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Re: Public Speaking-help

I always walk onto the stage or in front of the screen with the assumption that I know more than the audience, therefore they should be delighted to listen to me. In my mind I just live with the speaking assumption "someone put me up here for a reason, obviously I'm the expert in the room on t...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public Speaking-help
Replies: 75
Views: 3944

Re: IPS for french national living in Taiwan

Retirement Fund: None. Employer does not have 401k. I do not have access to IRA/RothIRA. ... Tax Advantaged: None. Except ETF are more tax efficient than Index fund (for my situation) ... -b) Is there a better investment product for my situation ? Maybe someone knows a way to get an IRA/RothIRA/401...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IPS for french national living in Taiwan
Replies: 9
Views: 482

Re: IPS for french national living in Taiwan

And if you retire in a cheap country in Asia as you want to, it would well be less due to substandard healthcare, depending on where you end up. Life expectancy at birth in Taiwan is (just) ahead of the US. All my healthcare experiences in Taiwan were quite positive. Whenever possible, I have my de...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IPS for french national living in Taiwan
Replies: 9
Views: 482

Re: Public Speaking-help

One last thought from me, and maybe it's been mentioned, but IMO, you should not tell them that you're not good at speaking, that you hate doing it, that you're nervous, etc. You may know these things, but nothing good comes from sharing that information. Absolutely! No excuses, no apologies (not a...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public Speaking-help
Replies: 75
Views: 3944

Re: Public Speaking-help

I often teach a class that requires students (undergrads) to give a number of technical presentations (~15min) over the course of the semester. Some are very good at this from the beginning, some not so much, and some are just terrified. I have worked with > 100 students closely, so have a bit of ex...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public Speaking-help
Replies: 75
Views: 3944

Re: How do you afford to travel?

To answer the question in the thread title directly: - We typically have two international trips (Europe/Asia) with a family of four per year - Out of 8 international tickets per year, we try to get half from frequent flyer miles, and to combine one of the trips with one of my business trips. So onl...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 68
Views: 6213

Re: Value of VIN Etch Coding for New Car

PowDay wrote:Car theft isn't what it used to be, I wouldn't bother with VIN etching.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/nyreg ... .html?_r=0


Yeah, the days where you pull two random wires from the dash, start the car and drive off are long gone.
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Value of VIN Etch Coding for New Car
Replies: 8
Views: 744

Re: If Harvard invested in Vanguard...

Harvard's endowment returns over the last 10 years are 9.4% per year and 12% over the last 20 years, so I don't think you can say they aren't successful investors. I don't think a Vanguard three-fund portfolio would have done any better over that period. (as of June 30th, 2013) http://www.hmc.harva...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If Harvard invested in Vanguard...
Replies: 50
Views: 5062

Re: If Harvard invested in Vanguard...

By my calculations, I show that if Harvard had invested in two Vanguard ETFs, say 60% U.S. Stock (VTI) / 40% Bond (BND) portfolio (no adjustment for fees) returning around 10% over the last 5 years ending in 2013. Maybe not apples to apples since Harvard's Fiscal Year ends June 30, but the conclusi...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If Harvard invested in Vanguard...
Replies: 50
Views: 5062

Re: Should international travel impact your investments?

Even in Germany the water is better quality than Mexico, but not drinkable. Nonsense. Maybe overstated, but can you get a glass of tap water in a restaurant very easily? First, Germans have a strange obsession with "Mineralwasser", and (almost) wherever you are in Germany people buy cases...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should international travel impact your investments?
Replies: 30
Views: 1875

Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

I'll keep a link to this thread handy for next time the "doctor's hourly pay is less than school teachers" meme comes around.
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I cannot make the jump and retire
Replies: 73
Views: 8086

Re: Should international travel impact your investments?

3504PIR wrote:Even in Germany the water is better quality than Mexico, but not drinkable.

Nonsense.
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should international travel impact your investments?
Replies: 30
Views: 1875

Re: Should international travel impact your investments?

At at a meeting in Germany one of my East Asian colleagues decided to order "Sauerkraut" and "Bier" for dinner. Consequently, his dinner consisted of a plate of fermented cabbage and a quart (1L, a "Mass") of beer. I'm not sure if I should therefore stop investing in Ge...
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should international travel impact your investments?
Replies: 30
Views: 1875

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

[The glut in the market is, IMHO, from the lower-ranked schools sending out an army of graduates with poor prospects. Agreed, the world may have enough PhD's, but not too many STEM PhDs from Caltech - which is the OPs son's situation. Admission to Stanford and Caltech means that some experienced pe...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7462

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

At our local university, profs making six figures are small minority (though it depends on subject). The data are easily available: http://chronicle.com/article/2013-14-AAUP-Faculty-Salary/145679?cid=megamenu#id=table Average total compensation for Full Professors even at the lowest paying US PhD-g...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7462

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

sscritic wrote:P.S. I bought my BMW with my graduate school stipend. What else was I supposed to do with it?

So did I - a 325i that was about 2x my annual stipend :shock:. I take it you also became a Boglehead after getting your PhD :P
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7462

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

A mediocre to good corporate lawyer makes $200k pa. A top chemistry Phd might make $50k in academia. Ah, come on. $50k is the typical salary for a beginning postdoc (I pay my postdocs about $55k). An average full professor at a research university will be easily above $100k, and for a "top PhD...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7462

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

Yes but we also have to accept that the modern academic system has turned Phds into a trap: - in science and engineering you are the cheap labour force for tenured professors who spend much of their time on admin, politics and getting grants. Collegiality is often a bust in that environment - more ...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7462

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

Money is not the goal of education. A good life (rich with knowledge, skills, and friendship, all put into practice) is the goal. +1. My years as a grad student were some of the best of my life, even working nights, weekends, holidays for $15k/year. Getting a PhD may or may not have been the best f...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7462

Re: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance

To the OP: So, what are you actually doing with your money? With the same salary as your neighbor, you have no mortgage, no car payment, less house maintenance expenses. I don't think your neighbor can be running a deficit perpetually, so you must have a good-size surplus every month. Is all of that...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance
Replies: 95
Views: 9806

Re: should I buy real estate in Boston area? How much to spe

Somerville/Cambridge look pretty crazy right now, but a little further out things don't seem completely out of whack. E.g. some areas of Lexington, adjusted for inflation, are not more than 6-8 years ago. Being in a more more urban place may be nicer - until you need to send your kids to school.
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should I buy real estate in Boston area? How much to spend?
Replies: 31
Views: 2537

Re: Taking a leave of absence for one year

The only people i have known who have done this are college professors and teachers. For most faculty I know, "sabbaticals" are used to focus one's particular field of research or prepare a transition in one's research, rather than to travel, kick back and relax. It's nice to see how much...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat May 17, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a leave of absence for one year
Replies: 37
Views: 2749

Re: How to Pay for College?

Community College for two years then transfer to state college or state university. This is a good idea for anyone. Except for those students for which it makes no sense whatsoever. There is more to consider than just how to squeeze the last few bucks out of everything. [Edit: I'm completely stumpe...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri May 16, 2014 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Pay for College?
Replies: 24
Views: 1433

Re: How to Pay for College?

Community College for two years then transfer to state college or state university. This is a good idea for anyone. Except for those students for which it makes no sense whatsoever. There is more to consider than just how to squeeze the last few bucks out of everything. [Edit: I'm completely stumpe...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri May 16, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Pay for College?
Replies: 24
Views: 1433

Re: Net worth cost of getting an education

"The second trend is that whether a student graduates or not seems to depend today almost entirely on just one factor — how much money his or her parents make. To put it in blunt terms: Rich kids graduate; poor and working-class kids don’t. Or to put it more statistically: About a quarter of c...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu May 15, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth cost of getting an education [locked]
Replies: 24
Views: 1908

Re: Net worth cost of getting an education

I can't tell you HOW many folks I know who are taking on debt in addition to their kids just to get into the "best" :oops: school they can or the "one" their kid or they themselves think will give their offspring some extra advantage over someone else. I don't care how prestigio...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu May 15, 2014 7:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth cost of getting an education [locked]
Replies: 24
Views: 1908

Re: Net worth cost of getting an education

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-young-people-with-student-debt-have-median-net-worth-of-only-8700-20140514-story.html The highlights 1) Median net worth of college grads under 40 with student loan debt is only $8,700, report says 2) Young people with student loans have a median total indebted...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed May 14, 2014 5:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth cost of getting an education [locked]
Replies: 24
Views: 1908

Re: Should I buy a fun car?

I am unqualified to say no as the owner of a Lotus Elise. But I don't know that I'd go with the unreliable models you mention (note that Lotus uses Toyota powertrains). Consider cars that have reliable track records. Miata, BRZ/FRS, 370Z, even a Civic Si will bring you fun. They'll all be less than...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu May 08, 2014 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a fun car?
Replies: 59
Views: 3120

Re: Switzerland and Berlin travel recommendations

Most of my favorite sites in Berlin have been mentioned, but just in case: * Museum island is fantastic; there is/used to be a museum pass that was definitely worth it * Checkpoint Charlie - really touristy, but still moving * Brandenburger Tor, Siegessaeule, Unter den Linden: Nice walk * East side ...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun May 04, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switzerland and Berlin travel recommendations
Replies: 16
Views: 1111

Re: An easy way to save money: Avoid the $300,000 car.

As long as we're cutting costs, I suggest dumping cable TV and your smartphone contract. While trying to win the richest-man-in-the-graveyard competition, I suggest also avoiding fancy watches, clothes, jewelry, Christmas and birthday presents, private college, anything made by Apple, vacations, ea...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat May 03, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An easy way to save money: Avoid the $300,000 car.
Replies: 152
Views: 17276

Re: Phone screen replacement at mall- quality???

We got a iPhone 3GS with a smashed up screen for free and had the screen replaced for $50 by a local place specializing in these things. If I didn't know the screen was a replacement, I don't think I could tell. The guy we went to apparently does nothing else all day but fix broken iPhones/iPads.
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone screen replacement at mall- quality???
Replies: 14
Views: 1046

Re: Fixing what my grandfather left behind

I'm a big fan of DIY investing. But in this case I'd at least investigate how much it would cost to have someone else fix or at least control this mess, get rid of some of the highest fee investments and streamline the rest. That might be 0.5% or 1.0% of assets reasonably well spend, if you can find...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixing what my grandfather left behind
Replies: 23
Views: 5758

Re: College Competition

The UCs have increased their admission of higher paying students. For completeness, one should point out that the UC system and UCB in particular have faced/are facing enormous budget pressures due to reduced state support. As UCB wants to continues as a world-class institution, money has to be fou...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Competition [locked]
Replies: 41
Views: 7750

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: 2464

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: 4369

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: 2464

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: 8876

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: 6992

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: 6992

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: 4747

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: 6708

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: 2813

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: 9769

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: 20217

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: 908

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: 170

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: 6775

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: 3901

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: 210
Views: 13715

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: 210
Views: 13715
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