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Re: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?

Stayed the course, rebalancing at the end of 2008. However, I did a lot of tax selling -- all my individual stocks and actively managed mutual funds in taxable space went out the window. I reinvested in index funds. Waiting the required 30 days actually worked out nicely (just luck) with the market ...
by Stonebr
Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?
Replies: 67
Views: 3250

Re: Brother wants me to co-sign a house with him

Sounds more like he wants you to buy the house with him and live there too. Co-signing means he buys the house but you guarantee the loan. Here's info from the Federal Trade Commission on co-signing. http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0215-co-signing-loan The risk is that you end up with 100% of a...
by Stonebr
Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brother wants me to co-sign a house with him
Replies: 41
Views: 2837

Re: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work

I was told the money would go both for buying gifts AND giving each of these employees a $1000 bonus. I'm serious, when the email came, I thought it was a typo by a factor of ten. My supervisor said this has been a long-ongoing tradition from before either of our time. I've never faced this before,...
by Stonebr
Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work
Replies: 167
Views: 9230

Re: Electricity costs going up

Our solution has been conservation and efficiency -- converting all of our lights to energy saving bulbs (LEDs mostly, but with a few CFLs). And I mean all of them. We've also kept the 20 cu.ft. fridge, disconnected the ice maker, buy only Energy Star rated appliances, and turn lights out when we l...
by Stonebr
Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity costs going up
Replies: 46
Views: 3322

Re: Electricity costs going up

In all of New England rates are expected to go up sharply this winter. http://www.pressherald.com/2014/10/06/electric-rates-to-spike-for-mid-size-businesses-this-winter/ Like Massachusetts, Maine is essentially deregulated. Central Maine Power does distribution in our area, but we are free to choose...
by Stonebr
Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity costs going up
Replies: 46
Views: 3322

Re: Advice please

This is either the age-old question "Dollar Cost Averaging or Lump Sum?" or the non-BH "Should I try to time the market?" I think there's a wiki page on the former, and a lot of disagreement on the latter. I'd invest the whole thing now, but if you want to wait and try market tim...
by Stonebr
Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice please [Received large commission check]
Replies: 20
Views: 1946

Re: When do you buy a new home computer?

We just replaced our 12 year old (but high end for 2002) Dell XP desktop in September with a Macbook Air. The only reason we kept it was that my wife used an iPad as her primary internet connection. The Dell was for photos and a photo software package that she used. I already had a Macbook Air so no...
by Stonebr
Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you buy a new home computer?
Replies: 52
Views: 4205

Re: Most boglehead off-road vehicle?

Drew777 wrote:
Sidney wrote:Mountain bike.


I can't imagine trying to ride a mountain bike through thick mud, Georgia clay, a swamp, etc. When I say thick mud I'm talking about mud you might get stuck walking through.


Sounds like fund to me. Check out the Punk Bike Eduro

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRyqq5s7g20
by Stonebr
Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most boglehead off-road vehicle?
Replies: 44
Views: 2095

Re: War on Debt

As Crake says, $520 a month for gasoline is insane. :shock:

There's your savings. You guys are grounded.
by Stonebr
Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 28062

Re: Most boglehead off-road vehicle?

Stonebr wrote:
Sidney wrote:Mountain bike.


+1 My thinking exactly.

It's simple, reliable, one-wheel drive, goes far more places than any of the vehicles mentioned above, and can be picked up used for $50.


Not to mention that you can quit your fitness club and save whatever $$$ a month.
by Stonebr
Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most boglehead off-road vehicle?
Replies: 44
Views: 2095

Re: Most boglehead off-road vehicle?

Sidney wrote:Mountain bike.


+1 My thinking exactly.

It's simple, reliable, one-wheel drive, goes far more places than any of the vehicles mentioned above, and can be picked up used for $50.
by Stonebr
Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most boglehead off-road vehicle?
Replies: 44
Views: 2095

Re: Oil change costs--dealer vs other

Conventional (non-synthetic) oil is selling for a minimum of $3.00 a qt. these days. You can maybe get the cheap stuff for less and the name brand for more. I'm not sure how much your Accord uses, but figure about 5 quarts. Then add in the cost of a filter and you are probably over $20. That, in add...
by Stonebr
Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil change costs--dealer vs other
Replies: 35
Views: 2324

Re: Shutdown of Butterfly Labs--dubious bitcoin mining gearm

Not sure who made the pickaxes, but I believe the Ames Shovel Company did experience a huge boom during the 1849 gold rush; but Ames shovels were honest, sound merchandise--so sound that during one period of time they were legal tender in some Western states. The Butterfly Labs ASIC-based gear, not...
by Stonebr
Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shutdown of Butterfly Labs--dubious bitcoin mining gearmaker
Replies: 2
Views: 596

Re: Shoes for the Garden

I use raised beds so I never actually step in my garden soil. I wear sneakers or go barefoot. Never any mud except maybe around the compost pile.
by Stonebr
Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shoes for the Garden
Replies: 23
Views: 1587

Re: Seeking recommendations for a new dishwasher

In my opinion dishwashers are not what they used to be. We bought a top-rated (by Consumer Reports) low cost machine several years ago. Within 18 months it was simply not getting the dishes clean. We cleaned the filter and grinder, used dishwasher cleansers, but it was basically not doing its job. I...
by Stonebr
Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking recommendations for a new dishwasher
Replies: 15
Views: 970

Re: Oil and Gas investments

Most of us here probably remember the early 80s when 'sure thing' oil and gas plays in US and Canada turned into total dogs during a long period of low oil and gas prices. +1 Very leery of any investment that is structured for tax avoidance. The structure and fees make them difficult to analyze. I ...
by Stonebr
Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Oil and Gas investments
Replies: 15
Views: 1286

Re: home insulation question

It's also possible that the builder was careless with regard to air seal. You can put all the insulation in the world in an attic, but if there's a gap in the building envelope the warm air will just flow right through the insulation. That's why a blower test is important. If I were you I'd skip the...
by Stonebr
Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home insulation question
Replies: 13
Views: 1731

Re: My favorite Vanguard balanced fund

A tip of the hat to both Wellington and Wellesley Funds. Don't know how these "active" funds continue to perform so well. They are a bit higher cost than VG index funds, much less diversified and yet do a great job. VG Balanced Index fund does compete well with these funds with lower cost...
by Stonebr
Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My favorite Vanguard balanced fund
Replies: 20
Views: 4171

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

It's impossible to say anything definite about your particular situation without knowing more, but I can tell you that the best commute I ever had was a 15 minute walk through the streets of Boston. This was my commute for 14 years. Nothing can beat it. Nothing.
by Stonebr
Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I consider moving closer to work?
Replies: 37
Views: 2564

Re: VGPMX or USAGX?

Bogleheads is not the sort of forum where we discuss "which fund is better." I'd suggest you spend some more time exploring the wiki pages and maybe check out one of the Boglehead books, or better yet John C. Bogle's Little Book of Common Sense Investing . While there are some Bogleheads w...
by Stonebr
Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VGPMX or USAGX? [Vanguard or USAA Precious Metals]
Replies: 7
Views: 1143

Re: Most financially economical choice for a car

Honda Accord or Toyota Camry would be better choice from safety point of view. You can wait till September to buy 2014 model when deeper discounts are offered. Where you did get this information? EDIT: Oh nevermind, I found a site that has all the crash ratings and stuff. For that matter, Prius doe...
by Stonebr
Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most financially economical choice for a car
Replies: 53
Views: 4629

Re: Electric Water Heater

You might want to look at Rheem Marathon. They are expensive :moneybag , but they use a polybutylene tank that is warranted for as long as you own your home or 15 years, whichever is longer. There's no possibility of corrosion. These are also among the most energy efficient electric water tanks on t...
by Stonebr
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Water Heater
Replies: 14
Views: 983

Re: What funds are negatively correlated with stocks?

What funds? probably none.

Try googling "asset class correlations" For example:

http://awgmain.morningstar.com/webhelp/ ... lasses.htm
by Stonebr
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What funds are negatively correlated with stocks?
Replies: 24
Views: 3034

Re: simplify and diversify

placeholder wrote:I personally don't bother with simplicity because it's so easy to track and manage things these days.


I personally don't bother with tracking or managing these days. Simplicity makes it unnecessary.
by Stonebr
Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: simplify and diversify
Replies: 20
Views: 3216

Re: opening offshore bank account

Why the dinky little countries with a history of money laundering? I would think that you are guaranteeing an annual tax audit for the rest of your life.

Why not Canada?
by Stonebr
Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: opening offshore bank account
Replies: 10
Views: 1028

Re: Find a way to explain to me "WHY" should I break up w/ M

I used to own this fund. In fact I bought into it the first month it was offered. However, I am now 100% BH indexed and retired. Mutual Discovery Z is the one active fund I sort of regret dumping. However, all of my financial goals have been met through indexing, and the additional return I may or m...
by Stonebr
Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Find a way to explain to me "WHY" should I break up w/ MDISX
Replies: 23
Views: 1155

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

Where you live might depend on which hospital you want to be near. Mass General, you can get to easily from downtown or from Cambridge, Charlestown or even Everett or Malden. Longwood Medical area with Beth Israel and other hospitals is tucked in between Fenway and Brookline. I used to walk to my do...
by Stonebr
Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3636

Re: When people put all their eggs in the wrong basket

VictoriaF wrote:If someone looks too stupid to be real, he probably isn't.


Don't be too sure about that...
by Stonebr
Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When people put all their eggs in the wrong basket
Replies: 233
Views: 28938

Re: Best solution for clouded auto headlight lens?

Our Corolla has this problem, and I polish the plastic headlight covers once a year. Takes about an hour at most. The stuff I use is off the shelf at my local auto parts store -- Meguiar's PlastX. It cost about $6.50 and lasts for several years at least -- I'm not even close to half way through the ...
by Stonebr
Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best solution for clouded auto headlight lens?
Replies: 31
Views: 2758

Re: Building a New House, Advice please.

Like Valuethinker, I would urge you to make the house as energy efficient as possible. You should make Energy Star certification part of the written contract. That's the very minimum standard you should accept. Oklahoma has hot summers and cold winters. It's much easier and cheaper to do this with n...
by Stonebr
Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a New House, Advice please.
Replies: 66
Views: 5869

Re: Suggest an AM - FM Stereo Receiver?

I find it hard to believe many will be listening to music from receivers in the future. What's the advantage? With my laptop hooked up to external speakers I can listen to cd's as well as I Heart Radio or Pandora. With the laptop I can get radio from all over the USA, any town, and there's no issue...
by Stonebr
Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an AM - FM Stereo Receiver?
Replies: 24
Views: 1963

Re: Stable Income Fund vs. Total Bond Market

FWIW I've used my employer's plan Stable Value fund since 1982. No regrets. I continue to use it in retirement.
by Stonebr
Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Income Fund vs. Total Bond Market
Replies: 32
Views: 2492

Re: Sixth anniversary of worst week ever for stocks

So... what did you do in October 2008? This was about the time I'd decided to convert to a total BH portfolio, and I used the down market as an opportunity to sell all of our individual stocks and active mutual funds. I picked up a war chest of tax loss carry forward. I'm very grateful to the BH co...
by Stonebr
Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sixth anniversary of worst week ever for stocks
Replies: 51
Views: 5416

Re: How to migrate to factor investments?

duffer wrote:My question is less about the wisdom of that plan than about how to get there from my present positions.

duffer


I tried to beat the market for decades with this kind of crap. I used to be a duffer too. So my answer is more about the wisdom of your plan than how to get there.
by Stonebr
Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to migrate to factor investments?
Replies: 7
Views: 384

Re: What will you do during the next crash?

I will probably re-read Galbraith's The Great Crash for the fourth or fifth time.
by Stonebr
Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What will you do during the next crash?
Replies: 63
Views: 4379

Re: Do you deviate from the BH philosophy?

My wife has her own ideas. 100% of her IRA has been in Fidelity Contrafund since about 1990, and it has been very good to her. I have left well enough alone.
by Stonebr
Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you deviate from the BH philosophy?
Replies: 64
Views: 4201

Re: Tell me about Paris

Look into renting an apartment for a week. We did and it was absolutely fantastic -- about the same as a budget hotel and less than a block from the Louvre. We could come and go as we pleased and economize on food if necessary. It even had washer and dryer. This idea might be especially good with ki...
by Stonebr
Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Paris
Replies: 65
Views: 3789

Re: Maybe going back to cash isn't such a bad idea

I use cash more and more these days. Sure, I play the cash-back credit card game too, but after getting skimmed by a waiter/waitress at a local restaurant, another twerp at the local cinema, and the various online hackers, it's a way to lessen the risk. Yeah, zero liability, but identity theft is th...
by Stonebr
Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maybe going back to cash isn't such a bad idea
Replies: 18
Views: 2064

Re: Indexing in EM, and Templeton's Mobius

Sadly, I have owned the Templeton Developing Markets Trust for many years. It is a value fund, which should have helped its performance compared to the indexes. It underperformed the index and also failed to capture the value premium as well. Fortunately, it is a relatively small holding. The Frank...
by Stonebr
Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing in EM, and Templeton's Mobius
Replies: 10
Views: 1025

Re: Does it make any sense to switch from VFIAX to VTSAX?

Great suggestions. Then why does Vanguard even sell the sliced and diced "mid cap index" fund if all investors really need is either Total stock mkt Or S&P / extended? It's very confusing to newbies Slice and dice portfolios, including value tilting and other gimmicks are for Boglehea...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does it make any sense to switch from VFIAX to VTSAX?
Replies: 20
Views: 2690

Re: Approximating total stock market in 401k

Googling the Vanguard Employee Benefit Index fund, I see that this is an SP500 index. In that case, just make the proper mix with Extended Mkt and you've got total stock.
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Approximating total stock market in 401k
Replies: 4
Views: 279

Re: Another Milestone

I would not add it to your net worth. Rather, look at total cash flow needed minus income stream (pensions, SS), so you have the net cash flow you need from your investable assets. +1 I've never added NPV (net present value) of pension or Social Security to my assets. The correct way to calculate N...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Milestone
Replies: 9
Views: 1380

Re: A Primer on John Templeton

Templeton was a classy old guy. But really, as a Boglehead investor you've got to get beyond hero-worship. Reading about these active managers is just going to get you involved in their way of thinking -- that the market can be beat, and that it's important to beat it. About the only take-away from ...
by Stonebr
Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Primer on John Templeton
Replies: 28
Views: 2264

Re: TLH in the 15% bracket conundrum(?)

Own any gold? The TLH offset can be used on the 28% tax on gains from collectibles like coins, antiques, and art.
by Stonebr
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TLH in the 15% bracket conundrum(?)
Replies: 4
Views: 471

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 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?
Replies: 73
Views: 5122

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 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mississippi wins!
Replies: 14
Views: 1900

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 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Percentage [rules of thumb]
Replies: 49
Views: 5764

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 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash
Replies: 33
Views: 2155

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 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparents - 80 yrs old, new to investing
Replies: 8
Views: 608
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