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Re: Would you use MaskMe?

My BoA card does this, they call it ShopSafe. I use it for most online purchases and particularly anything where I know or suspect I'll be roped into an autorenewal I do not want. That said, most or all of my CC re-issues have been caused by big-box security breaches after in-store use.
by gd
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you use MaskMe?
Replies: 12
Views: 1422

Re: Half off TurboTax thru Monday

That'll go over well with all the people who paid full price in the highly competitive tax prep software business, won't it?
by gd
Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Half off TurboTax thru Monday
Replies: 34
Views: 3290

Re: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund

There's got to be an interesting "fly on the wall" story about Intuit's marketing strategies over the last 15 years, particularly TurboTax. The number of serious PR/marketing blunders they've made is remarkable. There's also some prime material for studying sticky products vs. free market ...
by gd
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund
Replies: 23
Views: 2074

Re: Ethics of an advisor "handing you off" to a colleague

I've always had trouble giving the "Dear John" notice, and found this situation convenient for moving stuff to other companies when I'd been too shy to. And then there was the call out of the blue that started "Hi, I'm your new account executive, don't worry, your money is safe, but y...
by gd
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of an advisor "handing you off" to a colleague
Replies: 38
Views: 2878

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

I think your understanding of the Vice President's role in our government is somewhat inaccurate...
by gd
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4599

Re: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?

One thing with this version (that was not mandatory with other versions) is that you MUST have or create a Quicken/Intuit ACCOUNT. This appears to be necessary on Intuits part to prevent putting the program on two or more machines. "Necessary" is perhaps not the perfect word here... EULA ...
by gd
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?
Replies: 99
Views: 15517

Re: Land - Me or my Neighbor

People are funny about property. I'd stay off the land unless you have an agreement to do something for them, perhaps mow it for $.01/year. Seems like once you did, the owner then acknowledges what is happening and any consequences, such as children playing on an inviting mowed field. Of course then...
by gd
Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Land - Me or my Neighbor
Replies: 44
Views: 3399

Re: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?

I would point out that Mint.com is an Intuit product. Why can't Intuit merge the reliability of Mint with the detail and reporting power of Quicken? :annoyed As I understand it Mint is a product Intuit bought whole, their ownership is irrelevant. Big messy complicated things have more opportunities...
by gd
Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?
Replies: 99
Views: 15517

Re: Honda Civic vs Fit Safety Question

I've never noticed any sort of analysis about this, and not sure how it'd be done. But I'd guess the most effective way to improve your safety is by your ongoing behavior. Drive less (easier than most people want to admit-- combine shopping trips, for example), avoid driving in bad weather and night...
by gd
Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Civic vs Fit Safety Question
Replies: 55
Views: 3298

Re: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?

Just upgraded to 2015 Premier from 2004 Deluxe, out of vague concern my data would not be transferable some day, it wouldn't run on some future version of Windows, and mostly because they dropped the price to $50. Some mildly interesting reporting enhancements, portfolio x-ray is no big deal (partic...
by gd
Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?
Replies: 99
Views: 15517

Re: Merrill Lynch or Vanguard

They are not your financial advisor, they are Merrill Lynch salesmen. If you need the personal interaction enough to pay the overhead of that-- both fees and potentially sub-optimal investments-- then they are worth it. I have several relatives who resolutely give brokerages their money because they...
by gd
Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch or Vanguard
Replies: 48
Views: 3197

Re: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced

Also got email that they will credit my credit card for $9.99 in a few business cycles. Wishing I hadn't used a one-time temporaryCC number that expired in 2 months...
by gd
Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced
Replies: 86
Views: 13965

Re: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?

I've always wondered: does an employer pay or get paid for choosing a specific financial company or specific finds for their 401(k) plans? There are secondary issues, such as ease of integration with company systems for matching contributions, but any specific payments or waiving of payments (e.g. d...
by gd
Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?
Replies: 34
Views: 2663

Re: Self-driving cars a threat to Buffett's empire

The Deep Learning algorithm in computer learning will change the world soon. http://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_howard_the_wonderful_and_terrifying_implications_of_computers_that_can_learn?utm_source=email&source=email&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ios-share (One deep learning tool, after...
by gd
Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Self-driving cars a threat to Buffett's empire
Replies: 24
Views: 1996

Re: How do I stop twitter junk messages

Apparently this is a bit messier than I thought. Mr Number app does not work with android 4.4, Postman (another text blocker) failed to install and apparently also has issues with 4.4, and the problem is apparently originating in Republic Wireless's design- they use a behind-the-scenes Sprint phone ...
by gd
Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I stop twitter junk messages
Replies: 3
Views: 606

How do I stop twitter junk messages

On a new cell phone number for a reluctantly-purchased smartphone, I get unwanted junk messages, apparently from twitter. I have never had a twitter account. Replying to the specific messages with OFF or STOP does not stop other other twitter accounts from sending unwanted messages, and sending STOP...
by gd
Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I stop twitter junk messages
Replies: 3
Views: 606

Re: Switching to Schwab

I don't know anything about Schwab, but if your spouse really would prefer to have a real person in front of her to interact with, you should find a solution she's genuinely comfortable with. Remember you're asking opinions from people who are familiar with financial stuff and internet activity, so ...
by gd
Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching to Schwab
Replies: 33
Views: 3294

Re: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?

for $149 I would expect a NEW modem not a used one! That does not mean though they are not used :( Sorry, that's what I meant. I'd assume that if you *buy* it from Comcast it'll be new. But since more and more people are buying them now, you probably can get a legally-purchased one used from eBay f...
by gd
Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?
Replies: 58
Views: 17311

Re: Google takes invasiveness to a new level

protagonist wrote:...Has anybody else experienced this?

No one has answered "yes" yet. I'd make broader inquiries. I'd think that if this was legitimate, it would be a widespread situation that lots of people would be outraged at.
by gd
Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [ID verification required to use Google Wallet]
Replies: 41
Views: 3320

Re: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?

There must be a growing base of legal used comcast modems around, but remember they have batteries that you'd like in good shape for power outages. I'd demand proof of ownership (original receipt, maybe) if buying used, or maybe get the SN and ask Comcast first. Can't help about Verizon, I don't hav...
by gd
Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?
Replies: 58
Views: 17311

Re: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?

Arris TM722G/CT-SIK, boxed and sold specifically as Xfinity internet and voice. Guessing about $150. I'm fuzzy on the details, but I tried off and on for a year or two and was rebuffed (including being told flatly by a Comcast store rep that I couldn't get my own modem). My Comcast region finally se...
by gd
Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?
Replies: 58
Views: 17311

Re: Vanguard's best fund: Healthcare?

But one can't help but wonder when the bubble will burst. Kinda doubt this will be one of those funds we'll be able to hold into and through our retirement and forget about. I've agreed with this for most of the last 20 years, but the bubble never bursts and I keep forgetting about it. There's sect...
by gd
Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's best fund: Healthcare?
Replies: 60
Views: 7012

Re: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?

Apparently I was the OP-- for the record, I've been using a digital voice-capable modem purchased from Best Buy, and activated by me without a Comcast service call for so long I can't recall-- 1.5 years? A slight hassle locating a digital-voice-capable model (not the normal DOCSIS 3) that supposedly...
by gd
Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?
Replies: 58
Views: 17311

Re: Doesn't the US already have a wealth tax in effect?

As I understand your point, your loss of wealth over time is not serving as a tax in the sense of the first definition below. The use of the word "tax" is arguable at best. It is a word so loaded with emotion and provocation nowadays that I'd suggest it isn't an effective term for what you...
by gd
Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Doesn't the US already have a wealth tax in effect?
Replies: 21
Views: 1609

Re: Home Brewing Beer

I've done lots and lots of extract; over the years I started to lose patience with it and the quality suffered. But more than anything, store beer got so much better than 20 years ago that there wasn't much value added, except for stuff I couldn't buy- black beer (except Saranac, that I can't find n...
by gd
Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Brewing Beer
Replies: 12
Views: 1929

Re: Vanguard's best fund: Healthcare?

Capital gains gets a bit painful sometimes.
by gd
Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's best fund: Healthcare?
Replies: 60
Views: 7012

Re: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced

By the way, if anyone finds a way to get a refund for having paid for what is now free, let us know. Try the TurboTax refund request form? https://support.turbotax.intuit.com/forms/refund-request.jsp Well, there's an idea. Worth a try, thanks. A curious online form-- the text entry boxes clipped ha...
by gd
Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced
Replies: 86
Views: 13965

Re: tax GAIN harvesting, and repurchasing shares

Selling mutual funds and purchasing equivalent ETFs is a useful tactic for avoiding wash sales and repurchase restrictions. I don't know FIdelity products, but I'd assume you'd have no problems finding a total market ETF.
by gd
Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tax GAIN harvesting, and repurchasing shares
Replies: 7
Views: 739

Re: Should I declare foreign salary to avoid double taxation

I haven't dealt with foreign earned income for decades, but when I did it was advisable to fully calculate taxes twice, once with deduction, once with credit. Tax time was very tedious. It is probably much easier with computer tax prep packages. To the question "should I declare..", yes. T...
by gd
Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I declare foreign salary to avoid double taxation?
Replies: 17
Views: 2129

Re: Why Does The 60/40 Work So Well?

If you're asking for quantitative analysis that proves it's optimum, I don't believe that exists, except as a very vague statistical measure. Run some numbers in firecalc, and you've probably got the state-of-the-art. It's a psychological feel-good number, not too hot, not too cold. Since people's o...
by gd
Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Does The 60/40 Work So Well?
Replies: 31
Views: 4757

Re: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced

By the way, if anyone finds a way to get a refund for having paid for what is now free, let us know.

I would hope Vanguard understands that this reflects badly on them, but hey, maybe that's how Vanguarding (r) works now.
by gd
Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced
Replies: 86
Views: 13965

Re: Facebook is Outrageous

As others have noted, there are a lot of organizations that now use facebook for the real-time component of their internet presence. My employer does this in a business dependent on maintaining large numbers of engaged customers, even though many people have told them flatly that they don't use face...
by gd
Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Facebook is Outrageous
Replies: 78
Views: 9823

Re: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced

I got it on 12/15 and was charged 9.99 + tax. Intuit maintains their reputation for worst-in-class marketing. If you don't have a good reason for needing TurboTax, go elsewhere.
by gd
Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced
Replies: 86
Views: 13965

Re: Any pilots here?

I took an embarrassingly long time to solo,taking lessons from a flying farmer. Finally one of the guys in the flying club took me aside and said the instructor had told him that he was never going to let me solo, because if a girl crashed, he'd have it on his conscience. Needless to say, I started...
by gd
Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any pilots here? [advice for prospective pilot]
Replies: 60
Views: 5899

Re: Any pilots here?

Not to jump the shark, but PARAGLIDING is pretty damn fun, and you can check your kit as luggage and fly the Alps or S America or wherever...X-C, Aerobatics, or just flying with the locals. Total cost for gear and initial instruction is under $10K. :beer Since the thread seems to be tapering off......
by gd
Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any pilots here? [advice for prospective pilot]
Replies: 60
Views: 5899

Re: 92 y/o grandfather AA 90+% stocks

This is probably what "buy and hold", a.k.a. "stay the course", looked like when you did it 50-60 years ago. At the end of the day, or life, meticulously tracked asset allocation to match arbitrary goals (e.g. age in bonds) and all its manifestations (e.g. balanced funds) is a lo...
by gd
Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 92 y/o grandfather AA 90+% stocks
Replies: 35
Views: 3978

Re: Do you have or recommend a Financial Only PC?

Not sure you need to buy something, there's lots of people around who have replaced their PCs and discovered they must pay to dispose of the older model. Friends, coworkers, craigslist, freecycle. You don't need state of the art for financial matters, just a thoroughly scrubbed system with a support...
by gd
Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have or recommend a Financial Only PC?
Replies: 84
Views: 7302

Re: Vacuum Food Sealers - Love it or gimmick?

I suck out the air from resealable bags before freezing by sticking a straw into the bag, closing the seal up to the straw, sucking as much air out as I can, then withdrawing the straw (while sucking) and snapping the seal fully closed. Sounds odd, but it's fast, easy, and gets almost all the air ou...
by gd
Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacuum Food Sealers - Love it or gimmick?
Replies: 23
Views: 3080

Behavior of Quicken versions over 3 years old

I'm thinking of giving myself a present and upgrading from my Quicken 2004 (Windows Deluxe), which I use daily on Windows 7. Intuit has a history of being... creative in their maneuvers to squeeze money out of customers. My question: does anyone know of any time-limited functionality in newer versio...
by gd
Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Behavior of Quicken versions over 3 years old
Replies: 1
Views: 533

Re: Disappointed with sale items

As a rule of thumb, I avoid buying things either online or from big-box stores where quality is important to me. Both channels are easily tuned to optimize the balance between quality and profit for the vendor, and that point rarely suits me. If I must buy online, I try to go to the original manufac...
by gd
Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disappointed with sale items
Replies: 22
Views: 2734

Re: Any pilots here?

On risks: driving a car, you're just as likely (guessing) to be killed through no fault of your own. Drunk driver running a red light, whatever. In an airplane, for the most part, you control the risks, and most accidents can be associated partly or entirely to pilot misjudgements, from blatant to s...
by gd
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any pilots here? [advice for prospective pilot]
Replies: 60
Views: 5899

Re: Any pilots here?

As you are discovering, it's all over the map. I'd suggest learning to fly first, at whatever pace you choose, and see where it takes you. Don't worry about the rent/buy, instrument rating issues yet. Your approach might range from gliders (cheap but a very focused experience) to oldtimey Piper Cubs...
by gd
Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any pilots here? [advice for prospective pilot]
Replies: 60
Views: 5899

Re: Quicken WillMaker - any users?

Willmaker has no interest in keeping things scary or impenetrable. The whole mission of Nolo is to empower ordinary people to deal with legal issues. However, there are phrases, sentences, even paragraphs that have proven to do the job correctly and without ambiguity. Chances are the "straight...
by gd
Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken WillMaker - any users?
Replies: 24
Views: 3224

Re: Quicken WillMaker - any users?

The above plain talk will raises an interesting point I had with Willmaker vs. local lawyer. The language used by both was quite different, both using obtuse legal wording for the most straightforward points, with (struggling to remember accurately here) the local lawyer being worse. It occurred to ...
by gd
Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken WillMaker - any users?
Replies: 24
Views: 3224

Re: Quicken WillMaker - any users?

I tried to use it maybe 5-6 years ago. As I recall (somewhat dimly), when I tried to deviate from its formula it actively defeated me. There's an argument for this-- the point is legally sound text, and letting people customize makes that impossible. But this was something I thought was reasonable, ...
by gd
Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken WillMaker - any users?
Replies: 24
Views: 3224

Re: security camera outside away from a power source

I'd think you'd want a wildlife camera mounted low right near the entrance to get the plates, perhaps another above to document contents. The one at bumper level would presumably need to be hidden & secret so they wouldn't notice & destroy it before the legal notice came. BTW, I heard of a c...
by gd
Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: security camera outside away from a power source
Replies: 18
Views: 1749

Vanguard/TurboTax purchase experience

For those of you planning on purchasing TurboTax through Vanguard, be prepared for the usual Intuit experience. I purchased a Premier download. It successfully coerced me into signing up for annual automatic purchases (a.k.a. "TurboTax Advantage"), was curiously confusing on how to actuall...
by gd
Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard/TurboTax purchase experience
Replies: 4
Views: 1067

Re: Physician Assistant - Employee or Independent Contractor

My understanding from two different careers, both of which have lots of ICs, is that an easy preliminary test that most fail is that you must set your own hours. That clearly is not the case here, and I'd guess you fail a few more in that standard test you linked to. A web page designer working most...
by gd
Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Assistant - Employee or Independent Contractor?
Replies: 25
Views: 2574

Re: Do you use a phone book?

Rarely, but it is a net loss. Other than the mobility of a smartphone, the internet does not provide the same utility that phone books had 20 years ago. The physical medium of a few pages of paper containing all available information is simply more effective to visually scan. Internet information is...
by gd
Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a phone book?
Replies: 51
Views: 2217

Re: What would be the investing strategy for a coming crash?

Supposing that an investor did believe a major crash was coming within the next 2 years, what would be the proper course of action for him? Invest in educating yourself about why you think there is going to be a crash, and how your reasons compare with historical circumstances and what the outcomes...
by gd
Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would be the investing strategy for a coming crash?
Replies: 82
Views: 12865
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