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Re: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?

Some might contend that living in a tent is a great investment (assuming it frees up income for deployment elsewhere). But would you rather live in a tent or a house? Granted, when all the costs of "home ownership" are toted up (even considering taxes), I suspect all but those who truly &q...
by john94549
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?
Replies: 15
Views: 741

Re: Tell me why I shouldn't buy individual muni bonds

What do you plan to do with the interest payments?
by john94549
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tell me why I shouldn't buy individual muni bonds
Replies: 27
Views: 1054

Re: Help with a new $5m portfolio for an old lady

As an aside, having helped my Mom with similar issues before she died, recommending anything OTHER than the best available CD(s) is fraught with peril. If she wants to "spice up" her portfolio with stock funds, bond funds, or whatever, let that be her input. If she wants $100K, get as clos...
by john94549
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with a new $5m portfolio for an old lady
Replies: 32
Views: 1602

Re: How to handle a company that won't honor a warranty?

We had a similar issue with a refrigerator. An e-mail to the company CEO worked wonders.
by john94549
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to handle a company that won't honor a warranty?
Replies: 23
Views: 1129

Re: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?

Based on my personal experience, there's no hard-and-fast rule. StateFarmBank and Alliant will withhold CA tax on IRA distributions, if requested. USAA (on my after-tax CD) would not, nor will my wife's pension administrator (although both withhold for Federal).
by john94549
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?
Replies: 11
Views: 438

Re: Help with a new $5m portfolio for an old lady

Not surprisingly, I'd vote for CDs as well. With just about any other option, there's risk of loss of principal. As Dr. Bernstein might say, "she's won the game."
by john94549
Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with a new $5m portfolio for an old lady
Replies: 32
Views: 1602

Re: Market not interested in inflation protection?

One might consider the degree to which ordinary folk understand inflation-protected products. To the extent folks do, aren't there products already available? Now, if all of a sudden more folks started to clamor for more, better, or different, and a buck was to be made thereby, I suspect the market ...
by john94549
Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market not interested in inflation protection?
Replies: 17
Views: 827

Re: 36 percent decline in net worth

Jack, think as if one were preparing to offer questions at orals. Line-by-line, sentence-by-sentence, footnote-by-footnote. Just a thought.
by john94549
Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 36 percent decline in net worth
Replies: 38
Views: 5660

Re: 36 percent decline in net worth

I've always been a tad skeptical of these "surveys". Nobody ever called me. I even asked my Mom (before she died). Nobody ever called her. Who in heaven's name has any idea of our "net worth", however defined. Taken aback somewhat by the thin statistical back-up, sweeping conclu...
by john94549
Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 36 percent decline in net worth
Replies: 38
Views: 5660

Re: Buying property - frank responses requested

OP has not responded as to whether he is eligible for S/S. This might be a deciding factor. A $2 million nest-egg might generate $80K/yr, but are other income sources available? Bottom line: Not sure I'd want to try to live in San Diego on $80K/yr, even rent-free. Even with an all expense paid-for c...
by john94549
Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying property - frank responses requested
Replies: 29
Views: 2686

Re: What amount of Earnest Money - New Pulte Home

"Earnest money" is meaningless unless you back out. If so (and thus not being "earnest"), you forfeit the deposit, often styled as "liquidated damages". The amount of "earnest money" can range from a few thousand dollars to "add some zeros". For a se...
by john94549
Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What amount of Earnest Money - New Pulte Home
Replies: 35
Views: 1767

Re: Do Bogleheads Feel Wealthier?

Wealthier than our pre-Boglehead selves? Or wealthier than neighbors, colleagues, family? All of the above, and much more. It's totally subjective. It's whatever you want it to be. No, I don't work for Facebook. I don't even have a Facebook account. I'm curious as to whether attitudinal shifts amon...
by john94549
Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Bogleheads Feel Wealthier?
Replies: 57
Views: 4140

Do Bogleheads Feel Wealthier?

I was prompted to ask because this appears to be a legitimate behavioral economist's question. If you "feel" wealthier, do you spend more? Or less, because of caution? Or the same, since it's all numbers on a page. Does the perception of wealth (aka the "wealth effect") have any ...
by john94549
Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Bogleheads Feel Wealthier?
Replies: 57
Views: 4140

Re: 36 percent decline in net worth

I've always been a tad skeptical of these "surveys". Nobody ever called me. I even asked my Mom (before she died). Nobody ever called her. Who in heaven's name has any idea of our "net worth", however defined. Taken aback somewhat by the thin statistical back-up, sweeping conclus...
by john94549
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 36 percent decline in net worth
Replies: 38
Views: 5660

Re: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?

Craziness in the Bay Area, of course. Might I guess all those who voted "+20%" live here?
by john94549
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 82
Views: 3994

Re: Selling House - Do We Need a Listing Broker?

While not a huge fan of the fees charged, professional brokers often have resources unavailable to ordinary folk. Such as lists of potential buyers, a network of agents, and marketing materials. In one recent case (our daughter and son-in-law's sale of their home in Alameda (CA)), the listing agent'...
by john94549
Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling House - Do We Need a Listing Broker?
Replies: 61
Views: 2543

Re: CD interest payments

Not to put too fine a point on the pencil, as it were, but the interest on a "brokered" CD is generally paid out and not re-invested in the CD. The lack of re-investment in the underlying CD can have an impact on yield and asset management.
by john94549
Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD interest payments
Replies: 19
Views: 1377

Re: Possibility of getting sued - what steps to take

Had you been onboard, you could have screamed "repel boarders" and whacked him with a belaying pin. The guy was obviously a drunk pirate, and should have been arrested as such. Sue him for trespass by piracy, right now. I doubt his homeowner's insurance (assuming he has any) will cover his...
by john94549
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possibility of getting sued - what steps to take
Replies: 22
Views: 2864

Re: Do Bogleheads Ladder CDs Anymore?

Just asking because some have advocated going long and breaking as a strategy.
by john94549
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do Bogleheads Ladder CDs Anymore?
Replies: 25
Views: 2352

Do Bogleheads Ladder CDs Anymore?

Just curious.
by john94549
Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do Bogleheads Ladder CDs Anymore?
Replies: 25
Views: 2352

Re: Vanguard quietly adds longevity annuities

Why can't a person just assume inflation at 3%/annum and buy twice as much? Granted, if inflation is greater than 3%/annum, you'd come up a tad short, but not by much (unless things get crazy). Of course, your CD ladder (you do have one, right?) would have been re-setting right along, and other inve...
by john94549
Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard quietly adds longevity annuities
Replies: 76
Views: 5097

Re: A question on long term care insurance

As I've noted in other threads, the main concern I'd have with any long-term-care policy is that, when you need it, you're most vulnerable, and least able to protest a wrongful denial of benefits. So, if you go that route, have a good advocate.
by john94549
Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A question on long term care insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 928

Re: rewards checking account

Rewards checking was all the rage several years back. Techniques folks said they used to maximize returns bordered on the very creative (such as opening a card and swiping twenty "dollar meals" over the month on that; opening another and swiping twenty one-gallon gas purchases; you get the...
by john94549
Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rewards checking account
Replies: 12
Views: 703

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

But these middle of the country trips seem just horrible. Is it really that bad? As the Harper's article noted, you have to have a lot of patience to "ride the rails". Schedules are a great work of fiction. Before she died, my MIL took the train from Emeryville to the Empire Builder, then...
by john94549
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 46
Views: 4457

Re: VMMXX: Finally Pulled the Trigger

So far, so good. Made a tad over ten bucks on the buy (362 shares of VBIAX) in just one day. Goshamighty, that's beer money. Had I not sat on the funds last year (having moved some, but not all), it might have been cases-of-wine money. That said, had markets tanked, it might have been . . ., well, y...
by john94549
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX: Finally Pulled the Trigger
Replies: 20
Views: 2674

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

OP: Your hard copy of the article mentioned is now in the post. Bon voyage!
by john94549
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 46
Views: 4457

Re: Best High-Yield Savings Acct?

Alliant used to be stellar; then morphed into barely average. These days, anything at or over 1% with no "gotchas" is a pretty good deal. Visit http://www.depositaccounts.com/blog for the "best" deals on savings accounts. It kinda rankles when I know they're paying 1 and charging...
by john94549
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best High-Yield Savings Acct?
Replies: 16
Views: 1528

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

Pick up a copy of the July (2014) Harper's. Kevin Baker's piece entitled "21st Century Limited" chronicles his travel cross-country on Amtrak. If you can't find one, PM me with a mailing address for you along the way, and I'll pop a copy in the mail to you.
by john94549
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 46
Views: 4457

Re: Sprinklers for the bottom of a sloping lawn

I would combine two good pieces of advice (move the sprinkler heads inward a tad and install a modest gravel trench at the base of the slope) with a third: use the dirt from the installation of the trench to build a smallish (4 inches will do) berm at the bottom of the slope. The "catchbasin&qu...
by john94549
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sprinklers for the bottom of a sloping lawn
Replies: 10
Views: 1098

Re: Inheritance: Cash or Investments?

If some or all of the assets are in a Trust, check with your CPA (or ask the Executor to do so). Feel free to PM me.
by john94549
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance: Cash or Investments?
Replies: 15
Views: 1326

Re: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets

Answer this: Has the first wave of retiring boomers (born 1946 - 1949) had any measureable impact on any financial market, anywhere, simply by dint of selling anything to help fund retirement?
by john94549
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets
Replies: 45
Views: 5369

Re: List of Worst financial advice (what not to do):

Maybe someone else pointed out this gem, and I missed it, but this:

"Put all yours eggs in one basket, but watch it very closely."

When did that ever work?
by john94549
Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: List of Worst financial advice (what not to do):
Replies: 144
Views: 16091

Re: VMMXX: Finally Pulled the Trigger

It's not a "what took you so long" issue, as I've been moving money from VMMXX to other investments since rates peaked in late 2006. Needless to say, every transfer (whether to IRA CD, Vanguard fund, you name it) has done better than VMMXX. Behavioral economists would have a field day as t...
by john94549
Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX: Finally Pulled the Trigger
Replies: 20
Views: 2674

VMMXX: Finally Pulled the Trigger

After years and years of maintaining a modest residue of VMMXX, I finally transferred the last tranche (a little over $10, 474) to VBIAX. I suspect I am one of the last dinosaurs to fully abandon Vanguard's MMF.
by john94549
Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX: Finally Pulled the Trigger
Replies: 20
Views: 2674

Re: Driving from Rockford, il to Mesa AZ....best route.

Last I checked, US 54 does not go through Kansas City. That said, it (along with other remnants of the pre-Interstate system) offer unique views of Americana. Most memorable: old barns and Burma-Shave signs, long-weathered and abandoned. Least memorable: speed traps and farm vehicles, which I suspec...
by john94549
Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from Rockford, il to Mesa AZ....best route.
Replies: 16
Views: 1587

Re: 2 days in San Francisco

Walking tours are great, a pass for the Muni when you get tired. Sometimes just walking in circles. Gosh, I worked in the City for 20-some years and just walked all over the place. For fun, take the Muni (any line will do) and get off at the end of the line. Some areas might be "dicey", bu...
by john94549
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in San Francisco
Replies: 25
Views: 1642

Re: Poll - Do You Read Businessweek?

I read 'em all, except for the WSJ. And that's more an issue of time. By the time I've read the NYT and the Chronicle, it's time for a nap. After the nap and lunch, it's periodicals. Then early news and a cocktail, followed by national news (and a cocktail). Round it out with Harper's and/or Vanity ...
by john94549
Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll - Do You Read Businessweek?
Replies: 28
Views: 1904

Re: If you own a car, do you have a car payment?

I doubt this Community is a representative cross-section of American car-buyers. Or leasers. That said, I voted "no".
by john94549
Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you own a car, do you have a car payment?
Replies: 112
Views: 7181

Re: Help me assess whether to refinance

You might wish to consider other options, such as a re-fi into a 7/1. Our daughter and son-in-law just obtained a 2.9% interest rate on same. For a jumbo, no less (around $900K). Pays to shop. Now, while the odds are their rate may re-set higher in seven years, their savings in the interim will be s...
by john94549
Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me assess whether to refinance
Replies: 10
Views: 679

Re: Hints on Tri-Tip

Yes, she used Santa Maria dry-rub. However, next time, we'll take it off the grill a tad earlier.
by john94549
Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hints on Tri-Tip [Cooking]
Replies: 29
Views: 2121

Re: 24 Years Old Looking for Conservative, Inflation Hedged

Assuming the OP is on the "upward path" (beyond student debt and such), I should think the immediate goal would be an emergency fund. While it might be nice to have an inflation-adjusted emergency fund, last I checked, most financial institutions weren't interested. Plop that money in a sa...
by john94549
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 Years Old Looking for Conservative, Inflation Hedged Port
Replies: 10
Views: 739

Hints on Tri-Tip [Cooking]

Believe it or not, after many years over a Weber, I'd never cooked a tri-tip. Wife marinated it thoroughly for a day. Brought to room temp. Seared as recommended. Used indirect coals, with thickest part to the center, slow cooking. All well and good. Huge mistake was to cover tightly with foil after...
by john94549
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hints on Tri-Tip [Cooking]
Replies: 29
Views: 2121

Re: Living on Dividends

I'm still pondering the term "bulge bracket firm". Although, at my age, it would be nice to . . . never mind.
by john94549
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living on Dividends
Replies: 18
Views: 4421

Re: Driving from Rockford, il to Mesa AZ....best route.

The old "River Road" southwest from Rockford through Dixon is very scenic.
by john94549
Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from Rockford, il to Mesa AZ....best route.
Replies: 16
Views: 1587

Re: Moving from Midwest to Coastal Cities: COL Adjustment?

My goodness. Moving from anywhere in the Midwest to anywhere in the NYC Metro area, well it's a culture shock. Back in the Paleolithic era, when I was in the Naval Reserves, my ship was home-ported in Perth Amboy. Even then, we needed to move to Cranbury to find affordable housing.
by john94549
Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Midwest to Coastal Cities: COL Adjustment?
Replies: 25
Views: 2540

Re: Auction vs. estate sale to liquidate personal property

I used an estate sale company for my Mom's "stuff". Prepare to be disappointed. The whole process smelled. You will never know if bidders rigged low, only to sell "outside". I suspect that's the case. For example, an heirloom easily appraised at $4000 sells for $100, then sells &...
by john94549
Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auction vs. estate sale to liquidate personal property
Replies: 5
Views: 931

Re: What To Do During A Correction In Stocks?

If you have a balanced fund (60/40), it re-balances all by itself. VBIAX comes to mind. If you don't have a balanced fund, then you need to develop a steely resolve and be willing to "pull the trigger" and plow bond money (or cash) into stocks. Easier said than done. I suspect it is mathem...
by john94549
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What To Do During A Correction In Stocks?
Replies: 31
Views: 3682

Re: Water Bladders

Might end up being cheaper in the long run to convert your yard to a desert. Having shut down several stations on our irrigation system, much of our acre is converting to dust or scrub. We're watering only "sight-line" plantings. Stated another way, if we (or the neighbors) can't see it, ...
by john94549
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Bladders
Replies: 3
Views: 981

Water Bladders

OK, this is not a thread on personal plumbing, rather, the California drought. Does anyone have any experience purchasing, filling, maintaining, and servicing re-cycled water bladders for outdoor irrigation? Interested in cost, water pumps, sources, etc. Some wastewater plants in our area are beginn...
by john94549
Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Bladders
Replies: 3
Views: 981

POLL: Emerging Markets Tilt

Just curious. I augment my international (VTIAX) with a tilt in VEMAX, such that my VTIAX is 75% of my international, and VEMAX 25%. With the internal allocation in VTIAX to emerging, I suspect my final allocation is 1/3 emerging, 2/3 not*. Just curious how this compares, and why. *I just ran the nu...
by john94549
Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Emerging Markets Tilt
Replies: 12
Views: 754
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