Search found 366 matches

by rokidtoo
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3035
Views: 934146

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"The [(removed) --admin LadyGeek] Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives" by Jesse Eisinger. An interesting and entertaining book. A lot of the people highlighted in the book, e.g. Robert Mueller, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, and James Comey, are in today's news. The book's...
by rokidtoo
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I continue to hold REITs?
Replies: 48
Views: 4001

Re: Should I continue to hold REITs?

I used to hold REITs in my IRA, and having bought them near the depths of the financial crisis they did very well for years. When it because apparent they were unduly valuated I exchanged that holding for the S&P500 Index. Since I retired in early 2012 also consolidated SV and small International i...
by rokidtoo
Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I continue to hold REITs?
Replies: 48
Views: 4001

Re: Should I continue to hold REITs?

I used to hold REITS. However, they're a small component of the total domestic market. Therefore, why should I overweight REITS in my portfolio? Do I know something that millions of investors do not? No. :oops:

Consequently, I now hold the total domestic stock market index.
by rokidtoo
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1821
Views: 330340

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Target allocation: 60/40 stock/bonds

Quicken YTD (12/29/2017): 16.02%
by rokidtoo
Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP G Fund
Replies: 18
Views: 3038

Re: TSP G Fund

The G-Fund is invested in the same securities as Social Security. Very safe, but low returns.
by rokidtoo
Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camera recommendations- Not SLR
Replies: 52
Views: 5255

Re: Camera recommendations- Not SLR

I've been a fan of the Panasonic LX line of high end compacts. The latest in the line, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 is a fine addition to the line that may replace my LX-7. I bought an LX100 for my 2015 trip to Thailand and Cambodia. I got absolutely beautiful pictures and 4K video. No problems, n...
by rokidtoo
Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Hermine
Replies: 48
Views: 5280

Re: Hurricane Hermine

Yesterday, we self-evacuated from our rental home in Corolla, NC. Having experienced Hurricane Dennis, up close and personal, in a home on the Nags Head beach in 1999, we weren't taking any chances. 8-)
by rokidtoo
Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to take first international trip
Replies: 43
Views: 3148

Re: Looking to take first international trip

When I worked at NASA, I got to go to Rome (European Space Agency) and Paris, circa 1994. To me, Rome was kind of third world, i.e. hot, dirty, chaotic, but extremely interesting. Paris was very first world. Wonderful restaurants, gardens, museums, and culture. Although some people complain about th...
by rokidtoo
Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of car are you driving?
Replies: 368
Views: 37875

Re: What kind of car are you driving?

Currently, we have a 2006 Toyota Avalon and a 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid. We love both cars. The hybrid has gotten an average of 38.2 mpg since we bought it new in 2014. The only downside is that we lost ~2 cu. ft. of trunk capacity and the ability to pass long objects through the trunk into the back...
by rokidtoo
Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car Trim levels
Replies: 58
Views: 5749

Re: New Car Trim levels

The Toyota Avalon owners manual (like pretty much every owners manual I have ever read says: ■ Situations unsuitable for cruise control Do not use cruise control in any of the following situations. Doing so may result in loss of control and could cause an accident resulting in death or serious inju...
by rokidtoo
Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car Trim levels
Replies: 58
Views: 5749

Re: New Car Trim levels

On the other hand, the Hybrid has a smaller trunk because of the traction battery. In addition, the ski pass-through slot is configured, but doesn't work because the traction battery blocks the opening.

On the positive side, I've averaged 38.2 mpg over 30,000 miles of city and highway driving.
by rokidtoo
Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car Trim levels
Replies: 58
Views: 5749

Re: New Car Trim levels

I love my Avalon. I have the Hybrid Limited. Plenty of power, good handling, very comfortable, and very reliable. Incidently, I also like the automatic high beams. They seemed kind of gimmicky. However, I'll want them on any car I purchase in the future. They're very convenient.
by rokidtoo
Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car Trim levels
Replies: 58
Views: 5749

Re: New Car Trim levels

I really like the adaptive cruise control. However, it doesn't work in heavy rain or snow in my 2014 Toyota Avalon. In addition, the radar sensor can also become frozen over on slushy roads, thus rendering the adaptive cruise control inoperable. The regular cruise control works fine regardless of co...
by rokidtoo
Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1821
Views: 330340

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

YTD: 2.24% on a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio with 20% rebalancing bands. My best YTD 2016 funds are long term bonds (VUSTX) at 8.56% and REITS (VGSLX) at 6.10%. However, VUSTX wasn't so good to me last year at -1.54%. My worst performing fund YTD is Total International Stocks (VTIAX) at -1.13%. It als...
by rokidtoo
Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of car do you drive? [Looking for new car]
Replies: 126
Views: 9014

Re: What kind of car do you drive?

2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid. 38 overall mpg over 23K miles.

2006 Toyota Avalon. 21 city, 30 hwy, 165K miles.

The two best cars I've ever owned.

Both were bought new.
by rokidtoo
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: What percentage of your expenses are covered by SS and/or pensions
Replies: 84
Views: 7777

Re: Retirees: What percentage of your expenses are covered by SS and/or pensions

A federal pension and my wife's Social Security cover 100% of our expenses. Currently, we use IRA/401K portfolio money to travel. In two years our mortgage will be payed off, thus freeing up additional resources.
by rokidtoo
Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your average return?
Replies: 17
Views: 2420

Re: What is your average return?

...is probably what separates great investors from good investors most. To date, I'm trying to follow Mr. Bogle's advice. Purchase the entire market, hold it forever, and accept the returns it provides. So far, this approach has worked pretty well for me. I'm reaching my financial goals. In additio...
by rokidtoo
Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your average return?
Replies: 17
Views: 2420

Re: What is your average return?

2004-2015 7.67% average return (nominal) 14.07% Standard Deviation 6.65% CAGR I gradually moved from 70/30 stocks/bonds to 60/40 stocks/bonds during this period. My best performer during this period was the Vanguard REIT fund (VGSLX): 12.03% average return (nominal) 21.84% Standard Deviation 9.71% C...
by rokidtoo
Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to travel July/August for 1-2 weeks?
Replies: 15
Views: 2522

Re: Best place to travel July/August for 1-2 weeks?

My son, my brother, and I took a trip to Thailand and Cambodia last summer. We were in country for 10 days and the round trip from Washington DC took 3 days. We spent time in Siem Reap, Cambodia (Angkor Wat/floating villages), Bangkok, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. My son, in particular, loved it. He's ...
by rokidtoo
Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1821
Views: 330340

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

0.12% as of 31 Dec 2015. Roughly 60/40 stocks/bonds. :(
by rokidtoo
Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TurboTax Deluxe: download or disc?
Replies: 12
Views: 1716

Re: TurboTax Deluxe: download or disc?

Seamless again this year.
by rokidtoo
Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor gas grill recommendation
Replies: 58
Views: 6439

Re: Outdoor gas grill recommendation

We bought a Weber Spirit E310 from Amazon two years ago. It has been great. We use it rain or shine, winter and summer. It's currently $499 on Amazon.
by rokidtoo
Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roomba
Replies: 8
Views: 1288

Re: Roomba

We bought a Roomba 650 a couple of years ago for my elderly in-laws - 90s. It does a nice job of cleaning and fluffing up their carpeting. They also enjoy watching it clean. It's the best gift we've ever given them. :happy
by rokidtoo
Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel camera (s?)
Replies: 23
Views: 2739

Re: Travel camera (s?)

The Lumix LX100 has a feature, "I Handheld Night Shot", that is useful in low light situations. When the camera senses it's being hand held under low light conditions, it automatically raises the ISO and shutter speed. It then takes a burst of shots (I'm assuming with varying ISOs) and combines them...
by rokidtoo
Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel camera (s?)
Replies: 23
Views: 2739

Re: Travel camera (s?)

I took a an LX100 to SE Asia last summer and got about 800 crisp, sharp photos. In addition, the HDR feature really made my photos of the jungles, temples, and bright colors of SE Asia pop. Finally, the LX100's view finder was very useful in the bright sun. I looked at the RX100. However, I thought ...
by rokidtoo
Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (Available)Red Wine for under $15 preferrably under $10
Replies: 110
Views: 27744

Re: Best (Available)Red Wine for under $15 preferrably under $10

Marietta Old Vine Red - $10.99 at Total Wine in Virginia
by rokidtoo
Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Policy Poll
Replies: 60
Views: 6391

Re: Long Term Care Policy Poll

We recently put my father-in-law in a nursing home. It's a very nice home and close to my mother-in-law. However, it costs $156,000 per year or approximately $425 per day. LTC is a very expensive proposition in Northern Virginia. Perhaps, it's cheaper elsewhere.

Thank goodness for Medicaid!
by rokidtoo
Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Headlights & car safety
Replies: 50
Views: 5150

Re: Headlights & car safety

I have automatic high beams on my 2014 Toyota Avalon. A windshield camera detects oncoming headlights and the tail lights of cars I'm following. Although they were an option on my prior 2006 Avalon, they just seemed gimmicky to me. However, now that I actually have them, I love them.
by rokidtoo
Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VW stock goes from 170 to almost 100 and falling, good time to buy?
Replies: 169
Views: 19755

Re: VW stock goes from 170 to almost 100 and falling, good time to buy?

FYI. The first article discusses why it is so difficult to create a clean diesel engine. http://www.livescience.com/52284-volkswagen-scandal-clean-diesel-challenges.html The second article claims the clean diesels can't be adequately fixed. The software fix will result in more CO2, less torque, and ...
by rokidtoo
Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VW/Audi Diesel Recall
Replies: 118
Views: 11150

Re: VW/Audi Diesel Recall

The thought has probably crossed your mind that the US isn't the only country that tests emissions and certifies vehicles, and that the software could be similarly modified in every market to meet test requirements. Tick-tock.... Per VW, the offending software was installed in 11m cars. http://www....
by rokidtoo
Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World
Replies: 71
Views: 8175

Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

I have my dumb TV speaker outputs hooked up to my 20th century stereo. I can play Pandora through cable (Directv in my case), my Blu-ray player, or a Roku stick. Alternately, you can use a smart TV that supports Pandora access. I can access my computer's iTunes library through the Roku stick. Finall...
by rokidtoo
Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1821
Views: 330340

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

-2.91% YTD.

Portfolio: 60/40 stocks/bonds
by rokidtoo
Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband's nursing home costs eating up inheritance and savings.
Replies: 25
Views: 5579

Re: Husband's nursing home costs eating up inheritance and savings.

As of yesterday, the majority of my father-in-law's nursing home costs were approved for payment under Medicaid. Two points: 1. Run, don't walk, to an elder attorney. Applying for Medicaid and protecting spousal assets, as allowed under law, is non-trivial. 2. $12,000 a month for a nursing home is n...
by rokidtoo
Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds
Replies: 97
Views: 12521

Re: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds

My calcs using the TSP data set show, in the 34 rolling three year periods, G fund securities would have underperformed CPI-U one period; the return for (2011,2012,2013) was -0.13% below CPI-U. These are the numbers I have. Which ones differ from yours? 2008: Inflation: 3.8%; Return: 3.75%; Real Re...
by rokidtoo
Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds
Replies: 97
Views: 12521

Re: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds

If your definition of "no inflation risk" is that an asset has to match the CPI, then sure, the G Fund isn't guaranteed to beat it over any given time period. This seems myopic to me. The only way you guarantee beating it is to take on interest rate risk with TIPS, and they're clearly more risky. T...
by rokidtoo
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds
Replies: 97
Views: 12521

Re: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds

[IMO std dev of G fund is not a sensible measure to compare to. The variance is all upside, so look at semivariance. So moving from G to F is not taking on "sightly higher" risk; it is taking on risk over the riskless asset. Not if you consider inflation risk. There is no inflation risk with the G ...
by rokidtoo
Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds
Replies: 97
Views: 12521

Re: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds

[IMO std dev of G fund is not a sensible measure to compare to. The variance is all upside, so look at semivariance. So moving from G to F is not taking on "sightly higher" risk; it is taking on risk over the riskless asset. Not if you consider inflation risk. There is no inflation risk with the G ...
by rokidtoo
Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds
Replies: 97
Views: 12521

Re: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds

tarnation wrote:[IMO std dev of G fund is not a sensible measure to compare to. The variance is all upside, so look at semivariance. So moving from G to F is not taking on "sightly higher" risk; it is taking on risk over the riskless asset.
Not if you consider inflation risk.
by rokidtoo
Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds
Replies: 97
Views: 12521

Re: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds

Well, here we are, four years on. How are things working out with my fellow TSP investors? I have now put my "bond" holdings in the G Fund, exclusively. Is that a mistake? Should I split it between F and G? Is G a good place to be, with the "bond" allocation in my TSP, or would F be better for dive...
by rokidtoo
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: East Coast Beach Trip This Summer - Family of 5
Replies: 22
Views: 2623

Re: East Coast Beach Trip This Summer - Family of 5

The Outer Banks, NC. Lots of houses to rent in every price range. In addition, lots of shopping, restaurants, fishing piers, lighthouses, golf and things for kids to do. If you'd like more peace and quiet, Duck and Corolla at the North End of the Outer Banks are nice. For more activities Nags Head a...
by rokidtoo
Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3531
Views: 1006222

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

"Apocalypse Now Redux" for the umpteenth time. For me, this movie captures the weirdness and contradictions of the Vietnam War and the culture shock felt by millions of Americans experiencing Southeast Asia for the first time. The Plantation Scene, which did not appear in the original movie, provide...
by rokidtoo
Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VUSTX 25.28% 2014
Replies: 6
Views: 754

Re: VUSTX 25.28% 2014

Matthew73 wrote:Any theories on why this bond fund did 25.28% last year and so much better than other bond funds overall?
Investors were convinced in 2013 that long term interest rates could only go up. Consequently, VUSTX lost 13.03%. In 2014, investors changed their minds.
by rokidtoo
Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mice in the house
Replies: 86
Views: 8222

Re: Mice in the house

I've had really good luck with these traps. They're easy to bait, effective, and reusable. Plus you don't have to touch the dead mouse.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YT ... UTF8&psc=1
by rokidtoo
Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?
Replies: 144
Views: 19141

Re: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?

In 2014 I enjoyed a 8.55% return on a 60/40 stock, bond portfolio. My best performing funds were U.S. REITS (VGSLX) and Long Term Treasuries (VUSTX). My worst performing fund was Total International Markets (VTIAX). :beer
by rokidtoo
Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Light Bulb Question
Replies: 66
Views: 9137

Re: Light Bulb Question

Also be sure to purchase a dimable variety so it will function like your old incandescents. FYI. I recently bought some FEIT dimmable LED floods at Costco for our recessed kitchen fixtures. Unfortunately, they sometimes flicker when dimmed. Troubleshooting, I discovered that dimmable CFL and LED li...
by rokidtoo
Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 81
Views: 9162

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

If the Avalon is anything like the Prius good luck on driving 12 miles in EV mode. It seems like the only use for EV would be to force the traction battery to fully discharge. Hopefully, the gasoline engine would come on before that point. The whole computerized transmission, electric motor/gasolin...
by rokidtoo
Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 81
Views: 9162

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

We bought a 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid at the end of July. We've averaged 39.5 mpg over the first 4,000 miles. The 2014 Avalon is more comfortable than our 2006 Avalon and handles better. The interior, front and rear, is just as roomy. The only drawback is that we have .2 cu ft less cargo capacity, 1...
by rokidtoo
Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1821
Views: 330340

Re: What are you up YTD?

7.26% with a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio. To date, REITS and LT Treasuries have been my big winners.
by rokidtoo
Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds
Replies: 97
Views: 12521

Re: Question about Govt. TSP: G vs. F Funds

I took the return, standard deviation, and correlations for the C Fund, G Fund, F Fund, and the Vanguard Short Term Bond Index Fund (VBIRX) for the last 10 years (2004-2013) and put them into the VisualMvo mean variance optimizer. Considering an approximate 60/40 stock/bond allocation, I obtained th...
by rokidtoo
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Recommending Quicken Changes
Replies: 62
Views: 10082

Re: Vanguard Recommending Quicken Changes

At least for my account, it's now working. Instead of the error box, I got a box allowing me to link my Quicken account to a Vanguard brokerage account (?)

I guess my mistake was to try and update my Quicken/Vanguard access before all of the Vanguard's customers had completed their testing.