Search found 2593 matches

by psteinx
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe vacation, family of 5
Replies: 5
Views: 182

Re: Europe vacation, family of 5

Also, would it likely be a good idea to engage a travel agent for this trip? I know its the internet age and there are all kinds of travel sites online. But given a likely complex travel plan, I wonder if a travel agent would likely add much value or not. How does a travel agent typically get paid f...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe vacation, family of 5
Replies: 5
Views: 182

Europe vacation, family of 5

We're in the early stages of planning a family vacation to Europe in 2018. Either ~9 days or ~14 days, depending on the time window chosen (March versus summer). We're a family of 5, with 3 kids currently aged 12-18. Various travel options sometimes get trickier as a result of traveling as a family ...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organized European Tours for Students
Replies: 13
Views: 606

Re: Organized European Tours for Students

This is for England, not Nepal or Bolivia or whatever. Yeah, it's overseas, but as far as overseas goes, it's not THAT exotic. I tend to agree with others suggesting either let her do this on her own, or don't let her do it at all. You may want to take a trip with her to Europe or some other exotic ...
by psteinx
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Post (gulp) - Request for Advice on selling inherited home
Replies: 20
Views: 1522

Re: First Post (gulp) - Request for Advice on selling inherited home

I have not been in this situation. But I might approach it as follows... I'm assuming he has full authority to do all this as sole heir. If there's doubt, research that issue.... There are a number of tasks involved: 1) Remove items of personal interest (photos, keepsakes, etc.) 2) Remove items not ...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 1002
Views: 171925

Re: Tesla S

Thanks Tomato. It's a bit hard to parse though. Looking at the interior dimensions comparisons in particular, there are some unexpected results. Comparing the 2017 Civic and Accord on interior dimensions, the improvements for the latter vs. the former are quite modest, except for rear hip room. Yet ...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 1002
Views: 171925

Re: Tesla S

What is the appropriate size comparison for a Tesla Model 3? A Honda Civic/Toyota Corolla? Accord/Camry?
by psteinx
Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Question
Replies: 19
Views: 905

Re: Tax Question

So, the basics are this. Simplifying assumptions - US stock fund (no or insignificant holdings of foreign stocks, bonds, etc): You buy the shares for $X/share. You hold them. Periodically (typically 4X/year), these shares pay dividends. You may not really "see the dividends" if you have the fund set...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell or keep shares of a private company?
Replies: 39
Views: 2168

Re: Sell or keep shares of a private company?

Thanks for the follow up, OP, and I'm hoping to see an extended follow up down the line.
by psteinx
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends growing at higher rates than inflation?
Replies: 9
Views: 798

Re: Dividends growing at higher rates than inflation?

One of the things to be aware of is that dividends cannot grow faster than earnings grow, in the long run. Not quite true (or at least too vague, as stated). I would phrase it as "Dividends cannot grow faster than the earnings yield, in the long run." or, "Dividends cannot grow faster than earnings...
by psteinx
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oldest international mutual funds?
Replies: 16
Views: 1112

Re: Oldest international mutual funds?

So, one thing you could do is use your library's microfiche or whatnot to look at old Barron's or similar from the 1960s-1970s. You might be surprised how few funds in general there are, let alone international...
by psteinx
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell or keep shares of a private company?
Replies: 39
Views: 2168

Re: Sell or keep shares of a private company?

Reframing might add perspective. If you had the $650K in hand, and were given the one-time opportunity to invest it in the company, would you do so? If yes, how do you rationalize holding 50% of your AA in this private stock? I'm not saying you cannot rationalize it, but what does that rationale lo...
by psteinx
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?
Replies: 73
Views: 4778

Re: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?

In a different direction, some are disappointed that you can't buy a 2 year old Toyota or Honda at, say, 30-40% off the new car cost. I'm not sure when late model used prices compressed versus new prices, but remember that a car can be expected to be a lot more reliable for a lot longer these days. ...
by psteinx
Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?
Replies: 73
Views: 4778

Re: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?

There is no consensus for a good reason - peoples' needs, resources, etc vary considerably. There are also differences of opinion even for folks in the same situation, but the bigger driver I think is the differences in opinion. For starters, resources: In *general*, a used car will be cheaper to op...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell or keep shares of a private company?
Replies: 39
Views: 2168

Re: Sell or keep shares of a private company?

So you're making $350K now, have $600K aside from these shares, and the shares are currently worth perhaps $1.6M (at a $250M valuation, with perhaps a very slight markdown for less favorable liquidation preferences), but VC has offered $1.0M. And your expenses are low. The good news is, you're in qu...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14124

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

And to be clear, I'm saying that these things are possibilities for the next 5/10/20 years. I think they're non-trivial possibilities, especially at the 10-20+ year interval, and especially if Bay Area housing prices were to, say, double in the next 5-10 years. But obviously, they're not certainties...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14124

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

fnmix - I'm not saying that only 3% of the Bay Area folks are young (that would depend on how tightly we band our "young" definition, but still...) Rather, I'm saying that the Bay Area only contains a small % of the total number of young, super-smart folks, relative to the USA as a whole, simply bec...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14124

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

Sure the bay area eco system can be surpassed by some other geo. But it is plain wrong to think that an area that is not a big center today (somebody gave the example of Eugene, OR earlier) will become as big or bigger in a decade or less. Silicon valley has been 70-80 years in the making. I think ...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14124

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

No Bentonville was not an obvious center. But Sam Walton was from the area and started with a single store after the second world war. Over time, with grit and luck his enterprise (now Walmart) beat out other general merchandise companies such as Sears (Chicago) and Kmart (Memphis). That Walmart wo...
by psteinx
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14124

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

There's also the chance that some founder attached to his or her hometown or at least adopted town stumbles onto vast success. Was Bentonville, AR the obvious center of a massive future retailer, before Sam Walton got rolling?
by psteinx
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14124

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

My question is, where will tech "go?" Oil and gas have substitutes. Tech is tech, and I don't see how in the future we will decide to get lower-tech. Even if tech shifts to different concentrations and specialties, you see Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc. getting into all different realms - cloud com...
by psteinx
Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax issue - misc (self employment?) income
Replies: 5
Views: 313

Tax issue - misc (self employment?) income

So my wife has a part-time job at a church (NOT as the bookkeeper). She gets paid, we have a W-2. She also received a small-ish amount of extra income $856. My understanding is that this was paid by the church, but somehow from a separate/special fund or not as part of her regular job. For this inco...
by psteinx
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Muni Bond Funds With Regard to Puerto Rico
Replies: 14
Views: 925

Re: Muni Bond Funds With Regard to Puerto Rico

Paul K: In general, muni bond insurance is not contracted by some portfolio manager who happens to own some risky muni bonds. Rather, it is a feature of the bond, at/before issuance. i.e. A risky issuer contracts with an insurer to insure the issuance, hopefully for a better rating and/or lower yiel...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Steep Uneven Floor in an Old House
Replies: 26
Views: 1651

Re: Steep Uneven Floor in an Old House

12" slope in 6' is a big deal, in my mind. 6" slope in 3' is also a big deal, in my mind. I'm not sure what the values would have to be for me to think, "no big deal". But I think you're well into the "big deal" area. Lots of potential issues, including connections (pipe wiring), faster (but not sud...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM
Replies: 162
Views: 16209

Re: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM

He could counter that "do you think you could get 4% 30 year loan from bank" if you want to do options trading using margin? Remember, his point was that he was using the bank's money and scheming the gains! Do you think you could have gotten a 4% 30 year loan from the bank in spring of 2009, at 3:...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM
Replies: 162
Views: 16209

Re: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM

To your last point, yes I do. Why, because I have talked to many landlords in SF and Honolulu. They thought the same thing as you. They bought a place in 1978. It rented for $175 in 1980. Then it rented for $350 in 1990. $750 in 2000. $1200 in 2010. $1900 now. That's called rent growth. Prices and ...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with private investment opportunity
Replies: 47
Views: 2508

Re: Help with private investment opportunity

I have the opportunity to invest in a new company as a "founder", the founders will be putting in 60 million, and then family/friends will put in 170 million for a total of 230 million. The 170 million from friends and family will be B shares subject to the waterfall provisions, etc. The potential ...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM
Replies: 162
Views: 16209

Re: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM

Well, I'm not a proponent of large bond allocations for long term (30-40 year) portfolios either. But from your earlier post(s) I got the feeling that you thought real estate essentially dominates bonds, for wealthy investors (i.e. superior in basically all cases), whereas I think there are uses for...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with private investment opportunity
Replies: 47
Views: 2508

Re: Help with private investment opportunity

For all these supposed unicorns floating around out there (private companies, generally tech, with $1B+ valuation), there don't seem to be a lot IPOing (at least, not at $1B+ valuations). IPOing a ~2017 startup in 2020 for $5 billion would be extraordinary...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with private investment opportunity
Replies: 47
Views: 2508

Re: Help with private investment opportunity

If investment opportunity is so strong, why is it being offered to you? You didn't say you'll be working for this company. Your possible investment, relative to the total launch, is tiny. Why do they want YOUR money, rather than going, say, to some savvy VCs or the like who could write much larger c...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Certified CR-V or RAV-4
Replies: 11
Views: 947

Re: Certified CR-V or RAV-4

Note when major model makeovers occurred. I think that the 2017 CR-V is a significant update versus the prior year/model. I'm not sure when the RAV-4 last had a major update. Saw a RAV-4 on the road yesterday - noted that it had the spare tire mounted on the back/trunk door. Haven't played with this...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM
Replies: 162
Views: 16209

Re: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM

It is not pre-ordained that real estate, even in the "right" locations (as of 2017) will go up, or even stay flat, nor that you can extract your capital relatively easily, as you can with bonds. At one point in time, Detroit was a boomtown. Detroit real estate circa 1955 probably looked pretty good...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM
Replies: 162
Views: 16209

Re: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM

It is not pre-ordained that real estate, even in the "right" locations (as of 2017) will go up, or even stay flat, nor that you can extract your capital relatively easily, as you can with bonds. At one point in time, Detroit was a boomtown. Detroit real estate circa 1955 probably looked pretty good,...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM
Replies: 162
Views: 16209

Re: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM

While I don't know the details of your friend's situation, $19.5M in real estate equity, plus leverage, against $500K in non-real estate assets, sound pretty risky to me. Say he has $40M in gross real estate value, by current estimates (which will of course be somewhat rough), against $20.5M in debt...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3467

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

This situation sounds very sketchy. Not only is he quite possibly not paying his half of social security, he may not be withholding any taxes. When you go to pay your taxes in April, any "phantom withholding" from this employer will not [EDIT - MAY not - see below] credit* towards whatever you owe t...
by psteinx
Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Rolex and The Boglehead
Replies: 274
Views: 11011

Re: The Rolex and The Boglehead

Last comment, for now:

Remember that, in some parts of the world, $5K is far more needed for basic food, shelter, and health/medical needs. Wealthy folks have the option of donating to worthy charities instead of (or at least, in addition to) buying such things...
by psteinx
Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Rolex and The Boglehead
Replies: 274
Views: 11011

Re: The Rolex and The Boglehead

FWIW, I understand that life is not always about satisfying functional needs as cheaply as possible. Most on this forum have the resources to easily satisfy their basic needs for food, shelter and the like. So yeah, a lot of what we buy and do is to satisfy us emotionally in some manner, and it's fa...
by psteinx
Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Rolex and The Boglehead
Replies: 274
Views: 11011

Re: The Rolex and The Boglehead

Next, a better one would be your car analogy. Why do some people buy $50k nice new cars when they could buy a $500 beater to get them from point A to point B? That's more realistic because it actually exists and is possible. Stick to reality. And, why do some folks do that.... because they want to....
by psteinx
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two year lease vs Buy and hold 10 years. A wash?
Replies: 54
Views: 4168

Re: Two year lease vs Buy and hold 10 years. A wash?

You might be catching a heavily incentivized deal. Could be a good deal, IF that's truly the all-in cost. Whether you'd be able to find something comparable 24 months from now - who knows? On the one hand, if you could get a string of such deals, every 2 years, and you stayed within mileage limits, ...
by psteinx
Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in construction equipment rental business
Replies: 15
Views: 843

Re: Investing in construction equipment rental business

Indeed a 2 year payback on a durable piece of equipment (that presumably has a useful life expectancy much longer than 2 years) suggests something is amiss: * The contractor is overestimating usage and/or rental rate * The contractor is underestimating repair & maintenance costs and/or overestimatin...
by psteinx
Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for my 87 year old Dad
Replies: 9
Views: 1079

Re: Advice for my 87 year old Dad

I now agree on the individual stocks. We can let him do his thing based on the feedback in this thread. ... I will review you recommendations on individual funds as we prioritze them. Take my specific recommendations/thoughts on the funds with a grain of salt. And as for the individual stocks, whil...
by psteinx
Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax on joint brokerage accounts?
Replies: 13
Views: 949

Re: Tax on joint brokerage accounts?

So, the father's life insurance proceeds flowed to the 3 children, even though the mother is still alive (and needs funds)? That's odd - normally I would think the father's life insurance proceeds would flow first to the spouse, and only then to children, unless perhaps mother and father were divorc...
by psteinx
Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I won the Lottery. Need sound advice.
Replies: 220
Views: 24030

Re: I won the Lottery. Need sound advice.

queso is joking (I hope!!!), but some here have glossed over various behavioural red flags for the OP, including, particularly, the fact that these winnings came via the lottery. i.e. While the OP didn't detail his gambling habits, from a Bayesian standpoint, it's likely that the winning lottery tic...
by psteinx
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for my 87 year old Dad
Replies: 9
Views: 1079

Re: Advice for my 87 year old Dad

Hi and welcome to the forum. Assuming there's nothing else large and unusual going on (some big, expensive health issue or whatever), then it looks like your father is in good shape. To boil it down: $950K taxable, $XXXK IRA/401K, some social security income, some RMDs from the IRA/401K. Current exp...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I won the Lottery. Need sound advice.
Replies: 220
Views: 24030

Re: I won the Lottery. Need sound advice.

Assuming OP and OP's claims are real, I would not be terribly surprised if OP blows through the windfall quicker than he expects. Here's what I see (assuming the info provided is a fairly complete financial picture): *Prior* to winning the lottery, OP is just over 40, and combined with spouse: $192K...
by psteinx
Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Data-driven individual stock approach
Replies: 28
Views: 1507

Re: Data-driven individual stock approach

Have you identified any free tools for scraping EDGAR or datasets resulting from that? I haven't really done a deep dive into the possible datasets, including the free ones. Years ago I looked into CRSP/Compustat some (it was very pricey then). Bloomberg is an option. GFD is an option. Maybe even M...
by psteinx
Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Rental Property Decision
Replies: 30
Views: 1975

Re: Help With Rental Property Decision

Condos in the complex have taken anywhere from 3 months to over a year to sell, so the cost of it being empty while for sale could be significant. Also, in a normal to prosperous market (which I suspect is the case for most, though not all, US real estate markets these days), a fairly standard prop...
by psteinx
Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Rental Property Decision
Replies: 30
Views: 1975

Re: Help With Rental Property Decision

You bought this 15 years ago, but don't have enough taxable savings to cover $1600/month? Something's out of whack with your finances generally. You probably have too high a % going into retirement savings, and not enough going into taxable that you can readily access for situations like this. Can y...
by psteinx
Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding contractor for small-ish, hourly job (deck carpentry)
Replies: 19
Views: 1094

Re: Finding contractor for small-ish, hourly job (deck carpentry)

Follow-up: One of the contacts who I thought was a non-follow up did in fact follow-up today, came out, and may be the right person for the job. If this doesn't work out I may end up doing it myself. A few things had me dissuaded from doing it myself: 1) The boards needed are VERY long and I don't h...
by psteinx
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Data-driven individual stock approach
Replies: 28
Views: 1507

Re: Data-driven individual stock approach

I'm not thinking of a dumb, brute force, "this worked in 1928, therefore it should work in 2018" approach. So what are you thinking? The problem that I have with a data driven approach is that the stock market has many stable regimes that are not. There is a signal but it slowly weakens. There is a...
by psteinx
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Data-driven individual stock approach
Replies: 28
Views: 1507

Re: Data-driven individual stock approach

I am going to focus on fundamental factors back from 1926. You are going to face many secular changes since then. Accounting methods have changed multiple times since then, so you are going to need to account for those. Plus some more subtle ones. In fact I generally agree with this, and would perh...