Search found 92 matches

by bogglizer
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any of you trade just a little as a hobby?
Replies: 13
Views: 690

Re: Any of you trade just a little as a hobby?

I used to play with options, because the lottery was too risky.
by bogglizer
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I select a good employment law attorney?
Replies: 46
Views: 2177

Re: How do I select a good labor-law attorney?

First contact the EEOC. They will tell you if you have a claim under the laws that they enforce. Then you can see an employment (note, not labor) lawyer to see if you might have complaints under other laws/regulations. What is the difference between a labor lawyer and an employment lawyer? BTW, I k...
by bogglizer
Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GoDaddy - Any better options for website hosting?
Replies: 69
Views: 6562

Re: GoDaddy - Any better options for website hosting?

I am at HawkHost, and am quite happy with it. But I am willing to give an extremely negative review to Bluehost, which was a nightmare.
by bogglizer
Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trade QUICKEN for Spreadsheet
Replies: 28
Views: 1868

Re: Trade QUICKEN for Spreadsheet

Try Gnucash. Does 95% of the same stuff, and it's free.
by bogglizer
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with TIAA CREF funds?
Replies: 28
Views: 1493

Re: What to do with TIAA CREF funds?

I've been here. I rolled over to a Vanguard IRA.
by bogglizer
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help picking apart whole life insurance cash value
Replies: 39
Views: 1742

Re: Help picking apart whole life insurance cash value

The real reason to not take out a WL policy is that you should never invest in a financial product that you do not understand. If you have to come to the Bogleheads forum to ask people how WL policies work... I get where you're coming from, but please be careful: that sentiment is a double-edged sw...
by bogglizer
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help picking apart whole life insurance cash value
Replies: 39
Views: 1742

Re: Help picking apart whole life insurance cash value

My experience is that the only WL policies worth keeping are those that were taken out for children who have since grown up. These policies may not originally have been a good investment, but any money spent back when is now water under the bridge. The real reason to not take out a WL policy is that...
by bogglizer
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life Cash Out question
Replies: 3
Views: 472

Re: Whole Life Cash Out question

Rarely, whole life policies are worth keeping, but if you can pay off student loans (in the USA, work of the devil), then that is a vastly better choice.
by bogglizer
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?
Replies: 49
Views: 2909

Re: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?

I'm sure there are many deaths where funeral directors do not get involved (drowning with no recovery, body donated to medical school, etc). Someone still has to report the death (including to SS) and its usually next of kin. My sister owns a green burial cemetery. Many of the burials have no funer...
by bogglizer
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [HSA vs. PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) - which to select?]
Replies: 3
Views: 282

Re: [HSA vs. PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) - which to select?]

The HSA route is wonderful if you are healthy. Triple tax advantaged. Pick that one. If you have a seriously sick family, other choices are usually better. I am lucky - my company's PPO has an HSA. I only like the PPO in that I don't have to bother with checking if a doctor is in-network. I am lazy ...
by bogglizer
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding What Makes Vanguard So Successful
Replies: 12
Views: 1956

Re: Understanding What Makes Vanguard So Successful

Northwestern Mutual is a investor-owned company like Vanguard, and so its whole life policies must be the lowest in the industry, and therefore a good deal. Am I missing something here by paralleling the argument for Vanguard? (Yes, this post is somewhat tongue in cheek.) I don't think that is an a...
by bogglizer
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: So I did this...Capital One Money Market $200 bonus
Replies: 21
Views: 2597

Re: So I did this...Capital One Money Market $200 bonus

... Unfortunately right now I don't have the cash, and would have to borrow off of a HELOC. Does 100% certainty of return not justify the small short-term use of borrowed funds? Borrow enough extra that you have cash on hand to pay the minimum required HELOC payments, until you can take the money o...
by bogglizer
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: So I did this...Capital One Money Market $200 bonus
Replies: 21
Views: 2597

Re: So I did this...Capital One Money Market $200 bonus

This one is, what, 12%/year? I have another offer on my desk that works out to 14%. I am considering doing that one and the Cap 1 as well. I did this before with Chase, and raked in $1200 (four family members), but don't recall the interest rate any longer. Unfortunately right now I don't have the c...
by bogglizer
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding What Makes Vanguard So Successful
Replies: 12
Views: 1956

Re: Understanding What Makes Vanguard So Successful

Northwestern Mutual is a investor-owned company like Vanguard, and so its whole life policies must be the lowest in the industry, and therefore a good deal. Am I missing something here by paralleling the argument for Vanguard? (Yes, this post is somewhat tongue in cheek.)
by bogglizer
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax basis after death of spouse
Replies: 7
Views: 974

Re: Tax basis after death of spouse

Properties are in New Mexico, and held in a trust under NM law. One of those joint trusts people put all their stuff in to avoid probate. However, parents moved to Texas some years ago, and that is where the accountant lives as well.
by bogglizer
Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax basis after death of spouse
Replies: 7
Views: 974

Tax basis after death of spouse

My parents own three condos as investments, products of a long series of 1031 exchanges. My mother recently died. My father used to be an estate lawyer, and has stated in the past that her death gives a stepped-up tax basis for the condos, and so he can sell them with small capital gains. His accoun...
by bogglizer
Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health savings account
Replies: 7
Views: 715

Re: Health savings account

About five years ago I did an in-depth search for decent HSA company. I finally picked one and transfered my old HSA from a former employer. Turns out they sucked also. I ended up transferring back to the old HSA. I am sure that the HSA landscape is much different now, but my suggestion would be to ...
by bogglizer
Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Investing Simplicity Leading to Simplifying Life?
Replies: 21
Views: 2162

Re: Boglehead Investing Simplicity Leading to Simplifying Life?

I have converted all my 401(k)'s, 403(b)'s, and pensions into a single three-fund Vanguard IRA. Sold off the rentals. Donating non-liquid investments when the taxes make sense. Now working on junk around the house. Once the kid goes off to college, we will probably either radically downsize to a con...
by bogglizer
Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 1876
Views: 1156639

Re: The Three-Fund Portfolio

May I ask what would be the suggested allocation of these three funds for a person who retires at age 63? Would you just do 33% each or go heavier on one fund? I balance to 33% each. Not because that ratio is better than any other, but because it is easy to rebalance. Every quarter I average the hi...
by bogglizer
Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I inherited a life insurance policy that is upside down?
Replies: 21
Views: 2127

Re: I inherited a life insurance policy that is upside down?

Some policies have the option that the dividend can be used to pay premiums. For any policy that you had as a child, the dividends would far exceed premiums. Since this was not engaged or not available, the dividends were used to increase the value of the policy, while the premium was taken out as a...
by bogglizer
Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Little "sawdust" piles on Hardwood Floors
Replies: 8
Views: 2093

Re: Little "sawdust" piles on Hardwood Floors

It might be cheaper to tent the house than replace the hardwood floor. Added benefit of killing any termites you may have.
by bogglizer
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you get your news?
Replies: 131
Views: 8831

Re: Where do you get your news?

NPR on my drive to work. Apple News app during spare moments at work. Slashdot, Drudge Report, and Reuters online at home.
by bogglizer
Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I create LLC for new business?
Replies: 18
Views: 1517

Re: Should I create LLC for new business?

An LLC only protects your personal assets if the LLC is truly not run as a sole proprietorship. In other words, someone else has to hold stock. Not sure if it can be a spouse to get the protection. (warning: this may be state dependent.) This is based on a false premise. A Limited Liability Company...
by bogglizer
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I create LLC for new business?
Replies: 18
Views: 1517

Re: Should I create LLC for new business?

An LLC only protects your personal assets if the LLC is truly not run as a sole proprietorship. In other words, someone else has to hold stock. Not sure if it can be a spouse to get the protection. (warning: this may be state dependent.)
by bogglizer
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me calculate returns on Whole Life Policy - Keep it or cancel it?
Replies: 19
Views: 1639

Re: Help me calculate returns on Whole Life Policy - Keep it or cancel it?

If

( [cost of term insurance for 1 year] + [annual cash value increase] - premium ) / [cash value] > 3%

then it might be worth keeping. The 3% is a judgment call. You could pick a higher or lower number, depending on your take on what makes a worthwhile investment.
by bogglizer
Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Difference Between Risk and Uncertainty
Replies: 41
Views: 3025

Re: The Difference Between Risk and Uncertainty

From a mathematical perspective, risk almost always includes the upside as well as the downside. This is because when only considering the downside, it is almost impossible to compute anything. Even unknown unknowns have probability distributions. These are, for example, the long tails of stock vola...
by bogglizer
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's new security key option
Replies: 115
Views: 25343

Re: Vanguard's new security key option

Can't I fix the SMS back door by removing any cell numbers from my account?
by bogglizer
Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I dump (W)Hole Life Insurance and Variable Insurance
Replies: 14
Views: 1136

Re: Should I dump (W)Hole Life Insurance and Variable Insurance

WLI is an investment like any other, and its current return can be computed. If ( [cost of term insurance for 1 year] + [annual cash value increase] - premium ) / [cash value] > 3% then it might be worth keeping. The 3% is a judgment call. You could pick a higher or lower number, depending on your t...
by bogglizer
Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential downsides of placing a credit freeze?
Replies: 24
Views: 2107

Re: Potential downsides of placing a credit freeze?

We froze our credit back in around 2003 for around five years or so. I lost some of the paperwork, and it was a PITA to unfreeze when we decided to move. I bet the entire process is different now.
by bogglizer
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me evaluate my Whole Life Policy....
Replies: 8
Views: 1264

Re: Help me evaluate my Whole Life Policy....

Don't forget to add the value of the life insurance. The increase in value of the policy is the increase in cash value plus the equivalent insurance cost of term insurance.
by bogglizer
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?
Replies: 66
Views: 5820

Re: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?

1. I design probes to places like Venus and the moons of Saturn. Telescopes that look deep into the universe. Why would I be doing anything else?
by bogglizer
Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track expenses ?
Replies: 58
Views: 3833

Re: How do you track expenses ?

Gnucash - it's free!
by bogglizer
Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash out whole life
Replies: 13
Views: 1642

Re: Cash out whole life

Despite the fact that Boglites here tend to bag on whole life policies, policies that my grandparents purchased for me as a young child are doing very well as investments. I also purchased one for my son when he was just born, and his policy is already doing well as an investment, now that he is 14....
by bogglizer
Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Phillips Curve is not working!
Replies: 26
Views: 2997

Re: The Phillips Curve is not working!

There is some historical data backing up the theory. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/U.S._Phillips_Curve_2000_to_2013.png The data plot above for the Phillips Curve has an R^2 of 0.271. With a correlation that poor, why are people even discussing this? Has anyone done the statis...
by bogglizer
Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Bogleheads Los Angeles meetings
Replies: 145
Views: 15435

Re: Bogleheads Los Angeles meetings

I would attend future meetings if they were near a metro stop.
by bogglizer
Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations on stackable washer/dryer
Replies: 28
Views: 1940

Re: Recommendations on stackable washer/dryer

I purchased an all-in-one unit about twenty years ago. Dryer over washer. The dryer broke a few months ago, and I finally decided that I should replace the whole thing, since I don't know any affordable repair people in my area. That unit is still made. Who made that unit? Frigidaire, but you shoul...
by bogglizer
Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: belts for dress pants
Replies: 37
Views: 2632

Re: belts for dress pants

Look for genuine leather, not bonded leather. Bonded leather belts don't last long. This. The bonded leather belts disintegrate. That includes most of the less expensive choices mentioned. I have cowhide belts that have lasted almost ten years, even worn every day, so buying junk is false economy h...
by bogglizer
Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery prices crazy for the last five months?
Replies: 19
Views: 2204

Grocery prices crazy for the last five months?

I was looking at our various expenses, and noticed that there was a jump in grocery spending in our household five months ago from $500/month to $900/month. We haven't changed our diets. Is this due to some change in grocery prices, or a growth spurt by our 14 year old?
by bogglizer
Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you count vehicle equity in net worth?
Replies: 203
Views: 11357

Re: Do you count vehicle equity in net worth?

harvestbook wrote:Cars and houses are liabilities, not assets.

Even if you sell them, you have to buy or lease replacements. I guess they might be assets after you're dead.
Hear, hear!
by bogglizer
Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Remodeling Expenses
Replies: 12
Views: 1488

Re: Home Remodeling Expenses

a) most home remodels end in divorce
b) everything will take far longer than you think; our house has been torn up for 1/5 years, and we have barely started
c) it will cost more than you think

When I was young, I did it all myself. Now I would never do it again, even with contractors and architects.
by bogglizer
Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Tax Implications in California
Replies: 4
Views: 608

Re: HSA Tax Implications in California

Does Turbotax ask about this? I can't recall ever entering HSA trades.
by bogglizer
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations on stackable washer/dryer
Replies: 28
Views: 1940

Re: Recommendations on stackable washer/dryer

I purchased an all-in-one unit about twenty years ago. Dryer over washer. The dryer broke a few months ago, and I finally decided that I should replace the whole thing, since I don't know any affordable repair people in my area. That unit is still made.
by bogglizer
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?
Replies: 79
Views: 5747

Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Z3 is my wife's mid-life crisis car. Had a 2000 Z3 3.8(?) that I liked, but seemed a little over powered. Got hit by a truck and got a 2001 Z3 2.8 with the insurance check. Liked this engine size better. Still driving it.

The rear end of the Z4 looks stupid.
by bogglizer
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CA 529 or Vanguard 529?
Replies: 30
Views: 2734

Re: CA 529 or Vanguard 529?

As a resident of California, I moved my kid's 529 from Scholarshare to Vanguard to consolidate my finances a few years ago. And also because of a long-held personal dislike of TIAA-CREF.
by bogglizer
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparent Contribution to 529
Replies: 19
Views: 1849

Re: Grandparent Contribution to 529

Contributions in excess of the annual exclusion(s) are still not subject to any gift tax unless and until the lifetime exclusion is exceeded. I don't understand the lifetime exclusion. Does this mean that I needed to have kept track of all previous gifts from my parents, or only those in excess of ...
by bogglizer
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparent Contribution to 529
Replies: 19
Views: 1849

Re: Grandparent Contribution to 529

Steelersfan wrote:Check out if the state you or your child is living in make 529 contributions tax deductible. Some state so, some don't.
I am in California, a State of Suck in this regard.
by bogglizer
Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparent Contribution to 529
Replies: 19
Views: 1849

Grandparent Contribution to 529

What is the maximum amount that my parents can contribute to my son's 529 (with me as the account owner) in one year, without causing a taxable event?
by bogglizer
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - is it worth it?
Replies: 159
Views: 12135

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

I recently went through this exercise, and decided not to buy LTCI because I was unable to decide if it was worth it. So, following the general principal that one should never invest in a security that one does not understand, I steered clear.
by bogglizer
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The conundrum I am in concerning need vs desire
Replies: 19
Views: 2480

Re: The conundrum I am in concerning need vs desire

Read up on Constant Proportion Portfolio Insurance (CPPI), a rebalancing technique. The general idea is to figure out your minimum required goals and assign a Net Present Value to them. The higher your current assets are above that number, the more risk you can take. The more risk you can take, the...
by bogglizer
Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The conundrum I am in concerning need vs desire
Replies: 19
Views: 2480

Re: The conundrum I am in concerning need vs desire

Read up on Constant Proportion Portfolio Insurance (CPPI), a rebalancing technique. The general idea is to figure out your minimum required goals and assign a Net Present Value to them. The higher your current assets are above that number, the more risk you can take. The more risk you can take, the...