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Event access via American Express

Has anyone actually used American Express to get a good deal at an event? I recently got a Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express just to see what it's all about. The annual fee is waived for the first year and I can cancel it anytime. I was especially interested in the exclusive access, ea...
by Tabulator
Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Event access via American Express
Replies: 3
Views: 448

Re: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?

Here's my favorite quote from Taleb this week.

If in 2024 you still remember an event from 2014, odds are you didn't get the information from the news reports.
by Tabulator
Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?
Replies: 86
Views: 6210

Re: Why does anyone use American Express?

Is it normal for American Express to not mail a paper statement if there was no activity that month?
by Tabulator
Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why does anyone use American Express?
Replies: 146
Views: 22032

iShares Core Builder too heavy in foreign equity?

The iShares Core Builder is a nifty little tool and great for showing basic concepts to novice investors. I would like to get some Boglehead opinions on the apparent emphasis on international stocks. The most aggressive portfolio is evenly split between US and foreign equity. # 0.42: STOCKS: U.S. EQ...
by Tabulator
Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: iShares Core Builder too heavy in foreign equity?
Replies: 0
Views: 186

Re: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat

Anyone tried LibreOffice under Windows 8? That's the next thing I have to figure out.
by Tabulator
Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat
Replies: 33
Views: 3211

Re: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat

I ordered an Inspiron from Newegg, and Windows 8 from Amazon. Grand total including tax and shipping: $455. Seems like a pretty good deal to me -- and hopefully not too much hassle. Thanks for all the input, everyone.
by Tabulator
Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat
Replies: 33
Views: 3211

Re: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat

I have no shortage of appreciation for the many good *nix choices. Windows just happens to be more appropriate for me in this case.
by Tabulator
Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat
Replies: 33
Views: 3211

Re: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat

Thanks for alerting me to the fact that the bloat may more than merely annoying. It sounds downright creepy. The most hopefully helpful information I have seen so far is at Ars Technica . As stated in that article, Microsoft is rumored to offer a disc for around $30. I am still leaning toward buying...
by Tabulator
Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat
Replies: 33
Views: 3211

Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat

I am thinking of buying a new Dell desktop with Windows 8. Is it possible to get a clean Windows 8 installation on that new computer by purchasing an additional Windows disc from a store such as Walmart? I am thinking of this as an easier and more effective (though also more expensive) method than m...
by Tabulator
Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new Windows 8 disc to clear Dell's bloat
Replies: 33
Views: 3211

Re: Refurbished Mac Mini

How noisy are the fans in new Mac mini computers? I had a Mac mini from the pre-Intel days and I recall it being a little on the loud side.
by Tabulator
Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refurbished Mac Mini
Replies: 29
Views: 2835

Re: Investment Vices

How sinful is it to allow Bill Gross to control a fraction of one's bond allocation?
by Tabulator
Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Vices
Replies: 32
Views: 1972

Re: Got a PC: Clean crapware & other questions?

Does anyone know how much crapware is on Lenovo computers?
by Tabulator
Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got a PC: Clean crapware & other questions?
Replies: 31
Views: 3620

Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Does anyone use a pager instead of a phone?
by Tabulator
Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?
Replies: 70
Views: 8098

Re: Southwest Rapid Rewards + Chase Southwest card?

How much do you have to spend to get the free companion ticket?
by Tabulator
Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southwest Rapid Rewards + Chase Southwest card?
Replies: 12
Views: 1578

Re: Southwest Rapid Rewards + Chase Southwest card?

mikep wrote:The value of the points earned are equivalent to 1.67% of purchases except on SW/partner purchases where it doubles to 3.33%.

Interesting. So ignoring the sign-up bonus, this card is little better than a regular cash back card for most purchases.
by Tabulator
Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southwest Rapid Rewards + Chase Southwest card?
Replies: 12
Views: 1578

Credit union disclaimer

Today I found the following text on the web site of a credit union I use regularly (and happen to like a lot). Has anyone ever seen anything like this? (I removed the name of the credit union from the original text.) In the event of electronic monetary theft which is not my fault, I would like to be...
by Tabulator
Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit union disclaimer
Replies: 2
Views: 391

Re: Any car dealers out there? [Sell car now or wait?]

So back to the question of how we can all save money on the road... The internal combustion engine is where it's at, and will be for quite a while (as long as oil prices don't multiply and one doesn't drive too much). Am I correct in this conclusion? Despite some engineering disadvantages (eg, needi...
by Tabulator
Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any car dealers out there? [Sell car now or wait?]
Replies: 32
Views: 2458

Re: Any car dealers out there?

hoops777 wrote:Is there something wrong with buying an electric vehicle and charging it thru solar panels or were you being glib

I guess I need to clarify: Are we talking about panels on the roof of a car or on the roof of a fixed structure?
by Tabulator
Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any car dealers out there? [Sell car now or wait?]
Replies: 32
Views: 2458

Re: Any car dealers out there?

My brother told me that the solar panel industry was close to vastly increasing the quality and output of solar panels in the next couple of years.I believe electric cars really would make the cost of the solar panels more practical. Wait a minute -- are you really imagining driving a photovoltaic-...
by Tabulator
Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any car dealers out there? [Sell car now or wait?]
Replies: 32
Views: 2458

Re: iShares fixed maturity corporate bond ETF's - ER 0.10

Why is iShares going with credit ratings of A-f? Are they trying to boost the yield with f-rated bonds?

Kevin M wrote:Non-brokered CDs still look better to me.

Because of lower risk?
by Tabulator
Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: iShares fixed maturity corporate bond ETF's - ER 0.10
Replies: 15
Views: 988

Re: iShares fixed maturity corporate bond ETF's - ER 0.10

MnD wrote:note they are ex-financials. Not sure what to think about that

Isn't that a good thing? Why take a risk with bank debt when there are so many other great corporate sectors to choose from?
by Tabulator
Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: iShares fixed maturity corporate bond ETF's - ER 0.10
Replies: 15
Views: 988

Re: Barclaycard problem

How good is the web interface for Barclaycard credit card accounts in the US? I am interested in their Arrival travel rewards card -- but I really like the ability to add tags or categories to posted transactions. This is possible with American Express. Does Barclaycard allow this?
by Tabulator
Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Barclaycard problem
Replies: 9
Views: 1017

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Has anyone created an ex-financials variant of a three-fund or lazy portfolio? I would like to figure out how to own all the capital markets just like in a typical Bogleheads portfolio, but while avoiding banks and other financial companies.
by Tabulator
Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three Fund Portfolio
Replies: 822
Views: 320063

Re: Tesla Motors Stock

WHL wrote:Interesting timing, considering it's currently something like 5 times higher than its 52 week low

Indeed, if you want to play the market you can do much better than Tesla. Look for cheap, not overpriced, stocks.
by Tabulator
Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tesla Motors Stock
Replies: 164
Views: 12804

Re: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers

Raymond wrote:I also use Witopia as a VPN provider

I'm interested in a VPN too but am rather overwhelmed by the number of choices.
by Tabulator
Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers
Replies: 28
Views: 3227

Re: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers

bigmantenor wrote:Linux for the most part is far more secure than Windows or Mac OS

Is this true for a default Ubuntu installation, or does that "security" require advanced configuring?
by Tabulator
Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers
Replies: 28
Views: 3227

Re: "Stocks on sale", "reversion to the mean", etc.

Maybe it just means next time there's a 2008-style crash, you will have a chance to fly high if you can afford to spare some extra cash for a while.
by Tabulator
Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Stocks on sale", "reversion to the mean", etc.
Replies: 22
Views: 2228

Re: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers

I expect these disturbing Orwellian developments we are afflicted with will be a huge boost to Linux and open source. Does that mean we're pretty much relying on sugar daddies like Mark Shuttleworth now? I'm not sure how long that party can go on. Here's hoping to forever, or at least a few decades...
by Tabulator
Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers
Replies: 28
Views: 3227

Re: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers

I have to say, the whole subject of computer privacy and security is a royal pain. Nowadays I pretty much assume whenever I type my bank password that it will be intercepted by a criminal.
by Tabulator
Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers
Replies: 28
Views: 3227

Re: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers

Carl53 wrote:DuckDuckGo or Tor browsers

I am only aware of a DuckDuckGo web site, not any DuckDuckGo software one can download. What am I missing? I use NoScript on Firefox all the time.
by Tabulator
Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DuckDuckGo or Tor Browsers
Replies: 28
Views: 3227

Re: Costco Natural Peanut Butter is Back!

n-6 fatty acid
Draw your own conclusions.
by Tabulator
Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Natural Peanut Butter is Back!
Replies: 26
Views: 7723

Re: Keep money taxable in case the laws change

patrick wrote:At least 3 problems here

Those are good observations.
by Tabulator
Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep money taxable in case the laws change
Replies: 9
Views: 1260

Re: Keep money taxable in case the laws change

CABob wrote:this conversation is about possible, future law changes

Haven't most of us on this forum read enough Black Swan-related material to realize that possible, future changes are the most important kind of changes to consider?
by Tabulator
Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep money taxable in case the laws change
Replies: 9
Views: 1260

Keep money taxable in case the laws change

On the subject of whether an IRA or Roth IRA is a good idea, this blog speculates that the laws could get worse in the future, so it's not a good idea for the government to control your savings. If changes to tax schemes occur over the next 5, 10 or even 20 years you want to be able to instantly mov...
by Tabulator
Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep money taxable in case the laws change
Replies: 9
Views: 1260

Re: Student Loans - Pay As You Earn

Which is better -- IBR or Pay As You Earn -- for people with a moderately large loan balance?
by Tabulator
Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loans - Pay As You Earn
Replies: 10
Views: 1389

Re: Roth IRA and principal contributions

So is it okay if I understand this but the CPA who completes my tax returns does not?
by Tabulator
Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth IRA and principal contributions
Replies: 7
Views: 425

Re: For Windows 8, is a touchscreen laptop preferable?

LiamLC wrote:If you want a good operating system, go with Arch Linux

Any reason you prefer Arch over Ubuntu?
by Tabulator
Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For Windows 8, is a touchscreen laptop preferable?
Replies: 39
Views: 2054

Roth IRA and principal contributions

I was talking with my CPA about the idea of using a Roth IRA as an emergency fund. After consulting a book in his desk drawer, he informed me that I will face stiff penalties for taking money out of a Roth IRA. Where should I look for the correct information from the IRS, and prove the CPA wrong if ...
by Tabulator
Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth IRA and principal contributions
Replies: 7
Views: 425

Low tax bracket and avoiding investments

I have a friend with a situation I have not heard of before, and am wondering if anyone here would care to comment about it. My friend is in the 10% tax bracket. On his 2012 federal taxes he effectively paid less than 0.01% taxes. This is because his CPA did a good job of finding tax credits. I beli...
by Tabulator
Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low tax bracket and avoiding investments
Replies: 11
Views: 653

Re: Consumers Report for Cars 2013

They like the Hyundai Elantra. But is it really worth paying more for an Elantra over an Accent, or even a cheaper Nissan Versa? The Nissan doesn't seem to come with as good a warranty though.
by Tabulator
Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumers Report for Cars 2013
Replies: 34
Views: 4306

Re: any boglehead cure for audiophile upgrade-itis?

What kind of audio gear ages well and what kind ages badly? I have heard that in speakers, the electronic components are usually the first to go.
by Tabulator
Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any boglehead cure for audiophile upgrade-itis?
Replies: 62
Views: 3775

Re: Doing your taxes yourself vs. w/ a CPA: a test run

Does TurboTax figure out eligibility for earned income tax credit? And is the IRS less likely to audit someone who uses a CPA?
by Tabulator
Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing your taxes yourself vs. w/ a CPA: a test run
Replies: 42
Views: 4804

Re: Preserve Delta Skymiles

Am I correct in understanding that the only credit cards which earn Delta are American Express, and they all have annual fees?
by Tabulator
Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preserve Delta Skymiles
Replies: 21
Views: 2192

Re: Finding a Discount Broker

I am interested in setting up an account at OptionsHouse because of cheap trades. Do I need to do any due diligence first? Like checking that they are in trouble with regulatory authorities, etc?
by Tabulator
Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Finding a Discount Broker
Replies: 27
Views: 3434

Re:

I started at Sharebuilder, but didn't like the fact that their $4 trades were only for "whatever we can buy it for on Tuesdays", and real time trades were almost $10. I like that they were acquired by ING, and now you can fund your brokerage account from your ING accounts the same day (as...
by Tabulator
Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which stock broker are you using and why?
Replies: 43
Views: 5440

Re: Question about Roth IRA contributions and IRS

Other than losing papers, is the IRS known to make mistakes by charging penalties or other fees in excess of what an individual really owes?
by Tabulator
Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Roth IRA contributions and IRS
Replies: 16
Views: 2584

Re: Question about Roth IRA contributions and IRS

So you're saying that violating the law brings stiff punishment, but complying with the law is not made easy.
by Tabulator
Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Roth IRA contributions and IRS
Replies: 16
Views: 2584

Re: Question about Roth IRA contributions and IRS

kaneohe wrote:The 5498 , like the W2, is proof to back up your info in case IRS wants it.

Thanks for the info. Seems strange the IRS would demand papers when they also have responsibility for keeping the same records, right?
by Tabulator
Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Roth IRA contributions and IRS
Replies: 16
Views: 2584

Re: Question about Roth IRA contributions and IRS

Alan S. wrote:They show the amount, type, and year of your IRA contributions

What is a "type" of contribution? If I mark a spreadsheet every time I contribute, I don't see what additional information extra records and papers will provide.
by Tabulator
Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Roth IRA contributions and IRS
Replies: 16
Views: 2584

Re: DRIP Investors

livesoft wrote:When you called your broker on the phone to ask about this, what did they tell you?

I will have to wait until the holiday weekend is over to find out. I guess it's not too bad if they continue to collect minuscule dividends that get invested again into minuscule equity.
by Tabulator
Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DRIP Investors
Replies: 25
Views: 3337
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