Search found 442 matches

by MarkBarb
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Were You Around During Dotcom Bubble?
Replies: 110
Views: 4757

Re: Were You Around During Dotcom Bubble?

I worked as a developer through the 90s. I was always into finance. As tech stocks took off, lots of people asked me which to buy because of my knowledge of both markets and technology. I always told them that I was confused by the high prices and had no recommendations. I don't recall if I had gott...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do you ever feel you've missed out due to the 3-fund portfolio?
Replies: 106
Views: 7109

Re: Do you ever feel you've missed out due to the 3-fund portfolio?

A lot of friends of mine enjoy going to Vegas. I hear a lot about how much money they won on each trip. It amazes me that Vegas can stay in business after listening to them. My point is that these people making money on hot tips brag a lot about their winners and don't mention their losers. If you d...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Way to buy an Audi
Replies: 91
Views: 5614

Re: Boglehead Way to buy an Audi

3 coworkers went Audi at around the same time a few years ago - two Q5s and one Q7 diesel. One loved his Q5 so much that he got another one when the lease ran out and got his wife a Q7. The Q5 owner had oil burning problems that Audi didn't deal with well and, just after the warranty expired, she ne...
by MarkBarb
Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happens to all my digitized photos when I die?
Replies: 68
Views: 5385

Re: What happens to all my digitized photos when I die?

What's smaller? If you have 300 (picking a number somewhat at random) photos of your entire family history , that's a whole lot of photos unless you had a very very interesting family. I mean, you can keep all of them, perhaps organized, as my relative did in some general way, but pick out a key sm...
by MarkBarb
Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Manager vs. Direct report salary issues
Replies: 151
Views: 10061

Re: Manager vs. Direct report salary issues

I feel like this is question I can pose here: For the experienced IT/tech leaders, was your salary highest in your org once you were at the director/sr. Director/VP level? Or did gaps still persist then too? I understand my role is to grow and reward the team etc. However at some point the relative...
by MarkBarb
Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Manager vs. Direct report salary issues
Replies: 151
Views: 10061

Re: Manager vs. Direct report salary issues

Wow, not sure if this is an industry thing, but common sense says a manager makes more than direct reports. That is true across the vast majority of businesses. So this concern from OP is natural. In medical sales where compensation is tied to base salary and commission plans, base salary is higher...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protecting my Assets
Replies: 19
Views: 1540

Re: Protecting my Assets

One step in that direction would be to keep the funds as an entirely separate account. Don't contribute anything new to it after the marriage so that it is not not commingled with marital assets. I'm not sure if that applies to reinvesting dividends. But it would be a lot more secure if you got a pr...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Email security
Replies: 21
Views: 846

Re: Email security

I use protonmail for all financial related emails. Normal junk we still use yahoo and gmail. This doesn't improve your security much, if at all. Your email is most likely to be compromised by phishing and both Gmail and Protonmail offer the same level of protection. Gmail's is actually better if yo...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 fairness?
Replies: 45
Views: 3861

Re: 529 fairness?

I took a different approach and maybe you can apply some of it. Instead of doing a lump sum contribution, I made monthly contributions. I adjusted the amount of the monthly contributions each year to keep on target. My target, like yours, was based on the cost of in-state college expenses. My plan i...
by MarkBarb
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tesla becomes most valuable car company in the world
Replies: 62
Views: 5056

Re: Tesla becomes most valuable car company in the world

My question is at what point does a company need to actually achieve these earnings? When do earnings need to catch up to valuations? Never and never. As long as the market consensus is that the earnings are coming someday, that's good enough. Telsa's stock could collapse tomorrow. It could keep go...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question - Reloc to TX
Replies: 101
Views: 7293

Re: Question - Reloc to TX

While it is good that you are thinking about this already, I wouldn't get too tied to a decision until you're here and you are looking at hard numbers. The cost to rent vs buy varies tremendously over time and location. Until you sit down and do real calculations, it is hard to say what the right an...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question - Reloc to TX
Replies: 101
Views: 7293

Re: Question - Reloc to TX

Property taxes are local taxes in Texas and they vary a lot. I pay property taxes to the schools, the county, the hospital district, the community college, the township, and the MUD (water) district. My taxes are 2.27794%, but it is actually a little lower than that because of the homestead exemptio...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinion on my current HVAC quotes
Replies: 21
Views: 1581

Re: Opinion on my current HVAC quotes

I'll echo that. My BIL has an HVAC business. He used to encourage customers to pay extra for a top quality unit because it paid for itself in longevity. He said that is no longer the case.
by MarkBarb
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got a call from a debt collection agency
Replies: 19
Views: 2321

Re: Got a call from a debt collection agency

It is not uncommon for medical bills to go to a debt collector before they ever get to you. I've had it happen and I know other people that have had it happen. I had no idea why medical billing is done so poorly. If it is a medical bill, check with your insurance company. I think most have arrangeme...
by MarkBarb
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to buy parents as a token of appreciation/retirement
Replies: 57
Views: 3782

Re: What to buy parents as a token of appreciation/retirement

I'm not too far from your parent's age. If it were me, what I would want the most would be a vacation that included everyone getting together someplace and enjoying time together. But we're all different. I know people that hate to travel, hate to be around their kids too much, and would love a car....
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help: Severance Package Concern - Update #4 and Thank you All
Replies: 97
Views: 7831

Re: HELP: Severance Package Concern

OK, I am hesitant to post this but in the interest of sharing an alternate opinion I will. I work in HR **dodges rotten tomatoes**. I respectfully disagree that I am an agent of darkness. :twisted: I won't get into that old argument but for the OP I would suggest: Go ahead and meet with HR, can't h...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help: Severance Package Concern - Update #4 and Thank you All
Replies: 97
Views: 7831

Re: HELP: Severance Package Concern

There was no notice that layoffs were coming? My might want to read up on the WARN Act. I don't know the details, but I thought that it required something like a 60 day notice before starting a layoff.
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit Card Fraud
Replies: 23
Views: 847

Re: Debit Card Fraud

I also have a credit card dedicated to repeating charges - utilities, memberships, and the like. We don't carry a physical copy of it and don't use it for anything else. My thought is that it is less likely to be compromised and it saves me the trouble of having to set up all the recurring payments ...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit Card Fraud
Replies: 23
Views: 847

Re: Debit Card Fraud

If you are compromised they instantly pull off all fraudulent transactions (you don't lose anything from a bank account) and send you a new card with a new number. This is why you always need to carry at least two cards when travelling. I had a card cancelled when I was out-of-the-country, they sai...
by MarkBarb
Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Making a purchase with inherited money
Replies: 11
Views: 1325

Re: Making a purchase with inherited money

Money in tIRAs will be taxed as you withdraw it. There are rules about when to take out the money based on when the person from whom you inherited it passed away. If the passed away before 2020 (I think), you can either take it all out within 5 years or you can leave it in and take required minimum ...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market makes no sense
Replies: 116
Views: 8073

Re: Market makes no sense

Remember what the market is. It isn't a measure of the current health of the economy. It is an estimate of the net present value of future earnings by publicly traded corporations. Some have done well during the crisis. Others have not, but it isn't all about today. Those future earnings are very im...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Broken Onkyo Audio Receiver Under Warranty. What Recourse do I Have?
Replies: 18
Views: 1078

Re: Broken Onkyo Audio Receiver Under Warranty. What Recourse do I Have?

Audio receiver? Is that like a radio? Take it to the repair shop to get it fixed and then sell it. Don't buy that brand again. You can ask for your money back but good luck with that. I think all of the brands are like this. I had a top-of-the-line factory refurbed Denon that had a volume control i...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterior Water Service Line Coverage
Replies: 26
Views: 1532

Re: Exterior Water Service Line Coverage

I don't get these for water pipes, but I get the for the gas lines in our house from the gas company. I ignore them using the same logic I use for all insurance. Nobody sells insurance unless they think it will be profitable. The only way that works is for the average participant to pay in more than...
by MarkBarb
Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: form 8606 blues
Replies: 64
Views: 3519

Re: form 8606 blues

Sounds like you found pitfall #1 in non-deductible contributions. Make sure that you don't fall into pitfall #2. That one is that there is no requirement to file an 8606 in subsequent years when you don't make non-deductible contributions. That sounds OK at first glance. After all, who wants to fill...
by MarkBarb
Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:25 pm
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 inc...
by MarkBarb
Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When to sell RSUs in strong but struggling oil and gas company?
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: When to sell RSUs in strong but struggling oil and gas company?

Ask yourself, would I buy this stock at this price level? If not, you should probably sell. My philosophy, as someone that also worked in oil and gas and got RSUs, was that I had more than enough of my finances tied up in my company and my industry and I needed to take every opportunity to diversity...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a used car outright vs taking a loan
Replies: 9
Views: 600

Re: Buying a used car outright vs taking a loan

When making a decision like this, the two main things I consider are liquidity and opportunity costs. If spending the cash would reduce your liquidity position too much for you to be comfortable, don't do it. Never put yourself at risk by getting too short on available cash. On the opportunity cost ...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: percentage of portfolio in Roth?
Replies: 72
Views: 3537

Re: percentage of portfolio in Roth?

I think the OP is thinking about it wrong. You should have a goal for how much you'll save. You should try to make as much of that savings tax advantaged as possible (factoring in liquidity needs). For that tax advantaged savings, you should put it into tax deferred for tax free based on your curren...
by MarkBarb
Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are some house sales, tax free?
Replies: 4
Views: 548

Re: Are some house sales, tax free?

Incidentally, this can be a drawback to building your own home. We did that once, paying for all labor and materials. I had to keep track of a bunch of receipts to justify our cost basis.
by MarkBarb
Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value of Liquidity
Replies: 28
Views: 2207

Re: Value of Liquidity

A zero balance HELOC makes an excellent emergency fund. +1. Exactly what we do. Does it? What is the risk that the bank will freeze the HELOC? Under normal circumstances where you need to tap your emergency fund because of a personal series of costs - job loss, major home repairs, medical bills, an...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What cellphone plan do you recommend?
Replies: 60
Views: 3835

Re: What cellphone plan do you recommend?

We use Google Fi. We don't pay for unlimited unless we will be traveling. We have wi-fi at home and the kids have it at school, so we don't spend a lot of time outside of coverage. You can add and remove unlimited easily, but you have to do so before the billing cycle for the month you want to chang...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How important is a light colored interior for your car in Florida? What about Apple CarPlay?
Replies: 43
Views: 2418

Re: How important is a light colored interior for your car in Florida? What about Apple CarPlay?

Long time Houstonian. White cars are definitely cooler than darker cars. If you park in your garage and have a garage where you work, it isn't a big deal. If you park outside and need to get into your car during the afternoon, it will be less horribly hot if it is white or a light color. Once you've...
by MarkBarb
Thu May 28, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pension: Lump Sum vs. Annuity
Replies: 20
Views: 1556

Re: Pension: Lump Sum vs. Annuity

Pros for the lump sum include the ability to leave money to heirs, control over the money, and a higher payout if she/he dies young. Pros for the annuity include not having to worry about managing the money, income guaranteed for life, possibly guaranteed by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation...
by MarkBarb
Tue May 26, 2020 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Will location premium on homes drop?
Replies: 8
Views: 884

Will location premium on homes drop?

While it isn't clear how many people will continue to work from home after the pandemic is over, a lot of people think that it will be much more popular than it was before the pandemic. Because fewer people will need to commute, will that impact the location premium on homes? Will the suburbs and ex...
by MarkBarb
Tue May 26, 2020 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Making the most of the Shiller-CAPE ratio?
Replies: 13
Views: 685

Re: Making the most of the Shiller-CAPE ratio?

While CAPE might be useful in helping to assess potential future returns, it isn't as useful in determining if the market is "expensive". The problem is that it doesn't consider your other investing options. Imagine if you knew that the market would return 7% annually over the next 10 years. Would t...
by MarkBarb
Mon May 25, 2020 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anybody heard of DriverLoan Investor Club?
Replies: 30
Views: 4093

Re: Has anybody heard of DriverLoan Investor Club?

Oh my gosh. I hate to be so blunt, but don't make a greedy mistake. If you think this is legit, you need to watch a lot more American Greed. Look at the red flags: The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is fixed and will not change at any time before or after the account is opened. Nobody guarantees a 15...
by MarkBarb
Mon May 25, 2020 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pandemic buys that have improved quality of life?
Replies: 148
Views: 14471

Re: Pandemic buys that have improved quality of life?

I bought some slower speed driver discs for disc golf. I had moved up to high speed discs too quickly and wasn't getting good distance or control out of them. With the slower discs, I am getting more distance and better control. In particular, I moved away from the Crank SS and Nuke SS to the Heat. ...
by MarkBarb
Sun May 24, 2020 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investors: be aware of weakness in 2FA + strengthening
Replies: 153
Views: 8845

Re: Investors: be aware of weakness in 2FA + strengthening

You can make recovery via email, but in Vanguard's view, email may be less secure than SMS. For 99% of the population, the recovery to your email is via SMS. You can make recovery via snail mail. This works great for credit card companies, but you have to tolerate being without access to your accou...
by MarkBarb
Sat May 23, 2020 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What single individual stock would you buy?
Replies: 133
Views: 10306

Re: What single individual stock would you buy?

Boeing. there is ZERO chance the govt allows it to fail. In the same way as General Motors? Different. There are multiple US auto companies and giving Airbus a monopoly on air travel isn’t going to happen. 100% certainty? No, but close. I may be mistaken, but I think his point is that Boeing may be...
by MarkBarb
Sat May 23, 2020 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What single individual stock would you buy?
Replies: 133
Views: 10306

Re: What single individual stock would you buy?

RCL wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:48 am
Stock in myself :D
+1
by MarkBarb
Sat May 23, 2020 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What single individual stock would you buy?
Replies: 133
Views: 10306

Re: What single individual stock would you buy?

First, I am not going to tell you buying individual stocks is easy or even a good idea. .... So which stock do you think is the golden child? Yes, it's completely different from buying an index fund. 1 stock: None. Not even Berkshire. Maybe it's just me..... but I think that OP intended this to be ...
by MarkBarb
Sat May 23, 2020 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips to stick to a weight loss diet?
Replies: 183
Views: 9828

Re: Tips to stick to a weight loss diet?

I found that MyFitnessPal helps a lot. In exchange for them being able to sell your consumption habits to advertisers, they give you an easy way to track what you eat broken down by calories and macronutrients. The biggest benefits are the ability to see how much you've eaten today compared with you...
by MarkBarb
Sat May 23, 2020 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning: Virginia State Inspection
Replies: 38
Views: 3847

Re: Warning: Virginia State Inspection

I don't know anything about inspections in VA, but I've lived with them here in TX for a long time. There are a lot of places that nit-pick about items so that they can sell repairs. That's how they make their money. There are others that make their money by passing almost everything and going throu...
by MarkBarb
Tue May 19, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total market or S&P 500?
Replies: 44
Views: 3654

Re: Total market or S&P 500?

The census seems to be that they are substantially identical except for the purposes of the wash sale rule. In that case, they are completely different.
by MarkBarb
Mon May 18, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of sunglasses?
Replies: 107
Views: 6426

Re: What kind of sunglasses?

Just FYI, Luxottica is the parent company of many different brands of sunglasses, including both Ray Ban and Oakley. http://www.luxottica.com/en/eyewear-brands
by MarkBarb
Sat May 16, 2020 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you feel after giving notice to retire?
Replies: 52
Views: 4448

Re: How did you feel after giving notice to retire?

I didn't have second thoughts, but my circumstances were odd. My company was bought and practically all of my friends and I took voluntary severance packages. So if I had stayed, it would have been like starting over again. Even with that, there were odd feelings. While it was liberating not to have...
by MarkBarb
Mon May 11, 2020 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you back up your important data?
Replies: 102
Views: 5361

Re: Where do you back up your important data?

Backups and cloud storage are related, but different. I use Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and a Synology NAS for cloud storage. For backups, I use Backblaze. I have 11 Terabytes of files backed up at a cost of only $60/year. I've done about a dozen restores over the last several years and each ha...
by MarkBarb
Mon May 11, 2020 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kite Recommendations?
Replies: 6
Views: 525

Re: Kite Recommendations?

Don't forget the ones that inflate into a wing shape. They can fly in low winds. The most fun are the dual or quad string kites. With those, you can control the motion of the kite. You might be able to get a cheap one for $30. If you get a big enough kite, it might be fun to send it up with a cheap ...
by MarkBarb
Mon May 11, 2020 6:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what moment does retirement begin?
Replies: 68
Views: 5859

Re: At what moment does retirement begin?

Mine began the moment I walked out of the last meeting at the office. Technically, I still needed to file paperwork, but it was at that moment that I felt retired.
by MarkBarb
Mon May 11, 2020 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age do you use for retirement end date?
Replies: 68
Views: 4286

Re: What age do you use for retirement end date?

96 for me and 102 for my wife. My father is still active at 93. My wife's grandmother recently passed away at 102. My assumption is that as my purchases of "fun" stuff start to slow down with age, my spending on medical care and assistance will increase. I just assume constant spending. I'm probably...