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Re: Your thoughts on farmland values

Last night I saw a program whose topic just so happened to involve the farmers in the northern part of the US that are unable to get their crops to market courtesy of CP and BNSF railroads which have a 13 week backlog of getting railcars out to the farmers. :o So much for operational efficiency. Wh...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your thoughts on farmland values
Replies: 9
Views: 753

Re: Your thoughts on farmland values

You must be referring specifically to Iowa farmland, because my farm in central Georgia hasn't shot up in value since 2005. It's done alright, but not spectacularly. At least cash rents have grown pretty steadily, though. It's done very well in the 60 years it's been in the family, though, which I ...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your thoughts on farmland values
Replies: 9
Views: 753

Re: Economic Forecasts

The trend noted is too short term to give confidence that it's really happening. That post recession it won't just pick up again. Say for example a tighter labour market leads to real wage acceleration-- healthcare is very labour intensive. The ineffectiveness of antibiotics is leading to big increa...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economic Forecasts
Replies: 4
Views: 448

Re: No car for 10 years - should I scratch the itch?

I would continue to commute via public transportation and just use this vehicle for fun. Cost-wise I think it would be more expensive than renting unless I go on trips more often than I have been. If e.g. the car depreciates at 3k/year over the first 5 years, it's costing me more than the 2k or so ...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No car for 10 years - should I scratch the itch?
Replies: 25
Views: 1289

Re: Advice on new home

It's a stretch but to live in a place you can live in indefinitely is a good thing. Is a job in Boston a dead cert? Can anything go wrong on that front. Try to figure out what can go wrong. Can you protect yourself against interest rate rises? What happens if you can't sell your original house? Can ...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on new home
Replies: 5
Views: 511

Re: 401(k) poll - lawyer/oil and gas worker/airline employee

Most small E&P companies pay well and have generous benefits. This is to make up for the fact that they probably won't be around more than a few years When I graduated in the early 1980's, most of us wanted to go to growing industries. My colleagues went to biomedical and tech industries, while...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) poll - lawyer/oil and gas worker/airline employee?
Replies: 27
Views: 1437

Re: LED lightbulbs

lululu wrote:
I have yet to see LEDs that aren't ice pick in your eye blue white.


As per previous poster, you want 2700K colour. That is the 'warm yellow'.

I have had good success (in Europe) with the Phillips brand LED lights. Realize that's the CFL you have had trouble with.
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lightbulbs
Replies: 196
Views: 15504

Re: How sustainable if the inflation adjusted income of VTSM

Is it fair to assume that the inflation adjusted income/dividend potential for the index would be (on average) preserved over generations? Barring taxes or major calamity of course. I believe the historical rate of dividend payout from stocks has dropped substantially over the decades. While divide...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How sustainable if the inflation adjusted income of VTSMX?
Replies: 6
Views: 755

Re: Your thoughts on farmland values

It worries me when pension funds and offshore investors are buying farmland. Yes, like timber, there is a case. In the UK farmland is held to have produced real returns pa of around 1% pa over the very long run. So if you are Yale University, say, you can see a case. And it has a degree of inflation...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your thoughts on farmland values
Replies: 9
Views: 753

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Currently reading 'Stress Test' by Timothy Geithner. I never realized that we were that close to 'the abyss' in 2008. There were enough people saying it at the time-- Paul Krugman for one. The key turning point, from my London-based perspective, was when Gordon Brown (Prime Minister, ex Chancellor ...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3253
Views: 1106451

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

Canada? Basically in America people have heard of Toronto and McGill. Toronto is generally too big and too urban for undergrad (unless you attend Trinity College (Malcolm Gladwell is a famous alum-- your courses though will still be in the university at large) or one of the professional faculties l...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

I work in a study abroad office. Our students who go to a UK college often come back with mediocre grades because their system is so much different than the American one: no homework, participation, or midterm, just one final written exam which includes not just the lecture but pages and pages and ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: The most hated car brand in America is...

That you have to know what you want when you buy a car. Volkswagen drivers know what they are getting. Cars that are drivers cars, but not low cost of ownership. In the same way Prius buyers know what they are getting-- an unexciting car in many ways, but with excellent fuel economy and eco cred. So...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The most hated car brand in America is...
Replies: 4
Views: 1108

Re: Help with specific COL calculations: Midwest vs Coastal

I've been crunching some numbers about COL adjustments for moving from a Midwest area to an East/West Coast region. I would really appreciate some input as to whether my numbers would be accurate: The assumption is that if I move to a high COL area, I would live in a cheaper suburb and commute abou...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with specific COL calculations: Midwest vs Coastal City
Replies: 11
Views: 598

Re: Emerging markets 1900-2013

EM way under-performed in the 40s, but it is not at all clear how much WWII was the cause. China probably would have gone communist with or without WWII. Some EM countries like Japan were obviously devastated, but so were many developed countries like Germany. Actually recent scholarship is a lot k...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging markets 1900-2013
Replies: 40
Views: 3127

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

Center for World University Rankings. http://cwur.org/2014/ Thank you each again for your responses and thoughts. All helpful and places to research more and maybe visit on our occasional travels. THANK YOU! -- Nuvoletta Be wary of all university 'rankings'. For example, a list which did not have o...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

I have a friend who has lived in the same inner city neighborhood for 34 years the house price remained the same. It was inter city when she bought it. While houses in the better part of town went up 4 fold. So even if you don't lose money it can be hard to make money. This I think has been the pat...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?
Replies: 33
Views: 3234

Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

...Similar situation 15years ago. Once a neighborhood starts its decline, it just never gets better - only worse. I bought a nicer house in an area that is appreciating rather than declining. The old neighborhood is looking fairly rough these days, as many of the houses are now rentals. I don't agr...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?
Replies: 33
Views: 3234

Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

...Similar situation 15years ago. Once a neighborhood starts its decline, it just never gets better - only worse. I bought a nicer house in an area that is appreciating rather than declining. The old neighborhood is looking fairly rough these days, as many of the houses are now rentals. I don't agr...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?
Replies: 33
Views: 3234

Re: Best time to exercise stock options

Whatever you do make sure you take some money off the table.

It's not 'wealth' until you hold it in cash, or at least in a diversified portfolio. It's just a form of deferred compensation.

Speaking as a former dot com millionaire, (very ex), that is.
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best time to exercise stock options
Replies: 10
Views: 828

Re: How sustainable if the inflation adjusted income of VTSM

Answer. We cannot know. I have been considering investing in a total stock market index fund, with plans to distribute rather than reinvest any interest and dividends (without planning to meet any fixed income needs.) Is it fair to assume that the inflation adjusted income/dividend potential for the...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How sustainable if the inflation adjusted income of VTSMX?
Replies: 6
Views: 755

Re: Total International Bond Index Fund

Considering the expense ratio (0.20%), currency and inflation risks, why is Vanguard "pushing" this fund? I 1. the fund is currency hedged. Therefore no currency risk to USD investor 2. expense ratio is what it is, as it gets larger, it will no doubt fall as it has on other VG funds 3. in...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total International Bond Index Fund
Replies: 36
Views: 2435

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

A college degree is mainly used to impress future employers. What do you think most hiring managers will do when they receive a resume that includes a degree from a foreign institution that they have no knowledge of? Not to be snarky, but if the hiring manager hasn't heard of the schools mentioned ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

I can add if one wants to study business, that the European (undergrad) schools best famed for same are: Bocconi (Milan) St. Gallen (Switzerland, but with a lot of German kids) HEC (Paris) not sure re Spain or other countries. They all have very high academic standards. MBAs are uncommon in Europe, ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

No direct personal knowledge. What I had read about Latin America was that the public universities are not in good shape-- too many students, insufficient resources, very low tuition. So the elite tend to send their kids to private universities. Many Latin American cities have really serious crime p...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two-year educational programme primarily aimed at students aged 16–19. The program is one that provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and is accepted by many universities worldwide. It was dev...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

Soooo…thinking ahead here for my two youngsters who are American and EU citizens. Anyone know how I can investigate non-US colleges for undergrad? Is it even an option if the kids have lived in the US their whole lives (and we haven't been paying into their tax system)? I'm also open to other count...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: What about non-U.S. colleges?

DS was looking at a Canadian School near Toronto (computer sciencee), However, it was the year that Canada did a double freshman cohort. DS did do US undergrad then MS at Toronto (computer science, full ride, not financial aid). He was HL-IB. Which was the right way to do it. BS U of T Comp Sci you...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What about non-U.S. colleges?
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

I have a small refrigerator in my garage which I use to keep water, soft drinks and Gatorade. It has been in use for 32 years. The rubber door seals are old, The door has been partially left open many times in summer heat, perhaps for days...I don't know how much. It keeps going and going and going...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2675

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fus ... calculator

there is the calculator. Gives you an estimate of replacement savings pa.

Note you can type in model number.
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2675

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

I have a small refrigerator in my garage which I use to keep water, soft drinks and Gatorade. It has been in use for 32 years. The rubber door seals are old, The door has been partially left open many times in summer heat, perhaps for days...I don't know how much. It keeps going and going and going...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2675

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

...Lady Geek has read The Star Beast -- and liked it. I agree it is probably his best juvenile (although consensus seems to favour 'Have Spacesuit will Travel' ). The Rolling Stones I thought was quite amusing, and a 'sequel' to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (in that they share a character). Sorry, ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3253
Views: 1106451

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

... I thought I would be following the timeline ( Robert A. Heinlein bibliography ) and equated this to a single series of novels. That didn't work out quite as I had planned... If, by timeline, you mean the "future history" plan, I don't think Heinlein did himself or his readers any grea...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3253
Views: 1106451

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

I have a small refrigerator in my garage which I use to keep water, soft drinks and Gatorade. It has been in use for 32 years. The rubber door seals are old, The door has been partially left open many times in summer heat, perhaps for days...I don't know how much. It keeps going and going and going...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2675

Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Move now before the neighbourhood deteriorates further. Location, location, location. In 5 years time, you might not be able to sell the house to anyone.

Your prospective house may be a bit too expensive, although in the long run that won't matter so much. You want the better location.
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?
Replies: 33
Views: 3234

Re: What to do with individual stock I received?

Does it make sense to keep a significant portion of my investments in Colgate when I am otherwise completely invested in index funds (i.e., it's my only non-index investment)? I'm thinking the right approach might be to invest the dividends from Colgate into my other index funds, and just account f...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with individual stock I received?
Replies: 42
Views: 1853

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

When the DW and I bought our first home in 1980, we purchased the appliances, including a Whirlpool refrigerator from the previous owner. It was already a few years old. We took it with us when we later moved to a new home, but needed a bigger fridge for the kitchen, so we used it as an auxiliary f...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2675

Re: Why don't utilities get any praise

Why don't utilities get any praise Warren Buffet likes them Mike Buffett has said 2 things about this (at least): - he picks utilities with strong business franchises. Not for him buying the largest electricity company in America in a competitive market (Texas) which then went bust- -that was priva...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't utilities get any praise
Replies: 39
Views: 3674

Re: Should I fix a "totaled" car

Watty is right. The car could have very extensive hidden damage. Best to move on. I think this is probably the right advice. Sad when you lose a much loved car. They never quite 'fit' together again right, I don't think. Not after a wipeout. Glad you walked away in one piece. Thank the little car f...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fix a "totaled" car
Replies: 26
Views: 1730

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Just finished "Still Life" by Louise Penny, a detective story set in a small village in Quebec. Good local color but the writing is uneven and the story is pretty average. Now reading "Night Soldiers" by Alan Furst. one of Furst's best. I don't think his later ones are as good a...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3253
Views: 1106451

Re: What 5 stocks can I own forever?

tadamsmar wrote:Invest in Alcor:

http://www.alcor.org


Lois McMaster Bujold's Cryoburn takes you to a world where suspended animation is the raison d'etre of the economy and society.

http://www.amazon.com/Cryoburn-Vorkosig ... 1451637500
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What 5 stocks can I own forever?
Replies: 58
Views: 4370

Re: What 5 stocks can I own forever?

Apple, Qualcomm, Monsanto, Medtronic, Nike. Apple is dependent mostly on a single product and Jobs is gone, Qualcomm and Monsanto are very patent dependent (for example Monsanto's biggest product is RoundUp Ready Soybeans the patent for which expires in 2015), Nike is in an intensely competitive ma...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What 5 stocks can I own forever?
Replies: 58
Views: 4370

Re: What 5 stocks can I own forever?

While I agree that forever is a long time, recall that General Electric is the one and only company to be listed on the Dow 30 since 1926! Plus, with it's incredibly wide range and diverse businesses as well as strong management, it should be solid for a long time. GE was trading at 40 in 2007... I...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What 5 stocks can I own forever?
Replies: 58
Views: 4370

Re: Why don't utilities get any praise

Bonds are a completely different investment. For credit risk free bonds, the safe return of principal is guaranteed, ditto the payment of coupon, Dividends are optional at the discretion of the shareholders on the recommendation of the directors. If the directors do not recommend a dividend, the sh...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't utilities get any praise
Replies: 39
Views: 3674

Re: Why don't utilities get any praise

....It seems that common tilts are towards small cap, REIT, or health care.... I haven't heard of a tilt toward "health care." Although I continue to be a pigheaded closed-minded skeptic about tilts, versions of the "small-cap value tilt" are based on fairly respectable and long...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't utilities get any praise
Replies: 39
Views: 3674

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

Average lifespan of modern refrigerators is only 7 years. Yup. You read that right. Planned obsolesce at it's best. We found this out when calling for service on our appliances after 3 years. The units were actually 5 years old (left in a model unit for a couple years before we bought the place) an...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2675

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Sixth Column Heinlein himself knew was a stinker. It's an early novel and JW Campbell, whose editorial opinions basically shaped what SF actually got published at that time, had racialistic views (before he fell in love with Scientology). As the novel is about an American revolt against 'Asian' (re...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3253
Views: 1106451

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Sixth Column Heinlein himself knew was a stinker. Old novels/short stories need to be read with an appreciation of the views of the time (even if you - and I - don't condone them). It's actually rather interesting to read both All (Campbell's original) and Sixth Column because there were obviously ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3253
Views: 1106451

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

I don't know if the original episode ' The Cage' is available anywhere. The Cage is pretty widely available. It's available on Netflix streaming free on Amazon Prime. Be sure to watch the pilot, not the episode made from it. Most of it was incorporated into the episode The Menagerie. Yes, which is ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3253
Views: 1106451
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