Search found 493 matches

by msk
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class, business, versus economy.
Replies: 182
Views: 15905

Re: Flying first class, business, versus economy.

Whoever gets excessively exhausted by flying, please have a full medical. Dehydration because of the dry, low pressure air in the plane is a well known cause, but... DW can hardly stay awake after sunset at an altitude of 7000ft last time we drove there. Takes only a couple of hours from our house b...
by msk
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV for Father
Replies: 22
Views: 1533

Re: New TV for Father

Assuming his (corrected) vision is 20/20 then an optimal size = half the viewing distance. Less than perfect vision (all retired BHs?) => larger TV. Ditto if he has access to 4k streaming. Basically, a too-large TV gives a stretched-balloon effect, but if his vision is so-so, over-large just looks i...
by msk
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it worth starting investing if 7-8 years from retirement?
Replies: 22
Views: 2368

Re: Is it worth starting investing if 7-8 years from retirement?

If not 20 years ago then today is next best. +1 I retired 18 years ago. Despite all the withdrawals I have made since then, my NW has gone up a factor 7.18x :greedy A bit of RE carried over from before retirement but soon thereafter 100% stocks. Retirement affords you time to manage your investments...
by msk
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Magic Formula works or ever worked for you?
Replies: 39
Views: 9704

Re: Does Magic Formula works or ever worked for you?

I spent the last 3 decades of my stock investment life split roughly 50:50 on developed markets and a very tiny market (highly inefficient) in a country I happened to live in. Conclusions: Stock picking does not work in large markets. I enjoyed SPY and BRK for decades and hardly kept up with stock p...
by msk
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Borrowing from parents - what interest rate?
Replies: 52
Views: 3424

Re: Borrowing from parents - what interest rate?

From a parent's point of view: Just look up 5 year corporate bonds and pay that rate. As a parent I would be at greater pain if my son fell into hard times so bad that he can no longer meet his payments to me than some loss on the loan I made him. You could also look up 5-year government bonds to sh...
by msk
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Actually might have "enough", thinking of suspending retirement savings in favor of saving for down payment
Replies: 36
Views: 3053

Re: Actually might have "enough", thinking of suspending retirement savings in favor of saving for down payment

OK, these threads keep coming up and my response is invariably to share the rules-of-thumb I picked up during my student days back in the 1960s (so plenty of financial disruptions since): 1. Save and invest 30% of after-tax income. You can include paying off principal (not interest!) on a home mortg...
by msk
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "Can We Afford This House" ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2539

Re: Another "Can We Afford This House" ?

People do detailed financial calculations. So detailed that they miss out on the big picture. Ever since my youth I lived by the following very simple rules. Retired early at 55, now at 73, in order of priority: 1. Save and invest 30% of after tax income. Payment of principal on a home mortgage coun...
by msk
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7131

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

IMHO always ask for a written report. In most locations they are then legally liable. Oral????
by msk
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interesting Career Advice
Replies: 6
Views: 1186

Re: Interesting Career Advice

Reality is that there is ALWAYS a shortage of talent. All normal companies have all their executive positions filled all the time, even if by somewhat incompetent people. If the organisation is so small that movements, retirements in the executive ranks are unlikely for a long time, then it's best t...
by msk
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7131

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

I find it bizarre that esate agents still live on, with those ridiculously high commissions. And then the lawyer fees. You can plonk a million $ in an ETF in a couple of minutes... Last house I bought was directly from the owner. My daughter lived in the area and noticed the classified ad. Asking pr...
by msk
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 35 yr-old doc needs some wisdom
Replies: 45
Views: 9736

Re: 35 yr-old doc needs some wisdom

OK, I would assume that your after-tax net income is circa $300k. My rules-of-thumb at any income level (worked well for me, retired at 55, now in my 70s, not an MD): 1. Save and invest 30% of after-tax income, i.e. $100k. You can include paying off principal (not interest!) on a home mortgage. 2. N...
by msk
Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has “Dividend Yield” Become Globally Obsolete?
Replies: 35
Views: 2156

Re: Will “Dividend Yield” Become Globally Obsolete?

Share buybacks should only occur when COMPETENT boards/management deem their shares are trading below well below "intrinsic value", as per Warren Buffett (and every sane person on the planet!). From all the posts I see here, the vast majority of BHs seem to have the view that shares are currently ov...
by msk
Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lending Money to Business Acquaintance
Replies: 17
Views: 1241

Re: Lending Money to Business Acquaintance

My neighbor approached me last year for an emergency loan of $4000, for a "few" days but his haulage business was under circumstances similar to what you described. I refused giving him a loan but gifted him $1500. Things were so urgent that he could not accept a bank check since his bank would have...
by msk
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pricing a home addition
Replies: 7
Views: 700

Re: Pricing a home addition

Choice of finishes and materials make a HUGE difference in any build, all the way from $130/sq ft to 300+. What the contractor included in his "allowances" is almost never good enough for the owner. E.g. a bedroom ceiling light fixture can vary all the way from a $30 disc to a $3000+ chandelier. OK,...
by msk
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Children's money?
Replies: 26
Views: 2714

Re: Children's money?

I had two pairs of kids, in my 20s and the second pair in my 50s. I put $100k in 100% stocks (SPY+BRK) for the first pair as their education fund for about a decade, paid for their college education and handed each half the balance when they got married. Turned out each got around $100k, nice packe...
by msk
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fair Price for a Kitchen Remodel
Replies: 34
Views: 2921

Re: Fair Price for a Kitchen Remodel

Dear Fellow Bogleheads, I am now negotiating with a full-service remodeler here in beautiful San Diego. We really want someone else to coordinate the work, as we are getting too old to play General Contractor any more, but it has become very difficult to bridge between the price they are asking and...
by msk
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disposable income... how?
Replies: 106
Views: 9577

Re: Disposable income... how?

I saved 30% of my "income"/scholarships all the way back from the days I was getting only pocket money from Ma, through university, and into working life. IMHO 30% saving and investing (NB!investing not languishing in a savings account) is plenty to be able to afford paying cash for the luxury stuff...
by msk
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Projector Setup in Basement
Replies: 24
Views: 1418

Re: Projector Setup in Basement

I actually did the optical/vision maths myself. Optimal screen size for normal, healthy human, 20/20 vision using 1080 HD is a diagonal roughly half the distance from the screen to the seating. 8 to 10 feet? Optimal screen would be 4.5ft or 54 inches. These are quite inexpensive currently. Even 75"4...
by msk
Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best option for large foreign currency transfer
Replies: 31
Views: 2130

Re: Best option for large foreign currency transfer

Depends on how stingy one is in paying for the conversion and how much effort one is willing to put into it. In many cases just the daily changes in the forex rate may be far greater than the charges you suffer. So then you worry also about timing? What I do when I wish to transfer >$50k (I feel shy...
by msk
Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Children's money?
Replies: 26
Views: 2714

Re: Children's money?

I had two pairs of kids, in my 20s and the second pair in my 50s. I put $100k in 100% stocks (SPY+BRK) for the first pair as their education fund for about a decade, paid for their college education and handed each half the balance when they got married. Turned out each got around $100k, nice packet...
by msk
Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS: Country? USA, UK, Canada, Australia...?
Replies: 2
Views: 338

TIPS: Country? USA, UK, Canada, Australia...?

I have no tax connections to the USA and I live in a country with neither income nor capital gains taxes. Yes, there are around 10 such countries. If I bought US TIPS I expect that I would be liable to some kind of US withholding tax and also that dreaded, quickly up to 40%, Estate Tax on foreign ho...
by msk
Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How has your AA philosophy changed over the years?
Replies: 45
Views: 3558

Re: How has your AA philosophy changed over the years?

Started off in RE in my early 30s; bought 3 houses (each classified as my "home") with 90% mortgages in 3 different countries, simultaneously. So when I applied for each mortgage, I did in fact have no loans at all. Easy approvals since I had a very high income as an expatriated employee. Each mortg...
by msk
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what % return do you use?
Replies: 62
Views: 4063

Re: what % return do you use?

I don't use a % return directly, but I use ESPlanner's Monte Carlo software. My "default portfolio" is 35% Intermediate Bonds, 45% US equities, and 20% International Equities. ESPlanner expects real returns of 6.268% for that portfolio. I hope that it works out that way, but I use two of ESPlanner'...
by msk
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Mow your own Lawn?
Replies: 90
Views: 2836

Re: Do you Mow your own Lawn?

I value my time @ $250/hour, even in retirement. If it is something that I do not enjoy like I would a hobby, I hire somebody to do it. I could enjoy mowing a lawn once p.a., but certainly not weekly. Each has his own break point for dreary chores...
by msk
Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what % return do you use?
Replies: 62
Views: 4063

Re: what % return do you use?

I spent much of my working life dealing with probabilities and probable outcomes. The best tool for such arithmetic is a Monte Carlo Simulation. Use it, https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/monte-carlo-simulation and the answers lie within and across a defined range, in this case based on the actual,...
by msk
Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Market Crash Defensive Portfolio
Replies: 30
Views: 3557

Re: Market Crash Defensive Portfolio

Two extreme stances when it comes to trepidations re market collapse: 1. I will patiently stay fully invested in the entire stock market come what may and everything will work out fine (my own choice now that I have become a lazy investor). 2. The market will crash in the immediate future and I am w...
by msk
Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low income but good savings rate... spend?
Replies: 23
Views: 2291

Re: Low income but good savings rate... spend?

Saving and investing 30% of after-tax income is an excellent long term performance. It enables you to do 2 things: 1. Save enough to match your retirement lifestyle to your working-life style. 2. Spend enough currently not to be mean to your young selves, i.e. have a current standard of living appro...
by msk
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm fairly young but done with saving money
Replies: 75
Views: 9363

Re: I'm fairly young but done with saving money

The savings fatigue is a direct result of over-saving. Continue saving-and-investing 30% of after-tax income and your standard of living will be more appropriate to your income level. The savings include any payment on the principal on a mortgage on your home and also any investment income. You seem...
by msk
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+
Replies: 97
Views: 8418

Re: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+

Before joining the BH discussions I tried to determine my own safe withdrawal rate (be it age-dependent or otherwise) and came to the conclusion that, on the basis of SP500 returns between 1966 and 2016 (50 years) and the recorded dividends and inflation, a 5% WR of current portfolio value is safe ...
by msk
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+
Replies: 97
Views: 8418

Re: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+

Frankly I have a huge problem with believing that any BH will not respond to market performance during retirement when it comes to actually withdrawing cash from his portfolio. We keep talking of a 50% market fall. Is there any sane BH who will not trim his expenses the following year? Where is that...
by msk
Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My fear about buying a house justified?
Replies: 72
Views: 6096

Re: My fear about buying a house justified?

My rules-of-thumb that have worked very well for me from my 20s to early retirement at age 55: Save and invest 30% of after-tax income. Building up equity in your home counts in here, but not paying interest in a mortgage. Never buy a home worth more than 3x annual income. $300k max for a home would...
by msk
Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Request for Promotion letter to Senior Management
Replies: 155
Views: 12016

Re: Request for Promotion letter to Senior Management

Worked at a very high level in a Fortune 10 and my expectation is that the letter would do zilch. Reality is that in any organization there is always a tremendous suction upwards. Your supervisor not having been promoted recently indicates to me that he himself is not deemed suited for management le...
by msk
Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emotional impact of spending down assets?
Replies: 100
Views: 9973

Re: Emotional impact of spending down assets?

Those who live beneath their means continue to do so, indefinitely. In retirement their NW will go up, not down. 18 years after retiring I console myself that my standard of living is in the top 1%, perhaps even 0.1% and I'll leave whatever is left to my offspring. I never did hesitate in spending o...
by msk
Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+
Replies: 97
Views: 8418

Re: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+

Over 300 years Productive RE (i.e. including buildings and farm lands) has been shown to return an average of 4% real terms while "business and industry" has returned 1 to 2% more in REAL TERMS (ref Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century). Of course there are wild swings in both time and individual in...
by msk
Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much international stock? A suggestion.
Replies: 228
Views: 44553

Re: How much international stock? A suggestion.

The beauty of using an all-world index is that it tracks what happens and re-allocates automatically. E.g if the US 51% shrinks in favor of some other country, your investment-spread also gets re-allocated. Think of what happened to the SP500. Twenty years ago there were very few tech companies at t...
by msk
Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theoretical — Lump Sum Investing Your Lifetime Earnings
Replies: 11
Views: 1386

Re: Theoretical — Lump Sum Investing Your Lifetime Earnings

US based, VT (Vanguard Total World) for stocks (my allocation is 100% stocks but maybe you also want bonds?)
Ireland based: 90% IWDA, 10% EIMI

No need to ever touch either again.
by msk
Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+
Replies: 97
Views: 8418

Re: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+

My advice to youngsters who are still dreaming of getting "wealthy" but are unwilling to take major risks, like leaving a promising career to strike out as a SBO: The stock market has been demonstrated on numerous occasions that it is the highest rewarding asset class, the longer the history you loo...
by msk
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Building very high net worth
Replies: 81
Views: 8254

Re: Building very high net worth

My septuagenarian observations. Most SBO are neither very clever nor highly disciplined. Those who are quickly outrun the masses, and I have observed a handful of them who have made it to 9 and 10 figures from zilch when we were all in our 20s and 30s. They took major risks, e.g. left promising care...
by msk
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+
Replies: 97
Views: 8418

Re: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+

Everyone has a different risk tolerance, but it is important to note how the world economy works. Stocks represent companies that borrow money (bonds) to make more money. If the interest rate is too high the companies will stop borrowing and flounder. Hence, in normal times, stocks will always make ...
by msk
Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+
Replies: 97
Views: 8418

Re: Is it ok to have 100% stocks, 15 years+

18 years post retirement, and I am still 100% in stocks :mrgreen:
by msk
Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Enthusiasts Unite! - Porsche, Benz, Ferrari, Lambo, etc.
Replies: 72
Views: 5159

Re: Car Enthusiasts Unite! - Porsche, Benz, Ferrari, Lambo, etc.

" We are looking at $60K for that so I could sell both cars, get that and add around $15-$20K into the savings." I am at age 73 and over the past 4 decades I owned, at one time or another, the then top models of Porsche, Mercedes, Lexus, Jaguar, BMW, most from new, occasionally used. My adage has al...
by msk
Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On selling home to a child
Replies: 25
Views: 1794

Re: On selling home to a child

I had gone through a few episodes of lending money to relatives at "fair" market rates over shorter periods, maxing out at a couple of years. Main issue is the discomfort that arises when things go bad for the borrower relative. You know that he/she struggles to meet the payments, and they are met, ...
by msk
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Fund advice, complicated family situation
Replies: 7
Views: 1039

Re: Trust Fund advice, complicated family situation

The trust is to start paying out immediately after set up, while I am still alive. Reason for not immediately distributing the whole amount is that the trust should, in theory, be able to collect dividends at a lowish tax rate (about 15% for Ireland-based ETFs) and nil capital gains tax. Each recipi...
by msk
Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles/years do you keep your car?
Replies: 108
Views: 7413

Re: How many miles/years do you keep your car?

We have always had multiple cars (more than one per person in the family) but generally run 12k miles p.a. per car. Over a period of 40 years I have kept cars as long as 14 years from new until totaled in accidents or till electrical issues became annoying (2 Ford Expedition). But what I learnt is t...
by msk
Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Fund advice, complicated family situation
Replies: 7
Views: 1039

Trust Fund advice, complicated family situation

Finally pulling the plug on setting up a Trust Fund for my heirs. Awaiting a call-back with estimate of charges from an international accounting firm to get things rolling. They have specialists dealing with this kind of stuff, based in the UK with access to most legal tax havens. Would appreciate a...
by msk
Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?
Replies: 27
Views: 2461

Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

No harm in going with Interactive Brokers (IB) and iShares. I can't think of a plausible scenario where a Vanguard ETF (via any broker) disappears at the same time as an iShares equivalent held via IB. But then there was Madoff. Who foresaw that coming?
by msk
Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Canadian with $250 k (CAD) to invest. Need help with Asset Allocation.
Replies: 12
Views: 1016

Re: Canadian with $250 k (CAD) to invest. Need help with Asset Allocation.

I had a similar query from a Canadian relative. My response was to buy two Vanguard Stock Funds: 1. Vanguard Canada All Cap, Ticker VCN 2. Vanguard Global excluding Canada, Ticker VXC You still have to decide on how much home country bias you want. Starting point is World by Market Weight, which lea...
by msk
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long for hedonic adaptation to set in?
Replies: 109
Views: 7439

Re: How long for hedonic adaptation to set in?

An interesting thread; and one that becomes even more intriguing as you age and look back on your choices at various forks in your life. My retrospective look at age 73: 1. Stay in school as long as possible because school is so much more fun than working. OK, terribly short of $ throughout, but so ...
by msk
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?
Replies: 49
Views: 2903

Re: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?

At one time I was on the Board of Trustees of a pension fund in a multi-national company. It was routine that all the pension funds in all countries were required to verify that pension recipients were indeed alive, annually. E.g. a form signed by the recipient and co-signed by a bank manager or sim...
by msk
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?
Replies: 56
Views: 5713

Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Pick the right trade and then get to the high end of your trade. Do not settle for being just a "carpenter" if a fine-cabinet restorer makes 3x (?) as much. Just recently saw on TV that a plumber in London UK can expect to make GBP150k annually, compared to GBP50k for BSc/BEng graduates. What I tell...