Search found 2494 matches

by MathWizard
Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you find financial advisors to be all that bright?
Replies: 49
Views: 3818

Re: Do you find financial advisors to be all that bright?

If you are asking whether a FA can consistently help you best the market after fees, consider that the FA could just invest on the margin and make loads of money. So consider that you won't find such an advisor. Regarding whether they are bright or not, I know CPAs who give tax advice who are sharp,...
by MathWizard
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 65
Views: 4563

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

I started out at 13.5% and kept increasing every year. 30 years later, I'm up to 45% . I no longer have kids in college and no debt (house paid off). Yes, I did count the employer's contribution as part of gross income. This does not include earnings from investments or short term savings.
by MathWizard
Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much electricity are you using and how expensive it is?
Replies: 65
Views: 2617

Re: How much electricity are you using and how expensive it is?

Averaged over the year, we pay about $90 a month each for electricity and for nat gas. nat gas is much cheaper heating option than anything other than heat pumps or passive solar. Our house is a split foyer, 1200 sq ft per floor, with an unheated attached garage. We also have deciduous trees on the ...
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else extremely frugal?
Replies: 28
Views: 2360

Re: Anyone else extremely frugal?

I'm frugal in some areas to make sure I can save and spend in the areas I want to spend in.

I drive older cars, but just got back from a trip to Europe.

It gets easier as your balance gets larger and your returns are helping you more than just your contributions.
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MVNO's versus the Big 4
Replies: 36
Views: 2679

Re: MVNO's versus the Big 4

Google Fi uses multiple cell networks and wifi, choosing whatever is strongest. It also works overseas, and you don't need to call anyone about "unlocking" for international travel. So Fi should have a coverage that is at least as large as the largest of ATT, Sprint, TMobile, and the inter...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SAT scores - whats the point??
Replies: 37
Views: 1724

Re: SAT scores - whats the point??

The SAT started out as a way to give out academic scholarships. It still is for the National Merit Corporation. (The PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifier, the SAT is a confirming test, along with recommendations to become a National Merit Finalist. NMF status is a factor for scholarships at many institutions...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you guys accept first Job offer or negotiate?
Replies: 26
Views: 1776

Re: Do you guys accept first Job offer or negotiate?

After struggling and trying to switch for past few months, I got couple of job offers. Yeah, lot of hard work, countless hours of studying and phone interviews gone into this. One company, that I am not interested in joining , I will refuse to join. The second company, did a very good first offer (...
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 90:10 AA - what don't you believe about it?
Replies: 101
Views: 6613

Re: 90:10 AA - what don't you believe about it?

I think 90/10 might be too risky even for people in the early accumulation phase if that 10% includes the assets they might need to live on for a while if stocks crash and they lose their job (two events that are often correlated). If the 90/10 excludes an emergency fund the person is comfortable w...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings
Replies: 53
Views: 2486

Re: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings

I started saving when my oldest was in the 4th grade. I started contributing to ROTHs with the idea that I could withdraw contributions later for college without penalty or tax consequences. IRAs back then maxed at $ 2K per person. I augmented $1,800/yr in a taxable account. Later, when the IRA max ...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel tipping: how much to leave?
Replies: 72
Views: 3611

Re: Hotel tipping: how much to leave?

Typically $2/night.
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal loan to a family member
Replies: 114
Views: 6415

Re: Personal loan to a family member

I'm not sure why you would like to loan the money, but are worried about getting it back. We loaned to parents, since what they gave us was much more valuable. I have money to a brother who had helped me out. I would loan or give money to kids if they needed it. Short of life or death, which this is...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The cost of car ownership
Replies: 51
Views: 3247

Re: The cost of car ownership

Car costs can weigh heavily on a budget. This is one of the ways that my wife and I were able to go from quite poor to well off over my career. Investing for our future or driving a fancy car. I hold no ill-will towards anyone who could do both, but I could not, so I chose the former. I suspect that...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?
Replies: 54
Views: 3934

Re: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?

Wear the tie. It's a sign of respect. I've heard that low level people at tech companies may not appreciate it, but you are not being interviewed by low level people, you are being interview by managers. I've hired people in IT. I never held a suit and tie against people. We do have client contact, ...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you a leader in personal finance?
Replies: 29
Views: 3140

Re: How are you a leader in personal finance?

I'm a leader only with my kids.

I'm a partner with my wife.

Everyone else I leave alone with regards to finances.
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this the right way to measure investment performance
Replies: 9
Views: 526

Re: Is this the right way to measure investment performance

That seems low. The last I checked I was at something like 5.5% for 1989-2010, and we've had great growth since then. However, I was very aggressive, increase my asset allocation from 80/20 to 90/10 at the bottom of the 2001 drop, and to almost 100% stock in Apr 2009, so my returned were juiced. I'm...
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SSA.gov calculator doesn't seem to make sense.
Replies: 18
Views: 868

Re: SSA.gov calculator doesn't seem to make sense.

Think of it this way. At current rates, SS contributions are 12.4% of salary 6.2 for you and 6.2 for your employer(or 12.4% if you are self employed). This will be invested conservatively (Treasuries). SS taxes have a max after which you pay no tax for that year, changes each year, currently $127,20...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?
Replies: 57
Views: 4888

Re: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?

Let's simplify this. Beyond the compounding, makes this an even better deal, think of the following example where you got no benefit from compounding, you just got 0% real from your investments. Suppose you are solidly in the 15% tax bracket, and saved just enough in tax deferred to provide 10K of t...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement question - withdraw pretax or post tax money first?
Replies: 40
Views: 2992

Re: Retirement question - withdraw pretax or post tax money first?

Kitces has a great article on withdrawal strategies here https://www.kitces.com/blog/tax-efficient-retirement-withdrawal-strategies-to-fund-retirement-spending-needs/ I agree with Kitces on withdrawing from taxable before tax-deferred, but I think that you are asking about ROTH vs. traditional or 4...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars
Replies: 173
Views: 12791

Re: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars

I've bought older cars which had among the highest safety ratings when they were new. I'm also good at providing my own maintenance, and have been good at picking out used cars. Because of this, I have saved lots of money following such a strategy. Since 2008, used cars have become less of a bargain...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - is it worth it?
Replies: 156
Views: 9479

Re: Long term care insurance - is it worth it?

My parents were neither impoverished nor wealthy. They had LTCI policies (from a reputable company) for >25 years. Dad died one day after becoming sick enough to need the LTCI. Mom lamented that paying all those premiums for him for all those years was a complete waste. Then mom died one month afte...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When Did You Start Investing Your Own Money?
Replies: 47
Views: 3049

Re: When Did You Start Investing Your Own Money?

31 for retirement accounts

41 my first taxable account, after about a decade of reading financial books.

School loans, saving for a down payment and two kids took most of the money before that.
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How Do Your Financial Priorities Stack Up With Our Pyramid?"
Replies: 36
Views: 4302

Re: "How Do Your Financial Priorities Stack Up With Our Pyramid?"

Taylor, Thanks for posting this. I think that is a nice succinct way to present the information, emphasizing that investment selection is much lower importance than most people put on it. If I were to nitpick, I'd probably put "your own behavior" even lower on the pyramid, since investor b...
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a dishwasher
Replies: 46
Views: 2436

Re: Buying a dishwasher

I went with a Bosch, but spent about $800 with installation.
Much quieter than the old one.

I'd suggest going a little higher than $500 if you can. You don't replace them often.
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy phone outright or pay it off monthly...
Replies: 62
Views: 3222

Re: Do you buy phone outright or pay it off monthly...

I buy, but I go with MVNOs. (Google Fi :Nexus 5x $250 and Tracfone: 2 iPhone 5s @$200 each, so $650 for 3 phones.)
Service is under $500/year for all 3 combined.
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tracking Error vs Low Correlation
Replies: 15
Views: 923

Re: Tracking Error vs Low Correlation

Low correlation is on purpose. Tracking error is when you are trying to track exactly, but without excessive trading, which means you will be off by a (hopefully) little bit. Look at Vanguards VTSAX : https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0585&FundIntExt=INT 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year...
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling with 5 and 2 Year Old from Atlanta to Orlando - Is It Worth Flying?
Replies: 46
Views: 1627

Re: Traveling with 5 and 2 Year Old from Atlanta to Orlando - Is It Worth Flying?

No. Flying is quite a hassle these days. We drove 8 hrs with two boys for every holiday for years. For longer vacations, we bought a portable DVD player and used a power inverter (an old laptop with DVD drive would work as well). We bought or checked out kid's movies for the trip in case they got bo...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Fi? pros/cons? anyone using it?
Replies: 53
Views: 4362

Re: Google Fi? pros/cons? anyone using it?

Just returned from overseas. My Fi worked flawlessly, data and calls anywhere. Calls and data were free when on wifi. I did not have to contact anyone to unlock a phone or to add an international plan, it just worked. There is a lot of value in things "just working". I normally only have a...
by MathWizard
Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crazy(?) Adviser Advice: "I don't believe in bonds"
Replies: 49
Views: 5210

Re: Crazy(?) Adviser Advice: "I don't believe in bonds"

I could see an advisor saying that real returns on bonds are artificially low now, so owning them now is primarily for principal preservation, so you would not want to overload on bonds. However, I don't see why an advisor would suggest not owning any bonds. I would think it would be the other way a...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 5082

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

Continue to look. Do not lock into a specific house. The owners asked you for another offer. I bid on a house and the owners rejected my offer and did not counter. 6 months passed and the agent asked said that the owners wanted to know if I'd bid again. I offered the same amount, though prevaling mo...
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there anything wrong with starting with a Traditional IRA then transitioning to a Roth IRA
Replies: 16
Views: 986

Re: Is there anything wrong with starting with a Traditional IRA then transitioning to a Roth IRA

Assuming your 401K is not bad (well diversified good funds with low ERs, etc.) then the 401K can handle what you would put in an IRA. So are you saying that if my 401K is good, then I should focus on maxing that out before trying to max out an IRA? General advice I've been given before is to meet m...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there anything wrong with starting with a Traditional IRA then transitioning to a Roth IRA
Replies: 16
Views: 986

Re: Is there anything wrong with starting with a Traditional IRA then transitioning to a Roth IRA

I don't think anything is wrong with your plan. This is far better planning that your peers are likely to be doing. However, this may not be optimal. So you might consider the following, but don't let the search for a perfect plan derail you from the good plan that you have. Assuming your 401K is no...
by MathWizard
Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Murphy's Law Of Retirement
Replies: 33
Views: 5338

Re: Murphy's Law Of Retirement

My thought is that when the PE ratio is above 16, to discount the value of the equities in my portfolio by a factor of long-term-average-PE/current-PE. This would seem to lessen the effect of a long bull market encouraging an early than prudent retirement. This eliminates some of the problems retire...
by MathWizard
Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Stocks as Emergency Fund Tier 2
Replies: 4
Views: 417

Re: Taxable Stocks as Emergency Fund Tier 2

I think so. You have more than I had when I had kids in college and a mortgage. Until you are financially independent, you must judge how quickly you can get another job, and what you need to live on between jobs. Other than job loss, the EF is just to smooth out variable expenses. I know my fridge ...
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle: Even indexing can be too much of a good thing
Replies: 25
Views: 4346

Re: Bogle: Even indexing can be too much of a good thing

If that happens, they we can all agree to take 10% of our passive and put it into active so that the
90% of our portfolio will work well. So in addition to the AA ratio, we'll have an AP ratio (active vs. passive).
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there a way on earth to reduce SS taxes?
Replies: 54
Views: 4657

Re: Is there a way on earth to reduce SS taxes?

Unless and until your taxed social security earning exceed 35X12X $885 ~ $372K, you have not crossed the first bend point. KlangFool Earnings adjusted for whatever level of inflation SSA use. Wage inflation factors for whatever year you want. https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/awifactors.html Also, only...
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do people make 10 year return predictions?
Replies: 23
Views: 1861

Re: Why do people make 10 year return predictions?

When you plan, you must be assuming some sort of return. People make 10 year predictions because people want 10 year predictions. Predictions of the geometric mean return over 10 years are certainly more accurate than 1 year predictions. How useful would 70 year predictions be? I think 10 years is s...
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another Bloomberg article on Vanguard
Replies: 3
Views: 776

Re: Another Bloomberg article on Vanguard

I just read that article and thought it was great. It is a critque/rebuttal of the article: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-23/vanguard-s-irritating-perch-on-the-moral-high-ground I especially liked these two rebuttals Let’s consider another statement: The U.S. is allegedly a capital...
by MathWizard
Tue May 30, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i am my own "guy," but not sure I should advertise that
Replies: 107
Views: 13921

Re: i am my own "guy," but not sure I should advertise that

Unfortunately , in the few instances when I've mentioned using low cost index funds to family members, the reactions were something like: Investing is gambling or I want to make more than just the market return. I take this as evidence that they only see stocks in terms of speculative returns, looki...
by MathWizard
Tue May 30, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question about paper currency
Replies: 12
Views: 939

Re: Question about paper currency

They would be counterfeiters, just like all the other counterfeiters. That does not increase
inflation in any measurable amount.
by MathWizard
Tue May 30, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple seat belt tickets- options?
Replies: 36
Views: 3877

Re: Multiple seat belt tickets- options?

Assuming that the two tickets were in the same stop, you could ask a lawyer if
you can at least get this reduced to one offense.

(If you had stole two dollar bills, that is one count of theft, not two.)

If this is two separate instances, I doubt you'll have any sympathy from a judge.
by MathWizard
Mon May 22, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replace timing chain based on miles or years? [ignore]
Replies: 18
Views: 1412

Re: Replace timing chain based on miles or years?

I did have a timing chain go and ruin an engine, but it is rare. I would go by the miles. That is where the wear comes from. The book just assumed an average of 15K miles per year. Parts which are exposed to the elements (like the body or the tires) are more likely to need replacement based on time...
by MathWizard
Mon May 22, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Invest Church Money
Replies: 54
Views: 4177

Re: How to Invest Church Money

CDs are a wise choice. You may want to see if your denomination has its own investment structure already in place. That may take some of the pressure of you as an elder. Our denomination has one. It has steady returns, but only slightly better than a CD. Likely this is due to being very heavy on top...
by MathWizard
Mon May 22, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replace timing chain based on miles or years? [ignore]
Replies: 18
Views: 1412

Re: Replace timing chain based on miles or years?

I did have a timing chain go and ruin an engine, but it is rare. I would go by the miles. That is where the wear comes from. The book just assumed an average of 15K miles per year. Parts which are exposed to the elements (like the body or the tires) are more likely to need replacement based on time.
by MathWizard
Thu May 18, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garage door problem
Replies: 25
Views: 1650

Re: garage door problem

If you don't have a friend/family member who can take you, try Enterprise rent-a-car.
I believe that they will bring the car to you.
by MathWizard
Thu May 18, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Old Habits Can Sabotage Retirement
Replies: 51
Views: 7544

Re: How Old Habits Can Sabotage Retirement

I'm not too worried about this. Now that we have the house paid off and the last child through college, I'm trying to get my income after taxes+savings to match my expected retirement income after taxes+health costs Increasing savings means not only do I have a bigger pile, but I have also lowered m...
by MathWizard
Thu May 18, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside
Replies: 31
Views: 1909

Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

I don't use plugs or patches on tubeless tires. I just buy a new one. I have patched on the inside and installed a tube, but that was 40 years ago. I've worked on cars a lot, and plugs are one of the few things that I do not do. Replacing tires is a fairly low expense for me, so it is not worth the...
by MathWizard
Thu May 18, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside
Replies: 31
Views: 1909

Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

I don't use plugs or patches on tubeless tires. I just buy a new one. I have patched on the inside and installed a tube, but that was 40 years ago. I've worked on cars a lot, and plugs are one of the few things that I do not do. Replacing tires is a fairly low expense for me, so it is not worth the ...
by MathWizard
Thu May 18, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do stocks always go up long term?
Replies: 56
Views: 4723

Re: Do stocks always go up long term?

I assume that you mean that there is a positive total return: dividends + stock appreciation (counting splits, buybacks, etc.) Then of course, they must, otherwise nobody would every buy them. You are buying a piece of a business. Would you buy a piece of a business if you assumed it would lose mone...
by MathWizard
Thu May 18, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those with $500k-$1m in investments...
Replies: 138
Views: 13227

Re: For those with $500k-$1m in investments...

1.5% in taxable. First Tier EF.

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