Search found 882 matches

by msk
Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old
Replies: 8
Views: 565

Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

OP here. Mom is slated to see an ENT specialist shortly, but the main thing that bothered me is her buddies who find one HA irritating and stop using it. We can all guess what 80 to 100 year-old ladies chat about. Last year she invited her buddies to dinner and later commented how pleasant it was to...
by msk
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old
Replies: 8
Views: 565

One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

My 91 year old Mom is complaining that one ear has been slowly going deaf over the past couple of years. Other ear is fine. Now she is thinking of getting a hearing aid. Practically all her 80-100 year old buddies who have one weak ear and who got hearing aids find the aid irritating and no longer u...
by msk
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand - Bucket list trip
Replies: 31
Views: 3353

Re: New Zealand - Bucket list trip

The camper rental makes me a bit nervous as we've never done this before. Thoughts? As long as one of you is comfortable with driving, you'll be fine. It was our very first camping trip (of any kind) but NZ is so organised for campervans that it was a shoo-in. Make sure you include the full insuran...
by msk
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC as a bonds replacement for drawing down from in a downturn?
Replies: 36
Views: 2171

Re: HELOC as a bonds replacement for drawing down from in a downturn?

It would require a huge risk tolerance for a retiree to buy stocks on margin during a bear market. Last two bear markets I used margin to buy one-year Call Options. Much less risk; cost $50k to own Calls on a million $ worth of SPY. Of course, the market has to rebound at least 5% within a year to ...
by msk
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ventilated car seats?
Replies: 39
Views: 2479

Re: Ventilated car seats?

Depends on your climate. I love heated seats when it's below zero F outside and cooled seats when it's above 100 F. All my cars have blown air. Some have chilled air (Ford and Lexus) but Mercedes uses air blown from just under the seats (coolest place). You can skip if your climate is moderate, of c...
by msk
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much in one stock?
Replies: 13
Views: 1436

Re: How much is too much in one stock?

Depends on the stock, obviously. I had 50% in Berkshire Hathaway for 3 decades :mrgreen: I would not worry at all if no stock is over 20% provided that stock still looks attractive. I would worry if that stock is Amazon, huge runup and excessive optimism given its P/E ratio. But the market does not ...
by msk
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't try this at home?
Replies: 8
Views: 1937

Re: Don't try this at home?

I view all Do It Yourself stuff as absurd economics created mainly by our tax systems. In an ideal economy each one of us will do just the stuff that each is good at and contract out the rest. Unfortunately the taxation system makes it "attractive" to do things very inefficiently. I used to do a lot...
by msk
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC weekend house: your experiences?
Replies: 11
Views: 1584

Re: NYC weekend house: your experiences?

- Time to get there. If over two hours to get there visit frequency will go down. One hour would be even better. - Beach home on eastern seaboard. Both above critical. Kids lose interest VERY quickly if there is no beach. At least there ought to be a pool (+skiing for winter? if inland). Whole fami...
by msk
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 23 with 130k cash to invest in index funds need help [Australia]
Replies: 7
Views: 682

Re: 23 with 130k cash to invest in index funds need help [Australia]

Simple long term strategy for somebody investing his future savings in AUD: 2.5% to 5% in VAS (Vanguard S&P/ASX 300 Index) Rest in VGS (Vanguard MSCI World excl Australia) 100% stocks because your investment horizon is 50+ years (till death). Choose 5% in VAS if you feel Oz is going to outperform th...
by msk
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Im going to die somewhere between Bankruptcy and $20 million
Replies: 39
Views: 7878

Re: Im going to die somewhere between Bankruptcy and $20 million

No, I did not miss your other posts. Nevertheless for the past 300 years humans seem fixated at a 5+% REAL return in all the major countries where data have been available. Basically, it's almost ingrained in us humans that we invest effort and treasure only into businesses that promise more (actual...
by msk
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Im going to die somewhere between Bankruptcy and $20 million
Replies: 39
Views: 7878

Re: Im going to die somewhere between Bankruptcy and $20 million

Inputs.... I made Stocks and Bonds both be -3% returns relative to their historical returns, due to all sorts of opinions that long term returns are expected to be lower than historical returns. Just trying to be conservative here. I have used Monte Carlo simulations in my professional life and had...
by msk
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC as a bonds replacement for drawing down from in a downturn?
Replies: 36
Views: 2171

Re: HELOC as a bonds replacement for drawing down from in a downturn?

We always have to compromise: nil volatility but 100% assured to fall behind inflation: keep under the mattress/savings account/CDs max return with nil active management: 100% stock indices Each of us has to choose between those extremes. Myself I go for 100% stocks all the time with one-year's wort...
by msk
Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?
Replies: 19
Views: 2088

Re: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?

There are some opportunities in small countries where the local currency is pegged to the USD, in some cases for several decades. In such countries it sometimes happens that one can get a CD in local currency that pays you more, say, 4%, than the same bank charges you on a USD loan, say, 3%. This is...
by msk
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial situation/Health checkup - Stocks vs. Real Estate?
Replies: 14
Views: 1124

Re: Financial situation/Health checkup - Stocks vs. Real Estate?

Just an observation on housing. No clue about building costs around Seattle but I have often heard that building a new house costs under $200 a sq ft. Hence a 2000 sq ft brand new house ought to cost $400k. Of course it does depend on the materials used in finishing, but that ought to be enough for ...
by msk
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3803

Re: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?

What I learnt from a house I owned back in the 1980s in England. Burglars do not like entering through the front door if it is really solid. They enter through side/rear windows. I had one burglar enter through a garage window, stole some old LPs stored there and gave up as too much bother. He would...
by msk
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3803

Re: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?

If you install an alarm just make sure that it is connected to a ridiculously LOUD klaxon; ideally one outside and one inside. I have one that is so loud that even I will not stay inside the house for half a minute; never mind the burglar. Of course I do not expect any neighbor to help, but the burg...
by msk
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee
Replies: 108
Views: 10026

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

I do not see the loan as the major issue. What I sense is that you are incompatible in a major way regarding spending habits. She sounds like my DW who has never changed. We are now in our mid 70s. DW's attitude is that the future will take care of itself and she'll die young anyway, like her Dad. A...
by msk
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Massage Chair
Replies: 4
Views: 596

Re: Massage Chair

DW bought a $2k massage chair a couple of years back. The back massage is accomplished by hard rubber(?) rollers. I found it very uncomfortable/unpleasant. Even though DW persisted in using it (she loves massages), she finally gave up and regularly goes to massage salons. Recently we bought new 2018...
by msk
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My daughter's inheritance.
Replies: 63
Views: 8036

Re: My daughter's inheritance.

Trust BHs to make things complicated :shock: I am invested 100% in stocks worldwide. My instructions/will to my 6 heirs are simply to sell everything, distribute the cash and each one advised to re-purchase worldwide stocks, VT (or similar Vanguard or iShares ETFs that I list, depending on each one'...
by msk
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Run Air Conditioner even if not needed?
Replies: 30
Views: 3026

Re: Run Air Conditioner even if not needed?

Long ago some technician told me that you need the compressor to run occasionally during the year as otherwise the seals for the coolant dry out. I would run the compressor a few minutes every couple of months. Once cool air comes out then I would assume things get lubricated enough. On the other ha...
by msk
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $250,000 family loan to parents?
Replies: 50
Views: 4530

Re: $250,000 family loan to parents?

Goal33 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:37 pm
They can take an equity line and/or margin against their stocks.
+1 Seems to be by far the simplest. If the margin loan is not enough one can augment with a HELOC or gift or...
by msk
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Windfall at 40.5
Replies: 15
Views: 3222

Re: Windfall at 40.5

I am much older, 74, and a large fraction of my NW (low 8 figures) came after retirement at age 55. I have a few comments that may aid in thinking things out. A "huge" windfall is only huge to those who do not have it, e.g. pre-windfall. In the post-period your yardsticks grow larger, inevitably, e....
by msk
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help make me more employable
Replies: 18
Views: 2528

Re: Help make me more employable

First and foremost: you have hit the jackpot! A PhD who has a job in research, in his field of expertise (or nearly so) and has nil responsibilities for staff nor students nor sales matters. Enjoy it while it lasts. Be careful of grass is always greener elsewhere. I got a PhD and got a technical job...
by msk
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gentlemen: underwear shopping question
Replies: 35
Views: 3946

Re: Gentlemen: underwear shopping question

LoL! After age 55 just get yourself loose boxer shorts, nothing clinging. Best move I made. The clinging ones are for younger men not to display their "excitement" too conspicuously. Past a certain age there isn't much "excitement" to contain :twisted:
by msk
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I maximize my long term average expected return?
Replies: 32
Views: 2780

Re: How do I maximize my long term average expected return?

I think the OP is young enough to start off on a lifelong learning adventure. After 30+ years of dabbling in the stock markets using individual stocks, indices, options, my recommendation for the OP would be: Understand your tax situation intricately and learn to maximise your tax-advantaged investm...
by msk
Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in my own country?or internation is enough?
Replies: 4
Views: 569

Re: Invest in my own country?or internation is enough?

I suspect that Taiwan stock market capitalisation is somewhere between 1% and 2% of the world stock markets, 1 trillion $ out of 80+ trillion $. Hence, unless you can put in the effort to study local companies on a quarterly basis AND beat the index significantly (?!) then you are best off simply to...
by msk
Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus vs. Mercedes
Replies: 86
Views: 6426

Re: Lexus vs. Mercedes

Over the past 40 years I have owned top-of-the-range Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar. The obvious: expensive cars are expensive to maintain. Live with it or don't play. Just go price properly speed-specced tires for a Porsche... Except for the Jaguar XJ12, all mine were reliable. OK, that's hi...
by msk
Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-US citizen investing in Vanguard ETF's and indices?
Replies: 25
Views: 8221

Re: Non-US citizen investing in Vanguard ETF's and indices?

For a non US taxpayer: Open an account at Interactive Brokers, to be funded only from a bank account in YOUR name. Buy VWRD (Vanguard World, includes Emerging Markets) Reinvest dividends twice p.a. Alternative, Black Rock iShares: Open an account at Interactive Brokers, to be funded only from a bank...
by msk
Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring. 28 y.o. $5M in cash. Asking for advice for portfolio.
Replies: 80
Views: 13589

Re: Retiring. 28 y.o. $5M in cash. Asking for advice for portfolio.

OK, I go against the general wisdom here. I would put the entire $5 million into VWRD (Vanguard World including Emerging Markets). That is as diversified as one can get; currencies, stock markets, industries, etc. Because it is based in Ireland, you are exposed to low withholding taxes on dividends ...
by msk
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Pass on Money Against My Sister's Wishes (Ethics and Finance)
Replies: 74
Views: 7506

Re: How to Pass on Money Against My Sister's Wishes (Ethics and Finance)

If the estranged kid turns up at the funeral then I would distribute 4 ways. Estranged kid does not turn up, and no sensible excuse offered, then 3 ways. I would thereby assume that antagonism is mutual between mother and child. Question: What happens if YOU die first?! Stuff happens...
by msk
Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering expense ratios, which international small cap fund should i choose out of these 2?
Replies: 5
Views: 498

Re: Considering expense ratios, which international small cap fund should i choose out of these 2?

The expense ratios in this case are largely irrelevant. I just checked their respective price performances for the past 5 years: FNDC up 39%, SCHC up 21%. They seem to be far from equivalent. You can either go for the high performer, FNDC, recency bias, or for the under-performer, SCHC, chasing reve...
by msk
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Box for Papers
Replies: 23
Views: 1976

Re: Home Security Box for Papers

Just wondering what items people find necessary to keep so secure that scanning into cloud storage is unsatisfactory. Stuff like birth/death certificates, RE ownership deeds and similar are not particularly valuable to others and are easily replaced, especially if you start off with a scanned versio...
by msk
Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance—Advice Requested
Replies: 63
Views: 6923

Re: Inheritance—Advice Requested

Nice to see a very contented person living on $25k p.a., but... 100% stocks (either US or worldwide) on $1.2 million ought to deliver $60k (5%) annually, increasing with inflation, indefinitely, with the balance of the original investment (95% left in any year) also keeping pace with inflation, inde...
by msk
Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 60/40 vs 100% with Trailing Stop Loss
Replies: 36
Views: 2295

Re: 60/40 vs 100% with Trailing Stop Loss

Decades ago I thought stop loss was a great idea, and then I realized that getting back in becomes a major issue. So I ceased using stop loss. Until my daughter talked me back into it. Recall that infamous Flash Crash? That happened just days after I put in the new stop losses. Flash Crash happened ...
by msk
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: You Invest from JP Morgan [free trades offer]
Replies: 69
Views: 4704

Re: Discount broker stocks dive on news J.P. Morgan Chase to offer free trading

So I deposit $1 million, purchase VT and.... Nothing for 30 years. How do they make money out of me as a BH?
by msk
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 151
Views: 14738

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

I am amazed how little people seem to care about the most important things at an old age: friends, relatives, loneliness, social life. That's very true: social circle, having similarly minded people around, relatives, family, friends are very important for ones longevity. With our kids leaving home...
by msk
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The 1 portfolio
Replies: 23
Views: 3064

Re: The 1 portfolio

hi there, if you are an EU citizen the most important starting point will be your tax situation, you should check that out first. Here are my suggestions for simple portfolios for an EU citizen domiciled in an European country, all UCITS and Ireland domiciled. (This will not work for a tax resident...
by msk
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The 1 portfolio
Replies: 23
Views: 3064

Re: The 1 portfolio

I own these ETFs below in 2 separate accounts. Both packages are reasonably low cost and cover the entire world with thousands of stocks, including Emerging Markets: 1. If you do wish to have dividends reinvested automatically, from Black Rock iShares 76% IWDA (Developed World Large and Mid Caps) 12...
by msk
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?
Replies: 89
Views: 5593

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

I came through physics myself, BSc, MSc, PhD. It's a great pity, but totally expected, that he finds it difficult to get a job with a 3.3 GPA in Physics. IMHO BSc's in physics are for those, like myself, who cannot decide what they wish to do when they grow up, e.g. also my own son. He is going onto...
by msk
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Octogenarian father in law's idea of balance: AAPL + CASH
Replies: 35
Views: 3553

Re: Octogenarian father in law's idea of balance: AAPL + CASH

I suggest that you ask him for advice, and learn from your great FIL before he pops off :mrgreen:
by msk
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why bonds when they return nothing over inflation?
Replies: 31
Views: 5075

Re: Why bonds when they return nothing over inflation?

I am 81 and have essentially invested this way for over 40 years but didn't have a name for it until the above book was published in 2016. I have never owned a bond. I have never understood why someone would invest for retirement in anything that doesn't move with inflation. I never sold anything i...
by msk
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low seven figure windfall looking for advice
Replies: 8
Views: 1874

Re: Low seven figure windfall looking for advice

Basically your future seems assured with or without the recent windfall, so I see no need for major risk aversion. Personally I would pay off any mortgage and put the rest into Worldwide Stocks, e.g. VT if you are a US tax resident, VWRD if an EU tax resident. There is as much chance of a 50% market...
by msk
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 151
Views: 14738

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Some commenters are mentioning Italy and some other European countries. I thought it was quite difficult to get a resident visa in these places. I've heard that it's even hard for an American citizen to retire in Canada. Mexico. Central and South America, yes, Europe and Canada, no. Am I wrong? I b...
by msk
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Do This? [borrow from relative to pay off loan]
Replies: 55
Views: 3090

Re: Should I Do This? [borrow from relative to pay off loan]

Depends. Relative is Mom or Dad? Face up to the reality that you are unable to budget satisfactorily. Decline the loan. Admit your financial weaknesses to Mom and/or Dad and suggest that you would nevertheless welcome a (smaller) simple handout instead. I suspect that you would still not dig yoursel...
by msk
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private Banking is a trap. Don't do it!
Replies: 55
Views: 7252

Re: Private Banking is a trap. Don't do it!

It's just a matter of being truthful rather than being overly polite by listening to sales pitches. The latter encourages more! With the amount of $ you push through the bank, you are already a valued customer compared to the average Joe and Jill. Your average cash balance over a year already helps ...
by msk
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much car can we afford?
Replies: 130
Views: 6479

Re: how much car can we afford?

My rule-of-thumb for the past 50 years: all the family cars together should not be worth more than 6 months family income. Leasing or paying cash is not very material. I baulked at splurging on a Rolls Royce Phantom because of the terror I would have whenever and wherever I parked it :oops:
by msk
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth
Replies: 83
Views: 6228

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

My rule-of-thumb: Home should not be worth more than 3x income (or 2.5x combined income). How you pay that (cash or mortgage) is not hugely important because you are building up equity that has a high probability of matching inflation (or better in HCOLA). Treat all paying off of principal as saving...
by msk
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Rate of Return
Replies: 3
Views: 696

Re: Personal Rate of Return

Rates of return are very complicated to calculate in a manner that you can use for comparison against, say, an index. E.g. two extreme examples, both starting with $1 million invested in the SP500 and ending with $120k and neither are losing portfolios: 1. Sold off $900k on Day 2. Balance $100k rema...
by msk
Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If it were March, 2000, would you still allocate 50% to Stocks?
Replies: 94
Views: 4691

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

So here's my question. If it were March 2000, (or 1901, 1929, 1968, 2007) would you still invest half of everything you own in stocks? And by obvious extension, if you're currently sitting on enormous gains in your SP500 index fund, why not take profits? I was on the Board of Trustees of a pension ...
by msk
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?
Replies: 66
Views: 15881

Re: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?

I had an uncle who dropped out of med school (nervous breakdown back in the 1930s). Started a small business and decided to become a tailor. Went off to Saville Row in London to become a bespoke gentlemen's tailor. Established an name for the excellence of his suits. Quit tailoring in his 50s and st...