Search found 845 matches

by sls239
Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Life-changing event just happened. Seeking portfolio review and guidance
Replies: 26
Views: 1418

Re: Life-changing event just happened. Seeking portfolio review and guidance

I don't think you should make any changes to your allocation right now.

It is too sudden.

Give it some time to see what is likely to happen. Don't panic.

But you should adjust your spending.
by sls239
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What percentage of international do you hold?
Replies: 86
Views: 2567

Re: What percentage of international do you hold?

I have 20% of my equities in international. Mostly because well over a decade ago I had to pick a number and I picked 20%. I've seen the chart, yes, 30% looks better and if I were starting today I might pick 30%. But I don't think it is significant enough to change from 20%. Anyone have an updated c...
by sls239
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2006
Views: 515078

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I'm reading The Big Picture by Sean Carroll, a physicist (not to be confused with Sean B Carroll, the evolutionary biologist). It is a sort of philosophy of science.
by sls239
Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200
Replies: 15
Views: 877

Re: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200

I have a pair of Nikon Travelite that my son has used since age 8. They are 8x25 though.
by sls239
Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Basketball Hoop
Replies: 11
Views: 724

Re: Buying a Basketball Hoop

Our cul-de-sac has one portable hoop. It has literally gone from house to house as people have moved in and out or gotten more or less interested in bball.
by sls239
Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plans
Replies: 5
Views: 560

Re: 529 Plans

Are the grandparents within the income range to do an ESA? Those offer the flexibility of using it on qualified education related expenses in primary and secondary school.

They have a contribution limit of $2K / year, but there's nothing that says you can't do an ESA and a 529.
by sls239
Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly/Drive to Yellowstone
Replies: 21
Views: 1874

Re: Fly/Drive to Yellowstone

They release the entire next year's lodging every May.
Canyon Village is the one where you can actually reach all the major areas of Yellowstone, if you are looking for one place.
We flew in to Jackson as well.
by sls239
Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portland or Dallas (Southlake area)
Replies: 28
Views: 2041

Re: Portland or Dallas (Southlake area)

I know political debates aren't allowed on here, but when I said education was political in Texas I meant it. There's a bill in the state legislature right now that would take away the ability of a school counselor to maintain confidentiality. I'm sure as a physician, you are aware of the importance...
by sls239
Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portland or Dallas (Southlake area)
Replies: 28
Views: 2041

Re: Portland or Dallas (Southlake area)

So my brother lives outside of Portland and my sister lives outside of Dallas. My brother is actually a conservative and he loves living in Portland. He complains about liberals all the time, but he also thinks the rail system is awesome. He likes running and drinking craft beer and you can do a ton...
by sls239
Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Question
Replies: 7
Views: 710

Re: Mortgage Question

Since you originally scheduled closing more than 30 days out, you could consider letting the rate float and continue comparison shopping for now.

Then lock the rate when closing plus 30 is within the lock period.
by sls239
Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anything to do before ARM adjusts?
Replies: 9
Views: 833

Re: Anything to do before ARM adjusts?

Oh I just got confused. I thought you were considering paying it off in December.
by sls239
Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anything to do before ARM adjusts?
Replies: 9
Views: 833

Re: Anything to do before ARM adjusts?

If you have an escrow account, you will want to review that. And if property taxes are due at the end of the year, you'll want to make sure you know who is paying them.
by sls239
Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?
Replies: 81
Views: 6209

Re: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?

I think it is more noticeable now because there has been slow growth. Companies are still hesitant to add staff, and yet more people are interested in buying so there's more for the staff to do.
by sls239
Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year mortgage or 401(k)?
Replies: 29
Views: 2243

Re: 15 year mortgage or 401(k)?

We went with a 7/1 mortgage that offered a 30 year amortization but at the rate of a 15 year mortgage.

Right now we are paying at the 30 year rate and putting more into the 401(k).

But if interest rates were to go up significantly, we could reverse that strategy.
by sls239
Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Min. length of record of income for mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 970

Re: Min. length of record of income for mortgage?

The first question to ask is if you can qualify for the loan based just on your spouse's income. And you might be surprised at how large a loan you can qualify for on just one income.

This is especially true if you have no other debts.
by sls239
Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time negotiating for a car. Have questions
Replies: 44
Views: 4225

Re: First time negotiating for a car. Have questions

In business-speak, you need a BATNA - best alternative to a negotiated agreement. If you are buying new, might as well start with something in the lower 1/3 of the distribution on the truecar graph. Just know the point at which you want to walk away because your BATNA is better. For the trade-in, se...
by sls239
Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company clawing back retirement contributions
Replies: 59
Views: 6999

Re: Company clawing back retirement contributions

I'm guessing here but I suspect that there were differences in what was considered compensation for the purposes of matching, and that in practice, they did not adhere to what the plan documents defined as compensation. And it sounds like that would make it an operation failure. And part of that wou...
by sls239
Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An "out of sample" test of two specific factor-based portfolios published pre-2008
Replies: 76
Views: 5531

Re: An "out of sample" test of two specific factor-based portfolios published pre-2008

So basically, only a few special people can do factor based investing correctly and they aren't sharing it with people in a way they could implement on their own.

Alright then.
by sls239
Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend me an odorless antimicrobial surface cleaner for work
Replies: 16
Views: 1070

Re: Recommend me an odorless antimicrobial surface cleaner for work

One thing you need to understand is that the surface needs to be clean before it can be sanitized. So sprays are not going to be effective on surfaces. There are wipes that can both clean and sanitize, but they can't do both in one swipe. But I personally favor plain soap and water on a damp washclo...
by sls239
Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magazines for young readers....
Replies: 18
Views: 1512

Re: Magazines for young readers....

Ask or Cricket.
by sls239
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Shopping - Early 2000s Mid-Sized Car Reliability under $5k?
Replies: 37
Views: 2730

Re: Car Shopping - Early 2000s Mid-Sized Car Reliability under $5k?

My spouse drives an '04 Accord, 4 cylinder with about 2 50K miles on it. There have been some small repairs, a window motor, an O2 sensor. But in my experience, the parts have not been expensive nor labor intensive. And there haven't been any mysterious recurring problems or hard to diagnose glitche...
by sls239
Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your system for dealing with coins?
Replies: 123
Views: 8180

Re: What is your system for dealing with coins?

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority pretty much takes my entire year's worth of coins in the one or two trips I make each year.
by sls239
Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double Income No Kids (but expect kids in future) - How much home can we afford?
Replies: 28
Views: 2951

Re: Double Income No Kids (but expect kids in future) - How much home can we afford?

Tooooooo soon to buy a house. Once you get your first kid then start looking. Until then you are just wasting your time and your money. Personally I think it's nice to be settled in before having kids. For example, finding the house when pregnant. Trying to find a house with an infant is not easy -...
by sls239
Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help. My boss is expecting me to read her mind.
Replies: 53
Views: 3779

Re: Help. My boss is expecting me to read her mind.

She has to make sure that what they are reimbursing qualifies for reimbursement. The government can get in huge trouble for reimbursing an expense that is not reimbursable. Moreso than most private organizations. Remember that everything your boss does is likely very highly scrutinized as well becau...
by sls239
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series
Replies: 82
Views: 5174

Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Top of the Lake is good, but it's more like The Killing than Midsomer Murders.
by sls239
Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double Income No Kids (but expect kids in future) - How much home can we afford?
Replies: 28
Views: 2951

Re: Double Income No Kids (but expect kids in future) - How much home can we afford?

I'm curious as to why you are interested in buying when you are expecting major changes in other areas of your life.

Might it not be better to wait until you are dealing with reality rather than expectations?

Buying too soon or buying wrong can be just as expensive as buying too much house.
by sls239
Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying used car smarter than buying new?
Replies: 89
Views: 5221

Re: buying used car smarter than buying new?

Don't believe the "rough calculations." I bought my car at a year and a half old, 14K miles for 28% less than the original purchaser. I know because the paperwork was still in the glovebox. Just understand that listed prices for used cars are jacked way up . They do that for two reasons 1)...
by sls239
Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barrier to credit card warranty protection claim
Replies: 22
Views: 1718

Re: Barrier to credit card warranty protection claim

The account number should be on your credit report.

If the account number doesn't suffice, I'd file a complaint with the CFPB.
by sls239
Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to sell house ~ every 15 years?
Replies: 40
Views: 5062

Re: Better to sell house ~ every 15 years?

Unless you are lucky and find yourself in a fairly hot market, you'd probably have trouble selling a house with a 15 year old roof, HVAC, paint and carpet.
by sls239
Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance
Replies: 91
Views: 7155

Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Can I tell you something about the clothing? Some poor kids need to be dressed nice because otherwise they risk being seen as a um, troublemaker. Please don't judge their finances on their clothing. (For adults, this also applies to cars). If you've never felt the need to dress a certain way to avoi...
by sls239
Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going short to negate going long [socially responsible investing]
Replies: 59
Views: 3363

Re: Going short to negate going long

Thanks everyone for your responses, and especially Valuethinker for your in-depth analysis! You've definitely addressed my core question -- sounds like shorting is a terrible idea. And apologies for skirting the forum guidelines in my specifics -- I recognize the need to keep this forum neutral so ...
by sls239
Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $67 Auto Lease??
Replies: 12
Views: 1696

Re: $67 Auto Lease??

How much would you be out if the car were totaled in an accident?

You don't want to be stuck paying the new car price and getting used car value from the insurance company.
by sls239
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: closet organizing system
Replies: 32
Views: 2974

Re: closet organizing system

Elfa is awesome. And it goes on sale regularly. I've done two laundry rooms (different houses) a reach in closet, and a garage. It was specifically complimented by buyers and an appraiser.

And if your needs change, the closet can change.
by sls239
Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue
Replies: 100
Views: 7551

Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Are there any police officers that live in the community?
by sls239
Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement for Women(?)
Replies: 34
Views: 3592

Re: Retirement for Women(?)

The reason they assigned gender to the message is because absent assignment, the message would be seen as geared towards men because men are the default, especially when it comes to finance.
by sls239
Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0 - 0.99% APR on auto... would you finance?
Replies: 12
Views: 1362

Re: 0 - 0.99% APR on auto... would you finance?

Lots of places offer 0% financing. Then tack on a fixed dollar "financing fee" or other type of fees.

If you can negotiate those down to zero as well, more power to you.
by sls239
Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hatchback to match Camry on price/comfort/reliability?
Replies: 42
Views: 3295

Re: Hatchback to match Camry on price/comfort/reliability?

No, there's really not unfortunately.
by sls239
Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raising a reader
Replies: 53
Views: 3589

Re: Raising a reader

I would read to him out of whatever book I was reading. It doesn't matter that he couldn't understand it, they get to hear the sounds and the pattern of the language. I also picked children's books that I liked to read to little one. I think kids can tell when you are just going through the motions....
by sls239
Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Buying Dilemma
Replies: 53
Views: 4758

Re: Car Buying Dilemma

Highway miles are actually easier on a car than in-town stop and go miles are. I wouldn't assume you'd need a new car real soon.

There's nothing wrong with looking, but there is absolutely no reason to narrow your options at this point down to just two.
by sls239
Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting Cable Cord Only to Strengthen Internet Cord
Replies: 64
Views: 5482

Re: Cutting Cable Cord Only to Strengthen Internet Cord

You know that Netflix still has DVD plans right?
by sls239
Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taking back a mortgage
Replies: 27
Views: 2808

Re: taking back a mortgage

Wait, what? I understand wanting to help someone, but you haven't even said if you would otherwise sell the house at all or how that affects your financial plans. And, I would suggest just as important - Have you considered the possibility that just because he wants to buy the house doesn't mean tha...
by sls239
Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 24 year old new driver - Debating getting or not getting collision auto insurance
Replies: 15
Views: 1229

Re: 24 year old new driver - Debating getting or not getting collision auto insurance

So $91 / month plus $1500 deductible is $2592. So you could buy a car for that amount and not be taking any additional risk at all. So I'd start there. Then consider how much of your money you are willing to risk in order to drive a nicer car. Also, make sure to budget in things like tires and oil c...
by sls239
Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for college vs maxing out retirement accts
Replies: 24
Views: 2016

Re: Saving for college vs maxing out retirement accts

You want to make sure you are saving adequately for your retirement before saving for college. And that varies based on individual situation. Sometimes the answer to the question of where to put college savings is in a retirement account. Part of that is because retirement is a long term goal, and b...
by sls239
Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home inspection items for repair
Replies: 32
Views: 2085

Re: Home inspection items for repair

The inspector is a generalist. What you need now that problems have been found are specialists. In particular, you need the entire HVAC inspected.
by sls239
Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Big move to Texas Hill Country (Round Rock/Georgetown area)
Replies: 55
Views: 3378

Re: Considering Big move to Texas Hill Country (Round Rock/Georgetown area)

Pay attention to water. The area is in a wet period now, but when the drought comes (and it will) water can be a huge issue in the hill country. Wells - even wells for entire neighborhoods - go dry. Trucked in water is really expensive, as is completely changing your landscaping. I think if I didn't...
by sls239
Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hedging against home value decrease
Replies: 42
Views: 3263

Re: Hedging against home value decrease

It isn't exactly a hedge, but I think your best bet is sticking to the minimum house that meets your needs, preferably a cheaper house in a nicer neighborhood. Then you have choices - if the market goes down you could upgrade to another house at a discount, if the market goes up you can improve the ...
by sls239
Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage immediately? Or keep plugging along?
Replies: 57
Views: 4445

Re: Pay off mortgage immediately? Or keep plugging along?

Did you say there was the possibility of a small 2nd income? Would that come with access to a 401k? Would it be 18K / year? Because if that happened, you could funnel an extra 18K into tax-deferred from your current cash savings while still using the extra money earned for other goals like college s...
by sls239
Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to take little kids sightseeing?
Replies: 37
Views: 2526

Re: How best to take little kids sightseeing?

I think chasing pigeons and climbing trees is a version of sight seeing. If you want to squeeze in more formal sights than the children can handle, I suggest tag teaming. One parent stays with the kids, the other hits up a sight or pops out for a bit of nightlife. You can also tag team for lines. On...

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