Search found 1697 matches

by JMacDonald
Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon Late March
Replies: 34
Views: 1727

Re: Zions, Bryce, Grand Canyon Late March

Here is link with some suggestions: http://www.utah.com/itineraries/grand_circle.htm Grand Circle National Parks Tour My suggestion is two nights at each park. That way one day is the drive to day, next day is to explore. There is may be things to do on the way to each park, and it allows you not to...
by JMacDonald
Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?
Replies: 166
Views: 9752

Re: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?

When I see someone at work driving a new expensive car, I just think he or she probably has a large monthly payment. I just feel sorry for them. I pay cash for my cars now.
by JMacDonald
Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Los Angeles
Replies: 21
Views: 1982

Re: Moving to Los Angeles

Meanwhile, I've waffled between paying down my mortgage (figuring the equity in my place could be applied towards the down payment; I don't know enough about contingency offers in real estate to know how good or bad that is), saving in cash, or taking some risk A good real estate agent should be ab...
by JMacDonald
Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Los Angeles
Replies: 21
Views: 1982

Re: Moving to Los Angeles

I would avoid living more than a 30 minute drive to your place of employment. That daily grind can get old real fast. Whatever your choice, you can alway move again if your first place doesn't work out.
by JMacDonald
Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car alarm worth it?
Replies: 11
Views: 855

Re: Car alarm worth it?

This is what I use for my vehicles: http://simjack.com:8185 On the left side click on product number 6 Here is video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=619sFv932ec This covers my steering wheel and locks to my brake pedal. Someone would have to have steel cutting tools to get this off. The ye...
by JMacDonald
Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you hate your vehicle infotainment system?
Replies: 73
Views: 5908

Re: Do you hate your vehicle infotainment system?

I have a 2013 GMC Sierra that does not have anything special on it except a cd player. I have Garmin NUVI 58 that I used on a 2500 mile trip to Yellowstone National Park. It worked great. It took me everywhere I wanted to go. My cell phone wouldn't have help in YHP, no connection.
by JMacDonald
Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Second credit card fraud this year
Replies: 14
Views: 1147

Re: Second credit card fraud this year

I have had fraudulent charges in the past.

I locked my credit, and I check my all my financial account on a regular basis for anything suspicious. I think that is the easiest way to handle this problem.
by JMacDonald
Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing lump sum
Replies: 25
Views: 1980

Re: Investing lump sum

It doesn't sound to me that you have a need to take risk so I would go slow in investing.
Here is an article on the willingness, ability, and need to take risk: http://www.kevinoninvesting.com/2010/04 ... rance.html
by JMacDonald
Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon getting too smart?
Replies: 35
Views: 4837

Re: Amazon getting too smart?

I recommend using Alibris to buy books, cds, and dvds: http://www.alibris.com
You can get coupons to get a dollar or more off if you search for the coupons.
by JMacDonald
Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Under the sink reverse osmosis water filter recommendations?
Replies: 20
Views: 1995

Re: Under the sink reverse osmosis water filter recommendations?

I have used the Everpure water filter for years now: http://residential.everpure.com
You might consider it.
by JMacDonald
Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Funds the Way to Go?
Replies: 16
Views: 3008

Re: Index Funds the Way to Go?

It is unclear to me what you plan to do with this money. Is is for retirement or some other purpose? If you plan to use the money in a couple of years, a stock fund may not be the best place for it. I do agree that a balance fund would be a good place like this one: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/...
by JMacDonald
Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 104
Views: 8590

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

This conversation has me interested is getting one for traveling. Here is one I found on Best Buy: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-11-6-chromebook-intel-celeron-2gb-memory-16gb-emmc-flash-memory-moonstone-white/8610161.p?id=1219351773817&skuId=8610161 It seems so cheap, I am wondering if it is...
by JMacDonald
Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 104
Views: 8590

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

This conversation has me interested is getting one for traveling. Here is one I found on Best Buy: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-11-6-chromebook-intel-celeron-2gb-memory-16gb-emmc-flash-memory-moonstone-white/8610161.p?id=1219351773817&skuId=8610161 It seems so cheap, I am wondering if it is...
by JMacDonald
Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 104
Views: 8590

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

This conversation has me interested is getting one for traveling. Here is one I found on Best Buy: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-11-6-chromebook-intel-celeron-2gb-memory-16gb-emmc-flash-memory-moonstone-white/8610161.p?id=1219351773817&skuId=8610161 It seems so cheap, I am wondering if it is ...
by JMacDonald
Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: flip phone vs smartphone
Replies: 35
Views: 3594

Re: flip phone vs smartphone

Hunter4 wrote:Honestly, the worst part of the smartphone is that it can be annoying to read Boglehead's on - but thats because there is no app for these forums mainly!

I have an iPhone 6 and reading conversations on Bogleheads is easy. I don't see how an app would make it any better.
by JMacDonald
Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need recommendation for financial adviser
Replies: 6
Views: 1103

Re: Need recommendation for financial adviser

This is not West LA, but here is my recommendation if you need help: http://www.feeonlynetwork.com/Delia-Fernandez
by JMacDonald
Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity Guard through Costco - anyone?
Replies: 3
Views: 402

Re: Identity Guard through Costco - anyone?

I have locked my credit with the three credit bureaus. I check my financial accounts on a regular basis. I believe that is as good as letting some company look out for me, and it is a whole lot cheaper. I also don't need my credit score as I know I have good credit.
by JMacDonald
Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing Market in SoCal
Replies: 55
Views: 5903

Re: Housing Market in SoCal

The Mustachian'ism goes too far on the site sometimes. /end rant You said lots of good stuff, particularly about not buying a condo in a less desirable area and trying to 'flip'. With all the costs of buying and selling RE it's hard to make that work. And Condos come with a world of additional cost...
by JMacDonald
Sat May 30, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing Market in SoCal
Replies: 55
Views: 5903

Re: Housing Market in SoCal

My personal experience with the Southern Californian real estate market is I have been able to ride out the ups and downs of the market because I have not moved since I bought. Other did well if the market was up or did poorly when the market was down. If you can find a place you want to live and st...
by JMacDonald
Wed May 27, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still make sense to have AAA membership?
Replies: 74
Views: 6477

Re: Still make sense to have AAA membership?

I don't understand Needs/wants/preferences vary from person to person. Each has to do what works for the individual. It's not about whether a specific person understands a given option or not. For some the convenience peace of mind and reputation of AAA are worth it to them. If self insuring works ...
by JMacDonald
Wed May 27, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express sneakery
Replies: 37
Views: 5038

Re: American Express sneakery

I have two American Express cards. I pay online. I don't find either of those cards confusing to pay or understand.
by JMacDonald
Tue May 26, 2015 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Once in a life time trip.
Replies: 121
Views: 7527

Re: Once in a life time trip.

Hawaii: go whales watching, snorkeling, and play on the beaches.
I went to the Galapagos Islands. That was my trip of a lifetime.
by JMacDonald
Tue May 12, 2015 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get condo earthquake insurance (California)?
Replies: 15
Views: 500

Re: Should I get condo earthquake insurance (California)?

Get a copy of the HOA earthquake insurance and go to your agent, and find out what coverage you have now, and will have if you buy or do not buy earthquake insurance. One concern you should have is Loss Assessment. See if you can afford to cover Loss Assessment without buying earthquake insurance.
by JMacDonald
Tue May 12, 2015 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get condo earthquake insurance (California)?
Replies: 15
Views: 500

Re: Should I get condo earthquake insurance (California)?

I have earthquake insurance for my condo. Can you afford to take the lost if your condo is unlivable if destroyed by an earthquake? I would agree that $900 a year is a lot, but earthquakes are a real possibility in California.
by JMacDonald
Sun May 10, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Driving to Alaska
Replies: 7
Views: 785

Re: Driving to Alaska

I drove to Alaska and back some years ago. I used cash as I found that worked best for me. Here is a book that I would recommend you have for your trip: http://www.milepost.com Also you don't need to drive both ways. You can take the Alaska Marine Highway one way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska...
by JMacDonald
Sat May 09, 2015 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to start investing in a 4 fund portfolio
Replies: 7
Views: 979

Re: Best way to start investing in a 4 fund portfolio

That portfolio is the Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX): https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/ ... IntExt=INT
Just go ahead and purchase it.
by JMacDonald
Sat May 09, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 3455

Re: Lightweight camping gear

Here is information from REI about Ultralight Backpacking Basics: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ ... cking.html
by JMacDonald
Fri May 08, 2015 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Math for Retirees and the 4% Withdrawal Rule
Replies: 96
Views: 13543

New Math for Retirees and the 4% Withdrawal Rule

NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/09/your-money/some-new-math-for-the-4-percent-retirement-rule.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 “Because interest rates are so low now, while stock markets are...
by JMacDonald
Mon May 04, 2015 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Claims Title of World’s Largest Bond Fund
Replies: 20
Views: 2464

Re: Vanguard Claims Title of World’s Largest Bond Fund

Here is an article about this in the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-p ... story.html
Pimco's flagship fund loses status as world's largest bond fund
by JMacDonald
Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LifeLock vs Freezing Credit Reports
Replies: 19
Views: 1598

Re: LifeLock vs Freezing Credit Reports

greetje wrote:How do you go about a credit freeze?

Here is some information for that question: http://oag.ca.gov/idtheft/facts/freeze-your-credit
by JMacDonald
Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealership Credit Report
Replies: 34
Views: 3067

Re: Car Dealership Credit Report

Just purchased a used truck with cash got the same line about needing to fill out a credit application so they could who I was. I filled out as much as what is shown on my drivers license ie left off SSN. My credit reports are frozen so I wasn't worried about them pulling a report. Edmunds has an a...
by JMacDonald
Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: How does this site make money?
Replies: 39
Views: 6913

Re: How does this site make money?

BTW, the amazon referrals add around $7.5k per year. I'm surprised (in a good way) that an Amazon referral site can generate that much $? I just checked and it's more like $12,000 a year now :D The referral fees vary by type of product, but it averages out to nearly 7%! Earnings Report Totals - Jan...
by JMacDonald
Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy an Apple Watch?
Replies: 398
Views: 32712

Re: Will you buy an Apple Watch?

Here is an article of reviews about the Apple Watch: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/0 ... 24340.html
The Apple Watch Reviews Are In, And They Are Mixed
by JMacDonald
Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy an Apple Watch?
Replies: 398
Views: 32712

Re: Will you buy an Apple Watch?

I read an absolutely fascinating article in Wired today about the history of the Apple Watch: http://www.wired.com/2015/04/the-apple-watch/ Even if you don't believe the Apple Watch will be a hit, I highly recommend reading this piece. I like Apple products. I have an iMac, MacBook Air, and an iPho...
by JMacDonald
Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 15818

Re: Restaurant tipping

Here is an article in today's LA Times about tipping: http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-are-we-reaching-the-tipping-point-on-restaurant-tips-20150323-column.html#page=1 "Are we reaching the tipping point on restaurant tipping?" I haven't read the whole conversation so I hope...
by JMacDonald
Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free Book! Fixing 403(b) Plans
Replies: 10
Views: 766

Re: Free Book! Fixing 403(b) Plans

Steve has done more than anyone I know to help teachers get a better deal with the 403(b) plans.
He has done an amazing job.
by JMacDonald
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Classical Music Box Sets?
Replies: 31
Views: 3131

Re: Best Classical Music Box Sets?

Here is a website that I use and buy from occasionally: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/main.jsp
I find it useful when I want to see what is available either for a composer or a performer.
by JMacDonald
Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tourists in Manhattan
Replies: 53
Views: 5421

Re: Tourists in Manhattan

When I have visited NYC for a week, I got a subway pass for the week. You can take the subway from JFK into Manhattan: http://web.mta.info/nyct/fare/FaresatAGlance.htm A good way to see the Statue of Liberty is from the Staten Island Ferry. It is free. :happy http://siferry.com/faqtips.html The Met ...
by JMacDonald
Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross Country Ski Gear Tips/Destinations
Replies: 31
Views: 1489

Re: Cross Country Ski Gear Tips/Destinations

... I would also like to try backcountry skis for uncharted powder..... If you are interested in uncharted powder then its also a good time for an avalanche course as well as the approrriate equipment and probably a friend with equal or less risk tolerance than you Historically, a good way to combi...
by JMacDonald
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru and Consumer Reports ratings
Replies: 100
Views: 10760

Re: Subaru and Consumer Reports ratings

We bought a 2013 outback new almost 2 years ago. It is good in the snow but we (and many other people if you google it will see) have had problems with oil consumption. We did not know when bought it that subaru had changed to synthetic oil, which is expensive. We were supposed to be able to go 750...
by JMacDonald
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?
Replies: 56
Views: 3615

Re: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?

I remember hearing a few financial people I knew talking about a crash, but I was clueless. I bet one could find some financial people taking about a crash coming now. Are you going to believe them? What are you going to do if you believe them? Sell and go to cash? We have had a number of people co...
by JMacDonald
Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking RMD this year
Replies: 13
Views: 1102

Re: Taking RMD this year

Your beneficiary will be required to take an RMD. So just stick to your plan.
If you inherit an IRA, whether it's a traditional or Roth, the IRS requires you to take at least some of the account balance out each year.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... ira-072014
by JMacDonald
Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross Country Ski Gear Tips/Destinations
Replies: 31
Views: 1489

Re: Cross Country Ski Gear Tips/Destinations

adamthesmythe wrote:There was a really nice cross-country area near Truckee CA but I forget the name.

That would be Royal Gorge: http://www.royalgorge.com/home
However, this year has been terrible because of very little snow. :(
by JMacDonald
Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon
Replies: 34
Views: 2862

Re: Grand Canyon

JRix wrote: To make matters worse, since I froze on top I figured, "Hey, hot air rises, so the bottom must be even colder!" Apparently that is not how the GC and/or Arizona works.

Hiking from the Rim to the River is a lost of about a mile. It is winter at the Rim and Fall at the River.
by JMacDonald
Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon
Replies: 34
Views: 2862

Re: Grand Canyon

I have been to the South Rim and North Rim many times. I have also rafted the canyon on a 14 day trip, and hike to Phantom Ranch several times. Both sides of the canyon are worth seeing. My suggestion would be to visit the North Rim. From the North Rim, you can also visit Zion NP and Bryce NP. These...
by JMacDonald
Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I have DISH TV and Verizon FIOS internet?
Replies: 13
Views: 744

Re: Can I have DISH TV and Verizon FIOS internet?

janiebegood wrote:
JMacDonald wrote:I can't speak to the cost of FIOS to other services, but the quality of FIOS for me has been excellent. I have had FIOS for two years now.


Good to know, JMacDonald! Thanks!

I hope that is true for the area you live in. I live in the Los Angeles area.
by JMacDonald
Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I have DISH TV and Verizon FIOS internet?
Replies: 13
Views: 744

Re: Can I have DISH TV and Verizon FIOS internet?

I can't speak to the cost of FIOS to other services, but the quality of FIOS for me has been excellent. I have had FIOS for two years now.

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