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Re: Rules of thumb that shouldn't be

In your opinion, what rules of thumb are too often incorrect to be a good rule of thumb? My pet peeve is: "You should usually roll over an old 401k into an IRA" I dislike this one because it's not true for so many investors and situations: - 401ks can have much lower expense ratios than I...
by jasc15
Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rules of thumb that shouldn't be
Replies: 30
Views: 2557

Help me to help my 60 YO mother invest.

My mother has little invested in a workplace 401k (roughly 2/3 of a year's salary in one fund, but I'm not sure which), with no other investments. Due to my father's recent death, she has some money from insurance payouts roughly equal to a year's salary, all currently in a savings account. I intend...
by jasc15
Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me to help my 60 YO mother invest.
Replies: 3
Views: 438

Re: American in need of Premier team to root for

Maybe go with a team that friends, family or acquaintances are fans of. My wife's uncle is a fan of Manchester United, so if I were to pick, I suppose that would be my team, though they appear to be an easy pick since they have won 13 of the last 20 championships.
by jasc15
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American in need of Premier team to root for
Replies: 21
Views: 1036

Re: Timeline for buying a house + Q about central Jersey

I am a renter in NJ, and will likely buy a house here in the next few years. I regularly look at the listings to get a feel for the price points of various towns, and I use this FEMA tool to check if the property is in a flood zone: https://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/FemaWelcomeView?stor...
by jasc15
Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeline for buying a house + Q about central Jersey
Replies: 28
Views: 2446

Re: How to Charge a Smartphone in Car

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DAGJ8PO/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I paid less than $5 for this. It charges 2 phones at once, and I haven't had any issues where it delivers too little power. Although if you have 2 phones operating simultaneously rather than just charging, you m...
by jasc15
Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Charge a Smartphone in Car
Replies: 12
Views: 714

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Just finished Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World, and am starting Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park.
by jasc15
Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3111
Views: 1005067

Re: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?

I think at one point the Ford Expedition manual said to use regular gas while the Cadillac Escalade said to use premium. Pretty sure they had the exact same engine at the time... It seems that every luxury car "requires" premium gas. A former coworker bought an Infiniti G35 (essentially a...
by jasc15
Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?
Replies: 76
Views: 5335

Re: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?

Why the aversion to ethanol?
by jasc15
Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?
Replies: 76
Views: 5335

Re: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?

I just bought a used Volvo V50. I read a lot about how it requires premium gas, but the manual "recommends" 91 octane, and can use 87 with no problem. I've been using 87 since we got it. To the Lexus owner who used 91 instead of the 87, I would attribute the increased gas mileage to the wa...
by jasc15
Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?
Replies: 76
Views: 5335

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

I am an engineer by trade so I really got into this when I was buying one for my wife. Make sure you go to a real jewelry store, not a mall store. Go somwhere that the jeweler will give you a loupe and a packet of stones and let you look through them. Second this. Don't go to a mall store. A close ...
by jasc15
Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help
Replies: 57
Views: 3097

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

I bought from an independent jeweler, but used Pricescope and Blue Nile to compare pricing. Once I saw that the jeweler's price was in line with those sites, I felt a bit more comfortable purchasing from them.
by jasc15
Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help
Replies: 57
Views: 3097

Re: A $1000 lesson on how manipulative salespeople can be?

I nearly had a similar situation visiting Mexico last year. My girlfriend and I took a bus into town because we needed to buy a few things. Right at the bus stop was a woman who spoke excellent english and somehow lured us into her shop. I felt uneasy as soon as I stepped off the bus and saw her, bu...
by jasc15
Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A $1000 lesson on how manipulative salespeople can be?
Replies: 107
Views: 16916

Re: Switzerland itinerary feedback

Just back from 2 weeks in Switzerland, on a tour devoted to Historic Pipe Organs (yeah, I know, a "niche" interest!). Visited most of the places outlined in the earlier post here, plus some fantastic rural spots. Lovely country, everything seems to work. Two bits of advice. 1: Take lots o...
by jasc15
Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switzerland itinerary feedback
Replies: 17
Views: 1081

Re: Switzerland itinerary feedback

Once we have our itinerary set, I will see whether it makes sense to get the swiss pass. It also gives you discounts on the mountain trains mentioned which get you to the peaks in the lauterbrunnen valley (these are not part of the swiss federal railway, so they are not "free" with swiss p...
by jasc15
Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switzerland itinerary feedback
Replies: 17
Views: 1081

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Could someone recommend a biography of Thomas Jefferson? One written by John Meacham is mentioned early in this thread, and I've read that R. B. Bernstein's is good in the sense that it is (or tries to be) unbiased. Are there any others that might be widely considered "definitive"? Of cour...
by jasc15
Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3111
Views: 1005067

Re: Switzerland itinerary feedback

After that, we head to Interlaken and ultimately Gimmelwald I've been to Switzerland twice... both times to that region. I was surprised that the OP's itinerary didn't cover any of this part of the country (unless I missed it). It's one of my favorite places I've even been--absolutely stunning. Yea...
by jasc15
Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switzerland itinerary feedback
Replies: 17
Views: 1081

Re: Switzerland itinerary feedback

How timely! I am getting married in a month, and in August my wife and I will be spending 10 days in Switzerland and Italy. We are flying to Zurich, then taking the train to Lucerne where we will spend the morning/afternoon, then on to Berne for 3 days. I'm very keen on swimming in the Aare river, s...
by jasc15
Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switzerland itinerary feedback
Replies: 17
Views: 1081

Re: Buying a home and cold feet!!

BE WARY OF NJ REAL ESTATE. Some factors: 1) since 2006 NJ is the state with the highest net population decrease of all 50 states. 2) NJ has the largest backlog of foreclosures in the country because of their long court processes. 3) Since 2009 NJ has not recovered the Job's lost to recession, unlik...
by jasc15
Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home and cold feet!!
Replies: 35
Views: 2211

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

I just finished Forever Flying by Bob Hoover. He is a mostly self-taught pilot who tested dozens aircraft for the Air Force, and was originally slated for the first Mach 1 flight of the X1, when he faced disciplinary action for some unsanctioned stunts in an Air Force jet, and was then placed as Chu...
by jasc15
Tue May 27, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3111
Views: 1005067

Re: Did not have fun this year doing my taxes- TT

Fun fact: the IRS could prepare a first draft of your taxes, which you could then check. You wouldn't have to fill in anything reported to the IRS, such as interest, dividends, wages. It would make things much simpler for most people, although obviously some have more complicated situations or woul...
by jasc15
Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did not have fun this year doing my taxes- TT
Replies: 42
Views: 4601

Re: Fluff & Fold Laundry Service (Drop-Off, Wash, Fold, Pick

A co-worker lives in downtown manhattan, and says he pays ~$1/lb. I can't imagine a place more expensive than that. Where I live, it is ~$0.80/lb, but I don't use this service.
by jasc15
Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fluff & Fold Laundry Service (Drop-Off, Wash, Fold, Pick-up)
Replies: 2
Views: 662

Re: "Choose an AA appropriate for your personal risk toleran

Thanks to all for the input. I am 30 years old and probably about 30 years from retirement. During the 2008 downturn I had a relatively small portfolio and wasn't very knowledgeable about investing, though I didn't really care too much what happened since I was so early on in my timeframe, and I did...
by jasc15
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Choose an AA appropriate for your personal risk tolerance"
Replies: 10
Views: 862

"Choose an AA appropriate for your personal risk tolerance"

This is a common idea around here, and central to the buy - hold - re-balance investment philosophy. The follow-up question is: How do I determine my personal risk tolerance? Is this just an emotional decision? How well can I stomach a loss? I'm not simply asking what my risk tolerance should be. Ra...
by jasc15
Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Choose an AA appropriate for your personal risk tolerance"
Replies: 10
Views: 862

Re: Help me buy a used car, please.

I had a similar situation recently. Our only car, a 2003 Toyota matrix, was rear-ended and determined a total loss. We received a similar amount as you, and bought a 2007 Volvo V50, which we both enjoy so far. We had to lay out ~$4500 for the difference, but we have a good car, no payments and are b...
by jasc15
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me find the right used car.
Replies: 23
Views: 2225

Re: Buying for someone who "has everything"

This past Christmas, I offhandedly asked for toilet paper and paper towels when my family asked what I wanted, since my answer had repeatedly been "I don't need anything". I will probably be set on paper goods now until next Christmas.
by jasc15
Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying for someone who "has everything"
Replies: 43
Views: 2793

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

I follow him semi-regularly and his blog ultimately lead me to this forum. Frugality is something entirely different when you divorce your personal identity from the quantity and brands you consume. Once you can do this, frugality is no longer a sacrifice the way most view it, and my outlook on this...
by jasc15
Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?
Replies: 255
Views: 33743

Re: Grandmother's trust is being pillaged, as far as I can t

Thanks to all for the input. I did a quick spreadsheet using a ~60/40 initial bond/equity allocation beginning on 10/1/2008 without any rebalancing: Symbol ER (%) Present Value NAV 10/1/2008 Value 10/1/2008 NAV Description VBTLX 0.10 $64.55 $10.65 $60.00 $9.90 Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund A...
by jasc15
Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandmother's trust is being pillaged, as far as I can tell.
Replies: 11
Views: 2588

Grandmother's trust is being pillaged, as far as I can tell.

The proceeds from the sale of my (still living) grandmother's home several years ago were placed into a trust for which my father and aunt, my grandmother's only children, are trustees. My father is in poor health, and I suspect I will be assuming his role as trustee soon, and my aunt has zero inter...
by jasc15
Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandmother's trust is being pillaged, as far as I can tell.
Replies: 11
Views: 2588

Re: KissTrust--trust accounts for the middle class?

Before I looked up what the Kiss Trust was, I thought Gene Simmons was involved. Would not have surprised me if he was.
by jasc15
Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: KissTrust--trust accounts for the middle class?
Replies: 30
Views: 11749

Re: What is your 2013 Federal Effective Tax Rate?

[Federal tax paid] / [Gross income] = 12%

This includes maxing 401k for 2013 and incurring some long term capital gains.

My marginal rate is 25%.
by jasc15
Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your 2013 Federal Effective Tax Rate?
Replies: 73
Views: 5007

Re: your lowest exspense ratio fund in 401

Previous megacorp plan has a .01% S&P 500 fund (0.03%) Government/Credit Bond Fund (Barclays Capital U.S. Government/Credit Bond Index) (0.01%) Equity Fund (S&P 500) (0.03%) International Equity Fund (MSCI EAFE Index) (0.10%) Emerging Markets Equity Fund (MSCI Emerging Markets® Index) Our ne...
by jasc15
Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: your lowest exspense ratio fund in 401
Replies: 31
Views: 1621

Re: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?

The ultimate one that triggered them to go out of business with a sudden and unexpected bankruptcy was even more outlandish, claiming that customers' cars had been recalled by the factory and therefore must be traded in on new ones. jimb I've become so cynical, that I am even wary of recall notices...
by jasc15
Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?
Replies: 46
Views: 4647

Re: Question for those who switched from AT&T to Straighttal

I didn't port my number to google, and I still have a separate google voice number which I use when out of the country. I was able to set up google voice to handle my mobile number's voicemail separately from my google voice number. (confusing enough?)
by jasc15
Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for those who switched from AT&T to Straighttalk
Replies: 23
Views: 2086

Re: Question for those who switched from AT&T to Straighttal

As Gecko10x metioned, you should have virtually no downtime. There will be a delay from when you initiate the port until it goes through, but until that point your AT&T service will still work fine. I've been a happy Straight Talk user (formerly on AT&T) for about a year and a half now, and...
by jasc15
Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for those who switched from AT&T to Straighttalk
Replies: 23
Views: 2086

Re: $16 Billion for WhatsApp?!?!?!

WhatsApp with that?!? I really just don't get it. I currently use iPhone's own native app, iMessage, along with millions other users. Why would I need anything else? Or is this for "the other people" who don't drink the Apple flavored Kool-aid? Cosmo There is "Google Hangouts" f...
by jasc15
Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $16 Billion for WhatsApp?!?!?!
Replies: 51
Views: 3960

Re: $16 Billion for WhatsApp?!?!?!

After all, why pay your wireless carrier for text messaging when apps like this are cheaper, potentially more feature-rich, and can be used globally without ludicrous roaming or whatever fees? Big upside. It still amazes me that more people don't do this. Almost everyone I communicate with still do...
by jasc15
Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $16 Billion for WhatsApp?!?!?!
Replies: 51
Views: 3960

Re: Article about 401k Fees

I saw this the other day, and I was surprised to see it in my general information news feed. Is this idea finally permeating to the general population? I never really heard much about this until reading this forum, now I'm seeing it in the "outside world". Edit: Here is the figure included...
by jasc15
Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article about 401k Fees
Replies: 2
Views: 312

Re: POLL: Do you do you own taxes?

My situation has been pretty simple thus far in my working career. I have had only W2 income and a few 1099's. However, when I changed jobs a few years ago, I had a complicated situation where I had 3 W2's; Job 1 and living in New York, Job 2 living in NY and working in NJ, and then moving to NJ. I ...
by jasc15
Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you do your own taxes?
Replies: 54
Views: 3165

Re: Newly Married and Taxed

It was my understanding that the tax situation was more favorable to a married couple than to 2 individuals.
by jasc15
Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newly Married and Taxed
Replies: 39
Views: 2489

Re: Why so many Roth IRAs?

Thanks to everyone for the responses. It seems like it is clear that a traditional IRA is preferable than a Roth IRA, if one is available (i.e., meeting AGI limits). Other considerations, like tax diversification and RMD's play a role in the decision as well.
by jasc15
Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why so many Roth IRAs?
Replies: 44
Views: 4558

Re: Buying the most expensive house you can afford

Our issue is that there are no smaller, extremely well built homes for sale anywhere. Unless we remodel again which is not going to happen. I'm more in the browsing phase (i.e., looking at online listings), but this has been my impression of the market in northern New Jersey. It seems to be a fanta...
by jasc15
Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying the most expensive house you can afford
Replies: 101
Views: 8620

Re: 2013 was good. Suggestion to park money in 2014.

I like this one.

Stan Dup wrote:Here is some reading to do:
"It must be apparent to intelligent investors--if anyone possessed the ability to do so (market time) he would become a billionaire--quickly--." (David Babson, author, adviser)
by jasc15
Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2013 was good. Suggestion to park money in 2014.
Replies: 35
Views: 3348

Re: Why so many Roth IRAs?

Dutch wrote:If you max out your 401k and you want to save more in addition, then a Roth IRA would be more advantageous than a taxable account.

Provided, of course, that you qualify

I understand that, but why Roth rather than traditional?
by jasc15
Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why so many Roth IRAs?
Replies: 44
Views: 4558

Why so many Roth IRAs?

It seems almost every thread I read starts with "I currently max my 401k and Roth IRA...". I understand it is advantageous for folks in lower tax brackets, but it seems to be very popular for folks with higher income. Am I missing something? Personally, I just max my 401k and don't contrib...
by jasc15
Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why so many Roth IRAs?
Replies: 44
Views: 4558

Re: Churning credit cards for air miles, need help

I'm interested in the responses to the OP. I am considering a new card for trip to Europe I am planning later this year. I found this card which offers 50,000 points and a chart to figure out how many points a flight would cost.
by jasc15
Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Churning credit cards for air miles, need help
Replies: 35
Views: 3034

Re: Who taught you about financial responsibility?

Self-taught, I guess, but I'm sure there are specific interactions which I can't remember that helped educate me along the way. I was also motivated by not doing what my parents did. They should be 23 years into their 30 year mortgage, but have refinanced so many times (adding car notes, and other d...
by jasc15
Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who taught you about financial responsibility?
Replies: 57
Views: 2317

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

I got used to the MPG gauge on my last car, so I bought a device called "UltraGauge" for my current car. My girlfriend could care less about it, but I like the instant feedback as I am constantly trying to bump up the average MPG by watching the instantaneous display.
by jasc15
Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 3631

Re: Looking for Actual Experiences with Umbrella Insurance

There are mentions of insuring up to your net worth, however, it seems advisable to insure beyond that amount in some cases presented here, since there is nothing to limit a lawsuit beyond one's net worth. So I ask, why should net worth be any consideration when choosing the size of an umbrella poli...
by jasc15
Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for Actual Experiences with Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 79
Views: 6906

Re: Free Stuff Online

Freecycle. There are local "chapters", and I don't think there is some central organization they report to. The chapter for my county is just a yahoo group. So far I've given away a printer, a set of poker chips and playing cards, and I got a cable modem. Now I can return the rented one to...
by jasc15
Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free Stuff Online
Replies: 6
Views: 958

Re: AT&T MVNO Suggestions

I suppose people will recommend what they use themselves. I have used Straight Talk for a little over a year with no complaints. I'm not a heavy user, so I don't push the alleged limits to their unlimited data usage (and by your usage, I suspect you won't either). I enrolled in the auto bill pay, an...
by jasc15
Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T MVNO Suggestions
Replies: 27
Views: 2411
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