Search found 1516 matches

by ourbrooks
Tue May 31, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: weeds, trees and managing large lawns
Replies: 12
Views: 950

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: 1529

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: 2125

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: 1529

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: 3497

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: 3497

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: 1814

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: 3497

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: 3497

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: 3497

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: 930

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: 550

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: 1171

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...
by ourbrooks
Wed May 18, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting Point For Navigating Through Medicare Maze
Replies: 19
Views: 1171

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 ne...
by ourbrooks
Wed May 18, 2016 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pride in no inheritance to kids?
Replies: 233
Views: 368

Re: Pride in no inheritance to kids?

There are some who feel that they've already given their kids their legacy up front by bringing them up under comfortable conditions and paying for their educations and that their financial responsibilities ended when the children were able to support themselves. The parents would now like to feel f...
by ourbrooks
Tue May 17, 2016 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving to SC or TX
Replies: 31
Views: 3279

Re: Thinking of moving to SC or TX

And water is going to be an even larger issue in the growth dynamics since Austin and San Antonio depend on the Edwards Aquafer ground water which is being sucked out faster than any replenishing can ever happen... It took thousands of years to put that water in there and it is coming out faster th...
by ourbrooks
Mon May 16, 2016 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Quesiton: AAPL or FB?
Replies: 21
Views: 1560

Re: Stock Quesiton: AAPL or FB?

Anybody remember Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)? How about Compaq? Of course, everyone agreed that Adobe would go out of business after Microsoft announced TrueType. Remember when Nokia was far ahead of everyone else when it came to cell phones? Predicting the future of technology companies is ...
by ourbrooks
Sun May 15, 2016 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance or Not?
Replies: 41
Views: 2326

Re: Long Term Care Insurance or Not?

No question you have more than enough. The most expensive form of long term care is nursing home care. Most people's stay in nursing homes before death is 6 months. Even at Connecticut rates, that's only $70,000. A very few people who suffer from some form of senile dementia have much longer stays b...
by ourbrooks
Sun May 15, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision time - supplement pension, or not?
Replies: 12
Views: 891

Re: Decision time - supplement pension, or not?

You are dealing with two, very different options here. The first of them depends on how long you live. If you live for 30 years, the "years of service" option will return $120,000 total. That's actually close to a 6.9% rate of return since you'd be getting most of the money long before the...
by ourbrooks
Sun May 15, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation 1 year in advance?
Replies: 4
Views: 411

Re: Asset Allocation 1 year in advance?

Don't worry about it. The goal of asset allocation is to balance volatility against returns; the more bonds, the less volatility but also the lower the returns. If your asset allocation went from 60/40 to 63/37, would you scream "oh how awful, my portfolio has become far too volatile?" Pro...
by ourbrooks
Sun May 15, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Living with the 4% Rule
Replies: 19
Views: 2515

Re: Living with the 4% Rule

My understanding of the 4% rule is as follows. Do you see it differently on any point(s)? 3. You should fund a savings account from the proceeds of the 4% for large expenses that don't recur on an annual basis, like a new car, home remodeling, and special trips, etc. No fair hitting the portfolio t...
by ourbrooks
Sat May 14, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best withdrawal strategy?
Replies: 16
Views: 1479

Re: Best withdrawal strategy?

If you refill buckets annually, then the strategy in Kitches' article is numerically equivalent to choosing, arbitrarily, some fixed asset allocation, e.g., if you do the buckets, but calculate an overall allocation, you get something like 60/40. The difference is that the bucket approach actually h...
by ourbrooks
Fri May 13, 2016 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best withdrawal strategy?
Replies: 16
Views: 1479

Re: Best withdrawal strategy?

A related Michael Kitces article: https://www.kitces.com/blog/are-retirement-bucket-strategies-an-asset-allocation-mirage/ " ...Which means in reality, the bucket strategy ends out producing substantively similar asset allocations as a systematic withdrawal strategy..." The strategy Kitch...
by ourbrooks
Fri May 13, 2016 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: stocks benefiting most from low oil prices
Replies: 16
Views: 1168

Re: stocks benefiting most from low oil prices

How sure are you about your premises? Fracking is not new technology; hydraulic fracturing has been available commercially since the 1950s and horizontal drilling since the 1980s. By 1990, George P. Mitchell had demonstrated that fracking could be used cost effectively commercially. Why did the frac...
by ourbrooks
Thu May 12, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: With Guyton Klinger I"m rich
Replies: 8
Views: 1419

Re: With Guyton Klinger I"m rich

VPW doesn't come anywhere close to leaving zero at death with no heirs; for example, it says that at age 89, you should take 10.7% of your balance, so, if you die before age 90, you've left 89.3%. That's pretty far from zero. The only vehicle that guarantees zero left at death and that you'll never ...
by ourbrooks
Tue May 10, 2016 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Quesiton: AAPL or FB?
Replies: 21
Views: 1560

Re: Stock Quesiton: AAPL or FB?

I'm surprised that AMZN isn't on your list. Unbeknownst to most people who order stuff through them, they are the largest Cloud services company; Apple's Cloud services are mostly Amazon! What they're doing with warehousing/delivery services is also impressive and, really, still in the early stages....
by ourbrooks
Mon May 09, 2016 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving to SC or TX
Replies: 31
Views: 3279

Re: Thinking of moving to SC or TX

Wow. Great information from everyone! We are going to adjust our upcoming trip to the Carolinas based on your feedback (nix Columbia, spend some more time in NC). As far as TEXAS, we are attracted to two areas so far: 1. Hill Country/San Antonio/Austin 2. Houston area Just how bad is the traffic? I...
by ourbrooks
Sun May 08, 2016 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody have success reducing memory overhead on windows computers?
Replies: 22
Views: 1953

Re: Anybody have success reducing memory overhead on windows computers?

There is a high probability that at least one of your problems is the Background Intelligent Transfer Service. It's used to download Windows updates but it can be used in other ways to download files, so just turning off Window Update won't fix the problem. The cache can become corrupted and when th...
by ourbrooks
Wed May 04, 2016 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying my own modem
Replies: 43
Views: 2877

Re: Considering buying my own modem

Did this nearly 2 years ago, found a modem on ebay. Time Warner tech support talked me though setup, no issues at all. My understanding is that if you have a land line through Time Warner you have to use their modem. It is a hidden cost of bundling a land line with your package. If I correctly read...
by ourbrooks
Mon May 02, 2016 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Near-Horizon College Costs -- How to Invest
Replies: 15
Views: 941

Re: Near-Horizon College Costs -- How to Invest

Be very wary of buying your kids more expensive college educations than they want or need. If your child ends up being in the bottom third of a freshman class, either they'll have to change their study habits big time or they'll end up going out where they came in, with a GPA that's in the bottom th...
by ourbrooks
Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How about a 6% flexible distribution schedule?
Replies: 14
Views: 3200

Re: How about a 6% flexible distribution schedule?

I have often thought something like this makes sense as long as you have your core expenses covered by SS, pension, annuity, etc. That's a key tenet of flexible expenditures. You can't be flexible about your health insurance, your utility bills or your taxes; these need to be covered by steady, pre...
by ourbrooks
Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional
Replies: 22
Views: 1003

Re: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional

None of the Fidelity funds can come anywhere near close to TIAA Traditional. TIAA Traditional has the property that your balance never goes down, regardless of whether interest rates go up or down. Money market funds are like that but none of them are paying even 1/10th as much as TIAA Traditional. ...
by ourbrooks
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Austin TX
Replies: 14
Views: 1127

Re: Visiting Austin TX

Start downing the allergy pills now. There is something in the air there that just knocks me out. The allergies don't really stop in March; right now, pecan pollen is peaking and then there's the mold due to the recent rainfall. Which is worst, the allergies or the traffic? If you're staying downto...
by ourbrooks
Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Booster
Replies: 22
Views: 1549

Re: Wifi Booster

You say you bought a new computer. Is the old computer still running and does it use a Wi-Fi connection? If they're both running at once and they're near each other, the problem may be interference. Even if the connections seem to be on different channels, on the 2.4 Ghz band, the channels overlap. ...
by ourbrooks
Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Predicting stock market returns accurately?
Replies: 52
Views: 3166

Re: Predicting stock market returns accurately?

You should read the same author's subsequent post, entitled "Valuation and Stock Market Returns: Adventures in Curve Fitting," which begins: The title, “The Single Greatest Predictor of Future Stock Market Returns”, was something of an intentional exaggeration, chosen not only to draw att...
by ourbrooks
Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Predicting stock market returns accurately?
Replies: 52
Views: 3166

Re: Predicting stock market returns accurately?

QuietWealth, I agree, I read the axis on the chart incorrectly. A corrected interpretation is that when people hold a lower percentage of stocks, they tend to buy more and prices go up and vice versa. 1975 would have been a good time to go into the market, given the relatively low percentage of equi...
by ourbrooks
Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Predicting stock market returns accurately?
Replies: 52
Views: 3166

Re: Predicting stock market returns accurately?

FWIW, Bogle repeatedly in books and interviews talks about valuations and uses the kind of Gordon's Equation modeling to predict future returns that is covered in the article, formulated here as Total Return = Price Return from P/E Multiple Change + Price Return from Earnings Growth (Realized if P/...
by ourbrooks
Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How long to plan for sequence of return risk?
Replies: 8
Views: 725

Re: How long to plan for sequence of return risk?

There's no absolute answer. 1. After a stock market drop of 10% or more, on average, it's taken 3 years to recover. 2. After the 1929 stock market crash, it took 25 years to recover. It also matters a great deal when in retirement the downturn happens. If it happens in the first five years, you end ...
by ourbrooks
Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPIAs and safe withdrawal rates
Replies: 18
Views: 2135

Re: SPIAs and safe withdrawal rates

I also cringe when SPIAs are compared to bonds. SPIAs are insurance, not an investment. Not buying them because you can't get your money back is like not buying car insurance because you can't get your money back for past periods of coverage. There have been some recent studies by Wade Pfau in which...
by ourbrooks
Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPIAs and safe withdrawal rates
Replies: 18
Views: 2135

Re: SPIAs and safe withdrawal rates

To add to the other good comments, the rate you're getting for an annuity is for a fixed payout that never increases throughout your life. (There are inflation adjusted annuities, but for a 55 year old currently, the payout is more like 1%.) The "safe withdrawal rate" is just for the first...
by ourbrooks
Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concierge medicine Worth It????
Replies: 91
Views: 7072

Re: Concierge medicine Worth It????

Perhaps, I should have edited my post to say "you will certainly want to continue to purchase health insurance coverage in addition to the concierge coverage." Concierge coverage is a cost above and beyond the basic costs of health insurance. It's like purchasing an upgraded seat on an air...
by ourbrooks
Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concierge medicine Worth It????
Replies: 91
Views: 7072

Re: Concierge medicine Worth It????

One of the things to worry about is what happens if you need either a specialist or hospital care since your concierge relationship covers neither. Also, drugs would not typically be covered. You probably want to purchase health insurance in addition to the concierge coverage. One of the issues you ...
by ourbrooks
Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: new gas range + convection oven, is it all that?
Replies: 14
Views: 1046

Re: new gas range + convection oven, is it all that?

A convection oven is just a regular oven with a fan to circulate the air. The ones I've used offer you a choice; some things want only bottom heat and cook better on the conventional setting. Worse case, the fan breaks and you decide not to repair it, you can still use the oven as a conventional ove...
by ourbrooks
Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is TIAA the opposite of Bogle? Massive confusion- help please
Replies: 32
Views: 2292

Re: Is TIAA the opposite of Bogle? Massive confusion- help please

Formally speaking, there is no way to avoid annuitization of your TIAA Traditional balance. The way you take money out of TIAA Traditional is via a (drumroll) Transfer Payout Annuity! There is also no requirement that you withdraw from your TIAA Traditional account when you retire, although you will...
by ourbrooks
Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is TIAA the opposite of Bogle? Massive confusion- help please
Replies: 32
Views: 2292

Re: Is TIAA the opposite of Bogle? Massive confusion- help please

The Bernanke portfolio is very understandable: 50% of contributions to TIAA Traditional and 50% to CREF Stock fund. Why is it called the Bernanke portfolio? When Ben Bernanke was chairman of the Federal Reserve he was required to disclose his holdings. As part of his Princeton retirement plan, he ha...
by ourbrooks
Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What withdrawal % are you planning on?
Replies: 89
Views: 6637

Re: What withdrawal % are you planning on?

Taylor,
Why did you decide to take out 4% a year? Why didn't you decide to take out 7%? Seven percent would have given you much more to spend on vacations, etc. Why did you choose such a low number?
by ourbrooks
Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need an awesome smartphone?
Replies: 73
Views: 4874

Re: Do I need an awesome smartphone?

Screen resolution is something you might want to pay more money for. Higher resolution screens display the same size of text using more pixels; this makes the text more legible. If you want, you can use a smaller font on the higher resolution phone and still be able to read it, so you can get more r...
by ourbrooks
Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Music Technology - new solutions?
Replies: 20
Views: 1464

Re: Music Technology - new solutions?

Any DVD player will also play CDs; you can get a good quality DVD player for $50. Look for one that has analog outputs with RCA jacks. Also get yourself some powered speakers. You can get little 3" ones intended for use with a computer for $30 on up to JBL studio monitors at only $250 a piece. ...
by ourbrooks
Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who enforces EMH?
Replies: 25
Views: 2121

Re: Who enforces EMH?

The efficient market hypothesis doesn't require that each individual has identically the same information at any point in time. Suppose some significant event occurs but only half of the potential buyers and sellers of the stock learn about it during the first week. The efficient market hypothesis s...
by ourbrooks
Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet becoming "Small"
Replies: 23
Views: 2729

Re: Internet becoming "Small"

You would think that with international news networks, that the news in every country would be pretty much the same. Surprisingly, it's not. Most foreign news web sites, even the ones in English, have different stories than the ones on U.S. news web sites. The Birmingham Mail doesn't even cover the ...

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