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Best Self Directed IRA Custodian?

Can anyone recommend a good home for a self directed IRA? I want to purchase a small amount of private company stock within a Roth IRA. Fidelity doesn't support this and it doesn't seem like Vanguard would either. I'm familiar with the IRA rules for prohibited transactions and so forth, this is priv...
by mac808
Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Self Directed IRA Custodian?
Replies: 1
Views: 244

Re: Erasing hard disk that have died

An alternative to DBAN is to mount a Linux distro and use dd to write zeros to the drive. dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=1M I do this because I've found DBAN doesn't work on some computers. The idea that you need multiple passes is urban legend. One pass is enough. Nobody has demonstrated the abili...
by mac808
Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erasing hard disk that have died
Replies: 40
Views: 3221

Re: Erasing hard disk that have died

Here is a method: First use Eraser. Set it for the most overwriting passes possible. Then use Active@Killdisk (http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm). Then take out the hard drive and physically destroy it (use a drill to put a bunch of holes in it, then smash it up with a hammer). Please wear e...
by mac808
Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erasing hard disk that have died
Replies: 40
Views: 3221

Re: Do you tell your kids how much you make?

My parents were very open with me about their finances as I was growing up, and I'm very grateful because that is how I learned about how that part of the world works.
by mac808
Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tell your kids how much you make?
Replies: 58
Views: 5900

Re: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?

I started off with clunkers as a MND type. Now I can afford pretty much anything and still be living within my means, which is the main lesson from MND as I remember. But I still love and drive reliable 5-10 year old cars. I like people assuming I am lower/middle working class, as it helps me blend ...
by mac808
Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?
Replies: 187
Views: 22171

Re: Retiring at 25? Help with allocation

Read about the lazy portfolios in the wiki, sign up for a Vanguard or Fidelity account and just DCA in to 4 or 8 funds over the next year. I would do 70/30 equities/bonds but it's up to you, 60/40 or 50/50 would be OK but you are giving up a lot of growth potential over the next few decades. The who...
by mac808
Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring at 25? Help with allocation
Replies: 9
Views: 2840

Re: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?

You are making an interesting but sort of rigged against medicine comparison. Stanford's Computer Science class of 2000 made substantially more than $92,000/year on average and median income (I suspect you know this from peers and would agree). Beyond the averages, if you were in that year and made ...
by mac808
Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?
Replies: 66
Views: 5031

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

Several posters commented on that. I may have misrepresented my son’s words. He wants to finish college with practical degree in hand so he can get a job right away that pays well, short term and long term. He did his research on salaries after graduation, and engineering salaries to him are “a lot...
by mac808
Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5248

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

Reputation of school can get your foot in the door for a job. After that point, it's mostly in how you perform (possible exceptions if you're not working in industry). However, if your son has plans to go to graduate school for engineering, the reputation of his undergrad institution does not reall...
by mac808
Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5248

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

Super condensed advice incoming. If you can go to MIT, Stanford, Cornell, or another top 10 school for engineering - do it. It's worth the money, without question. Below the top tier, it doesn't matter, go to a good program that's affordable.
by mac808
Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5248

Re: Enough: True Measures of Money

Rich people think about SWRs the same as others do. Imagine earning 100 million over a career and retiring with perhaps 30 million in cash in the bank, plus two nice houses. 30 million produces 1.2 million before taxes. Seems rich but not obscene.
by mac808
Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Enough: True Measures of Money
Replies: 28
Views: 2378

Re: Funding a job change to a startup

What about finding a Series A funded startup that you believe in, and go work there? Based on your #s, you need about $130k pre tax to keep from spending your savings. You would make maybe 30% less cash (pre tax), but you'd have better upside, and probably a much better work environment. Leaving to ...
by mac808
Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funding a job change to a startup
Replies: 14
Views: 977

Re: Real money v/s nominal money - Retirement amount questio

I subtract expected inflation rate from expected nominal return rate in order to get the expected ''real'' return. 7% (nominal return) - 2% (inflation) = 5% (real return). And that 5% is the number I use for future growth calculations. Of course there are no guarantees. I'm sure there are other meth...
by mac808
Mon May 19, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real money v/s nominal money - Retirement amount question
Replies: 5
Views: 724

Re: Do you love your job? What do you do?

Software development. A new project every few months. I love it. I could retire but have no desire to, I will keep doing this for as long as possible. Project based work is fantastic because you can line up long vacations in between projects if you're smart about scheduling, and don't have the mind ...
by mac808
Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you love your job? What do you do?
Replies: 134
Views: 11075

Re: Money issues - people take me for granted

I've been in the same boat. Close friends (like my best 4-5 friends in the world who I went through a lot of crap with), I would do pretty much anything for. I made money before any of them did. I loaned 2 of them $30k each and both paid me back. One of them was a year late in paying me back but I n...
by mac808
Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money issues - people take me for granted
Replies: 74
Views: 5386

Re: Helping an irresponsible dad preserve a financial windfa

I've seen a lot of older folks enjoy moving from the Bay Area to Las Vegas; there is a lot to do, it's still close to the west coast, and it's so much cheaper. Does he own a home in the Bay Area? If so, that could be another huge windfall for him.
by mac808
Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping an irresponsible dad preserve a financial windfall
Replies: 29
Views: 2445

Re: California vs. Texas

I have lived in both states. Some thoughts: 1. It wasn't the extra income tax that bothered me most about California, but the extreme social inequality. In Texas, there are less distinctions between the classes because real estate, good schools, and safe neighborhoods are accessible for almost every...
by mac808
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California vs. Texas
Replies: 32
Views: 2870

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

Get the full bill, which should include every cost down to the penny, including itemization of the $16k tax prep and filing costs. Mark anything that seems inflated. Ask to speak to your cousin's boss, either the supervising partner, or if your cousin is a partner, then the managing partner of the f...
by mac808
Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9183

Re: Family Inheritance / (Family Feud)

The devil's in the details but my gut tells me it sounds like an irrevocable trust and grandpa probably has no (legal) power to change it.
by mac808
Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Inheritance / (Family Feud)
Replies: 16
Views: 2832

Re: Burton Malkiel, Wealthfront CIO

I looked at starting a similar business in 2011. The problem, as mentioned earlier in this thread, is that the AUM # needs to be so massive @ 25 basis points fee in order to drive real revenue. I concluded it would be better off as a lifestyle business, which seems to be the route that other contrib...
by mac808
Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Burton Malkiel, Wealthfront CIO
Replies: 89
Views: 12155

Re: 28 y/o Investor With 1M Portfolio Needs Advice

I had a seven figure portfolio around that age due to a small business going well. I opted for 50/50 initially - once you've won the game, quit playing, etc. I changed it to 60/40 and then 70/30 over the following 24 months. 70/30 is where I felt (and still feel) most comfortable. I would not go 100...
by mac808
Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28 y/o Investor With 1M Portfolio Needs Advice
Replies: 31
Views: 4684

Re: Who on here owned American Airlines Stock

You didn't lose 85% of the value. You have been sucked into a complicated distribution formula that depends on debt schedules and the new AAL share price over the next 120 days. Head over to the Yahoo finance message board and read more.
by mac808
Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who on here owned American Airlines Stock
Replies: 21
Views: 1960

Re: 145k in student loans, 255k in investments, and UNK Futu

What happens if you pay off your loans and then, due to unforeseen circumstances, you end up staying at your current job another 7 years?

If you do want to pay them off, I would do it the day after you leave and not a moment sooner.
by mac808
Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial decisions to start a business and family (edited)
Replies: 36
Views: 2119

Re: Fidelity undercuts Vanguard target date funds

Competition is a beautiful thing.
by mac808
Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity undercuts Vanguard target date funds
Replies: 31
Views: 2353

Re: windfall in high tax california, what to do

Is the windfall in the form of long term capital gains or earned income? Do you plan to retire in the Bay Area, or eventually leave for cheaper pastures once you are ready to quit working?
by mac808
Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: windfall in high tax california, what to do
Replies: 20
Views: 1994

Re: "Why baby boomers won't bust the market"

From what I've read a small % of boomers own a large % of the stock market, and those folks don't need the principal to live on, so the impact should be muted. More interesting to me is the boomer effect on housing prices, because there's a much more even distribution of houses to boomers. As the wa...
by mac808
Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why baby boomers won't bust the market"
Replies: 13
Views: 1776

Re: Physician - real estate question

Wait at least a year after joining a new job/practice to make sure you like it. Most residents I know seem to move multiple times before they find the right fit for long term career path. Same with physicians retiring from military service.
by mac808
Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician - real estate question
Replies: 11
Views: 1482

Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Computer science. Learn how to code and manage software. A top 1/3rd programmer earns $100k out of school (in SF, NYC, or Boston) with lots of growth potential. It's also a flexible career choice - can take risk and join a startup, work remote from Thailand, become a consultant and work part-time, e...
by mac808
Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best careers for people about to enter college?
Replies: 69
Views: 5133

Re: Can we afford private school?

I went to 8 different K-12 schools and even homeschooled for a year while growing up (military family). Based on my experience, a 99th percentile gifted-only public magnet school was the best, followed by (large gap) the private schools, followed by (large gap) the public schools. Class sizes, motiv...
by mac808
Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford private school?
Replies: 87
Views: 6739

Re: At what networth is it not worth working at X salary?

I struggle with this (mental) challenge also, in a similar situation as reason-logic (with lower absolute #s) - more than enough to retire, and half way out the door already, but significant golden handcuffs make it hard to exit completely. After-tax savings from my salary in 2013 will be a little o...
by mac808
Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what networth is it not worth working at X salary?
Replies: 34
Views: 5843

Re: NYC, Philly, Boston, or Chicago?

I would go wherever the best career opportunities are. NYC might be the most fun in terms of nightlife. Philly and Chicago are significantly cheaper than NYC or Boston but for a short period of time, the extra cost might not matter.
by mac808
Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC, Philly, Boston, or Chicago?
Replies: 102
Views: 6472

Re: how bad would it hurt to spend an extra 10k on a car (24

If you're a true boglehead, you'll regret the purchase shortly after making it. It sounds to me like you want a status symbol more than a car. And as other posters have alluded to, sometimes a car is not just a car, but the cornerstone of the type of lifestyle you end up getting sucked into.
by mac808
Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how bad would it hurt to spend an extra 10k on a car (24 yo)
Replies: 93
Views: 5088

Re: Mom just lent 40k to a friend w/o a contract

Depends on the parties involved. I have some close friends who I would trust with my life, and with $40k (2-3% of net worth). Others who I wouldn't. I do believe that in some cases, if it doesn't present much financial risk to the lender, lending cash to a close, responsible friend who is in a tough...
by mac808
Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom just lent 40k to a friend w/o a contract
Replies: 61
Views: 6355

Re: Tesla Motors Stock

I can't speak to Tesla's stock market valuation, but to echo similar sentiments expressed in the thread, all of the car guys I know who have driven Tesla cars absolutely love them.
by mac808
Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tesla Motors Stock
Replies: 164
Views: 12708

Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

This is where the "millionaire next door" lifestyle has helped me. Friends know I am financially very successful but see me living in a very modest apartment and driving an old, beat up used car. They observe me making very conscious spending choices whenever we are out and about, using co...
by mac808
Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?
Replies: 52
Views: 5667

Re: "Why yes, yes I am."

The ironic part is that Doctors should actually have an easy time saving since they work so many hours and live so cheaply as residents. After residency, just continue to live like a resident for a few more years, and you'll have a great cushion. Unfortunately most of them have poor business sense a...
by mac808
Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Why yes, yes I am."
Replies: 39
Views: 6709

Re: Business Travel to Tijuana/Tecate/Ensenada

I wouldn't take the job. I have friends who work in Mexico and I've heard a lot of horror stories about the cartels and increasing levels of indiscriminate violence, to the point where some friends have quit going down there and others are looking to move on to safer jobs. I used to go down to TJ in...
by mac808
Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Business Travel to Tijuana/Tecate/Ensenada
Replies: 35
Views: 2146

Re: What the best value in anti-virus software

AVG works well for me
by mac808
Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What the best value in anti-virus software
Replies: 63
Views: 4925

Re: Adult "child" moved back home - avoiding failure to laun

Good Lord. Kid flunks college and returns home? That's insane. How bout returning to a place called somewhere else and dealing with life? No effing way would the kid be allowed back here if he/she flunked out. They invented cheap crappy apartments and roommates for a reason. Feel free to stop by on...
by mac808
Thu May 30, 2013 10:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adult "child" moved back home - avoiding failure to launch
Replies: 196
Views: 12764

Re: The college "bubble" and financial literacy

Even with some intensive financial mentoring or education, I'm not sure the average 17 or 18 year old has anywhere near enough life experience to understand the implications of leaving school $100k+ in debt. I think what happens to some of these kids is almost criminal. I would support being able to...
by mac808
Thu May 30, 2013 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The college "bubble" and financial literacy
Replies: 4
Views: 544

Re: Downpayment Money from In-Laws

If you're a CPA then I will assume you know enough about your own financial situation to determine whether you can afford the house on an on-going basis or not. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to borrow some of the $ if it would help squeeze into a house faster. I do think prices will continue to cli...
by mac808
Thu May 30, 2013 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downpayment Money from In-Laws
Replies: 52
Views: 4091

Re: What's the point?

I was in a similar situation. I adopted a bunker mentality. Every month/quarter I survived was a victory. :twisted: It didn't feel great at the time but now, looking back, I am grateful I toughed it out. Towards the end I set a 12 month count-down which helped reduce the stress.
by mac808
Sat May 18, 2013 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the point? [job frustration]
Replies: 42
Views: 4403

Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity

Although I like Vanguard more as a company, Fidelity has a better website IMO and so I use them for most of my investing instead. It may sound silly but I am willing to pay a few basis points more in fees to have access to all the website tools that I'm now familiar with. Can't go wrong with either ...
by mac808
Wed May 08, 2013 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard vs. Fidelity
Replies: 17
Views: 2330

Re: Afraid to put money back into market. Help

Jebediah wrote:
mac808 wrote:In the long term, it's likely to be much, much higher than it is today.


Oh really? What makes you say that?


History. If you want to make an options bet that the market will be flat in nominal terms over the next 30 years, I am sure you will find many takers. :sharebeer
by mac808
Sat May 04, 2013 1:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Afraid to put money back into market. Help
Replies: 35
Views: 3005

Re: Afraid to put money back into market. Help

The near term future is impossible to predict - it could go up 20%, or down 20%. In the long term, it's likely to be much, much higher than it is today. My advice, having faced the same mostly psychological situation, is to DCA in 1/12th of the money every 2 weeks for 6 months (or whatever #s seem r...
by mac808
Sat May 04, 2013 12:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Afraid to put money back into market. Help
Replies: 35
Views: 3005

Re: Do billionaires use Vanguard?

I'm friends with a kid who has a family office and it seems like the rule of thumb is, the more money you have (into the billions), the more diversified you are or should be into alternative asset classes. Not necessarily hedge funds, more stuff like raw commodities - a 20 thousand acre redwood fore...
by mac808
Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do billionaires use Vanguard?
Replies: 31
Views: 4536

Re: Taking it too far? Saving so aggresively I feel stretche

Mac808 - that definitely resonates. I've actually found myself frustrated that the efficient market hypothesis means proper investing requires so little effort once you've got the basics sorted out! Anyway, thanks very much for the perspectives everyone - it's been very helpful! The benefits of sav...
by mac808
Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking it too far? Saving so aggresively I feel stretched...
Replies: 54
Views: 4771

Re: Taking it too far? Saving so aggresively I feel stretche

I was in a similar situation as you and then I realized that over time, saving became more fun for me than spending money - at least spending it in 99% of the ways that most people do. I still love traveling, but almost all other consumer purchases lost their appeal to me. Instead, I derive a lot of...
by mac808
Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking it too far? Saving so aggresively I feel stretched...
Replies: 54
Views: 4771

Re: Investing in cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, PPCoin

Bitcoin is very much a speculative virtual currency. I am personally a big fan and think that over time it could become a viable, fun, albeit niche means to facilitate certain online transactions -- but I don't think it will ever be appropriate for 95%+ of normal folks to use, due to the massive ris...
by mac808
Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, PPCoin,etc
Replies: 40
Views: 2684

Re: [Child Reimbursing a parent for expenses]

At that amount, between parent and child, no one cares - certainly not the IRS. If you're asking a practical question, then it's a non issue. If you're asking a theoretical question, then other posters have provided the answer. Furthermore, there is no need to space out the payments. You can give up...
by mac808
Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Child Reimbursing a parent for expenses]
Replies: 14
Views: 838
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