Search found 196 matches

by xb7
Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 454
Views: 77826

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I just finished a fairly recent sci fi book that I quite liked, " The Calculating Stars " by Mary Robinette Kowal Good writing, sucked me right in and kept me happily reading to the end (and there's a sequel coming soon I think). My wife is reading it now, and equally enjoying it, which is certainly...
by xb7
Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anybody belong to the Better Investing Club?
Replies: 13
Views: 1157

Re: Does anybody belong to the Better Investing Club?

One does not join any club - bowling, knitting, stock-selection or otherwise - in order to become a world champion bowler, knitter or stock selector. One joins in order to have some fun, enjoy some camaraderie, meet some interesting people, and perhaps learn something new. I was a member of an NAIC...
by xb7
Thu May 28, 2020 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips to stick to a weight loss diet?
Replies: 183
Views: 9933

Re: Tips to stick to a weight loss diet?

The "limited hours of eating" thing is whats' worked best for me so far on a sustainable basis, and "sustainable" is IMO what it's all about. In particular, I focused on just keeping my eating within a particular time window. For me, this is no eating before 8 am or after 6 pm. So not super restrict...
by xb7
Wed May 20, 2020 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the stock market up? [thread multi-merge]
Replies: 521
Views: 21263

Re: "The economy is in free fall. So why isn't the stock market?"

I believe that it was in David Stein's latest episode of the Money for the Rest of Us podcast that I learned that only about 17% of American workers are employed by S&P 500 firms. 17%. That alone should illustrate how the stock market does not parallel the economy. Interesting thought --- thanks! O...
by xb7
Mon May 04, 2020 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a locking mailbox necessary or helpful, or more hassle than it's worth?
Replies: 43
Views: 2355

Re: Is a locking mailbox necessary or helpful, or more hassle than it's worth?

18 years without an issue is impressive, but things can change, and thieves can easily drive into your neighborhood as well as any other, unless you're in a gated community. For travel or just in general it's comforting to know that if we miss a day or two or even a week (it's a big box) we'll be ok...
by xb7
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mesh Wifi
Replies: 130
Views: 9388

Re: Mesh Wifi

Can’t take advantage of WiFi 6e without devices that support it. The new iPhone SE is one, any others? Correct, of course, but I find that I replace a phone or a tablet significantly more frequently than I do a router. Thus, again, the suggestion that if a person is thinking of getting a new router...
by xb7
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mesh Wifi
Replies: 130
Views: 9388

Re: Mesh Wifi

Upgrading to a faster router doesn't do much for you unless your router is the choke point for your internet. Even cheap routers like the Archer A7 will have no problem at speeds well above the average speed delivered to U.S. households. Unless your internet speed is above 200 Mbps or you do signif...
by xb7
Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mesh Wifi
Replies: 130
Views: 9388

Re: Mesh Wifi

My router works well overall, but I've been thinking that when WIFI 6E mesh routers arrive (not WIFI 6, but WIFI 6 E ) and have been around awhile and evaluated that I might upgrade at that point. I've watched with some bewilderment in recent months as different computer magazines and other articles...
by xb7
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Just to point out, This year I intend to get my $60 from grub hub when I pick up food. Also, Chase has some offers when using a particular card and I received $20 from auto zone via my CSR. A couple of lyft discounts all of which makes the annual fee just a little but smaller. No doubt. Maybe I'll ...
by xb7
Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

... - what do you use as a value for points? ThePointsGuy website values? Am I missing anything else? Everyone is a bit different on this. Thus far I've only redeemed points through the portal, and only when the equivalent price is about the same as I can get elsewhere, so it's easy for me --- I ha...
by xb7
Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

You can have more than 1 Freedom card and so can your spouse. I'm not interested in doing this (KISS principle again) but am curious --- this is a new concept for me. So I have a Freedom card in my name, and I go to Chase and say "I'd like to apply for a Freedom card" ?? I'm not challenging you her...
by xb7
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Some of the really big value for us comes from the 5x freedom categories as well as the ink 5x category. As I stated above, I value the CSR at 1.4 cents per point since I purchase hotels stays with it as well. So when I get something at 5 points that is an additional 2 cents at that valuation. Just...
by xb7
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Just to point out, This year I intend to get my $60 from grub hub when I pick up food. Also, Chase has some offers when using a particular card and I received $20 from auto zone via my CSR. A couple of lyft discounts all of which makes the annual fee just a little but smaller. No doubt. Maybe I'll ...
by xb7
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I hate to say it, but this is a math problem for you. They are all good options depending on your needs. If you travel a lot then the CSR is the best option because your points are worth anywhere between 4-4.5 cents per point which could far surpass the WF card or the CSP despite its fee. I think y...
by xb7
Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

What I learned is that I am not getting 1.5 cents per point because sometimes the portal is not the least expensive option and I miss out on some alternative options that can be more efficient and therefor I think I should stop valuing those points at 1.5 cents and maybe count them as 1.3 - 1.4 cen...
by xb7
Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

"Anyone with the Chase system care to comment, is it limiting to book travel through their system?" I've done so a few times and found it hit-or-miss: sometimes I find the same flight or hotel in and out of the portal to be about the same cost, and book via the portal when it is. Others I find it m...
by xb7
Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Avoid Advertisements & Commercials?
Replies: 84
Views: 4811

Re: Do You Avoid Advertisements & Commercials?

This thread certainly touched a nerve ... lots of feedback, most of which are similar to what I would say. A couple of things I didn't see mentioned in a quick skim of the many replies ... In terms of internet ads, I'm not bothered much by static ads. It's the ones that move that bug the heck out of...
by xb7
Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the difference between Uber and Lyft?
Replies: 63
Views: 5418

Re: What's the difference between Uber and Lyft?

I've never used Uber, but just started using Lyft while on a trip recently because my credit card (Chase Sapphire Reserve) now gives some Lyft benefits. Overall I liked it a lot, with one caveat: I ordered "shared rides" for my wife and I --- because that was noticably cheaper sometimes --- and one ...
by xb7
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 469
Views: 41945

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

Break-even is if you spend at least $861 per month on travel and dining. If you don't, it's better to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred in most cases. Sapphire Reserve : $10,333 x 3 points per dollar = 31,000 Ultimate Rewards points 31,000 x 1.5 cents = $465 Sapphire Preferred : $10,333 x 2 points p...
by xb7
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4663
Views: 905483

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Yeah, the nice thing about the Chase Portal is that it's really easy to use. You don't have to go hunting for the best "deal" in terms of miles, you can just pick whichever flight that you want and then it will apply a credit. You also don't have to have enough miles to cover the entire cost, you c...
by xb7
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firm mattress recommendations
Replies: 37
Views: 2237

Re: Firm mattress recommendations

I think that what makes the 'ideal' mattress varies so much that you can't rely on someone else's recommendation, though maybe if you like extra firm, then recommendations from folks with a similar preference MIGHT help. This is all relevant for me as I went through this recently. Had a supposedly q...
by xb7
Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard RMD Service
Replies: 14
Views: 3272

Re: Vanguard RMD Service

W.r.t. RMD Service, I read on Vanguard's site that " You can take your RMD amount only from Vanguard mutual funds ". Here: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/rmd.pdf (well, until that link ultimately breaks too, but that's where it is today anyway) Assuming that they mean open-end funds and not ETFs ...
by xb7
Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you prefer etfs or mutual funds?
Replies: 271
Views: 10082

Re: Vanguard phasing out regular mutual fund shares?

It’s only a matter of time before one of Vanguard/Fidelity/Schwab allows automatic whole-dollar purchase of ETFs with predictable (ie at or very close to NAV) execution. My money is on Schwab launching this by the end of the 2020. Part of me even wonders if Vanguard wants out of the brokerage busin...
by xb7
Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:29 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Seattle Area Chapter Meetings - Master Thread
Replies: 185
Views: 49493

Re: Seattle Area Chapter Meetings - Master Thread

The food at food court of market place was awful and expensive. next meet should happened in McDonald, happy meal is much more boglehead. Interesting how perspectives vary. I live not too-o far from there and have eaten at the food court a lot over the years; the food has never been "awful". It's a...
by xb7
Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Xfinity cost comparison?
Replies: 30
Views: 1897

Re: Xfinity cost comparison?

To be clear, we get JUST internet from xfinity. I don't want to be tied in with phone, tv, mobile phone, home security, or whatever other services they try to bundle. Because I always do want to have the flexibility to switch with minimal effort and hassle. Just to be clear, while you need to have ...
by xb7
Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Xfinity cost comparison?
Replies: 30
Views: 1897

Re: Xfinity cost comparison?

$66.95 monthly for "Internet Performance Plus". I downgraded to that a year or more ago and haven't seen any issue as a result --- and I stream on two tv's at once, use internet for other stuff beyond just PC/tablet/phone access. I don't stream 4k TV, however, FWIW. Until I looked just now I had ass...
by xb7
Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Genworth raising LTCi premiums 150% over next 5-7 years
Replies: 165
Views: 9043

Re: Genworth raising LTCi premiums 150% over next 5-7 years

We purchased the policy 15 years ago when we were 50, having been sold a false bill of goods that our premiums would stay stable and low because we were buying it " young" . A big lie that was !!! ... ... Not happy, had I known this would have happened I would not have purchased this policy years a...
by xb7
Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?
Replies: 84
Views: 7419

Re: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?

Hmm, small world --- my family did a couple of weeks of language classes in Cuernavaca ("the city of eternal spring") many years ago when my daughters were young; sorry to hear about problems there now. I've done language classes in Costa Rica and in Spain, but you've been to Costa Rica and say that...
by xb7
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those with USAA [who moved to Vanguard]
Replies: 29
Views: 2964

Re: Those with USAA

I too have been with USAA a long time, since I was in ROTC in the 1970's. Had a car accident when in the service in Germany and they were fantastic. I just assumed that they were a great company since, never compared. A wake-up moment for me was when I took a look at credit card rewards a couple of ...
by xb7
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo Dot
Replies: 77
Views: 4060

Re: Amazon Echo Dot

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:16 pm
And yet prior Amazon employees say otherwise.
Reference please?
by xb7
Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo Dot
Replies: 77
Views: 4060

Re: Amazon Echo Dot

I think these things are great so long as you don't have privacy concerns, and your expectations are tuned close to current reality --- both for better but also very much for worse, this isn't the HAL 9000 from "2001 A Space Odyssey". Well, the "open the pod bay doors, HAL" scenario is quite real: ...
by xb7
Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo Dot
Replies: 77
Views: 4060

Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Does it cost extra for the music?
Amazon Prime offers quite a bit of music, and it can connect to some other music streaming services I believe. If you want the high-end Amazon music service you do have to pay extra for that. There's a lot out there just for the Prime customer however.
by xb7
Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo Dot
Replies: 77
Views: 4060

Re: Amazon Echo Dot

It's often not that great at answering natural language questions of any complexity. I find the most consistent success if the first word in my question is to use "wikipedia" as a verb. If you have one of the units that has a screen of any sort, it can be nice to see the lyrics to music that's playi...
by xb7
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Streaming Device?
Replies: 34
Views: 1878

Re: Another Streaming Device?

I agree with those commenting about the Fire Cube. If it were just a comparison of fire stick vs. roku stick, I'd go with Roku. I DO on occasion find that Amazon hasn't got everything just completely fleshed out and perfect, especially with its DVR, and I'm wishing I had waited for the second genera...
by xb7
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cable Cord Cutting more complicated than expected
Replies: 96
Views: 8316

Re: Cable Cord Cutting more complicated than expected

OTA (over-the-air) antenna and a DVR works for me for getting local channels, including PBS. No charge, just some initial setup. It's possible to get a DVR that has no monthly fees either, in which case your only cost is the up-front cost of whatever hardware (antenna, DVR, cabling, etc). We use Ama...
by xb7
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Seattle Area Chapter Meetings - Master Thread
Replies: 185
Views: 49493

Re: Seattle Area Chapter Meetings - Master Thread

I just want to thank everyone who turned out yesterday for the lunch at Crossroads Bellevue. It was a big group with a lot of new faces and some vets! We had a great conversation about cash management accounts, taxes, the Bogleheads 2019 conference, and more! I always come away from these meetings ...
by xb7
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Factoring heirs into overall asset allocation
Replies: 10
Views: 843

Re: Factoring heirs into overall asset allocation

One approach would be to make an estimate of the sizes of those two pools of money, and then separately work out what might be an appropriate glide path for each. What you haven't considered is the glidepath of the heirs themselves and how they're tracking and whether your pot mixes with their pot....
by xb7
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Factoring heirs into overall asset allocation
Replies: 10
Views: 843

Factoring heirs into overall asset allocation

I've seen this topic mentioned in passing in other threads, but haven't seen any that focus on this one aspect of asset allocation. Assume that you have more money than you're likely to spend in your lifetime (yes, always a guess, but still). And that you want to pass the bulk of the remainder to on...
by xb7
Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the Cord & Live Television
Replies: 45
Views: 3488

Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

In addition (?) to whatever streaming service(s) you might incline towards, I would encourage you to get a DVR and record local channels if you're anywhere near an urban center or in general are not too far from a cluster of broadcast antennas. We have Amazon Prime and Netflix, and do watch shows on...
by xb7
Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser in Seattle/Tacoma?
Replies: 8
Views: 1313

Re: Kaiser in Seattle/Tacoma?

Our insurer (Regence) decided to stop issuing individual policies in WA state as of two years ago, and so we switched to Kaiser. My wife and I find that we like the facilities and the care and doctors just fine. We find the administration is somewhat klunky and requires patience. For example, there ...
by xb7
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?
Replies: 26
Views: 3929

Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

I have a soda stream too, and it works great for me. I think the fizz lasts just fine, and my local water is fine to drink. "Plain old water" is something that I don't tend to want to drink unless I'm pretty thirsty, but carbonate it and then I skip flavored drinks of various types. If you find that...
by xb7
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 110
Views: 10992

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

Some countries (Spain for one) require everyone to carry a national ID, and a U.S. state driver's license doesn't count. So probably good practice to always have your passport with you unless you know for sure it is not required. So what about tourists visiting Spain? What is the penalty? That's in...
by xb7
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 110
Views: 10992

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

I think it has to be situational, no one approach fits all situations. A lot of people say "hotel safe", but I don't always stay in hotels --- hiking, for example, where I have everything on my back or (once recently) used a service moves extra stuff while I hike with a lighter pack. Or a biking tri...
by xb7
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: checking Amazon Store Card billings
Replies: 10
Views: 1045

Re: checking Amazon Store Card billings

I went through this, and found it a PITA --- these days the order screen shows less info than it used to, and drilling down to the invoice for each order is tedious if you buy more than a few things in a given month. If you've purchased quite a few things from Amazon in a given month, what I suggest...
by xb7
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Bicycles
Replies: 116
Views: 10152

Re: Electric Bicycles

You have a link to that study? I'm a bit skeptical on that and would like to look at the data. Finally did try an ebike a couple weeks ago. I'm looking into getting a conversion kit for an older bike (with much better components than many ebikes out there) because I'd like to get one for a means to...
by xb7
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beyond Meat Burger? Do you like?
Replies: 119
Views: 10465

Re: Beyond Meat Burger? Do you like?

I too ordered it at a local restaurant to try it out. My reaction was sort of "meh". Certainly edible, nothing I'd be inclined to order again, and for me at least, definitely not as tasty as an actual beef burger. What I prefer are black bean vegetarian burgers. I've had a couple of brands of these ...
by xb7
Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard said to offer Digital Advisory Service [Robo-Advisor]
Replies: 111
Views: 10631

Re: Vanguard said to offer Digital Advisory Service [Robo-Advisor]

I'm curious though - what kind of fee system would you propose in its place where the adviser is also the custodian? If the custodian "perpetually" manages/is in charge of the money, wouldn't that suggest a perpetual fee of some sort? In general I prefer the NAPFA approach --- fee-only financial pl...
by xb7
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard said to offer Digital Advisory Service [Robo-Advisor]
Replies: 111
Views: 10631

Re: Vanguard said to offer Digital Advisory Service [Robo-Advisor]

I don't want to repost the same thing, but for some reason, you're missing or not accepting that the behavioral finance aspect of having an adviser is going to be stronger (on average) than a DIYer with no adviser. Rephrased, regardless of whether the end portfolio is the same, as a DIY you have no...
by xb7
Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Morningstar Premium for $99
Replies: 46
Views: 13603

Re: Morningstar Premium for $99

I, too, can get free access through public library but there doesn't seem to be any way to save information specific to me in a personal account. I'm guessing they provide public library access, but the library account doesn't have all the features of a personal account. For X-ray, I can go to the ...
by xb7
Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard said to offer Digital Advisory Service [Robo-Advisor]
Replies: 111
Views: 10631

Re: Vanguard said to offer Digital Advisory Service [Robo-Advisor]

Just say "no" to AUM (Assets Under Management) schemes. Half of something bad is still something bad. Is it really that much harder or time consuming to generate a plan for, say, a $5 million portfolio as it is for a $1 million portfolio or a $100,000 portfolio? Especially if, as some have suggeste...