Search found 1681 matches

by jharkin
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?
Replies: 120
Views: 7968

Re: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?

Not sure what you are talking about. If you have a mid 7 figure portfolio with no debt (from stock market investing) I can utilize the money any time by clicking a button and transferring assets. The fact that there are hundreds of teachers, police officers, and other median income earners that hav...
by jharkin
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soap for hand washing dishes
Replies: 39
Views: 1615

Re: Soap for hand washing dishes

Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:59 am
I use Dawn. Original formula. If it works for animals covered in oil from oil spills, it is fine for me.
+1 Dawn has got to be the best soap ever invented. Also works wonders for cleaning prescription eyeglasses.
by jharkin
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?
Replies: 33
Views: 1788

Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

I'd look for a small, local shop to replace the pan. I'd be amazed if you couldn't find a shop to do it for $300. It's not a hard job at all, DIY. Or go buy a Fumoto oil pan valve and have a welder weld the valve in permanently. How would one weld a brass valve to a steel oil pan and why would it b...
by jharkin
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PITI 20% to 30% lower than renting
Replies: 39
Views: 2234

Re: PITI 20% to 30% lower than renting

Working the math backward using todays average 30year APR of 4.41, shows that you assumed a property tax rate below 0.5% to get 1800 PITI. Thats very low, by tax foundation data there are only about 10 states where the tax is that low. If you assume flat future home values in that market, then you ...
by jharkin
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?
Replies: 75
Views: 3213

Re: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?

You also know that limiting his search to NYC he is going to run into mostly financial services firms. Yes, 100% true. I work in defense (a huge employer for engineering, IT, scientists), and so much of my industry has fled the HCOL areas. Taxes are just too high, despite the political pressures to...
by jharkin
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?
Replies: 75
Views: 3213

Re: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?

OP, The job market is not as great as the unemployment number claimed it to be. My nephew has a computer science degree. It still took him more than 1 year to find a job. KlangFool many of my college classmates in my field had 3+ job offers by november of their senior year. different experiences. T...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest Home Insurance ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1265

Re: Cheapest Home Insurance ?

You may want to reconsider your approach to insurance and instead focus on value. When I pay premiums, I'm doing so based on the expectation that the company will be solvent (able to pay for the damages I cause), provide outstanding claims service, and answer any premium / coverage related question...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PITI 20% to 30% lower than renting
Replies: 39
Views: 2234

Re: PITI 20% to 30% lower than renting

Working the math backward using todays average 30year APR of 4.41, it looks like you assumed a property tax rate below 0.5% to get 1800 PITI. Thats very low, by tax foundation data there are only about 10 states where the tax is that low. If you assume flat future home values in that market, then yo...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ICE or a hybrid car
Replies: 17
Views: 780

Re: ICE or a hybrid car

Sooner or later somebody is going to come into this thread and declare that in 5 years we will all be riding in driverless Ubers and personal car ownerhsip is ending. Usually that somebody lives in Manhattan or similar. Yes, ICEs are going away eventually, but you are not going to replace infrastruc...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we really need to save 20 % ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2700

Re: Do we really need to save 20 % ?

Something doesn't add up here... Dual physicians with no debt should be able to sock away more than $5k a month toward a house fund, even maxing tax deferred. My household is an engineer+ a public school nurse, probably making less than half what you guys are and we could do 2x 401/403b+ 2x roth and...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity 401(k) millionaires hits record high
Replies: 48
Views: 5116

Re: Fidelity 401(k) millionaires hits record high

I am quite surprised at how relatively few Fido 401 (k) millionaires there are. I wonder how Vanguard or TIAA figures compare. I’m actually shocked it’s that high . Remember the average household income in this country is around $60k, something like less than 20% of all employers offer 401k’s at al...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quote from Electrician
Replies: 46
Views: 2640

Re: Quote from Electrician

Smoke detectors save lives, sure...probably not as many as most people think (http://freakonomics.com/2012/02/06/how-many-lives-do-smoke-alarms-really-save/), but anyone is foolish not to have smoke detectors in their home. Do laws requiring hard wired, interconnected fire alarms save lives? Doubtf...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth
Replies: 83
Views: 5746

Re: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth

jharkin, We should agree that our job situation (security and insecurity) may not apply to someone else. KlangFool Agreed. And I would think that could be for both of us. You plan for 5 year unemployment stretches, but I don't think that is typical. I am hoping for a 35-40 year career in tech, and ...
by jharkin
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity 401(k) millionaires hits record high
Replies: 48
Views: 5116

Re: Fidelity 401(k) millionaires hits record high

I am quite surprised at how relatively few Fido 401 (k) millionaires there are. I wonder how Vanguard or TIAA figures compare... TIAA is undoubtedly higher due to the much larger employer contributions in many 403(b) plans. My employer contributed 10% of my salary... Really? We must have very bad l...
by jharkin
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity 401(k) millionaires hits record high
Replies: 48
Views: 5116

Re: Fidelity 401(k) millionaires hits record high

I am quite surprised at how relatively few Fido 401 (k) millionaires there are. I wonder how Vanguard or TIAA figures compare. I’m actually shocked it’s that high . Remember the average household income in this country is around $60k, something like less than 20% of all employers offer 401k’s at al...
by jharkin
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quote from Electrician
Replies: 46
Views: 2640

Re: Quote from Electrician

Are you not allowed to use battery operated smoke detectors (like so: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Kidde-Battery-Operated-Smoke-Detector-with-Wire-Free-Interconnect-3-pack-RF-SM-DC/206093602)? Please don't tell me that you live in a city that legally requires hard-wired, interconnected smoke detecto...
by jharkin
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth
Replies: 83
Views: 5746

Re: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth

jharkin, <<Based on our discussions if I had the career experiences you did I would probably follow your plan as well. I just think it is too conservative to be used universally. >> But, is my experience unique and special? A lot of people lose their jobs and their houses during Houston Oil Bust, T...
by jharkin
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: OK, maybe Vanguard's website IS a little old... "56K dial-up..."
Replies: 19
Views: 2166

Re: OK, maybe Vanguard's website IS a little old... "56K dial-up..."

Well I am a little to young to remember using 300baud first hand, but we did have a 1200baud and Compuserve account when I was in high school. I do remember thinking how insanely fast 9600 and 14400 where when they came along. Then I got to college and they had 10baseT in the upper class dorms. It w...
by jharkin
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do with your interest from your ER fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 972

Re: What do you do with your interest from your ER fund?

My EF is in a high yield MM savings... I just let the interest compound, figuring that helps the balance keep up with inflation so it remains at a 6 month's expenses level.

If I was keeping years of expenses in EF I probably would take a more aggressive/diversified strategy.
by jharkin
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth
Replies: 83
Views: 5746

Re: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth

[ jharkin, << Any rule, especially a rule like KlangFools would mean that the vast majority of families wouldn't buy until they hit their 40s or later. Likely the entire real estate market would collapse from lack of buyers.>> 1) Actually, that is not true. It is better for me if folks do not liste...
by jharkin
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today
Replies: 58
Views: 4257

Re: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today

JoeRetire wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:24 pm

And they've been trying to dump their light bulb business for years, with no takers so far.
Good point... Does anybody even buy GE light bulbs anymore? I've always been partial to Phillips ;)
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today
Replies: 58
Views: 4257

Re: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today

I don't really know anything about the company other than that I buy their light bulbs and they made my oven. They didn't even make your oven. They sold the GE appliance brand name to a holding company years ago. GE has (had) so many business that light bulbs are probably barely even a rounding err...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the price of a new car a good proxy for the expense of owning it?
Replies: 38
Views: 2245

Re: Is the price of a new car a good proxy for the expense of owning it?

I found, unsurprisingly, that the annual "total" cost to own a vehicle is directly related to the initial "cash" cost. Unsurprising in part because many expenses of owning a vehicle are directly related to its value (depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes & fees) and in part because the market f...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing Car Cabin Air Filter - after how much time
Replies: 67
Views: 5831

Re: Changing Car Cabin Air Filter - after how much time

Just follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule outlined in your owner's manual! It's that simple. With respect to filters, it's actually not. The car mfr doesn't know where you live -- whether it's dusty, etc. They can't possibly program the maintenance minder to be accurate in every situation...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing Car Cabin Air Filter - after how much time
Replies: 67
Views: 5831

Re: Changing Car Cabin Air Filter - after how much time

While it is not required for inspection, It is just one more thing that they look at to try to make money off of me. YMMV. Key part there is "make money off you". I'm shocked they actually take time to open the glove box to look... inspection garages around here don't do anything that's not on the ...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing Car Cabin Air Filter - after how much time
Replies: 67
Views: 5831

Re: Changing Car Cabin Air Filter - after how much time

Once a year has worked for my daily cars - I usually change mine right before the state inspection so they don't bother me about it. Why would the inspection care about a cabin filter? Its not a safety or emissions issue..... TO the OP... The cabin filter gets dirty and clogged over time depending ...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best consumer products - made in USA
Replies: 62
Views: 3039

Re: Best consumer products - made in USA

For my purposes, Apple iPhones are made in the USA. Since all of the product innovation and thought leadership of Apple products occurs in the USA, I consider them made in the USA. BMW cars (some of them) are made in the USA. My home furniture (Ethan Allen) is made entirely in the USA. Another thin...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Almost 30 - Check In
Replies: 33
Views: 3498

Re: Almost 30 - Check In

A $15,000 ring is insane given your current financial situation. Insane. Do not buy a $15,000 ring. I know you love your girlfriend. Like, a lot. I get it. But $15,000 is far too much to spend. It constitutes 30% of your yearly take home pay. That's too much. You say you want to buy a house soon, b...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Almost 30 - Check In
Replies: 33
Views: 3498

Re: Almost 30 - Check In

FIrst off, let me say that your overall situation is not bad at all... You are in the same neighborhood of salary i was at that age (inflation adjusted its more like 65 for me)... but your NW is 3x higher so really well done. Keep it up like that and some good luck in the markets and you may join th...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth
Replies: 83
Views: 5746

Re: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth

So the OP originally asked whats a safe percentage, but now it seems that OP likely has a 7 figure net worth so probably any percentage is 'safe'.... Anyway, for those of us who are not FI, this is my thoughts on rules of thumb: 1 - A starting point is the conventional mortgage limit of 28%, but I a...
by jharkin
Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AAPL, AMZN, or GOOG?
Replies: 95
Views: 9758

Re: AAPL, AMZN, or GOOG?

Apple has the cell phone/tablet industry on lock. This is false. Two out of every three smartphones sold are Android.Apple has only about 1/3rd of the market. About three out of every four tablets is Android. Apple has only 1/4th of the market. Bingo. Apple is overpriced, outsourced tech with no pr...
by jharkin
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much car can we afford?
Replies: 128
Views: 5636

Re: how much car can we afford?

Honestly BH should just ban these types of threads. It’s pretty much just trolling. “I have $XM in net worth, can I afford [insert moderately priced item they can obviously afford].” LadyGeek what do ya say? +1 Thank you. They do get tiring for those of us with modest means... and probably downrigh...
by jharkin
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Huge mortgage mistake
Replies: 58
Views: 8407

Re: Huge mortgage mistake

Let me add to the chorus of "you did not make a mistake" Taking the 30 year was a smart move. The spread between 15s and 30s is still only about 0.5% and having the 30 gives you flexibility that you can pay it off at a 10 or 15 year schedule when times are good, and can fall back to the 30 year sche...
by jharkin
Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing a house, downpayment vs. retirement and other considerations
Replies: 170
Views: 8100

Re: Purchasing a house, downpayment vs. retirement and other considerations

OP, I am also in the housing market near Needham. Very nice town. It is becoming another Newton / Wellesley. I see many good posts in this thread. However, every housing market is different. Not sure how many posters live in this area but what I see here is that the "normal rule of thumb" doesn't a...
by jharkin
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401K loan vs taxable vs Roth IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 527

Re: 401K loan vs taxable vs Roth IRA

If your income is stable, you have the funds in taxable investments, AND you can take the loan without having to pause regular contributions... I would take the 401k loan. If some crisis comes up forcing you to repay it on short notice just pull the money from those taxable investments that you woul...
by jharkin
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mid 30s Crisis: Personal budget, savings and goals
Replies: 36
Views: 6998

Re: Mid 30s Crisis: Personal budget, savings and goals

gmc4h232 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:38 am
jharkin wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:03 am
It’s actually 98-99the percentile if you look it up.
Where do you look it up?
https://dqydj.com/net-worth-by-age-calc ... ed-states/

I realize other posters beat me to it, probably using the same tool.
by jharkin
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mid 30s Crisis: Personal budget, savings and goals
Replies: 36
Views: 6998

Re: Mid 30s Crisis: Personal budget, savings and goals

Dude, you have a net worth of $2M at the age of 35, that's got to be in the 90th percentile of people your age. If I read your post right, you don't know what to spend your money on. If you post a new thread titled "I've won the game, what should I spend my money on?" I'm sure you'll get some good ...
by jharkin
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018/19 Honda Odyssey - which trim level?
Replies: 15
Views: 1015

Re: 2018/19 Honda Odyssey - which trim level?

EX-L (w/o RES or Nav) is the volume model, and strikes a good balance between helpful features and unnecessary ones. +1 and if it’s similar to our Pilot EXL it has CarPlay so you get smartphone nav on the big dash screen anyway. What I’d be cautious about is the transmissions. Earlier Odyssey’s and...
by jharkin
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4
Replies: 50
Views: 2348

Re: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4

In my MCOL area a 330k house is either a 3500-4000 square foot "McMansion" or a 2500 sq ft home in an older and highly desirable part of town. These houses have basements with usable finished square footage, though. My 260k purchase price (appraisal approx 300k) is about 3000 sq. ft including the b...
by jharkin
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Response from boss re: market analysis
Replies: 71
Views: 7408

Re: Rude response from boss re: market adjustment

In 20+ years of working full time (in high tech no less), I've only once received a "market correction". That was during the height of the dot com bubble when people where leaving left and right for silly startups like pets.com, faster than the company could hire new talent. 6 months later the botto...
by jharkin
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Advisor Mandatory?
Replies: 36
Views: 3105

Re: Financial Advidor Mandatory?

NO! Financial advisors are usually hazardous to your wealth. Educated yourself. Since you are a relative newcomer, I suggest you read Bogle's, Ferri's, Bernstein's and Larimore's works (I'm not offering a complete list of equally great authors here on Bogleheads ONLY for brevity's sake). It'll take...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6205

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

I very rarely use them anymore but occasionally something comes up where there is no other option.

For example, I just had a new roof put on the house. Contractor doesn’t accept credit cards, and I’m not taking going to hand him a 5 figure stack of Benjamin’s ;)
by jharkin
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for a downpayment on a house. Help?!
Replies: 15
Views: 953

Re: Saving for a downpayment on a house. Help?!

a starter home can be had in that range. and i said "as close to 20% as possible" Well, if you get "close', I would carefully evaluate if waiting another 6 months or a year will put you over. Remember if you are even a couple % shy of 20 you are likely going to have to get a loan with PMI, or an 80...
by jharkin
Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I tell my family/friend that they are making a financial mistake?
Replies: 87
Views: 7680

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

Can you present the information as: "here's what I've done with my own money," and then let them decide? I like to tell people that they have options and here's what I do, and then leave it at that. If they want to know more, they can ask me. Giving advice is always problematic... Ive tried this ap...
by jharkin
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone battery pack, cancer warning?
Replies: 15
Views: 870

Re: Cell phone battery pack, cancer warning?

Science may eventually prove the State of California right in a few cases. But it requires the label on a multitude of products, and you'll never know in advance which ones should have been taken seriously. JT Science has already proved a bunch of these warnings correct... The bigger issue here is ...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority
Replies: 32
Views: 2684

Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

It’s not worth the trouble. I got into a long discussion with somebody at work once who was going on and on about how active portfolio management can beat indexing because of “better liquidity” and the “ability to capitalize on short term opportunities” In other words... day trading :oops: I tried t...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If it were March, 2000, would you still allocate 50% to Stocks?
Replies: 94
Views: 4288

Re: If it were March, 2000, would you still allocate 50% to Stocks?

In March 2000 I was just a year into my full time career (working in tech of all things)... friends where getting laid off left and right as the industry imploded around us. The employer I was working for was starting a slide that wouldn't end until 2002/2003 when the stock was trading in single dig...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole house generator
Replies: 31
Views: 1734

Re: Whole house generator

For those sorts of prices, why not go with a pair of Tesla Powerball units (6k/ea)? Runtime is likely comparabale to your onsite fuel storage, no moving parts, and you could still add solar later for even longer off-the-grid runtime. If you don't have rooftop solar to recharge it, a powerwall has o...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole house generator
Replies: 31
Views: 1734

Re: Whole house generator

Haven't read the whole thread yet. ... but the very first question I ask people on generator threads is: "Why do you think you need a whole house generator?" - Do you loose power frequently? - When you loose power, do you often loose it long enough that waiting the situation out with flashlights is ...
by jharkin
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed on final house negotiations
Replies: 35
Views: 2032

Re: Advice needed on final house negotiations

We are 30% down, so theoretically it doesn't effect us in financing, but psychologically it does. We don't live in an area in which house prices keep rising forever, it is entirely possible we could "lose" money on this house if we make this deal. I know the market here well enough that our price w...