Search found 153 matches

by valleyrock
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on WiFi vs. Wired at Home?
Replies: 34
Views: 2208

Re: Advice on WiFi vs. Wired at Home?

Consider the powerline approach. It works for us. See, for example: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/everything-you-need-to-know-about-powerline-networking/ It's pretty smart technology, using the AC wires in your house to transmit WiFi. (You have to plug directly into the sockets.) We have s...
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Website says password expired
Replies: 11
Views: 1412

Re: Fidelity Website says password expired

Careful of phishing scams.
by valleyrock
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Question
Replies: 19
Views: 1099

Re: Water Heater Question

One suggestion: if you get a new tank, have them put it in a tray/aluminum pan, which you can buy for this purpose. I've learned recently that there is a procedure for maintaining hot water heaters: https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/water-heater-maintenance . Good lu...
by valleyrock
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 19288
Views: 2677198

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

The most recent Wealth Track interview (actually it's a 2-parter, and this is the second one) is more or less along these lines. https://wealthtrack.com/this-is-a-bear-market-rally-life-has-changed-homebody-investments-will-flourish-says-rosenberg/ And what did you learn from permabear Rosenberg? A...
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: There is a transaction I didn't make, help.
Replies: 18
Views: 1888

Re: There is a transaction I didn't make, help.

Here's a good place for random passwords: https://www.grc.com/passwords.htm (I usually just use a subset and insert some capitals and extra symbols). Lastpass works well for me. There must be some sort of two-factor identification for your account(s), and surely there are some other means of impleme...
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tire recommendation for 2015 Honda Civic coupe lx
Replies: 25
Views: 1164

Re: tire recommendation for 2015 Honda Civic coupe lx

Surprisingly enough, a car's owner's manual can have some excellent information on replacement tires. Mine goes into the difference between a Grade A and a Grade B tire, for example. One interesting factor I learned also is that tire sidewalls can deteriorate before the tread wears down, depending o...
by valleyrock
Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old Cars & the expenses that go with them
Replies: 69
Views: 5151

Re: Old Cars & the expenses that go with them

As for valuing a used car, I stick with the NADA price (see www.nadaguides.com), which is the industry standard, used by bank loan officers, car dealers, and people who really don't want, nor need, to haggle when buying or selling a used car. My yardstick is that it costs about $1,000 per year to ke...
by valleyrock
Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 19288
Views: 2677198

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

The most recent Wealth Track interview (actually it's a 2-parter, and this is the second one) is more or less along these lines.

https://wealthtrack.com/this-is-a-bear- ... rosenberg/
by valleyrock
Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disappointed in Amica
Replies: 40
Views: 3657

Re: Disappointed in Amica

Body shop people have told me that Amica is "awesome" when it comes to paying for repairs. I've had nothing but prompt, efficient service from them. Their adjusters show up within a day, for example. I've also had them work with a body shop to figure out what it will take to not have to total out a ...
by valleyrock
Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?
Replies: 159
Views: 9280

Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

<soapbox> Tipping is a stupid custom. I get service that is just as good or better when I travel to countries that don't have tipping. A workers wage shouldn't depend on the whim of the customer. But, we seem to be stuck with it and it seems to be growing more common and tipping rates seem to be in...
by valleyrock
Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disappointed in Amica
Replies: 40
Views: 3657

Re: Disappointed in Amica

Geico has one issue: my understanding from talking to traffic attorneys in the know is that Geico raises car insurance rates immediately after a client gets convicted of a minor moving violation. Most other insurance companies raise rates only after a second moving violation within two (or maybe it'...
by valleyrock
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Graduating resident new to investing
Replies: 16
Views: 1030

Re: Graduating resident new to investing

This website/blog is right up your alley: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/ .
Very useful advice there for a lot of folks there.
by valleyrock
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents in a tough situation for retirement
Replies: 117
Views: 13328

Re: Parents in a tough situation for retirement

There appears to be some sort of unnecessary deadline being set up in your and/or your other family members' minds. So, it seems to me that the emphasis on such a meeting might should be to say, hey, it's great that you folks have your health, decent jobs, a roof over your heads, and children who lo...
by valleyrock
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my stash of dental floss now worth $3,000?
Replies: 105
Views: 11057

Re: Should I sell my stash of dental floss now worth $3,000?

As a kid during the cold war, I was addicted to chapstick. There's a book about that addiction somewhere. I used to worry that if there were a nuclear war, there'd be no way to get chapstick, and my lips would be up the creek. I never hoarded chapstick, but learned over the years that there are almo...
by valleyrock
Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Dodge & Cox DODIX
Replies: 17
Views: 2608

Re: Dodge & Cox DODIX

Anything new to add on these funds...vbilx vs dodix vs. the Baird equivalent?

I've been leaning toward Dodix because in these times, active bond management may be very useful (all the government guarantees, etc.), and Dodge and Cox does not advertise, which is a real plus for me.

Thanks.
by valleyrock
Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my stash of dental floss now worth $3,000?
Replies: 105
Views: 11057

Re: Should I sell my stash of dental floss now worth $3,000?

I much prefer the POH brand. Unwaxed.
by valleyrock
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car battery question
Replies: 43
Views: 2644

Re: Car battery question

One important mechanic's observation: don't do breakdown maintenance on your car battery. In other words, don't let it go kaput before replacing it. A weak battery apparently plays hell on modern electronics systems. That's pretty much how I used to handle car batteries. Just wait for them to go, th...
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My Robo Advisor Experiences
Replies: 8
Views: 1358

Re: My Robo Advisor Experiences

I've been looking at the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios as an alternative in retirement to an annuity, for example. But when I run the numbers, the Intelligent Portfolios (basically all the the three risk categories one can choose from) all are no better than a basic drawdown scenario from a bank acc...
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we buy fixer upper
Replies: 28
Views: 1605

Re: Should we buy fixer upper

One route that some people where I live is a great way to go, if you can afford the extra freight: Get an architect to draw up renovation plans, which contractors can bid on. That approach has seemed to me (I've never done it) to be a good one. You could hire a contractor to just do the work, but an...
by valleyrock
Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Struggling on Purchasing the Right Car
Replies: 54
Views: 4012

Re: Struggling on Purchasing the Right Car

Just to reiterate the mantra: use the Nadaguides.com price for knowing what's fair for a used car whether from a dealer or otherwise. No need to haggle; the NADA price is the industry standard, used by bank loan officers for making car loans, by dealers, by everyone who knows the story on used cars....
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reputable Term Life Insurance Broker
Replies: 17
Views: 1067

Re: Reputable Term Life Insurance Broker

How does one know Zander or others are reputable? Are they rated somewhere?
by valleyrock
Sun May 31, 2020 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career advice for science PhD student
Replies: 78
Views: 6217

Re: Career advice for science PhD student

Other ideas: Consider going for a master's in chemical engineering or environmental engineering. Depending on the school/program you'd need to take some undergraduate engineering courses, but that's ok. There's a big need for people with knowledge of chemistry in the environmental engineering field....
by valleyrock
Fri May 29, 2020 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is investing in NYC condo even a good investment???
Replies: 12
Views: 1056

Re: Is investing in NYC condo even a good investment???

I agree with the above that the NYC real estate market may be in for a bumpy ride due to the virus. Many people may move out, depressing prices. And many who stay may not be able to afford the rent.
by valleyrock
Thu May 28, 2020 11:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 19288
Views: 2677198

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

you guys and girls have to understand the 200 day is followed by big money mutual funds and algo computers. technical analysis is 20% science and 79% self fulling prophecy :moneybag :dollar It's like using a divining rod to find where to dig for water. Sometimes it works, but there's no basis for it.
by valleyrock
Fri May 22, 2020 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)
Replies: 109
Views: 6982

Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Without reading every word above, naturally, one would want to first explain the issue to the head of the business that sold the car if they would please take care of this problem. That can work. You just never know unless you try. If they say there's nothing they can do, ask them who else you can t...
by valleyrock
Thu May 21, 2020 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So bottom is probably behind us....right?
Replies: 709
Views: 64127

Re: So bottom is probably behind us....right?


By the way, "nobody knows nothing" is a self-contradiction. If nobody knows nothing, then how does anyone using that statement know enough to say that?
Are you sure about that?
by valleyrock
Tue May 19, 2020 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So bottom is probably behind us....right?
Replies: 709
Views: 64127

Re: So bottom is probably behind us....right?

I'd venture to guess that there will be clear signs ahead signalling which way the market will go For example: If there's a really effective, proven, safe vaccine, approved by the appropriate experts, the market goes up. At the other end of the spectrum, If there are riots in the streets, it goes do...
by valleyrock
Sun May 17, 2020 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools
Replies: 98
Views: 6514

Re: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools

Completely serious question; what makes Snap On tools worth the premium? I do a reasonable amount of small engine work with Home Depot tools and have never had an issue but perhaps I don’t know what I’m missing with a more high end brand? Years ago I had a job that resulted in my receiving a Snap O...
by valleyrock
Fri May 15, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International market recovery
Replies: 146
Views: 9695

Re: International market recovery

One usual criticism is that international stocks are dicey because many other countries do not have an SEC or equivalent to keep the companies honest (at least to the extent they can). So, information used to purchase international instruments is often done in a vacuum, perhaps arguing at present fo...
by valleyrock
Thu May 14, 2020 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband Died and Spouse lack of knowledge.
Replies: 37
Views: 6209

Re: Husband Died and Spouse lack of knowledge.

Great idea to hire an attorney, but make sure they are experienced estate attorneys. There are different types, from big outfits whose partners charge a whole lot by the hour and their paralegals can charge a lot as well; to sole proprietor attorneys; to ones in between. Word of mouth is probably th...
by valleyrock
Thu May 14, 2020 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Subaru 0% financing
Replies: 35
Views: 2989

Re: Subaru 0% financing

There's the invoice and then there's the invoice. The invoice information on the car window is meaningless. As I learned from Consumer Reports (and see the link below) you can obtain online the actual invoice that the manufacturer used to charge the dealer for the specific car, based on the VIN numb...
by valleyrock
Tue May 12, 2020 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a used Jaguar
Replies: 40
Views: 2596

Re: Buying a used Jaguar

I'd activate the On-Star and pay the fee for that. A car with that many miles is bound to break down for any number of reasons, even if the basic maintenance is kept up with, as it should. Get a look at the owner's manual to make sure about the basic maintenance schedule, and get the thing checked o...
by valleyrock
Tue May 12, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking renter to obtain renter's insurance; what benefits to highlight?
Replies: 18
Views: 1006

Re: Asking renter to obtain renter's insurance; what benefits to highlight?

Yep, it should be in the lease. When I rented a few years ago, the lease even stipulated how much coverage (per event and per person) I should have. And it's inexpensive.
by valleyrock
Mon May 11, 2020 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring: What to do with cash balance acct
Replies: 9
Views: 1122

Re: Retiring: What to do with cash balance acct

I was listening to the latest podcast from the Longview, by Morningstar. The expert academic guy, Milevsky, says that current annuity values are very low. I'm wondering if annuities will be better deals in the future if interest rates go up. You can always purchase an annuity, I suppose, and what th...
by valleyrock
Sat May 09, 2020 8:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Risk of Muni Bonds
Replies: 56
Views: 5365

Re: Risk of Muni Bonds

Once we get through the current crises, I''m thinking there will be some huge infrastructure efforts to get people back to work. That ought to result in a lot of municipal bonds.
by valleyrock
Thu May 07, 2020 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Refrigerator: Problems? Solutions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1817

Re: New Refrigerator: Problems? Solutions?

There ought to be specifications in the user manual or online at GE to learn how accurate their refrigerator thermometers ought to be. I'd say plus or minus 5% on a refrigerator thermometer ought not be too bad. I'd be looking for consistency and how the food is faring. Two old saws: if it ain't bro...
by valleyrock
Wed May 06, 2020 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amica vs USAA Insurance
Replies: 27
Views: 1677

Re: Amica vs USAA Insurance

I'm suspicious of Geico because they spend so much money on advertising. Re their auto policies, many insurers will not raise rates for a single traffic infraction (so long as it is not an egregious one like DUI or crazy speeding). However, Geico does raise rates following conviction for any infract...
by valleyrock
Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Risk of Muni Bonds
Replies: 56
Views: 5365

Re: Risk of Muni Bonds

Municipalities rely significantly on the stock market to service their bond debt, so, a stock market decline means trouble. This would be news to me. I thought municipal bonds relied on things like state income and sales tax collection, property tax collection, water district fees, bridge tolls, et...
by valleyrock
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire 7" Tablet - Ninth Generation
Replies: 18
Views: 1161

Re: Amazon Fire 7" Tablet - Ninth Generation

As long as you are OK with Amazon knowing everything done on this tablet, and acquiring all that data for free, have at it. I wouldn't use it for anything requiring any sort of privacy, however, except your Amazon account. For everything else, use dummy usernames passwords and don't do banking, etc....
by valleyrock
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Dealers not really wanting to make a deal
Replies: 245
Views: 36066

Re: Car Dealers not really wanting to make a deal

Does your local dealer offer the Costco deal? For our last three cars over the last 15 years we called the dealer and asked if they will match or do better than the Costco program. We are shown the invoice and pay no more than 500 over invoice, which is usually substantially lower than the MSRP. No...
by valleyrock
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "certifying" a laptop to be sold
Replies: 56
Views: 2039

Re: "certifying" a laptop to be sold

I drill a bunch of 5/8" holes in old hard drives, wearing a mask and safety goggles, of course. Then I trash them. One day, in 1.2 M years, aliens will come and suck up all the bits off all the hard drive residue everywhere on the planet, kind of like in the movie, AI, when they also did that with D...
by valleyrock
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Risk of Muni Bonds
Replies: 56
Views: 5365

Re: Risk of Muni Bonds

I’ve often seen muni bond interest rates evaluated by looking at the after-tax yield of a muni bond and comparing it to a treasury of the same maturity. I’ve also seen analyses of asset location placement that compare holding minis in taxable space and stock in a tax-qualified account with holding ...
by valleyrock
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote
Replies: 51
Views: 4804

Re: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote

Some of the old duct work we had in a crawl space had some sort of nasty interior liner. Sure, someone would have cleaned it for cheap. But we went ahead and had it replaced and the air was much better. Moral of the story is not to take anything for granted. A simple inspection, involving a hacksaw ...
by valleyrock
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote
Replies: 51
Views: 4804

Re: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote

Some of the old duct work we had in a crawl space had some sort of nasty interior liner. Sure, someone would have cleaned it for cheap. But we went ahead and had it replaced and the air was much better. Moral of the story is not to take anything for granted. A simple inspection, involving a hacksaw ...
by valleyrock
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's new forecast from Christine Benz
Replies: 38
Views: 6721

Re: Vanguard's new forecast from Christine Benz

Trouble is the future is so difficult to predict. But one thing that one can predict is that there will be predictions and there will be articles about those predictions. This might be actionable information if someone were to read, study, and understand the opinions of many financial experts, in ad...
by valleyrock
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 44987

Re: College in fall

Just an idea (I don't know if this would work but others could chime in).... Assuming your child was accepted in a $60K/year school....when August comes and it seems like they are still only offering online education at full price, ask to defer enrollment for a year and have your child attend commu...
by valleyrock
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Covid19 resistant job
Replies: 154
Views: 9842

Re: Best Covid19 resistant job

Paladin
by valleyrock
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for my father
Replies: 17
Views: 1517

Re: Advice for my father

I bought some treasuries recently via Fidelity using information here: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/pr ... glance.htm .

It seemed to work. The official web site is treasurydirect.gov, where you can buy direct and you can see the low interest rates.
by valleyrock
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Whole Life policy with LT care rider
Replies: 22
Views: 1105

Re: Whole Life policy with LT care rider

If found out about http://www.wittactuarialservices.com/ on this forum and hired Scott Witt (hourly basis) to help interpret a life insurance proposal and to explain some aspects of LTC insurance. Money well spent.
by valleyrock
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Place for Cash Right Now
Replies: 27
Views: 4313

Re: Best Place for Cash Right Now

Ally CDs at 1.6% and 2.35% with no withdrawal penalties. The current rate is 1.50% for their no penalty CD. Wells Fargo savings accounts. One at 1.35% and one at 2.15% How do you get 2.15 and 1.35% from Wells Fargo? I am seeing 0.01%. Does it require a large deposit? Wells Fargo Platinum Savings. R...