Search found 495 matches

by German Expat
Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Efficient way to build credit
Replies: 21
Views: 838

Re: Efficient way to build credit

Your action of using the credit cards for all purchases and paying them at the end of the month are not good. This will show a high utilization on her cards because the limits are so low. What you should do is that she is an authorized user on your cards and mainly uses them (also I assume you have ...
by German Expat
Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on purchasing a new Honda CRV
Replies: 26
Views: 2321

Re: Advice on purchasing a new Honda CRV

I bought a new Honda CRV almost 3 years ago. Unless I lived in the snow or planned on going up to the snow I wouldn't (and I didn't) buy a 4-wheel drive. And if you are short emergency cash I wouldn't get the higher end. We bought the cheapest CRV and it has been a good vehicle. I did go online to ...
by German Expat
Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calling all real estate gurus [condo rent vs sell]
Replies: 7
Views: 601

Re: Calling all real estate gurus [condo rent vs sell]

Sell, the rent per month is less then 0.5% of the value of the property, your target should be closer to 1%. Not attractive at all. It is even with your low mortgage balance barely cash flow positive and if you consider 1 month out of 12 empty then it changes to negative. Your return on your 213k eq...
by German Expat
Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taking back a mortgage
Replies: 27
Views: 2648

Re: taking back a mortgage

I got a mortgage on my (at the time) L1 Visa very shortly after we arrived in the US. We actually did pick the house before we moved since it was new construction. Moved in about 10 weeks after our arrival (took also about the same time for the furniture to ship). This was in 2001 though so things m...
by German Expat
Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip Uber drivers?
Replies: 49
Views: 5324

Re: Do you tip Uber drivers?

I do not tip on either Uber or Lyft and find this one of the bigger advantages of the platform. I also don't see why I should tip a cab driver, the company should pay them a decent wage and yes I know it is a separate discussion. Most people I know do not tip and I don't either and my rating is stil...
by German Expat
Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email compromised: How serious?
Replies: 45
Views: 3340

Re: Email compromised: How serious?

I guess it is not that LinkedIn compromised your e-mail password which LinkedIn would never have known in the first place, right? It is that your e-mail was used to identify you to LinkedIn and your LinkedIn password was compromised? This is what I'm assuming, but it isn't quite clear from the exch...
by German Expat
Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email compromised: How serious?
Replies: 45
Views: 3340

Re: Email compromised: How serious?

Does your email system offer 2 factor authentication? e.g. if you use google mail (gmail) I would strongly recommend you turn it on. I doubt your password was compromised, it might have been just from some other hack. But unrelated to it for email I would always have 2 factor on, see here for gmail:...
by German Expat
Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Agent works for same company that represents Seller
Replies: 8
Views: 635

Re: Buying Agent works for same company that represents Seller

I had the same setup when we bought our last house. Just happened to work out this way, our buyers agent did not even push the house and it was above the limit we had set. We happened to drive past on the way to a different home and decided to look at it because we liked it from the outside. It did ...
by German Expat
Mon May 23, 2016 5:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?
Replies: 58
Views: 3826

Re: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?

If you pick somebody exclusive make sure you don't get locked in too long. Even with the best interview ahead of time you might not like your agent anymore after they worked with you for a while. Personally I think the 6% realtor model is outdated, they might be worth it for customers that need a lo...
by German Expat
Sun May 22, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?
Replies: 59
Views: 3933

Re: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?

The companies that seem to be ahead of the curve are either pretty big (Google just showed a lot at their IO conference and also developed their own processor) or smaller startups you can't really invest in. Larger companies leading in the field are Google, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Baidu, Microsoft, A...
by German Expat
Sun May 22, 2016 4:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads TRAVEL?
Replies: 81
Views: 8940

Re: How do Bogleheads TRAVEL?

> How do you book travel: all-inclusive packages or piecemeal? Piecemeal and I keep checking prices. Just got our hotel in China down by 400$ for the stay. > How do you book flights: cheapest available on kayak or with specific airlines based on loyalty/credit card programs? I use kayak to check for...
by German Expat
Wed May 18, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Side hustle: blog/podcasting
Replies: 12
Views: 1674

Re: Side hustle: blog/podcasting

Biggest money makers currently are credit card referrals. Because of this all the travel blogs are getting worse and worse with hard sells to sign up for credit cards.
by German Expat
Mon May 16, 2016 11:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those of you in the Accumulation Phase - How often do you check?
Replies: 62
Views: 5290

Re: For those of you in the Accumulation Phase - How often do you check?

I also check my google spreadsheet daily. I do the same for my accounts and credit cards (via yodlee). Its just a habit and I do not react on it but it helped me also understand how swings are going. I do also use the information to decide where to put my after tax contributions. Before tax are on a...
by German Expat
Tue May 10, 2016 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House 'For Sale By Owner' - Can One Do It Alone?
Replies: 26
Views: 3754

Re: House 'For Sale By Owner' - Can One Do It Alone?

We sold our house without a realtor but did use an experienced real estate attorney. She helped quite a lot because the buyer was out of state and had to explain them a couple things. I would spend the money on an attorney to make sure all the paperwork is correct. Also you will need a good closing ...
by German Expat
Tue May 10, 2016 3:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard advisor at 0.03% [actually 0.3%]
Replies: 53
Views: 8453

Re: Vanguard advisor at 0.03%

As an American who happens to live abroad, I had a terrible experience with Vanguard. They were like, oh, you have a passport and live abroad, we don't want your business. It was bizarre. Their fear of me suing them because their advice would cause issues with the Japanese taxes I pay was pathetic....
by German Expat
Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag
Replies: 17
Views: 1330

Re: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag

1. Get up earlier but not extremely early. You still want to get a decent amount of sleep so you don't have 2 nights with lousy sleep (you won't sleep too much on the plane). Also if I have the time I try to get in a work out before the flight. 2. Eat at the airport before you go on the plane and pi...
by German Expat
Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag
Replies: 17
Views: 1330

Re: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag

I have a different opinion. I prefer the earlier arrival and just push through the day using coffee and day light. Drawback will be that you might not have a hotel room yet but you can store the luggage at the hotel and take a walk. I would sleep on the flight a bit though (and if needed use a sleep...
by German Expat
Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab for Taxable?
Replies: 9
Views: 610

Re: Schwab for Taxable?

I have both accounts. I like Schwab for their ATM fee reimbursement and also use the ATM card a lot international. No reason not to keep Schwab and open an account at Vanguard. I would not pay 9$ at Schwab to buy a Vanguard fund. But also some Schwab funds have very low expense ratios. Some people o...
by German Expat
Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can I drive my car that needs repairs?
Replies: 22
Views: 1703

Re: How long can I drive my car that needs repairs?

Was this a Nissan shop? Try to go to some NIssan forums and ask for help there. If you are a bit handy you could do some of the work yourself or find an independent guy you can trust. You can check out rockauto for replacement parts and a bushing costs not much (but would be easier to just replace t...
by German Expat
Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k
Replies: 93
Views: 14955

Re: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k

Does anyone know if legacy money markets will automatically be converted? They only announced a collection of new rates today. But my "360 Savings Account - ING Money Market" is listed as having a .75% APY. Either they're making me jump through hoops or it just hasn't caught up. From the ...
by German Expat
Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k
Replies: 93
Views: 14955

Re: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k

Thanks a lot, took only a couple clicks to open it because I already had an account and transferred the money.
by German Expat
Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could negative interest rates be the Black Swan?
Replies: 31
Views: 4621

Re: Could negative interest rates be the Black Swan?

I moved to Switzerland 1.5 years ago and we are in negative interest territory here since more then 1 year. Not much happened except the inflow of money slowed down and the currency stopped going up. My sister is in Denmark and not much happening their either. Real estate in Switzerland stopped goin...
by German Expat
Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to move money internationally?
Replies: 24
Views: 1948

Re: Best way to move money internationally?

I used Charles Schwab quite often and did get a good exchange rate. There are wiring fees but it was always for larger sums.
by German Expat
Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are index funds a guaranteed return?
Replies: 42
Views: 3189

Re: Are index funds a guarantee return?

The short answer is no, there is no guarantee and not even in the long run. Example are the Japanese stock market, it is nowhere close to its highs from 1988 / 1989. Also you have to define return, for me a positive return is inflation adjusted so even if you would stuff the money below your mattres...
by German Expat
Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 103
Views: 12919

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

I do light credit card hacking, if I see a really good offer with a nice sign up bonus I will sign up for it but I am not doing manufactured spend. I also do get quite a lot of airline miles and hotel points just for business travel. One problem you will face is that airlines change their award char...
by German Expat
Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?
Replies: 18
Views: 1303

Re: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?

Yes you are wrong to understand how it works. It is not a short term snapshot with immediate access to all your credit lines. The credit bureaus get information from your credit card statement so only one time per month. If you run your credit card up to the limit and then pay it before the statemen...
by German Expat
Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?
Replies: 18
Views: 1303

Re: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?

If you are worried you can also run it through your credit card and pay it (or most of it) before the statement closes.
by German Expat
Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you set a limit order when the quote frequently changes?
Replies: 10
Views: 1111

Re: How do you set a limit order when the quote frequently changes?

I place all my orders with a limit but pick a larger spread. e.g. if I buy something I add or subtract 10 cents (most of my orders are in the range of 100 - 200 shares because I am in the accumulation phase). They usually still get filled around the ask, its more for my own protection in case there ...
by German Expat
Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Credit Card For Monster Hotel Bill
Replies: 23
Views: 2680

Re: Best Credit Card For Monster Hotel Bill

Some cards to think about: Chase Sapphire Preferred 2 points per dollar on travel spend. Specific hotel chain cards, e.g. if it is a SPG property then you get at least 3 star points per dollar. Various 2% cash back (or close to cash back like Barclaycard arrivals, Capital One Venture, Fidelity 2%) c...
by German Expat
Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP
Replies: 113
Views: 12058

Re: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP

I had the same issue many years ago (late 90's) in Germany. Drove only for a couple of miles from the gas station when the car stopped. Garage found Diesel mixed in (was easy even for me to smell when they showed it to me). I still did have the receipt and when calling the gas station they declined ...
by German Expat
Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retirement, alternative lifestyles, etc, with kids
Replies: 9
Views: 1697

Re: early retirement, alternative lifestyles, etc, with kids

How old are your children? Extensive travel outside school holidays will get harder in the later years of school. We have a now 5th grader and we only took him out of school once for 6 weeks and I can't imagine taking him out long term. Home schooling could be an option though, I personally did not ...
by German Expat
Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help redeeming frequent flyer points for good value?
Replies: 19
Views: 1457

Re: Help redeeming frequent flyer points for good value?

I also recommend going to flyertalk and learn as much as you can. You can also read some of the boardingarea or other blogs how to redeem miles or search for award space on other airlines. Just keep in mind most of those blogs are nowadays pushing credit cards. Here are some American specific things...
by German Expat
Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision
Replies: 11
Views: 832

Re: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision

Another addition to the Kindle Washington Post App. It is quite simple to use, more or less click and swipe, automatically updates. Next article is just swipe to the left and you do have headlines for the sections (e.g. sports, business etc.)
by German Expat
Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision
Replies: 11
Views: 832

Re: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision

I read the Washington Post on a Kindle Fire tablet. There is (maybe was?) a promotion for 6 month free access (if you have Amazon Prime) and afterwards it will cost 3.99 per month. The app is extremely simple and the newspaper automatically refreshes (as long as you are connected via Wifi). The App ...
by German Expat
Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any opinions on a ventless dryer?
Replies: 16
Views: 1429

Re: Any opinions on a ventless dryer?

I am so happy having a vented dryer. How would we ever be able to handle the washing and drying of daily multiple loads for 4 people, some with the habit of many towels, with a slow ventless dryer....You need to be around when drying clothing to protect the house/apartment against a dryer fire, whi...
by German Expat
Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any opinions on a ventless dryer?
Replies: 16
Views: 1429

Re: Any opinions on a ventless dryer?

I am currently in Switzerland and the dryer we have is ventless. Works well with no problems, only additional thing is you need to clean the lint filters (main one after each use, the secondary one once in a while). Never had one in the US so can't answer about brands. I used to have a Miele ventles...
by German Expat
Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATM use in Europe
Replies: 31
Views: 2125

Re: ATM use in Europe

Schwab still works very well. I would just use the ATM's at the banks (usually its 24 hour access to the ATM area) in the German cities. There are banks all over the place. I would also get a 2nd option to avoid problems. e.g. I had issues in Japan 3 years ago and had to use my Chase debit card (ins...
by German Expat
Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which Fidelity funds own start ups?
Replies: 2
Views: 470

Re: Which Fidelity funds own start ups?

Just saw another article on Reuters about 2 Fidelity funds owning snapchat:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/ ... m3EYEEt.97
by German Expat
Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which Fidelity funds own start ups?
Replies: 2
Views: 470

Re: Which Fidelity funds own start ups?

Based on this article below seems to be Contrafund is one of them. http://www.wsj.com/articles/mutual-funds-flail-at-valuing-hot-startups-like-uber-1446174018 Also interesting how they then value them (from the article) and the differences between the companies since there is no easy way to establis...
by German Expat
Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:54 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: [Looking for Bogleheads in] Switzerland
Replies: 4
Views: 994

Re: Switzerland

I am in the Zurich area. Don't know of any group myself but let me know if you find any.
by German Expat
Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: % Net Worth Change Since New Year's 2015
Replies: 95
Views: 9533

Re: % Net Worth Change Since New Year's 2015

Up 9.3% but mainly through accumulation (and a small profit on a condo we sold) on a low 7 digit portfolio.
by German Expat
Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family of 5 with 3 kids under 5...3% SWR?
Replies: 58
Views: 3981

Re: Family of 5 with 3 kids under 5...3% SWR?

I would also look into the Mr. Money Mustache blog. Its a bit different since he is tackling the spending side rather then the investment side and he is a bit on the extreme end. But it gives an idea what you really need to spend. In your age future spending will make at least as big a difference as...
by German Expat
Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kindle Unlimited
Replies: 10
Views: 973

Re: Kindle Unlimited

The books will stay until the next payment cycle.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/ ... =201588170

Not sure what they do if you never go online, maybe they do expire and need a regular connection (the prime videos do after a while).
by German Expat
Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 8157

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

I made the decision a couple years ago and applied for US citizenship but also kept my German citizenship (the application being able to keep it was way more complicated then applying and getting US citizenship). My wife is US citizen and our son is too. At the time we had no plans to leave the US a...
by German Expat
Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I walk away? (In escrow)
Replies: 23
Views: 2840

Re: Should I walk away? (In escrow)

If its only 5.5 estimated repair costs then the issues can't be that big or your estimations are way off. How did you end up with this amount? How many tiles are cracked and why? If its just a couple its an easy fix and you can just silicone them. Any water intrusion because of it? Termites one spot...
by German Expat
Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive idea(s) for organization contact phone number?
Replies: 8
Views: 449

Re: Inexpensive idea(s) for organization contact phone number?

Another vote for Google voice, you can forward the number to any other number and it will receive voice mails. Only drawback is that you will have to sign up for a google account and then trust the people that know the password. Never looked into a business account what it exactly offers. Google for...
by German Expat
Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: relocating to boulder, CO from NYC suburb
Replies: 27
Views: 2663

Re: relocating to boulder, CO from NYC suburb

Moved away from Lafayette (near Boulder) a little more then 1 year ago and we sometimes still miss it. Most has been said already, one of the questions you will need to answer is if you want to move into the city or go to Louisville / Lafayette etc. Boulder has a very limited housing stock available...
by German Expat
Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable tablet for watching downloaded movies
Replies: 19
Views: 2269

Re: Affordable tablet for watching downloaded movies

I have a Kindle Fire HDX 3rd gen 64GB and bought it almost 2 years ago. Still works well and use it mainly to read newspapers (Washington Post), surf the web and watch movies. We have Amazon Prime and Netflix and I watch both of the Fire. For book reading I still prefer the Paperwhite. I have a firs...
by German Expat
Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable tablet for watching downloaded movies
Replies: 19
Views: 2269

Re: Affordable tablet for watching downloaded movies

Amazon Fire, I like mine, the user interface is a bit 'different' but works well for my purposes. Movie download is good but keep in mind if you want a lot of movies or tv shows you will need quite a lot of storage on the device. I would also go for lower quality. Do keep in mind though that the pri...
by German Expat
Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Formal Dinnerware
Replies: 82
Views: 5627

Re: Formal Dinnerware

I have a bit of a different opinion. I never liked my mothers fine China sets that were only unpacked a couple times a year for visitors. So we decided to buy something timeless we really like and just buy enough of them, e.g. we now have probably 25 small plates and close to 20 dinner plates. We us...

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