Search found 276 matches

by jrbdmb
Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to change tires; and what brand
Replies: 103
Views: 4677

Re: When to change tires; and what brand

Spend some time on tire rack.com. Tires perform differently based on the car. You can search tires that fit your car and read consumer reviews for your exact situation. I’ve done this a number of times with great results. There have been times where I really liked a tires performance on one of our ...
by jrbdmb
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
Replies: 209
Views: 14315

Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina

WOW. quite a diverse list. you need to narrow things down a bit. what is important to you? climate? politics? shoveling snow? proximity to wallmart? cost of living? house cost $/sq ft? views? proximity to parks? proximity to relatives/family? Proximity to valley forge? may be some good bargains com...
by jrbdmb
Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?
Replies: 57
Views: 7487

Re: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?

I'm not sure if the no AF version of the Uber card is still available - current Uber cardholders were moved to the updated rewards but grandfathered in with no AF (and no $500 bonus either). Not clear if that grandfathering is permanent or if someday they will try to charge us an AF. But that would ...
by jrbdmb
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 25241

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

My worst financial mistake was moving my 401-K from my old employer to me new employer. Not that there's anything wrong with that decision, but i was out of the market for about three weeks straddling the 2016 Presidential Election, when I was *sure* that of all potential outcomes a market rally was...
by jrbdmb
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 25241

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

Decided to take out a larger than necessary mortgage so more assets could remain invested, when we purchased our current home. That was 10 years ago. Just before the great market downturn. Which would have turned out fine if you had stayed the course. Or did you sadly compound the issue by pulling ...
by jrbdmb
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone XS Max
Replies: 231
Views: 15791

Re: iPhone XS Max

As many of you remember, I bought an iPhoneX last year to replace my old iPhone7Plus. I have been disappointed in the size of this phone, as compared to the older, more robust ("bigger") PLUS phone. It's hard t read with the X but I had no trouble doing so on my 7Plus. OK, so I'm willing to suck it...
by jrbdmb
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?
Replies: 57
Views: 7487

Re: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?

FYI, for everyone who wants a restaurant card and is more interested in churning (high signup bonus) rather than long-term use, Cap One has revised their Savor card to offer a $500 sign up bonus. Also now offers 4% on dining. Free for first year, $95 a year after that. https://www.capitalone.com/cre...
by jrbdmb
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?
Replies: 57
Views: 7487

Re: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?

I applied for this card and was rejected due to an error on my credit report. I've now gotten the credit reporting agency to correct the error and am wondering if I can convince Barclays to give me another look without making me apply all over again. Having said that, I really hated the way Barclay...
by jrbdmb
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to put in a care package for college student
Replies: 44
Views: 2744

Re: What to put in a care package for college student

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:09 pm
My stepdad sent big boxes of homemade chocolate chip cookies — “Andy got another box from Ron” days were happy days in the dorm.

Andy.
This. Of course nothing wrong with $$ or gift cards, but something homemade sounds best, and cookies are relatively easy to ship.
by jrbdmb
Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 1194
Views: 99180

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

I strongly disagree. Since August 15 my International fund (VXUS) has strongly outperformed my US fund(VTI)! :twisted:

In other words, stay the course.
by jrbdmb
Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Birthday Gift for 50th B Day - Fine Spirits
Replies: 29
Views: 2103

Re: Boglehead Birthday Gift for 50th B Day - Fine Spirits

For a scotch drinker, I like Lagavulin 16. I think this would be around your price point. Ok, sorry to be rude, but this is exactly the type of gift that has a high potential of backfiring. Lagavulin 16 has distinct notes of iodine and smoke, and only some Scotch drinkers like it. The others hate i...
by jrbdmb
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 7868

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

At the current time I get 5% back on utility bills / cell phone bill / gas, 4% back on restaurants / entertainment, 3.5% back on groceries / travel, and about 2.6% back on everything else. And that does not count the sign up bonuses I got for these cards, which ranged from $100 to $500 each. For me ...
by jrbdmb
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 1194
Views: 99180

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

If you prefer the safety of US, that's fine, but your returns will likely be greater if you up your international allocation. The market has already priced in everything you have observed. That's why international has lower valuations than US, and why, therefore, the expected returns of internation...
by jrbdmb
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 1194
Views: 99180

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

this thread has reminded me to buy international this week buy low sell high is nice I noticed that my 401K hit it's rebalancing band today, so I just moved some $$$ out of everything else into my 401K's Vanguard international fund. Then I found this link. I guess I'm staying the course. I will say...
by jrbdmb
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I tell my family/friend that they are making a financial mistake?
Replies: 87
Views: 8110

Re: Should I tell my family/friend that they are making a financial mistake?

On the other hand, my mom is convinced that many people forever lost their savings in 2008 even if they held their stocks and did not sell. She also thinks mutual funds are safer than stocks. But in general mutual funds *are* safer than stocks, aren't they? (Unless you have at least 500 large cap s...
by jrbdmb
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Portfolio Pain Happens
Replies: 49
Views: 4925

Re: Larry Swedroe: Portfolio Pain Happens

I dunno about “belief systems”. The 3 fund portfolio makes more and more sense to me every time I see a “factor bet” go bad or drags on too long. Agreed. It seems like a growth or value tilt, esp. when justified by "it's under-performed recently, so it's bound to over-perform soon" seems like a sub...
by jrbdmb
Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 92
Views: 7232

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

Just FYI, the US Bank Cash+ credit card recently added a 5% category for utilities, so you can make some money on this too even if there is a small fee to pay these bills with a credit card. (I pay gas / electric with this card; the water bill is usually too low to make this worthwhile). Thanks. Is...
by jrbdmb
Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 92
Views: 7232

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

When we had kids in college, we put their tuitions, expenses and student housing. When we had 2 kids in college, it was VERY high. Honestly, haven’t totaled it then or now. I’m guessing it’s now probably about $100K or so for 2 adults, very high COL area. We also write checks, which aren’t included...
by jrbdmb
Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 92
Views: 7232

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

We average around $3,500 a month so $42k a year. That excludes property taxes, insurance, and basic utilities (water, power, gas). That’s for a family of 5. Just FYI, the US Bank Cash+ credit card recently added a 5% category for utilities, so you can make some money on this too even if there is a ...
by jrbdmb
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does frugal cross the line to cheapskate?
Replies: 136
Views: 10325

Re: When does frugal cross the line to cheapskate?

Based on recent threads ...

If your vacations consist of free stays at resorts in exchange for timeshare pitches,
And dinners out with the spouse consist of investment seminars at local restaurants,
You might be a cheapskate. :happy
by jrbdmb
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving 20% of paycheck isn't enough
Replies: 112
Views: 14268

Re: Saving 20% of paycheck isn't enough

You may also consider that a 20% rule of thumb is being used for many who currently save little to nothing for their retirement. 20% may not be adequate in all situations, but it is certainly better than 0%.
by jrbdmb
Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3560

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

Interesting. Both of my previous and current 401k plans charge a flat admin fee (currently $10/quarter with Vanguard). My wife's 401k is also with Vanguard with a flat fee ($13/quarter). These fees are somewhat made up for by access to Vanguard Institutional funds with lower expense ratios than Inve...
by jrbdmb
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4637

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

Everybody here seems to be forgetting that the increase in the standard deduction of $12K is offset by the loss of the personal exemption ($4050 each in 2017). In my case I'm gaining about $10K in deductions, but losing $16K in personal exemptions. I'm not sure if my 3% tax rate cut will cover that,...
by jrbdmb
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?
Replies: 73
Views: 7595

Re: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?

If you are a Costco member, they sometimes have good deals. My wife and I got 2 of the new Samsung Galaxy 9 for $1800 - $900 (B1G1 free) - $300 in Costco Cash Cards - $150 in Verizon Visa card (for bringing a new line for my kids) = $450 for the newest and latest. Agreed. I joined Costco (closest s...
by jrbdmb
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opportunity Tax Credit - General Questions
Replies: 23
Views: 2706

Re: American Opportunity Tax Credit - General Questions

Am I reading this incorrectly? (Note that the 4th line says "for more than four tax years" rather than "for four tax years.") At best, it's not as clear as it could be. The AOTC can only be taken for any one student for a maximum of four years. See IRS pub 970, pages 10 and 11. https://www.irs.gov/...
by jrbdmb
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?
Replies: 73
Views: 7595

Re: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?

If you are a Costco member, they sometimes have good deals. My wife and I got 2 of the new Samsung Galaxy 9 for $1800 - $900 (B1G1 free) - $300 in Costco Cash Cards - $150 in Verizon Visa card (for bringing a new line for my kids) = $450 for the newest and latest. Agreed. I joined Costco (closest s...
by jrbdmb
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opportunity Tax Credit - General Questions
Replies: 23
Views: 2706

Re: American Opportunity Tax Credit - General Questions

Sounds like she qualifies to me. I see nothing about age or number of years previously attended. I read this is for undergrad's and can be claimed for only 4 years total. To be eligible for AOTC, the student must: Be pursuing a degree or other recognized education credential Be enrolled at least ha...
by jrbdmb
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% credit card interest for lawnmower
Replies: 15
Views: 932

Re: 0% credit card interest for lawnmower

Chase Ink Business Unlimited - $500 signup bonus which you will earn after $3000 purchase and 0% APY for 12 months. $0 annual fee. Card earns 1.5% for all purchases. Chase Ink Business Cash - $500 signup bonus which you will earn after $3000 purchase and 0% APY for 12 months. $0 annual fee. Card ea...
by jrbdmb
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 151
Views: 17607

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

uberdoc wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:28 pm
I will caution against opening the letter. Only bad outcomes come out of these things.
I say the same thing to myself every time I see a bill in the mail. Perhaps I should just start to refuse all my bills so i won't have to pay them anymore. :mrgreen:
by jrbdmb
Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18482

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

Someone gave me a bottle of something supposedly fancy yet was a horrible liquid called Lophraig. I think it was whiskey. Tasted like cough syrup. Exactly like cough syrup. A friend noticed it on my shelf and commented it was good stuff. I told him he would be doing me a favor to take it home with ...
by jrbdmb
Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18482

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

I don't think it's overrated. I really don't drink that much these days, but when I do drink vodka, Tito's is what I prefer. I am not a scotch drinker because I can't even get the stuff down, but my brother-in-law gave me a glass of Johnny Walker Blue and it was smooth and I was able to drink it. S...
by jrbdmb
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money
Replies: 75
Views: 7330

Re: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money

i have always interpreted the rule to emphasize that the goal of investing is to survive. the value investor's goal is to make money in the long term through compounding of good investments. to do that, you have to actually be around for the long term. it sounds silly, but it isn't. too many fund m...
by jrbdmb
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18482

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

Laphroigh is very much an acquired taste. Hated my first sip but ended up living it. I prefer Lagavulin 16 over it by a bit but it’s a lot pricier. Ardbeg is very similar and tastes wonderful. Current favorite is Carol Illa. Also from Islay and great tasting (surprised only one person mentioned it)...
by jrbdmb
Thu May 17, 2018 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 105
Views: 6095

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

But if your goal is to get to Albany, probably easier to fly into Newark and take the Garden State Parkway north than to deal with LaGuardia and NYC traffic. If you aren't in a rush to get to Albany, I always found route 9 (east side of the Hudson River) was a nice scenic drive, esp. the parts that ...
by jrbdmb
Tue May 15, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk?
Replies: 71
Views: 11277

Re: How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk?

Come now, gang..I just saw an ad for Brighthouse Annuities on TV last night that promised "all of the market upside with NONE of the downside risk!". So, surely, the purple unicorn investment that the OP is talking about must indeed exist. </sarc off> Since Dave Ramsey constantly touts 12% annual r...
by jrbdmb
Tue May 15, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 469
Views: 101972

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

What I'm curious about is if her new ME IRA balance would be combined with my existing accounts (IRA and taxable) for Preferred Rewards purposes. If they are kept separate then moving her IRA to ME doesn't make much sense. Feedback appreciated from anyone who has ME accounts in their name and their...
by jrbdmb
Thu May 03, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Swollen Emergency Fund....What now?
Replies: 43
Views: 3639

Re: Swollen Emergency Fund....What now?

I-bonds or directly held, short term municipal bonds from your local area would be a good place to start. Buying individual muni bonds can be much riskier than the OP may want to go, and liquidity may be an issue if a sudden need arises. A short or intermediate muni fund from Vanguard offers divers...
by jrbdmb
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: State Muni Funds
Replies: 10
Views: 1608

Re: State Muni Funds

There has to be demand and there has to be bonds. But you'd also WANT diversification. The national intermediate muni fund has over 7500 bonds, just for perspective. The CA intermediate muni fund has nearly 3500 bonds. On the other hand, the OH, MA, and NJ long-term muni funds have about 500 bonds ...
by jrbdmb
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I really need Turbotax premier?
Replies: 48
Views: 11818

Re: Do I really need Turbotax premier?

If you're going the download/CD route, watch for sales. I got H&R Block Premium + State download for $27 earlier this week. I don't think it includes state E-file... but I owe state taxes, so I'm more than happy to snail mail that. I'm really happy about finally breaking the cycle of paying TurboTa...
by jrbdmb
Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice re: Liberal Arts Colleges...
Replies: 235
Views: 14547

Re: Need advice re: Liberal Arts Colleges...

Another problem with the high tech industry is that a person's career may have a limited lifespan. A quote from Mark Zuckerburg who is explaining that there are not enough talented engineers: “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical. Young people are just smarter. Young people ...
by jrbdmb
Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Facebook's slide cost Mark Zuckerberg $6.06 billion in one day
Replies: 42
Views: 5282

Re: Facebook's slide cost Mark Zuckerberg $6.06 billion in one day

Facebook is way overvalued, and users are leaving in droves. Expect that it drops more. If they're leaving, where are they going for social media? They don't necessarily have to go anywhere. I've found that the days I use social media like Facebook are not appreciably better than the days i don't u...
by jrbdmb
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Modest stereo system
Replies: 57
Views: 4123

Re: Modest stereo system

Why not just keep your old system and plug an old phone or tablet into the AUX jack for your digital stuff? This. Unfortunately their products have been discontinued, but I have a Squeezebox Touch that streams music wirelessly to my legacy stereo system - I'm sure here are other products there to d...
by jrbdmb
Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 576602

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Madbrain - thanks for a pretty comprehensive list of rewards cards. I've considered many of the same cards that you have, but for now my strategy is towards maximizing spend rewards instead of sign-up bonuses. Once I get the last "everyday" card I want - BoA Premium Rewards - I will start to take ad...
by jrbdmb
Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Credit Cards?? [Credit card vs. debit card]
Replies: 108
Views: 5911

Re: Thoughts on Credit Cards??

Ged wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:11 pm
Dangerous stuff.

I would suggest that if you are going to use these instruments of personal finance destruction you have an automatic savings plan where there is a monthly deduction from your paycheck that goes into separate accounts including a 401K or IRA.
Dave Ramsey, is that you? :o
by jrbdmb
Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Credit Cards?? [Credit card vs. debit card]
Replies: 108
Views: 5911

Re: Thoughts on Credit Cards??

I spent some time recently researching cotton drawstring shorts. I wear those around the house when I don't go to work, and as I'm not going to work at all I'm wearing them every day. So I need some more. My research has me leaning to Hanes shorts. The best price I can find is Amazon, where even th...
by jrbdmb
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida in the summer
Replies: 113
Views: 12305

Re: Florida in the summer

Climate differs inland v coast. Another plus: lower latitude = more hours of sunlight. Compare sunset times for NYC and West Palm sometime, interesting. Today, 4:56 pm v 5:51 pm. Travel a little in the hot months. On average sunrises / sunsets will always be later in Florida because it is quite a b...
by jrbdmb
Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: <gulp> Expensive mistake
Replies: 56
Views: 10505

Re: <gulp> Expensive mistake

What is the TSP and F fund? Non-intuitive acronyms are ubiquitous on this forum. While that's often true, I don't think this is a good example. TSP and F fund are only slightly less commonly known than 401k and TBM, which I think are fair game. Sorry, but I have to disagree with this part. I have b...
by jrbdmb
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Flashlight?
Replies: 65
Views: 6253

Re: Boglehead Flashlight?

IMHO you don't have to buy a "beast" of a flashlight powered by 4 D batteries anymore. I have several LED flashlights that use 3 to 4 AA batteries that put out all the light that I need and are very solid but moderate weight. I don't have a specific brand to recommend, just look for a Cree LED, pref...
by jrbdmb
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For munis: state specific or non-state specific funds best?
Replies: 14
Views: 1720

Re: For munis: state specific or non-state specific funds best?

It also depends on the credit rating of your state. I live in New Jersey, which has slid from a AA rating in 2010 to a A- rating in 2017. I am willing to pay extra state income tax to avoid the potential financial abyss NJ appears to be headed towards. Likewise, I would never consider an Illinois (B...
by jrbdmb
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: J. Montier: US equity market is obscenely overvalued
Replies: 33
Views: 3792

Re: J. Montier: US equity market is obscenely overvalued

Based on this ZeroHedge article from summer 2015: "This is definitely the most difficult time to be an asset allocator," warns GMO's James Montier, telling conference attendees in Munich that he hasn't been this risk-averse since 2008. Having warned six months ago that "stocks are hideously expensiv...