Search found 1466 matches

by ourbrooks
Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead mentality re todays oil price
Replies: 15
Views: 1169

Re: Boglehead mentality re todays oil price

Rig count is down, but lots of producing wells are now shut in and could come back online with minimal effort. https://www.aei.org/publication/top-10-things-i-learned-on-my-summer-trip-to-the-bakken-oil-fields-part-ii/ Expected production life of a Bakken oil well: 45 years What do you mean by &quo...
by ourbrooks
Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead mentality re todays oil price
Replies: 15
Views: 1169

Re: Boglehead mentality re todays oil price

Regardless of the inflation adjusted historical prices, there are two facts which suggest that oil is currently underpriced. One is the plummeting rig count. There are fixed costs associated with a well that include the cost of seismic surveys to find a location for the well, the cost of leases and ...
by ourbrooks
Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard energy fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1837

Re: Vanguard energy fund

There may not be any real assets left when fracking companies go bankrupt. The actual physical equipment for the well generally isn't worth much; the market for downhole tubing, pumps and tanks isn't all that great and is small compared to the drilling and completion costs. The one exception might b...
by ourbrooks
Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard energy fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1837

Re: Vanguard energy fund

To add yet more complexity to decisions, it could well be the case that use of hydrocarbon fuels drops and oil company profits soar. How could that be? Over the long term, the cost of finding and producing oil continues to rise. All of the "easy" oil has been found and pumped and what is l...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACH transactions on holidays/weekends?
Replies: 36
Views: 1778

Re: ACH transactions on holidays/weekends?

No one in the banking industry responded to the post and I was curious. I think this link https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/vhelp/paypalmanager_help/about_ach_payments.htm has your answer. Read the last section on the page. If I read what's in this link correctly https://www.nacha.org/news/what-ac...
by ourbrooks
Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Bogle vs. John "Age In Bonds" Bogle
Replies: 29
Views: 1995

Re: John Bogle vs. John "Age In Bonds" Bogle

Yes, John Bogle has been somewhat unclear about his position on "age in bonds." There are two things he has been clear about; one is that "age in bonds" is a starting point, not a recommendation, for thinking about reducing risk in retirement. The second thing is that he includes...
by ourbrooks
Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Large Energy stocks - why not?
Replies: 155
Views: 9593

Re: Large Energy stocks - why not?

Actually, the effect of the Paris accords might be to increase the value of oil/natural gas over the next few decades. The largest source of CO2 emissions are coal fired power plants; replacing them with natural gas fired plants is a low capital way of reducing emissions substantially in the short t...
by ourbrooks
Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American UN employee confused about Roth options
Replies: 4
Views: 366

Re: American UN employee confused about Roth options

I've also dealt with this situation. I agree with expat; UN income is still U.S. income, just as if you'd earned it working for a company. The UN instructions are to report it as salary income, not as business income. The UN is not really paying your taxes. They already withheld the money from your ...
by ourbrooks
Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math to include large fixed pension/annuity in retirement planning.
Replies: 19
Views: 1961

Re: Math to include large fixed pension/annuity in retirement planning.

Once you have determined the gap determine what % of your portfolio would you have to draw down each year to close the gap. Ignore inflation for now but factor in some tax so it is the gross draw down you need. If it is more than 4% you are probably withdrawing more than your portfolio can support ...
by ourbrooks
Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The end of our Teflon pans is near...now what do we buy?
Replies: 63
Views: 6699

Re: The end of our Teflon pans is near...now what do we buy?

What you should get depends on how you cook. If you want your pans to get as hot as possible as quickly as possible and you use very little or no fat when you cook, then a non-stick coating is a must but you want to buy thin pans because they'll heat up faster. Cheaper pans tend to be thinner so you...
by ourbrooks
Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Term Maturity bond ETFs
Replies: 8
Views: 765

Re: Term Maturity bond ETFs

The general name for this type of ETF is a defined maturity fund. Here's a Vanguard paper about them: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiXvs_zqKrJAhWBPT4KHXHoCKMQFggeMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fpersonal.vanguard.co...
by ourbrooks
Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me decide between Lexus GX460 and Toyota Highlander (Hybrid/Non-Hybrid)
Replies: 75
Views: 7523

Re: Help me decide between Lexus GX460 and Highlander Hybrid

The Lexus doesn't have four wheel independent suspension. The front wheels do have independent suspension, but the rear is a solid axel that runs all the way across. Why does this matter? Car with four wheel independent suspension generally corner better; they can make quicker, tighter movements in ...
by ourbrooks
Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing brush -- electric wood chipper?
Replies: 23
Views: 1203

Re: Clearing brush -- electric wood chipper?

For cutting up 1" brush, a set of loppers with some kind of rachet mechanism will do the job; the highest end Fiskars model claims to do 2" If you find you don't have the arm strength to do all of the work, a battery operated reciprocating saw ("Sawzall") will handle up to 5"...
by ourbrooks
Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [visiting] Austin, TX
Replies: 22
Views: 1942

Re: Austin, TX

Check the coming events calendar very carefully. Austin is plagued by an endless series of festivals/events like ACL and the F1 race which tie up hotel rooms and produce long waiting lines in restaurants. I doubt whether you want your wife's memories of the surprise to be standing in line. If you st...
by ourbrooks
Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Austin, TX
Replies: 35
Views: 3821

Re: Moving to Austin, TX

If the job is downtown, then everything within a 30 minute commute will be over $200/sq. ft. Think $500-600,000 for a 2500 sq. ft. house on a quarter acre lot in Crestview, Rosemont, Brentwood, or Northwest Hills. In Northwest Hills, any house which comes on the market for less than $500,000 will ge...
by ourbrooks
Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selected Value and Energy Fund outlook
Replies: 23
Views: 2146

Re: Selected Value and Energy Fund outlook

What I have seen is that fracking activity has continued: they have seriously cut back on costs. Since fracked wells have short production lives, eventually the low oil price will kick in and hit production ($60/bl was a number that was being bandied about for breakeven, but it's probably more like...
by ourbrooks
Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Aging and Increased Investing Risk
Replies: 50
Views: 3397

Re: Aging and Increased Investing Risk

Now, you've got me really worried. I thought I know what assets and liabilities were, but according to Appendix 1-A, p. 39, from the study, the correct answer is the one in italics. 1. Net worth is equal to: 1. Total assets 2. Total assets plus liabilities 3. Total assets minus liabilities Had I kno...
by ourbrooks
Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Basic annuity questions
Replies: 10
Views: 1184

Re: Basic annuity questions

The annual payout of a single premium annuity as percentage of the purchase price can be estimated by adding 1/remaining-life-expectancy + 10-year-t-bill-rate/2. If you look at that formula, age is the most important factor in payout; the older you are when you buy the annuity, the larger the payout...
by ourbrooks
Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax free income
Replies: 8
Views: 1418

Re: Tax free income

Go look at what happened to VWALX in 2008. High yield bonds tend go up and down along with stocks. What makes up VWALX are all kinds of special purpose bonds used for things like stadiums and paid back out of the stadium revenues, not real estate taxes. If the economy hits a bad patch and people qui...
by ourbrooks
Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aloha Shirt: Yes or No
Replies: 80
Views: 7488

Re: Aloha Shirt: Yes or No

All of the Authentic 'Hawaii Shirts' I've seen are 100% Silk. The cheaper knockoffs are Cotton, Rayon. (Some of these are nice and I have a few), but if you want the 'real thing' you have to go 100% Silk. Like this one .... http://www.tommybahama.com/TBG/Men/Shirts/Camp_Shirts/PRD_T311896/Keep+Palm...
by ourbrooks
Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using the signaling power of treasury bonds
Replies: 10
Views: 1407

Re: Using the signaling power of treasury bonds

I looked for tests of statistical significance and didn't find any. What did I overlook?
by ourbrooks
Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: College savings
Replies: 40
Views: 2346

Re: College savings

A major factor (the major factor?) in the rise in college costs has been the increase in the student population. Between 1965 and 2005, the number of college students tripled because of a combination of Baby Boomers reaching college age and an increased rate of college attendance. This meant that th...
by ourbrooks
Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a "dinosaur" laptop
Replies: 28
Views: 3845

Re: Buying a "dinosaur" laptop

Look at a refurbished Dell from their business line, not their home, line, e.g., a Latitude or OptiPlex, not an Inspiron. Some of the "refurbished" machines are, in fact, new overstock. Regardless of the history, most of them come with a 3 year ON-SITE warranty. After staying on the phone ...
by ourbrooks
Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Is Wise Not To Factor Social Security/Medicare Into Your Retirement Plans?
Replies: 20
Views: 1706

Re: Is Is Wise Not To Factor Social Security/Medicare Into Your Retirement Plans?

If you want to model what happens if both Social Security and Medicare disappear, you could start out using their current value and projecting forward using an assumed inflation rate. 1. Right now, Social Security of $20,000 for a couple is worth about $600,000 at present. I know John Bogle has gues...
by ourbrooks
Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ready to Give Up on Emerging Market Stocks?
Replies: 47
Views: 5163

Re: Ready to Give Up on Emerging Market Stocks?

At least as its summarized in the original post, the underlying basis for the authors' prediction remains a mystery. There's a common misconception that emerging market companies grow because emerging market economies grow. To have a large market cap and be in the index, a company has to have lots o...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Router Upgrade
Replies: 42
Views: 3360

Re: Router Upgrade

The 50 Mbps figure is usually qualified by the phrase, "up to." Often, the typical speed is much lower; you may already be getting the maximum speed you can get from your ISP. If this is so, buying a new router won't help. Do you have a separate router connected to the ISP box? If so, plug...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: prepaid phone less than $50 with Android Lollipop 5.0
Replies: 10
Views: 1126

Re: prepaid phone less than $50 with Android Lollipop 5.0

I hope that your desire to use a physical device is not standing in the way of learning to use the emulator really well. From the Android developer web site: Note: When developing on a device, keep in mind that you should still use the Android emulator to test your application on configurations that...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Edelman -- best days, worst days
Replies: 26
Views: 2161

Re: Edleman -- best days, worst days

It should be obvious that no market timer could capture all the highs and miss all the lows Paul Enter: algorithmic market software equations that take care of that ..(afaik) :| Not likely. People have been trying literally for centuries to predict markets. In the pre-computer era, they used charts...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?
Replies: 33
Views: 2712

Re: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?

What I'm not sure about is if a computer goes belly up, and can't be revived, can the system files be put onto a *different* computer, or would anti-piracy protections interfere? And would this be a problem for other full imaging programs? My only experience restoring a disk image is with a replace...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Asset Allocation
Replies: 20
Views: 1883

Re: 529 Asset Allocation

Time frame is very important in asset allocation, particularly for shorter terms. The stock market has had a NEGATIVE return in about 14% of historical, rolling five year periods. Even over 15 years, there's still a small probability of a loss. When you are withdrawing for retirement, the withdrawal...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?
Replies: 33
Views: 2712

Re: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?

I love CrashPlan, but yeah it does not do image level backups. I don't think I'd want it to anyway. A full image level backup is quite large and would take too long to download from the cloud. I back up everything except Program Files and the Windows folders with CrashPlan: documents, mp3s, movies,...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Energy Mutual Fund or ETF?
Replies: 12
Views: 1317

Re: Vanguard Energy Mutual Fund or ETF?

I would have thought the two returns would be fairly comparable. They are general in the same direction, but year by year there have been large variations. The ETF, VDE tracks (MSCI) US Investable Market Energy Index (domestic energy.) The mutual fund VGENX, is benchmarked to MSCI All Country World...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing wireless router - advice needed
Replies: 21
Views: 2305

Re: Replacing wireless router - advice needed

There's also the smart phone problem. Nearly all smartphone users use Wi-Fi when available. If you've got four people in a household, each with a laptop or desktop, and they each have a smartphone, you've got 8 Wi-Fi devices. Alas, only the newest/highest end smartphones offer 5 Ghz support. For And...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing wireless router - advice needed
Replies: 21
Views: 2305

Re: Replacing wireless router - advice needed

It's highly likely that your router is working just fine, but that you have too many neighbors also using WiFi in the same (or close by) channels on the 2.4GHz band. This will cause interference and essentially everyone slows down so that everyone gets a turn. It's like having too many cars on a ro...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wade Pfau on Asset Allocation Using PE10
Replies: 83
Views: 6627

Re: Wade Pfau on Asset Allocation Using PE10

Regardless of whether or not it is "data mining," on backtesting, the strategies Wade Pfau describes substantially outperform a 100% equities buy-and-hold strategy, with lower risk. (Of course, since they outperform 100% equities, they outperform any strategy with a lower percentage of equ...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicaid look back
Replies: 19
Views: 2966

Re: Medicaid look back

Let's take a look at the real question, whether or not you should pay off your mortgage. There are lots and lots of threads on this topic. As far as I'm concerned, the only defensible reason for not paying off your mortgage is because you have some other investment which pays more. Such investments ...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to invest in OIL
Replies: 66
Views: 5804

Re: Best way to invest in OIL

Right now, about 84% of U.S. energy comes from fossil fuels. Use of renewables would have to triple to even reach half. The dominant renewables are wind energy, which is actually cheaper than nuclear and competitive with natural gas on life time cost, and solar. The big problem with wind power is th...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to invest in OIL
Replies: 66
Views: 5804

Re: Best way to invest in OIL

Ah hah! It's "energy" the OP wants to invest in, not in particular the OIL ETN. In particular, I'd guess that the OP wants to invest in hydrocarbons, such as oil or natural gas so the question becomes what's the best way to invest in hydrocarbons? If by "best" you mean most close...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to invest in OIL
Replies: 66
Views: 5804

Re: Best way to invest in OIL

If it is specifically the OIL ETN that the OP is asking about, then here's what the issuer has to say: The Index is a sub-index of the S&P GSCI® Commodity Index and reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oi...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chart: The World's Stock Markets in the Year 2050
Replies: 32
Views: 5966

Re: Chart: The World's Stock Markets in the Year 2050

Siegel makes an absolutely classic error: he presumes that stock market equity associated with a country is somehow associated with the GDP of a country. Particularly for large cap stocks, the relationship is weak at best. For example, the largest holding of the Vanguard Developed Markets fund is Ne...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Funds that exclude one country
Replies: 27
Views: 1475

Re: Funds that exclude one country

Countries are put in an index based on where they are "domiciled," usually, where they have their corporate headquarters. Particularly for large caps, that has very little to do with where they make their money. Nestle is a company which does more business in the U.S. than anywhere else, y...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elder planning
Replies: 6
Views: 1022

Re: Elder planning

On the slim chance that she does develop dementia and does need permanent nursing care, she won't need the house. With her pension + SS, she can probably do 10 years or more in a private nursing home; I'd call that a lot more than a "couple". I note that many of the cases of long nursing h...
by ourbrooks
Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to predict state taxes to help decide where to live
Replies: 20
Views: 2041

Re: How to predict state taxes to help decide where to live

Taxes are probably the last thing I'd look at in determining retirement costs. San Angelo, Texas has an average house listing price of $248,507. Austin, Texas has an average house listing price of 681,842. Both cities are in Texas; both have no income tax and about the same sales tax rates. I haven'...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA for 529s that will be used for college and grad school
Replies: 16
Views: 1488

Re: AA for 529s that will be used for college and grad school

1. Over rolling, five year historical periods, stocks have lost money in 14% of the periods. 2. Over rolling, 20 year historical periods, there has never been a period with a loss, although the worst gain was a real 19%. Nearly all of your college expenditures occur within the next five years. How w...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will Demographics Be Destiny for Stocks and Bonds?
Replies: 23
Views: 3297

Re: Will Demographics Be Destiny for Stocks and Bonds?

If you do want to overweight emerging market equities, then the Vanguard funds are probably not the best choices. If you look at the top 10 in the Vanguard Emerging Markets Fund, 8 of the 10 are China based companies; 2 are banks and 2 are insurance companies. What about India, which some pundits pr...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Role of annuities in low SWR situations
Replies: 29
Views: 3587

Re: Role of annuities in low SWR situations

Anyone who is 50% cash now is highly risk adverse. Why make them suffer through even the modest market swings of a 25% stock portfolio? The odds are high that even if they went to all cash, they'd have enough for the rest of their lives. They've won the game; why do they need to keep playing? Effect...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I open up floor of very old home to search for old coins?
Replies: 35
Views: 5250

Re: Should I open up floor of very old home to search for old coins?

Chances are there is a subfloor under the surface floor boards. In new houses that is plywood (or in cheaper construction particleboard), in older houses it would be planks running across joists, and then the flooring running with joists. At least that is how it was done in my house, and my underst...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help - Leveraged ETF's and Natural Gas.
Replies: 21
Views: 1846

Re: Help - Leveraged ETF's and Natural Gas.

Natural gas companies were NOT hit particularly hard when the price of oil dropped; natural gas prices dropped in 2008 and haven't come back since. They're actually higher now than they were at the beginning of 2012. Geologically, oil and natural gas are just points on a continuum; both can come out...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VDE or Vanguard Energy Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 1065

Re: VDE or Vanguard Energy Fund

VGENX has an expense ratio of 0.37% as versus 0.12% for VDE. The wider exposure has to be worth at least 0.25% for it to be worthwhile to buy VGENX. I'm presuming that you're expecting several percentage points of outperformance for the energy sector; if it's a point or less, it hardly seems worth it.
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VDE or Vanguard Energy Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 1065

Re: VDE or Vanguard Energy Fund

Energy companies as a class are relatively underrepresented in the U.S. market; many of the largest, most important energy companies are domiciled outside the U.S., for example, BP and Shell. I can't think of any reason why U.S. companies in this sector should outperform non-U.S. companies and I can...

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