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Re: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?

The safety of knob and tube wiring: http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-advice/knob-and-tube-wiring.shtml In my 100 year old house the visible stuff was in fine shape. The electrician (an old experienced guy) said to leave it alone and I did. Yes. And also the entire continent of Europe is ungrounded...
by Stonebr
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?
Replies: 46
Views: 2341

Re: Mississippi wins!

Alas, Mississippi is dead last (no pun intended) in life expectancy -- 51 out of 50 states and DC.
by Stonebr
Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mississippi wins!
Replies: 14
Views: 1816

Re: Savings Percentage [rules of thumb]

My wife and I are subscribers to the bogleheads / LBYM philosophy, but as a metrics guy I'm interested to get a better understanding of the rule of thumb that I hear regarding what percentage of earnings we should be saving. When people say aim for 20% or 30% of earnings, is that pre-tax or post-ta...
by Stonebr
Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Percentage [rules of thumb]
Replies: 49
Views: 5103

Re: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash

Schwab is the only debit card I'm aware of that reimburses fees internationally. Earlier in this discussion I made folks aware of the WellsFargo debit card that also reimburses fees internationally with an excellent exchange rate. My Ally ATM card does the same -- at least it did last time I was in...
by Stonebr
Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash
Replies: 33
Views: 1877

Re: Grandparents - 80 yrs old, new to investing

My initial thought was a simple 2 or 3 fund portfolio at Vangaurd. However, considering that I think this will all need to be invested in a taxable account, should they avoid bonds? Can they take more risk since the primary purpose of the money is to be given away? What other strategies should they...
by Stonebr
Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparents - 80 yrs old, new to investing
Replies: 8
Views: 565

Re: International investing. A good call by our mentor.

You could also argue that small and mid cap stocks aren't absolutely necessary either. Then keep the same logic going long enough and pretty soon you own just the 20 largest US based companies. I'll take Total US Stock and Total International Stock. I want to own everything. Keep it simple and don't...
by Stonebr
Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International investing. A good call by our mentor.
Replies: 145
Views: 12277

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

I expected these kind of replies which is an indicator of negative sentiment in general. The general asset classes are very over extended but the precious metals are cheap yet most do not see this. Time will tell of course. I've owned and watched gold for many decades. Quite frankly, you are most l...
by Stonebr
Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 102
Views: 6211

Re: With all these recent posts regarding tilts, should I?

+1 to both Livesoft and Twins Fan.

Another thing to consider:

My experience was that 95% of my investment attention was focused on the 5% I had in sector funds like REITs, Energy, etc. I'd actually lose sleep over the stupid things. That's why I don't bother any more. Keep it simple.
by Stonebr
Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: With all these recent posts regarding tilts, should I?
Replies: 14
Views: 1034

Re: Value Overvalued

james99 wrote:On page 5 of this report from JP Morgan, it shows Value stocks are overvalued, and Growth stocks are undervalued compare to their 20 years averages.

https://www.jpmorganfunds.com/blobconte ... lebook.pdf

[/i]



Noise. Ignore it.
by Stonebr
Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value Overvalued
Replies: 23
Views: 2328

Re: How much energy does water heater use when I'm not home?

Back when I had one of those old obsolete electric water heaters I used to turn off the power at the circuit box when I went on vacation. Did it all the time for 15 years -- no problems. Saved electricity and $ with no downside. Here in the future I have on demand from a high efficiency wall mounted...
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much energy does water heater use when I'm not home?
Replies: 32
Views: 2766

Re: A Romney Problem

joe8d wrote:
Levett wrote:Me. I paid my taxes.

Lev


Same here.


+1. I've received great benefits from living in this great country. I don't have any qualms about paying something back.
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Romney Problem
Replies: 16
Views: 2041

Re: Buy a condo for college?

I wouldn't rush into anything. Your kids may prefer dorm life because it's more social and the cooking gets done for them at the dining hall. There's more peer pressure at the dorm to keep them in line (hopefully). Things can get kind of lax around private apartments. Not every part of life can be ...
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a condo for college?
Replies: 29
Views: 2517

Re: Honda Fit, Civic

Fit is a new model for 2015. Comparing it with prior years may be unfair. For example, the 2014 and earlier Fits have a POOR rating in the small offset crash test. The new one? Nobody knows yet. Civic has a GOOD rating. The old Fit had slightly less fuel economy than the Civic. The new one slightly ...
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Fit, Civic
Replies: 32
Views: 3137

Re: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil

powersmo wrote:The best place for questions on car maintenance and oil that I have found is http://www.bobistheoilguy.com, the folks on that forum are THE experts on oil like the folks on bogleheads are THE experts on investing.


+1 bobistheoilguy is the Bogleheads of car maintenance.
by Stonebr
Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil
Replies: 33
Views: 2832

Re: New Investor - Looking To Play and Need Advice

The wiki pages on this website are a good place to start. In those wiki pages are some recommended books -- like the Bogleheads Guide to Investing . And of course the various books by John C. Bogle. I'd suggest you don't do anything with your money for a while (except save it in a safe place). Read,...
by Stonebr
Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor - Looking To Play and Need Advice
Replies: 7
Views: 1012

Re: Does a Precious Metals & Mining Fund Improve a Portfolio

I owned precious metals funds at various times in my investing life. I'd always buy them with the best of intentions -- diversification, catastrophe hedging, long term focus, and allocation 5% or less. The reality was that the gold fund was 5% of my portfolio and 95% of my stress. I'd buy low, sell ...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Precious Metals & Mining Fund Improve a Portfolio?
Replies: 29
Views: 3241

Re: Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund through 401(k

I'd go with the LS fund. Paul +1 The Life Strategy funds are classic Boglehead portfolios -- low cost, complete investment programs in one fund. While you might be able to save a few basis points by keeping the funds you have, that's not enough to make an iota of difference to your standard of livi...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund through 401(k)
Replies: 35
Views: 2301

Re: Do you deviate from the owner's manual?

Yes, and no. Owner's manual says 91 octane for optimum performance, 87 minimum. I did some tests early on and determined that fuel economy and performance were the same regardless of the octane rating of the gas used. So I use 87 now. Oil changes twice a year. Full synthetic oil. I don't even look a...
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you deviate from the owner's manual?
Replies: 35
Views: 3232

Re: Vanguard - Energy Fund

I used to own this fund. (Not saying much, I think I've owned every fund at one time or another.)

Ditched it during the Great Simplification in 2008-9.
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard - Energy Fund
Replies: 31
Views: 3863

Re: Phantom Expenses and Withdrawal Rates

The Otar SWR software includes an input parameter for investment expenses. I used .20%, FWIW. As for car and home repairs, I calculate two SWRs, a high one and a low one. We live within the low one for regular monthly costs. When the high one accumulates enough for a new car, we know we can afford o...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Phantom Expenses and Withdrawal Rates
Replies: 12
Views: 878

Re: Asset allocation in multiple accounts question

1. With Duckie's AA, can you elaborate, specifically in my case how should I contribute monthly (or annually) to keep the % of each fund as close to as designed possible? I understand I need to rebalance it once or twice a year. But I don't want to re-do all 5 accounts unless I have no choice. Annu...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation in multiple accounts question
Replies: 20
Views: 1398

Re: Should bond fund be in IRA

Best thing to do is check out the Bogleheads wiki page on tax considerations: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Principles_of_tax-efficient_fund_placement You'll see in "Step 1" a table of investment classes listed according to their tax efficiency and recommended placement in taxable or shel...
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should bond fund be in IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 461

Re:

As with any other consumption item, the key is to consume neither too much, or too little. 700 square feet is about my low limit as a single person as well. Nick I lived 14 years very comfortably in a 653 sq ft condo in Boston. The other dimension, of course, is height, and my condo had 11 ft ceili...
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny House Movement
Replies: 139
Views: 15913

Re: POLL: Are You Re-Balancing?

No. I don't fuss with this stuff until December.
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Are You Re-Balancing?
Replies: 70
Views: 5020

Re: "What Makes Today Special?"

"It ought to be celebrated with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other."

--John Adams, 1776
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "What Makes Today Special?"
Replies: 4
Views: 876

Re: Safe draw down %?

"Stay flexible my friend!, which is the advice we should give to retirees." Prof. Cooley, Trinity study author. I know a lot of retirees. I am not aware of any who use a mathematical withdrawal method. Most either use common sense or "income only" (possibly supplemented by spora...
by Stonebr
Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe draw down %?
Replies: 21
Views: 2101

Re: A Larry Style Portfolio for my mother

I don't like your proposed allocation at all, particularly since you are proposing it for someone else. Your own portfolio, maybe. But is your mother going to understand your rationalization when small international sits there doing nothing for 15 years? Or tanks? Has she ever heard of Larry Swedroe...
by Stonebr
Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Larry Style Portfolio for my mother
Replies: 15
Views: 1141

Re: What is simple enough to understand, and therefore inves

A way that I've found to keep things simple is to simply follow the advice of John C. Bogle and Taylor Larimore. :happy
by Stonebr
Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is simple enough to understand, and therefore invest in
Replies: 27
Views: 1901

Re: Best Method to Sell a U.S. Coin Collection

I've sold coins and other collectibles on ebay with good results. I was only cheated once and it was on a $30 item. The mistake I made was in posting positive feedback too soon. Now I wait a month. Buyers of expensive items (over $500, for example) were always a class act, but my higher end coins we...
by Stonebr
Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Method to Sell a U.S. Coin Collection
Replies: 13
Views: 2084

Re: Investment help

Hi Tom, I've read your post, as well as a previous one from last April that asked essentially the same thing. If you haven't already done so, I would suggest you read the section in this website called "Investment Philosophy" and view the videos. You can get to it simply by clicking on the...
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment help
Replies: 5
Views: 717

Re: Help solving a car dilema

blackdust wrote:I have never understood the big deal about mpg. We are usually talking about less than a couple thousand a year from a SUV to a car, depending on how much one drives.


Do you apply this logic to everything you buy?
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help solving a car dilemma
Replies: 18
Views: 2547

Re: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?

I hear what you said but the Apple "learning curve" is not that large and I found it to be quite simple. I also have relatives in their 70's that purchased their first Mac's and found the learning curve much easier than Windows 8. They are so happy with Apple that they all mentioned they ...
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?
Replies: 53
Views: 2956

Re: Equal Weighting vs Market Cap Weighting

As I recall, the earliest index fund bought equal $ amounts of each stock, regardless of market cap. Keeping equal amounts required huge amounts of trading to keep in balance. This type of index fund did not survive, for obvious reasons.
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equal Weighting vs Market Cap Weighting
Replies: 38
Views: 1587

Re: "William Sharpe: An unsung hero of passive investing"

Bustoff wrote:Speaking of Sharpe, is there anyplace that lists Sharpe ratios for Vanguard Bond funds?


Morningstar.com

For example,

http://performance.morningstar.com/fund ... ture=en-US
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "William Sharpe: An unsung hero of passive investing"
Replies: 9
Views: 1113

Re: Water/sewer backup coverage: buy or not?

Call a plumber and get a back-flow valve installed. :happy
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Water/sewer backup coverage: buy or not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2791

Re: [Poll] Did you tax loss harvest in the past?

In 2008 and 2009 I sold everything I owned in taxable accounts. It was an opportunity to unload all of my individual stocks, sector funds, active management and other non-Boglehead investments. I also sold some index funds and tax-managed funds. After capturing losses (some of them offsetting gains)...
by Stonebr
Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Did you tax loss harvest in the past?
Replies: 17
Views: 949

Re: 2013 RAV4 design flaws

When I was in high school, my friend Tony and I were driving back from basketball practice in his 1970 Dodge Charger. Right down the street from my house, the u-joint on the transaxle broke and we had to push it back down the hill. In college, my friend Joe had an Alfa Romeo Spyder. It wouldn't run...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2013 RAV4 design flaws
Replies: 15
Views: 1653

Re: To stay a Boglehead, I have to leave Bogleheads.org

What I've learned is to simply do what Taylor Larimore and Jack Bogle recommend. It's taken a long time for their lessons to sink in -- simplicity, patience, and accepting my "fair share" of market returns.
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To stay a Boglehead, I have to leave Bogleheads.org
Replies: 56
Views: 6131

Re: Using 100% Stable Value as bond allocation

This has been my choice since 1982.
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using 100% Stable Value as bond allocation
Replies: 31
Views: 2686

Re: Help me pick International Equity Fund

Thanks guys. Anybody a fan of the dodge and cox fund to split with vanguard total? Seems this fund gets some respect around here despite the higher er As with the others, I would vote 100% to the Vanguard index fund. Here's why: Dodge & Cox has a great reputation for their past performance. The...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me pick International Equity Fund
Replies: 10
Views: 893

Re: "The Low-Cost Fund Arms Race"

columbia wrote:It makes me wonder how much longer Vanguard will charge .30% for Total World Stock Index.


As long as the costs of running the fund are that high.

Remember that the ER is just cost divided by assets. Vanguard doesn't choose to charge .30%. It just happens.
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Low-Cost Fund Arms Race"
Replies: 8
Views: 1224

Re: why not closed end mutual funds?

So...given the persistent discounts to NAV, why doesn't some private equity fund buy up a controlling interest in these funds and force liquidation at NAV? Closed ends sometimes go open end and the discount goes to zero. But in a takeover the buyer has to buy up all the shares on the market, and co...
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why not closed end mutual funds?
Replies: 27
Views: 1465

Re: why not closed end mutual funds?

Oh, and then there's the mediocre active management… No bargains there.
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why not closed end mutual funds?
Replies: 27
Views: 1465

Re: why not closed end mutual funds?

I used to own a few of these turkeys. The discounts always seem to get bigger. And then they issue warrants, which are a way of diluting your holdings unless you purchase new shares. :annoyed
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why not closed end mutual funds?
Replies: 27
Views: 1465

Re: Article: 60/40 produces "same" return with ~half the ri

The key is staying the course - if you look at this board in 2007-9, you will see that many did cut back at market lows. I think that is less likely in a 60/40 mix. Asset allocation is not always fixed, and people can guess wrong at the wrong time. Yeah. There was talk about "Plan B" on b...
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: 60/40 produces "same" return with ~half the risk
Replies: 46
Views: 5516

Re: New Dodge Grand Caravan vs. Used Honda Odyssey/Toyota Si

sciencenerd wrote:Have been lurking for a few years, but finally decided to register. So far, this has been a very informative forum for me, and I would like to start contributing.


Hope to hear more from you.
:sharebeer
by Stonebr
Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Dodge Grand Caravan vs. Used Honda Odyssey/Toyota Sienna
Replies: 21
Views: 2090

Re: Another Reason to Index

The intelligent tax-savvy Boglesaurus will take his own tax losses as well, and he can use them to offset his ordinary income at a 35% tax rate. In most years, he has a $3000 capital loss against his 35% ordinary income, and in a few unusual years (when Heinz is taken over) he pays capital gains at...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another Reason to Index
Replies: 26
Views: 2625

Re: Which is superior? Slice & Dice or [Total Market]?

I would expect higher returns out of slice and dice but behaviorally, you're probably more likely to stick with a total market philosophy. The problem with slice and dice is there are always new slices to consider adding, which gets lots of people in to trouble. Sticking with a reasonable plan is a...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which is superior? Slice & Dice or [Total Market]?
Replies: 48
Views: 3798

Re: Another Reason to Index

What about the times when he doesn't own the takeover stock, but the index does? Doesn't he have a better tax outcome than index investor in that case? Having a very low basis is a sign that the stock did very well, which can never be a problem. In that case a tax savvy investor would use the highl...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another Reason to Index
Replies: 26
Views: 2625
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