Search found 1248 matches

by Stonebr
Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a classic men's black dress belt
Replies: 45
Views: 4156

Re: I need a classic men's black dress belt

I once had this problem and went to Brooks Brothers. I still use the belt they sold me 15 years ago. Sometimes it pays to pay full price.
by Stonebr
Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can the market go up forever?
Replies: 80
Views: 5576

Re: Can the market go up forever?

At current population growth of 1.6% per year, in about 550 years there will be 1 human being for every square foot on the planet. That includes the oceans. If the ocean people insist on being on dry land, we will need a 3-story building. There will be no room for toilets. If M2 money supply grows a...
by Stonebr
Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contrafund Pool Vs VIIIX
Replies: 30
Views: 2387

Re: Fidelity Contrafund Pool Vs VIIIX

Contra has great past performance. Based on that past performance one could assume the future would be bright. Will Danoff is fairly young for a manager with such a long past performance track record, and as long as he remains in charge of Contra one might expect performance to continue. However... ...
by Stonebr
Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads
Replies: 33
Views: 2296

Re: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads

Prius V - negotiated a 2012 with 15K miles to approx 20K OTD - monthly payment of $215 for a 7 yr 16K loan or $288 for a 5 year loan. With gasoline savings this would translate to net of $140 or $213 for said amount of years Prius - a 2012 that is currently at $14,500. It has 45K miles. Negotiation...
by Stonebr
Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads
Replies: 33
Views: 2296

Re: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads

Desert wrote:Another vote for diesel. Over 38,000 miles on my 2013 Passat, I've averaged 44 mpg.


We average over 50 in the Prius on highway -- regular gas. And we don't have to deal with VW reliability.
by Stonebr
Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads
Replies: 33
Views: 2296

Re: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads

Prius... Negatives: performance is basically non-existent. You aren't driving a Prius for fun. Also, the AC defaults to blowing cold air in your face. Positives: Interior space is more like a mid-size or large car than the Elantra someone compared it to above. Totally different cars for comfort and ...
by Stonebr
Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads
Replies: 33
Views: 2296

Re: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads

It sounds like you do a lot of highway driving. Hybrids are a great solution if you drive a lot of city miles. Have you considered a diesel or even a conventional gasoline car instead? In the real world we get better mpg on the highway in our Prius than in the city. City -- about 48; Highway -- any...
by Stonebr
Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nissan Versa Note SV
Replies: 15
Views: 1460

Re: Nissan Versa Note SV

We rented a 2013 Versa for 2 weeks in Oregon a few years ago. MPG was between 30 and 40 -- at the low end in the mountains and on the coast and at the high end on flat highway driving. We liked the hatchback configuration for traveling with luggage. There's a lot of room inside for a small car -- mo...
by Stonebr
Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone actually used gold or silver coins for a purchase?
Replies: 57
Views: 4425

Re: Has anyone actually used gold or silver coins for a purchase?

A gentleman wrote a book about the collapse in Argentina, and he indicated that gold or silver coins were useful in that situation. I would love to know the name and author of this book as it would be the only example of a failed economy using gold as a means of exchange since the fall of the Roman...
by Stonebr
Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simple investment plan - is this sane?
Replies: 5
Views: 415

Re: Simple investment plan - is this sane?

Not sure what your tax situation is, but one downside to inflation linked bonds is that they are best held in tax sheltered space. 60/40 allocation served me well for 30 years. Then I backed off the equities a bit at retirement. The exact percentage is only important to the extent that you can stick...
by Stonebr
Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you count cash towards your portfolio asset allocation?
Replies: 34
Views: 2048

Re: Do you count cash towards your portfolio asset allocation?

One of the interesting cultural shifts... in my opinion part of a broad cultural shift toward taking on more and more risks... is that if you check any financial-advice book into the late nineties, they all advised that an investment portfolio including a meaningful cash allocation. The three asset...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Potential Energy Downside?
Replies: 13
Views: 937

Re: Potential Energy Downside?

Tigermoose wrote:If you know about some bad news, you can rest assured that if it is True is it already baked into the current market price.


That's what folks said on Diehards back in 2007 when the subject of the housing bubble came up.

Knowing something and doing something about it are two different things.
by Stonebr
Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old Company Bankrupt- Small Pension
Replies: 1
Views: 297

Re: Old Company Bankrupt- Small Pension

As I recall, when the PBGC takes over a plan, you are generally LESS likely to receive a lump sum. Small benefits, like those with a present value less than a modest amount -- it used to be $5000 -- may still be offered lump sums.
by Stonebr
Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4388

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

Nice to have a bit of my wealth that is not hackable by computer criminals or vulnerable to identity thieves. :happy
by Stonebr
Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not diversify beyond the Three Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 78
Views: 7991

Re: Why not diversify beyond the Three Fund Portfolio?

I used to own diversifiers like REIT funds, but I dumped them years ago. Reason: whenever I found myself with a sleepless night, tossing and turning, worrying about my investments, the reason was always the 5% positions like REITs and Energy and Precious Metals, or whatever. It was never the 90% in ...
by Stonebr
Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 70 year old boiler for radiant heating. Upgrade or keep it running?
Replies: 14
Views: 881

Re: 70 year old boiler for radiant heating. Upgrade or keep it running?

You are a prime candidate for a new high efficiency boiler. They cost a lot, but given the age of your Jurassic-era equipment, a new boiler would probably pay for itself in 5-7 years. After that, it's pure savings. New boilers are small -- ours hangs from the wall in the basement and is about the si...
by Stonebr
Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Record Retention - Monthly Debt Statements
Replies: 10
Views: 884

Re: Record Retention - Monthly Debt Statements

It's been a long time since we had any debt, but when we did, we had it modeled in Excel so we could keep tabs on the creditor. As long as the creditor was calculating things correctly, we would shred anything older than the most current statement. For annual summary of the mortgage, they send a tax...
by Stonebr
Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Everybody is sick of gold - Is now the time to buy??
Replies: 37
Views: 4669

Re: Everybody is sick of gold - Is now the time to buy??

I've thought about allocating some of my AA to bulk silver or gold in the past, but for now am just sticking to hobby coin collecting instead. My 35+ years of "investing" in gold and mining shares took this turn a few years ago. I decided to get out of it as an "investment" and ...
by Stonebr
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50/50 asset allocation
Replies: 69
Views: 6163

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: 76
Views: 4141

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: 2821

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: 196
Views: 13802

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: 196
Views: 13802

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: 2507

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: 7893

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: 2682

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: 2031

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: 2534

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: 2031

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: 2031

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: 7437

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: 3636

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: 1458

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: 2505

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: 1190

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: 5261

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: 1429

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: 19
Views: 1708

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: 2527

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: 3462

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: 2288

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: 2205

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: 4697

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: 570

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: 7104

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: 8996

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: 1026

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: 413

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: 636

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...

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