Search found 1401 matches

by Stonebr
Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I might have made a mistake on ebay?
Replies: 26
Views: 3293

Re: I might have made a mistake on ebay?

Sorry about your experience. I hope it wasn't a high value item. You can't leave negative feedback for a buyer... But you can do what I've seen others do: Post positive feedback with a message like "POISON, AVOID, Non-Payer XXXXX!!!!" One clown won an auction of mine and had a couple of me...
by Stonebr
Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MetShield Annuity
Replies: 6
Views: 584

Re: MetShield Annuity

Run. These are expensive, gimmicky products that are sold on commission basis, not bought by rational investors. Here's a Boglehead wiki page on products like this... https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Equity-indexed_annuity The very fact that your eyes glaze over on reading the prospectus for this pro...
by Stonebr
Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last minute Portland trip, need help
Replies: 23
Views: 1487

Re: Last minute Portland trip, need help

I just want to see some beauty and stay somewhere nice. Not more than $300 a night. SO sick of the heat here in Texas. It's 96 degrees right now. Bend is dry ranch country. Great area, but if you want something different from Texas, go to the coast. I'd second the Astoria suggestion and add nearby ...
by Stonebr
Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone accidentally tell a friend about your inheritance?
Replies: 83
Views: 9018

Re: Anyone accidentally tell a friend about your inheritance?

You can assume he'll tell at least someone, and word will spread and get exaggerated. You could soon be a millionaire in the eyes of your friends. But really, you will continue to be who you are, and after a flurry of talk, your friends (at least the ones worth keeping) will accept you for the fruga...
by Stonebr
Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good read on mutual fund investing needed.
Replies: 10
Views: 571

Re: Good read on mutual fund investing needed.

Here's a link to the wiki reading list: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Books:_recommendations_and_reviews Of course, a good Boglehead will go to the public library first. Most of these books will be there. After browsing and reading library copies, you can make an informed decision on which, if any...
by Stonebr
Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Monsanto
Replies: 14
Views: 1806

Re: Monsanto

More sellers than bayers :wink: :wink:
by Stonebr
Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Index Funds a Lousy Bet Right Now?
Replies: 28
Views: 3477

Re: Are Index Funds a Lousy Bet Right Now?

El Greco wrote:This Kiplinger writer seems to think so. What say you?

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/invest ... geid=15477


I keep a bucket next to the couch when I read this kind of ****.
by Stonebr
Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are separately managed 401(k) accounts?
Replies: 3
Views: 386

Re: What are separately managed 401(k) accounts?

One reason is dividends and distributions. With a typical mutual fund account you have a choice of either taking the dividend in cash or reinvesting. Same with capital gains distributions. The share price takes a hit and then you buy more shares at the lower price or get a check in the mail. In a 40...
by Stonebr
Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: retiring with a mortgage
Replies: 35
Views: 3074

Re: retiring with a mortgage

I'm like your mom, I just don't like debt. My wife is the same. We retired a few years ago without debt. On the other hand, if your parents have plenty of assets (and I mean PLENTY) and could pay off the mortgage with a snap of the fingers even in a bear market like 2008, then there's a case to be m...
by Stonebr
Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone follow Tom McClellan?
Replies: 5
Views: 619

Re: Anyone follow Tom McClellan?

Sorry, never heard of him.

I still try to follow the Elves on WSW. :wink: Classic Taylor posting from 15 years ago...

http://socialize.morningstar.com/newsoc ... 45750.aspx
by Stonebr
Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 60 Year SWR Model
Replies: 15
Views: 1907

Re: 60 Year SWR Model

When I did my projections 5 years ago, I was able to trick Otar RC into projecting out 40 years by pretending to be 55 at retirement and asking for a projection to age 95. Maybe you could get even more extreme. We've found that our real life spending needs have been far less than Otar (or Firecalc) ...
by Stonebr
Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity for 28 Year Old Hippie
Replies: 41
Views: 4633

Re: Annuity for 28 Year Old Hippie

What's wrong with blowing through the money in a year or two? Maybe he'll have fun. Did your friend, the hippie's brother, also receive a similar inheritance? How does he plan to invest it? Maybe he could suggest a similar plan for his brother. I hear suggestions for a trust, but don't see a good p...
by Stonebr
Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is why a 100% stock allocation is a bad idea
Replies: 68
Views: 8617

Re: This is why a 100% stock allocation is a bad idea

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." -- Mike Tyson
by Stonebr
Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby
Replies: 100
Views: 4082

Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

In the pre-cheap-airfare days everybody did this. I got hauled across the country many times as a toddler. It was probably torture for my parents, but they survived.
by Stonebr
Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small & Mid Cap Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 837

Re: Small & Mid Cap Funds

As has been said many times, there are things you can control in investing (manager risk, cost, taxes, turnover) and things you can't (everything else). These funds accomplish what you need. S&P has been doing indexes for longer than anybody except maybe Dow Jones. When you start worrying about ...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SWR and Current/Future Cash Flows
Replies: 23
Views: 1640

Re: SWR and Current/Future Cash Flows

I have run Firecalc. And Fidelity's retirement planner, Personal Capital's retirement planner, as well as the Otar Retirement Calculator. But I can't be the only person that's trying to get a handle on how SWR is impacted by staggered cash flows that are a significant percentage of their later-life...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: new potential tenants negotiating on rent
Replies: 72
Views: 6729

Re: new potential tenants negotiating on rent

They are playing games and will continue to play games. Do you have time for this kind of crap?

I would stick with $1600 and that a standard deposit should be a full month's rent.
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell taxable account?
Replies: 6
Views: 764

Re: Should I sell taxable account?

Cap gains rate may not always be zero for 15% income tax bracket. Sell FT while you can do it tax-free and put the proceeds into Roths, also tax-free. Your grandfather would want you to do this. :happy +1 Zero tax is a gift. Assuming you see the light and want to Bogle-ize your future, ditching the...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Zero ER ?
Replies: 25
Views: 2450

Re: Zero ER ?

Apparently the funds make some money from lending securities. I don't really understand how it works, but it appears that ERs of 0 are quite possible and potentially profitable. Caveat emptor: In 2008 some institutional index funds had loaned securities to Lehman Brothers. When Lehman went down the...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heart rate monitors
Replies: 22
Views: 1181

Re: Heart rate monitors

Are you a professional athlete? Have a heart problem?

I've gone my whole life without a HRM. Ran marathons, cycled century rides, climbed mountains. Keep it simple.
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for 60 year old
Replies: 11
Views: 1462

Re: Help for 60 year old

I'm mid sixties and retired for about 5 years, so I've been asking myself the same questions for a while. Similar assets to yours, but less in pension income. I'm at 50/50 but with a pension like yours I might be at 60/40. My wife and I are both living healthy lifestyles with respect to diet, exerci...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To pay or not to pay off mortgage?
Replies: 14
Views: 1347

Re: To pay or not to pay off mortgage?

What you call "empowering" about not having debt is a very real feeling for me too. I've been debt-free for about 17 years. I sold stock in 1999, paid off the mortgage and never looked back. I feel so sorry for young people nowadays, locked into a lifetime of debt-slavery. It's a national ...
by Stonebr
Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on buying a used Prius
Replies: 58
Views: 3479

Re: Advice on buying a used Prius

Here is a helpful article on Prius battery replacement. Note that Toyota offers a $1,350 refund for recycling your old battery pack. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1078138_toyota-hybrid-battery-replacement-cost-guide Consumer Reports has commented in the past that the failure rate of the Prius ...
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fav books about crashes
Replies: 10
Views: 772

Re: Fav books about crashes

The 1929 Crash is a particularly rich source of classic economic literature:

The Great Crash by John K. Galbraith
Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen -- chapters 11 through 14 on the Florida Land Boom and the 1929 Crash.
Once in Golconda by John Brooks
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Rewards, Length of Credit
Replies: 12
Views: 796

Re: Credit Card Rewards, Length of Credit

Why close it? You can most likely convert the account and retain all of your history. I guess that is my biggest question is converting it, will I still retain the length of credit history? If there's a ding to your rating I'd have to ask whether it really matters. And that depends on your stage in...
by Stonebr
Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay
Replies: 105
Views: 5856

Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

NJ? I might take a pass. Just slow down in bad conditions or stay home until the plows and salters get their job done -- basic common sense. I survived a decade or so in Massachusetts with ordinary 4-season tires, but trips to family in Maine could be dicey. Now that we live in Maine, winter tires a...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis
Replies: 119
Views: 9040

Re: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis

You can argue forever about how much risk there really was. The problem is that far out of the normal that it doesn't fit the normal risk model of alert, sober truck driver behavior. Therefore you suspect that the model no longer applies and that the risk was probably greater than indicated by the ...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wasps in Attic?
Replies: 2
Views: 314

Re: Wasps in Attic?

Live and let live. Unless the critters are doing damage or stinking, I don't see a problem.
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Acadia National Park - Tips?
Replies: 22
Views: 1613

Re: Visiting Acadia National Park - Tips?

A week in Acadia is just scratching the surface for many people. John D Rockefeller liked it so much he bought the whole island. When his kids got tired of it, they gave it to the government. This year is the 100 year anniversary. Depending on when you go puffins may still be nesting. You can take a...
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bordeaux wines
Replies: 20
Views: 1680

Re: Bordeaux wines

If you are vegan, some red wines are considered vegan and some are not whereas all white wine is vegan. Coming from someone who farms - if I apply manure to my vineyard, and the grapes are harvested to produce white wine - wouldn't that qualify the grapes as NOT being vegan? And while I'm at it - m...
by Stonebr
Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feeling discouraged
Replies: 60
Views: 6105

Re: Feeling discouraged

Many people don't realize that when you are starting out, your savings rate is MUCH more important than your rate of return. You have already done one of the single best things you could have done, which is to get an early start. At some point, there will be a tipping point where you start noticing...
by Stonebr
Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: beehive near deck
Replies: 20
Views: 1311

Re: beehive near deck

You might consider leaving them alone, depending on how far it is from the deck, or if people will be right under it: "Wasp nest? Let it be may be the best answer!" - Purdue University Department of Entomology ... excellent article. It says do nothing and the problem will go away by itsel...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Maintenance for the Urban Dweller
Replies: 9
Views: 866

Re: Car Maintenance for the Urban Dweller

I parked on the street in downtown Boston for about 13 years. During that time I bought a new Honda. My only problems were with attempted theft and missing parts. It was safe for about 6-7 years and then when it got old enough, it became a sort of used parts inventory for some of my neighbors. I'd w...
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hatchback to match Camry on price/comfort/reliability?
Replies: 42
Views: 3167

Re: Hatchback to match Camry on price/comfort/reliability?

Prius.

Prius is a mid-size car that easily seats 5 adults. Most people don't seem to get that. It has more cargo space than a Camry, and with the hatchback it's more useful space. The rear seats fold flat -- and I mean flat. Reliability is, if anything, better than Camry.
by Stonebr
Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "John Bogle Gets the Last Laugh"
Replies: 8
Views: 2214

Re: "John Bogle Gets the Last Laugh"

I'm probably typical of Bogleheads of a certain age -- retired. It took a couple of decades for the message to get through my thick skull. I knew about EMT and CAPM and Malkiel's Random Walk and about the Vanguard 500 Index fund when I first started investing in 1981. I had worked as a grad student ...
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor tipping: owner vs onsite supervisor
Replies: 24
Views: 1351

Re: Contractor tipping: owner vs onsite supervisor

Peak tipping. When we have to tip a contractor's help it's game over.
by Stonebr
Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac Book Pro- do I need antivirus software?
Replies: 32
Views: 4325

Re: Mac Book Pro- do I need antivirus software?

I used Sophos for a year or two, but then switched to Avast. Sophos seldom found anything to block, but Avast does fairly often. It may be a sign of the times or it may be that Avast is more sensitive. Both are free, easy to install and use, but I have a higher confidence level with Avast.
by Stonebr
Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone own Ken Burns documentaries on DVD or BluRay?
Replies: 6
Views: 557

Re: Anyone own Ken Burns documentaries on DVD or BluRay?

Have you checked your public library? Ours has just about everything he's done -- Baseball, Civil War, National Parks, Jazz...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 226
Views: 24585

Re: Where were you financially when you were at 30?

I am 64. When I turned 30 I had just started my first white collar job. Previously, I'd been a student (BA, MA and work toward a PhD in Math), did blue collar jobs when I wasn't studying. At 30 I had no debts and about $1500 in savings -- mostly in a money market mutual fund earning about 15%. The M...
by Stonebr
Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing Electric Bill- Point of Diminishing Returns?
Replies: 34
Views: 3609

Re: Reducing Electric Bill- Point of Diminishing Returns?

Gee, that sounds cheap to me. Over the past 3 years we've put over $20k into our house for energy savings. We figure it will take about 15 years for payback.

But the big change is comfort. Nobody ever mentions that the comfort level of your house will improve big time.
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Buyout - now or wait?
Replies: 12
Views: 1171

Re: Pension Buyout - now or wait?

It sounds like the (former) employer is either freezing or terminating their defined benefit pension plan. The financial liability for your life benefit will be on somebody's books for the next 34 years -- either the company or an insurer that takes on the liability through a "closeout annuity ...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using toll roads without transponder?
Replies: 19
Views: 1611

Re: Using toll roads without transponder?

We did not do anything to pre-register with Florida when we were there in February with our Maine registered car. I don't know about other states, but Florida takes a photo of your license plate as you pass through their tolls. At the end of the month they send you a bill through US Postal Service. ...
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement savings withdrawals
Replies: 20
Views: 2437

Re: Retirement savings withdrawals

You're running up against your employer's 401(k) disbursement policies, not against laws. I'm not sure exactly what the 15-year part means. Maybe you can start and stop. Maybe not. This is my take, too. In my own situation my 401k allows the following: 1) take everything at once; 2) take 120 instal...
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICO score drops
Replies: 9
Views: 1253

Re: FICO score drops

I have happily ignored FICO scores all my life. I suggest you do the same.
by Stonebr
Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Iceland triggering second thoughts on foreign bonds?
Replies: 39
Views: 3156

Re: Iceland triggering second thoughts on foreign bonds?

You can default on your car payments, mortgage, and credit cards and not violate any laws. The days of debtor prisons are, thankfully, long gone. General Motors and Chrysler can default on their bonds. Countries like Mexico and Russia have defaulted in one way or another, so why not Iceland? There's...
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying summer cottage overseas
Replies: 17
Views: 2195

Re: Buying summer cottage overseas

sunny_socal wrote:While we live in California but there's a summer cottage in Finland I'm thinking of buying:



Well that's convenient. :twisted:
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt and water pump - dealer or indepedent?
Replies: 20
Views: 1392

Re: Replace timing belt and water pump - dealer or indepedent?

Make sure they use genuine Toyota parts, no matter who does the work.
by Stonebr
Mon May 30, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying art?
Replies: 17
Views: 1230

Re: buying art?

I think you should buy what you like and pay what you want. Fine art is beautiful and fun to live with. It's all entirely subjective, so don't expect any two "experts" to agree on anything. "Art" is too big a subject to become an expert at anyway -- especially if you have only a ...
by Stonebr
Mon May 16, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any beekeepers out there?
Replies: 35
Views: 2554

Re: Any beekeepers out there?

Look into Xerces Society The honey bee is an introduced species from Europe. Don't know anything about Xerces Society, sure it is fine group, but in defense of honeybees as pollinators, which indeed were brought over by first Spanish, French and English colonists (native Americans called them white...
by Stonebr
Mon May 16, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it OK to leave home wifi on?
Replies: 55
Views: 4074

Re: Is it OK to leave home wifi on?

I turn ours off every night to save money. It's on a power strip with the modem and printer. All the idling phantom loads on this one power strip burn about 20Watts. This saves about 73 kWh per year (10 hours a night/365 days a year -- actually more when we go on vacation). I do this with every othe...

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