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Re: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?

JMacDonald wrote:
dratkinson wrote:House buying 101. Do not buy a house in a floodplain, hurricane zone, or west of the Saint Andreas fault.

What about areas that get tornadoes, mudslides, and fires? I have seen plenty of homes destroyed on the news by those events also.


Earth-sheltered home in most protected area.
by dratkinson
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?
Replies: 31
Views: 1127

Re: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?

House buying 101. Do not buy a house in a floodplain, hurricane zone, or west of the Saint Andreas fault.
by dratkinson
Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?
Replies: 31
Views: 1127

Re: Help needed for tax efficient fund placement

Read this: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Principles_of_tax-efficient_fund_placement Bonds and REIT are tax inefficient and should be in a tax-advantaged account. Total international stock market is fairly tax efficient (some qualified dividends + a foreign tax credit) and can be in taxable. If you ...
by dratkinson
Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help needed for tax efficient fund placement
Replies: 6
Views: 387

Re: The 1 Thing Successful Investors Never Do

"Never give up." Glad someone posted it as I'm a little dense today and couldn't figure out what that one thing was. From the Guerin comment, I was going to guess "buy on margin", but maybe that's not the one thing. Also note that last paragraph links to a "hot stock" s...
by dratkinson
Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 1 Thing Successful Investors Never Do
Replies: 11
Views: 3419

Re: DIY Winterizing Sprinkler / Irrigation System

The following document has the best overview and diagram of the winterizing process that I have seen. I printed the instructions/diagram and have hung it in our basement next to the irrigation main valve to remind me of the process. http://lawn-aerator-attachment.com/Winterize%20Backflow%20Preventi...
by dratkinson
Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Winterizing Sprinkler / Irrigation System
Replies: 17
Views: 1418

Re: DIY Winterizing Sprinkler / Irrigation System

Lesson learned #1. There are two types of air hose connections/adapters. One is automotive, the other is for air tools: the ends are a little different and will not interconnect. Get the one that fits your air compressor: take a sample when you go shopping. Lesson learned #2. In hindsight, if I'd in...
by dratkinson
Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Winterizing Sprinkler / Irrigation System
Replies: 17
Views: 1418

Re: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts

Don't really need a borescope for dryer vents, just assume it needs cleaning and blow it out using an electric leaf blower. The low pressure, high volume air stream will clean it out. For some reason, a neighbor's basement dryer was installed on one wall, but vented overhead to the opposite wall: >2...
by dratkinson
Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts
Replies: 9
Views: 1331

Re: Snow Blower

Now use water-proof bulky ski gloves from Army-Navy Surplus: ~$10, the last I remember buying. Form-fitting Thinsulate gloves don't work after they get wet. Have a 3-ring binder for my snowblower owner's manual: keeps it clean on garage shelf. Inside binder, clipped in the rings, are: (1) a small pl...
by dratkinson
Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Blower
Replies: 49
Views: 2626

Re: New to Investing, Based in Hong Kong

On second page of: http://www.etf.db.com/HKG/ENG/Product_Overview Do I understand this correctly, the world in one ETF? 3019 DB X-TRACKERS MSCI WORLD INDEX UCITS ETF (synthetic) Product details: http://www.etf.db.com/HKG/ENG/ETF/LU0455009851/3019/db-x-trackers-MSCI-World-Index-UCITS-ETF-(This-is-a-s...
by dratkinson
Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to Investing, Based in Hong Kong
Replies: 51
Views: 2477

Re: Taxable investing compatible with Boglehead approach?

One approach? Hardly. We do what we are comfortable doing. It's called different roads to Dublin. My small Roth is all equities as I follow the shooting-for-the-moon approach in tax-advantaged. 3-fund option. My taxable account is a 3-fund portfolio substituting muni bonds for total bond market. Int...
by dratkinson
Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable investing compatible with Boglehead approach?
Replies: 9
Views: 1108

Re: Portfolio advice, Am I at a good start?

Is there a Roth TSP? If there is and it has the same advantages as a rIRA, I'd use it over a traditional TSP. Double-check, and the tax advantages/disadvantages of doing so.
by dratkinson
Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice, Am I at a good start?
Replies: 14
Views: 1499

Re: Losing draft posts due to auto logout: solution, suggest

If you check the box for "automatic login" at login, then when your session times out and the preview hits the server, you are automatically logged back in and the process is transparent to you.

I've also developed the Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C habit before preview or posting, just in case.
by dratkinson
Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Losing draft posts due to auto logout: solution, suggestion
Replies: 7
Views: 353

Re: New to Investing, Based in Hong Kong

Sorry I can't help you, but I'm very interested in the answers you receive as I'd like to pass the information on to my Chinese penpal. I have looked on the Hong Kong stock exchange (English side) and could find nothing that I recognized from which to build a global portfolio. Most of what I found w...
by dratkinson
Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to Investing, Based in Hong Kong
Replies: 51
Views: 2477

Re: Preventing animals from chewing through garage threshold

A local museum has a working 1880s farmstead: donkeys/mules, cows, sheep, appropriate farm crops, situated near a lake. Lots of ducks and geese on the lake wander onto the farmstead. Foxes and coyotes around the lake. The farmstead has 3-4 gray tabbies. Was told buy museum staff that cats get vet vi...
by dratkinson
Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing animals from chewing through garage thresholds
Replies: 23
Views: 1463

Re: Portfolio advice, Am I at a good start?

Read: Wiki topic: Military Finances, http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Military_finances Above distilled from: Forum topic: Military Investing, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=48901 1. Max out your TSP. 2. Max out your Roth IRA. Why? You are in a low tax bracket now, so the tax benefit ...
by dratkinson
Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice, Am I at a good start?
Replies: 14
Views: 1499

Re: need a new home page [browser default page]

I like a "blank" homepage, containing a search engine tool bar defaulted to Google. Simple, fast, always handy.
by dratkinson
Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: need a new home page [browser default page]
Replies: 25
Views: 1893

Re: Snow Blower

I have an old Craftsman 5/23 (5HP, 23" wide, pull start) Track-Plus snowblower. It's small (~150 lbs.), so fairly easy to maneuver; goes slow, but gets the job done. Paid ~$350 off CL. I've used it >10 years to clear a sloping 3-car-wide 70' driveway. And my neighbors driveways, and sidewalks. ...
by dratkinson
Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Blower
Replies: 49
Views: 2626

Re: Getting back into the market

Assuming a small pile of cash, the typical advice for appropriate investment vehicles and need times is.... If you need the money in: 1-5 years: use insured CDs or savings bonds. 5-10 years: use safe bonds. >10 years: use safe stocks. For an immediate need in 5 years and assuming a small pile cash, ...
by dratkinson
Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting back into the market
Replies: 32
Views: 3850

Re: Three fund allocation per Vanguard Flagship CFP?

I'm a novice investor and acknowledge there is much I don't understand about muni bond risk. But I had to make a choice for my taxable, so had to develop a simplified analysis and actions steps. Simplified analysis. * TBM is the preferred option for the 3-fund portfolio, so it became my baseline for...
by dratkinson
Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Three fund allocation per Vanguard Flagship CFP?
Replies: 45
Views: 4680

Re: LED Flashlights

Generally it's better and cheaper to buy a new LED flashlight than it is to convert an old one. I've seen a lot of lost flashlights due to leaking alkaline batteries so now avoid them. Now use lithium. (My converted 2AA Maglite below is one I was able to save: saved three for the owner and was given...
by dratkinson
Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Flashlights
Replies: 51
Views: 3687

Re: Three fund allocation per Vanguard Flagship CFP?

If you don't go the annuity route, then this is another vote for muni bonds in the 15% fed tax bracket as their favorable tax treatment can spread benefits to QDI and LTCG income. Taxes on QDI and LTCG. Qualified dividend income---the majority of total stock market and total international stock mark...
by dratkinson
Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Three fund allocation per Vanguard Flagship CFP?
Replies: 45
Views: 4680

Re: My IPS in computer pseudocode [Investment Policy Stateme

villars, I've continued to play with your idea for automated reminder notes. Believe I've created a reminder of everything I typically need. So far I've got these working: "January: Set annual fed/state tax withholdings. See note, left." "January: Reset Target Asset Allocation. See no...
by dratkinson
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My IPS in computer pseudocode [Investment Policy Statement]
Replies: 24
Views: 2752

Re: should participate in employer matches?

Believe I've read here of some doing an annual rollover (in-service transfer) of 401k contributions to an IRA. If so then could use annual rollover to get full 401k contribution limit, get employer's match, and reduce future costs. Would need to check your 401k plan to see if in-service transfer is ...
by dratkinson
Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: should participate in employer matches?
Replies: 20
Views: 1479

Re: Finding Equivalent Vanguard Muni Fund

An amazing yield means less when accompanied by a capital loss: reference Madoff's clients. If your dad's fund has an advertised high yield, but $12K principle loss, then his total return (share price + dividends) is actually lower then he believes. You must subtract the principle loss to get total ...
by dratkinson
Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Finding Equivalent Vanguard Muni Fund
Replies: 5
Views: 404

Re: CNN: 5 investing secrets of the wealthy.

Not once do they suggest buying the total stock/bond market to control fees/risk/panic, or to avoid wasting time. I got that from #2 but maybe that was me reading between the lines: "Our high-net worth clients spend less time on that [picking next hot stock] and instead focus on wanting to own...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CNN: 5 investing secrets of the wealthy.
Replies: 20
Views: 3656

Re: CNN: 5 investing secrets of the wealthy.

A half-truth is the most dangerous lie, because part of it is irrefutable truth. If you accept "1. Know the fees on your investments", " 2. Don't waste too much time looking for the next big thing", "3. Know your risk tolerance.", and "5. Never panic.", then t...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CNN: 5 investing secrets of the wealthy.
Replies: 20
Views: 3656

Re: Redoing Neglected Portfolio - Need Alternatives

... if i'm not mistaken, all those funds are load funds. ... Change IPS. Only no-load funds may be used. Would think library board could manage investment account without broker: corporate account at Vanguard/Fidelity,.... Whoever does tax accounting now could educate/advice board on consequences o...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Redoing Neglected Portfolio - Need Alternatives
Replies: 10
Views: 613

Re: Very basic bond question

The price of a stock become inflated from the accruing/embedded dividends, and is reduced by the same amount when the dividend is paid. The share owner (even if for only one day) on the day the dividend is declared gets the full dividend. Hence the advice "don't buy a dividend": you are ta...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Very basic bond question
Replies: 7
Views: 826

Re: Water Powered Sump-Pump Backups?

Search for reviews on "Base Pump". Believe some here have used them. Other brands may also be available. Know nothing else about them. Don't appear to be that difficult to install for homeowner with copper pipe soldering skills.

basepump.com
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Powered Sump-Pump Backups?
Replies: 19
Views: 973

Re: favorite brand name products

Progresso Hearty Tomato soup (not Tomato Basil) is much better than Campbell's Tomato soup Campbell's Split Pea & Ham soup. Le Sueur's sweet peas. Glory Seasoned Southern Style Greens (Turnip or Mixed). Served with Texas Pete Pepper Sauce. Bushes Baked Beans (original or onion) Post Honey Bunche...
by dratkinson
Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: favorite brand name products
Replies: 58
Views: 3003

Re: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?

I worked blue collar full-time while going to school part-time. I graduated college in 1980 at 32. My first job after graduation paid $1K/month, but only lasted 3 months: laid off due to economic downturn. I found other jobs. I didn't find the BH way until I was almost 60. Believe you are overreacti...
by dratkinson
Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?
Replies: 130
Views: 13999

Re: Gifting Appreciated EE or iBonds to non dependent for 52

sscritic, thanks for PM clarification. Second idea (again, I haven't looked that deeply). 1. OP uses bonds to fund own 529 plan, and takes European continuing education courses operated by qualified US school. Could take courses in foreign language immersion, Italian/French cooking, tourism/cultural...
by dratkinson
Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated EE or iBonds to non dependent for 529
Replies: 13
Views: 638

Re: Gifting Appreciated EE or iBonds to non dependent for 52

Gill wrote:You don't qualify because she isn't a dependent.
Gill


Idea. What if OP made parents of niece/nephew co-owner of the bonds, then gave them the bonds to fund 529 plan?
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated EE or iBonds to non dependent for 529
Replies: 13
Views: 638

Re: Tax Season Reference???

... Thanks for the informative post! I didn't realize the software made it so easy, as I've always just used the most basic version. I will just plan on doing the questionnaire that you mentioned. :beer (not too early, is it?) For grins, you can try the tax software for free. Go to taxact.com and t...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Season Reference???
Replies: 13
Views: 644

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

newbie question here. Can I just get a cast iron dutch oven instead? Couldn't I use the dutch oven the same way as the skillet? It seems more practical for me to get the dutch oven since it has a lid and it has higher walls to avoid splatter. Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker, 3-Quart....
by dratkinson
Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 107
Views: 9278

Re: Calculating Bond Fund What-Ifs

... Malkiel: ... As those interest rates rose, bond prices fell, bonds became very, very volatile, and those who don’t remember history I think are doomed to repeat it . We’re in the same situation now. We’re financing our large debt with what’s called financial repression, keeping interest rates v...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calculating Bond Fund What-Ifs
Replies: 56
Views: 4200

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

Cast iron cooking forum: http://www.camp-cook.com/forum/ You can damage the coating (olive oil in this case) by placing CIS on high-temp stove-top burner to dry after washing... and walking away... and forgetting it until next morning. :oops: Needing to researched re-seasoning cast iron, found the f...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 107
Views: 9278

Re: operating cost of this forum

I notice the next quarter Chase 5% cash back reward categories include Amazon. Time to restock needed items for a double bonus.
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: operating cost of this forum
Replies: 42
Views: 5571

Re: What can I do next?

Read this: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Military_finances Begin investing in your Thrift Savings Plan (DoD 401k). Read The Boglehead's Guide to Investing to learn how to invest wisely. Read The Only Investment Guide You'll Every Need , by Andrew Tobias, for general advice on handling most other pe...
by dratkinson
Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can I do next?
Replies: 5
Views: 734

Re: Portfolio help please!

Using your cheapest 401k option (bonds in your case) is an acceptable option for consuming that space. And then filling out your asset allocation with low-cost tax-efficient funds in taxable is also acceptable. (International equities want to be in taxable to get the foreign tax credit: ~10% of thei...
by dratkinson
Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio help please!
Replies: 5
Views: 644

Re: Best way to invest for a small child/baby?

Paper I bonds purchased with your tax return. Child can be listed as co-owner or beneficiary. See IRS form 8888 and instructions. Safe. Tangible. Can specify amount in small increments. Can be used to fund 529 plan making interest tax-exempt. Child can look up current value at TreasuryDirect's onlin...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to invest for a small child/baby?
Replies: 7
Views: 1026

Re: inherited 500k, still a college student, how to invest??

Read the linked Wiki article on "Managing a Windfall". Most of your answers are in there. Will save time if you read it. Ask additional questions after you read it and there is something you didn't understand or it did not cover. Read the book, The Only Investing Guide You'll Every Need , ...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: inherited 500k, still a college student, how to invest???
Replies: 55
Views: 5431

Re: Car registration & driving across the country

Should not be a problem. The dealer will mail your vehicle paperwork to your home address. The dealer will supply a temporary vehicle tag (paper label taped in the rear window) good for 30 days. Drive/enjoy your new car. During that time return to CA and "first register" it there after you...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car registration & driving across the country
Replies: 14
Views: 998

Re: Portfolio help please!

I own both VWIUX and VWLUX (long-term national muni) and much prefer the higher dividends of the LT fund. I'm not worried about VWLUX's slightly greater price fluctuations, consider it a buying opportunity when it dips. Besides, VWLUX's volatility is much less than PE's. Even if you owned all your b...
by dratkinson
Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio help please!
Replies: 5
Views: 644

Re: New and Trying to Make Good Decisions

Your study, demonstrated attention to detail, and execution of BH philosophy is obvious. Municipal bonds. If needed, you are a candidate for using municipal bonds in your taxable account. The recommended fund is a national intermediate-term (~5 year duration) fund. Vanguard's is VWITX($3K min)/VWIUX...
by dratkinson
Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New and Trying to Make Good Decisions
Replies: 17
Views: 1244

Re: Talk Me Off The Edge

... We've been happy with Total Bond, ... Our goal is to focus on total returns for our entire portfolio, not income. Stick with TBM if you have no better reason to change than your worry about interest rate risk. Yes, TBM will drop when interest rates rise, but it will recover as old bond issues a...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Talk Me Off The Edge
Replies: 8
Views: 1728

Re: Should I purchase retirement home with in-laws?

I think it's also a bad idea to do the partnership. How about you buying the home and renting it to them? Double check the IRS requirements on "rental property". Seem to recall they frown if rented for below market value (half your mortgage payment = partnership equivalent) to close relat...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I purchase retirement home with in-laws?
Replies: 18
Views: 1311

Re: Seeking Boglehead Perspectives on Portfolio

I'm a novice investor so be forewarned. Your implementation of BH philosophy, based on funds selected, seems acceptable. Study is obvious. Holding emergency funds in CD with low surrender hurdle vs. cash/savings is advocated by many seeking higher interest rates. Your taxable plan appear to be mains...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking Boglehead Perspectives on Portfolio
Replies: 5
Views: 504

Re: Investment advice for a young beginner

Follow the advice in the BH book about choosing an asset allocation and selecting funds. Use the lowest-cost, broadest-index fund options available to you. Consider all of your accounts as one portfolio: place (1) bonds in one account, stocks in another, or (2) duplicate funds in each account. Your ...
by dratkinson
Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a young beginner
Replies: 4
Views: 312

Re: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?

Just to be the devil's advocate: Suppose an individual has investments and owns a home free and clear - what's to stop that person from establishing a HELOC on the primary residence and using that for emergency funding? In other words, have a zero loan balance until the need arises, borrow from the...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?
Replies: 29
Views: 3371
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