Search found 254 matches

by lgs88
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do (career/life)
Replies: 18
Views: 2101

Re: What to do (career/life)

Move!

Bet you'll have more head room salary-wise in the Raleigh area, too.
by lgs88
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Collection Calls Right After Death
Replies: 35
Views: 2789

Re: Collection Calls Right After Death

After my father died, we got a bill for a few hundred dollars from AOL (remember them?). We hadn't used AOL in over a decade. I called to inform them that the payee had died; they dropped it, and I never heard anything more about it.

It seemed suspicious to me.
by lgs88
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teaching as a second career with no prior formal training in teaching
Replies: 24
Views: 1568

Re: Teaching as a second career with no prior formal training in teaching

Alternatively-certified HS teacher here. If a district has a need and you have a skill, then anything is possible. I'm smiling at work all the time.

An easy, low-commitment way to get started would be to start working as an aide in the classroom. Call up the district and see what's open.
by lgs88
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:15 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: 20 year old asset allocation
Replies: 2
Views: 314

Re: 20 year old asset allocation

Be sure that you're investing in your education. The ROI on that is likely to exceed any conceivable portfolio of diversified stocks and bonds.
by lgs88
Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Direct Pay down?
Replies: 11
Views: 1188

Re: IRS Direct Pay down?

I experienced the same problem yesterday. I have yet to try again today.
by lgs88
Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]
Replies: 68
Views: 4593

Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

I used to do this. Talk to your local grocery store’s dairy department. They can make it happen.
by lgs88
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Seller Retaliatory Feedback
Replies: 28
Views: 2199

Re: eBay Seller Retaliatory Feedback

I wouldn't lose sleep over it. What's the difference between 99% positive feedback and 100% positive feedback?

I got negative feedback from a disgruntled buyer once. It didn't affect me one bit.
by lgs88
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 11322

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

The last time we moved the movers showed up 6 hours late and then charged me extra because they used a lot of “materials” (i.e. tape to wrap furniture and such). I still tipped them $20 each and felt I was getting ripped off. I didn’t want a brick through a window one day. I don’t really care if th...
by lgs88
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 11322

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

FlyAF wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:19 pm
I tip each in the crew $100 up front and ask them to please be careful.
Now here's somebody who gets the white-glove treatment from the movers. It's thoughtful, and it's cheaper than replacing what breaks.
by lgs88
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 11322

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

I was a furniture mover for a couple summers in college. A tip of $40/day was average; $20 was below average but better than no tip at all, which did happen from time to time. I wouldn't lose sleep over it. You should know that lots of moving companies will low-ball a non-binding estimate. This alwa...
by lgs88
Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Investors Making A Killing
Replies: 85
Views: 10178

Re: Bond Investors Making A Killing

Well... nobody knows nothing! I stuck with intermediate term bonds when long-term bonds might have been more appropriate for my time horizon, because I didn't want to lock up my money at such a paltry interest rate for so long. It appears that the markets have a fool of me. But it's intermediate-ter...
by lgs88
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a truck - thoughts?
Replies: 105
Views: 6979

Re: Purchasing a truck - thoughts?

Stay away from the Super Duty/HD models if you want a smooth ride. You may find GMC’s Sierra substantially identical to Chevrolet’s Silverado — they are, after all, both full-size GM pickups — but the GMCs tend be more slightly more luxe and more expensive. Have you had a bad experience with Ford pr...
by lgs88
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody else's Fidelity accounts zeroed out?
Replies: 44
Views: 4673

Re: Anybody else's Fidelity accounts zeroed out?

My funds have reappeared. As whodidntante referred to: Fidelity is going above and beyond to deliver excitement as well as brokerage services!
by lgs88
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody else's Fidelity accounts zeroed out?
Replies: 44
Views: 4673

Anybody else's Fidelity accounts zeroed out?

All, I logged into my Fidelity account this evening only to discover that it was zeroed out -- showing no account positions and zero balance in both taxable and IRA accounts. Even DAF is empty. I'm pretty sure I haven't been cleaned out, since there's no record of any transactions (e.g. sale of stoc...
by lgs88
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should my Spouse and I handle a $300,000 Settlement?
Replies: 119
Views: 7406

Re: How should my Spouse and I handle a $300,000 Settlement?

Zero out your spouse's car loan. You're not gonna get better than 22% in the market over the life of the loan.
by lgs88
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Morocco Travel
Replies: 20
Views: 2508

Re: Morocco Travel

I spent 3+ months in Morocco a few years back. Your mere presence indicates that you are an individual of means -- sufficient means to endure endless sales pitches, anyway. You get used to it, but for a short trip, you may find it grating. The benefit of going with a tour is that then you're "taken"...
by lgs88
Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan alternatives?
Replies: 48
Views: 3659

Re: Minivan alternatives?

Miata
Is
Always
The
Answer

The kids can walk! It’s good for them.
by lgs88
Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 2004 Ford Rangers Reliable?
Replies: 20
Views: 1502

Re: Are 2004 Ford Rangers Reliable?

Buy it. Mine’s got nearly 150k (4x4, 4.0l V6) and it’s still running like a dream.
by lgs88
Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mazda Miata as Daily Commute Fun Car?
Replies: 94
Views: 5768

Re: Mazda Miata as Daily Commute Fun Car?

Piggybacking on this topic as I think I have a relevant question- To those of you who don't think it would be a good commuter car, what part of the Miata is the biggest drawback? -Convertible (noise concerns, not a lot of space) -Manual transmission (hassle driving in traffic) -Size/weight (safety ...
by lgs88
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mazda Miata as Daily Commute Fun Car?
Replies: 94
Views: 5768

Re: Mazda Miata as Daily Commute Fun Car?

There’s an acronym for this — MIATA:

Miata
Is
Always
The
Answer
by lgs88
Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Making a 3.8 million deposit
Replies: 96
Views: 11289

Re: Making a 3.8 million deposit

Go with Fidelity. I tried to transfer significant sums first into Vanguard and then into Fidelity; after Vanguard dropped ball after ball, I tried Fidelity and they had it done within 48 hours. I got one gentle sales pitch that, once politely brushed off, has not recurred since. Far superior website...
by lgs88
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Balsam Hill - Defective Christmas Tree
Replies: 66
Views: 3052

Re: Balsam Hill - Defective Christmas Tree

Sounds like your problem is with FedEx, not Balsam Hill.

Were I you, I'd wait a week and simmer down a bit -- then work it out with Balsam Hill, which sounds like it's making a good-faith effort to resolve the situation.
by lgs88
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That Extravagant Thing You Do
Replies: 411
Views: 61150

Re: That Extravagant Thing You Do

LadyGeek wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:09 pm
I merged notsobright's thread into a similar discussion.
What's extravagant about that?!
by lgs88
Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Sometimes, It’s Bonds For the Long Run
Replies: 72
Views: 6828

Re: WSJ: Sometimes, It’s Bonds For the Long Run

The more I read about markets, the more I’m convinced that it’s a poor use of my time. I own some stocks; I own some high-quality bonds. 20 years from now, it will be clear that I should have owned more of some and less of the other. But for my money, I suspect it’s a better use of my time to just t...
by lgs88
Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring $1.2 Mil taxable to Vanguard
Replies: 26
Views: 4742

Re: Transferring $1.2 Mil taxable to Vanguard

A note of caution: you’re right to get out from under your advisor’s thumb, but I’d be wary of Vanguard. I had the experience of trying to transfer a sum like yours to them — every ball that they could drop, they did. It was a several-week odyssey. Then I called up Fidelity, and they got it handled ...
by lgs88
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Info on Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
Replies: 28
Views: 2768

Re: Info on Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

Sounds fascinating. I’m all for undergraduates making adventurous choices. This fits the bill. That said — the American college experience can be a worthwhile one. Perhaps he would consider enrolling in an American university, then studying abroad in Kazakhstan for a full year. He could perhaps enro...
by lgs88
Tue May 29, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Analysis of Topics - Has This Ever Been Done?
Replies: 13
Views: 2231

Re: Analysis of Topics - Has This Ever Been Done?

Hello - out of curiosity, has there ever been any analysis done on the types of discussion topics written about here on BH? For example calling out key recurring themes and frequency? Interesting question, but what is the point? What exactly would be analyzed and why? Can you provide more examples ...
by lgs88
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 40/60 Balanced Index ?
Replies: 10
Views: 1822

Re: 40/60 Balanced Index ?

Tomd37, Consider Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund -- ticker VSCGX. It is 40% stocks and 60% bonds. It does include international (both stocks and bonds), if that's a deal-killer. Another fund to consider would be the Vanguard Wellesley Fund, which is about 1/3 stocks and 2/3 bonds. lgs88
by lgs88
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance for a 13 year old
Replies: 29
Views: 2758

Re: Inheritance for a 13 year old

Chena, This sounds like a great opportunity for an all-in-one fund. If the trustee is determined to be conservative, consider leaving the $85,000 for college in a money-market fund or certificates of deposit. Vanguard's total bond index fund is less volatile than stocks, but you can certainly lose m...
by lgs88
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy
Replies: 15
Views: 2367

Re: UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy

Unless they extend the early tender deadline, you're looking at $1,700 instead of $1,800, so if you can sell for better than 85.000, I'd definitely sell. Looking on Vanguard right now, I could sell them for $869 x 2 = $1,768. (There is an offer for 2 to 5 bonds at 86.900. I don't see anything at 89...
by lgs88
Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy
Replies: 15
Views: 2367

Re: UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy

Unless they extend the early tender deadline, you're looking at $1,700 instead of $1,800, so if you can sell for better than 85.000, I'd definitely sell. Looking on Vanguard right now, I could sell them for $869 x 2 = $1,768. (There is an offer for 2 to 5 bonds at 86.900. I don't see anything at 89...
by lgs88
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy
Replies: 15
Views: 2367

Re: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy

I note from the bond price quote that it is "callable in 2021"? Is there a possibility that you would not get your money back in 2012? I.e. the actual Maturity Date is later. Because it is not certain the company will call the bond, if they are still in difficult cash flow situation. If my supposit...
by lgs88
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy
Replies: 15
Views: 2367

Re: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy

All,

Thanks for your guidance. I opted to hold onto it. Its yield yo-yos between 13 and 15 percent. Fingers crossed.

lgs88
by lgs88
Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scotland/West Highland Way Sept. 2018
Replies: 14
Views: 1342

Re: West Highland Way Sept. 2018

Thanks for all the additional information. Yes, always respect the mountain. I've done 47 14ers in CO, Mt. Whitney, Mt. Washington, Mt. Mitchell, and Humphreys Peak. I suspect Ben Nevis is similar to Mt. Washington. Not too high, but 4,000 + feet of gain. Anyone here take the Jacobite train from Fo...
by lgs88
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications
Replies: 22
Views: 3686

Re: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications

If I ultimately die before selling the FSTVX, then yes, the taxes paid on capital gains distributions is all an additional cost. OTOH, if I outlive my FSTVX shares, then I look at it more as a pay me now or pay me later situation. As others have suggested, not a big deal in the grand scheme of thin...
by lgs88
Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications
Replies: 22
Views: 3686

Re: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications

Thank you. I knew I was missing something there :) So I assume FUSVX (S&P500 Fund at Fidelity) distributes Capital Gains in the same manner as FSTVX? The only way around it is to use a Vanguard Fund (at Vanguard) or ITOT (through Fidelity)? Hiwatter, Yes, FUSVX has distributed capital gains these p...
by lgs88
Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications
Replies: 22
Views: 3686

Re: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications

Sorry, but I'm still struggling to understand how FSTVX is so tax-inefficient in a taxable account? So it pays a small-ish dividend (like most funds) and you have to pay annual tax on that...? Unless you have a massive amount of money in that one fund, how is it a big deal? I'm genuinely curious an...
by lgs88
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications
Replies: 22
Views: 3686

Re: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications

For my part, I concluded that this wasn't worth worrying about. In the example above, long-term capital gains distribution in 2017 boosted the effective ER from 3.5 basis points to 17.5 basis points -- a cost I'm willing to pay for Fidelity's far-superior customer service. These may or may not recu...
by lgs88
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications
Replies: 22
Views: 3686

Re: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications

I posted this about LTCG distributions in a different thread on FSTVX's tax efficiency: "[FSTVX distributed] about $0.50 per share for a fund that averaged around $70 in share price over the course of the year. Is this worth worrying about in a taxable account? My preference is for mutual funds ove...
by lgs88
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications
Replies: 22
Views: 3686

Re: FSTVX - Fidelity Total Stock Index - Tax Implications

I posted this about LTCG distributions in a different thread on FSTVX's tax efficiency: "[FSTVX distributed] about $0.50 per share for a fund that averaged around $70 in share price over the course of the year. Is this worth worrying about in a taxable account? My preference is for mutual funds over...
by lgs88
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Fidelity total stock market fund (FSTVX) tax efficient
Replies: 30
Views: 6630

Re: Is Fidelity total stock market fund (FSTVX) tax efficient

These LTCG distributions throw a wrench in the works somewhat. Aren't capital gains distributions a sign of a fund in trouble, i.e. one that is experiencing outflows so severe that it must meet them by selling appreciated stock? I would say typically lots of distributions are a sign of management a...
by lgs88
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Fidelity total stock market fund (FSTVX) tax efficient
Replies: 30
Views: 6630

Re: Is Fidelity total stock market fund (FSTVX) tax efficient

I'm bumping this thread in light of FSTVX's 2017 distributions; about $0.50 per share for a fund that averaged around $70 in share price over the course of the year. Is this worth worrying about in a taxable account? My preference is for mutual funds over ETFs, else I'd just buy VTI. A back-of-the-...
by lgs88
Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Fidelity total stock market fund (FSTVX) tax efficient
Replies: 30
Views: 6630

Re: Is Fidelity total stock market fund (FSTVX) tax efficient

I'm bumping this thread in light of FSTVX's 2017 distributions; about $0.50 per share for a fund that averaged around $70 in share price over the course of the year. Is this worth worrying about in a taxable account? My preference is for mutual funds over ETFs, else I'd just buy VTI. A back-of-the-e...
by lgs88
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy
Replies: 15
Views: 2367

Re: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy

I'm in the industry, so I watch Frontier. They definitely have issues. On the plus side for your bond: 1. It is one of their earlier maturities. They might survive that long. I expect an effort in the next year or two to push out those early maturities. 2. It is a fairly liquid bond (see current Va...
by lgs88
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy
Replies: 15
Views: 2367

UPDATED MARCH 22 2018: Holding a junk bond of a company that's spiraling toward bankruptcy

All, I have a small dilemma. I have a corporate bond, CUSIP 35906AAP3, of Frontier Communications. Frontier appears to be spiraling toward bankruptcy. The company's stock has lost 80% of its value in a single year; its dividend yield is nearly 27%; the bond itself is rated B3 by Moody's. This is a s...
by lgs88
Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?
Replies: 176
Views: 8319

Re: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?

Take an afternoon to read this thread before you start messing around with leverage: viewtopic.php?t=5934
by lgs88
Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's wrong with Google Finance these days?
Replies: 4
Views: 952

Re: What's wrong with Google Finance these days?

"Google Finance is under renovation. As a part of this process, the Portfolios feature won't be available after mid-November 2017. To keep a copy, download your portfolio." I suspect they're overhauling it. I hope so; it is pretty obvious that a company the caliber of Google could create a tool much...
by lgs88
Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Performance of Actively Managed Account...
Replies: 16
Views: 1486

Re: Performance of Actively Managed Account...

By my reading, it looks as if he has outperformed (or matched, net of fees) the market return in the equities portion of the portfolio for every time frame except YTD. I may be misreading it, though. On the fixed income side, this is an interesting issue. He is benchmarking his performance to the Bl...
by lgs88
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Alternative to Vanguard PAS (dreadful service)
Replies: 16
Views: 2533

Alternative to Vanguard PAS (dreadful service)

A family member is looking for an alternative to Vanguard PAS. She is with an AUM-fee financial advisor at the moment, whose fee (75 bp) was not all that bad but whose service was poor -- unsuccessful market timing, extremely complex portfolio, and failure to communicate any sort of strategy or make...
by lgs88
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard clients are more likely to...laugh, cuddle, etc. compared with clients of other investment firms
Replies: 5
Views: 1281

Re: Vanguard clients are more likely to...laugh, cuddle, etc. compared with clients of other investment firms

Exploration of mutual interests and spending time with your kids cost money -- both in terms of the cost of the hobbies themselves and the opportunity cost of time spent not working.

This is a shot across the bow of Vanguard clients. If they want to retire early, they'd better look elsewhere!

:?