Search found 193 matches

by talzara
Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we switch to Amica & increase our Homeowners/Umbrella coverage?
Replies: 11
Views: 813

Re: Should we switch to Amica & increase our Homeowners/Umbrella coverage?

My primary concern concerning insurers would be how well they respond to claims if needed. Cost would be secondary, but also of concern. Had a neighbor with homeowners insurance through Auto-Owners Insurance with a six-digit claim that took more than a year to resolve and even then it was not to th...
by talzara
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An example of the value of a liability umbrella policy
Replies: 22
Views: 2386

Re: An example of the value of a liability umbrella policy

Here's a thought exercise. Let's say Umbrella is $250 year for $1m policy. For the same premium, one could buy a $400k Life policy. Which policy would provide "better" protection for yourself and your family, if you could only buy one policy? The only way to answer this is to have knowled...
by talzara
Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Use Stockbroker to Sell Foreign Stock?
Replies: 7
Views: 470

Re: How to Use Stockbroker to Sell Foreign Stock?

I suppose I would find out the trading symbols for the shares, then call or visit several brokers and ask. Most large brokers can probably do this but fees will vary and you'd want to get the best deal. At a minimum, ask about the account setup fees, share transfer fees, and fees or commissions for...
by talzara
Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Use Stockbroker to Sell Foreign Stock?
Replies: 7
Views: 470

Re: How to Use Stockbroker to Sell Foreign Stock?

I am helping my girlfriend's mom liquidate some of her late husband's holdings. Some of the shares are held by British companies (Equiniti and Capita), and they'll transfer the shares to mom's name. But they won't directly liquidate the assets - a stockbroker needs to do that. So, does that mean I'...
by talzara
Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic Fan for Ventilation
Replies: 11
Views: 867

Re: Attic Fan for Ventilation

Attic ventilation fans rarely save energy:

Several studies show that even in a house with a tight ceiling, a powered attic ventilator uses more electricity than it saves.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blo ... -they-hurt
by talzara
Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card After Death
Replies: 23
Views: 2339

Re: Credit Card After Death

Having said that, I'll bet credit cards can go on for years after the owner dies, if the secondary user continues making payments. They can, but it is not likely. 95% of deaths in the United States are recorded in the Social Security Death Master File. Banks subscribe to the Death Master File so th...
by talzara
Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bodily Injury Coverage
Replies: 9
Views: 884

Re: Bodily Injury Coverage

If I do raise my auto coverage, the only question I'm left with is whether it would make sense to lower my umbrella policy coverage by $1M? I had just recently raised it by $1M, but with $1M of auto coverage that might be excessive, absent any large non-auto risks. I'm trying to think of our possib...
by talzara
Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My take on the passive investing is worse than Marxism
Replies: 24
Views: 3841

Re: My take on the passive investing is worse than Marxism

In fact, I don't mutual funds in the 1950s did stress beating the market, though, I wasn't financially conscious at the time and have no idea how mutual presented themselves. The mutual fund industry was very different in 1949, when Jack Bogle first heard of them. Here's what he had to say about th...
by talzara
Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella insurance?
Replies: 26
Views: 2513

Re: Umbrella insurance?

Bogle_Feet wrote:I wonder what the average total expense is when there is a payout, lawyers, etc.


Litigation expenses are included in the loss ratio.

The average severity for umbrella insurance claims is about $500,000.
by talzara
Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella insurance?
Replies: 26
Views: 2513

Re: Umbrella insurance?

We recently upped ours to 2M. Cost was just over $500. Coverage for 2 homes, 2 vehicles. I think cost is high. I'm told FL residents, which we are, pay more than most. My question is :does anyone actually use their umbrella? We know of no one. I keep thinking we're throwing $ away. :annoyed Umbrell...
by talzara
Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard mutual fund to ETF conversion: dividend considerations
Replies: 4
Views: 615

Re: Vanguard mutual fund to ETF conversion: dividend considerations

The record date for the mutual fund is always 4 business days before the record date for the ETF. This is very interesting because of how ETF shares work. ETF shares do not exist until they have been created. When they are created, the Authorized Participant becomes the holder of record. Someone who...
by talzara
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to open Vanguard, Stationed Overseas
Replies: 11
Views: 869

Re: Trying to open Vanguard, Stationed Overseas

You need a verifiable stateside address to use Vanguard (and most other US brokerage firms). Can you use a relative's address? When is your next stateside leave? No stateside address is required. Page 6 of the Brokerage Account Application says: Street address. Address can be military APO or FPO. I...
by talzara
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to open Vanguard, Stationed Overseas
Replies: 11
Views: 869

Re: Trying to open Vanguard, Stationed Overseas

You're stationed in Japan, so you should have decent Internet service. You can use Skype to make the phone call. U.S. toll-free numbers are free, and other U.S. numbers are 2.3 cents a minute. I can't send the mail in package because it requires a certified banking signature and USAA doesn't have an...
by talzara
Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Update error
Replies: 16
Views: 1026

Re: Windows 10 Update error

How do you know that Deltek GCS Premier 5.0 is incompatible with Windows 10 Anniversary? Deltek GCS Premier 5.0 was released in 2008 and required Windows 2000 Pro. You say you were running it before and after upgrading to Windows 10. That means the software runs on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1...
by talzara
Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 6598

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

I don't understand why everyone who has chosen not to buy flood insurance seems to be getting shouted down/reprimanded on this thread. There are certainly cases where flood insurance is a good value proposition...and cases where it's grossly over-priced, especially for someone who can self-insure. ...
by talzara
Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard
Replies: 92
Views: 8874

Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

I've noticed that the Fidelity funds underperform the Vanguard ones by around 2 basis points a year. I wonder if this is (in part) because Vanguard reinvests 100% of the net securities lending income into the fund and Fidelity does not. I do not think there is much transparency on the Fidelity side...
by talzara
Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 6598

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

And all that paving is why the area of U.S. flood insurance zones jumped so much in the last three decades. :x In the U.S., it's a flood if three homes are impacted by one event. Pretty easy threshold to reach with all the asphalt. Even easier than that. The NFIP policy considers a flood to be two ...
by talzara
Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Farmer's insurance
Replies: 14
Views: 961

Re: Farmer's insurance

Most large companies (and Farmers is one) have several "pricing tracks". The best risks get the cheapest rates - the worst get the highest. There are of course guidelines for where you wind up but it is not inconceivable that another agent could get you a better deal. This is usually done...
by talzara
Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowner's insurance question
Replies: 23
Views: 1737

Re: Homeowner's insurance question

Ah, I see said the blind man. Now, how do you go about finding out which method your insurer for H.O. uses? Can you just ask the agent, and believe what he says? :confused You can try the agent, but I don't know if you can believe what he says. The only way to know for sure is to look at the rate m...
by talzara
Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 6598

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

An anecdote: I live in Colorado and was affected by the historic 1000 year flood in 2013. I'm not in a flood zone and don't have flood insurance. I made a claim to FEMA and my insurance, Allstate. FEMA gave me $800 if I recall, basically money for a tarp over my roof and some inconvenience. Allstat...
by talzara
Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowner's insurance question
Replies: 23
Views: 1737

Re: Homeowner's insurance question

But, what I never understood, you could have a hundred hydrants all around the property but service from a volunteer fire dept in the event a fire breaks out. Especially in the middle of the night. These unpaid volunteers have the same training and are just as dedicated to what they do as professio...
by talzara
Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA
Replies: 22
Views: 1044

Re: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA

Thanks for this additional info. As luck would have it - one of the lower quotes I just received is from a National (Preferred Mutual) although it only has a "A" rating on financial versus some others that have an "A+" or "A++". Since you seem so knowledgeable - can yo...
by talzara
Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA
Replies: 22
Views: 1044

Re: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA

That's my understanding as well. I'm not about to pay out an additional 30% just to go with a national provider. To some extent, the national insurers price themselves high because they want to protect their nationwide reserves. The regional can price lower because it can just go bankrupt. If it we...
by talzara
Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA
Replies: 22
Views: 1044

Re: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA

Is this true? I thought regional insurers (among others) used reinsurance to protect themselves against concentrated risks (regional or otherwise) so that in practice the risk described was substantially mitigated. I already mentioned reinsurance: Regional companies are riskier than national compan...
by talzara
Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 6598

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

I not sure how the details of the program work but it sure seems that some insurance companies are working hard to keep the price tag down even though costs is ultimately paid by the federal government. Does anyone know if there is some incentive/kickback to the insurance companies for lowering cla...
by talzara
Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 6598

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

I will never buy insurance from State Farm again, because I had to fight them tooth and nail for every dollar. Apparently that was their normal method of operation. I think the state even sued them. Mouses, was your flood insurance through State Farm or was it the National Flood Insurance Program t...
by talzara
Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA
Replies: 22
Views: 1044

Re: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA

Massachusetts is unusual because it is dominated by regional insurance companies. 3 of the 5 largest homeowners insurers in Massachusetts are regional companies: ⋅  Mapfre (Commerce): New England ⋅  Liberty Mutual: national ⋅  Arbella: Massachusetts and Connecticut &sdo...
by talzara
Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt
Replies: 61
Views: 5044

Re: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt

It's not about choosing "one 403(b) provider ". The problem posed by these lawsuits involves "more than one administrator ". It is possible to have more than on provider, but have only one of them be the administrator. Our 403b plan started, as with most others, way back with on...
by talzara
Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt
Replies: 61
Views: 5044

Re: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt

I wish PhD students had retirement plans! Postdocs not even, sometimes (especially the NSF/NIH ones, which don't even count for Roth-eligible income). I wouldn't assume MIT offers much of anything to PhD students; I am at a comparable institution and there is nothing. You got me. I was just trying ...
by talzara
Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt
Replies: 61
Views: 5044

Re: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt

One aspect of cases not mentioned, that universities used several administrators. I never heard of such a thing, always thought a plan had one administrator. It obviously drives up costs to participants. Question is why they used several? For the most part, "several administrators" means ...
by talzara
Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: State imposes fine for underwitholding after a Roth conversion
Replies: 11
Views: 1011

Re: State imposes fine for underwitholding after a Roth conversion

I'd like to avoid this as I plan to convert small amounts over the next few years. Maybe I'll try converting in December next year if you think this will help. State taxes are coming out of my pay at the highest rate. That's not enough to avoid an underpayment penalty. If your state follows the fed...
by talzara
Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt
Replies: 61
Views: 5044

Re: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt

Schlichter has filed suit against Columbia, Cornell, Northwestern, and USC. The law firm of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton has filed four more lawsuits against major universities for excessive fees in its 403(b) plans. Cornell University, Columbia University, Northwestern University and the Univers...
by talzara
Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt
Replies: 61
Views: 5044

Re: Update: & Columbia - Re: New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt

And now... Columbia: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sanford-heisler-files-one-hundred-million-dollar-erisa-class-action-against-columbia-university-on-behalf-of-27000-retirement-plan-beneficiaries-300314358.html This one is a Jane Doe, and the funds are at TIAA, and interestingly, it speci...
by talzara
Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CREF variable annuity in 403(b) -- any reason to pay the high expense ratio?
Replies: 34
Views: 1411

Re: CREF variable annuity in 403(b) -- any reason to pay the high expense ratio?

Another thing to keep in mind is that the OP is talking about his sister , and TIAA annuities are gender-neutral, whereas most (all?) retail annuities available on the open market would decrease her annuity payouts for being female due to actuarial likelihood of greater longevity. So the option val...
by talzara
Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt
Replies: 61
Views: 5044

Re: New Fiduciary cases, about 403b's at MIT, Yale, & NYU

Additional cases filed against Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt, and Johns Hopkins. http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20160811/FREE/160819980/duke-johns-hopkins-upenn-and-vanderbilt-latest-schools-under-fire All of these 403(b) plans offer index funds at reasonable expense ratios, a...
by talzara
Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Auto Callable Contingent Interest Notes linked to Indexes
Replies: 16
Views: 667

Re: Auto Callable Contingent Interest Notes linked to Indexes

I have already decided not to invest in this but from a learning standpoint I am curious as to what the caveats are ("many reasons to avoid"). Can you as someone who worked in this area or someone knowledgeable with this concept explain or deconstruct it. Are there hidden fees? undisclose...
by talzara
Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt
Replies: 61
Views: 5044

Re: "M.I.T., N.Y.U. and Yale Are Sued Over Retirement Plan Fees."

This is good news for 403b plan participants who have long suffered from their high retirement plan fees. That's not what these lawsuits are about. The typical 403(b) plan is run by an insurance company, and the cheapest options have expense ratios of 1.5% to 2.0%. These plans are run by Fidelity, ...
by talzara
Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Allstate Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 33
Views: 2670

Re: Allstate Umbrella Insurance

I used to believe this was true, maybe due to postings like yours. But when I shopped my coverage a few months ago, to replace 3 Nationwide policies, ended up with auto+umbrella at GEICO, and Home at Farmers. Overall savings, and no need to write Home (which for me was way overproced) with GEICO. G...
by talzara
Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car totaled, no collision insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 6630

Re: Car totaled, no collision insurance

I'm getting high-deductible collision and comprehensive for the new vehicle, but leaving the other three (newest is 2005) with neither. That makes a lot of sense. Most insurers calculate a fixed premium for each coverage, plus a variable premium that depends on risk. Raising the deductible will onl...
by talzara
Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Allstate Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 33
Views: 2670

Re: Allstate Umbrella Insurance

Does anyone know any companies that will allow me to buy an umbrella on my current auto and home policie that is with another insurance company? Here are four insurers that will write a standalone umbrella over a different company's underlying policies: https://www.irmi.com/articles/expert-commenta...
by talzara
Thu May 19, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hail damage on roof; what to do with Insurance Providers' $9,950 check
Replies: 51
Views: 4236

Re: Hail damage on roof; what to do with Insurance Providers' $9,950 check

Somewhat relevant here, I don't think homeowners insurance is like auto insurance. A pattern of claims or ticket where you are at fault changes your risk profile, so premiums tend to go up. Hard to argue that a claim for hail damage or ice damage has any bearing on the potential for future claims. ...
by talzara
Sun May 15, 2016 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Insurance for low annual mileage
Replies: 19
Views: 1386

Re: Auto Insurance for low annual mileage

A few years ago, GMAC would give a discount if you allowed them to monitor your mileage via OnStar. GMAC changed its name to National General in 2013, and they still offer verified mileage discounts for vehicles equipped with OnStar: http://www.nationalgeneral.com/auto-insurance/smart-discounts/low...
by talzara
Sat May 14, 2016 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Insurance for low annual mileage
Replies: 19
Views: 1386

Re: Auto Insurance for low annual mileage

Is there any insurance company that provides a mileage based insurance? Am I right to think the premiums for on a low mileage driving would be lower than a regular premium? All of the major insurers except GEICO offer Usage-Based Insurance. UBI is pitched as a way for safe drivers to save money by ...
by talzara
Mon May 09, 2016 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to choose homeowner's insurance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2186

Re: How to choose homeowner's insurance?

For example my mortgage is 260k (original 270k) but the house and land price is estimated at $400k+. The dwelling is covered for 300k. I assume if my home were a total loss today I'd get $300k from the insurance company, pay off the loan, and only have $40k left to work with to build another home ?...
by talzara
Mon May 09, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to choose homeowner's insurance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2186

Re: How to choose homeowner's insurance?

My house is my most expensive purchase and I don't like to take risks with my largest physical asset, but the more I learn or deal with homeowners insurance the more it feels like some kind of a scam the mob made up. Paying top dollar for protection but if you use it, your going to have to pay up m...
by talzara
Mon May 09, 2016 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to choose homeowner's insurance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2186

Re: How to choose homeowner's insurance?

In my area (coastal SoCal), the value is mainly the land not the house. In fact, some lots may be worth more without a house. A rough breakdown for our property is: Land 1.1M, House 400k. But depending on the website, house is worth 390-520k which makes a difference for insurance. The least expense...
by talzara
Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small packages delivered from China
Replies: 14
Views: 1717

Re: Small packages delivered from China

You could ask the seller who paid for it. Each parcel should have a customs form with a return address. There should be a phone number or an email address. Since the company is doing business in the U.S., someone there is bound to speak English. Skype charges just 2 cents a minute to call China. I d...
by talzara
Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Need umbrella insurance but current condo carrier does not offer it]
Replies: 8
Views: 844

Re: [Need umbrella insurance but current condo carrier does not offer it]

When you paid your premium is irrelevant. You'll get a full prorated refund whether you paid is last week or six months ago. Not necessarily. Florida allows short-rated refunds, so it would depend on what the policy says. Under this rule, the use of short rate cancellation tables or procedures that...
by talzara
Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard new Muni ETF - Why is it a "long-term bond fund?"
Replies: 7
Views: 1210

Re: Vanguard new Muni ETF - Why is it a "long-term bond fund?"

Hello. I recently sold my shares of MUB (iShares National Muni Bond) to invest in Vanguard's new muni bond fund (VTEB). I was under the impression that Vanguard's ETF was covering the same index as MUB, just with a lower fee. However, Vanguard classifies this ETF as a long-term bond fund. They also...
by talzara
Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Need umbrella insurance but current condo carrier does not offer it]
Replies: 8
Views: 844

Re: [Need umbrella insurance but current condo carrier does not offer it]

This post from 2012 mentions several companies that sell standalone umbrella policies. They don't sell directly, so you'll need to go through an agent: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=102121 If you ever drive a rental car or someone else's car, be very careful to follow all ...

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