Search found 315 matches

by VaR
Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?
Replies: 106
Views: 4045

Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Maybe he'd like to save 10%-20% of it for later? It might also be a good lesson in budgeting the project. Let's say he saves 10% in a rainy day fund. I think he needs to budget 10%-20% of it for cost overruns on the project - also for potential repairs. He might also want to save for cool bargains f...
by VaR
Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scan negatives or the photos?
Replies: 15
Views: 1307

Re: Scan negatives or the photos?

How were the negative and the print photo each scanned? You said about the negatives "first roll back (as a test) yesterday from the lab" - which lab did you have do the scan? Did you have the option to specify things like dust removal or color correction? What format were the 18MB files t...
by VaR
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upcoming Marriott Stay
Replies: 13
Views: 1539

Re: Upcoming Marriott Stay

Marriott and Starwood are merging and so SPG points are convertible to Marriott points. This also means that anything you can convert to SPG points can transitively be converted to Marriott points. So AMEX membership rewards points can be converted to SPG and then converted to Marriott points. Chase...
by VaR
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal loan to a family member
Replies: 114
Views: 6357

Re: Personal loan to a family member

I have a 100% loss rate for personal loans to relatives. I'm convinced that the advice you always hear is not just about the need for emotional preparedness, but rather it is a hidden correlation between "needing to ask a relative for a loan" and "fiscal irresponsibility". The co...
by VaR
Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate Bond Website?
Replies: 34
Views: 1772

Re: Corporate Bond Website?

I'm not specifically addressing the OP but I feel the need to make sure that some misconceptions don't get archived as factual in this thread. 1. Given that risk free interest rates have generally declined over the past 10 years and credit spreads have narrowed, you will find the majority of older i...
by VaR
Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any way to eat healthier at Subway (or any other quick lunch ideas)
Replies: 102
Views: 4644

Re: any way to eat healthier at Subway (or any other quick lunch ideas)

and the claim that their chicken is allegedly only about 50% real. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/subway-no-more-yoga-mat-chemical-in-our-bread/ http://www.torontosun.com/2017/03/17/subway-seeking-210-million-in-lawsuit-against-cbc-after-factually-incorrect-chicken-report I like that you're citing the...
by VaR
Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Vanguard International Index Fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 969

Re: What Vanguard International Index Fund?

OP, in answering your question for myself I found it useful to read the following article from the wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Approximating_total_international_stock_market If you have the option I would recommend using Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund as others have recommen...
by VaR
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use
Replies: 71
Views: 4219

Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

1. Does she have internet and wifi? She has internet and a wi-fi capable router. As Doom&Gloom said, you can always get her a Roku Streaming Stick or Roku Express for $40 if her old TV has a working HDMI port. If not, is a new 32" TCL with Roku for $170 in the budget? I was thinking of get...
by VaR
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multi-page scanner?
Replies: 26
Views: 1502

Re: Multi-page scanner?

I bought a HP Laserjet Pro M477fnw color laser printer with automatic document document feeder (ADF). It will do 2-sided scans through the ADF and either email you the PDF or save it to a network drive. If you want automatic 2-sided printing you'll have to pony up for the M477fdw model (apparently t...
by VaR
Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use
Replies: 71
Views: 4219

Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

It might be that cheap if the coax cable can be run along the outside of the house and they can just drill a hole through the exterior wall for the outlet. I'm seeing online prices of about $25-50 for that sort of work. Yeah, and there's always the similar kind of work that the contractor installer...
by VaR
Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use
Replies: 71
Views: 4219

Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

1. Does she have internet and wifi? 2. Does she have a favorite news channel? 3. Do you think it is at all possible that she could be a candidate to be a cord-cutter? Then she could avoid the whole pay-per-tv model that Cox has. Personal anecdote: My wife and I converted our non-tech savvy aunt to u...
by VaR
Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Desktop PC
Replies: 87
Views: 4085

Re: Advice on Desktop PC

1. Top-notch sound quality for iTunes; 2. A large monitor with great picture quality for streaming TV and movies. I’ve haven’t used a PC for this purpose in the past, so if I need special ports or equipment for this function I’d appreciate a heads-up. I access the Internet and use spreadsheets and ...
by VaR
Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engagement Ring Insurance
Replies: 46
Views: 3058

Re: Engagement Ring Insurance

There are lots of marital/psychological reasons for this insurance being valuable. As others have said upthread, the replacement policy and situations covered are important. I recommend choosing based on those important aspects rather than just price of the policy. For instance, I bet that "mys...
by VaR
Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What may have led to the US stock sell-off on 6-30-17 at 3:50-4:00 p.m.?
Replies: 50
Views: 5034

Re: What may have led to the US stock sell-off on 6-30-17 at 3:50-4:00 p.m.?

I want to throw some nonsense out there:
1. Window dressing?
2. I bought some funds earlier in the day?
3. I sold some funds earlier in the day?
4. Net flows from mutual funds trading based on intraday orders?
5. Peeps deciding to take Monday off and make it a long weekend?
by VaR
Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I being unrealistic about my expectations of dividend income? Is there a better alternative?
Replies: 132
Views: 12147

Re: Am I being unrealistic about my expectations of dividend income? Is there a better alternative?

Can we stray further from the original topic and discuss companies who return cash to investors through stock buybacks instead of dividend distributions? Maybe we can just link to that related topic if we can find it. I'm sure there's a thread about it sometime in the past 5 years. OP: Are you inves...
by VaR
Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun place to stop overnight en route from Florida Keys to Tampa ( not Disney)
Replies: 35
Views: 2568

Re: Fun place to stop overnight en route from Florida Keys to Tampa ( not Disney)

Hmm. The kids may be a bit young to be into rockets and space, but what about the Kennedy Space Center?
by VaR
Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: December on Oahu - Northshore or Waikiki?
Replies: 6
Views: 583

Re: December on Oahu - Northshore or Waikiki?

Things we want to do are boogieboard, visit Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona, hike Diamond Head and go to Hanauma Bay and many other beaches. I'm traveling with my wife, her mom, our infant and our 8 and 11-year old boys. With kids in December, I wouldn't stay on the North Shore because if the surf is up, ...
by VaR
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Argentina issuing 100-year bond.
Replies: 64
Views: 6042

Re: Argentina issuing 100-year bond.

As grabiner said and implied a while back in this thread, from a computational finance perspective, there's not much difference in either interest rate or credit risk between a 30-year 7.5% bond and a 100-year 7.125% bond sold at a 10% discount. Using discounted cash flow analysis, most of the prese...
by VaR
Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VG Total Stock Market Index too concentrated?
Replies: 52
Views: 4090

Re: Is VG Total Stock Market Index too concentrated?

Another way of thinking about it and rationalizing market weighted U.S. total stock market funds is that they are a reasonable proxy for owning the entire U.S. economy.
by VaR
Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioner for narrow windows
Replies: 23
Views: 1418

Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

d0gerz wrote:I'm hoping this will work out. Though looks like I may still need to make some modification to the panel in which the hose will fit, as it's too wide for the window.

My window was also too narrow for the default panel for the portable I bought, but a hacksaw made short work of it.
by VaR
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amazon Buys Whole Foods
Replies: 103
Views: 10887

Re: Amazon Buys Whole Foods

3) Apropos of nothing, what do people know about Amazon Prime Pantry? I first became aware of it when we were visiting friends on an island in Casco Bay about two years ago. There is no supermarket on the island, things come on the ferry, and at least one grocery store does deliveries via ferry... ...
by VaR
Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioner for narrow windows
Replies: 23
Views: 1418

Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Carefully measure the width of the window. If you're lucky, you will be able to fit a 14.2 inch casement window air conditioner. If not, you'll have to go with a portable unit. You may be able to pick one up for cheap at the end of the season. I think lots of people buy them thinking they'll work be...
by VaR
Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Amazon [stock]
Replies: 25
Views: 2415

Re: Amazon [stock]

Also, wondering if any of you can explain to me the difference to the individual investor when a company 'splits' stocks vs creates different classes of stocks (like Apple's Class A shares). My understanding is that the higher grade stocks will get you voter rights. Is that the main difference? I a...
by VaR
Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund Investor Shares VWEHX
Replies: 47
Views: 3797

Re: Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund Investor Shares VWEHX

OTOH, I'd like to hear about OP mom's portfolio constraints. For instance, if the portfolio is constrained to contain no equities, then our answer may be different.

OTOOH, the board will probably recommend some equity allocation, in that case - despite the constraint.
by VaR
Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund Investor Shares VWEHX
Replies: 47
Views: 3797

Re: Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund Investor Shares VWEHX

Also, now is not the best time to get into High Yield bonds. Spreads are very low - meaning that the yield premium you get for taking the extra credit risk is small relative to the yield spreads we've seen historically. Note that I don't recommend market timing as a strategy, so I just mention the a...
by VaR
Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home automation
Replies: 18
Views: 3077

Re: Home automation

I have had good experiences with both Smartthings and Wink. The one thing I'd consider outside of that is Homekit if you're an Apple family. The three things I'd recommend are: 1. Write down your important use cases and make sure that the system you design fulfills those. I think this is particularl...
by VaR
Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Shiller Barclays CAPE® US Sector Risk Controlled 10% USD Total Return Index
Replies: 2
Views: 403

Re: Shiller Barclays CAPE® US Sector Risk Controlled 10% USD Total Return Index

Also note that they've chosen to compare the performance of a total return index with the performance of a price index. I compared the return with that of the S&P 500 total return index over the period and it accounts for the difference. So apparently after deciding that matching performance wou...
by VaR
Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Higher salary, but lower employer 401k match...still OK?
Replies: 34
Views: 2218

Re: Higher salary, but lower employer 401k match...still OK?

I think the primary consideration here are job satisfaction and future prospects, not the 10% difference in compensation.

That said, I like seeing people like the OP who take the entirety of the compensation package into account and don't just look at top-line salary.
by VaR
Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 7890

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

+1 for supporting your local mechanic assuming you can find a good one. It's a long term investment that will pay off when you need him or her.
by VaR
Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with extra $$$ in savings?
Replies: 10
Views: 1150

Re: What to do with extra $$$ in savings?

I'll wait until you post the full format question that PJW suggested, but for now, I'd like to mention that I wish someone had told me 15 years ago about the tax benefits of investing in index mutual funds and ETFs using your regular post-tax savings. Between then and now I've unnecessarily paid a l...
by VaR
Mon May 29, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual house maintenance costs
Replies: 30
Views: 2703

Re: Annual house maintenance costs

I think that the 1%-2% rule of thumb sounds good for a rule of thumb. We've spent about 20% of the purchase price of our home in repairs over the past 10 years. I think we're on the high end because it was an older home (40 years old) plus certain repairs inevitably lead to a certain amount of upgra...
by VaR
Mon May 29, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Freezer not freezing
Replies: 6
Views: 544

Re: Freezer not freezing

I've had a problem where the fan had also iced up, preventing airflow and also causing more ice buildup, exacerbating the problem. How old is the unit? It might be worth replacing it. There are a couple of online calculators to help you figure out how much money you'll save with a new fridge: http:/...
by VaR
Mon May 29, 2017 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit unions are non-profit, how come they do not dominate over banks???
Replies: 73
Views: 5568

Re: Credit unions are non-profit, how come they do not dominate over banks???

Is it in the best interests of the current shareholders of any credit union for it to grow rapidly and dominate the retail banking industry? I don't think so unless there are clear economies of scale that outweigh the risks that would be entailed in such a growth strategy. I think that *should* be w...
by VaR
Mon May 29, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DON'T pay off your mortgage; instead reduce Sequence of Return Risk
Replies: 206
Views: 15910

Re: DON'T pay off your mortgage; instead reduce Sequence of Return Risk

1') Do 401K/Roth IRA and put $500/month towards house 2') Do 401K/Roth IRA and put $500/month into investments (mortgaging your retirement) Economically which of those two do you think is better? FWIW, I picked 1' for me and have no regrets. But I did it more for peace of mind/flexibility. I can no...
by VaR
Mon May 29, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DON'T pay off your mortgage; instead reduce Sequence of Return Risk
Replies: 206
Views: 15910

Re: DON'T pay off your mortgage; instead reduce Sequence of Return Risk

I see at least a few opinions in this thread that are psychological rather than econometric - mostly about the comfort of paying off one's mortgage early. I'd like to pose a middle-of-the-road hypothetical. Let's say I've followed at least some of KlangFool's advice and have purchased a reasonable s...
by VaR
Sun May 28, 2017 11:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited a Bond UIT - how to value?
Replies: 6
Views: 501

Re: Inherited a Bond UIT - how to value?

Have you read the prospectus at: https://invescodl.fgraphic.com/library/LBAB0025pro.pdf Expenses look to be about 0.20% on page 13. The constituents listing is on page 8 and 9. You could probably enter the 27 bonds into a spreadsheet with each maturity date and some estimate for the early call dates...
by VaR
Fri May 26, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice from FF miles experts
Replies: 25
Views: 2217

Re: Need advice from FF miles experts

I won't usually redeem for anything under $0.02 a mile. But I will redeem down to $0.01 a mile when it's miles on an airline that will be bothersome to keep from expiring. That said, I usually redeem for business class flights at $0.06 a mile - though that's a "false" value in that I would...
by VaR
Thu May 25, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is "escrow to maturity".
Replies: 7
Views: 603

Re: What is "escrow to maturity".

Okay let me put some numbers to what you said. PR sells 1000 6% coupon bonds for $1k each. They get $1M and pay $6k interest. Interest rates drop and the bonds go up to $1.5k each. PR would dearly like to call them, but they are not callable. So they sell 1000 3% coupon bonds for $1k each, they get...
by VaR
Thu May 25, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund too large
Replies: 31
Views: 5327

Re: Emergency Fund to large

Have you considered including the $300,000 in your investment portfolio and then changing the asset allocation for your age specified in your IPS to 50/50? What is your asset allocation right now if you include the $300,000 in your investable assets?
by VaR
Wed May 24, 2017 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bradford White Electric Water heater?
Replies: 30
Views: 1671

Re: Bradford White Electric Water heater?

What do people think about hybrid heat pump water heaters?
by VaR
Sun May 21, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rice Cooker
Replies: 41
Views: 3495

Re: Rice Cooker

BTW, as an aside, I recently found a partially milled brown rice that I like a lot. It has the taste and texture of white rice but comes with the benefits of brown rice. Which one? For some reason most brown rice I have tried cooking tastes rancid. It's called Sukoyaka Genmai. It's a bit expensive ...
by VaR
Sat May 20, 2017 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rice Cooker
Replies: 41
Views: 3495

Re: Rice Cooker

I always do, but I don't enjoy the process at all. There is something called rinse free rice, but I have never tried it. I bought a rice washing bowl from Amazon that makes the rinsing process that much easier. I also find that brown rice needs less rinsing. BTW, as an aside, I recently found a par...
by VaR
Sat May 20, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new Router/Wifi Networking Ideas
Replies: 39
Views: 3814

Re: Need new Router/Wifi Networking Ideas

I don't have personal experience with this yet but I am sold on the reviews and testimonials on mesh networks.

Google seems to be slightly cheaper than others. It didn't benchmark as fastest, though.
by VaR
Tue May 16, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home cordless phone recommendation, which takes AA or AAA batteries
Replies: 30
Views: 1519

Re: Home cordless phone recommendation, which takes AA or AAA batteries

Late to the party but +1 for Panasonic cordless phones taking AAA batteries. I bought some super-cheap no name non-ultra-low-discharge batteries for them. They are always on the charger charging so no need for low-discharge. You want the extra runtime that the regular NiMH batteries have. OTOH, at s...
by VaR
Mon May 15, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Input on selecting funds for 3-fund portfolio.
Replies: 2
Views: 419

Re: Input on selecting funds for 3-fund portfolio.

1. Do you want international in your asset allocation? You seem to be skipping the Vanguard Developed Markets Index Adm fund. 2. Your asset allocation only needs to be fulfilled across all of your accounts, not necessarily in one account or in every account. Therefore, if you have access to a Total ...
by VaR
Mon May 15, 2017 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 8538

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

It's very strange to call it "ugly solar". Is this a common sentiment in USA? Unless you are in a Conservation Area (where it would be prohibited) I'e never heard of anyone in the UK (or Europe) calling solar panels "ugly solar". Rather, it's usually seen as a sign of being forw...
by VaR
Mon May 15, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POAGX conversion [PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growth]
Replies: 6
Views: 698

Re: POAGX conversion [PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growth]

The Boglehead way is to stay the course and not chase returns. I think you're being lured by the past good returns in the Odyssey Aggressive Growth fund. Its past outperformance does not guarantee future returns. BTW, if you want to compare performance of Wellington, you can substitute a 70/30 blend...
by VaR
Sun May 14, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Kirkland Signature Cookware vs Calphalon?
Replies: 29
Views: 3888

Re: Costco Kirkland Signature Cookware vs Calphalon?

Can I chime in against an all-in-one solution? I think you do want a nonstick griddle or omelet/frying pan for eggs and fish. And you want a non-nonstick saute pan for browning meat. Multi-clad stainless or cast iron is good for this. For saucepans, you don't need nonstick so I like multi-clad stain...
by VaR
Sun May 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life insurance in older age?
Replies: 12
Views: 1791

Re: Term life insurance in older age?

Can't one self-insure with an emergency fund for such an occurrence? Maybe this is one of those situations for which we do still need to have an emergency fund in our retirement years?
by VaR
Sun May 14, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there any reason I should invest any additional money into bonds?
Replies: 29
Views: 3026

Re: Is there any reason I should invest any additional money into bonds?

I think you can have fun with this decision: 1. You want to optimize the fun you will have in your retirement with this money. 2. Do you want to have more fun sooner rather than later? Conventional wisdom is that there are some fun experiences that are better experienced earlier in your retirement -...

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