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Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

Was the drive in the LaCie marked as something beyond consumer grade? I was just going by the extra cost. SpaceMonkey may have provided a better explanation for that. SpaceMonkey is right that I do not know the actual brand or model of hard drive in the LaCie enclosure. I did at one point but have ...
by bertilak
Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 24
Views: 1290

Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

I think all major drive manufacturers have multiple levels of quality. You need to pay extra to get more reliability. I think consumer grade drives are prone to early failure and that's why you see so many negative reviews on places like Amazon. I wouldn't be surprised if 99% of the hard drives sold...
by bertilak
Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 24
Views: 1290

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

The Road. Could it be any slower? The hobbit. I don't know if you are complaining about the book The Hobbit or signing your post as "the hobbit" but I do have an opinion of the book. I didn't like it nearly as much as the LOTR trilogy. To be fair, it was intended for children but that doe...
by bertilak
Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 193
Views: 8781

Re: Why do so many think their home is a foolproof investmen

If the return you expect from your investment is a place to live, your home is a pretty good investment.

Any other benefit you get is just gravy.
by bertilak
Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do so many think their home is a foolproof investment?
Replies: 101
Views: 5056

Re: The dangerous practice of rebalancing...

I did not read the whole article nor all the comments here but ... ⋅ I think the article is correct about having safe (or nearly safe) assets for core expenses.: In terms of strategic portfolio balance, before a pre-retired or retired family invests in risky assets, core retirement needs s...
by bertilak
Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The dangerous practice of rebalancing...
Replies: 165
Views: 9104

Re: IRA to Roth conversion after retirement ?

Also in a similar situation. I am doing yearly conversions up to the amount that doesn't bump me past the 15% bracket. I don't think it is necessary to be real exact on that and going over a bit really makes little difference because only that "little bit" will be subject to the 25% tax. M...
by bertilak
Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA to Roth conversion after retirement ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1283

Re: Costco vs Amazon?

I like Costco's return policy. Take just about anything back to them for any reason, and they refund your purchase price. No return mailing involved. I just returned a desk chair I bought at Costco about a month ago. The chair was comfortable -- mostly. I didn't notice it at first but it had a subt...
by bertilak
Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco vs Amazon?
Replies: 60
Views: 4274

Re: Buffett: Modern investment theory is horse-pucky

That's what he does now - but how do you think he got to now ? I think somewhere Buffet said that "how he got to now" -- being a rich guy -- no longer works because now-a-days mis-pricings get smoked out too fast for there to be any opportunty to take advantage of. Perhaps that's why he r...
by bertilak
Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett: Modern investment theory is horse-pucky
Replies: 119
Views: 8507

Re: Buffett: Modern investment theory is horse-pucky

That's what he does now - but how do you think he got to now ? I think somewhere Buffet said that "how he got to now" -- being a rich guy -- no longer works because now-a-days mis-pricings get smoked out too fast for there to be any opportunty to take advantage of. Perhaps that's why he r...
by bertilak
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett: Modern investment theory is horse-pucky
Replies: 119
Views: 8507

Re: Take money from investments to get better rate on refi?

Where are you getting a fixed rate mortgage at 2.88%? That's what Quicken Loans quoted me as an example rate in my situation. I realize that may be a come-on rate and I may not get it. I am tracking that down to be sure. Also checking with another lender (has my current mortgage). I asked about the...
by bertilak
Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take money from investments to get better rate on refi?
Replies: 14
Views: 614

Re: Take money from investments to get better rate on refi?

If you do this, what would you do with the extra $200 a month you will have? Are you planning on spending the $$$, buying restaurant meals, fine wines, other consumer goods (non-appreciating assets) and just enjoying it as more discretionary income? Or will you be putting the money into mutual fund...
by bertilak
Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take money from investments to get better rate on refi?
Replies: 14
Views: 614

Re: Take money from investments to get better rate on refi?

Thanks all. Your replies give me confidence that my thinking isn't off the wall. I'm going to do a little comparison shopping for mortgages. I think what you mean is it will delay the day when expenses > income? A mortgage (long term fixed rate) is an inflation hedge btw. Right. Today my income (SS ...
by bertilak
Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take money from investments to get better rate on refi?
Replies: 14
Views: 614

Take money from investments to get better rate on refi?

This overlaps investments and personal finance. The question is: Should I refinancing my mortgage by taking money from my taxable investment account to increase my equity to 20%, get a better rate and avoid PMI? I'm not looking for an answer right here and now, but I don't want to overlook anything ...
by bertilak
Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take money from investments to get better rate on refi?
Replies: 14
Views: 614

Re: Do you keep paper copies of your investment statements?

I said no, but that is probably wrong as I send all that stuff (yearly summaries at least) to my CPA for taxes then every year he hands it all back in a big envelope and I put the envelope with all the others. So I could probably find investment statements going back into the 1980s. Some of this stu...
by bertilak
Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you keep paper copies of your investment statements?
Replies: 33
Views: 1865

Re: Simplicity vs. Complexity

Except I reduced costs, albeit only slightly, by switching from Vanguard's Total International fund to equal parts Pacific, Europe, and Emerging. :twisted: But now you need to manage the rebalancing between funds. That's extra work (monitoring, buying, selling, doing taxes) and extra cost (cap gain...
by bertilak
Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simplicity vs. Complexity
Replies: 50
Views: 3291

Re: Simplicity vs. Complexity

There are definitely reasons to hold simple vs. complex portfolio, but this thread is not one of them. ... I am thinking about how my significant other will handle the portfolio after I pass away, I am thinking about how I will handle the portfolio after I get old and start forgetting, etc... Agree...
by bertilak
Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simplicity vs. Complexity
Replies: 50
Views: 3291

Re: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock

Are you saying you now have only two funds in retirement. 50 -50 Wellesley and Wellington. Anything else but Social Security? Paul Social Security and a Pension. Between the two they cover all my current normal living expenses. The investments are for... ⋅ Eventual inflation coverage &sdo...
by bertilak
Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock
Replies: 68
Views: 5338

Re: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock

Investing is so great.So the W's have historically outperformed the indexes by a small margin.Going forward they may or may not continue their outperformance,but either way it will be close.So no matter which path we choose the difference should be slight but we do not have any guarantee of the res...
by bertilak
Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock
Replies: 68
Views: 5338

Re: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock

bertilak: your graph is 15 years against Total International Stock Market . Please fix. You'll need investor shares and VFINX to go back the 25 years. Which you should, because 1999 was a particularly bad time to buy stocks. Like I said, the fund has done well but you can't expect it to outperform ...
by bertilak
Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock
Replies: 68
Views: 5338

Re: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock

Note that Wellington and Moderate Growth have similar ERs (0.18% vs 0.16%) so it is unfair to say that Wellington's ER is high. Yep, you basically get the manager for free or maybe 9 or so basis points, if you compare to balanced index admiral. Some see having a fund manager as a negative. I just s...
by bertilak
Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock
Replies: 68
Views: 5338

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

Just thought of another one: A Confederacy of Dunces. Started it a couple of times, but never made much of a dent. Wow! I love that book. Read it may years ago when I was young and impressionable. Recently I was afraid I gave it more credit than its due (like lots of things I liked in my youth!) so...
by bertilak
Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 193
Views: 8781

Re: Where is Zvi Bodie?

Here is some more recent activity: http://www.bu.edu/news/category/zvi-bodie/. Still several months old, Feb 2014.
by bertilak
Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where is Zvi Bodie?
Replies: 4
Views: 1201

Re: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock

My guess is one of three things You will outperform benchmark You will match benchmark You will underperform benchmark Of course with index funds you will match benchmark John Let's use Total Stock Market (VTIAX) as a benchark for Wellington (VWENX). Over the long run, comparing total return, the b...
by bertilak
Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock
Replies: 68
Views: 5338

Re: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock

There is a study, Mutual Fund Performance and the Incentive to Generate Alpha that addresses the issue of active funds' underperformance. ... I just noticed that there is a charge for this on that website. Here is a direct link: https://www2.bc.edu/jonathan-reuter/research/active_201208.pdf. I also...
by bertilak
Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock
Replies: 68
Views: 5338

Re: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock

My reasons for using the Ws: ⋅ Much of the reading I have done attributes nearly all of the advantage index funds have over actively manage funds to costs. W and W are very low cost. ⋅ There is a study, Mutual Fund Performance and the Incentive to Generate Alpha that addresses th...
by bertilak
Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock
Replies: 68
Views: 5338

Re: Retiree Investor Needs Advice

Does anyone know how often the LifeStrategy funds are rebalanced? Daily? Monthly? Do they get "off" by 1% or 2%? Daily. Not really. In 2012 I noticed my fund (LS Moderate) was off about 3% from its stated 60/40 split. Stocks were going gangbusters. I don't think the daily split is public ...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Investor Needs Advice
Replies: 28
Views: 1597

Re: Anyone have experience with AtticFoil Radiant insulation

It's main purpose appears to attenuate the cell phone signals coming into the house so plan on making calls from your porch, via wifi or an MCell. :D I didn't follow all that 4th power Boltzmann stuff so I have to take your word on that "most" but I can say it has a large negative effect ...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have experience with AtticFoil Radiant insulation
Replies: 12
Views: 694

Re: Retiree Investor Needs Advice

Does anyone know how often the LifeStrategy funds are rebalanced? Daily? Monthly? Do they get "off" by 1% or 2%? Daily. One reason I chose the individual funds is so I could re-balance somewhat often but not too often. If stocks take a beating in short period, but then rebound, does a fre...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Investor Needs Advice
Replies: 28
Views: 1597

Re: So, when does a market timer get back in?

inbox788 wrote:Now they also tell you "don't catch a falling knife", so when a stock pulls back, or the market goes into a correction, how do I know it's hit bottom and not a falling knife?

See my previous post about blood!
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So, when does a market timer get back in?
Replies: 54
Views: 5487

Re: So, when does a market timer get back in?

Toons wrote:There is a bell that goes off when the market hits a top and there is a bell that goes off when it hits bottom,you have to pay close attention or you will miss it,,, :happy

I just look for the blood in the streets. Still not sure how deep it needs to be. :twisted:
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So, when does a market timer get back in?
Replies: 54
Views: 5487

Re: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock

I like both the Ws and wanted 50/50 stock/bond so went with 50/50 W/W. I know that the stock/bond ratio will drift around a bit but don't consider that significant. Approximate is good enough for me. In my position I am not looking for a glide path. I am already retired and like 50/50 as a "for...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50-50 Wellesley-Wellington or Total Bond-Total Stock
Replies: 68
Views: 5338

Re: Retiree Investor Needs Advice

Thanks bloom2708 and Frank2009! Sounds good. I will start some heavy research on the various Vanguard Funds. I like the idea of the three(3) Fund portfolio. I understand if the account is large enough Vanguard will offer some Financial Adviser assistance. Thanks again guys! JdubyaM Their advice pre...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Investor Needs Advice
Replies: 28
Views: 1597

Re: Speeding in CT with NY license

0cean23 wrote:-Hire a CT lawyer and plead not guilty, this will either eliminate the ticket or reduce fine amount and remove the "speeding" violation.

That's putting a lot of faith in that lawyer!

Personally, I wouldn't count on it.
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Speeding in CT with NY license
Replies: 14
Views: 1222

Re: Why is Total Intl's turnover rate much lower than its pa

Bertilak, I get/got the hypothetical math -- but Europe, Pacific and Emerging are more than 1% of VTIAX :) That's a heck of a difference in turnover. I see your point. I misunderstood your first post. I saw that 5% in there and figured that must be the biggest contributor. Also, I knew that "a...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Total Intl's turnover rate much lower than its parts?
Replies: 12
Views: 811

Re: Why is Total Intl's turnover rate much lower than its pa

I decided to switch from Vanguard's Total International fund to (most of) its component parts: pacific, european, and emerging. My rationale is Rick Ferri's argument about possibly getting a rebalancing bonus from currency discrepancies (I also like being able to see how the different slices are do...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Total Intl's turnover rate much lower than its parts?
Replies: 12
Views: 811

Re: Retiree Investor Needs Advice

You could get a lot of different answers to that question, but I think if you were to take a poll here Vanguard would come out on top. I chose Vanguard because I wanted Vanguard funds and my current-at-the-time broker waned to charge ridiculous amounts to buy Vanguard funds. Vanguard would get my vo...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Investor Needs Advice
Replies: 28
Views: 1597

Re: Gutters

What is a typical cost per foot installed? Sears charged me $8 per linear foot plus an extra $3 per foot for places with a leaf screen. Downspouts were $64 each. They calculated it as 8 feet per downspout and $8 per foot. (I misremembered the $100 per downspout I mentioned above -- perhaps that was...
by bertilak
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutters
Replies: 10
Views: 1174

Re: The four most useless things financial advisers tell you

Claim earlier than age 70 only if health issues, financial distress, or for spousal benefits optimization... Well, "financial distress " might be a little strong. I took SS the day I retired for two reasons, neither involving "distress": 1. Between it and my pension it gave me a...
by bertilak
Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The four most useless things financial advisers tell you
Replies: 11
Views: 2017

The four most useless things financial advisers tell you

From Howard Gold at MarketWatch: The four most useless things financial advisers tell you Here are the first few sentences of number 4: 4. Why accept “mediocre” returns when you can beat the market? Fortunately, this canard is going the way of the dodo, but there are still some holdouts among newsle...
by bertilak
Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The four most useless things financial advisers tell you
Replies: 11
Views: 2017

Re: Gutters

Just had gutters installed. Learned a few things: ⋅ It pays to price shop. Quotes I got were +/- 50%. Prices are by the foot with about $100 for each downspout. ⋅ Typical seamless aluminum gutters come in three sizes 4, 5 and 6 inch widths. We went through Home Depot and they cha...
by bertilak
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutters
Replies: 10
Views: 1174

Re: Pay off Debt, by cashing in Retirement account?

As said above, "Don't do it."

In addition to all the points about compounding, taxes, and penalty fees there is another consideration: Tax advantaged space is in itself valuable and once you give it up you can never get it back.
by bertilak
Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off Debt, by cashing in Retirement account?
Replies: 25
Views: 2003

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

JupiterJones wrote:... and it was amazing.

I believe the word you are looking for is "Awsome!"
by bertilak
Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 84
Views: 3588

Re: Dollar Cost Averaging vs. Lump Sum

Never DCA if you don't have to. It's pretty much that simple. A good way of putting it! The germ of truth about which so many barnacles encrust themselves is that geometric vs. arithmetic averaging of paycheck-to-paycheck investing does help, but the only help is that it makes up for a tiny bit of ...
by bertilak
Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dollar Cost Averaging vs. Lump Sum
Replies: 31
Views: 3144

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

And I have never ever ever been able to figure out whether "I knew that the only total eclipse of the sun in the first half of the sixth century occurred on the 21st of June, A.D. 528, O.S., and began at 3 minutes after 12 noon" is a joking reference to improbabilities in other books--may...
by bertilak
Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3338
Views: 1142339

Re: 2 Piece Retirement Portfolio

John and Bertilak, I agree that this plan contains a floor and an upside strategy that aims for maximum returns. Starbux has the ability to take that much risk, but he doesn't have the need, which is always the case for those who have ability. If the plan flops he may miss out on doing things he'd ...
by bertilak
Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 Piece Retirement Portfolio
Replies: 18
Views: 1205

Re: 2 Piece Retirement Portfolio

Starbux's approach is similar to the safe floor and and aspirational portfolios plan, even though his "safe" part isn't quite as safe as an ideal.

This is an effective and honorable kind of plan.
by bertilak
Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 Piece Retirement Portfolio
Replies: 18
Views: 1205

Re: What Movie Have You [Recently] Watched?

The Lego Movie. We found it surprisingly good. Perhaps I should say "Awesome!" to keep in the spirit of the movie. It is one of those "made for children but with lots to keep adults entertained" movies. It makes you wonder if you really are an adult! I would NOT recommend it for ...
by bertilak
Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 84
Views: 3588

Re: 2 Piece Retirement Portfolio

Why not have combine the 2 plans into 1 and go 60/40 Keep It Simple :happy Actually, I agree with StarBux. ⋅ First, the two portfolios may not be the same size so it doesn't necessarily add up to 60/40. ⋅ Second, he accepts more volatility in one than the other (i.e. 70/30 vs 50...
by bertilak
Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 Piece Retirement Portfolio
Replies: 18
Views: 1205

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain. I mention it because of the following quote: No sound and legitimate business can be established on a basis of speculation. Mark Twain was notorious for making bad investments so I'm not sure what to make of this advice! The book was writte...
by bertilak
Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3338
Views: 1142339

Re: REIT

Funkey, If you believe REITS will somehow outperform overall stocks over your investment time horizon, then add them to your allocated equity position, definitely not bonds. But keep in mind that the millions of investors who actually determine market prices have already determined the value of REI...
by bertilak
Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REIT
Replies: 12
Views: 814
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