Search found 234 matches

by jasc15
Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 51
Views: 4080

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

I've had an American Express blue card for about 8 years now. It gives $100 of bonus toward travel for every $7500 spent (so 1.33% on all purchases. Still seems rather competitive these days). That credit is worth less for other things like gift cards, etc. I've used it a few times to pay for an air...
by jasc15
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?
Replies: 54
Views: 3257

Re: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?

Has it always been this way for two working parents? Somehow my parents pieced together other ways for my sister and I to be taken care of before school age, and after school, etc. (And it wasn't grandma). There is no way they could have afforded a second mortgage payment each month. Some of us wit...
by jasc15
Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?
Replies: 54
Views: 3257

Re: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?

Has it always been this way for two working parents? Somehow my parents pieced together other ways for my sister and I to be taken care of before school age, and after school, etc. (And it wasn't grandma). There is no way they could have afforded a second mortgage payment each month. Some of us with...
by jasc15
Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?
Replies: 87
Views: 7143

Re: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?

How did you folks pay for all this? Cash? HELOC?
by jasc15
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Company stock purchase plan
Replies: 14
Views: 930

Re: Company stock purchase plan

I am participating the max (10% of gross salary) to my company ESPP. We get a 15% discount on the price at the time of purchase, which is on June 30 and December 31. The stock is down since December 31, but less than 15%. I can sell on January 31 (or the 29th, I suppose).
by jasc15
Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who's buyin' today?
Replies: 127
Views: 10679

Re: Who's buyin' today?

I've been in the process of converting an inheritance from high cost funds into a simple 3 or 4-fund portfolio, so I will likely be buying in the next few days.
by jasc15
Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your company 401k contribution
Replies: 105
Views: 4653

Re: What's your company 401k contribution

100% up to 3% of salary, 50% from 3% to 6%, 0% over 6% for a max of 4.5% of salary. No pension. Major aerospace corporation.

Surprising number of low cost funds, including 4 Vanguard funds.
by jasc15
Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RC Monster Truck recommendations
Replies: 8
Views: 611

Re: RC Monster Truck recommendations

I last messed with rc cars in the late 90's, so I'm not up on what's new. I know Losi is still around and they made top notch products then. Take a look at this:

http://www.losi.com/Products/Default.as ... D=LOS04004

Other brands to look for are traxxas, hpi, tamiya.
by jasc15
Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overtime and taxes clarification
Replies: 13
Views: 1001

Re: Overtime and taxes clarification

This is the same as claims that bonuses are taxed at a higher rate that I hear around the office whenever they are given. The feeling of the higher withholding is not easily remedied by the knowledge that it will all be worked out at tax time.
by jasc15
Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Looking for new family room] Furniture
Replies: 23
Views: 1537

Re: Furniture

La-z-boy? I have a la-z-boy sectional sofa which I bought about 5 years ago. I paid what now seems an absurd $2200. It still looks good after 5 years of daily use by my wife and I, but the build quality is rather poor. The recliners are a bit wobbly, but they have been that way since new. I went wi...
by jasc15
Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with house down payment fund?
Replies: 6
Views: 317

Re: What to do with house down payment fund?

You won't get any recommendations here other than using an FDIC insured account, especially for such a short period of time. I have my home down payment in an FDIC savings account earning 0.4% per year or something. It's been in there for more than 5 yeas as I have continued to add to it. I just cou...
by jasc15
Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 179
Views: 10884

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

My father in law has a 1998 mercury mountaineer with 186,000 miles. He lives in rural Pennsylvania with a steep bumpy gravel driveway. He is one of those self taught diy folks so I'm not sure of the quality of his repairs, but whatever he does the car is still going.
by jasc15
Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing Quicken with Excel
Replies: 5
Views: 856

Re: Replacing Quicken with Excel

I never used quicken, but I use excel for bullets 3 and 4 of the OP's list using this macro I found which eliminates the manual copying of investment prices I used to do each month. Now I just enter the date for each row, and update shares owned if they change.
by jasc15
Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 179
Views: 10884

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

Bought a 2007 Volvo V50 in March 2014 with ~65,000 miles for $11,400 with tax, etc. Just broke 90,000 miles this week. We've had to do some maintenance, but it was all end of life repairs: tires, brakes & rotors, wheel bearings, spark plugs. That combined with air filters and oil changes cost ~$...
by jasc15
Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just on The Great Courses
Replies: 14
Views: 1043

Re: Just on The Great Courses

I received The Joy of Mathematics several years ago as a christmas gift. The instructor's enthusiasm for the subject is great, and it was a great refresher for some subjects that I was not 100% clear on. I even watched it with a musician friend of mine who has no math education beyond high school an...
by jasc15
Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 3552

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

It seems the last several responses simply say that gold is harder to reproduce than paper money, thus limiting rates of inflation in a gold standard. This is my original point, that gold is convenient to represent value since it it relatively hard to reproduce, not that it is valuable on its own. I...
by jasc15
Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 3552

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

This, combined with compelling arguments from folks like Warren Buffett that gold has no intrinsic value, made me wonder why the dollar ever was backed by gold, and what use it was. Do you have a link where Buffet argues that gold has no intrinsic value? Well, I was about to link to the 2011 Berksh...
by jasc15
Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 3552

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

As tludwig23 says, are these inflationary events because paper money was used rather than gold-backed, or were these a result of other catastrophes? Correlation does not mean causation.
by jasc15
Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 3552

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

Does that help answer your question? PJW Wow, lots of great information. Benjamin Roth, in his diary, continuously refers to the Panic of 1893 as a roadmap for the depression he is experiencing. I suppose I never picked up on the fact that the "gold standard" did nothing to ease or mitiga...
by jasc15
Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 3552

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

I see how gold is resistant to some of the weaknesses (it's harder to mint more gold coins than to print paper money) of paper currency, but are there other reasons gold was/is seen as a superior currency?
by jasc15
Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 3552

Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

Or was there something else valuable about gold? I was thinking about this while reading The Great Depression: A Diary , when the author constantly worried about the US going off the gold standard, and reducing the dollar's gold content. This, combined with compelling arguments from folks like Warre...
by jasc15
Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?
Replies: 10
Views: 1754

Re: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?

Thanks again for the info. Here is an update: The asset transfer has been completed successfully, and I moved all of it to a taxable account at Fidelity with the same allocation as listed above. I won't make any moves before Jan 1, at which time I will sell as many of the mutual funds as I can whose...
by jasc15
Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Espresso Machine Recs
Replies: 67
Views: 4756

Re: Espresso Machine Recs

I have a cheap DeLonghi espresso machine and a cheap burr grinder which was given to me by a friend who upgraded. I think it does a great job for my level of sophistication, and makes a better latte than my local italian pastry shop/cafe. I can't disregard the "free factor" however, since ...
by jasc15
Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Level versus Escalating Term Life Insurance Premium
Replies: 4
Views: 351

Re: Level versus Escalating Term Life Insurance Premium

Just found this thread searching for level vs increasing premium. Independent, thanks for the assessment that total cost for annually increasing premium typically outpaces level premium over various time frames. Can you point to more information on this? I am ready to start calling agents, and want ...
by jasc15
Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS App, Android (no data plan)
Replies: 34
Views: 1322

Re: GPS App, Android (no data plan)

I've used MapFactor before: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor.navigator&hl=en You need enough storage in order to download the maps. It's not as fast or precise as it would be with data, because your position reading is normally augmented by wifi and data in addition to...
by jasc15
Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of your total income are you worth?
Replies: 51
Views: 6483

Re: How much of your total income are you worth?

Are you using half of your net worth in the numerator? I did a back-of-the-envelope estimate and we are in the (low) 40s% as well. And I know exactly why I did not get to the 60% range - did not manage well during the tech crash. I'm using my net worth, and my salary. I didn't include wife's net wo...
by jasc15
Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of your total income are you worth?
Replies: 51
Views: 6483

Re: How much of your total income are you worth?

Makes you think about what you are working for when thought of in that way. Total income - savings = what do I have to show for this spent money? A rough guesstimate, averaging my current salary and my starting salary multiplied by 9.5 years of working gives me 48%. This doesn't include my wife's sa...
by jasc15
Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy bonds from a private club of which I am a member?
Replies: 2
Views: 336

Buy bonds from a private club of which I am a member?

I belong to a flying club which owns several planes. A member recently suggested that the club consider offering bonds to members in lieu of the bank held loans for some or all of the club's debt. It sounds like a good deal, since you can't get 4 or 5% anywhere these days (5% is approximately the cu...
by jasc15
Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental car insurance - when to buy or not buy what?
Replies: 28
Views: 1797

Re: Rental car insurance - when to buy or not buy what?

I am told by my auto insurer that I am covered in a rental car as if it were my own car. Since this isn't some special option I have added, I would imaging this is true for most. Given the response in this thread so far, it seems there may be a large caveat that I am missing. However, I did take the...
by jasc15
Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [All weather car mats]
Replies: 59
Views: 3352

Re: All weather car mats

This thread made me look up rubber mats for my car (2007 Volvo V50). A set of 4 OEM all weather mats for my car is only $60. I might do it. Weathertech is a bit too :moneybag for me.
by jasc15
Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle commuting
Replies: 91
Views: 6289

Re: Bicycle commuting

In addition to the ice, the past few northeast winters have left large amounts of snow on the shoulders of the road putting me too close to cars that are also prone to sliding. I take residential roads when this happens, but I still need to ride on major roads at some dangerous locations.
by jasc15
Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle commuting
Replies: 91
Views: 6289

Re: Bicycle commuting

I've commuted by bike for a bit longer than 3 years, but its only 1.4 miles each way. I miss a few days each year due to snow (northern New Jersey), and I'm close enough to walk then. I don't know if I would do it even as short as 5 miles, but the pain of buying a second car might still be greater. ...
by jasc15
Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for a house; where should I put my money?
Replies: 42
Views: 2835

Re: Saving for a house; where should I put my money?

It seems my home purchase is perpetually 3-5 years in the future. That has been true for the last 6 years, when I have been dumping cash into a specific down payment savings account. It may turn out, by the time I actually buy, that it would not have been such a bad idea to have some invested in equ...
by jasc15
Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?
Replies: 10
Views: 1754

Re: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?

You said your mother is retiring within 10 years. That does not mean <10 year time frame. Depending on her age at retirement, she could easily need the money for another 30 years or more. Agree that 60/40 or 50/50 are fine AA for someone who will retire in ten years. Will she need to use some of th...
by jasc15
Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?
Replies: 10
Views: 1754

Received inheritance, but am keeping it for mother's benefit. How should I invest?

Edit: I realize i said maternal grandmother by mistake. It was my paternal grandmother. My sister and I were beneficiaries of my paternal grandmother via my father who died last year. As he was the initial beneficiary, the money was intended to be for my both parent's benefit. My sister and I are ho...
by jasc15
Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Most Important Factor in a College Student’s Success
Replies: 27
Views: 3067

Re: The Most Important Factor in a College Student’s Success

When I was finishing college, I often shared a shift at a part-time job with a guy who was an on-again off-again student. He would ask me how I stuck with it so consistently, and I never really had a good answer. I just told him that I let time do it's thing, and I just kept enrolling each semester ...
by jasc15
Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: can you recommend a good waterproof men's winter boot
Replies: 37
Views: 2244

Re: can you recommend a good waterproof men's winter boot

I've been looking for a do-everything boot for a while now. I need safety toe shoes for work, I want leather, and waterproof for snow/slush, but not necessarily insulated. I've had my eye on these Chippewa boots for a while now. They are also sold at LL Bean under the Katahdin name for a higher pric...
by jasc15
Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 753
Views: 110894

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

I'm fairly certain I have accounted for all my contributions in the first chart, but it seems like I may be underestimating my loss YTD given my AA. Have you included your employer's contributions (if any)? Forgetting to include them inflates the rate of return. I knew I must be missing something. ...
by jasc15
Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 753
Views: 110894

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

-0.15% Thanks to longinvest for this great spreadsheet: http://i.imgur.com/aqdyx1E.png Edit: Here is my AA: http://i.imgur.com/1pQ20aC.png I'm fairly certain I have accounted for all my contributions in the first chart, but it seems like I may be underestimating my loss YTD given my AA.
by jasc15
Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get best deal on a rental car ?
Replies: 29
Views: 2581

Re: How to get best deal on a rental car ?

This is anecdotal, but I was able to find a 6-day rental at Denver Airport on vroomvroomvroom.com for $144 at Alamo. For the several weeks before I booked, the price for the same reservation was around $270.
by jasc15
Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What to do in this market environment
Replies: 3
Views: 1519

Re: What to do in this market environment

So for folks who re-balance annually, would it make sense instead to re-balance "in this environment" due to the sudden change to their asset allocation?
by jasc15
Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Must buy leftover oil at home closing in NY?
Replies: 7
Views: 892

Re: Must buy leftover oil at home closing in NY?

I've heard of this before. I find it strange that such a relatively small value item (relative to the home price) is itemized and considered separately. Do you pay for the toilet paper left in the bathroom(s) too?
by jasc15
Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expense Ratio is Only For Gains?
Replies: 17
Views: 2241

Re: Expense Ratio is Only For Gains?

It's my understanding that the expense ratio is deducted from the funds net assets regardless of gains or losses.
by jasc15
Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Architectural Shingles VS Metal Roof
Replies: 30
Views: 2389

Re: Architectural Shingles VS Metal Roof

What is the relevant climate and exposure? Is $9k a meaningful or trivial percentage of the value of the home? 9k is 9k, whether it is 3% of the home value or 25% is irrelevant. You are obviously falling for the "percentage fallacy". http://lesswrong.com/lw/1i/its_the_same_five_dollars/ T...
by jasc15
Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comparing cars by per-mile cost. Fixed v. variable costs?
Replies: 5
Views: 552

Comparing cars by per-mile cost. Fixed v. variable costs?

I've broken down my current car's cost-per-mile as such: $0.135/mi - (Purchase price) / (assume 7 years) / (avg. miles driven per year) $0.106/mi - Fuel $0.082/mi - Insurance $0.047/mi - Maintenance (total spent to date) / (miles driven to date) $0.371/mi - Total cost per mile Now, when comparing th...
by jasc15
Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Six Sigma
Replies: 17
Views: 2135

Re: Six Sigma

I am a six sigma green belt. It is only useful if the company culture follows six sigma, or an equivalent operations strategy. The company who sent me to training spent a lot of money on everyone, only to continue doing business a it had before, so it was essentially useless. It has potential for su...
by jasc15
Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Save for a DownPayment on a Home
Replies: 6
Views: 1074

Re: How to Save for a DownPayment on a Home

You say you are comfortable with that risk, but are you really? What if you loose half of your money, and it takes >10 years to recover it? Even for periods longer than 10 years, 11% is quite optimistic.
by jasc15
Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Housemate Owes Money - What to do?
Replies: 97
Views: 6495

Re: Former Housemate Owes Money - What to do?

Remonds me of a scene from the movie A Bronx Tale . "C": Louie Dumps owes me $20. It's been two weeks now and he keeps dodging me. Sonny: Yeah? "C": Should I crack him one, or what? Sonny: What's the matter? What have I said? Sometimes hurting somebody ain't the answer. Is he a g...
by jasc15
Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best used car for under 15k?
Replies: 40
Views: 3760

Re: Best used car for under 15k?

I too am looking for a used car in the same price range. I owned a 2008 Nissan Altima which I liked very much, and am seriously considering a 2013 or newer version, since they get 27/38 mpg. Its larger and more comfortable than a civic with nearly identical mpg (28/39).
by jasc15
Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I do my own taxes. Should I use a CPA anyway to develop a relationship?
Replies: 11
Views: 1218

Re: I do my own taxes. Should I use a CPA anyway to develop a relationship?

Isn't having a "relationship" with a CPA similar to having a "relationship" with a paid financial advisor or insurance/annuity salesperson? If you want to buy the service, buy it, but keep it as a customer-vendor relationship unless you have another need to do otherwise. :) This...

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