Search found 2803 matches

by Rob5TCP
Wed May 24, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i am my own "guy," but not sure I should advertise that
Replies: 86
Views: 10220

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

I am pretty open about it. Once it got a bit strained. At a dinner party, they were talking about investments. This guy asks me who I use and I say I am DIY. He looks surprised and said if I broke my arm would I DIY or go to a specialist. My answer, very possibly from something I heard in this forum...
by Rob5TCP
Tue May 23, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity and their "free advisor" service?
Replies: 33
Views: 2635

Re: Fidelity and their "free advisor" service?

sport wrote:You can get low cost funds at Fidelity. You will get low cost funds at Vanguard.

:sharebeer
by Rob5TCP
Mon May 15, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use "MyPillow" pillows?
Replies: 27
Views: 2708

Re: Anyone use "MyPillow" pillows?

People tend to love it or hate it reviews from Walmart https://www.walmart.com/reviews/product/21675588 Amazon https://www.amazon.com/MyPillow-Anywhere-Travel-Bed-Pillow/product-reviews/B007LLNMEC Consumer Reports http://www.consumerreports.org/my-pillow/my-pillow-health-claims-lawsuit-settlement/ h...
by Rob5TCP
Fri May 12, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch
Replies: 24
Views: 1863

Re: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch

The OP asked for a comparison between the Fitbit Blase & Apple watch. Most of the comments so far mention the Fitbit Charge - pro or con. I don't know all the differences between the Charge and Blaze, but I have been happy with my Blaze. I had some problems initially with syncing but it has sin...
by Rob5TCP
Tue May 09, 2017 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch
Replies: 24
Views: 1863

Re: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch

I bought the Fitbit charge 2 a few weeks ago and love it. I synch mostly with my desktop and also manually record what I eat. The amount of information available is enormous. I use it for walkings (of course) and cycling, Two friends of mine will be buying Fitbits and we intend to link so we can see...
by Rob5TCP
Thu May 04, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports
Replies: 41
Views: 2887

Re: Consumer Reports

I had the subscription for many years - then dropped it about 4-5 years ago. I have gone back to the online subscription and find it useful. Amazon has too many shills and paid reviews. While useful, they very well may be biased. For smaller purchases, I don't check C/R. For any larger / important p...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area
Replies: 31
Views: 2410

Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Suburban schools in the NY/NJ area have some of the best in the country - you have to check by district. I can't answer whether living on the East Coast will help/hinder getting into tier 1 colleges. I would think that would be more subjective on how well the student has done plus grades on SAT's, e...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Security
Replies: 4
Views: 583

Re: WiFi Security

I use Private Internet Access even on my home WIFI; which is WPA2 protection with a long complex password. There are several good VPN services ones out there - With P.I.A. on 3 devices I pay about $30 per year (on sale). https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ Even if they are password protected (dif...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Conflicting Expense Ratios
Replies: 4
Views: 376

Re: Conflicting Expense Ratios

Make sure your comparing the same class of funds. Some funds have a class A with a high load of up to 5.75% and then lower annual expenses. Others, have low or no load, but high annual expenses. Morningstar shows expenses of about 1% with no load. http://www.morningstar.com/funds/XNAS/AROIX/quote.ht...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 upgrade, now legacy software doesn't work
Replies: 35
Views: 2717

Re: Windows 10 upgrade, now legacy software doesn't work

For Windows 7; you have XP mode. There is supposed to be a way to setup XP Mode in Windows 10 as well.
I keep 2 PC's; one is 7 with XP mode, and the other Windows 10.
by Rob5TCP
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Met with FA last wk (Garrett Network)
Replies: 3
Views: 595

Re: Met with FA last wk (Garrett Network)

He knows your not a long term prospect; plus he is probably honest -- so gave you an honest take.
All should behave this way.
by Rob5TCP
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meeting with Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Yesterday - Strange Perspective Regarding Mutual Funds
Replies: 18
Views: 2212

Re: Meeting with Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Yesterday - Strange Perspective Regarding Mutual Funds

I met with an advisor at Wells Fargo yesterday so he could pitch a retirement planning report to me - But I just thought it was an odd perspective from a financial advisor. Has anyone heard this argument from a professional before regarding mutual funds vs. stocks? He didn't even mention the divers...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dollar Savings Direct - 1.25% Savings
Replies: 11
Views: 1089

Re: Dollar Savings Direct - 1.25% Savings

I used them years ago and their rate stayed high for over a year. Then gradually it declined while others improved.
by Rob5TCP
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: See advice for traveling to NYC on a regular basis
Replies: 14
Views: 1176

Re: See advice for traveling to NYC on a regular basis

Long Island City (Queens) has changed from a blue collar light manufacturing area to a hot new neighborhood with 20-50 story residential buildings. The hotel costs should be much less than Manhattan and it's a short train (or tram) ride to 59th street on the East Side. A sample stay I chose during M...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Working without an office - Strategy
Replies: 29
Views: 1839

Re: Working without an office - Strategy

.. Wrong topic
by Rob5TCP
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: U.S. Postal Federal C.U. 12 months 1.45%
Replies: 0
Views: 332

U.S. Postal Federal C.U. 12 months 1.45%

That is a good rate for 12 months and a 90 day E.W.P.
The membership requirements are fairly easy.
More information here:

https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/u ... cu/offers/
by Rob5TCP
Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me decide what to do with my cars
Replies: 34
Views: 1676

Re: Help me decide what to do with my cars

What about keeping the Suburu and if you go on a longish trip; rent a van.
Depending on the number of days per year; it might make the most sense.
And then replace the Honda when the time is right.
by Rob5TCP
Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Replies: 28
Views: 2080

Re: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

The Hoover is freestanding; so no need to hang on the wall. The battery comes out and has its own separate charger. Do I understand correctly that: the charger is connected to outlet, you then need to remove battery from charger, put it into the vacuum; then when finished vacuuming, take the batter...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA
Replies: 31
Views: 2211

Re: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA

Avenue of the Giants (road lined with Redwood trees) if driving the Avenue of the Giants - visit the Eternal Tree-house - a house made at the bottom of a Giant Redwood...... Redwood National Park -- Northern Cal. While Muir Woods is close to San Francisco; it's frequently crowded; go to if not going...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Replies: 28
Views: 2080

Re: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

Thanks for the replies so far. How are these mounted on the wall? I would assume they have to be near an electrical outlet and then plugged in via a cord? Does the unit itself have to be screwed onto the wall? Is this something a non-handy person could do? Thanks The Hoover is freestanding; so no n...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free FICO score?
Replies: 16
Views: 1136

Re: Free FICO score?

I don't think that one can get these free FICO scores if your accounts are locked with the credit bureaus. I think I was supposed to get one as I bought a 2017 copy of Quicken. For the fun of it I request my FICO score. It went into never-never land and returned with an error. This is why I don't c...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Replies: 28
Views: 2080

Re: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

I bought the Hoover Linx. I am not great about cleaning. When I have the cleaning lady, she uses the main Eureka vacuum and does a thorough job. For my periodic, I use the Linx. It's lightweight (5/6 pounds) and the 15-20 minute battery life is fine for me. I use it 100x more than I did with the old...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brokered Recommended CD - good option?
Replies: 21
Views: 1588

Re: Brokered Recommended CD - good option?

Callable CD's have two things that work against them. If interest rates rise, they of course won't be called. If they drop enough, they will be called. Additionally, with brokered CD's you lose the put option. Most CD's have a 6 month - 2 years EWP on 5 year CD's. I did have Synchrony CD's but conve...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hourly Fee Financial Planner in NYC
Replies: 10
Views: 566

Re: Hourly Fee Financial Planner in NYC

A number of Bogleheads have reported on Alan Roth. CFP. He works with your remotely and is hourly fee only. I've met him at an honorarium of Mr. Bogle and liked his approach. If I were to use an advisor; he would be the one I would turn to. http://daretobedull.com/overviewbio/ Although he is not loc...
by Rob5TCP
Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Space Heaters - Does expensive one heat better than cheap one?
Replies: 20
Views: 937

Re: Electric Space Heaters - Does expensive one heat better than cheap one?

The higher priced ones frequently are safer. The ones that look like a radiator heater oil which circulates through the radiator. If something flammable comes into contact it won't burst into flames. They are safer. Here is a good primer from C.U. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/space-heaters/buy...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: planning to visit San Francisco for a short break
Replies: 23
Views: 1665

Re: planning to visit San Francisco for a short break

I am going to add a little extra note on Muir Woods - on the weekends it can be bumper to bumper. There are some Redwood Forests on the way from LA that might be a better option (particularly Big Basin) https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713-i30-k4677696-Muir_Woods_Big_Basin_or_Henry_Cowell-Sa...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: planning to visit San Francisco for a short break
Replies: 23
Views: 1665

Re: planning to visit San Francisco for a short break

A bit out of the way but Muir Woods is an hour north of S.F. and is a beautiful redwood forrest (though on the smallish side)
An even nicer Redwood forest is Big Basin (an hour plus from S.F.), south of San Francisco, If you love big trees, either would be a treat.
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Risks of MLPs
Replies: 26
Views: 1980

Re: Risks of MLPs

An Interesting article on Marketwatch
it shows the drastic change in MLP prices over the past couple of years

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/need-i ... 2017-03-16

While it is pro MLP, it always demonstrates what can go wrong.
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Risks of MLPs
Replies: 26
Views: 1980

Re: Risks of MLPs

One of the Largest was Kinder Morgan - ultimately they switched from the MLP format.
In 2015, over a period of months; Kinder Morgan lost 2/3 of it's value from 40+ to 12.
I am not sure if it was still an MLP at that point.

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/KMI?p=KMI
by Rob5TCP
Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help with rebuttal to a Facebook post
Replies: 36
Views: 4232

Re: Help with rebuttal to a Facebook post

My memory comes up with the name of Bill Miller who ran a Leggs Mason Fund that for 15 or 20 years beat the S&P500. Sometime in the last 5-10 years he has drastically under-performed the market. He went from like the 90+% to the 10% percentile in performance for 1,3,5 and maybe 10 year performan...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rising cd rates
Replies: 11
Views: 1985

Re: Rising cd rates

The duration is almost 5; so if there should be a 1% increase in mortgage rates, if follows that this should drop about 5%.
You receive a higher rate for the slightly higher risk.
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie help needed for online CD and Savings rates and strategies?
Replies: 6
Views: 433

Re: Newbie help needed for online CD and Savings rates and strategies?

When comparing brokered CD's to direct CD purchase consider the EWP. If your able to find a good yield with a 6 month EWP;
it just might be a much better "deal" than a brokered CD with a higher rate. With rates possibly rising a low EWP should be a major
consideration.
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie help needed for online CD and Savings rates and strategies?
Replies: 6
Views: 433

Re: Newbie help needed for online CD and Savings rates and strategies?

The best site is Ken Tumin's blog. https://www.depositaccounts.com/blog/ Best rates for each period as of the end of February (Andrews C.U. rate is now lower) https://www.depositaccounts.com/blog/cd-rates-survey/ Twice a month he gives a summary of the best rates at each length plus how easy it is t...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Party is Over: Andrews FCU drops rate on 7-year CD to 2.2%
Replies: 60
Views: 6189

Re: The Party is Over: Andrews FCU drops rate on 7-year CD to 2.2%

"Leif wrote:
Just missed it.

What is the "best" 5 year today?





If your willing to jump through hoops - this is probably the best 5 year right now. Kemba C.U.

https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/k ... cu/offers/
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Replies: 171
Views: 27775

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

My AAA MasterCard pays 3% cash back on "qualified" purchases . Pays to the penny to your bank account. Card cost <$5 to open, gives you a $50 AAA credit The best Travel card I could find. 8-) What exactly are "qualified" purchases? The Chase 5% card sounds great, until you see w...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: KEMBA 5 year CD 3% with large Caveat
Replies: 1
Views: 570

KEMBA 5 year CD 3% with large Caveat

Deposit accounts has a new listing for Kemba C.U. for a 5 year CD paying 3%. The EWP is half the earned interest. The big hassle if you must be an advantage member for the entire 5 years of the CD, To earn KEMBA Advantage member status, the following requirements must be met each month: (1) Have an ...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ:Are Taxes Lurking in Your Tax-Free Retirement Account?
Replies: 5
Views: 1548

Re: WSJ:Are Taxes Lurking in Your Tax-Free Retirement Account?

From Forbes on IRAS and UBTI REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) This is another non-traditional investment opportunity and arises when a company that owns income-producing real property–such as an apartment complex, professional building or warehouse–offers investors (shareholders) ownership in t...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds vs CD
Replies: 24
Views: 1981

Re: I-Bonds vs CD

I paid a one time fee (thought it was $5) and it's been good since. It's worked at several credit unions.
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds vs CD
Replies: 24
Views: 1981

Re: I-Bonds vs CD

Ashley -- there have been some debates on bonds vs. CD's; I-Bonds vs. CD's. Unless you feel there will be terrible unexpected inflation over the next 3-4 years, I would go with CD's. Currently the best option is 7 year Andrews Credit Union at 3% with a 6 month early withdrawal penalty. I've moved a ...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 127
Views: 10609

Re: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?

When I first bought a car in NYC, 20+ years ago, GEICO was literally 50-60% below comparable bids. I also thought there must be something wrong. Every 5 years or so I do a comparison and GEICO still comes out way below.. Only one quote was lower than GEICO and I could find nothing definitive about t...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay ibonds taxes on interest now or later?
Replies: 23
Views: 1624

Re: Pay ibonds taxes on interest now or later?

With I bonds you have a choice. You can pay the interest each year or when they are redeemed. Paying when they are redeemed, for many, would bump them up to a much higher tax rate. Redeeming each year, is less likely to have that affect. You are already in a high tax bracket so that may not be appli...
by Rob5TCP
Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Cooperative (co-op) unit - Questions to ask
Replies: 29
Views: 3636

Re: Buying a Cooperative (co-op) unit - Questions to ask

I've had experience with two coops. One that I owned (Tudor City) and one that I helped my friend with. Tudor city though it had high maintenance (due to the sponsor's high underlying mortgage) was tight with expenses and for 12 years had fairly minor increases in maintenance (mostly r.e. taxes and ...
by Rob5TCP
Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Cooperative (co-op) unit - Questions to ask
Replies: 29
Views: 3636

Re: Buying a Cooperative (co-op) unit - Questions to ask

Seeing that this conversation was from 2 years ago - what did the OP finally do?
And what was the outcome ?
by Rob5TCP
Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Meeting with Life Insurance Salesmen
Replies: 32
Views: 2365

Re: Meeting with Life Insurance Salesmen

Be professional when talking to him and clear. Assume this call may get listened to by people higher up in the company. He has a quota on both sales, number of calls and I believe even quality of the calls. You should have a disclaimer in the beginning that this call may be monitored for "quali...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Taxes going up for some in 2017
Replies: 46
Views: 5304

Re: Social Security Taxes going up for some in 2017

Yes, this year there was a much larger increase than in the past. Here is a chart of this year's increase vs. prior years: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/cbb.html It was discussed here a few months ago http://www.vaonlinenews.com/2016/10/18/best-social-security-tax-jumps-7-2017-benefits-rise-just-0-3/
by Rob5TCP
Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Taxes going up for some in 2017
Replies: 46
Views: 5304

Re: Social Security Taxes going up for some in 2017

Yes, this year there was a much larger increase than in the past.
Here is a chart of this year's increase vs. prior years:

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/cbb.html
by Rob5TCP
Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confirming reliable online banks for CDs
Replies: 8
Views: 775

Re: Confirming reliable online banks for CDs

For CD's I would also consider credit unions. Many have an easy membership process. One that has been popular is Andrews Federal Credit Union. It's 7 year CD is paying 3% with only a 6 month early withdrawal penalty. Earlier it was only available for IRA/SEP etc. Now it is also available for non ret...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on what to do with CD coming due
Replies: 10
Views: 964

Re: Advice on what to do with CD coming due

One option you might consider is a longer CD with a low EWP. I've put quite a bit into Andrews C.U. because of the 3% rate and 6 month EWP. So, unless they change policy (which is rare but it does happen), the worst I would lose is 1.5%. In the meantime, for the past 15 months, I've been earning 3%....
by Rob5TCP
Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wharton county Texas -- Best 5 yr CD Rate 3.0%
Replies: 0
Views: 320

Wharton county Texas -- Best 5 yr CD Rate 3.0%

Texasgulf FCU has just raised their 60 month CD rate to 3% with only a 90 DAY EWP.
This is by far the best current 5 year CD out there. The downside is it's limited availability.
So, if you live or work there -- read the following.

https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/t ... cu/offers/
by Rob5TCP
Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FL prepaid plan(4-Year Florida University Plan)
Replies: 21
Views: 2000

Re: FL prepaid plan(4-Year Florida University Plan)

I did this for two of my nieces. While it was an incredible investment (one was $5k and the other about 7.5k) it hasn't turned out well. First niece dropped out second half of her senior year. The second one was refused by the next oldest one and was transferred to the youngest. I am waiting to see ...

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