Search found 26596 matches

by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major home renovation your thoughts
Replies: 21
Views: 1881

Re: Major home renovation your thoughts

earthquake: this home is not in a flood or tsunami zone. It is at very low risk for a landslide, it is in a once meadowy area. I like the idea of just bolting to a foundation. I don't know if it has a crawlspace or not. sprinkler: will do more research. Bit idiosyncratic of an idea of mine, I know....
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with portfolio [Russia]
Replies: 18
Views: 1246

Re: Domestic/International stock allocation [Russia]

50% USA 12.5% Germany 12.5% UK 10% Japan 10% Russia 5% Australia and China Can there be a reason to change those percentages in the future? Andoku I was being too lazy to look up the actual weightings in the international index. From memory US is about 55%. So you could vary them now to get to the ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major home renovation your thoughts
Replies: 21
Views: 1881

Re: Major home renovation your thoughts

We've been looking for about two years, looking very hard for a home with a large lot but in the city, right schools, yada yada, this looks like it. Home is 4000 sf, mostly single level, built in 1972 with major upgrades and add on in 1997. 1 acre. Portland suburbs, Washington state. Bottom line is...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major home renovation your thoughts
Replies: 21
Views: 1881

Re: Major home renovation your thoughts

Guessing $100k for kitchen and master bath/bedroom, which would involve some interior walls but no exterior walls, roof, or major plumbing. I don't know your region/market for contractors. However, for MAJOR remodel of a kitchen you can easily spend over 100; add in major remodel of master suite an...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mandatory vehicle collision avoidance systems are coming
Replies: 39
Views: 2169

Re: Mandatory vehicle collision avoidance systems are coming

I am all for safety especially when it comes to cars. But I don't understand how these things can be ordered with the condition "no additional cost to buyer". Who is supposed to absorb the extra cost? The manufacturer? The gubmint? Option cost extra money - a friend at an automaker sugges...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mandatory vehicle collision avoidance systems are coming
Replies: 39
Views: 2169

Re: Mandatory vehicle collision avoidance systems are coming

The robotic cars are coming! In 10 years I predict: 1. There will be no more taxi drivers, truck drivers, DMV, or traffic lights/regulations. 2. People won't even own cars anymore (no more car loans or dealerships). All cars will be owned and operated by centralized taxi services. If you want to go...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mandatory vehicle collision avoidance systems are coming
Replies: 39
Views: 2169

Re: Mandatory vehicle collision avoidance systems are coming

The robotic cars are coming! This would be terrible! I love driving my sport 6 speed with such a smooth transmission. I enjoy getting on ramps on interstates. I enjoy (although I can no longer afford it with 2 children) parts for my car to increase the airflow or have the car tuned for performance....
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mandatory vehicle collision avoidance systems are coming
Replies: 39
Views: 2169

Re: Mandatory vehicle collision avoidance systems are coming

I am all for safety especially when it comes to cars. But I don't understand how these things can be ordered with the condition "no additional cost to buyer". Who is supposed to absorb the extra cost? The manufacturer? The gubmint? As with emissions controls, seatbelts, air bags, the cons...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I just getting old?
Replies: 19
Views: 2047

Re: Am I just getting old?

Often, when speaking to younger people about what they do for a living, I just have to scratch my head and wonder. Am I getting old or has the world really changed that much? Or are job titles just newly adopted, politically correct names for the jobs that we have been doing all along? I was a fire...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond prices
Replies: 19
Views: 1304

Re: Bond prices

I should note the suggestion to use CDs is a good one. Especially v. ST bonds and ST bond funds. Because of the need to increase their deposit base, financial institutions have been offering better yields on CDs than risk free Treasury bonds offer in the market. As a small investor you can exploit t...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond prices
Replies: 19
Views: 1304

Re: Bond prices

I have 2 questions. 1--How does one determine if a TIPS bond is "correctly priced"? 2--What does it mean to say that a bond's (or bond mutual fund's) price includes interest rate increase projections? I hope I have posed these questions correctly. To price the TIP bond, the market takes a...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 185
Views: 14542

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

'We Can Remember it For you' became Total Recall? I think a lot of people did not understand the movie (by the director of Robocop and Starship Troopers) which I am more and more convinced is a satire. I don't understand that movie either, and your theory is as good as any. Or maybe Verhoeven just ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major home renovation your thoughts
Replies: 21
Views: 1881

Re: Major home renovation your thoughts

- Agree about the bars on the windows. I think there are more subtle approaches to get what you are looking for. Plant a rosebush (with thorns) right outside your widows too ;). - We installed a whole house fan and have been very pleased with it. We have cooler evenings, I'm not sure if Portland se...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

Interesting on landline phones. The old pulse code dialing ones don't work anymore, so your phone had a switch that updated it? ..... On cars. Yes it's nice to have an old car (assuming reliable). However there has been a step change in automotive safety: the addition of anti-lock brakes (ABS) and ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Malkiel on Chinese Stock Markets
Replies: 10
Views: 1289

Re: Malkiel on Chinese Stock Markets

Malkiel has become this super bull on China which has made him neglect all the ordinary rules of investments about diversification, corporate governance etc. China's economy is a superstar and may well stay so. That does not mean its stock market is good value or should be overweighted. Malkiel know...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Puerto Rico Muni Bonds: Hard-To-Sell
Replies: 7
Views: 709

Re: Puerto Rico Muni Bonds: Hard-To-Sell

On a thinly traded security $4 bid-ask spread doesn't sound unusual. If there are a lot more sellers than buyers, the price on the screen is only indicative, the actual last trade price is more reflective. And odd lots and small lots often don't get market price. I would take the pain (subject to St...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can a non-UK European invest in Vanguard UK LifeStrategy funds.
Replies: 7
Views: 395

Re: How can a non-UK European invest in Vanguard UK LifeStrategy funds.

Just got a reply back from my broker. They don't have them and can't add them. The LifeStrategy funds are "UK Unit Trusts and OEICs" they are not ETFs. I think the only way to get access to these funds is to open a UK brokerage account. https://www.vanguard.co.uk/uk/portal/investing-with-...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A couple questions Re: Term Life Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 870

Re: A couple questions Re: Term Life Insurance

H My main questions are: 1. term length: 20 year? 30 year? :confused My thought is that our savings rate is high enough where a 20 year plan hopefully would be enough...but is it common for people to need life insurance past 50 years old?? Would the extra cost of a 30 year plan be worth it? I also ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ISA's in the United Kingdom
Replies: 2
Views: 167

Re: Questyion about ISA's in the United Kingdom

I wonder if anyone might know anything about a dilemma my mother is facing. She is 78 years old and retired. My dad recently passed away and my mother has little knowledge of financial matters. She has 2 bonds that are maturing and she wants to move them to Easy Access savings accounts temporarily ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the commodity implosion foretelling a stock market crash?
Replies: 28
Views: 2991

Re: Is the commodity implosion foretelling a stock market crash?

Well, it looks like the commodity implosion foretold the Chinese stock market crash at any rate. Down about 27% from previous high, 8% drop today. Coming to a theater near you? Unless the connection is just a coincidence. Does anyone know what's been happening recently with Bangladesh butter produc...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the commodity implosion foretelling a stock market crash?
Replies: 28
Views: 2991

Re: Is the commodity implosion foretelling a stock market crash?

I'm looking for oversupply/deflation. I have a big position in electric and natgas utilities for this anticipation, however the position has been going against me. I'm beginning to think that consumption even for household use is falling from conservation efforts and demographics. :confused Utiliti...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy
Replies: 13
Views: 1846

Re: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy

That's not quite right wars don't grow the economy it's only an illusion because when you destroy capital you increase the marginal product of capital but you are still worse off than if the war had never happened. I think you've been reading a lot of Keynesian nonsense that has confused your think...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can a non-UK European invest in Vanguard UK LifeStrategy funds.
Replies: 7
Views: 395

Re: How can a non-UK European invest in Vanguard UK LifeStrategy funds.

It looks like the only place it's traded is on the London Stock Exchange. ISIN: GB00B41XG308 While my broker has access to the LSE I either can't get it or it's not added to their available products yet. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/funds/company-summary/UK/2505698...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

An issue with many of the household appliances is that a home service call can run 1/3 or more of the cost of a new appliance. Maybe I'm cynical but I think many of the appliances sold today are not built to last much more than 10 years even with service. Prices of major appliances have, after infl...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

I agree furniture can last forever. At least in the UK antique (Victorian) furniture has fallen out of fashion. Things that would have cost you £1000 20 years ago can now be had for £200 at an auction house. +1 Has there been a BH thread re antique furniture? Worthwhile money saving/preservation id...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recent windfall - Currently 95% of assets in single stock - Tax and asset allocation advice appreciated
Replies: 66
Views: 4074

Re: Recent windfall - Currently 95% of assets in single stock - Tax and asset allocation advice appreciated

The stock has and does pay dividends. We have declared them all in past years. That's more intriguing. So you have owned these shares for at least two tax years, but never wanted to sell them until this year. Does the death of your benefactor have anything to do with your decision? Sorry, but I am ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

Good tires. Often Michelin. I'm telling you that's it around here. Lots of hills...think of what constant braking does to tires. I am guessing that the combination of stop and go (and hills) plus the extremes of the Pittsburgh climate (both summer and winter) aren't good for tire life, although you...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

Interesting on landline phones. The old pulse code dialing ones don't work anymore, so your phone had a switch that updated it? I don't know where you got this misinformation. Certain VOIP ATAs, VOIP providers, and Central Offices (CO) may have removed this functionality, but pulse dialing is still...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can a non-UK European invest in Vanguard UK LifeStrategy funds.
Replies: 7
Views: 395

Re: How can a non-UK European invest in Vanguard UK LifeStrategy funds.

1. check on Dublin listed ETFs. They will be compliant with EU financial services regulations and therefore should be investable from any EU member state. All you need is an online broking account 2. if they do not offer the Lifestrategy funds, you can synthesize them using the above ETFs in the sam...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy
Replies: 13
Views: 1846

Re: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy

In the short run, it would be borderline Armageddon. In the long run, we are all dead and things work themselves out. If consumer spending patterns changed from say a 5% to a 6%, I'd expect GDP to drop something like .66-1%, which would put our already anemic GDP growth just above 1% or so. The goa...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.
Replies: 92
Views: 15410

Re: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.

This is a great post, I am learning so many ways to take up this job of down sizing which we have to take upon soon, if we have to keep our sanity. Our kids have left & we empty nesters are left with a huge 3650 sq ft house & a labor intensive large yard with a pool. We are hoping to get th...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.
Replies: 92
Views: 15410

Re: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.

There is a fundamental contradiction between the evolutionary drive to acquire and the modern reality of having too much. The goal of downsizing and simplifying is laudable, but achieving it is by no means simple. Theoretically, it should be easier to get rid of what you have than to add new things...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy
Replies: 13
Views: 1846

Re: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy

Savers are very important to the economy too, of course .. Your bank savings aren't just sitting there, but rather being lent to people to buy houses and start new businesses, and they're lent to governments to manage debt and invest in the economy I think it's a bigger worry at the moment that we'...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy
Replies: 13
Views: 1846

Re: Economics - Savers vs Spenders and economy

The paradox of thrift is very real. Look at Europe right now. Germany runs a current account surplus, but the Eurozone peripheral economies cannot be financed and sit in a below full employment equilibrium. The US does not exist alone in world capital markets. If a country runs a current account def...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: will baby boomer withdrawals effect future market performance
Replies: 5
Views: 845

Re: will baby boomer withdrawals effect future market performance

Since there are now more millennials than boomers, will their investment in the market drive equity values up? - Ron The Millennials, it is argued, have such debt loads (student debt etc.) that they will delay household formation and presumably investing. They are perhaps more bearish for housing p...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: will baby boomer withdrawals effect future market performance
Replies: 5
Views: 845

Re: will baby boomer withdrawals effect future market performance

Is there any published information or guidance offered on this topic? It seems with so many boomers tapping equity for support in retirement this could possibly lead to diminished returns in future. I saw one brief paper by Vanguard but it really offered no conclusions. Thanks. The Fed (one of the ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

For many of the large ticket items on this list like cars I like to see at least 15 years. The median age of vehicles on the road today is ~11 years, so I think 15 is a completely reasonable expectation. Ultimately, it has more to do with wanting something newer than needing to replace it. The numb...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

I won't go down the entire list, but for the two items I use the most out of the list! Laptop: 7-8 years (my last laptop only gave out after 8 years) Phone: 6-7 years (my Iphone is now nearly 6 years old, and except for a short battery life, it works perfectly fine) Never managed to make a phone la...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

Tires MUST be evaluated BOTH on miles AND age. Tires start to dry rot in MANY climates long before the tread s gone if you are driving 5-8 miles a year. Dry rotted tires are a particular hazard on large SUVs and 15 passenger vans and have been identified as responsible for many of the accidents. As...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durability of consumer goods
Replies: 43
Views: 2256

Re: Durability of consumer goods

Kitchen and laundry appliances used to last for decades years ago. I have two working cars. I have never gotten rid of a car. One is about 22 years old (used to belong to my late mother) and the other is about 45 years old (my first car purchase.) I have landline phones that are decades old. If I b...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with portfolio [Russia]
Replies: 18
Views: 1246

Re: Domestic/International stock allocation [Russia]

I have following country's indices available for me: Russia (my domestic country), USA, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China I want to decide what percentages should I go with. Do you have any suggestions? 50% USA 12.5% Germany 12.5% UK 10% Japan 10% Russia 5% Australia and China This i...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with portfolio [Russia]
Replies: 18
Views: 1246

Re: Help with portfolio [Russia]

Do these ETFs hedge the currency exposure back into roubles? If so, that cuts your diversification. In the info it says that the currency of the fund is USD and that there is no hedging. OK I don't think you should buy Russian Corporate Bonds. There are too many risks and uncertainties. Should I us...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a 6.5 kW Solar install make sense?
Replies: 29
Views: 2404

Re: Does a 6.5 kW Solar install make sense?

Your home uses quite a bit of electricity I would suggest a comprehensive review of how that usage could be cut. This would include a look at appliances, building performance, insulation, windows, etc. For each energy improvement, calculate the payback. I would bet that many of these have a shorter...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the commodity implosion foretelling a stock market crash?
Replies: 28
Views: 2991

Re: Is the commodity implosion foretelling a stock market crash?

Over the last 12 months, the Bloomberg Commodity Index has absolutely fallen out of bed. It has lost over 25% in the last 12 months alone and is now actually lower than it was at the bottom of the 2008 market crash, and has not been this low since 2002. There is a dramatic discrepancy between the p...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the commodity implosion foretelling a stock market crash?
Replies: 28
Views: 2991

Re: Is the commodity implosion foretelling a stock market crash?

I don't know how much of the decline in price is due to decline in demand. One could argue that lower commodity prices are good for the economy. Certainly it seems the game is over for OPEC. They are not reducing production in the face of falling oil prices, because the US will pick up the slack an...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker
Replies: 53
Views: 3296

Re: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker

I'm a big fan of long-form-essay journalism, including the New Yorker 's. Some of my favorite publications not mentioned yet: Claremont Review of Books : very intelligent reviews, typically by academics who are interested in philosophy, history, and politics. City Journal : a physically beautiful j...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker
Replies: 53
Views: 3296

Re: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker

Perhaps not surprisingly the Economist seems to have a wide readership amongst BHers. I've read it for years and find it well written and the best one-stop source of news from around the world. That said, it has very strong editorial biases. Some are obvious, but some are subtle (e.g. in their choi...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker
Replies: 53
Views: 3296

Re: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker

OP here - I used the read the Economist a fair amount, and will definitely reconsider it now that you all have rekindled my interest in it. I do recall though, one minor gripe I had about it was that the articles were generally quite short. Like no articles longer than 3 pages, as I recall, and a l...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker
Replies: 53
Views: 3296

Re: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker

Economist. From time-to-time, our postal person mis-delivers our subscription to another address, and I go into a deep funk until it finds its way home. Some of the best writing comes from the caption writers, the "punsters" on the photo inserts. Captured irony, as it were. Only folks who...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker
Replies: 53
Views: 3296

Re: Recommend a magazine with good writing like the New Yorker

OP here - I used the read the Economist a fair amount, and will definitely reconsider it now that you all have rekindled my interest in it. I do recall though, one minor gripe I had about it was that the articles were generally quite short. Like no articles longer than 3 pages, as I recall, and a l...

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