Search found 1218 matches

by centrifuge41
Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: still safe to buy a lowes extended warranty?
Replies: 6
Views: 490

Re: still safe to buy a lowes extended warranty?

Squaretrade sells warranties as well (you can buy it within a month of buying an appliance). They're generally cheaper than what the stores will sell warranties at, but it seems like Squaretrade's prices have gone up vs. prior.
by centrifuge41
Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can VITNX have a worse return than vtsax
Replies: 25
Views: 1480

Re: How can VITNX have a worse return than vtsax

VITNX (Vanguard Institutitional) is a super low cost S&P 500 fund. It doesn't have small caps, unlike the total stock market (VTSAX). You could have looked at a time period when small caps did really well.
by centrifuge41
Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: American Equity indexed annuity -- continue for future payments?
Replies: 12
Views: 497

Re: American Equity indexed annuity -- continue for future payments?

For an age 63 female, social security estimates a life expectancy of 23.3 years (estimated life span until 86.3 years). Link . That allows for 23.33 * 12 = 280 payments. That's a discount rate of 0.4% . Link . So, unless policy holder can live far longer than age 86.3, this option is no good because...
by centrifuge41
Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 135
Views: 11410

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

Aldi was indeed a game changer with its rapid expansion in the last few years. Some highlights (many mentioned above): 8oz spinach $1.19 Produce picks of the week (not quite as cheap as in the past) Not-Ben & Jerry's super premium ice cream $1.95 Flax & chia seed Tortilla chips (better than other st...
by centrifuge41
Wed May 20, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring Help
Replies: 85
Views: 4634

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Thanks, centrifuge. Seems like you know your stuff! Yeah, based on the minimal reading I've done thus far, everyone recommends 'splurging' on Cut, with the 3 other Cs taking somewhat of a backseat. Also seems like the value can be had in focusing on 'eye clean' since being able to see some blemish ...
by centrifuge41
Tue May 19, 2020 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring Help
Replies: 85
Views: 4634

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Diamonds are an almost-commodity for a given grade, meaning aside from paying for specially branded diamonds (such as hearts on fire), the cost by grade/certifier should be similar across most channels. You'll be reading about the 4 C's: Color (go gauge for yourself how this looks - everyone is diff...
by centrifuge41
Sat May 09, 2020 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Marcus or Ally
Replies: 157
Views: 16298

Re: Marcus or Ally

Yep, Marcus is usually one of the higher yielding banks in the big name online bank pack. Since it just rate dropped, I wouldn't be surprised if Amex, Cap1, Discover etc rate drop to 1.3% (or lower).

Barclays is already at 1.3%.
by centrifuge41
Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card limit slashed for inactvity.
Replies: 27
Views: 1246

Re: Credit card limit slashed for inactvity.

It's the bank's risk management for the downturn. It's not your fault. They are afraid that people may start charging on a line they haven't used for a long time, some of whom can't pay down.
by centrifuge41
Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice: Rebalancing and where to invest next
Replies: 5
Views: 760

Re: Portfolio advice: Rebalancing and where to invest next

HSA/treasuries: correct, the interest that spits out is not taxable by CA. If you sell, capital gains are still taxable. Those should be minimal, as most bond funds won't go too far above or below $10/share by nature, but it would still be an annoyance to track/handle. You linked to a very good arti...
by centrifuge41
Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice: Rebalancing and where to invest next
Replies: 5
Views: 760

Re: Portfolio advice: Rebalancing and where to invest next

Hi AlizarinBee, 1) HSA's are a pretty good deal, and I'd say that's the next place to load to, especially if you are sure the high deductible plan is the way to go. In most cases, high deductible plans are good for low usage, and also good for high usage (annual out of pocket max if you stay in netw...
by centrifuge41
Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value funds in 529 Plans
Replies: 14
Views: 1741

Re: Stable Value funds in 529 Plans

Trying to not create a new thread for this update, but I think it is significant. Just as people opened Colorado 529 stable value fund some years ago for the competitive rates despite a low chance of using it for qualified expenses, we now have this option. Colorado 529 stable value pays 2.49. This ...
by centrifuge41
Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value funds in 529 Plans
Replies: 14
Views: 1741

Re: Stable Value funds in 529 Plans

Utah has a Stable Value fund now. It might be the interest rate leader for 2020 (2.73% as of 12/31/19)
by centrifuge41
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Accounts - Nevada (Vanguard) or Utah (my529)
Replies: 7
Views: 1739

Re: 529 Accounts - Nevada (Vanguard) or Utah (my529)

New to Utah: stable value fund with 2.73% interest rate.
by centrifuge41
Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to save BIG in a HCOLA
Replies: 64
Views: 5253

Re: How to save BIG in a HCOLA

Homes in many parts of NoVa do go for $1M+. The less expensive homes tend to be smaller and older, or to be townhouses or condos. Specific school pyramids and proximity to Metro are two major factors affecting NoVa home prices. Homes in the more desirable high school pyramids in Fairfax County, for...
by centrifuge41
Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If all brokerages charged zero commission for trades, which brokerage would you pick?
Replies: 80
Views: 8293

Re: If all brokerages charged zero commission for trades, which brokerage would you pick?

TD Ameritrade email from today: “We’ve turned commission fee into commission free. The investing and trading experience you know and love is getting even better. Starting on October 3, you'll also enjoy: $0 commission on online equity trades (exchange-listed U.S. stocks) $0 commission on online ETF ...
by centrifuge41
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?
Replies: 142
Views: 12244

Re: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?

Note that ice cream is sold by volume-ounces, not weight-ounces. Read the labels to compare grams (mass) per half-cup serving (= 4 volume-ounces) -- see how much ice cream ingredients you're buying (rather than air) with a premium frozen dessert product vs inexpensive. Sometimes there's a significa...
by centrifuge41
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?
Replies: 123
Views: 37820

Re: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?

LinusP wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:54 pm
Kevin M wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:02 pm
[...] if the income from USGO for VMFXX is about the same percentage as last year, the TEY also is slightly higher for me than for VUSXX.
I pulled the trigger on switching back from VUSXX to VMFXX today - no sense leaving 5 bp on the table, right?
Same transition today for me.
by centrifuge41
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New 401k Provider - Need Fund Assistance
Replies: 8
Views: 517

Re: New 401k Provider - Need Fund Assistance

Very nice lineup! If you don't have any taxable investments (only 401k + ira), then you can keep it simple by using the Target Retirement funds. Otherwise, you have a great lineup with: Vanguard Total Bond Market VBMPX Vanguard Institutional 500 Index VIIIX + (Vanguard Extended Market Index VIEIX or...
by centrifuge41
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase UR vs AmEx MR for economy flights and inflexible schedules?
Replies: 24
Views: 2108

Re: Chase UR vs AmEx MR for economy flights and inflexible schedules?

Yep. While chase UR burns at 1.5 cents each for general travel for Sapphire Reserve holders, there isn’t anything that good for Amex MR card holders. With Amex, assuming no Schwann card, the best you can do is to check various award programs for award space, and if nothing reasonable, use cash. Chec...
by centrifuge41
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxembourg--worth visiting?
Replies: 31
Views: 2809

Re: Luxembourg--worth visiting?

Luxembourg is probably the least interesting country in Europe (I have done pretty much all of them), but it's a decent base for international train excursions. The No. 1 attraction in the city is Patten's grave, which tells you all you need to know. Thirty-six hours within Luxembourg is adequate. ...
by centrifuge41
Tue May 28, 2019 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AmEx rewards points
Replies: 15
Views: 1540

Re: AmEx rewards points

Yep, Schwab approach is pretty good, as is mileage conversion option. One of my favorites is 95k ANA miles round in business class from US to Asia. For comparison, most programs require 70k round for economy. I think the other strongest transfer partners for AMEX MR to mileage for general use are Ae...
by centrifuge41
Sun May 05, 2019 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Virginia Tax Free bonds (PRVAX) vs Vanguard Muni (VWIUX)
Replies: 1
Views: 367

Re: Virginia Tax Free bonds (PRVAX) vs Vanguard Muni (VWIUX)

30 day SEC yield of 2.18%. Looks pretty good strictly from a rate perspective. Just be aware of the risks from the fund. 11.74% of the bonds are junk (BB or lower) or not rated. The bond fund is more volatile than Total Bond Market. In the past, a $11,362 investment became worth $10,522 (7.4% loss, ...
by centrifuge41
Sat May 04, 2019 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?
Replies: 24
Views: 2222

Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

I am not a WN (card) user, but it would seem to me that with a companion pass it would make some sense to actually use at least one of the cards to acquire points for award trips since they are essentially double value (companion gets a free award, right?) unless a UR card offers better earnings wi...
by centrifuge41
Sat May 04, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?
Replies: 24
Views: 2222

Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

For the two southwest cards, wait until year 2 fee posts. Confirm you got your year 2 3000 and 6000 rapid rewards in your account. Close card. They will credit back the year 2 fee. Same for united MileagePlus explorer. Year 2 bonus is 2 united club passes.
by centrifuge41
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ticker/CUSIP? BlackRock’s MSCI World ex-U.S. IMI Index Fund F
Replies: 6
Views: 752

Re: Ticker/CUSIP? BlackRock’s MSCI World ex-U.S. IMI Index Fund F

Turns out that in 2013, Vanguard switched Total Intl form MSCI World ex US IMI to the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index. Oh well, close enough. Both indices have developed countries, developing countries, Canada, and international small caps (developed, developing, and Canadian).
by centrifuge41
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ticker/CUSIP? BlackRock’s MSCI World ex-U.S. IMI Index Fund F
Replies: 6
Views: 752

Re: Ticker/CUSIP? BlackRock’s MSCI World ex-U.S. IMI Index Fund F

I have that same problem with a 401k Blackrock MSCI ex-US IMI fund without a ticker. I just use Vanguard's Total Intl Admiral (VTIAX), which tracks the same index. Granted, the fee there is 0.11%. You could also use VTPSX (Total Intl Institutional Plus shares) which costs 0.07%.
by centrifuge41
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Invest 529 or taxable account?
Replies: 55
Views: 4724

Re: Invest 529 or taxable account?

CnC wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:50 pm
We plan to retire well before age 60 so taxable accounts are necessary for funding early retirement.
You could use SEPP/rule 72t to cover your spending needs between the ages of 50 and 60.
by centrifuge41
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Invest 529 or taxable account?
Replies: 55
Views: 4724

Re: Invest 529 or taxable account?

Taxable investments and 529 plans owned by the parent (even if used on behalf of the student) count the same way. An extra 10k in either bucket would raise expected family contribution by $564 each year. Instead of 529 or taxable, are you maxing all 401k/IRAs first? Assets in those don’t count towar...
by centrifuge41
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds vs Vanguard
Replies: 80
Views: 8560

Re: American Funds vs Vanguard

Yeah, I agree. I wouldn't voluntarily pick American Funds. But if that was what was in a 401k without cheaper index fund choices, and the share class was R6 (no load, 0.2x%-0.4x% fee), I wouldn't be too upset. Growth Fund of America R6 (RGAGX) vs Vanguard Total Stock Index Admiral (VTSAX) vs Vanguar...
by centrifuge41
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Consensus on I Bonds for 2019?
Replies: 67
Views: 14320

Re: Consensus on I Bonds for 2019?

If you had purchased Vanguard Prime in November 2011 and held to the present, your yield over the past 7.5 years would have been 4.4% cumulative or 0.58% per year. The I bond rate is attractive by comparison to that, especially when you also consider the avoidance of state income tax and deferral o...
by centrifuge41
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Consensus on I Bonds for 2019?
Replies: 67
Views: 14320

Re: Consensus on I Bonds for 2019?

I'm not a buyer of I bonds. Let me challenge the prevailing view on this thread. I bought once in the past (Nov 2011 period) when I saw that the composite rate was 4.6%. 2 years later, when the composite was 1.76%, I dumped it. Back then, during that low rate period (banks like Discover savings were...
by centrifuge41
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA with HSA bank (my options?)
Replies: 44
Views: 8959

Re: HSA with HSA bank (my options?)

1. If you have zero balance in your HSABank account you are charged $3/mo for not meeting $5k monthly balance but not the $2.50/mo for having a TDA account. If however, you had a $1 balance at HSABank, you'd be charged $3.00+2.50/mo. Is that correct? Bumping an old thread. Now that interest rates a...
by centrifuge41
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Loans from 401k -- back door investing?
Replies: 57
Views: 5186

Re: Loans from 401k -- back door investing?

Bumping an old thread... Let's assume you will definitely be at the same employer for the next 5 years, and you have the liquidity to invest in a 401k and also in taxable. Let's also assume that when you take out a loan, you can continue to do your normal 401k contributions, and those are still matc...
by centrifuge41
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you pay quarterly taxes?
Replies: 36
Views: 4700

Re: Where do you pay quarterly taxes?

not sure exactly what you're asking but pretty sure you can make a total of 2 est. tax payments/qtr and you can use whatever card you wish. There are 3 authorized credit card processors.........if you are asking if you could make 2 payments/qtr w/each processor for a total of 6.........not sure but...
by centrifuge41
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 139
Views: 15988

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

I'm recommending against Hyundai. Or at least, the 6th generation Sonata. Or at least the 2.4 liter 6th generation Sonata. The MPG is terrible. There was a known scandal where Hyundai's testing did not match up with EPA standards, and most customers could not achieve the stated MPG's. I'm averaging ...
by centrifuge41
Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).
Replies: 32
Views: 3608

Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

If you want a package deal, then go for it. If you split it up, you can likely save. Some friends flew to Baltra and realized that even when purchased on the ground, wildlife tours were $150+ a day. I'm sure a cruise would cost a lot more. While Peru is next to Ecuador, that isn't necessarily a reas...
by centrifuge41
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United MileagePlus - Confused and looking for cheaper options
Replies: 26
Views: 2410

Re: United MileagePlus - Confused and looking for cheaper options

Uh no, I don't think you can get good value burning MileagePlus at hotels. Someone prove me wrong. It's the other way around... converting Marriott points to United Mileageplus during the 30% bonus promo window is a very good deal.
by centrifuge41
Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United MileagePlus - Confused and looking for cheaper options
Replies: 26
Views: 2410

Re: United MileagePlus - Confused and looking for cheaper options

Yep, buying up any significant amount of miles from United directly is expensive. Transfer from Chase UR makes sense, as does buying just 1 ticket with miles (you could buy the 2nd ticket with Aeroplan/Singapore/Ana/Lufthansa/Lifemiles etc). Also, oslocal mentioned a Marriott transfer. Right now, 60...
by centrifuge41
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap Flights
Replies: 23
Views: 2619

Re: Cheap Flights

tj wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:57 pm
AA doesn't. I had to pay to check my backpack. Lame.
New policy. Link, and Forbes article.
by centrifuge41
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap Flights
Replies: 23
Views: 2619

Re: Cheap Flights

Momondo, Google Flights, matrix.itasoftware.com, Southwest.

Also, Delta and AA basic economy allow overhead carry-ons. United doesn't.
by centrifuge41
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house 1 mile away from a municipal landfill
Replies: 43
Views: 8790

Re: Buying a house 1 mile away from a municipal landfill

I know some folks who used to live in the neighborhood right next to Mount Trashmore park in Virginia Beach. It's actually been converted for park use, and is the most popular park in the city.
by centrifuge41
Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hilton Honors
Replies: 15
Views: 2302

Re: Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors (Formerly HHonors) offers 10 points/$ for base members. So does IHG and Marriott. I value their points at 0.4 for Hilton, 0.5 for IHG, and 0.6 for Marriott. So, in the absence of 2x point promotions, I'd say it's the worst rebate on your paid stays. Domestically, even simple roadside H...
by centrifuge41
Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you save money on groceries?
Replies: 157
Views: 11619

Re: How do you save money on groceries?

OP, which town outside dc do you live? Aldi is really getok from you - is there a Lidl? Harris Teeter? I find Giant and Safeway expensive. Produce is often cheap at Asian stores (H Mart is one of the pricier Asian stores, and Lotte is one of the cheapest. Great Wall and Good Fortune are in the middl...
by centrifuge41
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to Underperform the Market
Replies: 48
Views: 5371

Re: How to Underperform the Market

3. Doubling down on stocks as they go to 0. Stocks can go to 0, but they cannot go to infinity. And yet, in order to make up for losing all your investment, you would need an infinite return on your next investment. I think you only need a 100% gain on your next investment of the same starting doll...
by centrifuge41
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plan us a trip !
Replies: 17
Views: 2355

Re: Plan us a trip !

Probably start with whatever star alliance nonstops are available from EWR, and see what interests you! Hard to go match saver inventory to dates when we don't know your interests yet :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newark_Li ... al_Airport
by centrifuge41
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is expensive olive oil worth it?
Replies: 63
Views: 8204

Re: Is expensive olive oil worth it?

I find the Bertolli olive oil has significantly less flavor than the 3.99/bottle Aldi SimplyNature house brand organic olive oil. You can get more flavor for less $ if you try out Aldi or Lidl's olive oils, which always cost between $3 and $4 a bottle at Aldi, and which get to that price at Lidl whe...
by centrifuge41
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: San Antonio and Austin trip
Replies: 23
Views: 1872

Re: San Antonio and Austin trip

If you wish to stay in San Antonio longer, you can visit the missions trail and see a few other missions south of the Alamo. Of course, San Antonio also has a 6 flags and a Sea World, but so do other cities. And then, off to Austin you go. If you wish, you can stop at the Outlets at San Marcos.
by centrifuge41
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX) breaks 1.00 (% not $)
Replies: 242
Views: 52942

Re: Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX) breaks 1.00 (% not $)

Nice! Rate going up quickly.
Quick snapshot today:
CIT: 1.85%
Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 1.7%
Discover savings: 1.65%
Ally: 1.65%
Amex Savings: 1.65%
Barclays Savings: 1.65%
Capital One Money Market: 1.6%