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Re: Completely Out of Debt... Now What?

At this point in life, you might find you'd get a larger "return" out of focusing on your career than on your investing. Make sure you have a career plan as well.
by blu9535
Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Completely Out of Debt... Now What?
Replies: 7
Views: 1168

Re: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"

Amazon has a deal today only to save 50% off of a new hardcover version of Flash Boys. Today's price is $13.09. (best to use the Amazon.com link at the top of Bogleheads.org). And if you use the BOOKDEAL25 code, you get another 25% off, cutting the price to $9.82. Plus, if you happen to have a Chase...
by blu9535
Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"
Replies: 175
Views: 32118

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

Well, my manager just asked me to interview some candidates in the last couple of months. This is the first time we have done it in years in our group. Every single one was a young foreign college student currently completing a degree in the US. And would have been an H1-B visa if we hired them. Ap...
by blu9535
Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 14619

Re: New Car: Pay cash or take loan at 1.49%

Take the 1.49% loan, set it up on auto-pay, and forget about it. But only as long as you have enough cash liquidity and there are no major financial short-term impacts on the horizon.
by blu9535
Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: Pay cash or take loan at 1.49%
Replies: 23
Views: 2491

Re: Youngster talented in science and math

Maybe a funny T-shirt with a science or math theme? Would help to promote his self-image of a science/math expert. :) I also second the suggestion for Kerbal Space Program. No one has yet mentioned much to do with computers. A basic technical knowledge of data management, possibly with some database...
by blu9535
Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youngster talented in science and math
Replies: 47
Views: 3298

Re: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question

There's also flicker. LED's don't flicker by themselves but the AC to DC converters in in the bulb are sometimes cheaply made (which lowers the price of course) and that can cause the bulbs to "flicker" at a very high rate. Most people don't notice this, but some people are susceptible to...
by blu9535
Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question
Replies: 64
Views: 4870

Re: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question

123, Could you please show us the product name / specification for the 100 watts LED?? Thanks. KlangFool This is the Costco version. They're sold in singles at $14.99 each at my local store. It shows some specification details. http://www.costco.com/Feit-BR40-LED-Reflector-%7C-100W-Replacement-%7C-...
by blu9535
Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question
Replies: 64
Views: 4870

Re: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question

For those considering LEDs, it seems the 100-watt-equivalent is not recommended for closed light fixtures -- like domed fixtures. Apparently, LEDs need the surrounding air to dissipate heat. No such warnings come with the 60-watt-equivalent as far as I can tell. The 100-watt LEDs are nice and they ...
by blu9535
Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question
Replies: 64
Views: 4870

Re: Should I buy a condo on the GROUND FLOOR?

Another vote for preferring a ground floor unit (even for non-elderly). Think of the daily time savings from not having to go up the stairs or wait for the elevator. You are adding a lot of free minutes to your life. Even moreso if you happen to have a dog and are taking it outside every day.
by blu9535
Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a condo on the GROUND FLOOR?
Replies: 50
Views: 5596

Re: Changes to T-Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan

T-Mobile has been doing very aggressive promotional activity in order to try to grow their subscriber base, but the result is they aren't really profitable and are posting quarterly losses. So I would definitely not expect their low prices to last forever.
by blu9535
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changes to T-Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan
Replies: 12
Views: 3699

Re: What is your most memorable 1 week vacation?

It was more than 1 week, but my wife and I just returned from a trip starting in Calgary, BC over to the pacific coast, up the inside passage. Then north into the Yukon and over to Fairbanks, Denali, and then to Anchorage. It was fantastic. If this was a road trip, then this sounds like it'd be mor...
by blu9535
Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your most memorable 1 week vacation?
Replies: 91
Views: 8280

Re: Help with Excel reformatting of fund price data

Thanks for the thought. Unfortunately that would only give me a date column that represents trailing months relative to today. A week or month from now, every entry would be incorrect re: trailing months. I'll keep in in mind as "plan B" but I'd like to learn how to do the generic templat...
by blu9535
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help with Excel reformatting of fund price data
Replies: 8
Views: 723

Re: Can you time the housing market?

There are certainly markets that CAN be timed. The "anti market timing" Boglehead philosphy is almost always in regard to stocks and bonds, but there are many other markets besides these ones. Many commodities markets can be timed, in the sense of knowing that the price historically tends ...
by blu9535
Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you time the housing market?
Replies: 21
Views: 1661

Re: Fitness tracker recommendation

The Jawbone UP wristband is what I use. Tracks steps, tracks sleep patterns, syncs to your smartphone, etc.

I believe it is less expensive than the FitBit options, but not sure if it has all the same functionality.
by blu9535
Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitness tracker recommendation
Replies: 12
Views: 1046

Re: Weird cost basis display from Vanguard

Does look strange. Have you asked Vanguard? Have you ever sold shares in this account? If you had a wash sale, then some of the loss will be acquired by the replacement shares, but it is difficult to imagine a scenario with a short term bond fund in which the loss would give you a negative cost bas...
by blu9535
Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Weird cost basis display from Vanguard
Replies: 3
Views: 634

Re: in-laws/student loans

To clarify: She is in a Pharm D program. It was not a wise financial decision to do so, and I made those points to the family back three years ago, but her parents said doesn't matter and essentially forced her to go this route. Clearest cut path to the big bucks! Assuming she can find a job... Don...
by blu9535
Tue May 27, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: in-laws/student loans
Replies: 57
Views: 2585

Weird cost basis display from Vanguard

At least it's weird to me... never seen it before. In this Vanguard screenshot of my holdings of VBIRX, can someone explain why there were relatively large gains for me in this fund on Oct 4 2012, Dec 27 2012, and Jan 10 2013? I believe these were just standard automatic transactions that I had set ...
by blu9535
Mon May 19, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Weird cost basis display from Vanguard
Replies: 3
Views: 634

Re: last min international flights

bowest wrote:Google now owns ITA, the best option for flight fare searches.

You'll find the least expensive options there.

https://www.google.com/flights/


With the exception of Southwest flights, which do not show pricing on these sorts of websites.
by blu9535
Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: last min international flights
Replies: 8
Views: 1098

Re: What video games are you currently playing?

It's funny to me how the video game industry still struggles with legitimacy after all these years. The video game industry is HUGE, and there's more dollars of revenue in the video game industry than in the movie and music industries combined (according to Wikipedia). Yet it only gets a tiny amount...
by blu9535
Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What video games are you currently playing?
Replies: 99
Views: 5072

Re: Secondary career in academia?

At whatever level (K-12., CC., liberal arts college, university), what seems not to have come up in this thread (and it matters a lot, especially at the entry level) is the ability to teach . When I was an administrator, we required evidence (teacher evaluations + a presentation to faculty) even fo...
by blu9535
Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Secondary career in academia?
Replies: 40
Views: 1944

Re: Cheapest pay-per-use phone--rarely make calls

It's kind of funny how much press and how much mindshare T-Mobile always gets, in spite of them being only the 4th largest carrier in the U.S. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all have more customers. Seems like a case of good marketing.
by blu9535
Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest pay-per-use phone--rarely make calls
Replies: 64
Views: 4097

Re: What happens to FSA when you change jobs?

There are multiple websites out there that showcase products specifically designated as FSA eligible.
One example... http://www.drugstore.com/FSA

Might take a look, if you have FSA funds to burn. I spent $500 worth of unpaid FSA funds on random products when I left my last company.
by blu9535
Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What happens to FSA when you change jobs?
Replies: 8
Views: 710

Re: Should I move to California from Midwest?

Nothing wrong with Kansas schools... Look up Blue Valley school district in Overland Park, KS (where I live)... Very good schools here... Historically that's been true, but with all of the school funding lawsuits Kansas has had going on for years, combined with the recent drop in state revenues due...
by blu9535
Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move to California from Midwest?
Replies: 153
Views: 8285

Re: Should a pay raise offer be negotiated?

How successful you might be and how this will be received by your company really depends on your company culture and how you handle it. I have been on the receiving end of these attempts and the only ones that I remember that were successful were retention increases when someone had a legitimate of...
by blu9535
Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a pay raise offer be negotiated?
Replies: 20
Views: 1866

Re: New cellphone

You really should upgrade when your contract is up. Otherwise, you are giving up the handset subsidy the carrier has put in your inflated monthly price. Your carrier loves people that never upgrade. They don't have to shell out $500 subsidizing a new phone for you and they keep charging you the inf...
by blu9535
Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cellphone
Replies: 63
Views: 3916

Re: Can A Boglehead join a club?

TRC wrote:Why do so many people come to this site and ask for permission to spend money? Very odd.


Suze Orman's most popular TV segment is "Can I Afford It?". Evidently a whole lot of people love to see this question asked and answered.
by blu9535
Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can A Boglehead join a club?
Replies: 19
Views: 1902

Re: graduate student loans repayment

Here's some easy ideas: Income Based Repayment/10 year programs Have no idea what your wife does. There are many govt., educational, or not-for-profit jobs that will allow you to get your debts forgiven after 10 years. The programs vary, but most forgive the loans after a decade if you teach in an ...
by blu9535
Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: graduate student loans repayment
Replies: 7
Views: 838

Re: PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa CC changes

This is really a mess. I just called to try and verify if they were changing me from 5/3/1 to 3/2/1 rewards. The customer service person looked up my account, said that I was changing, that I had been sent notification and that there was no way to opt out. When I asked her to verify when I had been...
by blu9535
Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa CC changes
Replies: 118
Views: 20645

Re: Can't get a straight answer on 401k admin fees

Wait for the fee disclosure notice. It's a requirement now that they provide you with one. There is also now a Department of Labor web page describing how to notify the DOL when a plan provider fails to disclose 401k fee information required by the new law. A form is available and you can even subm...
by blu9535
Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can't get a straight answer on 401k admin fees
Replies: 11
Views: 793

Re: Is company stock ever a good idea?

My company ESPP offers only a 5% discount, although there is no waiting period to sell. The benefit is taxed as ordinary income, and Fidelity charges $7.99 to sell shares every time. So it hasn't been especially attractive to me. Do all of you still advocate participating in the ESPP in this type of...
by blu9535
Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is company stock ever a good idea?
Replies: 35
Views: 2142

Re: Is "buying organic" food worth it?

4. There's no difference between organic and conventional milk. This has been on my mind. Our pediatrician is pretty adamant that kids drink only organic milk in order to avoid the synthetic bovine growth hormone (rBGH and/or rBST) saying it is linked to the early onset of puberty and possibly incr...
by blu9535
Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "buying organic" food worth it?
Replies: 89
Views: 4963

Re: Is "buying organic" food worth it?

I've found that it is very difficult to get any kind of reliable source of information on food matters. Take a product like milk, for example. I can go online and probably find 20 different "scientific surveys" that show it's bad for you, and 20 more that show it's good for you. The Dairy...
by blu9535
Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "buying organic" food worth it?
Replies: 89
Views: 4963

Re: Is "buying organic" food worth it?

I love food talk, everybody knows everything. I've found that it is very difficult to get any kind of reliable source of information on food matters. Take a product like milk, for example. I can go online and probably find 20 different "scientific surveys" that show it's bad for you, and ...
by blu9535
Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "buying organic" food worth it?
Replies: 89
Views: 4963

Re: How is Consumer Cellular

If you dislike signing a 2 year contract, but you still want a good smartphone with email, web, unlimited minutes and texts, you might look into Boost Mobile which uses the Sprint network. Their plans do not require a contract and they start at $55/month for Android phones or $60/month for Blackberr...
by blu9535
Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How is Consumer Cellular
Replies: 39
Views: 7433

Re: The Case for Lower Interest Rates

Rates are low because the economy is slow and we have low demand for loans and substantial unemployment and unused capacity. The Fed is not pushing rates to some unnatural place. If the economy is slow because we live in a world with technological advancements that have permanently reduced the need...
by blu9535
Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Case for Lower Interest Rates
Replies: 20
Views: 1796

Re: Adult "child" moved back home - avoiding failure to laun

Lots of conflicting advice in this thread... One poster says a full-time working student has a much lower chance of graduating. Another poster says the opposite, that full-time working students could even be more likely to get better grades. One poster says that community college next year is the be...
by blu9535
Fri May 31, 2013 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adult "child" moved back home - avoiding failure to launch
Replies: 196
Views: 13029

Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

I just put two kids through college... University of Kansas... about $15k a year including room and board... $60k total for each of their degrees... And that's with sorority fees... Could be done for less. There should be a simple college admission test. "Are you willing to pay $200k for your ...
by blu9535
Wed May 22, 2013 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?
Replies: 151
Views: 10446

Re: Help guide my course of action for investment property

Well, if your goal is to own rental properties, as in multiple, and you already own one, I'd say keep it. The refi part... obviously dropping the the interest rate by more than 1% and saving that much in interest is a very good thing. Are you comfortable plopping down $22K though? There are refi pr...
by blu9535
Wed May 08, 2013 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help guide my course of action for investment property
Replies: 7
Views: 592

Re: Refinancing to 5/5 ARM (Penfed) from 15 yr fixed mortgag

If only these kinds of rates were available for investment properties... Nowhere have I seen any kind of offer like this where investment property refinances are eligible. I'd love for someone to prove me wrong.
by blu9535
Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing to 5/5 ARM (Penfed) from 15 yr fixed mortgage
Replies: 18
Views: 1785

Re: Recommended Adventure PC Video Games?

If you want to go very old-school, another genre that was very popular back in the original days of the Internet were MUD's, which are online, free, text-based multiplayer games that were a precursor to today's large commerical graphics-based versions. Believe it or not, MUD communities still exist ...
by blu9535
Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Adventure PC Video Games?
Replies: 37
Views: 3003

Re: Refinance on low-balance condo investment property

Current lender is Bank of America. I don't like the idea of paying points because I don't have a good idea of how many more years I will own the property, but maybe it's unavoidable. I might discuss with Wells Fargo and see what they say. Thank you for the recommendation. I suppose banks have good r...
by blu9535
Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance on low-balance condo investment property
Replies: 6
Views: 731

Re: Tenant screening service

We have used http://www.tsci.com in the past with pretty good results and quick turnaround. You can spend between $15 and $52 per tenant check depending on the amount of information you are looking for (whether or not to include a criminal background check, etc). They also have some free landlord fo...
by blu9535
Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenant screening service
Replies: 1
Views: 349

Refinance on low-balance condo investment property

Long time reader, first time poster (I think). I have a current mortgage on a condo that I once lived in, but is now a rental property. The condo would likely be appraised at about $120,000. The current balance on the loan is $86,000 (72% LTV) and the current interest rate is 4.75% for a 15 year ter...
by blu9535
Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance on low-balance condo investment property
Replies: 6
Views: 731

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