Search found 705 matches

by cheapskate
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14139

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

Long term residents of the bay area (myself included - I've lived here since 1989), suffer from recency bias and confirmation bias. We've also lived in the reality distortion field for too long. First, we have lived through (and profited from) one of the biggest booms this country has seen - we want...
by cheapskate
Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a New Macbook Pro?
Replies: 47
Views: 3931

Re: Should I get a New Macbook Pro?

We own both a Chromebook as well as several Macs, including Macbook Airs. Chromebooks are a good option for a lot of everyday tasks, but I vastly prefer the Macbook Air to a Chromebook. It is a fantastic computer. It goes on sale at stores like Best Buy frequently. Earlier this summer I bought a new...
by cheapskate
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a New Macbook Pro?
Replies: 47
Views: 3931

Re: Should I get a New Mac or Macbookpro?

First, this computer is very slow now. I get the "spinning wheel" quite often. When I change programs, I often see both programs on the screen at once, as the computer struggles to load the new program. Is there anything I can do to speed it up? Second, although I've had no issues with the hard dri...
by cheapskate
Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14139

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

There's one thing that I don't understand about the Bay Area... How do people in most professions survive there? Many in tech, real estate, medicine, and maybe one or two other areas do fine, so I understand that part. I don't get the rest of it... The extraordinary thing about the Bay Area is that...
by cheapskate
Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14139

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

If you are not a "handy" person, then hiring handymen, plumbers and other contractors and service agents to fix, repair and maintain your property (unless you're on a HOA) will cost you a bit. +1 For a single family home, house cleaning services (once a week) will run between $400-$600/month. Garde...
by cheapskate
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47004

Re: Equifax customer information leak

Froze credit at Equifax, Innovis and Experian. TransUnion wouldn't let me freeze online or on phone, need to talk to agent Monday. For some reason neither Innovis nor Equifax charged me the $10 (In CA there is a $10 fee). Experian did. Maybe at the first 2 agencies, the freezing is a no-op :) This C...
by cheapskate
Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi DoubleCash vs. Paypal (Synchrony)
Replies: 10
Views: 912

Re: Citi DoubleCash vs. Paypal (Synchrony)

I read on a blog this morning (before applying for the Paypal cashback card) that Synchrony was considering removing the 3% foreign transaction fee later this year. But until they actually do it is all speculation. My plan of action with 2% cards is to get all the cards as they become available. I h...
by cheapskate
Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: James Altucher's get-rich-quick pitch
Replies: 17
Views: 3674

Re: James Altucher's get-rich-quick pitch

Unless Altucher has some secret sauce that has eluded the stable of snake oil salesmen (also known as stock pickers), he can (at best) track the S&P 500 Put write index (www.cboe.com/PUT). From 1986 (this index'es inception) to today, the S&P500 Put Write Index has tracked the S&P 500 EXACTLY (10.1%...
by cheapskate
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?
Replies: 130
Views: 8582

Re: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?

Just as a datapoint, we got a nice custom sectional (microfiber) 4 years ago (from a local furniture store, the sofa was put together in San Jose, CA), and I think we paid something like $3K. It has held up very well over the past 4 years, under constant use. Something around $3000 is my upper bound...
by cheapskate
Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children
Replies: 107
Views: 17680

Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

In addition to Palo Alto. Cupertino/Los Gatos check off all of your boxes. The schools in Mountain View, Sunnyvale have been improving steadily over the years. Los Altos will be as expensive (if not more) than Palo Alto. If you consider the East Bay, things get much more affordable - Mission Fremont...
by cheapskate
Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 3334

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

Late Friday night, had a following driver pass and swerve in front of me immediately after the on ramp to get onto a 4-lane divided road---was still in the merge lane. With no oncoming traffic, caught him in my peripheral vision and instinctively slowed down so avoided being too close when he swerv...
by cheapskate
Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13370

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

Pet re-locators packed up my cats on Monday of this week, movers packed up my house yesterday, and me, the dog, and the wife are on the road driving to the new job in Seattle. Bought my house in 2010 for a hair over $700k. It should go on the market next week. We'll see how we do. Oh, we have to st...
by cheapskate
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13370

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

To get back to the OPs situation. How much of your RSUs are currently vested ? One way to play this is to put all of your savings (400K) + all your vested RSUs in as a downpayment. If you can put in something like 700K-800K down towards the house, and then pledge that you will sell all your RSUs goi...
by cheapskate
Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13370

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

If you're OK with buying into a market at all-time high prices at the limit of your affordability, then go for it. Otherwise, continue to rent, save aggressively, and wait for the next crash. That's what I did in the mid-late 2000s (bought in 2012), no regrets. +1 We bought our first home when I wa...
by cheapskate
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 3334

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

Bloomberg Surveillance Marketplace (Kai Ryssdal) Make me smart - Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood Marketplace Morning Report (David Brancaccio) Boomberg Benchmark FT news I am never bored or frustrated stuck in traffic with these on. I am better informed and entertained. Tom Keene and Kai Ryssdal are alwa...
by cheapskate
Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA vs. ACA plan - what to consider?
Replies: 48
Views: 3092

Re: COBRA vs. ACA plan - what to consider?

With COBRA, you are depending on a former employer for your health insurance. As a "former employee", there is no motivation for the employer to do things for your benefit. Depending on the details, they may even take a hostile view. This is a big concern for me. I think this is a big potential iss...
by cheapskate
Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: buying home in WA
Replies: 3
Views: 466

Re: buying home in WA

i have around 20k in cash and have lot of my finances in RSU vested stocks in my employer stock. Is it a good idea to sell stock and invest in real estate single family home?. Regardless of whether you buy a house or not, you need to sell your vested RSUs regularly and diversify - whether you buy a...
by cheapskate
Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need WIFI repeater or second router Advice
Replies: 45
Views: 3079

Re: Need WIFI repeater or second router Advice

If you are able to run an ethernet cable to the location of the home where you have problems, then you fix this very cheaply. Buy a cheap second router (like a $20 or less linksys), connect it to the ethernet cable, and set it up in Bridging mode. This way, you will have the same SSID (network) acr...
by cheapskate
Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need WIFI repeater or second router Advice
Replies: 45
Views: 3079

Re: Need WIFI repeater or second router Advice

Currently have Verizon FIOS with their provided router and have terrible WIFI on the other side of my house - maybe 50 feet away. I've read I can do a repeater or add a second router that is connected with a Ethernet cable. The reviews on repeaters are iffy and there appears to be a lot of setup wi...
by cheapskate
Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 40
Views: 5402

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

I did not notice much difference between the A350 and the A340 comfort wise It bursts my bubble to read this and it is my fault for reading into the hype. On the other hand maybe your flight wasn't long enough to notice differences in noise or air quality or vibration. I would not expect any differ...
by cheapskate
Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 40
Views: 5402

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

On my return back to the US, I flew Air France Premium Economy. Definitely recommend the upgrade to PE on AF. The upgrade was cheaper than other airlines I've comparison shopped this at. The difference between PE and E seats, legroom was significant on AF. Finally, as an added bonus, PE bags were ta...
by cheapskate
Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 40
Views: 5402

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

2 long LH flights (9.5hrs and 7.5hrs), 2 days ago. A340-600 and A350-900. Wow -- the A350 XWB is a rare bird! I can only hope someday in the distant future I'll have a chance to ride in one. How did you like it overall? Did you notice a difference compared to the A340? From where I was sitting (in ...
by cheapskate
Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 40
Views: 5402

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

Come back and let us know how it went. 2 long LH flights (9.5hrs and 7.5hrs), 2 days ago. A340-600 and A350-900. My observations are exactly congruent to yours and others above. - Paid $100 each flight for seats right behind the Premium Economy section. - There was really nothing dividing PE and my...
by cheapskate
Sun May 28, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updates on the status of Linux
Replies: 129
Views: 12081

Re: Updates on the status of Linux

.. I just cannot justify casually recommending Linux because people's use cases vary too much and it is too hard to predict if/when it will be inconvenient to be using Linux over a more well-supported OS. The vast majority of areas where Linux is way better than Windows, imo is in the server/progra...
by cheapskate
Thu May 25, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 40
Views: 5402

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

SeatGuru's comments corroborate what you felt, these exit row seats in Economy have as much (or more) legroom than PE on Lufthansa. Near infinite legroom. Until the space turns into a waiting area for the nearby lavatories. Hmm. I think it depends on the aircraft, according to the maps on seatguru,...
by cheapskate
Thu May 25, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 40
Views: 5402

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

Just flew Lufthansa a couple weeks ago. I would recommend spending extra for the exit row seats. They are comparable with premium economy in terms of legroom. On my flights, it was an extra $100 versus $275. To me, premium economy was barely better than the exit row seat. Thanks. This is timely adv...
by cheapskate
Tue May 16, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?
Replies: 63
Views: 8286

Re: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?

In all fairness, you did pick one of their worst performing growth & income funds. I figure it doesn't hurt to have both, tho. Makes my portfolio a bit more interesting, and different funds outperform at different times, probably a bit like the logic behind doing total US market & total int...
by cheapskate
Mon May 15, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?
Replies: 63
Views: 8286

Re: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?

Since American Funds is touted often as one of the good guys, I was curious and called American about their world changing F-1/F-2/F-3 share classes. From what they tell me, the F-* share classes can only be purchased in accounts which are managed by "American Funds" advisors. They are not...
by cheapskate
Sat May 13, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?
Replies: 63
Views: 8286

Re: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?

If one can buy the F-3 shares for American Funds (no load, no 12b-1 fees), that would be a good choice for investors who must do active. I randomly looked at 2 of their funds' F-3 shares, and the ER was 0.30%. One could certainly do a lot worse than that, given the other good traits of AF (team mana...
by cheapskate
Tue May 09, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Roboadvisor - Elm Funds
Replies: 22
Views: 1836

Re: New Roboadvisor - Elm Funds

Victor Haghani is a name that features very prominently in "When Genius failed", as one of the steady hands that steered that ship right into the iceberg. There are other LTCM and JWM alums at Elm too (JWM happens to be the second failed John Meriwether Hedge Fund). I can't help notice th...
by cheapskate
Mon May 08, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Roboadvisor - Elm Funds
Replies: 22
Views: 1836

Re: New Roboadvisor - Elm Funds

Victor Haghani is a name that features very prominently in "When Genius failed", as one of the steady hands that steered that ship right into the iceberg. There are other LTCM and JWM alums at Elm too (JWM happens to be the second failed John Meriwether Hedge Fund). I can't help notice tha...
by cheapskate
Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's Wrong With AQR? (Managed Futures)
Replies: 66
Views: 6336

Re: What's Wrong With AQR? (Managed Futures)

Here's the dilemma I'd face if I were trying to choose between them. Should I invest in them, or put my money in a paper bag and set it on fire? If it were the latter, would it be better to run over it with a power lawn mower, or to throw it out the window while driving down the freeway? Should I d...
by cheapskate
Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's Wrong With AQR? (Managed Futures)
Replies: 66
Views: 6336

Re: What's Wrong With AQR? (Managed Futures)

I have a small allocation in AQMIX and QMHIX. They are wonderfully mis-correlated with the markets. They go down regardless of what the equity markets or fixed income markets do , I have large losses in them over the past 2+ years (nearly 3 maybe). On the plus side, they have been great for TLH. I h...
by cheapskate
Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What safe investment vehicle has the highest yield right now?
Replies: 22
Views: 3381

Re: What safe investment vehicle has the highest yield right now?

Look at MINT or REAL. These are ETFs (from PIMCO and iShares), ultra short duration (30-45 day), that invest in high quality (mostly) corporate debt. They are meant to be substitutes for money market. They payout monthly. MINT has been around for a few years, so far so good. Disclaimer : I am not an...
by cheapskate
Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife wants to get into real-estate
Replies: 29
Views: 5217

Re: Wife wants to get into real-estate

My observation may be Bay Area specific, but from what I've seen the Realtor industry seems to be one where the few top Realtors make most of the money, and the ones lower in the pyramid seem to really struggle to do deals. The bar seems low (to enter this profession), I've had a few folks who have ...
by cheapskate
Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab OneSource ETFs lower fees than admiral shares
Replies: 28
Views: 2755

Re: Schwab OneSource ETFs lower fees than admiral shares

And what is the reason you would use vanguard if it's a taxable account? Because long term vanguard may keep their funds at a lower price? Can one more easily move a traditional IrA vs a Roth IRA between companies? One concern is that these products are loss leaders for Schwab and Fidelity - there ...
by cheapskate
Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard versus Dimensional
Replies: 22
Views: 2988

Re: Vanguard versus Dimensional

Dfa outperforms Vanguard on small, value and emerging markets. I wouldn't necessarily use them for a plain vanilla Large cap blend. You can get access very cheaply. I'm moving to Evanson Asset Management and you pay $2100 per year for their basic service (it can go up if you use other services but ...
by cheapskate
Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard versus Dimensional
Replies: 22
Views: 2988

Re: Vanguard versus Dimensional

Dfa outperforms Vanguard on small, value and emerging markets. I wouldn't necessarily use them for a plain vanilla Large cap blend. You can get access very cheaply. I'm moving to Evanson Asset Management and you pay $2100 per year for their basic service (it can go up if you use other services but ...
by cheapskate
Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Coupon Code [expired now]
Replies: 23
Views: 2678

Re: Amazon Coupon Code

Thanks for pointing out that I can buy gift cards (and providing the list). Whole Foods $50 for $41 and change is pretty sweet (just bought that). Not sure if my purchase is eligible for the 5% Amazon store card rebate as well :)
by cheapskate
Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to ditch the cable company's modem
Replies: 51
Views: 4347

Re: I want to ditch the cable company's modem

I bought this for $45 from Amazon about a month ago and ditched my Comcast model rental (which was $10/month). I also switched to Ooma at the same time, porting the number from Comcast to Ooma (painless). The Ooma device was ~$70 from Jet.com, and porting the number to Ooma was $40. For a total outl...
by cheapskate
Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: T. Rowe Price Claims they consistently beat Indexing
Replies: 24
Views: 3277

Re: T. Rowe Price Claims they consistently beat Indexing

Larry Swedroe wrote a piece comparing TRP with Vanguard and DFA. It is well worth a read for TRP investors.

https://www.advisorperspectives.com/art ... -investors

Larry's analysis does show TRP in a favorable light. If you have decided to go active, TRP (along with American Funds and Vanguards's active offerings) seem the best of the lot.
by cheapskate
Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dollar-Cost-Average over HOW MANY years?
Replies: 61
Views: 4821

Re: Dollar-Cost-Average over HOW MANY years?

Why not DCA over 2 years, but put equal amounts every months (over 24 months) ? It sounds like psychologically you might be happier DCA'ing. If that is the case go ahead and DCA over some reasonable interval. It matters much more that you stick to the plan and less whether you lump sum or DCA. DCA'i...
by cheapskate
Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?
Replies: 36
Views: 2045

Re: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?

Needless to say it has been a while since I took an SAT or ACT test. Now I have a kiddo coming into that season - soon to be taking standardized tests to apply for college. It is all so very competitive nowadays. Do you have any recommendation on test prep courses, such as Princeton, Kaplan, etc......
by cheapskate
Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Skeptical of the hidden risk in Value - convince me
Replies: 37
Views: 2836

Re: Skeptical of the hidden risk in Value - convince me

As someone who got his clock cleaned 2000-2003 (very large permanent loss of capital) investing in large cap tech (growth) stocks, I find the theory that Value is more risky than Growth completely ludicrous. In the top 10 stocks in the Large Cap Growth Index that grayfox posted, 6.60% is accounted f...
by cheapskate
Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: housing options-- stretch for schools?
Replies: 37
Views: 2599

Re: housing options-- stretch for schools?

Option A. - You are saving at a good rate right now, why jeopardize that ? - By the time your child hits high school - 3+6+3=12 years from now, the high school could get much better ? If A elementary and middle schools are very good, then would that student flow hitting the high school result in the...
by cheapskate
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds: You can beat the Index
Replies: 23
Views: 3772

Re: American Funds: You can beat the Index

I don't know any anyone reading this Board would ever want to invest with them. Sadly, American Funds are the only choice I have in the 401k at my current company. Luckily, this 401k makes up only about 3-4% of my whole portfolio. , on the bright side, American is likely the best among the non-Vang...
by cheapskate
Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds: You can beat the Index
Replies: 23
Views: 3772

Re: American Funds: You can beat the Index

American Funds are closet indexers. Almost all of their funds are large cap growth or blue chip funds. If you look at the holdings, they don't stray a great deal from the S&P500. Their long term performance (at NAV) is pretty close to S&P500 too - of course if you paid the Sales Charge, you'...
by cheapskate
Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement with $8M in investments
Replies: 166
Views: 23511

Re: Retirement with $8M in investments

Silicon Valley is a crazy place. This NYT article is (m) 9 years old, but still very relevant. There is a serious reality distortion field in Silicon Valley. It is often useful to take a step back and compute 2 numbers - (1) how much do you need per year to live off (it sounds like in your situation...
by cheapskate
Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owning a Chromebook
Replies: 77
Views: 11673

Re: Owning a Chromebook

FYI - The Acer 14" aluminum frame CB is $65 off at Costco. Online only. Black Friday sale today. Just ordered it.
by cheapskate
Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Jack Bogle says Fidelity will be sold in 5 years...
Replies: 25
Views: 4830

Re: Jack Bogle says Fidelity will be sold in 5 years...

I have assets at Fidelity (brokerage) as well, so I decided to do some digging on this one. Fidelity (for the past 15 years) has been aggressively diversifying into the brokerage business, and has made a very strong push into the 401K space (for better or for worse of investors). According to these ...