Search found 79 matches

by taguscove
Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding between retirement and general savings in my 20s
Replies: 28
Views: 2812

Re: Deciding between retirement and general savings in my 20s

Speaking as a fellow finance graduate with a similar background 10 senior. Other than $2-5k cash, try to max your 401k (18k), then the IRA (5.5k) aggressively. Don't put anything into after tax, non-tax preferred investment accounts until then. The reason is that the 401k and IRA provide big tax sav...
by taguscove
Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far off are Zillow's estimates?
Replies: 82
Views: 7397

Re: How far off are Zillow's estimates?

Speaking as a data scientist, I admire what Zillow is trying to do. They've fit a good model upon the best available data. However, realize that the data comes from multiple sources (mostly public) and is messy. Zestimate won't discover your kitchen renovation, basement addition. It may even get you...
by taguscove
Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 12451

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

I'm not the parent, but getting married in a month. Parents in-law are paying for the wedding, our parents the rehearsal dinner, and we're paying for breakfast the following day. I would have preferred a low key wedding, but in-law parents wanted something grand. The per-person cost is now at $750....
by taguscove
Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 12451

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

I'm not the parent, but getting married in a month. Parents in-law are paying for the wedding, our parents the rehearsal dinner, and we're paying for breakfast the following day. I would have preferred a low key wedding, but in-law parents wanted something grand. The per-person cost is now at $750. ...
by taguscove
Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts
Replies: 28
Views: 2295

Re: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts

Any receipts I receive go immediately to the trash can. 90+% of my dollar value transactions are digital and the remainder aren't large enough to matter.
If it's actually important, I ask the retailer for a copy. About the only receipts I retain are my W2 and annual 1040.
by taguscove
Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your car's average cost ownership?
Replies: 70
Views: 5189

Re: What is your car's average cost ownership?

There's so much selective accounting going on. Previous posters are largely estimating long term average depreciation and ignoring many big additional costs of ownership. Total cost of owning a car for most Americans ranges from $4000 to $8000 a year. 2014 Chevrolet volt 1 year cost this year: $ 389...
by taguscove
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Box Spring?
Replies: 22
Views: 1354

Re: New Box Spring?

A box spring's purpose is to provide a flat surface and raise the bed to your preferred height (i.e. sexy time height). If your current box spring does that, a new box spring is not necessary. Many current beds are even designed to remove the need for boxsprings. On a related topic, the mattress ind...
by taguscove
Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Moving to SF Bay Area, Considering REITs for investments
Replies: 14
Views: 2130

Re: Moving to SF Bay Area, Considering REITs for investments

I agree with what everyone else said. Don't overweight REITs. Just own a diversified stock and bond portfolio.

The reality is that REITS are very loosely correlated to SF housing prices and won't act as a substitute. The REITs are mostly commercial with a heavy emphasis on generating income.
by taguscove
Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 73
Views: 7398

Re: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?

"Email services offered by gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. are vulnerable and have been hacked." Anything that interacts with the Internet has the potential to be hacked. Companies that focus primarily on e-mail likely do a better job on securing their mail systems. But don't fool yourself th...
by taguscove
Wed May 24, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suits: best bang for your buck?
Replies: 64
Views: 8225

Re: Suits: best bang for your buck?

Look to style forum. Suitsupply is a consistent favorite in the below $1000 category. Best suits for $400-600. Jcrew also good but a tier below Jos a banks and men's warehouse are substantially lower quality and value. Dark Navy or charcoal suit is most versatile. Black suits surprisingly have a muc...
by taguscove
Mon May 22, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice about mortgage for first time buyer
Replies: 9
Views: 1185

Re: Need advice about mortgage for first time buyer

I agree to look into a 5 or 7 year arm. We ended up choosing a 15 year. In my opinion, too many people see the 30 year mortgage as the default option. It's a very long period commitment that exposes the lender to substantial interest rate risk. As a borrower, you pay a premium for a lender to commit...
by taguscove
Mon May 22, 2017 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Galapagos Trip, Suggestions
Replies: 17
Views: 1820

Re: Galapagos Trip, Suggestions

Great choice! I have traveled widely, and visiting the Galapagos is one of the top 3 destinations I've ever experienced. It's a wonder to interact with wildlife that's not afraid of humans. Cruise on a boat with 8-16 passengers is really the best option. As an avid independent traveler, my intuition...
by taguscove
Fri May 19, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else track the value of their investments by discounting the value of equities?
Replies: 64
Views: 4459

Re: Anyone else track the value of their investments by discounting the value of equities?

Once a year i'll run an exercise where I discount all financial assets at 0% to simulate a complete financial collapse.
A home, 6 months of food, water filtration, medicine and shotgun are a good offset to this scenario.
by taguscove
Tue May 16, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: thoughts on the FP&A (financial analysis) certification?
Replies: 4
Views: 554

Re: thoughts on the FP&A (financial analysis) certification?

I doubt there's much value. To get a job, I would message lots of people on Linkedin with carefully tailored messages demonstrating your research. I worked in the GE Capital FP&A organization for 2.5 years, interacted with dozens of FP&A managers. To get stared with FP&A, you just need E...
by taguscove
Fri May 12, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 5438

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

A passenger vehicle is an asset. The depreciation is the largest contributor to vehicle operating expenses. The question you're asking is essentially an accounting debate. Do you think in terms of GAAP income statement earnings, GAAP cash flow, or some sort of Pro-forma accounting. There's no right ...
by taguscove
Thu May 11, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 9033

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

Though very promising, it's clearly an early adopter technology. I remember analyzing the Toyota Prius in 2001 when it first came out, and it made zero economic sense compared to a Toyota Corolla. What I failed to consider was the trajectory that the new technology would improve. 15 years later, hyb...
by taguscove
Wed May 10, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA & renting rules
Replies: 27
Views: 2637

Re: HOA & renting rules

I think I would be inclined to rent it. In this sharing Economy it is a very common practice. Just include in lease that owner will refund security deposit and rent if hoa forces eviction. The HOA would go after owner with fines and Lein on property For any violation of HOA rules. Sounds like a gre...
by taguscove
Thu May 04, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unmarried couple purchasing a home?
Replies: 72
Views: 4367

Re: Unmarried couple purchasing a home?

I bought a home with my girlfriend last year. Married couples have a fairly well established legal framework for handling separation. Other relationships are like the wild west where some exceptionally non-intuitive/unjust outcomes can happen. I recommend that you talk to a local lawyer. $400-1000 w...
by taguscove
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another: Rent out current house or sell? (what did you do?)
Replies: 3
Views: 548

Re: Another: Rent out current house or sell? (what did you do?)

I suggest you either sell now or try renting and sell within 3 years. 1. tax treatment: For your primary home, there is a $250k exclusion ($500k if married) on capital gains. To qualify, you need to sell within 3 years of moving out. ( https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Home-Ownership/Ta...
by taguscove
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Armageddon Insurance - how to spend $100k
Replies: 29
Views: 2834

Re: Financial Armageddon Insurance - how to spend $100k

For research, watch "The Walking Dead." What preparation helped various parties and groups during that fictional societal collapse? Localized economic disruption is much more likely than full on collapse. Think Hurricane Katrina, where the roads, power, and water are cut for weeks at a ti...
by taguscove
Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)
Replies: 10
Views: 1303

Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Is there a benefit to washing / waxing / sealing other than aesthetics? I've tried washing and waxing 3-4 times, but didn't notice a substantial difference beyond the immediate gratification of a beautiful looking car. I realized that car washing isn't something I enjoy, so I just stopped the past 5...
by taguscove
Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM
Replies: 48
Views: 3550

Re: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM

If you are confident about moving within 10 years, I suggest you seriously look at a 7/1 ARM. A 20 year or 30 year fixed exposes the lender to a substantial amount of interest rate risk ("duration" in bond language). The borrower even has the option of paying the mortgage early if interest...
by taguscove
Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legality of renters posting reviews of a condominium complex?
Replies: 82
Views: 4112

Re: Legality of renters posting reviews of a condominium complex?

This is an interesting question. I believe I found the relevant passage: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition t...
by taguscove
Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value of having TIPS funds?
Replies: 35
Views: 4217

Re: Value of having TIPS funds?

TIPS are safer than corresponding nominal bonds and offer great portfolio diversification. As a downside, TIPS offer very low return to match the low risk. TIPS perform best when inflation is above expectations and growth is below expectations. Nominal bonds perform best when inflation is below expe...
by taguscove
Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Doubting Shiller -- what is the "correct" P/E?
Replies: 44
Views: 3331

Re: Doubting Shiller -- what is the "correct" P/E?

The dividend discount model takes a bond valuation and applies it to stocks. Let's start with a simpler dividend discount model A 3 year bond with annual payments of $10, no principal repayment. Current market value is $27 $27 = year 1 payment: $10 / discount rate ^ 1 year 2 payment: $10 / discount ...
by taguscove
Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boston apartment hunting advice/can I afford a studio?
Replies: 48
Views: 3953

Re: Boston apartment hunting advice/can I afford a studio?

No, you can't afford it. 1. your income is below the Boston metro median 2. Boston is a top 5 cost of living USA city 3. Beacon hill most is the most expensive neighborhood per sq. ft. in Boston 4. A dedicated parking space in Boston proper is $300, with some select places at $350-400. As other peop...
by taguscove
Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T
Replies: 16
Views: 1607

Re: Purchasing a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

-> Sonata has a soft suspension, similar to Toyota Camry. Consider the Kia Optima or Honda Accord if you prefer a firmer suspension. Consider the Mazda 6 if you place a premium on responsive driving. -> Sonata sloped back window impacts visibility compared to the Camry and Accord. I prefer the looks...
by taguscove
Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BND flat today despite interest rate announcement
Replies: 22
Views: 3529

Re: BND flat today despite interest rate announcement

Bond prices vary based on changing market expectations of future interest rates. Today's interest rate announcement is mostly old news and was widely telegraphed already for 2 weeks. The market was pricing closer to 4, quarter point raises during morning trading, and the consensus view is around 3 q...
by taguscove
Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Dental Implant
Replies: 63
Views: 5853

Re: Cost of Dental Implant

I had an accident in 2016 that fractured a single front tooth below the gum line. I had no dental insurance and paid cash for a complete extraction and implant. Shouldn't that be covered by health insurance? I went 2 years without health insurance while transitioning careers in the Bay Area. It was...
by taguscove
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Dental Implant
Replies: 63
Views: 5853

Re: Cost of Dental Implant

I had an accident in 2016 that fractured a single front tooth below the gum line. I had no dental insurance and paid cash for a complete extraction and implant. The procedure you're looking at is different but I thought my information could be helpful. Work done in Palo Alto, CA: Tooth root removed:...
by taguscove
Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?
Replies: 76
Views: 5916

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

What can/does someone do to harm these vehicles? I would think you would be able to see most wear and tear on the outside of the vehicle. Other than that I think anything 'damaged' would be consumable items such as brake pads. I don't think many people are renting a Prius or Camry and and going off...
by taguscove
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank of America vs Chase
Replies: 36
Views: 4921

Re: Bank of America vs Chase

Funny! I experienced the opposite scenario switching from Chase to BofA when moving from SF to Boston (Cambridge to be exacty). Make the switch to Chase. Chase and BofA are similar national "too big to fail" banks that offer broad services but with impersonal service and less attractive ra...
by taguscove
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your alternate investments?
Replies: 21
Views: 1850

Re: What are your alternate investments?

By far my largest alternative investment is in education. Just invested $50k + opportunity cost the past 2 years to get a masters.
by taguscove
Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond yields, from 1714
Replies: 20
Views: 2551

Re: Bond yields, from 1714

I've done primary research on gathering primary financial and market data in the past. The volume of quality data increases dramatically after 1960. Some of the really core data such as CPI, bond yields, and stock prices is available as early as 1920s. Data quality prior to 1920s is far worse. Integ...
by taguscove
Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel challenge: axis min and max to automatically scale
Replies: 20
Views: 2545

Re: Excel challenge: axis min and max to automatically scale

Well it appears that the OP is trying to develop a dynamic analytical application using Excel. It's not the right tool either. No, the OP is trying to create something that can be distributed with an extremely low barrier to entry to hundreds (if not thousands) of non-technical (or low-technical) p...
by taguscove
Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel challenge: axis min and max to automatically scale
Replies: 20
Views: 2545

Re: Excel challenge: axis min and max to automatically scale

Excel is not the right tool to make good looking or dynamic charts.

Duct tape is also not the right material to build homes.

You could, but why would you subject yourself to the pain? Use a proper programming language.
by taguscove
Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not hedge using futures?
Replies: 54
Views: 4383

Re: Why not hedge using futures?

IMO Futures are a lot riskier than any other asset. You need to be on top of it and babysit your account every day. In other words you have no clue how much money you can lose/make in futures in the long term. I've used the tripple leverage funds in the past to hedge the risk temporarily but even t...
by taguscove
Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel Reservations
Replies: 18
Views: 1836

Re: Hotel Reservations

Unlike flights (which reliably increase as the flight date gets closer), hotels don't have a simple days in advance price pattern. A surprising number of hotel bookings are very close to the day of stay. Peak season in the northern hemisphere is June-August. March is also fairly busy. I recommend bo...
by taguscove
Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone own gold?
Replies: 114
Views: 10549

Re: Does anyone own gold?

Yes, but I view it as a position similar to cash. Gold (like cash) doesn't provide income or growth, just a preservation of capital. Gold also looks great in jewelry. P.S. I just clicked on the link and the article is hilariously conspiratorial. I was half expecting the Rothschilds, Illuminati, or f...
by taguscove
Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Finance question
Replies: 8
Views: 688

Re: Auto Finance question

When I was on the market, the 5 year term loans seemed unusually attractive. 1.49-1.99%. If you are confident that you'll pay off in 4-5 years, I would choose the shorter term at a lower interest rate. I went with Penfed, though there are a number of credit unions with good rates. The real question ...
by taguscove
Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help with standard deviation, volatility comparing slice and dice with 3-fund portfolios
Replies: 9
Views: 673

Re: Help with standard deviation, volatility comparing slice and dice with 3-fund portfolios

Hello hello, I know that past performance does not guarantee future results, BUT (lol): Is the standard deviation more a product of the asset allocation (stocks vs bonds), or the individual stock-fund selection? Thanks. Danielle This is going to sound funny, but either portfolio seems fine to me. D...
by taguscove
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage advice, 1st time buyer
Replies: 12
Views: 1632

Re: Mortgage advice, 1st time buyer

Hello, I bought my first home myself 6 months ago. When mortgage shopping, ask for quotes for the 10/1 ARM and 15 year fixed as well. There can be substantial variation in the mortgage rates between banks based on the product they prefer to sell. 1. Check the rates of the 3-5 local credit unions and...
by taguscove
Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyer advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1691

Re: First time home buyer advice

hbgpharmd, We purchased our first home this past summer (Cambridge, MA), and here's my advice for what it's worth. 1. A good real estate agent can add a lot of value. They're aware of upcoming listings and even off-market listings that don't even show up on zillow. What surprised me during house hun...
by taguscove
Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another can I afford this $2M house thread...
Replies: 70
Views: 7950

Re: Another can I afford this $2M house thread...

If you're currently in the Bay Area, NYC, Seattle, or Honolulu, I would rent unless you plan to stay 10+ years If you're in another HCOL city, I would rent unless you plan to stay 5+ years If you're in any other city, I would buy immediately. I see this all the time on this board. To me, this advic...
by taguscove
Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another can I afford this $2M house thread...
Replies: 70
Views: 7950

Re: Another can I afford this $2M house thread...

Thanks for the responses. Not quite what I was expecting given what I read on every other home affordability thread on here. Taguscove - It's bay area. We started with the idea of a 1.5M house 3 years ago, then 1.8, then 2.0, and now 2.3. You see where this is going. We love it here and despite HCO...
by taguscove
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another can I afford this $2M house thread...
Replies: 70
Views: 7950

Re: Another can I afford this $2M house thread...

The short answer is that you can afford it given your assets. It's a bit of stretch purely on income, but you have more than enough assets to make the payment comfortable. If I were in your shoes, I'd be more comfortable with 1.5 million, but I know that this may be too constraining in parts of Manh...
by taguscove
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are the safest Bonds after US Treasury Bonds
Replies: 27
Views: 3281

Re: What are the safest Bonds after US Treasury Bonds

Good posts already. The general answer is that for a given maturity term, look for the lowest yielding bonds. Those are deemed by the markets to be the least risky from a credit, liquidity, and exchange rate expectations perspective. In practice, the lowest yielding bonds are bonds backed by credibl...
by taguscove
Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for Purchasing a House
Replies: 21
Views: 2708

Re: Strategy for Purchasing a House

OP, a bunch of people are raising red flags and I'm inclined to agree. - Buying vs renting: Seattle currently is one of the most favorable US cities to rent compared to buying. - As a recent new condo owner (Boston), the taxes + hoa + repairs adds 35% above our 30 year monthly payment. Advice if you...