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by protagonist
Thu May 21, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 134
Views: 15302

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

When I stop to consider the various human conditions that exist on this planet, I'm struck by what a luxury this topic represents and I feel gratitude, even as one whose nose is still pushing the grindstone. We no longer have children to help us work the fields, we now have them out of some sense o...
by protagonist
Thu May 21, 2015 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 79
Views: 7142

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

Perhaps to meet spending requirements and to reach point status for example on a more valuable program - like Starwood. BFG I would go further and say that is, for the most part, the only reason to play the credit card points game at all. Though on Flyer Talk they make a huge point of how you can g...
by protagonist
Thu May 21, 2015 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ATT next plan - prepayment quandary
Replies: 19
Views: 1958

Re: ATT next plan - prepayment quandary

The "$199 iPhone" scam exposed by the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/technology/199-apple-iphone-6-is-fiction-if-not-fantasy.html?_r=0 And its actual cost exposed by ZDNet: http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-much-does-an-iphone-6-really-cost-hint-its-way-more-than-199/ On AT+T: ...
by protagonist
Thu May 21, 2015 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Chromebook 2015
Replies: 52
Views: 3945

Re: Best Chromebook 2015

I used a couple Chromebooks for awhile to try them out: the Toshiba and the Samsung. I simply couldn't figure out why I would want to use one instead of my small Lenovo laptop. It was a pain to do the things I usually do on my laptop, so after fiddling with them for awhile I returned them. You can ...
by protagonist
Wed May 20, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Chromebook 2015
Replies: 52
Views: 3945

Re: Best Chromebook 2015

I used a couple Chromebooks for awhile to try them out: the Toshiba and the Samsung. I simply couldn't figure out why I would want to use one instead of my small Lenovo laptop. It was a pain to do the things I usually do on my laptop, so after fiddling with them for awhile I returned them. You can ...
by protagonist
Wed May 20, 2015 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sewer line replacement - who to call?
Replies: 21
Views: 1436

Re: Sewer line replacement - who to call?

I received some of the most unfortunate news a home owner can be delivered the other day. It is very likely that, within a few months, we will need to replace our sewer line, which apparently has collapsed. The plumber, who we trust and have worked with for years, stated that he "knows a guy&q...
by protagonist
Wed May 20, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 148
Views: 6573

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

According to data compiled by NHTSA, as of 2010 the vehicle fatality rate was 1.10 persons per 100 million vehicle miles travelled. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811552.pdf I drive and ride about 10,000 miles per year in autos, so the odds of my being killed in a given year are 10K/100M *1.10 =...
by protagonist
Wed May 20, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flash options trading by robot?
Replies: 12
Views: 553

Re: Flash options trading by robot?

Yes, it is interesting and does affect all of us to one degree or another. Many human traders lament that they cannot make a living anymore using their old ways. But one must remember that their old ways were figuring out how to rip off the other guy. Try to never be that other guy. The people I fe...
by protagonist
Wed May 20, 2015 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flash options trading by robot?
Replies: 12
Views: 553

Re: Flash options trading by robot?

Thanks for that reality-check, livesoft. I was a bit skeptical of the revolutionary claims, especially given the source, which is why I included the question mark in the subject title and my doubts about the article's veracity in my post. I was hoping somebody like you would chime in. I'm just an ou...
by protagonist
Wed May 20, 2015 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flash options trading by robot?
Replies: 12
Views: 553

Flash options trading by robot?

An interesting new possible trick akin to high frequency trading in the realm of options: Slate reports the possibility of a robot flash-reading news wire reports and subsequently placing options bets based on its content, faster than any human could digest and act upon the material. One trade yield...
by protagonist
Wed May 20, 2015 5:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest
Replies: 160
Views: 16362

Re: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest

Didn't grok win last year? And up 23%+ already for 2015? Man, he's good. I think I will liquidate my index funds and give him all my money. Thanks protagonist, that's very kind. No i came in second last year, if memory serves, and I'm in 5th place this year. I'm thinking about Making a full time ca...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How fast should I ride my bicycle?
Replies: 64
Views: 4276

Re: How fast should I ride my bicycle?

Assuming you have no major health issues, I would gauge how hard you are working by both the way you feel and your heart rate. They used to say (perhaps still do) that your target heart rate should be 70-80% of your max, and your max is roughly 220 minus your age. So if you are 60, your max is 160 a...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate
Replies: 40
Views: 3575

Re: No Foreign Fee Credit Card - Exchange Rate

I second the recommendation of Arrival Plus if you are traveling for many reasons: -Chip and pin -40K point signup bonus waived first year after $3K spend in 3 months plus 10% reimbursement of points when used and 2x points on every purchase. Thus spend $3K in 3 months and get 40000+4000+6000+600= e...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chip and sign card working great in Nice, France
Replies: 5
Views: 601

Re: Chip and sign card working great in Nice, France

I've been using regular US cards as well as chip and signature cards in France for years. The big problem is in gas stations and in the automatic ticket machines in train stations. Other than that anything generally works, though you often have to teach the merchant how to either swipe your card (if...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 134
Views: 15302

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

I certainly wouldn't have kids out of boredom, although I also don't doubt they would come with a lot to be grateful for and passionate about. Either way, they appear to require much too much energy and focus to allow one to sit around and ponder the meaning of life (or lack thereof). :wink: Rather...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 257
Views: 23577

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage

I doubt you'd consider my 3.625% mortgage rate to be "high", but perhaps you do consider my $320K mortgage to be "enormous". I don't. That depends on how much money you have and how much you earn. For a millionaire, clearly it is not "enormous"- you could pay it off to...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 257
Views: 23577

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage

I responded to this post previously, but here are some thoughts after a couple of years of having no mortgage. Flexibility!!! Without that largest payment, I have so much more wiggle room. I was able to cash flow a college education and when I get an unexpected emergency, I can cash flow it (in mos...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 79
Views: 7142

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

I'm still loading my Redcards to the max, just using Visa gift cards instead now. I buy Amex gift cards through a cashback portal, which I then use to buy Visa gift cards. It covers the fees plus a small profit. I'm mainly doing it to meet minimum spending requirements on new cards or get more mile...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 257
Views: 23577

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage

I responded to this post previously, but here are some thoughts after a couple of years of having no mortgage. Flexibility!!! Without that largest payment, I have so much more wiggle room. I was able to cash flow a college education and when I get an unexpected emergency, I can cash flow it (in mos...
by protagonist
Tue May 19, 2015 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 79
Views: 7142

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

I have a slight thread hijack question. I read yesterday about a more efficient point method in filling the target card. I could use my Chase business blue ink plus card to buy a $5k gift card at Staples (5x points) and use it to load the redbird. My issue with this is to me, this is comingling per...
by protagonist
Mon May 18, 2015 10:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest
Replies: 160
Views: 16362

Re: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest

Didn't grok win last year? And up 23%+ already for 2015?

Man, he's good.

I think I will liquidate my index funds and give him all my money.
by protagonist
Mon May 18, 2015 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 257
Views: 23577

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage

On average the investors do better. In the worst cases, the pay off the mortgage people do better. On average, people who take bigger risks investing (eg higher stock allocation) do better. In the worst cases, those who invest conservatively do better than those who assume more risk. The same princ...
by protagonist
Mon May 18, 2015 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?
Replies: 67
Views: 4806

Re: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?

"Already, healthy people can donate blood, sperm, and eggs, but now the nonprofit OpenBiome offers donors $40 for bowel movements — to supply “fecal transplants” for patients with nasty C. difficile bacterial infections. (“Healthy” contents are transplanted into the infected gut via endoscope ...
by protagonist
Mon May 18, 2015 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 257
Views: 23577

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay dow mortg

I suggest that the reason "Ric Edelman said people should always get a 30-year mortgage" is because it reduces home equity thereby giving him more to invest. Best wishes. Taylor I think that the idea that your home is not an investment (eg an asset...for many people their MAIN asset....th...
by protagonist
Mon May 18, 2015 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?
Replies: 67
Views: 4806

Re: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?

"Already, healthy people can donate blood, sperm, and eggs, but now the nonprofit OpenBiome offers donors $40 for bowel movements — to supply “fecal transplants” for patients with nasty C. difficile bacterial infections. (“Healthy” contents are transplanted into the infected gut via endoscope o...
by protagonist
Sun May 17, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 679
Views: 88154

Re: Tesla S

I'm not likely to buy one of these in the near future. Especially because I tend to keep my cars for a long time, and a few years from now, when all my buddies are cruising along watching videos in their self-driving cars, I would feel like a fool stuck in traffic and cursing behind the wheel of my ...
by protagonist
Sun May 17, 2015 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another take on "rising equity glidepath" in retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 2413

Re: Another take on "rising equity glidepath" in retirement

I might suggest a more prudent path is to spend less time analyzing solutions for an unknowable future and more time trying to make you current work/life situation more enjoyable while LBYM so you would be more inclined to work those few extra years and build up your cushion heading into retirement...
by protagonist
Sun May 17, 2015 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another take on "rising equity glidepath" in retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 2413

Re: Another take on "rising equity glidepath" in retirement

Here's the problem with the rising glidepath approach IMO--it ignores a very important factor, human behavior. How many people do you know that are well into retirement that could tolerate a huge bear market and watch a large percent of their portfolio disappear, knowing they have no chance to earn...
by protagonist
Fri May 15, 2015 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 60W eq. LED bulb deal alert...
Replies: 10
Views: 2111

Re: 60W eq. LED bulb deal alert...

You might check out your energy company as well. Puget Sound Energy offers 20 or so free LED bulbs as part of a free home energy assessment, as well as free shower attachments. Great deal! I never thought of going through the energy assessment people. This is what MA offers: http://www.energyfedera...
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 134
Views: 15302

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

I relate to your comment of have nothing to retire to or from. I'm almost your age and have spent my life fully embracing my Type A drive by focusing on achievement in school, career, and investing. I have succeeded so far, more quickly than I expected and probably to a larger degree than I deserve...
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 143326

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Do you plan to keep an Ultimate Rewards Card? Ink Plus perhaps? I plan to keep my Sapphire Preferred card to prevent losing my UR points. If they're willing to waive the annual fee on the Sapphire Preferred I'll keep that. If they won't (which I expect), I'll cancel it and keep the Ink Plus...I've ...
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?
Replies: 67
Views: 4806

Re: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?

Doing it every so often is great. twice a week for a year is not going to be the money fix you desire. I agree with the above posters regarding posting your budget. Well total monthly after-tax, take-home pay is $2400. There are two people in our household, me and my wife. Rent: $900 Food: $400 Ele...
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?
Replies: 67
Views: 4806

Re: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?

toto238 wrote:Telling her that I find her extremely genetically desirable hasn't helped yet.


You are the smooth talker, aren't you?
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?
Replies: 67
Views: 4806

Re: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?

So my wife and I have a significant amount of student loans ($80-100k) between the two of us and are both young and in relative good health. Currently we are throwing about $400 a month towards our loans, but we wish we could do more. I've been considering donating plasma to generate that extra lit...
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 134
Views: 15302

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

dgdevil wrote:
protagonist wrote:
When I lived in the Seychelles in the early 1980s, this was an often bantered-about story:


Someone already beat you to it, previous page. I don't care for fishermen, fish or beaches anyway.


Oops. Sorry. Too late to delete.
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 134
Views: 15302

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

Do you have a significant other? Do you care to find one? Most women find lack of ambition or employment unattractive. That would be motivation enough for me to do something other than coast. There are women who like to coast too. Despite stereotypes to the contrary, not all coasters are bored or b...
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 134
Views: 15302

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

A recent thread got me to thinking...what's wrong with coasting through life, specifically "your most productive years" ? This is going to go against a lot of the go-getter, champion attitudes on this forum, and Im only thankful I was able to capitalize on all of that while I had it. I ju...
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 60W eq. LED bulb deal alert...
Replies: 10
Views: 2111

Re: 60W eq. LED bulb deal alert...

At my age 60W equivalents don't provide enough light. Yet even with the aging population it is difficult to find any 100W eq bulbs of any type. I'd gladly pay the extra for LED but are there any 100W eq out there? The OPs price for the 60W eq looks good. edit: I should have googled 100W LED before ...
by protagonist
Wed May 13, 2015 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 143326

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Interesting data point on the Chase cards. They gave me a surprisingly huge credit limit on the Hyatt card. I will try for another Chase card in 3 months, but by then I expect I'll have canceled my Chase Sapphire Preferred. Do you plan to keep an Ultimate Rewards Card? Ink Plus perhaps? I plan to k...
by protagonist
Tue May 12, 2015 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 143326

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Now I've just got to spend $15K on these cards in the next 3 months. Shouldn't be an issue with my Serve card as long as they don't change the rules. My understanding is that to get a Serve you have to first cancel your Redcard. Do you know if that can be done online, or do you have to go into a Ta...
by protagonist
Tue May 12, 2015 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 143326

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

As you can see from my list above, I already have a lot of Chase cards. When I got the Ritz Carlton card, I had to call the reconsideration line and suggest they move some credit around before I got approved. I suspect that will happen again. So basically I'm planning on applying, expecting to see ...
by protagonist
Tue May 12, 2015 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door
Replies: 84
Views: 12517

Re: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door

I am with physicsgal, people who forge their own unique path are much more attractive and interesting :) BFG Of course! Creativity is an aphrodisiac. Though we are sold the opposite. Advertising convinces people that by buying whatever is cool or hip you are expressing your individuality. When you ...
by protagonist
Tue May 12, 2015 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door
Replies: 84
Views: 12517

Re: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door

The details are in the post linked above, but the summary is clear. Using Bayes rule and some numbers from the BLS and a NYT article by Stanley himself, we can estimate that your chances of joining the 1% of uber-wealthy by starting a business are about: Pr(rich 1% | business) ~ 8.3% Now, that's 8....
by protagonist
Mon May 11, 2015 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door
Replies: 84
Views: 12517

Re: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door

They mention in the book that not all hard workers who live frugally become millionaires. They especially drive this point home when they say many millionaires are small business owners, but most businesses are not all that successful. Their main point is of those who become millionaires , most do ...
by protagonist
Mon May 11, 2015 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 143326

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

awval999 <--- care to share any more details on the Barclay strategy ? I need a hotel strategy for a week in Maui (OGG) in September. Wife wants to stay at the Westin so I was looking at the SPG card . TIA 8-) SPG has a generous reward schedule and the advantage of being able to also transfer point...
by protagonist
Mon May 11, 2015 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door
Replies: 84
Views: 12517

Re: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door

My interest in, ownership of, and derived utility from luxury cars is much less now at age 45 than it was at age 35. This is my experience as well. The more I have, the less I feel the need to impress anyone, and the less I find that I want. As I've gotten older, I find there are more things I want...
by protagonist
Sun May 10, 2015 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door
Replies: 84
Views: 12517

Re: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door

I never actually read The Millionaire Next Door....just skimmed it in a bookstore awhile ago based on comments I read in this forum. Aside from the fact that their advice regarding financial security is generally very sound, my initial reaction was that the conclusions that were being suggested....t...
by protagonist
Sat May 09, 2015 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: why is my android phone full?
Replies: 7
Views: 997

Re: why is my android phone full?

Yes. Storage numbers are deceptive. Phones use a big chunk of storage for system files and bloatware that cannot be removed (as mentioned above, Cyanogenmod is better but not immune, and getting worse as it becomes more popular). Fortunately the old Galaxy phones are expandable....I have heard the S...
by protagonist
Sat May 09, 2015 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Patio Furniture
Replies: 16
Views: 1844

Re: Patio Furniture

I'm looking for an outdoor patio set. 4-6 chairs w/ a glass table and umbrella. Something nice (but not too nice). Any recommendations on where to shop? We have a 10 yr old teak set, and it's time for a replacement. I bought a black metal rim 4 seater with a glass top, 4 chairs and a market umbrell...
by protagonist
Thu May 07, 2015 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 143326

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thanks for the info. So you can load your Serve card with ten $500 gift cards per month, for which you pay 1% ($50)? Is that how it works? Do you have to do load your Serve in person, in a store, or can you do that online? And you have to buy the gift cards in a store, right? In that case, I suppos...

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