Search found 89 matches

by farnsy
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landlord wants to raise rent, but is asking if he can?
Replies: 54
Views: 5459

Re: Landlord wants to raise rent, but is asking if he can?

If you feel like being super fair, you could index your rent to inflation. It will go up every year by about 2%.
by farnsy
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Karma worth it
Replies: 16
Views: 1215

Re: Credit Karma worth it

Credit Karma is absolutely worth it. For one thing, it doesn't cost anything. So if it provides any benefit, it's worth it. It's a good way to see where you are in terms of credit and even to optimize some of your behavior. Not having debt now doesn't mean you will never have debt. I consider having...
by farnsy
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Puerto Rico as legal tax Haven?
Replies: 20
Views: 3708

Re: Puerto Rico as legal tax Haven?

Can’t do it the Boglehead way. Income from off the island gets taxed federally. For many/most people this isn't a barrier. You just set up a business on the island that receives the money and pays you. I don't live in Puerto Rico but some other folks working for my company do, and they don't pay fe...
by farnsy
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Value?
Replies: 89
Views: 7485

Re: Amazon Prime - Value?

I buy way too much stuff on Amazon to not have prime. I don't really care about 2 day versus super saver shipping, but I do care about shipping minimums. When I didn't have prime I would end up searching around trying to add enough things to my cart to get to $35 so I could get free shipping. I ende...
by farnsy
Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Zero ER Funds are underperforming their equivalent premium class index funds
Replies: 59
Views: 7347

Re: Fidelity Zero ER Funds are underperforming their equivalent premium class index funds

In a mutual fund, the transactions costs of purchasing stock as new cash flows in folded into the fund's return. They are not counted as part of the expense ratio. Normally these costs are relatively small. However, for a brand new fund like these zero funds, the transactions could be very significa...
by farnsy
Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Graduate Degree Mistakenly (?) Conferred - What to Do? [solved]
Replies: 76
Views: 7330

Re: Graduate Degree Mistakenly (?) Conferred - What to Do?

I think a middle ground would be to contact the university or department and say you want to double check that all requirements for the degree are satisfied. You don't have to tell them that you don't think they are or that you have already received your degree. I'd check with the graduate coordinat...
by farnsy
Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Zeros or Vanguard's patent advantage ?
Replies: 7
Views: 834

Re: Fidelity Zeros or Vanguard's patent advantage ?

Vanguard for taxable accounts, Fidelity for tax advantaged accounts. Pretty simple.
by farnsy
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Bigger Story: Fidelity Expense Ratios
Replies: 98
Views: 10690

Re: The Bigger Story: Fidelity Expense Ratios

This change in expense ratios is great news for Fidelity investors like myself. Well, it's unambiguously good news anyway. The fees were already great. As far as Fidelity now being better than Vanguard, I guess so but the differences are extremely small. The reality is that index funds from both pro...
by farnsy
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"
Replies: 240
Views: 21656

Re: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"

It is a fact that there is a strong pro-Vanguard sentiment in this forum, which makes perfect sense as John Bogle founded Vanguard. However, in recent years Schwab and Fidelity have been aggressively out-bogling Vanguard, at least in their big index funds. The new zero-ER Fidelity funds follow a bro...
by farnsy
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dave Ramsey made me laugh today
Replies: 63
Views: 7020

Re: Dave Ramsey made me laugh today

Seems silly. I bet he has bonds in those funds and doesn't even know it. Could be, if he's holding actively managed mutual funds. Index funds pretty much just hold what they are supposed to hold (maybe with a few short-term treasuries to manage their liquidity) but actively managed funds frequently...
by farnsy
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be Careful Using Mailboxes
Replies: 62
Views: 9123

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

Not for this reason, but I never mail checks any more. I always either use electronic payment or I have my bank mail a check. I don't like using stamps for that purpose...it feels like holding an index fund that has a slightly higher expense ratio or a savings account with a slightly lower interest ...
by farnsy
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is expensive olive oil worth it?
Replies: 59
Views: 5899

Re: Is expensive olive oil worth it?

Most expensive olive oil is fake--either it's a mixture of olive and other oils or it's straight up sunflower oil with green dye and some flavorings in it. That's because to make it expensive they import it from Italy. The olive oil industry there is very corrupt. If the oil is from Italy and is mar...
by farnsy
Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economics 101. Naive question about stock and bond market correlation
Replies: 16
Views: 1602

Re: Economics 101. Naive question about stock and bond market correlation

Technical note: 100% correlation implies neither equal alpha nor equal beta.

Suppose X and Y are return series. If X = 0.1 + 2.3*Y at all times, then X and Y are perfectly correlated but will have different alpha and beta.

edit: Beat me to it. I need to hit refresh before composing a reply.
by farnsy
Wed May 02, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keyboard key labels wearing off...
Replies: 19
Views: 1400

Re: Keyboard key labels wearing off...

Cheap keyboards are cheap, nice keyboards are not: Good quality mechanical keyboards are not necessarily expensive https://www.amazon.com/TOMOKO-Water-Resistant-Mechanical-Keyboard-Non-Conflicting/dp/B01DBJTZU2 This model has double shot keycaps that will never wear off because they are made of two...
by farnsy
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dilbert Creator: If everyone indexed...
Replies: 39
Views: 7221

Re: Dilbert Creator: If everyone indexed...

Meanwhile, wise people such as you buy your market index ETFs and avoid all of the risks injected by the professional investment advisors. But your potential stock gains are suppressed because so many other people are using professional advice and losing money. That makes the category of “investing...
by farnsy
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else use AmazonSmile?
Replies: 31
Views: 2835

Re: Anyone else use AmazonSmile?

I do the SmileAlways thing in Chrome. Have given a few hundred dollars to the wikimedia foundation that way. Makes me not feel guilty about ignoring the begging banners when they are doing fundraising.
by farnsy
Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year
Replies: 244
Views: 32166

Re: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year

38 years old. Have a wife and 5 rather expensive kids. I have a full-time job at a nonprofit and am also separately self-employed (I employ my wife as well), so lots of opportunities to optimize. I got started saving very late thanks to several graduate degrees, two of which went long, so I have a l...
by farnsy
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ooma, Ooma Telo Air, standard or premier, Obi200
Replies: 15
Views: 1664

Re: Ooma, Ooma Telo Air, standard or premier, Obi200

SimonJester, do you get caller ID on everyone? Are you saying caller ID is provided by Call Centric or by google voice? I use google voice with my OBI but I only get caller ID for people in my google contacts. Actually lately it doesn't seem like I've even been getting that and I would really like t...
by farnsy
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best High Interest Savings Account?
Replies: 20
Views: 2640

Re: Best High Interest Savings Account?

I use http://www.dollarsavingsdirect.com . No minimums, fees, service charges, or penalties. The rates usually are the highest around for that type of account. Currently (2018-04-17) at 1.8%. No frills, though. Only takes deposits from your linked checking account. Can't write checks nor use an ATM....
by farnsy
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: This-millennial-couple-is-saving-150000-a-year-and-plans-to-retire-by-2029-heres-how-they-
Replies: 136
Views: 12111

Re: This-millennial-couple-is-saving-150000-a-year-and-plans-to-retire-by-2029-heres-how-they-

I applaud thriftiness, but I don't see why it's so important to retire early, especially if you live like you are super poor both before and after retirement. That's a lot of years with nothing to do--is that really that great? Working isn't that bad. I don't see any mention of having a family (kids...
by farnsy
Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you file your income taxes?
Replies: 77
Views: 6062

Re: How did you file your income taxes?

I always use freefilefillable forms, which I double check with my own computations in excel. I have W2 and 1099 income and I also employ my kids. In short I spend a lot of time and effort on my taxes every year, but no money. This year when I filed in February, I transposed two numbers in one of my ...
by farnsy
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA vs No-HOA
Replies: 94
Views: 13148

Re: HOA vs No-HOA

I live in a condo, so I'm in an HOA by default. I absolutely hate it, and couldn't imagine buying a house in an HOA. I've also had lots of friends who have purchased houses in HOAs. I'm actually the president of our HOA , and it's an absolutely thankless task. The comment on the first page.. My vie...
by farnsy
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much $ worth of things have you discarded without using?
Replies: 25
Views: 2676

Re: How much $ worth of things have you discarded without using?

Food is an interesting case. I never threw away food until I had a bunch of kids. Now I wonder if even half the food I buy goes into someones mouth before either going bad or getting ground into the floor or thrown away. I'll be happy when they are older and don't do this as much. As for small durab...
by farnsy
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Vs CIT- Seeking advice
Replies: 14
Views: 2461

Re: Ally Vs CIT- Seeking advice

Haven't used Ally nor Cit, but your post begs the question: if you are looking for a high interest rate online bank, why not use dollar savings direct, which offers 1.6%? This is the next iteration of Emigrant Direct, by the same bank. I use them and the only downside I've seen so far is that their ...
by farnsy
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the S&P 500 Grow Faster Than the Economy?
Replies: 31
Views: 3585

Re: Does the S&P 500 Grow Faster Than the Economy?

I haven't seen any discussion in this thread of the primary reason the S&P grows faster than the economy: The firms that issue the stocks in the S&P are levered . The fact that they use bonds and bank debt to fund their operations means their stocks have greater volatility and expected returns than ...
by farnsy
Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hypothetical question: Will a man who lives forever own the world?
Replies: 23
Views: 2064

Re: Hypothetical question: Will a man who lives forever own the world?

A couple of points that are easily overlooked: Stock market returns and economic growth are not the same thing. The companies that issue stocks are levered, so their stocks grow or shrink in value faster than the company's revenue does. This will go on forever. Thus GDP growth will not equal aggrega...
by farnsy
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paying off mortgage before investing at all?
Replies: 75
Views: 8771

Re: Paying off mortgage before investing at all?

The math here isn't all that bad. Let's figure out how much X will be worth at retirement. If you start with X, you can either put it in your traditional retirement account where it earns R each year and is finally taxed at your retirement tax rate t2, W = X*(1+R)^T*(1-t2) or repay your mortgage pri...
by farnsy
Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock prices -- Are they only dependent on how much people are willing to pay and how much they are willing to hold?
Replies: 20
Views: 1887

Re: Stock prices -- Are they only dependent on how much people are willing to pay and how much they are willing to hold?

No one buys a stock hoping the price stays the same. They want it to go up (hold it) or down (short it). I suppose everyone *hopes* that prices change in their favor, but certainly many people would be happy for prices to stay the same. You make money on dividends in that case. We've been in an era...
by farnsy
Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock prices -- Are they only dependent on how much people are willing to pay and how much they are willing to hold?
Replies: 20
Views: 1887

Re: Stock prices -- Are they only dependent on how much people are willing to pay and how much they are willing to hold?

Stock prices -- Are they only dependent on how much people are willing to pay and how much they are willing to hold? What determines whether stock prices go up or down? Is it solely supply and demand for the stocks? Doesn't that make all stocks extremely volatile? Prices come from demand/supply, bu...
by farnsy
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you sign a non-compete for a side-gig consulting agreement?
Replies: 44
Views: 3010

Re: Would you sign a non-compete for a side-gig consulting agreement?

Normally I'd say 12 months is really not a big deal and these types of agreements are not worth enforcing for them unless you are actually taking IP and giving it to their competitors or starting up a competitor--little to no risk of lawsuit unless you actually do something bad. However, you are alr...
by farnsy
Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Employer Match Structure
Replies: 132
Views: 13807

Re: Best 401k Employer Match Structure

I get 11.5% of salary regardless of my contribution. Pretty generous, but they would save a lot of money if they just did matching because then they wouldn't have to pay for folks who don't save. Employees who are very mindful of retirement will be looking for the highest match possible. Employees w...
by farnsy
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?
Replies: 62
Views: 7822

Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

The language of your post suggests that you believe all options are open to you and you are equally prepared for many very different careers. I doubt that is the case--you are not a high school student any more. If you are 25, you should have finished college some time ago. What was your degree in? ...
by farnsy
Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best cordless drill??
Replies: 71
Views: 6005

Re: best cordless drill??

Cordless drills are a mature technology. There is little difference in quality between one and another and they all work very well--a weekend warrior like you or me will not notice the differences between them. Everyone who has a modern cordless drill will recommend their brand because they are all ...
by farnsy
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a solo-401k worth it?
Replies: 13
Views: 2350

Re: Is a solo-401k worth it?

When you say "Is it worth it?" it's implied that there is a cost to having a solo 401(k). There really isn't any significant cost. You will have to do a very little research to figure out what you can really contribute, but it's not rocket science. It's absolutely worth it, even if you can only cont...
by farnsy
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?
Replies: 97
Views: 8306

Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

I haven't seen anyone here point out the biggest issue with the question: The signature on the back of cards is not there to verify what your signature looks like. It's the signature affirming to the credit card issuer that you accept the terms of the credit card. Store owners very, very rarely will...
by farnsy
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone used Zelle?
Replies: 53
Views: 9493

Re: Anyone used Zelle?

I hate Zelle and am angry with the stupid banks that have embraced it. I used to be able to transfer money to other Capital One customers instantly through their website until they embraced Zelle. I was able to do one transfer (although it was not instant), then the next time I tried it asked to ver...
by farnsy
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pant Recommendations (Business Casual)
Replies: 42
Views: 3455

Re: Pant Recommendations (Business Casual)

I tried a ton of different brands of slacks a while back and my favorite was the Stafford flat front black micro stripe pants from J.C. Penny. Normal price isn't good but they are always having super sales. I ended up buying 15 pair or so online the last time they went on sale. I like them very well...
by farnsy
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Personal Capital
Replies: 18
Views: 2686

Re: Question about Personal Capital

I've gotten a lot of calls and emails from Personal Capital. Kind of annoying. I also don't think their tools are all that great. I am happy using FutureAdvisor. They never bug you. All I really use them for is to get a second opinion on allocation weights (to compare to my own). The only advantage ...
by farnsy
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth 401k vs Pre-tax 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 824

Re: Roth 401k vs Pre-tax 401k

1) This is a question for your HR department. I can imagine either scenario being the case. 2) It's hard to discuss the Roth vs. Traditional 401(k) decision without talking about tax rates. These accounts exist for one single purpose: to save you taxes. Any other considerations are minor. Without ta...
by farnsy
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(B) advisor advice to wife
Replies: 36
Views: 3573

Re: 403(B) advisor advice to wife

Do NOT move your money into that fund. 1. The Growth Fund of America has a .24% 12b-1 fee. This is a straight annual kickback to the advisor and will cost you every year and benefit you nothing. Careful and robust studies have consistently and robustly shown that funds with a 12b-1 fee underperform ...
by farnsy
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: *New question* Worth it to go into 403(b) from TIRA/SIMPLE?
Replies: 10
Views: 882

Re: Worth it to go into 403(b) from TIRA/SIMPLE?

I don't know. $166,000*(.0068-.0007) = $1,012.6. So you will pay $1,000 extra per year in fees to TIAA-Cref, not counting the embedded cost of the presumably higher turnover in the TIAA fund, if you make the change. Keep it there 5 years and you are past $5,000 in fees. That is assuming that the fun...
by farnsy
Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the main purpose of rebalancing?
Replies: 59
Views: 5854

Re: What is the main purpose of rebalancing?

Most Bogleheads portfolios are, or should be, close to market capitalization weights. If that is the case, then there is not a lot of rebalancing to be done. When one stock goes up in price, it also goes up in market capitalization by the same proportion, so there is no trading necessary to get to t...
by farnsy
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: *New question* Worth it to go into 403(b) from TIRA/SIMPLE?
Replies: 10
Views: 882

Re: Worth it to go into 403(b) from TIRA/SIMPLE?

I think more info is needed. * The cost of moving to a more expensive 403(b) plan from your IRA depends on how much money is being moved. The larger your TIRA and SIMPLE plans, the more costly this is. * The value of the Roth tax advantage depends on your current and future tax bracket. * If you are...
by farnsy
Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: uva/uvb clothing
Replies: 12
Views: 1601

Re: uva/uvb clothing

I'm big time into that stuff. I went on a Caribbean cruise recently and everywhere I was covered by sun-protective clothing I was fine. Everywhere I used sunscreen only got burned to a crisp. Doesn't matter how diligently you reapply or which brand you use. Sunscreen is a poor substitute for protect...
by farnsy
Mon May 15, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medical loans, Roth IRA, 401k and marraige- what to do?
Replies: 4
Views: 473

Re: Medical loans, Roth IRA, 401k and marraige- what to do?

You don't need to do anything with your ROTH IRA. Just leave it alone until retirement. There's nothing to do because it can't be brought into your 401(k) and your 401(k) cannot be rolled into an IRA until you leave that employment. I'm assuming those loans are at a nontrivial interest rate (like, h...
by farnsy
Tue May 09, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone use Python to analyze their finances?
Replies: 40
Views: 9019

Re: Anyone use Python to analyze their finances?

I use python for some general purpose programming, but when it comes to finance and statistics, including optimizing my own portfolio, I use R. Both are very flexible and powerful. Python's a nicer language overall, but R is designed for these types of problems and it's the language that's used by p...
by farnsy
Fri May 05, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When you didn't have 401(k)/403(b), did you have IRA?
Replies: 46
Views: 3253

Re: When you didn't have 401(k)/403(b), did you have IRA?

I think the reason is that it doesn't come out of your paycheck immediately. You have to write a check out of an account containing money you could use otherwise. Theoretically there's no difference between withholdings from your paycheck and money out of your pocket, but as a practical matter there...
by farnsy
Thu May 04, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions
Replies: 10
Views: 746

Re: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions

Dang. That is news to me...my wife has never worked so I've never had to compute it. Sorry for the bad info.
by farnsy
Thu May 04, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions
Replies: 10
Views: 746

Re: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions

Also note that self employment is part of FICA. If your wife is maxing out her FICA contribution, your self employment tax will be limited only to the 2.9% medicare tax.
by farnsy
Thu May 04, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions
Replies: 10
Views: 746

Re: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions

(1) Since I have no way to predict how many times I'll be going in and working, do I have to make up a number out of thin air and pay quarterly taxes on that, or can I just file next April on what I've actually earned? If you are talking about quarterly payments, I would not send more than is requi...