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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: 15
Views: 1085

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: 271

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: 271

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: 1037

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: 526

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: 2166

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: 4166

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: 1059

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: 3438

>$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: 3438

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: 4565

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: 2434

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: 4423

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: 4665

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: 1353

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: 5398

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: 14208

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: 9224

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: 14195

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: 1069

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: 14195

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: 3012

Re: Critique these long-term real-estate investments

The problem is that now you are a landlord. What happens when your tenant runs into tough times and cannot pay the rent -- will you kick her and her children into the street? Or what if a roof leak goes ignored and the house becomes moldy and uninhabitable? I am surprised you can more than cover the...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Critique these long-term real-estate investments
Replies: 15
Views: 1045

Re: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?

Thanks, Folks, I'm surprised to see that there is so much debate. I do maximize all 401(k) accounts already; I agree with the poster who said that this would be important to do first. And I guess I agree that the differences would mathematically not be very large no matter what I do. So paying off t...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?
Replies: 73
Views: 5025

Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?

Dear Bogleheads, Like a lot of you, I pay down my mortgage as fast as I can. "Guaranteed return" in the form of definitely paying less overall is hard to ignore. I refinanced my mortgage last year to a 2.75%, 10 year loan. I have always paid an extra $1000/mo. towards my mortgage and am wo...
by McCharley
Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?
Replies: 73
Views: 5025

Scientists' view of Biotech Investing

Gentlemen, I work in biotech, and quite a few of my colleagues invest in the sector, assuming that they have an edge from being in the business. I don't do this to any great extent (largely because I am in the business and so am already assuming the risks of the sector). However, I came across this ...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scientists' view of Biotech Investing
Replies: 3
Views: 391

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Wow, thanks for all the replies! To answer some of the questions: my mother keeps her house very cold -- like 50. Just warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing. This is because heat (oil) is so expensive. She is subsidized on this, however. The person who commented about people not planning for o...
by McCharley
Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15686

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Well, I thought I'd update the situation. Thank all you Bogleheads for weighing in! She has tapped out all the mortgages and has nothing left except whatever equity is in the house (limited). I'm going to provide $500/mo. for the next year, at which point she'll downsize. All of you saying I should ...
by McCharley
Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15686

Where would one hide from debit ceiling apocalypse?

Bogelers, I am not going to shift anything because y'all have convinced me that STAY THE COURSE is the way to go... but I was wondering if one was wanting to hunker down in bunker mode over the next month what one would put assets into... Not American dollars. Gold, perhaps? What's the safest asset ...
by McCharley
Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Government Shutdown/Default [effect on investments]
Replies: 454
Views: 27908

Re: Personal Rate of Return

I find it hilarious that Bolgeheads recommend a set-it-and-forget-it investing strategy -- they're more obsessive than most!

Cheers, Guys -- gotta be one to know one! :sharebeer
by McCharley
Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Rate of Return
Replies: 19
Views: 1954

Re: Bank delaying refinance -- could it be on purpose?

UPDATE With the lock near ending my lender's urge to drive the deal to completion was palpable. The title company handling the paperwork called me at work and wanted me and my wife to drop everything, drive downtown, and sign papers ASAP. They would validate parking, they offered. My annoyance must ...
by McCharley
Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank delaying refinance -- could it be on purpose?
Replies: 8
Views: 935

Bank delaying refinance -- could it be on purpose?

Good Boglers, I locked in a 2.75% rate on a 10 year mortgage two months ago. :D My lock expires at the end of the month, and my bank has still not completed the paperwork. I get assurances that it is almost done. I am refinancing with the same bank that gave me the original loan at 3.875 on 15 years...
by McCharley
Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank delaying refinance -- could it be on purpose?
Replies: 8
Views: 935

Anyone try Bloomberg Black?

I just received a solicitation from these folks. It appears to be a Mint-like service except that it costs money (and may work better).

Has anyone tried them out?

Thanks,
McC :sharebeer
by McCharley
Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone try Bloomberg Black?
Replies: 8
Views: 1260

Re: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?

I am surprised how many people choose to turn a blind eye to their returns. 8-) My goal has been to hold 30 stocks that outperform the market -- or at least match it. Part of this "hobby" is to obsessively check performance: I look every day. :greedy I trade very little. For me this is jus...
by McCharley
Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?
Replies: 53
Views: 5119

Re: How much should cat tooth extraction cost?

We just had to put this cat down yesterday. Very sad. Kidney failure, probably cancer. Multiple issues. HOWEVER, I felt the need to follow up because in hindsight these extra years were worth the cost. She was a good cat: a purr that would rumble the whole bed, and she'd not let you be depressed (li...
by McCharley
Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should cat tooth extraction cost?
Replies: 47
Views: 11573

Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

My neighbor encouraged her daughter to pursue esoteric, sought-after sports. The girl became a pole vaulter in high school and had multiple full scholarship offers when she graduated. She ended up dropping the sport in college but that did not affect her scholarship.
by McCharley
Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?
Replies: 151
Views: 10354

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Quite thoughtful replies -- thank you all. To answer your questions, I can afford the $1k/mo. right now. I have a good-paying job, at least for now. I work in biotech, though, and employment is always precarious -- I have, in fact, been trying to save as much as I can for that eventuality. (This for...
by McCharley
Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15686

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Thanks for all the replies. Just to clarify, she gets $1200/month in SS and has already reverse mortgaged her house to the hilt. She now lives in a large farmouse in the boondocks of Maine. It is too much house for her but now if she moves the mortgage comes due and it is a difficult place to sell. ...
by McCharley
Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15686

What to do when a parent's money runs out?

I wonder if any of you find yourselves in a similar situation... My (single) mother has, counter to all advice and despite about $200k in inheritance, retired early and managed to spend down everything, including a mortgage on her house. :confused (If I sound a little bitter it is because it could h...
by McCharley
Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15686

Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me

States will hold abandoned property but don't make much of an effort to return it. They do typically have a searchable database online, though. Twice I have hit pay dirt looking at old places I lived. Twenty five years ago I lived in California and missed a final paycheck from an employer. I found i...
by McCharley
Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me
Replies: 34
Views: 3679

Re: When to do Tax Gain Harvesting?

Well, of course if you sell the stock you cannot repurchase it for 30 days due to wash sale rules.

The company, this company you believed enough in to invest in the first place, may have a very good month while you stay on the sidelines.
by McCharley
Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to do Tax Gain Harvesting?
Replies: 12
Views: 598

Re: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?

Hi, Chris, I, too, dabble in individual stocks and do not think it is necessarily un-Boglehead. This forum focuses mostly on simple index fund portfolios (the Three Fund Portfolio is great IMHO) but somehow this doesn't free us from being somewhat obsessive about investments. AAPL is 3% of SPY (SP50...
by McCharley
Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?
Replies: 60
Views: 6143

Re: Any of you Bogleheads NOT going to retire?

My friend Crazy Mike points out that "you have to do something"

Maybe he is not crazy after all...
by McCharley
Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any of you Bogleheads NOT going to retire?
Replies: 35
Views: 4164

Any of you Bogleheads NOT going to retire?

My Dad is an architect, still working in his seventies. He says most architects do their best work late in life. He says he will never retire, although he may become more selective about the work he takes on. I have seen this with a lot of artists, not so much in business. For him this has really si...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any of you Bogleheads NOT going to retire?
Replies: 35
Views: 4164

Re: Investing for 100 years!!! less wordy version!!

With that much in assets you have a heavy responsibility to spend it wisely! You could put away a relatively small percentage into the safest of investments that would see to your personal needs for as long as you live. With the rest, you get to design a legacy. You can do a LOT with that kind of mo...
by McCharley
Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for 100 years!!! less wordy version!!
Replies: 17
Views: 2867

Re: Dead laptop (Mac)

Looks like I'm too late here, but those of you replacing drives should consider a solid-state drive (SSD). They are more expensive, but the higher performance is really noticeable. And they use less power and are more rugged than standard hard drives, useful qualities in a laptop! On home computers ...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dead laptop (Mac)
Replies: 11
Views: 1108

Not having kids was the best financial decision I ever made

My friends who have children are all getting sucked dry by them, whatever their income level. It seems like those who make a lot more money do things like send their kids to private schools. And most of the couples I know with kids have one person who is underemployed. I know more than one person wh...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not having kids was the best financial decision I ever made
Replies: 16
Views: 1612

Re: does water pipe "insulation" work?

I have been told that if you are going to drink tap water that you should let it run for a while first to clear the pipes. This was from a water/sewer person who tested for metals all the time. She said if you did not let it run for a while they'd be sky high. Maybe I am imaging things but I swear m...
by McCharley
Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does water pipe "insulation" work?
Replies: 32
Views: 2990

Re: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?

I thought I'd update this with my results. I XIRR'ed everything in Excel, comparing my deposits and withdrawals to a mirror with just purchases and sells of SPY. If I go back 5 years it turns out that I would have been better off with just the SPY. :oops: I'm beating SPY for the year, tho'! :sharebe...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?
Replies: 53
Views: 5119

How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?

I have a portfolio of stocks and would like to compare my returns to the SP500. I can XIRR my cash flows (I put money in and took money out over the year), but how do I add SP500 comparison data? I tried a mirror portfolio where all cash flows were in and out of GSPC, but I think this misses dividen...
by McCharley
Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?
Replies: 53
Views: 5119
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