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Re: NYC Comic Con

I took my much-older kids there last fall (ages 12 and 15.) There is no way we would ever go back, and under no circumstances would I take a two-year-old. Comic-Con NYC is a gigantic convention floor filled with tables and booths of people selling their overpriced comic-related stuff. There is very...
by NHRATA01
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC Comic Con
Replies: 12
Views: 676

Re: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA

Being the nerdy engineer, I have a running spreadsheet of my Roth IRA+401K for each year that I add to month-by-month which tracks values, expenses and returns, as well as calculated my current asset mix amongst stocks, bonds, international and REIT (what I consider my 4 major asset classes that I h...
by NHRATA01
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA
Replies: 35
Views: 1651

Re: LED bulb prices

IMO the question is more about LED vs CFL, To my thinking, I would take LED hands down over CFL. Perhaps I am biased against CFL.....I know people say the new ones are much better than the earlier ones....but wherever I see CFL and am aware of it, I find the light very harsh. Plus a number of CFL's...
by NHRATA01
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED bulb prices
Replies: 104
Views: 8112

Re: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plu

I am definitely not doing at dealer. Is 3 hr labor reasonable? Thanks I'm just a shadetree mechanic, but you could replace the entire oil pan in only 30 minutes. I would suspect that it greatly depends on which car. I know I was surprised at how much of a PITA it was to replace my starter. On my ca...
by NHRATA01
Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plug"
Replies: 40
Views: 1769

Re: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plu

On a '99 Camry, I would drill out old threads in the oil pan and re-tap with a slightly larger drain plug. Be sure to run a magnet to gather all shavings. Entire process would probably take ~40 minutes to do yourself and for very minimal cost. No need to replace the whole pan due to threads strippi...
by NHRATA01
Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plug"
Replies: 40
Views: 1769

Re: advice requested from engineers

As a mechanical engineer and a hiring manager in a facilities engineering organization, I'll echo the sentiment that as long as the school is accredited, it will be fine. RIT is well known in the Northeast, but I can't speak to it's reputation across the US (BTW I went to Clarkson, which is similar ...
by NHRATA01
Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: advice requested from engineers
Replies: 85
Views: 4410

Re: Where do you invest your child's savings?

What I did was start a savings account for each of my kids (right now 6, 4 and 2). Once they each hit $2K (2 of the 3 have) I started putting any future gifts they received into a large cap no transaction fee fund of relatively acceptable ER from T Rowe Price via my Ameritrade account. I started thi...
by NHRATA01
Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you invest your child's savings?
Replies: 30
Views: 1439

Re: Buying a 'loaded' vs stripped down vehicle

The hardest part about finding a stripped vehicle is almost no dealers order them that way. Particularly outside the subcompact market, or pickup truck (since contractors prefer them in a basic trim level). You'll be stuck with a factory order and then you have little wiggle room to negotiate - as w...
by NHRATA01
Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a 'loaded' vs stripped down vehicle
Replies: 52
Views: 3118

Re: mid term investing for auto purchase

I don't think that's a bad idea at all, it's pretty close to what I do. I started off with a 5K lump sum in VFINX (the vanguard 500 index) in mid '11 and added 300 every month. The logic being to take what is a typical monthly car/lease payment and invest it with the goal to build up enough for a ca...
by NHRATA01
Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mid term investing for auto purchase
Replies: 3
Views: 432

Re: WHat to do with current market conditions

Thank you- Looks like some short term and intermediate bond funds are doing well now. is this a good time to buy more bonds? Because the interest rates have been dropping for the past few weeks while the market semi-corrects. No one knows the future but it is fairly reasonable to expect rates to re...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WHat to do with current market conditions
Replies: 21
Views: 1041

Re: preventing rust on car exhaust system

There really isn't much you can do. You may be seeing the external rust, but likely it wasn't the major contributor to the exhaust system needing replacement. Engine exhaust is harsh and contains a number of acids, as well as a lot of moisture, which adding temperature make for a perfect environment...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: preventing rust on car exhaust system
Replies: 28
Views: 1417

Re: Roth IRA $11,000 Vanguard

I agree you can't go wrong with a Target Retirement fund, it will give you a nice asset mix with a (granted, predetermined) risk tolerance appropriate for your age. The expense ratios are still quite minimal. IMHO after a few years of growth and contributions, then you can start to split it out and ...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA $11,000 Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 1896

Re: SUV Vs Sedan

If you don't need the utility of an SUV/CUV, or have a family of 4 or less, I really find them to be a waste compared to a nice sedan. As someone who actually enjoys driving, SUV/CUV's are: Slower Handle worse Brake worse Worse gas mileage All of which are inherent when you take what is essentially ...
by NHRATA01
Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV Vs Sedan
Replies: 50
Views: 3568

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

The more air space that is in the gas tank the more evaporation of the gas will be. Liquids evaporate in air so keep your car filled up with gas maybe not letting it run down past 1/4. Gas tanks are pretty well sealed. Typically a car will lose 1/8 of a gallon per year . You may actually lose more ...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 2977

Re: Car Tires

The mention was made of "compressed air" and it reminded me of nitrogen in tires: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=191& Like said on the link it's generally a waste of money. If you can get it for free, sure there are minor benefits. Most of them would be rem...
by NHRATA01
Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Tires
Replies: 22
Views: 2787

Re: Car Tires

wheels failing due to corrosion I have chrome plated steel cast wheels. Due to northern salt and a corrosion on the inside bead surface, one of the wheels have very slow leaks. I think the salt gets under and flakes the plating and gives air a path to leak. It got better with new tires installed a ...
by NHRATA01
Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Tires
Replies: 22
Views: 2787

Re: Truck/Car Envy....How do You Deal with It?

I'm a car guy but I fixed that issue real early. Bought a toy fresh out of college in '01 that only sees good weather and daily drove beaters. Then when I had a little more money I daily drove off-lease used cars until they started to fall apart and I spent more time under them than driving them. 1....
by NHRATA01
Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Truck/Car Envy....How do You Deal with It?
Replies: 64
Views: 4415

Re: I don't understand bonds...

I'm not an expert but a little clarification on the inverse relationship between bond values and interest rates. Basically say you trade bonds. This is different than buying an individual bond and holding it to maturity - then you are correct, you won't lose money. But say you're a trader, and you b...
by NHRATA01
Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I don't understand bonds...
Replies: 20
Views: 1831

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

People laughed at Obama when he said it.....but look at your tires. They will show a maximum cold pressure. Put your tires to that pressure, which is more than what the marketing weenies put on the door plackard (remember explorers and firestones? Both Ford and Firestone engineers said more pressur...
by NHRATA01
Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 2977

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

A "K&N Airfilter" will help a little. I have read that the oil that the K & N filter uses (you have to periodically oil the foam filter) slowly evaporates into the intake air and can ruin (fowl) the MAF (mass air flow) sensor. MAFs sometimes can not be cleaned (with tuner cleaner)...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 2977

Re: School District Not Allowing me To Invest

Thanks again for all the responses. I have been trying to get advice on this topic since August. I have learned more in one day than in the last 4 months combined! To answer some of your question: Here in NY I am in tier 4. What that means is that I had to pay 3% of my salary for 10 years for my pe...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: School District Not Allowing me To Invest
Replies: 82
Views: 6059

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

A cold engine will use more gas. Until an engine comes up to temperature (>about 165F), and your oxygen sensors reach about 600 degrees, the car operates in what is known as "open loop" where it tends to run rich. Open loop is basically a lookup table for how much gas to add to the cylinde...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 2977

Re: engineering certifications

Well, I throw out the possibility you could do a 2 year "engineering technology" program for starters, to at least get a foot in the door. It's like engineering-lite but if you can handle the math I would imagine upon completion you could probably bang out an MS in 3 years. It's really tou...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: engineering certifications
Replies: 15
Views: 1069

Re: LED lightbulbs

About 2 weeks ago I bought a pair of the Cree bulbs, a 60W equivalent and a 40W. I tell you, I don't think you can find a more perfect replacement for a traditional incandescent and even sans-rebates the HD price is not bad at all (~9.99 for the 40 and 12.99 for the 60). I had been using the Philips...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lightbulbs
Replies: 186
Views: 13773

Re: Three Fund approach and Vanguard minimums

I would agree with the second post, in that below 10K the expense differences between admiral and investor shares isn't something worth losing sleep over. For instance total stock investor is 0.17%, admiral is 0.05%. Which sounds like a lot but on 10K is $5 in a year vs $17.
by NHRATA01
Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Three Fund approach and Vanguard minimums
Replies: 10
Views: 1239

Re: didn't there used to be a rule in the NFL regarding nois

Would it be legal to open the top of a domed stadium (if it opened) when it was raining when the other team's offense was on the field and then close it for the home team? It is kind of the same thing with noise. No, there is a rule (in both the NFL and MLB) that the roof position is determined an ...
by NHRATA01
Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: didn't there used to be a rule in the NFL regarding noise?
Replies: 14
Views: 1126

Re: 17 year old seeking advice!

Hi all! First of all, I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read this. I understand that I'm a clueless teen who many of you will resent posting on your forum - I hope not to be too much of a bother. On the contrary, I think the only thing we will resent is not having had the wisdom ...
by NHRATA01
Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 17 year old seeking advice!
Replies: 10
Views: 914

Re: Dividends... when will we know how much?

I see. Thank you, Code. Then what are the arguments in favor of dividend investing? In my understanding, it's more beneficial for individual stock investing. Individual stock pricing is dictated more by what the market thinks the stock is worth - from my experience I haven't really seen a stock pri...
by NHRATA01
Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dividends... when will we know how much?
Replies: 29
Views: 3105

Re: bigger SUVs that carry 7

P.S. and per the original poster's specs, he needs something to tow a "light trailer" which the clear winner is either the Suburban or Sequoia. And this is not even mentioning the elephant in the room with this conversation...reliability. Now with that in mind, I can tell you there is a c...
by NHRATA01
Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bigger SUVs that carry 7
Replies: 55
Views: 2861

Re: bigger SUVs that carry 7

As a Traverse owner, I will say I don't think the 3rd row is that comfortable for adults - we have 8-person seating with the 2 benches, no captains chairs. Also there's only a little bit of luggage space in the back with the 3rd row up (though certainly better than the much smaller Highlander). I wa...
by NHRATA01
Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bigger SUVs that carry 7
Replies: 55
Views: 2861

Re: comments on small luxury SUV options? Want safer auto.

One small thing to consider - with the wide use of small displacement turbocharged engines to substitute naturally aspirated larger V6's, while the manufacturer may not "requre" premium, they will usually "recommend" it, and be aware that most likely the EPA mileage estimate was ...
by NHRATA01
Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: small luxury SUV options? EDIT: the hunt is over
Replies: 31
Views: 3298

Re: Friends, Bogleheads, countrymen [403-b fund selection]

Unfortunately you're discovering the same thing I did a year ago when investigating my wife's 403b options as a teacher - they all stink. Since teachers often aren't financially savvy (primarily due to having juicy pensions), taxable accounts don't get the same focus as a benefit as they do in the p...
by NHRATA01
Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Friends, Bogleheads, countrymen [403-b fund selection]
Replies: 18
Views: 1584

Re: Buy Vanguard fund thru Vanguard or Brokerage account?

The only potential issue I could see, is Vanguard has trading restrictions on their mutual funds. If you sell a portion, you are then stuck waiting 60 days if you want to buy anything back into the fund. I believe you can still do it by snail mail if you really must. For my investing strategy it's n...
by NHRATA01
Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy Vanguard fund thru Vanguard or Brokerage account?
Replies: 9
Views: 1565

Re: Berkshire A

The A shares sell at a 1500x multiple over the B shares. While you do get the voting rights, and the conversion ability from A- to B-shares, the B shares almost always trade within an extremely narrow band of that 1500:1 ratio (formerly 30:1 back in the day). The 2 share classes have been around si...
by NHRATA01
Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Berkshire A
Replies: 29
Views: 2215

Re: Trex (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

There was a similar thread on here about 6 mos to a year ago. That, as well as my contractor's recommendation, spurred me to go with Timbertech for our new deck. We had a 10x14 wood deck that was about 10 years old. 4 years ago when I first moved in, I sanded off the peeling stain and re-stained. Wi...
by NHRATA01
Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trex (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)
Replies: 50
Views: 4854

Re: Premium Products That Are Worth It To You

So, yesterday morning completed assembly of my new Weber Genesis grill. Not a small undertaking. At the risk of pointing out the obvious, don't begin grill assembly if there is even the slightest chance of rain in the forecast. Yesterday was the completion of a process that began Saturday afternoon...
by NHRATA01
Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Premium Products That Are Worth It To You
Replies: 361
Views: 36112

Re: All Wheel Drive vs. Front Wheel Drive

I personally do not feel AWD is worth the mileage penalty, and I live in NY. That said, my wife insists upon it so we have 1 AWD vehicle, the ubiquitous family SUV/crossover. Technique and tire selection play a roll certainly. I have mostly gotten along with FWD through NY winters. In fact, for 6 of...
by NHRATA01
Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: All Wheel Drive vs. Front Wheel Drive
Replies: 52
Views: 4691

Re: Disgusting mailer from Fidelity

I can understand your disgust, but as mentioned Fidelity isn't THAT bad in comparison to the industry. Vanguard certainly is an outlier and by all means the ideal brokerage. But Fidelity handles my 401K and I've no complaints about the service nor abundance of low cost funds. Frankly I WISH my wife'...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Disgusting mailer from Fidelity
Replies: 44
Views: 4882

Re: Saving money on car repairs

I agree most additives are a waste. If you use top tier gas, you really don't have to use any gas detergent additives, but a bottle of Techron (which Chevron mixes into it's retail gas) every few thousand is good if you buy the no-name stuff. A lot of the oil additives are just that, snake oil. And ...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving money on car repairs
Replies: 25
Views: 2254

Re: Saving money on car repairs

Actually, the last line should be, there's some logic to giving your OLD car the old "Italian tune up." Computerized fuel management along with better lubricants make such actions unnecessary on most modern street engines. Still, no harm done. It's not necessarily confined to old carburat...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving money on car repairs
Replies: 25
Views: 2254

Re: Saving money on car repairs

Certainly a lot of basic maintenance items can be learned easily, and performing routine basic maintenance will help prevent the costly repairs later. Oil is quite easy though can be messy as it seems modern powertrain engineers in some cases like to bury the oil filter in a most inconvenient spot. ...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving money on car repairs
Replies: 25
Views: 2254

Re: What was your worst investment?

My worst investment was basically my first foray into stock picking, with roughly $1,000. It was when I was in college during the dot com boom. I saw goto.com was having an IPO in '99, and knew them from hosting ESPN's website (I was around 19 or so). IPO was at like 25, I wanted to get in at 30-som...
by NHRATA01
Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What was your worst investment?
Replies: 100
Views: 7257

Re: emerging markets investment

You are reacting to a recent move down in EM stocks. That is the entire basis for your decision making. This means you're not thinking long-term strategy. You thinking, "Maybe this is good time to buy?" Pretty soon you'll forget about that and move on to something else. That's not how to ...
by NHRATA01
Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: emerging markets investment
Replies: 21
Views: 2252

Re: Why do funds and ETFs in US not capitalize dividends?

The S&P 500 fund in my 457b plan does this. It took me a while to figure out what was happening to the dividends - the NAV would stay the same when my regular S&P 500 fund would just distribute a dividend and drop its NAV. The catch is that it's a collective trust and offered directly to th...
by NHRATA01
Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why do funds and ETFs in US not capitalize dividends?
Replies: 15
Views: 1312

Re: Premium Products That Are Worth It To You

I will agree with the Weber grills - been like that a long time too. Anyway I bought a Genesis Silver back in '04 when I bought my first house. 10 seasons later it's still in great shape and I am not at all good about keeping it clean. Lawn Tractors/ZTMs' - bought a bottom barrel Craftsmen for <$100...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Premium Products That Are Worth It To You
Replies: 361
Views: 36112

Re: Equitable AXA 403b Question...

I believe those are code-names for Annuities.
by NHRATA01
Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Equitable AXA 403b Question...
Replies: 3
Views: 301

Re: Timing buying a (future) classic Muscle car-Mustang BOSS

I'm a track junkie looking for a fix... Looking at the Miata's, but I don't think I will fit in one, especially with the "broomstick" rule. I'm 6'3 and 235. I'm looking at the E36 M3s, Porsche Boxster S (which I also don't fit into), and C5 Corvette's. So far, I'm leaning toward an E36 M3...
by NHRATA01
Fri May 24, 2013 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Timing buying a (future) classic Muscle car-Mustang BOSS 302
Replies: 31
Views: 2287

Re: 401K contribution and bonus

You could have the pleasure of working for my well known employer. They do true up the match. In a single, year end lump sum, and only if you're still employed by them on that date. :|
by NHRATA01
Fri May 24, 2013 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K contribution and bonus
Replies: 25
Views: 3943

Re: Should I just fire this Advisor?

Ugh, Ivy Asset A....that was the wonder my adviser had me in during the early years of my Roth IRA before I started doing research and took the reigns myself (I now have a 4-fund Vanguard index portfolio - the 3 above + REIT). One year when I finally took a close look at the statement and saw the fe...
by NHRATA01
Wed May 22, 2013 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I just fire this Advisor?
Replies: 35
Views: 2325
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