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Re: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!

Do ask the store if there is any discount from Apple. Sometimes they do do these things, but don't publicize it.
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!
Replies: 105
Views: 5445

Cov Lite - The Empire Strikes Back

Disturbance in the Force there is ... a darkness beyond which I cannot see... Covenants are restrictions placed on the borrower by the lender. The goal is to effect control over a loan *before* it goes bad or into default. Please note I am not a banker, so I learned this by hearing what someone said...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cov Lite - The Empire Strikes Back
Replies: 2
Views: 462

Re: Need help deciding whether to sell inherited business

Presumably it pays no dividends? You have the legal right to see the books, and you should see them. Businesses are usually valued on an EV / EBIT or EV/ EBITDA basis. (or net assets/ book value if loss making or other reasons such as a property company) EV = market value of equity (price/share x nu...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help deciding whether to sell inherited business
Replies: 12
Views: 738

Re: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!

Question: when do stores get stock? Is it not in advance of the official sale start date? If not, how could new iPhones be in the stores on the release date? Which brings me to this: did your friendly campus guy already have the new ones in stock on Friday when he sold you the old one? Maybe Apple ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!
Replies: 105
Views: 5445

Re: Dilemma: Get more fuel-efficient car now, or wait?

I would not look at recouping the out of pocket cost of the car. The Civic is a $20,000 car, not $11,000. Total cost to own is all that matters including depreciation, insurance, opportunity cost, fuel, tax/licenses, etc. Would she be able to tolerate driving a Civic after driving the large Enclave...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dilemma: Get more fuel-efficient car now, or wait?
Replies: 16
Views: 1160

Re: Dilemma: Get more fuel-efficient car now, or wait?

Have you considered upgrading the tech in the Lexus? Depending on what your wife uses it could be as simple as replacing the eight track :D with a <$200 satellite radio, blue tooth included, but no steering wheel controls :( . You'd be ahead after less than 5 months. +1 +2 It seldom pays to replace...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dilemma: Get more fuel-efficient car now, or wait?
Replies: 16
Views: 1160

Re: Why should stocks go up over the long term?

I had a very interesting conversation with one of my senior exec friends about this topic on an airplane flight. After several drinks we concluded that most real returns for corporations have been driven by either some form of labor or commodity arbitrage ('hunters' carving up a felled beast...most...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why should stocks go up over the long term?
Replies: 34
Views: 2694

Re: Buying property - frank responses requested

Due to work, I have been living outside the US for 20 years. My last home was in California and I would very much like to but a townhouse and retire in San Diego. I really like the lifestyle. We recently did a house hunting trip and I think I would have to pay $600-625K. Taxes and HOA would be abou...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying property - frank responses requested
Replies: 29
Views: 2953

Re: Ideal Mortgage in Current Environment

I currently live in a high cost area and considering a home purchase in the next year or so. Have about 175-200K saved up for a down payment on a house, and are looking at somewhere in the range of a 500-550K mortgage on a house selling in the range of 650-750K or so. Income qualification for a mor...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideal Mortgage in Current Environment
Replies: 9
Views: 923

Re: Int'l Train Travel

I should add I have taken a train through the desert in western China (Gansu and Xinjiang provinces). It was adequate. At night so I missed the view. It is surely desolate out there.
by Valuethinker
Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Int'l Train Travel
Replies: 28
Views: 1467

Re: Int'l Train Travel

The Jacobite train ride in northern Scotland, from Fort William to Mallaig, was memorable. Lots of great scenery, goes through Loch Shiel and Glenfinnan. Not done it, but yes. Any of the Spanish high speed trains are fast & comfortable, but not a ton of scenery. I've been from Madrid to Toledo ...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Int'l Train Travel
Replies: 28
Views: 1467

Re: AMZN's magical status

P/E is hardly the only way to judge a company. Suppose you have a company that doesn't do anything other then issue (and buy back) shares, and buys (and sells) gold. When the price of gold is lower then the share price, it buys some gold and sell some shares. When the reverse is true, the company s...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AMZN's magical status
Replies: 26
Views: 2757

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi Near future dystopia with a genetic engineering theme. Set in Bangkok. Winner of Hugo and Nebula awards. I am about half way through Delta State. I'm glad I bought it. I can't find a book called Delta State. Is it by Bacigalupi? The first book of his I read was bill...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3116
Views: 1012434

Re: Int'l Train Travel

Did Canada Jasper to Prince Rupert. Spectacular. You stay overnight in Prince George, which is a bit of a dull place. You can't really get off the train and look around at interesting-looking places like Smithers. You do see the spectacular from the observation car, and the glass roof was very scrat...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Int'l Train Travel
Replies: 28
Views: 1467

Re: Looking for insights on San Antonio

Mr. Bear's family is from Mexico; no issues with the culture. Our biggest concern is proximity to the border bringing us into contact with cartel violence; however, I wonder if it's more similar to what we experienced living in Japan (we could spot the Yakuza by their cars and ink, but never had an...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for insights on San Antonio
Replies: 33
Views: 1539

Re: AMZN's magical status

On a full year basis is Amazon on PE 800x? This tells me about 160 times to December 2014. ($1.99 EPS) About 64 times to Dec 2015 ($5.97) on analyst consensus. I agree the valuation is rich. But it is not 800 times. Note the sales growth +22%. The question is when shareholders will call it quits on ...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AMZN's magical status
Replies: 26
Views: 2757

Re: Anyone been to Charleston, SC?

Definitely do a ghost tour. Fort Sumter is good if you're a history buff but pretty boring otherwise. Lots of shopping on King Street and the food, well, you won't starve. Plenty of cool bars all over the downtown area. The microbrews in the area are hit or miss, but you get that everywhere. But ye...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Charleston, SC?
Replies: 27
Views: 1451

Re: Anyone been to Charleston, SC?

Apparently we have to go and see the USS Yorktown while we are there. It would not be my choice if left to my own devices, but I've heard some good reviews from friends that have been, so I don't mind being dragged over to have a look. I only vaguely remember Yorktown. But until you've been on a bi...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Charleston, SC?
Replies: 27
Views: 1451

Re: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!

re electronics There is Freecycle. And there must be bulletin boards for electronics hobbyists-- try advertising there. You are right the chips etc. are valuable to someone. Getting rid of all this electronics stuff would be a good step into putting your husband into the right box in your life: as a...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!
Replies: 105
Views: 5445

Re: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!

Problem is that I am feeling overwhelmed by decision fatigue. It just hit this morning that in the last year since my husband died, I have had to make far more decisions all by myself than I ever had in my life before. From choosing investments to repairmen to paper towels. My husband loved shoppin...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!
Replies: 105
Views: 5445

Re: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!

3 thoughts - buy the fastest processor and the most RAM you can, even if that means waiting for the thing to be shipped from China - it gives you future proofing . So yes an Intel i7 (since you are using a king sized programme, this is even more important. What happens when they release Mathematica...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!
Replies: 105
Views: 5445

Re: Rather be Home, Rather be at Work

[ editied]
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rather be Home, Rather be at Work
Replies: 19
Views: 1901

Re: Rather be Home, Rather be at Work

even now I appreciate the quiet organization of my workplace and day, if not the work itself. I think is the core of it for me. The organization and structure (and quiet office) are satisfying, contributing and getting paid is a fine bonus. You have a quiet office?? Must be nice, my company moved t...
by Valuethinker
Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rather be Home, Rather be at Work
Replies: 19
Views: 1901

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

[quote="HardKnocker"][/quote]

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=91646&start=3050#p2125309

is my take on the book.
by Valuethinker
Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3116
Views: 1012434

Re: Individual MBS & UITs in taxable account

I have no idea how to even find out where I am in the SPV capital structure or technically even what a SPV is :D . Special Purpose Vehicle. Fancy lawyer speak. Basically the SPV is the entity which buys the mortgages from the originator bank and at the same time issues the bonds to investors. If it...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual MBS & UITs in taxable account
Replies: 16
Views: 540

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

Renewable energy means big demands for grid infrastructure. Wind farms and solar farms tend to be in remote areas and they have to be hooked up to the grid, a major constraint. In the UK you add offshore wind. The future of power transmission is in long distance and international High Voltage DC li...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

For instance the UK makes up 15% of total Euro GDP (UK 3% of global GDP) and in 2017 there may be a OUT of EU referendum in the UK - perhaps to converge/combine more with the 21% 'others' (Canada 2.5%, Australia 2% ...etc).. Just on this - the UK is not in the Euro so it pulling out of the EU does ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: Individual MBS & UITs in taxable account

Maybe here's a better way to frame the opportunity cost point. If I did not own this security now, given the risks, would I buy it? If the answer is no, then you should be a seller. The only question is when and what it will cost you to sell. On the sub investment grade one, a sale is what you want,...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual MBS & UITs in taxable account
Replies: 16
Views: 540

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

But at the moment, there is this shift (I don't know how big) towards settling in gold. gold Renminbisation BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) is 35% of world trade (global GDP), 42% of the global population, yet have a relatively (disproportionately) small international (financial) voice (11% of ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

I am normally a big sceptic on gold BUT recent actions by the US to freeze bank accounts (eg connected to Iran) have meant more countries are using gold as a means of settlement (you can't freeze gold). That means there is a demand shift in favour of gold. I just don't know how big this could get, ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

I am normally a big sceptic on gold BUT recent actions by the US to freeze bank accounts (eg connected to Iran) have meant more countries are using gold as a means of settlement (you can't freeze gold). That means there is a demand shift in favour of gold. I just don't know how big this could get, ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: If Argentina Defaults

Also, despite all the jokes about lawyers and litigation in the U.S., U.S. courts are respected, and U.S. property rights are strong and desired (hence why many foreigners purchase property in the United States, the constitutional guarantee against government takings without due process is paramoun...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If Argentina Defaults
Replies: 21
Views: 1993

Re: If Argentina Defaults

Do you really understand the Argentine economy. With all due respect and love for the Argentine people, the business community and government is one big Mafia-like environment. How do I know? I spent several years including >50% 1999-2001 living and working in Buenos Aires. My Porteno friends say i...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If Argentina Defaults
Replies: 21
Views: 1993

Re: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets

The US is in a global capital market with few barriers to flows. And the USD is the numeraire and settlement currency of the world, so there is lower exchange rate risk for investors from abroad in any case (their liabilities and imports are also denominated in USD to an extent, as well as their ass...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets
Replies: 45
Views: 5382

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

There's lack of faith in any one single primary reserve currency. The tendency is more towards a one-world fiat paper standard (a new currency unit) issued by a World Reserve Bank - "the bancor", "unita", "phoenix", rather than a return to the finite reserves gold stan...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets

Isn't the idea to basically have enought to live off the interest . Why are they so worried everyone will run to the bank and liquidate . In Japan long term government bonds pay less than 1%. Possibly below inflation (depending on whether the plan to create inflation succeeds). You need an *awful* ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets
Replies: 45
Views: 5382

Re: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets

I have bigger concerns about what baby boomers will do to the medicare/social-security systems, especially if the current job and wage growth is a new norm... but if jobs and wages start heating up I imagine inflation won't be to far behind... seems there's always something to worry about. The US i...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets
Replies: 45
Views: 5382

Re: Individual MBS & UITs in taxable account

Thank you. :beer The S&P equivalent is a BB+ which is below investment grade. I was leaning towards selling the GMAC already, this just pushes me farther towards that action. I have another one that is in an inherited IRA that is BBB as well. Now I just need to figure out how to do it at Vangua...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual MBS & UITs in taxable account
Replies: 16
Views: 540

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Just started Raising Steam the latest Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett and under the circumstances who knows how many more there will be. He is slipping fast. It will depend on his co-writers. The UK lost JG Ballard (a science fiction writer so valued by the literary world that his obituaries wer...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3116
Views: 1012434

Re: Help With Investment Options [Pension, retirement plans]

I hope I posted this in the right forum. Here goes. I have recently been contacted by my previous employer, and they are giving me an option to take the pension I had with them in a lump sum. It is around $21,000. This is a one time deal with no penalties. I also have a 401k with this same previous...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Investment Options [Pension, retirement plans]
Replies: 2
Views: 342

Re: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index

IGovernment officials and regulators have been very specific that next time, corporate bond holders would share 'more of the pain' in any rescue operation. Everyone has seen what Ireland did (guaranteeing the bonds issued by the banks-- see Michael Lewis, Boomerang ) and that it put a huge burden o...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index
Replies: 76
Views: 6624

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

I am normally a big sceptic on gold BUT recent actions by the US to freeze bank accounts (eg connected to Iran) have meant more countries are using gold as a means of settlement (you can't freeze gold). That means there is a demand shift in favour of gold. I just don't know how big this could get, b...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

Some fun facts about gold. Current estimates are that approximately 171,000 tones of gold have been mined by humans in all of history. If all of that gold was melted down into a single bar it would form a cube about 20 meters on a side (67 ft) which is about the size of an average McMansion. By con...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: Gold, Silver, Copper

It might be possible to have a serious discussion, but a discussion that starts with trains leaving the station isn't serious. My father has studied the energy field for years. In part because of the need for renewal* of the electric power grid in the US, he had invested in various copper mining st...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold, Silver, Copper
Replies: 87
Views: 5005

Re: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets

Basically the US population is still growing and will keep doing so well into the 21st Century. That's key. The US will still need new housing (albeit more of it, likely, in city centres and less in suburbs*). There are going to be 450 million Americans c. 2050. A lower rate of growth, but still gro...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets
Replies: 45
Views: 5382

Re: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets

International investors will quickly shore up any inefficiencies in the market caused by a mass sale of assets by baby boomers. We already see this in CA and NY and even Chicago real-estate markets where desirable properties are being snapped up by cash buyers from overseas. People (foreign or dome...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets
Replies: 45
Views: 5382

Re: Individual MBS & UITs in taxable account

If you want to sell the UIT just call Vanguard. I moved a UIT over a couple months back and had to call them to sell (it was $35 as you state in your OP). If I remember correctly they told me there was no way for me to do it online. Right now I am leaning towards keeping the UITs. They are such a s...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual MBS & UITs in taxable account
Replies: 16
Views: 540

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

That war being amongst the most fruitless of a fruitless conflict. The Italians were bribed to go to war by being offered the Tirol by France and England. The parliament wasn't even allowed to vote on it. The war turned into a nightmare of bloody battles in Tirolia and Slovenia/ Trieste area, with ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3116
Views: 1012434
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