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Re: Do Bogleheads Feel Wealthier?

I started feeling very comfortable when the final mortgage payment was paid. Since then I've been more relaxed about spending a bit on non-essentials.
by Ged
Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Bogleheads Feel Wealthier?
Replies: 56
Views: 3874

Re: How does car trade-in works?

htdrag11 wrote:
Is Carfax trust worthy?

Thanks.


Trust but verify.
by Ged
Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does car trade-in works?
Replies: 19
Views: 823

Re: Invest in pricey 403(b),or skip it and go taxable?

My wife was faced with this choice some 10 years from retirement. We guessed that tax deferred was the way to go. I think we more or less broke even on the decision in the sense that tax bracket differential will compensate for the 403(b) costs. With a 20 year time frame I'd want a staged approach. ...
by Ged
Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in pricey 403(b),or skip it and go taxable?
Replies: 21
Views: 1226

Re: New HVAC system

Bigger is not necessarily better. Air conditioning works best when the capacity is matched to the load. An oversized system will 'short cycle' which is hard on the equipment, does a less effective job removing humidity and is energy inefficient aside from being more costly than needed.
by Ged
Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC system
Replies: 22
Views: 1124

Re: Why should stocks go up over the long term?

I had a very interesting conversation with one of my senior exec friends about this topic on an airplane flight. After several drinks we concluded that most real returns for corporations have been driven by either some form of labor or commodity arbitrage ('hunters' carving up a felled beast...most...
by Ged
Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why should stocks go up over the long term?
Replies: 29
Views: 2071

Re: Fraudulent Charges Mystery

The weight loss program CLAIMED I had ordered the merchandise and should be charged. Yet, when I called they wouldn't tell me the name and the address of where it was shipped to. I finally found out and of course, it was fictitious and wasn't even close to my name. That is really low. Vendors shoul...
by Ged
Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent Charges Mystery
Replies: 17
Views: 2216

Re: Taking out mortgage with zero down. Smart or no?

Home ownership comes with the risk that home prices will decline and leave you underwater. If you don't have a financial cushion that can severely affect you if you need to move. The risk that you will end up underwater declines the longer you own the home, and whether or not your entry point turns ...
by Ged
Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking out mortgage with zero down. Smart or no?
Replies: 63
Views: 2595

Re: Best place to put $20k cash (taxable money)

Given that your friend has all his long term requirements satisfied I'd recommend he blow it on something he will enjoy short term like travel etc.
by Ged
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best place to put $20k cash (taxable money)
Replies: 8
Views: 986

Re: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?

No pond.

My personal favorite is cul-de-sac if you can get one. They are quieter and safer, plus you can sometimes use it for extra parking.
by Ged
Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?
Replies: 31
Views: 2103

Re: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?

One of the things in I've noticed in my neighborhood over the past decade or so has been a general improvement of the appearance of the homes. New siding, windows, landscaping etc. There has also been very little turnover.

It seems like people are remodeling more than upgrading.
by Ged
Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 82
Views: 3950

Re: 36 percent decline in net worth

Also, do the wealth calculations include pension value? Aren't pensions almost half of wealth for older middle class folks? If a 65 y/o has no savings, no home, no assets of any kind but a $85,000/yr COLA'd pension and another $25,000/yr from social security, I wouldn't call that person's household...
by Ged
Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 36 percent decline in net worth
Replies: 38
Views: 5604

Re: 36 percent decline in net worth

My home has not recovered its peak value, and I doubt many homes have. Fortunately I bought 20 years ago so it matters little personally. In addition inflation adjusted median household income is still significantly below pre-recession levels. Throw in increasing concentration of wealth and you end ...
by Ged
Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 36 percent decline in net worth
Replies: 38
Views: 5604

Re: Surge protectors

Very doubtful that a surge protector will help this situation. It sounds like the blender is tripping the circuit breaker due to the circuit being overloaded. You should be able to reset the breaker. If you have a fuse it means putting in a new fuse and tossing the old one. DONT try putting in a big...
by Ged
Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surge protectors
Replies: 27
Views: 1753

Re: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosu

Note that not everything needs a permit. If something breaks or wears out, the homeowner is allowed to replace it. Roofs only last 30 years so should be replaced then. Windows probably don't need an inspection if the structural wasn't changed. In fact, the city probably would prefer that you have e...
by Ged
Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosures
Replies: 56
Views: 3195

Re: Does severance pay reduce or relace unemployment benefit

The answer to this question depends on the state you live in. For NJ there is no delay due to severance. If you are under contract and the contract is still in force it isn't considered severance in NJ.
by Ged
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does severance pay reduce or relace unemployment benefits?
Replies: 49
Views: 2636

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi I found the most interesting aspect of this book to be idea that, as world population continues to increase, agriculture will emerge as an important tool for geopolitical domination/warfare. In particular, if (when) large segments of the population are fed by geneti...
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3113
Views: 1009271

Re: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosu

My Realtor advised me to call up the borough and lie. Essentially, his advice was to apply for a permit and pretend the 6 year old work was just done. That's crazy wrong. To begin with the town is usually going to want to inspect before the walls are closed up. Then there is lying business. You are...
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosures
Replies: 56
Views: 3195

Re: dim leds?

Some models of the telnote have adjustable brightness. They also have interchangeable faceplates.

Maybe contact the manufacturer?
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dim leds?
Replies: 5
Views: 689

Re: Reducing picture file size in kb

If you have to do this with a large number of photos I've found Image Magick to be very useful for it's batch capabilities.
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing picture file size in kb
Replies: 14
Views: 615

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Near future dystopia with a genetic engineering theme. Set in Bangkok.

Winner of Hugo and Nebula awards.

I am about half way through Delta State. I'm glad I bought it.
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3113
Views: 1009271

Re: PNC (service charge, free checking)

Ain't that the truth! The funny thing about notices is that you are supposed to notice them. If you aren't going to notice your notices, then there would be no reason for them to notify you. The problem with this is that I get at least 2 or 3 "Important Notice" letters in the mail per day...
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PNC (service charge, free checking)
Replies: 27
Views: 1123

Re: Experimenting with LibreOffice Calc [Importing fund pric

Sidney wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:^^^ You also don't have any privacy...

If you use a separate Google account with nothing linking it to your name, who will know what about you?


Google will figure it out. Things like IP address give them a way to link accounts together. I've seen them do it with me.
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Experimenting with LibreOffice Calc [Importing fund prices]
Replies: 15
Views: 662

Re: Fraudulent Charges Mystery

First, my wife's card showed a charge at a hotel in our city. This is weird enough that I would go to the hotel and ask them what the deal is. I had a case where a card was compromised and the thief tried to make a small charge to a hotel, evidently to see if the card was 'good'. Fortunately the ca...
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent Charges Mystery
Replies: 17
Views: 2216

Re: PNC (service charge, free checking)

Is there a place that charges a reasonable fixed fee for coin counters? I suppose I could just make sure to spend my quarters and dimes, and take the nickels and pennies to a coin counter for them to take a portion of. But I'm not going to take $100 worth of coins (or whatever I have) and have some...
by Ged
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PNC (service charge, free checking)
Replies: 27
Views: 1123

Re: PNC (service charge, free checking)

I have a PNC standard checking account I get free because I auto deposit my pension and I'm 64. I do occasionally use B&M services such as notary, bank checks, safe deposit box, significant cash withdrawals etc. so I sort of think I'm going to keep it. They've always provided notice when they ar...
by Ged
Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PNC (service charge, free checking)
Replies: 27
Views: 1123

Re: Rules of thumb that shouldn't be

Rolling over your 401k to an IRA is something everyone should consider. I've had 4 401k's over my career and not one on them had: -Lower expenses than my TIRA. -Wide selection of index funds -Roth support -Better bankruptcy protection under the state I was in One did have a stable value fund for a w...
by Ged
Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rules of thumb that shouldn't be
Replies: 38
Views: 3786

Re: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!

There are a lot of great reasons for buying a laptop, but for somebody looking for performance such a machine definitely has limitations.

The last time I used FORTRAN it involved F2C on a Sun machine.
by Ged
Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!
Replies: 103
Views: 5021

Re: Bonds beat stocks over the last 15 years

Robert T wrote:.

Vanguard total stock market (VTSMX) = 5.25%
Vanguard total bond market (VBMFX) = 5.37%



Man I'm glad I didn't do a lump sum of all of my money in 1999.
by Ged
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds beat stocks over the last 15 years
Replies: 93
Views: 7554

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

I've traveled by train up and down the NE corridor several times, and in France on both their local lines and the TGV. I generally prefer train travel to air, and passenger rail works particularly well in a country the size of France. The TGV was posh. The US rail system is built for freight and not...
by Ged
Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 46
Views: 4450

Re: A case against Index Funds in India

TLDR: I agree with points #2 and #3, and the fault lies not with the index funds themselves, but with the indices - how they are derived and how frequently the companies therein turnover. A truly broad index will change frequently in order to track its market. However each change will have a small ...
by Ged
Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A case against Index Funds in India
Replies: 32
Views: 1693

Re: Inheritance: Cash or Investments?

I'd normally prefer cash but there could be extenuating circumstances like some illiquid bonds, REITs etc. that would be best let go to maturity.
by Ged
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance: Cash or Investments?
Replies: 15
Views: 1325

Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

The type of keyboard I was referencing in my post were much smaller, about the size of the phone : Those have bad reviews overall in terms of ergonomics, so it seems like they are not a good solution. I have fairly large hands. A keyboard like those would be no better for me than the touch screen. ...
by Ged
Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android smartphone with physical keyboard
Replies: 38
Views: 1742

Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

I found a bluetooth keyboard that works for me. I find larger size makes them easier to use. The one I have is battery operated (AAA); it does not need recharging.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MMESVY

It does require more space though.
by Ged
Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android smartphone with physical keyboard
Replies: 38
Views: 1742

Re: Help me select a streaming media device

I have a Roku stick. It was part of a bundle with my Oppo BD player. It's a killer combination. For local music play I've got some DLNA stuff.
by Ged
Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me select a streaming media device
Replies: 24
Views: 1777

Re: Hw many credit cards to own?

I had the same bizarre result with Credit Karma. I have 4 cards, one of which I have had for 21 years and the others for 5 or less years. No loans, no mortgage etc. Credit Karma dinged my score for this. Everything else in my rating was perfect. They stated that the average person has about 10 credi...
by Ged
Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hw many credit cards to own?
Replies: 69
Views: 4123

Re: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel

Le Carre is one of my favorites, and the fact I haven't read all of his work is one of the reasons I am not going to read any more Stross for a while at least. Along this path are Graham Greene's 'entertainments'. My wife told me once that she thought he was the greatest living practitioner of the E...
by Ged
Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel
Replies: 28
Views: 1920

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

I had a crush on Amanda Pays Everyone does. I think she was even more attractive in the movie. If you like this sort of stuff there was a French-Canadian (but English voice) production called ' The Delta State' (animated in rotoscope) about 4 young psychics and a mysterious government agent named B...
by Ged
Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3113
Views: 1009271

Re: Helping My Grandmother

It sounds to me like your grandmother's problem is that her house is taking more of her income than she can afford. One bout of illness and she would be wiped out. At her income level she may qualify for subsidized housing. Waiting lists are long, however it can be a real boon to someone in your gra...
by Ged
Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3183

Re: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel

Gibson along with LeGuin is one of the few sci-fi authors I've kept up with. This year he is coming back to the fold with a new sf novel, due in October, "The Peripheral". I am a Bogart fan so I've already watched The Big Sleep. You are not the only one to recommend the original to me. I'v...
by Ged
Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel
Replies: 28
Views: 1920

Re: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel

Works published in the US before 1964 are in the public domain unless their copyright was renewed. Only about 15% of all works were renewed. Thus a lot of golden age stuff is off copyright. George H Smith I have never run into. George O Smith though - loved the Venus Equilateral stories. This is gre...
by Ged
Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel
Replies: 28
Views: 1920

Re: How much do you spend on your hobby annually?

I have several hobbies. Of them the most expensive one by far is digital photography, which I spend about $2000 per year on. The expenditures tend to be 'lumpy', that is when a camera I want becomes available I might spend $4K on it.
by Ged
Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on your hobby annually?
Replies: 77
Views: 7013

Re: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel

His early SF: Slan, Null-A, Weapon Shops of Isher, War Against the Rull , Voyage of the Space Beagle remain to my mind some of the most gripping SF ever written. My personal favourites are the 2 'I Claudius' riffs: Empire of the Atom and Wizard of Linn . I could probably still quote you whole chunk...
by Ged
Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel
Replies: 28
Views: 1920

Re: Poll - Do You Read Businessweek?

IMHO, the NYTimes is the best. They make a stronger distinction between the opinion and editorial pieces on the one hand (which are generally left-center ideological, excluding Brooks), and the rest of the paper (which by and large is not ideological). The NYTimes articles on markets and business a...
by Ged
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll - Do You Read Businessweek?
Replies: 28
Views: 1902

Re: A Romney Problem

livesoft wrote:
Ged wrote:I am delaying my SS and converting a good part of my TIRA to ROTH.

That's before RMDs. If one has to take RMDs, I hope they are not delaying SS anymore.


Yes. But the OP did say he isn't taking RMDs yet.
by Ged
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Romney Problem
Replies: 16
Views: 2019

Re: A Romney Problem

I am delaying my SS and converting a good part of my TIRA to ROTH.
by Ged
Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Romney Problem
Replies: 16
Views: 2019

Re: Jeremy Grantham pokes holes in EMH

nisiprius wrote:
They should, but do they?



And if they do will they keep the excess returns attributable to skill, or pass them on to you?
by Ged
Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jeremy Grantham pokes holes in EMH
Replies: 16
Views: 2157

Re: Is this realtor lying to me?

Boglegrappler wrote:I think homes in NJ are assessed at 70% of "fair market value". What does the town/county assessor think the fair market value is/was at the time of the last assessment?


It's 100%.

http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxatio ... nlpt.shtml
by Ged
Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this realtor lying to me?
Replies: 27
Views: 3337

Re: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel

Wikipedia has a summary of sci-fi written with Venus as a setting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_in_ ... t_on_Venus

Perhaps this will trigger some ideas.
by Ged
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel
Replies: 28
Views: 1920

Re: If you own a car, do you have a car payment?

When I was just starting out back in the 1980's I partly financed one of my cars. Paid it off over a year. I hated making payments. All of the other cars I've owned during my life were cash purchases.
by Ged
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you own a car, do you have a car payment?
Replies: 112
Views: 7160

Re: Leo Tolstoy, a Boglehead

#5 and #6 make him not a Boglehead.
by Ged
Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leo Tolstoy, a Boglehead
Replies: 8
Views: 686
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