Search found 146 matches

by DesertMan
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Have some big bills coming -- should I open a 0% APR balance transfer card and fund my retirement accounts instead?
Replies: 9
Views: 569

Re: Have some big bills coming -- should I open a 0% APR balance transfer card and fund my retirement accounts instead?

Take the BT, but don’t invest yet. Build an emergency fund first. Seek out ultra high yielding NCUA/FDIC accounts and hoard cash there with all your free income. When the BT promo period is coming due, pay it all off and keep the leftover cash as your new emergency fund. THEN, you can go invest. Mis...
by DesertMan
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 2020 outlook: The new age of uncertainty
Replies: 27
Views: 3176

Re: Vanguard 2020 outlook: The new age of uncertainty

If reading this makes you sick, your asset allocation is probably too aggressive (and has been for a while).
by DesertMan
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 9-Class Lazy Portfolio Based on Callan Periodic Table
Replies: 17
Views: 1604

Re: 9-Class Lazy Portfolio Based on Callan Periodic Table

You're obviously being trolled and mocked at this point, but I say your plan to diversify in this way is not idiotic. You could put this into "portfolicharts" matrix page manually and see how it stacks up against some of the other "famous" options. It reminds me of the "pinwheel", which coincidenta...
by DesertMan
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 9-Class Lazy Portfolio Based on Callan Periodic Table
Replies: 17
Views: 1604

Re: 9-Class Lazy Portfolio Based on Callan Periodic Table

I want to stay the course, but I’m getting very sick of the present market volatility very fast. You say this, and yet your total percentage of intermediate and short term, investment grade bonds is only 33% - worse than the classic 60/40 portfolio. The way to reduce volatility is to increase your ...
by DesertMan
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 9-Class Lazy Portfolio Based on Callan Periodic Table
Replies: 17
Views: 1604

Re: 9-Class Lazy Portfolio Based on Callan Periodic Table

1. Why not use a three fund fund portfolio, substituting CATH for total stock market? 2. You won’t have to dig deep to find companies in VEA and VWO, which...um...violate your moral concerns; IMO, you won’t be achieving anything on that goal. The particulars on the moral concerns are OT, but to ans...
by DesertMan
Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 9-Class Lazy Portfolio Based on Callan Periodic Table
Replies: 17
Views: 1604

9-Class Lazy Portfolio Based on Callan Periodic Table

You may be familiar with the Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns , which tracks the performance of 9 asset classes and serves to show how they all tend to perform differently then revert to the mean over time. The CPT is commonly used to argue for staying the course and diversifying among as...
by DesertMan
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: You Invest by JP Morgan Chase
Replies: 185
Views: 29728

Re: You Invest by JP Morgan Chase

Wait, am I reading all this right?

You can buy Vanguard *mutual funds,* even the money market funds, with no transaction fee at You Invest?

It sounds like JP Morgan has resurrected VanguardAdvantage!
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

Nate79 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:08 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:56 pm
Taxes is the real issue.
Yes, need to calculate the after tax return on the savings rates.
If you care about $500/year like me, you’re probably in a low bracket.
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

No, I get multiple offers per month for 12-24 months 0% on purchases. Assuming you are spending money on regular life anyway..... run all your expenses through the card and then put the cash you would have used to pay off the card into whatever savings vehicle. 0% loan with no fees. When your promo...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

Why pay 3.5% when credit card companies are tripping over each other to give you 0% loans? (1) the only way to get such a loan is with a promotional balance transfer that usually has a 3%-5% fee, and ends after 18 months at the most, after which you must pay the balance or else get socked in the ja...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

Some of the commenters have stated that taxes must be paid on the interest income and while this is true, the margin interest is also deductible against the investment income ... I think you can only do so if you itemize, and TCJA’s higher standard deductions may make it not worthwhile (though you ...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

firebirdparts wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:21 pm
We make more money than that just opening new accounts.
So take the margin cash and open new accounts, hence earning your bonus without the cash drag (I’m actually planning on doing that.)
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

OP, You could do this, but it's a lot of time and effort for (what I would consider) very little gain. It is my understanding that credit unions offer a higher rate (up to a certain amount) on their membership accounts in order to encourage their members to have an emergency fund. I wouldn't use it...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

How about some links to those >4% bank accounts? There ought to be a wiki page for that. A little googling while show there are lots of lists of them out on Doctor of Credit, Financial Panther, and other sites. It's not that easy to build a better life $26.70 at a time. ($26.70 from DCU) + ($26.70 ...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

The Orion 4% deal requires monthly direct deposit and 8 signature-based card transactions per month. Not exactly a free lunch. For a rewards-checking account it’s very reasonable as far as requirements go. Everyone has these little transactions they have to make every month anyway. Go pay for your ...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

Orion FCU is paying 4% on up to $30k. You and a spouse can each open accounts and get interest on $60k this way. OK, so, again, doing back-of-the-envelope math. On $30,000, for a year, they pay you $1,200, you pay M1 $1,050, you clear $150. Get your your life companion to do the same, and you as a ...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

How about some links to those >4% bank accounts? There ought to be a wiki page for that. A little googling while show there are lots of lists of them out on Doctor of Credit, Financial Panther, and other sites. It's not that easy to build a better life $26.70 at a time. ($26.70 from DCU) + ($26.70 ...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Re: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

Do you have to buy the S&P with the margin loan ? It would be better if you could use that money to buy an ultrashort term bonds ETF. Before taxes: 4%-3.5%+0.25%. If they lend you 10 millions you could live off the proceeds. The problem is twofold: (1) the amount of the loan is capped, I think at 3...
by DesertMan
Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?
Replies: 37
Views: 2924

Buy TSM at M1. Take 3.5% margin loan. Put loan in bank deposit earning 4%+. Free lunch?

M1 Finance allows you to buy Vanguard and iShares ETFs for free and does rebalancing for you. They also offer margin loans starting at 3.5%. There are banks and credit unions (Orion, St. Mary’s, DCU, Netspend, etc.) paying more than that on FDIC/NCUA insured deposit accounts. It seems like a no brai...
by DesertMan
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: From a US investor’s perspective, are international stock markets less efficient than domestic markets?
Replies: 15
Views: 1241

Re: From a US investor’s perspective, are international stock markets less efficient than domestic markets?

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:58 pm
Are you willing to tell us your understanding of the word efficient as it relates to capital markets? Without that it's hard to approach your question.
PJW
That market prices reflect all information available to an investor.
by DesertMan
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: From a US investor’s perspective, are international stock markets less efficient than domestic markets?
Replies: 15
Views: 1241

Re: From a US investor’s perspective, are international stock markets less efficient than domestic markets?

Here is a Vanguard page that illustrates the above: https://advisors.vanguard.com/VGApp/iip/site/advisor/etfcenter/article/ETF_WhatIsIndexing In the hypothetical given, when you do not consider costs and taxes, the average return of any dollar invested in the market is the market’s average return. *...
by DesertMan
Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: From a US investor’s perspective, are international stock markets less efficient than domestic markets?
Replies: 15
Views: 1241

From a US investor’s perspective, are international stock markets less efficient than domestic markets?

Or in other words, is there a case for active management in the ex-U.S. portion of your portfolio?

What do you think?
by DesertMan
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any interest in concise guide to HEDGEFUNDIE 3x Leveraged ETF Excellent Adventure?
Replies: 92
Views: 5840

Re: Any interest in concise guide to HEDGEFUNDIE 3x Leveraged ETF Excellent Adventure?

Lee_WSP wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:14 pm
5) you will severely underperform in a rising rates environment
If the Achilles heel is a rising-rate environment ala early-2000s what mitigating effect would a large allocation to REITs have? (Since the REITs are presumably not leveraged, it would have to be a large one.)
by DesertMan
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:49 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Suggestions for the Wiki
Replies: 467
Views: 331531

Could someone please update the wiki “Cash Equivalents” page?

It would be nice to see a good discussion of the benefits of having a cash allocation: [*] reduce temptation to market time or deviate from allocation [*] have higher deductibles on insurance policies which is as good as tax free income [*] get good returns with reward checking accounts, prepaid car...
by DesertMan
Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's "Bogle Site" gone, but most material available at johncbogle.com
Replies: 59
Views: 12221

Re: Vanguard's "Bogle Site" gone? Hopefully just a glitch.

I was willing to give Vanguard the benefit of the doubt despite the seeming push towards higher-margin products and away from what is best for the investor. But if they deliberately deleted a huge chunk of their own legacy, then they have jumped the shark.
by DesertMan
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard hits back at Fidelity's loss-leader strategy by courting higher-margin businesses, like China and private equi
Replies: 19
Views: 2103

Re: "Vanguard hits back at Fidelity's loss-leader strategy by courting higher-margin businesses, like China and private

I have a bad feeling about a mutually owned company thinking in terms of (profit) margins. Are these “higher margin” products in the best interest of the investor/owner?
by DesertMan
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What’s the best asset class and location for bonds now (July 2019)?
Replies: 2
Views: 510

What’s the best asset class and location for bonds now (July 2019)?

The topic.

I’m thinking some mix of corporate bonds + long term treasuries in deferred (TIRA), since no one knows what the Fed will do. Or just KISS with Total Bond but not international bond. Any thoughts?
by DesertMan
Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My name is _____, & I am a MARKET TIMER.
Replies: 109
Views: 8152

Re: My name is _____, & I am a MARKET TIMER.

The cure is:
1. Dollar cost averaging
2. Adequate asset allocation for all of your goals (I.e. not having a 1-2 year goal in mostly stocks.)
by DesertMan
Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my parents' finances a disaster waiting to happen? Seeking advice.
Replies: 105
Views: 11694

Re: Are my parents' finances a disaster waiting to happen? Seeking advice.

Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate in mortgage lending on the basis of age. I guess I'm just used to people having a paid-off house at that age (at least in my experience, not on the internets). If one of the borrowers passes away, that is an event of default on the mortgage and the bank ...
by DesertMan
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we a good candidate for a Vanguard Variable Annuity?
Replies: 10
Views: 967

Re: Are we a good candidate for a Vanguard Variable Annuity?

I have a VVA which I got when I was in a high tax bracket and had no retirement plan at work. As far as variable annuities go, the VVA is a great product. But even so, I would recommend against it. You give up a LOT of flexibility with a VA and that plus the fees are seldom worth it. You are better ...
by DesertMan
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo
Replies: 13
Views: 786

Re: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo

DrakeSRT wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:10 am
How do you know how much renovation will cost?
Do you have any experience remodeling homes?
We have competitive quotes on the essentials (roof etc.) and a target budget for the non essentials, since the amount of credit for the renovations is not guaranteed except with the HomeStyle.
by DesertMan
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo
Replies: 13
Views: 786

Re: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo

Do you have any taxable investments? If so you could borrow against those in the form of a Margin loan at Interactive Brokers for 4% or at Schwab you could get a pledged asset line 5 year term loan. I don’t know the interest rate. This might be a good way to go for the renovations It might be worth...
by DesertMan
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo
Replies: 13
Views: 786

Re: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo

FBN2014 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:50 am
Have you checked out the FHA 203K renovation loan?
One of the mortgage brokers is suggesting that but I think rates would be higher.
by DesertMan
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo
Replies: 13
Views: 786

Re: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:34 am

I am familiar with the concept of points just not the amounts you are talking about. 13k of points ! :oops:
Yeah, that is exactly how I feel. :oops:
by DesertMan
Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo
Replies: 13
Views: 786

Re: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:48 pm

What are the points you speak of?

I am not following all of the rates involved with Navy Fed.
Points are additional origination fees that the borrower can pay in order to get the lender to lower their rate. Of course the money has to come from somewhere—the down payment. It’s a trade off.
by DesertMan
Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo
Replies: 13
Views: 786

Re: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo

I like simplicity. The Fannie Mae loan sounds best to me. I got some more info on the rates. Navy Fed will do 3.75% with about $3000 worth of points on the mortgage ($170k). The equity would be 5.75% or so (some part of the $80k) and the unsecured would probably be 8%. The HomeStyle will require $1...
by DesertMan
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo
Replies: 13
Views: 786

Fixer-upper home: FNMA HomeStyle vs mortgage/equity/unsecured combo

We found a fixer-upper house that we are considering turning into a forever home. We have excellent credit and no problems qualifying for a ~$170K mortgage to buy the house and a loan for ~$80K for the renovations. But now we have to decide between Navy Federal Credit Union, which is offering a purc...
by DesertMan
Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sequoia questions
Replies: 89
Views: 5363

Re: Toyota Sequoia questions

The thing with a young child (infant or toddler) is that you have to sit with them . You can’t just put mom and dad in the driver and passenger seat, put 2 or 3 babies in car seats in the second row, fold down the third row and put all the stuff back there. Why not? Because after about 10 minutes t...
by DesertMan
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sequoia questions
Replies: 89
Views: 5363

Re: Toyota Sequoia questions

With your TWO kids, both can easily/conveniently ride in the second row. You don't have a third kid (or even a second yet) that needs to be put in the third row. The thing with a young child (infant or toddler) is that you have to sit with them. You can’t just put mom and dad in the driver and pass...
by DesertMan
Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sequoia questions
Replies: 89
Views: 5363

Re: Toyota Sequoia questions

With gas at $4/gal during those years, the Sequoia’s were probably sitting in the driveway a lot. As an aside, we’re grandfathered into the PenFed 5% gas card, and Sam’s Club has one with a cap. The PenFed card was great for me during that time. If we do wind up with a Sequoia or other gas guzzler,...
by DesertMan
Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sequoia questions
Replies: 89
Views: 5363

Re: Toyota Sequoia questions

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:35 pm
Summary: No approval needed.

Buy the Sequoia (new, CPO, used).

Enjoy.
... After considering / test driving a Sienna, as researcher does have good points. If researcher is right, we have saved north of $10K. So that should be part of our due diligence.
by DesertMan
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sequoia questions
Replies: 89
Views: 5363

Re: Toyota Sequoia questions

Only in America would having two babies necessitate a Sequoia. Well, that depends on where in America you are. America is a very big country (though not quite as big as Canada, where everyone north of the Trans-Canada Highway needs a Sequoia. But I digress.) A lot of the folks in the no-Sequoia cam...
by DesertMan
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Free Antivirus for Macs?
Replies: 26
Views: 1780

Re: Which Free Antivirus for Macs?

You can open an account with Ally Bank and they will give you Webroot (Mac or PC) for free.
by DesertMan
Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sequoia questions
Replies: 89
Views: 5363

Re: Toyota Sequoia questions

We have a mid-size SUV (a 2014 Mercedes ML 350) and it’s a huge challenge to fit just two adults, one baby and everyone’s luggage (including all the gear that comes with the baby). A $500 Yakima roof box solves this for the .5% of time the space is needed. Roof box doesn’t pass the WAF (wife accept...
by DesertMan
Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sequoia questions
Replies: 89
Views: 5363

Re: Toyota Sequoia questions

1. It sounds like you're not even expecting a second child yet. Is your current car on its last legs and need to be replaced or are you just getting the itch for something new? We can get by for a while longer with what we have, but not much longer. Once we get to the mid second trimester we won’t ...
by DesertMan
Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sequoia questions
Replies: 89
Views: 5363

Re: Toyota Sequoia questions

I really have to respect the ninja-packing skills of AnonJohn, researcher, Texanbybirth and company. Last time we traveled with the baby, the whole back of the ML was filled up with our luggage, the diaper changer, the bassinet/travel crib, baby bottles/food, diapers/wipes, toys, bedding, and who kn...
by DesertMan
Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Montessori Preschool: Good or Bad
Replies: 23
Views: 2533

Re: Montessori Preschool: Good or Bad

Just because it says Montessori doesn’t mean that it is. I think there are international programs that certify instructors. You should look at that and/or what materials the school uses.