Search found 161 matches

by xb7
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Seattle Area Chapter Meetings - Master Thread
Replies: 143
Views: 37483

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: 8
Views: 430

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: 8
Views: 430

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: 2938

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: 1095

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: 25
Views: 2746

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: 9516

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: 9516

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: 944

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: 9327

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: 9435

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: 85
Views: 7344

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: 85
Views: 7344

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: 11865

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: 85
Views: 7344

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...
by xb7
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard said to offer Digital Advisory Service [Robo-Advisor]
Replies: 85
Views: 7344

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 suggested...
by xb7
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: T-mobile vs Google Fi for Internatioanal?
Replies: 31
Views: 2104

Re: T-mobile vs Google Fi for Internatioanal?

One more mostly positive for T-Mobile. And the "Mostly positive" comment should be taken in the context of "none of the options are perfect". My wife and I too are on the 55+ plan, and grandfathered in to a lower rate than new people signing up, which --- while, yes that's sort of a golden handcuff ...
by xb7
Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Chase Sapphire Reserve Cards or one CSR + 1 other
Replies: 12
Views: 1374

Re: Two Chase Sapphire Reserve Cards or one CSR + 1 other

I agree with just one CSR. That's what my wife and I do --- a CSR in my name, and I just pay for all travel and dining. A Freedom Unlimited in my name and she has a free add-on card for the same account. Only minor downside I can think of is if she wants to travel or eat out without me, we don't get...
by xb7
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'm becoming very dissatisfied with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel bookings. More than once in the past year Chase has no flights that are readily available on United. If available, they're usually the same price as directly with United. But this last week was a doozy. I looked at Chase and foun...
by xb7
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway
Replies: 151
Views: 15338

Re: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway

" What is the single most useful piece of knowledge that you have learned here at Bogleheads? " I had read about, and was already sold on the Boglehead approach before I knew about this site, so technically, at least, I didn't get any of the basic stuff here . I read "Random Walk" many years ago, a...
by xb7
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally bank app vs Bank of America app
Replies: 8
Views: 846

Re: Ally bank app vs Bank of America app

I use the Ally app reasonably often, and with the fingerprint login I find it's faster in general to access accounts via an Android device vs. a windows browser --- FWIW. The Ally app works well for me. One caveat I can think of is that for some reason Ally splits functionality between two different...
by xb7
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trail running shoes for light hiking
Replies: 48
Views: 3534

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Apologies in advance for the length of this post; don't read if you're not really interested in the topic! I'm impressed by a lot of the comments in this thread. Not so much, however, with the ones that say "I like this particular brand", because as some of the first posts said --- getting the right...
by xb7
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards Rewards Strategies - AmEx vs AmEx
Replies: 7
Views: 1182

Re: Credit Cards Rewards Strategies - AmEx vs AmEx

The Amex Platinum was for me a card that I had to work at to justify the annual fee, typically involving what to me are sort of 'games' that I found that I don't want to play --- for example, using the travel credit to get delta eGift cards to later spend on flights, but that loophole is shut down n...
by xb7
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active
Replies: 87
Views: 5143

Re: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active

I just use it for a micro purchase. For example at work a cup of coffee is $1.25. Hmm, this along with one of the mobile payment apps (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, whatever) --- that could be very easy to do "once in a while". I.e., with a mobile payment app, you don't have to carry the phys...
by xb7
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active
Replies: 87
Views: 5143

Re: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active

Dues payments or membership fees to various organizations can sometimes be fairly small. Our garbage bill isn't a lot per month, though they bill it quarterly. Newspaper subscription. Possible to donate a fairly small amount on a regular basis to a charity I would think? I think it really comes down...
by xb7
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Putting my wallet on a diet
Replies: 17
Views: 1883

Re: Putting my wallet on a diet

Follow-up, I just checked and at least Costco does allow a sort of 'digital card'. Unfortunately not using a general purpose solution like the mobile payment apps, you have to install the Costco app. But still. https://customerservice.costco.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8949/~/digital-membership-card...
by xb7
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Putting my wallet on a diet
Replies: 17
Views: 1883

Re: Putting my wallet on a diet

I hate carrying the "member" cards like Target, Kroger, Costco. I have no experience at actually USING this, but at least one mobile payment solution (Google Pay I think?) allows users to add loyalty cards --- so that the physical cards don't have to be carried. If the whole trend towards " everyth...
by xb7
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Putting my wallet on a diet
Replies: 17
Views: 1883

Re: Putting my wallet on a diet

I put an app on my phone that allows me to keep a set of photos hidden and password protected, so I have photos of both sides of medical card and dental insurance card there (along with car registration, passport image, other stuff). what is the app you are using? It's an android app called "Galler...
by xb7
Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Putting my wallet on a diet
Replies: 17
Views: 1883

Re: Putting my wallet on a diet

I'm curious if Ally has an option for me to eliminate the debit card. If not, I'll be forced to carry my Debit card around. I never carry cash unless I need to temporarily pull some out. The benefit of this approach is if I lose everything (phone and wallet), the biggest pain is worrying about my I...
by xb7
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Putting my wallet on a diet
Replies: 17
Views: 1883

Putting my wallet on a diet

Over the years I've slimmed down my wallet, keeping ever less stuff in it. I read an article in this week's 'Economist' that the U.S. is behind some other countries in a trend that could see a time when carrying a wallet is a thing of the past. I like the idea of a minimal wallet for two reasons: (1...
by xb7
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

One of the things I like about using Samsung Pay on my Galaxy is that I can leave NFC off to save the battery. Swipe up from the bottom opens the Samsung Pay app without unlocking the phone and turns NFC on automatically. It shuts off when the transaction is complete. Google Pay requires me to unlo...
by xb7
Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

" In US ApplePay is not universal, but in Europe is everywhere. " I'm definitely more of a fan of Samsung Pay, though I have a Samsung phone. Quoting from this article: https://www.business.com/articles/google-pay-vs-apple-pay-vs-samsung-pay/ One advantage of Samsung Pay is it works with most card r...
by xb7
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?
Replies: 129
Views: 8940

Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

I just went through this literally yesterday. Like a previous poster, my wife and I have T-Mobiles "55 and over" plan where we pay $60 per month for service for both of us, so $30/month each. This includes unlimited calling, texting, and 4G internet. As an aside, hiking in Europe recently I found th...
by xb7
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Savings vs Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund - Need Advice
Replies: 99
Views: 20870

Re: Ally Savings vs Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund - Need Advice

Not completely on-topic, but I opened an Ally account earlier this year because of the change at Vanguard (and of VanguardAdvantage). I've found Ally to be a good choice overall, except if I have to interact with them in any way beyond automated stuff. I went through a bit of a saga trying to get ch...
by xb7
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

There's nothing wrong with a CSR+CFU combination from Chase. It's a really competitive and compelling offering, and the CFU pays 3X on everything up to $20K for the first year. But you have to be somewhat flexible with how you spend your points (gotta transfer to an airline for award seats and can'...
by xb7
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yet another ETF premium/discount discussion
Replies: 28
Views: 1128

Re: Yet another ETF premium/discount discussion

To the OP's question, I don't know if the bid/ask spread effect is greater than the difference in expense ratio. It would be great if Vanguard published some research on the subject. My hunch is they are the same and the difference in expense ratio reflects that. FWIW, I didn't bring up bid/ask, my...
by xb7
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Not really because I believe in concentrating firepower, so to speak. All or nothing with UR, MR or cash back. If you mix and match then you'll earn some UR here, some MR there and it'll take too long to earn enough of any one point currency to cash them in on any sort of reward. I guess this would...
by xb7
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yet another ETF premium/discount discussion
Replies: 28
Views: 1128

Re: Yet another ETF premium/discount discussion

OP is your concern that the NAV end of day may leave you less or cost you more than trading real time? And you do not want that uncertainty. I'm unconcerned about the premium/discount on a day-to-day basis, and I live just fine with uncertainty in general. I just want to get a sense for how much a ...
by xb7
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yet another ETF premium/discount discussion
Replies: 28
Views: 1128

Re: Yet another ETF premium/discount discussion

A premium or discount of 0.2% is literally an order of magnitude higher than any reasonable expectation for the kinds of ETFs you are discussing. The vast majority of the time (and I mean like 99.9999% of the time), these four ETFs are going to trade within 0.025% of their actual NAV. In fact, when...
by xb7
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yet another ETF premium/discount discussion
Replies: 28
Views: 1128

Yet another ETF premium/discount discussion

Apologies if this strikes anyone as the start of a redundant thread, but I have searched and found multiple discussions on this topic over the years on this site, but nothing seemed to get quite at what I'm looking for --- or possibly I just didn't understand something that did! Background: I'm head...
by xb7
Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any insurance beating USAA?
Replies: 42
Views: 3407

Re: Any insurance beating USAA?

Because USAA rates are based in part on the level of USAA membership, it's difficult to make meaningful cost comparisons with other policy holders without knowing this important piece of information. Exactly. For example, officers (and former officers) are in one class. Adult dependents of officers...
by xb7
Sun May 12, 2019 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Premier Plus Checking - How to earn maximum interest?
Replies: 17
Views: 1495

Re: Chase Premier Plus Checking - How to earn maximum interest?

For those that have served in the armed forces (and were honorably discharged), Chase waives the minimal balance or monthly fee... just bring in proof of honorable discharge. I haven't gotten around to doing this yet and converting my standard checking account, but plan to. No huge benefits, but may...
by xb7
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I use UR because they are easy. So far, I did not have a reason to put effort into learning other options. That's my feeling too. I'm just dipping my toe into Chase UR rewards so far, but I too want a simple approach, even though Delta and Alaska are the most common flights out of my region (we do ...
by xb7
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Does the Chase Amazon card, with 5%, give chase ultimate reward points, or does it give amazon credit? Like, can I get this card, set it for my payment card for Amazon, and through the chase portal have autopay setup, then leave this card in my desk drawer? Chase Amazon does NOT give URs. There are...
by xb7
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphones with Least Bloatware
Replies: 29
Views: 7581

Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Much of the bloatware actually comes from the carrier. You can get around this by getting an unlocked phone. I was quite surprised with the difference between a carrier branded and unlocked of the same phone model. Great thought. With the caveat that on occasion, not having a carrier-provided phone...
by xb7
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Sorry, I should add that digital payments still don't work at most gas stations (looking back I see that my last post could have implied that). Unlike Google Pay and Apple Pay, Samsung Pay is great insofar as it works not just with designated NFC (near field communications) payment-enabled locations...
by xb7
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I never shop at Whole Foods. Rather, I will need the Amazon card in the wallet for the 2% at gas stations and restaurants when they are not covered by the Freedom 5% quarterly categories. I haven’t made the leap to digital payments yet. Requires iOS Touch ID activation, which I have resisted due to...
by xb7
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphones with Least Bloatware
Replies: 29
Views: 7581

Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Another possibility if you're not "technically averse" is to just pick the phone you like, then root it, i.e., gain root level operating system permissions and then just uninstall the bloatware. I've rooted a device or two, but I don't do this during the first year or two of ownership because I don'...
by xb7
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794303

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I have to stop it somewhere, or I’ll be sitting on napkins, crushing hard candy, and having unexpected explosions with my Costanza wallet. If you don't [often] shop at Whole Foods, you can safely leave your Amazon branded card at home anyway. Another way to reduce the "wallet is too thick" problem ...
by xb7
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mobile phone security software
Replies: 8
Views: 727

Re: Mobile phone security software

I use Norton on my PC and there's a free app included for my Android phone so I have that on there, but don't know if it helps much. There are a lot of different types of security for a phone, from VPN to antivirus to software that can brick your phone if it's stolen to various forms of security to ...