Search found 1553 matches

by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hard to understand in percent for AA, any better alternative models out there ?
Replies: 22
Views: 1271

Re: Hard to understand in percent for AA, any better alternative models out there ?

I started with all fixed income investments for the first five years. Then I did a glidepath, in five year chunks, of percentage stocks going from 0 to 100 percent at 20 years and stayed at 100% out to 30 years. In the past, stocks have never lost money in any 20 year period, so I figured that after...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hard to understand in percent for AA, any better alternative models out there ?
Replies: 22
Views: 1271

Re: Hard to understand in percent for AA, any better alternative models out there ?

The concern is not math. It is ability to correlate to a real life use-case/situation. What does this mean? :( Let me try and answer that, since I have the same problem as the OP. Why 60/40? Why not 63/38? The standard answer is that experience has show that 60/40 gives a "good" balance b...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE
Replies: 26
Views: 3826

Re: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE

There's lots and lots of stuff on factors affecting urban development, but alas, I don't know of a good starting place. To get a feel for how things happen, you might try reading up on the history of the place where you live now. I've always found the life cycles of urban neighborhoods interesting; ...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would be the best way to sell this software?
Replies: 80
Views: 3771

Re: What would be the best way to sell this software?

As I posted earlier, try the 10 user test. They've actually got to use the app, not just watch you use it. Other applications which use Qt mostly do so because they have no other choice. They've got old, poorly structured applications which can't easily be split into front end/back end structures fo...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would be the best way to sell this software?
Replies: 80
Views: 3771

Re: What would be the best way to sell this software?

Most users have never worked with AWS and have no idea how to use the remote desktop launcher so you'll have to be ready to guide them through doing this, including people running on Windows XP, people running on Linux and people running on Macs. Are you prepared to become an expert on all the diffe...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE
Replies: 26
Views: 3826

Re: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE

You don't want to move to a "rapidly growing" area. It might seem nice right now but you won't like it when it's all grown up. Those nice affordable houses? When the value of the lots increases, they'll be torn down and replaced by McMansions. You'll end up in the smallest and oldest hous...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE
Replies: 26
Views: 3826

Re: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE

You don't want to move to a "rapidly growing" area. It might seem nice right now but you won't like it when it's all grown up. Those nice affordable houses? When the value of the lots increases, they'll be torn down and replaced by McMansions. You'll end up in the smallest and oldest house...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Customs Duty when buying from Overseas
Replies: 4
Views: 482

Re: Customs Duty when buying from Overseas

The duty that is owed depends on the item being imported; live fish are free to import; frozen horsehead mackerel have a 3% duty. The rate varies from free to 37.5% of the value of the goods depending on what you're importing and where you're importing it from. First question: What are you planning ...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need a company to sell software?
Replies: 51
Views: 2316

Re: Do I need a company to sell software?

Are you sure your product is ready to sell yet? How many people have used the product besides yourself? How much code have you run through it? What other testing have you done? What version control do you use? How are you going to provide support? What happens if a customer calls when you're at your...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012
Replies: 22
Views: 2043

Re: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012

What changing is just the outlook.com server. Just those servers are going to move to Microsoft Exchange. Unless the other companies are moving their servers as well, which is very unlikely, no clients should be affected. For the record, Windows Live Mail does support both POP and IMAP, just as Thun...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012
Replies: 22
Views: 2043

Re: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012

The option to enable POP might not become available until they switch you to the new servers. There's material in the link on how to recognize when they've done that. Right now, devices and apps can already use POP, so the option doesn't make much sense. After they do make the change, unless you re-...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012
Replies: 22
Views: 2043

Re: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012

What Microsoft is doing is changing the protocol that clients have to use in communicating with the server. Here's some information about the change: http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/outlookcommigrationinfo.htm#pop3 . This is not a case of abandoning old technologies, since Exchange and Outlook we...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Cutting, "local area networking" TV at home
Replies: 16
Views: 2197

Re: Cord Cutting, "local area networking" TV at home

In fact, the spec for HDMI doesn't specify a maximum length so, under the right circumstances, a 100' cable might work. Monoprice does sell them up to 100' long. As the lengths get longer, though, the quality has to be higher and I don't get the impression that the OP wants to worry about cable qual...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for international SIM cards?
Replies: 30
Views: 2070

Re: Recommendation for international SIM cards?

If you have a T Mobile Simple Choice plan in the U.S., then texting and data download in Greece are free and calls cost $0.20 minute. This will probably work really well if you're the one doing the calling or texting, but your family in Greece will get charged international rates for calling you, ev...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "Self Insure" mean?
Replies: 43
Views: 4023

Re: What does "Self Insure" mean?

....According the US Health and Human Services Dept. , someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years. I'm guessing the 70% number you're seeing reflects the impact of unpaid caregivers . For example, accord...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Include Social Security in AA calculations?
Replies: 73
Views: 4126

Re: Include Social Security in AA calculations?

It doesn't really matter - you get the same results whether you include it or leave it out! Stocks have the highest average annual returns; if you want to make the most money, go 100% in stocks (well, maybe 10% in bonds). Stocks are also the most volatile asset class; they go up and down a lot and t...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Cutting, "local area networking" TV at home
Replies: 16
Views: 2197

Re: Cord Cutting, "local area networking" TV at home

One issue is the length of the HDMI cable; HDMI is good for only about 25 ft. without a repeater. The second possibility is the one NJ2SLC mentioned. If your Verizon box has coax cable connections and if your TV also does, you could run coax between them. Coax will easily handle 100 ft. A Roku TV bo...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "Self Insure" mean?
Replies: 43
Views: 4023

Re: What does "Self Insure" mean?

Thanks for the cumulative graph.

Since my earlier post, I've discovered one additional, useful fact: Only about 40% of people over 65 ever enter a nursing home at all.

This means that the overall probability of staying longer than five years in a nursing home is somewhere around 1%.
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hedging EUR Currency Risk for Instrument Purchase
Replies: 7
Views: 422

Re: Hedging EUR Currency Risk for Instrument Purchase

Everbank offers foreign currency accounts for U.S. residents. They even have FDIC coverage on the dollar value of the accounts and interest paying CDs in some currencies. They charge a 1% fee for the purchase of the foreign currency but, for $35, they'll send wires in the foreign currency. You could...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illiquid assets pay you for holding them (?)
Replies: 34
Views: 2053

Re: Illiquid assets pay you for holding them (?)

There are other, common examples of an illiquidity premium. There are lot of posts about TIAA Traditional. In most plans, you are only able to withdraw from it over a 10 year period so it's pretty illiquid. It has a stable share price but with returns (says livesoft) of an intermediate term bond fun...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension-PBGC & Fund management
Replies: 9
Views: 438

Re: Pension-PBGC & Fund management

It is quite frequently the case that a pension buyout lump sum will not buy the same amount of monthly payments as the pension. First, even if the company uses exactly the same actuarial tables as the insurance company, they don't have the advertising or sales expenses that the insurance company doe...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension-PBGC & Fund management
Replies: 9
Views: 438

Re: Pension-PBGC & Fund management

Let's suppose that you do take the lump sum and you purchase a commercial life annuity with it. Even if the insurance company is highly rated today, will it be highly rated 10 years from now? The only protection you have is whatever coverage the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Associa...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401 k moved to tiaa from vanguard
Replies: 5
Views: 444

Re: 401 k moved to tiaa from vanguard

401K plans are an expense to a company; they pay the plan provider for providing the plan. Part of what the plan providers do is provide customer support such as a website and telephone lines. Support may even include local offices that can send people out to your company, people who are far more qu...
by ourbrooks
Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who owns Vanguard?
Replies: 20
Views: 2503

Re: Who owns Vanguard?

ruralavalon wrote:I own Vanguard :D .


So do I. I also own State Farm and TIAA-CREF.
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "Self Insure" mean?
Replies: 43
Views: 4023

Re: What does "Self Insure" mean?

Here's the historical distribution of stays in nursing homes: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_g6b7lckX2zE/THX7D3XuBpI/AAAAAAAABVI/fk7-z20ukqo/s1600/Screen+shot+2010-08-25+at+10.25.58+PM.png I note that you don't have a choice; everyone must self-insure since you can't even buy an LTCi policy which would p...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insure LTC?
Replies: 31
Views: 2648

Re: Self-insure LTC?

I have LTC insurance. The agent told me that there is value to the policy in facilitating things with the nursing home. He made a big deal about how important this benefit is. He told me that Bill Gates has LTC insurance, for just this resson. Any truth to this? I am single with no children, so hav...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insure LTC?
Replies: 31
Views: 2648

Re: Self-insure LTC?

To elaborate slightly on what Watty wrote, for an insurance company, an SPIA is the opposite of life insurance; the sooner you die the more money they make, so poor health alone is probably not a reason for an insurance company to deny you a policy. The issue about mental competence is a more subtle...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "Self Insure" mean?
Replies: 43
Views: 4023

Re: What does "Self Insure" mean?

I presume it means you have enough saved to cover the costs out of pocket. 3.5k+/month for assisted living and 6.5k+/month for a nursing home isn't cheap though. X 2 in CT and most of the Northeast 2/3 as much in Texas. The median stay in a nursing home prior to death is 5 months; the average is 14...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insure LTC?
Replies: 31
Views: 2648

Re: Self-insure LTC?

One option to consider if someone is going to require long term nursing care is to buy a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA). Even though someone may live quite a long time with an Alzheimer's or vascular dementia diagnosis, their life expectancy is still lower than someone in better health and...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insure LTC?
Replies: 31
Views: 2648

Re: Self-insure LTC?

Nursing home care is the largest cost component in long term care and the most common diagnoses for long term stays are mental health diagnoses - Alzheimer's Type dementia and other dementias and depression. Things like strokes generally don't result in long stays; someone who is paralyzed by a stro...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After 30 yrs at Megacorp my IT job was surplussed...
Replies: 52
Views: 6844

Re: After 30 yrs at Megacorp my IT job was surplussed...

Are you actually still working or did they escort you out the door? If they're still letting you work, they must trust you not to get revenge in the next six months. In fact, compared to other people's layoff experiences, they're sending you a message: get off the payroll but don't go away mad. A be...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FASFA Questions [Free Application for Federal Student Aid]
Replies: 9
Views: 732

Re: FASFA Questions [Free Application for Federal Student Aid]

UT Dallas awards scholarships without the FAFSA form: http://oue.utdallas.edu/aes/ The only mention of the FAFSA form on the UT Dallas website is as a requirement for receiving financial aid, which is not the same as a merit scholarship. It looks to me as if the FAFSA form is required for needs base...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Constant Percentage
Replies: 8
Views: 1470

Re: Constant Percentage

Imagine it's 2007 and you withdraw 2.73%= $54,600 from your 100% stock, $2,000,000 portfolio. Next year is 2008 and the market drops 50% so you can only take out $27,300. Think about what kind of a life style you would have to lead to be able to cut your expenses by 50% year over year. Constant perc...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get a real Chip and Pin card?
Replies: 83
Views: 11631

Re: How to get a real Chip and Pin card?

Does anyone have experience with either bank debit cards or prepaid debit cards, if they have a chip? (I would use the debit card on an account that had a minimum amount of funds in it.)
by ourbrooks
Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soy-based rubber, car hoses, and hungry rodents
Replies: 11
Views: 1329

Re: Soy-based rubber, car hoses, and hungry rodents

Soybean oil is actually used as an insecticide; I also found a patent for using it as a rodenticide! Maybe the mice were suicidal. Other products from soy beans include inks, plywood, particle board, and foam for car seats. Most oil-based paints these days are made from soy alkyd. Had any problems w...
by ourbrooks
Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone got used to reading very technical/academic papers online?
Replies: 22
Views: 1880

Re: anyone got used to reading very technical/academic papers online?

Any solution involving scrolling is a non-starter as far as speed reading goes. A human eye movement (saccade) is in the range of 200-400 ms. That's all the time it takes to look further down on a page which is already displayed. A single mouse movement, like moving up to scroll bar takes 800-1200 m...
by ourbrooks
Tue May 31, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone got used to reading very technical/academic papers online?
Replies: 22
Views: 1880

Re: anyone got used to reading very technical/academic papers online?

The reason why you are printing out the papers rather than reading them on screen may be because you can read them faster and with less effort on paper. This review may seem quite old but no one has published radically different results since it was published: https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~adillon...
by ourbrooks
Tue May 31, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: weeds, trees and managing large lawns
Replies: 13
Views: 1500

Re: weeds, trees and managing large lawns

In the sunnier areas, till up the grass and plant wild flower seeds. No mowing, no weeding, no watering. Nice comments from the neighbors. Even if you end up needing to seed every year, it's much less work than fertilizing, mowing, weed killing, etc. in a grass lawn.
by ourbrooks
Fri May 27, 2016 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Monsanto-BayerAG
Replies: 19
Views: 1781

Re: Monsanto-BayerAG

The new DowDupont agriculture company will be almost the same size in seeds as Monsanto and larger in pesticides: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3902056-dowdupont-agricultural-company-new-ag-giant-making Very handy of them to separate out their business this way. In the past, to own Dow and Dupont'...
by ourbrooks
Tue May 24, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 Big Companies merging = no severance package?
Replies: 24
Views: 2543

Re: 2 Big Companies merging = no severance package?

One WEEK per year of employment is common; I've also never heard of one MONTH. Companies which give severance pay usually require that you agree not to sue them over being let go. Given how much lawyers are paid, it may be cheaper to give you severance rather than fight your age/race/sex discriminat...
by ourbrooks
Tue May 24, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Monsanto-BayerAG
Replies: 19
Views: 1781

Re: Monsanto-BayerAG

Sell your Monsanto stock ASAP and invest the money in an index fund. Picking individual companies is hard; picking high tech companies for the long term is practically impossible. Whatever happened to Radio Corporation of American and Digital Equipment Corporation? Heard of any recent breakthroughs ...
by ourbrooks
Tue May 24, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?
Replies: 59
Views: 4198

Re: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?

It's already too late to invest in Elon Musk. He's already had billions thrown at him. What you should be doing is looking for the next Elon Musk and investing in him/her while it's still cheap to do that.
by ourbrooks
Mon May 23, 2016 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?
Replies: 59
Views: 4198

Re: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?

Oh my, some of the advice on this thread is well-intentioned but so very incorrect. Symbolics and Thinking Machines? Neither of those companies have done anything interesting in 20 years! Perhaps you might want to go back and read my earlier post a bit more carefully. The reason why neither Symboli...
by ourbrooks
Sun May 22, 2016 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Perils of Historical Asset Returns
Replies: 19
Views: 2212

Re: The Perils of Historical Asset Returns

Seems to me that human ingenuity is such that a decline in productivity isn't a given at all. I wouldn't make assumptions in this respect. Too many technology breakthroughs in progress... An intriguing and important question. The highest productivity gains of the 20th century for the U.S. came from...
by ourbrooks
Sun May 22, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?
Replies: 59
Views: 4198

Re: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?

As for investing, I have first hand knowledge of investing in AI companies in the 1980s. If it weren't for FTC rules and the rules of this forum, I'd be more than happy to take everyone's money who wants to invest in AI today with a guarantee that they'd get similar results to what nearly everyone ...
by ourbrooks
Sun May 22, 2016 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?
Replies: 59
Views: 4198

Re: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?

As I said in my early post, AI ain't new. Well, what about self-driving cars? Self-driving cars aren't all that different from mobile robots which navigate visually; here's a review of work in that area: http://dmi.uib.es/~fbonin/survey.pdf Note how old some of the references are. Why are self-navig...
by ourbrooks
Sat May 21, 2016 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?
Replies: 59
Views: 4198

Re: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?

Invest in Symbolics and Thinking Macines. Symbolics started building Lisp machines for use in Artificial Intelligence in 1981. Thinking Machines was founded in 1983 to build highly parallel computers for use in artificial intelligence applications. Of course, the problem is that both of these compan...
by ourbrooks
Thu May 19, 2016 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ok to have 2 separate RMDs?
Replies: 9
Views: 1069

Re: Ok to have 2 separate RMDs?

If it's TIAA Traditional, what you would have to do to put the funds into an IRA is withdraw the funds from TIAA Traditional and then deposit them in the IRA. The money will no longer be in TIAA Traditional and will have to be invested in whatever options the IRA offers. Depending on the terms of Da...
by ourbrooks
Thu May 19, 2016 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magic Android TV box
Replies: 3
Views: 657

Re: Magic Android TV box

You haven't given us enough details about which particular Magic Android box this is. If it's like the ones I found in a search, there's nothing special about them. All they are are small computers which hook to an external monitor and run the Android operating system, like most smart phones, except...
by ourbrooks
Thu May 19, 2016 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting Point For Navigating Through Medicare Maze
Replies: 19
Views: 1508

Re: Starting Point For Navigating Through Medicare Maze

If you want to continue using the doctors and hospitals you have been using, check carefully which plans/supplements cover them. In the area in which I live, many medical care providers don't even take Medicare patients. You may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan simply for their provider n...

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