Search found 55 matches

by bwalling
Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Organizations you donate to?
Replies: 60
Views: 4936

I donate some money to a local organization that provides vocational training.

I donate clothing and other items to Salvation Army/Goodwill.
by bwalling
Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CFP Certification Textbooks
Replies: 6
Views: 1743

http://learningforlife.fsu.edu/cpd/prof ... id=1&pid=1

At the bottom, there is a schedule of classes. Most of them have a link to the textbooks.
by bwalling
Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One 529 account, or one 529 account per kid?
Replies: 8
Views: 1266

One 529 account, or one 529 account per kid?

Is there a logical reason to choose either option?
by bwalling
Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want job helping others in Finance, any ideas?
Replies: 14
Views: 2142

Re: Want job helping others in Finance, any ideas?

rylemdr wrote:CFA(Certified Financial Adviser)

CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst
CFP: Certified Financial Planner <-- This is the one you were probably referring to.
by bwalling
Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American Idol
Replies: 29
Views: 2112

It ended for me when Simon left the show. Yeah, it bugs me that no one will offer any real critique anymore. The critiques they do offer are more about style or taste. That blonde girl (forget her name) skipped over the culminating note in Unchained Melody (you know, the note the whole song builds ...
by bwalling
Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay for house-cleaning services?
Replies: 82
Views: 18168

$50/month for every other week cleaning. House is ~2500 square feet. Yeah, we could do it ourselves and save money, but it makes my wife much happier to have someone else do it.
by bwalling
Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exercise
Replies: 32
Views: 4942

I hit the building gym a few times per week during lunch at work. I try to get out and bike at least twice a week. I wouldn't call myself a gym rat.
by bwalling
Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you let the cat go outside?
Replies: 57
Views: 5239

If you go to adopt a cat from a rescue or shelter, and tell them the cat will be allowed outdoors, they will not allow you to adopt the animal. This should tell you what you need to know. Because militantly dogmatic people are the source of useful information? Sorry, but anyone that gives you a bla...
by bwalling
Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you let the cat go outside?
Replies: 57
Views: 5239

If you go to adopt a cat from a rescue or shelter, and tell them the cat will be allowed outdoors, they will not allow you to adopt the animal. This should tell you what you need to know. Because militantly dogmatic people are the source of useful information? Sorry, but anyone that gives you a bla...
by bwalling
Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you let the cat go outside?
Replies: 57
Views: 5239

Have a dog door for the dog to get out. Cat uses it (can't really stop her). The cat really enjoys the outdoors and is quite the huntress. She kills (and brings in) around 10 rabbits, 3 snakes and 20 lizards per year. She tries for birds, but hasn't been able to pull it off yet. The dog likes squirr...
by bwalling
Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Odyssey or Sienna
Replies: 33
Views: 4129

a $200 air conditioning relay that went out a couple years ago. We have a 2004 Sienna as well and had to replace the same thing. It's the only thing we've had to deal with on it, though. We've replaced tires, but we're still on the original brakes. My wife loves the Sienna, and I'm happy with the f...
by bwalling
Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do Bogleheads pay for their cars?
Replies: 79
Views: 8780

Previous car was an Accord for $13K used (30K miles). Current car is a Lexus for $23K used (30K miles).
by bwalling
Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grades of gasoline in car buying decision?
Replies: 45
Views: 3376

As mentioned, you should look into more the maintenance costs than the gas cost. A set of performance tires can run you $900, and the high performance tires are softer than regular tires and will wear out quicker. Brakes and some other things can often be purchased at lower prices and done outside o...
by bwalling
Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips on buying a used car.
Replies: 34
Views: 4362

Re: Tips on buying a used car.

Look into a certified used car if you're concerned about warranty. Just a few hits from a quick search for a 2008-2010 model year certified used car: 2008 Nissan Versa 35K miles - $11,791 2009 Hyundai Accent 15K miles - $11,588 2008 Hyundai Accent 8K miles - $11,888 2008 Hyundai Accent 15K miles - $...
by bwalling
Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World - Any tricks on pricing?
Replies: 36
Views: 5519

=The Buzz Lightyear ride was awesome. Fast pass this one. I assume you mean the new one at Hollywood Studios and not the one at Magic Kingdom? The new one is a really cool use of 3D. =I temporarily forget the name of the fanciest of the 3 disney resorts.....it's very nice....almost too nice if you ...
by bwalling
Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World - Any tricks on pricing?
Replies: 36
Views: 5519

Watty wrote:It will be oppressively hot in the summer. Try to do it some other time of the year.
It will be 92 and humid in July/August. June will be a few degrees cooler. Will probably rain for 15-30 minutes mid afternoon. Will be steamy for a bit after that and the outdoor rides will be wet.
by bwalling
Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World - Any tricks on pricing?
Replies: 36
Views: 5519

I live in Florida, and go there from time to time. A single day pass is pretty steep. A 3+ day pass starts to become more reasonable. Disney has four main parks, and there is a variety of stuff to do in each park. Other than Animal Kingdom, I don't think you can do all of the good stuff in a park in...
by bwalling
Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reward Credit Cards
Replies: 38
Views: 6345

Re: Reward Credit Cards

So if a company has your credit card data for auto-draft payments, there is plenty of risk of fraud/theft. If a foolish company does, then sure, but a company that knows what they're doing puts you at no risk. I've written these systems. There are very simple protections available. We have monthly ...
by bwalling
Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Highly Compensated Employee problem
Replies: 54
Views: 8240

You should try to convince HR to have automatic enrollment in the 401(k) program, where new hires have to request to be taken out of it instead of opting in. But really you should try to convince more people in your company to join. Maybe through roundtables or, if you have a toastmaster's club the...
by bwalling
Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How do you keep your house clean?
Replies: 101
Views: 16022

It's a mix - we have someone come for a few things every two weeks. They do all of the windows, floors and dusting. It's fairly inexpensive. We do the rest of the cleaning. It's enough to reduce the psychological burden of keeping up with the cleaning without spending too much on full service.
by bwalling
Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wells Fargo takes $10k from account after claiming fraud
Replies: 32
Views: 4713

This problem also brings to mind my risk aversion approach to banking now that I have more funds and am older and want to avoid risk Keep some cash around. Keep enough cash for emergencies if the banks were closed for say 7-14 days or maybe longer. I also recommend everyone bank at two different ba...
by bwalling
Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Warranty - worth buying this insurance?
Replies: 38
Views: 5648

I agree with those who say they are worthless. We sold our home several years ago. The buyers asked us to purchase a one-time warranty as part of the deal. It cost about $400. In the time between the signing of the sales agreement and the closing, the water heater went out. We called the insurance ...
by bwalling
Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Warranty - worth buying this insurance?
Replies: 38
Views: 5648

I think it is worth getting American Home Shield. It is very expensive to fix anything in the US. (profound observation!) The premiums are less than you quoted. Venkat AHS won't buy you a new appliance that is equivalent to what you lost. They'll give you enough to get a low end model and if you wa...
by bwalling
Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I went to Costco to buy some blueberries
Replies: 70
Views: 11871

Ron Lieber in the NY Times explains why he doesn't go to Cosco. He has Amazon deliver to him under their subscription program. Costco was cheaper. The way Amazon wins is to ascribe a dollar value to your time. When I used to do consulting, I thought of many things in terms of my billable rate. Now ...
by bwalling
Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow shortage, Should I pay [upfront or monthly]?
Replies: 21
Views: 18000

For those of you who do not escrow. How do you figure out your allocation? I'm guessing that you could just overfund your emergency account, and, If you have an account like ING, simply pay the premiums with your checking account. I estimate my taxes (I know them +/- $300) and insurance (again +/- ...
by bwalling
Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 729
Views: 132571

True Bogleheads do not drink beer. It contains very little nutritional value and is mostly empty calories. It is a waste of money. True Bobleheads drink water, fruit juice and skim milk. A drink a day is good for your health. Think of it as a long term investment in reduced health care expenditures.
by bwalling
Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper on finance/macroeconomics
Replies: 20
Views: 2633

Re: Paper on finance/macroeconomics

seems a bit technical though, what do you think? I don't really wanna get into mathematical explanations, econometrics, etc... Economics is math. You can't avoid the math. If you're going after bubbles, you'll have to put the bubbles in the context of existing models or develop models to explain th...
by bwalling
Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best software to restrict and monitor internet use?
Replies: 31
Views: 3753

be a good parent and make sure they aren't doing something stupid. Put the computer where you can see. Check their windows on the tool bar. The younger folks just all seem to be dependent on others to do the job a good parent should do. Did you also complain that the invention of training wheels ab...
by bwalling
Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:29 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Tampa Bay Bogleheads meeting
Replies: 19
Views: 5155

Did this happen yet?
by bwalling
Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 729
Views: 132571

Sam I Am wrote:Only about 6.5 miles from me, as there is a Yuengling brewery in Tampa!
Have you tried Dunedin Brewery? Their stuff is pretty good. Either get it at the source, or you can find it in a few stores around the area.
by bwalling
Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 729
Views: 132571

La Fin Du Monde
Tripel Karmeliet
Maudite
Trois Pistoles
St Bernardus ABT 12

If I'm not feeling up to spending the money on those, I'll get Sam Adams. I'd love to find a cheaper supplier of said beers.

(Yeah, I like the Unibroue beers - they're excellent, and cheaper than actual Belgians)
by bwalling
Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I went to Costco to buy some blueberries
Replies: 70
Views: 11871

If employees are insanely happy, they will make the customers insanely happy, who will make the shareholders insanely happy? This. The difference between Costco and Walmart or even Target is pretty big. Costco's employees are not only happy, but they work much more efficiently. Costco has long line...
by bwalling
Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I went to Costco to buy some blueberries
Replies: 70
Views: 11871

No I don't. then again, those people are actually working on the service that I'm asking for. So not a great comparision as that cosco person's only job is to stand infront of the long lines on a busy Saturday afternoon to get me to "upgrade" my membership and acting like she is doing me ...
by bwalling
Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does it make sense to drive a car into the ground?
Replies: 56
Views: 10368

I sold my last car because it was in the shop every other month for $400. Had been in the shop 6 times over the prior year, and taking your car to the shop and leaving it is really inconvenient.
by bwalling
Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett's Annual Investor Letter is out
Replies: 87
Views: 13031

As an aside, the only individual stock I personally own is Berkshire Hathaway. We ALL have a chance to invest with Buffett whom I believe we agree IS a skilled active manager. I'd be curious to how many Bogleheads who use a combination of active and passive own BRK.A or BRK.B. I own BRKB. It accoun...
by bwalling
Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I went to Costco to buy some blueberries
Replies: 70
Views: 11871

burgrat wrote:
snyder66 wrote:What a great business model. Somehow they convince you that you need to buy what they have. There must be something in the air.


Or the samples. I go in there sometimes and walk out having eaten a whole meal just in samples!
I eat the samples for lunch on Sundays.
by bwalling
Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would you guys invest in individual stocks?
Replies: 72
Views: 8151

I do, but it is rare. I own some Berkshire Hathaway. The man has a history of doing very well and he has a sound method. It's about 4% of my portfolio. I bought BP last summer when they were taking a beating over the spill. Bought at $33 and sold at $47. Barely beat VTI over that period, so didn't g...
by bwalling
Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone buying a 2nd house?
Replies: 20
Views: 4421

Re: Anyone buying a 2nd house?

Part of me feels like now is the time to jump on this opportunity. But the other part of me wants to truly become debt free with our primry residence and not be highly leveraged in the event of job loss. This may well be a good time in general market terms to pick up a second house for rental/vacat...
by bwalling
Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which site has more readers: Bogleheads or Seeking Alpha?
Replies: 13
Views: 2321

Alexa collects these stats from their toolbar, which requires a user to install it and submit to being tracked. Most security software vendors consider this toolbar to be adware or spyware. Their sample selection is therefore seriously biased towards people who are willing to compromise their securi...
by bwalling
Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question of tactics, r.e. Multiple dealer quote car buying
Replies: 21
Views: 4327

Specify the exact options you want (down to the floormats, etc). Get an out the door price (including sales tax, etc). Tell them the price must include everything such that bringing a cashier's check in that amount results in you leaving with the car. Talk financing only after you have that number a...
by bwalling
Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received Bonus - What to do?
Replies: 39
Views: 5254

Need the ER of the funds available in your 401k/VUL, etc. Will then be able to reorganize fund selection for lower cost and better portfolio efficiency. Not sure how to find the ER for the funds. Would this be listed on my statements? I see what I can find on our fidelity 401k site. When you're loo...
by bwalling
Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: WellsTrade vs Merrill Edge
Replies: 6
Views: 2015

The interface on Merrill is downright terrible. You can drill down through all sorts of things, but it can be really difficult to just get a list of what holdings you have in what accounts. Something as simple as*: CMA VTI VOT Cash Roth (Husband) VCSH VYM Roth (Wife) VOO VTV Can be h...
by bwalling
Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Orleans weekend
Replies: 18
Views: 2870

If you're a big spender, you could follow Michael Stipe's (REM) suggestions:

http://goop.com/newsletter/96/
by bwalling
Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shaving Implements
Replies: 58
Views: 8448

I had a Remington electric for probably 8 years until I recently replaced it. Changed the blades once during that time. Can't imagine that disposables wind up being cheaper.
by bwalling
Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Makers Kill Off the Cassette Deck
Replies: 22
Views: 2548

Before you know it they will discontinue the hand cranked Victrola in the Citroen Deux Chaveaux. Coming from someone who owns a Victrola, good riddance. A good Rachmaninoff piece spans so many discs (only ~3-4 minutes per side on these babies) that your arms get tired from cranking and flipping/cha...
by bwalling
Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help, I dropped my laptop
Replies: 20
Views: 2898

It may be something simple like the cable that connects the display coming loose. It varies a bit from laptop to laptop where that connection is, but you might be able to figure that out from the support site for the laptop. I had this happen once on a Dell years back, and the fix was as simple as p...
by bwalling
Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone have any experience with Magic Jack
Replies: 44
Views: 7940

The first thing I did was pay an installer to put a rooftop antenna on my roof. This will give you all the basic channels. Also, they will come in crystal clear. Much better than any cable or satellite provider's picture can. The signal comes in full blast and is not compressed. Unlike my satellite...
by bwalling
Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my situation that rare
Replies: 42
Views: 6416

You could get a "buyer's agent" to look at the possibilities, but then again I believe that they would want a contract from you (even if you are just "looking"). Realtor commissions are paid by the seller of the home and split between the two agents and their brokers. The buyer ...
by bwalling
Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my situation that rare
Replies: 42
Views: 6416

I think the recent financial downturn is evidence of the fact that many, many people in America are not like you. That's not necessarily evidence that you're rare. If I make only the scheduled payments, I'll be in a similar situation when I reach your age. I currently have a LTV of around 50% on a h...
by bwalling
Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to house accounts (Vanguard/Fidelity/ML/etc)?
Replies: 10
Views: 1815

The Wells Fargo PMA thing looks fairly interesting! I hadn't considered them, as I tend to only think of them in terms of my mortgage.