Search found 763 matches

by czeckers
Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Lawn vs. The Homeowner (guess who's winning)
Replies: 59
Views: 5138

Re: The Lawn vs. The Homeowner (guess who's winning)

There was a guy on PBS in Pittsburgh who had a gardening show that would come up with recipes like that. It was amusing to watch. I wish I could remember his name.
by czeckers
Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond Achilles Heel?
Replies: 47
Views: 5058

Re: Total Bond Achilles Heel?

I would consider reading the financial media the Achilles' heel of the prudent investor. The future is unknowable since markets are moved by unexpected news. The perfect asset allocation will only be known in retrospect. With indexing, there is always something that does better, but over long period...
by czeckers
Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom
Replies: 176
Views: 21172

Re: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom

I have EM as part of my asset allocation. I make periodic monthly contributions. For several years now, this asset has lagged all my other assets and I've been having to direct new money to it to keep it in my desired percentage of the portfolio. The bottom may have been a while back, but it is stil...
by czeckers
Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have any suggestions for tax free or tax managed income investment vehicle?
Replies: 10
Views: 1072

Re: Do you have any suggestions for tax free or tax managed income investment vehicle?

For tax-efficiency, it is hard to beat a total stock market index fund. Capital gains are typically taxed more favorably than dividend distributions so I'm not sure why the emphasis on income. Most of the things you have listed such as MLPs, REITs, etc. are quite tax inefficient because of the high ...
by czeckers
Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28 year old, saving too much for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 3467

Re: 28 year old, saving too much for retirement?

Based on your post, you seem content with your current lifestyle. There was no mention of feeling like you are depriving yourself right now. If you are content, then continue on your current trajectory until something changes it. You certainly will never regret having more options in the future. The...
by czeckers
Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transitioning to 3 fund portfolio - Sell energy now?
Replies: 15
Views: 938

Re: Transitioning to 3 fund portfolio - Sell energy now?

The beauty of a diversified portfolio with new contributions is that I am always buying assets that have become cheaper, and am sometimes selling assets that have become more expensive. By making the process automatic (new contributions buy the asset that is the farthest from the intended allocation...
by czeckers
Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: starter home vs. final home
Replies: 37
Views: 3535

Re: starter home vs. final home

Your question got me to thinking so I decided to crunch some numbers based on my personal experience. Our first home was 800 sq ft purchased for $43,000. It was a stretch financially to make the down payment. We were able to make major changes like a full bath and kitchen remodel for very little mon...
by czeckers
Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: starter home vs. final home
Replies: 37
Views: 3535

Re: starter home vs. final home

I think the question is usually irrelevant. Depending on which study you read, the data show that the average homeowner stays in a house 7 - 16 years before moving. The truth is that it is very difficult to predict what your housing needs will be in the distant future. When young and with few childr...
by czeckers
Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Lawn vs. The Homeowner (guess who's winning)
Replies: 59
Views: 5138

Re: The Lawn vs. The Homeowner (guess who's winning)

It's interesting how the perception of lawn quality changes depending on where you live. In a suburban environment with relatively small lots, people can become quite obsessive removing every single weed by hand ultimately achieving a perfect lawn of just grass, and devoid of any other life. As you ...
by czeckers
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1/3 SCV / Emerging Market / REIT
Replies: 39
Views: 2638

Re: 1/3 SCV / Emerging Market / REIT

I toyed with the same idea. You have to be careful looking backwards as investments that have done the best in recent times will give you the best backtest results, but may not be so hot going forward. I set my portfolio up 9-10 years ago when small and value data were very strong. Since then, I hav...
by czeckers
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYS EZ Pass Violation - should I contest? or pay?
Replies: 8
Views: 694

Re: NYS EZ Pass Violation - should I contest? or pay?

You don't have to prove a negative. The burden of proof is on them to prove that there was a violation. Fill out the form and see where it goes.

-K
by czeckers
Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 29; stay in smaller house or buy a bigger house?
Replies: 44
Views: 3976

Re: Age 29; stay in smaller house or buy a bigger house?

We lived in our first house (2br, 1 bath, 800sq ft) until our 4th child was born. Small kids don't need much space. It was a great financial move as it allowed us to save a good amount. A bigger house isn't just a bigger mortgage. It's also more utilities, more maintenance, taxes, repairs, etc. You'...
by czeckers
Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle - "Since 1990, US stocks grew 10%, Intl grew 6%"
Replies: 56
Views: 6132

Re: Bogle - "Since 1990, US stocks grew 10%, Intl grew 6%"

The problem with any backward looking analysis is that markets that have done well recently will also appear to have good long-term performance figures. It's not talked about much, but long-term return data also have a type of recency bias. The fact is, that US large growth has done quite will over ...
by czeckers
Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Kitces says IRS auditors disapprove of Backdoor Roth IRA's
Replies: 154
Views: 19362

Re: Michael Kitces says IRS auditors disapprove of Backdoor Roth IRA's

Our backdoor Roth IRA contribution got flagged last year. It got flagged because they saw the withdrawal from the traditional IRA and stated we owed income tax on it. I told them that it was a conversion of a non-deductible TIRA contribution to a Roth IRA and pointed out that this was documented on ...
by czeckers
Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A look at Emerging Markets, recency bias, and diversification
Replies: 32
Views: 3538

Re: A look at Emerging Markets, recency bias, and diversification

Good article. Is there a source for PE-10 for emerging and developed international markets that is publicly available?
by czeckers
Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meaning of term "Board Certified Physician"?
Replies: 38
Views: 3874

Re: Meaning of term "Board Certified Physician"?

In many states you can practice primary care medicine after completing only one or two years of residency. Minimum years to complete a residency is 3 years (higher for some specialties). Thus, someone who is board certified has completed a residency because that is a requirement to sit for the board...
by czeckers
Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to shop for mortgage refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 842

Re: Best way to shop for mortgage refinance?

Does anyone have experience with ThirdFederal? They are showing 2.39 APR for my state. Too good to be true?
by czeckers
Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to shop for mortgage refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 842

Re: Best way to shop for mortgage refinance?

Dropping 0.5% would save me a bit over $12000 over ten years. Not going to make or break the budget, but not chump change either.
by czeckers
Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to shop for mortgage refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 842

Re: Best way to shop for mortgage refinance?

Current rate is 3.00 APR. I'm looking for 2.5.
by czeckers
Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to shop for mortgage refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 842

Best way to shop for mortgage refinance?

I've notice the recent drop in mortgage interest rates. I have about 12 years left on my 15-year mortgage. I'd like to refinance to a 10-year at a better rate if the math works out. Good credit score. We have approximately 50% equity in the home. There is an overwhelming number of banks, web-sites, ...
by czeckers
Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Aren't Long Term Treasuries Recommended Instead of Total Bond Market?
Replies: 55
Views: 5980

Re: Why Aren't Long Term Treasuries Recommended Instead of Total Bond Market?

Another option to consider if you are looking at long-term bonds is the barbell approach. Have a mix of long-term and short-term bonds whose averaged duration equals the market average bond duration. This way you have long-term bonds for deflationary environments, and short-term bonds for inflationa...
by czeckers
Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: World stocks officially reach bear market territory
Replies: 27
Views: 3944

Re: World stocks officially reach bear market territory

It's a good time to check whether any of your funds have hit their rebalancing bands -- may be a good opportunity to "buy low". :sharebeer

-K
by czeckers
Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: William Bernstein's "If You Can" Portfolio
Replies: 42
Views: 6410

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: 46
Views: 4121

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: 3201

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: 72
Views: 4910

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: 3741

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: 2959

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: 2959

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: 3804

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: 2895
Views: 603305

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: 2959

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: 4466

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: 3581

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: 15587

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: 735

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: 735

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: 10362

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: 11000

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: 2569

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: 6007

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: 2760

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: 540

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: 2478

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: 8989

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: 1643

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: 1643

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: 1643

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: 6645

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...

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