Search found 3362 matches

by psteinx
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is private (elementary) school worth it?
Replies: 80
Views: 5118

Re: When is private (elementary) school worth it?

My 3 kids are now past elementary stage (youngest is 14). Some quick thoughts: When looking at U.S. schools and the kinds of kids they produce (subjective observations or measurables like test scores), non-school factors almost certainly overwhelm in-school factors, except perhaps in rare cases. i.e...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater just because it's old?
Replies: 73
Views: 5247

Re: Replace water heater just because it's old?

Seasonal - I faced this issue a few years ago. If you search these forums, possibly you can find threads about this (I may have started one). Bottom line, it was hard for me to nail down the likelihood that IF the water heater failed, it would fail catastrophically - dumping many gallons of water in...
by psteinx
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - Goodwill donations, older children's clothing
Replies: 28
Views: 2469

Taxes - Goodwill donations, older children's clothing

In years past we've claimed modest (<$500 per donation, perhaps $100-400/year) deductions for donations of clothing (and misc. used items) to Goodwill and the like. This stuff has been a mixture of stuff for the parents and stuff for the kids (i.e. kids' clothing books, etc.). It has occurred to me ...
by psteinx
Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First car for child
Replies: 129
Views: 7323

Re: First car for child

Advanced warning systems for incompetent drivers have increasing been available over the last ten years. Advanced Driver Assistance and Automated Safety Features have increasing been available over the last five years. While these latter two are are probably useful for mature drivers, especially th...
by psteinx
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2010 Prius totaled.... Now what?
Replies: 40
Views: 3450

Re: 2010 Prius totaled.... Now what?

I've been through vehicles being totalled twice in the last decade or so. If I recall correctly: At least one of the times, the adjuster sent me or showed me a list of cars (used, at dealerships), for sale in our area, comparable to the totalled vehicle. The settlement check was enough to buy at lea...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Recommendations for protecting eventual inheritance
Replies: 11
Views: 1246

Re: Recommendations for protecting eventual inheritance

So the basis is apparently <$500K. Perhaps substantially less. If your father's life expectancy is indeed so short, then tax considerations, especially stepped-up basis, should dominate financial planning now. Without doing a deep dive on a lot of possible confounders, it seems most likely that the ...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [When my children marry, should they sign a pre-nuptial agreement?]
Replies: 95
Views: 7470

Re: Daddy I'm engaged! Pre-nup?

1) $1.3 million is a ton of money for young adults. It is a life changing amount of money and for those who think it is not that big of a deal must be living high and large compared to the rest of the US and out of touch with reality. OP is 65, with $1.3M and a $300K home (NW ~$1.6M). No pension. O...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Widow and investments
Replies: 18
Views: 2010

Re: Widow and investments

Note that this forum tends to be a little light on day-to-day finance issues (how to budget for food, good techniques for credit card usage, and so on), though it does get addressed. In general, IMO, you should be focusing on 3 areas: 1) Month-to-Month (and year to year) budget. Get your financial h...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Widow and investments
Replies: 18
Views: 2010

Re: Widow and investments

vkat - sorry for your loss. My brother also became a widower at a relatively young age. It sounds like you're probably close to the beginning of the process of adjusting to your loss (no doubt personally, but also financially), and learning about financial planning. You've come to a good place to st...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Classic car (~70s convertible)
Replies: 19
Views: 1737

Re: Classic car (~70s convertible)

It's not something I'd view as an investment. Rather, trying to gauge the likely financial pain in advance. And if I know, in advance, that if I don't like it I can likely flip it for a ~10% (or 20 or 30 or whatever) haircut (assuming the broad demand/pricing for that model stay flat), then that mig...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 7525

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

The vignettes are likely useful not only to OP, but also others planning weddings. That said, OP might get more targeted/useful feedback with a better general sense of what her (and her daughter's) general expectation/parameters for the wedding are. True, these may not be fully fleshed out, but, for...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Classic car (~70s convertible)
Replies: 19
Views: 1737

Classic car (~70s convertible)

Different folks are interested in different classics, and different aspects of the hobby. I've driven (daily driver) two modern-ish convertibles, but never had a classic of any sort. I'm not a car guy, not a mechanic. Am comfortable with super-minor car repairs (minor disassembly to replace a light ...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 7525

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

That said, the wedding will take place during spring (high season) in the Florida Keys so partying can be pricey! Does your daughter live in the Keys? The families? If there are strong family reasons to do the wedding in the Keys, so be it. But, IIUC, that's a difficult to reach location, and far f...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping widowed mother with investments
Replies: 13
Views: 1374

Re: Helping widowed mother with investments

Sorry for your loss. Some thoughts: 1) Community property state vs. not is a big deal. I think this has been asked, but you haven't answered. If it's a CP state, then the basis should be fully reset, and you can probably sell/exchange just about everything with minimal tax consequences. 2) Are you n...
by psteinx
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Background search for nanny
Replies: 6
Views: 368

Re: Background search for nanny

OP, you might get better responses with more info. You are the grandchild, making these arrangements for your grandmother? What's her approximate age and physical condition? What assistance does she need, how often, and is this long term (years), or to get over some short term hump? How important is...
by psteinx
Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First car for child
Replies: 129
Views: 7323

Re: First car for child

IMO: BHers are, on the whole, quite wealthy and high income - much more so than the population. Also, in parts of suburbia, including where I live, plus some rural areas, it is VERY difficult to go anywhere other than neighbors without a car. It is miles, up and down hills and in some cases without ...
by psteinx
Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX
Replies: 119
Views: 7247

Re: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX

Wow, I went to look specifically at the fees for LENDX. The information wasn't listed on marketwatch.com, so went to provider's site. Prospectus is there, but long (93 pages), and I wanted to see this thing in operation, so I went to the annual report instead. The annual report is 5713 pages FIVE TH...
by psteinx
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX
Replies: 119
Views: 7247

Re: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX

More generally, folks say, well, this market (lending to consumers via a a semi-direct route like Lending Club/LENDX, or taking on some reinsurance risk against natural disasters or whatever, is a semi-unique source of risk, only lightly correlated with the market. But you can say the same thing abo...
by psteinx
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX
Replies: 119
Views: 7247

Re: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX

LENDX is essentially a bank, SRRIX is essentially an insurance company and AVRPX essentially provides portfolio insurance. My understanding is that the cost of operating these business are included in the expense ratios. I haven't followed this stuff nearly as closely as others including probably y...
by psteinx
Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Robo program to avoid market drops
Replies: 22
Views: 1967

Re: Robo program to avoid market drops

That's a very different topic. I suggest you search for past discussions or start a new one focused on that, rather than trying to shoehorn it in here.
by psteinx
Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX
Replies: 119
Views: 7247

Re: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX

FWIW, my own post was not a result of double checking ERs, but on calculation assumptions based on what others posted (i.e. that the ER is 1.94% calculated in the standard way). FWIW, Larry's response doesn't seem to dispute that in particular.
by psteinx
Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX
Replies: 119
Views: 7247

Re: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX

Amazing how some are able to TWIST or misunderstand what I say virtually 100% of time and when I correct it no acknowledgement that they are wrong in first place Nowhere did I say one should ignore ERs. What I have said persistently is that one should consider NOT just the ERs but the value the fun...
by psteinx
Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX
Replies: 119
Views: 7247

Re: Swedroe Advocates: LENDX, SRRIX, AVRPX, QRPRX/QSPRX

If you invest $100K with a fund, and they make $1940/year off your investment, then that's a 1.94% ER. It's not lessened just because they borrow money here and invest some there. Obviously, you're hiring them (investing with them) because you like what they offer. But $1940 on a $100K investment is...
by psteinx
Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8117

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

...it is difficult to argue that student body at a university where the average student is somewhere around 80th percentile intellectually will be able to withstand the same academic rigor that the student body averaging in the 99th percentile. This is sorta the crux of it for me. I assume that in ...
by psteinx
Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fine Art Investments
Replies: 67
Views: 3138

Re: Fine Art Investments

More-so trying to make one of my hobbies financially sustainable. If I am going to spend "X" amount on artwork regularly, why not start making more strategic purchases that can retain their value or even appreciate over time? It makes much more sense than purchasing art that looks good but holds no...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Zeno's Paradox of investing: the buy-and-hold arrow that flies without moving
Replies: 31
Views: 2784

Re: The Zeno's Paradox of investing: the buy-and-hold arrow that flies without moving

So, should a young person who intends to be a buy and hold investor be accumulating low cost factor funds? Any paradox there? Now you're getting to the core question of whether low cost factor funds are superior to TSM. It's a subject of intense debate and disagreement on this forum. Read to your s...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8117

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

The discussion got off track from OP's post, which I think is fine. OP should be fine, with solid savings. $250K HH income now, and 19 years to save, is a long time. In OP's shoes, I would put away a solid chunk in a 529 each year, and set it for a fairly equity-heavy allocation. Yeah, it's hard to ...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: land survey cost
Replies: 21
Views: 1219

Re: land survey cost

If you're working from an old survey you may find additional acreage due to accuracy of the newer equipment. No, this isn't right. When a surveyor sets a monument and records the location, the physical location of that monument becomes the boundary, even if it is in the wrong location. As long as s...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel advice & experiences
Replies: 64
Views: 2757

Re: Solar panel advice & experiences

OP, I'm in Missouri too. I look into solar from time to time, but haven't been convinced. Some concerns/issues: 1) Our electric rates ARE relatively low (or at least middle-ish). Not high like CA. 2) It's not clear to me that putting $20-30K or so into such a system won't raise your property tax rat...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch Advisor wants to meet for coffee
Replies: 108
Views: 9099

Re: Merrill Lynch Advisor wants to meet for coffee

A lot of people would simplify their life if they learned to say "no" more often.

Or just hang up the phone, as appropriate.
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8117

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

But your inital argument implied that all kids had great, lower cost options, for top schools. That's not the case. But it is true the most kids have great, lower cost options, for good schools. Indeed, most states have at least one, if not multiple, public tier 1 research institutions that are bot...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Robo program to avoid market drops
Replies: 22
Views: 1967

Re: Robo program to avoid market drops

If he *really* knew how to do this with amazing success, he wouldn't be wasting his time giving lunchtime presentations. What's he doing buying other people lunch in the meeting room at the holiday inn? These response sound like semi-lame cliches. But think about them. They're actually rather true....
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Student Internships
Replies: 45
Views: 2083

Re: College Student Internships

Engineering co-op is similar to an internship but not the same. Typically, engineering students will work at their co-op location for a summer and one school term, alternating school & work every semester during the last two years of college, often starting the summer after sophomore year. Summer i...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

Also, a go-bag for our house (backpack stuffed with a variety of supplies, tools). I thought the definition of a go-bag was something to grab if you need to leave the house (e.g., "go") 1) Different people use different labels for "go bag", and maybe have different purposes for them. 2) It's kept A...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

And, fwiw, I'm far less of a cell phone guy than most. That said, cell phones have a lot of possible points of failure. What type of phone do you plan to use? Pay phones aren't exactly common in my area. There are, what 500 million phones or so in the USA? If X = Odds that I will have MY phone, wor...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Zeno's Paradox of investing: the buy-and-hold arrow that flies without moving
Replies: 31
Views: 2784

Re: The Zeno's Paradox of investing: the buy-and-hold arrow that flies without moving

rkh - In your scenario, it's bad analysis. If, after 5 years, I change from X to Y, and my analysis is faulty (X was actually better), then yeah, of course that's a bad move. But that's almost tautological. I guess that's the assumption that advocates of "don't switch" make - that future you is kind...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How hard is it to get into college?
Replies: 167
Views: 9955

Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Yeah, the number (both absolute and %wise) of "perfect" (1600) and near-"perfect" (1500+ or 1550+) SATs is likely a LOT higher than it was, ca. 1985.
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

And, fwiw, I'm far less of a cell phone guy than most. That said, cell phones have a lot of possible points of failure.
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

Wellfleet wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:55 pm
If I had cell phone service, I could google any of these phone numbers.
1: "If"
2: No you couldn't. A lot of the personal contact numbers are unlikely to be readily available, unless you've stored them in some kind of personal cloud or the like.
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

Barbaric, the go-bag is mainly based on something at home. The emergency #s card can go in a wallet (and other locations) and should thus be available both at home and on the road in most instances. This stuff is not necessarily aimed at one or two specific scenarios, but rather, having information,...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fine Art Investments
Replies: 67
Views: 3138

Re: Fine Art Investments

If you're approaching it as an enthusiast/investor, rather than a dealer, artist, or other insider, then I think your expected returns (EXCLUDING aesthetic appreciation and the like) will likely be well below returns for more traditional equity investments. You can find some analysis of this kind of...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Zeno's Paradox of investing: the buy-and-hold arrow that flies without moving
Replies: 31
Views: 2784

Re: The Zeno's Paradox of investing: the buy-and-hold arrow that flies without moving

But fundamentally, if you're in strategy X, and strategy Y is better (net of switching costs), then ****SWITCH**** Maybe Y is new to you. Maybe data/offerings have changed. Maybe you knew of X and Y, chose X, but now, based on more convincing logic or whatever, realize that Y is significantly bette...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

It might be good to store information on phones, on computers, in the cloud, or elsewhere, digitally. But crises of various sorts would tend to have a correlation, IMO, with such devices and/or their contents not being readily available. Paper/light cardstock can be misplaced/lost too, but one can m...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

I had the list already in spreadsheet format - obscured the state. Also, had the previous list (of phone #s and such), obviously obscured/summarized some of that stuff, too.
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

Paper document with this inventory list (in at least rough form) Paper document with Emergency plan list (other tab in this document) Biz card sized document with key contacts, key national resources Maps (State & National) Foods - energy bars, rice & beans Canteen or water jug(s) Small pot (to boil...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

Eh, that one's maybe a stretch. But not every local PD throughout the country is entirely up to snuff (in various ways), and for certain situations (say, a kidnapping), involving the FBI quickly might be appropriate, and it might be faster/more direct to be able to do that one's self than to rely on...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8117

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

I was in state, as are the overwhelming majority of the students at any state school. At that particular institution ~85% of students are in-state. If you think you have to go out-of-state or there is value in spending $75k/yr when there are options 1/2 (or far less) the cost, more power to you. So...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Zeno's Paradox of investing: the buy-and-hold arrow that flies without moving
Replies: 31
Views: 2784

Re: The Zeno's Paradox of investing: the buy-and-hold arrow that flies without moving

The notion that, for any particular strategy, "it only works if you stick with it" is, bull****. Yes, there may be both transaction costs and tax costs to switching a portfolio. Be mindful of those. And yes, it takes time to think & read about alternatives - if you've got a "good enough" strategy, t...
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Re: Simple emergency prep tip(s)

You can buy simple (small and portable) first aid kits at Wal-Mart, fairly cheaply.
by psteinx
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple emergency prep tip(s)
Replies: 32
Views: 1800

Simple emergency prep tip(s)

====== Print an emergency contact list, in a small font, business card-sized. Multiple copies, as needed. One for your family member's wallets, others to stash elsewhere (dorm room, car, etc.). Yes, some might have these as contacts in their phone (but what if it's lost?) Some #s from mine/ours: On ...