Search found 942 matches

by msk
Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric bill with LED
Replies: 100
Views: 6170

Re: Electric bill with LED

Do you heat and cool your home? Let's assume you have 5000 watts of tungsten bulbs and replace them with 800 watts of LEDs. The 4200 watts difference is all heat. In winter you heat the house, so the 4200 watts tungsten surplus heat is not wasted. In summer you cool the house, so your air conditioni...
by msk
Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Certified Used BMW, Audi or Mercedes
Replies: 83
Views: 7714

Re: Certified Used BMW, Audi or Mercedes

I went into my local Mercedes dealer today to collect the booklet/policy to extend the warranty on my 2018 S560L, from 3 years to 5 years (cost $2100). There are several pages listing what is not covered. Absolutely shameful. Basically I get bumper-to-bumper only for 2 years. Plus one year in this d...
by msk
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: are pre-fabricated / manufactured homes a bad investment?
Replies: 99
Views: 6436

Re: are pre-fabricated / manufactured homes a bad investment?

A lot, maybe most of those nice looking log homes you might see out west in the mountains are probably fashioned off site and trucked in and put together again like Lincoln Logs. I also looked at log houses. Bummer. They cost MORE than traditional houses. This came as a total surprise to me. I was ...
by msk
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: are pre-fabricated / manufactured homes a bad investment?
Replies: 99
Views: 6436

Re: are pre-fabricated / manufactured homes a bad investment?

Several years ago I got interested in factory-built homes. I visited one actual factory in Atlantic Canada and also show homes from a competitor. The pros: These are built like on-site stick built homes but inside a huge "warehouse"; no weather issues. There is no way that the average Joe can recogn...
by msk
Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: places to live near Stanford University
Replies: 39
Views: 4757

Re: places to live near Stanford University

Renting is the way to go in this market. If you want to rent in a nicer area,maybe closer to campus, look into renting a small guest house or a room in a nice home with kitchen privileges. Really depends on age. My son is a grad student at Stanford currently, 22yo, rents a room in a nice house, sha...
by msk
Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house for cash, sellers requesting proof of assets
Replies: 23
Views: 4412

Re: Buying house for cash, sellers requesting proof of assets

The seller can always end up being the loser. My case as seller back in England in the 1980s. Huge run up in the RE market. Put my house on sale at absolute peak. Feverishly hot market. Buyer came in within a week. Offer accepted. Buyer demanded that I take the house off the market pending "exchange...
by msk
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching out US domiciled ETFs for Irish domicilied ETFs (living in Hong Kong)
Replies: 10
Views: 418

Re: Switching out US domiciled ETFs for Irish domicilied ETFs (living in Hong Kong)

1. VTI+VXUS +> VWRD NB. VWRD is total world including Emerging Markets, by market weight 2. BND. I have nil interest in bonds hence somebody else might chime in. 3. To transfer from a TDAmeritrade account to IB, all I did was sell all my holdings at TDAmeritrade, received cash in my bank (3 days?), ...
by msk
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase Price vs. Gross Income
Replies: 59
Views: 4282

Re: Home Purchase Price vs. Gross Income

I feel there is too much focus on the arithmetic of "affording" monthly payments. My advice to my kids as to affordability: First home should not cost more than 3x income (2.5x combined income). Pay it all off asap. Upgrading to a subsequent new home should be cash. Car(s) should not be worth more t...
by msk
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for Retirement when one has a Pension
Replies: 60
Views: 5753

Re: Saving for Retirement when one has a Pension

Youngsters: Save and invest 30% of after tax income regardless of your pension situation. Building up home equity (and of course your in-company pension contributions) can be counted within the 30%, though not mortgage interest or purchasing a consumable like a car. I’m less sure about counting emp...
by msk
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for Retirement when one has a Pension
Replies: 60
Views: 5753

Re: Saving for Retirement when one has a Pension

Youngsters: Save and invest 30% of after tax income regardless of your pension situation. Building up home equity (and of course your in-company pension contributions) can be counted within the 30%, though not mortgage interest or purchasing a consumable like a car. You will quickly get used to the ...
by msk
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the lowest 'safe' emergency fund we should have?
Replies: 40
Views: 3844

Re: What is the lowest 'safe' emergency fund we should have?

I am 74 years old and have never had an emergency fund greater than one month's expenses. Problem with a large amount easily available is the tendency to spend some of it on frivolous stuff, like a new TV because you have just seen a fantastic discount. Interactive Brokers have very low interest rat...
by msk
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [28 yo French living in Singapore] iShares Bond ETF: Hedged Euro, Hedged USD or Unhedged USD ?
Replies: 43
Views: 2251

Re: [28 yo French living in Singapore] iShares Bond ETF: Hedged Euro, Hedged USD or Unhedged USD ?

28yo. Why any bonds? So you want a cash pot of some kind for emergencies, comfort, etc. One year's income? I would put it all into a CD in my Singapore bank in S$. Or a CD ladder, say, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months.
by msk
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I go back to my 6 figure job?
Replies: 20
Views: 2390

Re: Should I go back to my 6 figure job?

In my younger existence I supervised 2500+ staff. A number resigned for whatever reason, many because they got better $ elsewhere, but also a handful rejoined after 2 to 4 years. The number who rejoined went on all the way to retirement. Sometimes one best appreciates the color of the grass after ha...
by msk
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Encouraging a 20-yr old graduate to focus. Help!
Replies: 6
Views: 845

Re: Encouraging a 20-yr old graduate to focus. Help!

You started an account intended to pay for your daughter’s college and it is now large enough to draw down enough money to support a 20 year old “comfortably” for the rest of her life?? 75 years? Really? I got this kid late in life. I was already in my mid 50s, hence I had to have a provision (or s...
by msk
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate upon death
Replies: 33
Views: 2030

Re: Real Estate upon death

The SIL and the FIL are both in-law. To your spouse things may look entirely more sympathetic, one is a sibling and the other is a Dad who had to take care of six young kids on his own. Possibly your spouse is not at all worried about the loss of, say, $25k of inheritance in some distant future. At ...
by msk
Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Encouraging a 20-yr old graduate to focus. Help!
Replies: 6
Views: 845

Encouraging a 20-yr old graduate to focus. Help!

My youngest girl has graduated with a BSc in Earth System Science in Spring 2018, age 20. Did the degree in 3 years. Got admitted to an Australian University for an MSc in Coral Reef Biology that I was going to pay for in full. I was looking forward to see her striving to save the planet. Duh! Seems...
by msk
Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV Recommendations Please?
Replies: 80
Views: 5435

Re: New TV Recommendations Please?

My buying process for the past 10+ years for the 3 TVs we keep constantly (I do not wish to share the remote between soaps/movies/docs/MTV between DW and kids). All the viewing distances are around 14ft (168 inches) hence target screen size is an 84 inch screen, too large for our budget until recent...
by msk
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affordable living for retired father in Ontario, Canada making ~1200/mo?
Replies: 11
Views: 1528

Re: Affordable living for retired father in Ontario, Canada making ~1200/mo?

Over the decades I have been helping old relatives and the BEST way has been to give each a fixed, monthly stipend and let each wallow in his/her own debts/savings. At 70 he is not going to change. He will continue spending to his last penny and credit limit each month. Simply accept that and in Can...
by msk
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Developing Complete Plan for Windfall
Replies: 37
Views: 3016

Re: Developing Complete Plan for Windfall

My own NW is only 8 digits, not 9, but I do have a very small handful of relatives/friends who are into 9 digits and one even into 10 (according to Forbes anyway). Of course all made their wealth through being entrepreneurs taking huge risks. So they are not risk averse. All reside in countries with...
by msk
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which cars can be unlocked and started from a smart phone?
Replies: 28
Views: 1814

Re: Which cars can be unlocked and started from a smart phone?

My 2018 Mercedes S560L can even be parked and unparked using a smart phone. I have had it for 10 months but I have still not sorted out how to park it automatically while I am inside the car! Many cars can be started using the key fob. I suspect that's enough for most people.
by msk
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Developing Complete Plan for Windfall
Replies: 37
Views: 3016

Re: Developing Complete Plan for Windfall

There are about 10 countries that do not levy personal income tax, some quite pleasant to live in. Switzerland is rumoured to have some scheme that limits even billionaires' annual tax to around 200k Euros. Being a US citizen has its own headaches when living abroad, but with a 9 figure portfolio it...
by msk
Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's in your Investor Policy Statement about Bear Markets?
Replies: 52
Views: 3485

Re: What's in your Investor Policy Statement about Bear Markets?

Context is important. I am aged 74, retired 18 years, COLA pension takes care of all my spending needs hence no bonds, I gift away 3 to 3.5% of my current 100% stocks portfolio annually. My plan for a bear market: no change till 30% fall from peak then cut back gifting to max 5% of then portfolio, u...
by msk
Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Developing Complete Plan for Windfall
Replies: 37
Views: 3016

Re: Developing Complete Plan for Windfall

Once you are into 8+ figures you have to face the reality that unless you spend wastefully (buy a yacht or a private jet) your portfolio is for heirs and charity. I was on the board of a pension fund and no matter how much you think you save on fees (or even collect on loaning stocks) the only thing...
by msk
Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Weigh in on our Marital Argument =)-- HCOL edition
Replies: 102
Views: 10562

Re: Weigh in on our Marital Argument =)-- HCOL edition

My mantra has always been to "save and invest 30% of after tax income" but building up equity in one's home should be counted as "saving and investing" NOT the interest payments on a mortgage (or buying a new car!). I would just go ahead and get a 3-bedroom place in the same, or an even more conveni...
by msk
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wait, do I need a prenup?
Replies: 63
Views: 6808

Re: Wait, do I need a prenup?

I find it strange that somehow the acceptance of community property ended up being blended into the spirituality/sanctity of marriage. You are all aware that there are many Christian countries (and also many countries where the majority are of other religions) where each partner in a marriage keeps ...
by msk
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase Questions
Replies: 7
Views: 990

Re: Home Purchase Questions

As long as the house is worth no more than 3x sole income or 2.5x joint income then I would consider it as comfortably affordable. It is probably the investment the two of you have put the most time into studying and vetting. You also get an excellent tenant. Why on earth would you not pay for it in...
by msk
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here retire in two homes
Replies: 24
Views: 3088

Re: Anyone here retire in two homes

In my 50s/60s I did tolerate keeping a second home. In my 70s Nope! Find a nice apartment-hotel at the second location and be done. In my 80s (not yet) I can foresee nil interest in travel.
by msk
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money are you leaving your kids after you die?
Replies: 234
Views: 15013

Re: How much money are you leaving your kids after you die?

Since I am invested in 100% stocks ETFs worldwide I expect that my portfolio ought to at least keep up with inflation forever. From that I hope to have each kid inherit $1+million real terms, nothing to charity, nothing to grandkids. I have already taken care of charitable giving by an endowment to ...
by msk
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to splurge. MB E class, BMW 5 or Audi 6?
Replies: 70
Views: 6042

Re: Time to splurge. MB E class, BMW 5 or Audi 6?

Not in the Germanic tribe but do consider a Lexus LS500 (I skipped the LS500h because it's a bit slower, 0-60 in 5.2 sec instead of 4.6, and at my age, 74, I need to be in a hurry :twisted: ). Why the LS500? I wanted to buy the top two 2018 luxury sedans, one for DW and one for myself. All reviewers...
by msk
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 702
Views: 113882

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Retired many years ago; now averaging $500+k p.a. while twiddling my fingers. I peaked out salaried at a bit over $200k in today's $, in a Fortune 10 company; physics PhD, started as an engineer and promoted over the decades into general management. Sold off all my rental RE at retirement and went i...
by msk
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist replaced crown a few months back and now I'm told the tooth needs to be pulled!
Replies: 49
Views: 3506

Re: Dentist replaced crown a few months back and now I'm told the tooth needs to be pulled!

Unclear what is the age of the OP. Over 60? Just yank the tooth out. You will lose more teeth as you get beyond 80... I am a bit befuddled as to the tortuous discussion of $500. Toothache can very quickly intensify to a degree, and last steadily enough, that you will pay ANYTHING to alleviate the pa...
by msk
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: UK Investor - Rebalancing to Reduce Home Bias
Replies: 11
Views: 686

Re: UK Investor - Rebalancing to Reduce Home Bias

-msk, I want an invest an forget portfolio (but one that maximises returns and most importantly diversification). If you were me, would you just go for a global index fund? As I mentioned, I've been dabbling in stocks for more than 30 years (also Options). Now I have decided to go 100% into VWRL (o...
by msk
Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: UK Investor - Rebalancing to Reduce Home Bias
Replies: 11
Views: 686

Re: UK Investor - Rebalancing to Reduce Home Bias

At age 23 you have nothing to fret about. Your investments over the next 40 years should dwarf any that you have already deployed. I suggest that you leave them as is. For new savings just purchase VWRL (Vanguard World by market weight including EM) for either the next 40 years or until you feel con...
by msk
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is an MBA worth it these days?
Replies: 53
Views: 6379

Re: Is an MBA worth it these days?

Minderbinder wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:06 pm
Personally I think a CFA is a way better ROI if you can pass all 3 levels.
+1
by msk
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supporting dying father and preparing to support his wife?
Replies: 22
Views: 2466

Re: Supporting dying father and preparing to support his wife?

You should appreciate the wife's efforts in relieving you of the much larger burden you would have had to bear in looking after your ailing father had she not been around. Looks like you may have to pay them another visit and talk sense to both of them to find a way for the wife to be comfortable in...
by msk
Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating ROI for PhD
Replies: 86
Views: 4850

Re: Calculating ROI for PhD

Got my PhD (optical communications) at age 26. If it took you so long to decide that you love research (otherwise why a PhD?), why do you bother to evaluate a ROI? Don't do it for the money! For fun? OK. By age 27 I was working in a totally different, non-research field. I went into that (oil) becau...
by msk
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who should I believe?
Replies: 48
Views: 7599

Re: Who should I believe?

Do you know the country percentages of the World fund you are considering? Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF (GBP) VWRL is probably the best choice for me. It has 54% US stocks, which I like, and a nice mix of all the other areas such as emerging markets, Asia, etc. I had considered an S&P 500 fund, but ...
by msk
Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28yo looking for advice on starting [international]
Replies: 24
Views: 2496

Re: 28yo looking for advice on starting [international]

Edit : After thinking it though, am leaning towards SWDA (didnt realise IWDA was the same as this )+ EIMI combination as per DJN and msk's advices. 2) Question: How often should I make contributions? Monthly? Yearly? Reason I ask is because I learn that I have to pay for bank transfers and even cur...
by msk
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Changing to higher equities allocation during a major crash?
Replies: 26
Views: 2633

Re: Changing to higher equities allocation during a major crash?

I am 100% stocks but I do have a COLA pension (18 years retired) to cover all my needs. Consider that as my "bonds". I gift away 3.5% of my stocks portfolio annually. My plan for another great recession is, do nothing till there is a 30% drop from a recent peak. At that time my $ gifting will become...
by msk
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 25877

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Is this thread much different from a thread espousing a Toyota Camry rather than a Lexus or even a Ferrari? If you would like to wallow your toes in the luxurious shag pile of a Rolls Royce Phantom and you even pay cash for it, why not? YOLO! We all have different tastes and hobbies. My hobby used t...
by msk
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 25877

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Just a heads-up regarding LEDs. Their lifespan is considerably shortened if they run hot according to a Wikipedia entry I read asome time back. It's not always a great idea to install them in, e.g. recessed pots designed originally for tungsten halogens or other fixtures without adequate ventilatio...
by msk
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 25877

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Just a heads-up regarding LEDs. Their lifespan is considerably shortened if they run hot according to a Wikipedia entry I read asome time back. It's not always a great idea to install them in, e.g. recessed pots designed originally for tungsten halogens or other fixtures without adequate ventilation...
by msk
Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Berkshire A Paper stock certificate
Replies: 14
Views: 1571

Re: Berkshire A Paper stock certificate

One criminal scenario: son with same name as Dad who has become an invalid (or dead) trying to swindle brothers and sisters... There's some kind of bad smell in this somewhere.
by msk
Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?
Replies: 113
Views: 6975

Re: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?

Sigh. What's the world coming to? We are so afraid of crooks that we forget that the vast majority are law abiding citizens. $70k cash is, frankly, not a big deal in many countries. E.g. in a country I bought RE a few years ago, I had to go to the land registry with the seller, together with our IDs...
by msk
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?
Replies: 188
Views: 17069

Re: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?

I would do exactly the same as with my current portfolio: 100% in worldwide ETFs by market weight, give away 3% p.a. and use 1 to 2% for splurging on myself. Frankly I would probably not have an appetite to spend 9 to 18 million $ annually on myself anyway (private jet? why? just use Netjets...), so...
by msk
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Masters Degree Advice
Replies: 25
Views: 2510

Re: Masters Degree Advice

Thanks for the reply! Do you see people max out at a certain level in your organization if they only have a bachelors degree? This is a concern of mine as I don't want to be limited by opportunities in the future. I used to work in HR for an oil multinational and this was a very difficult question ...
by msk
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Safe" Withdrawal Rate for Early Retirees (or any retiree)
Replies: 226
Views: 19648

Re: "Safe" Withdrawal Rate for Early Retirees (or any retiree)

That's why I am 100% stocks worldwide including EM. I lived through the Japan euphoria and collapse and palpably felt it was invincible. I am still at a loss to explain why, after decades of very successful manufacturing of cars, cameras, hi-fi, etc. their stock market has not recovered. Where did a...
by msk
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Safe" Withdrawal Rate for Early Retirees (or any retiree)
Replies: 226
Views: 19648

Re: "Safe" Withdrawal Rate for Early Retirees (or any retiree)

5% of a 100% stocks portfolio will last forever, and the average annual $ withdrawal will keep up with inflation, together of course with the annual portfolio balance keeping up with inflation, forever. This is incorrect. During the Great Depression you have gone bankrupt. I.e you can hand over a p...
by msk
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Safe" Withdrawal Rate for Early Retirees (or any retiree)
Replies: 226
Views: 19648

Re: "Safe" Withdrawal Rate for Early Retirees (or any retiree)

5% of a 100% stocks portfolio will last forever, and the average annual $ withdrawal will keep up with inflation, together of course with the annual portfolio balance keeping up with inflation, forever. I checked this against history (the reconstructed SP500 from 1871), against 50 years between 1966...
by msk
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The benefits of international diversification - NOT: Hulbert
Replies: 80
Views: 5435

Re: The benefits of international diversification - NOT: Hulbert

We all expect a market crash in the near/medium term future and I expect that whatever causes it will not be anything we suspect today; otherwise the powers-that-be will fix it in time. Why I am scared of over-exposure to the US market: the US market cap is >50% of world market cap, but it is nowher...