Search found 2988 matches

by Ged
Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US debt approaching $20 Trillion
Replies: 18
Views: 1053

Re: US debt approaching $20 Trillion

To begin about 30% of that debt is owed by one branch of government to another. In other words irrelevant. Then there is the fact it's all dollar denominated. If the government needs to pay it off all it has to do is print a few trillion dollar bills. Finally debt is not a problem if it is small rel...
by Ged
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit score odd question
Replies: 21
Views: 1330

Re: Credit score odd question

I would advise starting a process where you visit the web site of your credit card companies to check your balance status once or twice a month. I've found this is the most reliable way to ensure that bills get paid on time. Relying on postal or email for delivery of statements is just not reliable ...
by Ged
Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I cut my Pine tree?
Replies: 24
Views: 2442

Re: Should I cut my Pine tree?

I had a large white pine (48" dia trunk) that was about 8' from my house removed after Sandy. The storm knocked down some similar trees in my neighborhood causing all sorts of damage. It cost me about $800 to remove. Cutting it required branch removal with a bucket truck and then removing the t...
by Ged
Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Planning for Retirement: Why do it the recommended way?
Replies: 26
Views: 2459

Re: Planning for Retirement: Why do it the recommended way?

One risk with a 401k is that you don't control it. The employer could take that Fidelity managed 401k where he was paying all the costs and you were seeing sub 0.05% ERs for every index fund you could imagine wanting. Then one day, your company is bought and he decides that it's better to go with E...
by Ged
Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a Computer
Replies: 28
Views: 2548

Re: Building a Computer

I thought it would be a fun project and save some money over time with it being easy to upgrade in the future hopefully. I have always had a custom built PC. Going back to the 1980's when I had a 80286 running MS-DOS and 2 full height 5 1/4" hard drives. Off the shelf systems are often intenti...
by Ged
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock 401(k)
Replies: 21
Views: 862

Re: John Hancock 401(k)

I had an employer for a few years a decade ago that used JH. If you are getting 0.83% and a selection of good index funds JH has improved their 401K offering considerably.

All I can say is that one of the reasons I didn't mind leaving that job was JH.
by Ged
Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition from private insurance to Medicare
Replies: 21
Views: 1260

Re: Transition from private insurance to Medicare

I also went through a period on Medicare without Social Security. They sent me a bill every few months that I paid with a credit card. The only problem I had was that I was using a Costco Amex cash back card and the billing form was set up for the M/C - Visa numbering scheme. A couple of times my pa...
by Ged
Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too good to be true? [Bogleheads' model of index investing]
Replies: 48
Views: 5586

Re: Too good to be true?

I think the catch is the psychology of investing. The Boglehead approach is extremely easy from a mechanical point of view, not so much from a psychological point of view. People are always posting stories about being scared into all cash or falling for sales pitches for Whole Life policies or takin...
by Ged
Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drawbacks to using rack server unit as desktop computer?
Replies: 14
Views: 1214

Re: Drawbacks to using rack server unit as desktop computer?

Noisy fans. Inconvenient case dimensions for a desktop application. High power consumption. It will probably have some onboard video support but most of these don't have slots for a dedicated video card until you get to a 4U case. Windows Server 2003 is an archaic operating system that is past end o...
by Ged
Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A tale of TWO REITS . . . Does PE Matter?
Replies: 7
Views: 866

Re: A tale of TWO REITS . . . Does PE Matter?

Price to earnings ratios don't mean much with REITs because depreciation is not the same factor as it is with corporations. Funds from operations is often recommended as an alternative. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/04/112204.asp https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Real_estate_investment_trust Ad...
by Ged
Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mattresses and alcohol (bourbon, scotch, whiskey)
Replies: 45
Views: 3745

Re: mattresses and alcohol (bourbon, scotch, whiskey)

What are you setting up here? :shock:
by Ged
Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord cut strategy for young family
Replies: 66
Views: 5997

Re: Cord cut strategy for young family

There are currently 3 major alt-cable networks that operate over the internet. Playstation Vue, Sling TV and Direct TV now. Cost is about $30-$50 per month. This article describes their services. http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/playstation-vue-vs-sling-tv-vs-directv-now-2/ You may want to ...
by Ged
Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Technical issues with WIFI internet and websites
Replies: 18
Views: 1061

Re: Technical issues with WIFI internet and websites

My first guess would be poor wifi performance; I would try a cable connection. Also sometimes an ISP's DNS can be flakey for various reasons. This could cause symptoms similar to what you describe. You can try using Google's public DNS as described here: https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/
by Ged
Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you guys ignore this stuff?
Replies: 80
Views: 8060

Re: How do you guys ignore this stuff?

Experience helps you a lot.

So does turning the TV off and reading a book.

Come here and we'll help you calm down.
by Ged
Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you changing your AA based on current events?
Replies: 68
Views: 3202

Re: Are you changing your AA based on current events?

Admiral wrote:
We are going through a period unlike any this country has experienced in a long time, if ever. I think most can agree on that.



Your statement is true almost all the time. I don't see anything happening that would cause me to change my AA.
by Ged
Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preserving Old DVD Content
Replies: 20
Views: 1929

Re: Preserving Old DVD Content

There are vast differences in the long term stability between DVDs. I would recommend copying your DVDs to archival grade DVDs..

https://www.amazon.com/Verbatim-UltraLi ... chival+dvd
by Ged
Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Local Companies as an Asset Class?
Replies: 19
Views: 1260

Re: Local Companies as an Asset Class?

I would suggest that it is concentrating your investment geographically results in more risk to your assets. Suppose your local area suffers from economic problems. Not only will your equity assets decline but the value of your home may suffer. You or family members may become unemployed as well fur...
by Ged
Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If market crashed 50%, would you do a 401k roth conversion?
Replies: 22
Views: 2657

Re: If market crashed 50%, would you do a 401k roth conversion?

Right now I am doing a Roth conversion every year, up to the point of the beginning of the 25% tax bracket. I am planning to pass my Roth accounts on to my heirs. Once I start taking SS I expect to have enough income to fill the 15% bracket and I would stop converting to my Roth. Clearly I'd continu...
by Ged
Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a good laptop to buy?
Replies: 82
Views: 6092

Re: What is a good laptop to buy?

I have bought ~ 15 Lenovo laptops for a volunteer group over the last couple of years. I would include Lenovo on your list. +1 for Lenovo. Especially their business models. You will probably spend more than $500 but the quality of the Lenovo business oriented machine's build is worth it. The Lenovo...
by Ged
Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beside margin, any other investment where you can lose more than you invested?
Replies: 17
Views: 1191

Re: Beside margin, any other investment where you can lose more than you invested?

Shorting. Basically you can lose an unlimited amount because you are agreeing to buy a stock in the future to pay back a loan of that stock. There is no limit as to how high that stock could go.
by Ged
Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Editing shortcut emacs-like keys. Do u use them?
Replies: 34
Views: 2229

Re: Editing shortcut emacs-like keys. Do u use them?

zaboomafoozarg wrote:I write my posts in vim and then copy them into the browser. :P


vim is a newfangled gizmo for millennials. Retirees use vi.
by Ged
Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dow crosses 20,000?
Replies: 28
Views: 2980

Re: Dow crosses 20,000?

nisiprius wrote:I don't think crossing it during the day "counts." I think it has to be at least 20,000 at the close for people to break out the champagne,


Yes, but on the floor of the NYSE they start making whooping noises every time it even gets close. :P
by Ged
Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Never had a credit card, should I get one?
Replies: 71
Views: 2694

Re: Never had a credit card, should I get one?

Consumer protections are not as good with a debit card. It's a serious reason to use a credit card instead.
by Ged
Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fed Rate [may go] to 3% - [investing consequences?]
Replies: 85
Views: 8836

Re: Fed Rate to 3%

If you seriously think Janet will be running the fed in 2019 you're crazy. She is getting a new boss soon who is not a big fan. Nobody knows where interest rates will be in 2019. Nobody knows what interest rates will be in 2019. However it's worth noting that the new boss is not a fan of very low i...
by Ged
Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fed Rate [may go] to 3% - [investing consequences?]
Replies: 85
Views: 8836

Re: Fed Rate to 3%

Nick341981 wrote:If you seriously think Janet will be running the fed in 2019 you're crazy. She is getting a new boss soon who is not a big fan. Nobody knows where interest rates will be in 2019.


Nobody knows what interest rates will be in 2019. [OT comment removed by admin alex]
by Ged
Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fed Rate [may go] to 3% - [investing consequences?]
Replies: 85
Views: 8836

Re: Fed Rate to 3%

I'm a retired guy with a 40/60 allocation mostly in short and intermediate bond funds. I will rebalance if the value of the bonds drop more than 10%.

Otherwise I welcome our new higher yield overlords.

Now back to my nap.
by Ged
Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.
Replies: 41
Views: 5628

Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

AAA wrote:My suggestion is to just hire someone each Fall, after the leaves come down. My guy charges $100 and is well worth it.


This is what I do - every fall I pay a lawn guy to come out and de-leaf my lawn and gutters, and power wash the north side of my house which accumulates green stuff on the siding.
by Ged
Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refinancing 2017 Honda Civic. Honda Financial services added $75 to my loan.
Replies: 18
Views: 1430

Re: Refinancing 2017 Honda Civic. Honda Financial services added $75 to my loan.

It appears that they can charge you up to $75 when you prepay if the unpaid balance is more than $2000.

http://law.justia.com/codes/california/ ... 984.5.html

(iii) Seventy-five dollars ($75) if the unpaid balance exceeds two
thousand dollars ($2,000).
by Ged
Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the housing market like stocks? When do you think prices fall again?
Replies: 38
Views: 3016

Re: Is the housing market like stocks? When do you think prices fall again?

Part of the confusion with real estate is that there are generally two components to purchasing a house. The first is the actual cost of the house, and the second is the cost of the financing. The life cycle financing cost often is greater than the cost of the house, and the total cost of the transa...
by Ged
Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for home paper shredder
Replies: 52
Views: 2280

Re: Recommendations for home paper shredder

F150HD wrote:where specifically do you put the oil?


Into the paper feed in the top. Basically an eyedropper full distributed along the metal feeders.
by Ged
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password
Replies: 86
Views: 7024

Re: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password

Finding a dead person's password could theoretically be useful in order to monitor an account while the courts are working on getting the will processed and an executor named, but also be illegal to use. What should happen is that on death as executor you call the banks and brokerage houses, inform ...
by Ged
Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade or just buy new? [Computer]
Replies: 44
Views: 2605

Re: Upgrade or just buy new? [Computer]

PFInterest wrote:It's scary people are still on XP. Go get a new computer!


Yes. You probably have ancient hardware which is getting ready to die.
by Ged
Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not put it all in TIPS?
Replies: 87
Views: 5245

Re: Why not put it all in TIPS?

If you have enough to satisfy all needs, I think it is a reasonable idea.

I might consider diversifying a bit though. For example inflation linked bonds denominated in Swiss Francs. Precious metals. Etc.
by Ged
Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6746

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

Do they have any valuable antiques or collectibles? If so, and they know where they can get good money for them, have them sell these now. I think this would be a mistake because after death they would be subject to a basis reset while before death you would be subject to capital gains taxes on any...
by Ged
Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6746

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

The one thing I would do is see if there are any small accounts, unused credit cards and so forth lying around. You may find consolidating these much easier to do before death than afterwards. Some banks are really terrible at processing requests from executors. Especially if you don't live in the a...
by Ged
Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard vs. Fidelity [Customer Service Reputation]
Replies: 73
Views: 5239

Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity [Customer Service Reputation]

I had assets at both Fidelity and Vanguard for several years. Mostly Vanguard funds. When my father passed I was the executor of his estate. He had his assets at Fidelity. When I called Fidelity they put me in touch with their estate group who immediately did exactly what I needed with great profess...
by Ged
Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for home paper shredder
Replies: 52
Views: 2280

Re: Recommendations for home paper shredder

About a year ago I purchased this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q3KG1L8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 […] +1 for that Amazon-branded shredder. I have the smaller $70 8-sheet version of that shredder, still with the micro-cut size .[…] At (5/32 by 15/32 inches) it is not rea...
by Ged
Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop PC monitors
Replies: 13
Views: 1174

Re: Desktop PC monitors

I currently have two 24" screens for my desktop PC. I use both screens (multiple browsers or browser + word/excel/etc). I would like to reduce down to just one screen. What makes sense, 27" or 32"? Is 1080P good enough? I have a Dell 32" 2560x1600. I particularly like the extend...
by Ged
Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for home paper shredder
Replies: 52
Views: 2280

Re: Recommendations for home paper shredder

About a year ago I purchased this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q3KG1L8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I am very happy with it. It's a bit more elaborate than the typical home shredder but it has worked out very well for me. I've used all of it's functions including shredding...
by Ged
Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Amazon Prime card, no annual fee, 5%(!) back on Amazon purchases
Replies: 72
Views: 6893

Re: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

I signed up for this today as well. Since I am a heavy user of Prime services anyway it seemed like an obvious thing to do. It also came with a $70 credit which almost balances off a year of Prime right away. It also advertises no foreign exchange fees. Not really important to me as I have other car...
by Ged
Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bonded Leather
Replies: 12
Views: 1122

Re: Bonded Leather

From Wikipedia: Bonded leather, also called reconstituted leather or blended leather, is a term used for a manufactured upholstery material which contains animal hide. It is made as a layered structure of a fiber or paper backer, a pulp made from shredded leather, and a polyurethane coating which is...
by Ged
Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million
Replies: 29
Views: 2537

Re: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million

I think there's a lot of fine print that I read about. Meaning that, yes, a retired couple can have 100k of income exempted but I believe if the total of pensions, investment income, etc exceeds 100k, there is no exemption at all. I hope I am wrong and somebody can tell me so. One thing to note is ...
by Ged
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million
Replies: 29
Views: 2537

Re: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million

Thanks for the nice reminder. I never quite understood the politics of making reductons equal to increases. I for one though was very happy. And frankly it probably kept me in NJ for life now instead of having myself moved to NY when in my last few years. I just hope they don't put it back again al...
by Ged
Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Optimum cable and 2nd modem?
Replies: 27
Views: 1377

Re: Optimum cable and 2nd modem?

Thanks. The TP-link is $10. https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-5-Port-Ethernet-Desktop-TL-SF1005D/dp/B000FNFSPY/ref=pd_lpo_147_bs_lp_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4JE31RRD0Z05M367ZHD3 The Netgear is a gigabit switch that comes with a lifetime warranty, the TP-Link is 100MB and the warranty 2 ...
by Ged
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Optimum cable and 2nd modem?
Replies: 27
Views: 1377

Re: Optimum cable and 2nd modem?

htdrag11 wrote:
This sounds like the simplest and least expensive. Putting the router in different places would face WAF issues.



I normally use this product:

NETGEAR GS105NA Prosafe 5-Port Gigabit Switch

It goes for $20 on Amazon at the moment.
by Ged
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Sad News About a Respected Forum Member
Replies: 100
Views: 13688

Re: Sad News About a Respected Forum Member

Ole Meph is one of the great resources that make this site a unique font. He will be missed.
by Ged
Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Optimum cable and 2nd modem?
Replies: 27
Views: 1377

Re: Optimum cable and 2nd modem?

You almost sound like you are trying to create a second network .. split into two ? Is this true? That is not my original intent. I was trying to split the incoming cable into 2 separate modems, or networks in this case. See my reply to jf89. The root of your problem is that in a 3500 sq ft house i...
by Ged
Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 42
Views: 2629

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

I live in Central Jersey a bit inland from the shore and we have the odd Nor'easter that drops 24" or so along with regular snowfalls anywhere from 1-8". I have a Honda 7HP 24" two stage track drive blower. The driveway is 2 cars wide and 80' long, plus since we live within a mile of ...
by Ged
Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking Some Money Off the Table
Replies: 22
Views: 2338

Re: Taking Some Money Off the Table

You can go the estimated tax route, but you can avoid that hassle if you have taxes withheld from IRA or 401(k) or pension or SS payments at ANYTIME during the year. The IRS treats these as evenly withheld throughout the year, so as long as you have enough total withheld, there is no penalty. Ralph...
by Ged
Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The 401k Problem We Refuse to Solve"
Replies: 49
Views: 4391

Re: "The 401k Problem We Refuse to Solve"

Personally, although I hope to get a federal pension in 10 years I think we need to move away from pensions. The private defined benefit pension is clearly obsolete. The idea that you are going to be hired out of school and work for the same employer for your entire career is laughable in this day ...

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