Search found 3656 matches

by john94549
Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 25 Month CD at 2.27% at US Alliance Federal Credit Union
Replies: 15
Views: 2372

Re: 25 Month CD at 2.27% at US Alliance Federal Credit Union

"Hot deals" are often available at Ken's blog. You snooze, you lose.


www.depositaccounts.com/blog
by john94549
Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession
Replies: 142
Views: 18515

Re: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession

Saving is hardly irrational. When you get to a certain age, you worry. An example from today. The contractor doing a major bathroom re-model (all budgeted) noticed our guest bathroom toilet was draining slowly. Given the drought here in Northern California, I could only imagine tree roots invading o...
by john94549
Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spending from separate retirement buckets
Replies: 21
Views: 1402

Re: Spending from separate retirement buckets

As noted in other threads, my wife and I chose to fund our first fifteen years of retirement withdrawals with laddered IRA CDs. We're 68, and don't plan to start withdrawing for another couple of years.* Our 60/40 balanced portfolio will just "stay-the-course". So, yes, I guess that's a &q...
by john94549
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The next Lehman - this week? [Greek default]
Replies: 145
Views: 12337

Re: The next Lehman - this week? [Greek default]

Seems like Australians down here have lost it - All Ords (ticker - xao ) down 2% within the first 30 minutes of markets opening, and down around 8% in the last 3 months. I'm curious as to how Australia has any significant exposure to Greece. It's just panic selling, as I noted, above. When the US m...
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: dow futures down 200+ points
Replies: 84
Views: 8657

Re: dow futures down 200+ points

As noted in another thread, in my trading (aka "fun money") account, I sold into the rising market. I now have gobs, and gobs, of money to pick up the dribs and drabs, of what you folks will be selling. I so love panic selling.
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The next Lehman - this week? [Greek default]
Replies: 145
Views: 12337

Re: The next Lehman - this week? [Greek default]

OMG, here we go again. Folks, if you really, truly, seriously, think the world is coming to an end (just because we might see a Socialist without a tie on the new Drachma), then sell, sell, sell. In my trading account, I will buy, buy, buy. I sold into the rising market, and (with those ill-gotten g...
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The next Lehman - this week? [Greek default]
Replies: 145
Views: 12337

Re: Greece impact on US markets Monday morning

Dow futures are down over 300 points S&P futures are down over 40 points http://www.cnbc.com/id/17689937 Its going to be a brutal Monday morning. Time to remind oneself to "STAY THE COURSE"! Scary times ahead, but perhaps a good buying opportunity for long term investors? As I told my...
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 53
Views: 3714

Re: Travel to Greece

The human drive to have a reasonably workable medium of exchange and store of value when normal channels fail is apparently very powerful. The human spirit is an amazing thing. Whether Euros or dollars, I strongly suspect the preferred medium, going forward, will not be the new Zimbabwean currency....
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 10 year Broker CDs vs 10 year Treasury
Replies: 25
Views: 2226

Re: 10 year Broker CDs vs 10 year Treasury

skepticalobserver wrote:
Ten years is a long time.


Actually, it isn't. We're 68, and have been investing since our 20's (roughly 45 years).
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 53
Views: 3714

Re: Travel to Greece

If you want to go to Greece, I'd recommend gobs and gobs of US dollar singles. Stuff your pants, as it were.

Still waiting to see if the new Drachma trades above or below the old Zimbabwean currency. I so love Zimbabwe; its currency was worth less than the paper it was printed upon.
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifelock: Worth the Money or a Sham?
Replies: 16
Views: 2468

Re: Lifelock: Worth the Money or a Sham?

I would not share with "LifeLock". I find their TV ads disconcerting, at best. For your funny of the day. A couple of years ago, we toured Beverly Hills, on a trip to LA. Every lawn, and I mean each and every lawn, had one of those "protected by (fill in the blank)" lawn signs. I...
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No gain in 9 months of investment
Replies: 23
Views: 4061

Re: No gain in 9 months of investment

Right about this time of the month, we get (over and over) the question: "why did my funds go down?" The quick answer: dividends. Your funds did not actually go down any more than Mr. Market dictated. If they went down more, then the culprit was probably a dividend. Not to anguish, you hav...
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession
Replies: 142
Views: 18515

Re: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession

honestly feel it is pretty overrated. Ya think? We went "whole hog" back in 1978, buying an acre with a new house, 2600 square feet. Wow, an acre! Now into our fourth year of drought, everything not already dead is preparing for same. The only survivors are the natives which existed long ...
by john94549
Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The next Lehman - this week? [Greek default]
Replies: 145
Views: 12337

Re: Greece

Wasn't some outfit touting foreign currency-based IRA CDs some time back? Glad that idea popped into my "never mind" category.
by john94549
Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did 2008 change your investing strategy?
Replies: 58
Views: 4502

Re: Did 2008 change your investing strategy?

Our safety net was started long before 2008. Laddered IRA CDs.
by john94549
Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 10 year Broker CDs vs 10 year Treasury
Replies: 25
Views: 2226

Re: 10 year Broker CDs vs 10 year Treasury

Since you are holding for the "long haul" (as you mentioned), a ten-year ladder of ten-year brokered CDs is optimal. Buy one this year, another next year, and so on. Brokered CDs at ten years are about as good as it gets these days.
by john94549
Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blue Apron
Replies: 63
Views: 6581

Re: Blue Apron

You knew it was bound to happen. A Blue Apron meal neither of us could appreciate. It was the Chinese meatballs* on a bed of "blah" rice. Just goes to show ya, ain't nuthin perfect. Mind you, I would compare to our local Chinese take-out, which might be unfair. *I suspect they were made fr...
by john94549
Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10 year old car
Replies: 27
Views: 2711

Re: 10 year old car

Seriously? I drive a 1994 Buick. From time-to-time, it needs a bit of touch-up on the top. I managed to keep the damage to a minimum by parking it in the garage.
by john94549
Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring @ 60; $1 million (portfolio)
Replies: 22
Views: 6435

Re: Retiring @ 60; $1 million (portfolio)

Your "plan" basically depletes the retirement savings (the 401K) to a bare-bones minimum before you are 70. You might explore other Social Security options, whereby one could claim at 62, the other claim spousal at his or her FRA (say, 66, or whatever)*, and then the "other" clai...
by john94549
Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession
Replies: 142
Views: 18515

Re: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession

A 1994 Buick Regal (my "ride") is most assuredly not a luxury motor vehicle these days. Moreover, given that I drive it (at most) 30 miles/week (to the store and back), I'm not sucking up a lot of petrol. Last I checked, 120 miles/mo, divided by 20 miles/gallon, equals 6 gallons of gasolin...
by john94549
Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can Good Investors Be Predicted In Childhood?
Replies: 6
Views: 860

Re: Can Good Investors Be Predicted In Childhood?

I suspect the best indicators might be: (1) skill at playing Monopoly, and (2) skill at collecting whatever is in vogue, especially when trading with the neighbor kids. Back when I was but a lad (in the 50's), we used to have marathon Monopoly sessions, followed the next day by marathon trading sess...
by john94549
Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why tilt to bonds in retirement?
Replies: 29
Views: 3841

Re: Why tilt bonds in retirement?

As an aside, we have enough in FDIC/NCUA-insured IRA CDs to fund our first fifteen years of retirement. Above and beyond other sources of income. Age 70 - 85.

In plain English, you have enough in fixed-income so as to be comfortable.
by john94549
Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession
Replies: 142
Views: 18515

Re: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession

sambb wrote:to each his own.. it doesn't make sense to me to have millions of dollars in investments, but drive an old camry or a fit. But it makes sense to some.. can't figure that out


I drive a 1994 Buick. Automobiles are merely a way to get there and back.
by john94549
Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me w/ logic of bonds over high yield savings
Replies: 5
Views: 883

Re: Please help me w/ logic of bonds over high yield savings

It's quite cumbersome to re-balance with a CD, even more with a CD ladder. It's easier with a savings account, but even so-called "high-yield" savings accounts rarely offer more than 1%. It's been so long since we've had a serious stock-market nosedive that folks might forget how helpful b...
by john94549
Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safe haven for next crash
Replies: 19
Views: 2641

Re: Safe haven for next crash

With ten years to go to retirement (nominally, at least) there's more than enough time to build a CD ladder. I'd recommend a 5-yr ladder of 5-yr CDs. We started building our ladder back in 2006, and now have enough in the ladder to fund our first fifteen years of retirement (age 70 - 85), above and ...
by john94549
Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Advice [Best single piece of advice to give a new investor]
Replies: 56
Views: 4332

Re: Best Advice [Best single piece of advice to give a new investor]

As a retiree myself, never, ever, just sit on dead money waiting for a "turnaround". I sat on a few tens of thousands in VMMXX for years and years, pondering the "optimal" time to buy. I sold dribs and drabs, here and there, and finally wound up with a little over $10,000 in VMMX...
by john94549
Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blue Apron
Replies: 63
Views: 6581

Re: Blue Apron

As an aside, many years ago, when my wife was between jobs, she took a series of gourmet cooking classes. Not that she needed help in in the cooking department (she's always been an excellent cook), she just wanted to get "better". So (as noted above), I was somewhat skeptical about whethe...
by john94549
Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Withdrawal Strategies in Retirement and Maintaining Asset Allocations
Replies: 7
Views: 1332

Re: Withdrawal Strategies in Retirement and Maintaining Asset Allocations

Every retiree has a different strategy for withdrawals. There is no set formula. For example, we plunked quite a bit in IRA CDs prior to retirement, enough to cover the first fifteen years (above other sources of income). We plan to tap those IRA CDs first (age 70 - 85), and our balanced stock and b...
by john94549
Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Schools in South Bay Area?
Replies: 10
Views: 1559

Re: Schools in South Bay Area?

We moved from Sunnyvale to Lafayette in 1978 due in no small part to the public schools in the Sunnyvale district. If you want good public schools, you will need to reside in a district with good public schools, and that might mean a long commute. Lafayette to the South Bay is a slog (my wife did it...
by john94549
Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Role of annuities in low SWR situations
Replies: 29
Views: 3214

Re: Role of annuities in low SWR situations

Current best rates on 5-yr CDs are, on average, 2%+. There's "cash" and then there's cash which offers a modest real return. They might explore a 5-yr ladder of 5-yr CDs. For some retirees, harvesting interest and/or dividends is all that is needed to supplement social security, pension(s)...
by john94549
Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blue Apron
Replies: 63
Views: 6581

Re: Blue Apron

LoveMyDog, thanks for the other two suggestions. Mind you, Blue Apron (as a gift) was and is are only experience thus far with these types of services, and we are certainly open to trying the competition. Two concerns were noted by other posters: (1) environmental impact of all the plastic bags; and...
by john94549
Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blue Apron
Replies: 63
Views: 6581

Blue Apron

Our kids bought it for us as a Mother's Day/Father's Day gift. I was at first somewhat skeptical, as my wife is an excellent cook and buys everything fresh. Having worked through the first box (three meals for two), I must say I am amazed. Their trick is to provide you with exactly the right amount ...
by john94549
Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Non-Equity Investment for Intermediate (10y) Term?
Replies: 3
Views: 271

Re: Best Non-Equity Investment for Intermediate (10y) Term?

Another vote for 5-yr CDs. Build a ladder. Buy a bit this year, another the next, in five years you have a ladder.

Not all that hard to find 2%+ these days.
by john94549
Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Funds and Raising Interest Rates
Replies: 41
Views: 5230

Re: Bond Funds and Raising Interest Rates

Bond funds are less predictable than a CD ladder, and bond funds might (or might not) yield competitive with that ladder. In a rising-interest-rate environment, it's best to check out options for a CD ladder. If you purchase retail CDs (recommended), the value of your CD can never go down. If you po...
by john94549
Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Norton Anti-Virus
Replies: 12
Views: 1784

Re: Norton Anti-Virus

Norton may (or may not) auto-install the latest up-dates, but the "LiveUpdate" does the trick. Norton does have some nice features. The "remote control option" is something I would seriously consider if you are retired and no longer have an IT department at your disposal. The Nor...
by john94549
Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Did you spend much time wringing your hands over Retirement Savings as Many on Forum Do Today?
Replies: 81
Views: 11372

Re: Retirees: Did you spend much time wringing your hands over Retirement Savings as Many on Forum Do Today?

I did not "wring my hands", but I did plan, save, and invest. I also built an IRA CD ladder, which should fund our first fifteen years of retirement (age 70 - 85). Our balanced portfolio (stock funds and bond funds) will keep until we're 85.
by john94549
Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risks of ETN
Replies: 8
Views: 776

Re: Risks of ETN

My one experience with an ETN was less than satisfactory. From day one, it just lost value. I finally bailed.

The loss was a rounding error overall, but the dribs and drabs, down the ladder, were disconcerting.
by john94549
Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Change of heart on bonds
Replies: 29
Views: 4347

Re: Change of heart on bonds

Bond funds are not the only fixed-income options out there. Do a little searching at Bogleheads and you'll find quite a number of FI alternatives. For example, want to double your money (guaranteed) in 20 years, with an effective rate of close to 3.5%, look into EE bonds. Worried about inflation? IB...
by john94549
Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Norton Anti-Virus
Replies: 12
Views: 1784

Norton Anti-Virus

Norton was installed on my computer when I bought it. I always assumed it auto-updated to the latest version. I was wrong. I was alerted by Symantec today that my version was not up-to-date, and they up-dated it for me (I purchased the "remote control option"). Just a heads-up to anyone el...
by john94549
Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation - Equity vs. FI for investors under 40
Replies: 29
Views: 2227

Re: Asset Allocation - Equity vs. FI for investors under 40

Think outside the box. Now is "exactly" the time to start building a dull and boring CD ladder. Five-year CDs are optimal; buy one this year, one the next, etc. Very often, "going against the grain" is optimal.
by john94549
Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Doom and Gloom from Marketwatch
Replies: 26
Views: 5315

Re: Doom and Gloom from Marketwatch

Every day, I read in the New York Times about the circular firing squad. After a time, it amounts to "crying wolf". I mean, who would read an article entitled "Everything's fine; Move along". Folks will still go to Greece for their vacations, whether they pay for them in Euros or...
by john94549
Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not Buying a Home Could Cost You
Replies: 36
Views: 7553

Re: Not Buying a Home Could Cost You

While the train has left the station, there should be no dispute that purchasing a couple of years back when a 30-yr fixed at 3.4% (and no points) was available, and prices were still moderate, well, that was the sweet spot. Many of us remember the "norm" of 8% mortgages. Indeed, as we pur...
by john94549
Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Doom and Gloom from Marketwatch
Replies: 26
Views: 5315

Re: Doom and Gloom from Marketwatch

Gold bars are highly inefficient. Gold "dust" on the other hand, can actually be measured and tendered, as it was in California, in the mid-19th century.
by john94549
Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on choosing a Vanguard bond fund
Replies: 20
Views: 2862

Re: Advice on choosing a Vanguard bond fund

My wife owns Total Bond in her 401K. Word of caution: don't peek. The returns of late have been dismal. As with all bond funds, when interest rates go up, your NAV goes down. "Eventually" it all settles down. For our "serious" retirement fixed-income, we chose an IRA CD ladder. W...
by john94549
Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest for a house downpayment in 10+ years?
Replies: 17
Views: 1956

Re: How to invest for a house downpayment in 10+ years?

For money you absolutely, positively will want (and want to be liquid), I wouldn't stray far from CDs or a garden-variety savings account. You should be interested in a return of investment more than a return on investment, at least for this limited purpose.
by john94549
Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio for a conservative early retiree
Replies: 12
Views: 1674

Re: Portfolio for a conservative early retiree

BigJohn, you really should give that ladder a "second look". Trust me, I'm a bit of a dinosaur, and I keep track of everything with pen, yellow legal pad, and a free calculator given out years ago by my bank.
by john94549
Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio for a conservative early retiree
Replies: 12
Views: 1674

Re: Portfolio for a conservative early retiree

A five-year ladder of five-year CDs might be considered. Buy one this year, one next year, and so on, until the ladder is filled and you are retired. Not at all hard to find 5-yr CDs at 2%+. If rates trend higher, you might get a bit more as you fill the ladder. http://www.depositaccounts.com/blog C...
by john94549
Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase checking account hacked
Replies: 15
Views: 2433

Re: Chase checking account hacked

A thief doesn't need to go to the trouble. With routing and account numbers, an ACH pull can do the trick. I learned this shortly after my Mom died. Some of her bills (which were being forwarded by the USPS) arrived just before the due date. When I called the various entities, I was given the option...
by john94549
Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying in Bay Area (redux)
Replies: 57
Views: 6763

Re: Buying in Bay Area (redux)

You have heard of Prop 60 & 90, correct? Correct. But, as I noted ("Prop 13 aside"), it's the federal and state tax hit that anchors us. A sale would push us into the 20% federal cap gains and max CA ordinary income tax rates*, and that's the issue. We plan to leave the house to the k...
by john94549
Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying in Bay Area (redux)
Replies: 57
Views: 6763

Re: Buying in Bay Area (redux)

Taxes do play a role in housing availability in the Bay Area. In our subdivision, five of the six homes at the east end of our street (including ours) are owned by retirees who purchased 35+ years ago. Prop 13 aside, the gain on sale (even after the exclusion) would result in a major tax hit, both f...

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