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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: 1338

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: 4393

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: 5246

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: 5246

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: 5246

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: 8079

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: 8079

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: 5479

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: 1016

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: 3329

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: 2498

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: 1044

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: 1044

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: 1044

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: 1044

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: 1029

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: 2256

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: 2256

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: 7093

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: 1563

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: 2714

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: 10438

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: 10438

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: 10438

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: 1091

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: 964

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: 3922

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: 1790

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: 3892

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: 2295

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: 2295

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: 2146

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: 2918

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: 2918

Re: How Much Does Vehicle Safety Matter?

As someone who spends a lot of time on a bike and walking I get nervous that people will get more and more complacent about how dangerous driving a car is. There are now commercials on TV advertising people in cars playing with the radio, talking to kids, etc who are saved from an accident by the ca...
by crake
Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Does Vehicle Safety Matter?
Replies: 55
Views: 3118

Re: house buying - avoid a gift tax?

I'm not sure if I understand the arrangement you have with your MIL. Is she charging you market rate for rent. If she is why do you need to live in a house she owns? If your MIL is charging you below the market rate of rent she is essentially giving you a subsidy of the difference in market rent and...
by crake
Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house buying - avoid a gift tax?
Replies: 23
Views: 1313

Re: Reaching out to you pros regarding help with portfolio.

Hey, I think you'd get more replies if you posted some additional information. Post in this format http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212 The first thing that comes to my mind is why do you have a 232k emergency fund? Do you have very high expenses? The normal recommendation fo...
by crake
Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reaching out to you pros regarding help with portfolio.
Replies: 5
Views: 446

Re: The cult of PE10 - so what?

My simple understanding of the subject is that PE10 can be used as a long term predictor of expected returns. Market timing is more about seeking short term returns. PE10 does not tell us anything about the daily ups and downs of the market which market timers hope to capitalize on. For example, if ...
by crake
Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The cult of PE10 - so what?
Replies: 69
Views: 4172

Re: Allan Roth Investigative Reporting -- Wow.

I got a gift of $500 from my grandparents when I graduated college in 2007. They suggested that I invest it with their financial adviser to get some experience in the market. Since I had been hearing the “normal” strategies in classes and from my family, I thought I would add another $500 myself. S...
by crake
Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth Investigative Reporting -- Wow.
Replies: 18
Views: 2960

Re: The problem with a 3 fund portfolio

Dualacracy, When you own an index funds it consists of many stocks. When you sell it some of them will be up and some of them will be down. Do you suggest that investors should own individual stocks instead of funds so that they don't have to sell the losers and "lock in losses"? If you do...
by crake
Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The problem with a 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 65
Views: 6661

Re: Small-Cap Value vs. Small-Cap Growth?

Thank you for posting this Taylor. It's nice to get some reassurance that I am not crazy for keeping my portfolio simple instead of grasping for the elusive "small cap value premium". I have been trying to understand both why this "premium" exists and how it would persist once it...
by crake
Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small-Cap Value vs. Small-Cap Growth?
Replies: 113
Views: 10044

Re: Car Lease as part of a compensation package

I wouldn't work for a company if they forced a significant amount of my compensation on me in the form of a car. I prefer to get around by walking, biking, and public transport. I would value a leased Audi at approximately 0 dollars. Do you want to isolate this pool of potential employees from worki...
by crake
Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Lease as part of a compensation package
Replies: 27
Views: 1479

Re: Advice about campus recruiting?

I would say it depends on the likelihood of your son finding a different job. If it is at all reasonable that something else will come up I would recommend not taking this offer from the internship. We can argue about the morals of this but I also would see no issue with your son accepting the offer...
by crake
Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice about campus recruiting?
Replies: 13
Views: 1319

Re: Debt repayment questions

Choosing whether to (1) entirely pay off a loan that would otherwise be paid off over a 10-year period or (2) prepay $10,000 toward a 30-year loan is not as simple as saying "paying off the first loan gets you a guaranteed 6% return while paying off the second loan only gets you a guaranteed 4...
by crake
Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt repayment questions
Replies: 10
Views: 956

Re: Rental Property + Interfamily Dynamics

I am not a real estate investor and make no where near as much money as you do so take my comments for what they are. 2800 per month rent for a property worth between 750k and 800k does not seem like very much. If we go with the low estimate you are still only getting a 4.5% return and this doesn't ...
by crake
Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property + Interfamily Dynamics
Replies: 17
Views: 1591

Re: Pound Foolish

I haven't read the book but I have read some columns from the author and other like minded individuals. I agree with the premise that the retirement system in this country is flawed. One obvious example I like to provide comes from my and my wife's life. She is eligible for for a 403b and 457b along...
by crake
Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pound Foolish
Replies: 71
Views: 7518

Re: Two Loans for Home Purchase?

It sounds a bit like you are playing mind games with yourself rather than doing a real analysis of the situation. If I understand correctly You want to take out an additional 18k loan so your primary mortgage will be smaller. You will then aggressively pay down the 18k while also paying the regular ...
by crake
Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Loans for Home Purchase?
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: Good Real Estate move?

This sounds like an awful deal for the daughter. She will be paying 1/4 of the down payment, 100% of the mortgage, plus extra rent money to cover the difference between the mortgage and fair market value rent. She is the sole person on the mortgage so she is taking 100% of the risk as well. She is g...
by crake
Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good Real Estate move?
Replies: 47
Views: 3125

Re: Burned by Non-PPO Providers in PPO Network Hospital

Being asked to read an eye chart by a nurse in a hallway and then being charged an exorbitant fee is DECEPTIVE. It has nothing to do with being an educated consumer. The OP's story is another example of being screwed. I wouldn't have known that was even an issue if the OP didn't post this thread. My...
by crake
Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Burned by Non-PPO Providers in PPO Network Hospital
Replies: 19
Views: 1003

Re: Burned by Non-PPO Providers in PPO Network Hospital

p.s. Paying your bill is not an option. I, personally, love sending folks to collection who don't pay their bills just like any other business. If a service is provided the folks providing should be reimbursed for their time. I am assuming you are a doctor if this is your attitude about medical bil...
by crake
Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Burned by Non-PPO Providers in PPO Network Hospital
Replies: 19
Views: 1003
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