Search found 1138 matches

by msk
Sat May 25, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows for Noise Reduction
Replies: 32
Views: 1869

Re: Windows for Noise Reduction

+1 Best noise-blocking windows I have ever come across were at the Heathrow Hilton, London UK. They were simple, triple glazed and non-openable. Dead quiet, but then the walls were also brick and masonry. One can easily replicate by using the usual double-glazed panels with UPVC frames and a storm p...
by msk
Sat May 25, 2019 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best way to test drive cars?
Replies: 39
Views: 2717

Re: What is the best way to test drive cars?

Over the past 50 years I test drove only the used cars I bought, never a new one. Each to his own. Most recent car I bought was a Mercedes S560. Walked into the showroom, grabbed a salesman, handed him my desired specs and asked him to place the order. Collected the car 3 months later. Then I had to...
by msk
Sat May 25, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London / UK Summer Trip
Replies: 17
Views: 678

Re: London / UK Summer Trip

Last time I went with teenage kids to London we got an apartment within walking distance to St Paul's Cathedral. Turned out very convenient for touristy stuff. I had worked in London for a few years previously so this trip was mainly for the family. Try AirBnB. 8 days is about right to do London in ...
by msk
Fri May 24, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here
Replies: 141
Views: 12096

Re: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here

One perspective from somebody who considers himself "moderately conservative". Don't we all? :wink: My working life has been between the early 1970s to end of the last century; early retirement at 55. My investing life was from the early 1970s till today, obviously borrowed to the hilt in the early ...
by msk
Thu May 23, 2019 4:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here
Replies: 141
Views: 12096

Re: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here

OP: your views came with having experienced the pains of losses. Why would a youngster at age 30 believe us oldies without having gone through the pains himself? There are a million stories out there of individuals who got fabulously rich through risky investments, be it stocks or RE or bitcoin. Whe...
by msk
Wed May 22, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any option traders?
Replies: 40
Views: 2512

Re: Any option traders?

I used to. Quickly learnt that to feel good, I needed to Sell rather than Buy Puts and Calls. After many years I settled on selling one-year SPY Puts if I needed to add to my holdings and selling one-year SPY Calls when the market looks very richly priced, like now. The premium you collect is around...
by msk
Tue May 21, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recently promoted - how to match image with title?
Replies: 54
Views: 4838

Re: Recently promoted - how to match image with title?

Over the years I had a number of lady department heads reporting to me in a Fortune 10. You got the promotion on merit. Don't worry about the rest. The following make men often uncomfortable so best avoided: Showing cleavage profusely Short skirts showing thighs as if attending a cocktail party Slas...
by msk
Tue May 21, 2019 5:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to deal with home upgrades - HELOC or not?
Replies: 23
Views: 1563

Re: How to deal with home upgrades - HELOC or not?

A word of warning. Treat all repairs as maintenance (temporary maintenance). I.e. all the repairs you do have a limited lifetime, even if it is 30 years. Hence, the longer you defer a repair, the more life you get from the current, depreciated/damaged asset, and also the new item will last longer in...
by msk
Tue May 21, 2019 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: remodeling costs in san francisco
Replies: 27
Views: 2536

Re: remodeling costs in san francisco

1 work with an architect on a fee basis. Get a plan. 2. Get contractor estimates, seek reputable ones with prior projects you might visit if possible. 3. Get it done. The more folks you introduce into the Design >>> Build process, the more hands you have to fill with $$$$. +1 The more you leave und...
by msk
Tue May 21, 2019 4:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice for a one year expat assignment in Australia
Replies: 5
Views: 595

Re: Seeking advice for a one year expat assignment in Australia

I used to work for a Fortune 10 multinational. There was nil room for negotiation, but the package was always generous. Just ask... Our packages were based on after-tax basis to enable you to "save" a similar amount as you would have in your own country at that job level. E.g. you get paid enough, a...
by msk
Tue May 21, 2019 4:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aiming to Retire End of 2019 - Abit Scared
Replies: 45
Views: 5608

Re: Aiming to Retire End of 2019 - Abit Scared

People seem to keep missing that msk is talking about 5% of the current portfolio each year. Then why the magic 5% when any percent will work equally well? It's very simple to do all these simulations. Download Shiller's reconstituted SP data going back to 1871 and then play with the data in your o...
by msk
Mon May 20, 2019 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aiming to Retire End of 2019 - Abit Scared
Replies: 45
Views: 5608

Re: Aiming to Retire End of 2019 - Abit Scared

"MSK's claim seems a bit high. Looking at this chart, his/her claim doesn't seem to hold true." Two aspects to check: 1. Did that chart use a zombie-like increase of withdrawals to keep pace with inflation (as used in the 4% "rule")? This is NOT how rational people behave. A market fall will cajole ...
by msk
Sun May 19, 2019 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Using the Shiller P/E 10 to Predict Safe Withdrawal Rates?
Replies: 19
Views: 1679

Re: Using the Shiller P/E 10 to Predict Safe Withdrawal Rates?

NEVER exceed 5% of your portfolio balance in any year and all will be great, even if you live to 127 :shock: What I am doing nowadays at age 75: I gift away around 3 to 3.5% (depends on the stock indices) to my heirs in fixed monthly instalments. The monthly stipends are large enough that all six ca...
by msk
Sat May 18, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aiming to Retire End of 2019 - Abit Scared
Replies: 45
Views: 5608

Re: Aiming to Retire End of 2019 - Abit Scared

I did my own research/verification. That's why I am 100% in stocks. I used Shiller's data going back to 1871. 5% withdrawal each year does very well, keeping up with inflation forever, despite world wars, Great Depression, etc. In fact both the annual withdrawal and the portfolio goes up a factor 4x...
by msk
Sat May 18, 2019 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aiming to Retire End of 2019 - Abit Scared
Replies: 45
Views: 5608

Re: Aiming to Retire End of 2019 - Abit Scared

Net pay of $360k a year indicates that you are competent enough to take a lump sum instead of a pension. In my experience the majority of people who chose the lump sum option made the wrong decision since they were not capable of growing it to at least keep up with inflation. Often frittered away in...
by msk
Sat May 18, 2019 4:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very High Net Worth, elite private or “good” public
Replies: 278
Views: 17626

Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

There are advantages/disadvantages to the public schools: your kids are better connected to the general public and its value system but may end up less ambitious/motivated than they might be in a more competitive environment. May end up in mediocre colleges not because of a lack of ability but becau...
by msk
Fri May 17, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Using the Shiller P/E 10 to Predict Safe Withdrawal Rates?
Replies: 19
Views: 1679

Re: Using the Shiller P/E 10 to Predict Safe Withdrawal Rates?

Important is to have withdrawals keep up with inflation and with your possible longevity, no matter how improbable that is. When you are 90 you will very likely worry that you may still have another 10 years to go, no matter what the actuarial tables predict. My own conclusions after delving into hi...
by msk
Fri May 17, 2019 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What "other" tax advantaged accounts should one know about?
Replies: 7
Views: 1511

Re: What "other" tax advantaged accounts should one know about?

Berkshire Hathaway pays no dividends, so all your tax headaches are postponed to the withdrawal phase during retirement; capital gains tax on what you sell. Since most BHs leave a good amount of NW when they die, you will never pay tax on any BRK.B shares by the time you die :mrgreen:
by msk
Wed May 15, 2019 5:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?
Replies: 107
Views: 6385

Re: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?

I prefer to look at my income, not NW. I assume roughly 5% net on stocks (of course varies up and down but that's a good assumption on average), whatever comes net on rental RE, plus job income. Save and (re)invest 30% of total net income, spend the rest guilt free. If followed religiously over you...
by msk
Wed May 15, 2019 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls
Replies: 68
Views: 4396

Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Unfortunately for many people it seems that cars are often toys rather more than a mere essential utility. My rules of thumb that have worked well for me into my 70s: 1. Save and invest 30% of after tax income 2. Never acquire car(s) worth more than six months income. Does not matter much whether yo...
by msk
Wed May 15, 2019 5:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?
Replies: 107
Views: 6385

Re: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?

I prefer to look at my income, not NW. I assume roughly 5% net on stocks (of course varies up and down but that's a good assumption on average), whatever comes net on rental RE, plus job income. Save and (re)invest 30% of total net income, spend the rest guilt free. If followed religiously over your...
by msk
Wed May 15, 2019 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: One time fee only advisor - costs?
Replies: 20
Views: 1801

Re: One time fee only advisor - costs?

40% of NW is in paid off RE. Could be one condo, could be 100 units scattered in 10 states... I'd say if the charge is less than 0.1% of NW then it sounds like a very reasonable quote. If more than 1% of NW it sounds excessive. Obviously the OP considers his circumstances complex enough to require s...
by msk
Sun May 12, 2019 4:49 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Currency risk for the long term [Europe]
Replies: 19
Views: 1472

Re: Currency risk for the long term [Europe]

Stocks, RE and similar carry very little currency risk long term. IMHO not worth the bother of hedging. Bonds and cash do carry risk. Imagine you are Venezuelan and you hold Bolivar bonds. Or a Turk and hold Turkish Lira, cash or bonds. More tangentially imagine a Greek holding Greek Euro bonds and ...
by msk
Fri May 10, 2019 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking/study abroad for young folks
Replies: 31
Views: 2011

Re: Backpacking/study abroad for young folks

I give my kids a stipend per month throughout the year, i.e. 12 months of which 4 cover the summer. What they do is up to their own initiatives and they had to pay their own fares. All went to the same university. All spent Xmas breaks with the family. What the kids actually did for Easter and summe...
by msk
Thu May 09, 2019 2:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: windfall management
Replies: 38
Views: 3382

Re: windfall management

We go through life only once and we can die or worse, be crippled, at any time. So no need to be extra stingy on expenses. My life style was determined as follows and may be helpful in shaping your own trajectory. I had a decent job, worked for a megacorp all over the world, but my job income never ...
by msk
Wed May 08, 2019 5:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: windfall management
Replies: 38
Views: 3382

Re: windfall management

Your father had regrets because he bought individual stocks. Pity he had not chosen Berkshire Hathaway... If I were you at age < 40 I would just put my entire net worth into stocks, either US Total Market VTI or World Total free float market, VT. My preference is VT since it's very difficult to envi...
by msk
Mon May 06, 2019 3:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Expenses
Replies: 232
Views: 10907

Re: College Expenses

Peers matter, more than the professors. +1 At the elite schools practically all the kids have high aspirations for their futures. Peers' attitudes matter. A girl graduating from an Ivy League and then becoming an air hostess will feel very deprived if she senses that she does not have any prospect ...
by msk
Sun May 05, 2019 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pension: Lump Sum or Monthly Payout?
Replies: 9
Views: 1326

Re: Pension: Lump Sum or Monthly Payout?

The best long term investment available is the SP500. That delivers 5% annually forever with, on average, inflation adjustment forever. $310k is thus worth $1290 per month from today. But 5% of remaining portfolio annually will yoyo up and down depending on the stock market. On the other hand, if yo...
by msk
Sun May 05, 2019 3:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rolex
Replies: 75
Views: 10347

Re: Rolex

I inherited a gold Rolex from my father (who had received it as a gift) and also own a gold Omega that I received as a 20-year commemoration at work. They both live in a safe, permanently. These days a smartphone is enough for telling time and last time I was connecting flights at Kennedy in NYC I w...
by msk
Sat May 04, 2019 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rotational Program at MegaCorp for college grad hires
Replies: 40
Views: 2198

Re: Rotational Program at MegaCorp for college grad hires

I worked for a Fortune 10 megacorp, did a lot of hiring, a lot of engineering and a lot of managing. At one time I headed up the entire Manpower Planning and Development, including rotation programs and hands-on training/apprenticeship centers leading to certifications, etc. Dad: keep out. Best serv...
by msk
Sat May 04, 2019 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Useful wedding gift you didn't expect
Replies: 26
Views: 2929

Re: Useful wedding gift you didn't expect

I got married decades ago and the world has changed. My youngest daughter got married two months ago. She told all and sundry to send no wedding gifts at all. Just look up the couple's GoFundMe web page and contribute towards their honeymoon. I was very skeptical, but they received some $31k! Went o...
by msk
Sat May 04, 2019 1:40 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: I received a one-time payment that needs to last me the rest of my life [EU]
Replies: 51
Views: 8241

Re: I received a one-time payment that needs to last me the rest of my life [EU]

I have been aware of the corporate side in a couple of such disability payments. Both ours were for psychiatric evaluation (from the same psychiatrist!) stating that the individuals are no longer capable of working because of having a nervous breakdown. In both cases we, corporately, smelled possibl...
by msk
Fri May 03, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe with teens - hotel options
Replies: 41
Views: 2359

Re: Europe with teens - hotel options

I find booking.com very helpful worldwide. Just put in one room, 4 adults, and it often finds me either a 2-bedroom apartment, or a luxury suite capable of sleeping 4, or if it fails then just stick in 2 bedrooms. Most hotels in Europe allow a max of 2 adults+one child per room. There is usually a h...
by msk
Wed May 01, 2019 1:58 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: I received a one-time payment that needs to last me the rest of my life [EU]
Replies: 51
Views: 8241

Re: I received a one-time payment that needs to last me the rest of my life [EU]

Personally I do not invest in bonds at all; so no expert! 100% stocks worldwide by market weight, but the OP spends in EUR and he wishes to protect himself against massive and rapid falls in stocks, also possibly a rapid rise in the exchange rate of the EUR, say, from USD 1.10 to 1.35. From a EUR po...
by msk
Wed May 01, 2019 2:54 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: I received a one-time payment that needs to last me the rest of my life [EU]
Replies: 51
Views: 8241

Re: I received a one-time payment that needs to last me the rest of my life [EU]

Hence for your circumstances I would seriously consider: Purchase a small apartment at some ideal location to be your base (and real estate "investment") for the next decade or 3 or 6. Invest in Euro bonds to cover 3 to 5 years expenses (60k to 100k EUR?) in case the world stock markets collapse ev...
by msk
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:58 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: I received a one-time payment that needs to last me the rest of my life [EU]
Replies: 51
Views: 8241

Re: I received a one-time payment that needs to last me the rest of my life [EU]

Personally I am interested in only a "forever" investment horizon. After much researching I have concluded that: 100% US stocks (actually also worldwide if you look at a long enough horizon) can support a maximum of 5% withdrawal in any one year. 100% Total US bonds (I did not check worldwide) can s...
by msk
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Rekenthaler, "Whatever Happened to Emerging-Markets Stock Funds?"
Replies: 48
Views: 5052

Re: John Rekenthaler, "Whatever Happened to Emerging-Markets Stock Funds?"

What makes me nervous about the US: seemingly excessively high P/E. I do not mind very low dividend yields. BRK is perfect for me with nil dividends. What I like about small stock markets: Locals are extremely skeptical, just like the typical BH. They demand low P/E and high yields, easily justifiab...
by msk
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gambling with "fun money" (Penny stocks, other ideas?)
Replies: 43
Views: 3283

Re: Gambling with "fun money" (Penny stocks, other ideas?)

We all go through a phase when we think "I" can beat the market. After all, many have succeeded. Get some books written by investing gurus (e.g. Peter Lynch) to inspire you. Read a lot about Options. Then set aside, e.g $20k, as play money in a separate brokerage account with Options and Margin acti...
by msk
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)
Replies: 75
Views: 5102

Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Humans are rather strange. One very pleasant aspect of being in a foreign country is the fact that you are fully relaxed about local politics. After a couple of years there you start getting an understanding about the local goings on and getting all riled up about the local political shenanigans. Pe...
by msk
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:11 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Lazy Portfolio for Indonesian living in Indonesia
Replies: 4
Views: 441

Re: Lazy Portfolio for Indonesian living in Indonesia

For decades-long investing I would just buy VWRD (Vanguard World by free market weight including Emerging Markets, based in Ireland). In different, larger accounts I chose 76% IWDA (Developed World), 12% WSML(Small Caps in Developed World), 12% EIMI(Emerging Markets). These latter 3 are all accumula...
by msk
Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)
Replies: 75
Views: 5102

Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

So we're fairly unique here in that we own a sailboat and sail in the Caribbean for most of the year but do travel to other destinations for months at a time. Fascinating. How old are you? I remember my UK undergrad days (50+ years ago) when I spent winters on ski trips all over Europe. I decided t...
by msk
Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying Investment (Rental) Apartment Abroad While Living in California
Replies: 10
Views: 942

Re: Buying Investment (Rental) Apartment Abroad While Living in California

It's not particularly difficult to set things up that you have nil or negative income in Finland or wherever. I made sure that my interest payments+municipal taxes+estate agent's fees remained higher than the gross rent in each country. Most (all?) tax jurisdictions allow you to deduct such expenses...
by msk
Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Insightful Charts
Replies: 40
Views: 3605

Re: Most Insightful Charts

source: Carl Richard's "The Behavior Gap" https://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/FearGreed.jpg https://i.postimg.cc/QN22yzSy/Capture.jpg I like this one too because it validates my opinion that 20-30% international is the sweet spot to have [/quote] It WAS the sweet spot for 1970-2008. He...
by msk
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying Investment (Rental) Apartment Abroad While Living in California
Replies: 10
Views: 942

Re: Buying Investment (Rental) Apartment Abroad While Living in California

I owned 3 rental single-family suburban homes in 3 different countries. What I learnt: Yes, you go in hoping for price appreciation of the RE. The richest country of the 3 had the least price appreciation, the other 2 did well (especially near London UK). Do NOT even contemplate buying if you are no...
by msk
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Re-Examining an assumption: 45% bonds in retirement?
Replies: 95
Views: 11007

Re: Re-Examining an assumption: 45% bonds in retirement?

So whom does one believe? And translating it to real money gets even murkier. I prefer using the MonteCarlo simulations in portfoliovisualizer. The simulations are based on 30 years(?) actual data and provided you stick to the 25-75 percentile projections you will be sticking within somewhat realis...
by msk
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Insightful Charts
Replies: 40
Views: 3605

Re: Most Insightful Charts

Sigh. Two of my great grandfathers were filthy rich, one in productive RE (farmland and houses), another in international trade. In those days (nowadays too?) rich kids marry other rich kids... Somewhere over the past century, we had greedy heirs who managed to whittle all the inheritances to nothin...
by msk
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)
Replies: 75
Views: 5102

Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

Travel when young! It costs less and is much more enjoyable than when you are older. Besides, your pleasant memories are with you for longer. They are useless once you are planted in your grave. Post retirement, you have less energy/enthusiasm and are continuously looking for excuses not to go hithe...
by msk
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: The urge to go back to stockpicking [Malaysia]
Replies: 25
Views: 1663

Re: The urge to go back to stockpicking

Been there, done that. Learn how to use options. You will make money or lose money much faster, good. You will also improve your risk tolerance greatly, also good. You will then glide into ETFs in fewer years than dabbling in stocks (takes longer to learn your own limitations or talents). After seve...
by msk
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "Never time the market" vs. lump sum investment
Replies: 148
Views: 15508

Re: "Never time the market" vs. lump sum investment

I mentioned my strategy early up on this thread. My definition of a large plummet is >30% from peak. Otherwise I remain 100% in stocks, inactive. You ALWAYS have funds available by using margin, so when the triggering 30% occurs I buy one-year Call options (on margin). You can also buy multi-year Ca...
by msk
Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise
Replies: 15
Views: 1264

Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Just a pointer on maps and GPS for remote areas anywhere in the world. As you venture into the boonies your phone may lose reception and any data connection. Make sure you download a Google Map (into "Your Maps") of your region of interest onto your phone before you leave wifi. Even at home before y...