Search found 113 matches

by clearwater
Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a New Construction Home - what do I need to consider
Replies: 32
Views: 3038

Re: Buying a New Construction Home - what do I need to consider

Find your own General Contractor and Inspector, and bring them in to do their OWN inspections during construction. Insist on this in the contract. You probably don't want to hear this, but the reality is you cannot trust ANYONE in the real estate game. Land sellers, builders, contractors, "real...
by clearwater
Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard direct purchase of bond question
Replies: 4
Views: 539

Re: Vanguard direct purchase of bond question

Thanks to all for the feedback. It looks like I should finally just switch to Vanguard and be done with it. If I start thinking about a service provider, it's usually a sign I'm spending too much energy on the problem. Many years ago I had a Fidelity account and found the resources there excellent. ...
by clearwater
Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Declare Victory and Pack It In?
Replies: 173
Views: 17976

Re: Should I Declare Victory and Pack It In?

Once I read "2.7" with an "M" after it, you didn't need to say anymore. Wow, you're done. All your hard work paid off, there is no need to do this anymore (unless you want to). Go retire. Relax and take it easy. The vast majority of people will never be in your situation. You'd h...
by clearwater
Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard direct purchase of bond question
Replies: 4
Views: 539

Vanguard direct purchase of bond question

I am currently at Schwab, and have been a very happy customer there for a long time (about 12 years). All my funds are Vanguard, Schwab is just the custodian. They have a pretty good website, and phone support is great. All the same, my 9 fund tilted-to-small cap+value+REIT fund portfolio is pretty ...
by clearwater
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury funds - combining for duration
Replies: 4
Views: 470

Treasury funds - combining for duration

I'd like to get a duration in Treasuries of about 10 years. Since in the Treasury fund universe we have three options: short, medium, long, of various durations, you can mix and match to get the duration you're looking for. Intermediate Treasuries (VFITX) are 5.2 years, and Long term Treasuries (VUS...
by clearwater
Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Traditional Film Developed
Replies: 23
Views: 2460

Re: Getting Traditional Film Developed

Sorry that you are not getting an answer to your simple question. I'd encourage you to use film. You can ignore all the Internet commentators who will drone on about why you should use this or that, none of which gets you closer to your goal. Most consumer processing (the local drugstore, CostCo, et...
by clearwater
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work
Replies: 181
Views: 17701

Re: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work

For all the angst this is causing you, and the borderline illegality of what this business is doing, I'd recommend you look for another job. Seriously.
by clearwater
Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What if I Never Buy a House?
Replies: 57
Views: 7928

Re: What if I Never Buy a House?

My experience having moved nearly 30 times, is that moving is good for you. I owned my first house for about five years, and did no work other than rake the leaves and mow the lawn. Not so bad. I sold it essentially for what I paid, and after taxes, fees, and the like, turned out I lived there "...
by clearwater
Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Novaform Mattresses at Costco
Replies: 14
Views: 2235

Re: Novaform Mattresses at Costco

I went through several innerspring mattresses a few years ago... in the recent era mattresses are made like junk, and break down fast. Was shopping at Ikea for something else and thought I'd look at their mattresses. Bought a "Sultan" standard foam (more like what your sofa cushions are ma...
by clearwater
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard - set up multiple new accounts, same type
Replies: 7
Views: 938

Re: Vanguard - set up multiple new accounts, same type

Thanks for the very handy feedback so far. I'm starting to think I might be solving a problem that doesn't need to be solved. Every now and then I read something like this: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=144837&start=50#p2161750 and think long and hard whether I really w...
by clearwater
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard - set up multiple new accounts, same type
Replies: 7
Views: 938

Vanguard - set up multiple new accounts, same type

It's too late in the day to call Vanguard and ask, and probably someone else has set up a new account like this. I have a Trust account currently at Schwab -- am possibly moving it to Vanguard. There are two accounts (unique account numbers) at Schwab, both titled exactly the same. The reason for th...
by clearwater
Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Confessions from the Peanut Gallery
Replies: 9
Views: 1074

Re: Confessions from the Peanut Gallery

Insurance. Wow, what a scam, huh? Prices will just keep going up up up, no matter how great you are as a customer (which means, you never have a claim, and are basically an ATM for the carrier). Had Fireman's Fund for a long time. Service was fine (they never bothered me), but the prices just were r...
by clearwater
Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:03 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: favorite bogleheads posts?
Replies: 72
Views: 9888

Re: favorite bogleheads posts?

What? You say you don't know what time it is? Paging Petrocelli. :) http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=27707 Edited to add: In all seriousness, Taylor's "Three Fund Portfolio" postings win hands down for the best thing I've ever read on any finance site, anywhere, eve...
by clearwater
Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct--just blowing off steam
Replies: 58
Views: 5011

Re: Treasury Direct--just blowing off steam

At one point I was going to purchase some Treasuries and set up a Treasury Direct account. But years ago reading these kinds of tales made me realize it was a terrible idea to consider it. This is a case of just flat out incompetence when it comes to running a service. The stories convinced me that ...
by clearwater
Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buffett 2-fund portfolio and 75/50
Replies: 18
Views: 2965

Re: Buffett 2-fund portfolio and 75/50

You are over-thinking this and have gone from very complicated to still much too complicated. This same question has been asked here hundreds (maybe thousands!) of times, and usually it gets the same answer: The Three Fund Portfolio. You can backtest, believe in the S&P 500 fund over Total Marke...
by clearwater
Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With Costless Collar Option Implementation
Replies: 17
Views: 1148

Re: Help With Costless Collar Option Implementation

There's a joke in here somewhere about wandering into the wrong party.
by clearwater
Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 11223

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

Well over a year ago I took my big, heavy, CRT television to a donation place where they happily accepted it. I never bought another TV. It's the best decision I ever made. Life's too short. Television is just physical and mental noise. Try going a month without TV and you'll be amazed how much bett...
by clearwater
Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Porsche Convertible. DISASTER!!!
Replies: 45
Views: 7794

Re: Talk me out of buying a Porsche Convertible. DISASTER!!!

I plan on asking the shop to reimburse me the $7K for the engine rebuild, the $700 for the IMS bearing (it was destroyed when the oil was filled with shrapnel and can't be reused), plus the rental truck, trailer, hotel rooms, air fare, basically everything. It will come to almost $10K. If they refu...
by clearwater
Wed May 14, 2014 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Porsche convertible. Turning 40 soon
Replies: 42
Views: 5743

Re: Talk me out of buying a Porsche convertible. Turning 40

The Boxter is a great, fun car. With one significant issue which can make for much unhappiness. If it doesn't happen, you have a great ride. If so, well.... Google "IMS bearing failure". That's the Boxster's fatal flaw. You can fix it ahead of time, which is a good idea. If you're an engin...
by clearwater
Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintenance $$'s spent over the lifetime on your Car
Replies: 38
Views: 3548

Re: Maintenance $$'s spent over the lifetime on your Car

What tread depth do I replace tires? That's exactly what I'm saying. I don't replace the tire until it's broken. The tread wears down, then some weird metal-like stuff starts showing through, then the tire will either break while I'm driving or I'll go outside one morning and the tire will be flat....
by clearwater
Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Our Accountant Over-Charging Us?
Replies: 30
Views: 4616

Re: Is Our Accountant Over-Charging Us?

If this were me, the first words I would use when I talk to my accountant next time would be "you're fired". Someone is paying for their people to apparently learn on the job, and that someone is you. My story: I used an accountant to prepare my taxes for years and years. I'd spend a ton o...
by clearwater
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 8 hour layover in Honolulu. How to use time.
Replies: 62
Views: 7944

Re: 8 hour layover in Honolulu. How to use time.

People don't want to trade individual stocks, and recommend the three fund portfolio for a reason -- keep it simple. You are trying to do WAY too much, with WAY too many unknowns. What if your flight gets in late? What if the weather is bad and you had turbulence across the ocean and everyone is bea...
by clearwater
Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stopping Junk Mail
Replies: 17
Views: 2009

Re: Stopping Junk Mail

Put it in an envelope along with a BIG NOTE to remove you from their mailing list or you will keep sending everything back to them. Send it to their CEO at the corporate HQ address, and write that SAME address in the return address area at top left. Drop it in the mail. It will arrive at their HQ PO...
by clearwater
Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved
Replies: 76
Views: 5421

Re: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved

From September 2008...data from Moody's and S&P http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-110hrpt835/html/CRPT-110hrpt835.htm WOW! That's dramatic. If anything, that helps me think that using Interm. Tax Exempt along with Total Bond is acceptable, since high quality munis sure look pretty safe. That li...
by clearwater
Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved
Replies: 76
Views: 5421

Re: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved

I've been thinking more on this topic and not sure what to do (I suppose that's a good sign). As Taylor says "when experts disagree, it's probably because it doesn't matter". I've come up with just a few ideas: a) Interm Tax Exempt (VWITX) + Total Bond (BND / VBMFX) -- this is what I have ...
by clearwater
Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved
Replies: 76
Views: 5421

Re: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved

Wow, this is timely. I am going through this process right at this very moment. I am a former business owner and semi-retired. Some part of my bond income is used for living expenses. In the not to distant past, I had a little bit of Vanguard High Yield (VWEHX) following Rick Ferri's recommendation....
by clearwater
Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy polo shirts?
Replies: 63
Views: 12189

Re: Where to buy polo shirts?

I have a bunch of experience with this (maybe too much). LL Bean until three years ago had the best polo shirts, hands down. They fit great, fair price, lots of colors. If you didn't put them in the dryer they would last forever. Then they fixed what wasn't broken, and treated the fabric so they are...
by clearwater
Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Way to fetch SEC yields from Vanguard (for spreadsheet)?
Replies: 3
Views: 380

Re: Way to fetch SEC yields from Vanguard (for spreadsheet)?

Thanks for the replies. I agree that Vanguard is unlikely to do this kind of thing -- it's not their focus. It's really no big deal since as you said I can have my code just screen scrape it as needed. Yahoo Finance's tool is pretty slick since you just pass it a parameter and they return raw data; ...
by clearwater
Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Way to fetch SEC yields from Vanguard (for spreadsheet)?
Replies: 3
Views: 380

Way to fetch SEC yields from Vanguard (for spreadsheet)?

There may be a real simple way to do this, but I can't find it. Is there a way from Vanguard to download the current SEC yield for a fund programatically? I have an automated system (some Python code) to import current yields into my spreadsheet from Yahoo and Google. Yahoo shows TTM yields, Google ...
by clearwater
Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What does a Bogle TV look like?
Replies: 78
Views: 4819

Re: What does a Bogle TV look like?

I got rid of my TV about seven months ago. It was one of the best things I've ever done.
by clearwater
Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Wellesley (VWINX) + Berkshire (BRK.B)?
Replies: 1
Views: 723

Vanguard Wellesley (VWINX) + Berkshire (BRK.B)?

Summary: Considering combining Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) with Vanguard Wellesley (VWINX) in its own standalone account. I have three accounts: my "core" account which is your standard Bogleheads type portfolio; a "stock" account where I hold some individual securities; and a Rot...
by clearwater
Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hertz PlatePass Program--Feel Burned
Replies: 27
Views: 4151

Re: Hertz PlatePass Program--Feel Burned

I am almost 60 years old and have done a lot of business in my life. It truly seems that just the last few years, I am finding myself tricked and trapped more and more by companies doing stuff like this. Perhaps I am just imagining it. But I am far from the most casual and careless consumer around....
by clearwater
Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jewelry repair at Ben Bridge?
Replies: 3
Views: 456

Re: Jewelry repair at Ben Bridge?

A caution on Ben Bridge. They will add you to their mailing list. You will find it a real job to get removed. I ultimately wrote a letter to Mr. Bridge himself, who to his credit wrote back and apologized. Then I took in my watch to get a battery replaced, and it started all over again. I had to wri...
by clearwater
Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring fiasco
Replies: 22
Views: 2255

Re: Flooring fiasco

I did not have a contractor. We purchased this flooring through a local flooring store. They used their own installers (some didn't speak much English). No one checked to see if the floor was level. .... The basement was a mess of thin strips of wood after they finished putting in the floor. You've...
by clearwater
Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Warning on "free" Morningstar trial
Replies: 24
Views: 2022

Warning on "free" Morningstar trial

Take note that you may want to steer clear of Morningstar's "free" 14 day trial. You'll have to sign up with credit card number, etc, then you have 14 days to cancel. BUT -- there is no "CANCEL ME" button on the web page, and instead you have to call their 800 number where they s...
by clearwater
Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International funds not popular at Vanguard?
Replies: 8
Views: 1809

Re: International funds not popular at Vanguard?

(edited to include mutual fund classes, some additional comments): You're right in that they are very, very new. I'd just have expected a faster influx of buyers if there was demand. Comparing to the mutual funds: Vanguard REIT Index Adm (VGSLX): 34.5B Vanguard Global ex-US Rel Est Idx Inv (VGXRX): ...
by clearwater
Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International funds not popular at Vanguard?
Replies: 8
Views: 1809

International funds not popular at Vanguard?

I try to follow a 70/30 U.S. / International split in all sectors. Some time ago I implemented this across Real Estate Index (VNQ), and International Real Estate (VNQI). Looking today I was somewhat amazed to see the International Real Estate Fund only has 788 million in assets, compared to 17.82 bi...
by clearwater
Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will rebalance into REIT today
Replies: 14
Views: 1391

Re: Will rebalance into REIT today

I'm simplifying my portfolio to move more towards Taylor's three fund model (not quite there, but closer). To do that, yesterday I sold: Pacific (VPL), Europe (VGK), Emerging Markets (VWO), and iShares Canada (EWC), so that I could buy Total International (VXUS). Turns out all those international fu...
by clearwater
Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds including Intl (BNDX)
Replies: 2
Views: 1015

Re: Bonds including Intl (BNDX)

2. Is there a single-state muni fund with reasonably low costs available for your location, either through Vanguard or another provider? If yes, I might be tempted to replace the Vanguard International Bond fund with this. 3. All of your bond funds are intermediate-term, each with a duration over 5...
by clearwater
Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds including Intl (BNDX)
Replies: 2
Views: 1015

Bonds including Intl (BNDX)

I'm restructuring my bond allocation, and wonder if anyone else has done something like this. This is all in taxable as tax advantaged space has no room (the taxable space is much bigger, by a substantial factor). The tax considerations for my holding something like Total Bond are negligible at the ...
by clearwater
Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please advise on Gold Coin Purchase
Replies: 28
Views: 4184

Re: Please advise on Gold Coin Purchase

Some people when it comes to gold will take an interest in telling you how to spend your money. It's the one thing here that brings out opinions you probably didn't ask for when you wanted an answer to a simple question. The best thing to do if you want to buy bullion is tune out the noise. Buying c...
by clearwater
Thu May 30, 2013 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timber REITs
Replies: 14
Views: 1684

Re: Timber REITs

Also note that many of the REIT index funds (such as Vanguard's "VNQ" product) often do not include timber REITs in their holdings. This is I think partly due to many of the timber companies only converted to the REIT form a few years ago.... maybe they'll be added to the index soon. The s...
by clearwater
Thu May 30, 2013 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "As is" clause in real estate
Replies: 41
Views: 2027

Re: "As is" clause in real estate

Having purchased a house which had an "AS IS" clause added late in contract negotiations, all I can say is: RUN AWAY. There is some, or multiple, reasons for those two magic words. You don't want to know my experience (it's a long story, and you can probably guess) but if you ask around to...
by clearwater
Thu May 02, 2013 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interstate Moving Company - Experiences
Replies: 29
Views: 2110

Re: Interstate Moving Company - Experiences

As someone who has moved 24 times, please take my advice on this: It is almost never, ever, worth moving furniture if you are going more than 500 miles. You can get to the destination and typically buy *brand new* furniture cheaper than it cost to pack, move, and unpack the old stuff (which also may...
by clearwater
Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [stopping] Telemarketers
Replies: 29
Views: 1793

Re: Telemarketers

You need to throw technology at this problem. And unfortunately the traditional phone companies don't have it. You can use Google Voice, which will let you set up rules to deny or screen inbound calls. For a free service, it's pretty darned good. You can use a mobile phone and a call block or screen...
by clearwater
Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell my home?
Replies: 10
Views: 1186

Re: Should I sell my home?

No realtor (R) [note 1] ... I mean real estate agent... is your friend. They are salespeople, the same as someone who tries to sell you a car or insurance. All the same behaviors apply. It's one of the most ridiculous industries in the world when it comes to people who want to put their hand in your...
by clearwater
Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading Cookware?
Replies: 48
Views: 5770

Re: Upgrading Cookware?

I guarantee you that most of the fantastic fancy meals you've had in restaurants have been made in stuff bought at the restaurant supply store. The food doesn't know how shiny the pan is. If you use fresh ingredients, you're 90% of the way there. Learn your stove and pots and pans and how they trans...
by clearwater
Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me manage a $7 million portfolio.
Replies: 105
Views: 15122

Re: Help me manage a $7 million portfolio.

You've got plenty of advice already, but have you considered talking to one of "Bogleheads Own" and give Rick Ferri a call? http://www.rickferri.com/about/about-rick http://www.portfoliosolutions.com/ (I have no affiliation other than reading his postings and books, and trust his rational,...
by clearwater
Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard High Yield
Replies: 139
Views: 9330

Re: Vanguard High Yield

Larry is right, of course. But I think Rick is *more* right. I hold High Yield Bonds as recommended by Rick, along with Total Bond (BND), and Inflation Protected (VIPSX), and have enjoyed the additional income. Additionally adding this component to the overall bond mix more correctly approximates th...
by clearwater
Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Three fund portfolio - the evolution?
Replies: 13
Views: 3604

Re: Three fund portfolio - the evolution?

Thank you again to Taylor for all his contributions to the forum and the three fund portfolio. Although I still slice and dice and have a few more funds, I'm trending closer and closer to the three fund model as well.... I'll probably end up with the "five fund" version, which is pretty cl...

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