Search found 371 matches

by Smorgasbord
Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Robinhood to offer 3% cash management program, not a bank account]
Replies: 151
Views: 8768

Re: [Robinhood to launch 3% interest bearing accounts, but is not a bank]

While I probably won't be an early adopter of Robinhood's checking account, it is interesting that we are now discussing [potentially] federally insured saving products with rates that are within striking distance of the mortgages many of us have. The "should I pay off my mortgage?" threads in the n...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: MLP's [Master Limited Partnership]
Replies: 26
Views: 1533

Re: MLP's

a (six-fingered) maniple of MLPs: match list position midluteal phase multiple lymphomatous polyposis multilayer perception my little pony master limited partnership Echoing other posters, the one MLP I had turned out to be a hassle. Perhaps if it was a significant portion of my portfolio it would ...
by Smorgasbord
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?
Replies: 34
Views: 1899

Re: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?

I'm a big fan of buying 2-3 year old gaming computers. In my area, if you keep an eye on Craigslist you can usually pick a computer that is ridiculously overpowered for everything but the most modern games for $300 to $500.
by Smorgasbord
Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Made an unwise investment, help solicited
Replies: 41
Views: 3500

Re: Made an unwise investment, help solicited

So I probably should have cost averaged into this account instead of all at once. Mistake one. Mathematically this wasn't a mistake. Only in hindsight it was. It is generally better from a return standpoint to be in the market as soon as possible. Stocks go up more often than they go down. So while...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who else is getting excited? [about the market]
Replies: 145
Views: 12571

Re: Who else is getting excited?

I'm just happy that the drop happened in December instead of January after I had made my Roth IRA and 529 contributions for the year.
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell farmland to coal company?
Replies: 33
Views: 1999

Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

How does your estimation of the land value compare with Purdue's recent state survey?
https://ag.purdue.edu/agecon/Documents/ ... _final.pdf
by Smorgasbord
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buying homes with mortgages is good but buying stocks on margin is bad
Replies: 36
Views: 2894

Re: Why buying homes with mortgages is good but buying stocks on margin is bad

I'm all for buying stocks on margin so long as it is with a non-callable 30-year fixed-rate term. Good luck finding that.
by Smorgasbord
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Plan Worth It?
Replies: 16
Views: 1217

Re: 529 Plan Worth It?

What state are you in? The tax deduction/credit in some states can make an otherwise so-so 529 plan downright fantastic.
by Smorgasbord
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?
Replies: 44
Views: 2374

Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

My vote would be for either Tahoe or Breckenridge.

I'd avoid Whistler for a trip planned far in advance. While the conditions can be amazing, they can also be downright crummy, and my experience has been that the crummy days tend to outnumber the amazing days by about 5 to 1.
by Smorgasbord
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do value the cost of commuting?
Replies: 54
Views: 3435

Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

So your reward for commuting almost three hours a day would be a measly 3-5% increase in household income. Yeah, that's a terrible idea.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting car in Chicago - Christmas - what to expect?
Replies: 14
Views: 1266

Re: Renting car in Chicago - Christmas - what to expect?

The snow isn't so much the issue as ice and black ice. Just go slow and you'll be fine unless you know you have to travel long distances. If you're not worried about the snow, then don't even worry about it. The lake effect snow is annoying, but not a big deal. I would add that unless your are plan...
by Smorgasbord
Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real Estate for Rental Income
Replies: 6
Views: 740

Re: Real Estate for Rental Income

Is this your first time in this type of endeavor? If so, it's usually best to go with the well worn path rather than trying something exotic.
by Smorgasbord
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High lumen outdoor LED bulbs
Replies: 6
Views: 585

Re: High lumen outdoor LED bulbs

Can you swap out the fixture to include more sockets? If you put a few of these bulbs in you'll be able to light quite a large area: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cree-150W-Equivalent-Bright-White-3000K-PAR38-Dimmable-Exceptional-Light-Quality-LED-40-Degree-Flood-Light-Bulb-TPAR38-1803040FH25-12DE26-1...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Long / Hard To Become a Millionaire on Under $100k Income
Replies: 133
Views: 12318

Re: How Long / Hard To Become a Millionaire on Under $100k Income

Becoming a millionaire by 40 can be done by saving $60 a day from age 21 through 40 with an 8% return on investments. How hard it is to save $60 a day depends greatly on how close to the $100k/yr mark you get.
by Smorgasbord
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing New Home - Down Payment 20 or 25%??
Replies: 19
Views: 1160

Re: Purchasing New Home - Down Payment 20 or 25%??

I'd go with 20% as it keeps your cash cushion and is not too costly. Additionally, my hunch is that within the next few years you'll have an opportunity to refinance into a 30-year fixed in the 3.something range.
by Smorgasbord
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wanting to move my family but where to begin?
Replies: 21
Views: 2440

Re: Wanting to move my family but where to begin?

I live in Ogden Dunes which is one South Shore station closer to Chicago than Chesterton/Dune Park. Many of the corporate people commute to the loop, which is about a 70 minute train ride away. The town is pretty great with many activities revolving around the beach, Lake Michigan, and the national ...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stop paying on life insurance policy?
Replies: 33
Views: 2529

Re: Stop paying on life insurance policy?

My answer would be that it depends. Based solely on need, with a mid-to-high seven figure portfolio, if you are spending less than $300k per year I'd probably ditch the insurance. However with that portfolio you are probably getting close to the point where there are inheritance tax benefits to keep...
by Smorgasbord
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How high can House prices go
Replies: 67
Views: 8418

Re: How high can House prices go

Supposedly, the 280 acre Royal Palace in Tokyo was once valued at more than the entire state of California...so real estate prices can get stupid high in a bubble.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k advice [looking for better 401k plan design]
Replies: 3
Views: 501

Re: 401k advice

How much do your employees value the extra money they will be receiving? In other words how would "Great news team!, this year's raises will be paid out as part of your 401(k)!" go over at the office?
by Smorgasbord
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Argentina Trip Over Winter Break
Replies: 20
Views: 1676

Re: Argentina Trip Over Winter Break

I recommend taking the ferry from Buenos Aires over to Colonia.
by Smorgasbord
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Asset Allocation question
Replies: 7
Views: 681

Re: 529 Asset Allocation question

We opened a 529 account for our daughter soon after she was born as part of our overall college funding strategy and as a place for grandparents, etc. to place gifts for education. At the time, we set the account to invest in their target date fund based on our daughters age (now 1 yr old)....This ...
by Smorgasbord
Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles (total) on car before buying another car ?
Replies: 114
Views: 7227

Re: How many miles (total) on car before buying another car ?

1. Lower safety protections on older cars. Meaning your chance of injury are higher on older cars due to the lack of protective tech Yes older cars do have lower safety protections, but there have been diminishing returns on safety features for years. Any 20 year old car is going to have seat belts...
by Smorgasbord
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advise on term vs whole life
Replies: 31
Views: 2267

Re: Advise on term vs whole life

Why do you need at least 30 years of coverage? Your children shouldn't be dependent on your income when they are in their 30s. I was thinking the same thing, plus I would add that if you're posting on this forum you are probably a prodigious saver so there is a good chance that in 15-20 years your ...
by Smorgasbord
Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When Will Attaining Millionaire Status Be Obsolete?
Replies: 77
Views: 4875

Re: When Will Attaining Millionaire Status Be Obsolete?

My answer is 2238. Assuming 3% inflation, 2238 is the year that anyone making less than a million dollars a year will be below the Federal Poverty level.
by Smorgasbord
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canada Goose Jacket
Replies: 57
Views: 4455

Re: Canada Goose Jacket

How much goose down are they? LLBean and North Face are outstanding I'll second LLBean being great. When I went to Antarctica I wore their Baxter State Parka and was warm as could be. It was about a decade ago and I recall it being on sale for under $200. The comparable Canada Goose parkas are now ...
by Smorgasbord
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I own my home through an LLC?
Replies: 20
Views: 2851

Re: Should I own my home through an LLC?

I am in the process of buying a new home and in addition to living in it I will be renting it out for short-term vacation rentals. The home is in Los Angeles. I have been doing this for a few years already with my current home in same area which I also own in my own name. Would I be better off by o...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?
Replies: 78
Views: 4155

Re: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?

At my current house, pumping the septic every three years is ~$250, and every few decades there is a $10,000+ charge. At my old house, the sewer averaged about $50 a month plus another $20 in storm water fees. The town had a combined storm/sanitary system that tended to discharge raw sewage into the...
by Smorgasbord
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm an employer looking to get the best 401k deal for my employees!
Replies: 17
Views: 1282

Re: I'm an employer looking to get the best 401k deal for my employees!

About two years ago I also got to choose the 401k for my company. I forget the exact fees/expenses, but I remember the two finalists were Vanguard managed by Acensus and Employee Fiduciary. Employee Fiduciary was better when the plan has less than about a million in it, and Vanguard was better over ...
by Smorgasbord
Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a bigger home
Replies: 7
Views: 1149

Re: Buying a bigger home

While the standard advice is that you need to put the money in low risk investments if you are going to withdraw the money in 5 years, I would probably be putting at least a portion (~25%+) in stocks. The reason for this is that you have a great deal of flexibility in when you make the move. For exa...
by Smorgasbord
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suze Orman - "I hate the FIRE movement."
Replies: 75
Views: 9678

Re: Suze Orman - "I hate the FIRE movement."

It seems that Orman's threshold for retirement is being able to spend $350,000 a year in perpetuity. At that spend rate, the vast majority of people would be wiped out pretty fast regardless of whether they continue to work or not. If the outcome is the same either way, I don't really see that as mu...
by Smorgasbord
Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles
Replies: 89
Views: 6171

Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

Given the choice of following the instructions of the highly trained team of engineers that built your car, or the wrench monkey at your local garage, always go with the engineers. I change the oil in my famly's cars (full synthetic) every spring when the weather turns nice.
by Smorgasbord
Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 139
Views: 8887

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

My local bank is where I get my $2 bills for handing out to street musicians / performers.
by Smorgasbord
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Video Game Collection
Replies: 39
Views: 2354

Re: Video Game Collection

Sell them. If you want to return to classic gaming, emulation is the way to go. I've been having fun with the arcade emulator called MAME. Check it out sometime. On the higher end, play-ability has little to do with value of old video games, so emulation has little impact. For example, the 1990 Nin...
by Smorgasbord
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home-spun Weed Killers
Replies: 21
Views: 1637

Re: Home-spun Weed Killers

Of course, that is the concentrated solution. It is meant to be diluted for use anywhere. And of course, glyphosate will not kill insects and other pests. It is not a pesticide. At least according USDA / EPA, weeds are considered pests and glyphosate is a pesticide. http://www.ag.utah.gov/documents...
by Smorgasbord
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I get rid of big project t.v.?
Replies: 21
Views: 1154

Re: How do I get rid of big project t.v.?

My old TV was a 57 inch Hitachi rear projection TV that clocked in at about 270 pounds. It was located in my basement, and the easiest/cheapest way of getting rid of it was to throw it away piece by piece over the course of a few trash days. Most pieces could be removed with a screw driver, but a re...
by Smorgasbord
Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC for one rental property?
Replies: 28
Views: 2373

Re: LLC for one rental property?

The annual cost of an Oregon LLC is $100, so I would probably skip it. My answer would be different if you were in a state where the annual cost was $10 and a quick filing. While it's foolish to think that a single member LLC by itself is going to save you, if someone is coming after your assets the...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay for a 401k?
Replies: 32
Views: 2368

Re: Should I pay for a 401k?

I work for a small company that does not offer a 401k. The company would establish one if the participants covered the cost. Obviously, there would be no matching employer contribution. Vanguard's small business plan would cost us about $3500/year. We would have 5 employees participating. So that's...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small caps are getting crushed today
Replies: 20
Views: 3120

Re: Small caps are getting crushed today

Doing a little more work, if we ask "what sized drop happened about annually," the answer is that a drop of -5.2% or farther has happened 15 times in the last 14.49 years. In other words, one-day drops of over 5% have happened about once a year. While I don't doubt the numbers, the conclusion may b...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powerlines near house
Replies: 72
Views: 5543

Re: High voltage powelines near house

How about those cell towers? They can popup anywhere and probably produce a lot more EM radiation, right? Tin foil hats do a good job of keeping it out.:) The evidence for any health effects from these types of sources is beyond sketchy. But a lot of buyers will do what the OP did and draw conclusi...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powerlines near house
Replies: 72
Views: 5543

Re: High voltage powelines near house

I recall that there was a study a while back showing that people who lived near high voltage power lines did have a higher rate of cancer, but it turned out that this was a correlation rather than causation. Big power lines are unsightly causing the houses near them tend to be less expensive, and th...
by Smorgasbord
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House foundation repair with Helical Piers - urgent request
Replies: 22
Views: 1690

Re: House foundation repair with Helical Piers - urgent request

My concern: Has the problem that was discovered solved? Is this an ordinary/normal problem considering the age of the house and soil conditions in the area? Would he have problem selling the house a few years from now? Should he go ahead and buy the house? Thank you. My current community was develo...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandpa's 88 and has term life insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 3181

Re: Grandpa's 88 and has term life insurance

So he's paying $11k a year for $100k insurance. That doesn't sound like a terrible deal for an 88 year old man, and if it makes him happy to have it then I'd say keep it.
by Smorgasbord
Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tick Tubes and boxes. Permethrin Fipronil
Replies: 22
Views: 2109

Re: Tick Tubes and boxes. Permethrin Fipronil

Bifen is what the professionals in our area use. We used to have part of our property treated but it got expensive. What do you use to apply it - a regular hose-end sprayer? I apply the Bifen XTS with a backpack sprayer that has been modified so that the spray nozzle is at the end of a ~10 foot pol...
by Smorgasbord
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tick Tubes and boxes. Permethrin Fipronil
Replies: 22
Views: 2109

Re: Tick Tubes and boxes. Permethrin Fipronil

I live in a community generally bounded by a lake and a national park. We have a lot of wildlife, and a lot of ticks. For 2016-2017 I tried tick tubes with minimal results. Even applying DEET based repellent when going outside, I still was pulling off half a dozen ticks per year. This year, I went w...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Monthly Water Usage
Replies: 61
Views: 4529

Re: Monthly Water Usage

My family of four is at 3-4,000 gallons per month. Considering that I live less than 1,000 feet from a reservoir that holds 20% of the world's liquid fresh water I should probably increase my irrigation usage, but I despise grass.
by Smorgasbord
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can't participate in 401k for 1 year
Replies: 33
Views: 2670

Re: Can't participate in 401k for 1 year

I set up my company's 401k plan, and went with the 1 year option as well. The main benefit to the employer is that the one-year requirement makes it so that any temporary workers that are brought on do not need to offered the 401k plan. While some dollars are saved by not having to contribute to the...
by Smorgasbord
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 355
Views: 20135

Re: What are your property taxes?

In Indiana, property taxes are capped by the state at 1% with state/local income taxes running about 4%, but we also have a generous 20% tax credit on the first $5k contributed to a 529 plan per year.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlords- How Many Months of Expenses Do You Keep?
Replies: 8
Views: 1289

Re: Landlords- How Many Months of Expenses Do You Keep?

1 SFH rental, and I keep $10,000 in reserves based on the same rationale as togb and clutchied. My rental reserves also double as the family emergency fund. It's been a long time since I've had to dip into it.
by Smorgasbord
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Theater PC Uses?
Replies: 15
Views: 1421

Re: Home Theater PC Uses?

I use my home theater PC to emulate old video games. Also, it's good for video conferencing between the grandparents and the toddler age grandchildren. Other than that, we just use an old wifi enabled DVD player for most TV watching. Note: I really hate that every damn time windows updates I have to...
by Smorgasbord
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a way to avoid bad companies in S&P 500?
Replies: 92
Views: 5032

Re: Is there a way to avoid bad companies in S&P 500?

To filter out the bad companies you just need to know the future, and for that you'll need a working time machine. Of course, the fundamental problem with this concept is that if you had a time machine you'd get much better returns from the Grays Sports Almanac than something boring like the S&P500.