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Re: LED Flashlights

I've got one of these http://www.dx.com/p/ultrafire-wf-501b-xm-lt6-5-mode-510-lumen-memory-white-led-flashlight-with-strap-1-18650-55241#.VCxqRfldVfc For under 10 bucks shipped I don't think it can be beat. I use it on bike and so far it has survived almost 2 years of riding 4 days a week through ra...
by crake
Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Flashlights
Replies: 22
Views: 738

Re: When should someone "not stay the course"?

I would say the time "not stay the course" would be when the inputs which went into creating your initial IPS have changed or when you acquire some new knowledge which you didn't have at the time you created your IPS. VGTSX being stagnant for 8 years does not meet those criteria. Inputs wh...
by crake
Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When should someone "not stay the course"?
Replies: 43
Views: 2402

Re: Buy today or stick to plan?

Short answer is it doesn't matter so just stick with your plan. 750 dollars will most likely have no noticeable effect on your savings. Longer answer is your better off contributing today but not for the reason you're thinking. Time in the market, not timing the market. The sooner you reinvest divid...
by crake
Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy today or stick to plan?
Replies: 29
Views: 2751

Re: We have a grocery problem...

It sounds like you've got a good handle on what the problem is. You just need the motivation to be able to fix it. I am also in a family of two and our grocery bill probably hovers around 100 dollars a month and we rarely eat out. This is less than half of yours but I still consider it somewhat high...
by crake
Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 10621

Re: The boglehead way to buy furniture

I don't think you need to spend a fortune to have a decent looking living room. Our couches came from a close out store and were only about $700 for a sofa and love seat. So far they have held up very well and are showing no signs of wear after four years and two moves. The area rug cost about $300 ...
by crake
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The boglehead way to buy furniture
Replies: 56
Views: 4989

Re: 100% Small and Value Tilting

JohnnyFive wrote:I'm fully aware of the risks involved but have never seen such a thing advocated on here for long investment horizons (40+ years)?


The risks involved are that your investments become worthless. This is much less likely to occur with a diversified portfolio of all stocks and bonds.
by crake
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% Small and Value Tilting
Replies: 72
Views: 4572

Re: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?

The aluminum wiring itself is not the problem. It is the terminal connection of the wire to the outlet that is the problem. The wire itself it capable of carrying the full current capacity of the circuit, heater or no heater. You may not realize it but the service drop cable into your home is made ...
by crake
Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?
Replies: 73
Views: 4808

Re: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?

I recently purchased a house with AL wiring and had it completely replaced. My original plan was to simply pigtail but I quickly realized this was not a viable option. One of the issues with pigtailing is the need to find every single electrical junction box. Yes, in a perfect world they should all ...
by crake
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?
Replies: 73
Views: 4808

Re: How the rich stay/get richer??

Your example is true. If your portfolio earns 8% a year and you only withdraw 2% a year it will increase over time. Where you seem to be a bit confused is focusing on dividends. It does not matter if the 2% spent is dividends or capital growth. The hypothetical investor will have the same amount of ...
by crake
Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [live off dividends?] How the rich stay/get richer??
Replies: 62
Views: 5006

Re: ? Best simple reference to dissuade a day trader

Let me give you a very simple example of what sort of trading a day traders does. While you're at work with your index ETFs invested in the general SPY, a professional day trader is watching a real time news feed. Actually, he's not, b/c today, his feeds are automated. Now, let's say the CEO of XYZ...
by crake
Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ? Best simple reference to dissuade a day trader
Replies: 67
Views: 4403

Re: ? Best simple reference to dissuade a day trader

This guy is not in even a semipro investing category. He has a history of previously daytrading in a gambling style down to near zero the college accounts for his kids set up by the grandparents (this makes me sad for the kids that this opportunity for them was not preserved). Actually, I believe s...
by crake
Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ? Best simple reference to dissuade a day trader
Replies: 67
Views: 4403

Re: How to stop collection for an invalid debt

People telling you send a letter with a return receipt are correct. Here is an example http://nedap.org/resources/documents/DisputeLetterwithElectronicForm.pdf I had a similar issue with Comcast last year. I received a collection letter for a debt I definitely did not owe. They did not once try to c...
by crake
Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to stop collection for an invalid debt
Replies: 31
Views: 2010

Re: Grad school decision - Help requested

This reminds me of the good will hunting quote "you dropped 150 grand on a education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!" Unless you have unlimited money I don't see this making sense. Surely there must be other, maybe even more authentic, ways for ...
by crake
Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grad school decision - Help requested
Replies: 25
Views: 2375

Re: Surge protectors

Also check to make sure your circuit breaker on the panel and the GFCI are both 20 amps. The breaker will say 20 on the handle and the outlet will have one T and one I shaped slot instead of 2 I shaped slots (as shown by nisiprius). Find out how much power the blender draws and what else is on the ...
by crake
Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surge protectors
Replies: 41
Views: 3658

Re: One of the simplest rational reasons why some should til

It seems your assumption is that SCV offers more reward for more risk. Couldn't your hypothetical wealthy and retired investor simply increase the equity portion of their portfolio if they want to take on more risk? This could be done at a lower cost and with less complexity than adding a SCV tilt s...
by crake
Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: One of the simplest rational reasons why some should tilt
Replies: 43
Views: 4178

Re: Momentum Investing ?

I'm an engineer and understand that you cannot compare data generated by two different systems and draw valid conclusions. I just don't see how data that is more than 20 or so years old can be considered a part of the current system given significant changes in ease of purchase. As an engineer I al...
by crake
Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Momentum Investing ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4627

Re: what is "at-cost investing" ?

Ok, thanks. As I suspected, it's simply a marketing-gimmick way of saying "low expense ratio". It is actually a little bit different than just a low expense ratio. Fidelity and Schwab have low expense ratios but they do not have "at-cost investing". What makes Vanguard different...
by crake
Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what is "at-cost investing" ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1381

Re: Can I afford a house in this price range? ($500k)

500k home on a 150k take home pay makes me nervous. Even more so that you can't speak to the stability of your job. You also need to consider that a bigger house is going to have higher utility bills, taxes, and maintenance costs. Is your current home in a good enough school district? 1200 square fe...
by crake
Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a house in this price range? ($500k)
Replies: 31
Views: 4507

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

OTOH, even though it appears from this thread that folks are dissing aerospace, I think the skies will be filled with drones in the next 30 years and somebody will be designing and building them. I definitely wouldn't diss aerospace and I think most people would consider that to be one the "re...
by crake
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5465

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

I'd also like to make one other point about the advantage of EE and ME degrees. They are by far the most flexible degrees. As an EE or ME you can work in almost and industry including Aeronautical and Petroleum. If any one field drys up it is very easy to transition your skills to the next boom. If ...
by crake
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5465

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

I somewhat disagree here. What is in demand in the US right now is systems engineering. Integrating multiple complex systems. Think aircraft, spacecraft, communications networks, etc. India and China are producing engineers who are proving to be as good or better than American/European engineers at...
by crake
Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5465

Re: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?

Valuethinker, thanks for your well researched post. I would say I am in agreement with your quote: So a hybrid is not a bad bet although it's not the low cost option. Possibly you could spend that extra money on something else (rainforest protection would be the one I advocate) with a higher environ...
by crake
Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?
Replies: 105
Views: 8420

Re: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?

I recently did the math for my wifes new car and a hybrid did not make sense. For the people demanding to see the situation shown I'll be glad to. According to KBB a base model civic sedan is about 17.2k. A base model prius is 22.7k. The difference is 5.5k. The civic combined mpg is 31 and the prius...
by crake
Fri May 30, 2014 10:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?
Replies: 105
Views: 8420

Re: How much house should I buy? (young person with many ass

I have decided to buy over rent, mostly because most of the rental properties in the area I am looking do not appeal to me, and also because if I bought a house I would hopefully live in it for at least five years and thus buying is likely a better option financially. (NYT rent vs. buy calculator c...
by crake
Fri May 23, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much house should I buy? (young person with many assets)
Replies: 71
Views: 5714

Re: Staking Tomatoes

I'm giving up on cages this year as well. I decided to try a method called the Florida Weave. http://www.foogod.com/~torquill/barefoot/weave.html It seems to have some advantages over single stakes. You only need half as many stakes and it seems easier to weave than to tie. Hopefully it works out. M...
by crake
Thu May 22, 2014 4:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staking Tomatoes
Replies: 20
Views: 1077

Re: Rate of return

fmzip, there's no need to be able to do complicated math or calculate annual rate of returns to be a successful investor. While posters above were trying to be helpful they may have just made things seem too complicated when in reality things are very simple. You have said that your manager has you ...
by crake
Wed May 21, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rate of return
Replies: 55
Views: 3398

Re: Rhetorical Question? How 4% inflation kills 401k and IRA

so then what I am saying actually makes sense. Right? Without calculating inflation, 401k and IRA look great .. but after inflation and God knows what taxes will be in 30 years ... not such as sweet deal after all? Are people just avoiding this issue or is this the best thing out there for retireme...
by crake
Tue May 20, 2014 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rhetorical Question? How 4% inflation kills 401k and IRA?
Replies: 40
Views: 2582

Re: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?

Are the existing ducts insulated? If not, that would be a good reason to do it. hvac-talk.com has a great moderated forum in which pros give out sound advice. They won't discuss pricing or DIY, but otherwise I've gotten great advice there. From my limited knowledge I believe that heat loss through ...
by crake
Mon May 19, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?
Replies: 19
Views: 1127

Re: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?

Just want to add that I do not believe all contractors are bad. You can find some that will work with you rather than against you if you do your due diligence.
by crake
Mon May 19, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?
Replies: 19
Views: 1127

Re: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?

I don't know how far along you are but I would personally avoid this contractor. It seems like they are either incompetent or trying to fleece you. I would also look to an unbiased source for info about duct cleaning. It seems that the jury is still out if it provides any benefits and some people th...
by crake
Mon May 19, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?
Replies: 19
Views: 1127

Re: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?

As a new homeowner with a house built in the 70's I'd be curious to hear the answer to this question. I've never heard of ducts needing to get replaced. It is also my understanding that flex duct is less efficient than rigid duct.

Is there something prompting you to consider this?
by crake
Mon May 19, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?
Replies: 19
Views: 1127

Re: Am I Understanding 401K Fees Correctly??? don't laugh.

Another way out would be to roll over your 401k into IRA before you retire? You can roll your 401k into an IRA whenever you part ways with your employer but almost never while you are still employed. Unless your new employers 401k offers exceptional funds which aren't available to normal investors ...
by crake
Fri May 16, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I Understanding 401K Fees Correctly??? don't laugh.
Replies: 21
Views: 1052

Re: Consumption smoothing of retirement

@ crake The comments addressed that situation. Your employer cannot easily replace you for 3 months a year with the exception of a school employee. If your preferred recreation is snow skiing, you would then have to travel to a different hemisphere on your long vacation. I think the notion that emp...
by crake
Fri May 16, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumption smoothing of retirement
Replies: 23
Views: 2269

Re: Consumption smoothing of retirement

I don't see retirement as a time of "leisure." I see it as a time of living without having to work for money. That is, where I decide what I do with my time. The idea that one "sits around" when retired is a common fallacy accepted by people who have been inculcated with the bel...
by crake
Fri May 16, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumption smoothing of retirement
Replies: 23
Views: 2269

Re: why do investors keep buying actively managed funds?

I think a lot of people don't even understand that active vs passive is a choice. Before I educated myself I went into my 401k options, filtered by performance, and selected the fund with the best 10 year performance. This fund will also usually have a 4 or 5 Morningstar rating further cementing the...
by crake
Fri May 16, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why do investors keep buying actively managed funds?
Replies: 104
Views: 7344

Re: Boglehead equivalent of a Permanent Porfolio (for 27 yo)

I also wouldn't recommend the PP to a young investor looking for growth. It might be right in some circumstances although I can't say what they are. The number one thing I don't like about it are 50% of your assets will be in investments with an expected real return or <= 0. Cash will lose money to ...
by crake
Thu May 15, 2014 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Boglehead equivalent of a Permanent Porfolio (for 27 yo)?
Replies: 17
Views: 1581

Re: Need sounding board for inheritance

In the OP's case it's likely to be the last 35 years - she's only 42 and plans on hanging up her shingle even if she retains her license - when she applies at either 62 or 67, Social Security will look back 35 years from date of application, giving her 12 years of earnings and 25 zeros. Retirement ...
by crake
Wed May 14, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need sounding board for inheritance
Replies: 29
Views: 2836

Re: Why is Two Fund Less Popular Than Three Fund Portfolio?

I think your dedication to one particular portfolio is dogmatic and illogical. It's not significantly better than most other reasonable portfolios. Here's one good reason why you might want to think about whether the 3 fund portfolio is ideal: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&...
by crake
Thu May 08, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Two Fund Less Popular Than Three Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 145
Views: 10704

Re: Why is Two Fund Less Popular Than Three Fund Portfolio?

three fund is written about here with great fervor, but there are several other options which work also I like one fund - life strategy or target retirement - in tax advantaged accts. Keeps it simple and perfect This is exactly the point I tried to make above about the three fund portfolio. There a...
by crake
Wed May 07, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Two Fund Less Popular Than Three Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 145
Views: 10704

Re: Why is Two Fund Less Popular Than Three Fund Portfolio?

The Three Fund portfolio has a bizarre following here that isn't necessarily logical. There's nothing wrong with it, but it isn't anything special. I wrote about 150 portfolios that are also excellent like the 3-fund here: http://whitecoatinvestor.com/150-portfolios-better-than-yours/ Can you expla...
by crake
Wed May 07, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Two Fund Less Popular Than Three Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 145
Views: 10704

Re: Free dinner for bill pay - worth it?

I did some credit card thing through mastercard once to receive a 200 dollar restaurant.com gift card. I ended up not even using it. Restaurant.com makes you buy coupons which have a lot of restrictions. It's not just a straight up 25 dollar gift card. It's more like get 25 off when you spend 50 (ex...
by crake
Mon May 05, 2014 4:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free dinner for bill pay - worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 1119

Re: Yet another question on "tilting" a portfolio

I'll second Calm Man's question. This is a hard question to answer unless you state the reason(s) why you want to tilt. If I recall correctly there are only a few very specific funds that capture what people believe to be a small value premium and Vanguard funds were not on that list. Vanguard small...
by crake
Fri May 02, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Yet another question on "tilting" a portfolio
Replies: 10
Views: 983

Re: Cheapest TV equipment and options

Your set up might make sense for a tech savy person trying to save money. My personal setup is a PC hooked up to my tv and a cable tuner card. I use windows 7 media center for all my media needs. It works fantastic until it doesn't. If your elderly relative is like people I know they don't want to d...
by crake
Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest TV equipment and options
Replies: 21
Views: 4022

Re: want to sell car with check engine light

If you bring the car to an Advance Auto Parts or Auto Zone they'll let you borrow the obd II scanner for free. This will allow you to figure out what codes the car is throwing. Once you get the codes you can google what the problem might be and choose to either bring it to a mechanic or tell a would...
by crake
Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: want to sell car with check engine light
Replies: 17
Views: 2140

Re: What matters over long haul is factor exposure and expen

A) Is there evidence that a factor is both persistent over time and pervasive across markets/asset classes B) It helps if there is a good risk story or even a good behavioral story, giving you more confidence in the data Larry, These are two sticking points which I haven't been able to work through...
by crake
Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What matters over long haul is factor exposure and expense
Replies: 37
Views: 4059

Re: Generic Gift Cards

Major grocery stores are, in my experience, very good at "Put $50 on this $50 gift card, the balance on this regular credit card" at checkout. They are still a nuisance but using them once and in full eases the pain. :happy I am currently a bit bitter on these cards right now as I just go...
by crake
Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generic Gift Cards
Replies: 43
Views: 2420

Re: Generic Gift Cards

Having received these types of gift cards before I would recommend against giving them. My number one complaint is these cards cost more than their value. For example, a 50 dollar card costs 55 dollars. My next complaint is they are difficult to use the entire balance. If you have a 37.78 dollars ca...
by crake
Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generic Gift Cards
Replies: 43
Views: 2420

Re: 23 yo Teacher Three fund or Target Retirement 2050 -Roth

My recommendation would be a target date fund in a Roth. Vanguard target date funds are essentially the three fund portfolio but they do the re balancing for you. Add 5500 dollars a year to it and don't touch it for 30 years. You can't get simpler than that. The only reason I don't use target date f...
by crake
Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 23 yo Teacher Three fund or Target Retirement 2050 -Roth IRA
Replies: 36
Views: 2187

Re: Liability Insurance [umbrella policy questions]

How Much Umbrella Insurance Coverage Do You Need? You can take out an umbrella policy with coverage limits of $1 million to $10 million. Can't imagine that you would need that much coverage? You might be surprised. Follow these three quick steps to get an idea of how big an umbrella you may need: S...
by crake
Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liability Insurance [umbrella policy questions]
Replies: 28
Views: 2971

Liability Insurance [umbrella policy questions]

I'm in contract to be purchasing my first home and it has got me thinking about liability insurance for the first time. I was wondering if anyone has any resources they could share that are good guidelines for where you need liability coverage and how much should be purchased. I have heard recommend...
by crake
Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liability Insurance [umbrella policy questions]
Replies: 28
Views: 2971
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