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Re: How to climb up in a megacorp

A few decent bits of advice I've heard, learned and observed along the way: - In general , people in leadership roles (and those who are most highly compensated) usually have customer-facing positions. If you can find a way to position yourself to directly add value to your company's customers, and ...
by TO
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 5248

Re: What counts as "saving"?

You're thinking about it the right way. Each of your scheduled loan payments consist of at least 2 components: principal reduction and interest expense. Your mortgage payment may also include taxes and insurance. You can ask for an amortization table from your lender, which will clearly identify th...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

TO has done a nice job with his/her summaries of the real issue at hand, and the examples provided are a good mental exercise that demonstrate what this issue really is: Until you are able to truly understand what the term "savings" actually means (and where it originates from), you won't...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

I don't call loan principal prepayments savings. I call them transfers. The simple act of moving money from your left pocket into your right pocket has no more impact on savings than standing on your head. The creation of savings occurs before any decision you might make to move them from point A t...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

What benefit do you get from calling loan prepayment "savings"? You pose the question as if you are looking for an answer, but the tone of your responses suggest you may be merely interested in arguing. I'll respond in the spirit of the former, but have no interest in the latter. Using th...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Paying off a loan has a different set of financial constraints than "saving". There is no need to force paying off a loan to be something that it's not. Deal with the financial instrument as it is. How about making extra principal payment on a loan? Analytically - what do you gain by clas...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Extra mortgage principal payments - spending and savings. The spent part is the amount that you legally owe under the terms of your loan agreement. The savings component is the amount of total interest NOT paid over the life of the mortgage as a result of advancing principal payments upfront. You r...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Let's say you begin the year with $0 in your checking account and a student loan of $30k. The 10% student loan is in a deferral period, so no interest is accruing on the balance, and no payments are due until January 1st of the following year. After collecting all your paychecks ($100k gross income...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

This question is simple but has been nagging at me. What types of things count as "saving"? Is investing the same as saving? Maybe this is just semantics or mental accounting, but it comes into play when you calculate your savings rate. Examples: - Contributions to retirement plan? Saving...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Extra mortgage principal payments - spending and savings. The spent part is the amount that you legally owe under the terms of your loan agreement. The savings component is the amount of total interest NOT paid over the life of the mortgage as a result of advancing principal payments upfront. You r...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

I am not sure what business you are in, but the business I am in counts unrealized gains and losses on investments as income so I don't agree with your "separate and unrelated" comment above. Not all industries are alike under GAAP, I suppose. For the sake of an Internet forum, there is n...
by TO
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Question 4 (Essay Portion): Are your answers to questions 1-3 different? If so, why? I look forward to your answers. Good hypo. My answers to 1 and 2 would be B, but I think my answer to 3 would be A. It comes down to subjective intent, which maybe is your point. Here's a hint: In each of these sce...
by TO
Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Question 4 (Essay Portion): Are your answers to questions 1-3 different? If so, why? I look forward to your answers. Good hypo. My answers to 1 and 2 would be B, but I think my answer to 3 would be A. It comes down to subjective intent, which maybe is your point. Here's a hint: In each of these sce...
by TO
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: What counts as "saving"?

As a CPA, I agree wholeheartedly with an earlier contributor that this entire argument is the result of a broad lack of understanding of the interaction between financial statements - income statements, balance sheets (statements of net worth), and statements of cash flow. Without providing a defini...
by TO
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 7062

Re: How do you factor entitlements into your investing plan?

I did not realize that Social Security is an entitlement program. Perhaps, if I paid nothing into Social Security, that would be an entitlement, if I expected to receive something. However, having paid the maximum to Social Security, I don't feel that the correct term is entitlement. I feel more li...
by TO
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you factor entitlements into your investing plan?
Replies: 52
Views: 5066

Re: Selling my house

Interview a couple of sellers agents and ask their opinions of your home's value and projected time on market. If you believe you will achieve a better outcome by hiring one of these agents (net of their commission), then hire one of them to represent you. If your neighbor's offer is superior, accep...
by TO
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling my house
Replies: 7
Views: 922

Re: Hamilton watches, worth the money?

Keep in mind that any automatic watch will require periodic service from a qualified "Swiss Service Center" (which may or may not be affiliated with your brand of choice). This is something nobody tells you when you buy the watch. In my experience, this service has been required every 7-10...
by TO
Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hamilton watches, worth the money?
Replies: 262
Views: 16726

Re: Anyone have a Nest learning thermostat?

Consider an ecobee thermostat as an alternative to Nest. We have one, and I recommend it unconditionally. Wifi connectivity and data analytics capability without the A.I. issues some have reported with Nest units. A simple Amazon search will allow you to compare and contrast.
by TO
Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a Nest learning thermostat?
Replies: 19
Views: 1732

Re: Flood proofing a basement

Sump pump into a rain barrel. Use the rain barrel to water your garden.
by TO
Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flood proofing a basement
Replies: 24
Views: 2120

Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

In addition to all the other great advice here, I suggest spending time on the Positive Coaching Alliance website (http://www.positivecoach.org). Check out the "tools for parents" and "tools for coaches" links. As a father of two boys active in youth sports, I can say from experi...
by TO
Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports
Replies: 115
Views: 6027

Re: Recommendations on Carpet Cleaning

I like ChemDry. This is not likely to be your least expensive option, but I am willing to pay a premium for: 1) quick drying times (a fraction of the drying time for traditional steam cleaning), 2) efficacy - I have always been satisfied with the results, and 3) mild cleaning solutions that don't le...
by TO
Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations on Carpet Cleaning
Replies: 10
Views: 1139

Re: New water heater needed - local plumber or Home Depot, L

I believe that a direct word of mouth referral to a local plumber is probably your best bet - it may be worthwhile to ask some friends whose opinions you value. It would be great to have researched your options (time permitting) prior to your first conversation so you can compare notes and ask the p...
by TO
Tue May 27, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New water heater needed - local plumber or Home Depot, Lowes
Replies: 43
Views: 5293

Re: 529 plans and UMTAs: do you include in net worth?

The simple answer is yes. The complicated answer is that net worth is only a portion of your overall financial picture. I run a projection model including an annual balance sheet (net worth), income statement (earnings and spending), and statement of cash flows (essentially a net worth roll forward)...
by TO
Mon May 26, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 plans and UMTAs: do you include in net worth?
Replies: 8
Views: 627

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

My suggestion is to opt for an organic lawn care program. Not because you want to save the planet or avoid falling victim to the ubiquitous and misleading marketing schemes perpetrated by "lawn care professionals" and manufacturers of chemical fertilizers/pesticides/herbicides (although th...
by TO
Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 27560

Re: Beach in Marco Island in late May and early June

We stayed at the Marriott on Marco Isalnd a couple of years ago. You would be happy with the quality of the sand (fine, white, very few shells) and the size of the beaches (immense). You can Google search for pictures of this resort to get an idea. We were there during spring break, and the beaches ...
by TO
Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach in Marco Island in late May and early June
Replies: 3
Views: 553

Re: best tips for passwords?

Curious to know if anyone posting in this thread uses Mint.com or another online account aggregator. The best practices recommended in this thread seem practically incompatible with using such a service. I suspect that most users of these account aggregation services are less sensitive to the risks ...
by TO
Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best tips for passwords?
Replies: 141
Views: 12197

Re: Replacing MacBook Pro Battery

Check for a Batteries Plus retail location in your area. I have had good experiences with this company, and at the very least they will provide a sanity check on price.
by TO
Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing MacBook Pro Battery
Replies: 9
Views: 442

Re: Sonos sound system ?

Thank you for all this helpful info. I am not so much interested in the multi room ability as I am in being wireless and small footprint. I now have a traditional A/V receiver connected to a variety of video/audio sources and a smaller LCD TV. DW and I have a 55" LED TV coming and I will need ...
by TO
Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonos sound system ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1944

Re: Acura RDX vs Volvo XC 60

Close. We recently sold a 2004 Volvo XC70 wagon and purchased a 2014 Acura MDX. While I personally love the wagon format, we outgrew the seating capacity due to carpools for the kids. Wife wouldn't consider a minivan, so we looked for a relatively small 7 passenger SUV and landed on the MDX. This is...
by TO
Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Acura RDX vs Volvo XC 60
Replies: 13
Views: 2449

Re: Hedging Gasoline Price

How can one prepay/hedge the price of gasoline? Say buy 2 years worth at today's prices. UGA? Simple. Since this falls into the category of rank speculation, simply make a wager with someone willing to take the other side of your bet. Peg a price per gallon today, and determine the volume of gas yo...
by TO
Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hedging Gasoline Price
Replies: 38
Views: 1784

Re: Personal Finance Press

Check with HR at your employer for clearance if you decide to do this. Your company may not approve the disclosure of its name along with any compensation info you may be asked to share.
by TO
Tue May 28, 2013 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Press
Replies: 6
Views: 474

Re: Organic Lawn Care

That way, you can invite your organic/green friends over for a picnic and just have them chow down by grazing your enriched lawn. You do know where milorganite comes from, right? Nice. I used to have a rule of thumb that I didn't spread anything on my lawn that I couldn't spoon up and eat (soybean ...
by TO
Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organic Lawn Care
Replies: 32
Views: 2101

Re: Organic Lawn Care

Instead, find a feed store and spread 20 or more pounds per 1,000 square feet of feed grains on the lawn about every six weeks or so. I spread the following in the following sequence: cracked corn, soybean meal, Milorganite (from big box hardware store or florist), cracked corn, soybean meal. This ...
by TO
Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organic Lawn Care
Replies: 32
Views: 2101

Re: Organic Lawn Care

Here is a great place to start: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/orglawn/ I have been using an organic program for years with excellent results. Cheaper, easier, just as effective, and no concerns about letting the kids roll around in the grass. Organic programs feed the ecosystem of microorganism...
by TO
Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organic Lawn Care
Replies: 32
Views: 2101

Re: Ready to buy a house....

Loan basics: Get pre-approved and find a lender who not only has great rates but is extremely responsive. If you face a bidding war, you don't want a lender who will take days to verify your borrowing ability with your seller. Put at least 20% down; if you can't afford 20%, wait and save. House cha...
by TO
Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ready to buy a house....
Replies: 58
Views: 5844

Re: Debit Card Skimming Incident

Did Chase return the money to your account immediately? Chase indicated that the missing funds would be posted to my account within 24 hours. They asked a series of questions before agreeing to this, but I think the fact pattern was such an obvious case of skimming that they did not seem overly ske...
by TO
Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit Card Skimming Incident
Replies: 22
Views: 2990

Debit Card Skimming Incident

My wife was a victim of a debit card skimming incident a few days ago. When reviewing my checking account activity online this morning, I noticed 5 consecutive $100 withdrawals from yesterday at the same ATM location in a neighboring suburb that we do not frequently visit. I immediately called Chase...
by TO
Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit Card Skimming Incident
Replies: 22
Views: 2990

Re: PenFed mortgage holders - refi question

I believe Pen Fed will refinance the loan. My understanding, however, is that they may not pay for the closing costs. If this is the case, it may make sense to shop any of the other mortgage sources recommended on these boards.
by TO
Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed mortgage holders - refi question
Replies: 4
Views: 714

Re: Please explain differences between Wills/Trust

Perhaps a bit off topic, but one thing I learned after the death of my last living parent is that beneficiary designation forms are absolutely crucial for all financial accounts. Several posters have referenced the complexities associated with probate proceedings. It is worth noting that financial a...
by TO
Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please explain differences between Wills/Trust
Replies: 18
Views: 1699

Re: Interest Rates - Not a Trick Question

1) If the forum software allows it, can you add an option: I don't know. If I were forced to predict, I'd say "about the same," because the very best predictions are rarely much better than that. The weather forecasts for tomorrow are better than predicting that tomorrow will be the same ...
by TO
Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest Rates - Not a Trick Question
Replies: 38
Views: 2543

Interest Rates - Not a Trick Question

Where do you believe interest rates will be in 5 years? I'm curious to know how this translates into fixed income allocation strategies.
by TO
Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest Rates - Not a Trick Question
Replies: 38
Views: 2543

Re: Post your asset allocation here:

Age 39 Equities/Fixed Income = 80/20 US Equities/Int'l Equities = 60/40 Domestic Large Cap Equities/Domestic Small Cap Equities = 60/40 Fixed Income: Treasuries/Fixed Income: TIPS = 50/50 All this works out to the following (all Vanguard index funds): Equities: 28.8% large cap us index 19.2% small c...
by TO
Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Post your asset allocation here:
Replies: 136
Views: 11672

Re: Lifelock-type protection: Worthwhile?

mikep wrote:Its not impossible. If the fraudster gets a hold of your PIN, I think you are out of luck.


Don't let "perfect" become the enemy of "very good." Credit freeze is a great way to protect yourself.
by TO
Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lifelock-type protection: Worthwhile?
Replies: 10
Views: 1362

Re: Spread sheet help please

I tax adjust my retirement goal so that I don't have to keep track of every holding. It's not accurate, but you can't be accurate about future tax rates. e.g. If I want $5k/month spendable from my portfolio I use 4% annual withdrawal rate and 25% tax so, $5000*12/0.04/0.75 = $2,000,000 portfolio. S...
by TO
Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spread sheet help please
Replies: 6
Views: 549

Re: Retitling Inherited IRA - Dispute with FA

I agree, this is not a problem to worry about unless VG would not accept the transfer, and that is very unlikely. The IRS only requires that the name of the decedent AND the beneficiary be shown in the title with identification of both in no particular order. CGM's wording is sufficient, since it s...
by TO
Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retitling Inherited IRA - Dispute with FA
Replies: 8
Views: 1184

Re: Please Help with Dispute with FA

Bob's not my name wrote:The forum has several IRA experts. I suggest you retitle your thread to get their attention (e.g., "Correct titling of Inherited IRA").


Thanks - done.
by TO
Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retitling Inherited IRA - Dispute with FA
Replies: 8
Views: 1184

Retitling Inherited IRA - Dispute with FA

I'm having a dispute with a financial adviser (from a large brokerage firm who wants my business, but will not get it) over the proper way to title an inherited IRA. Obviously, I want to get this exactly right to avoid any confusion with the IRS, since the rules for an inherited IRA are complex. My ...
by TO
Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retitling Inherited IRA - Dispute with FA
Replies: 8
Views: 1184

Re: Friend needs a huge van for family of 6 kids.

hicabob wrote:Sprinter passenger van with a turbo-diesel is a practical, easy to drive and relatively economical people-mover with gobs of space.


+1.

A friend owns one. Very practical, great mileage.
by TO
Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend needs a huge van for family of 6 kids.
Replies: 16
Views: 1021

Re: Seeking Recommendation - Financial Advisor

Thanks to all for the valuable suggestions.

Best,
TO
by TO
Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking Recommendation - Financial Advisor
Replies: 5
Views: 699

Seeking Recommendation - Financial Advisor

Unfortunately, my brother and I recently lost our last surviving parent. We are the beneficiaries of the estate, and will each receive a sizeable inheritance (mid to high six figures). While I don't plan to make any significant changes to my lifestyle or investing approach (essentially a strict Bogl...
by TO
Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking Recommendation - Financial Advisor
Replies: 5
Views: 699
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