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Re: How do you wash your car?

I don't wash my car that much, but when I had a boat I'd wash it all the time. Perhaps this is true of cars, too: if you wash it you notice things that are out of whack before they become problems. A loose license plate, a nail in the tire, etc. And cleaning your windows, inside and out, is really a...
by McCharley
Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you wash your car?
Replies: 132
Views: 5565

Re: Which home security system with camera do u use?

I have a couple of Sharx wifi cameras. They are not cheap but they work well. :sharebeer
by McCharley
Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which home security system with camera do u use?
Replies: 3
Views: 387

Re: Windows XP

No, no, no!

Do not run XP unless you have some very good reason to do so, like hardware that requires it.

Windows 7 is the desktop system of choice, IMHO.

Now that XP is not supported you'll be thrown to the wolves. :annoyed
by McCharley
Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP
Replies: 61
Views: 2519

Re: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts

For lint a borescope is overkill. But don't let that stop you from getting one! :sharebeer

I used mine repeatedly this weekend to check out walls that I wanted to cut outlets into. I could see where all the wires were before cutting -- very reassuring! :o
by McCharley
Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts
Replies: 9
Views: 1330

Re: Debit Card was hacked. Should I just use cash from now

First of all, good for you for noticing the charge! :sharebeer I echo all the folks on here saying that a credit card makes good sense. I also have mine (a Chase Rewards Ink card) set to text me whenever a charge of over $100 is made. This just reinforces that money is being spent. It CAN be rather ...
by McCharley
Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit Card was hacked. Should I just use cash from now on?
Replies: 54
Views: 3271

Re: need a new home page [browser default page]

I disagree about keeping it simple. :D My go-to startup page is igHome; my wife uses NetVibes. Both do the same thing, allowing multiple RSS feeds and email preview. Put everything in front of you. Add interesting sites over time, and eliminate disappointing ones. Have multiple tabs (finance, news, ...
by McCharley
Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: need a new home page [browser default page]
Replies: 25
Views: 1887

Re: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sour

Thanks for all the responses! :sharebeer

An overall theme seems to be that music is just getting left behind in favor of other interests.

I read that the videogame GTA5 outsold the entire global music industry in 2013.

Times they are a-changin' 8-)
by McCharley
Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 3696

What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]

I recall when people spent hundreds of dollars on a phono cartridge. I worked in a stereo store when CDs first came out -- wow, all of a sudden, good sound was cheap. Mind you I was a snob (and still am) -- those analog recordings had something that the CDs didn't: they sounded less harsh (hard to d...
by McCharley
Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 3696

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

All that matters is how much you like the car.

Fixing it is way less expensive than buying something new. Economic no-brainer.

On the other hand, life is too short to drive a car you dislike. :sharebeer
by McCharley
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2952

Re: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts

Ha! My fault for mentioning it. :D First of all, it depends a great deal what you are going to use it for. If you want to look into your car cylinders then you need one that fits through the spark plug hole. If you want to look at your wastewater pipe you need one that is long and waterproof. Me, I ...
by McCharley
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts
Replies: 9
Views: 1330

You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you own

This morning's NYT Haggler article was about Comcast, which had been charging a customer $8/mo. rent for a router they'd bought from Amazon. The customer then got nowhere with customer service until the Haggler called, after which they refunded the customer's 4 years of "rent" fees :shock:...
by McCharley
Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you own
Replies: 30
Views: 2975

Re: Clothes Dryer drying very slowly

If it is heating up OK then it is almost certainly lint buildup, as others have suggested. You need to clear out the vent pipe and where it joins the machine. This would be a great opportunity for you to purchase a borescope, as you know every home fixit issue is an excuse to buy a tool. :D (It is e...
by McCharley
Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clothes Dryer drying very slowly
Replies: 24
Views: 1937

Re: Paying extra on Mortgage vs Investing?

I put an extra $1000 on my mortgage every month, even though it is at 2.75%. :happy I just love the idea of paying it off early, and this way it gets paid off in five years instead of ten. :D I can't make enough guaranteed returns (CDs, etc.) to make it worth stockpiling somewhere else to pay off in...
by McCharley
Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying extra on Mortgage vs Investing?
Replies: 18
Views: 2215

Re: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?

Just set your course and forget about your finances. :beer

You're in good shape. It is all the course you've picked, not the speed right now.

If you end up being paid to do what you love, you win. :sharebeer
by McCharley
Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?
Replies: 130
Views: 13984

Re: Tell me about Berlin :-)

The Berlin Wall Museum is one of my favorites. They have all kinds of crazy contraptions people used to get over the wall -- early, simple ladders and later secret compartments in cars. I loved the guy who made it out with essentially an outboard motor and a snorkel. It is a combination infusion of ...
by McCharley
Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Berlin :-)
Replies: 36
Views: 2317

Re: How long before disputing a charge on my Visa?

UPDATE: they sent the boroscope, new and perfect. Half the Amazon price.

All of my suspicions were for nothing. ToolBarn delivered. :beer
by McCharley
Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long before disputing a charge on my Visa?
Replies: 20
Views: 1454

How long before disputing a charge on my Visa?

I have had the good fortune of never having had to dispute a charge on my credit card. :happy But about a week ago I ordered a borescope from Toolbarn.com. They promptly charged my credit card and I've heard nothing since. Amazon has spoiled me, I think, with fast shipping and constant updates. So I...
by McCharley
Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long before disputing a charge on my Visa?
Replies: 20
Views: 1454

Re: Should I (physician) get an MBA?

Hey, whoa there... :shock: You said you were recently out of training. You've sacrificed a lot to get where you are, and you job is probably not something you can do part time while pursuing an MBA, so the rest of your life (wife, kids, friends, your novel, whatever) would be neglected to go get MOR...
by McCharley
Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I (physician) get an MBA?
Replies: 31
Views: 3580

Re: Am I being scammed? Wolf range hood, defective delivery

I am sure I'm not the only one who expected them to be this responsive! Often these family businesses live by their reputation. :sharebeer

(Now they better pull through! :annoyed )
by McCharley
Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I being scammed? Wolf range hood, defective delivery
Replies: 16
Views: 1869

Re: A safe full of cash

Musbane, You have it right. :sharebeer The specific catastrophe for my area (Seattle) would be earthquake: hopefully guns would not be needed, but cash would sure help. :moneybag For me this is a hypothetical question because I am of limited means and never have more than $100 on hand. But if I was ...
by McCharley
Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A safe full of cash
Replies: 22
Views: 3083

A safe full of cash

The recent thread on here about high net worth investment ($50MM or so) got me thinking about this. It seems like there might be (terrible) times when cash was very short, and a couple hundred thousand in a safe would be a great insurance. Maybe I read too many thrillers! :mrgreen: I know Depression...
by McCharley
Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A safe full of cash
Replies: 22
Views: 3083

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

It is interesting that you like TIAA-CREF, as I nominate THEM for the worst website. Why? TIAA-CREF is totally opaque about account history older than 6 months. I like to check once in a while to ensure that money diverted from my paycheck actually goes to them and that purchases are properly credit...
by McCharley
Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?
Replies: 36
Views: 2434

Re: Individual stock

I think the spirit of the question is a lottery ticket -- $5k is not ruinous to lose, and yet the upside is almost unlimited. :D With the long timeframe you are looking for early, transformative companies. You want to buy when they are small -- not SP500. :wink: This is very hard to predict and you ...
by McCharley
Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual stock
Replies: 21
Views: 1258

Re: Guidance moving to Seattle

Rent someplace walking distance to work for a year, then make your move.

Walking to work is a real luxury, and you should enjoy it for at least a year. :D

McC
by McCharley
Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidance moving to Seattle
Replies: 21
Views: 1969

Re: My early 30's Ameriprise portfolio

You should look at the "Three Fund Portfolio" sticky. You have a crazy number of accounts -- I would simplify. If you want to invest do it with "funny money" in individual stocks not to exceed 5% of your portfolio (many on this forum would try to talk you out of this). The manage...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My early 30's Ameriprise portfolio
Replies: 36
Views: 3497

Re: Where to put emergency cash

Put $10k in that checking account. Dribble the rest into ROTH accounts at the max per year -- you can withdraw what you put in penalty-free and bank what it earns in whatever investments you want. In the meantime, the Ally 5 year CDs offer 1.6% and only the sacrifice of a month of interest for withd...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put emergency cash
Replies: 11
Views: 1365

Re: Setting up a spreadsheet?

Excel is awesome and terrible all at once. It has great, really advanced functionality (like XIRR) that really helps investors. Its graphs are terrible, though, really a joke. And in its current incarnation a lot of the useful stuff is lost in formatting fluff. Still, though, it is a program worth b...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Setting up a spreadsheet?
Replies: 15
Views: 1084

Re: Is now a good time to buy bonds?

Hey, Mckoder, You sound like you're new to this site -- welcome! :beer Please understand that the basics here are to spend less than you earn (far less, often) and invest in a few, low-cost index funds at an asset allocation that makes sense for your age and loss tolerance. Questions like yours that...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is now a good time to buy bonds?
Replies: 18
Views: 2033

Re: DIY Index Fund

I do this, mostly because I want to exclude a few of the top holdings in index funds. I've held >30 stocks for years now, and it is amazing how close they track the market. On the plus side, I get to deduct losers and defer the gains on winners. I started doing this when I saw the garbage in most SC...
by McCharley
Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DIY Index Fund
Replies: 25
Views: 2458

Re: Convert Quicken .qfx to Excel?

Thanks for trying, Heartwood, But there is not a simple solution to this, at least for the files that TIAA-CREF makes. I did solve it by manually correcting the XML files, a painful process which I cannot recommend. This is what's wrong: A piece of data in XML has an opening tag and a closing tag, l...
by McCharley
Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert Quicken .qfx to Excel?
Replies: 2
Views: 287

Convert Quicken .qfx to Excel?

Hello, B'headers, TIAA-CREF will only allow data export in a proprietary Quicken format (.qfx). :annoyed It used to be that you could change the header and make it into a standard XML document that Excel could read, but no longer. I really don't want to spend $65 for Quicken. Any of you folks figure...
by McCharley
Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert Quicken .qfx to Excel?
Replies: 2
Views: 287

Re: T. Rowe Price study says Roth generally better - thought

If you are maxing out at Roth 401(k) you are investing more money than if you max out a regular 401(k) because of those extra taxes you are paying now. In a sense, a Roth 401(k) allows you to invest more than the $17,500 maximum. :moneybag Even if your tax rate goes way down in retirement, those tax...
by McCharley
Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: T. Rowe Price study says Roth generally better - thoughts?
Replies: 14
Views: 1159

Re: home security monitoring cameras

I have had pretty good luck with Sharx wireless cams. I currently run two, one inside and one outside.

I would say that were I to do it again I'd go with wired cameras -- when things go belly-up it is always something with the wireless.
by McCharley
Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home security monitoring cameras
Replies: 2
Views: 539

Re: Best Used Recreational Bicycles for New Riders

The people who have suggested buying from a local used bike store are right on. You need knowledgeable staff to help you out with basics like lights and fenders and setup. Bike people LOVE to help people like you. :D Do not buy a WalMart bike. They are disposable crap. Buy a couple of good used bike...
by McCharley
Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Used Recreational Bicycles for New Riders
Replies: 26
Views: 2357

Re: beneficiary form trumps will

Thanks for posting this, semperlux,

I just saw this article and headed here to post it, myself.

I tend to think of a will as the last and final word on everything but as placeholder points out this is not at all true.

Gonna look over those forms this weekend! :sharebeer
by McCharley
Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: beneficiary form trumps will
Replies: 54
Views: 4245

Re: Noise blocking earphones

Active headphones are really best with drone noises (like airplane noise).

There are all kinds of earplugs, with all levels of blocking.

You could also get muffs like you use with a chainsaw. Get them with the mesh facemask for extra points! :sharebeer
by McCharley
Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noise blocking earphones
Replies: 18
Views: 3280

Re: >$1MM saved -- thank you BogleHeads!

Congrats ! I'm jelly .. Any windfalls or inheritance ? Short synopsis of how you got there ? About $100k of that was an inheritance my wife received. The rest came from savings. I'm in my mid forties and spent a long time in graduate school, so I didn't get my first real job until 16 years ago. The...
by McCharley
Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: >$1MM saved -- thank you BogleHeads!
Replies: 21
Views: 3476

>$1MM saved -- thank you BogleHeads!

I recently went through the Giant Spreadsheet exercise to add up all accounts and was astonished when it came in over a million. :greedy A million is not what it once was, so I need to keep on course. I grew up a poor kid, though, and this is a big milestone for me. g :sharebeer Thank you guys -- mo...
by McCharley
Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: >$1MM saved -- thank you BogleHeads!
Replies: 21
Views: 3476

Re: Am I crazy to pay down a 3% mortgage early?

Put extra money into staging and paint. Sell the property and do not take on the added hassle :| /horror :twisted: that landlordship can be. Get serious about selling your property and do the small improvements now that will make it sell for top dollar. Can you claim residence and not pay capital ga...
by McCharley
Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to pay down a 3% mortgage early?
Replies: 41
Views: 4630

Re: Apple looks interesting right now

I buy individual stocks as 10% of my portfolio. I used to own Apple but sold them when they messed up maps. :confused Splitting does get smaller investors to consider buying, but this is a short term deal and speculation, not investing. I encourage your interest in investing but would urge you to lo...
by McCharley
Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Apple looks interesting right now
Replies: 35
Views: 2462

Re: Going Offroad ["play money" investing]

Hi, Barefoot, I find that investing in individual stocks is a great way to trick oneself into saving money. If you invest in enough of them (I've heard as few as eight, but I'm more comfortable with >30) then you'll probably about match an index, anyway, as long as you invest diversely. Of course, y...
by McCharley
Sun May 18, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Going Offroad ["play money" investing]
Replies: 73
Views: 4526

Re: Newest, hottest investment fad....

Anyone who gets good investing advice nowadays ends up in index funds.

Is there a downside risk we're missing? It absolutely is the new fad; that alone should make you nervous. :|
by McCharley
Tue May 13, 2014 12:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Newest, hottest investment fad....
Replies: 31
Views: 4777

Re: Seattle and Portland, OR restaurant recommendations

I would recommend a few nights in Ballard (near the locks in Seattle). The restaurant culture there is vibrant. Walk down Ballard ave. and take your pick. La Carta sounds up your alley in terms of humble, good food. Cafe Besalu, on 24th, has award-winning pastries and is great for breakfast (particu...
by McCharley
Thu May 01, 2014 12:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seattle and Portland, OR restaurant recommendations
Replies: 31
Views: 1381

Re: Mea culpa

Sounds like a good strategy to me. Even the non market timers are feeling a little exhausted by recent gains.

You got lucky over the past 5 years!

You've just joined the not too extreme club. Congratulations! :sharebeer
by McCharley
Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mea culpa [100% stock at 50]
Replies: 46
Views: 5438

Re: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)

I used to own a beautiful antique sailboat. 27 feet, teak decks, and you could stand up below. Brightwork (varnish) all over, that required upkeep every year (including the wooden mast). She probably cost me $600/mo. and it was really worth it while I was into sailing and varnishing and navigation, ...
by McCharley
Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)
Replies: 126
Views: 15586

Re: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?

The only way you'll get a good chair in your price range is if you get lucky or spend a long time in consignment stores. With you in your forties this might be your LAST CHAIR. :shock: Do not be afraid to spend a little more; it is simply what they cost. If I wanted to buy an automobile for $2000 I ...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?
Replies: 34
Views: 9382

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

Well, Okay, This thread has gone on and on. :oops: But I wanted to ask: Why not charge everything to a credit card? :confused The advantages would be: -Total itemization of all purchases (useful for sales tax deduction) :moneybag -potential warranty extension -rental car insurance (prob. can't rent ...
by McCharley
Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 101
Views: 52986

What were your TurboTax final numbers?

I always find the TurboTax final summary to be very informative, since it shows the real, paid tax rate. Let's compare real tax rates and see if we can't find a winning strategy (not mine, BTW)! :sharebeer AGI 164k Taxable 137k Tax 25.8k Effective tax rate: 15.75% Notes: Low mortgage rate, no kids, ...
by McCharley
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What were your TurboTax final numbers?
Replies: 4
Views: 1073

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

Well, a credit card beats a debit card for security since the debit funds are taken immediately and the credit card bills later. A credit card is essential: what if you need bail?!? :shock: Really, the only reason I can see not to have a credit card (no fee, cash/miles back, paid in full every month...
by McCharley
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 101
Views: 52986

Re: Have extra cash: Should I pay off the HOUSE or INVEST it

A hybrid approach is not bad: pay down your mortgage faster by making extra payments. The calculators at dinkytown.net (really!) are great for seeing how much you can save. For me, at 2.75% 10yr. mortgage and $161k to go, $1k extra per month saves me most of the cost of the loan, pays it off in 6 ye...
by McCharley
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have extra cash: Should I pay off the HOUSE or INVEST it?
Replies: 31
Views: 3033
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