Search found 367 matches

by rj49
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Investing without knowing governance/accounting details
Replies: 8
Views: 642

Re: International Investing without knowing governance/accounting details

Mr. Bogle used to used lax accounting standards and loose rule of law as reasons not to invest internationally, but after Enron, the financial crisis, and bank bailouts, it's difficult to idealize US financial accountability. While bribery and corruption are probably practiced around the world to so...
by rj49
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber for someone who knows only taxis
Replies: 93
Views: 6000

Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

I drive for Uber and Lyft to stay engaged, to have some of the satisfactions of work without the drawbacks, even though I'm retired and have no debts. I use my earnings for travel and to contribute to a Roth IRA, and it pays for the lease on my Corolla as well and gives me an excuse to lease new car...
by rj49
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cabo San Lucas - question
Replies: 34
Views: 3939

Re: Cabo San Lucas - question

The marina has a walk around it, away from cars and with plenty of tourists to feel safe. There's a dolphin swimming place as well that would make a good memory for kids--if you go to their website before you visit they usually have big discounts. The marina also has a big mall with a coffee shop, f...
by rj49
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Car (Nissan Leaf) for a teen driver?
Replies: 43
Views: 3191

Re: Electric Car (Nissan Leaf) for a teen driver?

I would be concerned about a teen forgetting to charge a car sufficiently and ending up with an empty battery and stranded somewhere. My teen nieces neglect to charge their phones diligently and are always on empty at inopportune times, and I remember as a teen I had to be rescued on occasion when I...
by rj49
Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy new iPhone?
Replies: 19
Views: 2021

Re: Where to buy new iPhone?

You can look at swappa.com, which is sort of like ebay in using paypal and guarantees, but is quite rigorous about requiring detailed photos and descriptions of phones. If you're not absolutely tied to the 8, you can get previous models in mint or even new condition for much less (and avoid sales ta...
by rj49
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Global Wellesley Income and Global Wellington Funds in registration [now available]
Replies: 124
Views: 31036

Re: Vanguard's Global Wellesley Income and Global Wellington Funds in registration [now available]

--For those looking for income, the new funds might lower the already-low current yields, since the international corporate bond index currently yields 1.62%, versus 3.13% for the US investment grade bond index. Both current funds capture some of the biggest foreign yielding stocks, and both have so...
by rj49
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brick Chimney Issues
Replies: 25
Views: 1790

Re: Brick Chimney Issues

During a home insulation project, I had the contractors remove my fireplace. Like you, I never used it and it let in cold air, so they just knocked everything out, took out the metal chimney, and covered everything up with new wall, ceiling, and carpet, giving me more room, quiet, and warmth.
by rj49
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?
Replies: 57
Views: 5610

Re: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?

I'd recommend driving Uber or Lyft, or UberEats, where you just deliver food. I'm also single, and I find that it's a good way to meet people, and as an engineer, you might enjoy the mental challenges, like figuring out routes, looking for promising ride areas, seeing where other drivers are at and ...
by rj49
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe:Better To Face The Correction
Replies: 51
Views: 6940

Re: Larry Swedroe:Better To Face The Correction

--The Buffett argument really doesn't fly, since Buffett currently has $100 billion in cash, due to lack of buying opportunities. --Grantham's calls aren't as valuable as his GMO 7-year returns...in January they estimated EM and Developed to be the only asset classes to have positive returns over 7 ...
by rj49
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 5358

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

You might check out the Toyota Corolla. It has vast rear-seat room, last year's model came with various safety improvements, and with decline in passenger car sales you can probably get a very good deal on one. I'm leasing one now for $185/mo, and like the interior, LED headlights, spaciousness, and...
by rj49
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?
Replies: 73
Views: 5662

Re: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?

I finally joined the lease club too, since I don't want to deal with repairs or getting tired of a car. I got a Toyota Corolla for $185 a month, and with the falls in new car sales and the rush to buy SUVs, there should continue to be attractive lease options for non-luxury passenger cars. My Bogleh...
by rj49
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades
Replies: 141
Views: 16778

Re: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades

Yep as great as Jack Bogle his, his crystal ball is just as reliable as the talking heads on market watch, cnbc, and etc. Actually Mr. Bogle doesn't use a crystal ball, he uses the Gordon equation, of earnings growth rate + dividend yield=fundamental return, which has been fairly accurate in tracki...
by rj49
Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle video (discusses international)
Replies: 44
Views: 4473

Re: John Bogle video (discusses international)

International diversification would mean that your international fund would have gone up 20% this year, versus 10%A for TSM, with a lot of smart people saying international equities were less overpriced than US, including the GMO 7-year forecast, Rob Arnott, and others. Friends of Mr. Bogle like Bur...
by rj49
Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?
Replies: 90
Views: 10843

Re: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?

Interesting perspective by Jason Zweig, that individual investors are actually increasing their bond allocation, because of retiree need for safe income, automatic rebalancing in TR funds, and other factors: https://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2017/08/04/this-market-really-is-different-this-time/ Person...
by rj49
Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do
Replies: 58
Views: 7580

Re: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do

If it's practical, you could switch to the VG Prime MMF, which is currently yielding 1.11%. It would make one less form to process at tax time, it makes it easier to withdraw and add to VG funds, and it's quicker to increase yields as interest rates rise. There's evidently a slight risk of breaking ...
by rj49
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I still buy index funds now at such a high price before an impending recession?
Replies: 59
Views: 8696

Re: Should I still buy index funds now at such a high price before an impending recession?

This is not consistent with Boglehead philosophy. You are proposing that one should make short-term speculation in assets which have negative expected value. Or even if not agreeing with the OP, the correct answer is that no one knows when a recession will occur. That is, a recession is always "imp...
by rj49
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Costco vs. Amazon - Thoughts of Prime Members?
Replies: 80
Views: 10364

Re: Costco vs. Amazon - Thoughts of Prime Members?

I decided a few years ago that Costco wasn't worth the stress and temptations--cart wars to get samples, waiting in line for check-out and gas, the temptations to have a hot dog or berry ice cream every visit, having my cupboards and fridge full of things that were appealing after the first couple o...
by rj49
Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Weak Evidence for International in Vanguard Research - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 77
Views: 7015

Re: Weak Evidence for International in Vanguard Research - Am I Missing Something?

Foreign returns are heavily skewed by the Japanese megabubble in the 1980s, where they dominated the foreign index and have never recovered. Thus VG didn't promote international until the 2000s, when it outperformed US after the bubble crash (few Bogleheads or writers promoted foreign either, since ...
by rj49
Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?
Replies: 66
Views: 4806

Re: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?

I hate bothering with points, redemption levels, and rotating categories (that always encourage me to overspend in those categories, wiping out any bonus). I go for the USAA 2.5% cashback visa, which you can redeem for any amount at any time, and doesn't have foreign transaction fees (unlike Citi) a...
by rj49
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?
Replies: 21
Views: 2045

Re: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?

I like their 2.5% cashback visa card, and you can redeem rewards easily for any amount, and it has no foreign exchange fee. The only requirement is a monthly direct deposit into one of their checking accounts. It's only available in certain states now. You can also get USAA insurance if you have a r...
by rj49
Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 4648

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

The cheapest plan I've found for the most data is on Mintsim, which uses TMobile's network. The only catch is you prepay for a year of service to get the best deal, which right now is $20 a month for unlimited everything with 5GB at high speed (using a 20% off code from retailmenot.com). Their lower...
by rj49
Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: radio alarm clock that projects the time on the wall or ceiling
Replies: 18
Views: 1959

Re: radio alarm clock that projects the time on the wall or ceiling

I have a Sony Dream Machine. It has multiple nature sounds to fall asleep to or be woken by, the time on the wall can be adjusted based on nearness and angle of the light, or you can just tap a button on top which will illuminate the clock (two settings, bright and dim), and it has a decent radio. T...
by rj49
Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to expand my vocabulary?
Replies: 102
Views: 7558

Re: Best way to expand my vocabulary?

The danger of trying to interject seemingly-sophisticated vocabulary is that you'll sound foolish and seem pretentious, like the Colonel in my office who was the butt of constant jokes for his attempt to speak beyond his educational level, so it was all jargon and funny malapropisms (like saying 'at...
by rj49
Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Peer-to-peer lending as an investment?
Replies: 52
Views: 5434

Re: Peer-to-peer lending as an investment?

I'm not familiar with P2P lending as an asset class either. What are it's characteristics and how does it fit into a portfolio? It sounds like the personal debt version of junk bonds: higher expected returns along with higher default risk. What is the correlation compared to high quality fixed inco...
by rj49
Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap, Non-Traditional Cell Phone Plans
Replies: 52
Views: 6504

Re: Cheap, Non-Traditional Cell Phone Plans

I just paid for a year of service on Mintsim, which uses the T-Mobile network. With a 20% discount code, it came to $260, or a little over $20 a month. That gives me unlimited talk and text and unlimited data with 5GB at LTE. They have a 2GB plan for around $13 if prepaid for a year. No overage cost...
by rj49
Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Terrible negotiator - need help with words to use [Buying a car]
Replies: 103
Views: 9463

Re: Terrible negotiator - need help with words to use [Buying a car]

One idea is to look in your area for an auto broker, who will do the negotiating and paperwork for you, and who are experienced in handling all the tricks they will use throughout the process. I also felt more comfortable during my last car-shopping experience hanging around the showroom until I saw...
by rj49
Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scott Burns is Signing Off -- He'll be missed
Replies: 25
Views: 6929

Re: Scott Burns is Signing Off -- He'll be missed

His best idea, I would say, is the Couch Potato portfolio, with half in U S stocks, half in bonds. I wish I 'd adopted and held that portfolio all my life, in retrospect. Unfortunately, he started fiddling with it and made many variations after the 2000 crash, and then became a DFA/slice-and-dicer a...
by rj49
Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Bernstein "If You Can"
Replies: 22
Views: 6276

Re: Bill Bernstein "If You Can"

There's also a free archive of his articles on his website, from 1996-2012, at:

http://www.efficientfrontier.com/ef/index.shtml
by rj49
Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for radio stations
Replies: 16
Views: 2018

Re: Recommendations for radio stations

KMRE streaming online from Bellingham WA plays old radio shows, both music and comedy/drama. It's run by a radio museum, so they have a lot of archives.
http://www.kmre.org/
by rj49
Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Sharpe's preferred portfolio
Replies: 84
Views: 16910

Re: Bill Sharpe's preferred portfolio

Apart from his investments, Sharpe had interesting ideas years ago on how to allocate retirement funds, in 'lockboxes', a combination of a total market risk portfolio combined with a risk-free asset to be spent in each year of retirement. He said it's the optimal way to draw down funds and maximize ...
by rj49
Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker? (or similar)
Replies: 29
Views: 2224

Re: Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker? (or similar)

The best deals for Nespresso machines include an Aeroccino Plus frother, which is great for making lattes and cappucinos with little to no fuss, (the bundle is $130 or so on Amazon). I like the Inissia because it allows you to set a longer time for a shot, whereas some of the machines turn off after...
by rj49
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family
Replies: 60
Views: 5247

Re: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family

Having done dozens of cruises, I would never do another Alaska one, despite living close to the departure ports of Seattle and Vancouver. The waters were rough in the open sea, the towns were small and dull and overfull of cruisers on various ships there at once, you're likely to get rain and bad we...
by rj49
Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of your belly........
Replies: 82
Views: 11920

Re: How to get rid of your belly........

The simplest method for losing and keeping off weight is to follow the basic food rules of Michael Pollan: eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. That avoids fad/restrictive diets that aren't sustainable. "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink also helps with things like portion control and other m...
by rj49
Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Synchrony vs Ally
Replies: 49
Views: 9309

Re: Synchrony vs Ally

You might take a look at Discover. Their savings rate is a bit lower, at .95%, but their checking account gives 10 cents back for every transaction, whether it's a debit purchase or bill pay or check written. You can buy a 50-cent pack of gum and boast about how you get 20% back on your debit card :...
by rj49
Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owning a Chromebook
Replies: 77
Views: 12495

Re: Owning a Chromebook

If you've used a Retina ipad, definitely look at HD-screen Chromebooks, they make tons of difference. It's like having a Macbook Air with a Retina display, but at a third of the price. I think mine is a Toshiba 2. The major advantage for me over a tablet is that I can use desktop sites on the web fo...
by rj49
Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday Deals for a new e-reader (hoping)
Replies: 13
Views: 1648

Re: Black Friday Deals for a new e-reader (hoping)

Refurbished Kindle Voyage is $119 on Amazon, the same usual price as the Paperwhite. The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight Plus is also on sale for $99. I have one and love it, with a classy metal back, a nice white bezel around the screen for holding comfortably, and fonts that I find more natural an...
by rj49
Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund Review
Replies: 53
Views: 12271

Re: Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund Review

Total World allows you to stop obsessing over ratio of US/international equities to hold and will rebalance them for you. That would discourage market timing, and allow you to view all the stocks in the funds as businesses you have a share in, instead of viewing them through the prism of their curre...
by rj49
Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Least expensive iPhone
Replies: 65
Views: 6088

Re: Least expensive iPhone

I got a refurbished iphone 6 plus from the Ringplus store, all ready to use on their service, and able to switch to any other service down the road (going with a 5 or earlier will lock you into either GSM or CDMA carriers). My cost for 6GB of data, 6000 minutes/texts was $30 upfront and zero per mon...
by rj49
Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your system for dealing with coins?
Replies: 123
Views: 10249

Re: What is your system for dealing with coins?

Use a coinstar machine, dump it all in, choose an Amazon gift certificate, so you get the full value of your money. Then reward yourself with an Amazon treat. Just keep your change jar safe if you have kids--I purchased all my Beatles albums as a kid by swiping change from my parents' Vegas change j...
by rj49
Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No faith in stocks/bonds - Where to park cash?
Replies: 38
Views: 4695

Re: No faith in stocks/bonds - Where to park cash?

Since you're comfortable with the risks of real estate rentals, you might try something similar, with similar risks of non-payment--P2P lenders. I have investments in LendingClub and Prosper, but there are others out there now. Despite defaults, I'm still yielding over 6% in the former and 9% in the...
by rj49
Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just got back from Europe...ready to sell my International...
Replies: 82
Views: 11366

Re: Just got back from Europe...ready to sell my International...

People are ready to dismiss Europe investing because of headlines and general impressions, but they've probably been investing in Japan, which has dominated international indices since the 1980s, when everyone thought they would rule the world economically (the same story we told ourselves about Chi...
by rj49
Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safe, affordable European cities to travel?
Replies: 38
Views: 4597

Re: Safe, affordable European cities to travel?

You might consider Dublin and the rest of Ireland. The only danger is drunks stumbling along the streets, but I walked all over at night with no issues or feelings of being threatened, even though my hotel was in a run-down neighborhood. No subway, so no petty pickpocket crime to speak of, and you c...
by rj49
Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I hate cell phones [battery problems]
Replies: 17
Views: 2264

Re: I hate cell phones [battery problems]

I have 3 lg stylos with great battery life, especially with the power saving features of Android 6.0. In any case you can swap out a battery or get a new one for $100. Mine are all on Ringplus, so with 10gb of data and unlimited talk/text for $0/month, buying a battery replacement would be easy.
by rj49
Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% US Equities argument: "We spend in Dollars"
Replies: 49
Views: 5942

Re: 100% US Equities argument: "We spend in Dollars"

"We spend in dollars" just seems rationalization for me, along with 'those backward countries don't have our sterling accounting practices', etc. Actually, for those who live anywhere near Canada, not spending in dollars can be profitable--I'm flying to Europe for $600 next month going out...
by rj49
Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Free Shipping Is Now $50....
Replies: 74
Views: 11642

Re: Amazon Free Shipping Is Now $50....

The people at Amazon are also capitalists, and they realize that consumers will be encouraged to buy much more if they offer 'free' quick shipping and the quick and easy shopping online (and as with Costco membership, people usually don't factor in the cost of membership into their purchases). I sus...
by rj49
Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a lease on a car
Replies: 15
Views: 2397

Re: Negotiating a lease on a car

Apart from the usual junk pushed by the finance guy after you buy the car, they'll also urge to you to buy gap insurance, as well as damage insurance so you're not charged at turn-in. I researched the Toyota criteria for lease turn-in, though, so I didn't succumb to their scare tactics, and in the m...
by rj49
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hand me down I-Phone..what can I do with it??
Replies: 31
Views: 2748

Re: Hand me down I-Phone..what can I do with it??

You might see if you can trade it in at Apple's official trade-in company. I saw $200 offers for the iphone 5c and others, and you could use the Apple gift card you'd get it for a pair of headphones or something else you'd use more than the phone. They'll even send you a shipping box for it. http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/reuse_and_recycle
by rj49
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Memory foam mattresses - any insight?
Replies: 87
Views: 18555

Re: Memory foam mattresses - any insight?

I think there's a difference between memory foam and latex mattresses. I've found that memory foam makes me sink in and get stuck like a cookie cutter, which is torture for someone who likes to turn over frequently. I bought a similar latex-top mattress on Amazon for under $200 and was quite happy, ...
by rj49
Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best No Annual Fees Rewards/Cash-Back Credit Cards
Replies: 87
Views: 17523

Re: Best No Annual Fees Rewards/Cash-Back Credit Cards

In order to diversify credit cards, you might look at the Target debit card, which gives 5% off purchases there, but that also includes gift cards, including Netflix, Amazon, ebay, and other places you probably routinely shop (even Southwest Airlines). I also use it to get T-Mobile refill cards for ...
by rj49
Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Bogleheads Buying I-Bonds 2016?
Replies: 87
Views: 18791

Re: Are Bogleheads Buying I-Bonds 2016?

I plan to buy my 2015 allotment this week. Yes, the interest rate is 0.10 plus inflation. But at least it keeps up with inflation. That's more than any other fairly liquid, safe investment makes these days. Actually Navy Federal Credit Union has 2.5% CDs now, which can be cashed in early if inflati...