Search found 2757 matches

by psteinx
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Edward Jones?
Replies: 76
Views: 12247

Re: Why Edward Jones?

As a clarification/follow up to my post upthread - the higher costs of using EJ are potentially, not only higher cost funds, but also, AUM or similar fees that may be charged. That said, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that for at least some EJ clients, they'll come out ahead of what approa...
by psteinx
Thu May 31, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation
Replies: 24
Views: 1878

Re: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation

While there are likely a variety of ways to reduce noise and pollution penetration into your car, you may be ignoring the forest for the trees. You spend 3 hours per day commuting. Your descriptions or your reaction to this suggest that it is deeply unpleasant to you. (And a newer car or whatever ma...
by psteinx
Thu May 31, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend new TV for 93 year old lady
Replies: 28
Views: 1891

Re: Recommend new TV for 93 year old lady

For a 93 year old woman coming off a tube TV, the thing to value most, IMO, is simplicity. Sound bar? Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!! One more gadget to fuss with. I doubt she will care that much if she can't get the bass to boom in the latest sci-fi epic. Get a sufficiently large TV, with a good remote (yes...
by psteinx
Thu May 24, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Late 20's small business owner looking for career change
Replies: 13
Views: 1105

Re: Late 20's small business owner looking for career change

I think you're being naive. Financial planning is a hard business, and to succeed, you'd very likely have to hustle. The "close to $2 million" from family and friends is a drop in the bucket. A very small drop. And don't count your chickens even there, before they hatch. How would your business thri...
by psteinx
Tue May 22, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy an old farmhouse?
Replies: 52
Views: 5016

Re: Buy an old farmhouse?

It sounds like 2 of the kids are pre-school age or younger, so they're not really in a position to sign off on it. While I can see the attractions, moving significantly further from the MIL who watches the young kids is a BIG drawback. Further distance from much of the developed world in general als...
by psteinx
Tue May 22, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels
Replies: 96
Views: 9082

Re: Solar panels

More generally, and speculatively (and per my layman's understanding): Retail electricity cost is a combination of the wholesale cost, plus a bunch of other stuff - delivery costs (that vast network of electricity lines, substations and the like that gets electricity to your home and/or local indust...
by psteinx
Tue May 22, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels
Replies: 96
Views: 9082

Re: Solar panels

Per the US Energy Information Administration, wind + solar were at 7.6% in the US in 2017 (6.3% wind, 1.3% solar). https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3 EDIT: This is for utility scale generation. As another poster points out below, there is some additional solar generation done on a sma...
by psteinx
Mon May 21, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Converting property in to neighborhood park. Trust needed?
Replies: 20
Views: 1283

Re: Converting property in to neighborhood park. Trust needed?

I think the key point is that this should be discussed with the relevant government organization (i.e. probably the town/city, unless perhaps this is an unincorporated area.) If there is local precedent for a rather small community park, then that might help things go smoother. Potential uses might ...
by psteinx
Mon May 21, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Vacation Rental Property as an Investment
Replies: 53
Views: 4434

Re: Buying a Vacation Rental Property as an Investment

There are a lot of tasks associated with short term vacation rentals. Among them are: A) Marketing the property and handling reservations B) Handling guest arrivals and checkouts C) Routine cleaning D) Routine landscaping (lawnmowing if there is a lawn). E) Other routine maintenance (Pool? Opening/c...
by psteinx
Fri May 11, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LT Muni Bonds: buy and sell anytime? Rookie.
Replies: 11
Views: 809

Re: LT Muni Bonds: buy and sell anytime? Rookie.

p.s. My list of risks was not exhaustive. There is, for example, liquidity risk.

If the amounts in question are or will be significant to you, it's probably worth investing some time in reading online and/or a few bucks for a book or two.
by psteinx
Thu May 10, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LT Muni Bonds: buy and sell anytime? Rookie.
Replies: 11
Views: 809

Re: LT Muni Bonds: buy and sell anytime? Rookie.

Oh, and you specifically mentioned munis. Different bonds/bond funds have different tax characteristics. Your marginal tax rates - federal, state, and perhaps local come into play. It's somewhat tricky to compare things, properly adjust for tax impacts, and keep the various sorts of risk in mind. Wi...
by psteinx
Thu May 10, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LT Muni Bonds: buy and sell anytime? Rookie.
Replies: 11
Views: 809

Re: LT Muni Bonds: buy and sell anytime? Rookie.

If you're trying to understand bonds, the terms you probably need to look up are "Duration" and "Maturity". You should also understand credit risk and the differential tax treatment of different types of bonds. In very brief terms (there are lots of details, caveats, and such omitted here). If you b...
by psteinx
Thu May 10, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reccommended Minivans
Replies: 31
Views: 1914

Re: Reccommended Minivans

For better or worse, there aren't that many makers of true minivans left any more, so it won't be too hard for you to view them all. The main contenders are: Toyota Sienna Honda Odyssey Chrysler Pacifica Dodge Grand Caravan* Nissan ???** Kia ???*** Other makers may have things that are somewhat in t...
by psteinx
Tue May 08, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating Asset Fees...
Replies: 13
Views: 815

Re: Calculating Asset Fees...

And, to add confusion, when converting percentages to fractions, decimals shift.

So 2% of $100 is the same as 0.02 (no percent symbol) of $100. Both amount to $2. But 0.02% of $100 is much less: 2 cents.
by psteinx
Tue May 08, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating Asset Fees...
Replies: 13
Views: 815

Re: Calculating Asset Fees...

You need to be sure about decimal places and monthly versus annual. There's a very big difference between 1.00% and 0.01%, and between a fee that is charged monthly and an annual fee. E.R.s are generally expressed at an annual rate, but, I think, generally deducted at greater frequency, in smaller a...
by psteinx
Mon May 07, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inlaws are 100% in a single stock - help diversify
Replies: 21
Views: 2604

Re: Inlaws are 100% in a single stock - help diversify

Current situation: Debt: $350,000 mortgage on a $700,000 home Tax status: MFJ State of Residence: NJ Age: Mid 70s Annual SS + Pension: $65,000 Total Annual Expenses: $100,000 Retirement Assets: Taxable : Mid 6 digits 22% Cash 78% invested in a single stock TIRA : Low 6 digits 80% cash 20% invested ...
by psteinx
Tue May 01, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?
Replies: 187
Views: 8905

Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

[EDIT - This is in reply to Doom&Gloom] Mainly suggesting that it may be difficult for a 19 year old (regardless of gender). That said, yes, I think one or two (typical) 19 year old women face elevated risks, relative to men, that would warrant a bit of extra caution and perhaps foreclosing certain ...
by psteinx
Tue May 01, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?
Replies: 187
Views: 8905

Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

1) From DS's experiences, this has not been an issue, but he and his friends have managed to stay at AirB&Bs, fraternity houses, friends' homes, and homes of friends of friends/relatives. All of those would generally require a degree of pre-planning. The dream of "hit the road and go where your whi...
by psteinx
Tue May 01, 2018 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to price condo for private sale?
Replies: 14
Views: 1025

Re: How to price condo for private sale?

Why even hire two appraisers? Assuming both parties are, at best, somewhat casual real estate investors who don't already have a close pre-existing relationship with an appraiser, then I would think it would be reasonable to agree in advance on a single appraiser, with the fee for the appraiser to b...
by psteinx
Tue May 01, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?
Replies: 187
Views: 8905

Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

For all the speculation and the stories of various poster's glorious trips of youth, 30+ years ago, how many here have posted about doing this RECENTLY (last 5 years) or having a son/daughter do it recently? This is speculative on my part, but: 1) I would think it might be challenging for 19 year ol...
by psteinx
Tue May 01, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Questions
Replies: 44
Views: 2428

Re: Bicycle Questions

Follow up: Talked to her yesterday. She DOES want a bike. She's been riding around Forest Park twice this spring on rentals with friends. But she mentioned at least two problems of the rentals: 1) This past Saturday (a very nice Saturday after a rather cold spring), it was very hard to find a rental...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Questions
Replies: 44
Views: 2428

Re: Bicycle Questions

(For those who don't know, Forest Park, next to the U. she'll be attending, is a large urban park broadly comparable to Central Park in NYC...)
by psteinx
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Questions
Replies: 44
Views: 2428

Re: Bicycle Questions

Wash U. Freshman dorms to campus buildings is essentially all internal to the university (no public roads). Less sure about sophomore-senior housing. Easy access to Forest Park, probably crossing only one public road. Also access to the Loop and other areas (albeit with more public roads). She doesn...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Questions
Replies: 44
Views: 2428

Re: Bicycle Questions

How do you know your kid is going to use a bike at college? I wouldn't spend much at all. I don't. I mention that in my post. I think there's a good chance, but no certainty. A plus is, if she DOES like bike riding, it may reduce pressure on me to provide her with a car in later years there.
by psteinx
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Questions
Replies: 44
Views: 2428

Re: Bicycle Questions

Can anyone, briefly, describe the specific ways in which a new $350-450 bike shop bike is likely superior to a $125-150 Wal-Mart bike? I asked the bike shop guy, and he kinda brushed it off/non-answered. >>"Well, it's better in every way...". Pressed further, "Assembled by a bike shop guy who knows ...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Questions
Replies: 44
Views: 2428

Re: Bicycle Questions

St. Louis area.
by psteinx
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Questions
Replies: 44
Views: 2428

Bicycle Questions

TLDR: Main issue is deciding repair/replace for a bike for a kid heading off to university, and if decision is replace, best option to replace. Kid has relatively light previous bike experience, but will be in a much better location for bike riding at univ. than where she grew up. === Trying to stra...
by psteinx
Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family vacationing
Replies: 40
Views: 3830

Re: Family vacationing

As at least one other has posted, providing your general location would be helpful. * Camping, budget hotel/motels * Beaches, rivers, streams and lakes * Parks (national, state, and local) * Bring your own food for at least some meals * Plan around free attractions and/or cities that feature same. M...
by psteinx
Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting OK and KS with family
Replies: 31
Views: 1865

Re: Visiting OK and KS with family

Branson has some pretty neat things to do with kids 5 & 11. Rent a pontoon boat on the Table Rock Lake (there's a marina there where you can rent them), and go out and cruise the lake a bit and take the kids tubing. Also, you can rent canoes and take kids down Lake Taney Como (sp?), which, despite t...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]
Replies: 43
Views: 4227

Re: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]

Oops - thought I had read that, but read wrong or remembered wrong or who knows what...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]
Replies: 43
Views: 4227

Re: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]

OP, you're 18, and the person you're concerned about is your GF, not your spouse. While it's nice to be helpful and supportive, this really isn't your battle to fight (if it should even be fought at all).
by psteinx
Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used car dealer-Freight charge
Replies: 21
Views: 1410

Re: Used car dealer-Freight charge

Not an expert in this, and haven't bought any former rentals (AFAIK), but have looked at them a bit. My sense is that they're priced in a somewhat commodified manner. i.e. Toyota Camry, 2.4 years old, 22K, punch the stats into a computer that has market data, and boom, you've got a price. Yeah, this...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip, Southwest USA
Replies: 27
Views: 2265

Re: Family trip, Southwest USA

Thanks for the responses so far. 1) The kids are somewhat on the older side (oldest two are 18 and 17) - I think they'd have at least some tolerance for sightseeing, though perhaps less than their parents. 2) We've seen a few things on the more central/southern side of AZ/NM. Seen Scottsdale, Phoeni...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip, Southwest USA
Replies: 27
Views: 2265

Family trip, Southwest USA

Contemplating a summer family trip in the US Southwest (with main stops being something like Santa Fe->Grand Canyon->Hoover Dam->Las Vegas). Family of 5 - parents + 3 kids (ages 12-18). The kids have not seen any of the likely main stops, though they've been to Scottsdale, AZ and environs as well as...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another discussion about private vs public schools?
Replies: 79
Views: 4651

Re: Another discussion about private vs public schools?

To (attempt to) be a bit more pro-active for OP: Yes, looking at outputs without full consideration of inputs (in terms of the parents and the students) is not very informative. Best case would be some fabulous analysis that DID normalize for all the differences in parents, students, etc. OP is high...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another discussion about private vs public schools?
Replies: 79
Views: 4651

Re: Another discussion about private vs public schools?

The problem in evaluating school quality is that there is lots of data about outputs, but not as much data about inputs and value-added. i.e. In my state (Missouri, though I assume others are mostly similar), there's a state website that lets you look at all kinds of school data. The obvious thing t...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with gifted individual losers and gainers?
Replies: 14
Views: 978

Re: What to do with gifted individual losers and gainers?

Also - tax impacts may be complicated. There may be direct impacts at a given federal income level, impacts on brackets and/or phaseouts, and/or state taxes or perhaps other tax considerations. Lots to think about/research, if you want to nail the impacts down...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Then and Now: 1980 vs 2018
Replies: 12
Views: 1808

Re: Then and Now: 1980 vs 2018

Even comparing just NEW home prices is likely far from apples to apples. I would guess square footage on a median new house is now substantially larger. And I would guess the median new house is better featured as well. (Some largely cosmetic stuff like granite countertops, but some truly valuable f...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my mom's investments, please.
Replies: 47
Views: 4215

Re: Help with my mom's investments, please.

OP, it appears your mother is, financially: 1) unsophisticated 2) easily persuaded (I could be wrong, but...) I think having her get her taxes done at a place that also sells investments (annuities) with a general reputation for high commissions is a recipe for bad outcomes. Strongly consider changi...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Structured Settlement versus cash
Replies: 10
Views: 1129

Re: Structured Settlement versus cash

This is an enormous amount of money, and your post suggests you've got little experience dealing with such sums. Moreover, you'll likely be guiding a daughter also receiving a large sum, with even less experience than you, presumably. I realize that this may be a difficult, emotional time for you. B...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with gifted individual losers and gainers?
Replies: 14
Views: 978

Re: What to do with gifted individual losers and gainers?

1) Hopefully you got accurate basis information as part of the gift. This may have come through automatically in the transfer, or you may want/need to track this down. As another said, there isn't a step up (or down) in basis with a gift. 2) Gifts often have an element of sentimentality to them, for...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 6204

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

I am sympathetic to the OP's reluctance to pay for a policy that is apparently, on an actuarial basis, stunningly overpriced. We all face many risks in life - some we can insure against, but many that we cannot or do not. Fully enumerated, the latter would likely vastly outnumber the former. Yes, ma...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Persian Rug Passed Down From Grandmother
Replies: 28
Views: 2270

Re: Persian Rug Passed Down From Grandmother

If you are relatively close to a rug dealer or two, and have a big enough vehicle that you can toss it in the back fairly easily, then maybe make a couple hours' project out of showing it to the dealer(s) and seeing what they might pay for it. This wouldn't necessarily get the top dollar price versu...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 108
Views: 6094

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

I skimmed the article. Again, I'm not an expert on this stuff, but some quick thoughts: 1) This is written by an IUL salesman, it seems. That doesn't mean it's inherently wrong, but read it in that context. 2) There's no real detailed quantitative analysis. Some counts of various kinds of up years v...
by psteinx
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard in the WSJ today
Replies: 57
Views: 8048

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Was this the Thursday WSJ? What section and page? I scoured the paper for the article but couldn't find it. I wonder if I get a truncated version of the WSJ or if it ran Wednesday here or something. I'm in St. Louis (County), and it is a 4 star edition...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would you do if you were in charge of a State Pension Fund?
Replies: 36
Views: 2182

Re: What would you do if you were in charge of a State Pension Fund?

A lot of posturing and unrealistic blather here. Some general points: 1) One drawback of a more active approach is tax consequences. These are, to my understanding, moot for something like CalSTRS. 2) Another drawback is management expenses (expense ratio for the common investor). These aren't moot ...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 108
Views: 6094

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

Elmo (OP): I'm not an expert on this particular topic (IUL, or whole life in general). But perhaps I can help you navigate the strong reaction you got from other posters. I understand that you don't just want "X is bad", but rather "Here's *why* X is bad". Then you can think things through on your o...
by psteinx
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bloomberg commodities index still in contango
Replies: 62
Views: 5283

Re: Bloomberg commodities index still in contango

right that is definitely a possibility. I would agree that for spot prices the long term expected real return is zero. One could even make an argument i suppose that for spot prices the expected real return is negative due to technological improvements etc (easier to grow corn, etc.) I would say th...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car
Replies: 43
Views: 2606

Re: Cash Advance on Credit Car for $3K Car

Also: friends and family: No family. I don't have any family to rely on. A couple close friends So you're young, not college educated, and have minimal if any family support. I'm going to guess that such family members as you do have or had were not great financial role models. Troubled family perha...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car
Replies: 43
Views: 2606

Re: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car

1) Stop posting from/during work (assuming that's true) - bad habit. 2) Eyeballing the Dave Ramsey chart, it appears he's using his 12% growth assumption. I think posters on this forum (including myself) generally feel that's a bad assumption. You say "Math doesn't lie". Fair 'nuff. But math such as...