Search found 740 matches

by czeckers
Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: William Bernstein's "If You Can" Portfolio
Replies: 27
Views: 3242

Re: William Bernstein's "If You Can" Portfolio

Early on, your savings rate has a far greater impact on your portfolio growth than small differences in returns. Thus, there isn't much of a difference between 33% bonds and 20% bonds. Thus, it is probably good advice to start out with something very simple and maybe a little conservative until one ...
by czeckers
Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Managing kid's internet use
Replies: 24
Views: 1824

Re: Managing kid's internet use

We've had Circle for 3-4 months now. It basically monitors all information going to and from the router and determines what can and can't go. Overall it works pretty well but, as with anything, there are pluses and minuses. I'd say it is a small step up from OpenDNS. It handles bed time and time lim...
by czeckers
Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a High-Value Wedding Regardless of Cost
Replies: 55
Views: 2741

Re: Planning a High-Value Wedding Regardless of Cost

We got married when we were young and poor on a $3000 budget. Ring was a nice ring but with a CZ instead of a diamond (the stone ended up falling out of the setting a few years later so no worries there). Rehearsal dinner at grandma's (great food), nice ceremony at Church, reception at an inexpensiv...
by czeckers
Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Plan on your Credit Card Getting Hacked once a year....Some Tips....
Replies: 61
Views: 2595

Re: Plan on your Credit Card Getting Hacked once a year....Some Tips....

I frequently get hacked when I travel. I presume it happens at restaurants. It's unfortunate.
by czeckers
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thank goodness for my precious metals
Replies: 63
Views: 3352

Re: Thank goodness for my precious metals

The Vanguard Precious Metals fund (VGPMX) is a bit down from its peak of 39.66 on 9/30/07. It didn't offer much protection in '08-'09 as it lost nearly 75% of its value closing at $10.27 on 2/1/09. Since then it bounced back up to $28.18on 4/17/11 only to lose another almost 80% closing at $5.73 on ...
by czeckers
Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: frost on windows - any experts (or people who have dealt with this)? Images inside!
Replies: 27
Views: 2802

Re: frost on windows - any experts (or people who have dealt with this)? Images inside!

2sls, everything you've mentioned indicates your house is under insulated for your climate. The frost on the Windows is a problem with poorly insulated frames/spacers. Poor insulation in the walls will also contribute. If your garage is 50 deg warmer than the outdoors, you are losing a lot of heat f...
by czeckers
Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: frost on windows - any experts (or people who have dealt with this)? Images inside!
Replies: 27
Views: 2802

Re: frost on windows - any experts (or people who have dealt with this)? Images inside!

Yoopers, your blackout shades are insulating the window from the indoor heat. I would wager that if you placed a thermometer on your inside window sill, you'd notice a substantial temp difference between shades closed and shades open. The warmer temp with the shades open provides enough heat to prev...
by czeckers
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting argument by Wells Fargo guy
Replies: 25
Views: 3654

Re: Interesting argument by Wells Fargo guy

With developed international and emerging markets taking a beating over the last several years, all new contributions have been going that way for a while now. I rebalance with new money and have not purchased domestinc (except small value recently) in quite a while. The beauty of this system is tha...
by czeckers
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 2692
Views: 534716

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

I know that the markets dipped whenever this thread pops up.

I was planning on doing a bathroom remodel this spring, but it seems it might be a good time to throw a little extra into ye olde investments instead. :sharebeer
by czeckers
Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: frost on windows - any experts (or people who have dealt with this)? Images inside!
Replies: 27
Views: 2802

Re: frost on windows - any experts (or people who have dealt with this)? Images inside!

It doesn't look like air leakage to me. Double hung windows typically leak at the horizontal line where the upper and lower window meet, at the edges where the window units slide on the tracks, or, if poorly installed, around the outside of the window unit itself (behind the jambs). Also, if you hav...
by czeckers
Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: investus interruptus
Replies: 83
Views: 4245

Re: investus interruptus

If the price of your investments has dropped, then the expected future returns have gone up? Why would you get rid of investments with a higher expected future return? This is exactly the kind of behavior that causes investors to underperform the very investments they are invested in. Short term flu...
by czeckers
Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grass Fed Meats Question
Replies: 67
Views: 3371

Re: Grass Fed Meats Question

We are a family with 8 children. 1/2 cow lasts us about a year. However, your mileage will vary depending on how much beef you eat. We eat more chicken than beef. You pay by the pound of hanging weight which includes the weight of the bones so on a per-pound basis, you may not save any money compare...
by czeckers
Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your savings rate?
Replies: 146
Views: 15108

Re: What is your savings rate?

Here's my take: I've been saving about 20% of my gross income in tax-deferred retirement accounts. This year will be blessed with a 5-10% (depending on bonuses) increase in my base income. Certainly I could increase my savings rate, however I am instead choosing to cut back on work by 10%. At a high...
by czeckers
Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physicians on 1099, what expenses do you deduct?
Replies: 6
Views: 689

Re: Physicians on 1099, what expenses do you deduct?

Thank you for your replies. I've also reread some of the posts and comments on this topic on WCI. Given that my primary job already takes care of most of the expenses that would be tax-deductible and the fact that the income would be the same either way, I don't see much advantage in choosing the 10...
by czeckers
Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physicians on 1099, what expenses do you deduct?
Replies: 6
Views: 689

Physicians on 1099, what expenses do you deduct?

I have a full time W-2 position at a big academic center but have an opportunity to pick up some income on the side. I can take this income either as a W-2 or a 1099. Society memberships, dues, licensing fees, malpractice, and journal subscriptions are paid by my department and I have a generous all...
by czeckers
Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I would like to play the Boglehead car game too
Replies: 163
Views: 9597

Re: I would like to play the Boglehead car game too

I upgraded from an old Ford Escort that was beginning to have too many repairs to a used Subaru Legacy. As a physician, I prefer to fly under the radar when it comes to conspicuous items of consumption. I figure the guy driving the BMW or Lexus is much more likely to encounter a frivolous law suit i...
by czeckers
Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To Tilt or Not to Tilt - Rick Ferri's Latest
Replies: 88
Views: 10672

Re: To Tilt or Not to Tilt - Rick Ferri's Latest

The various tilting strategies have gotten hammered over the past few years both in absolute terms and in comparison to the S&P 500. International indices are down, with Emerging Markets really taking a beating. All the smart diversifiers that everyone piled into such as commodities, precious me...
by czeckers
Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Precious Metals Fund (VGPMX)
Replies: 19
Views: 2398

Re: Precious Metals Fund (VGPMX)

Down 15% in the last month and 85% from the peak. I'm much more excited about this fund as a diversifier at these prices than when it was at its peak. However, it sure does have some serious downward momentum right now. One might consider waiting until the momentum reverses and then jumping in.
by czeckers
Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 5610

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

I have an '09 Legacy approaching 90,000 miles on the odometer. The drive train reliability has been good with no issues so far. However, I am definitely disappointed with the quality of the metal used in the body work, suspension, brakes. I have had rust issues with this car that I have not had with...
by czeckers
Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Snow Tires
Replies: 42
Views: 2530

Re: Recommended Snow Tires

I live in Upstate NY with 100+ inches of snow/year. Having snow tires vs all-season tires makes a tremendous difference. I have driven on Blizzaks, Michelin X-ice, Continentals, and maybe some others. I must say that without having the different brand tires mounted on identical cars side-by-side, I ...
by czeckers
Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in sectors that have fallen
Replies: 5
Views: 484

Re: Investing in sectors that have fallen

Entire sectors can go to zero as they are replaced by other technologies. For example, steam engines, railroads, telecom companies that didn't transition to wireless, etc. The question is, can precious metals producers go to zero? My personal opinion is that it's pretty unlikely. At $6.50, VGPMX is ...
by czeckers
Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Potential Energy Downside?
Replies: 27
Views: 2328

Re: Potential Energy Downside?

I've been rebalancing into EM like crazy over the last year. I toyed with the idea of buying a small slice of Energy, however I feel that that sector is fairly well represented between EM and my value holdings right now. I did buy a slice of VGPMX (precious metals & mining) after it dropped over...
by czeckers
Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: % Net Worth Change Since New Year's 2015
Replies: 95
Views: 8631

Re: % Net Worth Change Since New Year's 2015

After the October bounce, my investments are about where they started the year. So my net worth is up by the sum of my savings and increase in home equity via mortgage payments. Also continuing to pay off student loans. That puts me at about up 10% for the year since my net worth growth is still dom...
by czeckers
Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard: Emerging Mkts Index Funds move to transition index
Replies: 11
Views: 1563

Re: Vanguard: Emerging Mkts Index Funds move to transition index

I agree the style drift is annoying, especially when you see that the decision to include the A-shares appears to have occurred in the midst of a bubble. Thankfully it popped. As a holder of a slice-and-dice portfolio, I'm having to reconsider the value of each slice within the context of the whole ...
by czeckers
Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard: Emerging Mkts Index Funds move to transition index
Replies: 11
Views: 1563

Re: Vanguard: Emerging Mkts Index Funds move to transition index

I can live with those numbers in my VEMAX. When it gets to 40-50%, I will have to decide then. I was surprised by the Taiwan percentage. In my mind that's 45% exposure to Taiwan/China. This index is 20% of my equites or 16% of my total portfolio. In the end, that gives me about 7-8% exposure to thi...
by czeckers
Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard: Emerging Mkts Index Funds move to transition index
Replies: 11
Views: 1563

Re: Vanguard: Emerging Mkts Index Funds move to transition index

According to the linked FTSE Index fact sheet, the top 5 countries and their weighings are:

China 30%
Taiwan 15%
India 13%
South Africa 8%
Brazil 6%

http://www.ftse.com/Analytics/FactSheet ... ame=FQEACR
by czeckers
Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Wade Pfau right about annuities over [bond funds] in a retirement portfolio?
Replies: 67
Views: 6282

Re: Is Wade Pfau right about annuities over [bond funds] in a retirement portfolio?

I like Dr. Pfau's arguments for converting part of your portfolio to an SPIA. However, I don't see the tax consequences of doing so mentioned. Let's say you have $1.5M and want to convert 1/3 of that to an SPIA. If the money is in taxable, you'll have to pay capital gains tax. If your money is in ta...
by czeckers
Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: medical billing: crime or just mistakes?
Replies: 48
Views: 4716

Re: medical billing: crime or just mistakes?

It saddens me to hear that when an error occurs, people automatically assume fraud.
by czeckers
Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Milestone!
Replies: 29
Views: 2630

Re: Small Milestone!

That's definitely a large step! Congratulations.
by czeckers
Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Heating System for Home - Gas versus Electric?
Replies: 90
Views: 4260

Re: New Heating System for Home - Gas versus Electric?

If you have an oil burner with forced air, the converting to gas is pretty straightforward. You have to price out the cost of running the line to the house. Do you already have AC? If not, do you want it? One of the advantages of the ductless mini split heat pumps (which is what I think you're talki...
by czeckers
Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 20% in REIT index Fund Crazy?
Replies: 30
Views: 3820

Re: 20% in REIT index Fund Crazy?

I have had 20% of my equities in REITs for a long time now. They are volatile but definitely not 100% correlated with the rest of my portfolio. I split that in half between the US and non-US Vanguard REIT fund. The non-US valuations seem better but you never know, thus the split.

-K
by czeckers
Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inventions
Replies: 8
Views: 829

Inventions

Does anyone have an experience with bringing a product from concept to reality? I have an idea for a consumer product but don't really know where to start. There seem to be a number of companies that offer to "help" inventors but it's hard to figure out if they're legitimate or not. I'm no...
by czeckers
Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Investors are fleeing once-popular emerging markets."
Replies: 50
Views: 5688

Re: "Investors are fleeing once-popular emerging markets."

I rebalance monthly with new contributions. Most of my money has been going to Adam for a while now. It's good to know there is an investment with cheap valuations.
by czeckers
Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto purchase offer from local dealer
Replies: 14
Views: 1206

Re: Auto purchase offer from local dealer

Thank you everyone for your replies. I guess I'm surprised I haven't encountered this before.
by czeckers
Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "FEAR" Is Here,...
Replies: 53
Views: 7204

Re: "FEAR" Is Here,...

Honestly, the 'catching a falling knife' analogy never made sense to me. Yes, there can be regret when you buy something and the price drops even further afterwards. However, you still bought at a price that's lower than recent purchases (say for a monthly investor purchasing at the beginning of the...
by czeckers
Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto purchase offer from local dealer
Replies: 14
Views: 1206

Auto purchase offer from local dealer

In the last week, I received unsolicited offers for both of my vehicles from local auto dealers -- one offer for one car from one dealer, and one offer for our van from a different I think unrelated dealer. Both offers came in the mail in the form of a hand-written note offering an "aggressive ...
by czeckers
Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: OIL so low
Replies: 5
Views: 639

Re: OIL so low

You could consider investing in collateralized commodity futures (CCFs) -- basically mutual funds that buy commodities futures contracts. I believe the strategy is that they sell the contract before taking delivery and then roll the return into another contract. I don't personally invest in this cla...
by czeckers
Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Piling into emerging markets
Replies: 67
Views: 8379

Re: Piling into emerging markets

I rebalance with new contributions every month. I have been buying EM often as well as SCV. I feel good having some bargains out there while the U.S. Market and U.S. Bonds have valuations that are above historical averages.

EM is 20% of equity, 16% overall for me.
by czeckers
Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I want the market to go up or down?
Replies: 35
Views: 4009

Re: Should I want the market to go up or down?

Practically speaking, there is nothing you can do about the market. Like I said, it will do what it will do. The most important things that you do have control of are to be diversified and not to panic sell if there is a market drop. For diversification, at a minimum, you should have some US equity,...
by czeckers
Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I want the market to go up or down?
Replies: 35
Views: 4009

Re: Should I want the market to go up or down?

If you have $100,000 in the market and it halves and then doubles or it doubles and then halves, you still have $100,000. But that only applies if you invested a lump sum and make no further contributions. Let's say you invest $20,000/yr for five years. Let's say the market is $10/share when you sta...
by czeckers
Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With Stock Market heading south
Replies: 95
Views: 11716

Re: With Stock Market heading south

I'm 20+ years from retirement so am excited to have an opportunity to buy more shares at cheaper prices.
by czeckers
Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good argument for underweighting international stocks?
Replies: 77
Views: 5000

Re: Good argument for underweighting international stocks?

P/E ratios for international, and emerging markets in particular, are much more attractive right now than US equity. I certainly would not be decreasing my international exposure right now. Pick an international allocation and stick with it anywhere between 20-50% of equity is reasonable. The optima...
by czeckers
Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Late starters: what age did you start investing?
Replies: 87
Views: 9922

Re: Late starters: what age did you start investing?

I invested $100/mo when I was 21-22yo but had no clue what I was doing. Then started medical training so didn't begin again until age 33 when got first real job. Ended up losing 90% of the money I had invested in my twenties to the Internet bubble. In the big picture it wasn't much that I lost, but ...
by czeckers
Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap drugs! [Switching to generic]
Replies: 26
Views: 2333

Re: Cheap drugs! [Switching to generic]

On new vs old drugs. Most new drugs within a specific drug class make only modest improvements over the old generics. Maybe 1x/day dosing instead of 2x/day. Maybe lowers your cholesterol 30% instead of 25% or maybe has less of a certain side effect. New drug classes however, are often substantial im...
by czeckers
Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap drugs! [Switching to generic]
Replies: 26
Views: 2333

Re: Cheap drugs! [Switching to generic]

I'll put in my 2 cents as a physician. Usually the generics are functionally equivalent to the brand name drugs and a lot of the information you see saying that the brand name is better is just pharmaceutical marketing trying to keep you buying the brand name drugs. HOWEVER, equivalent does not mean...
by czeckers
Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: QSPIX - thoughts on interesting fund
Replies: 1078
Views: 117251

Re: QSPIX - thoughts on interesting fund

The problem with using backrest results is that they are heavily skewed by recent performance. Any asset class with recent good performance will look like a good diversifier. Over the years I've seen here heated discussions about CCFs, gold, precious metals mining funds, emerging market funds, small...
by czeckers
Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $13 Million Goal for Early Retirement (am I crazy?)
Replies: 128
Views: 14417

Re: $13 Million Goal for Early Retirement (am I crazy?)

There was a lot of market appreciation between 2008 and now. The OP and his wife have had 14 years in the market as well. I'm embarassed that someone would come to this forum, ask for advice, and have a large share of responses be accusatory of the OP for not being truthful. Folks, if you disagree w...
by czeckers
Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [How often do you check on your investments?]
Replies: 43
Views: 2364

Re: [How often do you check on your investments?]

Monthly, just before new contributions go in. I rebalance with new money. However I only check performance annually.
by czeckers
Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Houston, we have a problem... [Small cap historical performance]
Replies: 57
Views: 5015

Re: Houston, we have a problem... [Small cap historical performance]

Any time you look back, even over long time periods, your results will be heavily skewed by recent performance. Over the last few years, the large cap indexes have done much better than small caps. This will make the small cap strategy look worse when looking back.

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