backdoor Roth first become available?

At the start of the Roth in 1998 the conversion limit was $100,000 for all tax payers, while for single and head of household the contribution phase out was $95,000 - $110,000. So for a very few tax payers the backdoor Roth existed right from the beginning.
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: when did Backdoor Roth first become available?
Replies: 6
Views: 1001

Re: Why are people buying 10 year Bunds?

Can't Germans hedge their currency exposure? To the first order the cost of hedging is the difference in the interest rates for risk-less assets in the two currencies. If this were exact it would mean hedged Treasuries would yield the same as Bunds. There are second order effects, so you'd have to ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are people buying 10 year Bunds?
Replies: 14
Views: 1401

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I know someone who had an HSA, didn't tap into it, and later got a different health insurance plan with no HSA. So now he has money sitting in an HSA, but now he gets to use an FSA (flex spending) for his ongoing expenses. At some point, he's going to have to tell the IRS, "Here's a $1000 expe...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 196
Views: 8593

Re: Help on Converting Traditional IRA into Roth IRA

Thank you for your kind reply, Epsilon. The 02/20/2014 contribution $5,500 are non deductible. And since I converted the contribution on 2/21/2014 immediately, there was no capital gain, so the full $5,500 are non-taxable ? I thought that's the way backdoor roth IRA works. Therefore, the $9,595 wil...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help on Converting Traditional IRA into Roth IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 433

Re: Why are people buying 10 year Bunds?

Treasuries carry currency risk for people in Eurozone countries. Can't Germans hedge their currency exposure? To the first order the cost of hedging is the difference in the interest rates for risk-less assets in the two currencies. If this were exact it would mean hedged Treasuries would yield the...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are people buying 10 year Bunds?
Replies: 14
Views: 1401

Re: Help on Converting Traditional IRA into Roth IRA

Hi everyone, Can you help me understand the tax consequence of converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA? On 2/20/2014, I opened a Traditional IRA at Vanguard with $5,500 purchase. The next day I immediately converted the fund into a Roth IRA. So the balance of traditional IRA was zero. On 6/25/...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help on Converting Traditional IRA into Roth IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 433

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

When taking RMD's, I have seen little discussion about making adjustments year by year to smooth out one's tax obligation. One would think that a 75-80 year old in good health would anticipate the tax consequences of RMD withdrawals 5 to 10 years in the future and would perhaps withdraw more than t...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 75
Views: 6156

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I would never keep paper only, no matter what the historic precedence is; it can fade, burn, get misplaced. That said, I would also never rely only on scans. They are easily faked. Walking into an audit without a single scrap of paper to back up your claims is just asking for trouble, in my view. I...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 196
Views: 8593

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

IMO, That sounds very onerous, like "Unfair Burden", i.e. proving a negative. It's proof in the legal sense, not the mathematical sense. What you have to do is provide evidence up to some particular standard (somewhere between "balance of probabilities" and "beyond reasonab...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 196
Views: 8593

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

From Pub 969 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf ... "The medical expenses had not been taken as an itemized deduction in any year."... If I intend to keep receipts for longer than 7 years (and I do), I should probably keep tax records too ... :/ Medical expenses can only be deducted ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 196
Views: 8593

Re: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?

USPS is known to be reducing next day deliveries. Is the rest of your mail taking longer?
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?
Replies: 41
Views: 3822

Re: Roth IRA Over-Contribution

Thank you for your help, Epsilon. I do not have any other IRAs, just the one Roth IRA which I have contributed to in previous years and a Traditional 401K. So it sounds like I am fine to do both the recharacterization and conversion prior to filing my taxes this year. The only wrinkle is that I wil...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Over-Contribution
Replies: 9
Views: 634

Re: What will happen to international stocks if a Euro break

P.S. Meanwhile, the world is a big place, and "Europe developed" and "Europe emerging" stocks are slightly less than 1/3 of Vanguard Total International. Hopefully you are not holding VEURX as your only international holding? Even Europe is a big place. Less than half of VEURX i...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What will happen to international stocks if a Euro breakup?
Replies: 23
Views: 1580
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