Search found 721 matches

by VaR
Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got Samsclub membership -- give me your best tips!
Replies: 50
Views: 4006

Re: Got Samsclub membership -- give me your best tips!

I find that their in house brand (Members Mark) makes great toilet paper, paper towels, and dishwasher pods. I’ve heard that their detergent is a generic tide, but cannot confirm. I'd like to second the recommendation for the Member's Mark TP. I haven't found anything better. I anyone has, please l...
by VaR
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Science Fiction Movies
Replies: 142
Views: 6508

Re: Favorite Science Fiction Movies

I'm glad some earlier posters mentioned Brazil and Gattaca. The other bigger movies are more often remembered but these two along with the old classics remain some of my favorites, along with Bladerunner which has benefitted from a higher profile thanks to Bladerunner 2049. 12 Monkeys also bears men...
by VaR
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Donor Advised Fund that is NOT a bank/wirehouse?
Replies: 32
Views: 2169

Re: Best Donor Advised Fund that is NOT a bank/wirehouse?

If you're not going to disburse money from the DAF immediately, isn't it more beneficial from a tax perspective to keep the capital gain accumulating in a taxable account, then donated the appreciated securities to the DAF? Let's say you have $10k in appreciated securities, you could donate to your ...
by VaR
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is programming still a valuable skill to learn?
Replies: 224
Views: 16784

Re: Is programming still a valuable skill to learn?

For most people (the younger generation joining the white collar world), I think the only serious language they should consider learning in the side on the basics is Python. I see so much potential for non-software engineer white collar jobs who know: Excel's VB / Python / SQL I think this is good ...
by VaR
Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I need help with replicating a retirement pension
Replies: 15
Views: 2052

Re: I need help with replicating a retirement pension

My answer to your questions: 1. From the $8,400 annual rental income, I subtract $500 annual expenses for property tax and insurance. The renter is a business and they are responsible for maintaining the property and buildings. I am not involved with upkeep and they have been a long-term renter sin...
by VaR
Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I need help with replicating a retirement pension
Replies: 15
Views: 2052

Re: I need help with replicating a retirement pension

For completeness, a joint immediate annuity for on $200k will pay out about $555 a month. This is only 3.33% a year. A couple of questions: 1. Does the $700 a month rental income account for maintenance expenses, sweat equity in fixing things, and a little buffer for periodic vacancy? 2. What are yo...
by VaR
Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Remote Job - Taxes
Replies: 31
Views: 3104

Re: Remote Job - Taxes

It's a small company so they may not do things correctly, but if your wife is 100% remote, then at my company she would be considered having performed work in the state of Ohio and they would have to pay her as an Ohio employee. Note that this may not apply if she is expected to work in Connecticut ...
by VaR
Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rice & Beans [limiting food expenses]
Replies: 96
Views: 14117

Re: Rice & Beans [limiting food expenses]

I'd like to emphasize that it's important to be healthy and create well-balanced and nutritious meals at home. This is both cheaper and easier to do at home than eating out, since it's a challenge to find well-balanced meals out that aren't packed with fat and ridden with excess sodium. Anyway, my m...
by VaR
Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declined 2 opportunities for advancement. Should I be trying to climb the corporate ladder or is being content okay?
Replies: 65
Views: 6164

Re: Declined 2 opportunities for advancement. Should I be trying to climb the corporate ladder or is being content okay?

OP, how well do you perform in your existing role? If you're a developer, your situation is unfamiliar to me despite the fact that I have decades as a software engineering manager. What aspirations do you have? Do you want to explore new technologies? Build more complex/scalable/interesting systems?...
by VaR
Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Neutralizing TSLA in VTSAX?
Replies: 20
Views: 1929

Re: Neutralizing TSLA in VTSAX?

If you believe that Tesla's price is in a bubble now, but you've owned the VTSAX for long enough to not want to realize gains by switching to an S&P 500 index fund, then perhaps you can find solace in the fact that when you bought in, Tesla was probably less than 0.1% of your investment at the time ...
by VaR
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cool roof paint for S. Florida
Replies: 11
Views: 1034

Re: cool roof paint for S. Florida

What about painting on an elastomeric roof coating?
by VaR
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I accidentally went into cash yesterday. What to do now?
Replies: 34
Views: 5117

Re: I accidentally went into cash yesterday. What to do now?

Escapevelocity wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:12 pm Big down days like today are normally followed by some degree of bounce-back the following day.
I don't think this is really true.
by VaR
Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: At what point do you NOT rebalance
Replies: 16
Views: 1825

Re: At what point do you NOT rebalance

OP, said another way, what is your anticipated withdrawal rate in your first retirement year? Also, what is your target asset allocation in your first retirement year? The answer to your question will depend greatly on whether the reason you think you will have 20 years of expenses in fixed income i...
by VaR
Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Panels - Questions About Older Roof
Replies: 11
Views: 1171

Re: Solar Panels - Questions About Older Roof

A couple of thoughts: 1. Do you know whether you have clay tile or concrete tile? 2. Clay tile roofs last an average of 50 years, so think 40-60 years so you've probably got the 20 years that your average solar pv system will last. 3. Do a lot of research about the different installation options tha...
by VaR
Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC adds sophistication to list of accredited investor types
Replies: 31
Views: 3140

Re: SEC adds sophistication to list of accredited investor types

It's bad enough having to deal with insurance salespeople trying to get me to buy variable annuities or equity index notes. Now a slightly larger set of "regular" people/entities will have to deal with salespeople trying to get them to fork over for a two and twenty fund. I've always been of the sch...
by VaR
Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Vanguard Prime Money Market changes, gets new name. Treasury Money Market reopened]
Replies: 178
Views: 19093

Re: [Vanguard Prime Money Market changes, gets new name. Treasury Money Market reopened]

...the fund will invest almost exclusively in cash, U.S. government securities, and/or repurchase agreements that are collateralized solely by U.S. government securities or cash... As I look at the VMMXX portfolio tab today, I only see 1.3% in "commercial paper." So either they've been getting rid ...
by VaR
Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Plea for Ordinary English
Replies: 128
Views: 10200

Re: A Plea for Ordinary English

The absolute case of this is the term "basis points." I understand why it is used, but it is not needed. It is just a means to inflate the actual number 100 times. I agree that it's best to always try to use the simplest possible language for everything. That said, I quote differences in interest r...
by VaR
Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year
Replies: 171
Views: 11833

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

We have mostly incandescent light bulbs and a few fluorescent ones. We replace bulbs as they burn out in our 3300+ square foot home. That's about 1 bulb every 5 years. Going solar would not be helpful either. Instead of changing to LED light bulbs, I'd say: Turn off your damn lights! Besides saving...
by VaR
Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is insuring my wife’s wedding ring worth it?
Replies: 49
Views: 4922

Re: Is insuring my wife’s wedding ring worth it?

I think your insurance company will have an idea of the amount that they will pay out to you for the ring if it is lost. Is that the appraised value you're talking about? Our first offer from the insurance company was about half of what I paid, but luckily due to the fact that the diamonds were a pr...
by VaR
Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT Article: Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe
Replies: 112
Views: 12337

Re: NYT Article: Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

I also enjoyed the article and was surprised that bank safe deposit boxes are less safe than I thought they were. I've never had one, nor do I have a safe in our home. My dad did tell me to have two safes, one that is easier to find and one that is harder to find, but to have enough in the easier to...
by VaR
Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 0.5% Rule (SWR) [Safe Withdrawal Rate]
Replies: 419
Views: 24490

Re: The 0.5% Rule (SWR)

200 years ignores inflation and taxation. 0.5% annual withdrawal from your mattress lasts 200 years regardless of the fraction of each withdrawal that goes to the govt. The posting did imply that accounting for inflation would shorten the timeframe. How can you completely ignore taxation? If taxes ...
by VaR
Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar with battery/tesla wall
Replies: 116
Views: 8403

Re: Solar with battery/tesla wall

My installer uses some of the underlying data that PVWatts uses + a program they call Aurora to model the setup around the house, including using LIDAR. Apparently it has a means of simulating my tree being removed. I ended up with five quotes, three of which were between 10 - 10.5 kW when consider...
by VaR
Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash Covered Puts instead of High Yield Savings for Cash
Replies: 76
Views: 5342

Re: Cash Covered Puts instead of High Yield Savings for Cash

I think it's important to realize that if you sell a 3 month put where the spot is 140 and the strike is 135, if tomorrow the spot price goes to 135, I don't get assigned the equity and get rid of my short put. I have to stay in it knowing that as the price continues to go down for the next 2.9 mont...
by VaR
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar with battery/tesla wall
Replies: 116
Views: 8403

Re: Solar with battery/tesla wall

PVWatts surprised me. Other than some outliers, the consensus from installers is that 10 kW would provide 10,000 kWh/year on my property, after removing a tree. However, PVWatts says 13,500 kWh/year and I saw nothing where I could model removing that tree, but did put in a shading effect. I’m surpr...
by VaR
Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Innovator Buffered ETF's - Any Experience?
Replies: 45
Views: 1762

Re: Innovator Buffered ETF's - Any Experience?

I think it's worth mentioning that as specified in their factsheet, here are the holdings of PJUL: HOLDINGS Starting SPX Index Level: 3100.23 Position Strike Expiration S&P 500 Purchased Call Option 1860.14 6/30/2021 S&P 500 Sold Put Option 1860.14 6/30/2021 S&P 500 Purchased Put Option 3720.28 6/30...
by VaR
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Source for details on U.S. bonds from non-U.S. companies
Replies: 14
Views: 641

Re: Source for details on U.S. bonds from non-U.S. companies

Do you feel comfortable providing a sample CUSIP of such a security? PM me if you don't want the CUSIP indexed by search engines to this web page.
by VaR
Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar with battery/tesla wall
Replies: 116
Views: 8403

Re: Solar with battery/tesla wall

The point about solar panel placement degrading with additional panels is something I had not considered... What you want to do to estimate this is to use the NREL pvwatts calculator: https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/ Your installer should also be doing this calculation for you, but if you're a numbers per...
by VaR
Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar with battery/tesla wall
Replies: 116
Views: 8403

Re: Solar with battery/tesla wall

Thx. Ive been told that installing batteries later on would requires permits, process etc. Not sure how much truth there is to that... I think it's important to think about what's important to you? Do you simply want the best ROI? Some details: 1. Since PG&E has time-of-day billing and as a result,...
by VaR
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar with battery/tesla wall
Replies: 116
Views: 8403

Re: Solar with battery/tesla wall

emoore wrote: Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:01 pm Their plan is to significantly increase the amount of solar and powerwalls they install. I think they are breaking even on solar and trying to get the profits from the powerwalls.
I think their plan is to sell cars.
by VaR
Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 81 yr old -need simple investment strategy
Replies: 56
Views: 5997

Re: 81 yr old -need simple investment strategy

I don't follow the Roth conversion strategy. Normally you do Roth conversions if you anticipate high retirement income in order to reduce your future RMDs and reduce your tax rate. But it sounds like she needs her annual RMDs anyway for living expenses. Why would she want to reduce them? All you ar...
by VaR
Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: COVID Portfolio
Replies: 33
Views: 2494

Re: COVID Portfolio

Speaking of sector ETFs: "Will Vanguard step on the SPDR? This technology ETF just dethroned the industry leader" https://www.marketwatch.com/story/will-vanguard-step-on-the-spdr-this-technology-etf-just-dethroned-the-industry-leader-2020-07-08 https://ei.marketwatch.com/Multimedia/2020/07/07/Photos...
by VaR
Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Have muni bonds become too dangerous?
Replies: 86
Views: 8045

Re: Have muni bonds become too dangerous?

Total Bond Market (VBTLX) is yielding 1.37%, Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax Free Bond Admiral shares (VWIUX) is 1.35% Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index (VTEB) is 1.4% Many people would consider these comparable funds. Their durations are close but some would argue about credit quality (hence, this thr...
by VaR
Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: COVID Portfolio
Replies: 33
Views: 2494

Re: COVID Portfolio

Interesting. I wonder if "COVID Portfolio" stocks are stocks that performed less badly during the February to March dive because they were in sectors that were less impacted? Presumably like the ones mentioned by @omeletpants. I wonder a lot of active investment is swinging with this momentum, which...
by VaR
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Digital Advisor "algorithm change"
Replies: 57
Views: 5318

Re: Vanguard Digital Advisor "algorithm change"

What were the allocation percentages for "moderate" at other retirement horizons? OP, what retirement horizon did you enter? 30 years? 40? I could imagine some other bug where the original asset allocations were incorrect. Are you married and is there by any chance a difference in age between you an...
by VaR
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effect of open-source software on SWE careers and start-up companies.
Replies: 34
Views: 2201

Re: Effect of open-source software on SWE careers and start-up companies.

Agreed and I would go further and say that Software Engineering is not an Engineering discipline. Do you mean this in the scholastic sense (ABET accreditation), the certification sense (PE), or some other sense? I'd observe that the usefulness of professional certification and the appropriateness o...
by VaR
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: lump sum investing vs dollar cost averaging in the present market
Replies: 66
Views: 3353

Re: lump sum investing vs dollar cost averaging in the present market

A lot of the analysis that has been done is for long-baseline DCA (say, six months to a year), where the foregone expected return is significant. I'll let those analyses speak for themselves. I tend to go with the lump sum strategy myself, though in the current market environment, I tend to be somew...
by VaR
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Morgan Stanley Says the 60/40 Portfolio Is Doomed
Replies: 107
Views: 11363

Re: 60/40 split at 70 year old?

I decided to chuck the adviser and go on my own, from what I am reading I should be fine with 60/40 3 funds lazy Portfolio, I have retired in a country with free health care system, so I am covered there, based on my modest monthly needs above SS my money should last quite a while, I am not comfort...
by VaR
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Morgan Stanley Says the 60/40 Portfolio Is Doomed
Replies: 107
Views: 11363

Re: 60/40 split at 70 year old?

For about $210,000 you could probably buy an immediate annuity paying you $1200/mo for life, so you would not have to worry about how long you are going to live and still have a lot of money left over to grow for the future and for contingencies. Hmmm really? That's 7%. The way an a single premium ...
by VaR
Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ford Foundation Issues $1 Billion in Social Bonds
Replies: 53
Views: 4344

Re: Ford Foundation Issues $1 Billion in Social Bonds

It's worth reading about the Ford Foundation. I learned a lot of things about it that I didn't know.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Foundation
by VaR
Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Future tech: Decline of cell phone companies and tower reits from LTE Direct Technology
Replies: 5
Views: 596

Re: Decline of cell phone companies and tower reits: LTE Direct Technology

That’s true. They claim it doesn’t affect battery life much but it might in real world situations. When we get nuclear batteries in our phones they will last quite long to where this process wouldn’t probably be a problem imo. It's hard to say, but since we're in pseudo-scientific speculation mode,...
by VaR
Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ford Foundation Issues $1 Billion in Social Bonds
Replies: 53
Views: 4344

Re: Ford Foundation Issues $1 Billion in Social Bonds

Ford Foundation says they have a AAA credit rating. Are these senior unsecured notes? And the Foundation hasn't issued any other notes so these would be at the top of the capital structure, right? Did the notes themselves receive a AAA rating? Current AAA OAS looks to be about 0.8 but I'm not sure w...
by VaR
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are all Structured Notes Bad?
Replies: 30
Views: 1783

Re: Are all Structured Notes Bad?

To add to GS's profits, isn't the dividend yield of the Dow 30 higher than the dividend yield of the S&P 500? In addition, even though they are highly correlated, GS also gets to pocket the 5 year variance between the two indices, regardless of which is higher after 5 years. This means they are also...
by VaR
Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 2412

Re: Corporate Bonds

AA is 70% stocks/20% Bonds/10% Cash,CDs. You have a good point on how it’s good to reallocate to remain risk neutral. Your bond allocation is small enough that I don't see the need to reduce your equity allocation to compensate. Two additional questions, if you don't mind: 1. What's your rebalancin...
by VaR
Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Have muni bonds become too dangerous?
Replies: 86
Views: 8045

Re: Have muni bonds become too dangerous?

Some things to remember: 1. Agency ratings on municipals are on a different scale from corporates. AA corporates have a default rate of 0.9%, while AA municipals have a default rate of 0.01%. 2. Municipal bankruptcy is not equivalent to a municipality defaulting on their debt. Of the 54 municipaliti...
by VaR
Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: International equivalent to VDIGX
Replies: 6
Views: 360

Re: International equivalent to VDIGX

I didn’t notice that fund. Thanks. I’m looking for something actively managed because I don’t know if this index will be around 10 yrs from now? That shouldn't be a concern, the index will be around as long as the fund is around, unless Vanguard chooses to change the index it tracks. I'm pretty sur...
by VaR
Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 2412

Re: Corporate Bonds

Thank you all. I will look at Bond Mutual Funds to add to my portfolio. I have some certificates maturing and given interest rates are super low, I was looking for an alternate that would be a low risk but would give me a slightly better yield than a CD. What's your overall asset allocation? If you...
by VaR
Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: International Index Fund Help
Replies: 13
Views: 843

Re: International Index Fund Help

I am 32 years old and plan on buying and holding for several decades. What would you recommend from the above funds or is there a better international index fund/ETF that Vanguard has to offer? Conventional wisdom of the board recommends the Total International Index funds that you've mentioned - e...
by VaR
Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Morgan Stanley Says the 60/40 Portfolio Is Doomed
Replies: 107
Views: 11363

Re: 60/40 split at 70 year old?

I think the recommended 60/40 split is fine. As a number of previous posters have mentioned, if you're looking to engineer a monthly income of about $1200, you can take most of your bond allocation and purchase a single-premium immediate annuity. As a 70 year old male, you'll be able to buy $1200 mo...
by VaR
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: buy Corp bonds that Fed is buying
Replies: 11
Views: 1520

Re: buy Corp bonds that Fed is buying

Perversely, I feel like I want to sell whatever fixed income securities the Fed buys. It seems to me that the Fed ends up propping up the prices of existing debt, which serves to reduce the yield. OTOH, folks who sell bonds to the Fed will end up putting that money into other bonds, pushing up price...
by VaR
Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Haven't been sleeping well.. thinking of getting super conservative with AA
Replies: 69
Views: 7418

Re: Haven't been sleeping well.. thinking of getting super conservative with AA

OP, is your sleeplessness due to the perceived riskiness of your portfolio or because you are worried about your decision about your asset allocation? If you search your feelings and decide that they are rooted in the fact that you feel personally responsible for the decision, then I wonder if it ma...