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Re: Can I afford it?

No, you cannot afford it. Get your assets up above $2MM, then look again. In the meantime, it is a used Camry or Accord for you. When your portfolio gains $41,000 in one single day is the day that you can afford a $41,000 car. This must be a joke. You would have to have $125 million in investment i...
by madbrain
Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I afford it?
Replies: 26
Views: 1703

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

But there's some things in life where there is unequivocally a correct answer from a purely intellectual standpoint, and this is one of them. Payment against a mortgage principal is savings! I am not going to argue with anybody that they NEED to count it as savings--again, everybody should do what ...
by madbrain
Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

People are confusing savings with cash flow which is an understandable mistake, but cash flow is easily manipulated in the short term. I agree that cash flow can easily be manipulated in the short term. Fortunately, I don't have stock in my household that I need to sell. I'm not a wall street analy...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

Bwolf, This is not how GAAP would account for purchasing a $20,000 car. You would not take a $20,000 expense in the year it happened. You would first understand what the useful life of the car is. Perhaps it's 10 years. You would then incur $2,000 in depreciation expense in each of the next 10 years...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

If you asked 100 homeowners outside of BH whether their mortgage payment is an expense, my guess is that most would say yes, including both principal and interest. You're right that most homeowners would say their entire mortgage payment is an expense. But popularity of an idea doesn't make it righ...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

The expense occurs when the expense occurs. When you buy your car, when you buy your house, when you buy something on a credit card, that's when the expense occurs. If you buy a $400,000 house, you spent $400,000 that year. If you buy a $20,000 car, you spent $20,000. How you pay for it is a second...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

Where you are net saving or spending money over any period of time is based on your personal income statement. Income statements are governed by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, so we can look to them for guidance. According to GAAP, interest paid on a loan is an expense, but principle rep...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles aren't just for businesses. They're called that because they are consistent and offer an accurate way to reflect what you have, what you owe, and what you can do. Making up your own system of mental accounting is just asking for trouble and poor decision mak...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

Is paying off my car loan considered savings? I don't think so. Is paying off my car loan or credit card considered spending? To me, no. My own definition of savings is income - spending. Since these car loan/credit card payments are not spent, they are savings. (We just have different views.) IMO,...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

This thread has been very interesting to read. Not too long ago my wife and I went on a shopping "date" (yes, how romantic I know!) where we did an extensive price analysis on a per unit cost basis of most of the items we purchased regularly. We visited Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart, Winco ...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 148
Views: 11110

Re: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?

(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. will replace American Express Co. as the exclusive issuer for Costco Wholesale Corp.’s credit cards in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Transactions will be processed by Visa Inc. beginning April 1, 2016, the Issaquah, Washington-based retailer said Monday in a statement. htt...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?
Replies: 56
Views: 13643

Re: Replace or repair dishwasher

If you don't want to have a whole house water softener, consider a dishwasher with its own water softener. Some of the higher end models from Bosch and Miele have them. These could easily set you >$1000 , though. I have a $1500 Miele and loving it. I would have preferred a $1500 Bosch, except the co...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace or repair dishwasher
Replies: 26
Views: 1097

Re: What's your average ER?

0.15% . It would be much less if not for the 0.31% ER on my 401k stable value fund.
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your average ER? [Expense Ratio]
Replies: 79
Views: 3268

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

To me, a pre-requisite of "savings" is having a positive cashflow, ie. "income - expenses" for a given period is a positive number. Your total "savings" is that number. If there is no positive cashflow, there cannot be savings, by definition. Savings don't magically exi...
by madbrain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 209
Views: 8097

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

We watched Maps to the stars last night. Very funny.
The cast is great, especially Julianne Moore.
by madbrain
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 573
Views: 70245

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

Check out IRS publication 590 (A,B, etc.) Roth contributions must stay in five years to be withdrawn penalty free, in addition to age requirements detailed in those publications. I am hoping to use some Roth contributions as backup college money, but the give year rule limits which contributions I ...
by madbrain
Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3088

Re: [SF BayArea,NorCal]Where do you get your Meat & Fish

Madbrain: I bet Bi-Rite has organic lamb if you pass through SF much I don't often go there. It's 55 miles one way from home and about 1hr10 minutes best case at off peak hours. I wouldn't go there grocery shopping. Also, it's too far of a trip for my Nissan Leaf to make the round trip, unfortunate...
by madbrain
Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [SF BayArea,NorCal]Where do you get your Meat & Fish
Replies: 8
Views: 511

Re: How long will I l live? (mortality predictor)

Not a very useful site, IMO. I was expecting something that would take into account more than just the birthday and birthplace.

Try this one instead :
https://www.livingto100.com/
by madbrain
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long will I l live? (mortality predictor)
Replies: 17
Views: 2000

Re: Is Vanguard understaffed?

Ken Schwartz wrote:
madbrain wrote:Note that Vanguard does have some managed funds with ETF shares as well, for example VWLUX - Vanguard long-term tax-exempt .

That's not true. Vanguard Long-Term Tax-Exempt has Investor and Admiral share classes, but no ETF.


Sorry, I misread that article - will edit my post.
by madbrain
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Vanguard understaffed?
Replies: 37
Views: 3305

Re: [SF BayArea,NorCal]Where do you get your Meat & Fish

Given the skyrocketing meat prices due to extreme drought and dwindling fish supplies this must be on top of everyones mind. Would like to know where/if value conscious families with mouths to feed shop in this extremely HCOL SF Bay Area. Food related expenses of our family have been going up 15%-2...
by madbrain
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [SF BayArea,NorCal]Where do you get your Meat & Fish
Replies: 8
Views: 511

Re: Is Vanguard understaffed?

If you are OK with using ETFs, no reason you need to deal with Vanguard directly. You can use any brokerage firm and buy Vanguard ETFs. Many have excellent service and there are recommendations on other threads. You would have no interaction with Vanguard yet own their low cost funds. Many Vanguard...
by madbrain
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Vanguard understaffed?
Replies: 37
Views: 3305

Re: Is Vanguard understaffed?

If you are OK with using ETFs, no reason you need to deal with Vanguard directly. You can use any brokerage firm and buy Vanguard ETFs. Many have excellent service and there are recommendations on other threads. You would have no interaction with Vanguard yet own their low cost funds. Many Vanguard...
by madbrain
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Vanguard understaffed?
Replies: 37
Views: 3305

Re: International is disappointing

airahcaz wrote:
poker27 wrote:
Dutch wrote:You want to buy low and sell high.

Not the other way around.


x2

If international beats US returns by 60% over the next 5 years, will you go all in to international?



No, would reduce international exposure at that point.


So why don't you reduce your US exposure now ?
by madbrain
Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International is disappointing
Replies: 72
Views: 4460

Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

I used to type 125 wpm in AZERTY, and about 100 wpm in QWERTY . I'm much slower now, though I haven't checked my speed recently. I don't really see the need to type that fast. Usually my brain is the limiting factor for what I'm going to be typing next, not my fingers.
by madbrain
Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?
Replies: 58
Views: 2236

Re: TSM or individual funds

So because you are trying to approximate TSM are you are essentially of the "three fund" and done group? I can see the advantage of holding more funds from the tax loss harvest perspective, but since the old adage is that no one can predict the market, I still struggle with understanding ...
by madbrain
Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSM or individual funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1242

Re: TSM or individual funds

That Vanguard Institutional looked awesome until I saw the minimum investment of 2 mil......Booooooh! Will have to look closer at the VEXAX....How did you pick this particular fund??? Actually it's $200 million minimum for VIIIX . It's in my 401k and I work for a large company. I picked VEXAX becau...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSM or individual funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1242

Re: International PE10 Update

Judging from forward exchange rates, the currency market thinks the Euro will depreciate ~1% against the dollar over the next year. It's not nothing, but doesn't explain extreme differences in PE10. How much do you trust the currency markets to predict actual future changes to the currency themselv...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2514

Re: Credit Card Refund Not Posted

Toons wrote:I have found all my credit card "refunds", and I have had my share of them, take a minimum of 2 business days to show up.Purchases show up immediately as pending :happy


+1
Wait at least a couple of business days. The refund will likely be posted then.
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Refund Not Posted
Replies: 14
Views: 795

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Okay, so this one is a little ridiculous, but: Stamps - $48.75 for 100 First Class Forever stamps instead of $49. I figure, if any group would appreciate such a thing, it would be this one. :D And another 2% off if you have the Executive membership, so a final cost of $47.78. :happy Wrong. From : h...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 148
Views: 11110

Re: International PE10 Update

That said, I think there is a fairly good likelihood that the PE on stocks from many of the countries you listed in the graphs will not stay this low in the long term. But that doesn't do you much good if your capital and earnings are in depreciated currencies. Judging from forward exchange rates, ...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2514

Re: Fidelity IRA match up to $1950

Anyone have an opinion on the new Fidelity IRA match up to $1950? That number is only if you have a $500k IRA to transfer, and are 50+ and making the maximum annual contribution ($6500 including catchup). Most people don't have such large balance IRAs, so the bonus will be much less. If I could do ...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity IRA match up to $1950
Replies: 1
Views: 444

Re: TSM or individual funds

Is there any advantage to buying these individual mutual funds over the TSM fund? I don't get why some people prefer this.... 81% Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX) (0.15%) 6% Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund (VIMSX) (0.21%) 13% Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund (NAESX) (0.22%) 100% Vanguard Total Stock Market...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSM or individual funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1242

Re: Illiquid Assets

Primary residence - This is a good example. Not exactly diversified, but it does give a good example of a way for someone young to capitalize on illiquidity. I think the illiquidity is more of an unwanted side effect of owning one's primary residence. It's certainly not the goal. I doubt most peopl...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illiquid Assets
Replies: 37
Views: 2613

Re: Illiquid Assets

Younger investors should take on more liquidity risk. There are ways to increase portfolio returns -- returns can be increased by increasing risk. Here are a handful of examples: Credit risk - riskier bonds imply a higher interest rate. Junk bonds have higher rates of return in exchange for a highe...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illiquid Assets
Replies: 37
Views: 2613

Re: International PE10 Update

I agree to a point. Markets are good at ranking things. Growth stocks really do grow faster than value stocks. The economic outlook for the US really is better than the outlook for international economies. But where markets get ranking right, they can still be overconfident. Markets tend to overest...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2514

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

From what I can see, they are primarily counting items and comparing what they see to the item-count number printed on the receipt. In other words they are not checking what you bought but rather how many things you bought. Of course, they may have guidelines about what to check if someone is wheel...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 148
Views: 11110

Re: Buying a House - SF Bay Area [bayareabuyer]

My wife and I live in the SF Bay Area (south bay), and would like to buy a house. We had our first child a year ago (we are both 31), and currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment. This will be fine for us for another few years, but we have a lot of visitors, and would want to move to an area with a ...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a House - SF Bay Area [bayareabuyer]
Replies: 25
Views: 2330

Re: Buying a home in SF Bay Area [Dumbo]

With your income and current assets, it will be difficult to find a nice place, but not impossible. It depends how badly you want it. I was in a similar situation in 1997 at age 21, with very little assets, and much less income than you, less than half. I knew that I would be staying in the area lon...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home in SF Bay Area [Dumbo]
Replies: 79
Views: 4157

Re: International PE10 Update

None of this is an exact science and long-term forecast from GMO and RAFI (precise to three significant digits!) should be printed somewhere between the funny pages and your daily horoscope. But one basic fact slaps you in the face looking at these charts. Most countries are at or below their histo...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2514

Re: International PE10 Update

My own philosophy is that the only reasonably accurate number in a company's financial report is the dividend paid. Everything else is a guess that probably has some relationship to reality, but the relationship might be quite distant. And that guess was made by an executive who has a financial int...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2514

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

I had over $200k at age 30, all in my 401k . Then 2008 happened right after.
The 401k is still 6 figures. It should break the half million bar this year.
But it's no longer my only retirement asset.
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 169
Views: 11459

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

The price difference on each of the following items is enough to pay for the Costco membership. If you have cats, cat litter, consistently half the price per pound of nearest competitor. If you bake (I bake bread), flour, in large 25 - 50 lbs bags. Reflector LED bulbs . I still have about 180 CFL bu...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 148
Views: 11110

Re: What's your dream car?

My dream car would be a Terrafugia TF-X .
Image
by madbrain
Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your dream car?
Replies: 197
Views: 12502

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

One thing to consider with the Fidelity AMEX is if you don't have rewards deposited into a Fidelity cash account you only receive 1% rewards. This is not correct, I get 2% back as a statement credit after $12,500 in spending / 25,000 points / $250 at a time. No Fidelity account needed for Fidelity ...
by madbrain
Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 20
Views: 1890

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

I hope this increase is used at least in part to cover the cost of measles vaccines for all Disney employees working at the park.
by madbrain
Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 46
Views: 2539

Re: TaxAct question: recomputation of 2103 federal tax retur

I think this would require a time machine.
by madbrain
Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct question: recomputation of 2103 federal tax return
Replies: 7
Views: 457

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

I've heard Citi has added direct deposit as a redemption option as well. Have they added any automatic redemption option ? Either statement credit or direct deposit would be fine. One of the big advantages of the Fidelity Amex and VISA, IMO, is that I don't have to do anything to redeem the points.
by madbrain
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 20
Views: 1890

Re: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/ren

About 13% for mortgage principal & interest minimum payment on my mansion .
20% including the prepayments I have been making monthly.

The property tax + insurance + utilities + maintenance is another 10%, though.
by madbrain
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/rent?
Replies: 155
Views: 8706

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Just too many to list.

My 9ft2 Schimmel grand piano .
My 8ft harpsichord .
The ton of home theater equipment I own, just too many products to list :)
My mansion . Some bogleheads will argue a home, is not a consumer product, but I disagree.
by madbrain
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 164
Views: 9618

Re: Market Top

With DOW and S&P making new highs wondering what are the visitors to this forum doing. Cash out play money ? Sell individual stock positions and reinvest in index funds ? The S&P500 is up a whole 2.82% year to date. Is that really so significant ? FYI, other asset classes - international an...
by madbrain
Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [What to do at] Market Top
Replies: 57
Views: 4930
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