Search found 332 matches

by VaR
Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a DIY home improvement forum?
Replies: 3
Views: 654

Re: Recommend a DIY home improvement forum?

I find the information and advice on gardenweb to be helpful. I also find the walk-throughs on youtube to be particularly prescriptively useful. For example, I used to scoff at "unboxing" videos, but after watching an unboxing of the inverter generator that I am looking at, I laugh no longer! Not su...
by VaR
Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electric car in evacuation situation
Replies: 61
Views: 3870

Re: Electric car in evacuation situation

I would have thought that the boglehead way would be to evacuate well in advance, before the highways became clogged. Also, strictly speaking, only those in evacuation zones are supposed to evacuate. FWIW, I think the lines at the Tesla superchargers in Florida were less than the lines at the gas st...
by VaR
Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we let MIL pay off our mortgage?
Replies: 69
Views: 8672

Re: Should we let MIL pay off our mortgage?

What about selling the house to the MIL with a transfer-on-death deed? You get the best basis treatment that way - your gains are probably exempted from taxation as your current primary residence and you'll get step-up basis when you inherit the house. You can then manage the property for her for an...
by VaR
Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total Corporate Bond ETF
Replies: 41
Views: 6173

Re: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total Corporate Bond ETF

It works the other way around. If you sell a bond before maturity it usually sells at a premium over par. Think of a ten year note with a 2% coupon with three years left to maturity. The going rate for a three may be say 1% yield. So the old note sells at a premium of approximately the 1% differenc...
by VaR
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total Corporate Bond ETF
Replies: 41
Views: 6173

Re: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total Corporate Bond ETF

As a generality, given the ideas you presented the index fund is at a disadvantage. A 5-10 index fund for example, has to buy that 20 with 10 years left to maturity even though it's obvious that it is going to be called soon. The active manager can just skip that one and buy a new 10 instead this e...
by VaR
Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total Corporate Bond ETF
Replies: 41
Views: 6173

Re: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total Corporate Bond ETF

If any bond is bought at issue and sold before maturity it will have a capital gain or loss depending on whether interest rates have gone down or up in the interim. I think the call provision is a factor but the timing of the call and the funds maturity range mandate complicates the analysis. This ...
by VaR
Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total Corporate Bond ETF
Replies: 41
Views: 6173

Re: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total Corporate Bond ETF

My initial thought when seeing the thread title was: Nice! More diversification with probably not too far off average duration if I was otherwise going with VCIT (Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF). However, after seeing that it is a fund of funds, or ETF of ETFs, I have the feeling tha...
by VaR
Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My girlfriend and her 401K, need to give her advice
Replies: 61
Views: 4974

Re: My girlfriend and her 401K, need to give her advice

OP, has your girlfriend looked at the (real) Social Security website and found out what percentage of her expenses would be replaced by Social Security at full-retirement age of 66 or, even better, at 70? Using a ballpark current income of $35,000 (from the upper end of her 15% federal bracket), at ...
by VaR
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond fund SEC yield
Replies: 14
Views: 1797

Re: Bond fund SEC yield

It is called Core Plus Bond Fund and the description says it attempts to outperform the Barclay's Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond passive index (which it has done over all time periods shown). The expense ratio is 0.23%. Total return for July, 2017 is 0.59% and for the year through July is 3.44%. I wou...
by VaR
Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond fund SEC yield
Replies: 14
Views: 1797

Re: Bond fund SEC yield

I thought the SEC requires the disclosure of the SEC Yield, and also a prospectus before an investor is allowed to buy a fund. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Collective_Investment_Trusts Collective investment trusts are not registered investments with the SEC and thus aren't covered by SEC mandato...
by VaR
Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond fund SEC yield
Replies: 14
Views: 1797

Re: Bond fund SEC yield

The investment objective should be available. Other attributes might not be releasable because if they don't have to produce auditable portfolio statistics, they might not want to release internally calculated values to avoid liability. Wait, are these actual funds or are they unit investment trusts...
by VaR
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Government Bond Index Funds changing names and indices (dropping agency bonds)
Replies: 56
Views: 5668

Re: Vanguard Government Bond Index Funds changing names and indices (dropping agency bonds)

GSE mortgage pools do not have a US guarantee. Because GSEs are in receivership their actual notes have an implied US guarantee. The mortgages underlying Agency MBS have principal and interest guaranteed by the GSE, so to the extent that you believe that the GSE has implied government backing, the ...
by VaR
Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Global Wellesley Income and Global Wellington Funds in registration
Replies: 29
Views: 5433

Re: Vanguard's Global Wellesley Income and Global Wellington Funds in registration

I didn't see any statement on whether the U.S. vs international allocation was going to be fixed by mandate or whether it would be adjusted as part of the active management based on some determination of value. Any thoughts on this?
by VaR
Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The age old debate 30 vs 15 [year mortgage rate]
Replies: 41
Views: 4888

Re: The age old debate 30 vs 15 [year mortgage rate]

ARM rates have been going up for a while. According to a quick look at Bankrate.com and some other sites, 15 year fixed rates are considerably lower than most ARMs, and you might even find some 30 year fixed rates that are lower than some 5-7 year ARMs. Doesn't look worth the gamble to me. OP shoul...
by VaR
Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The age old debate 30 vs 15 [year mortgage rate]
Replies: 41
Views: 4888

Re: The age old debate 30 vs 15 [year mortgage rate]

I'll second the idea of the 5-7 year ARM. What is the reason you think you'll only be in the house 3-5 years? Are you going to trade up or move to a different area? I'm really asking what you think the probability is that you'll stay in the house longer than 7 years. At some level of emergency fund ...
by VaR
Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable - Internet speed requirements
Replies: 12
Views: 896

Re: Cutting the cable - Internet speed requirements

Thank you everyone ...a follow up ... I assume I'll need more speed than i have now when streaming tv over the internet on 2-3 tvs (as opposed to now using standard cable) ... correct? Probably not. What speed do you have now? Comcast as Xfinity in my area seems to sell 10 mbps as the rock bottom t...
by VaR
Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sears appliances from Amazon
Replies: 11
Views: 1262

Re: Sears appliances from Amazon

Sure, but at least at Sears the pseudo-fake Kenmore appliances you could get were the genuine article. I fear Amazon could raise things to a whole new level of fakery, knock-offs and counterfeits> :happy At least for the moment, Sears is providing fulfillment for Kenmore appliances from Amazon, so ...
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: 123
Views: 7003

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: 16
Views: 1654

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 that you re...
by VaR
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upcoming Marriott Stay
Replies: 13
Views: 1704

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: 7133

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 correlation must cause...
by VaR
Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate Bond Website?
Replies: 35
Views: 2143

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: 5298

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: 1060

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: 5014

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 getting one ...
by VaR
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multi-page scanner?
Replies: 26
Views: 1871

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: 5014

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: 5014

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: 4527

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: 3327

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 "mysterio...
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: 5292

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: 12952

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: 2920

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: 697

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: 6595

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: 4437

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: 1715

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: 11698

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: 1715

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: 2651

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: 4326

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: 4326

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: 3154

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: 484

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: 2448

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: 9059

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: 1284

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: 2920

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: 651

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://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/r ... ators.html
https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fu ... calculator
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: 6225

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...