Search found 626 matches

by stimulacra
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?
Replies: 51
Views: 3664

Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Get three quotes, ask them to pay for the shop you prefer but be prepared to accept the lowest estimate and move on. Give them a week after giving the estimates to get the cash or check. If they don't pay up, give them a courtesy call and text before you file an insurance claim. I've pocketed the ca...
by stimulacra
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Computer with or without SSD?
Replies: 78
Views: 4299

Re: New Computer with or without SSD?

SSD. There are no moving parts, no spinning platters rotating at 7200 or 9600 RPMs. Also, you should never keep a single critical copy of data on your primary volume. For less than $100 you can create a very reliable and redundant backup and archiving system. For financial files get two USB-3 or USB...
by stimulacra
Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updgrade car for new safety features?
Replies: 77
Views: 4866

Re: Updgrade car for new safety features?

You have 2 newer generations of Mazda 3's you can consider… 2012 - 2018 Mazda 3 2019 - Present They both have blindspot monitoring and rear view cameras (depending on trim level) and the latest gen has automatic braking on most trims. Also the current iteration of the CX-5 is very competitive for it...
by stimulacra
Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Got tricked into a VUL, $40K already in - Need advice with my options
Replies: 22
Views: 3143

Re: Got tricked into a VUL, $40K already in - Need advice with my options

Wow. That's crazy. If you want to go the publicizing route and don't mind having your voice be on the radio you can submit your story to “This is Uncomfortable” podcast via Marketplace. https://www.marketplace.org/shows/this-is-uncomfortable-reema-khrais/ It's a pretty good podcast about money and m...
by stimulacra
Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why are Mazda CX-5’s sales so much less than other brands?
Replies: 69
Views: 7839

Re: Why are Mazda CX-5’s sales so much less than other brands?

Mazda is a much smaller brand but consider this; The CX-5 sales alone account for more than all other models that Mazda sells combined.


Mazda Reports August Sales Results 2019
http://bit.ly/2MTP0D1
by stimulacra
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to prevent shoe creases?
Replies: 18
Views: 1959

Re: How to prevent shoe creases?

How many pairs of shoes are in your rotation? If you're only wearing one dress shoe day after day without a break or a shoe tree to help dry them out, it will dramatically shorten the lifespan of the shoe. I would suggest two pairs of shoes as being a minimum to wear during the work week. You can ro...
by stimulacra
Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on clothing?
Replies: 38
Views: 2614

Re: How much do you spend on clothing?

You owe it to an employer to have clean, and professional look. One could easily argue the inverse, that employers should foot the bill for a professional wardrobe. In Japan, company provided uniforms is the social norm. Figuring out the unspoken rules of appropriate work-attire for a specific offi...
by stimulacra
Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on clothing?
Replies: 38
Views: 2614

Re: How much do you spend on clothing?

The past few years I've been averaging $2,000 - 3,000 / year for clothes (Work attire and weekend). Mostly a mix of seasonal items and replacing core wardrobe items. What field of work are you in? In my experience as long as you look put together and everything is in good repair, then most items sho...
by stimulacra
Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Seven-Year Auto Loan: America’s Middle Class Can’t Afford Their Cars
Replies: 3
Views: 1944

The Seven-Year Auto Loan: America’s Middle Class Can’t Afford Their Cars

From Wall Street Journal: Walk into an auto dealership these days and you might walk out with a seven-year car loan. That means monthly payments that last well past when the brake pads give out and potentially beyond when the car gets traded in for a new one. About a third of auto loans for new vehi...
by stimulacra
Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?
Replies: 63
Views: 4801

Re: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?

I keep a years worth of max out-of-pocket in my HSA. The rest is invested. You can make various arguments that this method is less optimal than being 100% invested, for me it's one less thing to worry about and I can go about my life. Seems like it is one MORE things to worry about, managing the tw...
by stimulacra
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?
Replies: 63
Views: 4801

Re: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?

I keep a years worth of max out-of-pocket in my HSA.

The rest is invested. You can make various arguments that this method is less optimal than being 100% invested, for me it's one less thing to worry about and I can go about my life.
by stimulacra
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to handle "split-the-bill" group lunches?
Replies: 159
Views: 8197

Re: How to handle "split-the-bill" group lunches?

Cash. Put the amount you think you owe, tax and tip, on the table and leave it at that. If pressed, just say you only have water.

People who order two or more drinks know exactly what they are doing when they split the bill.
by stimulacra
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads in Oil and Gas?
Replies: 38
Views: 3123

Re: Bogleheads in Oil and Gas?

I work in oilfield services on the marketing side. Automation and digital transformation are consistent macro trends in my field as is the continual influx of millennials and Gen Z. I wouldn't necessarily start a career in O&G but have no issues or concerns about finishing out a career in it. Electr...
by stimulacra
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?
Replies: 84
Views: 8110

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

You said the decision had nothing to do with the vehicle itself… if it's a dealer specific issue, there are other Subaru dealerships you can check out. My guess is that the same auto group that owns the local Subaru dealership you went to probably owns the Honda, Toyota, and Mazda one as well. Sales...
by stimulacra
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $2k repairs on $12K car
Replies: 81
Views: 5230

Re: $2k repairs on $12K car

Seems like a no-brainer to me. Pay to have the maintenance items taken care of. If you want, spread the items out over a few months. That’s essentially what a new monthly car payment would be. All those items are expected for that mileage. In a few years you might consider leasing as an alternative ...
by stimulacra
Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil price going to a $100-- time to change your asset allocation??
Replies: 86
Views: 8621

Re: Oil price going to a $100-- time to change your asset allocation??

If a swarm attack involving < $1 million in drones has you rethinking your asset allocation, your asset allocation was inappropriate all along.

A robust asset allocation should anticipate or at least consider global conflict.
by stimulacra
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop for a child?
Replies: 19
Views: 1425

Re: Laptop for a child?

This may seem counterintuitive but I got an eight year old a T-series ThinkPad last fall. I wanted something reasonably rugged, durable, and easily upgradeable. Also it can withstand spills and the keyboard is easy enough to clean out. The design is pretty low-key and plain Jane but she really likes...
by stimulacra
Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is your cellphone?
Replies: 168
Views: 9435

Re: How old is your cellphone?

I have an iPhone SE acquired in winter of 2016. It was an upgrade from a 5S and I've stuck with it mainly due to it's smaller form factor for pocket or jacket carry. The new iPhone 11 Pro appeals to me purely on a photographic basis. It's essentially a very high end compact camera. I would update a ...
by stimulacra
Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with any experience with Warby Parker eyeglasses?
Replies: 37
Views: 3627

Re: Anyone with any experience with Warby Parker eyeglasses?

Been using them for 7 years now. Previously I would get designer frames at my optometrist and spend about $400 - 500 per frame. At $95 Warby Parker were definitely a bargain. This past year I needed new glasses and did not find anything in their current selection that I liked so opted for some Tom F...
by stimulacra
Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it a right time to start invest ?
Replies: 27
Views: 2697

Re: Is it a right time to start invest ?

You could be waiting a long while. Recession can happen tomorrow or four years from now. Do you want to miss out on four years of growth compounded?

Below is a good read:

What if You Only Invested at Market Peaks?
http://bit.ly/2lDCyx2
by stimulacra
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 11282

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

Last two moves I've tipped 4 guys $20 each and 3 guys $100 total. The moves took about 3-4 hours each and I provided cold beverages and in one instance, breakfast tacos. For two guys working 5 hours, I might have gone up to $40 or $50 each. 30% of gross weight of each move are my books so I have som...
by stimulacra
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Middle Age people with low savings need to take on more investment risk than is normal?
Replies: 52
Views: 5917

Re: Middle Age people with low savings need to take on more investment risk than is normal?

I would advocate an aggressive savings rate over an aggressive asset allocation, above and beyond what is recommended for her age.
by stimulacra
Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Outback issue
Replies: 38
Views: 3938

Re: Subaru Outback issue

What do you mean by “buy it back"? Do you mean they refused to pay you back the original purchase price after you drove it for 68k miles? Or do you mean they refused to make an offer on the car based on its fair market value? I would figure out what the car is honestly worth via KBB, CarFax or the o...
by stimulacra
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bad time to buy total bond?
Replies: 32
Views: 4686

Re: Bad time to buy total bond?

I'm still buying Total Bond and TIPS each month. Not a great time to buy them, not a bad time either. Consider that in retrospect what most people now consider was the best time to buy bonds, they were very much out of fashion with everyone preaching 100% equities for maximum long term performance a...
by stimulacra
Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving soft skills
Replies: 35
Views: 3390

Re: Improving soft skills

I was an introvert. Join a professional group related to your career that has a monthly networking event or social. If you're under 40 see if they have a “Young Pros” sub-group. Join a committee or board of directors. It's a great way to cultivate leadership skills apart from small talk. Host dinner...
by stimulacra
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VTIAX International fund - should I give up on it?
Replies: 297
Views: 27153

Re: VTIAX International fund - should I give up on it?

The point of diversification is that some assets will underperform while others outperform. For a while small caps underperformed. Emerging markets underperformed. Bonds lagged behind equities until 2019. If international is lackluster, that means I'll be buying more of it. Eventually it'll revert b...
by stimulacra
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you categorize additional contribution to debt repay as saving?
Replies: 101
Views: 3964

Re: Do you categorize additional contribution to debt repay as saving?

Anything that increases your net worth is increasing your net worth.

Prioritizing paying down high interest consumer debt over saving in a low interest savings account increases your net worth.

Once you are debt free, you can start saving.
by stimulacra
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Manager is Interviewing Candidates (External) before Job is posted
Replies: 57
Views: 5865

Re: Manager is Interviewing Candidates (External) before Job is posted

Raise your hand and throw you hat into the ring. Your manager isn't a mind reader. They probably only think about your career progress / role satisfaction 15 minutes a year if you're lucky. Also what is your personal brand or reputation within the department or organization? Are you viewed as a high...
by stimulacra
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: White collars- How much is your work downtime?
Replies: 203
Views: 17634

Re: White collars- How much is your work downtime?

Marketing / Design / Video. 15-25% there's always something to catch up on.
by stimulacra
Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: Beater or Luxury car for long daily commute
Replies: 33
Views: 1366

Re: Poll: Beater or Luxury car for long daily commute

I'll make a slightly contrarian recommendation: 1) If your commute is 30 minutes or under, I would get a basic beater car. 2) If your commute is an hour each way, I would get a more luxurious ride to help cope with the stress of sitting in traffic. I would prioritize isolation and comfort in this si...
by stimulacra
Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Don’t put new money in market right now??
Replies: 59
Views: 7834

Re: Don’t put new money in market right now??

I'm buying whatever I'm down at the moment. Lately it's been small cap and emerging markets. Previously it was bonds.

If there's a sizable correction I'll buy the dip.
by stimulacra
Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are these plants?
Replies: 7
Views: 1309

Re: What are these plants?

Looks like chicory plants.
by stimulacra
Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kindergarten lunches
Replies: 59
Views: 4673

Re: Kindergarten lunches

Simple sandwiches; ham or turkey, cheese, no condiments so it doesn't get soggy. Low sugar natural fruit juice, there's plenty of good alternatives to Capri nowadays. Serving of fruit that's in season; grapes, strawberries, blueberries, apples, etc… Pita chips or kettle chips. My daughter likes seaw...
by stimulacra
Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bloomberg: U.S. Weighs Selling 50- and 100-Year Bonds
Replies: 36
Views: 3858

Bloomberg: U.S. Weighs Selling 50- and 100-Year Bonds

This might be of interest for those that really want to go long on bonds:
https://bloom.bg/33EfAaB

Forum relevance: Useful information for those that follow ultra-long-maturity debt or have a bond heavy portfolio.
by stimulacra
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Houston
Replies: 39
Views: 3919

Re: Moving to Houston

Look at townhomes and single family units to rent. It will give you more flexibility in terms of location. Heights, Montrose, West University, River Oaks are all good starting points. Look at specific elementary schools. HISD can be a bit of a patchwork district. Fort Bend ISD to the southwest (Suga...
by stimulacra
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to a Kevin O'Leary event???
Replies: 22
Views: 3454

Re: Anyone been to a Kevin O'Leary event???

I've watched some of his keynotes and appearances on TV. He doesn't offer much in the way of investment advice outside of “wealth preservation” via dividend paying stocks and some allocation in gold, this was before he launched his ETF. He's marketed O'shares ETF as a lazy version of his family foun...
by stimulacra
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can having wealthy parents be a justification for a more aggressive investment strategy?
Replies: 97
Views: 7793

Re: Can having wealthy parents be a justification for a more aggressive investment strategy?

No, I would say it's all the more reason to have a moderate or more conservative investment strategy. Counting on an inheritance is a good recipe for disappointment. Having a safety net of intergenerational wealth would be a good justification for taking full advantage of your human capital, pursue ...
by stimulacra
Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 116
Views: 16393

Re: How do you afford to travel?

My current role at work has me taking 3-4 international trips per year, usually for a week or two. Usually we buffer in a day or two of downtime sightseeing. Probably doesn't count as personal travel for most folks, but it allows me to knock off a bunch of cities off my list, all expenses are covere...
by stimulacra
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Silicon Valley Interview Attire
Replies: 30
Views: 2788

Re: Silicon Valley Interview Attire

Specific examples of jeans to get: 1) Budget pick: Slim Dark Wash Denim from Banana Republic (Look around for a 40% off coupon or sale). https://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=303935002&cid=1139762&pcid=5389&grid=pds_0_164_1#pdp-page-content 2) If you can't pull off slim fit, got strai...
by stimulacra
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buy During This Dip?
Replies: 99
Views: 13064

Re: Buy During This Dip?

Had some random cash sitting in my accounts and bought VTSAX today. Won't liquidate any bonds until we hit 15-20% below previous high.
by stimulacra
Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new laptop
Replies: 26
Views: 2499

Re: Looking for new laptop

I would describe those as subjective requirements. I have had a 128 GB SSD, non-Retina, 4 GB RAM MBA for nearly 7 years. Beyond normal work, I am a photographer and use it to edit photos in Lightroom as well. The specs you’ve described are for a pretty nice MBA, which is more than most people reall...
by stimulacra
Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ink Pens
Replies: 77
Views: 5147

Re: Ink Pens

I like the Pilot pens Precise V5. am engineer https://msdnshared.blob.core.windows.net/media/TNBlogsFS/BlogFileStorage/blogs_technet/seanearp/WindowsLiveWriter/TCPIPRegistryValuesforMicrosoftWindowsVi_120BD/Nerd_thumb.jpg Is that Harold from The Red Green Show? Lewis from Revenge of the Nerds II: N...
by stimulacra
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: All Weather Replication
Replies: 8
Views: 1053

Re: All Weather Replication

Below is my portfolio in my main IRA account. It's informed by the All Weather approach (and to a lesser extent Permanent Portfolio) but doesn't try to replicate it exactly. Not sure if you can without leverage. 40% VTSAX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (also includes some ind...
by stimulacra
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new laptop
Replies: 26
Views: 2499

Re: Looking for new laptop

I believe a cheap, refurbished MacBook Air is the best laptop money can buy. I have built several of my own gaming PCs which obviously run Windows. In the workplace, I’ve liked powerful Lenovo laptop/s that had MSRPs of nearly $3k. An MBA stands alone because of its build quality, design, and the q...
by stimulacra
Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for new laptop
Replies: 26
Views: 2499

Re: Looking for new laptop

Need to establish budget and primary use. Even within product models, there's a wide variance in specs and price and some configurations are not worthwhile. There's usually a sweet spot in price and performance within brands and models. Wirecutter usually has a good and up-to-date buyers guide. http...
by stimulacra
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ink Pens
Replies: 77
Views: 5147

Re: Ink Pens

I favor the Pilot Precise V5 or V7 for day to day.

I have a Montblanc Rollerball that I got as a graduation gift that I’ll use for meetings a few times a week.
by stimulacra
Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose my next Boglecar!
Replies: 52
Views: 3413

Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Contemporary equivalents of Matrix/Vibe: 1) Mazda 3 2) Subaru Crosstrek / Impreza hatchback 3) VW Golf / GTI 4) Chevy Cruze hatchback 5) Honda Fit (smaller but just as versatile space wise) Slightly larger non-CUV alternatives 1) VW Golf Sportwagon / Alltrack 2) Honda Crosstour 3) Toyota Venza 4) Bu...
by stimulacra
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range
Replies: 75
Views: 4810

Re: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range

I would argue in 2019, Lexus only makes 3 bona-fide luxury models; LS (sedan), LC (coupe), and LX (SUV). The rest of the lineup are upscale versions of various Toyota models from around the globe (Yes, I'm aware the LX is a rebadged version of the Toyota Land Cruiser). What Toyota model is the GS? ...
by stimulacra
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold Home - $300,000 Profit - Invest or Pay Cash For New House?
Replies: 58
Views: 5493

Re: Sold Home - $300,000 Profit - Invest or Pay Cash For New House?

Pay cash, you have to live somewhere anyways, it's all just mental accounting. It pretty much boils down to: do you want to lump sum $300k into your retirement accounts by taking on a mortgage or do you want to dollar cost average it by paying cash for a new home instead? I would argue that having a...
by stimulacra
Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range
Replies: 75
Views: 4810

Re: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range

Lexus was created by Toyota for a specific reason; to give their existing customer base a place to ladder up in with upscale and premium vehicles. This was back when Toyotas were considered reliable economical appliances (Corolla, Camry, etc…) and they felt they would have issues selling a premium f...