Search found 2367 matches

by psteinx
Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1,124,176 Car.
Replies: 99
Views: 6860

Re: The $1,124,176 Car.

1) Doing math with 7% assumed returns, today, without a lengthy discussion of inflation and real rates of return, is not very helpful, IMO. Realistic real returns probably closer to 4% for an aggressive, 80-100% equity portfolio. Perhaps 5%. 7% (or higher!) could happen of course, but so could 2%. 4...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Tax Return Extension
Replies: 3
Views: 271

Re: Income Tax Return Extension

I've used extensions for a number of years now. I can't speak to the audit risk side of things, but here are a few things to note (not an exhaustive list): 1) A general issue with the extension is that it doesn't extend the need to pay. Thus, if your tax bill, as ultimately computed, is, say, $20K, ...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?
Replies: 46
Views: 2968

Re: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?

Kill-a-watt has some utility, but limitations too. To figure out usage by things that are wired in, not plugged in (i.e. HVAC and other stuff), you may want to locate your overall household utility meter (i.e. the thing the electric company reads), and figure out its scale. Then, shut down basically...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Honda CRV: anyone shopping or buying?
Replies: 26
Views: 2635

Re: 2017 Honda CRV: anyone shopping or buying?

I've test driven it a couple times and liked it. There's a good chance I'll buy one at some point this year. My recollections are a bit muddled - drove various things and so it can be hard for me to distinctively remember that vehicle X had positive/negative attribute Y. That said: I think there WAS...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wife in car accident - next steps?
Replies: 28
Views: 1968

Re: wife in car accident - next steps?

1) This *IS* an emergency - it's ok to dip into emergency fund, as needed. 2) When our late model minivan was totalled a bit under 3 years ago, to my recollection the insurance adjuster showed us 2 or 3 comps that were actually for sale to use as a basis for their offer. i.e. You could buy THIS repl...
by psteinx
Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone own gold?
Replies: 114
Views: 8588

Re: Does anyone own gold?

Also, if this is correct: http://www.numbersleuth.org/worlds-gold/ ...all the gold EVER mined, through 1900, was about 24,000 metric tons. As of around 2011, we're mining about 2,500 metric tons, per year. So, the amount mined, per DECADE, recently, is about equal to everything mined through 1900. (...
by psteinx
Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone own gold?
Replies: 114
Views: 8588

Re: Does anyone own gold?

If you're looking at gold's past performance, portfolio effects, etc, keep in mind that gold was not freely investable (except in certain limited ways) by US citizens from the 1930s until the end of 1974. http://onlygold.com/FAQ/Legal-Issues-And-Gold.asp https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Reserve_Ac...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?
Replies: 76
Views: 4475

Re: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?

1) I believe most US rental car companies won't rent to those under 25. Does that mean there is never a 22 year old or a 17 year old behind the wheel of a rental car? No, but I think the scenario is not wildly common for the typical rental car. 2) I believe few US rental cars are manuals. 3) Cosmeti...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding cash gift
Replies: 68
Views: 3585

Re: Wedding cash gift

You can also decide if you are willing to DIY anything or have friends willing to donate their talents. Careful about this. "Doug, we're inviting you to our wedding. We'd love for you to come. And by the way, could you do all the photography for us, for free? And your wife - does she know how ...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding cash gift
Replies: 68
Views: 3585

Re: Wedding cash gift

Be careful about the wife's parents feeling resentment about their size of guest list invites, opinions on certain things, etc. since they wrote you such a generous check. It can EASILY happen. Yeah, I touched on this too, but maybe should have said more. In the standard US upper-middle to upper cl...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding cash gift
Replies: 68
Views: 3585

Re: Wedding cash gift

A $65K wedding would, IMO, likely be pretty extravagant and over the top. OTOH, especially in light of this gift, having a morning wedding followed by sandwiches and a punch bowl at the VFW would be pretty miserly. The key is to find the right level in-between. What does your bride-to-be think? Wome...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: liquidate EJ assets and then move to Vanguard?
Replies: 7
Views: 340

Re: liquidate EJ assets and then move to Vanguard?

In general, you are subject to taxation on the difference between what you sell it for (proceeds), versus your basis. If you bought the stock/fund yourself, your basis would often be what you paid for it. So if you bought something for $6600 (i.e. the basis), sold it for $7500 (proceeds), you'd have...
by psteinx
Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?
Replies: 22
Views: 2207

Re: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?

(To be clear, I don't have any strong opinion on $99 ductwork cleaning companies. One way or another, treat this seriously though - this could be a serious health issue...)
by psteinx
Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving away from Vanguard brokerage: Options?
Replies: 22
Views: 2602

Re: Moving away from Vanguard brokerage: Options?

You can move it all over "in kind" to Fidelity. Fidelity carries all the Vanguard funds and ETF's - so no worries there. Are you sure? I thought most/all Vanguard Admiral class funds were only available via Vanguard itself (I could be mistaken). And, even for Vanguard funds that are avail...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle purchase
Replies: 43
Views: 1845

Re: Vehicle purchase

Re: Roof racks... There are two main kinds - hard "clam shell" (plastic, probably) and soft side - more like a backpack you strap to the top of your car. We have one of the latter - bought mainly for camping and seldom used. Pros of soft side: * Cheap * Easily collapsible/compressible for ...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present
Replies: 81
Views: 4612

Re: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present

There are maybe 6 or 7 major styles of light vehicles (crossover, small sedan, pickup, etc). There are maybe 100+ models. There are maybe 300+ trim levels. If you include reasonably running used cars, up to ~15 years or so old, you're up close to 4500 (model_year * model * trim_level). Your request ...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite survival books?
Replies: 41
Views: 3077

Re: Favorite survival books?

I have not read the books about the Andes crash, but the movie from a couple decades back ("Alive") was quite good. Into Thin Air (the book - I can't speak to the movie) is good. The River of Doubt (Teddy Roosevelt, post-presidency, taking a trip down a river in the Amazon area that goes b...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?
Replies: 22
Views: 2207

Re: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?

Looks like mold to me.

There are companies that specialize in cleaning ductwork - i.e. you may not need to replace.

But you should also try to figure out WHY the mold developed, and take steps to prevent it in the future.

This could be a serious health hazard - don't treat it lightly...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars or Pool?
Replies: 65
Views: 4093

Re: New cars or Pool?

1) Pool discussions often come down to costs versus likely usage/enjoyment. Those are two obvious factors. But in that discussion, safety is sometimes forgotten. It is good to remember it as an important factor, too. 2) The experience of someone getting killed in a pool is a real danger, but an infr...
by psteinx
Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy Condo or Rent For 5yrs
Replies: 6
Views: 718

Re: Buy Condo or Rent For 5yrs

You've got a solid income. Not clear about your savings, especially outside of tax-deferred vehicles. Just spitballing, it sounds like your situation is a bit of a bubble case - could go either way, based mainly on timeframe and such, not the specifics of your market. Were I in your shoes, it would ...
by psteinx
Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars or Pool?
Replies: 65
Views: 4093

Re: New cars or Pool?

Given only those choices, I (and I think many others on here) would favor the cars. Furthermore, and this is a biggie, given your kids' ages, there is a real safety issue of having a pool. Pools kill - potentially your own kids, potentially other kids (and conceivably adults, too). So do cars, bike...
by psteinx
Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car or hand down used car to college student?
Replies: 19
Views: 1262

Re: New car or hand down used car to college student?

If this was a longer term situation - i.e. first full-time job out of college, and you wanted to give her a nice head start/graduation present/whatever, I'd suggest something newer. But if the only semi-clear usage is for this coming summer, an old beater probably would do the trick. Be aware of saf...
by psteinx
Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?
Replies: 46
Views: 2968

Re: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?

I find it hard to reconcile a target of 1 year breakeven, plus a history of <=3 year stays in a given domicile, with a plan to replace one expensive, presumably rarely used house "luxury" with another rough equivalent. What's the need for a whole house generator/backup system? If newer, be...
by psteinx
Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing our cable box
Replies: 8
Views: 742

Re: Replacing our cable box

I think the concept of using a cable card to allow a TV to directly tune to cable channels (as it can generally do, with antenna, to over the air channels) was a good idea, from about 5+ years ago, that didn't really pan out in the marketplace. Few TVs were made that supported this. We've had Tivos ...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars or Pool?
Replies: 65
Views: 4093

Re: New cars or Pool?

Given only those choices, I (and I think many others on here) would favor the cars. You presumably needs cars, at some point, and the high upfront cost will likely be at least partially offset by lower operating costs. If your current cars are old enough, then reliability may be an issue too. Many f...
by psteinx
Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)
Replies: 35
Views: 2540

Re: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)

The cost per life saved is somewhere over $50,000,000. Source please. Also there are negative consequences, both physical and financial, to automobile accidents beyond fatalities. Chance of dieing in an automobile accident a year 1/40,000 Effectiveness of system 15% cost of system $2,000 Life span ...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)
Replies: 23
Views: 2021

Re: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)

I lean towards a somewhat more active vacation which mixes in some sightseeing or whatever. Not really looking to lay on a beach for 5-7 days, but a day or two of that would be fine. So, college kids are likely to be pretty prevalent on the Mexican Riviera and similar destinations? Is there an obvio...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)
Replies: 23
Views: 2021

Re: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)

> Phoenix/Scottsdale? Father-in-law lives in Scottsdale, You should know that spring break overlaps with spring training. Car rentals will be pricey, maybe flights also. Now you made me think about that. The Cardinals do their spring training in Jupiter, FL, which is a bit north of Miami, I think. ...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)
Replies: 23
Views: 2021

Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)

Looking for spring break ideas. Family of 5 - 2 parents, 3 kids, kids ages range 11-17. Mid-March. Having 5 instead of <=4 can make hotel arrangements trickier... We're in St. Louis County, Missouri. Driveable is better than flying, but I would not rule out flying. But, flying... 1) Costs more 2) Wo...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling an old southern plantation
Replies: 3
Views: 1049

Re: Selling an old southern plantation

How close is it to Charlottesville? I'm a UVA alum, and the alumni news magazine has lots of ads for pricey horse farms and the like. If it's within an hour or two of C'ville/UVA, might be worth finding a copy of a recent magazine, and thumbing through to see the advertising brokers, the kinds of pr...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer
Replies: 46
Views: 4844

Re: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer

So what is a good way sell a car if there is no Carmax in your area and you are uncomfortable with selling privately? [The dealers seem to give you a very low price if you are not trading for a new car, and it almost seems more fruitful to donate it and take a tax deduction.] I'm not an expert, but...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spousal disagreement over how much house to buy
Replies: 99
Views: 6693

Re: spousal disagreement over how much house to buy

My ideal scenario would be to buy a 3-5 yr old house in the prime area we want. However, the vast majority of homes in that area are 20-30 years old. I've only found a couple that are 10 yrs old. Houses aren't like cars. Folks who buy new houses don't "trade them in" or have them come off...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Skeptical of the hidden risk in Value - convince me
Replies: 37
Views: 2559

Re: Skeptical of the hidden risk in Value - convince me

Count me in as a skeptic of the "value factor" being primarily a risk story. It is pretty well accepted that general equity risk (beta) offers expected returns. Investors are cognizant of the risk return tradeoff. Investors who are risk averse are counseled to reduce equity exposure. Someo...
by psteinx
Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My niece got accepted to Georgetown and we may have to pay for it.
Replies: 58
Views: 6903

Re: My niece got accepted to Georgetown and we may have to pay for it.

A few things here to unpack: 1) The main key, for a student with limited family financial resources, aspiring to a top tier, private, U.S. university, is that many such universities have VERY generous financial aid. Potentially education could be free or at least cheaper than a cheap in-state option...
by psteinx
Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Analyzing schools for an advanced child
Replies: 65
Views: 4175

Re: Analyzing schools for an advanced child

While I expressed my doubts above about determining, with precision, the best school choice, I'm kinda surprised to see some folks here downplaying the importance of K-12 schooling in general. This is *13* years of your kids' life! Out of ~18 years they'll live at home, and ~22 years where you'll ha...
by psteinx
Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Analyzing schools for an advanced child
Replies: 65
Views: 4175

Re: Analyzing schools for an advanced child

Some thoughts: * It's surprisingly hard to find solid research about this topic. i.e. What really matters? Do private schools (religious or not), produce better results? How much do low student to teacher ratios matter? Etc. The last time I looked (a few years ago), the bulk of "official" ...
by psteinx
Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car as an executor for an estate
Replies: 29
Views: 2072

Re: Selling a car as an executor for an estate

daveydoo wrote:...Never Craigslist -- that's a dump...
...And no one actually on social media would would have an interest in this car...

Now you've got me curious.
Not CL, not social media, but you've sold 6 cars quickly and easily in the past. What method(s)/platform(s)?
by psteinx
Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car as an executor for an estate
Replies: 29
Views: 2072

Re: Selling a car as an executor for an estate

It is, presumably, unused or little used now. It is depreciating. It is costing something to garage it. It is, presumably insured, at non-zero cost. All these suggest selling now. On the other hand, if the ill relative is resistant to selling (fears giving up independence/mobility, or perhaps just n...
by psteinx
Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car as an executor for an estate
Replies: 29
Views: 2072

Re: Selling a car as an executor for an estate

So make an outing of it. If you have free time Monday-Friday (as opposed to Saturday when they're probably busier), take the car to 3 or 4 of them in a row, tell them what you're doing and that you're looking to sell the car that day for the highest price, and you'll probably get a couple of reasona...
by psteinx
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: White Spot on TV - Caused by Router?
Replies: 22
Views: 1374

Re: White Spot on TV - Caused by Router?

SOMETHING is causing the problem. Candidates include: * The router, but only on an active basis. If moving the router solves the problem, DONE! * The router, on a more permanent basis. i.e. The damage to the LED pixels is already done, and moving the router would only prevent new damage, not resolve...
by psteinx
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car as an executor for an estate
Replies: 29
Views: 2072

Re: Selling a car as an executor for an estate

I know you want to sell it private party because of the buy/sell spread. That said... One way to narrow that spread, but still sell it to a dealer, is to sell it to the type of dealer who can actually sell it off their own lot. i.e. If you sell it to CarMax, it's probably too old for them to sell to...
by psteinx
Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car as an executor for an estate
Replies: 29
Views: 2072

Re: Selling a car as an executor for an estate

Assuming you are likely to sell to another private party, put yourself in his/her shoes: * Likely not very sophisticated * Buying an old car, cheap * Wants minimal hassle, chance of things going wrong Any complex legal document giving you power of attorney or estate executor or whatever is likely a ...
by psteinx
Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time/method of buying a new car.
Replies: 34
Views: 2794

Re: Best time/method of buying a new car.

To the extent that I can determine, in my state (Missouri), personal property taxes for cars and such are based on what you own on January 1. Therefore, the difference between buying a car on, say, December 30 versus January 3rd might be several hundred dollars in extra taxes - maybe even $1000+ for...
by psteinx
Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is buying a cabin make sense (in my case)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2696

Re: Is buying a cabin make sense (in my case)?

I hadn't read every message, and seen that OP is contemplating renting it out as well. While that reduces the effective cost/increases the return some, it also turns the endeavor into more of a "job", and reduces the appeal of having your own place. As a rental, you have to make some adjus...
by psteinx
Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is buying a cabin make sense (in my case)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2696

Re: Is buying a cabin make sense (in my case)?

I considered vacation property options for my family a few years ago. They're really hard to rationalize. The easiest way to think about it, IMO, is that the annual cost will be roughly X% of the purchase price. For simplicity, assume you're buying cash, no mortgage. So, what's the return you'd get ...
by psteinx
Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of People Invest in the Stock Market?
Replies: 22
Views: 2951

Re: What % of People Invest in the Stock Market?

Others have pointed out the issue with the 10/90/10 inference. FWIW, if I had to GUESS, I'd guess that among shares owned reasonably directly (including through funds) by individuals/households, that 10% own MORE than 90% of the wealth. Probably something closer to 8/92 or some such. That's EXCLUDIN...
by psteinx
Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tires for Saab 9.3 Sedan
Replies: 16
Views: 1171

Re: New Tires for Saab 9.3 Sedan

AFAIK, there has been only one meeting of a St. Louis area "chapter". It was a while back (4-5 years ago?). I think there's a thread in the local chapters sub-forum - probably dormant but you're welcome to try reviving... OK - did a quick search. I think there are a couple of threads there...
by psteinx
Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tires for Saab 9.3 Sedan
Replies: 16
Views: 1171

Re: New Tires for Saab 9.3 Sedan

West County Volvo, on Manchester a bit west of 141. They used to be a Saab dealership, and still seem to have reasonable expertise and parts access for Saabs. Obviously, for simpler stuff like tires or an oil change, you don't need a place with specific Saab expertise. That said, things seem to be d...
by psteinx
Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tires for Saab 9.3 Sedan
Replies: 16
Views: 1171

Re: New Tires for Saab 9.3 Sedan

Heh - many similarities: Have a 9-3 ('04 convertible, FWIW) Don't drive a lot of miles (probably 3-4K/year) Live in St. Louis (County) Bought new tires within the last year The label on the tires says Sumic - not sure if that's the manufacturer, or the brand of tire from the manufacturer. Bought at ...

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