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Re: Are 3-funds better than 2?

Go look at what you are actually buying if you buy Vanguard Total International https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsAllHoldings?FundId=0569&FundIntExt=INT&tableName=Equity&tableIndex=0&sort=marketValue&sortOrder=desc Most of the companies are completely familiar (Nestle, BP, To...
by texasdiver
Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are 3-funds better than 2?
Replies: 17
Views: 1102

Re: [POLL] What Fixed Income Assets Do You Use?

TSP G-Fund

Also whatever fixed income bonds are held within Vanguard Wellington and Vanguard Target Retirement funds
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [POLL] What Fixed Income Assets Do You Use?
Replies: 37
Views: 1701

Re: Camcorder vs. iPhone vs. DSLR Camera

Don't forget to put down the iphone/camcorder and actually be in the scene! I can only imagine how bad it is these days with the phones in the air. Front row seats must be necessary in order to see anything. Not really any different than all the camcorders and SLRs in the air. The most distracting ...
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camcorder vs. iPhone vs. DSLR Camera
Replies: 25
Views: 1217

Re: Bitcoin: The worst investment in 2014

adamthesmythe wrote:It's only down 50%. Surely there are many things worse than that. You mean it's the worst CURRENCY investment.


Well yeah....I was just quoting from the headline of the article. Obviously there are worse investments like GTAT.. Or if you are the Cleveland Browns...Johnny Manziel.
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin: The worst investment in 2014
Replies: 17
Views: 2167

Re: [Purchasing a Bolt-Action] Rifle

My first deer rifle was a Winchester 30-30 lever action carbine that I rescued from my grandfather's kitchen closet on the Pennsylvania farm in the 1970s. My mom sold it at a moving sale when I was in college not knowing that it was actually a fairly valuable collector's item being a pre-1964 model...
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Purchasing a Bolt-Action] Rifle
Replies: 31
Views: 3147

Re: [Purchasing a Bolt-Action] Rifle

My first deer rifle was a Winchester 30-30 lever action carbine that I rescued from my grandfather's kitchen closet on the Pennsylvania farm in the 1970s. My mom sold it at a moving sale when I was in college not knowing that it was actually a fairly valuable collector's item being a pre-1964 model....
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Purchasing a Bolt-Action] Rifle
Replies: 31
Views: 3147

Re: Camcorder vs. iPhone vs. DSLR Camera

Parent of 3 kids Gathering dust in our closet we have 2 camcorders (digital and older non-digital), and Canon digital SLR and Canon superzoom still cameras which really only get taken out on vacations to photogenic locations like Costa Rica. What we pretty much only use anymore for kid photos and vi...
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camcorder vs. iPhone vs. DSLR Camera
Replies: 25
Views: 1217

Re: Your Favorite Cookbook?

I have a 4 shelves of cookbooks on my bookshelf The one I actually use the most? Joy of Cooking. It is an awesome compilation of recipes, techniques, and information about food. The latest edition which I have has most of the stuff from the classic version but a lot of new ethnic recipes from Asia, ...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Favorite Cookbook?
Replies: 60
Views: 3636

Re: Don't Peek [at Your Portfolio Balance]

This whole thread kind of reminds me of college. I attended a small liberal arts college in Oregon (Reed College) that de-emphasized grades but still issued them. All the work you turned in came back with lots of comments but no actual grade. You still received grades but if you wanted to see them y...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't Peek [at Your Portfolio Balance]
Replies: 33
Views: 3870

Re: Don't Peek

I think the don't peek advice is good advice for people who have trouble controlling impulses that might interfere with their investments plans. And it might save you from some sleepless nights and unnessary stress as well. But, keep in mind that part of Vanguard's terms of service, for reimbursing...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't Peek [at Your Portfolio Balance]
Replies: 33
Views: 3870

Re: Confirm my paying mother's helper is correct

I thought the way it worked was you pay homepay the total amount plus their fee and they pay the employee through direct deposit and make all the appropriate deductions.
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Confirm my paying mother's helper is correct
Replies: 10
Views: 1563

Re: Choosing a preschool

You have to visit. Greenfire's advice is extremely good in terms of what to look for. Walking through a facility should give you a basic idea of whether it is more of a preschool (emphasis on the schooling) or daycare (emphasis on baby sitting). You will have to pay a lot to get the best programs. I...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing a preschool
Replies: 15
Views: 1218

Re: Why did you quit your job?

I quit my job as a fisheries biologist in Alaska to follow my wife to Texas for her career. I was not unhappy in my old position and tried to keep the ties open through long distance consulting with my old agency for a couple of years until I grew weary of working out of a home office in order to ma...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why did you quit your job?
Replies: 37
Views: 4236

Re: Toddlers first flight

When our girls were that age my wife would buy a variety of small new toys for the trip and then wrap them up in wrapping paper with ribbons as little surprise gifts. Something her mother used to do too. When the child is fussing it is one thing to pull out a new toy. It brings it to a whole new lev...
by texasdiver
Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toddlers first flight
Replies: 30
Views: 1832

Re: Your opinion of a Financial Advisor

Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I just wanted to thank everyone for the advice after looking back. I was working on my CPA at the time and this forum gave me greater motivation to move forward with it. With that said, I passed the exam, took a job with a firm and it has been a great experience...
by texasdiver
Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your opinion of a Financial Advisor
Replies: 26
Views: 4931

Re: Instruments and kids

There are solo instruments (mainly piano and guitar) and there are social instruments (strings for orchestra and brass, woodwinds, and percussion for band). Piano is a great way to start learning music because the payback is immediate. Kids can start making actual music on a piano much easier than m...
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instruments and kids
Replies: 31
Views: 1915

Re: Instruments and kids

As for buying instruments. Every one we have bought has been quality instruments. A decent mid-high end digital piano and decent band and orchestra instruments. Don't regret that one bit although the price can be a bite. I definitely believe in putting real instruments in kids hands not toys or pie...
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instruments and kids
Replies: 31
Views: 1915

Re: how to join nylon webbing?

Fat cats are hardly unusual.

You must surely be able to find something appropriate through one of the many online pet shops without having to build it yourself. The variety of leashes and collars on the market is nearly infinite.
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to join nylon webbing?
Replies: 26
Views: 1737

Re: Instruments and kids

Daughter #1 (age 16): Started violin in 5th grade school orchestra and quit in 9th grade to do drama instead. We did 4 years of private lessons through the local university music department to supplement school orchestra. After 5 years it was clear that music was not her talent. I donated her violin...
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instruments and kids
Replies: 31
Views: 1915

Re: Who Paid for the wedding?

Got married on a friend's boat in Alaska. They brought the food and drinks (smoked salmon, bagels, and local beer). Our only costs were the wedding license and the gold wedding bands we got at Costco for about $75 each. We wore jeans, rubber boots, and fleece.
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who Paid for the wedding?
Replies: 94
Views: 6491

Re: Account Security Question

Would you rather they answer questions about your account over the phone from any random person who calls and claims to be you? A PIN number is at least much more secure than the standard nonsense of giving your address and last 4 of your social or account number which is all some banks ask for to v...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Account Security Question
Replies: 5
Views: 614

Re: Family jewels, kind of.

I would just tell them that you'd rather not mix business and family because you don't want to feel like YOU are taking advantage of THEM and this is something you wanted to do yourself.

But I would also bring your fiancé into the loop.
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family jewels, kind of.
Replies: 44
Views: 3310

Re: Tow hitch cargo

Your cargo capacity will depend on the tongue weight capacity of your hitch. Basically all hitches are going to give you two numbers to play with, the towing capacity which is how heavy of a trailer you can pull (and control/stop), and how heavy of a weight you can place on the hitch ball (tongue we...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tow hitch cargo
Replies: 8
Views: 813

Re: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?

Go to the web site, find the customer service number and call them. Has happened to me before in Texas. Was no problem, the woman on the phone apologized and said it happens frequently. They dropped the fee once they saw that I indeed had an active transponder account. I'm guessing that something pr...
by texasdiver
Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?
Replies: 11
Views: 986

Re: Cell phone usage while visiting Canada

For 6 months in Canada your best bet is probably to just buy a pre-paid cell phone up there for the duration, assuming you want to use the phone a lot. Otherwise you can put it on airplane mode for the duration of the trip and only use it on Wifi which is what I do every time I visit family in Chile...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone usage while visiting Canada
Replies: 10
Views: 1785

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

It seems like a comparison of rental car agencies based on how they manage tolls might be in order. I don't know if there is any web site out there that does this but if how the different rental agencies charge for toll road tolls differs markedly than that factor alone might overwhelm any minor pri...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 29
Views: 2598

Re: Seeking Boglehead advice on new home

Thanks very much to everyone for your advice. Just read through the thread along with my wife. I'm a little surprised at all the comments suggesting updates as a cost-effective alternative to moving. I've always heard that homeowners almost never recoup 100% of the costs of a remodel/update when se...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking Boglehead advice on new home
Replies: 28
Views: 3271

Re: swimming pool pumps

You can pull the pump off and bring it to an electric motor shop and have them test it. They may be able to fix it for a reasonable fee. I was able to do that the first time I had a pump burn out and paid about $50 to have the motor fixed. The second time it was completely burned out and I bought a...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: swimming pool pumps
Replies: 14
Views: 1641

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

The OP is talking about Houston. The toll road tags are a bit different here in Texas. They are window stickers that can't be transferred from car to car. When you open the account you do it as the car owner and type in the licence plate, VIN, and other data and get the sticker tag in the mail. Howe...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 29
Views: 2598

Re: Does anyone own iPad Air 2?

MacMall has the best prices I've seen. They were running about $30 off with free shipping and no sales tax (shipped to Texas). Beats anything else I could find. Comes out about $80 cheaper than the Apple Store here in TX when you take into account the $50 tax savings. http://www.macmall.com/ Is thi...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone own iPad Air 2?
Replies: 15
Views: 2112

Re: Following your IPS

It's pretty easy for me as for the most part the IPS is built into the spreadsheet that I use to manage the assets but it's not clear what difficulties you were experiencing so it's hard to comment further. For me it is the urge to market time. The stock market is currently at an all-time high and ...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Following your IPS
Replies: 5
Views: 821

Re: trading in iPhones for the latest: Apple or Verizon?

We have two iPhones eligible for the trade in buy back being offered at Apple and Verizon. Has anyone already done this? Any opinions about whether to buy and trade in at Apple or Verizon? According to the Verizon appraisal, we'll get $300 for each. All things being equal, I'd rather buy at an Appl...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: trading in iPhones for the latest: Apple or Verizon?
Replies: 8
Views: 1294

Re: Does anyone own iPad Air 2?

MacMall has the best prices I've seen.

They were running about $30 off with free shipping and no sales tax (shipped to Texas). Beats anything else I could find. Comes out about $80 cheaper than the Apple Store here in TX when you take into account the $50 tax savings.

http://www.macmall.com/
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone own iPad Air 2?
Replies: 15
Views: 2112

Re: swimming pool pumps

You can pull the pump off and bring it to an electric motor shop and have them test it. They may be able to fix it for a reasonable fee. I was able to do that the first time I had a pump burn out and paid about $50 to have the motor fixed. The second time it was completely burned out and I bought a ...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: swimming pool pumps
Replies: 14
Views: 1641

Re: Ken Fisher - Why I hate annuities

Social security and traditional pensions are really just another form of annuity. You get a fixed indexed or non-indexed payment until death or until your spouse dies depending on the flavor. And few people would recommend someone with a traditional pension doing an "reverse annuity" by ca...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ken Fisher - Why I hate annuities
Replies: 69
Views: 6156

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?

It seems like the whole discussion of safe withdrawal rates is really looking at two different but related issues. For those in the accumulation phase, the 4% rule of thumb is mainly useful in terms of calculating how much one needs to save for retirement. At age 50 that is what I use it for and it ...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?
Replies: 84
Views: 7958

Re: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question

When I moved into my house in 2008 I replaced all the incandescent bulbs with CFLs from Costco. The energy savings is substantial but I was less than happy with the CFL technology. They don't last particularly long and take a while to warm up. Starting 2 years ago I have been replacing them with LED...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question
Replies: 64
Views: 4861

Re: Bah Humbug [managing Christmas spending]

I take the opportunity during Thanksgiving holiday to clean the closets and attic and my wife discovers that we already have way too much stuff and need to get rid of a bunch.
by texasdiver
Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bah Humbug [managing Christmas spending]
Replies: 52
Views: 4614

Re: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?

Stayed the course. Was basically in Vanguard target retirement funds, TSP, and Wellington resulting in about an 80/20 asset allocation. I just viewed the whole episode as a buying opportunity and continued to make the normal 403(b) contributions as before. I did track things downward and then back u...
by texasdiver
Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?
Replies: 79
Views: 6235

Re: LED Christmas lights?

Thank you for the detailed follow up. Interesting that you can compare to the rest of the neighborhood already, here people are just starting to put lights up (guessing 1/4 of houses that will have lights at Christmas had them on last night) Any chance you could link to the specific white LED 5 per...
by texasdiver
Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Christmas lights?
Replies: 19
Views: 3177

Re: LED Christmas lights?

As the original poster I thought I would follow up. I did a lot of research and spent some time on some Christmas light forums. Yes, there are folks who live year round on those forums planning their multi-media Christmas display extravaganzas. Mostly they are deep in the weeds talking about compute...
by texasdiver
Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Christmas lights?
Replies: 19
Views: 3177

Re: When do you feel comfortable financially to have kids?

Finances are secondary. If you have kids too early before you grow up that creates issues. I did a lot of things in my early to mid 20s that would not have been possible with kids including working in Guatemala in the Peace Corps and working on fishing boats in Alaska. And I did a lot of adventure t...
by texasdiver
Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you feel comfortable financially to have kids?
Replies: 59
Views: 4325

Re: changing jobs after a decade - risky or exhilirating

I did it at your age due to family circumstances. My wife and I relocated from Alaska to Texas for her medical residency which forced me to give up a position as a fisheries biologist to find employment teaching. Had life circumstances not caused this change I'd probably still be at my old career. B...
by texasdiver
Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: changing jobs after a decade - risky or exhilirating
Replies: 5
Views: 771

Re: Favorite TED Talks

I show these three every year to my HS Marine Science classes Robert Ballard The Astonishing Hidden World of the Deep Ocean http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_ballard_on_exploring_the_oceans Edith Widder: The Weird, Wonderful World of Bioluminescence: http://www.ted.com/talks/edith_widder_the_weird_and...
by texasdiver
Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite TED Talks
Replies: 26
Views: 3501

Re: Experiences using VRBO, Airbnb internationally

Can you tell by most postings if the owners are local or American? With airbnb you can click on the owner's profile and see what they have written about themselves. Sometimes there isn't much, other times there are photos and all kinds of chatty background information about the owner. On VRBO the o...
by texasdiver
Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences using VRBO, Airbnb internationally
Replies: 26
Views: 2000

Re: Experiences using VRBO, Airbnb internationally

I used VRBO to rent a beach house in Guanacaste Costa Rica a couple years ago and couldn't have been happier. But then the owners were from Colorado and so all the transactions were here in the US. It was no different than renting in the US except that they had a full time caretaker/housekeeper who ...
by texasdiver
Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences using VRBO, Airbnb internationally
Replies: 26
Views: 2000

Re: Dog food - how cheap is too cheap?

Your go-to source for all dog food information is http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com Pedigree is rated very low. If you are near a Costco you will find their Kirkland Signature dog and cat food to be by far the best bang for the buck in premium foods. I have probably saved hundreds buying this food compa...
by texasdiver
Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dog food - how cheap is too cheap?
Replies: 64
Views: 5773

Re: Laptop/Chromebook recommendation

My little 11 year old is an aspiring writer. We would like to purchase a device for her to encourage her writing. What is our best option in a laptop, specifically for writing purposes? Thanks Most likely getting her something like what she uses at school would be best. Even if it is not the ideal ...
by texasdiver
Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop/Chromebook recommendation
Replies: 14
Views: 917

Re: Laptop/Chromebook recommendation

You also need to consider how to print her manuscripts. If you go the Chromebook route the ideal would be to purchase a cloud ready printer (prints directly from the cloud) to go with it. So if she took her Chromebook to the library for example, she could easily print off her documents on her home ...
by texasdiver
Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop/Chromebook recommendation
Replies: 14
Views: 917
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