Search found 59 matches

by ljb1234
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineers come in.
Replies: 108
Views: 8340

Re: Engineers come in.

BS/MS EE here. Maybe a bit cold, but in the first semester mechanics class the professor started the class with something along these lines... "Look to you left, look to your right. If you make it through the program they won't". He was right less than 1/3 made it. Blowing off a first year calculus...
by ljb1234
Sun May 13, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman
Replies: 82
Views: 5680

Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

As an engineering faculty member, I would advise an engineering student to get either a Surface Pro with Keyboard or a Surface Laptop. Since I require most work to be submitted electronically, they can do the assignments on their computer with the stylus. It eliminates the need to somehow digitize t...
by ljb1234
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement - On the fence, need sanity check
Replies: 53
Views: 10068

Re: Early Retirement - On the fence, need sanity check

Thanks everyone, for your insights. Its helpful to have other's opinions before I take this big step. Most of you have given your thumbs up, which supports my decision to go. I know I have to watch expenses and there is wiggle room in my budget, for sure. I will take it as it comes. Thanks again! H...
by ljb1234
Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Options - Honda Accord Incredibly Uncomfortable Seats
Replies: 110
Views: 18889

Re: Need Options - Honda Accord Incredibly Uncomfortable Seats

finite_difference wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:12 pm
Does your Accord have leather seats?

Is it not possible to replace a car seat for $1-2k? And keep the old car seat if you want to reinstall it back to stock? Could take a car seat from a used Acura or something?
+1
by ljb1234
Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Tires on BMW X3
Replies: 21
Views: 5430

Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

This post caught my eye because I have just purchased at 2017 X3, CPO, with 9,500 miles. One question I have: will standard tires give better performance that run flats? I recall that when run flats first came out I read a lot in sports car forums about how inferior their performance to standard ti...
by ljb1234
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Bonds
Replies: 34
Views: 6007

Re: International Bonds

+1 Valuethinker
by ljb1234
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford it: Dodge Challenger
Replies: 122
Views: 8100

Re: Can I afford it: Dodge Challenger

Can you afford it? No

Even though loan rates are low, if you can't afford to pay cash, you shouldn't buy it.

But you are an adult and don't need anyone's permission.
by ljb1234
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amazed by Vanguard Wellington's Performance
Replies: 71
Views: 15794

Re: Amazed by Vanguard Wellington's Performance

I'm not aware if anyone is "lauding" Wellington or Wellesley. I just ran a screener and made an observation that I found pretty shocking. Certainly anyone that doesn't believe in coincidences and rare repeatable, multi-decade long lucky streaks despite an active fee headwind would find it shocking ...
by ljb1234
Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: 401K Match
Replies: 99
Views: 20049

Re: Poll: 401K Match

2 to 1 match with a max match of 9%.
Ex:
contribution=1%, match=2%
contribution=2%, match=4%
...
contribution>=5%, match = 9%
by ljb1234
Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allen Roth article on how to get 5% income
Replies: 16
Views: 3745

Re: Allen Roth article on how to get 5% income

The Wizard wrote:Sadly, that article is blocked...
:(
Try from his Twitter feed:
https://twitter.com/Dull_Investing/stat ... 2574218244
by ljb1234
Sun May 28, 2017 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3819
Views: 1078685

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

tludwig23 wrote:Just saw A Man Called Ove. Very good. I'd highly recommend for anyone.
+1
by ljb1234
Tue May 23, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Invest in Average?
Replies: 34
Views: 4544

Re: Why Invest in Average?

I don't think "average" is the right analogy for an index fund. To use a golf analogy, the index is equivalent to " par ". Which, for golf, can be defined as "the number of strokes a first-class player should normally require for a particular hole or course." As a golfer, if I get par on a hole, I ...
by ljb1234
Tue May 23, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Invest in Average?
Replies: 34
Views: 4544

Re: Why Invest in Average?

I don't think "average" is the right analogy for an index fund. To use a golf analogy, the index is equivalent to " par ". Which, for golf, can be defined as "the number of strokes a first-class player should normally require for a particular hole or course." As a golfer, if I get par on a hole, I a...
by ljb1234
Tue May 23, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth is overrated
Replies: 76
Views: 11672

Re: Net worth is overrated

With all due respect, I do not know what prompted you to send this but I assume something involving yourself. I defy you to show me how somebody with 10 million dollars net worth can be in a worse position than somebody with nothing. I wouldn't say NW is overrated nor meaningless, but to simply ans...
by ljb1234
Wed May 10, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time savers - life on automation
Replies: 57
Views: 9406

Re: Time savers - life on automation

dratkinson wrote:
ljb1234 wrote:I designed and built my own garage door closer.
How?
I used an Arduino microcontroller with a limit switch to indicate when the door was open. A relay was used to close the contacts typically wired to a button near the door to the house. A little software and that was it.
by ljb1234
Wed May 10, 2017 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time savers - life on automation
Replies: 57
Views: 9406

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Garage Butler to automatically close a garage door. For those who might forget to close a garage door, I recall researching devices (for my forgetful neighbor) that senses when a garage door has been open too long (~30-min, unless you press the "over ride" button) and will automatically close the g...
by ljb1234
Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe says "Goodbye."
Replies: 336
Views: 50882

Re: Larry Swedroe says "Goodbye."

Thank you Larry,

After just finishing your "Black Swans" book, I know that you like to "think different" and I appreciate those kind of people. Always enjoyed your intellectual discourse. Enjoy your pending and future retirement.

regards,
LJB
by ljb1234
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Extreme Valuations, and why you should reconsider
Replies: 307
Views: 27526

Re: Extreme Valuations, and why you should reconsider

I would like to first give everyone a gem of a link Instead of a "gem" I would call Hussmann worthless and proven incompetent. If you think he has anything of value to say, you're just hearing what you want to hear. He has published articles every single year saying that a massive stock market coll...
by ljb1234
Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a way to scan a really long photo?
Replies: 24
Views: 2430

Re: Is there a way to scan a really long photo?

Do a search for scanning apps with stitching.
Google's new PhotoScan app is one such example.
You take multiple photos with your smartphone and they will be stitched together to make one large image.
by ljb1234
Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 6610

Re: Sump pump and power outage

I have looked at the water powered guys, but heard that a lot of townships discouraged their use...if everyone did it, there would be a loss of city water during a major event. Also, my city water costs something like a penny a gallon. Looks like 1 gallon city water will pump 2 gallons of pit water...
by ljb1234
Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Bad was 2008, really?
Replies: 224
Views: 23522

Re: How Bad was 2008, really?

This quote best explains it by analogy... (one of my favorite quotes for 2008, btw) Fred Schwed: On the emotions of losing money: “Like all of life’s rich emotional experiences, the full flavor of losing important money cannot be conveyed by literature. You cannot convey to an inexperienced girl wha...
by ljb1234
Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what age, income, and NW would you buy a $50k car?
Replies: 174
Views: 14971

Re: At what age, income, and NW would you buy a $50k car?

I would say first, don't buy any *new* car unless your net worth is $1M. Buy late model used instead. As for $50K??, I would say if you can pay cash without affecting your emergency fund, then OK. It is a waste of money, of course. Age??? Not sure it matters, but I would wait until 45 or so. My last...
by ljb1234
Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Well, just got first pair of golden handcuffs
Replies: 58
Views: 10341

Re: Well, just got first pair of golden handcuffs

Congratulations! The advice my husband has received about company stock is to "never touch it". Congratulations When my former megaCorp went Chapter 11 guess what happened to any restricted stock options and any deferred compensation? Your stock options paid zero and your deferred compensation was ...
by ljb1234
Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Current Market rally
Replies: 61
Views: 9344

Re: Current Market rally

At current levels I don't particularly want to buy stocks or bonds. I've been worried about both stocks and bonds being overvalued for years now...everything is always too expensive and doomed to drop in value soon. Luckily, I continued to plow along with automatic investments according to my asset...
by ljb1234
Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in the 80's when CD rates were 17%?
Replies: 74
Views: 10096

Re: Investing in the 80's when CD rates were 17%?

I know inflation was really high then but don't know the details. What purchases had high inflation, was it everything? Today reported inflation is low, but there are some things, like college tuition and prescription drugs, that have really high inflation. I remember people getting car loans for t...
by ljb1234
Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in the 80's when CD rates were 17%?
Replies: 74
Views: 10096

Re: Investing in the 80's when CD rates were 17%?

My folks had a 15 year mortgage, the rate was 11.25 percent. I bought my first house in Dec. 1981 and with FHA mortgage rate of 17.5%. Unbelievable, but that was the going rate. Of course, the house was about $47K if I remember correctly. I do the remember the double digit inflation at the time. ht...
by ljb1234
Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shattered case fluorescent light starters
Replies: 13
Views: 1871

Re: fluorescent light starters

I am clueless about starters. Are they custom? Is there only one type of starter in the universe, so anything I would buy would work? Thanks. There are many types of starters. Usually to get them out (a "can" starter), you push slightly and make a quarter-turn. Then they pop out. Yours may be diffe...
by ljb1234
Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Simple Path to Wealth" -- A Gem
Replies: 31
Views: 14656

Re: "The Simple Path to Wealth" -- A Gem

That was a very good read. What do you think about this statement? "If I were to seek absolute security (a very different thing that the smooth ride most mistake for safety), I'd hold 100% in VTSAX (/vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund) and spend only the ~2% dividend it throws off." Since the To...
by ljb1234
Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appalachian Trail thru-hike in retirement?
Replies: 72
Views: 11262

Re: Appalachian Trail thru-hike in retirement?

Not to answer your question, but on a related note, I just started reading A Walk in the Woods. That book is unfortunately being made into a movie that will be released next summer and there has been some speculation that the AT will be overloaded with unprepared people after it comes out. I was in...
by ljb1234
Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used BMW X1
Replies: 23
Views: 2939

Re: Used BMW X1

I have a CPO X1 35i and only use 89 or higher octane gas.
I would be hesitant to buy a used one unless its a CPO, due to the high cost of repairs.
Your mileage may vary...
lb
by ljb1234
Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting out of upside down car
Replies: 60
Views: 5515

Re: Getting out of upside down car

2014 Mazda CX5 Sport edition, front wheel drive I have never lived in the snow, and the people that have given me advice are insisting I need to get a four wheel drive if I want to be safe in the snow.. Do you guys this car would do fine on the snow though? I am not planning to go off road during a...
by ljb1234
Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Negative yields a consequence of declining population?
Replies: 10
Views: 1524

Re: Negative yields a consequence of declining population?

^ those deflations mightve been from restricted money supply (gold standard) for better or worse. "The few young people who are around are going to—through the “magic” of the market—demand a premium from you for their promise to labor for you in the future. One version of that premium is negative i...
by ljb1234
Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Get rich quick?
Replies: 52
Views: 10637

Re:

1. derivatives - lots of leverage and volatility 2. penny stocks (on margin if you can) 3. buy or invest in an unlisted company 4. start your own business 5. buy the rights to a book or script that becomes a block buster hit 6. buy an undiscovered Da Vinci http://news.discovery.com/history/da-vinci...
by ljb1234
Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone else getting nervous and converting to cash as a short-term move?
Replies: 116
Views: 14566

Re: Anyone else getting nervous and converting to cash as a short-term move?

Its interesting that people get so nervous when the market is high.
Of course, they get even more nervous when it is down over 20%. That is the real test of your strategy.

Follow the learned advice from this forum.
by ljb1234
Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Crossover SUV to purchase
Replies: 146
Views: 22159

Re: Best Crossover SUV to purchase

Goodness. It is only a vehicle. Pick one, move on, and worry about something else.
+1

That said, I recently purchased a CPO BMW X1 with the 6 cylinder-turbo. They are the Ultimate Driving Machine, after all!
by ljb1234
Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electrical Engineering OR Computer Science?
Replies: 52
Views: 5168

Re: Electrical Engineering OR Computer Science?

I have a BSEE and after 5 years and certainly after 10 years I could see the career potential was not there in the same way it was for CS majors. The EE technology changes SO FAST that in a few years your school knowledge will be outdated and the companies would rather pay a lower salary to a new g...
by ljb1234
Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electrical Engineering OR Computer Science?
Replies: 52
Views: 5168

Re: Electrical Engineering OR Computer Science?

Well, I have degrees in EE, but am currently in the Computer Engineering faculty at a nearby University. Most of the CE faculty have EE degrees there. CE is a melding of EE and CS. You can lean toward either discipline, based on your electives. Can't go wrong either way. See if there is a College an...
by ljb1234
Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension decision: Lump sum or annuity. Now or later?
Replies: 19
Views: 2112

Re: Pension decision: Lump sum or annuity. Now or later?

- Peace of mind. Get the money out, and stop worrying about interest rates increasing, pension fund underfunding, my dying (!) before cash-out - WIth such low interest rates, why lock in a bad annuity rate forever, due to the quasi-temporary low-interest rate environment I think you are making the ...
by ljb1234
Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is this wise? purchasing honda cbr 250r
Replies: 59
Views: 4407

Re: is this wise? purchasing honda cbr 250r

Yes, get a bike. Yes take MSF beginner to get your permit then IMMEDIATELY take the advanced rider course with YOUR bike ASAP. Yes ATGATT including a NEW helmet, never use a used helmet as even minor drops can over time compromise safety. 250cc is fine for a first bike, so is a bike like GS 500 or ...
by ljb1234
Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension decision: Lump sum or annuity. Now or later?
Replies: 19
Views: 2112

Re: Pension decision: Lump sum or annuity. Now or later?

It looks like the lump sum increases about 6% every year. That's a guaranteed 6% which seems a bit hard to pass up (meaning, do NOT take a lump sum now). On the other hand, if I die before cashing it, my spouse only gets 50% of the value. I played around with some online calculators, and assumed in...
by ljb1234
Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, have we "arrived" ?
Replies: 70
Views: 8039

Re: Bogleheads, have we "arrived" ?

I suggest you read John Bogle's "Enough".
by ljb1234
Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I know I have enough to retire
Replies: 17
Views: 4435

Re: How do I know I have enough to retire

$60K > $51K = enough

If your spouse makes $125K/yr and is going to work for 15 more years, why would you take SS at 62?
Do you have a health issue? Just wondering.

Is this your current spouse, soon to be ex, or already ex?
How long does the alimony last and how much of the $51K is it?
by ljb1234
Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I do not know how to back up my computer
Replies: 72
Views: 6900

Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Since you have a Gateway, what operating system are you running? Windows 7, 8, or 10 (10 was a free upgrade) Windows 7 has a built in backup and restore program. Look in the Control Panel for it. I think its a little hard to use, so I would look at other alternative. Things got much better in Window...
by ljb1234
Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to start retirement decumulation from 401k with social security delay
Replies: 12
Views: 1914

Re: How to start retirement decumulation from 401k with social security delay

A few questions: Is your $80K number before or after taxes? How are you invested in your TSP? I would think that you could roll over everything into a Vanguard IRA and then have just one location for all your assets? (Not sure what the benefit of keeping the TSP is, but I am not that familiar with t...
by ljb1234
Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign stocks as a % of your stock asset allocation
Replies: 61
Views: 9325

Re: Foreign stocks as a % of your stock asset allocation

My AA of 60/40 broken down:

40% Total Stock Market Index
20% Total International Stock Market Index
40% Total Bond Index

Makes it easy to keep track of for re-balancing.

So approximately 70% of equity in US and 30% in International
by ljb1234
Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I tip my house cleaner? If so, how much?
Replies: 11
Views: 1361

Re: Should I tip my house cleaner? If so, how much?

mfswatz9 wrote:My cleaner works for herself. She tells me what she wants per hour. She went up $5.00 an hour last year. I give her a bonus during the Christmas holidays. I don't see a reason to tip her.

Yes, same here. Bonus at Holidays.
No tips each time.
by ljb1234
Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a color printer [inkjet] or black and white [laser] for light home use?
Replies: 106
Views: 8837

Re: Should I buy a color printer or black and white for light home use?

I picked up a Samsung C410W color laser at Staples on sale for $90.00. It goes on sale often and has wired/wireless/cloud and works with Windows 10. I bought a separate scanner for when I need to make copies or just scan (not that often). Working great so far. Prints BW but also color if you need it...