Search found 395 matches

by adam1712
Tue May 28, 2019 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?
Replies: 69
Views: 3183

Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

I honestly think it is better to check on a regular schedule. It's going to be difficult to never check when the markets are down significantly and it's all over the news. Setting yourself up to check on a fixed schedule gets you more used to the market fluctuations and better prepared to see a down...
by adam1712
Wed May 22, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustration dealing with contractors....am I doing something wrong?
Replies: 43
Views: 4474

Re: Frustration dealing with contractors....am I doing something wrong?

I have heard several different contractors complaining about working with "difficult clients." I have no doubt that (at least those particular) contractors will work more readily with a laid-back customer if given a choice. Maybe part of the issue is us??? I see the same thing with accountant threa...
by adam1712
Wed May 15, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should one diversify into annuities and not bonds?
Replies: 18
Views: 1958

Re: Should one diversify into annuities and not bonds?

... 1. The mortality credits means that these contracts do not benefit your heirs or any charities in your estate. You might care a lot about this, and if so annuities are a poor choice. ... The flip side is someone might want to leave the same amount to their heirs whether they die young or die ol...
by adam1712
Fri May 10, 2019 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used cars: Age, mileage, condition
Replies: 16
Views: 1344

Re: Used cars: Age, mileage, condition

I've had very good luck with my last two vehicles being 2-3 years old with high mileage (60,000-90,000 miles). I only drive about 4000 miles per year. With modern cars, I think it's very hard for somebody to not take care of a car in the first couple years as there's just not that much maintenance t...
by adam1712
Tue May 07, 2019 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Educational pathway(s) for future engineer
Replies: 89
Views: 4023

Re: Educational pathway(s) for future engineer

My recommendation is focus on freshman year and don't get the cart too far ahead of the horse. My advice: get good grades, pick one extracurricular activity to get involved with that will progress to future leadership, find one purely fun social thing to do regularly, and actually talk to professors...
by adam1712
Wed May 01, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5/5 ARM or 30yr-fixed?
Replies: 25
Views: 1932

Re: 5/5 ARM or 30yr-fixed?

Agree with your other point about investing in stock market the return not being guaranteed; but a reasonable 50:50 portfolio is expected to at least keep pace with the inflation over 20 years which is all what the OP needs. There's also the saying "Never bear too much risk or too little risk" ... ...
by adam1712
Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The wisdom of prepaying notes (car, home, etc.)
Replies: 38
Views: 2734

Re: The wisdom of prepaying notes (car, home, etc.)

Being 100% stocks in investments and keeping long-term loans is more risk than I would take. But it's up to you as long as you understand the risk. I'm almost 100% stocks in my investments but I'm aggressive in paying down mortgages and don't have car loans. I do this for a couple reasons. 1) The ri...
by adam1712
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advising financially unsavvy family on windfall
Replies: 77
Views: 5730

Re: Advising financially unsavvy family on windfall

The only advice I'd give to someone is to go slow and do things in moderation. And if they ask, I don't think it hurts to tell them you plan to do things slowly and need to research what you're going to do. Even say an inheritance like this is a little overwhelming. I'd guess there are many people h...
by adam1712
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Examples of financial accounting rules not applicable to personal finance?
Replies: 60
Views: 2685

Re: Examples of financial accounting rules not applicable to personal finance?

I'd say almost all accounting principles are applicable if you want to do it, but many are unnecessary or irrelevant in most cases. Accounting allows businesses to compare between different parts of the business, report to shareholders, and properly do their taxes. It's complexity is necessary to ma...
by adam1712
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimizing credit card airline points
Replies: 79
Views: 3691

Re: Optimizing credit card airline points

delamer, First, we use regular AAdvantage points from the CitiCard (MasterCard, in our case). I don't understand the "Thank You Points" and haven't bothered to learn those details. Second, I am rather suddenly reading that some of the airlines' awards programs are changing to "dynamic pricing" of a...
by adam1712
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At a crossroads on how much to put down towards new home
Replies: 32
Views: 2308

Re: At a crossroads on how much to put down towards new home

There's no reason to consider the future price changes of the house when deciding how much money to put down. You'll be paying the same amount on the mortgage no matter what (unless you're going to walk away and let the bank foreclose in the future which seems highly unlikely). Personally, I'd go wi...
by adam1712
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimizing credit card airline points
Replies: 79
Views: 3691

Re: Optimizing credit card airline points

In anticipation of full retirement and more travel, I want to look into getting a couple credit cards in order to accumulate airline points. I doubt that we’ll become frequent fliers, but probably will do one big international trip and one US/Caribbean trip per year. I’d say the main goal is to be ...
by adam1712
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reverse Mortgage for Sequence of return risk
Replies: 30
Views: 1371

Re: Reverse Mortgage for Sequence of return risk

OK, that makes more sense. It seems to me though that it would make sense to dip into home equity for consumption only after consuming all the bonds already held in the portfolio. Most AA plans call for holding bonds throughout retirement. So I assume that it would take a long and powerful bear mar...
by adam1712
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family flying - picking seats at booking
Replies: 75
Views: 4918

Re: Family flying - picking seats at booking

I could not find an airline using kayak/orbitz or a few major carriers that had the seat selection rolled into the price. What I was finding was you needed to go up in tiers such as economy to economy plus as a package to be able to select your seat. These plans had extra perks that I didn't need, ...
by adam1712
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 11 days. England, Ireland or Scotland?
Replies: 31
Views: 2026

Re: 11 days. England, Ireland or Scotland?

I've been to all 3 and they were all great. It really depends on what you like. England has the most urban things to see and do. Lots of great war and industrial revolution history. Scotland has the most rugged and remote outdoors scenery. Ireland has the most distinct culture for a US tourist. But ...
by adam1712
Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Q: Family Responsibility for Deceased Brother Auto Accident Prior to Death
Replies: 57
Views: 4491

Re: Q: Family Responsibility for Deceased Brother Auto Accident Prior to Death

Don't forget there are two insurance companies involved here. It may not be your brother's insurance company's responsibility to get the excess settlement amount, but rather the other party's responsibility. Your brother's insurance company may be required to send these notifications that sound like...
by adam1712
Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?
Replies: 24
Views: 1745

Re: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?

TexasPE wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:08 pm
But I always feel better with some cash in my pocket. Then I end up using it at restaurants to make sure most of it gets spent.
I usually apply my remaining cash to the last day's hotel bill and charge the remainder.
Excellent tip, I hadn't considered that.
by adam1712
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?
Replies: 24
Views: 1745

Re: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?

Yeah, I've always just used ATMs as I go the past few years. I have a Schwab checking account for exactly this purpose. If you have booked hotels/AirBnB, train tickets, etc online you won't need much cash. Most restaurants will take credit cards although they sometimes have to hunt for a pen to sign...
by adam1712
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's a good external hard drive?
Replies: 15
Views: 905

Re: What's a good external hard drive?

If some are especially important to you, I'd also recommend some kind of on line storage for those as well. (Just a general comment, not directed to the OP) With the ease of taking photos, I wonder what will happen to all of the photos? I"m guessing most won't ever be viewed again since you can't s...
by adam1712
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard no longer commission free, how do I fix this?
Replies: 20
Views: 2989

Re: Vanguard no longer commission free, how do I fix this?

I switched all of my VTI to STPM at my HSA Bank/TD account. No issues and performance is nearly identical. There's no tax consequences when you buy and sell within an HSA (in almost all states, I believe there are one or two where there is an issue). My employer covers my HSA fees at HSA Bank so I s...
by adam1712
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men's travel shoes. One pair for hiking/biking/walking/dining
Replies: 56
Views: 3918

Re: Men's travel shoes. One pair for hiking/biking/walking/dining

This reminds me, I have a pair of Merrells that look like this that I love for the versatility: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR-QrQkD8U25io0OS0hasJaLRD6tpWWK-x8YJGBKb5Mel03fEWYKg It seems like the model has been discontinued although I'm not entirely sure. I don't know the pr...
by adam1712
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wrong W-2 form, what recourse?
Replies: 21
Views: 1152

Re: Wrong W-2 form, what recourse?

As of now, I have passed on the suggestions of filing Form 4852 with the IRS to my friend. I have also gave her the suggestion that this board recommends hiring a lawyer if she wants to settle it quickly. I would be careful about filing the IRS form for an incorrect W2 as that could suggest she thi...
by adam1712
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condo Board Nightmare
Replies: 17
Views: 2472

Re: Condo Board Nightmare

There's no way this is going to get solved through condo board meetings and within the procedures specified by the bylaws. You either need to figure out the other owners' underyling motive and develop a better relationship with them, get a lawyer to fight to prove they are violating the bylaws or ne...
by adam1712
Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Returns are not normal distribution. But why does it look like one?
Replies: 20
Views: 1477

Re: Returns are not normal distribution. But why does it look like one?

I can think of two related reasons: 1) Central limit theorem - with many small random variables combined together, the return will approach a normal distribution. 2) If a stock has a given average return and variance, the shape of its distribution determines how fast it's cumulative return will appr...
by adam1712
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financial solicitation by my doctor
Replies: 71
Views: 8239

Re: Financial solicitation by my doctor

Our University med center recently has been taking a more personalized approach in terms of individual researchers highlighting that donations help their research but I'm unaware of anything like this. I'd be shocked if this wasn't done with the development office and I highly doubt your physician w...
by adam1712
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Extraordinary Upside Potential Of Sequence Of Return Risk In Retirement - Michael Kitces
Replies: 91
Views: 7333

Re: The Extraordinary Upside Potential Of Sequence Of Return Risk In Retirement - Michael Kitces

A good planner plans for several contingencies. While planning for the worst may be priority number one, it's worth considering the opposite as a secondary priority. I think there's a lot of people that think they'll either use up their money or leave a small inheritance. But if luck is on your side...
by adam1712
Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ring Shopping
Replies: 82
Views: 4068

Re: Ring Shopping

I would suggest getting a much smaller ring that you can afford. If she wants to have a large stone to show off, get an inexpensive CZ for display purposes in a second ring. No one will know the difference. If you do this, she will have a "real" ring, you will save a ton of money for more important...
by adam1712
Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for young teen with Perfectionism
Replies: 22
Views: 1383

Re: Advice for young teen with Perfectionism

I'd have two thoughts: 1) Have her reconsider and expand her concept of what it takes to be a flutist. It's not about just practicing the hardest but being mentally prepared and relaxed. This may require determining the right amount of practice time for her (not as much as possible!) and how to do o...
by adam1712
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those who do not fly coach, where do you buy your tickets?
Replies: 30
Views: 4981

Re: Those who do not fly coach, where do you buy your tickets?

Can anybody give a rough estimate of what premium they consider a good deal for trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights? Seems I often see business is typically 2-4x and first class is 5-10x. I'd maybe consider something 2-3x the cost of coach but honestly I'm not sure I'm interested unless I can l...
by adam1712
Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing money for use in 5-7 years
Replies: 31
Views: 2701

Re: Investing money for use in 5-7 years

Is your taxable account in stocks large enough that you'd have enough even with some losses? When the time comes you can then sell bonds in retirement accounts and sell stocks in taxable to effectively end up with money for the downpayment and your stocks in the retirement accounts.
by adam1712
Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k) vs Taxable on a low income
Replies: 17
Views: 1387

Re: 401(k) vs Taxable on a low income

... I don't have time to double-check specifically for GMRAX but I think you are thinking about the fees incorrectly and including dividends as fees rather than returns. I'm hoping you're right - that's why I asked - but I am in fact reinvesting dividends, and running the numbers any other way give...
by adam1712
Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k) vs Taxable on a low income
Replies: 17
Views: 1387

Re: 401(k) vs Taxable on a low income

... My specifics: On 7/6/2018 I invested $153.84 in GMRAX, with an expense ratio of 0.67% (the cheapest in my plan). My 9/28 statement showed a value of $154.26, and my 12/31 statement a value of $122.94. According to Yahoo Finance's adjusted closing numbers, my 12/31 value should have been $124.21...
by adam1712
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Diagnosing Knee Problems over the Phone - Medicare
Replies: 119
Views: 5233

Re: Diagnosing Knee Problems over the Phone - Medicare

I am not at all surprised that the ortho wouldn't see her without a workup. There are lots of things that cause knee pain, not all of which have a surgical treatment. Specialists are generally busy with many having a waiting list. If it was me, I would wait the two weeks to see the primary care (or...
by adam1712
Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Diagnosing Knee Problems over the Phone - Medicare
Replies: 119
Views: 5233

Re: Diagnosing Knee Problems over the Phone - Medicare

I'm guessing the surgeon's thinking is they don't want to waste their time if your wife is not a candidate for surgery. And your wife likely isn't a candidate for surgery unless she's tried pain medications with management by a PCP and/or physical therapy.
by adam1712
Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do I really need a separate EF? [Emergency Fund]
Replies: 26
Views: 960

Re: Do I really need a separate EF?

I have a $10k EF right now in online savings (maybe 2 months expenses), but honestly I'd rather have the money working for me in my taxable investment account. What's wrong with just selling some of my stocks or bonds (maintaining AA w/ tax efficient sale) if I need cash beyond a month? Credit card...
by adam1712
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are some insurance polcies philosophically similar to gambling?
Replies: 57
Views: 2969

Re: Are some insurance polcies philosophically similar to gambling?

Gambling increases the variance of the outcome. Insurance decreases the variance of the outcome. How? Gambling I buy 1000 dollars of lottery tickets I have a 1 in 1000 chance of winning If I win I have 100k, If I don't I am out 1000 bucks Life insurance I buy 1000 dollars of life insurance I have a...
by adam1712
Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are some insurance polcies philosophically similar to gambling?
Replies: 57
Views: 2969

Re: Are some insurance polcies philosophically similar to gambling?

Gambling increases the variance of the outcome.

Insurance decreases the variance of the outcome.
by adam1712
Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-budgeters: How do you handle large purchases?
Replies: 47
Views: 3770

Re: Non-budgeters: How do you handle large purchases?

I'm probably at the extreme but I just have one big pot of money according to my AA and then two months' expenses in my checking account. Then I have an overall savings goal for the year. Each month, I assess where I am for bills that month and whether I should buy or sell from taxable. I typically ...
by adam1712
Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “Real Rate of Return” needs a qualifier?
Replies: 15
Views: 770

Re: “Real Rate of Return” needs a qualifier?

This seems to me to just be about what units you use to describe investment returns and expenses. You can do your retirement modeling in nominal units or real units with CPI or personal spending units. They are all mathematically equivalent. You can use - the nominal return of your investments: The ...
by adam1712
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand up desks: Jarvis vs UpLift vs ?? (Help me shop)
Replies: 34
Views: 2625

Re: Stand up desks: Jarvis vs UpLift vs ?? (Help me shop)

Might or might not work for you, but I'll suggest my solution for you and any others that want it. Consider whether you really need an all-in-one solution. I have a shelf on my wall that is the perfect height for my laptop when standing. I leave my desktop and monitor on a regular desk for sitting. ...
by adam1712
Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Being locked out of my account and "research team" will contact me in 72 hours
Replies: 33
Views: 4090

Re: Being locked out of my account and "research team" will contact me in 72 hours

Yeah, it's just disconcerting they can't provide me more information since it is my account. They can ask me questions, confirm my identity, and then talk it through with me. The fact that it's "we can't say anymore" seem odd. As a matter of policy, I think it makes sense. Human factors are almost ...
by adam1712
Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's Your Personal Inflation Rate?
Replies: 38
Views: 2652

Re: What's Your Personal Inflation Rate?

There is so much talk about how cash and CDs are a poor investment because they don't keep up with inflation. Those of us who survived the 70s and 80s can easily believe that because we were so traumatized by the inflation of the 1970s-1990s. I remember distinctly being infuriated in the mid 1990s ...
by adam1712
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?
Replies: 29
Views: 2023

Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

A factory reset may resolve all your issues, and then only reinstall the apps you need. Thinking it needs more memory is actually easily determined by looking at how much it's using now. Settings, Storage. Will show you the % used, amount available. Agreed, I just recently did a factory reset on my...
by adam1712
Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whoops, thought wife's tIRA was Roth...help!
Replies: 30
Views: 2381

Re: Whoops, thought wife's tIRA was Roth...help!

... Secondly, after recent mess ups by Vanguard with our accounts (without details, i will say, stuff like this needs careful attention....), I wouldn’t trust them about the status of the TD IRA. Have you independently verified that it is NOT a Roth 100%? Just checking. This bears repeating, I woul...
by adam1712
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can someone explain specifically how the "bucket" approach to retirement withdrawals is supposed to work?
Replies: 75
Views: 5430

Re: Can someone explain specifically how the "bucket" approach to retirement withdrawals is supposed to work?

To me, the bucket approach is having a separate bucket for planned short term withdrawals (cash and cash equivalents and ST Treasuries for money needed for zero to three years); mid-term withdrawals (> 3 years to 6 to 10 years in a medium term bond fund); and long term (> 8 to 10 years in stock fun...
by adam1712
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is TLH in 12% bracket less worthwhile?
Replies: 22
Views: 1930

Re: Is TLH in 12% bracket less worthwhile?

Can you also harvest some gains, and use the TLH to offset those gains, saving yourself capital gains tax later? You should not use TLH to offset gains. The gains will already be taxed at 0% in the 12% tax bracket. In the 12% bracket you should try not to have capital gains and losses in the same y...
by adam1712
Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which HDHP plan is better, Blue Cross or United
Replies: 30
Views: 1721

Re: Which HDHP plan is better, Blue Cross or United

I have a similar choice between BCBS and Aetna with the exact same costs. One difference for me is the HSA is administered by HSABank for BCBS and Payflex for Aetna. I get the fees waived with HSABank so went with BCBS/HSABank. I also asked around and it seemed like more employees were with BCBS. So...
by adam1712
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Timing mortgage pay down
Replies: 49
Views: 4166

Re: Timing mortgage pay down

... I wish you the best of luck. This does not make any sense for me. You had just increase your liquidity risk and market risk at the same time. KlangFool I agree with you that I have increased my liquidity risk. I don't believe I've increased my market risk. The amount I have in stocks in the sam...
by adam1712
Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Timing mortgage pay down
Replies: 49
Views: 4166

Re: Timing mortgage pay down

+1. I have some extra money. I could invest it any way that I want. A) I could pre-pay my mortgage at 3.49% and lose liquidity. B) I could keep the money in my money market fund at 2%. With the interest rate going up, this rate may exceed 3.49% in a year or two. C) I could invest as per my portfoli...