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Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

I researched going this route a while ago. We decided to go with guardian. I read through the simpli safe forums. The major problem I had was the lack of options. I prefer to have a glass break sensor on my system. For years they were promising this technology but never delivered. This was not unco...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 29
Views: 1563

Re: Way to maximize Retirement Savings Contribution Credit

Why not get her to change her withholding, such that she receives the $500 throughout the year instead of as a refund?
by kenyan
Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Way to maximize Retirement Savings Contribution Credit
Replies: 11
Views: 466

Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

sorry for being so ignorant, but if you don't subscribe to the monitoring service and there is an intruder do you get an email or a text on your cell phone, or multiple cell phones? Plus a siren at home that will go off? how does the alarm work in case of an intruder? Thanks for all the replies If ...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 29
Views: 1563

Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

kenyan - The big vulnerability in the system is that the base station needs to survive the 30 seconds (or however long you set it up to be) between when a sensor is tripped and when the system contacts the monitoring center. The base is silent during this time, but if the burglar finds and destroys...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 29
Views: 1563

Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

We have been using SimpliSafe ($15 plan) for just under a year. Our keypad is starting to ask for new batteries, but it just uses 4 AA batteries, so that's no big deal. Sensors are supposed to last for several years, as others have noted. Definitely would recommend using them over any of the expensi...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 29
Views: 1563

Re: difference in performance between VXUS and VTIAX

Vanguard did switch the indices being tracked for these funds back in the first half of 2013, from MSCI to CRSP. Some of the difference you're seeing there may be due to the transaction costs associated with that switch (completed July 2013, right around where the meaningful divergence is). I'm spec...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: difference in performance between VXUS and VTIAX
Replies: 12
Views: 1114

Re: Your biggest "Missed Money" event that still kills you?

Nothing, really. I'm not going to pretend that I was contemplating sinking my life savings into Apple/Netflix/bitcoins/whatever and didn't, so I don't consider those to somehow be missed opportunities. I've had people recommend various stocks that did nothing, and I'm sure that most of those who are...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your biggest "Missed Money" event that still kills you?
Replies: 80
Views: 5484

Re: Is PIMCO Bond fund 50% cash?

You even get to pay a 4.75% load for the privilege of owning OPIGX, which isn't reflected in Morningstar data. We don't have Class A shares available in our SIMPLE IRA, so I'd have to settle for the Class C shares, which carry a 1.65% ER (down from over 2%, so you have to give them credit!). In orde...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is PIMCO Bond fund 50% cash?
Replies: 23
Views: 2163

Re: young Index Funds

Of course, if you're trying to add a Mid-Cap Growth Index Fund (or a Small-Cap Growth Index Fund), then this fund fails on those accounts. It's Small-cap Blend. Do you know why desire a Mid-Cap Growth fund to add to your portfolio?
by kenyan
Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: young Index Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 760

Re: Any Opinions on Mirrorless Cameras?

I just bought a Sony NEX-5TL for my wife for our anniversary. It was necessary to get a better camera to capture our growing children - cell phone cameras are convenient, but inadequate for many of the shots we have been taken lately (outdoors, imperfect lighting, and especially with moving targets,...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Opinions on Mirrorless Cameras?
Replies: 40
Views: 2013

Re: Asset Allocation Help / Placement of Funds for Tax Purpo

Wow, this is great advice. Thank you so much! There may not be a simple answer to this, but I'll ask anyway: For long term investing in a taxable account, how does the real return of I-bonds compare with a Total Bond Market Index like VBTLX? As noted, I bonds are not marketable securities, so it's ...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Help / Placement of Funds for Tax Purposes
Replies: 7
Views: 699

Re: Asset Allocation Help / Placement of Funds for Tax Purpo

Looks like a very sound plan. The Target Retirement funds make it a little more complicated, but since you're going with 3-fund, it shouldn't be that difficult to manage. A couple of other options you could look at for more tax efficiency - Series I savings bonds to replace some of your taxable inve...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Help / Placement of Funds for Tax Purposes
Replies: 7
Views: 699

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

I don't know all of your details, but I think it would be a much worse decision to force a house/condo purchase upon yourselves that you aren't ready for. Buying something that you'll likely sell in a few years, such as a 1-br condo, is throwing a huge chunk of money down the drain (transaction cost...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 90
Views: 9420

Re: Where do you buy clothes?

Target for general stuff. Jos A Bank "quantity guaranteed" for dress shirts, which I greatly prefer to the general department store/warehouse store brands. Under Armour outlet (via ShopDiscover for 16% cash back) for my athletic and casual shirts - a bit pricier than my other choices, but ...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy clothes?
Replies: 105
Views: 8701

Re: tax efficient help with VGSIX and VIPSX

I don't think your question is that clear. It is true that neither of these funds are tax-efficient. Are you asking which types of accounts are appropriate to hold the funds? You have the TSP, which does not offer these funds. Do you have a 401k/403b/457? These are appropriate places to hold such fu...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tax efficient help with VGSIX and VIPSX
Replies: 11
Views: 717

Re: average American eats out 203 times per year

I was significantly over that number until recently. Now that I switched my lunches to a protein shake + other items brought from home, I'm probably under it. Let's see, though - 30 days traveling for work * 3 = 90 meals + 2 lunches/month at work (hasn't happened yet but probably will at some point)...
by kenyan
Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: average American eats out 203 times per year
Replies: 105
Views: 6368

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Every fund we own is up between 2-17% for the year, except for a crappy high-fee actively managed fund that is regularly emptied out in my wife's SIMPLE IRA. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. I also don't see how people think that things are 'on sale' due to these minor drops. Rebalancing ban...
by kenyan
Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 802
Views: 134913

Re: Expected REIT (dividend) return

I don't think that's a fair comparison to simply ignore capital gains since they are unknown. REITs are required by law to distribute at least 90% of taxable income. Other dividend-paying stocks have no such restriction, which may mean higher expected capital gains, depending upon the dividend. Yes,...
by kenyan
Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expected REIT (dividend) return
Replies: 9
Views: 698

Re: 529 Account or Roth IRA for Education Savings?

Good morning (afternoon to you east coasters)! I have a question about the advantages and disadvantages of using a 529 or a Roth IRA for education savings for my daughter (5 months old). Currently, I am using only my 401k and my wife's 401k plans for retirement savings with a rollover account with ...
by kenyan
Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Account or Roth IRA for Education Savings?
Replies: 7
Views: 354

Re: SOLO 401K Maximum Contributions for sole proprietor and

Going to the source: http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/One-Participant-401%28k%29-Plans "The one-participant 401(k) plan isn't a new type of 401(k) plan. It's a traditional 401(k) plan covering a business owner with no employees, or that person and his or her spouse. These plans have the same...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SOLO 401K Maximum Contributions for sole proprietor and spou
Replies: 4
Views: 396

Re: your eye doctor; your eyes....

Ophthalmologist. My prescription doesn't change much these days; I'm more concerned about making sure my eye health is good.
by kenyan
Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: your eye doctor; your eyes....
Replies: 41
Views: 3212

Re: Moving Average Backtest destroys Buy/Hold. Try for yours

It is my stance that anyone who says "buy and hold can't be beat" is either ignorant or victim to groupthink propaganda. I look forward to any objective intelligent discussion regarding my trading strategy & results. It is my stance that anybody who has figured out a trading strategy ...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Moving Average Backtest destroys Buy/Hold. Try for yourself.
Replies: 59
Views: 4347

Re: Moving Average Backtest destroys Buy/Hold. Try for yours

I didn't do it, but I'll take your word that it worked over the period you did it for. Two comments - 1. Your tense is wrong in your title and post - it should be past tense. 2. Why are there only white papers on the topic? Where is the peer-reviewed literature, and why do these techniques not survi...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Moving Average Backtest destroys Buy/Hold. Try for yourself.
Replies: 59
Views: 4347

Re: dividend yield when stock price change

ok i understand that I used a wrong term. yes I see that I should have said yield on cost... not just yield... so, then, my yield on cost does not change with fluctuating stock price. it remains as the same as the day I bought it for me. which is what I care about. but yield of that stock changes w...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: dividend yield when stock price change
Replies: 38
Views: 1263

Re: When is a 3.75% load worth it?

But it does seem odd that active funds would continue to exist over all these decades if there were such unassailable proof of their eternal inferiority? That's the power of marketing and persuasion. Active fund managers have much more to gain than their index fund counterparts. For example, 3.75% ...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When is a 3.75% load worth it?
Replies: 79
Views: 5185

Re: dividend yield when stock price change

Again, I'm having trouble seeing how this is wrong. It is not wrong. It is irrelevant. All right, even though I still can't wrap my head around the logic, we still have the fact that the shares bought at a lower cost will have higher capital appreciation. So it still makes sense to hold onto the lo...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: dividend yield when stock price change
Replies: 38
Views: 1263

Re: When is a 3.75% load worth it?

If you are interested in RAFI Fundamental Index methodology, why complicate it with this fund, adding derivatives, bonds, and high turnover to the mix in a single fund (at an extreme cost)? Buy those index funds. A RAFI Large US Fundamental Index ETF can be had for an expense ratio of 0.39%, with no...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When is a 3.75% load worth it?
Replies: 79
Views: 5185

Re: When is a 3.75% load worth it?

I certainly hope that if you are planning to purchase this fund solely on the basis of past performance - which I would not recommend - that you are not doing so based on the data since the crash. This fund was in existence since 2005, and was slaughtered during the crash. It recovered nicely, yes, ...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When is a 3.75% load worth it?
Replies: 79
Views: 5185

Re: Has anyone bought a home with Redfin?

We bought with Redfin. I haven't bought with a traditional agent before (this was our first purchase), so my basis for comparison is only what others have told me, slightly augmented by sales pitches I've received from traditional brokers at open houses and such. My general observations would be - 1...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone bought a home with Redfin?
Replies: 11
Views: 1321

Re: Advice: Remodel of kitchen, bath, and basement?

Unless you're fixing up serious safety issues or incredible eyesores, paying someone to upgrade your house in an attempt to recoup an investment return upon selling is almost always a losing proposition - you'll nearly always pay more to the contractor than you'll actually receive in increased sales...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice: Remodel of kitchen, bath, and basement?
Replies: 30
Views: 1407

Re: It seems Warren Buffett believes in DCA

I think that most of the Lump-Sum-only advocates on these forums will tell you to control your risk with your asset allocation; primarily your bonds. Lump sum a windfall in to your AA; if that makes you uncomfortable, then your AA is too aggressive and needs to be changed. 'Time diversification' is ...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It seems Warren Buffett believes in DCA
Replies: 44
Views: 3955

Re: International investing. A good call by our mentor.

Always interesting around this forum. One big thread trumpeting domestic stocks, and another trying to dissuade us from US equities due to the attractive valuations of both DM and EM international. From my standpoint, I think the question of international investing is better approached as a "wh...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International investing. A good call by our mentor.
Replies: 145
Views: 12276

Re: Are you feeling squirrely about your stocks?

I pay less attention to the markets when they're dropping, aside from peeks at rebalancing triggers. It's a useful coping mechanism.
by kenyan
Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you feeling squirrely about your stocks?
Replies: 9
Views: 948

Re: Stop Passing Up This Great Deal - In Money Magazine

I read the print article, since I'm currently receiving the magazine in an effort not to lose my airline miles on a particular airline. My impression was that it was all predicated upon someone who could max out all retirement accounts, and then invest further for retirement in taxable. This is a pr...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stop Passing Up This Great Deal - In Money Magazine
Replies: 80
Views: 10918

Re: How many families use 529 plans?

Is there any difference in how 1) withdraws from these two vehicles will be treated as income, for Federal income tax purposes, or 2) income or assets as far a current financial aid calculations go? Yes. Roth IRAs are not considered as assets for current financial aid calculations, but as soon as y...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many families use 529 plans?
Replies: 107
Views: 6458

Re: How many families use 529 plans?

Though my state does not offer any tax benefits upon contribution, the minimum combined tax rate on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends here is 23+ percent for a reasonably employed individual. I like to hedge my bets, so I contribute to 529 accounts for my two children, despite not quit...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many families use 529 plans?
Replies: 107
Views: 6458

Re: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?

If you want to play with numbers further, including things like the effect of paying down your principal, opportunity cost, imputed rent, transaction costs, etc., try the NY Times buy vs. rent calculator. It's not perfect, but it's better than throwing out a few numbers for cost of ownership.
by kenyan
Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?
Replies: 70
Views: 5284

Re: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day who is convinced that the home he lives in is a great investment. I was wondering if those with a bit more financial acumen could critique my analysis. Current market value = $600,000 PITI = $3,700/month Utilities = $330/month Landscaping/Mainte...
by kenyan
Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?
Replies: 70
Views: 5284

Re: global diversification works in long term

9 basis points in cost does matter. What does not matter is whether the 9 bp is double/triple/whatever multiple of an alternate investment. I don't mean to further castigate you for stating it that way, though; the point has been made.
by kenyan
Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: global diversification works in long term
Replies: 21
Views: 1912

Re: global diversification works in long term

International stocks (as measured by Vanguard Total International) have trailed domestic stocks (as measured by Vanguard Total Stock) for 10 years and continue to do so. Expenses are the only sure thing and international stocks are almost three times higher (based on Admiral expense ratios). Intern...
by kenyan
Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: global diversification works in long term
Replies: 21
Views: 1912

Re: Is rebalancing worth having bonds?

Adding bonds and rebalancing isn't going to increase your expected return, but it will likely increase your risk-adjusted return. Theoretically, 100% stocks has a good chance of outperforming less risky allocations over 30 years. It's hard to know your risk tolerance when you're looking at theoretic...
by kenyan
Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is rebalancing worth having bonds?
Replies: 26
Views: 1902

Re: 529 - in-state only up to deduction amount?

Forget about the state tax deduction. You will be living with the fund you chose and its expense ratio for up to 18 years. Pick the best. A one time deduction on only the state taxes is insignificant in the big picture......Gordon I deduct the taxes from my contributions every single year in Illino...
by kenyan
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 - in-state only up to deduction amount?
Replies: 9
Views: 632

Re: Can this be done? Does it make sense?

You can file amended returns for the past. You can't withdraw money from your IRA in the past. Your withdrawals will be taxable for 2014. If I've misunderstood your strategy, I apologize.
by kenyan
Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can this be done? Does it make sense?
Replies: 4
Views: 875

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

Everybody keeps saying Zillow is awful. If Zillow is really bad, why not suggest a different website so that one can estimate the value? If there's no other website, then can you propose a method to estimate the values in 2007 and 2014? Since I don't know what else to do, I used Zillow. I'd say tha...
by kenyan
Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 94
Views: 5691

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

Between 10-15% less. I've got a good data point on 2007 (previous owners purchased it then), but have to estimate its current value. Thankfully, we did not purchase this house until 2013.
by kenyan
Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 94
Views: 5691

Re: Favorite portfolio tracking software

I use morningstar (free) for portfolio tracking, and employ excel for long-term history and rebalancing calculations. I used to use the T. Rowe Price portfolio manager, since you could get access to some paid features of morningstar (e.g. Portfolio X-ray), but it started to become more hassle than i...
by kenyan
Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Favorite portfolio tracking software
Replies: 14
Views: 1838

Re: Do you "Tax Adjust" your Asset Allocation (Pre vs Roth,

If my account balances were as above, I might tax-adjust my AA. However, my balances are much higher in my Traditional accounts than in my Roth accounts, and I don't bother with it.

edit: If I did, it would change my stock/bond split by one percent. Within the noise, hence not worth it IMO.
by kenyan
Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you "Tax Adjust" your Asset Allocation (Pre vs Roth, etc)
Replies: 77
Views: 3739

Re: how often do you look at your account

Couple of times a week on average, usually after new contributions have posted so I can update my spreadsheet. If I get too busy or am traveling, then I don't check. I might check more frequently when I know I am nearing a rebalancing band or a psychological milestone.
by kenyan
Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you look at your account
Replies: 70
Views: 3654

Re: beginner investor

Welcome to the forum! Kudos for thinking about getting started with retirement investing so young. I would personally pay off the unsubsidized loans, if you can, and direct the rest of your money toward avoiding taking any further unsubsidized loans, if possible. You can't get an 6.8% guaranteed ret...
by kenyan
Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: beginner investor
Replies: 5
Views: 461

Re: Saving for large house down payment in 6 to 7 years

Most Bogleheads tend to say you should have no money in stocks that you will need in less than ~10 years, but I don't agree. For what it's worth, I don't think having a small chunk of your portfolio in stocks for a 6-7 year timescale is that risky as long as either your timeline or price is at least...
by kenyan
Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for large house down payment in 6 to 7 years
Replies: 5
Views: 813
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