Search found 610 matches

by stimulacra
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop for a child?
Replies: 9
Views: 498

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: 148
Views: 6228

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: 3338

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: 2519

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: 10679

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: 5332

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: 3820

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: 4501

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: 3141

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: 116
Views: 11553

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: 3810

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: 5606

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: 16266

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: 1201

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: 7445

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: 1209

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: 4342

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: 3651

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: 3654

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: 3258

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: 7181

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: 15724

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: 2593

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: 12637

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: 2289

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: 4644

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: 987

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: 2289

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: 2289

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: 4644

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: 3191

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: 4592

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: 5222

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: 4592

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...
by stimulacra
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car to buy?
Replies: 42
Views: 3681

Re: Which car to buy?

...If you need AWD, then Subaru Forrester or Crosstrek are your best options. They have the best AWD systems of the ones listed and offer them standard across the board... Throw the Outback into that mix also. When I looked a couple of years ago, the Forrester had lots of busy little up & down moti...
by stimulacra
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car to buy?
Replies: 42
Views: 3681

Re: Which car to buy?

Need an AWD because of the weather/snow here. If you need AWD, then Subaru Forrester or Crosstrek are your best options. They have the best AWD systems of the ones listed and offer them standard across the board. Also from what I can tell, an overwhelming majority of CRVs/RAV4s/CX-5s are FWD only. ...
by stimulacra
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy the highest trim car ?
Replies: 120
Views: 7176

Re: Do you buy the highest trim car ?

I buy the minimum that has the features I want (leather and sunroof). This usually ends up being the mid-range trim in whatever I’m looking at. Content adds up, $10-20k, depending on what you’re looking at. Advanced tech features have little appeal to me, they’re more likely to go haywire once out o...
by stimulacra
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A 100-Year Austrian Bond at 1.2%.
Replies: 11
Views: 1441

Re: A 100-Year Austrian Bond at 1.2%.

Institutions or entities that aren't bound by normal human lifespans and want a “safe” investment that outperforms cash on longer time scales. I mean a 100-year bond isn't that much longer than a 30-year treasury. There have been instances of 1000-year bonds and perpetual bonds (consolidated annuiti...
by stimulacra
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?
Replies: 369
Views: 39363

Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

In my very limited experience: 1) Successful business owner married to corporate director. 2) CEO married to executive director of large non-profit. 3) Manufacturing business owner. 4) Owner of successful chain of restaurants that's popular in Houston suburbs. I wouldn't explicitly know for a fact t...
by stimulacra
Tue May 07, 2019 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Walk away from my auto lease?
Replies: 154
Views: 8131

Re: Walk away from my auto lease?

OP, It doesn't sound like you have any leverage. The dealer holds all of the cards. If you disclosed the make and model the collective wisdom of the forum might be able to offer insights about known issues with that car (i.e. Subaru leaking head gasket, Equinox timing chain, etc… ). You can choose t...
by stimulacra
Fri May 03, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA or cash buyout
Replies: 6
Views: 515

Re: HSA or cash buyout

Keep her and the kids on your health care plan. Have her use the HSA as a stealth retirement account. You can google the triple-tax-advantaged nature of HSAs and why there are popular for that purpose. It's like a better version of a Roth IRA account if done right. Most HSA administrators offer a me...
by stimulacra
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Sell Car to My Boss?
Replies: 25
Views: 2093

Re: Should I Sell Car to My Boss?

This is an easy one: No. Your boss isn't looking to do you a favor. He's looking for a good deal on a nicely specced Mustang. What are the odds that your tenure under your current boss will outlast the potential ownership period of the Mustang? Do you really want to hear him gripe about some transmi...
by stimulacra
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a relatively stable junk bond fund?
Replies: 43
Views: 5470

Re: Is there a relatively stable junk bond fund?

I use Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares (VICSX) for my corporate bonds. It's done ok. The .25% purchase fee leave a bit to be desired but haven't actually had the need to rebalance too much with it set to re-invest all interests and distributions.
by stimulacra
Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "dividend preference anomaly"
Replies: 183
Views: 8995

Re: The "dividend preference anomaly"

I'm neutral on the whole dividend debate but one question that always stumps me from the “Dividends don't lie” crowd: “What is the value of a company that never returns capital to their shareholder?” Maybe the bias against dividends is mental accounting to justify speculation. I don't really believe...
by stimulacra
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 24 year old making first Roth IRA account. What do you guys think of these portfolios?
Replies: 24
Views: 1846

Re: 24 year old making first Roth IRA account. What do you guys think of these portfolios?

Do 1 or 4. You can balance your allocation in your other accounts (401k or Trad IRA).
by stimulacra
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you still wear a necktie to work?
Replies: 108
Views: 5495

Re: Do you still wear a necktie to work?

I'll occasionally wear a silk knit tie (strong knitted texture with a flat bottomed edge) with a blazer. Less stuffy than a traditional necktie but a step up than business casual. Also pairs well with suits without looking too stuffy. Also if I feel overdressed I can lose the tie but seldom feel the...
by stimulacra
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is it time for a new smartphone?
Replies: 66
Views: 4289

Re: When is it time for a new smartphone?

Get the battery replaced. I would say the time to get a new smart phone is whenever you think you can benefit from one despite the high price. Or replace it with a refurbished model when the price delta to having your current phone repaired is minimal. I'm on an iPhone SE and even back in 2017 it wa...
by stimulacra
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men's travel shoes. One pair for hiking/biking/walking/dining
Replies: 56
Views: 4374

Re: Men's travel shoes. One pair for hiking/biking/walking/dining

Of the four options OP listed, the North Face option was the most low key and versatile looking.

I would select a hiking shoe that only has one or two colors that's either dark brown or dark neutral.
by stimulacra
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photo/video storage options
Replies: 11
Views: 611

Re: Photo/video storage options

Get plenty of storage for your primary machine, a backup/data recovery system like Time Machine or CrashPlan and a method of archiving all of your photos (A/B external hard drives with one stored off site or A/B optical media with the one set stored offsite. The above assumes that your primary drive...
by stimulacra
Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long have you gone without a raise?
Replies: 75
Views: 5994

Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

As a CPA, I can see the writing on the wall with Robotic Process Automation, offshoring, and AI. I've actually really struggled with this (perhaps to the point of inaction/"analysis paralysis") along the lines of "what can I do in the face of such a force?". Maybe I'm just not forward-thinking enou...