Search found 75 matches

by a5ehren
Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on P2P Lending
Replies: 37
Views: 2851

Re: Thoughts on P2P Lending

Yeah, I dabbled small money in Lending Club in like 2009 or so. Even by the time I exited in ~2013, big money was crowding out the small guys on any of the loans where you could make real money. I pulled everything out as it expired and haven't had any desire to go back.
by a5ehren
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto bulls are back. Are you getting in?
Replies: 278
Views: 26255

Re: Crypto bulls are back. Are you getting in?

The problem with cryptocurrencies is that there is zero rarity and tangibility. That is what makes classic ferraris, art, gold, etc. have value. The supply of cryptocurrency is endless. It is made up money that can be conjured out of thin air electronically. People say there are a limited number of...
by a5ehren
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency - effect on stocks or bonds?
Replies: 44
Views: 5077

Re: Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency - effect on stocks or bonds?

But then again, I thought Uber was a dumb idea too. You're not alone. I also think a taxi service that loses a Billion dollars per quarter is a dumb idea. :thumbsup If it was "a taxi service" I might be able to imagine there was a big investment in durable goods like cars, gasoline, etc... But Uber...
by a5ehren
Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?
Replies: 73
Views: 3975

Re: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?

I've been spending my HSA as I go along, but I'm young (33) and have a wife/child on a HDHP. The interest rates for plain cash in my HSA are pathetic (as is normal), and they charge an extra fee for holding funds so you have to have a significant balance to make it worthwhile. So for now, I use the...
by a5ehren
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads vs Hedgefunds [or vs. venture capital]
Replies: 33
Views: 2681

Re: Bogleheads vs Hedgefunds [or vs. venture capital]

VC/HF are for people who have already "won the game" in BH parlance, and can afford to lose everything they put in. I don't have any specific moral objection to it beyond my general thoughts on the ill effects of extreme wealth concentration. If it's something you want to mess with, your first goal ...
by a5ehren
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 120
Views: 10412

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

I don't like my HDHP, but my company provides a stronger subsidy for it + some HSA money so that once you run the math it is only plan that makes sense.
by a5ehren
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Posponing FIRE to go back to School
Replies: 20
Views: 1897

Re: Posponing FIRE to go back to School

+1 to "try another job in your profession".

Stopping your life for 2 years and spending 80K just to get out of a bad job is a bit drastic when you can almost certainly get a raise and better hours by hopping to another position that you're already qualified for.
by a5ehren
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?
Replies: 73
Views: 3975

Re: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?

I've been spending my HSA as I go along, but I'm young (33) and have a wife/child on a HDHP. The interest rates for plain cash in my HSA are pathetic (as is normal), and they charge an extra fee for holding funds so you have to have a significant balance to make it worthwhile. So for now, I use the ...
by a5ehren
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bear Market - Mindset Expectations
Replies: 61
Views: 6655

Re: Bear Market - Mindset Expectations

I'm 32, so just buying more stocks and making sure I'm indispensable at work. I should be OK barring total company collapse.

Don't care what it gets down to, because I'm not using the money yet.
by a5ehren
Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why you might want to reconsider buying a vehicle with direct fuel injection
Replies: 48
Views: 5863

Re: Why you might want to reconsider buying a vehicle with direct fuel injection

Direct injection should be avoided. Just another way for automakers to improve their fuel efficiency numbers at the expense of long term reliability. Very sneaky of them, the cars will usually be off warranty by the time problems emerge. For real world context, I see threads mentioning Mazda CX-5 v...
by a5ehren
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did YOU choose your career?
Replies: 149
Views: 10781

Re: How did YOU choose your career?

I liked computers, waffled between EE and Aerospace my freshman year of college. Stayed in EE (got a Master's even) and so far have ended up mostly programming instead of hardware because I can tolerate it and make a good living at it. Long-term I want to get into management, but we'll see. #1 advic...
by a5ehren
Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Active Funds Have Outperformed in Theory
Replies: 20
Views: 2310

Re: Why Active Funds Have Outperformed in Theory

Sure, but unfortunately I don't have a way to buy active funds without paying fees, so...
by a5ehren
Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard lowering Admiral level to $3,000?
Replies: 225
Views: 21814

Re: Vanguard lowering Admiral level to $3,000?

This got me to finally change my wife's TR2050 to vtsax+bonds at least. Saving ~10bp was worth it.
by a5ehren
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Heresy: is using a SP500 index still a valid strategy ?
Replies: 28
Views: 5144

Re: Heresy: is using a SP500 index still a valid strategy ?

The response to this concern is to replace VFINX with VTSAX or add a small/mid tilt, not to sell all your equities.
by a5ehren
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ESPP - Optimum Holding Period, Taxes & Fees?
Replies: 11
Views: 916

Re: ESPP - Optimum Holding Period, Taxes & Fees?

+1.

From a BH perspective, you already have a lot of risk tied up in your company by virtue of being dependent on them for your income. Saving some tax money isn't really a reason to further concentrate that risk, along with taking on the general market risk of losing money on the investment.
by a5ehren
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 Year vs 15 Year Mortgage
Replies: 79
Views: 6788

Re: 30 Year vs 15 Year Mortgage

Takes a lot of discipline to stay on a 15-year schedule on a 30-year note if you don't have to.

I personally couldn't make myself do it, so I re-fied to a 15-year to save the interest. It sucks now, but I'll feel way better about it in 2030, when I would have otherwise had another 12 years to go.
by a5ehren
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for my employer’s ESPP?
Replies: 27
Views: 1933

Re: Strategy for my employer’s ESPP?

Yeah. The reason the primary advice on BH is "sell immediately" is because we don't want to B+H a single company as part of a retirement plan. If your investment plan doesn't otherwise call for you to purchase company shares, in this case I would bypass the benefit. My ESPP is 6mos, with a better di...
by a5ehren
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for my employer’s ESPP?
Replies: 27
Views: 1933

Re: Strategy for my employer’s ESPP?

No lookback and a meagre 5% discount make this a "don't bother" thing for me in this situation. After the sales commission, the "sell immediately" plan looks roughly like this: $15k/yr/ 26 pays = ~4-5 shares per pay period Assuming $120 share price, 5% discount saves you a whole $24 on 4 shares. You...
by a5ehren
Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone - 5G?
Replies: 8
Views: 1259

Re: Cell Phone - 5G?

5G as a useful everyday item is still a few years off.

Judging by the 4G transition, we're probably looking at a decade+ before LTE phones can't access the network anymore.
by a5ehren
Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you pay off mortgage in my situation?
Replies: 31
Views: 3193

Re: Would you pay off mortgage in my situation?

If your choices are restricted to buying CDs or paying off the mortgage, then I would pay off the mortgage at current interest rates. I would give myself more options and utilize the taxable account for a Total International Stock Market Index at current valuations. +1. If you have 130K liquid, tha...
by a5ehren
Fri May 11, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reccommended Minivans
Replies: 31
Views: 2969

Re: Reccommended Minivans

Came at the same question and basically settled on the 2018 Sienna XLE. Just sitting around and waiting for 0% APR at this point since sales are down 30% from last year.
by a5ehren
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K
Replies: 81
Views: 8314

Re: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K

Maybe a MB C-class with decent options.

I also really like the Audi A5/S5 Sportback (aka the A7 Lite).
by a5ehren
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money vs. Work-life balance
Replies: 68
Views: 10078

Re: Money vs. Work-life balance

My gross is half of yours and I wouldn't make that trade for a 20% bump. 40% (in your case that'd put you around 325) would be a much harder choice.
by a5ehren
Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Security
Replies: 62
Views: 5993

Re: Computer Security

The security of using a chromebook may be enhanced by configuring your home router so that the chromebook is isolated on its own virtual network, and still further by using an ethernet wire instead of wifi for it. This is a level of paranoia not warranted for home users. All modern routers only use...
by a5ehren
Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition
Replies: 127
Views: 9528

Re: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition

My ethical intuition is ringing loudly: This idea is unethical and the OP should not consider implementing it. Sure, it ispleasant to avoid paying taxes, but to me idea reads feels like tax cheating. Tax evasion is illegal, but tax avoidance is perfectly legal. Contrary to what some are asserting, ...
by a5ehren
Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition
Replies: 127
Views: 9528

Re: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition

Let's put it this way - is the $40k you'd save on taxes enough to pay for the lawyers you'd have to hire to maybe convince the IRS that this isn't what you're doing? I'm guessing not.
by a5ehren
Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Security
Replies: 62
Views: 5993

Re: Computer Security

Your Macbook Air is probably OK, as long as you have the latest OS updates. Your Windows 10 desktop is probably OK, as long as you have the latest OS updates. MS Defender (free with the OS) is good enough these days to where I can't honestly recommend any other free AV product. For both of these pla...
by a5ehren
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?
Replies: 39
Views: 3756

Re: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?

Yeah...I can't think of any "good" medical jobs that a 4-year BS would qualify one for that would look good on a Med School application. She can go do lab-tech grunt work, I guess?

But that probably won't mean as much as a good MCAT score and her college GPA.
by a5ehren
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Are we TOO diversified? Time to hire a professional? Who has?
Replies: 14
Views: 2188

Re: Are we TOO diversified? Time to hire a professional? Who has?

USAA mutual funds tend to be expensive. I'd move those to Vanguard or Fidelity, assuming you won't take a big tax hit or whatever to do so.
by a5ehren
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft
Replies: 23
Views: 3645

Re: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft

Set a strong password and use 2FA if you can. If Vanguard gets breached on the back-end by criminals and a widespread account drain occurs, most likely the government will step in to return some portion of the cash. But there's also absolutely nothing you can do about that scenario, and anyone tryin...
by a5ehren
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 4012

Re: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance

This thread prompted me to go get a quote from GEICO. Once I adjusted the coverage to match what I have now, the rates were basically identical. It did get me to go reduce my coverage on USAA to save $400/year though. I bumped up my Comprehensive deductible and dropped non-accident collision coverag...
by a5ehren
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I bought a stock today - Redfin (RDFN)
Replies: 288
Views: 27976

Re: I bought a stock today - Redfin (RDFN)

That makes no sense. As a seller, I'm looking for a sales strategy not a cut-rate broker no matter how "cool" their website is. As a buyer, I'm looking for choices, which in my market anyway Redfin has less than 1/4 the listings as Zillow or Realtor. So tell me again, what the value-add is and/or t...
by a5ehren
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Sell FIRE to spouse
Replies: 31
Views: 4454

Re: Help Sell FIRE to spouse

If she's not comfortable trying to bridge to a $77k/yr pension for 7-8 years with $1.6M in the bank, there probably isn't much we can say to change her mind. Barring complete disaster (see above post), you'll be more than fine.
by a5ehren
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Pick and Best Stock Trading Forum Advice
Replies: 10
Views: 1695

Re: Stock Pick and Best Stock Trading Forum Advice

Adding individual stocks to your MF holdings is not "diversification", it is just going overweight because you think you have special knowledge that Goldman Sachs doesn't. If you want a dividend tilt, then VG has funds that focus on that that don't require you to go to forums full of pump-and-dump p...
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the crypto market efficient?
Replies: 23
Views: 2170

Re: Is the crypto market efficient?

The short answer is "no, not at all". I think it was last week where exchanges in SK were showing a 20% spread on certain coins against other exchanges for no discernable reason. Also, questionable (and unaudited) capitalization of exchanges is a serious issue along with ICOs with huge pre-mined all...
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever Downgrade Home To Create Savings Fund
Replies: 3
Views: 534

Re: Ever Downgrade Home To Create Savings Fund

I'd say this is fairly common, though I haven't done it myself.

I'd also say the odds are low that you will find a larger residence for less money in a HCOL market like Boston without significant trade-offs.
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Cohabitation Strategies with New Tax Law
Replies: 6
Views: 1657

Re: Financial Cohabitation Strategies with New Tax Law

I'd consult with a tax attorney or a good CPA who has studied the whole tax law. I doubt many on BH are going to have advice for your specific situation, and you clearly have the money to afford good advice. There are other legal benefits to marriage (implied POA in cases of incapacity, simplified i...
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Freedom 2020 vs Vanguard Index Funds?
Replies: 16
Views: 3005

Re: Fidelity Freedom 2020 vs Vanguard Index Funds?

The Freedom funds have much higher expense ratios than even the equivalent Vanguard Target Retirement funds. If you want to stick with a single fund-of-funds, I'd roll it over to a VG IRA holding TR 2020. You'll save a decent amount of money (0.62 ER vs 0.14 ER). If you want to drive it even lower, ...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping sensitive documents in the cloud -- bad idea?
Replies: 46
Views: 4084

Re: Keeping sensitive documents in the cloud -- bad idea?

The primary things are to have a long, strong password on your account and two-factor authentication enabled (https://www.dropbox.com/help/security/enable-two-step-verification). The odds of you needing all of those old bank statements is pretty low, though. I've personally switched everything to el...
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing
Replies: 106
Views: 7931

Re: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing

No it's not a software issue. The problem is that software (malware) can read data that is not in the processes memory map. Is there a URL that describes that in detail? If the hardware is allowing a process to access memory outside of the address space of the process, then the problem does not dep...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing
Replies: 106
Views: 7931

Re: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing

From what I've read, it's limited to 64-bit processors. It continues to be an advantage to hang onto old computers. :) This is true on ARM, but not x86. ARM was not vulnerable until the Cortex-A57 because their older chips did not have that sophisticated of a branch predictor. The Intel-specific vu...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a antivirus for you Android phone?
Replies: 20
Views: 2014

Re: Do you have a antivirus for you Android phone?

Because of how mobile OSes are structured, AV programs on phones are not particularly effective at stopping malicious software. I wouldn't (and don't) bother. If you're worried, make sure you don't have the "install 3rd party software" option checked under settings and only buy phones from Android m...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Intel might take a hit
Replies: 38
Views: 4628

Re: Intel might take a hit

The 30% performance hit squalling yesterday was overblown. It shows up in certain synthetic benchmarks as a worst-case scenario, but the real-world impact is not anywhere close to that (1-2% outside of certain disk scenarios in userland software in Windows). Some workloads for VM/Cloud providers may...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cryptocurrency Exit Strategy
Replies: 52
Views: 5933

Re: Cryptocurrency Exit Strategy

Sell it all right now and hope your exchange of choice doesn't disappear into the night before you are able to get your money out.
by a5ehren
Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iphone SE : If i buy now..how long will Apple support
Replies: 6
Views: 5368

Re: Iphone SE : If i buy now..how long will Apple support

The SE and 6S are Late-2015 hardware, so given Apple's history I would expect them to receive software updates until whatever the last release of iOS 13 is in 2020. After that you're probably good for a year or so barring any severe security flaws.
by a5ehren
Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes [Do it yourself or use tax software?]
Replies: 39
Views: 3702

Re: Taxes [Do it yourself or use tax software?]

The H&R Block Fed+State software was $15 a few weeks ago.

I can't imagine paying for a professional unless you have a really complicated situation or a serious stack of assets.
by a5ehren
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ESPP - Would you participate and what's your strategy
Replies: 28
Views: 4035

Re: ESPP - Would you participate and what's your strategy

My company is 15% with a look back. I sell immediately because my company is in a lagging sector and, while stable, does not have enough upside to justify the risk. But I take the free money and put it in savings.
by a5ehren
Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Regret of selling winning stocks early
Replies: 65
Views: 11246

Re: Regret of selling winning stocks early

My company stock has traded between 17 and 25 the whole time I've been here. I take my ~10% real return via ESPP and cash out immediately.

No regrets, though I would probably feel differently at a FAANG.
by a5ehren
Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease New Car?
Replies: 38
Views: 6026

Re: Lease New Car?

I don't think the Buy vs. Sell argument is really about 3 year cycles.

If you're going to have a new car every 3 years no matter what, then you should probably lease unless you go way over on mileage.

The upside in buying is when you can hold the car for a decade+ and come out 50% ahead.
by a5ehren
Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?
Replies: 114
Views: 16257

Re: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?

I won a similar (though lower Retail Value) prize several years back through MasterCard and it was a phenomenal trip for anyone with even a marginal interest in golf with access to some really cool stuff that doesn't have a cash value. I know this board is all about Stealth Wealth, but at some point...