Search found 81 matches

by Macmungo
Wed May 27, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Immediate annunities
Replies: 14
Views: 1757

Re: Immediate annunities

How does the Required Minimum Distribution work once an Immediate Annuity is set up? Is the RMD taken from the principal or the income?
by Macmungo
Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do sofas really last
Replies: 46
Views: 10107

Re: How long do sofas really last

The sofa in our living room began life, covered in leather, in my parents' study in 1930. After 35 years of children and pets I inherited it in 1965 and had it reupholstered in a good velvet. Since then moderate use, but the last litter of kittens did the fabric in and it heeds help, though still st...
by Macmungo
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you move out?
Replies: 117
Views: 8306

Re: What age did you move out?

"moved out" (and never back) age fourteen Actually best move ever made; school had far more resources than the dinky little town I came from
by Macmungo
Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newer washing machine freaks out dog
Replies: 44
Views: 5993

Re: Newer washing machine freaks out dog

Our TV, a 2003 52" Sony, is downstairs. When it is turned on the dog invariably watches for a minute or two and then goes upstairs. I'm not sure whether she doesn't like the programming or can't stand the sound quality.
by Macmungo
Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3062
Views: 903411

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Earlier this week we watched "The Grand Budapest Hotel". A bit arch and 15 minutes too long but an unexpected pleasure. When I was young I could not bear the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. on whose material about pre-World War II Central Europe the film is based, but director Wes Anderson h...
by Macmungo
Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you shop for groceries?
Replies: 97
Views: 12436

Re: Where do you shop for groceries?

Odd that no one from the Carolinas seems to have shown up so far. We shop at the grocery stores that are closest to where we live. Currently they are (a) Harris Teeter (merged with Krogers earlier this year -- we have our fingers crossed); (b) Fresh Market. Sometimes venture further afield to Trader...
by Macmungo
Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation by Roger Gibson
Replies: 21
Views: 4654

Re: Asset Allocation by Roger Gibson

I just sold most of my books, and among them were two editions of Roger Gibson's "Asset Allocation". When I was starting serious investing in the 1990s Gibson was the most useful guide I could find. He provided the first really methodical framework for thinking about investing that I stumb...
by Macmungo
Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 258
Views: 31912

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I've just had a very good read with Michael Flynn's "Eifelheim", a novel set in a town of that name in the 13th century Black Forest of Germany. It's about how the villagers react to the alien crew of a spaceship that has been marooned just outside the town. Both the aliens and the village...
by Macmungo
Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best resources for landscaping yard?
Replies: 11
Views: 1613

Re: Best resources for landscaping yard?

Be sure to check out the size at maturity of any shrub or tree you might be attracted to. Those things grow awfully fast and if you don't check beforehand how big that cute little camellia will be five or ten years down the road you may end up having to remove it.
by Macmungo
Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 554
Views: 211626

Re: TV show recommendations?

At the moment, "Kevin Dundon's Modern Irish Food." Alas, there seem to be only ten installments of the series. He's a much more interesting cook than Mrs. Patmore.
by Macmungo
Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your 10-year historical returns (to Dec 31, 2013)
Replies: 71
Views: 4085

Re: What is your 10-year historical returns (to Dec 31, 2013

Annualized ROI 12/31/03 thru 12/31/13 was 4.5%. I'm retired for seventeen years, spouse for twelve. Dispersal years, no contributions.
As of 12/31/13 equity allocation 22%. 2013's ROI was 6.8%.
I use an old program, Captools, that gives this sort of calculation with little effort.
by Macmungo
Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1470251

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

I've just been revisiting one of my favorite places, Paris, in two separate eras, the 1780s and the 1990s. First I read J.H.Adams's "The Paris of Thomas Jefferson," which covers the years when Jefferson was American minister there, 1784 to 1789. The second book, Adam Gopnik's "Paris t...
by Macmungo
Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How did u diversify before mutual funds?
Replies: 26
Views: 1622

Re: How did u diversify before mutual funds?

When my grandfather sold the business he had built in about 1924 he invested the proceeds in "gilt-edged" dividend-paying stocks such as First National City Bank, Kennecott Copper, Eastman Kodak and the like. He put even more into rental commercial real-estate and speculative raw land in F...
by Macmungo
Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads' "Rags to Riches" Stories
Replies: 107
Views: 20029

Re: Bogleheads' "Rags to Riches" Stories

Some of you might be interested in comparing the upwardly-mobile map of the US with a map of the distribution of black people in the US. Just google "map black population US".
by Macmungo
Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annual termite inspection / retreatment. Stumped in Raleigh.
Replies: 21
Views: 7695

Re: Annual termite inspection / retreatment. Stumped in Rale

Also in the Triangle NC area. Five-year retreatment for termite control done a few weeks ago. Two-story house with crawl space, attached two-car garage on slab. Heavily wooded on two sides. Cost $824. Annual inspection $107.50, years ago was $85. Termidor was used. Crew took a long time, looked very...
by Macmungo
Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: What is your rate of return YTD?
Replies: 89
Views: 7786

Re: POLL: What is your rate of return YTD?

ROI year to date is 4.9%. This is more than we've spent. Equities are 22% of AA. Object is capital preservation.
by Macmungo
Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many square feet is your home?
Replies: 162
Views: 14545

Re: How many square feet is your home?

Two people, 2860 sq ft, and we use all of it. Two of the five upstairs rooms are heavily used home offices. The downstairs consists of three big spaces (not "rooms") that open into one another. We have been deaccessioning religiously for two years but the place still looks overfull. I like...
by Macmungo
Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to cut the cable cord
Replies: 67
Views: 8171

Re: Want to cut the cable cord

If "cutting the cable cord" means giving up C-SPAN in general and BOOK-TV in particular I wouldn't do it. Taken together it seems to me that the C-SPAN operations make up the widest and deepest coverage of political and cultural affairs available on TV.
by Macmungo
Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple, High Quality Dishwasher?
Replies: 25
Views: 3649

Re: Simple, High Quality Dishwasher?

Perhaps we are reading different issues of Consumer Reports. Among the top 50 dishwashers listed on pages 47-48 of the issue of July, 2013, 8 are made by Bosch. Not "31".
by Macmungo
Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do the majority of people pay their Credit Card bill online
Replies: 117
Views: 9410

Re: Do the majority of people pay their Credit Card bill onl

A perhaps perverse but simple question: Is it possible to pay a credit card debt with cash?
by Macmungo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wrist Watches
Replies: 81
Views: 9822

Re: Wrist Watches

For everyday wear I use a cheap Casio digital that shows the date, the day and the month. For special occasions I wear my old Rolex, bought in Zurich in 1970 for $300 and now going for $1000 on EBay. It's too good for everyday use, but it's been a thing of beauty and a joy since 1970.
by Macmungo
Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spanish language immersion for toddler
Replies: 21
Views: 1949

Re: Spanish language immersion for toddler

Spanish has as many different accents as English. For example, outside Castile a Castilian accent used to be perceived in the way an American would have heard upper-class English. I was taught to speak with an "educated" Mexican accent, which served me well in Mexico, Spain and other place...
by Macmungo
Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace Central Air Conditioning System?
Replies: 32
Views: 7396

Re: Replace Central Air Conditioning System?

The upper half of our dual 1989 Trane air-conditioning system died Monday and was replaced Thursday. The replacement is a Carrier STEER 13 system, cost $3100 (presumably the future lower half will cost the same).We took this because we needed it quickly for medical reasons and did not shop around be...
by Macmungo
Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: traveller nostalgia- [Int'l Herald Tribune] cancelled
Replies: 20
Views: 1571

Re: traveller nostalgia- [Int'l Herald Tribune] cancelled

It seemed to me that the quality of the International Herald Tribune went down after the NY Times pushed the Washington Post out of joint ownership around 2003. I thought the Trib was better than either of its owners - but it was aimed at a very specific audience.
by Macmungo
Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of rats while keeping a birdfeeder
Replies: 31
Views: 21031

Re: Getting rid of rats while keeping a birdfeeder

If you're willing to take on a dog, get a rat terrier (see avatar on right). They are death on rats, moles, voles, rabbits and like vermin. They are also very amiable pets. Google "rat terrier".
by Macmungo
Thu May 30, 2013 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Walkable Place to Retire
Replies: 86
Views: 10441

Re: Best Walkable Place to Retire

There are areas (not new but not all that old) within Sarasota, Florida, where most goods and services can be reached by foot.

Whoops! I just noticed that Sarasota is mentioned above.
by Macmungo
Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How important is a good school district?
Replies: 65
Views: 4551

Re: How important is a good school district?

Keep things in perspective. To give your child the best education possible you might consider other elements alongside "school": namely your family, your community, and your church. "Rodc" says something of the kind. In other words, the combination of a strong family and church m...
by Macmungo
Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Five Really Dumb Money Moves You've Got to Avoid
Replies: 24
Views: 5078

Re: Five Really Dumb Money Moves You've Got to Avoid

Mostly right.As someone else noted,long-term bonds are not always a bad idea. Every time I see them I pat the 30-year 7.5% treasuries that I bought years ago at well below face value on their plump little tummies. And they will outlast me. The opportunity may come again Of course, your action depend...
by Macmungo
Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your most intense movie scene
Replies: 155
Views: 15598

Re: Your most intense movie scene

The earliest movies seen affected me the most intensely. I can still remember the jolts of:
1)Heidi's separation from her grandfather in the 1937 movie of that name.
2)The death of Bambi's mother in "Bambi" (1942).
by Macmungo
Sun May 13, 2012 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: London Whale, JP Morgan and (safety of)Our/My Vanguard Money
Replies: 40
Views: 4129

Re: London Whale, JP Morgan and (safety of)Our/My Vanguard M

Isn't JP Morgan Chase the custodian for TIAA-CREF as well as Vanguard? That's a lot of stuff to have in custody.
by Macmungo
Mon May 07, 2012 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long will you live?
Replies: 50
Views: 3904

Re: How long will you live?

The calculator says I have seventeen more years. Last month my doctor said I have a 50% chance of surviving for four years. I'm willing to split the difference.
by Macmungo
Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: are you a muppet?
Replies: 26
Views: 2760

Re: are you a muppet?

Now I know that I am a muppet. Does this mean what I think it means? That the custodian of the assets of Vanguard (and many other fund types) is actually JP Morgan Chase (and other such organizations)? Sometimes known as "TBTF" (too-big-to-fail) organizations.) Scary.
by Macmungo
Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you feed your dog?
Replies: 65
Views: 5157

Re: What do you feed your dog?

This is really a mouthful; we feed our 4-yr old, 12-lb Rat Terrier (see avatar) "Natural Balanced Original Ultra Reduced Calorie Formula". She gets 1/4 cup in the morning, 1/4 cup in the evening. She came from a shelter a year ago and seems to be thriving.
by Macmungo
Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are you doing YTD?
Replies: 68
Views: 4812

Year to date

Year to date: 75% Fixed Income, 18% Equities, 7% Cash. ROI is +2.3%.
by Macmungo
Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Just What is Wall Street?
Replies: 44
Views: 4148

Wall Street

"Wall Street" is a road in the District of Columbia that connects the Capitol, the White House, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Normally heavily traveled, at the moment it is gridlocked.
by Macmungo
Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Trouble With Experts - Documentary Video
Replies: 3
Views: 451

experts

Looks like an interesting piece, but when I try to run it I get the message that it "cannot be streamed outside of Canada."
by Macmungo
Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 372858

Graham Robb's "Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris." He builds a solid picture, block by block. Will be followed by McCullough's new history of Americans in Paris. Anyone read it?
by Macmungo
Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawn Mole problems
Replies: 25
Views: 2866

I recommend getting a Rat Terrier (see picture at left). ours digs up on average one mole a week. (You'll have few moles and lots of holes.)
by Macmungo
Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time 100 Best [and Most Influential] Nonfiction Books
Replies: 36
Views: 4859

Influential Books

Surely a peculiar list, in both choice and classification. You could probably come up with 100 other "most influential since 1923" books and not include any of these. And classification - "The Best and the Brightest" is good political journalism, by no stretch "history"...
by Macmungo
Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would it take for the different indexes to go down?
Replies: 10
Views: 1209

Index decline

Has anyone held the Nikkei 225 for the past few years?
by Macmungo
Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poll: I didn't just stand there: I did something
Replies: 81
Views: 8436

Don't stand there

I tax-loss harvested in anticipation of rebalancing into large cap US. I didn't quite finish it, since I felt I was stranded on the median of a six-lane highway in heavy traffic. And when it was all over I was virtually flat on the week.
by Macmungo
Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about condo/townhouse special assessments
Replies: 35
Views: 5209

Condo assessments

I was on the board of a NYC co-op (built 1927) for some years and lived for a longer period in a NJ condo built in 1987. No unexpected assessments were ever made in either. Why? 1) We had more than adequate reserve funds that were supported by realistic monthly maintenances. 2) We had excellent (esp...
by Macmungo
Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: anybody calling Peak in Gold?
Replies: 74
Views: 8291

Gold

I sold my GLD last Thursday. Had held it for about two years, so a nice profit. In long run (or even short) no one knows where it will go. But I figured I'd need to top up my large cap US allocation in the near future and I'd use the proceeds to do it. Of course, I'll wait until the SP 500 hits its ...
by Macmungo
Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: was the forum this anxious in 2008?
Replies: 46
Views: 7295

"Stay the Course"

Isn't the response to the admonition to "stay the course" completely dependent upon the length of the course and your position on the course? Taken by itself it is meaningless.
by Macmungo
Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your current rate of return for this year?
Replies: 82
Views: 7880

Returns 2011

Interesting how close together many are.

Through 7/29/11 ROI is 3.5%. 19% in equities, which include GLD and Reits.
by Macmungo
Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Central Air Replacement
Replies: 68
Views: 9344

If it is working fine, and you are planning to sell in a short time, I don't think I would invest the money. I suppose the key would be whether a home inspector would consider the equipment functional and acceptable to a buyer. Your maintenance records will show the unit to be properly maintained. ...
by Macmungo
Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Central Air Replacement
Replies: 68
Views: 9344

Furnace/Air conditioning replacement

Curious about what comentators might advise: We plan on moving within the next year or two. Like our house, our furnace/air conditioning (Trane) is twenty years old. It has been regularly maintained and works well (like its owners). Given its age, would it be good insurance to replace it now? Or sho...
by Macmungo
Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What did people do before Social Security?
Replies: 65
Views: 8366

As to before Social Security: Yes, extended families helped. But up to the generation before SS an enormous number of people (and their spouses), both North and South, had Federal or State Civil War pensions. Anyone old enough to remember those stories about a fifteen-year old girl marrying a 80 yea...
by Macmungo
Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age does it go downhill
Replies: 140
Views: 18575

Downhill

When I became an orphan. I was 75.