Search found 999 matches

by patrick
Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to use SSD computer
Replies: 24
Views: 2006

Re: How to use SSD computer

I can't seem to remember ever losing data on HD (except when I was learning DOS and did fdisk on my drive), am I just lucky? That includes 5 1/4" floppy all the way to modern SSD. I've even connected an old 300 MB HD a few weeks ago and it still had data on it from 15 years ago. Back-up on a s...
by patrick
Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to use SSD computer
Replies: 24
Views: 2006

Re: How to use SSD computer

Thanks all for the comments. The main issue I am worried about with the SSD drive is bit rot of the whole drive due to excessive writing of small files such as Xcel and a few songs and some pictures as they are accumulated. I read that using SSD as a disk is the wrong way to go and instead should o...
by patrick
Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)
Replies: 14
Views: 1365

Re: SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)

Since WW1 years there's been a increased tendency towards just inflation and a progressive breaking away from a gold-standard. And as hard currency has been devalued so precious metals have risen in price. Something broadly like 5%/year average inflation over the last 100 years, with precious metal...
by patrick
Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help - Leveraged ETF's and Natural Gas.
Replies: 21
Views: 1693

Re: Help - Leveraged ETF's and Natural Gas.

Understanding the math may help. (it helped me) If, over the course of a year Nat Gas has 120 days up one percent and 120 days down one percent, what do you think will happen to the daily tripled levered etf? a) break even b) lose about 5 percent c) lose over ten percent The answer is c. In Excel, ...
by patrick
Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SSD + HDD good option for upgrading desktop PC?
Replies: 43
Views: 3857

Re: SSD + HDD good option for upgrading desktop PC?

The only other thing I'd change on your machine is to potentially use a wired internet connection, rather than wireless, if your internet connection speed is above about 5mbps. Surely there's almost no chance a wireless connection is going be the bottleneck, rather than the broadband connection? (I...
by patrick
Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cable Cord cutting.. alternatives/ideas? Speed Choices?
Replies: 30
Views: 2812

Re: Cable Cord cutting.. alternatives/ideas? Speed Choices?

I'm with Brighthouse Cable. It turns out AT&T Uverse does have some options in the area now, but they are front loaded with a bunch of installation charges/fees. They don't publish their upstream speeds and I've read online that they are quite slow for what you pay. I'm researching this a bit f...
by patrick
Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cable Cord cutting.. alternatives/ideas? Speed Choices?
Replies: 30
Views: 2812

Re: Cable Cord cutting.. alternatives/ideas? Speed Choices?

If you have 60GB of pictures and a 1Mbps upload link it will take (under optimal conditions) ~5.98 days. We'll call it 6-7 days. A 5Mbps is 5x as fast, so it'll be close to 1.5 days, but that is assuming that the service (google drive, icloud, etc...) allows you to run at 5Mbps upload for long peri...
by patrick
Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS Funds Yielding 6+%
Replies: 30
Views: 2412

Re: TIPS Funds Yielding 6+%

Mutual funds using (or at least being allowed to use) derivatives is quite normal. Can you guess which fund's prospectus I cut and pasted the following from? To help stay fully invested and to reduce transaction costs, the Fund may invest, to a limited extent, in derivatives, including stock futures...
by patrick
Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any merchants that accept only Amex?
Replies: 25
Views: 2283

Re: Are there any merchants that accept only Amex?

I have never actually encountered one.
by patrick
Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keeping cash in a brokerage account. Safe?
Replies: 20
Views: 1557

Re: Keeping cash in a brokerage account. Safe?

Over the long term it is not safe from inflation.
by patrick
Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Opinion Short-Term Bond ETF (e.g. GSY) as a CASH/CD alternative
Replies: 6
Views: 811

Re: Opinion Short-Term Bond ETF (e.g. GSY) as a CASH/CD alternative

insured bank products as a CD? The very best out there is 1.00%. More common 0.5%. 1.00% is not the very best you can get with a CD. A quick look on bankrate.com finds 1.25% on 1-year CDs and 2.25% on 5-year CDs. For short-term bonds, Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCSH) invests in a broad...
by patrick
Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Opinion Short-Term Bond ETF (e.g. GSY) as a CASH/CD alternative
Replies: 6
Views: 811

Re: Opinion Short-Term Bond ETF (e.g. GSY) as a CASH/CD alternative

Investment grade short term bonds currently have extremely low yields. You can often get similar or better yields in insured bank products. The ETF you mention has higher yield than most ultra short bonds, but it gets this yield by investing in junk bonds which have higher risk.
by patrick
Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Convertible Bonds and Preferred Stock. Why don't we invest in them?
Replies: 16
Views: 1302

Re: Convertible Bonds and Preferred Stock. Why don't we invest in them?

According to https://www.putnam.com/literature/pdf/II853.pdf the total market cap of convertibles is quite small compared to the overall size of bonds in general. If the plan is to include them at market weight, they'd be such a small portion of your portfolio that it's probably not worth the troubl...
by patrick
Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401/403/457 contribution limits automatically enforced?
Replies: 4
Views: 530

Re: 401/403/457 contribution limits automatically enforced?

Note that if you have multiple accounts the limits can apply to the total, not per account. All 401k and 403b accounts combined cannot have contributions over the limit. 457s are counted seperately from the 401ks and 403bs, but the 457 contributions are added to each other and all your 457 accounts ...
by patrick
Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuities the Fixed Index Annuity FIA
Replies: 30
Views: 2024

Re: Annuities the Fixed Index Annuity FIA

So I just priced a SPIA with USAA. $3,000 / month for my life and my wife's with survivor rights (20 year guarantee). I'm 49, she's 45. They want $858,629. Seems the SPIA is spinning off 4.2% / year guaranteed for life. 3% rule would indicate I need $1,200,000 to retire right now on $36,000 / month...
by patrick
Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuities the Fixed Index Annuity FIA
Replies: 30
Views: 2024

Re: Annuities the Fixed Index Annuity FIA

@Patrick re: bro. At his level, his portfolio is monitored and the stock options are part of his compensation. Again at the time, Early 2008, he could have changed some of his deferred portfolio but again understand the time where his tax level is high, it would behove him to delay taking gains unt...
by patrick
Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuities the Fixed Index Annuity FIA
Replies: 30
Views: 2024

Re: Annuities the Fixed Index Annuity FIA

About my older bro: He is pretty "conservative' compared to me. It's is his occupation to be careful (risk management). EARLY 2008, he had MANY times his minimal retirement needs. Me, we were still short of our needs but within sight of the goal line. In his Then financial status (very good) h...
by patrick
Sat May 30, 2015 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me simply understand why Bonds now?
Replies: 32
Views: 2979

Re: Help me simply understand why Bonds now?

The 2% yield on bonds is indeed disastrously low. But the 1% on the savings account is even worse! Right, but why take the risk of bonds for so little extra yield? Would you say the same thing if bond yielding 5% and the savings account yielded 4%? Either way, note that the risk isn't really that m...
by patrick
Fri May 29, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should only those with limited resources use LMP
Replies: 7
Views: 890

Re: Should only those with limited resources use LMP

If your resources are significantly limited then you won't be able to afford a liability matching portfolio unless you keep the liabilities (which are really better referred to as planned future expenditures) very low. This is the problem with the whole need/ability to take risk framework -- those w...
by patrick
Fri May 29, 2015 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me simply understand why Bonds now?
Replies: 32
Views: 2979

Re: Help me simply understand why Bonds now?

The 2% yield on bonds is indeed disastrously low. But the 1% on the savings account is even worse!
by patrick
Thu May 28, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Are You Devoting Too Much Time (and Money) to Niche Asset Classes?"
Replies: 61
Views: 5588

Re: "Are You Devoting Too Much Time (and Money) to Niche Asset Classes?"

It's not completely clear what should be consider a niche investment, nor whether that designation means they should be left out of our portfolios. For example: Foreign developed-market bonds - As the article notes, these are a huge portion of all investable financial assets, so in that sense they a...
by patrick
Thu May 28, 2015 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SSD + HDD good option for upgrading desktop PC?
Replies: 43
Views: 3857

Re: SSD + HDD good option for upgrading desktop PC?

Adding an SSD definitely helps with startup times. However, I have some other ideas that may be worth considering: The total time of 3:40 seems rather bad even using HDD. Something else may be going wrong such as one of the programs you load at startup or one of your web browser plugins is severely ...
by patrick
Wed May 27, 2015 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pension vs variable annuity
Replies: 10
Views: 940

Re: pension vs variable annuity

If your company turns over your pension to an insurance company, that means they pay the insurance company a lump sum, and then the insurance company will make the monthly pension payments to you. These are the same payments the company sponsoring the pension would otherwise have to pay out directly...
by patrick
Wed May 27, 2015 11:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FTSE Emerging Markets Index adds China A shares
Replies: 15
Views: 1390

Re: FTSE Emerging Markets Index adds China A shares

But it comes down to judgments, and for example only pretty recently FTSE moved offshore incorporated (ie not HK or Mainland but Cayman's etc) Mainland controlled companies from 'HK' to 'China' category. This guide may help. http://www.etf.com/docs/022013_IU_GuideToChineseShare.pdf . Thank you for ...
by patrick
Sat May 23, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Bond ETFs a bad idea?
Replies: 43
Views: 3220

Re: Are Bond ETFs a bad idea?

Many would suggest that high yield and international bonds are asset classes that should be avoided altogether. If you are going to invest in them for the long term, I don't think ETFs are all that bad. For a short-term investor, the large bid/ask spreads of some of the ETFs would be a significant p...
by patrick
Sat May 23, 2015 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2568

Re: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?

If you haven't tried it already, you might be able to improve the situation by moving or reorienting the base station antennas or selecting a different channel. I presume you already have at least 802.11n on the router. If so you could try the low-cost option of just using an 802.11n USB adapter on ...
by patrick
Sat May 23, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging market bond funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1526

Re: Emerging market bond funds

[quote="MN Finance"]I dont know why you are comparing EM debt with the us stock market. Thats intersting but doesnt imply any ... anything. EM debt is not a free lunch. You are gaining systemic risk in EM markets. You are better off with a position in EM stocks and high quality short term ...
by patrick
Sat May 23, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not overweight international?
Replies: 37
Views: 3656

Re: Why not overweight international?

Sure, but--any number of asset classes are touted as "inflation hedges." In fact, almost every asset sorta-kinda has a tendency in the sufficiently-long-run to hold real purchasing power EXCEPT for local currency and nominal bonds. The claims for all of them are weak. And all of them are ...
by patrick
Sat May 23, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not overweight international?
Replies: 37
Views: 3656

Re: Why not overweight international?

While certainly not all encompassing, there's plenty of quick lists of the risks: https://personal.vanguard.com/pub/Pdf/p113.pdf?2210091577 U.S. investors who invest abroad will encounter risks not typically associated with U.S. companies because foreign stock and bond markets operate differently f...
by patrick
Sat May 23, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not overweight international?
Replies: 37
Views: 3656

Re: Why not overweight international?

... is this partial currency exposure a serious enough risk to outweigh the reasons given in favor of overweighting foreign stocks? I've yet to see any persuasive reason to except the additioanl risks and expenses holding an international portfolio entails for a U.S. investor. There's lots of theor...
by patrick
Sat May 23, 2015 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging market bond funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1526

Re: Emerging market bond funds

Forget the hyperbole. How much did it outperform it's benchmark by? Does that I% or so performance include what you will net, after all fees and taxes? Also consider that to do you any good it has to out perform the correct index, after fees and taxes, in the future. so, if the manager is realpy on...
by patrick
Fri May 22, 2015 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not overweight international?
Replies: 37
Views: 3656

Re: Why not overweight international?

Currency risk. The "bias" is built into our personal currency transactions. For a U.S. investor, it makes dollar-denominated investments fundamentally different from baht-denominated investments. Currency fluctuations are an additional layer of uncertainty that is independent of the busin...
by patrick
Fri May 15, 2015 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: passport card faster than passport?
Replies: 34
Views: 2711

Re: passport card faster than passport?

I sent in my passport for non-expedited renewal in the middle of March, getting both the book and card. I got back the new passport book in slightly less than 4 weeks including mailing time. The passport card (sent by regular mail) came a couple of days later than the passport book (sent by priority...
by patrick
Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Stock Poll: Emerging vs Developed Ratio
Replies: 55
Views: 3043

Re: International Stock Poll: Emerging vs Developed Ratio

My only international fund is Vanguard Total International so I am at market weight ... whatever that is ...
by patrick
Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What were your biggest financial emergencies?
Replies: 45
Views: 7280

Re: What were your biggest financial emergencies?

If an emergency means a large unexpected expense that must be paid in cash, I have never had an emergency. Even if you include a checking account is cash, the only large payments I have to make with cash are rent and health insurance, neither of which is unexpected. Every other significant expense, ...
by patrick
Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will Saudi Arabia be added into Total International Stock?
Replies: 19
Views: 3089

Re: Will Saudi Arabia be added into Total International Stoc

Vanguard Total International uses the FTSE Global All Cap ex US index, which includes both developed and emerging markets but not frontier markets. Their classification is described here: http://www.ftse.com/products/indices/country-classification The highest income country on the planet, Qatar, is ...
by patrick
Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: do you own individual international stocks?
Replies: 25
Views: 1839

Re: Poll: do you own individual international stocks?

stlutz wrote:The Fidelity commissions are in local currency. So 3000 yen not dollars.


Even so it still comes out to 25 dollars, a fairly high commission.

I'll also note that many foreign stocks can be purchased on US exchanges for the same commissions (as low or high as they may be) as US stocks.
by patrick
Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It
Replies: 51
Views: 4331

Re: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It

It's happened to me several times. If I recall correctly, Target, First National Omaha, US Bank, Citi, HSBC, and WaMu all cancelled my cards at various points over the years, in some cases without notice and usually after more than a year of inactivity. It's not really a problem since I still have o...
by patrick
Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: protecting passport from damage
Replies: 23
Views: 1805

protecting passport from damage

I just renewed my passport. The last one had gotten a bit worn over the years. Could you suggest anything convenient for carrying the passport while keeping it safe from any damage?
by patrick
Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 5263

Re: Cloud Storage

Let's assume we all have something we want to stay private. Like Leeraar's genealogical data, Livesoft's oatmeal recipe, Victoria's personal musings on her pilgrimage, or Caduceus's homemade sex video (just kidding ...). So we encrypt it and send it into the cloud. But surely this encryption will b...
by patrick
Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ad Blockers
Replies: 41
Views: 3257

Re: Ad Blockers

I've been using AdBlock (just plain AdBlock, nothing else in the name) on PC for Chrome. The running total it keeps is quite interesting: 655,488 ads blocked so far. I never knew I was getting that many!

On my smartphone I use Adblock Edge (based on Adblock Plus but no whitelist) for FIrefox.
by patrick
Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Indexed Universal Life
Replies: 6
Views: 720

Re: Indexed Universal Life

For starters, consider the following: 1. As with all cash value life insurance, you have to keep it in force until death in order to avoid paying income taxes (at ordinary income rates!) on the gains. Assuming you have any gains, that is. 2. As with universal life insurance in general, there is a &q...
by patrick
Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrategy
Replies: 235
Views: 26510

Re: Who should be concerned?

Even after the increase, the international stock holdings are still below market weight relative to US stocks.
by patrick
Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Account internet security
Replies: 27
Views: 1762

Re: Account internet security

A bad guy might have your cellphone, or might have your computer. There's a very low probability the bad guy will both "know" the login password and "have" the cellphone. If the bad guy has control of your computer, that is enough to get into your account. He just has to wait fo...
by patrick
Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Watch Television?
Replies: 81
Views: 6830

Re: How Do You Watch Television?

If you sign up for several different streaming services it may well cost as much as cable. However, Netflix alone has much more content than basic cables packages, and with no ads!
by patrick
Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Hard Drive?
Replies: 44
Views: 3115

Re: External Hard Drive?

I have never had a USB flash stick fail on me, but then again I do not use them very aggressively. I have however noticed another risk. Their extremely small physical size makes them very easy to lose.
by patrick
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop: Windows based vs. Apple
Replies: 86
Views: 7413

Re: Laptop: Windows based vs. Apple

This. We made the switch to a MacBook Pro 6 years ago and love it. We still own the same laptop after 6 years and it's running strong. Since that time, we've purchased iPhones, Apple TV, iPad, and a Time Capsule, and yes, they all really do work seamlessly. We've owned several different Windows lap...
by patrick
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?
Replies: 47
Views: 3596

Re: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?

I think it's been at least a year since I used cash for anything other than a taxi. Does using credit cards mean that I end up spending more? Perhaps, but I still manage to save more than half of my income. If I really would end up spending less with cash, that's a good reason to stick to credit car...
by patrick
Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mutual Funds or Variable Annuity?
Replies: 11
Views: 944

Re: Mutual Funds or Variable Annuity?

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Of course it is good for the "advisor" who will get lots of money at the relative's expense. The problem with the annuity is that it almost certainly doesn't guarantee 5% a year in the normal sense. In the normal sense, guaranteeing 5% a ye...
by patrick
Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to purchase Windows? What version?
Replies: 32
Views: 2527

Re: Where to purchase Windows? What version?

I was in a similar boat with my wife's Dell computer. I found several good reinstall videos on youtube, one specifically for Dell computers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4ECjkiGFYM Another option is to get the iso binaries from Microsoft. http://www.techverse.net/download-windows-7-iso-x86-x64-...

Go to advanced search