Search found 567 matches

by illumination
Sun May 24, 2020 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If Jeep has such poor reliability, how come they are everywhere?
Replies: 79
Views: 5047

Re: If Jeep has such poor reliability, how come they are everywhere?

It has somehow occupied a space where it's like someone getting a Mercedes or Audi at a VW price, it seems more upscale to drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee than a Ford Explorer. The person that buys it gets a warranty, so they just don't care all that much about reliability because they have usually move...
by illumination
Sun May 24, 2020 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tires or New Car?
Replies: 43
Views: 1847

Re: New Tires or New Car?

This is one of those "small truths" that people who make money selling tires over emphasize with scare tactics in my opinion. There's so many variables anyway, if all 4 tires were not perfectly inflated, all 4 tires not being routinely rotated won't have exactly equal tread, roads aren't perfectly ...
by illumination
Sun May 24, 2020 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tires or New Car?
Replies: 43
Views: 1847

Re: New Tires or New Car?

This is one of those "small truths" that people who make money selling tires over emphasize with scare tactics in my opinion. There's so many variables anyway, if all 4 tires were not perfectly inflated, all 4 tires not being routinely rotated won't have exactly equal tread, roads aren't perfectly f...
by illumination
Sat May 23, 2020 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning: Virginia State Inspection
Replies: 38
Views: 3683

Re: Warning: Virginia State Inspection

My state has never had vehicle inspections and for some reason the street is not lined with dead bodies.

You should never allow someone to have regulatory power and combine that with a profit motive. It's just going to be abused.
by illumination
Sat May 23, 2020 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard as Trustee of Estate Trust
Replies: 99
Views: 5487

Re: Vanguard as Trustee of Estate Trust

I agree that it's not easy to avoid commingling. IMO the best way to keep nonmarital property separate is through a prenuptial or postmarital agreement. I'm not certain of the context you are envisioning here. If I'm a parent and trying to determine the safest way to leave assets to my adult childr...
by illumination
Sat May 23, 2020 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: S&P ETF vs. Index - For a 'Young' Taxable Account
Replies: 10
Views: 640

Re: S&P ETF vs. Index - For a 'Young' Taxable Account

The portability of ETFs is a big appeal to me, I just don't like the commitment of possibly sticking with one brokerage. I do think ETFs are slightly more tax efficient, but for many index funds it's splitting hairs. If I was set on the S&P500, I would do "VOO" moving forward. I would not take a tax...
by illumination
Sat May 23, 2020 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking of selling some SP 500 to buy more Wells Fargo
Replies: 70
Views: 4154

Re: Thinking of selling some SP 500 to buy more Wells Fargo

Is the only reason you think Wells Fargo makes sense to buy more is because you've already lost money on it? BNY Mellon bank is older than Wells Fargo and was established in 1784, a few weeks ago the stock was around 50% of its 52 week high. Why not say Exxon Mobil that has lost about half its value...
by illumination
Fri May 22, 2020 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: family cabin planning through generations
Replies: 26
Views: 4750

Re: family cabin planning through generations

My in-laws had an inherited cabin among siblings and it was a constant source of bitterness that went for decades. One of the siblings was smart enough to be bought out and got her own a few blocks away while the rest fought about it. These were all highly educated, successful people, not broke, des...
by illumination
Thu May 21, 2020 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying tires for 2017 Subaru Outback
Replies: 29
Views: 1649

Re: Buying tires for 2017 Subaru Outback

I've had good luck with Michelin, if you get an extra year out of them I think they've earned the extra cost. When I have had a warranty issue, it seems they were really easy about pro rating it. Yokohama have been a crap shoot, the ones I have now though have held up well, but in the past I had one...
by illumination
Thu May 21, 2020 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting house to in-laws
Replies: 22
Views: 1602

Re: Renting house to in-laws

I think it's a bad idea. I rented a place out to a friend, it was always going to be a short term deal, I thought it was pretty fool proof and charged well below market rate. He didn't end up being such a great friend when he left. Just an extremely high maintenance tenant and never felt he at all r...
by illumination
Thu May 21, 2020 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids savings account vs UTMA?
Replies: 4
Views: 401

Re: Kids savings account vs UTMA?

You can easily open up a UTMA custodial checking/brokerage account and put money in there for her use and then you decide how it's spent. When she's 18 or 21 depending on the state, it's then hers if anything is left. There's a lot of rabbit holes you can go down in terms of limitations and potentia...
by illumination
Thu May 21, 2020 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding Music CDs
Replies: 82
Views: 5517

Re: Discarding Music CDs

I'd hold on to them, get a CD book and you can store a massive amount with very little space. It can cost a fortune to buy all that back digitally. I don't view CDs something like VHS movies, it's honestly hard to watch something like a VHS on a modern big screen but CDs still sound better than most...
by illumination
Thu May 21, 2020 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blown Power Amplifier: Repair or Replace? [resolved]
Replies: 39
Views: 1735

Re: Blown Power Amplifier: Repair or Replace?

Unless it has extreme sentimental value, replace it. It's going to cost close to half of its value to just have a tech open it up and diagnose. I occasionally do small repairs like solder in new capacitors, but my feeling on most modern electronics is unless its an easy repair I can make myself or i...
by illumination
Wed May 20, 2020 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you give mechanics 2nd (3rd) chances?
Replies: 22
Views: 1603

Re: Do you give mechanics 2nd (3rd) chances?

If a mechanic makes a "guess" on how to fix your problem and is completely wrong, I really think he needs to eat the repair and give you a refund. Of course many will play that game of "well, this was broken too!" and try and charge you for an additional repair/guess. Part of being a professional an...
by illumination
Wed May 20, 2020 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple iPad vs Notebook
Replies: 43
Views: 1936

Re: Apple iPad vs Notebook

Tablets are great to just "consume" passively things like surfing the internet, watching Netflix, reading a book, etc. If you actually need something to work on, I need a real laptop with a real keyboard. You can find good deals on used laptops sometimes, even a 8 year old Mac Laptop with a solid st...
by illumination
Tue May 19, 2020 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Considerations: Marriage in your 50s/60s
Replies: 23
Views: 1826

Re: Financial Considerations: Marriage in your 50s/60s

Prenup and separate your finances as much as possible. Make sure there's an acceptable plan for the adult children in terms of inheritance. It's a perfectly reasonable request. Rather than endless arguments about each other's spending habits, letting the big spender spend "their" money and the saver...
by illumination
Mon May 18, 2020 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying carnival cruise ship bonds
Replies: 10
Views: 1484

Re: Buying carnival cruise ship bonds

I anticipate that cruise ships will adopt superhuman efforts to clean up their act and to provide their passengers a "safer" experience. I went on a cruise a few years ago (well before Corona) and I was actually surprised at the level of cleanliness they provided in terms of sanitizing things. Thin...
by illumination
Mon May 18, 2020 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discarding old tax returns
Replies: 62
Views: 5473

Re: Discarding old tax returns

I could type the receipts (whatever I can make out) to an excel file and try to do a better job at storing them over the next three to four decades that I am still alive. Or I could just shred it all. What could typed out receipts in an Excel file be used for? Is it just for your own analysis? Anyt...
by illumination
Mon May 18, 2020 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wall Street says stocks are very overvalued
Replies: 45
Views: 3861

Re: Wall Street says stocks are very overvalued

C: I am writing an article about the market being overvalued and I found some wall street investors who agree with me +1, and let's name these cherry picked individuals "Wall Street Heavyweights" to make sure anyone that disagrees is marginalized. The only mention of shorting I saw was with commerc...
by illumination
Mon May 18, 2020 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools
Replies: 94
Views: 5951

Re: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools

I'm a tool junkie, most of my hand tools are older American-made Craftsman. I agree Craftsman fell off a cliff a while ago and stopped buying. If I had to start all over on hand tools, I would probably go with GearWrench for most wrenches, sockets, ratchets, etc. I've been impressed with them across...
by illumination
Mon May 18, 2020 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Replies: 92
Views: 7419

Re: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?

I think it's also because a retirement fund is viewed as "your money", you put the money in there and it has your name on it. So you tend to be as cautious as possible with it whereas a check from the government is viewed as "free money" somebody else is paying for. And delaying "free money" even i...
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYTs article:— New York Times article May 17, Dealing With the Dark Side of Low Interest Rates
Replies: 79
Views: 7673

Re: NYTs article:— New York Times article May 17, Dealing With the Dark Side of Low Interest Rates

It is a reality that retirees are going to have to deal with. There hasn't been a huge outcry yet because bonds have appreciated as rates went lower and we've had a long bull market in stocks. So most investors have done well in both, but we're sort of hitting a wall now at least in terms of interes...
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Malfunction
Replies: 20
Views: 1439

Re: Refrigerator Malfunction

Ice makers are like the number one thing that goes out on a fridge, I've replaced several on my same fridge. Yours is probably going out, maybe a motor? The whole units are usually pretty easy and cheap to replace and somewhat universal. You just want to be careful as sometimes they can go out in a...
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Borderline personality disorder and investing
Replies: 16
Views: 1912

Re: Borderline personality disorder and investing

It might be worth paying someone like the Vanguard PAS at .3%, I've never used it but I'm guessing they make the trades and not you? Or does the platform allow you to do anything you want and you just call for advice? Paying down the debt before investing in retirement would also be my recommendation.
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Malfunction
Replies: 20
Views: 1439

Re: Refrigerator Malfunction

Ice makers are like the number one thing that goes out on a fridge, I've replaced several on my same fridge. Yours is probably going out, maybe a motor? The whole units are usually pretty easy and cheap to replace and somewhat universal. You just want to be careful as sometimes they can go out in a ...
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?
Replies: 75
Views: 4873

Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

I try to fight my hoarding tendencies. I have a relative that has a problem with it and seeing that has honestly helped me. I like the suggestion of taking pictures if there is some nostalgia, that captures most of it. I also have a hard time throwing away something of value, I used to try and sell ...
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax efficient real estate gift
Replies: 10
Views: 600

Re: Tax efficient real estate gift

Can you manage them in her name/trust for a fair fee until she passes and then just inherit it with the stepped up cost basis? Someone at 91 can go at any time, seems a huge tax hit to take just to get them off her plate. It could take years anyway to just unwind all of this.
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Replies: 92
Views: 7419

Re: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?

For some odd reason, when it comes to SS benefits, most people want to take benefits as early as they can. But when it comes to determining how much to withdraw from their portfolio, they're afraid that they'll live to 110. :confused I think it's some version of FOMO, or "hey I paid my FICA taxes, ...
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity HSA Investment
Replies: 27
Views: 2810

Re: Fidelity HSA Investment

I'm really aggressive in the way I invest in my HSA, 100% equities. My plan was to just use it to pay my MediCare premiums in retirement, at that point I'll have a glide path down the something less volatile. I assume that will draw most all of it down through retirement, I don't keep receipts now, ...
by illumination
Sun May 17, 2020 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 1st taxable account... better tax efficiency (ETFs) vs lower expense ratio (mutual funds)
Replies: 8
Views: 525

Re: 1st taxable account... better tax efficiency (ETFs) vs lower expense ratio (mutual funds)

ETFs for their portability in taxable. The extra expense ratio for that insurance is meaningless. It's like $30 for every $100,000 you have invested. And that is largely balanced out as ETFs are more tax efficient in the way they process capital gains versus mutual funds. If you decide to leave Fide...
by illumination
Sat May 16, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent charges... Getting really tired of the number of times this happens and resulting hassle.
Replies: 56
Views: 4415

Re: Fraudulent charges... Getting really tired of the number of times this happens and resulting hassle.

This got excessive for me also, and I was also really cautious using my CC and used cash often because I was so snake bit. Maybe this is a complete coincidence, but it was always happening with my Wells Fargo CC and never with my Chase ones. I honestly believe there was an internal breach at the ban...
by illumination
Fri May 15, 2020 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If “cost” is the #1 reason Active managers lose, why not use Vanguard’s low-cost active funds?
Replies: 61
Views: 3700

Re: If “cost” is the #1 reason Active managers lose, why not use Vanguard’s low-cost active funds?

I would love to see a list of which funds DO beat the underlying indexes and what years if you were to eliminate fees. It would be interesting to see what percent underperform purely as a result of that. At the very least you could see they were making the right "plays" but the fee structure was th...
by illumination
Fri May 15, 2020 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should we sell our rental?
Replies: 31
Views: 2183

Re: Should we sell our rental?

Those are good enough numbers where I would score this as a lucrative small business you run on the side and keep it. You could probably farm the rest out that bothers you for just a rounding error less in return. And I'm generally pretty pessimistic on rentals having done them. I definitely think y...
by illumination
Fri May 15, 2020 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If “cost” is the #1 reason Active managers lose, why not use Vanguard’s low-cost active funds?
Replies: 61
Views: 3700

Re: If “cost” is the #1 reason Active managers lose, why not use Vanguard’s low-cost active funds?

I would love to see a list of which funds DO beat the underlying indexes and what years if you were to eliminate fees. It would be interesting to see what percent underperform purely as a result of that. At the very least you could see they were making the right "plays" but the fee structure was the...
by illumination
Fri May 15, 2020 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the point of TLH when you already have booked losses?
Replies: 35
Views: 2076

Re: What's the point of TLH when you already have booked losses?

To me, the big advantage is writing off $3,000 in ordinary income every year. If you have $100k in losses, that's essentially 33+ years of taking that loss. Will you have ordinary income beyond those years? Maybe interest from bonds/CDs/savings accounts where you'd be taxed at a higher rate into ret...
by illumination
Fri May 15, 2020 11:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Healthcare post COVID-19
Replies: 57
Views: 5260

Re: Healthcare post COVID-19

I don't think emergency medicine visits will rebound past 80% of previous volume for a few years. I think people have realized that not every stomach ache, back strain, etc. needs an ER visit and can either be handled at home, via telemedicine consult, or via urgent care. I hope this is a long term...
by illumination
Thu May 14, 2020 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good Time to Buy New Car or Wait?
Replies: 38
Views: 3589

Re: Good Time to Buy New Car or Wait?

I think it depends a lot on the brand. I don't see Toyota deeply discounting anything, they seem to place a higher premium on maintaining profitability whereas other brands are more about volume. But you'll probably pay less than you would have 6 months ago. I could see someone getting a good deal o...
by illumination
Thu May 14, 2020 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling rental property - Has any used an iBuyer or Virtual Agent?
Replies: 24
Views: 1179

Re: Selling rental property - Has any used a Virtual Agent?

A big question I would ask is "How do you set a price on the property?" To me, this is much of the value of an agent. If I save 1.5% on fees, but underprice by 5%, I have lost money. The last time I sold a property, the real estate agent tried to get me to list it about $80k cheaper than what I wan...
by illumination
Thu May 14, 2020 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Replies: 92
Views: 7419

Re: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?

I think delaying Social Security is the smart move for many reasons, but I also think the 8% figure being thrown around sometimes implies that it's like a bond with the same amount plus an additional 8% on top of it every year. In reality, it's swapping earlier years for a larger payout in later yea...
by illumination
Thu May 14, 2020 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cares Act withdrawal - legal liability
Replies: 4
Views: 455

Re: Cares Act withdrawal - legal liability

If you are referring to some of the SBA loan forgiveness provisions, if you fill out the applications honestly, I don't realistically see what legal consequences you can face. The forms themselves say "if in doubt, fill it out". Now if you are committing fraud, that's a separate issue. Whether inten...
by illumination
Thu May 14, 2020 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling rental property - Has any used an iBuyer or Virtual Agent?
Replies: 24
Views: 1179

Re: Selling rental property - Has any used a Virtual Agent?

I say this as someone who used to be a real estate broker, I really hope this trend continues and the traditional model is sidelined. This is a lot like when stock brokers used to charge hundreds of dollars in commissions to buy or sell a security for you. Paying something like $30,000 in commission...
by illumination
Wed May 13, 2020 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Insurance; Bad Driver Penalty
Replies: 21
Views: 1667

Re: Car Insurance; Bad Driver Penalty

I know in my state, you can post your own bond instead of carry auto insurance, but that's obviously taking a whole lot of risk. And you're taking that risk on someone that has shown they have a lot of accidents. Definitely shop around though, it's pretty staggering how much car insurance can vary. ...
by illumination
Wed May 13, 2020 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FDIC insured consideration... Big deal, overblown, what? Any case studies or personal experiences?
Replies: 24
Views: 1841

Re: FDIC insured consideration... Big deal, overblown, what? Any case studies or personal experiences?

I've often wondered what happens if a depositor goes over the FDIC limit and the bank fails. Where are they in line for the amount beyond the FDIC insurance? Do people in this situation usually end up taking a complete loss?
by illumination
Tue May 12, 2020 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Used Car for Son
Replies: 20
Views: 1232

Re: Buying Used Car for Son

The cosmetic condition is also important, I can totally tell if a car has been garaged or not. Makes a car feel far "newer" if it hasn't been stored outside. I live in the Sun Belt and cars are pretty destroyed both interior and exterior if they sit outside a lot. I almost always think it's worth "o...
by illumination
Tue May 12, 2020 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Disney the most tempting value stock?
Replies: 222
Views: 12979

Re: Is Disney the most tempting value stock?

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/12/hamilton-coming-to-disney-on-july-3.html Hamilton movie to skip theaters and go straight to Disney+. I just don't see this model being nearly as profitable as having movies an "event" where people go, and that's a huge part of Disney's profits are movie releases. Dis...
by illumination
Tue May 12, 2020 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Disney the most tempting value stock?
Replies: 222
Views: 12979

Re: Is Disney the most tempting value stock?

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/12/hamilton-coming-to-disney-on-july-3.html Hamilton movie to skip theaters and go straight to Disney+. I just don't see this model being nearly as profitable as having movies an "event" where people go, and that's a huge part of Disney's profits are movie releases. Dis...
by illumination
Mon May 11, 2020 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)
Replies: 105
Views: 6301

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

Get a used engine from a salvage yard, there's independent shops that can do all of this for way less than $7k. I could see it being closer to $3k. I just did a brief search, I don't see a cracked block being a widespread issue on the Acura TL. Is there like a TSB or something? At 80k miles, Acura s...
by illumination
Mon May 11, 2020 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cheap FA, Should I take over?
Replies: 12
Views: 816

Re: Cheap FA, Should I take over?

Does the "cheap" FA get some sort of commission for those funds he put you in? Might not be so cheap.

I would fire him and simply the portfolio.
by illumination
Mon May 11, 2020 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we create a testamentary trust for $6M estate?
Replies: 198
Views: 8879

Re: Should we create a testamentary trust for $6M estate?

On a trust that has a future distribution built in based on something like age, can someone make a plausible future claim with that in mind? So say a trust said 1/3 to be distributed at age 45, the beneficiary was 40 years old. Could a currently divorcing spouse make a "reasonable" claim on that mon...
by illumination
Sun May 10, 2020 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where should I go for extended warranty on my Toyota?
Replies: 35
Views: 1842

Re: Where should I go for extended warranty on my Toyota?

I would pass, what I typically see is they have a high mileage but the years don't match. They will say like 75,000/5 year warranty. So realistically you get like 2 extra years of warranty on the 3 years from the factory. So really you are buying insurance for like the next 20k miles when it's incre...