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Re: How to buy oil in the stock market?

Your best bet in a publically traded vehicle is a Master Limited Partnership that has assets in oil production or oil pipelines. Some of them own producing oil wells and make their money by selling the oil. When the price of oil goes up, so do their profits. Most of these involve the dreaded K-1 tax...
by ourbrooks
Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to buy oil in the stock market?
Replies: 31
Views: 1509

Re: EverBank

Maybe not of much interest to the OP, but EverBank offers foreign currency accounts and doesn't charge for SWIFT wires into the accounts. For converting foreign currencies back to dollars, they claim they offer market rates less a 1% fee. If you've ever had someone try and send Euros and the convers...
by ourbrooks
Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EverBank
Replies: 7
Views: 764

Re: Monty Carlo Simulation

I'm not sure why you're using a Monte Carlo simulator at all. The prebuilt ones in the financial area are all intended to answer the question of whether or not a specific amount of money will last a specific amount of time, usually, 30 years. The calculator on annuitycalc.org also assumes a fixed ti...
by ourbrooks
Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Monte Carlo Simulation
Replies: 9
Views: 783

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

Another reason to be in the city is easier access for care providers and services. Suppose that, at some point, shopping becomes difficult. You want to be somewhere where groceries and ready made food (for those days you don't want to cook) can be delivered. Perhaps, you'll want someone to come in a...
by ourbrooks
Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3554

Re: Roll Over Old TIAA CREF Account?

Roll the rest of the funds into the TIAA Traditional fund. If nothing else, when you go to cocktail parties, you will be able to honestly say that you keep your investments in the same fund that Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke use. The only work you have to do to "manage" the fund is update ...
by ourbrooks
Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll Over Old TIAA CREF Account?
Replies: 15
Views: 770

Re: Maximum Number of Medicare Hospital Days

My reading of this page: http://www.medicare.gov/coverage/inpatient-hospital-care.html#1347 For each separate hospital admission, there's a separate 90 days of coverage. The clock starts over if you've been out of the hospital for 60 days. There's also an additional pool of 60 days which are spread ...
by ourbrooks
Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maximum Number of Medicare Hospital Days
Replies: 10
Views: 741

Re: Want to Convert Tape and Vinyl to Digital

The Behringer UCA202 is about $30. It converts an analog input coming in via RCA phono jacks to a digital signal which enters the computer via a USB port. It will work with any turntable or cassette deck that has RCA jack output. Some older turntables have what is called a phono output which is a l...
by ourbrooks
Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to Convert Tape and Vinyl to Digital
Replies: 23
Views: 974

Re: Want to Convert Tape and Vinyl to Digital

The Behringer UCA202 is about $30. It converts an analog input coming in via RCA phono jacks to a digital signal which enters the computer via a USB port. It will work with any turntable or cassette deck that has RCA jack output. Some older turntables have what is called a phono output which is a lo...
by ourbrooks
Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to Convert Tape and Vinyl to Digital
Replies: 23
Views: 974

Re: Mortgage question (yes another)

There's no way you can afford to keep the house after you retire. You haven't said in what part of the country you live in, but, assuming a 1.5% tax rate, on the low side for a state with no income tax, your home will cost you $39,000 a year in taxes alone. If you withdraw at the recommended 4% rate...
by ourbrooks
Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage question (yes another)
Replies: 8
Views: 1216

Re: Long term care insurance in NYC for Arthritis?

Does her current home have stairs? If so, the highest priority should be fixing that, long before you spend any money on insurance of any kind. Alternatives range from moving to one story dwelling to adding a stair lift/elevator. More generally, how suitable is her current living arrangement for som...
by ourbrooks
Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance in NYC for Arthritis?
Replies: 10
Views: 805

Re: Will Investment Returns Ever Revert to "Normal"?

Paradoxically, lower, less volatile returns could mean that investors can save less for retirement. Depending on which of the previous posts you read, the real return on stocks has been around 8%. Because of the sequence of returns problem, a result of volatility, the safe withdrawal rate considered...
by ourbrooks
Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will Investment Returns Ever Revert to "Normal"?
Replies: 56
Views: 4484

Re: What is your best estimate of the SWR (Safe Withdrawal R

How do you make reasonable assumptions about the returns of stocks and bonds going forward without look at past returns? All the predictions I've read about lower returns in the future are based on something like PE10 and make the claim "when things looked like this in the past, here's how the...
by ourbrooks
Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your best estimate of the SWR (Safe Withdrawal Rate)
Replies: 77
Views: 4002

Re: Gas Water Heater Upgrade worth the $$$

The builder is thinking of tankless, condensing water heater? :annoyed My thought as well. $1400 sounds just about right for a whole house tankless. Indulge yourself. With the tankless, you can take a shower any time you want without worrying that your spouse has just started a tub of laundry or is...
by ourbrooks
Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Water Heater Upgrade worth the $$$
Replies: 31
Views: 1839

Re: What is your best estimate of the SWR (Safe Withdrawal R

Basing withdrawal rates on past history (ala the Trinity Study) doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Will the next 30 years resemble the historical past? A better approach, in my view, is to make reasonable assumptions about the returns of stocks and bonds going forward and plan from there. How do yo...
by ourbrooks
Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your best estimate of the SWR (Safe Withdrawal Rate)
Replies: 77
Views: 4002

Re: What is your best estimate of the SWR (Safe Withdrawal R

Professor Cooley responded: You have hit the nail on the head! I've tried to explain that thought to journalists but they don't seem to get it. You've got it. Stay flexible my friend!, which is the advice we should give to retirees. That's one of the least content quotations I've ever read. What doe...
by ourbrooks
Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your best estimate of the SWR (Safe Withdrawal Rate)
Replies: 77
Views: 4002

Re: What's Your Takeaway from 2014 High Valuation

Whenever I read about high valuations, I go back and read this article: http://www.philosophicaleconomics.com/2013/12/the-single-greatest-predictor-of-future-stock-market-returns/ The best 10 year predictor of stock market returns is not PE10; it's the percentage of stocks in investor's portfolios. ...
by ourbrooks
Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's Your Takeaway from 2014 High Valuation
Replies: 52
Views: 4214

Re: Engineered Hardwood

If the underside of the engineered wood flooring is pressboard, then you're buying at the low end of the market. The better quality engineered flooring has 5 or 7 layer plywood. If you look at the edge of the board and can only see 2 or 3 layers and one of them is very thick, then it's the less expe...
by ourbrooks
Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 13
Views: 1179

Re: Engineered Hardwood

As the others have already said, laminate is not the same as engineered hardwood. If the flooring store is telling you it's the same, find another store ASAP. If you have small children still spilling things all over the place, then I would not go with laminate or engineered hardwood. Since the flo...
by ourbrooks
Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 13
Views: 1179

Re: Stable value funds with tickers?

Stable values funds operate by a variety of different mechanisms, but one common mechanism is to buy longer term bonds and insure them against loss if sold. Note the "if sold" part. What makes the insurance reasonable is that stable value funds almost never sell their bonds; they hold them...
by ourbrooks
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stable value funds with tickers?
Replies: 8
Views: 742

Re: Help with annuity questions

Okay, let's see if I can recast things into terms I'm more familiar with. I think "IRA annuity" is a term the insurance company made up. IRAs are structures for holding assets. You can put a wide range of assets into them. Some people put collectables into the their IRAs. You can also mix ...
by ourbrooks
Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with annuity questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1155

Re: Help with annuity questions

I don't think that you can legally put an Individual Retirement Account inside an annuity; more likely, it's the other way around. One of the investments in the IRA just happens to be a deferred annuity. If an investment inside an IRA makes regular payments for the life of the beneficiary and follow...
by ourbrooks
Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with annuity questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1155

Re: VDE [for 5% "casino money"?]

Note that VDE holds only oil/gas companies which do their finances in dollars. This removes currency factors from returns but it leaves out companies like British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell. The Vanguard Energy mutual fund (VGENX) would give you broader exposure.
by ourbrooks
Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE [for 5% "casino money"?]
Replies: 11
Views: 965

Re: Pfau: Valuation-based market timing improves returns

If it's the 2011 paper, then, yup, market timing delivers both higher returns and higher risk adjusted returns. So why isn't everyone doing it? Well, the method is to look at PE10 at the beginning of each year. If it's higher than it's historical median, stay in cash/bonds for the year; if it's lowe...
by ourbrooks
Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau: Valuation-based market timing improves returns
Replies: 6
Views: 1199

Re: Reliable Portable CD Player Needed

Some tablets will let you connect an external USB DVD drive/player. You'd end up spending $35 for the drive and $150 for the tablet. This might be worth it because you could use the tablet to play MP3, read print books, download audio books from Librovox and the occasional Amazon freebee, etc. Note ...
by ourbrooks
Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliable Portable CD Player Needed
Replies: 28
Views: 1445

Re: need help choosing options at TIAA-CREF

One way to think of TIAA traditional annuity is that it is a smoothed intermediate-term bond fund. Over the long term, it will have about the same return as the Vanguard total US bond index fund or perhaps slightly less. It will be less because you have to pay for the smoothing and the guarantee no...
by ourbrooks
Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need help choosing options at TIAA-CREF
Replies: 34
Views: 1578

Re: need help choosing options at TIAA-CREF

The TIAA Traditional annuity is a very unusual investment. You can't purchase anything like it from Vanguard or Fidelity. It's goal is to produce retirement income and to do this, they make some very long term investments, such as 30 year leases on properties. That's why they have such tight rules a...
by ourbrooks
Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need help choosing options at TIAA-CREF
Replies: 34
Views: 1578

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

I'd specifically recommend against the Lakeway area on Lake Travis near Austin. Just select the traffic view on Google Maps and look at the Oak HIll "Y" where 71 joins 290. You might be able to make it to the airport in the middle of the night in 45 minutes but not any other time. Getting ...
by ourbrooks
Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 3012

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

That's an interesting piece of journalism. Here are two quotes from it: … nearly two-thirds of Precinct 314 in West Austin voted Republican, with 65 percent voting for Mitt Romney and just 33 percent Nearly three-fourths of Precinct 314 voted straight party Republican in 2012; with 69 percent of vo...
by ourbrooks
Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 3012

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

The Woodlands was developed by George P. Mitchell. Some people believe that he did this because he was so disgusted at the laissez faire attitude towards zoning or any kind of urban planning that prevailed in Houston at the time and whose traces are still highly visible. He could fund the developmen...
by ourbrooks
Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 3012

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

Definitely not Austin. Anything within walking distance of any of the better high schools is more than $200 sq/ft so the size of house he's looking for would run $500,000 on up. Westlake Hills, the suburb with the best high school, is more like $300. Definitely not traditional family. Go and watch R...
by ourbrooks
Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 3012

Re: Cash to draw on - Safe Withdrawal Rate

Hey, nisiprius, let's play fair and show the full output from the calculator. There's actually a HUGE difference between 100% cash and a 30/70 portfolio. In the 97% of the cases in which the portfolio doesn't run out of money, the average balance for the 30/70 portfolio is much, much higher; 25 year...
by ourbrooks
Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash to draw on - Safe Withdrawal Rate
Replies: 10
Views: 1086

Re: Couples of diff ages: how do you handle asset allocation

Surprisingly, all of the safe withdrawal rate studies in the Wiki and elsewhere used a fixed asset allocation which doesn't change with age. A fixed allocation of anywhere from 30% to 80% stocks seems to be equally safe. John Bogle has suggested that instead of a fixed allocation, people should use ...
by ourbrooks
Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Couples of diff ages: how do you handle asset allocations?
Replies: 13
Views: 1193

Re: Why no more Vanguards

Because there's absolutely no incentive for anyone to start another Vanguard. Vanguard is a mutual company; it's owned by the people who invest in its funds. That's part of what keeps the costs low; there are no dividends to pay to share holders. If I start another Vanguard like company, all I'd get...
by ourbrooks
Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why no more Vanguards
Replies: 36
Views: 4941

Re: Graduating Debt-Free, or with Elite College Degree?

I've sat on a graduate school admission committee for a Ph.D. program. Faced with the choice between a candidate with a 2.5 from Harvard or Stanford and a 3.5 from a graduate of the honors program at the University of Michigan or the University of Texas, the Harvard/Stanford candidate was an easy re...
by ourbrooks
Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduating Debt-Free, or with Elite College Degree?
Replies: 92
Views: 5090

Re: Help with my parent's finances

When I add up the pension and SS, I get $68,400 a year. They're now living on $150,000. Are they planning to cut their spending in half? If not, they'd need an additional $81,600 a year. They've got about $723,000. To maintain their spending, they'd have to withdraw at 11% a year, not a sustainable ...
by ourbrooks
Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my parent's finances
Replies: 21
Views: 1949

Re: 78 year old retired father

Buy an inflation indexed single premium immediate annuity (SPIA) to cover his regular expenses. He can then leave the rest as cash, invest it in stocks and bonds, or, even, give it to you now. Make sure that his home improvements will let him live in the house as long as possible. Home long term car...
by ourbrooks
Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 78 year old retired father
Replies: 11
Views: 885

Re: LED recessed lighting question

I'd go with the retrofits as well. The prices on LED bulbs are dropping at an astonishing rate; BR30 bulbs which were $18 a piece a year ago are now going for as low as $10. Also, the newer bulbs are brighter and the color rendition is better. I wouldn't be at all surprised in the near future to see...
by ourbrooks
Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED recessed lighting question
Replies: 13
Views: 1220

Re: Age in Stocks: Should you have a Reverse Glidepath?

The reverse glidepath literature is interesting to me because it shows how little basis there is for conventional wisdom about glidepaths. Nonsense. If you include human capital in your allocation, then a constant allocation including human capital corresponds to a traditional glidepath for your as...
by ourbrooks
Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Stocks: Should you have a Reverse Glidepath?
Replies: 21
Views: 1400

Re: Cold Brew Coffee and whole coffee beans

You might find this article interesting: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/whats-the-best-way-to-brew-iced-coffee.html

Apparently it matters a lot whether you add milk/cream to your coffee.
by ourbrooks
Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold Brew Coffee and whole coffee beans
Replies: 7
Views: 807

Re: Wifi lights and light switches

Wifi congestion really isn't an issue unless you have thousands of devices, there are at least 11 channels and devices will automatically switch to minimize interference. I can see 22 wireless networks from my office and I still get 50 mbit/s sustained speeds on my n router (broadband connection is...
by ourbrooks
Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi lights and light switches
Replies: 12
Views: 1458

Re: Induction Range Worth the Price?

Buy yourself a counter top induction burner for $100 or so and try cooking things on it. Worst case, you end up with an extra induction burner that you can use on a regular counter when you need extra burners.
by ourbrooks
Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Induction Range Worth the Price?
Replies: 14
Views: 1161

Re: Wifi lights and light switches

Keep in mind that all Wi-Fi uses just the 2.4 Ghz band and the 5.8 Ghz band. Those bands are already shared with some other devices; microwave ovens and Bluetooth devices are in the 2.4 Ghz plan. The modulation techniques used allow devices to share a channel up to a point; the more devices using a ...
by ourbrooks
Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi lights and light switches
Replies: 12
Views: 1458

Re: Programming and Database Classes

I've never taken any of those courses either. I have taught them at several universities. How did I get to teach them without taking them? Of course, I taught myself, but it was a lot of work. I kept wishing I could be a student in my own class. Do you actually need computer science theory to be a p...
by ourbrooks
Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Programming and Database Classes
Replies: 15
Views: 1103

Re: Programming and Database Classes

You actually want to take three or four different courses. Here's what you want: 1. Software engineering methods/practices/tools This course will probably be taught at a school which offers a software engineering degree, as versus the much more common computer science degree. 2. Software Project Man...
by ourbrooks
Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Programming and Database Classes
Replies: 15
Views: 1103

Re: Enough retirement income to avoid Medicaid

First, check whether your doctors/hospitals aren't available under Medi-Cal. From the Medi-Cal site: Medi-Cal offers 21 managed care health plans, some of which are also offered by Covered California. Your choices depend on the county in which you live. Most counties offer commercial plans, includin...
by ourbrooks
Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Enough retirement income to avoid Medicaid
Replies: 30
Views: 3129

Re: Cost, duration of grad school?

livesoft - re your UT link. Interesting, but note that cost for non-residents is ~$28K. Add $12K to live on (fairly modest for rent PLUS food PLUS some entertainment etc, and you're at $40K. We live in Missouri. The public universities here are not that strong. Not out of the question, but probably...
by ourbrooks
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost, duration of grad school?
Replies: 29
Views: 1537

Re: Unlimited cell plans dropping in price?

For the area I live in, it appears I need to look to the nationwide carriers in order to obtain good service. I just saw a Sprint ad for $50/mo for unlimited talk and text, this is about half of what I am paying now to T Mobile. Anyone happy with Sprint? Thank you, BFG Maybe all you need to do is c...
by ourbrooks
Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unlimited cell plans dropping in price?
Replies: 40
Views: 3415

Re: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?

I personally don't think it's worthwhile paying for a "2nd tier' expensive private college if a flagship public college is available. Agreed. Eldest felt differently after the athletic official visit to our best in state. So we could have forced the issue with the very real possibility of a fl...
by ourbrooks
Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?
Replies: 60
Views: 7074

Re: Moving after retirement.

You might be in the right city, but are you in the right house? What happens in 15 or 20 years when you aren't as spry as you are now? If what you have now is a two story house with a large yard and long driveway, then maybe you should consider moving to a one story house or condominium where someon...
by ourbrooks
Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving after retirement.
Replies: 43
Views: 4508

Re: MFA and MLPs

Look up the total return for MFA on Morningstar. As REITs go, MFA is below average. Over the past 10 years, she'd have been better off with the Vanguard REIT index fund. Grandfather is forgetting that there are two elements to REIT/stock return: dividends and price appreciation. Grandfather is not c...
by ourbrooks
Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MFA and MLPs [Master Limited Partnerships]
Replies: 11
Views: 619
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