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Re: Silly to consider buying a home because of interest rate

loans aren't portable Wowza, I wasn't aware of that... that alone pretty much tips the scales in favor of "not buying" for me. So if I understand... if I had a house with say, a 3.5% rate and then some years down the line I wanted to move but the new going rate was 7.5%, I'd pretty much b...
by madbrain
Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly to consider buying a home because of interest rates?
Replies: 29
Views: 2738

Re: When is cash still king?

When doing international travel. Many merchants in the Philippines wanted 10% surcharges for using credit cards.
by madbrain
Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is cash still king?
Replies: 26
Views: 2751

Re: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel

So I'm doing a lot of international travel lately. I'm currently in Bangkok, Thailand. I have experienced major problems with my Fidelity Amex chip and signature card here. Firstable, not that many merchants take amex. The merchants have tried to use it with their chip readers, but to no avail. They...
by madbrain
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel
Replies: 105
Views: 15878

Re: POLL: Homeowners Ins cost $/month per $100k home value?

About $1800/year for a $1.4M home with Safeco and $7500 deductible. This comes to just under $11/100k/month. Technically the insured amount is $1.8M but the market value is $1.4M. The $1.8M is what the insurance company estimates it would cost to rebuild my house, should it burn down. However the in...
by madbrain
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Homeowners Ins cost $/month per $100k home value?
Replies: 42
Views: 3132

Re: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION

Bogleheads: We are pleased to announce Registration for the 2015 Boglehead Contest. But first, let's learn from the 2014 Boglehead Contest: * Our Boglehead S&P 500 guesses ranged from a high of 3146 to a low of 960. Can anyone really forecast the stock market except by luck? Of course not, as t...
by madbrain
Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION
Replies: 556
Views: 19729

Re: What are you up YTD?

The Vanguard web site really makes it pretty damn hard to know what I am "up" YTD. When I go to my accounts/personal performance and select the "YTD" view, there is no total return % computed. By comparison, the Fidelity web site can do this on my 401k - and I have verified that ...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are you up YTD?
Replies: 271
Views: 30056

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I assume you mean "The Imitation Game" and not "The Imagination Game". In Turing's famous paper about whether computers can think the Turing test is introduced in the subsection of the paper titled "The Imitation Game". IMO The Imitation Game is a very good movie which...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 457
Views: 53695

Re: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel

Madbrain, thanks for the report, I will be in Paris for 9 days in April so I am looking forward to trying one of my Chase "chip" credit cards in a RATP kiosk (but will have plenty of Euro notes as a fallback just in case). I tried to use a Chase card in the BVG (Berlin) & DB kiosks a ...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel
Replies: 105
Views: 15878

Re: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?

About $400/month per person. This is including restaurants, and food items. I break down my grocery bills between food and other items, as my main grocery store is Costco, but food only accounts for about half of my spending there - I also buy a lot of movie tickets, cat litter, cat food, etc. I tra...
by madbrain
Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?
Replies: 67
Views: 4872

Re: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel

stan1, sperry8, I used my magstripe cards at automated Trenitalia kiosks in Venice last month with no problem. they didn't require chips. How do you know the kiosks you went to require chips ? Glad to hear it. I'm headed back to Italy next week. A couple of years back I couldn't use my card at the T...
by madbrain
Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel
Replies: 105
Views: 15878

Re: What % of net worth is your home?

HCOL area, about 80%, and I bought my very large home foreclosed near the bottom of the housing crisis.
It has appreciated more than all of my other assets in the last 4.5 years. I do not expect that trend to continue.
by madbrain
Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of net worth is your home?
Replies: 127
Views: 10938

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

which were either hard-wired into a computer or could connected to remote computers through acoustic couplers connected to your telephone. http://dial-a-grue.com/gory/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/IMG_1093.jpg Soon video display terminals replaced the typewriter/printers, and over time it all evolved ...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 15058

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

To an old timer the whole cloud mystique is a little humorous. Back in the '60s we called it timesharing. Admittedly it's more full functioned than it was back then, but it's just remote computing (which was what we did before PCs) with another name. I wasn't around in the 60s but my dad told me ab...
by madbrain
Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 15058

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

I spent this weekend attending lectures on various aspects of frequent travel. If I understood it correctly, around 2010, airlines were facing bankruptcies and asking banks to help them out. As a part of the deal, airlines gave miles to banks at significant discounts, which banks are now using as s...
by madbrain
Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 6593

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

Last week a co-worker and I interviewed a senior level programmer in India who had all of 4 years experience. The dead air on the phone where the responses should have been to the technical questions was pretty telling, and not at all surprising. It's even worse than you think. I interviewed someon...
by madbrain
Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 15058

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

My last hard pull just dropped off my credit report today according to Karma ! Not sure what my FICO score is, but CK says 780 . And average account age is now 5 years and 10 months, and that gets a "C" rating from CK. You have a report with each of the 3 major CRA's and the number of har...
by madbrain
Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 6593

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

This is sad and just goes to show how the so-called shortage of software engineers/IT people is just complete B.S. . What there actually is is a a shortage of young and cheap labor. As a hiring manager, there's definitely a shortage of DECENT engineers of any age. There is no shortage of low-skille...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 15058

Re: Why So Many Used Prius for Sale?

Per Toyota's brochure: "Hybrid vehicle battery expected life is 150,000 miles based on laboratory bench testing" Warranty: "Hybrid-Related Component Coverage: Hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converte...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why So Many Used Prius for Sale?
Replies: 51
Views: 7025

Re: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?

MIL passed away on wednesday. The funeral was on friday

We still haven't rescheduled the trip but will be looking to do it this weekend.
by madbrain
Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1542

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

Do you know how long one has to be an ex-card member to collect those bonuses ? I have a few Chase card that I haven't used in years, including one Freedom card. They are among my oldest accounts, so my credit score would take a hit presumably if I closed them. Chase policy is that it has to be at ...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 6593

Re: mother-in-law wrecked our car

That sounds like vicarious liability, not ultimate liability. Do you really think that the actual driver of the car is less liable than the owner of the car? GEICO can make any decision they want to make. They do not have to make a correct decision. But surely if they thought they could legally rec...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mother-in-law wrecked our car
Replies: 52
Views: 5395

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

For anyone with an iPhone4/5/6 with Siri ask her "Do you know hal" and see what she says..... There are a few quite good responses so you may not get the same response each time. And for those of us who don't use iPhones, does Siri have an old-fashioned phone number ? I asked my Amazon Fi...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 64
Views: 4383

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

One obvious card right now is the Chase Freedom. The bonus is 20k Ultimate Rewards points, worth at least $200 in statement credits or more if you leverage them by transferring them to a partner through another eligible Chase card. This is after $500 in spending. The bonus is usually 10k points. Th...
by madbrain
Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 6593

Re: Share your networth progression

#1. Go to the best school that you can get into, #2. Major in the highest, in expected income, field, #3. Work your ass of in school. Do multiple internships with high profile companies, #4. Pick a job / profession that would maximize income, #5. Don't stay in the same job too long. Statistics show...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 132
Views: 24556

Re: Most stocks are losers - golden swans drive returns of i

Interesting study from Chase - most stocks in an index drag down returns. It's only a handful of 'golden swans' that drive index return. https://www.chase.com/content/dam/privatebanking/en/mobile/documents/eotm/eotm_2014_09_02_agonyescstasy.pdf And of course, they are not the same stocks every year...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most stocks are losers - golden swans drive returns of index
Replies: 21
Views: 2687

Re: My Rate of Return on my 401K is 9.83%. Is that Good?

ok thanks. I was curious because my company offers financial advice through Financial Engines, and I wasn't sure if it was necessary for me to do that. Financial Engines seems focused on trying to get me to contribute more to my 401K, which I disagree with because I am already contributing up to th...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Rate of Return on my 401K was 9.83%. Is that Good?
Replies: 30
Views: 2576

Re: mother-in-law wrecked our car

Various sources are available to help explain the many causes of "pedal misapplication" and one of the best is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on "Pedal Application Errors." Here's the link: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/811597.pdf‎ thanks for ...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mother-in-law wrecked our car
Replies: 52
Views: 5395

Re: mother-in-law wrecked our car

Various sources are available to help explain the many causes of "pedal misapplication" and one of the best is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on "Pedal Application Errors." Here's the link: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/811597.pdf‎ Interesting...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mother-in-law wrecked our car
Replies: 52
Views: 5395

Re: mother-in-law wrecked our car

That sounds like vicarious liability, not ultimate liability. Do you really think that the actual driver of the car is less liable than the owner of the car? GEICO can make any decision they want to make. They do not have to make a correct decision. But surely if they thought they could legally rec...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mother-in-law wrecked our car
Replies: 52
Views: 5395

Re: Where do I go to get my 3 credit reports?

annualcreditreport.com
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do I go to get my 3 credit reports?
Replies: 7
Views: 746

Re: Is 18 too young to start investing?

Monty: Starting to invest at an early age is one of the smartest things anyone can do because it begins the magic of compound interest. Consider opening a Roth IRA with a Vanguard Target Retirement fund ($1,000 minimum). You can get started here: https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/target-re...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 18 too young to start investing? (Investing from the UK)
Replies: 12
Views: 786

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

Your comments about the job market remind me of Y2K. They were paying big bucks for anyone who had ever programmed in COBOL on mainframes. I knew people who had been retired for years getting $50K - $60K for a few months of work to fix the old systems. Ah, those were the good 'ole days! :happy Expe...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 15058

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

There are some companies (think silly valley) who don't like older workers. Others, say defense contractors, telecom etc. don't seem to have a problem. Well, I was in silly valley. Had I known other places were different, I'd have looked there. This is sad and just goes to show how the so-called sh...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 15058

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

I saw it the first weekend it came out. I *loved* it, my girlfriend hated it. I've probably seen it 15 times since then, and it made me a lifelong Kubrick fan. Still married to her, and she still hates it. :happy Congrats on the marriage. Seems the movie provokes a reaction with most people, either...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 64
Views: 4383

Re: Low Price Nikon Camera

Then you may be interested in a weatherproof DSLR. My Pentax K-30 is one such model. The K-50 that replaced it is weatherproof also, and nearly identical except for style. Looks like the black K-50 with more conventional style is only $366 for bod y ! Cool! I had no idea. One reason for not owning ...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Price Nikon Camera
Replies: 31
Views: 1808

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

I loved the movie when it came out. After I set up my home theater it was the first Blu-ray Disc I watched -- and I made my wife and kids watch it with me. Afterwards my kids said "Dad, that was weird" and they looked at me funny. They also don't trust my movie recommendations anymore. Oh...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 64
Views: 4383

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

DaftInvestor wrote:For anyone with an iPhone4/5/6 with Siri ask her "Do you know hal" and see what she says.....

There are a few quite good responses so you may not get the same response each time.


And for those of us who don't use iPhones, does Siri have an old-fashioned phone number ?
by madbrain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 64
Views: 4383

Re: Low Price Nikon Camera

I don't take my tripod with me anymore since my DSLR now has such a high usable ISO range that it's moot. If you are on instagram look up timlaman. Take a look at the upstate NY waterfall. Or the picture down just a little taken on the coast of Maine. Both shots taken at long exposures. Two seconds...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Price Nikon Camera
Replies: 31
Views: 1808

Re:

I have had several Nikon DSLR's, but lugging them around gets old fast especially on a trip somewhere. Camera bags, lenses, chargers, tripods. Yes, lugging stuff around is definitely an inconvenience. But you don't have to take all your gear with you everywhere every single day. You can choose what...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Price Nikon Camera
Replies: 31
Views: 1808

Re: Low Price Nikon Camera

For my next purchase I'm thinking a drone: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/features/drones-holidays-aerial-video-photo-every-budget-skill-level?cm_mmc=EML-_-Holiday2014-10AY-_-141204-_-Body_Explora_Drones HD video for $72 and no need to climb up the 1000 ft vertical rock face to get the s...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Price Nikon Camera
Replies: 31
Views: 1808

Re: Strong Dollar Clobbers Returns of Foreign-Stock Funds

As a holder of these, I'm not really seeing a buying opportunity at this point, even though the returns have been less than expected due to currency fluctuations. I'm not rebalancing into international. Can you explain why you do not consider these not a buying opportunity? Is it because that are n...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Strong Dollar Clobbers Returns of Foreign-Stock Funds
Replies: 26
Views: 2697

Re: Ask the correct question

The correct question is not: is it a good camera? The proper question is: will I use it? I have a decent, older p&s Canon AND an iPhone 4s. There is no question that the Canon is a much better camera. There is also no question about which "camera" I use more. IMO, both questions are r...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Price Nikon Camera
Replies: 31
Views: 1808

Re: Strong Dollar Clobbers Returns of Foreign-Stock Funds

I'm not really sure if I believe this data from WSJ. VTIAX - Vanguard total international Admiral - has a total return of -0.24% YTD in US dollars. I realize this is now a different index - FTSE Global all cap ex US - and not EAFE + Emerging markets as it was before. Does the difference in index exp...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Strong Dollar Clobbers Returns of Foreign-Stock Funds
Replies: 26
Views: 2697

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

The story was incomprehensible or non-existent, and the acting, as you say, wooden. Your description makes me think of the title of MAD magazine's spoof which appeared shortly afterward: "201 Minutes of a Space Idiocy". :twisted: Aha! Here it is. (I'm in the camp that loved the movie. I p...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 64
Views: 4383

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

...And somehow, I don't think the movie has aged badly at all... Except, of course, for the trademarks and logos of defunct companies. And a Boglehead-relevant lesson in the belief in "solid blue-chip stocks." In 1968 it seemed like a sure thing that Howard Johnson's and Pan American Airw...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 64
Views: 4383

Re: Low Price Nikon Camera

My issue with all cameras of this type is that there's no viewfinder, which besides making the subject difficult to see in bright light, also makes handholding extremely difficult. Agree with you - an optical viewfinder is very important. And it's not just in bright light. Try shooting dark picture...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Price Nikon Camera
Replies: 31
Views: 1808

Re: Low Price Nikon Camera

iPhone 5s vs Nikon: http://versus.com/en/apple-iphone-5s-vs ... olpix-l830 That was quite interesting. But which one takes the better picture in good light (sharper, better detail overall, better shadow detail, truest colors), how about in poor light? What is the true non-digital zoom? IMO, that li...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Price Nikon Camera
Replies: 31
Views: 1808

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

BolderBoy wrote:+1. Everything you've said. For me it was a lousy movie. 2010 was much better, IMO.


Sorry, but 2010 was just an average and much more conventional movie compared to 2001, IMO. Maybe if Kubrick had directed it, it would have been better.
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 64
Views: 4383

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

This is my favorite movie of all time, and I wasn't even born in 1968 . I don't need the ending to have any specific meaning . One can interpret it as they wish, in many different ways. I wish I had a chance to see it in a real movie theater. It was re-released last month in the UK. Alas, not here i...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 64
Views: 4383

Re: FIRECalc, What does it cost to really live

Yes, I find that these are individually way off. Actual food at home for us is 66% of estimated. Property tax is 400% . Utilities are 40% . Gasoline is 40%. Vehicle insurance is 60%. Health insurance is 450% (I used the unsubsidized employer premium for this value). Public transportation, education ...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRECalc, What does it cost to really live
Replies: 8
Views: 1571
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