Search found 83 matches

by clown
Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market cap-weighted Index - not diversified?
Replies: 14
Views: 894

Re: Market cap-weighted Index - not diversified?

I think it's worthwhile to look at equally-weighted funds. If you look at our stock-picker brethren across the aisle, the strategy is often to pick x-number of stocks and invest an equal dollar amount in each. There is a lesson we can learn from this. I subscribe to the idea that a market-cap index ...
by clown
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits of using CPA for taxes
Replies: 27
Views: 3324

Re: Benefits of using CPA for taxes

I have used Turbo Tax since the mid-1980's, and the program just gets simpler and better every year. Full disclosure - our returns are straightforward. I used to have a very high opinion of Enrolled Agents until I found that my in-laws EA had missed a deduction every year for several years. Because ...
by clown
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adding my name to deed (parents house)
Replies: 22
Views: 1631

Re: Adding my name to deed (parents house)

I suggest stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. The likely reason for the HOA's restrictions on renters is to enhance property values by keeping them owner-occupied rather than occupied by outside renters. Stated another way, the neighborhood's owners (HOA's members) don't want values to ...
by clown
Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others
Replies: 42
Views: 3238

Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

If you were in the military (or if you dad was), you are eligible for USAA insurance. They are Aaa rated by Moody's and AA+ rated by Standard & Poor's -- the highest ratings possible. USAA offers all the coverages you have mentioned. Their customer service is top notch. Several frequent posters on t...
by clown
Thu May 10, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Tires and Dry Rot
Replies: 20
Views: 2228

Re: Vehicle Tires and Dry Rot

There may be some false economy at work here. If we assume that a set of tires is good for 40,000 miles, then 6 years could involve less than 7,000 miles per year. So a driver who goes 10-15,00 miles annually will wear out the tires long before a 6-year replacement threshold. And then there is the m...
by clown
Thu May 10, 2018 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I ran out of credit card signups bonus...
Replies: 84
Views: 12377

Re: I ran out of credit card signups bonus...

Why would a person do this? It seems like just another way of gaming the system -- which drives up costs for all customers. I think it says something about the applicant wanting something for nothing. And I would guess it LOWERS the applicant's credit score.
by clown
Tue May 01, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to babymoon?
Replies: 38
Views: 3851

Re: Where to babymoon?

How about the beaches on the east coast of Texas. Can't remember many names, but they would be closer to home. The only name that comes to mind is South Padre Island https://www.sopadre.com/things-to-do/
by clown
Tue May 01, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Signed Car Lease, Dealer calls later asking for a CO-SIGNER despite excellent credit
Replies: 180
Views: 18280

Re: Signed Car Lease, Dealer calls later asking for a CO-SIGNER despite excellent credit

Sometimes the easy approach is the best. Don't over-analyze it. If it were me: 1) ask what kind of a mistake they made the leads them to request a co-signer (doesn't really matter, but I would be curious) 2) tell them you will return the car tomorrow if they simultaneously give you a check for whate...
by clown
Tue May 01, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Security Based Lending Rates
Replies: 5
Views: 487

Re: Security Based Lending Rates

Many (perhaps all) traditional commercial banks will not lend on securities held at a brokerage, because brokerages will not acknowledge the bank's security interest in the portfolio. The; borrower may sign a security agreement in favor of the bank, but the brokerage (which actually has possession o...
by clown
Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's wrong with this critique of indexing?
Replies: 124
Views: 8859

Re: What's wrong with this critique of indexing?

To OP - I'm a simple guy. Theories and speculations are merely intellectual exercises. The real questions boils down to eating and paying the bills, and you can't do that with percentages, theories or speculations. Therefore, in my view, the most important thing among two strategies is how much mone...
by clown
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I be worried about the S&P Index fund ?
Replies: 51
Views: 6108

Re: Should I be worried about the S&P Index fund ?

OP may be interested in a S&P500 equal weighted fund like RSP. Each component gets 1/500th weight. This has outperformed over the long term. When the big firms soar, this lags. When the bigs stumble, this outperforms. It tends to tilt more toward the “smaller” S&P500 firms, but the 500 components ar...
by clown
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know when you need a trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 3297

Re: How do you know when you need a trust?

In my mind, the principal advantage of a trust (a "revocable living trust") is that it avoids the probate process when one passes away. In California (and I presume elsewhere too) the probate process is lengthy, quite expensive, and a listing of all your assets is put into the public record (providi...
by clown
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ethics of selling a used car
Replies: 54
Views: 4535

Re: Ethics of selling a used car

We sold a 12 year old Toyota (105,000 miles) through a "private display lot." The operator discloses that he is not a licensed car dealer. The operator charges the seller a modest fee up front, displays the car, advertises the car, handles test drives etc. The operator's paperwork with the seller as...
by clown
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time for twins to go to daycare
Replies: 38
Views: 2945

Re: Time for twins to go to daycare

I advocate a different approach, though it admittedly may not fit your situation. Are grandparents available? When our first granddaughter was born, we made a deal with our daughter and her husband. We told them we would babysit full-time until the child went to school --- IF --- they would put the ...
by clown
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doctor wants Social Security number
Replies: 83
Views: 13264

Re: Doctor wants Social Security number

There IS a real reason, if the patient is on Medicare. In order for a provider to bill Medicare nowadays, they must do the billing electronically including the patient's social security number. If the patient is not on Medicare, then of course this would not apply. Also, it was previously noted that...
by clown
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Treasury Bond Fund/ETF for Taxable Accounts
Replies: 17
Views: 2607

Re: Best Treasury Bond Fund/ETF for Taxable Accounts

I think it's simpler than some of the above posts suggest. Analysis Paralysis gets in the way.

Tresury Bond funds (of a similar maturity -- short, intermediate, long) are essentially commodities. Their results will be virtually identical except for fees. Therefore, go for the smallest expense ratio.
by clown
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital alarm clock suggestions?
Replies: 38
Views: 3221

Re: Digital alarm clock suggestions?

Use your cell phone of Fitbit if you have one.
by clown
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a Brokerage "Redemption Fee" tax deductible?
Replies: 14
Views: 894

Re: Is a Brokerage "Redemption Fee" tax deductible?

I am no tax expert, but would think that you would get $X amount less in your net settlement because of the brokerage fee. Example: if you sold for a gross of $100 and had a brokerage fee of $5 and redemption off of $10, your net received would be $85. The amount received, compared to your cost, wil...
by clown
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did you learn anything from the market correction?
Replies: 160
Views: 12828

Re: Did you learn anything from the market correction?

Retired couple here. 5 years spending amount held in cash. The rest is 100% stocks. We wont have to sell equities in a down market unless it lasts longer than 5 years, which is historically highly unlikely. Watching the market's moves is much like going to a tennis game. You sit in the stands and wa...
by clown
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why are TLT and AGG declining so much?
Replies: 10
Views: 1535

Re: Why are TLT and AGG declining so much?

And have you studied up on "duration" and checked on the duration applicable to a bond fund when considering it? I am neither a mathematician nor an academic; in lay terms, duration is a statistic intended to reveal a bond or bond fund's sensitivity to changes in interest rates. For example, if inte...
by clown
Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riverboat trip on the Danube next October
Replies: 16
Views: 1303

Re: Riverboat trip on the Danube next October

My wife and I have taken many trips with Tauck, including land trips and the cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. I hope to take the leg from Budapest to Bucharest some day. We prefer Tauck because EVERYTHING is included except your gift shop purchases, and because their cruise directors are so experi...
by clown
Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Do My Own Taxes Or Pay A CPA $500?
Replies: 65
Views: 6570

Re: Should I Do My Own Taxes Or Pay A CPA $500?

I have used Turbo Tax "forever," ever since the program first came out in the 1980s. Talk about the corporate mantra of continuous improvement, they improve the program every year, and it just gets easier to use. Highly recommended. I buy the "Deluxe" version at Costco for about $40; it includes fed...
by clown
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BIG ($180k) student debt!! Strategy needed.
Replies: 54
Views: 9794

Re: BIG ($180k) student debt!! Strategy needed.

Curious about the ethics of borrowing money with the strategy of looking for / counting on debt forgiveness from the git-go.. Who else (maybe taxpayers?) ends up paying off the loan walked away from? How about the old-fashioned notion of her paying off the debt she voluntarily incurred?
by clown
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I join my local Freemasons?
Replies: 31
Views: 5209

Re: Should I join my local Freemasons?

I have been a Freemason for 32 years. In my view, it is an outstanding organization. The purpose is to make good men into better men. If you are interested in the business aspect ONLY, pass. Masonry is specifically not designed to establish or expand business contacts. On the night of initiation int...
by clown
Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house, 15yr vs 30yr loan?
Replies: 29
Views: 3350

Re: Buying a house, 15yr vs 30yr loan?

Let's get out of the realm of theory and get down to dollars. Your loan of $800k is referred to as a "jumbo" loan. Even with good credit and 20% down, jumbo rates are higher than rates for lower loans. Let's assume today's jumbo rate is 5.5% for 15 years and 4.5% for 30 years. Actual rates may be di...
by clown
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which of these mechanic-recommended services would you pay for?
Replies: 55
Views: 4120

Re: Which of these mechanic-recommended services would you pay for?

I agree with most of the previous advice. Check the manual, see what it advises. Get a second opinion. But there is one exception. While three of the four symptoms could result in inconveniences, brake failure could result in a collision, bodily injury and even a fatality. Water in the brake lines c...
by clown
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Kitces article: A cash bucket in retirement? Nope
Replies: 150
Views: 12888

Re: Kitces article: A cash bucket in retirement? Nope

I have a full FIVE YEARS of net spending requirement (difference between annual spending and income) in VG Prime MM and Ultra Short. Zero in bonds. All the rest in broad market stock index funds. This strikes me like going to a tennis match, watching the ball go back and forth with no personal stake...
by clown
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal Mastercard decline due to freeze
Replies: 20
Views: 1732

Re: PayPal Mastercard decline due to freeze

As a retired banker, I can assure you that Synchrony is required by federal law to send a decline letter within 10 days of the decision. This is not just a good business practice, it is required by federal law -- no ifs, ands or buts. The letter is required to state the reason for the adverse decisi...
by clown
Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I open an account with Vanguard?
Replies: 28
Views: 2831

Re: Should I open an account with Vanguard?

I agree that Vanguard is a fine choice. Never have had poor customer service there YMMV. One caveat -- Transferring assets in kind, rather than selling assets and moving cash, would avoid tax impact. Particularly important to do a trustee-to-trustee transfer in kind if there are tax advantaged retir...
by clown
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard sending so much junk mail telling me to vote in the proxy election?
Replies: 50
Views: 6531

Re: Why is Vanguard sending so much junk mail telling me to vote in the proxy election?

I wonder whether there is an SEC rule that imposes a strict duty contact shareholders -- no ifs, ands or buts. That would be regardless of the shareholder's expressed desire not to be contacted. You certainly have the right to abstain. Maybe somebody with SEC knowledge will chime in.
by clown
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need input: minor rear fender bender with a veteran
Replies: 14
Views: 2239

Re: Need input: minor rear fender bender with a veteran

I am just a regular person, not in the insurance industry. So take my view with a grain of salt. But FWIW, here is an opinion. 1. I believe it is not illegal. In California, you are only required to report when the damage is over $XXX. If the damage is only a minor scratch, you are certainly within ...
by clown
Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I am in the investment advice industry and I'm not sure if I provide any value
Replies: 67
Views: 7794

Re: I am in the investment advice industry and I'm not sure if I provide any value

With courtesy all due respect to poster "CnC" above, I object to the notion that OP can be of use to the "common man" only, together with the implication that the "common man" is not intelligent enough to go it alone. There are some very smart people with plenty of intelligence (certainly more than ...
by clown
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: stopped check / holder in due course
Replies: 16
Views: 1987

Re: stopped check / holder in due course

Hold on folks -- let's look at the negotiable instruments law. To the best of my knowledge, Louisiana is the only state that has not adopted the UCC. As a retired banker, my experience is different from several views expressed here. Each person who endorses a check vouches for the endorsers before h...
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 96 percent of stocks are no better then TBills
Replies: 29
Views: 7045

Re: 96 percent of stocks are no better then TBills

I think the prior post (privatefarmer) is one the right track. If the study considered some 26,000 stocks, and there are some 3600 actively traded stocks in the total stock market at this time, that suggests there were over 22,000 others who either: failed - think buggy whips were bought out by some...
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did Chase Apply My "Additional Principal" Payment Legally?
Replies: 41
Views: 4444

Re: Did Chase Apply My "Additional Principal" Payment Legally?

To OP - check the fine print your loan agreement. As a retired banker, my experience is that it will typically say that the $5000 payment will be applied as follows -- first, to any interest due as of the date the payment is received, secondly to any principal due as of the date the payment is recei...
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Irrational Despair?
Replies: 39
Views: 6763

Re: Irrational Despair?

Speaking of media coverage, I was disappointed to hear a FOX anchor say the market PLUNGED a couple days ago. The change was about 1.4%. Hardly a PLUNGE by any reasonable definition. And that would apply only if you were 100% in the Dow.
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond fund SEC yield
Replies: 14
Views: 2175

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. It is my opinion, as a non-expert, that these were SEC rules -- not discretionary decisions on the part of the fund sponsor. Personally, I would pass.
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I have a computer virus?
Replies: 13
Views: 1976

Re: Do I have a computer virus?

Two thoughts. Firstly, the update procedure should create "restore points" as part of the process. You can revert your computer to the last known good "restore point" when your computer was running well. You may lose the "benefits" of the "update," but I am skeptical that they are worthwhile benefit...
by clown
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost $7000 today in ONE DAY!
Replies: 183
Views: 18890

Re: Lost $7000 today in ONE DAY!

To OP - you haven't "lost" anything in terms of cash. You have the same number of shares today as you did yesterday. No loss is sustained unless you sell. The only difference is that Mr. Market will pay you less today than yesterday. I suggest you consider the change in value in percentage terms. If...
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travelers Checks Question
Replies: 6
Views: 1004

Re: Travelers Checks Question

The preceding post contains the correct answer in my experience as a retired banker. That is what we used to do. If TCs are taken to a bank and they don't know what to do, then either it is a minor unsophisticated branch in the middle of nowhere, or you need a better bank.
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market timing alert !!
Replies: 30
Views: 6995

Re: Market timing alert !!

Since VGTSX is certain to go down significantly, can I short it? :D :oops:
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dumb, basic question about market-cap weighted funds?
Replies: 57
Views: 4996

Re: Dumb, basic question about market-cap weighted funds?

Two points. First, there is no such thing as a dumb question. No apology is needed. I can assure you that, in this and other areas of life, there are other folks that have the same question but are too timid to ask. Second, jbolden1517 mentions other possibilities that may interest you. How about co...
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review Request
Replies: 14
Views: 1681

Re: Portfolio Review Request

Given all the complexity involved, and the various priorities and life events you have, it may be worthwhile to consider a fee-only financial planner to consolidate and set things up, and you can run the money going forward.
by clown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exit Strategy from Northwest Mutual Advisor
Replies: 13
Views: 1926

Re: Exit Strategy from Northwest Mutual Advisor

To OP - you mention taking a $7k bath on the insurance policies. Better to take a $7k bath now than to take a bigger bath later. Losses are the price of experience. Rather than focusing on the $7k, think of all the fees you will have saved in the ears you won't be at NWM. Proprietary funds (i.e. tho...
by clown
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SINGLE FUND for retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 3011

Re: SINGLE FUND for retirement

Kudos to you for the fine progress you have made. May I suggest the Vanguard Wellington Fund (VWELX). Created in 1929 (yes 1929), VWELX is Vanguard's oldest mutual fund and the nation's oldest balanced fund. The target is ~66% equities and ~33% fixed income -- which may be more bonds then you want. ...
by clown
Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to upgrade iPhones ?
Replies: 37
Views: 4815

Re: Cheapest way to upgrade iPhones ?

Before jumping ship from AT&T, be aware that you will lose some services available only to AT&T brand clients. Wi-fi calling is an example. AT&T brand SIM chips allow phones to call on wi-fi. AT&T Reseller (technically MVNO companies) SIM chips do NOT allow wi-fi calling. If you need that particular...
by clown
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good article about having the "RIGHT" asset allocation
Replies: 27
Views: 4254

Re: Good article about having the "RIGHT" asset allocation

I have tried without success to access the WSJ article -- both via the OP's link and via the WSJ homepage by on my own. In both cases, the article opens and then greys out. It is as if an opaque screen is placed between me and the article. Does anyone know how to get around this problem? Thanks in a...
by clown
Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metal vs Vinyl sheds
Replies: 25
Views: 2424

Re: Metal vs Vinyl sheds

We also live in the SF Bay Area, and recently purchased a Lifetime brand 8x8 vinyl shed from Costco. The panels are heavy duty and click-lock together and than get screws (included). It has a floor and seems VERY well engineered. It weights just about 500 pounds. After assembly, it feels very solid....
by clown
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?
Replies: 18
Views: 2211

Re: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?

I too have struggled with this. As opposed to the OP, who has a defined contribution plan, I am retired and have a traditional defined benefit pension plan. I can present-value the cash flows, assuming I live to age 85 and using a reasonable historical rate like 6% (although the rate is not reflecte...
by clown
Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why no federal income tax obligation?
Replies: 31
Views: 3526

Re: Why no federal income tax obligation?

OK - getting back to the point - here are numbers from 2016. Interest Income $ 5 Ordinary Dividends $12,350 (Qualified = $7757) Capital loss carryforward ($3,000) Pension Income $22,174 Social Security - taxable portion $15,478 (Total = $47,242) Total Income (line 22) $47,007 Adjusted Gross Income $...