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by rgs92
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 767
Views: 82332

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

The only thing I watch anymore is the Simpsons.
by rgs92
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing affordability - what is your take?
Replies: 46
Views: 4020

Re: Housing affordability - what is your take?

I don't know how the poster above is paying $1300/month for even a smaller apartment. In even the outlying moderate cost areas of the NYC metro area, apartments that size are around $2000 for anything decently livable.
by rgs92
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing affordability - what is your take?
Replies: 46
Views: 4020

Re: Housing affordability - what is your take?

What is causing this steep price rise in CA housing in the major coastal metro areas (and Seattle and Portland I guess)?
by rgs92
Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much car can we afford?
Replies: 125
Views: 5127

Re: how much car can we afford?

I always look at what I spend in aggregate and don't try to isolate any one purchase or sector. The only caveat I would say is to avoid cars that tend to generate a lot of repair costs down the line, or ones that break down, which is even worse. So I prefer Lexus/Infiniti/Acura and tend to avoid Eur...
by rgs92
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe:Don’t Go “Mad Money”
Replies: 22
Views: 2952

Re: Larry Swedroe:Don’t Go “Mad Money”

All I know it that when I turn on CNBC, when a stock has a sudden rise, the commentator tells me why it's a great stock and that he was positive on it in the past. If it goes down a lot suddenly, he tells me why I should be cautious about it and that they sold some or all of it recently.
by rgs92
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do two monitors with the same resolution display differently?
Replies: 10
Views: 691

Re: Why do two monitors with the same resolution display differently?

As far as what is displayed, in Windows, there are all sorts of settings for that. (I'm sure Apple is the same.) In Windows, right-click on the desktop and go to Display Settings and start playing with things. For more subjective things, they all look different. They way a screen looks is not based ...
by rgs92
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice requested: making a HO claim for a roof/hail
Replies: 21
Views: 958

Re: Advice requested: making a HO claim for a roof/hail

I avoid all home insurance claims unless it's a big disaster. I don't want to sully my record. I've had trees fall (in the yard) and some siding pieces blow off, but I ignore it. And I always keep a high deductible amount anyway, and I think this has saved me a lot over time. I've heard of horror st...
by rgs92
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for a bear market
Replies: 43
Views: 4949

Re: Preparing for a bear market

Even a substantial bubble in corporate debt does not matter much at all because this is in the bond market, the investment-grade bond market. All but high-yield bonds are not a particularly volatile asset class per se, so this will be a minor fluctuation at the most to your total portfolio. So if th...
by rgs92
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Vanguard to Fidelity
Replies: 49
Views: 6085

Re: Moving from Vanguard to Fidelity

There was another thread a few weeks ago where someone was very dissatisfied with Fidelity because of perceived inadequate customer support. Yep, the only thing I do is some transactions (with Fidelity), which should be equally easy with Fido or Vanguard, so I too wonder what the issue is. Vanguard ...
by rgs92
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Order of selling equities in taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 954

Re: Order of selling equities in taxable account

I'm curious why you seem to feel that buying these stocks was a mistake. Thank you and good luck. As for what to sell, I would think I would try to decide what to sell based on what stocks you think are good or bad (since you already own them), as that would be much more significant than taxes paid ...
by rgs92
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I pay 6000.00 to repair wife's car....
Replies: 77
Views: 4468

Re: Should I pay 6000.00 to repair wife's car....

If the car has less than 50K miles, I would fix it.
by rgs92
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you rebalanced to bonds this year?
Replies: 25
Views: 2116

Re: Have you rebalanced to bonds this year?

Yep. I rebalance as often as possible. I keep a big chunk of my money in Vanguard balanced index for that reason.
by rgs92
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 112
Views: 5463

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

I'm curious why you need to pay your mortgage with a check. Thank you. Maybe you can set up a savings account at the mortgage provider if possible and have autopay from that account. Fund this account by EFT. (I would be very nervous if my mortgage payments were not on autopay, somehow.) As for the ...
by rgs92
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If it were March, 2000, would you still allocate 50% to Stocks?
Replies: 94
Views: 4171

Re: If it were March, 2000, would you still allocate 50% to Stocks?

Many of these fast-growing companies that make up large parts of the S&P 500 are still pretty young on a historical scale and thus have a lot of room to grow much further. We may easily be just barely into a new frontier. So there is justification for keeping around 50-60% of your portfolio in the b...
by rgs92
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would buy and hold work if Japan's lost decade happens?
Replies: 64
Views: 7356

Re: Would buy and hold work if Japan's lost decade happens?

I have often heard Mr. Bogle say that the foundation of his investing philosophy is belief in the ongoing strength of the American economy, such that the proper holding period in the S&P 500 index is "forever." So if you you are going to follow the Boglehead way, you need to have this faith. In the ...
by rgs92
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How safe is VTIP?
Replies: 31
Views: 2081

Re: How safe is VTIP?

Sure. No problem. Yep, when you buy or sell a TIP (or a a share from a fund of them), it has a market value based on interest rates (or anything else the market believes). It's an interest-paying security (with unique TIP features), so it's a bond with extras. Personally, they are too complicated fo...
by rgs92
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Google Sheet Personal Finance Manager
Replies: 20
Views: 4991

Re: Google Sheet Personal Finance Manager

Thanks for this.
by rgs92
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: are mccormick gourmet spices better
Replies: 68
Views: 5284

Re: are mccormick gourmet spices better

Thanks SpiritRider. Yep, that's a lot of cinnamon. I don't think I could handle that much at once.
by rgs92
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How safe is VTIP?
Replies: 31
Views: 2081

Re: How safe is VTIP?

TIP funds are bond funds, so they decline when interest rates go up. So they are not equivalent to savings accounts or money market funds.
by rgs92
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: are mccormick gourmet spices better
Replies: 68
Views: 5284

Re: are mccormick gourmet spices better

Wow. Never knew that about cinnamon. Thanks. I thought it was supposed to be healthy.
by rgs92
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SPIA for an older retired relative
Replies: 11
Views: 953

Re: SPIA for an older retired relative

Sounds like a great idea. At 75, she would get about $700/month for life per $100,000. Go for it.
So for $350K she gets 3.5 x $700 = $2,450/month before taxes. But her tax bracket will be low, so all is well.
I would use about half her money for this and leave the other half for emergency capital.
by rgs92
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's you safety deposit box fee?
Replies: 64
Views: 6207

Re: What's you safety deposit box fee?

Small note, it is a "safe deposit box." (Although the mistake is so common, it may be correct to say safety deposit box.) I also read about "JCPenny" so often, maybe JCPenney should just drop the 2nd e (at least before they go out of business). I pay $45 a year at my credit union for my small box. L...
by rgs92
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Headset for conference calls while mobile
Replies: 9
Views: 681

Re: Headset for conference calls while mobile

I like the Bose Quiet Comfort line. I find them to be the most comfortable for long sessions (and they are very good with music also; non-fatiguing). They are very sturdily built and well crafted too. https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/headphones/over_ear_headphones/quietcomfort-35-wireless-ii.html...
by rgs92
Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Realtor Compensation (Couldn't sell, so renting)
Replies: 21
Views: 2220

Re: Realtor Compensation (Couldn't sell, so renting)

Just curious why you are not dropping the price on your house. NJ has tons of houses that sit on the market for a long, long time and the listing prices tend to drop frequently over the course of the listing. This is especially true with houses above $600K. NJ is a slow market. What are the property...
by rgs92
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of higher property taxes on home price
Replies: 45
Views: 2269

Re: Impact of higher property taxes on home price

Property taxes make a huge difference in prices and marketablity and time-on-market here in the great northeast. Those houses with yearly taxes of $15000-$20000 and up just sit on the market with their prices being cut forever. Buyers are well aware of that and are afraid of even more hikes after th...
by rgs92
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retire at 55 [Which funds to use between 55 and 59.5?]
Replies: 21
Views: 3905

Re: Retire at 55 [Which funds to use between 55 and 59.5?]

If you get a single life SPIA (for life) with any amount taken from your tax-deferred accounts (non Roth IRAs), that will avoid penalties at any age. Of course, regular income taxes will be due on each payment. This will also take care of RMAs down the line. So if you buy an SPIA for $100,000 in you...
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuity vs investment
Replies: 40
Views: 2464

Re: Annuity vs investment

Thank you Dottie.
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which diet soda pop do you enjoy?
Replies: 110
Views: 4375

Re: Which diet soda pop do you enjoy?

Diet Seagrams ginger ale is what I like.
About the Canada Dry ginger ale. Wow, I did notice on the label some time ago that ginger was missing. It did taste funny to me; too sweet. And now a lawsuit? OMG.

(Schweppes also seems to have no ginger and I'm not a fan of the taste.)
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)
Replies: 67
Views: 4175

Re: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)

Thanks to everyone for all this info. I never would have thought about lots of these things.
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)
Replies: 67
Views: 4175

Re: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)

So is the problem with the HOA mainly the fees and assessments?
(Sorry, I will google this too. But thanks for any comments here. I always feel I get the best, most honest scoop from Bogleheads.)
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)
Replies: 67
Views: 4175

Re: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)

OK, as a side issue that cropped up in the replies here, what are the issues people have experienced with HOAs? Thanks again.
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)
Replies: 67
Views: 4175

Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)

We are thinking about moving to the Atlanta area (northern suburbs) and wanted to know the pros and cons of living in a gated community. 1. Is it really safer in terms of crime (burglaries or home invasions)? 2. Is it inconvenient or annoying for any reason (deliveries, etc.)? 3. Is it worthwhile in...
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What we know about robo advisors
Replies: 156
Views: 24006

Re: What we know about robo advisors

I think this whole robo-adviser thing is just a gimmick. It's just passive investing with extra fees for the provider.
It's like a target or balanced index fund with higher expenses, that's all.
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co - signed a Mortage, Now wants out
Replies: 57
Views: 5998

Re: Co - signed a Mortage, Now wants out

You can't undo a co-sign on an existing loan. You have to end that loan first (which is refi'ing, as others note here).
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Invest in Tesla?
Replies: 306
Views: 19450

Re: Invest in Tesla?

Nah, I don't think so. All Tesla sells is cars. Nobody has a monopoly on cars. Toyota and Honda are the most popular cars, and even they have not been super investments, just reasonably healthy companies.
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuity vs investment
Replies: 40
Views: 2464

Re: Annunity vs investment

I like to split the difference. Get an income foundation with 1 or more SPIAs (and social security) to cover about 60% of needed income. (Count the fixed SPIA income at about 70% of its value and consider that the inflation-adjusted amount.) Then, use a 4% SWR from a 3-fund or 2-fund portfolio for t...
by rgs92
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)
Replies: 9
Views: 559

Re: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)

They said it was because we had cold winters and the pilot flame was probably stressed. They said it was normal for the the thermocouple not to make it through the whole winter. (This was the original HVAC servicer and installer. I moved on to the 2nd company who proposed the changeover to electroni...
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)
Replies: 619
Views: 51965

Re: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)

1 basis point on a million dollars is $100. I just put that in for perspective here to cast annual expenses in real dollar terms, not to offer any value judgement.
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)
Replies: 619
Views: 51965

Re: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)

I like Fidelity but the only problem is that they have too many funds. You need to drill down to find the hidden gems, like the Freedom Index funds or the good money market ones. They must have over 20 money market funds. It seems like they start a new fund every week. Dodge and Cox they are not. Th...
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)
Replies: 619
Views: 51965

Re: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)

I bet Schwab will follow with zero-ER ETFs. Race to the bottom here. This is like my supermarket that always has bananas at 49 cents a pound. It's a loss leader hoping to get you to buy higher priced products, or (God Forbid) Advisory Services and AUM fees. I'm sure there will be headlines and Yahoo...
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index-ish fund that lacks FAANG?
Replies: 42
Views: 4040

Re: Index-ish fund that lacks FAANG?

With this strategy, you would have missed Apple's run-up today. This really a form of market timing (or sector selection).
Why not also drop the Utility sector because you think interest rates are going up?
It's the same thing.
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Park more than $250,000 in cash
Replies: 24
Views: 2958

Re: Park more than $250,000 in cash

Fidelity SPRXX is good (it's one of their money market funds with some sort of marketing name). It's totally liquid. 7 day yield 1.84%.
(EZ On, EZ Off for short term needs.)
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)
Replies: 619
Views: 51965

Re: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)

I wish they would also have this for a total bond market fund.
I also wish they would have one for a balanced index fund that is not a target fund. (Or at least with an ER under 5 basis points. They have no such fund. 4-in-1 has too high a stock allocation to qualify.)
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial upside / downside of marriage vs cohabiting
Replies: 74
Views: 5749

Re: Financial upside / downside of marriage vs cohabiting

It's a 2x2 set of situations for a couple that need to be analyzed:
1. Married without kids.
2. Married with kids.
3. Not married without kids.
4. Not married with kids.

I guess a set of pros and cons in a spreadsheet would be helpful.
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying a home [as a safe investment]
Replies: 42
Views: 3122

Re: Buying a home [as a safe investment]

I like to tell myself that my house is about midway between my car and my three-fund portfolio in terms of investment value.
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)
Replies: 619
Views: 51965

Re: Fidelity Files for two Fidelity ZERO℠ Funds (0.00% ER total stock and total international mutual funds)

Maybe this will reduce the ER of their funds that use total stock market index funds within them, like their Freedom Index Funds or 4-in-1...
by rgs92
Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)
Replies: 9
Views: 559

Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)

My HVAC servicer says he can replace the pilot light mechanism in my gas boiler with an electronic ignition system. It's a Burnham series 2 about 13 years old. Will this work? We had several failures of the thermocouple that cause the boiler to stop working in the last few years, that is why I am do...