Search found 188 matches

by sketchy9
Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a condo owner need umbrella insurance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2522

Re: Does a condo owner need umbrella insurance?

The wife and I have 2 condos. We decided for the umbrella policy. The price is cheap especially in comparison to the risk. We simply used our homeowners insurance company (which is also our auto). The savings of shopping around is probably minimal, especially when you bundle. We also got separate i...
by sketchy9
Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage refi question - brick and mortar vs online
Replies: 12
Views: 635

Re: mortgage refi question - brick and mortar vs online

When I was researching refis, I noticed that the traditional B&M banks consistently had worse rates than the online outfits. I ended up using better.com and the experience was extremely smooth. I think application to loan funding was less than 30 days, and part of that delay was because my HOA w...
by sketchy9
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does purchasing Umbrella Insurance Coverage makes sense?
Replies: 108
Views: 7299

Re: When does purchasing Umbrella Insurance Coverage makes sense?

I have used an umbrella policy and made the decision based on my risk exposure: teenagers in the household, get umbrella coverage. Pool, get umbrella coverage. High crime area, get umbrella coverage. Public exposure of your assets, i.e. windfall wealth, you become a CEO with publicity attendant, et...
by sketchy9
Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 21235
Views: 2881395

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

Maybe I should actually think about writing my first will. If the virus becomes pandemic, the first thing to worry about is to stay alive. The mortality rate has been 2%. I can't bring myself to say "only" 2%. And for flu it's in the ballpark of 5 per 100,000 so this is hundreds of times ...
by sketchy9
Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 21235
Views: 2881395

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

Maybe I should actually think about writing my first will. If the virus becomes pandemic, the first thing to worry about is to stay alive. The mortality rate has been 2%. I can't bring myself to say "only" 2%. And for flu it's in the ballpark of 5 per 100,000 so this is hundreds of times ...
by sketchy9
Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Find a Good Mortgage Calculator for Savings from Prepaying Mortgage
Replies: 11
Views: 920

Re: Help Me Find a Good Mortgage Calculator for Savings from Prepaying Mortgage

https://financial-calculators.com/ultimate-financial-calculator It's a little tricky to understand how to input data, but once you figure it out it's the best one I've seen. You can add single lump sums, multiple lump sums, recurring payments on any schedule you want, and so on (and all simultaneous...
by sketchy9
Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 25 years to retirement, advice on speeding up growth?
Replies: 62
Views: 5953

Re: 25 years to retirement, advice on speeding up growth?

Getting up to 15% savings - that is definitely something I will try harder to work out. Regarding my part-time work lifestyle, I saw an opportunity and I decided to grab it and hold on. In some sense it's like borrowing 1/4 of my future retirement. A lot could be said about having that time now. Wi...
by sketchy9
Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Union paid out on a stopped check from 2017
Replies: 32
Views: 2286

Re: Credit Union paid out on a stopped check from 2017

I never knew about the 6 month time limit. What a crock. One more reson to ditch this antiquated payment method IMO.
by sketchy9
Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Case Against ETFs
Replies: 193
Views: 11518

Re: The Case Against ETFs

Two thoughts: 1. The vast majority of actively managed funds are actually mutual funds, not ETFs. This is because ETFs are required to report their holdings daily, which would give away the active manager's strategy. https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/investment-products/etf/types-of-etfs-act...
by sketchy9
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP share prices for Quicken
Replies: 112
Views: 25295

Re: TSP share prices for Quicken

@sketchy9 - I did a Quick test where I changed the date format on my Windows 10 computer from MM/dd/yyyy to d/M/yyyy. I then opened Quicken and it incorrectly imported the share prices the way you described. Even though the Quicken page states the file must be in M/D/yy format it's ignoring that an...
by sketchy9
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP share prices for Quicken
Replies: 112
Views: 25295

Re: TSP share prices for Quicken

First of all, thank you for continuing to host the TSP price list. It fills a gaping hole in Quicken. However, I've noticed an issue with formatting: for any date on or before the 12th of every month, the date is being read in Quicken as dd/mm/yyyy. For any date on or after the 13th, it is correctly...
by sketchy9
Fri May 31, 2019 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good fund to accumulate for mortgage payoff
Replies: 37
Views: 4463

Re: Good fund to accumulate for mortgage payoff

One interesting vehicle is the iShares iBonds (not to be confused with Series I Treasury Bonds): https://www.ishares.com/us/products/308047/ The one I linked is a muni bond ETF and will pay back principal in December 2026 (but other maturity dates exist). There are also corporate bond versions of th...
by sketchy9
Fri May 31, 2019 11:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you all do in the month of May, 2019
Replies: 126
Views: 11653

Re: How did you all do in the month of May, 2019

-4.1% on a time-weighted basis. A bit painful, but I'm still up 6.5% (time-weighted) for the year-- although that's a bit misleading because December was awful so my starting point was lower. A 6 month time-weighted return (which is basically just YTD plus December) is only 0.5%.
by sketchy9
Sun May 26, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?
Replies: 224
Views: 15847

Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

By way of background, I didn't work until med school (even though I was paying them, I consider my third year clerkships "work" in almost every respect) except for a couple of summer internships. My opinion is that approaching studies in a serious manner can impart many of the same lessons...
by sketchy9
Sat May 04, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here work for the VA? 401k Question
Replies: 34
Views: 2517

Re: Does anyone here work for the VA? 401k Question

That's right, IMO, re golden handcuffs. However, at least in my case, there were enough opportunities for a healthcare provider to change positions within the VA in the situation of hating one's job. I personally had several positions in my years there. As for bureaucratic, I would certainly agree ...
by sketchy9
Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here work for the VA? 401k Question
Replies: 34
Views: 2517

Re: Does anyone here work for the VA? 401k Question

Do you know how small the employee contributes? Is it a percentage per paycheck? That's complicated due to some changes by Congress to reduce the cost of federal benefits. For a regular FERS, a new federal employee (first started work since 1/1/14) pays 4.4% (agency pays 11.9%) You sound extremely ...
by sketchy9
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get umbrella liability insurance?
Replies: 56
Views: 5535

Re: Should I get umbrella liability insurance?

I guess I'll be the contrarian and say that "everyone" does not need umbrella insurance. IMO you need to make an honest assessment of your exposure to liability in your life and make a decision based on that. In my case, I go without because: 1. I drive <4k miles/year. I have maxed out aut...
by sketchy9
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sound bar as only music speaker?
Replies: 38
Views: 2929

Re: Sound bar as only music speaker?

I agree with others who say that you'll never replicate the channel separation you get with discrete speakers by switching to a soundbar. A soundbar may be good enough but I think it's important to recognize its limitations. The other question is how migrating to a soundbar simplifies anything. You...
by sketchy9
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sound bar as only music speaker?
Replies: 38
Views: 2929

Re: Sound bar as only music speaker?

I agree with others who say that you'll never replicate the channel separation you get with discrete speakers by switching to a soundbar. A soundbar may be good enough but I think it's important to recognize its limitations. The other question is how migrating to a soundbar simplifies anything. You'...
by sketchy9
Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 3486

Re: PC Build Suggestions

I'm late to the party but I recently built a gaming PC/HTPC/photo editing rig. It's my all-purpose computer. In addition to the photo editing, I use it to watch and record live TV, Netflix, Hulu, stream movies, use Oculus Rift, and oh yeah game with the latest AAA titles, all in 4k HDR. IMO the bea...
by sketchy9
Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 3486

Re: PC Build Suggestions

I'm late to the party but I recently built a gaming PC/HTPC/photo editing rig. It's my all-purpose computer. In addition to the photo editing, I use it to watch and record live TV, Netflix, Hulu, stream movies, use Oculus Rift, and oh yeah game with the latest AAA titles, all in 4k HDR. IMO the beau...
by sketchy9
Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee
Replies: 108
Views: 11839

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

I came from a background where I never really experienced debt and was privileged to graduate college debt free. When my future wife told me about her student loans, I had a borderline panic attack. I never in my life thought I would ever owe anybody any number with that many zeroes. I can sympathi...
by sketchy9
Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [New Vanguard website layout starting Saturday, August 11]
Replies: 134
Views: 12539

Re: [New Vanguard website layout starting Saturday, August 11]

I just logged in and had the new interface. I'm on a desktop PC-- I refuse to do anything of financial consequence on my smartphone. I hate this interface, as it continues the "smartphone-ization" of the web. It's quite obviously designed for viewing on a smartphone or tablet, and a touch ...
by sketchy9
Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Uber Without A Cellular Data Connection (UPDATE)
Replies: 25
Views: 2722

Re: Using Uber Without A Cellular Data Connection

If you have T-Mobile you get free international 2G data, which is good enough for Uber.

EDIT: Nvm, just saw that you have an MVNO
by sketchy9
Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an electric car: Volt? Alternative?
Replies: 49
Views: 5037

Re: Suggest an electric car: Volt? Alternative?

Also bear in mind that if your motivation for going electric is at all environment-related, the "greenest" option is one that does not involve the manufacture of a new car, even if that means driving a gas engine car, simply because the amount of resources consumed and waste created to mak...
by sketchy9
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping in a hotel room/cruise ship room
Replies: 57
Views: 4817

Re: Tipping in a hotel room/cruise ship room

I don't cruise so can't comment on that. I never tip in hotel rooms-- my philosophy is that I've exchanged the nightly fare for a room and amenities such as a turndown service. Why would I pay more than the price I've agreed to? Like all tipping, it boils down to whether or not you feel it's your pe...
by sketchy9
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 23177

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

This whole thing sounds like some C-level suit got a bee in his/her bonnet and decided that something that was never a problem had to be addressed with no thought whatsoever about how to roll it out, how to communicate the change, or what the reaction would be. This would have been the last straw fo...
by sketchy9
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth
Replies: 104
Views: 16391

Re: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth

Hmm.. you sure about that? The average diagnostic radiologist I know pulls in $500-600K. I currently live on less than 1/6th of that quite happily. With the real estate gains and tax benefits I am seeing, I won't need twenty years to reach $10M. However, having $10M in the bank has zero appeal to m...
by sketchy9
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth
Replies: 104
Views: 16391

Re: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth

Hmm.. you sure about that? The average diagnostic radiologist I know pulls in $500-600K. I currently live on less than 1/6th of that quite happily. With the real estate gains and tax benefits I am seeing, I won't need twenty years to reach $10M. However, having $10M in the bank has zero appeal to m...
by sketchy9
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth
Replies: 104
Views: 16391

Re: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth

Fairly silly article with lots of holes. I would agree to be considered truly wealthy $10 million is a logical threshold. While I agree $1 million may not be enough, he ignores impact of social security. $40k swr+$30k SS = $70K is livable, although not at all extravagant. $5 million would give you ...
by sketchy9
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: [Looking for ways to reduce taxes and keep more of my income]
Replies: 91
Views: 10834

Re: [Looking for ways to reduce taxes and keep more of my income]

There's a reason the saying says that you can't avoid death and taxes. As a similarly high-earning W2 employee at one point in my life, I can share that there really aren't a lot of options. Livesoft's list covers them. You can frame the situation in such a way as to make it more palatable, e.g. it'...
by sketchy9
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Imagine a 10 year, 0%, noncallable loan
Replies: 49
Views: 3774

Re: Imagine a 10 year, 0%, noncallable loan

Sounds almost like you're buying points, as you would with a mortgage. In this case, the points reduce the interest rate to 0. The thing with points, though, is that they still get factored into the APR, which is not the same as the interest rate. So it seems to me that what you're really asking is ...
by sketchy9
Mon May 14, 2018 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?
Replies: 158
Views: 12831

Re: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?

If you made $50 then live off of $25k? For a family, you are getting close to a poverty level of expenses. Perhaps if your house was already paid for, and you live frugally in a LCOL area. I imagine some MMM types could do it. But they have a fairly extraordinarily frugal lifestyle. Perhaps some fa...
by sketchy9
Sun May 13, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage question: 20% down or larger down payment?
Replies: 47
Views: 7594

Re: Mortgage question: 20% down or larger down payment?

I put 40% down because, at the time I bought my place, I was working less (with a lower monthly income) so I couldn't afford the monthly payment with a 20% down payment. This is confusing. If you had the money to put down 40%, couldn't you have used that same money to "afford the monthly payme...
by sketchy9
Fri May 11, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Percentage CASH are you?
Replies: 168
Views: 22414

Re: What Percentage CASH are you?

Why do you do this? munemaker....You ask a fair question; I shall answer. ... munemaker, I hope this helps. I wanted to answer your question in a way where you'd understand why we did what we did. Thanks for the explanation. Sorry you had to go through all that. Glad you were able to pull yourselve...
by sketchy9
Fri May 11, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage question: 20% down or larger down payment?
Replies: 47
Views: 7594

Re: Mortgage question: 20% down or larger down payment?

Just remember your mortgage including taxes and insurance should be 25% of your net monthly income. That is incredibly conservative and would likely rule out homebuying for a large percentage of the population. OP: I put 40% down because, at the time I bought my place, I was working less (with a lo...
by sketchy9
Wed May 09, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff mortgage early or save?
Replies: 27
Views: 3986

Re: Payoff mortgage early or save?

I've always felt that, unless and until you can make one lump sum payment to eliminate the mortgage, you should hold on to extra cash. The bank isn't interested in the fact that you're 12 months ahead of where you should be on your mortgage; your payment is due every month on the 1st. Lose your job?...
by sketchy9
Fri May 04, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Portfolio peepers: what do you do?
Replies: 48
Views: 5455

Re: Portfolio peepers: what do you do?

I absolutely LOVE it when the market tanks. I generally prefer to sell into market euphoria (sell high) at the tail end of a bull market (like around now), to accumulate cash positions before it tanks. When it stops tanking, I BUY. I buy on a small scale during limited corrections (ie 10%) and go a...
by sketchy9
Wed May 02, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Portfolio peepers: what do you do?
Replies: 48
Views: 5455

Re: Portfolio peepers: what do you do?

My portfolio value gets updated daily thanks to Quicken. I do virtually nothing with the information. The only time it's useful for me is when I get dividends, as none of my dividends are set to reinvest. I look at which of my investments are furthest away from their targets and buy accordingly. Oth...
by sketchy9
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 21235
Views: 2881395

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Hello darkness my old friend...I wonder if today is a harbinger of sustained losses or more of the same volatility that we've been dealing with this whole year? My IRR (prior to today) was essentially zero for the year on a 70/30 allocation, but I feel like we've had several days of heavy losses (co...
by sketchy9
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)
Replies: 44
Views: 5472

Re: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)

Don't discount location in this decision. San Francisco is considerably milder (and more expensive) than Baltimore, for instance. However, your child will be spending the better part of a decade in the city they choose, and that's a long time to be somewhere they don't want to be.
by sketchy9
Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to save/invest for a 15 years saving goals?!
Replies: 6
Views: 861

Re: Where to save/invest for a 15 years saving goals?!

I'm saving for an 8 year horizon and have settled on an equity allocation that is, essentially, the time left minus three years, times 5%, but at least 10%. So, as time marches on, I will slowly wind down my equity portion until it hits 10%. I arrived at this formula after reading a few threads here...
by sketchy9
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard Security Code Requirement [2FA: Two-factor authentication]
Replies: 204
Views: 24843

Re: Two- Factor Authentication at Vanguard

Am not currently using the 2FA. Should probably start. So ... does the code get sent from VG every single time you want to log-in? I download all my transactions and balances every day in Quicken and dread the inconvenience of going through the text message process everyday. Of course, I dread the ...
by sketchy9
Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best home exercise equipment?
Replies: 151
Views: 19502

Re: What is the best home exercise equipment?

Brand new kit. I don't understand all the metrics (sorry my bad, haven't yet gone through their website) - but here are screenshots of my performance. 30 minutes each. What does each of them mean ? How am I doing ? Day 1 https://i.imgur.com/iwxvEKB.jpg Day 5 https://i.imgur.com/JRsmLsf.jpg Agree wi...
by sketchy9
Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Edward Jones?
Replies: 92
Views: 21496

Re: Why Edward Jones?

My Mom uses Edward Jones, in spite of my exhortations. Why does she do it? Because, like many Americans, money/saving/retirement are scary and don't come easy. She thinks if she gives money to a "professional" every month, she is being taken care of and doesn't have to "worry" a...
by sketchy9
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New York Times--Why Are Mutual Fund Fees So High? This Billionaire Knows
Replies: 5
Views: 2045

Re: New York Times--Why Are Mutual Fund Fees So High? This Billionaire Knows

This article is like an advertisement for index funds. Baron funds are overseen by nine directors. Seven are listed as independent. Four of those seven have served as trustees since Mr. Baron established his first funds 30 years ago. One of them, David A. Silverman, has zero financial experience: He...
by sketchy9
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepay property tax: California / AMT
Replies: 4
Views: 789

Re: Prepay property tax: California / AMT

It's not clear exactly how CA will deal with the federal cap on SALT deductions. Consider the following: federal schedule A, line 5 is State and local Income or Sales taxes. Line 6 is Real Estate Taxes. Right now, there is no cap on the combined amount but we know that it will be $10k next year. Now...
by sketchy9
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 266
Views: 27540

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

It's ridiculous and, frankly, a little irresponsible that various tax calculators out there do not include all aspects of the individual tax code, especially one as pervasive as the AMT. In my own case, using frugal professors spreadsheets (which do include the AMT), My taxes will decrease ~$800, o...
by sketchy9
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 266
Views: 27540

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

Wife and I pay in excess of $80,000 in state, local and property taxes. No kids. We can now only deduct $10,000 of that (perhaps double if filing jointly?). Guessing a small offset to that sizable hike via lower rate but the net is . . . suboptimal. We're fine financially. My primary concern is the...