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Re: [living in] Minneapolis-St. Paul

Here is a PBS video from this week... http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/american-dream-alive-twin-cities-everyone/ The video talks about how the Twin Cities is the best area to live in for Millennials. It is a great place if you like road biking (190 miles of paved bike/walk trails). TCBC is a great bi...
by William4u
Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [living in] Minneapolis-St. Paul
Replies: 48
Views: 2120

Re: Can I afford a $500,000 house?

Unless there is a significant and pressing problem that would be solved by buying, I'd stick with the current house and reassess when the kids are out of the house.
by William4u
Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a $500,000 house?
Replies: 40
Views: 4342

Re: Smartest Financial Move You Ever Made

I feel like I'm reading my own story in many posts here. (#1) Marrying an intelligent, frugal spouse lead to... (#2) our living below our means and buying a good-but-inexpensive material goods including house, cars, etc., and (#3) our maxing out our tax advantaged and taxable investments in index fu...
by William4u
Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Smartest Financial Move You Ever Made
Replies: 138
Views: 12617

Re: Value investing doesn't even beat the S&P 500

Admitting that the behavior gap applies to oneself is an important part of investing. It requires the virtue of humility ("I am not super-human, and I will likely make mistakes that others have made."). I suspect that the behavior gap is even wider (on average) for investors who buy indivi...
by William4u
Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value investing doesn't even beat the S&P 500
Replies: 55
Views: 5677

Re: repair or replace old car?

Update: car back from repair and works great. I missed it while it was away. Shop said it should run for a long time now. It's due for another timing belt at 220,000 miles (last at 130k) but that's probably 2.5 years away at my current driving rate, so I'm good for a while. Thanks to all who provid...
by William4u
Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: repair or replace old car?
Replies: 26
Views: 2426

Re: Graduating Medical Student- Rent vs. Buy in Residency

For all the reasons above, rent!
by William4u
Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduating Medical Student- Rent vs. Buy in Residency
Replies: 37
Views: 2090

Re: Restaurant tipping

My general rule is that if the service was bad enough for the server to deserve <15% tip, then it was bad enough to talk to the manager about. Otherwise, you're not being helpful, just cheap Yup. I give 20% typically. 15% if it was mediocre but not "talk to manager" bad. Below 15% and the...
by William4u
Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 11791

Re: Where do I learn how much one SHOULD spend on a home?

I'd rent until I was married with a child on the way!
by William4u
Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do I learn how much one SHOULD spend on a home?
Replies: 64
Views: 5126

Re: International is disappointing

YTD Vanguard Total International Index is up 3.5%. YTD Vanguard Total Domestic Index is up 1.33%. I'd stay the course. Interesting, keeps one grounded, thanks As of today, YTD Vanguard Total International Index is up 6.19% . YTD Vanguard Total Domestic Index is up 3.54% . It does give some perspect...
by William4u
Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International is disappointing
Replies: 84
Views: 7176

Re: International is disappointing

YTD Vanguard Total International Index is up 3.5%.

YTD Vanguard Total Domestic Index is up 1.33%.

I'd stay the course.
by William4u
Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International is disappointing
Replies: 84
Views: 7176

Re: 403b Question

Here is what I would do if there is no company match and 1-2% fees. 1. First, both of you should max out your IRAs. Roth IRAs are usually best if you are youngish. 2. Second, if you have more to invest and don't need the money until retirement, I would contribute to the 403b. You are likely to chang...
by William4u
Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b Question
Replies: 26
Views: 1878

Re: how often do you check performance?

I watch the news, so it is hard not to have some idea of what is going on. However, I only check my accounts in any detail a couple of times a year.
by William4u
Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you check performance?
Replies: 50
Views: 2666

Re: Should I sell my car?

Sell ASAP. It loses value fast, and sitting is very bad for a car. Just buy another one when you get back. It will be cheaper and in better shape without the pain of storage.
by William4u
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell my car?
Replies: 12
Views: 1045

Re: How do you switch from three-fund to managed fund?

It depends on what and how much you have in taxable (more info might help, even percentages are ok). Depending of what you have, I might just leave the taxable portion alone if it was 100% stocks, and just (for the sake of ease) count it as part of my stock portion. Then I would use either a Lifestr...
by William4u
Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you switch from three-fund to managed fund?
Replies: 1
Views: 427

Re: American Funds beats the market 97% of the time?

According to today's NYTimes article "How Many Mutual Funds Routinely Rout the Market? Zero," the OP's information is almost certainly misleading and false. The bull market in stocks turned six last Monday, and despite some rocky stretches — like last week, when the market fell — it has ge...
by William4u
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds beats the market 97% of the time?
Replies: 50
Views: 5236

Re: Fly or drive?

We have a rule of thumb: we only drive if we will be staying at the destination twice as many days as the drive. Since you will be driving for 4 days, you would need to stay for 8, for a 12 day total trip.

You will be driving 4 days and staying 1-3 days. I'd fly if I were you.
by William4u
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive?
Replies: 84
Views: 4586

Re: Should I buy VTI and VEA when prices are so high

The rule of thumb that I recall is that 2/3 of the time the market is up over a year, and 1/3 it is down. So 2/3 of the time you were better off not waiting a year.
by William4u
Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I buy VTI and VEA when prices are so high
Replies: 11
Views: 1361

Re: Worth switching from Ameritrade to Vanguard?

frozenpenguin wrote:Great. Thanks for all the replies. Right now, I've just got a bunch of random ETFs. Will be getting rid of all of those and buying Vanguard instead.


Great idea. I did something similar a while ago and it worked out well.
by William4u
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Worth switching from Ameritrade to Vanguard?
Replies: 13
Views: 1065

Re: International is disappointing

I have 1/3 International and 2/3 Domestic. I'm staying the course. I think there is a chance that International, over the next 30 years or more, might outperform domestic. It is certainly the higher risk value play right now by many measures.

But only time will tell.
by William4u
Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International is disappointing
Replies: 84
Views: 7176

Re: Is Vanguard understaffed?

We have been with Vanguard for many years and have always had good service, but we haven't done anything special lately.
by William4u
Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Vanguard understaffed?
Replies: 37
Views: 3562

Re: Employer Plan has only two index funds...go brokerage?

You have a great employer plan. Invest only in the sub 0.20% ER funds and you will be fine. Even if you had many more funds to choose from in your plan, if I were you I'd still either use 100% Vanguard Target Date funds or a mix of VIIIX/VMCPX. I'd probably do for former. Those funds are all you need.
by William4u
Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer Plan has only two index funds...go brokerage?
Replies: 20
Views: 1086

Re: Replacing a reliable Toyota

In the fall of 2013 we test drove extensively the Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, and Toyota Rav4. No question for us - the Subarus are superior to the Toyota. Our Forester saved us last winter - 7 feet of snow in WV, lots of ice, and the Forester made it through everything. Like the morning we ha...
by William4u
Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing a reliable Toyota
Replies: 43
Views: 4163

Re: College grad starting career. Pls help!

The Target Retirement Fund is a mutual fund that you can buy and put into any Vanguard account. A Roth IRA Vanguard account will never be taxed, so you can put tax inefficient funds into it and avoid any taxes. A taxable Vanguard account is taxed annually, and so you should use tax efficient funds. ...
by William4u
Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: College grad starting career. Pls help!
Replies: 13
Views: 830

Re: College grad starting career. Pls help!

Others will surely have good advice, but here is some brief stuff... 1. Make sure you have an emergency fund in a savings or money market account at a bank or credit union (squirrel away about 3-6 months worth of expenses). 2. Open a Vanguard Roth IRA and contribute $5500 between now and April 15 20...
by William4u
Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: College grad starting career. Pls help!
Replies: 13
Views: 830

Re: Loan Terms -- Helping a friend going through Divorce?

I suggest you think very long and very hard about doing this in the first place... Not really helpful, I really do know the risks, not interested in hearing about them again. I think that is the most helpful response you could get...the fact that you don't want to hear it is another matter. When yo...
by William4u
Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan Terms -- Helping a friend going through Divorce?
Replies: 39
Views: 3447

Re: Drinking water

There is nothing in distilled water that can be removed by a charcoal filter. I am not a doctor …. I would state that differently, there is nothing normally in distilled water that can be removed by a charcoal filter. Certain volatile organic compounds will certainly not be removed from water that ...
by William4u
Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water
Replies: 46
Views: 3507

Re: What was your costliest investment mistake?

Buying individual stocks recommended by the Motley Fool website way back in the day. Former Fool here. I haven't bought an individual equity in years, and lost more than a few bucks on some misguided Fool picks. I seem to recall one of their newsletters touting Toll Brothers (the home-builder) arou...
by William4u
Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your costliest investment mistake?
Replies: 138
Views: 13191

Re: What was your costliest investment mistake?

Buying individual stocks recommended by the Motley Fool website way back in the day. They are still "pushing" individual stocks, like in this article from yesterday... http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/01/18/record-low-solar-energy-price-is-a-lot-cheaper-tha.aspx I'm glad I know b...
by William4u
Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your costliest investment mistake?
Replies: 138
Views: 13191

Re: BlackRock aims to beat active and passive funds

In an interview, Mr Fink said that investors who simply tracked equity market indices would have been less able to profit from the recent tumble in the oil price, because they would be exposed to winners and losers alike. It's great to know that their employees have finally attained clairvoyance. T...
by William4u
Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BlackRock aims to beat active and passive funds
Replies: 9
Views: 1280

Re: Can't purchase Index funds at Ameriprise?

You could buy the Vanguard ETFs like VTI there, but you would very likely be paying fees and costs in addition to the small Vanguard ETF expense ratio (0.05% on VTI). It wouldn't surprise me if that added fee/cost was around 2% or so once all the hocus pocus was revealed. An added 2% in fees over 40...
by William4u
Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can't purchase Index funds at Ameriprise?
Replies: 11
Views: 1006

Re: High Home Price-to-Income ratios - unhealthy?

Unfortunately I live in an area with a hot real estate market - Brooklyn. Buying is expensive, particularly if you hope to raise a family and have room for one. Where does the money come from? I found this article - http://www.forbes.com/sites/zillow/2013/04/16/high-home-price-to-income-ratios-hidi...
by William4u
Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Home Price-to-Income ratios - unhealthy?
Replies: 46
Views: 4946

Re: Car Recommendations for about 25k

I'd get a used car. A 2000 Civic would be perfect for your needs! :)
by William4u
Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Recommendations for about 25k
Replies: 36
Views: 5364

Re: Why did gas mileage recently drop on my older CRV?

One aspect of DIY car maintenance is that you need physical access to the part. If the sensor can't be accessed without raising the vehicle, it's better to take it to a pro. Otherwise, you'll have to invest in a pair of car ramps that can safely support the CR-V. The car's tire jack is not intended...
by William4u
Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why did gas mileage recently drop on my older CRV?
Replies: 50
Views: 3456

Re: Why did gas mileage recently drop on my older CRV?

I would bet on the upstream o2 sensor. That one (not the other downstream one on the catalytic converter) controls the fuel air mix. If it is a bit off it will often NOT trip the CEL (check engine light) but it can lower mileage by ~15%. Winter (due to cold, different winter fuel at the pump) could ...
by William4u
Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why did gas mileage recently drop on my older CRV?
Replies: 50
Views: 3456

Re: Purchasing power parity

Then 300 pounds times .23 ounces of gold times 690 current dollars/ounce gives us $47,610 today's dollars. Whereas $1320 dollars (1800's) divided by $20/ounce times 690 current dollars/ounce gives us $45540 today's dollars. Pretty close. Just a minor detail, but the current spot price of gold is $1...
by William4u
Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jane Austen's Economics
Replies: 60
Views: 17387

Re: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?

If you have a household with two professional careers, it is easy if you live entirely off of one salary and invest the other in a simple 3-fund portfolio. In a couple of decades you will likely have well over $3 million.
by William4u
Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?
Replies: 314
Views: 51203

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

Many (if not most) Toyota vehicles now require 0w20. Here is a quote from Toyota.com... Toyota vehicles in which 0w-20 synthetic oil is required (except for the 2TR-FE and 3UR-FBE Engines*) have been approved for extended oil change intervals of 10,000-miles/12-months. http://www.toyota.com/owners/w...
by William4u
Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 168
Views: 13465

Re: Which ETF Portfolio is Better?

Option 1! Nothing beats the 3 fund portfolio for 90% of people.
by William4u
Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which ETF Portfolio is Better?
Replies: 8
Views: 1303

Re: Anyone using Page Plus Cellular

Can anyone specifically comment on coverage with Page Plus, coming from Verizon? Verizon is by far the best coverage for me, and every time I look, I'd only save ~$12/month, and am not sure I want to take the risk of loosing out on a solid plan (grandfathered unlimited data plan with $20 discount a...
by William4u
Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone using Page Plus Cellular
Replies: 17
Views: 1156

Re: Is $700,000 enough to retire? Opinions please .

The average SS monthly check is now $1,262 for someone 65 or older. That does include some people who took SS early, and some people who did not contribute much to SS during their working life, but $2000/month sounds a bit high for someone taking SS at 65. I would guess that one would need to wait u...
by William4u
Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is $700,000 enough to retire? Opinions please .
Replies: 86
Views: 13240

Re: A Challenge for Bogleheads - the market has changed

This kind of post is common here. People new to the forum claim to have discovered some fundamental flaw in the boglehead philosophy. The "flaw" is often presented with dramatic assertions, contentious economic theories, and misunderstandings of the boglehead philosophy. It is instructive,...
by William4u
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Challenge for Bogleheads - the market has changed
Replies: 53
Views: 7230

Re: Most financially economical choice for a car

I buy used toyotas and drive them to 200k. Corollas Camrys and Avalons are nice.
by William4u
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most financially economical choice for a car
Replies: 53
Views: 5021

Re: I give in! three fund portfolio - need some advice

After tinkering w/ value tilting and REIT tilting I have discovered that the more I learn the more I don't know. This is one of the wiser things I have heard in a while. Despite the higher ER of 0.14%, I would go with VXUS rather than VEA/VWO. Both VEA (0.09%) and VWO (0.15%) are large cap funds. V...
by William4u
Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I give in! three fund portfolio - need some advice
Replies: 10
Views: 1813

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

10k or 12 months, whichever comes first. This is currently the Toyota recommendation for many of their cars on synthetic.
by William4u
Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 168
Views: 13465

Re: Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?

I had a serious case of this but it wasn't shoes or doctors that cured me. It was a simple little exercise my wife taught me. Maybe you've seen it but here it is: In your bare or stocking feet (shoes off), stand facing a wall about three or four feet away from the wall. Stretch out your arms, keep ...
by William4u
Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?
Replies: 47
Views: 3538

Re: Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?

I had a serious case of this but it wasn't shoes or doctors that cured me. It was a simple little exercise my wife taught me. Maybe you've seen it but here it is: In your bare or stocking feet (shoes off), stand facing a wall about three or four feet away from the wall. Stretch out your arms, keep ...
by William4u
Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?
Replies: 47
Views: 3538

Re: Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?

I used to get professional custom inserts for my PF. Now I use Powerstep inserts, and find that they work exactly the same as the custom ones (they work great).

http://www.amazon.com/Powerstep-Pinnacl ... 0049H2Z2G/
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V0IBCS/
by William4u
Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?
Replies: 47
Views: 3538

Re: Dry Powder

The general rule is that, in the short term, the market goes up 2/3rds of the time and down 1/3rd. So why would I want to keep dry powder (which is just uninvested money destined for the stock market)? 2/3rds of the time, I'd be wrong to keep the money uninvested. In the last few years, there were f...
by William4u
Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dry Powder
Replies: 49
Views: 3640

Re: Best town I've never heard of [for relocating]

Suburbs of the Twin Cities. For example, Orono, MN Wayzata, MN Maple Grove, MN (2nd best place to live in US, according to Money Magazine this year - http://time.com/money/3312310/maple-grove-minnesota-best-places-to-live/ ) Plymouth, MN (been in Money's top ten list a few times recently) Woodbury,...
by William4u
Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best town I've never heard of [for relocating]
Replies: 97
Views: 10863

Re: When people put all their eggs in the wrong basket

The Australians have us beat. Their system is much better for 90% of people...
http://business.time.com/2013/04/22/man ... nt-crisis/
by William4u
Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When people put all their eggs in the wrong basket
Replies: 233
Views: 31484
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