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Re: Proper Money management and itinerary for Europe trip

2retire wrote: If you love pork, while in Munich, try and find a restaurant that specializes in Schweinshaxe. You wont be disappointed.

http://www.weisses-brauhaus.de "Ein Helles, eine Schweinshaxe und einen Kaiserschmarren, bitte!" :D
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper Money management and itinerary for Europe trip
Replies: 36
Views: 1879

Re: suggestion for awd luxury sedan

That eliminates these: MB E350 4matic BMW 528xi audi a4/a6 quattro panamera 4 You don't even have to researh the surveys and statistics that indicate they're not dependable. Just do an informal survey of how many new-looking MB, BMW, Audi, and Porsche (along with VW and Landrover) vehicles you see ...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: suggestion for awd luxury sedan
Replies: 44
Views: 3498

Re: Proper Money management and itinerary for Europe trip

Just to repeat a few points: - I find it useful to keep some cash around in Italy, as some restaurants, smaller (non-touristy) shops etc won't take credit cards or will look at you very funny if you try to pay a 5 Euro bill with a credit card. Same for many other places in Europe. - Get cash with a ...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper Money management and itinerary for Europe trip
Replies: 36
Views: 1879

Re: New Friends are the Anti-Bogleheads, what to do?

You call your new friends "anti-bogleheads", yet the only mention of investing in your post is the advisor meeting. I love the core of the boglehead investing philosophy, which to me means having a sustainable plan commensurate with one's projected ability/need to take risk, minimizing cos...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Friends are the Anti-Bogleheads, what to do?
Replies: 93
Views: 8431

Re: US stock market is rigged to hurt the avg investor

Fortunately as a buy and hold (and once in a while sell a little to rebalance) investor I already don't compete so I don't think I really care very much if at all. If I buy now and sell in a couple of decades, I don't really care what happens on the millisecond time scale. What is the annual combin...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [High-frequency trading hurts regular customers]
Replies: 107
Views: 6267

Re: US stock market is rigged to hurt the avg investor

Fortunately as a buy and hold (and once in a while sell a little to rebalance) investor I already don't compete so I don't think I really care very much if at all. If I buy now and sell in a couple of decades, I don't really care what happens on the millisecond time scale. What is the annual combin...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [High-frequency trading hurts regular customers]
Replies: 107
Views: 6267

Re: Buy a used car or pay $5,000 more to get a new one?

Looking at Truecar, it shouldn't be hard to get a new base model Civic LX automatic for $18 - $19k. $16k for a 3-yr old one with 37k miles doesn't seem like a good deal.
Edit: If you can locate a left-over 2013 Civic, the difference to the used one should become even smaller.
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a used car or pay $5,000 more to get a new one?
Replies: 62
Views: 4238

Re: What premium items are least worth it?

Leesbro63 wrote:German make cars (even if actually made outside Germany)


If you think a German car is not worth it, you're not driving fast enough.
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What premium items are least worth it?
Replies: 105
Views: 5656

Re: How do I convince my 78 year old mom to go passive?

Until I saw the details, I was going to suggest to leave it alone, if your mom is happy. But >1% fees, plus ER, on a purely fixed income portfolio, is outrageous.
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I convince my 78 year old mom to go passive?
Replies: 28
Views: 2584

Re: How did you decide how much to save?

My decision process is very un-bogleheadish, but maybe a different POV may be useful. I'm tenured faculty at a private university with an 11-figure endowment. My colleagues usually retire in their early- to mid-seventies (or not at all). If I followed this path, SS and pension alone would provide a ...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you decide how much to save?
Replies: 119
Views: 9182

Re: Bitcoin price plunges

Here is another one. This guy explains how the theft was done. Makes you wonder if these guys know anything about online transaction processing. Poloniex Loses 12.3% of its Bitcoins in Latest Bitcoin Exchange Hack "Due to its current bitcoin shortage, Poloniex indicated that all customer balan...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin price plunges
Replies: 246
Views: 18071

Re: How much should I pay - 2013 Lexus GS FSport

How much should I pay for this 2013 year closeout? Dealer Invoice = 46,314 Total Accessories = 7,909 Dest Charge = 910 TDA = 872 Total 56,005 Car is listed as new but with 3,500 test driven miles on it. They are offering purchase price of 53,374 with 500 of documentation fees and 3755.36 in taxes f...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should I pay - 2013 Lexus GS FSport
Replies: 17
Views: 844

Re: VAT Refund___ Europe

We usually just use the standard "tax-free" refund services by most stores in Europe ( mostly through Global Blue?). Have the store fill out the form and keep receipts. When returning home, present goods, receipts and form at customs and then get refund at the cash refund window at the air...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VAT Refund___ Europe
Replies: 2
Views: 165

Re: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?

I was thinking about providing a counterpoint to the chorus of Boglehead advice this post was inevitably going to get. A long time ago, I spent more on cars, relative to my income, than you are proposing to do. Counter to what my dear friends here would like you to believe, many years later I don't ...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?
Replies: 95
Views: 6412

Re: finding ways to save money

Let's see: Do your own yard work. Check. Cut recurring expenses. Check. Buy clothes at Goodwill and second-hand shops. No-go (divorce is expensive) Use heat and AC minimally. Check. Drive less. Check. Eat out rarely. Check. Sell extra stuff on craigslist. Thrift store + tax deduction is less work. G...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finding ways to save money
Replies: 39
Views: 3438

Re: Bitcoins as investment

Transactions of state-issued currencies are also conducted by private organisations. States do not, as far as I know, compensate people for currencies losses due to fraud that occurs while using insecure private middle-men. Isn't that exactly what FDIC insurance does? If my bank through stupidity o...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 190
Views: 10560

Re: Bitcoins as investment

If you expose a flaw in the bitcoin source code you will be, however temporarily, famous, not just now on the internet but in real life also. There are enough people capable of finding them. The lesson from the Mt.Gox collapse seems to be that things can go majorly wrong without a "flaw in the...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 190
Views: 10560

Re: Bitcoins as investment

The fear mongering about "what if I have a virus" is all true - people using poor security or making poor wallet choices absolutely are exposed to huge risk. But when done right, I would argue that the actual coins themselves are in theory, way safer than cash. So, who do you think will b...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 190
Views: 10560

Re: Bitcoin price plunges

beammeupscotty wrote:I'm talking about business-to-business commerce (order forms, shopping cart integration, address verification, etc.).
What I'm missing is what that does have to with Bitcoin, which doesn't seem to make any of this easier than using the existing banking infrastructure.
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin price plunges
Replies: 246
Views: 18071

Re: Help buying a car under invoice

I'm planning to buy a 2014 (or 2015 when they come out) Subaru Forester. I'm also looking at the Outback but I'll probably go with Forester unless I can get a killer deal on an Outback - 8-10% under invoice. The Outback redesign will be announced in a few weeks and the new model is suppose to be ou...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help buying a car under invoice
Replies: 24
Views: 1594

Re: Bitcoins as investment

Secondly, greed is powerful and is used to create the Bitcoin network. Miners mining for bitcoins, greed, not governments or corporations, insures that bitcoins will be made available for your use. Powerful stuff. The greed of miners mining for bitcoins will be (is?) nothing next to the greed of ha...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 190
Views: 10560

Re: Bitcoin price plunges

I'm all ears -- please tell more more about an IBAN equivalent of PayPal or http://authorize.net with < 1% e-commerce fees. I'm not sure if I'm missing something here. In any SEPA country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Euro_Payments_Area), all I need is the recipients name and account number ...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin price plunges
Replies: 246
Views: 18071

Re: Bitcoin price plunges

So, here's the question: Bitcoin is better than USD on PayPal because ...? L. From page 1 of this thread: ...I am considering integrating BitPay into my web site's purchase options -- 1% (or less) fees and no chargebacks vs. around 3.5% for accepting credit cards or PayPal, and it can settle direct...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin price plunges
Replies: 246
Views: 18071

Re: Should I Get Cheap Personal Loan & Invest It?

It looks to me like you can earn a cool 3.5% immediately with that money by paying down the debt you already have. That's better than 3% and doesn't involve assuming any extra risk at all. Why not do that? :beer If the OPs credit is good and the loan isn't underwater, he should be able to refinance...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Get Cheap Personal Loan & Invest It?
Replies: 72
Views: 3679

Re: Bitcoin price plunges

I have to believe there are very smart people at places like PayPal figuring out what is / was good about Bitcoin (anonymous, p-p, cheap transactions) and how to exploit the model. There is no way in hell "anonymous" payments of non-trivial amounts will be made available by any mainstream...
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin price plunges
Replies: 246
Views: 18071

Re: Any other travel freaks?

140000 in-seat miles in 2013, most of it international. When I'm not teaching, nobody cares (much) from where I answer emails, attend video meetings or write/review papers and grants. In the last years we had a nice routine of summers in Europe and winter in East Asia. Soon kids school will put a bi...
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any other travel freaks?
Replies: 92
Views: 5639

Re: What's your dream car?

a 911 GT3 would look nice in the garage. I'd like a 911 GT3 also. As far as a road goes, I'll picture myself in Germany, driving the Nurburgring. Third vote for the GT3. Largely useless in the US though. Not so sure about the Nurburgring either - the carnage on the tourist days is quite remarkable,...
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your dream car?
Replies: 177
Views: 8959

Re: Salary to Home Value/Mortgage Ratio?

To give you some numbers from the other end of the spectrum (present numbers, relative to gross salary) Home value to salary: 470% Mortgage to salary: 380% PITI to salary: 22% I'm marveling at the 1:1 or less responses - that wouldn't buy a garage here, much less a house in a good school district wi...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary to Home Value/Mortgage Ratio?
Replies: 27
Views: 2062

Re: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years

I wanted to strangle the women in the UBS office who told me they wouldn't open a checking account for me because "we're a business, we're not here for your pleasure", as soon as she heard that my salary would come from the US. I'm not sure if your user name implies that you also have a Ge...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years
Replies: 11
Views: 906

Re: Best way to exchange USD for vacation?

Cheapest and easiest way to get cash is to use a no-foreign-transaction-fee debit card. I use a Fidelity Visa debit card, which has no foreign transaction fee, no ATM fee, and generally very good exchange rates. It seems difficult to gauge your cash needs based on the information given (e.g. where i...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to exchange USD for vacation?
Replies: 18
Views: 884

Re: Spending money abroad

I spend a lot of time traveling, for fun and business (writing this from east asia). I usually take a few different credit cards (Visa/AMEX), two debit cards for different accounts and a minimal amount of cash (often leftovers from previous trips). There are a good number of no-transaction fee credi...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending money abroad
Replies: 46
Views: 2371

Re: Young investor margin equity vs leveraged etfs

Without commenting on the soundness of the general approach, 4% margin interest should be a non-starter. IB has been mentioned in another post, where you would be paying more like 1.6% at the moment. Markettimers ca 2008/2009 thread should be required reading as well. One of your posts mentions maxi...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young investor margin equity vs leveraged etfs
Replies: 21
Views: 1112

Re: Notes on international small-cap ETFs

Even VSS/VFSVX hasn't done much better than the Total Bond Market Index fund over the past 3 years. Whether that advice is good or not is a discussion for another topic, but is "the last 3 years" really an appropriate time frame to judge asset classes? Well, it's the only time frame for w...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Notes on international small-cap ETFs
Replies: 7
Views: 711

Re: US-Wary Portfolio?

Silver is one of the most widely used industrial metals and is the single greatest conductor of heat and electricity. It is essential for the growth of the computer/mobile, green energy, fashion/textiles, medical, and many other industries. As these industries grow, so will demand for silver. Looki...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US-Wary Portfolio?
Replies: 56
Views: 3773

Re: Europe with young kids - 6 and almost 3, bad idea ?

I've never travelled with a stroller in a European city, but public transport *mostly* seemed to accomodate same. Last big city we went to was Paris, where many of the Metro stations we used didn't have elevators or escalators. That get's old quickly with a tired 4 year old and a 2 year old in a st...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe with young kids - 6 and almost 3, bad idea ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1974

Re: Europe with young kids - 6 and almost 3, bad idea ?

We have been traveling with our kids (now almost 5 and almost 3) in Europe every summer for the last three years, and plan to go again next year. One needs to be somewhat realistic with expectations and somewhat flexible, but other than that it's no big deal. August may be slightly suboptimal, but o...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe with young kids - 6 and almost 3, bad idea ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1974

Re: Swamped In Debt - Thoughts?

Getting rid of debt is a worthwhile goal, but some of the suggestions don't seem entirely rational. Is the $2k saving per month in addition to retirement contributions? If yes, you clearly don't have an immediate cash-flow problem. Furthermore, all the debt appears to be fixed interest rate. Given t...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Swamped In Debt - Thoughts?
Replies: 68
Views: 8238

Re: Beating the S&P with minimal taxes

I'm just looking to "beat the S&P". Have you seen a situation where SPY had a gain for the year and SSO had a loss? That would be a problem me. The problem is the SSO, in the long-term, seems to provide lower returns with more risk. Not a particularly attractive package. From mornings...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beating the S&P with minimal taxes
Replies: 46
Views: 2686

Re: Bitcoins as investment

One thing I really wonder about. As more and more publications continue to run pictures like this [ ] how many investors understand that they are not physical coins, and how many will invest in them believing that they are? You can also get physical bitcoins: https://www.casascius.com/. This is a r...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 190
Views: 10560

Re: place for fine photo printing

https://us.whitewall.com I particularly like the photo mounting under acrylic class they offer: https://us.whitewall.com/photo-lab/acrylic-glass/photo-print-under-acrylic-glass#tjn=f&t=produkt-details I have a couple of limited edition prints from Lumas and had a few photos as gifts printed/moun...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: place for fine photo printing
Replies: 18
Views: 1390

Re: 10 Reasons It's A Terrible Time To Buy An Expensive Hous

"In rich neighborhoods, annual rents are typically only 3% of purchase price" Sadly, the author neglects to mention where one can rent a $1M house for $2500 a month. I have twice had rental property that rented for >6% without trying. "So a 4% decline in housing prices bankrupts all t...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10 Reasons It's A Terrible Time To Buy An Expensive House
Replies: 19
Views: 3294

Re: Safety Net Funds, why Traditional Advice is Wrong.

Only 40% stocks? No, you should be 100% stocks. But then your emergency fund has to be twice the size just in case stocks drop by 50%. The article basically says to do something similar: stocks plus a larger emergency fund. Indeed, it seems that all the article suggests is messing a bit with the di...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safety Net Funds, why Traditional Advice is Wrong.
Replies: 17
Views: 1612

Re: Why aren't Car dealers prepared to deal?

I spent this weekend looking for a new car (on the Web). I called a few dealers and NONE would give me a discount. I told them I was a cash buyer and would pick up the car that afternoon for the right deal. One dealer had the exact car I wanted on the lot. Jeep wrangler. I walked because they would...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why aren't Car dealers prepared to deal?
Replies: 91
Views: 8701

Re: How do you order your steak?

Rare on better cuts, medium rare on lesser cuts. If it was super fresh good quality I would eat it raw. I am waiting for Andrew Zimmerman to retire. The only thing I think I would not like to try is anything he describes as diapery (taste of diapers). I like to get a t-bone or porter house cut 2&qu...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you order your steak?
Replies: 76
Views: 3553

Re: Jetta Sportwagen Question

In Germany, cars are more expensive than in the US, household incomes (after taxes) are lower, car service is much more expensive and warranties are shorter (e.g. 2 years for VW's) Yes, and in Germany the per capita ownership of cars is much lower than in the United States. 570 vs 800 per thousand ...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jetta Sportwagen Question
Replies: 32
Views: 2082

Re: Pledged asset line vs margin loan

Without commenting on the bogleheadedness of either option, 6.75% seems excessive. Interactive Brokers has ~1.59% or lower margin rates:
https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/i ... =schedule2
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pledged asset line vs margin loan
Replies: 5
Views: 448

Re: Jetta Sportwagen Question

No doubt you'll get the inevitable standard-issue boglehead advice to buy a Honda or Toyota, I'd like to offer a slightly different perspective: In Germany, cars are more expensive than in the US, household incomes (after taxes) are lower, car service is much more expensive and warranties are shorte...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jetta Sportwagen Question
Replies: 32
Views: 2082

Re: 21 days in Europe - what would you recommend?

Newest idea: Go the last two weeks of September and first week of October: Leg 1: Fly to Rome and spend six nights Leg 2: Fly to Prague and spend five nights Leg 3: Take bus/train to Munich and spend three nights during Oktoberfest Leg 4: Take train to Paris and spend seven nights fly home... I won...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 21 days in Europe - what would you recommend?
Replies: 44
Views: 2630

Re: 21 days in Europe - what would you recommend?

Newest idea: Leg 3: Take bus/train to Munich and spend three nights during Oktoberfest I wonder whether three nights is too much for Oktoberfest. However, I am sure there are plenty of other things to do in Munich besides drink beer and eat pretzels in a tent :happy I really like Munich; must have ...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 21 days in Europe - what would you recommend?
Replies: 44
Views: 2630

Re: Tipping

I also wish that tipping would be done away with and people are paid better wages since I often feel awkward about whether I should tip or not. Things would be simpler if there was no tipping, however the counter to that is that restaurant service in countries where there is tipping seems to be bet...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping
Replies: 101
Views: 5350
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