Search found 101 matches

by ttcbj
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much Umbrella Insurance coverage needed?
Replies: 65
Views: 12192

Re: How much Umbrella Insurance coverage needed?

I was struggling with this issue recently, because my wife got in several fender benders and we got kicked off our umbrella liability. During my research on what to do, I came across this thread, and several others in which people pointed out that its hard to come up with a meaningful rule for how m...
by ttcbj
Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to sell directly held municipal bonds?
Replies: 7
Views: 784

Re: How to sell directly held municipal bonds?

Thanks a lot for these helpful replies. I will go through the bond desk, and will check the sites referenced for pricing.
Chris
by ttcbj
Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to sell directly held municipal bonds?
Replies: 7
Views: 784

How to sell directly held municipal bonds?

I have some funds which which were previously managed by two different wealth managers. The first manager bought 10 long-dated municipal bonds worth about $500K. That manager was released for underperformance. The second manager did not feel comfortable selling the bonds, and just held them. The sec...
by ttcbj
Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to fire a client? [software ownership issues]
Replies: 69
Views: 6856

Re: How to fire a client? [software ownership issues]

I have owned a very small software company for 11 years now. We do not do that much custom work, we primarily sell productized software. However, I have had a few customers over time which I have threatened to fire, and perhaps one or two that I actually did. Typically, when I threaten to fire them ...
by ttcbj
Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 613
Views: 101626

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Ten years ago, I was a software engineer working for a large software company. My income was slightly higher than $100K. Then, I started a very small software company. My income in the last 10 years has been very, very significantly higher than my income as an engineer ever would have been. My lifes...
by ttcbj
Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quality Virtual Investment Portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 729

Re: Quality Virtual Investment Portfolio

Thanks a lot for these responses. I will try FolioInvesting, and will use the Yahoo data if I cannot find anything more automated. As for the final question, "what if the wealth manager wins", its a good question. I think by setting up a test I am making a bet, one that I might lose, but one where t...
by ttcbj
Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quality Virtual Investment Portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 729

Quality Virtual Investment Portfolio

I have a relative who has insisted on using a private wealth manager to manage a very substantial portfolio for many years. I have tried to convince him with logic/evidence that he would be better off with indexing, but he does not listen. I would like to set up a simple virtual (not real money) por...
by ttcbj
Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is getting a rewards credit card worth the effort?
Replies: 32
Views: 6082

yes

I have found it worthwhile. I spend somewhat more than you do, but its an easy way to get 1-2% of your spending back regardless of how much you spend. For the first year I had the Chase Freedom card, which at the time paid something over 1.5% (the rules were complicated). Then, they rolled it back t...
by ttcbj
Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is getting a rewards credit card worth the effort?
Replies: 32
Views: 6082

yes

I have found it worthwhile. I spend somewhat more than you do, but its an easy way to get 1-2% of your spending back regardless of how much you spend. For the first year I had the Chase Freedom card, which at the time paid something over 1.5% (the rules were complicated). Then, they rolled it back t...
by ttcbj
Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with planning a Hawaii trip
Replies: 24
Views: 4380

Big Island

I agree that tripadvisor.com is a great resource. There are also a bunch of good Hawaii books out there. Assuming you are going to spend several thousand dollars, I would pick up one or two (or just spend a few hours sitting at the book store). My GF and I went to the big island early last fall and ...
by ttcbj
Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-Bogleonian? Engagement Ring Time
Replies: 137
Views: 22951

Went through same process

I actually went through the same process recently. I ended up having a good experience buying through Blue Nile, after investigating local jewelers and a local auction house. Interestingly, my girlfriend was also money conscious, in that she initially started out demanding CZ. I ended up talking her...
by ttcbj
Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting up a individual 401k and general business advice
Replies: 3
Views: 1193

3) Sounds very reasonable. 2A) As for timing your withdrawals, I agree that you need to be careful. I own an S-Corp and do one withdrawal each year, in December. That strategy saves me a lot of administrative overhead. For example, in my state it says you have to pay withholding bi-weekly if you pay...
by ttcbj
Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max contribution between 2 different 401k plans?
Replies: 4
Views: 1270

I would consult an accountant on this, or better yet a small-business plan administration company (there are a bunch out there). Although I have found Vanguard's people pretty knowledgeable for common questions, the rules are so complicated in cases like this that you really need to hire an expert f...
by ttcbj
Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime? Is it worth it
Replies: 54
Views: 9246

also love it

I also have it, and also love it. I am not sure it saves me money, though, because it makes buying from amazon really painless. I probably spend more on stuff, and less on shipping, as a result. I'd say if you like to purchase stuff online, and already use amazon fairly frequently, you will be happy...
by ttcbj
Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Would Vanguard ST Bond Fund Post a Loss?
Replies: 6
Views: 2097

Fair question

I find the previous response a little disappointing, the original question is reasonable. The first response is correct, rising interest rates will generally drive down the price of existing bonds. A few clarifications: A. You can understand this effect as follows: Suppose apple is selling MacBooks ...
by ttcbj
Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marketing Rental Property
Replies: 8
Views: 1413

Craigslist Demographics

This summary suggests craigslist does reach some desirable folks: http://www.quantcast.com/craigslist.org It says 30% make more than $100K, and 57% have a college or graduate degree. I'd say that is much more desirable than the US population as a whole. Interestingly, the 'index' shown on the site c...
by ttcbj
Sat May 09, 2009 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the ultimate Boglehead's new car?
Replies: 181
Views: 43091

Honda Civic

I have a 6 year old Honda Civic. It has had no problems. It always starts, the normal service costs have been reasonable, etc. It cost slightly more, and came with fewer options, than a Ford Escort my sister bought at the same time, but she has had incessant, serious problems with her Ford.
by ttcbj
Thu May 07, 2009 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SAY HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY TO JACK BOGLE
Replies: 101
Views: 16840

Great achievement

I was talking to my grandparents a few months ago, and they were telling me about investments they made when they were young. It was clear that they had few options, that those options were opaque and expensive, and that their interests were not well served by the financial intermediaries they dealt...
by ttcbj
Thu May 07, 2009 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett On Everything
Replies: 9
Views: 2359

Love Buffet, but he has responsibilities now

I love Buffet for his business wisdom more than his stock picking. His annual reports include many simple, critical insights into why underlying businesses work well or poorly. Even if you never intend to pick a stock, you can learn a lot about being an effective business person from Buffett's writi...
by ttcbj
Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Berkshire Meeting Invitation Through Vanguard Brokerage?
Replies: 5
Views: 1921

Berkshire Meeting Invitation Through Vanguard Brokerage?

I purchased a single B share of Berkshire through Vanguard's Brokerage last fall so that I would get an invitation to the annual meeting. Berkshire's web site says that the invitation will be attached to a proxy statement mailed in March. Does anyone know if this proxy statement will make its way to...
by ttcbj
Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House buying is causing marital issues
Replies: 60
Views: 8939

Not Married, But Advice Anyway

I feel like the key to your original question was not so much finding the 'one right percentage to spend on a house' (which is impossible), but finding a way to reach a consensus that works for both of you. I am not married, but I have been in serious relationships where these kinds of issues came u...
by ttcbj
Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If indexing's dead, does that mean active mgt will prevail?
Replies: 38
Views: 5742

Read Buffets Essay

But if all investors, both index and active, bought and held, the index investors would get average returns...right? You should really read Buffet's essay "How to Minimize Investment Returns". Just search for it in google. It answers this question. The key thing to understand is that indexing captu...
by ttcbj
Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreclosure fix: Who won't get help
Replies: 20
Views: 2582

Irresponsible

I must be missing something. I think the reality is that many people in the last few years bought a get-rich-quick-scheme, not a house. If you saw the CNBC special 'House of Cards', it featured a California man who honestly had this plan: * Buy a $600K home that he couldn't afford (he made $50K/yea...
by ttcbj
Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me get good, but cheap health insurance.
Replies: 18
Views: 4191

A Few Thoughts

If you want something cheaper, you need to go with catastrophic insurance. I have purchased catastrophic insurance (the deductible is between $3,000 and $5,000) from Blue Cross/Blue Shield in two different states. My current cost for this insurance is $82/month and I am 34. If you are healthy and 25...
by ttcbj
Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking on 100k+ in Student Loans?
Replies: 49
Views: 6568

rounding error

135k is practically a rounding error after law school when you are making 165k/yr This is an inaccurate statement. Many people in school fail to take into account taxes and expenses when they compare their salary to things they purchase, or to debt. Your tax rate is likely to be nearly 40% (higher ...
by ttcbj
Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: Some Homeowners May Walk Away
Replies: 66
Views: 10347

Disagree with Article's Tone

This article assumes that something must be done to bailout homeowners. The truth is, prices must drop, and foreclosures are an efficient way for that to happen. More generally, I think a person's perspective on 'walking away' says something very interesting about their belief system. If you believe...
by ttcbj
Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security/Burglar Alarm System
Replies: 25
Views: 6048

GE Simon XT

I have a GE Simon XT. My thoughts: A. I have had good luck with reliability. No false alarms, but the alarm does detect opening of windows/doors as expected. B. The XT integrates with alarm.com, which will send alarm notices to your email/cell-phone. Its kind of nice, and has both monitored and unmo...
by ttcbj
Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Can I Find a Record of the Price a House has Sold For?
Replies: 17
Views: 2624

Look for Local Government Web Sites

I would look the tax/assessment/recorder of deeds section of your local gov't website. For example, here is the site for St. Louis county, Missouri: http://revenue.stlouisco.com/IAS/ In this case, the site provides more information than you would get from Zillow. You can easily find the entire purch...
by ttcbj
Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why fed buy its own debt?
Replies: 24
Views: 4339

Good Essay

I think this essay at econobrowser, is an excellent explanation of recent Fed behavior, including why the fed would buy treasuries: http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2008/12/federal_reserve_1.html I will excerpt two paragraphs here, but the whole thing is really worth reading: And how did your ban...
by ttcbj
Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What If Everybody Indexed?
Replies: 26
Views: 7633

Read Buffet on This

This question comes up repeatedly. I still think the best answer is Warren Buffett's 2005 essay, "How to Minimize Investment Returns." You can search for it in Google. It starts by imagining a world where everyone owns an index fund (essentially), and then imagines how the world changes as more trad...
by ttcbj
Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To REIT or not to REIT
Replies: 35
Views: 5848

No REITS for Me

The whole idea of the REITs/commodities/etc was that they were uncorrelated to equities. The idea was that when equities go down, REITs don't, and you can achieve slightly higher returns with less volatility by rebalancing. The problem, in my view, is that correlations between asset classes aren't s...
by ttcbj
Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for a home with cash?
Replies: 20
Views: 3840

Saving Preserves Your Options

I've also been considering buying a house with cash (I am a little older and already have the money). Many of the responses here focus on rent vs. buy trade-offs, etc. For me, however, the desire to own outright is psychological. I like the idea that I would have an unencumbered right to live in a c...
by ttcbj
Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best kitchen timer for around $5000
Replies: 40
Views: 6664

Re: Best kitchen timer for around $5000

rich wrote:... I have about $5000 left from home equity loan and I am leaning towards doing up my cooking space with something
Hilarious! Nicely done!
by ttcbj
Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questioning the wisdom of a buy-and-hold strategy
Replies: 32
Views: 4932

How to Minimize Investment Returns

I think the best answer to this question is Warren Buffett's essay, "How To Minimize Investment Returns". If you search for it on the web, you will find it. It was also featured in an early chapter of Bogle's recent book "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing." The original source is worth readi...
by ttcbj
Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIPS spreads indicate falling prices over next five years
Replies: 20
Views: 3889

TIPS and predictions

The problem with saying "TIPS are predicting 5 years of deflation" is that 8 months ago, TIPS were not predicting deflation. Eight months from now, they might well be predicting 5 years of inflation again. I think TIPS have some ability to measure how much inflation people currently expect. However,...
by ttcbj
Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REIT + Buying a House
Replies: 11
Views: 2460

Swedroe

Buy and read Swedroe's book on alternative assets. The real estate section explains why buying a house is not a meaningful form of real estate exposure. Although its worth reading the book, the short quote is "Buying a house provides exposure to the real estate asset class in general in the same way...
by ttcbj
Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stabilizing housing prices
Replies: 56
Views: 9261

Rent Saver Support Levels

For those interested in the housing bubble, I highly recommend the book The Great Housing Bubble or, just read the posts in the Analysis category here: http://www.irvinehousingblog.com/ Housing prices will stop falling when they reach a rational level relative to rents. Rents are limited by incomes....
by ttcbj
Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000?
Replies: 1115
Views: 274053

The best watch depends on its purpose

The purpose of a $5,000 watch is clearly not to tell time, because you can buy a $25 watch that tells the time. I suspect that the purpose of buying a $5,000 watch is to impress others. If so, you should determine who you want to impress, and then buy a watch likely to impress them. I suspect you ar...
by ttcbj
Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing Ages 20 to 30
Replies: 23
Views: 3347

Regardless of Returns, Its Better To Save Early

I have also seen books that say 'money you save in your 20's is worth more.' There are several good reasons to save in your 20's regardless of the returns: A. It sets you on the path to living below your means. If you always live well below your means, you are going to accumulate wealth. B. As you a...
by ttcbj
Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real estate vs stocks
Replies: 16
Views: 3742

Also, Read Chapter 1 of Swedroe's Alternative Investments

You should read Chapter 1 of Swedroe's Alternative Investments Book. Especially the section "So You Want to Be A Landlord" on p18. Here is a brief summary of the risks/issues he sees with being a landlord. * Direct investment in residential rentals is not geographically diversified (see New Orleans)...
by ttcbj
Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Meeting
Replies: 7
Views: 2030

Awesome!

I just saved $80 a year with a 4 minute phone call! Thanks for the tip!
by ttcbj
Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are we not in a classic deflationary period?
Replies: 11
Views: 2822

Great article on 'money supply'

I found this article very helpful in understanding what the fed does, and how it has changed what it does recently: http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2008/12/federal_reserve_1.html For example, from a previous post: Once the real-estate market finally bottoms out there will be a heck of a lot of m...
by ttcbj
Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age have you started an allowance for your child?
Replies: 24
Views: 5834

Re: Allowance

Laura wrote: Their first payday arrived and they came with hand out to collect their $10. They were surprised when I handed them $9 each.
Fantastic. Thanks for this post. Great ideas!
by ttcbj
Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5 Books to read in 2009
Replies: 52
Views: 10430

The Virtue of Selfishness

Read or Reread "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand I love Rand, by I'd vote for reading her collection of essays, "The Virtue of Selfishness," first. It clearly and very concisely (important with Rand) explains the ethical system and philosophy which are embedded within both her fictional books. You'll ge...
by ttcbj
Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Massive USD devaluation "inevitable"? How to hedge
Replies: 17
Views: 4845

Try market timing in your head first, while reading...

I agree you should read the Four Pillars, or similar books. As for your market/currency timing, I'd recommend you try it in your head before doing it with real money. If you are honest with yourself about your proposed actions, it should not take too long before you realize you are not a very good t...
by ttcbj
Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it worth while for me to set up an S-Corp?
Replies: 35
Views: 5319

Don't Do It

I have an S-Corp. I don't recommend setting one up at the $30K level, because there are many state and federal taxes/reporting requirements that you won't be aware of until you consult a small-business accountant (not just a personal tax accountant). For example, in Washington State there is no pers...
by ttcbj
Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age have you started an allowance for your child?
Replies: 24
Views: 5834

Math and compounding

I should preface this by saying I don't have kids (yet). Have any of you tried to teach kids about math, investing and delay-of-gratification using the allowance? I thought it might be fun/interesting to use techniques like this: * When very young, offer them very simple mathematical choices ($1 eve...
by ttcbj
Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Economist and a better alternative....
Replies: 34
Views: 6463

I like the economist

I agree with some other responders that the economist is pretty good. I like it because the stories are relatively concise, and less anecdote laden than most american stories. I just want the facts. I don't need anecdotal illustrations of every point. I have found that for the past few months, the f...
by ttcbj
Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: can I have solo 401K if I already have another 401K plan?
Replies: 4
Views: 1269

Might Look at Keogh

My understanding is the same as the other responses, that the ~16K max applies across companies for the 401(k). However, corporate side profit sharing plans like Keogh's don't interact with the 401(k) max. If you expect to continue to have two 401(k) for a long time, you might considering switching ...
by ttcbj
Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I hate dividend stocks!
Replies: 37
Views: 6134

Real issue is relative return on capital

I almost didn't respond because I think the ideas in the original post are flawed. Whether dividends are helpful to the investor or not is a nuanced question. Specifically: A. In general, an investor will want a company to retain its earnings if the return on retained earnings is higher than that of...