Search found 43 matches

by bert09
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy essential oils in bulk - peppermint oil specifically
Replies: 6
Views: 925

Re: Where to buy essential oils in bulk - peppermint oil specifically

I don't really buy oils, but I really like Mountain Rose Herbs for herbs and spices - assuming their oils are the same quality as everything else they sell I would recommend them highly.

https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/
by bert09
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you like technical conferences?
Replies: 31
Views: 2013

Re: Do you like technical conferences?

I went to one, and given that a lot of the material covered was made available online afterwards, and I wasn't too keen on networking or talking to vendors, it ended up mostly being an excuse to have an expensed trip to another city with nicer weather :wink:
by bert09
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just made first step toward three-fund portfolio!
Replies: 6
Views: 1124

Re: Just made first step toward three-fund portfolio!

For anyone who is curious, here is a link to the strategy mentioned: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/UBH-FTYAA-Tables-70-30-0-2017-Returns-Update.pdf I am curious how strongly the combination of Portfolio 1-4 is correlated with VTSAX. Also per this article: http://www.etf.com/sec...
by bert09
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 82
Views: 4757

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

My personal opinion, at least for guitars and other stringed instruments (ukuleles, mandolins, etc.) is that there is sort of an "80-20" rule when it comes to how much money you spend. i.e. you can get 80% of the desired quality for 20% of the max cost. Take guitars for example, say there is general...
by bert09
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 82
Views: 4757

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

40k grand piano. Well worth it. 4k acoustic guitar. Well worth it. In fact, among the best buys I've ever made. I don't have a collection of guitars/pianos, just the above. It's a world of difference between the nice stuff and the stuff below. I don't know much about violins, but I knew some hardco...
by bert09
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Six stocks make up 98% of S&P 500 gains in 2018
Replies: 100
Views: 15915

Re: Six stocks make up 98% of S&P 500 gains in 2018

The stock price of Netflix is quite mystery to me. From value investor point of view, the company financial is quite garbage with regard to its near 300 P/E ratio, 15+ years after IPO, still negative free cash flow, still heavy in debt and depends on borrowing for growth instead of internal cash fl...
by bert09
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving 20% of paycheck isn't enough
Replies: 112
Views: 14534

Re: Saving 20% of paycheck isn't enough

Have you used a tool like FIRECalc before? You can pretty easily run through different scenarios like that to see what the likelihood of a given savings rate being sufficient would be.
by bert09
Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is expensive olive oil worth it?
Replies: 63
Views: 6814

Re: Is expensive olive oil worth it?

I like California Olive Ranch brand - it is a little bit more expensive than what others are suggesting, but I really like the taste. America's Test Kitchen came to the same conclusion, so I feel pretty validated: https://www.americastestkitchen.com/taste_tests/1637-supermarket-extra-virgin-olive-oil
by bert09
Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: no shop/brand name Giftcards
Replies: 5
Views: 549

Re: no shop/brand name Giftcards

Using "credit card" gift cards can be a really huge pain depending on how the vendor's CC processing works, and whether you know the exact amount left on the card. I have had issues where I wanted to pay for dinner or buy clothing but couldn't cover the entire cost, and they got declined because the...
by bert09
Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 379
Views: 37171

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

It got so bad in recent years especially with web stacks that you can't even find books that are current. By the time Angular 2 book shows up, the latest is already Angular 6. By the time you go through Angular 2 book, people are already on to some other framework. Everything is moving at the speed...
by bert09
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 379
Views: 37171

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Software Engineer. It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play. Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :( Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to b...
by bert09
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 209
Views: 22459

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

It's just a number. While it may be a goal worth noting, it's a bit like driving across the border from Ohio to Indiana...the landscape will not have changed much--financially or otherwise. You really aren't much better off than you were at $990,000. I agree, and I have never driven between Ohio an...
by bert09
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 379
Views: 37171

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Software Engineer. It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play. Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :( Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to b...
by bert09
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 379
Views: 37171

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Software engineer - I would absolutely recommend it. I have a hard time seeing the demand slow down any time soon, and it is easily the most lucrative career you can have with the lowest amount of education. You can feasibly get OK-paying entry-level jobs being self-taught without a college degree. ...
by bert09
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Dow Jones Industrial Average a useful metric?
Replies: 28
Views: 1732

Re: Is the Dow Jones Industrial Average a useful metric?

A bigger pet peeve of mine is the media using "points" as a metric. The Dow is up 17 points! The SP500 is down 83 points! Points are meaningless, give me a percentage. They don't mean basis points do they? Also something I am not clear on - because basis points are a change in percentage right?
by bert09
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Dow Jones Industrial Average a useful metric?
Replies: 28
Views: 1732

Is the Dow Jones Industrial Average a useful metric?

I feel like when you see any sort of cable TV shows talking about the stock market, they always point out how much "the Dow" went up or down. I never really understood what this meant when I was younger, and after looking into it, I am still confused about what this really means. From wikipedia: > T...
by bert09
Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Looking for ways to reduce taxes and keep more of my income]
Replies: 91
Views: 9473

Re: Getting killed on taxes - any ideas?

Move to Washington state. No state income tax, very likely still good enough job opportunities (although not sure what field you are both in).
Being frugal is pretty easy - the only real high-cost-of-living is housing, but you can be frugal about renting/using public transit/etc.
by bert09
Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can someone look at this for me... Did I really lose all this money?
Replies: 16
Views: 3652

Re: Can someone look at this for me... Did I really lose all this money?

As long as you don’t sell you won’t have realized any losses. Without posting more details first it’s hard to tell what your situation is.
by bert09
Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you think I need FIOS Quantum Gateway router with 940Mbps speed?
Replies: 29
Views: 3047

Re: Do you think I need FIOS Quantum Gateway router with 940Mbps speed?

I have 100/100 and in most of the rooms in my apartment I can get ~80-90 over wifi. We have the option for 1000/1000 for $20 more a month, but we don't stream in 4k or download anything too crazy, so it hasn't been worth the upgrade. I would not buy and especially would not rent their router - do yo...
by bert09
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a physician work in tech while practicing as well?
Replies: 57
Views: 4332

Re: Can a physician work in or transition to tech?

I don’t want to sound too rude, but it’s pretty strange to me that you’d want to basically throw out all of the time and money you have invested in to med school so soon after completing. I am assuming you aren’t going to be in debt from it? Even if you are on a super fast careeer trajectory in tec...
by bert09
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a physician work in tech while practicing as well?
Replies: 57
Views: 4332

Re: Can a physician work in or transition to tech?

I don’t want to sound too rude, but it’s pretty strange to me that you’d want to basically throw out all of the time and money you have invested in to med school so soon after completing. I am assuming you aren’t going to be in debt from it? Even if you are on a super fast careeer trajectory in tech...
by bert09
Wed May 30, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beachbody Coach (multi level marketing)
Replies: 27
Views: 3101

Re: Beachbody Coach (multi level marketing)

Could they just be a regular personal trainer instead? I have seen a lot of people get sucked into various MLMs and it is almost never worth it - a lot of the behavior they encourage can also be really damaging to personal relationships (i.e. spamming social media, constantly soliciting friends and ...
by bert09
Sat May 26, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40
Replies: 118
Views: 12059

Re: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40

It’s really interesting to me as someone who is younger see the different perspectives, but is also giving me mild apprehension about whether I will even last until my 40s/50s without getting burnt out enough to make a significant career change. I’m pretty focused on FIRE right now so that if I do h...
by bert09
Tue May 15, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Now that we know we're just digital prey, tell me about ad blockers and other apps and which ones are best
Replies: 17
Views: 1877

Re: Now that we know we're just digital prey, tell me about ad blockers and other apps and which ones are best

I use uBlock Origin & Privacy Badger.

They both do slightly different things - the first is for ads, the second is for tracking cookies and sites that embed in others (i.e. the Facebook like button) that can be used to track you across sites.
by bert09
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Today a good day for TLH?
Replies: 24
Views: 2282

Re: Is Today a good day for TLH?

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't this entirely depend on your cost basis?
by bert09
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undecided students and STEM majors
Replies: 51
Views: 5012

Re: Undecided students and STEM majors

FYI - If your child is considering Math, I would suggest looking at Statistics or "Data Science" instead. I expect "Big Data" will be providing lots of jobs in the future. I wouldn't recommend a pure science or plain Math as it may require a graduate degree to get a decent job. My undergrad degree ...
by bert09
Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undecided students and STEM majors
Replies: 51
Views: 5012

Re: Undecided students and STEM majors

This might be a little bit pedantic, but I think it's probably good to just say "engineering" and not "STEM". I have noticed that a lot of people fall into what I consider the "STEM" trap where you are still doing science, but will have very different job prospects. For example, someone graduating w...
by bert09
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College freshman shopping—what don’t we need?
Replies: 45
Views: 3275

Re: College freshman shopping—what don’t we need?

I don’t really remember my parents buying anything special that I didn’t already have, with the exception of maybe a collapsible easy-to-carry hamper for laundry and a shower caddy. I think someone already suggested it but a small safe that you can attach to the bottom of the bed is a good idea; bed...
by bert09
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Move: Please convince me why I should not work in tech
Replies: 74
Views: 8977

Re: Career Move: Please convince me why I should not work in tech

As someone working at a large tech company, the one thing I will say is that the “data scientist” role is not as mature and the job description is much more nebulous than say a conventional software engineer. If you do want to go into “data science” I would make sure you have very strong programming...
by bert09
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Move: Please convince me why I should not work in tech
Replies: 74
Views: 8977

Re: Career Move: Please convince me why I should not work in tech

2 things... About those $1500 apartments in Seattle... every place I see for $1500-2000 on Craigslist has a fatal flaw (terrible neighborhood, dump of an apartment, killer commute, or the ad looks like a scam). As far as age discrimination, reports of it are actually overblown. Everyone I know who ...
by bert09
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you file your income taxes?
Replies: 77
Views: 6302

Re: How did you file your income taxes?

Mostly on principle, I don’t like to use tax software due to shady business practices. I have an independent CPA who is super nice and helpful - ends up being $150 a year.
by bert09
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What’s the magic savings rate???
Replies: 94
Views: 14690

Re: What’s the magic savings rate???

At that income, unless I am wrong, the most you can put in tax advantaged retirement accounts is $23.5k right? Not counting HSAs? I am in a similar position and outside of an emergency fund I put everything I have left after each months expenses in my taxable account which has a fairly aggressive AA...
by bert09
Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthy eaters -- is this grocery budget normal to you?
Replies: 247
Views: 16624

Re: Healthy eaters -- is this grocery budget normal to you?

My SO and I like to think that we eat fairly healthy, and I think we spend around $600 a month to feed two of us. We buy bulkier dry or canned ingredients from Safeway where they are cheapest, and stuff where the quality is more of a concern (like meat and produce) or specialty items like nice chees...
by bert09
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More bad news for Wealthfront
Replies: 30
Views: 8580

Re: More bad news for Wealthfront

If they went under (and there could be reasons why nobody would want to buy Wealthfront, they may not want exposure to the "total return swaps" and lawsuits related to that), my understanding is the assets would be transferred to another brokerage firm. Then you'd have a mess of ETFs or whatever fu...
by bert09
Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More bad news for Wealthfront
Replies: 30
Views: 8580

Re: More bad news for Wealthfront

I also posted about leaving recently - right now I have turned off TLH and am waiting for the funds to return to the primary Vanguard ETFs just because it isn't really hurting anything to have them there and to make the impending transfer have the fewest # of funds possible. What would be the hypoth...
by bert09
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Security
Replies: 62
Views: 5274

Re: Computer Security

I have found that being proactive about not exposing yourself to shady websites is just as valuable as having anti-virus. When browsing I use Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin plug-ins which between the two blocks most shady ads, which seem like the most common way to get infected recently. The earli...
by bert09
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GE Microwave Weird Issue
Replies: 22
Views: 2214

Re: GE Microwave Weird Issue

Pretty sure this is a common problem with GE microwaves. Happened to me with the one in my apartment - I don’t remember if maintenance replaced the whole door or just the switch mechanism.
by bert09
Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I unwind this Wealthfront mess?
Replies: 75
Views: 11376

Re: How do I unwind this Wealthfront mess?

Wealthfront has a "Direct Indexing" product: https://research.wealthfront.com/whitepapers/tax-optimized-direct-indexing/ Some of the OP's positions seem to be one single share. If the OP pays a commission to sell, then the commission will eat up a huge percentage of the single share holdings. Wealt...
by bert09
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it
Replies: 27
Views: 3015

Re: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it

Since I am going through my tax stuff this week anyways, I looked at the net loss from Wealthfront's TLH from 2017 and it was about 2-2.5x what I paid in fees. So it seems like at least for 2017, to answer my own question, had I not done any TLH on my own, it was probably worth it. Comparing that to...
by bert09
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it
Replies: 27
Views: 3015

Re: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it

bert09: One of the biggest but little-known problems with Wealthfront and similar robo-advisors is the large number of funds they use in their portfolios. As a result, in taxable accounts, the investor is often stuck with capital-gains when they later sell or exchange securities. Knowledgeable inve...
by bert09
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it
Replies: 27
Views: 3015

Re: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it

The follow up question I would have then, is transferring my WF account to say Vanguard going to screw all of this up? Would it be necessary to sell the funds I currently have in there and then re-buy in VG for whatever asset allocation I want? It seems like I would be realizing all the gains that ...
by bert09
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it
Replies: 27
Views: 3015

Re: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it

I think robo advisors who say they can TLH for clients are just taking advantage of people who are too lazy and too fearful to do it themselves. It is about as easy as making oatmeal for breakfast, but many people would rather eat cold cereal or nothing for breakfast. To be completely honest, you d...
by bert09
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it
Replies: 27
Views: 3015

Tax loss harvesting and whether robo-investor fees are worth it

Hello all - first time posting here and was wondering if I could get some help with figuring out whether or not the robo-investor I am using is worth it with its current fees. When I got started with investing, one of my friends referred me to Wealthfront - it was an easy way to get started, I like ...