Search found 613 matches

by tractorguy
Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Changing cost basis method from Average to Actual Cost
Replies: 18
Views: 1242

Re: Changing cost basis method from Average to Actual Cost

I prefer to use actual cost because it increases the ability to tax loss harvest but it increases the book keeping burden on both you and your broker. Since 2012, your broker is required to keep track of your actual cost and if you sell shares, you can specify which lots. They will match up your sal...
by tractorguy
Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a some good computer speakers to listen to southern gospel music on would like high quality under $100
Replies: 12
Views: 1049

Re: Looking for a some good computer speakers to listen to southern gospel music on would like high quality under $100

I have a set of Bose Companion 20 multimedia speakers https://www.crutchfield.com/p_018COMP20/Bose-Companion-20-multimedia-speaker-system.html that I'm very happy with but at $250, they are way out of your target price range. Bose also sells a $99.00 speaker pair that I've not heard. Audiophiles wil...
by tractorguy
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Lockheed Martin about to become the biggest company in history?
Replies: 66
Views: 6395

Re: Is Lockheed Martin about to become the biggest company in history?

IMOP the comic xkcd did is appropriate here. https://xkcd.com/678/ Even after someone does a proof of concept test (which I've not heard of), it will be decades before the engineering and regulatory problems get solved and we have a working generating plant.
by tractorguy
Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recruiter from competitor
Replies: 20
Views: 2597

Re: Recruiter from competitor

How healthy is your company? If its a leader in its market & generally profitable, then they will be surveying what other employers in your business and region are paying and will generally be paying market rates to retain people. If they are small, struggling, or have very small market share, then ...
by tractorguy
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tailoring a SuitSupply Suit: Is a non SS tailor okay?
Replies: 6
Views: 1019

Re: Tailoring a SuitSupply Suit: Is a non SS tailor okay?

Find a local tailor. My local dry cleaner offers this service for trousers and they do a fine job.
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nice tax problem to have – Please Advise
Replies: 14
Views: 2666

Re: Nice tax problem to have – Please Advise

When I was working, I was able to cover the additional taxes on dividends by adjusting my W4. I am mostly in index funds which have small, predictable dividends. They didn't change much from year to year so it was easy to figure the W4 adjustment. I did not discover estimated taxes until I retired. ...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Two- Factor Authentication at Vanguard - Update
Replies: 25
Views: 4958

Re: Two- Factor Authentication at Vanguard - Update

FWIW, I've been using 2FA authorization on my Vanguard account since it was offered and Quicken desktop has no problems with it. I can't remember what I did the first time I downloaded after I set it up, I do remember that I had to do something different. Since then, its been fine.
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I’m looking for a word...
Replies: 114
Views: 9218

Re: I’m looking for a word...

I'm also going to vote for the Butterfly effect. From the wikipedia article on Chaos Theory. "The butterfly effect describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state, e.g. a butterfly flapping its wings in China can cause a ...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)
Replies: 70
Views: 6684

Re: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)

I had been using Turbotax but got tired of their price increases and IMOP bait & switch marketing strategy about 3 years ago. I did a trial version of my taxes online with all 3 major companies and ended up picking HRBlock to use going forward. My assesment was; HR Block & Turbotax interfaces are ab...
by tractorguy
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099
Replies: 24
Views: 1314

Re: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099

If pay is the same W 2 is almost always a better deal. The employer pays half of social security and Medicare. This is 7.65 % on the first $128,000 and 1.45% on income above that. This is in addition to the social security and Medicare tax you pay as an employee. You also usually get access to other...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Post: Fees question
Replies: 10
Views: 860

Re: First Post: Fees question

You may be able to transfer your American funds to Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwabb "in kind." If you do that, it isn't a sale and you don't pay any capital gains tax. On any of the brokerage sites, type the ticker symbol into their search box and it will give a page which tells you if they handle the...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is anyone using a bill paying service?
Replies: 16
Views: 1524

Re: Is anyone using a bill paying service?

I helped my 93 year old mother in law set up all her bills as direct debit from the bank or her credit card and her credit card as autopay from the bank account. The only checks she writes now are her church donation (which she doesn't want to automate because she wants the physical act of putting i...
by tractorguy
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Taxes myself in the future
Replies: 19
Views: 1785

Re: Filing Taxes myself in the future

While it is fresh in your mind, you may want to consider running this year's data through one of the tax software packages to verify that you get the same answer as HR Block. I think that you can start an online return with any of them and not pay until you actually file. I did this when I was compa...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Income as part of the bond position
Replies: 14
Views: 897

Re: Income as part of the bond position

I wouldn't include future income from stocks and bonds when figuring my net worth and asset allocation because it is not guaranteed and a totally different kind of measure of your situation. Also, the studies of safe withdrawal rate are all based on a traditional measure of your investments value.
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing spreadsheet or software?
Replies: 17
Views: 1562

Re: Investing spreadsheet or software?

I have Quicken Premier 2017 which still uses a local file and does not require a subscription. You can still buy it from some vendors, but not Amazon or Quicken. It requires a login to the New Quicken server to download balance and entries but not if you are doing everything manually. I think 2018 m...
by tractorguy
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung Chromebook vs Tablet for Travel?
Replies: 15
Views: 1078

Re: Samsung Chromebook vs Tablet for Travel?

I have a laptop, chromebook, tablet & smart phone. I tend to use a laptop & smart phone when I'm on a road trip, the chromebook & phone when I'm flying. I use the tablet at home to play games if my spouse has a TV show on that I don't want to spend 100% of my attention on. When I'm traveling, I rare...
by tractorguy
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to delete/diminish/replace Quicken and minimize time tracking finances?
Replies: 45
Views: 2616

Re: How to delete/diminish/replace Quicken and minimize time tracking finances?

I've been using Quicken for 20 years and have been using the auto download feature for that long as well. Its a great time saver. I've got bank accounts at two banks, several brokerage accounts at Vanguard, & 2 credit card accounts that I'm tracking in Quicken. It took me 30 minutes (I timed it) tod...
by tractorguy
Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another Early Retirement Thread...
Replies: 15
Views: 1865

Re: Another Early Retirement Thread...

Does your position allow for sabbatical? I know several professors who took a year off and came back totally recharged. One of them spent a year in Australia teaching and traveling. I would also ask about a two or three unpaid leave of absence to travel with your spouse. Those are years you won't be...
by tractorguy
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWIUX vs VBTLX in 24% tax bracket
Replies: 19
Views: 2552

Re: VWIUX vs VBTLX in 24% tax bracket

I too have a 24% marginal Federal tax rate and struggle with this question every time that I re-allocate. I've got all of my tax free space filled with bond funds, and am now growing bonds in my taxable space. Historically, I've done the same calculation as the OP and found that the two funds, after...
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Evidence that retirement account ID theft is increasing
Replies: 31
Views: 4573

Re: Evidence that retirement account ID theft is increasing

I read the original article and it strikes me as click bait with a goal of getting people to sign up for a newsletter and eventually buy books. I'm not sure where the 7% of non credit card fraud number comes from and I don't believe it. I think we'd be hearing a lot more about these kinds of fraud e...
by tractorguy
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe to file taxes now?
Replies: 57
Views: 4916

Re: Safe to file taxes now?

I filed with H&R Block Deluxe last week the day after the brokerage forms were available on Vanguard's website. I was in a rush because I have a significant refund, because I'm traveling for the next few weeks and wanted this out of the way, and because my information was in the Equifax leak. HR Blo...
by tractorguy
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you use the "4% rule" during retirement?
Replies: 68
Views: 8814

Re: How many of you use the "4% rule" during retirement?

I used it as a planning tool prior to retirement and as a way to get comfortable with retiring early. I've checked my withdrawal rate the first few years and found it to be in the 2.5% range even before taking social security. I've not run out to buy a Ferrari to up my spending rate but we've schedu...
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going Paperless Issues
Replies: 68
Views: 4317

Re: Going Paperless Issues

I also have been paperless for years and it has been working flawlessly. Over the last 3 years, I've moved from a mode of logging on to each web site to pay bills to having everything set up to pay balance due automatically. It's a mix of pulls from my bank, pushes from my bank, and pulls from my cr...
by tractorguy
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 1099-MISC yet
Replies: 9
Views: 718

Re: No 1099-MISC yet

I vaguely remember that turbotax wouldn't let me efile without an employer EIN when I had a similar issue 3 years ago. This year I used H&R Blocks software to do my taxes and it had no complaints about a $400 income without a 1099 or an employer EIN. I'm not sure if the difference is the lower incom...
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reasons to underweight foreign stocks?
Replies: 42
Views: 2212

Re: Reasons to underweight foreign stocks?

Some of these have been articulated by but my reasons to underweight international to 20% are: 1) I've lived and worked in industry in the UK & Japan for 5 years each and have seen first hand the regulatory burden in the EU and Japan. It is much more restrictive to innovation than anything I've seen...
by tractorguy
Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What backup service to use?
Replies: 57
Views: 5026

Re: What backup service to use?

I too am attempting to find a replacement for Crashplan. This is a summary of a work in progress. I'm putting it here and will add to it as I find out stuff. My situation: I have 2 Windows 10 machines. Each one has a 1Tbyte drive in it but they are greatly under used. I have about 700 Gbyte between ...
by tractorguy
Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond Market Index Fund vs. CDs?
Replies: 33
Views: 4692

Re: Total Bond Market Index Fund vs. CDs?

For me the answer (and the answer that I use for any allocation decision whenever it's close to a wash) is to put some money in both. I've got about 3 years of expenses in CD's and the rest of my non-stock allocation in bonds. I was setting up a CD ladder but IMOP, the higher interest rates for long...
by tractorguy
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compensation for vehicle travel
Replies: 8
Views: 753

Re: Compensation for vehicle travel

As others have said, it depends. You should get whatever you want to be paid for agreed to BEFORE you agree to the job. Coming back to your customer afterwards and submitting a bill that includes unexpected charges is a good way to shrink a business. Typically, as a hiring manager, I'd expect to pay...
by tractorguy
Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed
Replies: 49
Views: 2824

Re: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed

I can’t comment on the itinerary but do have a suggestion re cell phones. I was in Germany last fall and was planning to buy a local SIM card for my unlocked GSM phone so I could call local friends, hotels, and use Google maps while driving. Until recently, you could buy a pay as you go SIM card alm...
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Longtime AT&T customer looking for MVNO cell provider
Replies: 30
Views: 3434

Re: Longtime AT&T customer looking for MVNO cell provider

I’ve been using consumer cellular for a couple of years and will be switching as soon as I go home. It’s been fine at my home but is typically terrible if I’m traveling anywhere except on a highway or in a major city. Ive found that I frequently have nothing or voice with no data. I’ll be looking at...
by tractorguy
Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photos dark because of sunlight..what free software to enhance
Replies: 27
Views: 1786

Re: Photos dark because of sunlight..what free software to enhane

Google Picasa will also let you lighten dark parts of your picture if you want to edit them on a Windows PC. It's no longer supported but you can still download and install it for free. I've not yet found another PC tool that is as easy to use. One feature is that it doesn't really modify the origin...
by tractorguy
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1273

Re: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?

I've found that carrying a smart phone makes it easy to create a travel log at any time. I volunteer at a museum about 30 miles from my house and could not discipline myself to keep a log on the days I drove out there. I go on Wednesdays and Saturdays but not every week because of other comittments....
by tractorguy
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring $$ from Ally
Replies: 19
Views: 1458

Re: Transferring $$ from Ally

I initiate all transfers at Ally. When you initiate, it will ask you when you want the money to appear at your bank. You can probably schedule it tonight to be done sometime in December. As others have suggested, I would do it a couple of days early so you can verify that its there and available for...
by tractorguy
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 93
Views: 8342

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I use a free iOS app called 'Hiya' for blocking these. It works pretty well, though nothing is 100% perfect. Hiya is also available for android. I've been using it for 3 months and have noticed a significant drop in spam calls from 1-2/day to 1 every other week. If the number is on their blacklist,...
by tractorguy
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Request for Promotion letter to Senior Management
Replies: 155
Views: 14119

Re: Request for Promotion letter to Senior Management

I'm going to join the chorus that is saying that a letter is at best a waste of time and at worst, a written label that you are a high maintenance employee. (This is a label you don't ever want to get). My understanding is that you are a technical contributor in a staff organization (the project man...
by tractorguy
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for organizing bookmarks
Replies: 9
Views: 724

Re: Suggestions for organizing bookmarks

I use the Chrome browser on all my devices and it reliably synchronizes my ~4000 bookmarks everywhere pretty much instantly. They are available on my Pc, Chromebook, tablet or phone. I can even log on to a walk up PC at the public library and my bookmarks are there. I used to use Firefox but migrate...
by tractorguy
Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in construction equipment rental business
Replies: 15
Views: 1148

Re: Investing in construction equipment rental business

Construction Equipment rental is a competitive business with many players. Before jumping in, you should look at the competition. A quick Google search turned up national companies such as Home Depot, Sunbelt rental, United rental, etc. What are you and your friend going to offer that they don't? Wh...
by tractorguy
Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Restricted Stock Units...Profit?
Replies: 23
Views: 2231

Re: Restricted Stock Units...Profit?

As others have said, Restricted Stock Units and Options are totally different animals and you need to figure out which you have. It is most likely Restricted Stock Units because most of the tax advantages for companies to give their employees stock options have gone away. RSU's are cheap for them to...
by tractorguy
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accidentally held onto RSU's
Replies: 10
Views: 1951

Re: Accidentally held onto RSU's

A horror story to motivate you to sell. A friend of mine was given significant stock options by his employer around 2000. In early 2008, the stock peaked and he exercised them. He could have exercised and sold (as he was advised to by several friends), but he thought the company would continue to do...
by tractorguy
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LibreOffice
Replies: 24
Views: 3181

Re: LibreOffice

I've used LibreOffice on MSWindows for about 6 years since I retired and lost my access to a reduced price license for Office through my work. Its OK but it reminds me of the way office software was 20 years ago. The basic features all work but any time I try something a little new it isn't intuitiv...
by tractorguy
Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I bought a different car and my old bike rack no longer works. How should I transport my bike moving forward?
Replies: 67
Views: 3929

Re: I bought a different car and my old bike rack no longer works. How should I transport my bike moving forward?

I am using a Saris freedom 2 hitch mount tray type bike rack. I have used Thule roof racks and a Yakima trunk mounted rack. The hitch mount is by far the easiest to put on the car and put bikes on.
by tractorguy
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Excel 2010 and Windows 7 -- Where to go from here?
Replies: 39
Views: 3448

Re: Excel 2010 and Windows 7 -- Where to go from here?

Have you considered moving away from Excel altogether and going to something more maintainable? I'm not a software geek but I did manage some for a period. We found that Excel is wonderful for non-programmers who want to put together a quick analysis. However, maintaining anything that is the least ...
by tractorguy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turbochargers
Replies: 60
Views: 5658

Re: Turbochargers

I had a Chrysler product with a turbocharger in the 80's. It was great while it lasted, gave me more power without a hit on fuel mileage. I sold it when the head gasket showed signs of leaking the second time (I had replaced it once). I've avoided turbocharged engines since then. Its not just to tur...
by tractorguy
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trailer Towing Tidbits? [and epilogue]
Replies: 52
Views: 4043

Re: Trailer Towing Tidbits?

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that toll roads will be an unpleasant surprise (if you have any on your route). You pay by the axle and I think a car + trailer can be double a car alone. A 2 axle trailer costs more on a toll road than a one axle. I pulled a loaded 5x8 with a 2015 ML350 and di...
by tractorguy
Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trailer Towing Tidbits? [and epilogue]
Replies: 52
Views: 4043

Re: Trailer Towing Tidbits?

I pulled this trailer with this car from NJ to New Hampshire (about 700 miles) and a 2 axle from NJ to Chicago when we cleaned out my Mother in laws house. I think I got about 15 mpg on the highway, traveling with traffic at 70. You should not have any problems. +1 on spending some time backing up i...
by tractorguy
Mon May 29, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Managing My Elderly Moms Portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 2356

Re: Managing My Elderly Moms Portfolio

Does her facility have smaller apartments that cost less? My 91 year old MIL just moved into a facility in northern NJ that I consider very upscale and it only costs her a little over $3500/month. This is after the initial buy in (which her heirs are supposed to to get mostly back). This fee include...
by tractorguy
Wed May 24, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity customer protection guarantee-void if you use Mint?
Replies: 39
Views: 5228

Re: Fidelity customer protection guarantee-void if you use Mint?

As nisiprius said earlier, this is probably a really grey area. However, I use Quicken to download transactions from my banks, Fidelity, and Vanguard and don't lose any sleep over the practice. My reasons are : 1 I think an aggregation gives me added security because I check all transactions on all ...
by tractorguy
Wed May 17, 2017 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sony a6500
Replies: 24
Views: 2351

Re: Sony a6500

I've been religious about putting a clear filter on all my lenses ever since I took a chip out of the front element of my Nikon when I was climbing a temple in Cambodia. It's cheap insurance.