Search found 722 matches

by cheapskate
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get child's skin in the game for college?
Replies: 132
Views: 5731

Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

For most of us, college is a bridge to a job. She has yet to start college and you have 3+ years of college expenses saved up. Can you tell her she needs to work part time during school (and all summer) during all 4 years of college to support herself during her 4th year of college, and save up that...
by cheapskate
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard US Multifactor Funds Launch
Replies: 10
Views: 1028

Re: Vanguard US Multifactor Funds Launch

I wasn't searching for it, but I just noticed that the Vanguard US Multifactor fund/ETF launched today as did the Value, Momentum, Liquidity, and Quality ETFs. https://advisors.vanguard.com/web/cf/fas-investmentproducts/4421/overview And as long as we are on this topic, here is an interesting artic...
by cheapskate
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?
Replies: 82
Views: 5687

Re: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?

We used to buy only Hondas (owned Accords, an Odyssey and a CRV). But now we own a RAV4 and a Prius. Love the RAV4, we got the base 2017 model (in December), one of the last 2017 RAV4s in our area, for a great price. Toyota SafetySense is built in - this includes lane departure warning, collision mi...
by cheapskate
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Live / work in California - Technology Career
Replies: 98
Views: 5647

Re: Live / work in California - Technology Career

It's very hard to get a job if you are over 50. If anything, the jobs will be as contractors, with frequent job changes and periods of long unemployment and probably unexpected early retirement. +1 Think about this very carefully. It is very hard to get a job over 45 (let alone 50). (1) There is a ...
by cheapskate
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nostalgic about old online brokerages that no longer exist
Replies: 43
Views: 4893

Re: Nostalgic about old online brokerages that no longer exist

I’m nostalgic about Brown & Co, it was the cheapest comission at the time, $5. I lost track of what happened to it and who acquired it. I did a lot of business there. I might have an account with Waterhouse, but not trading much there. Brown & Co was a good firm, with good customer service. The fir...
by cheapskate
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help choosing a hatchback- civic, golf, prius and Volvo V60
Replies: 40
Views: 2235

Re: Help choosing a hatchback- civic, golf, prius and Volvo V60

Another happy Prius V owner (2014). It has a lot of room, yet it is compact and easy to park. Generally maintenance free, although oil changes are more expensive (~$80 vs $40) you only have to change oil every 5K miles (not 3K). I get solidly over 43mpg and I am not a careful driver (in terms of mpg...
by cheapskate
Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 249
Views: 35720

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

I pointed out that on this forum, plenty of customers have downloaded this for free without being Active Traders and I tried to push, but Fidelity is holding firm. It's bad form to point this out and risk killing it for others. I said "on a investment discussion forum" - didn't mention this board...
by cheapskate
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 249
Views: 35720

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

I have never seen the free TT download offer, in spite of Private Client status for over a decade. I called Fidelity several times, the line now is that the free TT offer is only available for Active Traders. I pointed out that on this forum, plenty of customers have downloaded this for free without...
by cheapskate
Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 249
Views: 35720

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

Getting different answers from Reps at Fidelity. I called Fidelity again. They now say that only Active Traders get the free download. And Active Trader status is purely based on trades - not on account balance. The rep I spoke with in the afternoon said something different. He said I qualify for th...
by cheapskate
Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 249
Views: 35720

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

Thanks. I didn't see the download link/message and called Fidelity. They said it may be a timing thing and should show up at some time. In the meantime, the person I spoke to told me I could purchase it and call Fidelity tell them the amount and they'd re-imburse. It is possible they are rolling thi...
by cheapskate
Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 249
Views: 35720

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

Where (once you login to fidelity) can I find the link to the Turbo Tax download ? When I search for Turbo Tax, I only see the results for $20 off.

I do have Private Client status (if that is needed for this offer). I have never downloaded Turbo Tax from Fidelity before.
by cheapskate
Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The College Bubble - investment opportunities after the collapse?
Replies: 114
Views: 8335

Re: The College Bubble - investment opportunities after the collapse?

A fairly disturbing (serious, historical) book out right now points out that the great rebalancings of wealth only take place with major violence. French Revolution. World Wars. Revolutions. Etc. (i'd have to look up the author, but he is a historian and the book has been taken seriously). Given th...
by cheapskate
Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The College Bubble - investment opportunities after the collapse?
Replies: 114
Views: 8335

Re: The College Bubble - investment opportunities after the collapse?

Not sure if there is a investment/money making opportunity here. For-profit higher education does not really solve the problem and has been a total bust. Not clear that 100% online will ever replace a traditional college. To me, community colleges that evolve and award AA degrees that are more align...
by cheapskate
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CNBC says Vanguard says 70% Chance of "Correction"
Replies: 63
Views: 8247

Re: CNBC says Vanguard says 70% Chance of "Correction"

I wIsh Vanguard would just keep the focus on expected 10 year returns for various asset classes instead of trying to handicap the odds of a short term bear market. Others like Research Affiliates seem to do the right thing here with periodic updates to their expected 10 year returns for various asse...
by cheapskate
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: places to live near Stanford University
Replies: 35
Views: 3014

Re: places to live near Stanford University

Heed the excellent advice here that you should rent for a while. Even renting, you will likely have to look further south (and take Caltrain). I would highly recommend the move (even if it is just for a couple of years, as long as you can move back in case you don't like it here). It will be a good ...
by cheapskate
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: places to live near Stanford University
Replies: 35
Views: 3014

Re: places to live near Stanford University

For a 1 BR condo <= 500K, you will need to look south of Santa Clara, likely San Jose. Driving on I-280 to PA will be terrible but you can take the Caltrain to PA and the Stanford shuttle into campus from the station. You will be bound by Caltrain schedules though (if Caltrain service experiences tr...
by cheapskate
Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 16399

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Northern CA. Looks like PPO plans are completely out of reach for me (family of 5). Blue Shield Platinum is $5300, Gold is $4000, Silver is $3500. Once I quit my job (which I am hoping to do soon), it looks like high deductible Kaiser HMO plan is the only option. I can get that for $1300 with deduct...
by cheapskate
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 16430

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: 4493

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: 4493

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: 16430

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: 16430

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: 55939

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: 1273

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: 4573

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: 10340

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: 20175

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: 3672

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: 15086

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: 15086

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: 15086

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: 3672

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: 3692

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: 518

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: 3553

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: 3553

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: 6085

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: 6085

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: 6085

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: 6085

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: 13040

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: 6085

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: 6085

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: 9519

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 internation...
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: 9519

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 available...
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: 9519

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: 2207

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 that the glo...
by cheapskate
Mon May 08, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Roboadvisor - Elm Funds
Replies: 22
Views: 2207

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 that the glor...
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: 7072

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: 7072

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...