Search found 2395 matches

by psteinx
Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs
Replies: 10
Views: 1173

Re: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs

So, today I did more research: There are 7 Honda automobile dealerships within a reasonable distance of me (6 in MO, 1 in IL). Unfortunately, it appears these 7 have, collectively, only 5 new Civics with the target trim (LX) and Honda Sensing (the safety package). And those 5 fall into 2 colors (bla...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs
Replies: 10
Views: 1173

Re: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs

And correct - no medicals bills for us related to this accident, so far. Yes, that's good news, more or less...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs
Replies: 10
Views: 1173

Re: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs

And re: financing... It has been my experience, and apparently the experience of some others, that dealers will sometimes cut a better deal if you finance, for whatever weird marketing/back-office reasons. If I approach this in a rather hands off fashion (an e-mail to most/all potential dealers desc...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs
Replies: 10
Views: 1173

Re: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs

Re: the (possible) two vehicles: The vehicle in the accident was a Civic. Assuming the insurance company totals it, we will very likely replace it with a very similar new Civic. Prior to this accident, we had contemplated a CR-V, either to replace an older vehicle (a Saab) or as an additional vehicl...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs
Replies: 10
Views: 1173

Likely buying new vehicle(s) - Some Qs

TLDR Version (getting to the meat of it): 1) How much realistic difference is there in vehicle shopping (i.e. discounts/negotiations) near the end of the month, versus the beginning? 2) If 2 new vehicles of the same make (Honda) are bought at once from the same dealership, is that likely to produce ...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Donation Experiences
Replies: 7
Views: 719

Re: Car Donation Experiences

While a car donation might be both rather painless and a good deed, *if* your relative wanted to realize some cash from the vehicle, in a relatively low effort way, they could drive it to a low to moderate income area of a major city that has a bunch of cheap used car lots in close proximity. Take i...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What To Do With My Car While in NYC
Replies: 32
Views: 2767

Re: What To Do With My Car While in NYC

If you sell this car now, you are by no means obligated to buy a *new* car when your need for a car resumes. Let's assume it's a 3 year old American make - perhaps $20K new and you could sell it for perhaps $11K now, with perhaps $2K in remaining loan. So, sell it for the $11K, pay off the loan, and...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What To Do With My Car While in NYC
Replies: 32
Views: 2767

Re: What To Do With My Car While in NYC

Sell it. The market for cars is actually relatively liquid, assuming the car is in decent shape, and is a late model, conventional vehicle. A 2 year old Honda or 4 year old Ford or whatever - you can sell it yourself private party, or sell it to a dealer. If you were certain you would need that same...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out
Replies: 23
Views: 1539

Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Check into an inexpensive new car. If your credit is good, you should be able to finance on attractive terms - not too much down and low/no interest. This board often frowns on financed cars and new cars for those who pay cash. But I think your case is an exception to the norm. Your car is on its la...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner
Replies: 29
Views: 2732

Re: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner

If it were me, I'd likely be waiting until after it's empty to show/sell. I don't know about the exact condition of the condo, of course, but I'd strongly consider something like the following: Tenant(s) moves out on day X. Go by to closely inspect the current condition of the unit on day X + 2 (say...
by psteinx
Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which tv and size to buy
Replies: 41
Views: 3770

Re: which tv and size to buy

I agree with those advising OP to consider ditching the entertainment center to allow a larger TV. While OP could replace with some sort of table and sit the new TV on top, OP might also consider wall-mounting the TV. There are various bracket systems for this - depends to some extent how handy OP i...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)
Replies: 32
Views: 2381

Re: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)

Couple other points re taxes: 1) Are you confident taxes are being handled correctly, CURRENTLY, with proper deductions offsetting rental income? Depending on the nature of the partial house rental, these may be complex/nuanced/unclear. 2) On a similar note: If the house is to be sold, don't forget ...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)
Replies: 32
Views: 2381

Re: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)

OP: Your expenses list is incomplete, neglecting things like food, entertainment, and other personal costs. It is mainly a list of property related expenses, but some of those expenses are costs that would likely be borne by your mother even if she moved out into an apartment or sold the house and b...
by psteinx
Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Every DFA fund (ex-S&P 500) has underperformed the S&P 500 for the past decade
Replies: 104
Views: 10566

Re: Every DFA fund (ex-S&P 500) has underperformed the S&P 500 for the past decade

The problem is, it's not so easy to determine whether bad results were the result of a good plan, gone unlucky, or a plan that perhaps we thought was good, but was in fact bad. If I walk into a casino, and bet on a roulette wheel, then whether I walk out $50 richer or poorer is pretty clearly the re...
by psteinx
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Part 2 of the series on alternative sources, this one on alternative lending
Replies: 16
Views: 1557

Re: Part 2 of the series on alternative sources, this one on alternative lending

From a less snarky angle: These funds are clearly expensive. Even if you disregard the servicing fees, the management fees and various other expenses are still high. Banks have their own costs. The pre-existing model is that a bank uses some capital, runs branches that draw in cheap additional funds...
by psteinx
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Part 2 of the series on alternative sources, this one on alternative lending
Replies: 16
Views: 1557

Re: Part 2 of the series on alternative sources, this one on alternative lending

Once again, we have two funds with, err, elevated expense totals: First up, RiverNorth Marketplace Lending Corporation... Drumroll please... And the fees & expenses are: ... 0.5%? Nah, try higher ... 1.0%? Nope, guess higher ... OK then, 1.5%? That's pretty steep. You're getting (somewhat) warme...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency
Replies: 119
Views: 7638

Re: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency

Oh, and if you choose option #1 (your own due diligence), note Larry's opinions that you can't really accept what's in the prospectus at face value. I'm not saying I entirely agree, but if that IS true, then it suggests that your own due diligence likely should go well beyond the prospectus.
by psteinx
Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency
Replies: 119
Views: 7638

Re: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency

The returns on this fund were good and stable from commencement of operations (12/9/2013) to at least 10/31/2016 (last date discussed in prospectus), and probably on through to today. But that's less than 3.5 years. The main thing that would seemingly harm performance would be a catastrophic event (...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency
Replies: 119
Views: 7638

Re: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency

Oh, one other very minor point in SRRIX's favor on fees and expenses : 0.01% (1 bp) of the listed amount is for "Interest Payments on Borrowed Funds". I presume that for the period upon which this is calculated, this is a leverage cost, and presumably, the borrowed funds are being deployed...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency
Replies: 119
Views: 7638

Re: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency

Larry: Perhaps your clients take full comfort in your assurances. Personally, if I were considering this investment, I hope I'd look to the prospectus itself for fee information. Particularly as, if this fund were to head in unattractive directions, via: 1) Poor performance or 2) Charging the prospe...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency
Replies: 119
Views: 7638

Re: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency

Larry: The fees I listed are from page 13* of the prospectus I linked. *Page # references using the page number at the bottom of the pages, not the pdf page #. The 15% incentive fee is indicated on that page, in note 3, albeit somewhat unclear. As I reread it, perhaps it hasn't amounted to much, yet...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency
Replies: 119
Views: 7638

Re: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency

Random Walker - thanks for pointing this out. I've edited my previous post.
by psteinx
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency
Replies: 119
Views: 7638

Re: Alts:new sources of risk/return improve portfolio efficiency

[NOTE/EDIT - I'm leaving the body of this post below intact, but will note that it appears that my assumption that the fund(s) in which SRRIX invests charge 0.16% + 15% of net profits was mistaken, invalidating the math that flows from that. I now think (but am not certain, the prospectus is confusi...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: General Investment Strategy as Trustee for Brother
Replies: 9
Views: 507

Re: General Investment Strategy as Trustee for Brother

It sounds like he's in a quite secure position financially, currently. Minimum wage is enough to support him now, and at some point I assume he's likely to receive S.S., he's got $1.2M now between trust and Roth IRA, and $250K more likely from inheritance. Is it correct to assume he has no children,...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Craigslist still the main site to sell stuff locally?
Replies: 51
Views: 4711

Re: Is Craigslist still the main site to sell stuff locally?

If you're in/near a major city, and you're not getting responses or not getting the offers you want, you're likely pricing stuff too high. Yes, you could perhaps get a higher "headline" price on ebay or the like, but after deduction of fees, shipping, etc, that price may not be so impressi...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An Edward Jones Financial Advisor stopped by my house and spoke with my wife
Replies: 111
Views: 11641

Re: An Edward Jones Financial Advisor stopped by my house and spoke with my wife

Put me down with the camp that thinks that EJ can be* a positive for the many folks with far less financial sophistication than is normal/typical in this forum.

Also, financial planning is more than just which 3 funds to split your investments among.

*Not always, but sometimes...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: August Vacation With Kids
Replies: 31
Views: 2324

Re: August Vacation With Kids

4 YO and a <1YO baby? Most likely, the 4 YO will barely remember the vacation, and the 1 YO not at all. So why these extravagant, long distance vacations? A simple beach trip, your local amusement park (I would not do Disney at that age barring something unusual like a need to be near the parks anyw...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we take 0.9% auto financing?
Replies: 27
Views: 2026

Re: Should we take 0.9% auto financing?

Even if it is invested in a CD, if I have a loan of 0.9% and CD of say 1.3% for the difference that is 0.4% on $20,000 that is $80/year profit before tax, maybe $50 after (OP's tax rate) that we're talking about. Except that probably the whole 1.3% is taxable, and the 0.9% is likely not deductible....
by psteinx
Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1,124,176 Car.
Replies: 99
Views: 8305

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: 388

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: 70
Views: 5161

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: 3015

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: 2268

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: 9185

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: 9185

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: 4960

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: 4061

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: 4061

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: 4061

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: 475

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: 2465

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: 2847

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: 2190

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: 5230

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: 3432

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: 2465

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: 4608

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: 833

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: 4608

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...

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