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Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

Pardon the lack of clarity in my post. I was indeed referring to the length of the cars and their relatively large turning radii. When the parking spot is narrow, it becomes difficult to maneuver it in. The Avalon is a bit too big for city driving, I feel. Even the Camry isn't too fun to park in nar...
by slbnoob
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 52
Views: 3982

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

You may consider the Camry Hybrid XLE, which is a nicer, quieter, more loaded version of the base model. I had managed to snatch a good deal for under 30K back in 2012. But you already said that your DW doesn't want a Camry. The Avalon is a bit too big for city driving, I feel. Even the Camry isn't ...
by slbnoob
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 52
Views: 3982

Re: Which Vanguard BOND Fund ?

larryinnewyork wrote:...
the higher return on the Corporate Bond Index has me thinking if I should transfer my money to it.

...
Normally I would have done the switch, but I don't want to be chasing the higher returns (like people do with stock funds).

The above sounds contradictory to me.
by slbnoob
Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Vanguard bond Fund ?
Replies: 36
Views: 3165

Re: New Investor... Where to put my money.

I'm fairly new here too. Regarding your minimum investment, here is some info. I'll defer to others with more experience to help you out. One can open an IRA at Schwab for as little as $100/month: https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/accounts_products/accounts/ira/roth_ira Am I reading th...
by slbnoob
Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor... Where to put my money.
Replies: 10
Views: 974

Re: New Investor... Where to put my money.

I'm fairly new here too. Regarding your minimum investment, here is some info. I'll defer to others with more experience to help you out. One can open an IRA at Schwab for as little as $100/month: https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/accounts_products/accounts/ira/roth_ira Am I reading th...
by slbnoob
Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor... Where to put my money.
Replies: 10
Views: 974

Re: Memory foam mattresses - any insight?

I paid 3500 for a Tempurpedic 2 years ago and it indeed money well spent. I would not go into the pros of which many have been expounded many times here. Some cons are that it is not the most desirable mattress to do anything else than sleep on and it can be temperature dependent. If you're very war...
by slbnoob
Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Memory foam mattresses - any insight?
Replies: 64
Views: 5250

Re: Millennials (with jobs) are super-saving their retiremen

I just turned 30. I have been working for less than 2 years after finishing grad school. I try to save up reasonably even though it may be a lot when compared to my colleagues. We are living in an uncertain world where the jobs/economy are not guaranteed; I have no pension (like they used to have ba...
by slbnoob
Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Millennials (with jobs) are super-saving their retirement
Replies: 65
Views: 9587

Re: Why does anyone use American Express?

I recently got a Penfed CU Platinum Rewards VISA Signature card. I paid $15 to Voices of America to gain membership, $5 to open a 'Regular Shares' account and this allowed me to open a CC account with them. There was no other requirement to submit pay stubs etc. I got this card primarily for no fore...
by slbnoob
Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why does anyone use American Express?
Replies: 146
Views: 24873

Re: Best website for airfare?

I use matrix.itasoftware.com to figure out the optimum travel time for my trips.
by slbnoob
Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best website for airfare?
Replies: 20
Views: 2941

Re: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel

After a lot of 'paralysis by analysis' I went with the Penfed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature.
by slbnoob
Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel
Replies: 98
Views: 13217

Re: stocks about to plunge

There was some weakness in 2013 but by September my indicators were suggesting it was still too early to call, which looks to have been correct. My current data suggests we're still in a period of market order that started July 2011. Latest crash indicator reading is only 14.29/100 (over 30 is usua...
by slbnoob
Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: stocks about to plunge
Replies: 39
Views: 7843

Re: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel

I want to get an AmEx card just because I have none. (I only have 1 Citi VISA). But seems like AmEx isn't as widely accepted in Europe. Any opinions?
by slbnoob
Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel
Replies: 98
Views: 13217

Re: No Foreign Transaction Fee, No Annual Fee

I am considering an unorthodox plan. I will get the Delta Skymiles Gold AmEx card. It has no FTF, $95 annual fee waived for the first year. I'd keep it for the first year, then ask AmEx to downgrade it to the Blue Cash Everyday which has good rewards and no annual fee. My rationale is that I need a ...
by slbnoob
Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Foreign Transaction Fee, No Annual Fee
Replies: 33
Views: 4399

Re: Electronic person-to-person payments

I use my credit union's online Bill Pay system to even pay individuals where a check is mailed out to them by the bank.
by slbnoob
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electronic person-to-person payments
Replies: 19
Views: 1554

Re: My HSA Investments Suck

i consider my hsa account as prefunding a future expense. would never consider investing it in stocks. i take whatever interest they pay and consider it as part of the cash part of my overall portfolio. That approach might make sense if the cash flow is constrained leading you to withdraw from the ...
by slbnoob
Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My HSA Investments Suck
Replies: 7
Views: 758

Re: Iceland [for vacation]

Bump.

Any pointers on how to arrange for accommodation while I'm driving along Route 1 early September?
by slbnoob
Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland [for vacation]
Replies: 35
Views: 4885

Re: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?

Ford hybrids do not use Toyota drive trains. Ford developed their own system, realized they probably infringed on some Toyota patents (and vice versa) and licensed them. At one point they were going to do coop work on an SUV hybrid platform. Not sure whatever happened. You're right. I checked that ...
by slbnoob
Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?
Replies: 105
Views: 8295

Re: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?

Another recent example why Ford cannot be trusted with their gaming of the EPA mileage claims.
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/06/12/ford ... -vehicles/
by slbnoob
Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?
Replies: 105
Views: 8295

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

I shopped around for the diamond ring with my (now) wife. She picked out something she liked and we ended up spending more than I had initially hoped for. Keep in mind that a diamond is really a worthless piece of stone in terms of resale if you consider it as an investment which it is not. The diam...
by slbnoob
Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help
Replies: 61
Views: 4364

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

I would strongly advise against using Trugreen, whose chemicals have been linked to birth defects, cancer, asthma, and allergies in children. When I was a grad student, the university was using Chemlawn/Trugreen in the family housing area. The Chemistry PhD students, with their entire families in t...
by slbnoob
Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 26580

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

An update since I have started working on my yard already :) I pulled the trigger on a cordless electric self propelled mower (linked somewhere above). It holds enough charge for me to mow my lawn and make some more extra passes since currently I am unable to maneuver it very efficiently. The mower ...
by slbnoob
Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 26580

Re: Return to India - 401k?

If it is one convenient place where you can access the funds, and you're with the same employer for the time being (in India), I'd leave the funds where they are. Just don't forget it :) Re-evaluate your situation when you decide to leave your employer (for MBA etc.) and see if accessing the funds m...
by slbnoob
Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return to India - 401k?
Replies: 16
Views: 1444

Re: No Foreign Transaction Fee, No Annual Fee

timely discussion. I see that the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards is not equipped with the Chip and *Signature or Pin). This means it could be useless in many places outside US.
by slbnoob
Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Foreign Transaction Fee, No Annual Fee
Replies: 33
Views: 4399

Re: Iceland [for vacation]

Excellent thread. Any comments on the following would be appreciated. 1. I am planning to go around August-September mainly keeping low airfares in mind. Anything to consider about the weather then? 2. I will carry a credit card with chip. But I am also considering carrying significant cash with me....
by slbnoob
Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland [for vacation]
Replies: 35
Views: 4885

Re: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?

Does anyone know anything about the Ford EcoBoost engine? It is not part of a hybrid or electric system but is supposed to get superior gas mileage. Ford leases the Hybrid Synergy Drive drivetrain from Toyota. So their hybrids are essentially Toyota hybrid drivetrains. The engine though is differen...
by slbnoob
Fri May 30, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?
Replies: 105
Views: 8295

Re: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?

I have a Camry Hybrid which I bought after a lot of research. I love it and would never buy anything less electric than a hybrid in the future. The issue with asking this question on a forum where most don't own a hybrid is that there are many skeptics who don't own a hybrid and bandy around the sam...
by slbnoob
Thu May 29, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?
Replies: 105
Views: 8295

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

I just purchased a B&D SPCM1936 (SP=self propelled, CM=cordless mower, 19=19inch, 36=36v) I can't make a comment on the grass type but I can share my experience thus far. OP here. I am looking to pull the trigger on this one. I know from someone (in Houston, TX) who used this on Bermuda grass w...
by slbnoob
Wed May 14, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 26580

Re: First Cellphone - reception very poor in house

I am currently with ATT and intend to swith to an MVNO when my contract is over. I would prefer to stick with a GSM based carrier. Is there a cheaper/convenient solution to poor cell phone coverage in the house? Particularly, is there a cheaper signal booster? Looks like the only viable solution is ...
by slbnoob
Fri May 09, 2014 11:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Cellphone - reception very poor in house
Replies: 16
Views: 1798

Re: Aio Wireless

I am a current ATT customer and am considering porting over my Samsung S3 and my wife's iPhone 4s over to Aio Wireless. Currently I pay $100 for 550 mins, no text, 300 MB with ATT. It seems that after this switch, I should pay ($35*2 - $10 for autopay) = $60 per month for unlimited everything + 500M...
by slbnoob
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aio Wireless
Replies: 36
Views: 7287

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

You asked for advice, so here you go: I highly recommend finding alternatives to maintaining artificial (non-native) cool season grasses in an arid, drought-prone, and overpopulated area like Texas. I am a big proponent of using water to grow edible plants vs. maintaining cultural oddities (esp. in...
by slbnoob
Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 26580

Re: First Trip to India

Apply to the India consulate nearest to your city. The information here is complete and all you need to apply. The process is without hassles if you follow the instructions. As you see, the service is offered through a third party. Drink bottled water only. Do not drink water from other sources in r...
by slbnoob
Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Trip to India
Replies: 49
Views: 14429

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

Wonderful responses. Now I have starting points to do my research and figure out what suits me. Thanks again everyone !
by slbnoob
Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 26580

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

Thanks for all your responses. I live in the Houston area. I am planning on watering deeply and infrequently (twice a week in the summer). To begin with, I am checking reviews on lowes. The Kobalt site directed me there. What are some general good (and reasonably cheap) brands for electric blowers, ...
by slbnoob
Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 26580

New homeowner: lawn care advice

I am going to be a new homeowner. With a house, come lots of responsibilities - lawn care being one. I seek some boglehead'ish advice on what equipment to buy. My suburban TX house will 2700 sq ft. on a 7000 sq ft lot. This would mean my lawn would be about 4000 sq ft or less. I am interested in an ...
by slbnoob
Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 26580

Re: TMobile $30 plan...

I think you can get the phone unlocked after you've satisfied your contract. Actually, only unlocking the phone doesn't make it good to play with any carrier. For example, Verizon uses the legacy CDMA technology while the ATT phone uses GSM. So most likely, the phone wouldn't play with each other, ...
by slbnoob
Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TMobile $30 plan...
Replies: 52
Views: 12140

Re: TMobile $30 plan...

Don't want to hijack the thread but I have a related question. What are the other options for current ATT customer? I ask because I would want to bring my own ATT phone to a different service after my ATT contract.

H2O is linked above. Any other options where I can use my ATT GSM phone? Thanks.
by slbnoob
Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TMobile $30 plan...
Replies: 52
Views: 12140

P2P Lending Fund

It was a matter of time before such a peer to peer lending club fund was instituted. I am not aware of a similar "fund". I wonder how much value this fund will bring to investors which is different from the premium services already offered by the lenders themselves. The ER is way too high ...
by slbnoob
Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: P2P Lending Fund
Replies: 5
Views: 476

Re: Cutting cell phone expenses

Ting seems interesting.

I can't wait for my contract with ATT to get over !
by slbnoob
Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting cell phone expenses
Replies: 20
Views: 1995

Re: How has frugality impacted your marriage/LTR?

What I don't understand is the mentality of some people who go beyond frugal to cheap - we live in NewEngland and have friends that invite us over for a weekend when temps are near 0F - they wear layers of sweaters and polar fleece and leave the thermostat at 50F all the time in the Winter - cheap ...
by slbnoob
Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How has frugality impacted your marriage/LTR?
Replies: 37
Views: 3065

Re: REITs in taxable

From EmergDoc's post, viewing a 401K as a 0.75 * Roth (since I'm in the 25% tax bracket) was an eye opener. I never thought of it that way. I will have to revisit the asset allocation for my specific situation again when I plan to increase my bond buying next year in my 401K.
by slbnoob
Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REITs in taxable
Replies: 37
Views: 2372

Re: Just got a free consultation by Personal Capital. Though

Out of curiosity, why would you recommend having the bonds in my Roth vs. my 401k? I assumed as long as the bonds were in some tax advantaged account I'd be fine. Yes, bonds in tax advantaged account is fine. However, it is probably preferable to hold them in the 401K. You can try to keep the Roth ...
by slbnoob
Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Just got a free consultation by Personal Capital. Thoughts?
Replies: 50
Views: 6071

Re: Is it bad to have Many Bank Accounts?

As far as I know (which isn't much), (most) banks do not do a hard pull on the credit history for opening a bank account. For example, you can sign up at http://www.creditkarma.com and monitor your credit for free. After signing my wife up for that, I had her open a Roth IRA account at Vanguard, a C...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it bad to have Many Bank Accounts?
Replies: 41
Views: 3663

Re: Which loan if any should I get for solar panels?

I'm no expert on any of the topics concerning you but am giving my opinion (since you asked) :) Congratulations on choosing a more sustainable way of life. I like many of the steps you've taken and would like to do them myself. Of the 3 options you mention, option 2 seems very complicated and I pref...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which loan if any should I get for solar panels?
Replies: 4
Views: 416

Re: Honda Fit

This new test should not be a cause for concern to owners/drivers of smaller cars. Nothing has changed. Next cycle models should take this test into account in their design. On a different note however, I have come across people who openly said they feel more powerful and aggressive when driving in ...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Fit
Replies: 35
Views: 3562

Re: Newbie - Help on Investing $100K

You contribute to Roth because the growth is tax-free on withdrawal. Also, the contributions to Roth can be withdrawn anytime. So essentially, at least the contribution is not locked away for years. Some even consider that as part of an EF.
by slbnoob
Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Help on Investing $100K
Replies: 21
Views: 2497

Re: Auto insurance

+1 for Geico.
For some reason, all other quotes that I got from other companies were outrageous for a hybrid sedan. Thankfully, Geico didn't try to penalize me for driving a hybrid.
by slbnoob
Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto insurance
Replies: 35
Views: 2665

Re: World Stock Market's Greatest Hits

techcrium wrote:I don't get it.

The chart said it took Austria 89 years, from 1915 to 2003 to return it is original levels...

So that means in Austria in 1915's stock market was valued to its 2003 stock market???

The article definitely says so. Note it also accounts for inflation.
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: World Stock Market's Greatest Hits
Replies: 26
Views: 1819

Re: Planning, IPS, and bonds in taxable/tax-advantaged accts

Typically, the advised sequence for contributing to investment accounts is: 1. 401K to get full employer contribution 2. Maximize Roth IRA to 5500 3. Maximize 401K to 17500 4. Open taxable Some people prefer investing in their Health Savings Account (HSA) around #2 and #3 above, depending upon their...
by slbnoob
Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning, IPS, and bonds in taxable/tax-advantaged accts?
Replies: 3
Views: 249

Re: Moving from taxable to HSA

Thanks for your response. It is along the lines of what I was expecting, sadly :|
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from taxable to HSA
Replies: 2
Views: 323

Moving from taxable to HSA

Hi, I follow the advice here on maxing out employer contribution to 401K, maxing out IRAs. Due to extraordinary expenses this year, I did not go back to the 401K and contribute up to the maximum allowed. Instead, I opened a taxable account and bought a small speculative position (minimum) into a VG ...
by slbnoob
Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from taxable to HSA
Replies: 2
Views: 323
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