Search found 228 matches

by msk
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Sweet Spot for Yearly Car Costs
Replies: 23
Views: 1189

Re: The Sweet Spot for Yearly Car Costs

I think 3 year leases are not a sweet spot for modern cars. Too short a lease period. Toyotas remain extremely reliable even after 6 years. Own experience: My employer went out for tender to lease about six hundred vehicles for a period of 3 years. High annual mileage on rough roads, mostly without ...
by msk
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.
Replies: 45
Views: 3907

Re: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.

In principle I am not giving to my alma mater, but to the students who receive the bursaries. I had to be self supporting from the age of 19 and there is a limit to how much a kid can earn from part time work and summer jobs. I will be eternally grateful to the many unknown donors who provided me su...
by msk
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.
Replies: 45
Views: 3907

Re: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.

Personally I prefer "giving" while I am alive and the investments are still "mine". Once I die I own nothing and it costs me nothing to give it away. Not quite the same as when you are alive and may still hanker for a yacht, or a beach house, or a Rolls Royce, or whatever turns o...
by msk
Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.
Replies: 45
Views: 3907

Re: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.

I'd like to point out that if I drop dead today (I am 72 with recent, complex cardiac surgery), all the kids will get their inheritances instantly and anyone tempted to purchase a Lamborgini will go right out and do so. I do not see waiting for 5 to 10 years doing nothing waiting for the younger kid...
by msk
Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much international stock? A suggestion.
Replies: 128
Views: 20665

Re: How much international stock? A suggestion.

I think we have to recall why indexing is so successful. It reacts to changing realities and market perceptions/wisdom/emotions every 3 months, or whatever is the relevant re-balancing frequency for that index. How many BHs would seriously put a significant amount of $ into the new-tech companies th...
by msk
Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 215
Views: 15830

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Just wondering with the people disappointed with granite counters. Sure it's granite and not marble? Marble is calcium carbonate and is very sensitive to anything acidic. Orange juice will definitely mark it permanently if left for more than a few minutes. Marble also tends to be more porous than gr...
by msk
Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?
Replies: 94
Views: 11851

Re: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?

Perhaps this paper exercise may help individuals peg how well they are doing. I assumed that the next 50 years will behave, on average, similarly to the last 50 and you invest 100% in the SP500. 50 year history from 1966 to 2016: SP500 compounded at 6.63% p.a., paid a dividend of 3.1% and inflation ...
by msk
Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?
Replies: 94
Views: 11851

Re: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?

There are of course many ways to look at this, but if we want to compare earned-income-through-personal-labor-and-toil to accumulated wealth then somebody who had a BH mentality when still young should show a huge expansion. My accumulated wealth is roughly 750% of my total lifetime earned income. S...
by msk
Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is ideal master bedroom size?
Replies: 30
Views: 2216

Re: What is ideal master bedroom size?

I have designed most of the houses we lived in over the years, a hobby that turned out very profitable because amazingly few people are courageous enough to build, rather than buy. I.e. you get to make a significant profit each time you move, the developer profit margin. Something that comes up when...
by msk
Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 215
Views: 15830

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

DW and myself designed our current home ourselves 5 years ago, down to the last sq in., when we still had two teenagers living with us (now away at college). So not much should be gratuitous, should it? Well, the house is 14,000 sq ft. We still love the absurdity of it, and yes, at least 90% of it i...
by msk
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Out of the norm all-equity portfolio to compliment pensions
Replies: 13
Views: 480

Re: Out of the norm all-equity portfolio to compliment pensions

Just purchase VT (Vanguard Total World) and sleep till retirement. OK, and just keep adding to it. Chances are that you will be very pleased.
by msk
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car
Replies: 51
Views: 5290

Re: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car

What i would like to know is what percentage of your net worth should one spend on a car as a Bogleghead? Does such a formula exist? Some BHs are worth 9 figures, some a mere 6... When I was much younger the rule-of-thumb said never to spend more than 6 months income on a car. While that sounds sor...
by msk
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is ideal master bedroom size?
Replies: 30
Views: 2216

Re: What is ideal master bedroom size?

Much easier to say what is a very comfortable minimum; just look up layouts for 5-star hotels on Booking.com, etc. Walk-in closets can never be big enough for my DW. She has two + one for me. Bathrooms: we have two. She also has a dressing room. Sitting area: we have sofas for seven... Having design...
by msk
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas
Replies: 27
Views: 2780

Re: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas

If you are under 35 I'd encourage you to just go for it. It's going to be great fun and a nice hobby for months. I have built several homes over the years. My strategy for a young person would be: Sort out all your financing before you spend a dime. BEFORE! Covenants and building restrictions are g...
by msk
Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.
Replies: 45
Views: 3907

Re: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.

Taylor: way to go, man! Exactly my sentiments. I am 72 with recent major cardiac surgery. Dad died at 72, Mom approaching a vigorous 90. Her main request is that I live long enough to bury her. Am trying my best... I'll order that Condon book immediately. I have run into paralysis by analysis as reg...
by msk
Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.
Replies: 45
Views: 3907

Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.

Following lifelong frugality I am now in the happy position of having retired early (17 years ago, current age 72) and can afford to pass on substantial assets to my heirs while I am still alive. Four kids aged 19 to 40. Choices I see: 1. Gift each a million $ in an ETF (e.g. SPY) and hope each is a...
by msk
Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camcorder recommendations
Replies: 39
Views: 1531

Re: Camcorder recommendations

I have dabbled with home movies since just about the stone age (1950s). These days I would first try a smart phone and THEN progress to a video cam if really necessary. From the stated requirements most likely not. Most digital cameras (e.g. DSLRs, etc.) can also do movies, but frankly, just try out...
by msk
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical treatment in US for non US citizen
Replies: 50
Views: 3211

Re: Medical treatment in US for non US citizen

I think the first step is to verify that the treatment is definitely not available outside the USA. I.e. if the treatment is out of the initial experimental phase. These days roll outs of new treatments can happen very fast, especially in countries with less intense reviews of clinical trials than ...
by msk
Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical treatment in US for non US citizen
Replies: 50
Views: 3211

Re: Medical treatment in US for non US citizen

I think the first step is to verify that the treatment is definitely not available outside the USA. I.e. if the treatment is out of the initial experimental phase. These days roll outs of new treatments can happen very fast, especially in countries with less intense reviews of clinical trials than t...
by msk
Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase and Sale of home: pearls of advice
Replies: 29
Views: 2304

Re: Purchase and Sale of home: pearls of advice

Selling: Leave your listing live until the sale is really finalized (inspection, offer conditions, etc. all fulfilled). Nobody sends you an email to warn you of a coming local market collapse. I got caught in one in the 1980s. The person making the offer insisted I take the house off the market. I a...
by msk
Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?
Replies: 43
Views: 4741

Re: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?

Interesting that you are willing to borrow at 3.5% mortgage yet are unwilling to lend anyone at 1% ?! Presumably you are comfortable having your cash at a bank, or two banks. Why not just saunter over to their local branches and place the cash in CDs?
by msk
Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to estimate future rate of return
Replies: 6
Views: 594

Re: How to estimate future rate of return

Indeed, pension is COLA? Yes? Then why bother with bonds at all? I am in such a situation. My pension is both COLA and adequate for all our needs. My investments are purely for discretionary, luxury purchases. 100% in stocks. This may help you decide what is the highest withdrawal rate in case you o...
by msk
Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 101
Views: 9458

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

Surely there are a number of countries where one has had wonderful vacation experiences and also have decent low-cost health cover for its residents? E.g. almost anywhere in the European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc. Might be quite attractive to establish residency in such a place betw...
by msk
Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Live off portfolio NOW (non US)
Replies: 42
Views: 4671

Re: Live off portfolio NOW (non US)

You are not a US citizen. Do not buy US-based (situs) ETFs, Vanguard or otherwise. Buy Ireland-based or London-based (UCITS) and your dividend withholding tax drops to 15% (from 30%). I am under similar circumstances and I have used two routes. For many reasons I have determined that my best choice ...
by msk
Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much international stock? A suggestion.
Replies: 128
Views: 20665

Re: How much international stock? A suggestion.

Sorry replying to wrong thread.
by msk
Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you avoid international investing like Jack Bogle?
Replies: 151
Views: 7356

Re: Do you avoid international investing like Jack Bogle?

I am currently residing in a tiny, obscure country with a nascent stock market, not even part of "Emerging Markets". I actually have enough time to go through most of the quarterly reports of interest. I own 14 of these companies, my average P/E (weighted by how much I own) is 9.7, Dividen...
by msk
Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Irish etf currency dividends and stock liquidity. N.R.A.
Replies: 2
Views: 200

Re: Irish etf currency dividends and stock liquidity. N.R.A.

Some brokerages have very efficient, low commission exchange rates and it may not matter much. My rule-of-thumb is to buy in the currency I get most of income in, and spend most of my gains in. For me it is USD. For Brits it would be GBP, for most Europeans it would be in Euros. Long term performanc...
by msk
Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!
Replies: 42
Views: 4388

Re: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!

In Sydney, Australia, the median household income is $84,600 and the median house price is $1,032,000. Australians still buy houses and live in them. You'll probably be fine unless you get laid off for a long period of time. An amazing statistic! How? At zero percent interest the principal alone wo...
by msk
Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just got my annual review today
Replies: 23
Views: 4449

Re: Just got my annual review today

Sorry, but having managed thousands of people at a multi-national, I think I can best help by being blunt: Very large corporations all have management that are basically clones of each other. They try very hard not to recruit clones (diversity and all that) but they still rate, subconsciously, their...
by msk
Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!
Replies: 42
Views: 4388

Re: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!

Decades ago the rule of thumb for youngsters (i.e. those not paying cash) in a number of countries I resided in was: max house price should be < 3x annual earnings of principal breadwinner, and if you combine two incomes then < 2.5x combined income. IMHO you are buying too much. Projecting incomes i...
by msk
Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: House as Temporary Pseudo-Proxy for Bonds
Replies: 37
Views: 1595

Re: House as Temporary Pseudo-Proxy for Bonds

Really depends on the health of your local real estate market. High cost area without much land available for new houses? Can do better, even much better than stocks. Low cost, low growth or even negative growth area? Can be disastrous. Losses in real terms. A good indicator could be how quickly hou...
by msk
Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caribbean vacation with 3 kids
Replies: 27
Views: 1989

Re: Caribbean vacation with 3 kids

I sent a bunch of my kids and grand-kids (ages 40 down to 6) to Barbados Beachview last summer. They have self-catering apartments, but also do all-in, half board, w or without breakfast, varying from one to 3 bedrooms, and packages that include a rental car, excursions, etc. All report having had a...
by msk
Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mom wants smart phone, are there classes on how to use?
Replies: 40
Views: 2320

Re: mom wants smart phone, are there classes on how to use?

My Mom already has an iPhone and hates using it. She is 88. Much prefers her old, simple Nokia that unfortunately is failing. Looking forward to the recently announced re-issue of the simple Nokia :D
by msk
Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Run Ups - Now vs. Then
Replies: 88
Views: 5892

Re: Market Run Ups - Now vs. Then

I have never invested in stocks as a repository of savings, simply to conserve, but as a place where I wish to grow wealth. Hence all my savings have been either in mortgaged rental Real Estate or in stocks. No cash, no bonds. Been through all the crashes since the early 1980s. Got out of rental RE ...
by msk
Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Australian High Net Worth Investing
Replies: 12
Views: 1063

Re: Australian High Net Worth Investing

Is there anyone who does not think, "The market is currently too high"? Frankly at any time!? What I found worked for me, but I have recently decided to jump right in with both feet into totally passive. First learn about how Options work. Next, let us say you wish to invest a million US$ ...
by msk
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas
Replies: 27
Views: 2780

Re: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas

If you are under 35 I'd encourage you to just go for it. It's going to be great fun and a nice hobby for months. I have built several homes over the years. My strategy for a young person would be: Sort out all your financing before you spend a dime. BEFORE! Covenants and building restrictions are go...
by msk
Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner investor: start investing now or wait for a correction? [4-5 year timeframe]
Replies: 18
Views: 2648

Re: Beginner investor: start investing now or wait for a correction? [4-5 year timeframe]

Unless you have been super lucky (inheritance?) at age 26 your net worth is very low compared to what your NW will hopefully be at age 65. If I were you I would just put the whole lot into a whole world stock ETF like VT. Sort out your tax position and try to get the whole amount into a tax advantag...
by msk
Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett v. Bogleheads
Replies: 40
Views: 4472

Re: Warren Buffett v. Bogleheads

I am lucky enough to know a handful of my peers (school buddies, etc., some close some not so close) who have grown seriously rich, 9 and 10 figures rich, from our common pauper beginnings. None of them use index funds. All invest in a similar fashion to Buffett. Each owns a handful of companies eit...
by msk
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?
Replies: 93
Views: 5534

Re: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?

It's very simple to swap out the switches yourself. Simple instructions for those who are careful and are using a switch very similar/identical to the one you are removing: Switch off the mains feed at the breaker for that circuit. Loosen the switch and use your phone to take a clear photo of the wi...
by msk
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a house keeper ("Mommy's" helper)?
Replies: 23
Views: 2406

Re: Anyone have a house keeper ("Mommy's" helper)?

It all depends on how much you earn and are willing to spend on the convenience of having help. I give it a higher priority than, say, a fancy car. I found that it's possible to get a "mature" lady come around and do as much or as little as we desire at a bit more than the official minimum...
by msk
Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett v. Bogleheads
Replies: 40
Views: 4472

Re: Warren Buffet v. Bogleheads

Just assign a major portion of your portfolio to BRK.B. Everyone is fearful that Buffett will drop dead at any moment! Yes, sort of market timing. I had between 40 and 50% of my portfolio in BRK (+ a similar amount in SPY) for decades and I have no regret. Only recently I dropped both because of thi...
by msk
Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US debt approaching $20 Trillion
Replies: 18
Views: 1206

Re: US debt approaching $20 Trillion

I have always been amazed at how much faith foreigners have in the US $, given the debt level :confused Personally I feel that the biggest danger is to the $ rather than directly to the stock market. What if the Chinese dump US Treasuries... That will lead to US interest rates having to be raised, i...
by msk
Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a 4% plus CPI withdrawal rate actually aggressive?
Replies: 232
Views: 10519

Re: Is a 4% plus CPI withdrawal rate actually aggressive?

I do believe that a 4%+inflation TARGET withdrawal rate is reasonably conservative. I also believe that commonsense will always dictate that you adjust the $ withdrawal rate to recent history, not to something you initiated 20 years ago when you were 65 and are now 85. Immediately after a 50% correc...
by msk
Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire in my 30s?!
Replies: 34
Views: 5553

Re: Retire in my 30s?!

At my advanced age I have come to the conclusion that most businesses are founded and run by "average" people, IQ around 100. Hence the majority fail. It looks like you are one of the lucky ones who have both initiative and acumen that are possibly better than "average". I'd say ...
by msk
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anniversary Trip Recommendations
Replies: 33
Views: 2231

Re: Anniversary Trip Recommendations

Las Vegas. It really is Disney Land for grown ups. Keep away from the gambling and it's actually very inexpensive. Ridiculously sumptuous buffets for a pittance. DW and myself did one major hotel/casino each day; window shopping galore, food galore, shows galore. All very reasonably priced. OK, not ...
by msk
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International ETFs with 0% dividend withholding tax?
Replies: 7
Views: 610

Re: International ETFs with 0% dividend withholding tax?

One could look up and invest in non-dividend-paying stocks :mrgreen: Good start: BRK.B. Over 20 years it has more than kept up with the SP500 and it does hold 70+ businesses within it. Enough diversification for a billionaire like Warren Buffett. The future is unknown...
by msk
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: -$280k Net Worth Has Me Up At Night
Replies: 68
Views: 8941

Re: -$280k Net Worth Has Me Up At Night

Pretending to "save" when you have a load of expensive debt is a falsehood IMHO. I would simply apply any cash available to the highest interest rate debt and progress from there. Once all the higher cost debts are taken off the table I would look at what tax advantages I have, compared to...
by msk
Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate "Fair" Returns
Replies: 1
Views: 419

Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate "Fair" Returns

This keeps bugging me. Would appreciate any wisdom that can be poured on it. All the discussion below is in REAL TERMS (after deducting for inflation). According to Thomas Piketty's book "Capital in the Twenty First Century" wherein he has delved into various countries' statistics over cen...
by msk
Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars or Pool?
Replies: 65
Views: 4093

Re: New cars or Pool?

My observations are that pools get used for 2 to 4 years max and then everyone, even kids, lose interest. Treat it as a 3 year consumable purchase and then the money is gone. Most cars can be treated as 10-year consumables. Get a cheap, above-ground pool with plastic walls and it'll be weathered to ...
by msk
Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it reasonable to have 100% in the stock market?
Replies: 58
Views: 5938

Re: Is it reasonable to have 100% in the stock market?

I have nil problems with 100% stocks, having been 100% stocks for decades, and I still do not own a single bond. My advice to my heirs (anything they inherit is simply gravy to them) is to keep everything in stocks forever. There is huge fear among BHs for a 50% fall. IMHO this fear is justified onl...

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