Search found 772 matches

by jminv
Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: River cruise, Avignon to Lyon, France
Replies: 26
Views: 1500

Re: River cruise, Avignon to Lyon, France

Take the train. Charles de Gaulle airport has a tgv stop. Use the site oui.sncf to book as they include the discounted fares there (oui go). You can get to Avignon tgv for 13 euros. Little more to Avignon center station. If you’re arriving at orly airport, go to the station Marne-la-Vallée which is ...
by jminv
Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation home experiences?
Replies: 35
Views: 3179

Re: Vacation home experiences?

I have close relatives that recently unloaded a vacation home at a loss (really more of break even in price but a loss due to commission, repairs to sell it, the opportunity cost of the money in the house for years, etc). It was located in a desirable area, ie, not just a vacation crowd. It wasn’t a...
by jminv
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yieldstreet
Replies: 9
Views: 613

Re: Yieldstreet

They have poor communication and a lot of the offerings they have are fairly speculative and not really debt like. They have high fees. It’s definitely not low risk and they target people who are hungry for yield but not speculation. So they sell it on interest rates and collateral instead of a shar...
by jminv
Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My life insurance company wants to "help me save money"
Replies: 26
Views: 2200

Re: My life insurance company wants to "help me save money"

My wife and I each have our own "Term 75" policy through an insurer that I won't name, because I'm not sure if there's any forum rule about that (if not, and if you think it's important to know, let me know). I think sometime over a year ago we received an email and/or call from them telling us tha...
by jminv
Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Central Asia. Do you need a CC?
Replies: 44
Views: 2298

Re: Trip to Central Asia. Do you need a CC?

Son is planning a trip to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. He has no credit card of his own. We have a card that has no international fees that we can get him a card as an authorized user. It is a MC and not sure if that is accepted in that part of the world. He will be in cities mostly. Did...
by jminv
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a trip to Africa the Boglehead way
Replies: 5
Views: 477

Re: Planning a trip to Africa the Boglehead way

Need a little help here. Africa is a huge continent and I think I want to visit places in Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa. My international experiences have found that many hotels can provide or arrange for tours and local experiences - much the same as a tour company would provide. And local g...
by jminv
Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage review / advice.
Replies: 8
Views: 1178

Re: Mortgage review / advice.

I wouldn't pay off the mortgage but then again, I don't have an extreme aversion to mortgage debt like some here. Having a little leverage through a mortgage that's 1/3 of the value of your house is different than leveraging up to extremes, so I don't follow the person saying that if you are going t...
by jminv
Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust investment choices for a difficult beneficiary
Replies: 108
Views: 6105

Re: Trust investment choices for a difficult beneficiary

I wonder how the sibling would take suddenly going from the lower current distribution rate to the annuity rate? This would probably reinforce his belief that the trustee has been miserly and/or cheating him all along considering his beliefs and his financial illiteracy. That could lead to him initi...
by jminv
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating Future Wealth (Wealth Potential)
Replies: 20
Views: 1919

Re: Estimating Future Wealth (Wealth Potential)

When you do this, be very conservative with your expectations for future long run returns since overoptimism will likely lead you to save less. Google 'future value calculator' and look for one that lets you add periodic deposits. Use a conservative rate of return for the long run. You can vary it a...
by jminv
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 800
Views: 77606

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

Hashbrowns were on the menu this morning but when I went for the Heinz ketchup, I realized the bottle was empty. I then proceeded to refill the bottle with Heinz ketchup packets that some places still leave out for free. For those of you that are curious, it takes far fewer packets than you would th...
by jminv
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I close a Roth IRA account?
Replies: 20
Views: 1239

Re: Should I close a Roth IRA account?

Unfortunately though I won't be able to keep funding my brokerage account if I will be aiming to stash $11k a year in Roth Ira accounts. Why is that an 'unfortunate' thing? You will be putting your money into a tax free space instead of a space where it is subject to taxation. It will grow tax free...
by jminv
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contributing to a Roth IRA without a job
Replies: 3
Views: 502

Re: Contributing to a Roth IRA without a job

Are you married and does your wife work? If she does then you can, subject to how much she makes versus the contributions. Otherwise, you need allowable compensation.
by jminv
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ex-pat jobs for US citizens
Replies: 10
Views: 1318

Re: Ex-pat jobs for US citizens

I started out of university (USA) using my alumni network. Technical position. After awhile, I went back to school for a mba (overseas) and did it again through the schools network. Other than a school, it you can use your professional network and friends to find one. Even if school was long ago, th...
by jminv
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I regularly replace the water filter in the fridge?
Replies: 50
Views: 3953

Re: Should I regularly replace the water filter in the fridge?

You should replace at some point after the recommended quantity of water has passed through it. Actually time is more or less irrelevant. I usually do manufacturers recommendation +25%. You should also replace it before the associated pressure drop prevents your ice maker from working. If you buy a ...
by jminv
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Health Insurance for Peru
Replies: 12
Views: 853

Re: Travel Health Insurance for Peru

Use a few comparison sites to ensure you receive some decent quotes.
by jminv
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Question on Purchase that Fell Thru
Replies: 25
Views: 1811

Re: Real Estate Question on Purchase that Fell Thru

It was unsigned by the seller so expect your complaint to go nowhere. Also understand that your agent agreed with however you felt about it because they want your commission. They don’t want to disagree with you and have you drop them, so then agreeing with you means nothing. They know you’ll buy so...
by jminv
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any tips for getting status back with American?
Replies: 17
Views: 1910

Re: Any tips for getting status back with American?

You can pay American to do a status challenge and pay to have the status you are challenging for with immediate effect (two different costs). Gold 400 total platinum 500 although I think each challenge cost is actually individual so results can vary. It would be better to challenge for the level you...
by jminv
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amica - Insuring Solar Panel Installation
Replies: 5
Views: 437

Re: Amica - Insuring Solar Panel Installation

You know... they might have asked a few more questions... but at the end of the day, the system costs $10,000 (after federal rebates) and Amica wants $155 a year to insure it. How much did they bump your premium to cover your solar? From the insurer’s point of view, it is the replacement cost of th...
by jminv
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 tax hack if you plan to expatriate?
Replies: 24
Views: 2068

Re: 529 tax hack if you plan to expatriate?

My wife and I will most likely move to Europe within the next 5-10 years which means that we can contribute to a 529 plan for our newborn daughter, but she probably won't need it. Also, college is free in Europe and 529 plans are not covered by double taxation treaties, meaning that we will probabl...
by jminv
Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alitalia
Replies: 11
Views: 711

Re: Alitalia

Alitalia has always had financial difficulties and will always be bailed out by the Italian government in some form. Lately, the government has been going the indirect route (encouraging Italian banks to keep it running). So that’s nothing new, just noise. I flew Alitalia both short and long haul in...
by jminv
Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any *disadvantages* to citizenship?
Replies: 74
Views: 3683

Re: Any *disadvantages* to citizenship?

The problems occur if she moves outside the USA again at some point. I would do it simply because a citizen will always have the right to remain in the USA. Circumstances in life can lead to undesirable outcomes when the person decided not to take up citizenship. You read about these in the news reg...
by jminv
Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate question: lower the asking price or spend to repair
Replies: 26
Views: 1283

Re: Real Estate question: lower the asking price or spend to repair

Thanks for all the replies. Really appreciated! I haven't received any offer yet. I had about 4 showings so far. I figure the realtor is not on my side. Realtor gets $150 to $200 less for each $10,000 drop in price. The low number of viewings suggests it is probably a cost issue - house is priced a...
by jminv
Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate question: lower the asking price or spend to repair
Replies: 26
Views: 1283

Re: Real Estate question: lower the asking price or spend to repair

I have a house on market. Realtor suggested to repaint the roof and repave driveway or to lower the asking price. I wonder which way is better? Is it better to spend $20,000 to fix up or to lower the asking price by $20,000? Thank you. :confused It’s hard to say without seeing the house. Is the con...
by jminv
Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Audit
Replies: 19
Views: 2283

Re: Tax Audit

I received a letter from the state that I'm being audited and they are requesting all credit card statements and checking account statements (including check images) going back to 12/1/2014. I can understand their wanting to see receipts and cancelled checks for the few deductions I have claimed, b...
by jminv
Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: bumped app > Free stock when you spend at partner brands > any experience/thoughts?
Replies: 7
Views: 389

Re: bumped app > Free stock when you spend at partner brands > any experience/thoughts?

One thing I fail to understand is why one would prefer this over a generic fee less cashback credit card. Bank of America Platinum Honors is 5.25% cashback on certain spending. Fidelity has 2% cashback no strings attached. CitiDouble Cash has 2% cashback no strings attached (with 1% being immediate...
by jminv
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increase homeowners insurance deductible?
Replies: 22
Views: 1360

Re: Increase homeowners insurance deductible?

Saw a 700/year savings from switching relative from 5k to 10k déductible. Worth it. What’s the value of the property? Can’t see relative claiming for below that, 10k is better given their net worth, claim record is 1 minor thing in 30 years across multiple home, and most minor stuff wouldn’t be a co...
by jminv
Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a trip to Iceland with kids
Replies: 17
Views: 2100

Re: Planning a trip to Iceland with kids

Any tips for us traveling to Iceland late April this year. Would we have a good change to view Northern Lights? How about Weather in late April? Thanks in advance. Not in late April. It's possible in early to mid April. It will still be somewhat chilly. Rain, clouds at times can be windy. Look at t...
by jminv
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends vs Total Return
Replies: 52
Views: 3756

Re: Dividends vs Total Return

I've read on a number of threads in this forum that one should pay more attention to total returns and not dividends by themselves. To understand this better, I would like to give an example and then maybe get some feedback.. Assume you have two accounts. Account (A) has ETF's that collectively yie...
by jminv
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market timers thread
Replies: 177
Views: 10066

Re: Market timers thread

TLT (treasuries)->wait awhile->market crashes->sell TLT and buy equities when everyone is panicking. Would be nice if there’s nonstop talk of a second Great Depression or the end of finance as we know it. Or you could just stick to an ips which is generally lots better for long run returns than tryi...
by jminv
Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 10 Year/3 Month Treasuries Inversion
Replies: 100
Views: 8257

Re: 10 Year/3 Month Treasuries Inversion

“People who are buying bonds yielding less than 0 don't agree with you. Why do you think they're buying them? Because they like losing money?“ A fool and his money are soon parted. I dont know who is buying bonds yielding less than zero, but those buyers are fools. Not necessarily. If you were wort...
by jminv
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Prime Money Market and Ultra Short Term Bond Fund behaving this way?
Replies: 13
Views: 2719

Re: Why is Prime Money Market and Ultra Short Term Bond Fund behaving this way?

I hold the Prime Money Market (PMM) and the Ultra Short Term Bond Fund (USTBF) and just for fun I look at the SEC yield of both and the nav of the USTBF each night just to see whether the yields change due to the drop in interest rates lately. While the 1 year Treasury bill's coupon has been going ...
by jminv
Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you still wear a necktie to work?
Replies: 108
Views: 5019

Re: Do you still wear a necktie to work?

I’ve never had a job where I’ve had to wear a tie to work and would never take a job where it was a requirement to do so. Places that have those dress expectations are places I wouldn’t fit in.
by jminv
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $4,026,858.95 Car or a Worry-Free Retirement?
Replies: 245
Views: 11480

Re: The $4,000,000.00 Car or a worry-free retirement?

I would argue that superior safety features are worth paying for. While ensuring you have enough for retirement is important, ensuring you have the good health to enjoy that retirement is even more important. The average American has about a 50% chance in their life to be seriously injured (and a 1...
by jminv
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower(s)
Replies: 43
Views: 2943

Re: Lawnmower(s)

Close relative did the battery powered option and it lasted two seasons and then only because there was an incentive from the utility. For that reason alone, I wouldn’t go with one. It was nice while it lasted, though.
by jminv
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 10 Year/3 Month Treasuries Inversion
Replies: 100
Views: 8257

Re: 10 Year/3 Month Treasuries Inversion

vineviz wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:04 am
jminv wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:00 am
When there has been a recession followed by an inversion. . .
Did you mean "inversion followed by a recession"? That's usually the progression, IIRC.
Yes, I did, thanks. English is not my native language, I still make mistakes sometimes.
by jminv
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 10 Year/3 Month Treasuries Inversion
Replies: 100
Views: 8257

Re: 10 Year/3 Month Treasuries Inversion

I won't be doing anything. An inverted yield curve historically occurs 2-3 years before a recession is even called. It can also be a temporary blip and the curve could go back to "normal" tomorrow. When there has been a recession preceeded by an inversion, the range between the inversion and the st...
by jminv
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 10 Year/3 Month Treasuries Inversion
Replies: 100
Views: 8257

10 Year/3 Month Treasuries Inversion

For those who care about such things, the 3 month and 10 year treasuries inverted this morning (2.465% versus 2.453% as I write this). This is, incidentally, the spread the Fed uses for it's recession probability estimate (rather than the 2 year and 10 year spread which is still slightly positive). ...
by jminv
Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Insurance for Visiting the U.S.
Replies: 7
Views: 416

Re: Travel Insurance for Visiting the U.S.

I bought patriot protection plus from IMG global for a trip to the USA this year. I found them through a travel insurance comparison tool site. I wanted it for the medical coverage that included some pre-existing conditions benefits (has for acute onset of pre-existing conditions. Very inexpensive, ...
by jminv
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to buy snow bird house in Florida. How does it work with realtors?
Replies: 16
Views: 1699

Re: Looking to buy snow bird house in Florida. How does it work with realtors?

Use a realtor that rebates a portion of their commission to you. Not hard to find. Last home I purchased, I received 60% of my agent's commission (ie 60% of 3%).
by jminv
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I get an appraisal on home I am renting without telling landlord?
Replies: 3
Views: 676

Re: Can I get an appraisal on home I am renting without telling landlord?

Sure, why not? You probably have the order wrong, though. First, from what you posted it's not clear whether the landlord is even interested in selling. If they're not interested or not very, then this would be a pointless expense. Better to know first before spending money on an appraisal. Even the...
by jminv
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris - Is It Safe?
Replies: 143
Views: 8637

Re: Paris - Is It Safe?

The protests are very small at this point and nothing to worry about. French protests tend to be in a specified location with protestors inside the area and police surrounding them. They then move them down an area they want when it gets later in the day. The first few weekends were a bit less contr...
by jminv
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraction of insurance companies revenue goes to paying out claims?
Replies: 34
Views: 2316

Re: Fraction of insurance companies revenue goes to paying out claims?

Life insurance loss and expense ratios vary quite a bit but the life insurance market in the United States is very competitive. This means that it is not uncommon for the combined ratio (loss + expense ratio) to be > 100%. This means that life insurers have lax underwriting/pricing standards in orde...
by jminv
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation Home: Own vs. Rent??
Replies: 42
Views: 3362

Re: Vacation Home: Own vs. Rent??

My in laws have a vacation home. When they're there, what it really turns into is doing all deferred maintenance during the vacation, ie, a maintenance vacation. When they're not there, they have a lot of money trapped in a home they don't rent out but have continued expenses such as lawn care to av...
by jminv
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise
Replies: 17
Views: 1509

Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

I don't plan on keeping much money in the bank there - just transferring in periodic sums under $10k to live on to avoid FBAR paperwork. Structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements is generally a bad idea. I won't need much to live on. Avoiding transactions that are unnecessary when ac...
by jminv
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring Early and losing RSUs
Replies: 32
Views: 2507

Re: Retiring Early and losing RSUs

Find a way to get them to lay you off without getting fired instead.
by jminv
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Markel Corp (MKL) anyone?
Replies: 11
Views: 624

Re: Markel Corp (MKL) anyone?

It's an insurance company with a combined ratio of 121% in 2018. It's been > 100% since 2016. That's not good. They have a negative EPS growth rate since 2016. If I look at 2018, I see a very large increase in net premium written. It's been accelerating since 2016. That tells me that have lax underw...
by jminv
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Time to buy Boeing?
Replies: 74
Views: 6837

Re: Time to buy Boeing?

The time to buy would probably be if the FAA decided to ground the planes in question, following many other regulators. The problem with that is if the home country regulator decided to ground the planes, the problem could be worse than expected, remaining confidence could be lost in the near term, ...
by jminv
Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yet another solar panel bid
Replies: 9
Views: 1121

Re: Yet another solar panel bid

Have you tried EnergySage for comparison quotes (it’s all online)? Several months ago, I received a few 7.5 year paybacks before any tax or local incentives. I don’t think I’d go for a 10 year deal including tax credit.
by jminv
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Client From Hell Is Driving Me Insane!
Replies: 60
Views: 7815

Re: Client From Hell Is Driving Me Insane!

When you show the client that it’s not working do you also benchmark to their competition? If not, doing that might at least spark a conversation about why a competitors ad campaign has been more effective. You can have follow up material about what the competitors are doing to continue the conversa...
by jminv
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell I-bonds to get 6.75% [in Pakistan bonds?]
Replies: 40
Views: 3241

Re: Should I sell I-bonds to get 6.75%

Those are very low interest rates for bonds from a country that needs And is actively negotiating an IMF bailout.

It seems like quite a bit of credit risk for the yield on offer.