Search found 1230 matches

by Stonebr
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50/50 asset allocation
Replies: 69
Views: 5746

Re: 50/50 asset allocation

I was 60/40 until retirement, and then planned (via my written investment plan) to drop to 50/50. In the actual event I've been a bit more risk averse. My portfolio never seems to get above 45/55, and I expect that I will have to re-write the plan. So I agree with a comment made above that, once ret...
by Stonebr
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)
Replies: 74
Views: 3382

Re: FWD vs AWD

My observation after many years of amusement is that in the wake of a Maine snowstorm, it's the AWD/4WD vehicles that are getting pulled out of snowdrifts. :twisted: FWD - better fuel economy. With winter tires it closes the gap on AWD. Most of my Subaru and Quattro friends don't bother to switch to...
by Stonebr
Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 44
Views: 2437

Re: Durability of consumer goods

Wood floors - pine lasts 200 years minimum. Just repaint it once 20 or so. BBQ grill - my Hibachi is the same one my parents used in the 1960s. So 50-100 years minimum. Razor - my 1978 Trac 2 is still working fine, but I've recently discovered the virtues of my grandfather's safety razor. It's from ...
by Stonebr
Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?
Replies: 172
Views: 10615

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

Just tell everyone it's a company car.
by Stonebr
Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?
Replies: 172
Views: 10615

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

I hauled free horse manure in my 2005 Corolla last Thursday. But then, I'm retired.
by Stonebr
Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Abandon the Larry Portfolio?
Replies: 12
Views: 2413

Re: Time to Abandon the Larry Portfolio?

I'd step back from the asset allocation discussion and look at the big picture. Right now, your annual savings are are a huge part of your overall portfolio. Because of that, how much you have 5 years from now isn't going to depend that much on your asset allocation. ... In 5 years, it will be more...
by Stonebr
Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogle backfire?
Replies: 66
Views: 7747

Re: Bogle backfire?

I think maybe you have done some cherry picking.

Are you sure there aren't other past "opportunities" you turned down that would have caused you to lose your shirt?
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: This Is Why You Don't Buy Individual Stock
Replies: 11
Views: 2651

Re: This Is Why You Don't Buy Individual Stock

Don't be so smug. If you own an index fund, you own this stock.
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

D Remember last winter with all the snow? Just thinking... I was concerned about this too. Last few years I've been considering buying solar, so I walked around the neighborhood last winter. Solar panels are mounted on the roof, tilted at an angle. They are also black. So what happened to my neighb...
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lock for $500 bike
Replies: 27
Views: 2465

Re: lock for $500 bike

Get a U-Lock. Lock using the Sheldon Brown strategy (lock the back tire through the triangle, include the frame if you can/want) etc. etc. http://www.sfbike.org/resources/theft-locking/ +1 This is basically what I do too. The Sheldon Brown method is brilliant. The other problem is that accessories ...
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

As mentioned, electricity is far more expensive in New England than it is almost anywhere (except maybe Hawaii). My 2800 square foot air conditioned house summer monthly electric bill is always over $300. Winter...$125 or so. Almost nobody uses electric heat. I don't think they make numbers high en...
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

New England is too far north and too cloudy and stormy to get enough sun to make solar electric work well. So no one that I know of sells the panels or installs them there. Plus solar works the best in summer when New Englanders don't need much energy. You guys need lots of energy in the winter for...
by Stonebr
Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: honda civic or Prius?
Replies: 86
Views: 7234

Re: honda civic or Prius?

We shopped the Prius against the Civic a year ago and decided on the Prius. No regrets. Reasons: Civic had vague, sloppy handling. A big surprise for me. I used to be a Civic fan, but the new one is pitiful. Prius handling was no worse. Yeah, the acceleration is weird, but the car actually handles o...
by Stonebr
Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you start investing in the Market?
Replies: 60
Views: 3318

Re: When did you start investing in the Market?

I got my start in 1981 by way of a money market mutual fund. By the end of 1982 I had stock mutual fund accounts, some IRA, some not. I was investing the very modest minimums to open the accounts -- $500 or $1000 or even $250. In 1983 I read about the 500 Index Fund offered by Vanguard but decided I...
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Provence Travel
Replies: 19
Views: 1406

Re: Provence Travel

If you like riding bicycles, there are some wonderful tours in Provence. My wife and I did a 4 day self-guided tour starting and ending in Avignon. The company was cyclomundo.com. They arrange for the hotels and move your luggage each night so it's there waiting for you.
by Stonebr
Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help me improve my online security
Replies: 24
Views: 2428

Re: Please help me improve my online security

A friend of mine, a retired Federal employee, is currently "under attack" on both his home computer and his online investment accounts. He's cancelled all his online access to investments and gone paper -- just like pre-internet days. His investment companies are aware of the attack and ha...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle Books - Updated?
Replies: 8
Views: 1166

Re: Jack Bogle Books - Updated?

The Campbell Soup version of this book is Bogle's "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing." I was struck by the similarities of the two books. Actually, I would call the "Little Book" the most sophisticated of Bogle's books. Don't let its simplicity deceive you: the message i...
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning Spanish
Replies: 62
Views: 5087

Re: Learning Spanish

If you can block off 2 - 6 weeks for a "vacation" I'd recommend you go to Antigua, Guatemala for a full-time immersion class in Spanish. There are a number of superb language schools there that will place you with a local family for room and board and then keep you in class for hours and h...
by Stonebr
Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closing a bank account
Replies: 8
Views: 1333

Re: Closing a bank account

I had to close an account at Sovereign/Santander a few years ago because of a move. I called them up and asked how to close the account. They said just zero it out (the account had no monthly fees) and within a year of zero balances it would close automatically. They sent the 1099 to the new address...
by Stonebr
Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quebec City Suggestions
Replies: 14
Views: 1256

Re: Quebec City Suggestions

How walkable is the city? I'll be driving so what are good options to park? The city is not drivable is the point. Just park for the whole weekend and walk everywhere. On street parking is certainly possible, but I don't know why you'd want a car except maybe to get out of town. The hotel should ha...
by Stonebr
Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealerships - is this bad service?
Replies: 21
Views: 2489

Re: Car Dealerships - is this bad service?

My recent experience with dealers is the exact opposite of what you describe. Appointment often means that you drop the car off at that time and pick up after work. If you are waiting, they do it right away, if possible. For 11 years with a Volvo I had to leave the car overnight only once. With Toyo...
by Stonebr
Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a large emergency fund needed after 59 1/2
Replies: 25
Views: 3442

Re: Is a large emergency fund needed after 59 1/2

Retired and drawing down taxable, we are deferring SS to 70. In the meantime, the drawdown means holding substantial cash -- online savings and a CD. Note that this cash/CD is counted as part of the fixed income allocation. I'm just not taking risk with it, and the taxable return of about 1% is dism...
by Stonebr
Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Active Funds Win Battles But Lose Wars
Replies: 15
Views: 2256

Re: Active Funds Win Battles But Lose Wars

Maynard F. Speer wrote:I'll shut up, but although I understand indexing, and use indexing myself as much as I can ... as an American, why wouldn't you just invest in Berkshire Hathaway?


Buffett is 84 and his partner Charlie Munger is 91. How many more years can one expect from this duo?
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Inspection Question
Replies: 18
Views: 2179

Re: Real Estate Inspection Question

We had a similar experience with the roof, which was truly on its last legs. The house was priced aggressively for a quick sale, and the offer was low. Then the inspection "revealed" that the roof was old -- duh. We stuck to our guns and responded that the house was priced to reflect age a...
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX)
Replies: 16
Views: 4499

Re: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX)

I first read about the "superiority" of small cap in 1982. It was a long wait -- about 20 years -- for the payoff. By then I had gray hair.
by Stonebr
Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Expectancy Divisor for RMDs
Replies: 4
Views: 562

Re: Life Expectancy Divisor for RMDs

Follow the steps in this worksheet:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/uniform_rmd_wksht.pdf

The factor to use is the one for your age on your birthday this year. Since you turned 70.5 already, you will be 71 on your 2015 birthday.
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bear Market strategies, if any
Replies: 61
Views: 6895

Re: Bear Market strategies, if any

Best thing is get out of debt and stay out of debt. Without debt you can survive unemployment, stock market downturns, and liquidity crises a lot longer.
by Stonebr
Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Aren't bogleheads predicting the long term?
Replies: 84
Views: 8877

Re: Aren't bogleheads predicting the long term?

Long term global growth is by no means guaranteed. Resource depletion, nuclear war, pandemics, an asteroid splashing down in the Pacific -- you name it -- could throw a monkey wrench. :( Aside from stocks, you keep your debt to a minimum or zero, learn how to live frugally, have a trade, and treasur...
by Stonebr
Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just patch roof or replace it?
Replies: 12
Views: 991

Re: Just patch roof or replace it?

When we sold our house a couple of years ago, it needed a new roof. We definitely got low-balled on the price by about the cost of a new roof, the buyer and their inspector made a big issue of it. We drove by a few months later and the new owners had replaced the roof.
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly in-laws portfolio advice with low funds
Replies: 3
Views: 402

Re: Elderly in-laws portfolio advice with low funds

My mother's solution was to hold the Vanguard Life Strategy Income Fund. She had dividends paid to her quarterly. I think the dividend yield is currently about 2%, so you would be looking at withdrawing (selling shares) another 3% or so of principal in the first year. More as years go by.
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension from old out-of-business employer
Replies: 4
Views: 615

Re: Pension from old out-of-business employer

Another thing. Whoever ended up with this pension plan liability will eventually want to contact her. As an unclaimed benefit gets closer to retirement age and beyond, it becomes a larger and larger liability for the plan, which must hold a reserve to fund it. It's in their financial interest to con...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension from old out-of-business employer
Replies: 4
Views: 615

Re: Pension from old out-of-business employer

If she knows any other employees of the company, she could ask them if they know anything. Particularly helpful would be someone that worked there for a very long time and is close to or in retirement. They would surely know. Otherwise, use the internet. You can discover many revealing things about ...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stable Value Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 821

Re: Stable Value Funds

"Stable value funds did not exist in the 1979-1981 era..." OK, I never have completely understood what my TIAA Traditional account was. I thought it was a stable value fund (with restrictions on withdrawal to protect against "runs" on the fund). Whatever it was, I think it's exi...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we trade in the old truck or sell it privately?
Replies: 46
Views: 3705

Re: Should we trade in the old truck or sell it privately?

Selling privately via Craigslist will yield more money, but will come with hassles - fielding calls, weeding out the fake offers and trade offers, meeting people so they can test drive, some uncertainty about how to receive payment safely. I found the hassles to be minimal. Posted the ad on CL on a...
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3387

Re: A/C efficiency question

TxAg wrote:Is it more efficient to leave the unit set at 75 all day and night or 80 during the day and 74 at night?


You could get a "Kill-A-Watt" meter and measure for yourself. They are not expensive, and some public libraries can loan them just like a book.
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Discussion of Economics on Bogleheads
Replies: 3
Views: 600

Re: Discussion of Economics on Bogleheads

Generally not allowed under forum policies: " Non-actionable (Trolling) Topics If readers can't do anything with the content of a topic other than argue about it, it does not belong here. Examples include: US or world economic, political, tax, health care and climate policies " Space on th...
by Stonebr
Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does too high initial house asking price kill chance at selling house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4904

Re: Does too high initial house asking price kill chance at selling house?

IMO doesn't matter at all - if you want to sell it, you need to keep lowering the price until it sells , it's as simple as that , no high level financial or economic analysis needed . In an efficient market, I'd agree. But residential real estate is far from efficient, at least for the individual b...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2015 pt 2
Replies: 48
Views: 5190

Re: Gardening 2015 pt 2

From Maine: Kale and Shallots wintered over -- the 5 or so feet of snow seems to have acted as insulating blanket. Have been eating them since April. For the past 2 weeks we've been eating Mesclun, Spinach, Kale, Arugula, and a few Beet Greens. Peas are about 18 inches tall, pole beans, zucchini, an...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on restructuring elderly parent's portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 1197

Re: Advice on restructuring elderly parent's portfolio

Advice was mixed on the previous thread. Some, including Taylor, advised to hold onto the securities with a profit because capital gains taxes are eliminated at the owner’s death. Others suggested it still might be better to get on track now with a diversified three fund portfolio and improve asset...
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bread Machines?
Replies: 41
Views: 2921

Re: Bread Machines?

I use mine about once a month. Had it for 8 years. Breadman.

Get one at Goodwill. They have a better selection than any big box store. :wink:

If you get a used thrift shop bread maker, you won't feel stuck with it if you find you don't use it much. You can just donate it again.
by Stonebr
Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension or Unfair Lump Sum
Replies: 39
Views: 5236

Re: Pension or Unfair Lump Sum

Another issue I see is that with a spouse who is 10 years younger, with a lump sum you have to be very careful with the SWR (sustainable withdrawal rate). My own choice, with a spouse 11 years younger, was 100% joint annuity. As others have noted, a steady income that covers the basic expenses of li...
by Stonebr
Sun May 31, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canadian money
Replies: 34
Views: 3132

Re: Canadian money

Similar to HIinvestor, we just use ATM cards in Canada, as well as our credit cards. Our Ally Bank ATM card has no fees. As for the exchange rate, it's not like it's worth shopping around when you're only going to save 70 cents.
by Stonebr
Fri May 29, 2015 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This time is different
Replies: 44
Views: 4923

Re: This time is different

What would a repricing of bonds look like if yields went from 2.1% to 5%? For a 10yr bond it would equate to a drop of 23%; a similar move in 20yr bonds would be -35%, and -43% for 30yr These are not 'small deltas' How do you think house prices and stocks (which yield <2%) hold up if overnight rate...
by Stonebr
Fri May 29, 2015 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This time is different
Replies: 44
Views: 4923

Re: This time is different

Go with the flow. If a strong wind comes up, open the barn door.
by Stonebr
Thu May 28, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Things Change(? - Getting Married)
Replies: 8
Views: 935

Re: Things Change(? - Getting Married)

It took us about 4 years to consolidate banking into one joint checking account. After a while, it seemed like separate checking accounts were just "clutter" so I nixed mine and we opened a joint account at her bank.

In short, there's no rush.
by Stonebr
Thu May 28, 2015 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Are You Devoting Too Much Time (and Money) to Niche Asset Classes?"
Replies: 61
Views: 5710

Re: "Are You Devoting Too Much Time (and Money) to Niche Asset Classes?"

Who's to say that some other Nobel Prize winner won't come along with "proof" that another tilt is even better? What will you do then, change your allocation? Sounds like a loser's game to me.
by Stonebr
Sat May 23, 2015 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good 3-way LED Bulb?
Replies: 10
Views: 1276

Re: Good 3-way LED Bulb?

Like the Coyote says above, earthed.com has FEIT 30/70/100 in a soft white. We use them in a couple of lamps. No problems. A lot of our lamps come with shades that actually clamp onto the bulbs, so we've had to experiment a bit. The FEITs work fine with our lampshades. This was a bigger problem with...
by Stonebr
Wed May 20, 2015 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How should drivers react to bicycle riders on one lane roads?
Replies: 68
Views: 3442

Re: How should drivers react to bicycle riders on one lane roads?

The only way to do it would be to pull way over to the left crossing the road's double yellow lines, which I think would be a violation. So it is a two lane road. One can cross the center line to go around an object or every parked/stalled car would close the road. Correct. The double yellow lines ...
by Stonebr
Sun May 17, 2015 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My experience with stock options - selling vertical spreads
Replies: 9
Views: 761

Re: My experience with stock options - selling vertical spreads

Feel free to share any other words of wisdom on the topic. I feel like I like the subject of stock options but if I continue failing I think I will just put my additional money into regular stocks and forget about this whole stock option thing. Welcome to the forum. You may have answered your own q...

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