Search found 1670 matches

by Electron
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private
Replies: 18
Views: 1878

Re: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private

Namebench is another DNS Benchmarking program that is worth running. The program was developed as a Google project. One nice feature is that the program provides Average, Minimum and Maximum response times in milliseconds for each server. The results are displayed in table form and chart form. Quad9...
by Electron
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private
Replies: 18
Views: 1878

Re: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private

However, some third party DNS providers are fine - namely OpenDNS and Google Public DNS. They support the edns client subnet extension, which will allow the CDN to properly route you despite not using the ISP's resolver. Quad9 does not yet support it, so I would not use it if performance is a conce...
by Electron
Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private
Replies: 18
Views: 1878

Re: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private

I ran the GRC DNS Benchmark several times and the results varied quite a bit. The latest test shows Quad9 only a little slower than OpenDNS at my location. I also reviewed the video referenced earlier and Steve Gibson mentioned essentially zero performance penalty using Quad9. Since his testing was ...
by Electron
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private
Replies: 18
Views: 1878

Re: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private

Thanks all for the comments. An Internet search on Quad9 and other terms provides all kinds of information including comparisons with OpenDNS and Google DNS. Here is an excellent video with detailed analysis by Steve Gibson of the well known Security Company Gibson Research. Listen to the last 10-20...
by Electron
Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private
Replies: 18
Views: 1878

New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private

Has anyone tried the New Quad9 DNS Service? This sounds like an easy change that should enhance safety on the Internet. Any comments appreciated. https://quad9.net/ https://securityintelligence.com/new-quad9-dns-service-makes-the-internet-safer-and-more-private/ https://www.globalcyberalliance.org/i...
by Electron
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AMT and taxable portion of state tax refund
Replies: 21
Views: 4110

Re: AMT and taxable portion of state tax refund

Take a look at Line 7 on IRS Form 6251. Line 7 is labeled "Tax refund from Form 1040, line 10 or line 21".

If you then look at the column where the data is entered, you will see parentheses (..) which indicates a negative number.
by Electron
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me
Replies: 96
Views: 7889

Re: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me

That was the initial reason to go with Wellesley - to have a fund that balances Bonds/Stocks - BUT it has 31% turnover The 31% turnover in Wellesley may not be a problem since the fund is 60% in bonds which typically don't generate a lot of capital gains. The bigger issue depending on your tax brac...
by Electron
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me
Replies: 96
Views: 7889

Re: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me

It's also helpful to review the current tax system especially in terms of the 15% bracket where Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains may be taxed at 0%. Take a look at recent tax returns and determine if you were able to take advantage of the 0% bracket. Note that ordinary income and short term gai...
by Electron
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me
Replies: 96
Views: 7889

Re: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me

Preliminary Capital Gains Distribution estimates are available from most fund groups. Here you can see the estimates for Vanguard Windsor, Wellesley and Wellington. As a percentage of NAV, they show 2.85%, 1.04%, and 3.79% respectively. https://investornews.vanguard/upcoming-capital-gains-informatio...
by Electron
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me
Replies: 96
Views: 7889

Re: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me

Dividends in a taxable account shouldn't be an issue as long as they are Qualified Dividends and are receiving favorable tax treatment. Note that the dividends paid by Wellesley Income are generated by both stocks and bonds and only a portion of the dividend is Qualified. Wellesley may be better sui...
by Electron
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me
Replies: 96
Views: 7889

Re: Divs and Cap Gains are killing me

Identify higher turnover actively managed funds in taxable accounts that make large distributions. Think about a plan to move those assets to more tax efficient funds in the future. I have done that with several mutual funds in the past and taken advantage of market declines when they present themse...
by Electron
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non Stick frying pan
Replies: 73
Views: 6343

Re: Non Stick frying pan

I have a 6.5" Wagner Ware cast iron skillet that is great for eggs. Cleanup is just a few seconds using a paper towel. The key is to have a cast iron skillet with smooth polished cooking surface and not the rough surface seen on most cast iron skillets manufactured today. A trace of butter is all th...
by Electron
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Social Security Site not showing my future benefits
Replies: 11
Views: 964

Re: My Social Security Site not showing my future benefits

I applied for retirement benefits recently and the site stopped showing my benefit projections for a period of time. That information reappeared a week or two ago and it now includes the 2% COLA effective in 2018.
by Electron
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 52
Views: 3816

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

Yes - my recollection as well. That Congressional action was, over time, "revenue neutral" and the tampdown of the large increase was to be paid for by some folks over a multi-year period. Where does the "revenue neutral" increase or income come from that allowed the tampdown? Are we all paying for...
by Electron
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 52
Views: 3816

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

This article from October 2016 mentions a one time loan of $7.5B to Medicare to reduce Part B premiums. http://time.com/money/4517168/2017-medicare-premiums-could-jump-20/ "A year ago, the absence of a 2016 COLA froze Part B premiums at $104.90 a month for those who were held harmless. The other gro...
by Electron
Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2980

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

Thanks all for the additional replies. not4me - You make an excellent point about duration. This forum often recommends that you limit the duration of a bond fund to when you may need the invested capital. Here is an excellent reference in the Wiki. See the section on Duration and Point of Indiffere...
by Electron
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2980

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

The Vanguard GNMA fund (vfiix) has outperformed the Vanguard Total Bond Market index fund (vbmfx) with less volatility, measured over the full lifespan of the latter. Here is a Morningstar chart showing that comparison which goes back to 12-11-86. That time period represents nearly 31 years. http:/...
by Electron
Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2980

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

If you were to chase a little more return than total bond, I would suggest Vanguard Intermediate Bond (VBILX/BIV) which would be more diversified than the GNMA fund. Thanks for the suggestion on the Intermediate Term Bond Index fund. This thread was primarily about an apparent anomaly between Vangu...
by Electron
Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2980

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

I haven't looked at this closely, but I would note that the actual index fund covering a similar category, Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS, VMBSX), which if anything should be very slightly riskier because it includes Fannie and Freddie in addition to Ginnie mortgage bonds, has notably lo...
by Electron
Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultra-Short Term Bond (VUBFX) large drop
Replies: 14
Views: 2015

Re: Ultra-Short Term Bond (VUBFX) large drop

I think they may have just switched over at a certain point for new fund launches and not touched the procedure for the old ones. I checked Core Bond (actively managed), the muni index fund, the international bond index fund, and the EM government bond index fund, and they're all monthly. These are...
by Electron
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultra-Short Term Bond (VUBFX) large drop
Replies: 14
Views: 2015

Re: Ultra-Short Term Bond (VUBFX) large drop

It appears that this fund has a dividend policy different from many other Vanguard bond funds and actually goes ex-dividend at the end of the month. The prospectus states that dividends are declared monthly and distributed monthly. The income accrued during the month is included every day in NAV and...
by Electron
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car battery?
Replies: 53
Views: 3807

Re: Car battery?

Check this link from Optima Batteries which mentions 12.4 volts as the lower threshold to maintain long battery life. https://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/experience/2010/12/what-normal-parasitic-draw Voltage should be measured with a digital voltmeter at least 12 hours after any charging to make s...
by Electron
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2980

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

Thanks all for the replies. The GNMA Fund looks attractive at present relative to the Bond Index and I was just trying to understand the reasons for the apparently favorable comparison. I also realize that the comparison will likely change over time. It's also possible that the fund exploited tempor...
by Electron
Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2980

Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

Here are some current parameters for the Admiral Shares of Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIJX) and Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBTLX). At present, the GNMA fund appears to offer higher yields with shorter duration and shorter average maturity. I'm wondering if the current comparison is typical or ...
by Electron
Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income for Social Security eligibility
Replies: 4
Views: 801

Re: Income for Social Security eligibility

plnelson wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:06 am
My question is what, exactly, counts as income?
This link may help answer the question.

https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/3 ... t-benefits
by Electron
Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2701

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

As mentioned earlier, this forum would be an excellent place to post your questions. If you search on Social Security related topics, you will see that there is a great deal of expertise available right here in this forum. I would suggest starting with a single thread. Spend a little time on the wor...
by Electron
Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2701

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

I recently attempted to set up my Social Security online account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ and was rejected, apparently because of my answers to the dKBA questions. I had the exact same problem a few weeks ago and had to go to the local Social Security office to get an Access Code. That cod...
by Electron
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]
Replies: 32
Views: 6161

Re: Is this really a Problem with Social Security.....Need a Forum S.S. Expert...

An alternative, less inflammatory way to summarize the point of the article would be as follows: If you file for Social Security after your full retirement age, your application will be automatically backdated to the later of 1) 6 months ago or 2) the date on which you reached FRA ...unless you ask...
by Electron
Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]
Replies: 32
Views: 6161

Re: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]

Here is a very helpful article with two important tips for those filing online. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/retirement/2017/05/10/ins-and-outs-applying-social-security-benefits/101054756/ "When you file, there are two questions that seem to trip people up, according to Brewt...
by Electron
Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits
Replies: 4
Views: 786

Re: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits

What did the CMS (Medicare) tell you? I just called Medicare and spoke to an agent almost immediately after answering a number of automated questions. They said that I do not have to do anything with Easy Pay and that deductions will stop automatically after Social Security benefits have started. A...
by Electron
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits
Replies: 4
Views: 786

Re: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits

Maybe you should stop the Easy Pay ASAP in order to avoid future problems. Thanks for the reply. I had the same thought about stopping Medicare Easy Pay since Social Security payments are at least four months away. However, Medicare might then just send paper bills which would still leave a problem...
by Electron
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits
Replies: 4
Views: 786

Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits

I have been paying Medicare Premiums for several years using Medicare Easy Pay. Does anything need to be done with Medicare Easy Pay when starting Social Security benefits? I understand that Medicare Premiums will be deducted from the Social Security payments. Will the Medicare Easy Pay deductions s...
by Electron
Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Applying Online for Age 70 Benefit - Avoiding Retroactive Payments
Replies: 5
Views: 1029

Re: Social Security - Applying Online for Age 70 Benefit - Avoiding Retroactive Payments

Thanks all for the help. I plan to start the application online and see where the unequivocal statement is entered. It looks as though the application can be saved online for later submission. I assume that some individual is assigned to each application and that I retain a copy to back up the infor...
by Electron
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Applying Online for Age 70 Benefit - Avoiding Retroactive Payments
Replies: 5
Views: 1029

Social Security - Applying Online for Age 70 Benefit - Avoiding Retroactive Payments

I've seen the Wiki page with information on Social Security and Retroactive payments. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Social_Security#Retroactive_payments The recommendation to avoid any Retroactive payments is to include a statement similar to the following on the application: "I wish to receive my...
by Electron
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Battery
Replies: 31
Views: 3265

Re: Auto Battery

Here is some information appropriate to this thread. https://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/experience/2010/12/what-normal-parasitic-draw "The key to long life for any battery is to make sure battery voltage doesn't drop below 12.4 volts. The combination of a significant parasitic draw and long perio...
by Electron
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2597

Re: Another battery question

However, when I read the instructions it advised to purchase a charger regulator so that my battery does not over charge. I just looked at the manual for the 1.5 watt solar charger and it appears to include information for higher wattage solar panels as well. Note the table showing recommended wire...
by Electron
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2597

Re: Another battery question

Regarding the spark risk, I thought the recommendation was to always connect the negative lead last but to make the connection away from the battery on a frame bolt. In that way, any spark would be a safe distance from the battery. Hydrogen gas should only be present when a battery is charging and f...
by Electron
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2597

Re: Another battery question

An ammeter can be connected in series with one lead if you want to see the charge current. As mentioned in an earlier reply, the charge current will likely be only a fraction of one ampere. One interesting thing about charging a lead-acid battery is that surface charge builds up on the plates and ef...
by Electron
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2597

Re: Another battery question

I would connect the solar charger and then measure the voltage at the battery terminals using a digital voltmeter. You need to see where the voltage is relative to float voltage. "Float voltage is the voltage at which a battery is maintained after being fully charged to maintain that capacity by com...
by Electron
Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 14279

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Here is an article that may explain why car batteries sometimes fail with little apparent warning. As a battery ages, the cold cranking amperage remains relatively high. The battery capacity, however, declines over time and may not be noticed by the car owner. See Figures 5 and 6. Battery capacity i...
by Electron
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 14279

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Here are four very informative videos on the car battery that are really worth watching. I started with Part 3 which provides information on the Conductance Testers. One of the videos discusses Smart Chargers and shows the results after using the recondition mode to remove sulfate deposits. Battery ...
by Electron
Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 14279

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Here is some information on how Conductance Testers actually work. https://dellsservicecenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/169-112C-Auto-Conductance-Q-A-Duotones.pdf "Conductance is a measurement of the battery's ability to produce current. To measure conductance, the tester creates a small signal...
by Electron
Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 14279

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Only test with the right tester. Avoid the 100a load testers (https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100-Battery-Load-Tester/dp/B000AMBOI0/ ). You'll may be pulling more than that in cold weather. A 500a load tester is better. I got one of these and it give you a number, and I hear it's pretty good, ...
by Electron
Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available
Replies: 74
Views: 18242

Re: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available

Vanguard Ultra Short Term Bond (VUBFX) is mentioned in the June 5, 2017 WSJ. It's a short sentence or two that's unclear to me. "Vanguard Group, for example, advises investors in its Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund (VUBFX) to hold off on tactical moves as a way to manage some of this (credit) risk. “We ...
by Electron
Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available
Replies: 74
Views: 18242

Re: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available

Of course this example shouldn't apply to a bond fund but maybe there is some similar factor involved (interest rate swaps maybe?). The notes in the Annual Report on pages 37-46 provide information on the various derivatives. The derivatives include Futures Contracts, Options on Futures Contracts, ...
by Electron
Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available
Replies: 74
Views: 18242

Re: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available

The monthly dividends paid by this fund have varied quite a bit. Also note that no distribution yield is provided. https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0592&FundIntExt=INT#tab=4 The investment portfolio appears to include significant use of derivatives. See pages 33-46 in the Annua...
by Electron
Fri May 19, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 263
Views: 31445

Re: Excel Macro using Yahoo Finance- not working

I also noticed the problem with Yahoo Finance very recently. The Excel macro I use for individual quotes still works, but another macro that previously downloaded Yahoo Finance Historical Data no longer works. Both macros use Excel QueryTables. I even tried doing a Web Query manually with the correc...
by Electron
Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax form 1116 questions
Replies: 41
Views: 5449

Re: Tax form 1116 questions

For lines 3d and 3e, gross income means the total of your gross receipts (reduced by cost of goods sold), total capital and ordinary gains (before subtracting any losses), and all other income (before subtracting any deductions). This appears to be the one place on my tax return where I may have to...
by Electron
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax form 1116 questions
Replies: 41
Views: 5449

Re: Tax form 1116 questions

Yes, "total income for federal ..." goes on Line 3e. As a point of interest, Form 1040 Line 22 includes the words "This is your total income". The Instructions for Form 1116, Line 3e, use the terminology "gross income from all sources and all categories, both U.S. and foreign". I didn't know that c...
by Electron
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel function to return latest price
Replies: 39
Views: 8833

Re: Excel function to return latest price

Has anyone noticed any changes at Yahoo Finance in how they respond to requests for historical data? I have a number of Excel spreadsheets with macros that download individual security prices and historical index data. As of this week, I noticed that the historical index data is being directed to di...