Search found 144 matches

by Alexa9
Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for expat
Replies: 20
Views: 1053

Re: Credit card for expat

I would get the Sapphire Preferred/Reserve first due to Chase's 5/24 rule. Then I would get a Venture and an Arrival Plus. Those sign up bonuses should net you a round trip ticket home or two. Whatever airline you use might have a decent card as well.
by Alexa9
Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many tech devices do you have?
Replies: 74
Views: 3007

Re: How many tech devices do you have?

I have a smartphone but I hate it and leave it on silent mode especially when with family/friends.
I also have a desktop computer that I couldn't live without.
Had a tablet for a while but gave it up.
by Alexa9
Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you say when you cancel an account that you only opened for bonus?
Replies: 64
Views: 4211

Re: What do you say when you cancel an account that you only opened for bonus?

I tell them the sign up bonus is great but the perks of the account are not worth the annual fee. Sometimes they'll waive the annual fee. Generally I just send a message: Please close my account. Thank you.
by Alexa9
Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Highlander vs. Pilot
Replies: 30
Views: 2980

Highlander vs. Pilot

Looking for a long lasting large SUV after having bad experiences with American and German makes. Narrowed it down to the Highlander and the Pilot. Looking for opinions. Also, might lease one of each and purchase the one we like more after 3 years. Specifically looking at Pilot EX-L and Highlander X...
by Alexa9
Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which IPAD?
Replies: 48
Views: 3308

Re: which IPAD?

The new base model iPad $329 is a bargain.
The new 10.5" iPad Pro $649 is exceptional but pricy.
by Alexa9
Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1861
Views: 294724

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Just got $575 in Delta GC from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Intro Bonus. $3k spend in 3 months. They raised the bonus from 40k points to 50k points.
by Alexa9
Thu May 18, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?
Replies: 92
Views: 8015

Re: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?

Toyota for sure. Lowest cost to maintain as well.
Honda I would say 2nd. The CVT is reliable but the turbo is somewhat unknown past 150k miles.
by Alexa9
Wed May 17, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell, or not to sell
Replies: 2
Views: 496

Re: Sell, or not to sell

I would sell it. Sounds like more hassle than it's worth especially living in another country. I wouldn't want all my money tied up in a house unless I'm living in it but that's just me. But there are many other factors to consider - Brexit, etc.
by Alexa9
Thu May 04, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Allocation
Replies: 15
Views: 1274

Retirement Allocation

Please critique my retirement allocation: 40/60 Stock/Bond Allocation Stock (aware of small cap risk) 10% Total Stock 10% Total International 10% Small Value 10% Small International Bond (a little uncertain of the bond market, so using CD ladder) 10% Short Term 10% Total Bond 10% Total Intl Bond 10%...
by Alexa9
Thu May 04, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great knife for slicing limes and raw potatoes
Replies: 56
Views: 3294

Re: Great knife for slicing limes and raw potatoes

+1 for Victorinox. Recommended by Cook's Illustrated.
by Alexa9
Wed May 03, 2017 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 18385

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

I would lease it. Think of it as a 3 year test drive. Buy it at the end if you love it. If you crash it or it's a lemon, it's not your problem. If you are wealthy and like cars, leasing is not a bad route.
by Alexa9
Tue May 02, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is target date fund the best way to go?
Replies: 19
Views: 2486

Re: Is target date fund the best way to go?

C. Target date funds frequently operate in a fund-of-funds manner, so you pay the expenses of the fund as well as those the fund invests in ( true fee drag is higher than stated ) Are you sure this is true. From what I understand and have always heard the published expense ratio includes the underl...
by Alexa9
Tue May 02, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most Common Financial Mistakes
Replies: 108
Views: 14076

Most Common Financial Mistakes

What are the most common financial mistakes people make? Credit card debt, poor asset allocation (too risky/conservative, not diversified), not saving enough for retirement, buying more than one can afford (house, car, travel), choosing a spouse that is not financially smart, what else? It's good to...
by Alexa9
Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab False Ad (4X Cheaper than VG)
Replies: 20
Views: 1803

Schwab False Ad (4X Cheaper than VG)

Just saw an ad by Schwab on TV that their S&P 500 Fund (ER .03) was 4x cheaper than Vanguards (.14). Don't know where they got that (maybe investor shares? which is .16). Vanguard's ETF/Admiral is .05. They are really hurting since Vanguard has been dominating lately. https://www.nytimes.com/201...
by Alexa9
Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Choices
Replies: 45
Views: 3739

Re: Car Choices

Hyundai just had a pretty serious engine recall. FYI
https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/hyun ... -gremlins/
by Alexa9
Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping adult children
Replies: 81
Views: 8432

Re: Helping adult children

I would give them each an equal amount. I wouldn't punish one son for not having kids. An early inheritance when kids are young and need it most is often better than when they're successful and don't need it. However, if neither of them need it or want it, then I don't see any reason to give it to t...
by Alexa9
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Six pack for barbecue?
Replies: 77
Views: 5573

Re: Six pack for barbecue?

If you want to get creative, find a place that does make your own six packs and bring 12 different beers!
by Alexa9
Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Choices
Replies: 45
Views: 3739

Re: Car Choices

All new Camry/Accord this year if you can wait a few months. There will be deals on the old models too.
by Alexa9
Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing unused credit cards
Replies: 6
Views: 700

Re: Closing unused credit cards

I think more than around four main cards is overkill and not worth monitoring. If you're churning for free flights as a hobby that's different. Closing old accounts doesn't affect your account much. They stay on your report for 10? years I believe and your current cards will be 10 years older by the...
by Alexa9
Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Bank Travel Card 50k Points ($1k value)
Replies: 6
Views: 855

Re: US Bank Travel Card 50k Points ($1k value)

New card from US Bank to compete with Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum. 50k point intro bonus valued at $750 and $325 annual travel bonus, $400 annual fee. Intro spend $4.5k in 90 days. Kicker is you have to have an account with them for 35 days to open. Available May 1. US Bank is not as g...
by Alexa9
Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Bank Travel Card 50k Points ($1k value)
Replies: 6
Views: 855

US Bank Travel Card 50k Points ($1k value)

New card from US Bank to compete with Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum. 50k point intro bonus valued at $750 and $325 annual travel bonus, $400 annual fee. Intro spend $4.5k in 90 days. Kicker is you have to have an account with them for 35 days to open. Available May 1. US Bank is not as go...
by Alexa9
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe says "Goodbye."
Replies: 336
Views: 37668

Re: Larry Swedroe says "Goodby."

Thanks Larry! The site won't be the same without you. Shame on the posters that attacked him.
by Alexa9
Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit score and closing old cards
Replies: 9
Views: 847

Re: Credit score and closing old cards

I would wait until you get your mortgage, then cancel away. Just sock drawer them unless they have annual fees. Maybe close a few of them. Try CreditKarma's simulator.
by Alexa9
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small cap fund index question
Replies: 57
Views: 4765

Re: Small cap fund index question

Yes once a small cap becomes a mid cap it is removed from the index. You may also consider value tilting which I believe is a larger premium than the small cap premium:
VTV Large Value, VOE Mid Value, VBR Small Value
Also in international: VSS Small Blend
by Alexa9
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fidelity card 2% but NOT as statement credit
Replies: 27
Views: 2679

Re: Fidelity card 2% but NOT as statement credit

Careful not to apply the Citi DC as a statement credit or you won't get 2% either; the reason being is that you get 2% = 1% for purchases + 1% for payments, but applying the statement credit reduces the needed payment on the purchases. So your effective cashback ratio is less than 2%. It's 1.99%. N...
by Alexa9
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adult child lack of availability at tax time.
Replies: 24
Views: 2067

Re: Adult child lack of availability at tax time.

Ahh, millennials. You can't say you didn't warn him. Sometimes kids have to learn the hard way.
by Alexa9
Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My kids don't care about saving
Replies: 114
Views: 11671

Re: My kids don't care about saving

Sometimes people need to learn the hard way. I know plenty of people that lived it up and have very little retirement savings. They won't be living it up in retirement. I know people that don't live it up at all and have too much savings. It's a balancing act.
by Alexa9
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leaving Edward Jones...where to start?
Replies: 4
Views: 682

Re: Leaving Edward Jones...where to start?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/business/mutfund/vanguard-mutual-index-funds-growth.html http://www.obliviousinvestor.com/vanguard/ http://kronstantinople.blogspot.com/p/edward-jones-saga.html Have Vanguard transfer everything to them. Don't even contact EJ. They will beg/threaten you to stay. Th...
by Alexa9
Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing my oldest credit card
Replies: 19
Views: 2181

Re: Closing my oldest credit card

Close it. No worries. It still adds to your age of accounts after it's closed AFAIK even though creditkarma only shows AAOA of open accounts.
by Alexa9
Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car...finance or not?
Replies: 17
Views: 1557

Re: New car...finance or not?

I prefer to pay cash for cars if possible. It's mostly psychological. I find more bill payments to be a hassle and I like having the title with no lien. Many dealers offer 0.9% or even 0% financing. Then it might be worthwhile but I end up paying early anyways. Some also offer a discount if you fina...
by Alexa9
Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much is reasonable amount to spend [on gymnastics]
Replies: 42
Views: 3344

Re: how much is reasonable amount to spend

I would let her do it if you can afford it easily. Otherwise encourage her to pick up some less expensive hobbies. I find that once they get to Varsity level it is pretty stressful/competitive and not fun anymore. I think the most valuable sport to pick up while you're young is tennis, swimming, and...
by Alexa9
Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much money do you need to generate $50,000 per month?
Replies: 60
Views: 7845

Re: How much money do you need to generate $50,000 per month?

50k/month = 600k/ year 60/40 allocation (recommended for indefinite holding time period like an endowment fund) Also consider inflation/tax $12 Million (if you don't plan on using the principal) @ 5% return (600k/.05) $10 Million @ 6% return etc. (600k/.06) I suggest a retirement calculator. How old...
by Alexa9
Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?
Replies: 24
Views: 3697

Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

I wouldn't buy at Costco. They don't take AMEX anymore and AMEX provides the best extended warranty and purchase protection on electronics. Although Costco is pretty good too.
by Alexa9
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail
Replies: 21
Views: 1825

Re: Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail

I guess you'll have to let us know how it goes!
by Alexa9
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Budget multitool knife
Replies: 24
Views: 2253

Re: Budget multitool knife

Leatherman/Swiss Army although I prefer the individual tools.
by Alexa9
Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA for teen
Replies: 26
Views: 2708

Re: Roth IRA for teen

An alternative is the college IRA: it might be easier to contribute to a 529 or ESA for college.
by Alexa9
Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do with your coins?
Replies: 76
Views: 4633

Re: What do you do with your coins?

Haven't carried cash or coins in years. I've only gotten caught once at an event that only took cash and then drinks were all on my cash friends :D Credit is so much more secure. I don't worry much about getting mugged anymore. I used to go to Coinstar and get an Amazon Gift Card. I heard that the c...
by Alexa9
Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealership rejecting rebate after contract signed
Replies: 115
Views: 13562

Re: Dealership rejecting rebate after contract signed

Wow, really good way to lose business and get a bad review on Yelp.
by Alexa9
Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extreme Frugality vs Living Life - Where do you draw the line?
Replies: 77
Views: 8995

Re: Extreme Frugality vs Living Life - Where do you draw the line?

I think it is good to take a vacation occasionally. A nice but modest house. Good home cooked food. Other things are secondary. Don't go out to eat or travel much. Don't wear fancy clothes or jewelry. Modest cars. It's all up to you where you choose to cut costs and splurge. I might tease a miser bu...
by Alexa9
Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That second Visa card
Replies: 25
Views: 2076

Re: That second Visa card

I find AMEX customer service to be the best even on their no annual fee cards. Their car rental insurance, purchase protection for electronics, and other perks seem to be the best. Had an expensive camera purchased with AMEX that was damaged on a trip and the full price was refunded. They are not ac...
by Alexa9
Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That second Visa card
Replies: 25
Views: 2076

Re: That second Visa card

I have an AMEX, Visa, and MC. Good to build credit history with several different lenders.
by Alexa9
Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Try to decide 401K or IRA.
Replies: 11
Views: 906

Re: Try to decide 401K or IRA.

I have been contributed max amount allowed by IRA to my 401K at work and not contribute to IRA. This is an odd way to put it? You do understand the there are separate maximums for IRAs and the 401k? If under age 50, you can contribute $5500 to the IRA and $18,000 to the 401k. You can do both these ...
by Alexa9
Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard vs fidelity & sp500 vs total market?
Replies: 12
Views: 940

Re: Vanguard vs fidelity & sp500 vs total market?

I am going to follow some advice I got on here a couple weeks ago and the the 403b through my work with mutual of America s&p500 type fund because good vanguard index funds are not available. Was also going for the recommended investment in vanguard total international stock and total domestic ...
by Alexa9
Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard vs fidelity & sp500 vs total market?
Replies: 12
Views: 940

Re: Vanguard vs fidelity & sp500 vs total market?

Total stock market is better. It holds small and mid caps. I even tilt more towards small (and value).

Vanguard is better (in some ways) for a few not so obvious reasons:
http://www.obliviousinvestor.com/vanguard/
by Alexa9
Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Canceling Capital One credit card
Replies: 10
Views: 1140

Re: Canceling Capital One credit card

It's nice to have one card with several of the top banks especially Chase and AMEX. I think Capital One is pretty good. If you have the Venture card you can convert it to a no annual fee Quicksilver and put it in your closet. Otherwise, I'd just cancel it.
by Alexa9
Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard funds for emergency cash
Replies: 14
Views: 2005

Re: Vanguard funds for emergency cash

Ally Savings 1%
Ally 1 year CD 1.3%
by Alexa9
Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Index Funds Drive Apple Up?
Replies: 27
Views: 2540

Do Index Funds Drive Apple Up?

I've noticed Apple is increasing in value without many new products. I know it is a great company, but I was wondering if the massive shift towards index funds is driving up the price. Total Stock Market Index consists of about 3% AAPL. Vanguard now has $4 Trillion in assets. Not just Apple, but I w...
by Alexa9
Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: income/expense Tracker Recommendation
Replies: 11
Views: 584

Re: income/expense Tracker Recommendation

Mint is free and seems secure. I give them my credit card accounts but not my bank accounts just to be safe.
by Alexa9
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some Credit Cards Make You Spend More?
Replies: 69
Views: 4248

Re: Some Credit Cards Make You Spend More?

Here's a good article: http://blog.credit.com/2015/03/6-ways-chasing-credit-card-rewards-can-backfire-110907/ The most valuable rewards offered might be worth about 5% of the amount spent (here are some of the best rewards credit cards out there). But even when you can earn those rate of returns, yo...

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